BMW 6-series facelift in full view

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UPDATE: Press release added after the jump.
UPDATE zwei: Photo gallery added

Click the image above for a full gallery.

BWM revealed the first pics of its warmed-over 6-series and the changes are what we expected: subtle. The new fascia features a wide air intake and new LED indicators, while out back, the center-mounted brake light has been integrated into the spoiler. Inside, you'll find a new iDrive button that is supposedly more ergonomic, along with Sun Reflective Technology that will be standard on the convertible model.

Under the sheetmetal, Stop-start technology has been implemented, that coupled with BMW's newest Efficient Dynamics fuel saving tech and regenerative braking system will increase electrical efficiency. The changes in the lineup include the addition of the new dual-turbo three-liter diesel (in Europe) and the direct-injected three-liter petrol model, producing 270 HP and 236 lb.-ft. of torque.

More shots of the refreshed 6 are available here.

Continue reading BMW 6-series facelift in full view


[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: 2010 Maserati Spyder

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The Straightline blog procured shots of the upcoming Maserati GranTurismo cabrio, and judging by the excessive amount of camo affixed to the rear end, it's likely that the Spyder will be sporting a hard top convertible when it's released in 2010.

Compared to the outgoing model, this should allow the cabrio to maintain the sexy silhouette of the fixed roof version, regardless of its shortened wheelbase and two-seat setup.

Look for the Spyder to hit dealers in late 2009.

[Source: Straightline]


[via] Autoblog

Leo Burnett gets ad contract for GMC, Buick

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GM's ad agency swap-out continues, and for Leo Burnett, out went Cadillac, in comes Buick and GMC. Burnett had been doing Cadillac's ad work since 1935, but was let go last year when the brand wanted to "move in a different direction." Now, GM has given Burnett the accounts for Buick and GMC, having taken them away from McCann-Erikson and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, respectively. The move was prompted by consolidation, not because anything was wrong with the former agencies' work. With the move, Burnett Detroit now handles Pontiac, Buick, and GMC, which dovetails with the consolidation of dealerships among the same three brands.

(David E. Davis Jr. over at Winding Road gave us his take and it's worth a read -Ed.)

[Source: Automotive News, sub req'd]


[via] Autoblog

Jaguar C-XF wins Production Preview concept award

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Click the photo to see our high res gallery of the c-XF debut in Detroit

At their sixth annual concept car of the year awards last week, South East Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO) recognized the Jaguar C-XF as the best Production Preview vehicle among the several dozen concepts that debuted during the previous year. Concepts were lumped into several categories, including general concepts, trucks, specialty and vehicles that give a look at a specific upcoming model.

The C-XF is a thinly disguised version of the XF replacement for the current S-Type, which is expected to be shown in production form at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The XF will debut a whole new look for Jaguar, dropping the more traditional styling of the S-Type, X-Type and XJ.

Other winners at the awards included the Chevy Volt which was voted the best specialty concept and most significant, while the Holden Efijy was was recognized in the general concept car category.

[Source: Ford]

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2008 Porsche 911 GT2 spotted Stateside

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Porsche's über 911, the 2008 GT2, has been spotted by spy photographers undergoing testing ahead of its launch at September's Frankfurt Auto Show, and this time on U.S. soil. The near-complete test mule was totally undisguised and has revealed important clues as to what the final car will look like.

A key difference of the GT2 over the lesser Turbo is the enlarged front air-intake, new lower lip and cooling vents positioned in the rear bumper. The oversized rear wing is probably only there for testing purposes and will likely be toned down for the production version.

Powering the coupe is a worked version of the 911 Turbo's twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six, sending around 520hp to the rear wheels. Expect a top speed in excess of 200mph and acceleration times for the 0 to 60mph sprint in less than 3.7 seconds.

To improve performance further, engineers have removed the air-conditioner and sound deadening to save weight, and Motor Trend reports that buyers will be able to opt for a roll-cage, one-piece racing seats and a fire extinguisher at no extra charge. You'd expect some extras thrown in considering that buyers will have to fork up close to $150,000 for the performance coupe.

[Source: Motor Trend]


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$12.3m auction sets Bonham record at Goodwood

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The rain and the champagne have been flowing at Goodwood, and so too have the pounds sterling, evidenced by Bonham's setting a sales record with $12.3 million worth of vintage metal sold. Top honors after six hours of bidding went to a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spider, for which somebody parted with $2.8 million. Six other cars went for more than $440,000, including Lord Carnegie's 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental that fetched $509,000. In ample demonstration of the bidding fever, even a Leyland transporter went $124,000 -- no less than $100,000 above its estimated sale price. The fifteenth annual Bonham's auction is now in the record books as the fourth most valuable auction the UK has ever seen.

[Source: Sports Car Market]


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Delphi, GM, UAW come to an agreement

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Delphi, the UAW, and GM have come to an accord. Pending approval by UAW members and federal bankruptcy court, it would mean that Delphi can focus on the other pressing matters in front of it after spending two years in bankruptcy.

The deal would require a one-time payout from GM, in return for which Delphi could pay lower wages and trim its business operations in line with its current condition. No amount has been given yet for the payout, but wages would be capped at $18.50 an hour, down from $27 per hour now. The agreement also gives Delphi the go-ahead to close plants -- it wants to shutter 21 of its 29 US factories -- shed 4/5 of its hourly work force and thousands of salaried employees, and eliminate some of its business operations.

Now what remains pressing for Delphi is to get the new capital it needs. Talks continue for a $3.4 billion infusion from Appaloosa Management LP and other banking partners. GM estimates that during the Delphi crisis, it has been hit with an estimated $7 billion bill for Delphi's restructuring.

[Source: CNN]


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Spy Shots: Fully-undisguised 2008 Honda Accord

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2008 accordJalopnik has scored some primo spy shots of the 2008 Honda Accord. Super-shutterbugs Brenda Priddy & Co. captured both the sedan and coupe out in the open as they were being prepared for a photo shoot. As you can see by looking at the coupe (click image at right for full views), it's basically a dead ringer for the concept car Honda trotted out in Detroit, only the production version's got a nicer-looking lower front fascia. Around back, the concept's through-the-bumper exhaust has been replaced by a conventional setup. The sedan also receives the new face and its profile is now graced with a BMW-esque kink in its C-pillar. Head to Jalopnik to see all the pics, then weigh in with your opinions.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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Hyundai's new RWD coupe to get V6 power

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Those rumors of a V8-powered, RWD coupe from Hyundai? Almost true. Winding Road talked with Hyundai Vice President John Krafcik who confirmed the RWD coupe part, but didn't stutter when he said "No V8." Winding Road's Reilly Brennan pressed Krafcik on the engine's setup, but the VP wouldn't give a straight answer on whether the coupe will be naturally aspirated or come with some kind of boost. But he did say the car's power to weight would be impressive.

Winding Road also said the Hyundai executive had a good chuckle at the illustration on the right, commissioned by WR. Krafcik said the design isn't anything like the actual car's looks, but that buyers would find it to be even better. Krafcik gave a few hints that the final design could end up looking less like an Audified Tiburon and more like the Veloster concept, which is just fine with us.

[Source: Winding Road]


[via] Autoblog

Lancer Sportback coming to Frankfurt

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Mitsubishi's onslaught of "Project Global"-based vehicles, including the Outlander and Lancer, will expand to include the Delica D:5 minivan and a new tri-diamond crossover. Before those last two hit the market, Mitsubishi intends to slap a fifth door onto the back of the Lancer and call it the Sportback.

The next addition to the Lancer family will debut in "concept" form at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will specifically be geared towards European consumers. That doesn't mean those of us in the States will be left out, and we'd expect an Evo Sportback as well.

Mitsubishi's press release is posted after the jump.

[Source: Mitsubishi]

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Fanboy rendering: An STI we can get behind

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Our new friend Augustine sent us over a link to CG artist Lars Mårtensson's interpretation of the next Subaru Impreza STI, and it's a design that ties in a few elements from previous generations, along with a new front clip that will forever be relegated to the virtual world.

The two-door hatch shape lends itself well to Subaru's traditional bulldog proportions, with the stance accentuated by the bulging fender flares that tie in nicely to the radical front fairing. The pulled back headlamps are a bit too reminiscent of the current BMW 5-series, but the steep angle and subtle bulge in the hood does the Dame Edna-inspired lights more justice than Bangle had ever imagined.

While the sides are typical Subaru slabs, the rear end does an admirable job of blending the shortened hatch with the lines of the outgoing model. And bumper-integrated dual exhaust tips are always a winner in our eyes.

You can check out more images at CGTalk by following the 'Read' link below.


[via] Autoblog

The parking meter called, your time's up

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Have you ever rushed out of the office to feed your parking meter to find a friendly traffic cop writing you a sweet little love note? Wouldn't it have been nicer had the cop just called you to say, "Hey, just though you might want to throw a couple of quarters down my way." Sorry, not gonna happen.

But in Vancouver and Niagara Falls, some parking meters will do just that. Those two cities are trying out a new meter that will alert you via mobile phone that the little red flag is about to pop up. Then you can either sprint downstairs to buy more time with coins or credit card, or, from the comforts of your office chair, send an electronic payment.

But what happens if, for instance, your maxed-out MasterCard can't take even another 50 cents? These super helpful, solar-powered devices from Photo Violation Technologies Corp. will even allow parking violators to pay their fine right there at the meter.

See videos of the super meter at Photo Violation Tech's Web site. They're in WMV format, so good luck.

[Source: Kicking Tires]


[via] Autoblog

You too can pimp your Audi like a footballer

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Audi has decided that its consumers are best suited to customize the exterior and interior design scheme of their rides, so the four-ringed crew is launching a new personalization program dubbed "Exclusive." The plan is to give new Audi buyers the option of making bespoke themes for any model in the automaker's lineup, with an almost endless palette of 30,000 colors to choose from.

The choices of hue extend from the exterior to the interior, with carpets, mats, headliner and even seatbelts that can be tied into the rest of the car's design makeup.

The launch of "Exclusive" is likely to produce some rather compelling combinations, but for every design-conscious architect that buys an Audi, there's got to be a real estate agent who's determined to match the paisley curtains in her office. Things could get ugly quickly, and according to the AutoExpress, the first one-off TT came in a retina-scorching pink. Let the triumph of bad taste begin.

[Source: AutoExpress]


[via] Autoblog

Caddy considering adding hybrids to the mix

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2007 Cadillac Escalade

The combination of high gas prices and a sales slowdown at Cadillac have caused the heads of GM's luxury division to consider adding a hybrid to the mix. During an interview with the Detroit News, John Howell, Caddy's head product honcho was quoted as saying that, "Pretty much every program I am looking at going forward has got a hybrid as part of it."

He remained mum on a timeframe for the addition of gas-electric hybrids into the Cadillac lineup, but for 2009, the blingtastic Escalade will be sporting a two-mode hybrid drivetrain, much like its GMT900 platform siblings, the Tahoe and Yukon. Such a system is expected to boost fuel economy by 25-percent over the standard gas-powered model.

[Source: Detroit News]


[via] Autoblog

2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed: Sports cars

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Although we do get our fair share of sports car races over in the States, the popularity of this type of racing, compared to, say, NASCAR, makes it just a blip on the radar. European sports car racing is way more popular. At Goodwood we got a chance to see some great examples of race teams and manufacturers who, over the years, have taken some of their best sports cars and fiddled with them enough to take them racing. OK, in some cases these were definitely not the company's finest vehicles, but for one reason or another they were converted to race duty and were none the worse off for it.

The cars that were displayed or run at Goodwood represented a very eclectic mix of this theory. We saw everything from Sir Stirling Moss driving a Mercedes SLR (complete with scorch marks where the abbreviated exhaust pipes spit on the body) to Lyn St. James behind the wheel of the land speed T-Bird, from Richard Petty's IROC Camaro to a Ferrari 250 GTO. The list was staggering and included the resurrected Jaguar XJ13, last week's GT1-winning Aston Martin DBR9 and the older DBR2, Jaguar low-drag coupe and D-Types, Priaulx's 320Si, McLaren F1, Ferrari F40 LM, Daytona Comp, and 512 BBLM, and the Koenigsegg CCGT. Huge gallery, just click one of the pics.

All photos (C) 2007 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.


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Nissan GT-R spied at Goodwood

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Although Toyota was the featured marque at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, according to our man on the ground, a series of Nissan ads kept popping up on the jumbotrons. The idea that the new GT-R would make its way up the hill was joked about between Frank and his cohorts, but shortly thereafter, a partially disguised gray coupe darted up the tarmac.

According to Frank, the GT-R had a distinctly muscular sound about it, even with the slight muffling provided by the turbos. The camo, concealing both the front fascia and rear end, was particularly thin, allowing observers to imagine the finished product.

We'll be on hand in Tokyo when the next generation GT-R is unveiled, but in the meantime, check out the pictures in the gallery below and follow this link to see a larger static shot that gives a great view of the GT-R's seven spoke rolling stock.


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AutoblogGreen for 06.26.07

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Over on AutoblogGreen, we're not afraid to reeeeeealy stretch the meaning of "auto" if the story also in some way deals with using less fuel. That's the case with that waterborne motorcycle/jet-ski thing up there. It's my guess you just learned something there, no?

On a much more serious note, one of our readers delves into number-crunching with our first Reader Essay. Click the top link in the list below to read the whole thing.

Spy Shots: Does it get anymore undisguised? Clubman in the buff

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We've seen so many spy shots of the Clubman, we were considering skipping MINI's press conference altogether, but one aspect of the Clubman's physique has remained elusive -- until now. Shots of the hatch of MINI's new elongated compact have surfaced over at km77 and as previous reports have confirmed, it's a vertically split tailgate. A duo of handles, wipers and exhaust tips give the Clubman a balanced boot, while the plastic color-matched C-pillars, taillight surrounds and bumper guard tie the roof to the new rear-end.

The Clubman is set to be released next month, with its official unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show. These shots, reportedly taken during a commercial photo shoot, take even more wind out of the MINI's sails, but we doubt it will dampen the enthusiasm of would-be buyers.

[Source: km77 via Motor Authority]


[via] Autoblog

Model street unveiled, goal to limit crashes

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"Accidents happen." It's the oft-quoted mantra of anyone who spends time behind the wheel. Sooner or later, you'll witness or partake in a vehicular mishap. The Japan Automobile Research Institute aims to take a less stoic attitude about accidents and have set up a model street to evaluate accident prevention systems and practices.

The model street, which is larger than three football fields, includes straight and curved sections and will offer Institute researchers better insight into the conditions that cause accidents. We can't speak for what causes fender benders in Japan, but in the US, the number one cause has got to be drivers with absolutely no training paying limited attention to the task at hand. Who can blame them? The allure of text messaging is so much more enticing than piloting a 3500-pound projectile rendered in metal, composite and glass. Familiarize yourself with good car-brandishing skills and then observe the idiots that surround you. There's no institute needed to discern that inattention and ineptitude often play roles, but there are often plenty of other factors. That's what the model street has been developed to study. Here's to safer travels for drivers and pedestrians alike -- and let's hope they export the stuff that actually works at reducing incidents.

[Source: MSN - Mainichi]


[via] Autoblog

Audi RS6 making 571 HP

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"Thanks God for traction control," was the first thought that ran through our minds when we came across the reported power figures of the new Audi RS6. Floating around the tubes of the Internets are the chassis codes for the new RS6, which look something like this: Audi AG 47 7967 21 AAJ N31 N30 579 426 5002. What does all that mean? Well, the 579 figure is the metric horsepower rating, which is equivalent to about 571 HP, while 426 refers to the kilowatts, and 5002 is a reference to the cubic centimeters of displacement.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, purveyors of only the finest rumors, over 730 lb.-ft. of torque will be sent to all four wheels via a six-speed ZF automatic gearbox, with the possibility of a DSG transmission later on. In order to tame all those units of energy, carbon ceramic disks will be an option over the standard rotors - a good call if you ask us.

Beyond the jaw-dropping potential of the 'standard' RS6, the German rag also reports that a 'Plus' version may become available with additional power - somewhere in the neighborhood of 620 to 625 HP - with the twin-turbo'd mill potentially finding a home within the RS R8.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Motor Authority]


[via] Autoblog

USA Today lists the 25 cars with the most 'impact'

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A list of the cars and trucks that have made the biggest 'Impact' over the past 25 years has been compiled by USA Today's Money section, and the humble 1992 Toyota Camry was voted into the number one spot. Close behind was the 1991 Ford Explorer, followed by Toyota's hybrid-electric Prius in third place. Remember, these cars were picked because of the strong impressions they left on the industry at the time of their introduction, not necessarily because they were good. That's why you'll see automotive disasters like the 1986 Yugo and the 2001 Pontiac Aztek ranked on the list, and predictable high-achievers like Ferrari and Porsche not even getting a mention.

Each of the cars on the list, in some way, managed to rewrite the rules for its respective segment, such as the Camry lifting the bar for reliable and affordable family sedans, or the 2002 BMW 7-series shaking up the once staid luxury saloon segment with its dramatic styling and innovative iDrive system. We have to agree with most of the cars that were picked, but we're surprised the first-generation Audi TT didn't make it.

Read ahead for the full list of cars.

[Source: USA Today via Winding Road]

Continue reading USA Today lists the 25 cars with the most 'impact'


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A look inside V-Dub's R and D facility

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Channel4 was given a look into the future brought to you by VW, and -- no surprise -- the people's car company has a lot cooking, especially in the safety, alternative fuel, fun factor, and driving departments.

There are two new engine concepts, one called the Combined Combustion System (CCS), which works like a diesel, except that it eliminates particulates as it mixes the fuel and air. While there are working prototypes of the engine, to run properly it needs a synthetic fuel that isn't available yet... but which VW is also working on, called SunFuel, which is made from biomass or processed plant straw. That kind of fuel, however, isn't expected before 2015. A more near-term engine solution is called Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI). It switches between the spark-plug ignition of a gas engine and sparkless compression ignition of a diesel to combine provide both good acceleration and good gas mileage.

One of the coolest things they've got going is HORST, that can run a GranTurismo operation on your car and alter its handling from a trackday special to a budget econobox with a few inputs on a laptop. It will never see the light of day (at least not from VW), but it's a sign of what can be done.

Click the "Read" link to check out the rest of what VW's mad hatters are working on. Inventions like the Human Machine Interface Golf, that sends vibrations through the steering wheel to warn you of things you might not have seen, and that can reconfigure the instrument panel based on what it thinks is most important, is a little too I, Robot for us, but this is what R&D is made for. As soon as they start talking about a self-aware Jetta, however, it could be time to head for the hills....

[Source: Channel]


[via] Autoblog

GM launches the 'Transform your ride' sales campaign

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In an effort to boost sales towards the end of the month, General Motors will be offering new incentives to work in conjunction with its heavy presence in the upcoming live-action Transformers movie. The deal involves buyers of select Buick, Chevy, GMC and Pontiac models getting zero-percent financing for three years, along with $1,000 cash back.

The upcoming marketing blitz should be hitting the airwaves by the time you read this, and the sale ends on July 9th.

[Source: Reuters]


[via] Autoblog