Autoblog hits the Transformers premiere

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To say we've been looking forward to the Transformers movie would be a bit of an understatement. Of course, nobody knows that better than you, our fair readers, as you've seen over two dozen Transformer posts over the past year. Why not, we all used to wage Autobot vs. Decepticon battles in our back yards, and the cartoon was a Saturday morning staple for years. When we got a call from General Motors that they would be holding the world premiere of one of 2007's biggest blockbusters and we were invited, you could imagine the excitement.

Before the movie premiere, GM Design held a special dinner at Flemmings, which is across the street from the Palladium theater in Birmingham, MI. The free food and drinks were great, and the chance to discuss design with some of GM's best and brightest was very cool. We'll post later on a great conversation we had with Camaro interior designer Micah Jones, but the big event was the Transformers movie world premiere, and you can read our impression of the movie after the jump.




[Editor's Note: Although the following account is a brief preview of the movie, it is in no way a serious spoiler review. If you're curious, read on, but if you want to remain totally in the dark, stop here and wait until next Wednesday when Transformers hits cineplexes nationwide.]

Continue reading Autoblog hits the Transformers premiere

 

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AutoblogGreen for 06.28.07

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Here the question of the day: with high gas prices, would you rather ride the bus to work or skip out on going to the movies? If you're like most Americans (according to one study), you're gonna miss that film. AutoblogGreen, though, is here to help you save a few bucks on fuel so you don't have to miss Transformers next week.

 

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Ford not interested in selling Volvo

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It's just plain difficult to follow Ford Motor Company lately, as there seems to be more rumors about the embattled American icon than any other automaker. On any given day, all, some, or none of the Premiere Automotive Group could be for sale, and everyone from Renault to Hyundai, even the Russians, could be the most interested suitors.

In the past couple weeks, a sale of Jaguar and Land Rover has appeared more and more likely, as Ford has hired KPMG to assist in a possible sale. In a recent interview with the Free Press, however, Way Forward architect and Ford President of the Americas, Mark Fields, claims that Volvo definitely isn't on the block. The product portfolios of the Ford brand and Volvo are far too intertwined at this point, especially in Europe, for a split to pan out in the Blue Oval's favor. Ford will likely combine the R&D between the two brands further in North America, where Ford is working to bring down costs.

For our money, it makes sense to keep Volvo in the fold, if only because the Swedish automaker represents one of the few outright success stories in the Ford portfolio.

[Source: Freep]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Twin-turbo V8 BMW 7-series at the 'Ring

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During a recent Bimmer-hunting expedition at the Nurburgring, ace photog Hans Lehmann was able to procure a shot of the engine bay of a development mule for the 2010 BMW 7-series. When inspecting the layout, he noticed two intercoolers, and the best guess now is that the V8 fitted to the new 7-series could be the same engine employed in the new M3. With over 400 horsepower on tap in naturally-aspirated guise, it's not a stretch to think that this blown motor could produce upwards of 500 HP with limited tweaking. M7 anyone?

When the new 7-series goes on sale in late 2009, those suspicions will be confirmed.

[Source: Straighline]

 

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HWA and Mercedes Benz readying a second sports car

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HWA is the racing operation set up by AMG founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht to build and campaign many of the Mercedes Benz competition vehicles including the current C-Class DTM cars. HWA has also built some very limited production road going machines for Stuttgart, including the CLK-GTR that were based on the FIA GT racers of the mid-nineties.

HWA continues to be a separate entity from Mercedes even though the mother ship has owned AMG since 1999, but they still work together and are now planning a new coupe that will fit into the gap between Mercedes' current flagship SL55 AMG and the mighty McLaren built SLR. The new car will be built and primarily developed by HWA and is targeted to have performance comparable to current DTM racers. A second car that will essentially be an EVO model of an existing AMG car will be the followup.

[Source: MotorAuthority]

 

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Nothelle's 520 HP Bi-turbo Audi TT

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Click the image above for a gallery.

Renowned Audi tuner Nothelle has dubbed its latest creation a "Porsche-killer." A lofty title, but considering the amount of effort that was expelled on boosting the 3.2-liter V6 from 250 HP to 520 HP, it will certainly keep pace with its cross-town rival in a straight line.

The firm's kit for both the hardtop and cabrio TT employs a bi-turbo arrangement to produce the aforementioned horsepower bump and a tire-decimating 468 ft.-lbs. of torque to propel the Bauhaus two-door to a top speed of 191 MPH. The suspension has been firmed up with the company's coilover suspension that drops the TT 25mm overtop 20-inch rolling stock.

The exterior gets a body to match its extreme performance, utilizing a three-piece front fascia, along with side skirts and a trio of aero elements in the rear to increase downforce at speed.

More information about all the options provided by Nothelle is in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Nothelle via Carscoop]

Continue reading Nothelle's 520 HP Bi-turbo Audi TT

 

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Toyota decides to produce FSC concept

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The crossover segment is quickly overpopulating many automaker's lineups (think Mazda and Ford), and Toyota is the latest to join the fray. The folks from Aichi Japan are only a couple months away from launching a production version of the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show's FSC concept in their home market. The concept blended SUV utility and station wagon styling queues with a platform that's based on the Camry to give Toyota another entry in what may be the hottest segment in the industry. The for-sale vehicle will be named Mark X Zio in Japan, and it will cart around six or seven passengers via the power of a 2.4- or 3.5-liter engine.

No word yet on whether the Mark X Zio will ever be made available in the US market, but if does ever grace our shores, we doubt the awkward name will make the trek.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

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Ford brings summer incentives to buyers

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In a move that's as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, automakers are beginning to offer more sales incentives to boost summer sales figures. Ford is no exception, and as of today, those willing to drive away in a new Blue Oval offering can benefit from zero-percent financing on all new 2007 models. Want to buy a pickup or SUV? Ford will cut you a check for $2,007 in addition to the no interest financing for 36 months. However, Ford and Mercury CUVs aren't benefiting from the cash back offer.

The sales push ends on July 7th; so expect to see the prerequisite ads flooding airwaves soon after you read this.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Officially Official: Japan gets Honda Civic Mugen RR

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Click image for gallery

It was rumored yesterday, and it's real today. Come September 13, Japanese enthusiasts will be able to order up the hottest Civic Type R yet. The already-impressive R gets the full once-over from Mugen, and the result is the Honda Civic Mugen RR. Designed to be perhaps the ultimate front-engined/front-wheel-drive performance car, the Mugen RR sheds an additional 10kg (22 lbs) off the standard Civic Type R's weight, coming in at 2733 lbs. In addition to the weight loss, the freer-breathing Mugen RR picks up 15 horsepower over the regular Type R. It's rated at 240 horses at 8,000 rpm and 160 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm.

Complementing the added power and and decreased weight are a new bodykit, upgraded brakes all around, a retuned suspension, new wheels and tires, and logo-emblazoned Recaro sport buckets. Availability is limited to 300 cars, all in the Milan Red finish shown, and the pricing in Japan has been set at ¥4,777,500 ($38,750 USD).

Mugen's official website has a video of the car lapping Japan's Tsukuba circuit, which is worth a look if you're interested in seeing it in action.

[Source: MUGEN via Carview]

 

[via] Autoblog