Suzuki Sport XL7 Hill Climb Special unveiled

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Click image for hi-res gallery

Damn. If only the real Suzuki XL7 was this awesome. The car you see above is the machine that Monster Tajima hopes to break the current Pikes Peak Hill Climb record in. While the Suzuki Sport XL7 Hill Climb Special has about as much in common with the regular XL7 as a funny car does with a production vehicle, it does indeed have one of the GM-sourced 3.6L V6es under its bodywork, only this one's a fully worked-over, twin-turbocharged unit dishing out over 1000 horsepower. The target is Rod Millen's 1994 record of 10:04.06. The 2007 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place this weekend, so we'll know soon enough if Monster's new ride has what it takes to put a new entry in the record book. In the meantime, we'd like to suggest that Suzuki add a "Hill Climb Special" checkbox to the list of available XL7 options for the rest of us.

[Source: Suzuki Sport]

 

[via] Autoblog

Vehicles keep piling on the pounds

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With fuel prices ever creeping northwards you'd think the automakers would start slowing down on upping the size of their new models. Unfortunately, the notion of 'less is more' isn't the case when it comes to building and selling new cars. The belief in the auto industry is that consumers view bigger as better, a problem that's increasingly being associated with vehicles not normally regarded as being large.

According to data compiled by Edmunds, SUVs have grown on average ten inches in length and gained 474 pounds over the past decade, a trend that's reflected in almost all other segments. The Honda Accord and Civic models are a prime example of the practice that's occurring right across the industry. For example, the current '07 Civic sedan (pictured) has nearly the same legroom as a 1990 Accord and they're only around 100 pounds apart.

The major problem lies in fact that more weight requires more horsepower, which usually requires higher fuel consumption, a vicious cycle that automakers are now being forced to change.

There are still some carmakers using innovative packaging and better technology to make new models lighter. Mazda lopped off a massive 100kg from its already super-small Mazda2 model, and the new Audi TT is lighter than the outgoing car thanks to an aluminum spaceframe construction.

[Source: USA Today]

 

[via] Autoblog

2007 Art Center Car Classic features Dream Machines for everyone

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Huge high-res gallery available by clicking above.


The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena is one of the most well-respected automotive design schools in the world, and its alumni have been heading design houses all over the globe for decades. So when you go to their annual Car Classic concours, it's very likely you'll find yourself among some famous faces -- Former students like Freeman Thomas (Ford), Geza Loczi (Volvo), Dave Marek (Honda), Jae Min (Audi), David O'Connell (Mitsubishi), Frank Saucedo (GM), and Franz von Holzhausen (Mazda). And some famous non-students usually show up too, people like Jay Leno, Bruce Meyer, George Barris, Reeves Callaway, Barry Meguiar, and this year's featured speaker, Luigi Colani. Not a true concours, it's a chance to study and discuss great design. Sure there are trophies, but it really ends up being a master class in transportation design through the ages.

This year's theme was "Dream Machines: Imagination Gone Wild," and the very first car we spotted as we entered this scenic campus told us it was going to be a fun day. It was a 1969 Bizzarrini Manta Coup. We had never seen one before but it took our breath away. After a few seconds with the owner we discovered it was a show car designed by fledgling designer Giugiaro back in 1969. It's based on a retired Bizzarrini race car because they happened to have had it lying around. It's a three seater, ala the McLaren F1 and it's simply gorgeous. After that first taste, the show just got better from there. The Monkeemobile, the "Round-door" Rolls, a Duesie SJ, Porsche 959, Talbot Lago, Hot Wheels "Twin Mill," and many, many more delights.

Follow the jump for a partial list of entries and a few more highlights.

For more information about this event and the college, click here.

Continue reading 2007 Art Center Car Classic features Dream Machines for everyone

 

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New car buyers: diesels, yes, hybrids, hmm...

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T

The J.D. Power and Associates Alternative Powertrain Study has found that hybrid consideration among new car buyers is slipping, albeit only slightly. At the same time, the willingness to consider a clean diesel is growing. Overall, 7% fewer buyers are adding a hybrid to their list of potentials, but in the 16-25 age group the drop is actually 13%. For some reason, the hybrid message is getting lost on the people just entering the car buying market. One possible reason could be that, according to the study, buyers wanted to pay no more than $2,396 extra for a hybrid over a traditional competitor, but get 18.5 mpg more. As those shoppers have discovered that hybrids can't provide that cost/benefit ratio yet, they are perhaps staying with the standard option. It's not much different in the diesel category, with folks willing to pay $1,491 and expecting 15 mpg better. However, the perceived benefit of diesels is opposite that of hybrids -- hybrids could be coming down off the pedestal, while more people are realizing that diesels are fuel efficient and, finally, clean.

[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]

 

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VIDEO: Ford starts testing the Hydrogen Fusion 999

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Click on the Fusion for a gallery of shots from the first track test of the 999

Finished off in gray primer, the Ford Hydrogen Fusion 999 rolled out of the garage at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio this weekend. The team checked out all the systems on the vehicle, started up the fuel cell in the vehicle for the first time and then started some un-powered runs to check out the brakes and steering. A series of runs with a push start up to 60mph from a truck confirmed that details like the ability to stop in a timely manner did indeed function. Once they confirmed it would stop, it was time to see if it would go. For the full story on the development and testing of the hydrogen Fusion head over to AutoblogGreen. There's also a video after the jump.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]

Continue reading VIDEO: Ford starts testing the Hydrogen Fusion 999

 

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Smile! That Cobalt could be a Google StreetView Camera Car

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As long as everybody is on to them, Google is apparently set to step out of their surveillance vans and greet the world in a fleet of shiny new Cobalts. A Gizmodo reader happened to spot a StreetView camera van finishing a round of picture taking duty and followed it back to Google's Mountain View, California campus. While driving through the Google lot he spotted several dozen Cobalts with funky antennae on their roofs. It seems these Chevy sedanlets will be the new fleet for the next round of Google Maps StreetView captures. The "Quad Cs" (Chevy Cobalt Camera Cars) will likely be unleashed in the near future to complete Google's mission of capturing the entire Earth, on camera at least.

[Source: Gizmodo]

 

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Chrysler does better than expected in job cuts

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Chrysler is ahead of its own targets for its turnaround plan with the announcement that up to 1,100 salaried and 6,000 hourly workers have been cut from its workforce. This is only the first phase of job cuts in the three-year turnaround plan, which by 2009 will see Chrysler's workforce shrunk by 13,000 positions.

The announcement was made in an internal email that was sent to Chrysler staffers on Monday. In it, CEO Tom LaSorda assured staff that the reduction in employee numbers won't disrupt operations and we could see even more lay-offs very soon. An additional 400 blue-collar workers are still awaiting approval for applied buyouts or early retirement packages, but Chrysler spokesman Dave Elshoff said "there's no guarantee that they will be accepted this year."

These latest reductions leaves Chrysler with roughly 73,356 hourly and salaried employees all up, 100 less than what the turnaround plan stipulated for 2007. We hope the changes will make more than just a dent in rectifying the $680 million loss Chrysler suffered last year.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Pass the dutchie: Hansen GTR supercar

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Forget about YouTube, supercars are the new user-generated content. Is there anyone who isn't making one? I really wouldn't be surprised if my neighbor lifted his garage one day announced he was trying to get his home-baked superspeeder ready for the LA Auto Show. Now the Dutch, who have already given us Spyker and Vandenbrink, have a new supercar maker in the form of Hansen Sportscars with its track duty GT-R and road duty GT. The spaceframe GT-R will have a carbon semi-monocoque with integrated rollcage, a laminate windshield, and a 1,100 kg dry weight. Power will come from a 5-liter V10 with more than 500 bhp and 350 ft-lb. The car has no electronic aids, in order to promote driver involvement and driver skill, which probably means quite a few of them will end up in the bushes. If you think you recognize the name in the picture above, that's because the car was designed by Ernesto Freitas, the same Portuguese gent who gave us the Dino we reported on a few days ago. The car is set to launch this year. No price has been announced... and you know what that means.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

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Spy Shots: VW Phaeton Coupe/Cabriolet

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It sure looks like a fingerpainting to us, but we're told this is a spy photo of a new VW in development. Actually, the full size shots over at Winding Road clearly show a muscular mule that has a lot of Audi DNA in its looks. It's believed to be Volkswagen's Phaeton replacement, only in coupe/cabrio form. The Phaeton never really caught on here, despite the fact that it's a pretty nice ride. This probably had a lot to do with its huge price tag, which, combined with a VW logo on the grille, scared a lot of people back to the more established luxury brands.

While most figured Volkswagen would let the name slip back into history, VW recently announced that a replacement was in the works. This new Phaeton, however, will move slightly closer to its moniker and become a hardtop convertible positioned to go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz SL. The mule you'll see in the photos is a chopped and widened A8, but we're not sure if it will share much with that sedan. There are rumors that it may, in fact, have more in common with Porsche's upcoming Panamera. Click over to WR for more pics and a comical recounting of what happened when the VW engineers spotted the spy photographers.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Rumormill: Bugatti targa coming this way

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Bugatti has just added another option to the tiny list of upgrades for the thousand-horse, million-plus motorcar: a targa top. The top will be made of glass and stowed -- manually, we would guess -- somewhere in the car. Word is that if the skies turned sour too quickly, a fabric cover could be "pulled into place," which is a contraption we'd like to see. To prevent flexing at double-ton+ speeds, the car will also be reinforced; instead of 250 mph or so you'll only get to 217. There will be just 80 made, which will make them even more exclusive than the "base" model, and sure to sell out. It's likely that teams of Swiss and Caribbean bankers have already been mobilized by waiting buyers to collect the necessary funds from their offshore accounts, so call yours today.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

New York State Senate squashes Bloomberg's traffic charging plan for NYC

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Back in April we told you about New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's plan to adopt a London-like anti-congestion fee for Gotham. Cars entering the area below 86th Street in Manhattan would be slapped with an $8 congestion charge. Gridlock is frequently crippling in this crowded midtown business district, so discouraging drivers with a surcharge was seen as a possible solution. Well, motorists can relax, at least for now. The plan has been put on the backburner.

The Times
is reporting that NY state lawmakers shelved the fee bill in a session on Monday. It was apparently a very heated meeting, with Bloomberg allegedly losing any support he might have had right away. This setback is coming at a tough time for Mayor Bloomberg as he gears up for a possible Presidential bid. He has been trying to show his green side lately and getting this bill enacted might have earned him some carbon credits with those voters. But drivers can't celebrate just yet. Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, still thinks the bill deserves some study and has proposed sending it to a commission that would consider this and other alternatives before the Legislature discusses the issue again next March.

Thanks for the tip, Oluseyi!

[Source: New York Times, reg. req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Maximum Burt: celebrating the acme of manliness at the Burt-a-thon

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Guys, if you look a little more hairy and feel a bit more manly at 8:45 PM August 14, don't be alarmed. That's when the 2007 Rolling Roadshow Tour Burt-a-Thon begins in Atlanta, Georgia "celebrating the manliest being in human history." Gruff-voiced festivities will begin with a drive-in triple feature of Smokey and the Bandit, Sharky's Machine and White Lightning. The next day features an actual competitive scavenger hunt from Atlanta to Texarkana, ending at another drive-in screening of the film and refreshment provided by a semi trailer full of Coors. The two most incredible things about the festival, however, are that the grand prize in the scavenger hunt is "an actual 70's era Pontiac Firebird," and that there's a picture of Burt Reynolds on the web site... naked. If you're in the Southeast, and you appreciate real men, sign up now. If you go VIP, you'll even get a free mustache.

Thanks for the tip, Mehugtree!

[Source: Original Alamo]

 

[via] Autoblog

Random Wackiness: Pretty peculiar Prius

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Every once-in-a-while we come across something wacky enough to get us to stop in our tracks, suppress a giggle, and point-and-shoot. While at the Art Center Car Classic this weekend, we had one of those moments. A Prius with a pretty pronounced proboscis caught our eye while we were checking out the parking lot. As strange as it seemed, we remembered seeing it somewhere before. And then we saw Kustom Kar King George Barris at the other end of the lot and it clicked. This Prius was done by Barris and shown at SEMA last year. We even did a post on it way back in 2005.

We did a quick search and found this info about the green (and gold) machine. The wheelwells were stretched by 2 inches and eyebrow-style flares were added to accommodate the American Racing 18-inch chrome wheels. The wheels have green centers and are wrapped in BF Goodrich low-profile tires. The paint is hand detailed with pinstripes and teardrops. There's even a ducktail spoiler out back. Funky and fun, but we'll pass, thanks.

 

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Mercedes looks at a new market with optical range

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Click to view the Mercedes eyewear collection in our high resolution image gallery

Still recuperating from its failed venture with Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz is embarking on a new cooperative venture of a different kind, one that looks a hell of a lot cooler. At its Fashion Week event that concluded yesterday in Berlin, the German automaker unveiled a new range of sunglasses and eyeglass frames in cooperation with Italian eyewear company Allison SpA.

Rather than tipping its toe in the proverbial water of a new market, Mercedes and Allison are going in head-first with a collection of 40 optical models. Selling in Europe through selected retailers, the collection ranges from €169 to €239 ($233 - $330) for the eyeglass frames and €159 to €259 ($220 - $357) for the shades.

[Source: Carscoop]

 

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VIDEO: Goodwood - Formula 1 cars

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Click above for F1 gallery from Goodwood

While we're the first to admit that we are better with a DSLR than a camcorder, we did have a video camera with us at Goodwood and captured a few passes. This particular clip shows some of the current F1 cars doing their thing and the parade down to the start line. The F1 cars were prohibited from doing full speed runs a few years ago because their terminal velocity is far too great to keep the spectators safe at Goodwood. So rather than going for fast times, the cars and drivers are there to entertain the fans. Even in the rain, they managed to do just that. Follow the jump for the YouTube clip produced, which is also posted by our buddy over at SoCalSpeedZone. And if you haven't seen them yet, don't forget to check out our galleries from this year's Festival of Speed.

Thanks, Duane!

Continue reading VIDEO: Goodwood - Formula 1 cars

 

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AutoblogGreen for 07.17.07

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If you're not a fan of electric cars, you can celebrate today: an electric PT Cruiser couldn't survive the NY taxi test. The rest of us are sad, though. Even Rob Lowe is crying a little, after he testified last week in Congress on plug-in hybrids.

Also, if you're missing Transformers news here on Autoblog, I've got a treat for you.

 

[via] Autoblog

REPORT: Acura dealers treat customers best whether or not they buy

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A dealership can be a downright scary place for someone looking to buy a new car, with four-box scams, shady financing, dodgy service, and pushy salesmen. Consulting firm Pied Piper surveyed customers at 1,592 dealerships to show what we already knew, that not all dealer experiences are created equal. The survey covered the customer service regardless of whether or not the perspective buyer actually purchased a vehicle. Predictably, luxury car dealerships topped the list, lead by Acura and Land Rover, but volume brands Saturn, Nissan, and VW were among the automakers that scored above the industry average. The folks from Pied Piper say Acura scored in the "top five or six" across the board regardless of whether the customer bought anything. Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai were right at the industry average in the customer survey, and Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler all scored below the Mendoza line.

Perhaps the Pied Piper survey's most important statistic is that eight out of 10 of the top automakers averaged over 250 sales per year per dealership, and only three of the bottom ten dealers hit the 250 mark. Hit the jump to read the Pied Piper press release, it does a great job of breaking down the vast amounts of data collected.

Continue reading REPORT: Acura dealers treat customers best whether or not they buy

 

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GM buys stake in Italian diesel firm

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In an effort to further GM's plan of becoming one of the dominant automakers offering diesel-powered vehicles, the company announced plans to purchase a 50-percent stake in VM Motori S.p.A., an Italian diesel engine manufacturer owned by Penske.

The deal comes hot on the heels of Bob Lutz's comments last week about the expansion of GM's diesel lineup, allowing the company to grow its oil-burning offerings in expanding markets in China and India, while gaining a stronger foothold on the diesel market in Europe.

Look for the ink to dry sometime later this year.

GM's press release is posted after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading GM buys stake in Italian diesel firm

 

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Get some seat time in a TT, A4, RS4 and even an R8

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If your local Audi dealer calls the cops every time you ask for a test drive of an RS4, we suggest you either dress nicer next time or, if that's not possible, head to one of four cities hosting the Audi Driving Experience.

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco are the four sites for Audi's traveling test drive, where participants can have the chance to drive their TT, A4 and Q7 all for free. You'll be able to put them through control, braking and accident avoidance maneuvers. If you can show you know how to handle their cars, Audi will even let you take one out for a lap around the racetrack.

The most improved drivers at each venue wins a ride in Audi's much-vaunted R8 supercar. Those winners will instantly be upgraded from most-improved to most-envied.

That's all included in the Audi Driving Experience two-hour introductory program, but for $600 Audi offers the half-day enthusiast program. That gets you professional driving instruction and track time in all the aforementioned cars, as well as the RS4 and R8.

There are two dates in each city, but with a chance to either ride in or drive an R8, we would expect them to fill up quick.

 

[via] Autoblog

GMAC offers mileage-based insurance through OnStar

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Of all the ways an insurance company calculates a driver's premiums, the one factor that's been left out of the equation is real world mileage. Sure, we tell the our insurance provider how many miles we travel, but if its less than the stated minimum, there's no way to prove we've been on the road less. GMAC and OnStar are planning to rectify the matter, post haste.

The plan, which has already been employed on 10,000 drivers in 2004, is to allow subscribers to GM's OnStar system to submit their mileage, and if its less than the 15,000 miles specified in the year-long contract, a discount will be dolled out.

The breakdown will allow drivers who travel between 12,001 and 15,000 miles a year to get a 13-percent reduction, while drivers who clock under 2,500 miles will get a discount of 54-percent.

Of course, this is all assuming that you're driving an OnStar-equipped GM product and your insurance is through GMAC, but with GM's planned push of the OnStar system, it might be just another reason for drivers to head on down to their local dealer.

GM's press release is posted after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading GMAC offers mileage-based insurance through OnStar

 

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Honda treading in foreign territory: Incentive spending up

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When you think about an automaker offering up incentives, Honda normally wouldn't spring to mind. With the ongoing success of the Civic and Honda's inability to keep enough Fits on the lot to keep up with demand, it's obvious that the automaker has been doing well with its core models, but it's some of its outlying offerings that aren't selling like hotcakes.

The SUV and minivan segment has been stagnant as of late, and coupled with an increase in production at Honda's plants, the imbalance is affecting the number of Pilots and Odysseys that are hanging around dealer lots. To combat the lethargic sales, Honda is increasing dealer incentives and lease subsidies on the aforementioned people movers, the Ridgeline and the soon-to-be redesigned Accord.

Regardless of the move, Honda isn't throwing money on the hood like other automakers, which makes both corporate bigwigs and Honda owners happy, as residual values won't be hampered by a flood of inexpensive models hitting the market.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoweek to host teen driving summit Aug. 28th

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After the success of the Autoweek's Teen Driving Report last year, the publication has decided to bring together groups of educators, advanced driving schools, legislators, parents and their kids for a day-long event on August 28th at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

The Teen Driving Safety Summit will be split into two parts, with the morning session comprised of a series of seminars and lectures, while the afternoon will take attendees to the track, where they'll be coached by a team of professional drivers from the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Naturally, the goal is to increase awareness of the number one killer of teenagers, while equipping both new drivers and their parents with the skills needed to navigate the roads.

The full press release from Autoweek and Dodge is after the jump, and you can register for the event (and download Autoweek's Teen Driving Report) here.

[Source: Autoweek]

Continue reading Autoweek to host teen driving summit Aug. 28th

 

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The inside of a Brilliance coupe, pre NCAP crash-test

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If you want to know what the inside of a Brilliance coupe looks like before it disintegrates in an NCAP test, pictures are finally available. As was said of the sedan, it's actually ... all right. There's a plethora of plastic, it's a bit on the dark side, and forget about sitting in the back seats -- but you can say the same things about plenty of non-Chinese coupes. In time, we're sure that the Chinese will get the minor issue of crash survivability sorted out; the question is how much time will it take. Until then, the best bet is look, don't touch.

[Source: China Car Times]

 

[via] Autoblog

New York Times has choice words for the Lexus LS 600h L

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NY Times writer Lawrence Ulrich didn't merely disparage the Lexus LS 600h L, he grabbed the car by its back tires, dragged it around back, and while the Times readership looked on, gave it a big city back alley whoopin'. Invoking Nick Nolte, John Matuzsak, Jor-El, Jared from Subway, and blasting the big hybrid's gas mileage, weight, 0-60 time, price, carbon footprint, and the very reason for being, Lexus' standard-bearer could certainly use some private time to recover.

What compliments there were in the article -- and it did garner some genuine compliments -- were little defense against Ulrich's ultimate assessment that "the hybrid may have set a new standard for automotive hyperbole." While it's possible that Lexus didn't expect such a scathing critique from the Gray Lady, it had to know that there would be questions about the paradox of a big, thirsty hybrid. However, Lexus is only making 2,000 of them, and it's a good bet that there are at least that many rich folks looking for what it calls "the progressive person's alternative." The LS 600h L is a shot across the bow. It will really get interesting when we get a glimpse of act two, and the responses from its competitors.

[Source: New York Times]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ferrari store auctions off more bits and pieces

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If you missed your chance to own a piece (literally) of Ferrari history back in May, the Ferrari store is again auctioning off bits of its world champion Formula 1 cars.

The most expensive piece so far is a gear-selection tube (pictured above) off the V-10 F300 that won Ferrari the 2001 Championship. Ferrari describes it as one of no more than 15 parts carved from a solid block of hardened steel. Bidding currently stands at €700, or about $964.

For the bargain shopper, a take-off gear (pictured at right) from Ferrari's F1-91 is available with a current bid of only €300, or about $413.

These are either very limited mementos of Ferrari's Formula 1 domination, or very limited, very expensive paperweights. Either way, it's a lucrative method of cleaning out the Ferrari garage.

The auctions end July 26, so you still have time to call your accountant to see what you can afford.

 

[via] Autoblog

Higher CAFE standards could increase number of automotive jobs

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While talk of increased CAFE requirements usually gets the automakers all riled up, a new report says there might be some good that comes from making the standards much stricter, and we're not just talking beneficial for the environment. This new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says that higher fuel economy standards could create a quarter million new jobs by 2020. As many as 24,000 of those could be in the automotive sector.

UCS is one of the groups urging the government to raise fuel economy standards by 40-percent within ten years, so painting the change in a favorable light helps them promote their cause. The automakers, for their part, say it will have the opposite effect on their industry. They tend to see more layoffs and plant closings with those kinds of new requirements in place. The UCS report sees more of consumers' money being diverted from fuel bills to consumer goods. Rather than spending so much of our income on fuel, the study assumes we'd be spending our savings on new technology, shopping, home improvements, dining out, entertainment and similar purchases, which could arguably be called an improvement.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]

 

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In The Autoblog Garage: 2007 Kia Amanti

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click on the picture above to see a gallery

This is your father's Oldsmobile. Well, not quite. My Dad's Olds was a '65 Starfire with a 425. A lead sled, sure, but not in the pejorative sense that the phrase "your father's Oldsmobile" is supposed to connote. Okay, so the Kia Amanti is more like the hyperbolic manifestation of your father's Oldsmobile, were that car to be exceptionally plush and fitted with a suspension made of marshmallow.

The Amanti is a very well appointed vehicle; you get a lot for your dollar. If your idea of a good car equates to the most stuff for the lowest expenditure, the Amanti's value proposition is difficult to top. The engine room is occupied by an amply torquey 3.8 liter V6, so you'll be to bingo on time, and with the Kia's capricious accommodations, you will end up being the chauffeur. We already knew that the Amanti was a well-fitted ride for a very reasonable price, so our time with it offered insight into how the package works as a whole.

Continue reading In The Autoblog Garage: 2007 Kia Amanti

 

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2008 Subaru Impreza starts at $16,995, WRX at $24,350

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click above image for more pics of the 2008 Subaru Impreza and WRX

Though not officially announced, pricing for the new 2008 Subaru Impreza has leaked out onto the web courtesy of a dealer with loose lips. The complete breakdown of models and packages shows that the redesigned 2008 Impreza will have a base MSRP of $16,995 for a four-door sedan with the 2.5L boxer-four. That's a full $1,000 less expensive than the outgoing 2007 Impreza 2.5i sedan.

At the other end of the spectrum, the WRX model with its turbocharged version of the 2.5L engine producing 224 horsepower will start at $24,350 for the four-door sedan and $24,850 for the five-door hatch. This model year's 2007 WRX TR (Tuner Ready) starts lower at $23,995, but is somewhat of a blank canvas car meant for customers who will immediately begin customizing their WRX. The base 2007 WRX sedan, however, starts at $24,995, meaning the 2008 model with its controversial new skin and upgraded interior will be $645 less expensive than the outgoing model.

It appears that Impreza prices have dropped across the board, which should help satisfy potential defectors who aren't pleased with the new design. If you've got money in your pockets, the most expensive Impreza until the STi appears will be a five-door WRX model with the Satellite Radio and Navigation package that retails for $28,950. There will also be an Outback Sport version of the five-door hatch, though not the sedan, that starts at $19,995. Destination charges, don't forget, will raise the price of any model by $645.

Click here to view the 2008 Impreza's complete pricing structure.

Thanks for the tip, Sam!

[Source: North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club]

 

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