Great Gotham! It's the Milwaukee Batmobile

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Click image for gallery

Today's eBay finds have been vehicles that prove the adage, "just because you can doesn't mean you should." First there was the Muskrat, a rolling Star Trek transporter accident involving a Mustang and a Ranger, and now we have the Milwaukee Batmobile. So named, we assume, because that's where this erstwhile 1970 Oldsmobile 98 resides. The "Batmobile" here is allegedly modeled after the design shown on a 1960s coloring book cover. In reality, it looks more like something the Dark Knight would perhaps drive if he were starring in Gordon Parks Jr's 1972 classic, Superfly, instead of fighting crime. Added bonus: it's autographed by George Barris (his only connection to the vehicle, in case you were wondering). Really, it must be seen to be believed, so click on the gallery below. The current bid's at over $11,000, and the reserve hasn't been met. Fanboys, you still have a chance!

[Source: eBay]

 

[via] Autoblog

WRX marketing campaign injected with Japanese culture

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Subaru is hoping to give us all a little culture via its new Impreza ads. To show off the new 2008 Impreza and WRX, the company is using an ad campaign that portrays "the history, heritage and popular culture of its home country, Japan." Think everything from Japanese pop culture, from anime films and manga comics, to "The Fast and the Furious," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and even "Blade Runner." The commercials will be debuting online today.

Visitors to the Subaru site will find three commercials that show a man from the future visiting "a land of forbidden secrets." While navigating this jungle, he discovers that "the legend is reborn," and eventually takes control of a "powerful jungle creature," the new WRX. The print ad at right shows the look and feel of the campaign, complete with hilltop dragon. Other print ads will follow the theme and present comic-book panel stories complete with dialogue balloons. Seems like a great fit for the 20 to 34-year-old men that the car is aimed at.

[Source: NY Times]

 

[via] Autoblog

Little interest shown in Jaguar, Land Rover

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When Aston Martin was up for bid a few months ago, billionaires that nobody has ever heard of were coming out of the woodwork to bid on the ultra-luxury lineup. Now Ford is trying to recapture the magic with the sale of its other two premium British Marquees, Jaguar and Land Rover. The problem is, Jaguar is a cash whore and Land Rover doesn't have nearly the cache of Aston (big surprise). We've heard differing accounts as to the worth of Ford's unwanted PAG members, but Merrill Lynch pegs the number at between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion. That certainly isn't chump change, but it's only marginally better than the $900 million that was paid for smallish Aston. Many of the "small-time" billionaires aren't bothering with this sale, even at lower financials, because they couldn't afford one of Jaguar's big-time losses, and stalwarts like Blackstone are rumored to be out, too. Hyundai and Nissan/Renault don't seem to be interested either.

Ford already brunted a lot of the financial pain for Jaguar when it closed a plant and bought out a lot of workers, and the forthcoming XF should help the bottom line immensely. Land Rover is profitable and has plenty of newer models to keep sales strong for the foreseeable future. We'd be surprised if there weren't a lot of sand-baggers that show up soon looking to get something for next to nothing.

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

 

[via] Autoblog

Countach vs. Cessna

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The Lamborghini Countach was everywhere in the 1980s. It was so often presented as the ultimate car, photographed with celebrities, and generally placed in the spotlight that even your grandmother could've recognized it. Because of its vaunted status, the Countach is an aspirational car that you might purchase to celebrate a milestone in your life. Oregonian Marlowe Treit spent two years tracking down the perfect Countach as a way of marking 60 years on the planet.

In May of 2006, Marlowe's 1985 Countach had an unfortunate meeting with an FBI-leased Cessna 206 at the Aurora, Oregon airport where Treit owns a business. The NTSB has investigated the incident and blames both the plane's pilot and Treit for not noticing each other. Nevertheless, the shredded Italian exotic will cost a considerable amount to repair or replace, and Treit is suing the United States for $105,500, claiming that the Cessna pilots had a clear view of his vehicle, and should have yielded the right of way. We can understand the heartache that having your dream car mangled must cause, but it looks like an uphill battle for Mr. Treit, with the NTSB essentially declaring the event as a "no-fault" accident. The big question we've got is will Mr. Treit replace his Countach with a Diablo, Gallardo, or Murcielago should he win? We'd probably go for an Islero, Jarama, or Series III Espada. Check out a video interview of Treit after the jump.

[Source: The Oregonian via All Cars All The Time]

Continue reading Countach vs. Cessna

 

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Only the beginning: hard drives in cars

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There's already been a silent technology explosion in automobiles over the last ten years. Command and control has become largely a computerized affair. With high and low speed data buses throughout the automobile, your car is basically a network. It used to be that you'd press the power window switch and current would flow to a motor, or it would trigger a relay. It was simple to execute in the design and manufacturing stages, and troubleshooting was a matter of time spent with a test light and a meter. Modern cars use protocols like CAN, or Controller Area Network, to facilitate the liberal smattering of increased functionality we all desire in our vehicles. Press that same window switch now, and a message is sent to the central processor that you desire a change in the window status. The central processor then alerts the window motor to energize in the proper direction, and then it's off to the races for the glass. Sounds overly complex at first blush, doesn't it?

The old way had some drawbacks that the new systems hopefully alleviate. Firstly, there were lots of potential failure points with analog control systems. Also, components had to be wired to each other for functionality, and that required lots of wire. Wire is expensive (checked the price of copper lately?), and it adds weight and takes up space. Networking protocols allow automakers to integrate functions as never before - check out the way the MazdaSpeed 3 dials down its power output depending on steering angle - while using less wire and having a system that's more reliable. These changes have gone on virtually unknown to most motorists, but the cool stuff is just around the bend.

[Source: Automotive Design Line]

Continue reading Only the beginning: hard drives in cars

 

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JP Morgan upgrades Ford, GM to "overweight"

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After a very rough June where both GM and Ford had terrible overall sales vs. the same month in 2006, one would expect investment firms to further downgrade their stock forecast. As it turns out, firms like JP Morgan aren't that interested in sales numbers after all, as the investmant stallwart upgraded both domestic automakers to "overweight". The reason for Wall St.'s optimism has a lot more to do with the UAW and the current feeling that the union will finally grant concessions in upcoming contract talks, including the possibility that the union will take on responsibility for retiree benefits. JP Morgan points out the obvious that savings from oppressive union contracts would help the each automaker's bottom line, though the cash influx could take 12-18 months to bear fruit. The General, whose stock was $18/share about 18 months ago, has received an adjusted target of $50 per share, which is still almost 50% better than it was just a few weeks ago. It looks like the folks over at JP Morgan haven't talked to to Jim Cramer lately.

Most don't want an upgrade to "overweight", but in the stock world, it's a good thing. This is good news for GM and Ford investors, but we don't even want to imagine the fallout if the big-time concessions don't end up happening.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Want a hybrid Tahoe/Yukon? GM will help you buy one

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Bob Lutz has apparently climbed down from the parapet of passing all costs onto the consumer... that is, when it comes to green tech. In fact, GM appears to be considering subsidizing the cost of its hybrids for consumers. The world's number two automaker has three hybrid transmissions in the works: a simple bolt on starter/alternator combo called BAS, a BAS+ system that uses li-ion batteries instead of nickel metal hydride, and a dual-mode system with two electric motors that will debut later this year in the Tahoe and Yukon. The dual-mode is the priciest of the bunch, carrying a $10,000 premium per vehicle for a 25% fuel economy savings. Even though GM has licensed the technology to BMW and DaimlerChrysler to keep the costs down, Lutz declares that "if we price it at full cost recovery, I'd say we probably would sell -- not very many." Lutz didn't give any indication of what kind of subsidy might be offered to entice buyers, saying the question is "How much do you want to do and how much financial pain can you endure?"

Lutz also said that "nearly every Cadillac product could feature a hybrid variant as early as the next two years," but none of the hybrids detailed are meant for the Volt. That car is an electric car with range assist, not a hybrid.

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

 

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Spy Shots: Production Dodge Challenger caught in public again

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While these new spy shots of the production Dodge Challenger show neither more nor less of the car than similar shots taken last week, we still find ourselves interested. This time we see the new Challenger sitting at a stoplight, which afford a view of the big 5-spoke wheels that slightly obscure the car's massive disc brakes. This particular car is silver, compared to the black and reddish-bronze colored ones in previous spy shots.

The photographer reportedly pulled an illegal U-turn and chased down the car. After pulling up next to it and snapping a few pics on his camera phone, the guerilla snapper revved his engine. He reports that the engineers inside the Challenger changed their smug mugs into smiles and indicated they were ready for a stoplight launch party, but when the light turned green they quickly let off. Our guess is their bosses probably frown on street racing with the million dollar prototypes.

Click the Read link for more images on Cheers and Gears.

[Source: Cheers and Gears]

 

[via] Autoblog

For a real American burger, try the Chevy V8 bbq pit

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July means summer, and summer means barbecuing, and barbecuing, to Trent Whatley, means it's time to crank up the Chevy V8. Not to go to a bbq -- the engine block is the bbq. With the help of a neighbor handy with a blowtorch, Trent turned this cast iron block into a 60,000 BTU cooker of high-octane summer fare. McDonald's has a Black Angus burger. Carl's Jr. has a $7 burger. But when you want 400-hp burgers and franks, you've got to call Mr. Whatley. Click the Read link for more pics.

[Source: Neatorama]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford attempting land speed record with Fusion Hydrogen 999 Racer

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click above image for more high-res pics of Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 Racer

Ford thinks it's time to make hydrogen sexy. Capitalizing on its 10 years of hydrogen research expertise, the automaker is headed to the Bonneville Salt Flats in August to go for a few world land speed records with a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Ford Fusion. Actually, there will be two vehicles going to Bonneville. The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 pictured above is a collaboration with Ballard, Roush and Ohio State University. It features a 770-hp electric motor and is going after the production-based fuel cell-powered vehicle title. We're not sure what the current record is (ha ha, current), or if one even exists, but with 770 hp, we're guessing this Fusion should be good for some serious speed.

The second car is a bit more radical. Ford is working with student engineers from Ohio State University on the Buckeye Bullet 2. This one is a fuel cell-powered racer that will compete in the unlimited class. The "2" in the name should be a tip-off that these guys have tried this before. In 2004, the BB1 ran 315 mph and set the unlimited land speed record for an electric vehicle.

Full press release after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford attempting land speed record with Fusion Hydrogen 999 Racer

 

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Pickuptruck.com concludes 2007 Heavy Duty Shootout... who won?

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In Parts 1 and 2 of his 2007 Heavy Duty Shootout, Mike Levine and his cohorts from Pickuptruck.com compared the acceleration of gas three-quarter ton and diesel one-ton pickups from Dodge, Chevy/GMC and Ford on flat surfaces, both unloaded and loaded with 10,500-lb trailers. For the third and final report, however, Levine introduced grades of 7% and 15% to the equation.

The results were surprising, and really had the most influence on Pickuptruck.com's final conclusions. We won't spoil the dramatic tail of each hill climb at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds, but the 2007 Ford F-250 with its 6.8L Triton V10 was particularly impressive in the gasser category, and as anyone who has driven one would expect, the 2007 Chevy Silverado 3500 and its 6.6L Duramax diesel/6-speed transmission combo proved overly dominant among the oil burners. That said, the conclusions are only half the story, as Pickuptruck.com follows each truck through every gear as they climb their grades. These rigorous tests brought every truck's weakness, which were glaring in some cases, as well as their strengths.

Click the Read link below to read the conclusion to the 2007 Heavy Duty Shootout and learn once and for all what pickup these guys would park in their garage.

[Source: Pickuptruck.com]

 

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Japan: Subaru hits STI partsbin for Stella Custom RS S-Edition

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Click image for photo gallery

We love it when the Japanese auto manufacturers take the box of Alpha-Bits, empty it onto the floor, and then make a car name out of the resulting clutter. Subaru is the current world champion in this regard, having produced the tongue-twistingly wonderfully named WRX STi Spec-C Type RA-R last year. This week, the automaker got busy again, releasing an update to its home-market kei car: the Stella Custom RS S-Edition.

No, it's not compatible with Google Reader. It's really just a new dress-up trim level for the Stella Custom RS. The tall microwagon gets a shot of color inside and some STI-sourced appearance upgrades. It ends there, since upping the performance would take it out of kei car specification. The RS S-Edition is limited to 500 units and includes the following:
  • STI chin and roof spoilers
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter
  • STI logo on shifter
  • Sport pedals
  • Carbon fiber interior trim
  • HID low-beam headlamps
  • 14" gunmetal aluminum wheels
We have no doubt whatsoever that this will sell out in limited-edition-obsessed Japan. And truthfully, it's kinda cool anyway.

[Source: Subaru]

 

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Lotus consults on Mercedes S-Class Hybrid

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Following spy shots of S-Class Hybrid prototypes leaving the Lotus facilities in Norwich, England, industry insiders have concluded that Mercedes has turned to the British sportscar maker and engineering firm for input on the sedan's hybrid power system.

The upcoming S-Class Hybrid's electric motor sits in front of the front-mounted transmission, and will be coupled to either a gasoline-powered 268-hp 3.5L V6 to produce a combined 300 hp and return 35 mpg, or a 2.2L 168 hp diesel incorporating the latest BLUETEC technology.

Although best known for its chassis consulting, Lotus it seems was brought on to put the finishing touches on the hybrid's sophisticated drivetrain, specifically the mechanism that switches between the conventional and electric motors. No doubt, Lotus has been developing its new specialty in the green arena thanks to its work with Tesla on the all-EV Roaster.

[Source: Autocar via German Car Scene]

 

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Spy Shots: the Panamera... and it's not exactly pretty

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click above image to view more high-res spy shots of the Panamera

It looks like either way it goes, Porsche is about to drop a bomb on the world with the Panamera. Either the car will look like the increasingly unadorned mules -- a rather unsightly melange of Boxster-Cayenne-Cayman cues -- and people will wonder "Um, was ist das?" Or in a reveal worthy of Criss Angel, the car will somehow get unrecognizably elegant by the time the production model is displayed in two years.

KGP Photography has caught a slew of new spy shots showing the car that would lead one to place the bets on the former scenario. Porsche went its own way with the Cayenne styling, and in spite of the howls from Porschephiles, the bet paid off massively. But you can mark us down as shocked if Porsche actually bestows on us a Panamera with styling as... interesting... as what we see here.

[Photos: KGP Photography]

 

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Mazda begins selling cars right on website

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Back in the Jacques Nasser days, Ford Motor Company decided to cut the dealer middleman and sell its own vehicles online. Considering that's Ford's dealer network was probably too big even when SUVs were selling like hotcakes, it's easy to understand why the Blue Oval's dealers would be angry. Almost a decade later, Ford's Mazda arm is getting more involved with the sales process, but instead of stealing bread from its dealer arm like Ford did, the Zoom Zoom folks are simply making the process easier for its customers.

At the click of a mouse on the Mazda website, online car browsers can contact a Mazda employee via web chat, and the Mazda "shopping assistant" will help buyers configure a vehicle, find a dealership, arrange for the dealer and customer to work out pricing, and make sure the final vehicle is sent to the dealership. The anatomy of the OEM sales site has been relatively unchanged for years now, and if Mazda's new idea works well, we think it could help Mazda nab a few more sales on convenience alone. The Mazda sales initiative has just started, but it took almost eight minutes for us to get someone online. We think Mazda will need to quickly work out the kinks and get wait time under a minute or two for this new endeavor to be a success. If you've given the Mazda sales assistant a whirl, let us know in the comments how it turned out.

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

 

[via] Autoblog

2008 Dodge Dakota priced from $20,080

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When the 2008 Dodge Dakota was unveiled in Chicago, we weren't sure what to think of the styling, but it was nice to see that Dodge's midsize pickup finally got serious with the V8 powerplant again. A 302-hp engine is great for speed and hauling, but a value price is what's going to move the Dakota off lots, and Dodge has announced pricing that has "discounts coming" written all over it. In all, there are a ridiculous 20 different models to choose from, which can either give you lots of choices or confuse the heck out of you. For a reasonable $20k, you can get a ST 4x2 extended cab and a 3.7L 210-hp V6 engine. At the very top end of the model range, Dodge is looking for a pricey $31,745 to pick up a Laramie Crew Cab 4x4.

As sales have slid the past couple of years, the Dakota has been the discount special in the large midsize pickup field. We find it highly unlikely that Dodge will consistently demand $30,000 for top-end models, but with a few thousand on the hood, the Dakota will still be a good deal. Hit the jump to view Chrysler's press release, which contains all 20 model combinations and vehicle details.

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading 2008 Dodge Dakota priced from $20,080

 

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Ford extends end-of-year incentives almost two months

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Ford's June sales were down 8.2% vs. the same month in 2006, but retail sales were actually up slightly for the first time since last October. A key to the added dealer traffic was the 0% financing available on all 2007 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, with an additional $2,007 going towards trucks and SUVs. The successful incentives, which were scheduled to end on July 9, have been extended all the way through the end of August.

Ford has been trying hard to keep away from fleet sales, and with the aid of some reasonable incentives it has managed to steer a bit of its sales back to customers. Lets see if the good news lasts through the end of August.

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

 

[via] Autoblog

VW may build factory in the U.S.

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One of the problems with being an import car maker at the lower end of the automotive market is an increased sensitivity to currency exchange rate fluctuations. This is particularly problematic if the carmaker doesn't have a government willing to make currency adjustments the way Japan regularly does. Thus, Volkswagen has had a troubled manufacturing history with the U.S. for the last three decades.

As a response to currency issues, Volkswagen was the first import maker to set up a transplant operation in Pennsylvania in 1978, several years before Honda started building Accords in Ohio. Ten years later the plant closed as demand for the Golf hatchbacks it built dwindled. In recent years, as the U.S. dollar has continued to shrivel compared to the Euro, VW profits have been hit again and so they are taking another look at building in the U.S. CEO Martin Winterkorn told German magazine Focus they are looking at a U.S. manufacturing plant if the dollar remains weak. Given the unlikely scenario of the dollar rising anytime soon, states may be sending in their bribe incentive packages now.

[Source: Detroit News]



 

[via] Autoblog

Mansell and Herbert back in the F1 cockpit for BMW Sauber demo

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While its cars charge towards the head of the pack on the F1 racing circuit, BMW-Sauber has been positioning itself as the champion of demonstrations off-track. Following such shenanigans as driving on ice, and the return to the old Nurburgring Nordschleife, the team brought a couple of veterans back for demonstration drives at Silverstone.

Three-time world champion Nigel Mansell, more recently a fixture of the Grand Prix Masters series, drove Sauber's latest at the team's Pit Lane Park set up at Silverstone to coincide with this past weekend's British Grand Prix. Fellow retired driver Johnny Herbert, who won at Silverstone in '95, also had a go in the Bimmer single-seater. The drivers pulled donuts and smoky burnouts to the delight of the fans.

As you may recall, the team also gave former F1 driver Alex Zanardi another drive behind the wheel of an F1 car, and the handicapped car driver pulled off some impressive lap times, despite a minimum of preparation.

[Source: BMW Sauber F1 via AutoMotoPortal]

 

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Kubica's Kanadian Krash - now in 3D

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Spectators, commentators and fans all feared the worst when BMW Sauber's star driver Robert Kubica hit the wall at the end of the hairpin at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on St. Helen's Island in Montreal during this year's Canadian Grand Prix. But as we all know, the Polish driver suffered only a concussion and a sprained ankle, despite the high speeds, high Gs and hard impact of the crash. Now he's back in the cockpit, sticking it to everyone this side of Ferrari and McLaren, defending champions Renault included. (Thank God for carbon fiber, eh Robbie?)

The techies over at RTL, the German network that broadcasts the Formula One events, put together this three-dimensional re-creation of the crash, complete with some Matrix-style viewing-angle sweeps. The action is slowed down so you can better see what happened, which makes it all too easy to forget the enormous speeds at which the crash occurred.

Unfortunately, whoever posted it up on YouTube decided to mix in a typically poor soundtrack, but since the original was without sound anyway, offended parties can feel free to turn down the volume completely.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with the info!
Video after the jump.

[Source: RTL via YouTube]

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Ford to dealers: Sell the F-150 and you may get to sell the Shelby GT500KR

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The Ford F-Series has been the top-selling nameplate in America for a staggering 29 years, and in spite of ever-increasing competition, the folks from Dearborn will stop at absolutely nothing to keep that title alive for a 30th year. Ford already has up to $4,007 in customer cash on the F-150, and now it is giving dealers some serious incentive to offload as many full-size trucks as possible. The dealer incentive isn't a cash stipend to the dealer or salesman, but a slot in a lottery to sell one of the 50 Shelby GT500KRs being made for the 2009 model year. Total production for the KR is only 1,000 units, so the markup will likely run into the tens of thousands of dollars, making any dealer very pleased. For moving pickups, dealers are also getting special edition F-150 die-cast models (Ford loves giving away die-cast models) and dealers also have a chance to host a Toby Keith concert.

Ford has repeatedly said that it will retain its full-size pickup leadership, and the Blue Oval is coming up with some innovative ways to keep its most important product moving off the dealer lots. Right now the F-Series is up 45,000 units on the all-new Silverado. Let's see if that lead holds once GM begins using more cash incentives.

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

 

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AutoblogGreen for 07.10.07

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What to make of Ford's announcement yesterday that they would work with Southern California Edison (an electric utility) on a plug-in hybrid partnership? In some ways, it seems pretty weak - only 20 cars by 2009 by first reports. On the other hand, at least they're doing something to further the research we need to fill our cars up at the socket instead of the pump. Could get interesting.

 

[via] Autoblog

Fear the Muskrat! 351-powered Mustang/Ranger hybrid

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Click image for gallery at your own risk

What happens when you start with a '99 Mustang V6 Coupe and a Ford Ranger of unknown vintage, drop a 400-horsepower 351 under the hood, meld the 'Stang's nose and Ranger's body, and lift the suspension? You get the Muskrat. In addition to the engine swap and Frankenchero bodywork, the Muskrat is adorned with every super-fromage bolt-on accessory known to man. "Aero" kit? Check. Roof visor? Check. Louvers? Check. Wind deflectors? Check. Chromed rims that look like the demo mounts for the generic tires at the local parts store? Come on, you know the answer. The meaty rubber and all-business polished exhaust look serious, at least, despite everything else going on. Inside, retina-scorching red carpeting and interior trim (complete with "Muskrat" embroidery, natch) constitute the proverbial cherry on top. Incidentally, the Mustang IP makes the transition unperturbed. Of course, it's for sale on eBay, where it's at $3,605 as of this writing. That's below the owner's reserve, so you'll have to ... ahem ... pony up some more if you want the 'Rat all to yourself.

Thanks, 3cubed!

[Source: eBay]

Gallery: The Muskrat

 

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Mitsubishi releases details on S-AWC and Twin Clutch SST

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Two of the most anticipated features of the new Evolution X, not including the 4B11T engine, are the new all-wheel-drive system and the move to a dual-clutch gearbox. Mitsubishi has released some preliminary details on both systems, which aim to increase safety and driver involvement.

The S-AWC system, Mitsubishi-speak for their new electronic power-delivering masterpiece, includes the integration of ASC (Active Stability Control), ACD (Active Center Differential), AYC (Active Yaw Control) and Sport ABS (self explanatory). All four systems regulate brake force and torque distribution to individual wheels, along with a yaw rate feedback control that will make any ham-fisted Evo pilot feel like they're Sebastian Loeb.

As for the Twin Clutch SST, the automated manual gearbox, Mitsubishi employs two input shafts that control odd and even number gears (much like the VW/Audi setup), and drivers will be able to select between three different modes, as they've done in the past. "Normal" mode is for your daily slog, while "Sport" will include more engine braking and sharpened throttle responses, using higher shift points and quicker shifts. "S-Sport" mode takes Sport and cranks it to 11 by bringing the engine revs into the stratosphere and further quickening shifts.

All the details are posted in the press release after the jump.

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VW releases details on new clean engine design

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Volkswagen already produces some of the most advanced and efficient engines on the market today, but as always, there's room for improvement. That's why VW engineers are hard at work developing a new range of diesel and gasoline powerplants that will combine the benefits of both types of engines to increase power and cut CO2 emissions.

In a recent presentation, VW showed off two new designs that promise higher fuel economy and lower emissions. The first of these is a diesel engine that mixes fuel and air 'homogeneously' inside the engine, which in effect removes any trace of soot and reduces polluting nitrogen oxides.

For petrol heads, VW has created an engine that works by using spark plugs for ignition during start-up and hard acceleration, but can then switch to sparkless compression ignition, like a diesel, during low load situations. The end result is diesel-like efficiency but with cleaner exhaust properties of gasoline engines.

As for dwindling oil stocks, VW has also looked at solving that problem too. In the works is a new synthetic fuel derived from natural gas, but don't get too excited, its makers claim we're still at least a decade a way from the roll out of the new technology.

[Source: Automotive News - Subs. Req'd]

 

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