Hyundai prices Veracruz from $26,305

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The entry price for the Hyundai Veracruz has been set at $26,305* for a GLS, which is no vinyl-seated, three-on-the-tree stripper. For just over 25 grand, you get Hyundai's grunty 3.8 liter V6, standard ESC and ABS, a nifty stereo system, and alloy rims to name but some of the standard bag of tricks. Going full boat for the Limited will raise the bottom line to just over $34k, but considering that the GLS has almost everything you'd want right from the get-go, we can only imagine the smorgasbord of stuff in the mid-range SE model and range-topping Limited.

These unibody midsizers are seemingly the neo-family-wagon, so this segment is generating lots of heat right now. The Veracruz is in the same sandbox as the Mazda CX-9, GM Lambda cousins, Toyota Highlander and the like, but Hyundai's press materials call out more expensive models like the Lexus RX and Mercedes GL. We know this move, as Hyundai pulls it time and time again. The Korean company packs a model with uplevel content and more standard safety and convenience features than its immediate competition can match. Thus, customers are more likely to compare it with more expensive models and marvel at its low, low price. Genius, just genius. We're eager to get one in the Autoblog Garage.
  • Veracruz GLS FWD $26,305
  • Veracruz GLS AWD $28,005
  • Veracruz SE FWD $28,005
  • Veracruz SE AWD $29,705
  • Veracruz Limited FWD $32,305
  • Veracruz Limited AWD $34,005

*$690 destination charge not included

[Source: KickingTires]

 

[via] Autoblog

Power Stroke production resumes, Ford and International reach temporary agreement

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If you listen closely enough, you can hear the gargantuan "Whew!!!" from the glass house on Michigan Ave. Oakland County, Mich., Judge John McDonald has ordered International Truck and Engine to resume shipment of the 6.4L Power Stroke diesel engine that powers the uber-important Ford Super Duty pickup.

This whole mess started when Ford began debiting International's invoices to the tune of $125 million to help pay for expensive warranty costs incurred repairing the notoriously problematic last-gen 6.0L Power Stroke. As it turns out, Ford spent an estimated $1 billion on warranty costs due to a faulty fuel system on these engines supplied by International. For its part, International disputes the $1 billion figure and has refused to help foot the bill. Ford took action by filing a law suit and International retaliated by stopping production of the new 6.4L Power Stroke, which has resulted in the loss of 4,000 units of Ford's most profitable vehicle.

The temporary agreement calls for Ford to stop debiting International's invoices and actually pay the company. In return, the diesel engine supplier will resume shipments of the new 6.4L Power Stroke. The judge also ordered both sides to continue meeting in order to come up with a final solution, but that won't be easy since there's a lot bad blood between these two companies now. We don't know who's right in this case, but we do know this fire will likely flare up again.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Forbes lists whips of billionaire cheapskates

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Lot's of rich people buy Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Bugattis. Actually, rich people are the only ones who buy such cars. On the other hand, not all wealthy folks are extravagent; many of them tend to be on the frugal side. It's how they get rich and stay that way.

After years of being transported in a Lincoln Town Car, for instance, the world's second richest person, Warren Buffett, now gets shuttled around in a 2006 Cadillac DTS. Ingvar Kamprad, who came up with that flat pack Swedish-designed furniture people love to haul home from IKEA, drives around in 1993 Volvo 240 GL wagon (example shown). The 240 was one of those old fashioned Swedes that looked like the box it came in, and the kind it hauls around. If you want to find out what Steve Ballmer, Jim Walton and Serygey Brin drive, hit the Read link and he ad on over to the Forbes article.

[Source: Forbes]

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Motor Show: Tata Elegante

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click above image to view more angles of the Tata Elegante

Tata, India's largest automaker, arrived at this year's Geneva Motor Show with the Elegante sedan in hand. Though many are not familiar with Tata's lineup, those who are were hoping the Elegante would be revealed as a replacement for the Indigo sedan and Indica hatchback, tiny little four-doors lacking in both personality and power. Well, as it turns out, the Elegante is not their replacement, but word is its design cues will end up in the next generation Indigo and Indica. Speaking of its design, if you stare at the Elegante long enough, you'll begi n to see what appears to be the offspring of the U.S. market Ford Focus and Toyota Avalon, which is why we suggest not staring at it too long. The general proportions of the Elegante are done well, but the giant fender flares and obnoxiously large air intakes in the front bumper don't seem to match this concept's econocar vibe. We haven't discovered what powers the Elegante either, though it's rumored the car could support both four- and small six-cylinder engines.

[Source: Autoblog Spanish]

Gallery: Tata Elegante

 

[via] Autoblog

Scion in their sights: Coventry design students developing customizable youth car

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With Scion as their inspiration, three recent graduates from Coventry University's Automotive-Design program are creating their idea of a youth car. For now, the trio is only releasing this conceptual sketch, but they hope to have a 3-D model in 8 weeks.

Kazanori Inomota, Edward Stubbs, and Mujammil Khan-Muztar began the project to envision what young car buyers would want in 2020. Like Scion, the team sees individuality as a driving force in choosing a car, even that far into the future. But instead of wild graphics or n eon shifters, they expect even more radical customization.

"It doesn't have to mean crazy paint-jobs and stick-on flames; more likely people will want a 'music-studio option' or a 'gaming experience option', which represents what's important in their life,"
Mujammil says in a press release that you can read in its entirety after the jump.

Update: Edward Stubbs sent us a series of sketches (see them after the jump) of their vehicle showing several more views and providing a better idea of the car's dimensions and attributes.

Continue reading Scion in their sights: Coventry design students developing customizable youth car

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Audi S5 glamour shots

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It looks like Ingolstadt has been humming along, readying the S5 for sale. Tipster dasboost pointed us to this video of S5 eye candy. It's nice to get close up angles of some details on this hot-looking coupe. Audi typically sweats the details, especially on the inside, and the S5 looks like it faithfully follows that tradition. We like the chiseling that goes on outside - it's a slight evolution of the Audi design ethos, and perfect for a coupe, lending a more muscular appearance. Hopefully nobody has read this far into the post, as we expect everyone's going to skip over all of our babble and go straight to the video, which is after the jump. If you did read this far, what are you doing? Go and watch the video!

[Source: Motor Authority]

Continue reading VIDEO: Audi S5 glamour shots

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Making NASCAR look lame: Mercedes AMG C-Class DTM

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AMG C-Class DTM
Click image for hi-res gallery

Here's my issue with NASCAR (and I know I'm in the minority here, based on the sport's immense popularity): I can barely tell one car from another, and as a result, I get bored. Sure, I know who the big guys are and what cars they're supposedly driving, but the fact of the matter is this: the bodies are, to the naked eye, identical-looking. If the cars didn't have stickers to simulate the front fascia of an actual production car, I'd be lost. Monte Carlo SS? Charger? Fusion? Camry? Sure, if you (and the decals) say so. Thank goodness for the production-based classes in ALMS, SPEED World Challenge, Grand-Am and the like, where Vettes, Astons, Mustangs, etc. are completel y identifiable.

The Germany-based DTM series also gets it right. Granted, only two marques participate -- Mercedes-Benz and Audi -- but the cars look like the ones they're supposed to be based on, well..because they are. This week in Geneva, Mercedes unveiled its extra-mean-looking new DTM car. In conjunction with the debut of the redone C-Class sedan, the new AMG-prepped DTM car has been similarly brought up-to-date. The C-Class' new beak looks right at home on the wide-bodied A4-hunter, and despite the massive fender flares, aggressive ground effects, and serious rear wing, there's no mistaking it for anything other than a C-Class.

The Germans, it seems, enjoy knowing what the hell it is they're looking at when the cars streak by the stands.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Honda CR-V Aero Performance Pack: Factory-direct visual punch

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Click image for hi-res gallery

Honda's new CR-V has been growing on us ever since it came out. It's by no means a pretty vehicle, but you have to give it credit for wearing its quirkiness with pride. Considering how similar some of the other small CUVs on the market look (think RAV4, Santa Fe), the choice to go with unique styling may pay dividends long-term, as you'll always be able to pick the Honda out from the crowd. (Well, that and the fact the "H" badge on the grille speaks more powerfully to some buyers than the car's styling itself.)

Things got better (a lot better) when Mugen released its full suite of aft ermarket bits for the CR-V, and now Honda's getting into the game with its own factory sport kit. It consists of new grille inserts, aero bumper covers, running boards, a roof spoiler, sport suspension and a set of 19" five-spoke alloys. The result? Well, it's pretty cool, and between this and the Mugen kit, it's clear that the new CR-V can have a lot more curb appeal if you're willing to spend some additional cash.

[Source: Honda via Carscoop]

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Motor Show: Skoda's rally-ready S2000 concept

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Skoda S2000
Click image for hi-res photo gallery

Geneva was the venue at which Czech automaker Skoda introduced its new Fabia hatchback. While the Fabia's nice and all, the real eye candy at the company's booth is clearly the Fabia-based S2000 concept. The name refers to the Super 2000 regulations the show car conforms to, and it serves as confirmation that Skoda is hard at work preparing a customer-ready Super 2000-spec racer for use in FIA Rally events. The enclosed press release is short on detail, confirming only that the car features a 2.0-liter engine (naturally), roll cage (obviously), four-wheel-drive (a racer-specific addition), and other S2K-co mpliant features. Sadly, no power output for the car's engine is given. We'll guess that the final product should dish out significantly more than 200 horsepower, since the other Super 2000 rally cars we've covered here at Autoblog-- the new Australian TRD Corolla team car and Peugeot's 207 -- produce 255 and 280 horsepower respectively.

[Source: Skoda]

Continue reading Geneva Motor Show: Skoda's rally-ready S2000 concept

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Geneva Motor Show: Ferrari shifts to neutral in Switzerland

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Ferrari At Geneva 2007In typical fashion, Ferrari had an impressive presence in Geneva this year. While their corporate cousins across the aisle made a big splash with the unveiling of the Maserati GranTurismo, the marque from Maranello wasn't showing any substantial new products of their own.

As we reported earlier, Luca di Montezemolo - president of Ferrari, chairman of Fiat and veritable don of the Italian automotive industry (also tipped as the potential future president of Italy) - hinted at the unveiling of the 430 Challenge Stradale (an eight-cylinder road car that "will embrace the know-how of weight reduction and high performance learned from our F1 experience") at the upcoming Frankfurt show in September. Montezemolo also spoke about some historic Ferrari paint colors that have been recently resurrected, including a 612 Scaglietti on display in Grigio Ingrid, a shade of gray that was originally commissioned from Pininfarina by Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini for a 1954 Ferrari 375 MM that he bought for his wife Ingrid Bergman.

The Ferrari stand also featured the F2007 Formula 1 car, just over a week before the season kicks off in Melbourne, a 599 GTB Fiorano, a 430 Spider and two 612 Scagliettis, flanked by a team of suitably luscious models, all of which you can see in our high-resolution image gallery below.


 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Jimmie Johnson to run in Cadillac CTS-V at Charlotte

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No, Cadillac has not decided to slap their grille and headlight stickers on one of the standardized NASCAR body shells. The SCCA World Challenge will be running a 50 minute sprint race as one of the supporting events for the Memorial Day weekend festivities at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I refuse to call venues that once had real names by their bought and paid for names, hence Pine Knob and Laguna Seca will always go by those names as far as I'm concerned, but I digress.

2006 NASCAR Champ Jimmie Johnson will make a special appearance behind the wheel of one of the Cadillac CTS-Vs campaigned by Team Cadillac at the May race in Charlotte. Apparently, they'll be putting some barrels or other obstacles on the high banks to force the drivers to swing the steering wheel to the right occasionally for this race. The 2007 W orld Challenge Series opens up at Sebring next weekend. The GM press release is after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading Jimmie Johnson to run in Cadillac CTS-V at Charlotte

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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2007 Detroit Autorama sneak peek

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As we mentioned earlier, the Detroit Autorama is this weekend. The doors of Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit opened up to the public about an hour ago, and while we won't be on hand ourselves to take pictures, an industrious Autoblog reader by the name of Jason Stoddard has already reported back with pics of the show before it even opened. You can check out his Flickr gallery here.

Jason's gallery gave us an idea. We're sure many Autoblog readers in the Detroit area and beyond will be attending the Detroit Autorama this weekend. Take your cameras, shoot liberally, and send us your best photos. We'll compile them in a mega gallery so that Autoblog readers around the world can enjoy all the custom steel the Detroit Autorama has to offer. Just make sure that if you shoot a car at the show, you also get a clear shot of its placard with all of its info so we know what we're looking at. SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO AB RESEARCH AT GMAIL DOT COM. We'll create a gallery when the first batches roll in and update it throughout the weekend.

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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US Grand Prix could go into reverse

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If the US Grand Prix remains at Indianapolis beyond 2007, which is by no means a foregone conclusion, it could switch to running counter-clockwise, the way IndyCars do. That's because Indy is trying to get a MotoGP race and having the bikes run clockwise through the banked turn 1 (turn 13 when running the road course) could prove to be too dangerous when accelerating out of the turn onto the front straight.

The banked turn has always been controversial even for F1 cars because no other modern day F1 track has a similar type of corner, and the cars and their tires aren't really designed for the stresses they face there. After six years of running at Indy you would think that teams and tire makers would have learned and compensated by now, but apparently they prefer to whine about it, then address the problem in their designs.

[Source: SpeedTV]

 

[via] Autoblog

Caddiwhack: Predator 800 HP twin-supercharged CTS-V

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click image for high-res gallery

The Cadillac CTS-V is a fine sports sedan. Perhaps it's not our first choice when talk of Mega Millions wins come around, but we certainly wouldn't point and laugh at somebody who bought one. One of the complaints about the car is that several less expensive vehicles offer nearly as good or better performance at a lower price point (Chrysler 300C SRT-8, to name one), or that the cars GM identifies as real competition for the Caddy offer a much higher level of refinement and often better performance, albeit at twice the price in some cases (Think M3 and RS4 here). But the vehicle soldiers on, holding its head moderately high.

Owners who have one in their garages, however, know that there are things t hat can be done to enhance the driving experience to make the car even better. And when you are looking for upgrades, you might as well start by playing to your strengths. That big V8 under the hood is as good a place as any to begin the journey. As with many such projects, things can spiral out of control and you can end up with something like 800 hp if you're not careful. And that's exactly what happened when one aftermarket tuner, Predator Performance, was let loose on an unsuspecting Cadillac a couple of years ago in advance of SEMA. Follow the jump for the rest of the story.

[Source: Predator via GMInsideNews]

Continue reading Caddiwhack: Predator 800 HP twin-supercharged CTS-V

 

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You can get a "Tough Box" for your Chevy Colorado, too!

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It has been confirmed that Ford will be offering the "Tough Box" as an option on the F-150 as soon as this Spring, but what if you're not in the market for a Blue Oval with a bed? Don't worry, since it seems that there are companies perfectly willing to apply the same treatment to your General Motors pickup, specifically the Chevy Colorado / GMC Canyon. SVE Fleet is a company that will add what it calls a Mid-Box to your pickup. Essentially the same thing as Ford's "Tough Box", the Mid-Box features two hinged doors at the leading edge of the bed that open up to reveal a deep storage space or slide out drawers that can store tools. In fact, SVE Fleet can even add a Mid-Box to an F-150 if you really can't wait for the "Tough Box" to become available when the snow thaws.

Speaking of the "Tough Box", thanks to Mike Levine at Pickuptruck.com, we've learned a few more details on Ford's newest feature for the F-150. The Blue Oval has tapped 2nd stage manufacturer Decoma International to build the "Tough Box" option into existing F-150s that are shipped to them from the factory with a short bed on a long wheelbase. The "Tough Box" can also be outfitted in many ways for either storage of larger items or with slide-out trays for smaller tools. Rumor has it that the "Tough Box" came into being from a request by the fertil izer company that produces Scott's Miracle-Gro. Federal regulations demand they keep solid and liquid fertilizers separated during transport, so they were faced with either driving two separate trucks or finding one with separated compartments. In its quest to keep the F-150 atop the sales chart, Ford stepped up with a factory-backed solution.

[Source: SVE Fleet via GMInsideNews, Pickuptruck.com]

 

[via] Autoblog