New York Auto Show: It's donktacular! RIDES does up a taxi, skyscraper style

Filed under: , ,

Say that you're RIDES Magazine and you want to celebrate the 100th anniversary of taxi cab service in New York City - what to do? Simple - take a 1996 Crown Vic (arguably better looking than Ford's current take on the Panther platform), put a lift on it that shames many custom pickups, and shove a set of Pirelli-shod 30" MHT wheels under it. Not included is the milkcrate you'll need to stand on in order to enter the beast.

Now, we realize that this probably isn't a proper "donk" to most folks (and those that specifically associate the name with mid-70s Caprices are particularly likely to be offended by using the name to describe a Crown Vic), but this thing seems to defy any other name - well, at least any name that's suitable to print. No word yet on whether it'll be whisking us away from the Javits convention center tomorrow night, but such a scenario isn't out of the question - the nine-foot-tall ride is said to wear an official NYC taxi medallion.

[Source: RIDES, Jalopnik]


[via] Autoblog

General Motors China sales continue rapid growth, up 25% in 1st quarter

Filed under:

General Motors has been on the upswing in their home market lately, at least compared to Ford and Chrysler, but its US performance pales compared to the automaker's action in China. General Motors China just released their first quarter sales figures and they are up twenty-five percent compared to 2006. For the second time in 2007, March sales cracked the 100,000 unit barrier.

GM's total market share in China now stands at 13.9%, 0.5% more than last year. Buick remains the dominant brand in the Chinese stable with 82,195 cars out the door and Cadillac also jumped 62% in the quarter to 1,797 cars, thanks in part to the new SLS long wheelbase derivative of the STS. The GM press release is after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading General Motors China sales continue rapid growth, up 25% in 1st quarter


Permalink | Email this | Comments

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

[via] Autoblog

Automotive X-Prize releases rules for 2009 race

Filed under: , , ,

Sister-blog AB Green just posted this story about X-Prize. Remember X-Prize? They were the organization that put up a considerable sum of money to reward the first person to successfully go into outer space with their own spacecraft. After Burt Rutan won that first X-Prize with his SpaceShip 1, the foundation decided to get its head out of the clouds, so to speak. As a follow-up to the space program, you can probably guess what their new contest is all about, considering we're covering it on AB and AB Green. The new Automotive X-Prize is designed "to inspire the development of commercially viable, super efficient vehicles that move beyond the petroleum monoculture." Think green here.

X-Prize released their initial set of rules recently to see what everybody thinks about the plan. Basically it's a race for "production viable vehicles" that get the equivalent of at least 100 mpg and meet some strict emissions requirements. And they really want cars that can actually be produced. No science fiction one-offs here. Split into two classes, two races are planned for sometime in 2009 to evaluate the projects. The first class sounds like the more practical and familiar group, requiring seating for at least four passengers and being driven by at least four wheels. The second category should be the fun one. While they require it seat at least two people, there is no wheel requirement. X-Prize will unveil the first draft publicly at the New York Auto Show, but you can read the draft as a PDF by clicking here.

And we encourage you to click the read link to see AB Green's exclusive interview with Auto X-Prize's Mark Goodstein.

[Source: Automotive X-Prize via AutoblogGreen]


[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Audi RS6 and Q7 V12 TDI... yumm

Filed under: , , , ,

We just brought you some spy shots of a psychadelically camo'd RS6 being tested on the famed Nurburgring, but our number one source for Audi info, Fourtitude, scrounged up some additional shots of the upcoming RS6 that contradict the earlier ones. The main difference between the two mules are the fender flares. The Nurburgring mule features flares that mimic the fender extensions used on the original Audi quattros in the '80s. The pictures hosted by Fourtitude feature more traditional flaring that just extend the lip of wheel well, not the entire fender. Personally, we like the more modern flares.

Also of note is Fourtitude's speculation on what will be powering the RS6. We mentioned last time that it could be a twin turbo version of the S6's V10, itself derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo's engine. While talk of a twin turbo FSI V8 has also been heard, Fourtitude says the TT V10 is more likely, with power levels even higher than early guesstimates. Think 600-650 horsepower. Holy Snikees!

Also included in Fourtitude's report are spy shots of the Q7 V12 TDI, a production version of the concept diesel ute sporting a version of the Audi R10 Le Mans racer's oil-burning V12 shown at the Detroit Auto Show this year. The front fascia is a dead ringer for the Detroit concept, and those ceramic rotors look larger than a Hyundai Elantra's entire wheel.

[Source: Fourtitude]


[via] Autoblog

Chrysler Crossfire set to meet its maker

Filed under: , ,

After five years of stagnant sales, Chrysler may finally be killing off its latest attempt at a sports coupe. According to AutoTelegraaf, production of the Crossfire is likely to end sometime this summer, due in part by the model's slow sales, as well as the production contract with Karmann ending after a five-year term.

Based off the previous generation Mercedes SLK, the hardtop and convertible have continued to be produced since the car's introduction, however, production of the SRT-6 variant ceased over a year ago. The execution of the Crossfire leaves a small hole in Chrysler's lineup, but its doubtful, considering all the uncertainty surrounding the automaker, that Chrysler will have the resources to focus on a successor.

[Source: via Winding Road]


[via] Autoblog

Spyker turns a profit for the first time

Filed under: ,

For the first time since its establishment in 2000, Spyker will finally be in the black. With revenues for 2006 up to 36 million euros, the quirky Dutch supercar builder was able to net 800,000 euros through the sale of some 94 vehicles last year.

Although less than 100 vehicles per year doesn't sound like much, that's practically double what Spyker sold in 2005 (48 units), and according to company execs, they have 327 vehicles currently on order.

With the imminent launch of the C12 Zagato and the D12 SUV, as well as its endeavors into Formula One, it seems like Spyker is officially a viable player in the ultra exotic car club. If this upward trajectory continues, we might be forced to add them to our monthly By the Numbers post.

[Source: Reuters]


[via] Autoblog

By the Numbers: March 2007

Filed under:

Whoa, Mazda, slow down or you're going to hurt yourself. The Zoom Zoom brand was the big winner in March with sales that rose an impressive 42.6%. Other notable gains include Saturn beating last March by 22.5% (and being the only GM brand on the positive side in sales last month) and Mitsubishi, sales for which rose 17.9% over March of 2006.

The Battle of the Brands was particularly tight this month, with Ford eeking out a victory over Toyota by around 3,000 units. Toyota itself beat Chevy for the title of second most popular brand in March by just 664 units.

Of the major automakers, Ford Motor Company posted the double-digit loss we were all expecting, while General Motors wasn't able to maintain February's momentum and fell 7.7% from last year's levels. Both Toyota and Nissan (including their luxury brands) rose over 7%, while Nissan posted a respectable gain of almost 4%.

Biggest Winner
Mazda 42.6% at 37,742 (3/06: 25,514)

Biggest Loser
Buick -32.8% at 16,222 (3/06: 23,276)

Acura -6.5% at 16,986 (3/06: 17,524)
Audi 10.6% at 8,020 (3/06: 6,994)
BMW -.33% at 25,325 (3/06: 24,501)
Buick -32.8% at 16,222 (3/06: 23,276)
Cadillac -8.4% at 18,944 (3/06: 19,945)
Chevrolet -6.3% at 213,156 (3/06: 219,288)
Chrysler -15.4% at 51,874 (3/06: 59,133)
Dodge -7.4% at 109,226 (3/06: 113,719)
Ford -13.5% at 216,788 (3/06: 241,642)
GMC -7.9% at 40,894 (3/06: 42,837)
Honda 9.5% at 126,406 (3/06 111,282)
HUMMER -23.7% at 4,847 (3/06: 6,125)
Hyundai -3.6% at 41,984 (3/06: 41,766)
Infiniti 12.6% at 13,877 (3/06: 11,886)
Isuzu -2.9% at 1,396 (3/06: 1,387)
Jaguar -13.9% at 1,667 (3/06: 1,866)
Jeep .35% at 45,335 (3/06: 43,560)
Kia 2.2% at 27,567 (3/06: 26,004)
Land Rover -14.9% at 3,663 (3/06: 4,153)
Lexus .8% at 28,855 (3/06: 27,592)
Lincoln 5.9% at 14,770 (3/06: 13,446)
Mazda 42.6% at 37,742 (3/06: 25,514)
Mercedes -2.7% at 21,612 (3/06: 21,417)
Mercury -11.1% at 17,426 (3/06: 18,915)
MINI -8.5% at 3,655 (3/06: 3,851)
Mitsubishi 17.9% at 12,536 (3/06: 10,250)
Nissan 2.8% at 97,242 (3/06: 91,209)
Pontiac -10.1% at 30,448 (3/06: 32,649)
Porsche -.75% at 3,278 (3/06: 3,185)
Saab -15.5% at 2,837 (3/06: 3,239)
Saturn 22.5% at 21,123 (3/06: 16,629)
Suzuki -2.3% at 11,030 (3/06: 10,887)
Toyota 8.7% at 213,820 (3/06: 189,694)
Volkswagen -19.3% at 17,355 (3/06: 20,730)
Volvo -7.6% at 10,661 (3/06: 11,124)

Not yet reported: Subaru

BMW Group -1.4% at 28980 (3/06: 28,352)
Chrysler Group -8% at 206,435 (3/06: 216,412)
Ford Motor Co -12.24% at 264,975 (3/06: 291,146)
General Motors -7.7% at 349,867 (3/06: 365,375)
Honda America 7.3% at 143,392 (3/06: 128,806)
Nissan North America 3.9% at 111,119 (3/06: 103,095)
Toyota Motor Co. 7.7% at 242,675 (3/06: 217,286)

Note: There were 27 selling days in March 2006 versus 28 selling days in March 2007, so all percentages shown represent the change in a brand or company's Daily Average Sales rate (average number of vehicles sold per day), rather than the change in raw number of vehicles sold.


Permalink | Email this | Comments

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

[via] Autoblog