BMW M1 reborn as the new tii!

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The M series cars are now a staple of the BMW lineup, representing the high-performance iterations of several of the "mainstream" models. However, back in 1978 before the M3 or M5 or M6 were ever conceived, BMW had a desire to compete against the Porsche 911 that was dominating endurance racing in the FIA Group 4 and Group 5 categories. Thus the original M1 was born as a mid-engine sports car with a Giugiaro designed body and a twin-cam inline-6 that eventually found it's way into the first generation M5/M6.

The original M1 is largely forgotten today, but the badge may be set for a revival on a car that is more of a modern descendant of the car that created BMW's sports-sedan reputation. The new 1-series coupe-based M1 is expected to take up the mantle of the original 2002tii that pre-dates even the mighty M1. Coupe and convertible M1s may appear in the second half of 2008 with hand-me down motivation from an updated 3.2L six from the last generation M3. The little coupe with the big six could hit 62mph from a standstill in 5.2seconds.

Since BMW seems to be increasingly keen on turbocharging of late, a pressurized direct injected four cylinder with E85 capability might make a more efficient, cost effective and better performing alternative to the old M3 mill.

[Source: Car]

 

[via] Autoblog

Paradise: Ferrari named Best Place to Work

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We must confess that, from time to time, many of us drift into daydreams and wonder what it must be like to work for Ferrari. But surely the reality can't be all that good, right? No, no...it is. This according to the Great Place to Work Institute, which named the company Best Place to Work in Europe for 2007.

The decoration comes as the result of a corporate initiative called "Formula Uomo", which sought to better the working conditions and lives of the company's considerable workforce. As part of the initiative, over the past decade Ferrari has spent considerable sums of money on new facilities, employee training and family benefits. Just the revitalization of the facilities in and around the factory - the building of Maranello Village serves as just one example - has totaled some ?200 million. Employee perks also include staff education, extensive medical coverage and company events.

Ferrari can add this to the Best Place to Work in Italy award which it received in 2003, along with all the race trophies and road-car accolades that the company has won over its sixty-year history.

And here we thought, after watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that those Oompa-Loompas had it pretty sweet. If anyone from Maranello is reading this, would you happen to be in need of any bloggers?

Press release after the jump.

Related posts:

[Source: Ferrari]

Continue reading Paradise: Ferrari named Best Place to Work

 

[via] Autoblog

Jeep introduces Compass Rallye package from Mopar

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click above image to view both high-res images of the Compass Rallye package

When the Jeep Compass launched in the UK, the only model available was the Compass Rallye. Now, Chrysler has decided to offer the Rallye package as a Mopar accessory option on new Compass models in the U.S. Don't get too excited -- it's just an appearance thing, so if you were hoping for more grunt underhood, you'll be disappointed. Kind of like we were disappointed at last year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas when we found the Jeep MK49 Compass Rallye on which this new Mopar package is based with no changes underhood. Ah well...

If you're planning on buying a Jeep Compass in the U.S. now and want to butch up your ride a bit, the Rallye Package available from Mopar should do the trick. Available for 4x2 and 4x4 models, the Rallye Package goes for $1,985 (Sport) and $1,850 (Limited) and includes black-painted 18-inch aluminum wheels, a roof-mounted rear spoiler, pair of auxiliary driving lights mounted up front, a Mopar body kit that spruces up the front fascia and adds new rocker panels, a "Bright" exhaust tip and the requisite chrome Rallye badges. It's not a bad price to pay for the makeover. To us, however, this car is begging for the Caliber SRT-4's 300-hp motor to make it a real "Rallye" car. Check out the full press release after the jump.

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading Jeep introduces Compass Rallye package from Mopar

 

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Spy Shots: Australia's 2008 Ford Falcon 'Orion'!

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We've been waiting for Ford to update its aged rear-wheel drive Falcon sedan in Australia ever since Holden started selling its redesigned and well-received Commodore. We haven't heard a peep about the new car until now. An intrepid enthusiast managed to capture two Falcon test mules, one of which is a high-performance XR model, on public roads recently. These are heavily disguised mules with camo cover front and rear, and the drivers never allowed our photographer friend to get ahead of them and snap a shot of either car's front end. The car certainly looks wider than the current model with a giant greenhouse, so we expect the new model will have a few extra cubes of feet inside.

Being that the Zeta platform underpinning the Holden Commodore will soon be distributed all over the world under other cars, including the upcoming Camaro and various sedans in the U.S., we're very curious to see how the arrival of Ford's new Falcon in Australia affects the fate of cars elsewhere in the Blue Oval portfolio. It's still very early, so we'll have to let the passing of time do its thing.

Thanks for the tip, Dylan!

[Source: CarAdvice.com.au]

 

[via] Autoblog

It's clobberin' time! The Thing wields a Dodge in anger

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Click for hi-res Fantasticar

Product placement and movies are inextricably tied together now, and as a result, films -- even good ones -- have moments that take on an infomercial quality because the branding is so in-your-face. The Ford-only Bahamian parking lot scene in Casino Royale comes immediately to mind (even more than the Ford Mondeo glamour sequence) as one of the more egregious examples of the last year. This Summer's multiplex slate is not lacking either. We're itching to see Transformers, but the heavy GM product placement on the Autobot side will clearly distract car geeks like us, and the final trailer for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a mite Dodge-heavy.

Back in March, we posted on how Dodge had scored placement in FF with the HEMI-powered Fantasticar, which flies, goes 550 mph, and can cruise at 30,000 feet (this is the commuter car we've all been waiting for). It also comes complete with Ram logos on the nose and seats, and even rocks a crosshair grille (you can't make this up). Well, the last line of the press release issued at the time (it's pasted after the jump) notes, "Also getting some screen time in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer are the Ram Mega Cab(R) and Durango."

Which is why the trailer had us laughing, as we'll show you.

Continue reading It's clobberin' time! The Thing wields a Dodge in anger

 

[via] Autoblog

More Fun at Hamann: BMW X5 gets the business


Click image for photo gallery

You all know how this works, so we'll keep it simple. Hamann has come out with a suite of upgrades for the new BMW X5. Bimmer's rolling cross-trainer gets some added punch underhood thanks to a reprogrammed ECU. Power bumps range from 14 to 18 horsepower on the 3.0si and 4.8i, respectively. The best results come when the Motronic in the 3.0d gets flashed. The diesel's power jumps from 235 to 265 horses, and the 443 lb-ft of torque that go with them are likely as eye-opening as a fresh cup 'o joe in the morning. Because it's Hamann, a full aero kit is available, as are upgrades to the suspension and rolling stock. Full details are spelled out in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Hamann]

Gallery: Hamann BMW X5

Continue reading More Fun at Hamann: BMW X5 gets the business

 

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VIDEO: Transformers the Game... aw, hell yeah!

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click above image to view more screenshots of Transformers: the Game

As excited as we are to watch Michael Bay's vision come to fruitiion on the celulloid big screen this summer, we're even more excited about the accompanying Transformers video game that will likely be released on many next-gen gaming consoles. After all, we grew up playing with Transformers toys (the metal ones!), and in this digital age we're more interested in controlling our robots in disguise than watching them dance around on screen.

From what we know, you'll be able to play the Transformers Game as either an Autobot defending the Earth or a Decepticon trying to detroy it. It would seem, then, that game features two campaigns, although we're hoping for a nice online multiplayer function, as well.

We have some screenshots of the game, but you're going to want to watch the game's trailer after the jump. If you've been waiting to see Optimus Prime fly off a building and transform midair, your wait is over.

[Source: IGN via Jalopnik]

Continue reading VIDEO: Transformers the Game... aw, hell yeah!

 

[via] Autoblog

Mansell returns to race at Silverstone in a Ferrari

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After 17 years, Nigel Mansell is returning to the wheel of a Ferrari. The former world champion will be driving an F430 GT for Scuderia Ecosse in the second round of the 2007 FIA GT Championship, held at the same Silverstone track where Mansell scored three celebrated grand prix victories.

The old dog can apparently still learn new tricks - at 53 years old, this will be the first time the champ will be racing sports cars. Driving alongside him will be one of Scuderia Ecosse's team drivers, either fellow British pilot Andrew Kirkaldy or Canadian driver Chris Niarchos, to be confirmed before the race this Sunday.

Although he evidently welcomes the new challenge, Mansell's remains understandably apprehensive about his prospects: "The Ferrari is fun to drive, but it remains to be seen how I will get on in a race situation, as ex-F1 drivers tend to go out with a target on their backs!"

The race looks set to gather quite a crowd. In addition to Mansell's participation, the Silverstone race will also mark Jaguar's return to GT racing.

[Source: Auto Express]

 

[via] Autoblog

In the Autoblog Garage: 2007 Lincoln MKX

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Click above photo to view more high-res images of the 2007 Lincoln MKX

In four months on the market, the 2007 Lincoln MKX has given the ailing Lincoln brand a big-time shot in the arm. Based on the early numbers, Lincoln could sell north of 40,000 of the stylish crossovers during calendar year 2007. Lincoln dealers only have one complaint with regards to the MKX, they can't get enough of them on their lots.

We had a very limited run with the MKX back in November, and we came away impressed with its overall package, but alas, the 30 minutes we had weren't nearly enough. With a full week in the Autoblog Garage, we were able to really ferret out what we liked, and what we felt could use some improvement. Take a ride over the jump to see our full review of the 2007 Lincoln MKX.

Continue reading In the Autoblog Garage: 2007 Lincoln MKX

 

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VIDEO: Japanese Bososoku parade lap [WARNING: Laughter-induced weeping may occur]

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The event is a Bososoku parade, and the goal is to break laws and piss off "The Man" in Japan. This has got to be the craziest, most hilarious video we've seen in a long time. It has all the elements of a Godzilla flick: crazy-looking monsters, lots of noises that sound like alien creatures (at one point we thought we heard dueling light sabers), and a lot of very excited people.

The common theme of many of the cars on display in this video is a highly-pronounced exhaust fetish. Some of the pipes coming out of these mods are up to 10 feet long, none of them look very practical, and the car in the image above isn't even the craziest in the battle for big-pipe supremacy. There's also a character in there whose foreground dancing for much of the six-odd minutes of video makes for a second, very entertaining side-show. We can't hear the tunes he's cutting a rug to, though -- just the tinny whine of blown engines with displacements under two liters.

Sometimes, Japanese and Western cultures clash, and the mods in this video are like a plaid blazer and checkered pants. Yikes! We implore you to follow the jump to watch this one, but if you're at work, you may want to get a conference room to muffle the laughter.

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading VIDEO: Japanese Bososoku parade lap [WARNING: Laughter-induced weeping may occur]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: 2009 Ford F-150

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We're betting Ford wants to get the new 2009 F-150 to dealer lots as soon as possible. With increased competition from the new Chevy Silverado and the Toyota Tundra stealing market share, the F-150's title as the best-selling vehicle in the world, a mantle it has worn for decades, is under serious threat this year. The revised 2009 F-150, however, is meant to address this threat head on. While we don't know anything about what mechanical improvements are being planned, these fresh spy shots from The Car Connection show that a styling update will help Ford's best-seller remain a relevant player.

Being that the F-150 is the most important product in Ford's portfolio, the level to which to the automaker has gone to obscure its new styling is extreme. Nevertheless, we can see that the F-150 will receive a version of the corporate chrome three-bar grille. It also appears that its headlights will remain in proportion to its body rather than taking on the "stacked" look of the new Super Duty's lamps. Unfortunately, foam was placed beneath the camoflouge cover in strategic places to hide the truck's new lines, so what we see is an F-150 that looks bundled up for winter in a heavy down coat. We concur with TCC that the 2008 Detroit Auto Show is the likely time at which the 2009 Ford F-150 will debut. After all, the best-selling vehicle in the world needs the world's biggest automotive stage to make an entrance. Click on the Read link to view all 10 spy shots that were snapped.

[Source: The Car Connection]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spyker takes Heineken racing and raises the bar

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Honda may have dropped the "BAR" from its name following the full acquisition of the team, but Spyker is planning on picking it up again. Fellow Dutch companies Spyker and Heineken have announced a deal they've got brewing to open an F1 sports bar in the Netherlands. The agreement will also see Heineken served exclusively at all Spyker trackside events, although no mention was made of any sponsor's logos appearing on the car.

Not much is known about what the bar will look like, or where it will be specifically located, but assuming they want to get in on the euphoric bar scene in Holland, it won't be in The Hague. Looks like we'll have one more place to head to in Amsterdam, fellas.

Full press release after the jump.

[Source: Spyker]

Continue reading Spyker takes Heineken racing and raises the bar

 

[via] Autoblog

No stone unturned: Hamann does the Ferrari 612, too

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Click image for photo gallery

The Hamann people have been busy the last week or so, showing off packages for the Murcielago LP640 and BMW X5. Well, here's a third for you: The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti by Hamann features a new exhaust system that provides added bellow to the V12's already-sonorous tailpipe music. It would not be a Hamann deal, of course, without an aero package, either. In this case, it looks quite tacked-on if you ask us. We're not crazy about how the company's "Edition Race" wheels look in this application, either. New springs and full interior customization are also available. Oh, and that Hamann decal on the front bumper? Ridiculous. Make it go away...now. We generally like a lot of the stuff Hamann does, but in this case, maybe they should have left well enough alone. We'll take the exhaust and leave it at that. Well...if someone gives us a Scaglietti first, that is.

[Source: Hamann]

Continue reading No stone unturned: Hamann does the Ferrari 612, too

 

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Officially Official: Mercedes-Benz reveals SLR McLaren Roadster

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Click the image above for a gallery of images.

We've seen it in spy shots, but now we get to officially see the newest hotness from Mercedes Benz: the SLR McLaren Roadster.

In an effort to inject some more life into the slow-selling Mercedes/McLaren halo, engineers lopped off the roof to make one of the fastest open-air motoring experiences this side of a sportbike. Naturally, they just didn't whip out the sawsall and go to town. Instead, the new roof is made from that most delectable of materials - carbon fiber. The retractable roof isn't the only thing that gets the C.F. reinforced plastic treatment, as all but two of the body frames, made of aluminum, utilize the exotic compound. Lightweight and untwistable strength are the features du jour.

As for motivation, the SLR Roadster doesn't benefit from the 722's 650 HP V8. Instead, it has to make due with the standard SLR's 617 HP supercharged mill, allowing the drop top to hit its velocity climax of 207 MPH - blow drying has never been made easier, or more fun.

Those willing to drop the coin on the McMerc convertible will be able to choose from three different roof colors, and according to Mercedes, two passengers can have a comfortable conversation at 125 MPH with the top down. Before doing so, the occupants will have to manually (for shame!) unlatch the roof, push upwards, then let the motor bring the roof down into its home - and underneath an aluminum cover - in a scant 10 seconds.

Only 1,000 of the roof deprived, a-pillar reinforced, and rollover hoop equipped SLR Roadsters will be available and customers will begin taking delivery this September. Pricing: £350 large.

The press release is available after the jump and be sure to check out our gallery below.

Continue reading Officially Official: Mercedes-Benz reveals SLR McLaren Roadster

 

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[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 05.04.07

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Sure, there are more and more fuel-efficient vehicles coming on the market every day - and lots more in development - but those vehicles don't help the family with a 18 mpg minivan or 13 mpg SUV now that gas prices are in the $3 range (national average in the US) again. And prices are likely to keep climbing for the next few months. A hybrid's looking better and better, isn't it?

 

[via] Autoblog

One of our own involved in tragic accident

As some of you have already learned, one of our most valued members of the Autoblog team, Frank Filipponio, was involved in a car accident on Wednesday evening that resulted in the death of a female pedestrian. Our thoughts go
out to everyone involved in this tragic situation, and we appreciate those who have expressed their own sympathies for Frank and the victim's family.

Frank hasn't posted on Autoblog since the accident, though some posts he wrote earlier that day were published on the site after the accident occurred. We don't know when he will return to posting on the site, but will definitely miss his contributions until that time.

 

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[via] Autoblog

Subprime housing market hurts GM's Q1 profit

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The good news is that GM posted a profit of $62 million, which is the company's second consecutive quarterly profit. The bad news is that the $62 million represents a 90% decline in profits from the first quarter of 2006, which were $602 million. There is a silver lining: the drop is due to losses at GMAC Financial Services, and not the automotive business. In fact, automotive operations improved and GM had record vehicle sales worldwide.

GMAC's profit issues stem from the subprime lending market for residential mortgages. GM still owns 49% of GMAC, with the other 51% purchased by a private equity group last year. The recent -- and ongoing -- implosion of that market doesn't bode well for GMAC's numbers for the rest of the year.

As for GM, automotive revenue was down by $700 million, but GM sold 3% more cars worldwide. The average transaction price per vehicle rose as well, by $1,000. However, due to GM's efforts to cut back on small margin fleet sales and reduce incentives, production was cut by 192,000 units in North America. While the company lost $85 million on core operations this quarter, 2006 Q1's adjusted loss was $251 million. Analysts and GM are disappointed by the numbers, especially because new products have just been launched that were expected to fare better in the marketplace. All parties are looking to the upcoming labor negotiations with the UAW to see what GM can achieve toward its goal of cutting annual costs by $9 billion this year.

[Source: Breitbart]

 

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A matter of time: One killed, one injured, Gumball cancelled

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This year's edition of The Gumball 3000 is no more, after a hit-and-run accident in Macedonia left a man dead and his wife in the hospital in critical condition. Nick Morley (who was driving) and Matthew McConville, in a Techart 911 Turbo, crossed the center line and crashed into a Macedonian couple in a VW Golf. The 67-year-old man died of a supposed heart attack according to a Gumball press release. His wife remains there with serious injuries.

There's an expression that goes "It's not the crime, it's the cover up" that gets you. In this case it was both. As if the "hit" weren't bad enough, it was followed by "and run" when Nick and Matthew tried to flee on foot. They were picked up by a Gumballer in a BMW with Russian plates and made it as far as the Macedonia-Albania border, where they were arrested. The driver of the BMW was held briefly then released. Nick has been arrested and placed under 30-day temporary detention in Macedonia, charged with "heavy violation of traffic safety" and "failure to help an injured person." Then Gumball HQ flubbed the crisis management. Apparently they didn't put out a release for at least 24 hours and wouldn't answer questions about the accident in the Gumball forum. When they finally did issue a statement, it said the driver died of a heart attack on the way to the hospital (brought on by. . .?) and that the drivers immediately reported the accident.

Perhaps Germany and Turkey are now glad they prevented this year's Gumball from passing through. As far as Europe goes, next year's Gumball will probably be lucky if it's allowed to do laps in a parking lot. However, it probably will go on; when that much much money is involved, a way will be found -- but don't look for it on the Continent. Follow the 'Read' link for more details, the press releases, and a video clip of the accident aftermath.

[Source: Jalopnik]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Saab 9-3 sedan with no camo

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It doesn't seem that Saab is too concerned about the public getting a glimpse of its 9-3 sedan wearing a new front fascia. We've already reported on spy shots of various lightly camoflouged models, and now we've discovered shots of a 9-3 sedan with no camo spotted in Sweden by a member of the Saab Turbo Club Sweden forum.

As we've noted in the past, the new 9-3 will receive a face that's directly inspired by the well received Aero X concept that debuted at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. The interpretation of the Aero X face on the 9-3 looks a bit exaggerated, almost like a charicature of the concept, but the car looks better in these images than any others we've seen. The matte black grille set against the gun metal gray paint minimizes the sense of exaggeration, and the car looks significantly more aggressive than the current model.

We've posted one pic here for you, but a couple more full shots can be viewed by clicking the Read link.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

[Source: Saabturboclub.com via TrollhattanSaab.net]

 

[via] Autoblog

Lutz lets a bit of Edmunds survey slip, GM takes 13 first place picks

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Sometimes news is just too good to keep to yourself. Just ask GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. With his company supposedly claiming 13 spots on Edmund's Consumers' Most Wanted list, Lutz just had to brag a bit on the corporate blog before the winners were made public.

And he should brag. Most other car of the year awards are chosen by us automotive writers who usually prefer horsepower over hip room. As the name implies, Edmund's CMW awards are chosen by the car-buying public. And despite not voting with their wallets, the car-buying public who visits Edmund's really like their GMs.

The GMC Acadia got Most Significant vehicle of the year, beating out Honda's Fit, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Ford Edge and the Toyota Tundra.

Click through to see Edmund's press release as well as the other category winners.

[Source: Edmunds, GM FastLane Blog]

Continue reading Lutz lets a bit of Edmunds survey slip, GM takes 13 first place picks

 

[via] Autoblog

A3 droptop to drop next year

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When Audi gets done with their corporate spiel at next year's Geneva Motor Show, it's likely that they'll pull back the curtain and unveil their newest attempt to steal market share from the MINIs and 1-series of the world.

The A3 cabrio has been confirmed as the next drop top to come from the quad-ringed company, sporting four seats and an electrically controlled foldable canvas roof. According to AutoExpress, Audi has no intention of offering a hard top 'vert on its models anytime soon.

Power will come from the usual suspects, including the 3.2 V6, all the way down to the 1.6-liter FSI and diesels. At the low end, European customers can expect to pay around £18,500, while those heavy with the pen in the check boxes will top the A3 convertible out around £28k. Sales are expected to begin in 2008.

[Source: AutoExpress]

 

[via] Autoblog

Hyundai takes aim at Scion, considers production of Veloster, Hellion

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Click for a gallery of the Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai wants to court the younger crowd, and is considering two of its concepts from the last year as ways to draw them into dealers in the future. The rides in question are the Hellion crossover and the slick little Veloster coupe. The Hellion, which made its debut at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show, is a rugged-looking three-door crossover whose styling is a love-it-or-hate it affair. One thing's almost certain: like the Opel Antara/Saturn PreVue concept, we could see this growing a second set of doors if it were to spawn a bona-fide production car.

The Veloster is a slick-looking coupe that jumped onto the radar last month at the Seoul Motor Show, and would make a compelling addition to Hyundai showroom floors. Double bonus points for Hyundai if they approve it and manage to translate the concept's neat interior into something viable for mass-production. Finally, according to Ward's Auto World, the carmaker is also mulling over the idea of introducing a "sporty box" vehicle. Imagine if they go for the gusto and bring all three -- a box, a small crossover, and a coupe. It works for Scion, so why not Hyundai?

If we were forced to choose just one, it would have to be the Veloster. It looks like it's about 90% there already, and if done right, it'd give the Scion tC a run for its money. Fingers are crossed.

[Source: Ward's Auto World]

 

[via] Autoblog

Is it finally over? Ford to cut Mustang packages

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The Detroit News obtained an internal document from Ford that outlines four specific objectives in CEO Alan Mulally's turnaround plan. For the most part, we've heard these goals before: ramp up product development, establish suitable financing, increase teamwork and (at long last) resize Ford's operation to better address what the consumers want. That last bullet point is what has our attention.

The proliferation of Mustang variants over the past few months (weeks?) has become an internal joke at Autoblog. Regardless whether these special editions are FoMoCo developed or birthed from the aftermarket, it's gotten silly. The proposal addresses the vast expanse of options, be it color choices or trim packages, and seeks to reign in the thousands (we've counted) of configurations available in both the V6 and V8 Mustangs. Ford execs maintain that it does little for the pony car and merely confuses customers. We tend to agree.

The realization that there are too many choices for many of Ford's models came to Mulally when he went to purchase an Econonline for his mother's senior center. The philanthropic head of Ford was met with 185 different options, and he understood that decisions like that do little to ease customers into the brand.

Implementation of this new edict will come quickly and will likely involve packages that make it easier for consumers to choose what they want and for dealers to keep the right products in stock for their region.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Top Gear crowns Weber supercar "Ugliest Car of 2007"

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In February, we told you about autoparts supplier Weber's plans to build a monster supercar. The sketch we showed you was, um, sketchy enough that any details or even a good idea of the car's proportions were hard to discern. Kinda like a pre-natal ultrasound where you can't really tell if it's a baby, much less boy or girl.

Well, Weber is now the proud parent of a, OH MY GOD! What the hell is THAT!? Um, wow. What a cute car. Well, ok, not really. In fact, Top Gear is calling it the Ugliest Car of 2007 Thus Far, and we can think of no good challengers. Well, maybe one (or two - Ed.).

Weber designed and manufactured the entire thing in-house using a lot of carbon fiber, orange paint and, perhaps some hallucinogens. They claim the car looks the way it does because of intense aerodynamic analysis and that the shape allows the car to reach 62 MPH in 2.7 seconds with a top speed of 240 MPH, which makes up for at least some of the "unique" design elements.

You know, with a Pontiac badge on top of that trapezoidal grille we'd almost swear it was some freak attempt by Gerald Wiegert to meld an Aztek with a Solstice. For this ugly kid to avoid repetitive recess beatings, it's gonna need to show quick proof of those Veyron-beating numbers. Let's get this thing on the track, Weber, and see what it can do.

If you can stomach it, Top Gear has two more photos for the curious masochists among us.

[Source: Top Gear]

 

[via] Autoblog

Volvo's Hunt is on!

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Today at 10:00AM EST, Volvo's second "The Hunt" Contest began when this website went live with the first clue. Upon visiting the URL, entrants are greeted with what appears to be a small, triangular piece of a treasure map floating in water (kudos for Volvo on the production quality of the contest site). Then, a hoarse and ernest voice pipes us to give the clue, which is thus:

To hunt for these waters
follow my heart,
the winding needle
will mark the start.

Uh, yeah sure. We have no idea what it means nor how it relates to the floating fragment of treasure map, but if you want to join the hunt, you have to figure out what it means. A treasure's chest worth of gold doubloons is at take, as well as a Volvo XC90 to drive your booty home. Here's hoping Volvo hid the treasure well and a fishing trawler doesn't come across it while scraping the sea floor. That'd be quite a catch.

As was the case for last year's contest, feel free to use the comments on this post to discuss strategy and help other along.

[Source: Volvo]

 

[via] Autoblog