Spy Shots: Audi RS5

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The Audi A5 and S5 were neck-and-neck with the BMW M3 as the most significant unveilings at the Geneva Motor Show in March. On a real race track, though, the M3 would pull away at the start and probably win in a walk. The race would be a lot more interesting with an RS5 thrown into the mix, powered by the 420 hp V8 sourced from the RS4, and plenty of weight-saving technology.

We told you a few weeks ago that Audi was planning to expand the A5 lineup to include droptop and RS models, and this mule might be Audi's wolf in sheep's clothing. The folks over at CAR obtained photos of the test vehicle, which looks like the S5, but with plenty of test gear attached. A5 engineering boss Stefan Härdl tells CAR Online that the layout of the A5 allowed the front axle to be moved forward by 120mm, which improves weight distribution by moving more to the rear of the car. Härdl thinks the resulting 55/45 split helps give the RS5 better handling than the RS4. Also expected is the rear-biased quattro AWD system, which is a necessity with this kind of horsepower.

The Autoblog staff is split on the looks of the A5, but we can all agree that a 400+ horsepower RS5 get us leaning in the Audi's direction.

[Source: CAR]

 

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Could the Hyundai Genesis lead to a rear-wheel drive Tiburon?

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click above image to view 15 high-res pics of the Hyundai Genesis concept

Hyundai "officially" unveiled the rear-wheel drive Genesis concept on Tuesday by issuing a press release and high-res versions of the pics that were already floating around. The release got us thinking that Hyundai's new rear-wheel-drive platform underpinning the production version of the Genesis when it arrives Stateside in 2008 would make a killer chassis on which to build the next Hyundai Tiburon. The Tiburon has more than run its course as a value-based, front-wheel-drive sport compact coupe with an eensy-weensy V6. We have no idea when a Tiburon replacement will surface, but the arrival of Hyundai's first rear-driver gives us hope that the South Korean automaker may decide to grab a gun and stand to post in the upcoming pony car wars. Even if the intended target turns out not to be the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, Hyundai could easily aim at the Infiniti G37 Coupe, BMW 335i and upcoming Audi A5 with a coupe powered by a 300-horsepower 4.6L V8 driving the back wheels. The mind reels at the possibility, and we hope Hyundai has the foresight to let the chassis flourish under models other than the new Genesis luxury sedan.

Check out Hyundai's official press release on the Genesis Concept after the jump, as it reveals many details that could easily apply to a coupe. Also check out the gallery of desktop wallpaper-sized pics.

[Source: Hyundai]

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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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New York Preview: Chevy Trax is one of three GM minicar concepts to be displayed

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Click image for high-res version

More fun with embargoes! Our friends at Winding Road has gone live with the Chevy Trax concept, so without further ado, here's the skinny!

Speculation that the hush-hush global concept GM has headed to the New York Auto Show has varied wildly, with the Corvette SS a popular favorite among theorists. Turns out they're all wrong. The secret concept is actually three global concepts. Small ones, at that -- they're all minicars -- perfect for NYC's urban canyons. GM has released a photo of one of them, the Chevy Trax, and you can color us impressed. We love the chunky little wagon's look, with its big round lights and extra-thick Chevrolet crossbar grille. It's got a combination matte/gloss orange finish that we'll reserve judgment on until we see how it looks in person.

Designed at GM's Incheon, South Korea design center, the Trax will be joined onstage by two other minicar concepts, and the public will be able to vote for their favorite one online at http://www.vote4chevrolet.com. That little marketing exercise will help the General gauge US market interest in the mini/city car segment as well as get reaction to the individual models they're debuting in the Big Apple. The Trax stows a 1.0L gasoline engine under it's stubby hood, and we're looking forward to getting up close and personal with the car next week.

Press release after the jump.

[Source: GM]

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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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Skyline turning 50, Nissan to celebrate in Tokyo

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1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO

On April 24, 2007, the Nissan Skyline turns 50 years old, and Nssan is going to celebrate. For starters, there's already a JDM 50th Anniversary version of the current Skyline (Infiniti G35) on sale in three distinct color combos. In addition to that, however, the automaker is staging an exhibition in midtown Tokyo called Grand Touring - The Legend and the Future in which examples of all twelve generations of Skyline will be displayed. As you might have guessed from the name, there will also be information on the history of Japanese grand touring and its future direction. The exhibit will run from April 24 to May 6.

In other news, the Autoblog staffers wish they had an unlimited travel budget. Sadly, that's not the case, so we'll have to make do with the gallery below, which shows one example from each generation of the Skyline. Enjoy.

[Source: Nissan]

 

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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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DCX to delay first quarter report

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The bean counters at DaimlerChrysler have decided to postpone the automaker's first quarter results, mainly due to a switch from one set of reporting standards to another. Instead of publishing the report in April, as expected, DCX plans to release its quarterly earnings sometime in mid-May.

A DaimlerChrysler spokesperson assured Automotive News that the delay was strictly due to the changes necessitated from shifting from the U.S. GAAP standards to the pan-European International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although many publicly listed companies made this transition in 2005, DCX was one of the few that put off the shift until 2007.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

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AutoblogGreen for 03.28.07

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If you've got an California HOV sticker next to your "For Sale" sign, then you can expect to get about $4,000 more when you sell than if you had a similar car without that sticker. People are willing to pay to drive in the green lane, especially since these stickers are getting increasingly difficult to find. But green car news is easy to spot, especially over on AutoblogGreen. Drive Smarter.

 

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Porsche puts diesel back on the table

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Within the past month, Porsche has stated that it has no intention of installing diesel engines in itsvehicles and would instead focus on hybrids. The automaker has also threatened to pull out of the European market if new mandatory CO2 regulations go into effect. Now, Porsche research head Wolfgang Dürheimer is backtracking. Although he says that Porsche is not currently developing a diesel because it wouldn't make sense for just one market, they are monitoring developments, and anything is possible in the future.

[Source: Just-Auto - Sub. req'd]

 

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New York Preview: Infiniti EX Concept breaks cover

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Infiniti EXThe EX Concept is one of those concept-in-name-only vehicles automakers love to trot out at auto shows throughout the year. Sure, the concept car's gee-whiz liquid crystal roof won't make it to production, but just about everything else will when it bows in showrooms later this year as the EX35 (assuming the engine info Nissan Sport magazine's sources provided is accurate). "E" comes before "F," and appropriately, the EX will be slotted just below its slightly larger brother, the FX35/45. As its likely nomenclature suggests, the EX would be powered by a 3.5L V6. It sits on a 112" wheelbase and (the concept car, at least) rolls on a set of 19" wheels and tires.

In the looks department, the EX grafts the new G35's face onto a crossover body. Overall, the look is very tidy and appealing -- moreso than the angrier-looking FX. We haven't got shots of the interior yet, but expect to see the usual level of detail with the new Infiniti products. We'll have more on the EX for you next week from New York. From the looks of things, Infiniti's going to have a winner on its hands when it materializes in dealerships.

[Source: Nissan Sport Magazine]

 

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Ford responds to flaming Super Duty video

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Our good buddy Mike Levine at Pickuptruck.com did the legwork and got in touch with Ford safety spokesperson Dan Jarvis to talk about the video we showed you yesterday that features a 2008 Ford Super Duty pickup spewing flames from its tailpipes. Jarvis confirmed that the truck in the video is one of the three pickups Ford described last week when it issued a recall to address the problem. While not entirely certain which of the trucks it is, Jarvis said it's one of the two trucks that was purchased in Canada, probably the one that was started in extremely cold temperatures (appx. minus 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit) and not given sufficient time to warm up before being driven. That situation could make short work of any engine, and the resultant blown bearing seal in the turbo that leaked combustible fluid into the exhaust system should not necessarily be considered a defective part.

Clearly, Ford is very concerned about the reputation of its new 6.4L Power Stroke, which is evident by how quickly it took action with a recall to address three isolated incidents that resulted in the same outcome, i.e. flaming tailpipes. The real issue in each case appears to be this newfangled Diesel Particulate Filter, versions of which are used not only by the Ford Super Duty, but also the Heavy Duty GMT900 and Dodge Ram pickups. Considering that all three heavy duty pickups use a process of regeneration to burn away accumulated particulates in their respective DPFs, the potential for flaming tailpipes exists in all three trucks if an unmetered amount of flammable liquid gets in there somehow. We're certainly not cutting Ford any slack here, but considering it likely sells more heavy duty trucks equipped with diesels than the other two automakers, statistically speaking this was bound to happen to a Ford first. Only time will tell if we're right and other diesel-equipped late-model pickups start getting hot under the collar.

 

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Shelby GT-H Convertible to be auctioned at Barrett Jackson

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Shelby GT-H Convertible Concept from SEMA 2006

We told you earlier that a special-edition Mustang would be auctioned off this weekend at Barrett Jackson in Palm Beach. The guys and gals over at The Car Connection have gotten word that said machine will be the Shelby GT-H Convertible. As was the case with the GT-H coupes, there will only be 500 droptops made, and Barrett Jackson gets the honor of auctioning off number one. Proceeds will go to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation, and we're sure that the first GT-H 'vert will fetch some serious coin.

Of course, the open-air GT-H will sport the familiar black and gold hertz-only livery and be rented out to customers from selected outlets. We fully expect to see styling cues from last year's Shelby GT-H coupe carried over to the convertible, including the front end treatment and hood scoop. The convertible will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show, one year after its hardtop sibling rolled onstage at the very same venue. We'll be there, of course, and will have photos and video for you soon after it makes its grand entrance.

[Source: The Car Connection]

 

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Battle of the Sources: Use of Nomad name on Chevy CUV refuted

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Yesterday the website Inside Line reported that sources deep within General Motors revealed that the storied "Nomad" name would be revived for the upcoming Chevy version of the automaker's full-size Lambda-based CUV. According to their sources, the new ute will debut as a 2009 model to replace the abhorrent Chevy Uplander.

Not so, says Josh Oliver from The GM Source. His sources, also deep within General Motors, claim that reviving the "Nomad" name, which most recently was used on a Kappa-based concept in 2004 (shown above), has never even "appeared on the radar screen" during discussions of how to christen the new crossover. Oliver's sources also claim the CUV will appear in 2009 as a 2010 model.

Who to believe? We don't really care, because it's just a name. We're more concerned that GM's spreading the Lamda platform too thin across four brands. While the Buick Enclave manages to differentiate itself well from therest of the pack, the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia already appear too close for our comfort. Hopefully the Chevy version doesn't come off as an Acadia with a Malibu grille.

[Source: TheGMSource]

 

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New York Preview: 2008 Cadillac STS gets a revamp

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Click for high-res photo gallery

GM's assault on NYC's Jacob Javits Center continues apace. With HUMMER and Buick already well-represented, the luxury division, Cadillac, gets in on the action as well. The facelifted 2008 STS gets a most welcome makeover outside. The new corporate grille design featured on the '08 CTS finds its way onto the nose of the STS, and it looks great. Also making an appearance are the trendy side extractors also featured on the Escalade and CTS (and Hyundai Tiburon).

There's plenty more to discuss, however, so follow the jump for the rest of the story.

[Source: Cadillac]

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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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In the Autoblog Garage: 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport


Click image for a gallery of 39 high-res shots of the G35 sport

It's not easy living in the midwest and reviewing vehicles, specifically in Cleveland, Ohio where schizophrenic weather that calls for boots and gloves on Monday can switch to shades and shorts by Tuesday.

In mid January, Infiniti gave us the choice to test either the 2007 G35 S or G35x AWD. At the time, skies were blue and the temperature mild, so we felt comfortable indulging ourselves by ordering up the G35 S. This would allow us to review the new 306-hp VQHR 3.5L V6 in its unadulterated, rear-wheel drive glory. Little did we know that by the time our car was delivered in early February, the region would be gripped by the biggest snowstorm of the year. To make matters worse, our car wasn't able to be fitted with all-season tires and arrived wearing a set of well-worn, low profile summer tires. This was going to be interesting.

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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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