Spy Shots: Corvette SS "Blue Devil" - will it debut in New York?

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That's right, we're still calling the upcoming Corvette SS the "Blue Devil", and it appears from these spy shots that Rick Wagoner feels the same way. Taken by veteran spy photog Jim Dunne for Popular Mechanics, the spyshots include one of the car's rear where a sticker on the bumper is visible. PM asks whether it could be the "Blue Devil" logo of Duke University, Wagoner's alma mater. It's impossible to tell what the sticker shows on the shots provided, but we assume PM and Dunne had larger shots to inspect, and will therefore take their word for it.

PM also claims the Corvette SS may be one of the seven world premiers General Motors is planning for the New York Auto Show in April. There are still at least two debuts that we can't account for, so it's possible the production Blue Devil could debut at the last auto show of the season. It would certainly leave a big impression on the buying public going into the summer sales doldrums. There's nothing like news of a 650-hp Vette costing in the six-figure range to perk up some ears.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

 

[via] Autoblog

Dodge launches two new contests to win cars

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We'll be honest, we'd be much more inclined to drive a brand new vehicle if it were free, which is why we always give these little games and contests at least one shot. Dodge announced two new contests today, the grand prizes of which are a Dodge Ram 1500 and Dodge Avenger sedan.

The first is called the Dodge Ram Rock'em Sock'em Challenge (Official Rules), which is obviously inspired by those Ram commercials in which the Dodge truck socks the block off of its toy challenger. In the game, you have to hit your arrow keys in a particular sequence, which correspond to punches on the screen. If you pop the noggin of your competitor fast enough, you'll be entered in the Tier 1 Heavyweight prize division for a chance to win a Ram of our own.

The second contest is called the Dodge Avenger - Avenge Your Commute. To enter, you need to compose a 250-word essay about the trials and tribulations of your daily commute, and why the new Dodge Avenger would your daily slog that much better. If your essay is the best, you'll be flown to L.A. on April 16th, which happens to be National Stress Awareness Day, and get to demolish a "replica" of your own car and drive home in a new Avenger.

[Source: Dodge]

 

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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

[via] Autoblog

Spring Festival of LXs: Yep, they ALL have Hemis in them

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Click the above image for a high-res gallery of Drew Phillips' photos from the event

Spring Festival of LXs - that's the official name of the event, but we doubt many will make the connection to Chrysler's current crop of Hemi cars - you know, the hot-selling, multi-configurable, rough-and-tumble Charger/Magnum/300C platform. It would probably be better to rename it as the Modern Hemi Car Event or some derivitive thereof. Well, whatever they call it, close to 400 cars were in attendance (340 registered cars) at the DaimlerChrysler west coast headquarters in Irvine. Lots of SRTs in the group, too.

Besides all of the proud owners, special guests included Burke S. Brown (chief engineer of the LX vehicle program), Kris Pakizer (Chrysler 300 brand manager), Zoran Bogdanovic (Charger and Magnum brand manager), MOPAR's drift master Sam Hubinette, and of course, DUB, with several of their modified LXs including one of only two officially approved Barbie Edition specials with pink-over-silver paint and Swarovski crystal highlights. The event even hosted a wedding between two LX owners.

Saturday was the fun shine and show, but on Sunday class reconvened at California Speedway in Fontana. The participants had a lot to choose from during their track day. They were allowed to run on the road course (which includes part of the Speedway oval), they could do an autocross session, try their foot at the burnout contest, or even take a lick at the donut competition. We love when manufacturers rally the troops and treat them to a special day enjoying their vehicles they way they were meant to be.

[Source: Muscle Car News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Infiniti releases new pics and complete specs on G37

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click above image to view new high-res pics of the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe

While the G37 Coupe has already had an unceremonious debut ahead of its scheduled unveiling at the New York Auto Show next month, Infiniti has seen fit to distribute a press release today (although directed at the UK market) with four more images of the new coupe, as well as every detailed spec you could ask for. What's the new G37's coefficient of drag? 0.29. How big is its fuel tank? 20.0 gallons. How much does it weigh? Well, that depends on the model, of which there are three: the base G37, G37 Journey and G37 Sport 6MT. Like other Infinitis, there will also be three option packages from which to choose: the Premium Package (upgraded Bose stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and mirrors, etc.), the Sport Package (19-inch wheels, Viscous Limited-Slip Differential, stiffer suspension, sport brakes, sport seats and an appropriate body kit) and the Navigation Package (touch-screen navigation, 9.3-gigabyte hard drive). There's too much to list here, so you can peruse the press release and a shot of the entire specs list after the jump. The gallery has also been updated with high-res, desktop wallpaper-sized versions of the new pics.

[Source: Infiniti]

Continue reading Infiniti releases new pics and complete specs on G37

 

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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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Rendered Speculation: 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser

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With news that Lexus will be debuting its new LX 570 at the New York Auto Show, we know a redesign for the venerable Land Cruiser from Toyota can't be far behind. Motor Authority expects the new Cruiser to officially surface at the Tokyo Motor Show later in the year, but offers these renderings of what we should expect in the meantime.

The Land Cruiser is an old stalwart of the SUV segment, having been around forever and more than proven its mettle. Expect the next version to continue the Land Cruiser's lay-low image with a mild evolution of the current model's styling, though new hardware can be found beneath the familiar skin. Supposedly Toyota is working on a new air suspension that can lower and raise the Land Cruiser at will, and power will most definitely not be a problem for the new 5.7L V8 sourced from the Toyota Tundra. Since the Lexus LX series and the Land Cruiser share the same platform and general proportions, we'll be able to better tell if these renderings are accurate after we arrive in the Big Apple for the New York Auto Show in a couple of weeks.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

9ff GT9 could unseat Veyron with 254 mph top speed

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EVO Magazine just released info (and pics) about that very special project from German Porsche tuner, 9ff. If 9ff sounds familiar, you may remember it as the company that has set a couple of street legal records with highly modified 911s. It appears they have given up on the 911's rear-engine configuration in favor of a custom vehicle with its engine mounted amidships. The new car is called the GT9 and uses some 911 componentry, but is really a unique project that looks somewhat like Porsche's own GT1. The idea is to use a 900+ hp 4.2 liter flat-six to outdo the Veyron's 253 mph top end. And they plan to do it at Nardo, the huge bowl-shaped test facility in southern Italy, which essentially means the vehicle will be in the turns the whole time. In case you were wondering, that generally results in a lower speed than on the 5.6 mile long straightaways at VW's Ehra-Lessien test track, the site of the Veyron's runs. The fight for supremacy in the supercar world is certainly getting heated.

American specialty manufacturer, SSC is currently going about that task in a slightly different way, and Koenigsegg and Saleen seem to have vehicles available that would also challenge these speeds, but 9ff has experience here, as well. They've already had a 911 go 241 with just 840 hp. Sorting out what kind of record this would be is a bit tricky. Tuners are generally separated from production cars, but specialty manufacturers can actually qualify as production vehicles, even if they sell far fewer cars than the tuners. If it's any consolation, 9ff says that it has already sold two of these GT9s before the first one was even built. Prices start at 400,000 euro, in case you were wondering, a pittance compared to the Bug's going rate. We'll be sure to let you know if and when the GT9 hits 409km/h, besting the Veyron's vmax.

[Source: EVO]

 

[via] Autoblog

Brooks Double R gets power bump from blower

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Ariel Atoms, Caterham Superlights, KTM X Bows, Derondas and the like tend to follow a certain formula that happens to be very successful in the world of racing. Keep it simple, keep it light, and keep it balanced. They don't need 500-hp V10s to prove their point. Small rev-happy motors that can churn out 140, 180, 220 hp are the norm, but there are always options. Some people look at these horsepower figures and think, "I know it offers a superior driving experience and can lap any given track as quickly as cars with rheww times the power, but what if this car had that much power, too?" That is why Brooke will now be offering a supercharged version of its Ford Duratec powerplant for use in the Double R. While horsepower can easily reach more than 400, they think the final tune will be around 350. Not a huge jump over the top current option at 300, but it will have twice the torque of the lesser motor, as well. That should really make things interesting in this sub-ton car.

[Source: Autocar]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Maserati GranTurismo running the 'Ring

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The Masarati GranTurismo was one of the most significant designs that debuted at this month's Geneva Motor Show. While many attractive autos were in attendance, the GranTurismo represented a giant leap forward for Maserati compared to the uninspiring lines of the current Coupé. It's bold and slightly overexaggerated, just like a six-figure car should be. While seeing the GranTurismo on display was a thrill, these spy photos that are hot off the memory card have us more excited. They were supposedly taken today in Germany where this uncamoflouged prototype was heading to the famed Nurburgring for some shakedown laps. With a Ferrari-designed 4.2L V8 pumping out 405 horsepower underhood, "testing" Maserati's new two-door has got to be the best way to start your work week.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Caught! Kia gets its sport on with cee'd xR

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Kia has always had aspirations of being the sporty brand to Hyundai's volume image, but unfortunately never fielded the hardware to convincingly make the case. Things seem to be changing, as word came last week that the South Korean automaker is planning a rival for the Audi TT. Today we've come across pics of what appears to be a sport version of the Euro-market cee'd. Apparently called the cee'd xR according to a badge on the grill, this sport model features styling reminiscent of the pro_cee'd concept shown at the Paris Motor Show last fall. Up front is a black diffuser that forces air into the lower intake, while another body-colored diffuser is recessed into the new lower bodywork out back. According to Caradisiac, the cee'd xR is powered by a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder from Hyundai, though power figures weren't mentioned. That's all the info we could cull from the French-language site, but the pictures speak volumes. Unfortunately, the cee'd isn't sold in the U.S. so we'll never see this model Stateside, but hopefully the xR moniker makes it across the pond on other models.

[Source: Caradisiac]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Photos: BMW 6-Series gets nip-tuck

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In an obvious midlife ploy to increase its six appeal (credit goes to WorldCarFans for that excellent pun), BMW is sending its flagship coupe in for a quick nip-tuck. Expect to see a revised front and rear fascia on its 6-Series Coupe and Cab in Frankfurt this fall. That's the latest rumor going around, supported by spy shots like the ones we have for you today. Besides a slightly revised new front bumper, there will also be revised taillights and what appears to be a slightly exaggerated rear decklid spoiler. The changes are minimal and easy to miss unless the old and new ones are lined up side-to-side. A new interior is said to be in the works as well, but nothing is expected to change underhood. Not that they needed changing, mind you, but the engines will apparently remain the same: The 258-hp straight-six in the 630i (not available in the U.S.), the 360-hp 4.8-liter V8 in the 650i, and of course the 500-hp 5.0-liter V10 in the M6.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

China Chang'an New MPV:JieXun release

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This is Chang'an own design MPV,Named Chang'an JieXun,and 7 seater with a 2.0l 16v DOHC,looks familier? 200km/h top speed,192Nm,112/5500-6000(kw/rpm),5 Manual transmission,price aroud 13,000-19,000 USD,check our chinese posts for more pics.



[source:Autoblog china]

 

[via] Autoblog

Saturn Aura named Most Washable Car of 2007

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2007 Saturn Aura XR
Click image for squeaky-clean photo-gallery

The International Carwash Association (International? Who knew?) has named the Saturn Aura the Most Washable Car of 2007. A variety of criteria are used to determine the winner each year, but predictably, items like securely mounted antennas and wipers, flush-mount trim pieces, sleek body lines, and folding mirrors are among those that the judges look for when making the selection (the complete list is in the release pasted after the jump).

The Aura was the car that fit the bill this year, and as luck would have it, we photographed our Autoblog Garage Aura XR test car as it passed through the wash last year. So, enjoy the suddenly-appropriate gallery of the Aura getting cleaned up in honor of its new award. We won't mention that our car lost its little XM sharkfin antenna cover during the depicted scrubdown. Oops! I guess we just did! (No worries: we got it back a short time later, so the story has a happy ending.) Now, we assume Saturn will also be making duplicates of its washing award and shipping them to various Aura owners like it has done with its trophy for 2007 North American Car of the Year. Hey, a win's a win.

[Source: International Carwash Association]

Continue reading Saturn Aura named Most Washable Car of 2007

 

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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

[via] Autoblog

Bosch Stop-Start system available on new BMW 1-series

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European shoppers interested in BMW's new 1-series will now be able to have the car with a stop-start system provided by Bosch. The new system is quite simple, and the only change required to the existing engine offerings (both gasoline and diesel) is a different starter motor. According to Bosch, whose press release is pasted after the jump, the system is good for an 8% bump in fuel economy plus an obvious reduction in tailpipe emissions when measured in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle's urban component.

Trips that require more and/or longer stops would naturally result in even better numbers. It would be really nice if stop-start systems were more prevalent in US-market automobiles, as the positives they offer represent an excellent middle-ground for buyers looking to improve fuel economy or simply go "greener" without taking on the extra expense associated with buying a new hybrid vehicle.

Let's face it, not everyone wants a hybrid car (there are a number of reasons for this, ranging from price, to brand loyalty, to simple personal preference), but everyone (or almost everyone) would certainly welcome optional ways to make new cars more fuel efficient (read: cheaper to run) without compromising on make, model, body style, etc. The Bosch system, as described in the press release, sounds like it's relatively unobtrusive. Combining something like this with currently-available features such as cylinder deactivation might be enough to meet the needs of a lot of people. The question is, would you be willing to give it a shot, or are you ready to just cede features of this type to the hybrid segment completely?

[Source: Bosch]

Continue reading Bosch Stop-Start system available on new BMW 1-series

 

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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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It's coming... Subaru counting down the days

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Subaru is getting hyped up about the unveiling of something at the New York Auto Show. It doesn't take any amount of automotive detective work to figure out that the "legend" to be "reborn" in the Big Apple is the new Impreza, but unfortunately, their little site doesn't give up any more information, nor does it say that the event will be webcast. Still, you can sign up for email and mobile alerts, or just wait for our extensive coverage coming up next month.

In the meantime...

 

[via] Autoblog

EVO X in motion

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The purveyors of camo'd cars over at KGP were smart enough to bring along a video camera when they got word that the new Evolution X was undergoing testing at "The Fastest Road in the West." The Streets of Willow Springs has served as the testing grounds for dozens of shoot outs in our favorite mags, along with providing a suitable playground to shoot Best Motoring's American Touge series. So when Mitsubishi's engineers wanted to test some of the new EVO's complex systems, they decided that "The Streets" would serve the purpose beautifully.

Unfortunately, the video isn't the tire squealing hot lap session that you'd expect, but according to InsideLine and KGP, that was because the propeller heads were more interested in testing individual components rather than wringing out Mitsubishi's newest hotness. Regardless, it's still worth a few moments to check out the be-winged prototype making the rounds in its natural habitat.

[Source: InsideLine]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Ferrari F40, the dyno-saur of supercars

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Coming up on nearly twenty years old now, some would be mistaken to consider the legendary Ferrari F40 a bit of a dino - not because it was part of the series named after Enzo's dear departed son, rather because, as far as supercars go, the F40 seems is a bit of a relic, dating back to an age before modern developments like electronic stability control and paddle-shifted transmissions roamed the earth. And yet the F40 can still thoroughly devour almost anything and everything on the road today. What better way, then, to take in the brutal monstrosity of the dinosaur that is the Ferrari F40 than spooling up its turbos on a dyno. Better not let it loose....

This video, which has been floating around the internet, was shot after an F40 was fitted with a custom Tubi exhaust. Check it out after the jump.

[Source: Motor Authority]

Continue reading VIDEO: Ferrari F40, the dyno-saur of supercars

 

[via] Autoblog

The M3's V8 put through its paces, and your speakers

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Our friends abroad were able to procure a duo of audio samples that give the full aural range of the new V8 powering BMW's upcoming M3. The two tracks, which are available here through the PistonHeads website, include one sample of all eight cylinders working their way to crescendo and on to a theoretical road speed of 200 KM/H (124 MPH). The other track is a nine-minute run of the Nurburgring, which with the right imagination and good set of headphones will give you the perfect respite from you Saturday monotony. Enjoy.

 

[via] Autoblog

Four cylinders, 400 Nm: BMW's new turbo diesel

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It's nothing new that torque addicted, diesel junkies abroad get all the cool stuff, and now this. BMW just released details on its new 2.0-liter, variable twin turbo diesel engine that is making 204 HP and almost 300 ft.-lbs. of torque. The two-stage turbo system, initially introduced on the 535d, all but eliminates any amount of lag by utilizing a smaller turbo at low engine speeds and a larger snail higher up in the rev range. The result: 147 ft.-lbs. at 1200 RPM and 295 ft.-lbs. of twist at 2000 RPM. Coupled with a lighter aluminum engine block, BMW maintains that a significant increase in fuel efficiency over the outgoing model has been realized.

We liked the 535d when we took it for a spin in LA, and we're sure that this new engine, whether in a 1-series or a 3-series, will be just as entertaining.

Click on the dyno chart to the right to see an enlarged version of the graph.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Is Toyota developing a Smart competitor in Michigan?

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For at about the last six months there have been at least four Peugeot 107s running around in the vicinity of Livonia and Ann Arbor, MI with manufacturer plates. Since Peugeot doesn't sell their products in the United States, it was unclear why they were here. It turns out the 107, along with its stablemate the Citroen C1, are built as part of a joint venture between Puegeot/Citroen parent PSA and Toyota, which also yields the Toyota Aygo. Head over to AutoblogGreen to get the story on what may be going on with this car.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]

 

[via] Autoblog