Honda launches the Civic Type R sedan in Japan

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click above image to view 62 desktop wallpaper-sized pics of the Honda Civic Type R sedan

Come Friday, March 30, the new Civic Type R will go on sale in Japan. Based on the current Civic 4-door, the Type R is powered by a screaming, normally aspirated 2.0-liter four cylinder (K20A) that eclipses 100 hp/liter, producing around 225 ponies at 8,000 rpm and 159 lb-ft of torque at 6,100 rpm.. A six-speed manual transmission feeds power to the front wheels -- 18-inch units shod with a set of Bridgestone Potenzas. Four-piston Brembos are visible between the spokes and provide the car's stopping power. Body rigidity is said to be 50% better than that of the previous Integra Type R (Acura RSX).

[Source: Honda]

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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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AutoblogGreen for 03.29.07

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Have you heard of BioTown, USA? Otherwise known as Reynolds, Indiana, it's a small town (pop. 550) that's trying to produce all of the energy it needs, and biofuels play a big role in getting to the goal. Last year, 20 residents won free two-year leases for Flexifuel vehicles. And this year, the project continues to move forward. in other news...

 

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New York Preview: Official Subaru Impreza pics and info surface

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click above image to view both pics of the 2008 Subaru Impreza

The amount of time that's passed since we first laid eyes on the 2008 Subaru Impreza has not served to sooth our gag reflex upon seeing it again. Though cast in a different hue this time, the general shape of the new hatchback body style in conjunction with the new chrome grille make the '08 Impreza look like the bastard offspring of a Kia Spectra5 and Toyota Camry. Since Motor Trend spilled the beans this week, Inside Line decided to drop with all the details they have on the new Impreza so far, and unfortunately there's no silver lining to report on this storm cloud.

[Source: Inside Line]

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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: Mystery Mustang is Shelby KR

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UPDATE: Check out the video of the original Mustang Shelby GT500KR after the jump.


We reported earlier this week that Ford will be debuting a new special edition Mustang this week live on television during the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Palm Beach. The first one in a series of 500 will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation. While we're sure Ford wanted to keep it a secret until the weekend, Car and Driver is reporting that Ford will debut the 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby KR at the New York Auto Show next week, leading us to believe this Shelby special edition will be the one on sale at Barrett-Jackson this weekend.

The original KR dates back to 1968, when a special edition of the '68 GT500 was sold as "King of the Road", complete with a set of extra flared nostrils. The new model, according to C&D, will unfortunately not feature a version of the long awaited "Boss" motor that's slated to become a HEMI-killa in the Ford lineup. Not much else is known about the Mustang Shelby KR, except that it will likely feature a honkin' pair of intakes on the hood. Here's hoping they're functional and not just for show.

While we're happy the mystery Mustang isn't something so expected as a Shelby GT Convertible, which was our guess, we're a little disappointed it's not the Bullitt edition, too.

Thanks for the tip, Drew!

[Source: Car and Driver]

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Yikes: Another $1,000 off on Toyota Tundra

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It looks like the pickup truck wars are on, and one automaker from Japan is not declaring "Mission Accomplished". Within the span of a couple months, the new "game-changing" Tundra was launched, Toyota then placed cash on the hood of the new truck, the guys and girls over at Nissan canceled their HD version of the Titan, and now more cash is needed to move Tundras.

The newest incentive calls for an additional $1,000 towards the trade-in of a regular or extended cab Tundra. The Crew Max still has zero incentives on it, but the base Tundra now carries up to $3,000 in cash on the hood, depending on the model and what region in which it's purchased, which is very close to the $3,500 in incentives that you can get with a four year-old F-150. Special financing is also available on the Tundra for customers with Tier 1 or Tier 2 credit ratings.

Earlier this decade, Toyota did a terrific job of holding steady on incentives while the domestics went wild with 0% financing and $6,000 cash back offers. Now that it's trying to tussle with the Detroit Three in the pickup truck segment, tried and true Toyota discipline is out the window. This isn't a brand-new trend, either. Last year at this time, the previous generation Tundra had $4,500 on the hood, but we thought that trend would be coming to an end with the introduction of the new model. Guess not.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

 

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REPORT: Porsche planning mini-Cayenne

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Remember when Porsche only made sportscars? It's hard to recall when its line-up has been growing with sport-sedans and sport-utes, but we're assured it wasn't all that long ago. Somebody needs to remind the herren in Stuttgart, though, because if the latest reports are to serve as any indicator, Porsche is drifting further into the mainstream and away from its erstwhile core purpose.

After the Panamera four-door hits the market, insiders are speculating that Porsche's next project will be to produce a baby brother for the Cayenne sport-ute. Positioned against the BMW X3, a baby Cayenne could potentially share components from the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi Q5 to help keep development and production costs down, although it would be built in-house at the new plant Porsche has built for the Panamera. Power would be tipped to come courtesy of the Cayenne's V6 and V8 engines, though we wouldn't expect a turbo version.

A smaller version of the Cayenne would undoubtedly be one of the best performing mini-utes on the market, but is this just another answer to a question no one was asking?

[Source: AutoZeitung via Motor Authority]

 

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Range Rover, Range Rover, help drug lords take cover

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We enjoy reporting on even the most removed niche vehicles on the market, but here's something that will only be of interest to drug lords living in the hillside jungles of South America, because few others would have use for an armored, stretched Range Rover (with the possible exception of the British royals).

This Range Rover has been stretched by 25 centimeters (about ten inches), primarily to the benefit of its rear seat occupants. The body panels and floor have been lined and plated in Kevlar, the same stuff police use in their bulletproof vests. Reinforced windows have been fitted that can even withstand volleys from automatic machine guns and sniper rifles. Match all that with an Explosafe rupture- and fire-proof fuel tank and the requisite run-flat tires, and you've got yourself a very swanky armored personnel carrier.

Since such a vehicle is likely to spend most of its life helping occupants evade capture by US drug enforcement agents, it's only fitting that it has been outfitted with all that gear by First Defense, an American personal security firm.

[Source: Sybarites]

 

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Crazy Cracker: NY Rabbi turns bus into Matza oven

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We thought Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem had an interesting use for an old school bus, but WCBS in New York is reporting on a Hassidic rabbi who apparently transformed an old bus into a giant Matza bakery.

The flatbreads are traditionally baked in a brick oven, but with the Passover holiday looming, the rabbi evidently wanted to step up production. Oddly, this wasn't the first strange use of that same bus, as it was reported to have been previously used as someone's home and then as a transporter for a race car before starting its fourth life for baking the sacramental unleavened bread in Spring Valley, New York.

The rabbi was confronted by officials after the bus, parked in his back yard and hooked into the house's gas lines, was billowing smoke into the neighborhood, causing a plague of darkness that raised some suspicions. 'Let my misdemeanor go', argued the rabbi, insisting that he wasn't causing any harm. The incident gives new meaning to the term "slaving over a hot oven", but at least he wasn't selling the Matzas through a pyramid scheme.

Follow the link to watch the news report.

[Source: WCBSTV via Winding Road]

 

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Vertu rides the Prancing Horse

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Vertu has long been cultivating an image of association with the pinnacle of automotive excellence through their branding, use of materials and special editions. The latest effort is a collaboration with Ferrari, that Italian stallion that seemingly manages to get its name on everything these days.

Following on the heels of the exclusive Racetrack Legends series, the Ferrari Challenge edition is likewise based on the sporty Ascent handset that features proprietary "liquid alloy" construction, jewel bearings, a sapphire crystal screen and distinctive leather trim. The Ferrari version is differentiated by a Prancing Horse emblem near the mouthpiece, black and red leather with embossed Ferrari insignia, and a drilled accelerator pedal on the back.

[Source: Sybarites]

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Chrysler first to offer Sirius Backseat TV in 2008 models

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Chrysler announced today that it will nab another exclusive for its upcoming redesigned 2008 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. In addition to their popular Stow 'n Go and Swivel 'n Go options, the new soccer mom-mobiles will be the first available with Sirius Backseat TV. This extremely handy technology beams three channels of kid friendly programming right into your minivan. Video can be displayed on either both flip down screens in the back, or also the third screen embedded in the dash if the vehicle is parked. Mom and Dad can also choose to listen to Sirius audio programming up front while Dick and Jane rot their brains on cartoons in the back.

The channels being offered are particularly appropriate for children, just the type of people that often frequent the back seats of minivans. Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network will all be beamed and received via two small roof-mounted antenna. We're particularly pleased the Cartoon Network was thrown in there, and hope to all hell that Adult Swim comes in.

What's more, this technology will only cost $470 as an option, which includes the first year of service. Considering that it's the first of its kind on the market, we think the price is reasonable. Although, by this time you've likely checked off the box for the MyGIG entertainment system, which costs a heady $1,700 on some vehicles. We imagine that money is of little concern when trying to mute the little ones, and Chrysler comes through again with an exclusive feature for its new minivans. The Sirius Backseat TV function will also concurrently be offered on the 2008 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee, though it makes the most sense in these vans.

[Source: Chrysler]

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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: Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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While most everything in the MB AMG stable (including the CL63 AMG) is getting or has already gotten AMG's monster 6.2L 500+ horsepower all-motor V8 crammed underhood, the big CL-class coupe is the beneficiary of a second AMG upgrade. The CL65 AMG, arriving fall '07, receives the 6.0L biturbo V12 thrust carnival found in it's S-Class AMG cousin. This is a perfectly good thing, as the powerplant is good for 612 horses and a tire liquefying 738 lb-ft of torque. 62 miles per hour arrives in 4.4 seconds -- no small feat, given the CL's 4,900-lb curb weight. Those kind of numbers are usually reserved for aftermarket tuning houses whose upgraded machinery costs a lot more than the factory AMG cars.

The CL65 AMG debut coincides with AMG's 40th anniversary, and, as such, a special (and very limited) edition is available. Only forty CL65 "40th Anniversary" cars will be built, and each one is finished in liquid-metallic-looking Alubeam paint, which has previously appeared on Mercedes-Benz show cars only. Inside, diamond-patterned quilted leather, an Alcantara headliner, and edition-specific trim such as embossed "V12" headrest logos and carbon fiber accents round out the package. The rest of the car features everything you expect from AMG, including the tasteful aero kit and big split-spoke wheels. If you can't afford an SLR (not many can), this big coupe may well be the next best thing you can drive out of a Mercedes dealership.

Press release after the jump.

[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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VIDEO: "Warm Up" Audi's first commercial for the R8

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A seminal car like the Audi R8 needs a proper marketing push to become an effective halo vehicle, so the Stuttgart crew has produced the first commerical for its supercar called "Warm Up". Much like the recent Shell/Ferrari commercial (if you haven't seen it, do so), "Warm Up" takes us from the past all the way up the present. Audi begins 70 years ago with the introduction of the mid-mounted engine, which leads to the use of aluminum construction for the first time, quattro all-wheel drive and finally the automaker's FSI direct injection technology.

Filmed over six days in Mexico, "Warm Up" certainly has a lot of production appeal and features the R8 front and center the whole time. It also features five actors, 1,050 extras and 100 crew members. A little movie of its own, "Warm Up" will be debuted during the showing of "I, Robot" on the RTL Channel in Europe on April 6th.

Check out the full commercial after the jump.

[Source: Audi]

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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