Sydney 2007: FPV crosses over, unveils F6 X

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click either image to view more high-res shots of the Ford FPV F6 X

Ford just announced a hot new CUV for the Australian market called the FPV F6 X. Based on Ford Australia's Territory SUV, the F6 X is the very first non-Falcon model modified by the brand's high-performance FPV division. Applying their trade to the Territory yields an SUV packing a turbocharged 4.0L inline six-cylinder engine producing 362 HP and 405 ft-lbs. of torque. Power is funneled through a ZF six-speed automatic, the only available transmission, and ends up at each wheel through a full-time all-wheel-drive system. In addition, the FPV F6 X features a host of acronyms like DSC, EBD and tractional control. Brembo six-piston calipers are responsible for scrubbing off speed while the suspension has been retuned by FPV for a firmer ride.

Check out more info and the official press release after the jump, as well as the gallery below with exclusive live shots and official images from Ford.

[Source: Ford]

Gallery: FPV F6 X

Live photos (C)2007 Siddharth Raja / Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Sydney 2007: FPV crosses over, unveils F6 X


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Sydney 2007: Holden HSV Maloo R8 a "coupe with a damn big boot!"

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click either image above to view more live and official shots of the HSV Maloo R8

Those are the words of John Clark, Chief Engineer for the just unveiled Holden HSV Maloo R8 ute. Currently rotating on a stand in Sydney at the Australian International Motor Show, the HSV Maloo R8 looks like the combination of a Corvette and S-10, excepts it's so much cooler than you would imagine such a bastard love child would be. Take one garden variety VE Ute, add a body kit gets the point across, a motorized rear tonneau cover that can be controlled via the key fob and, oh yeah, a 405 HP LS2 V8 to make things interesting, and you'll begin to understand how Holden goes about making a Maloo. The trucklet, however, is worked by the HSV team, Holden's equivalent of SRT, AMG, SVT, etc. This means the rear-wheel-drive HSV Maloo R8 should be able to carve an Aussie corner as well as it can ripple pavement behind its rear wheels in a straight line.

The Holden HSV Maloo R8 will cost $59,900 AU, or about $53,778 USD. The only options are an automatic transmission for $2,000 AU and a performance pack that includes 20-inch wheels and GTS-inspired sport seats for an additional $3,750 AU.

Check out the official press release from Holden after the jump and our exclusive high-res live shots and official images in the gallery below.

[Source: Holden]

Gallery: Holden HSV Maloo R8

All photos (C)2007 Siddharth Raja/ Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Sydney 2007: Holden HSV Maloo R8 a "coupe with a damn big boot!"


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Sydney 2007: Holden debuts VE Commodore Sportwagon

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click above image for more live and official pics of the VE Commodore Sportwagon

The 2007 Australian International Motor Show is underway, and the second debut we're bringing you from the show floor is the Holden VE Commodore Sportwagon. The new wagon from Holden is the latest addition to the VE range of rear-wheel drive sedans. In a nod the cheese, Holden's Chairman and Managing Director Chris Grubbey said, "Holden's new VE Sportwagon turns practi-'cal' into practi-'cool." Corny, yes, but actually he's right on the money. Technically the VE Commodore Sportwagon on display in Sydney is a concept, but Holden says it's basically what Australians will be able to buy in the first half of 2008.

Check out more info and the official press release from Holden after the jump and our gallery of exclusive live shots and official images in the gallery below.

[Source: Holden]

All photos (C)2007 Siddharth Raja / Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Sydney 2007: Holden debuts VE Commodore Sportwagon


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Chery may bring M14 convertible to U.S. next year

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Chery is looking at dropping its Pininfarina-styled M14 on the US market soon. Chinese news agency Xinhua is all like "later this year," but this year is like "see ya," so maybe by "this year" they really mean "next year." Either way, we'll be happy to take one for a spin while bearing in mind the convenient fold-up design we've seen from Chinese cars being crash tested recently. They've made some improvements, and they'll continue to get better on the safety front. With the M14, Chery actually has an attractive car on its hands, even if the lines are derivative of other vehicles. Powertrains are either a 1.6L or 2.0L engine with the choice of manual or CVT transmission. While we're not holding our breath for this car under the Christmas tree, it'll stir some interest whenever it does arrive in the U.S.

[Source: Motor Authority]


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First shots of Jason Platos Caparo T1 inferno

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We reported yesterday about Fifth Gear presenter Jason Plato's horrific experience piloting a Caparo T1 at 150 MPH when the supercar literally burst into flames, and now we have the first images of the incident to show you. Hosted over at, the two pics include one from a camera mounted on the car's body that shows the front tires locking up, and you can also see Plato's helmet in the rearview mirror. The second shows the orange Caparo T1 abandoned on the tarmac and smoldering. Plato suffered burns to the back of his neck, face and hands while bringing the car to a stop so he could jump out. Despite that, the professional racer plans to keep his commitment to compete this Sunday in the British Touring Car Championship season finale race.

Click the Read link to see the other image of the incident.



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DARN! Forbes was right, UAW strike against Chrysler is over

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UPDATE: Statement from Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda added after jump. One detail LaSorda mentioned was that Chrysler would be establishing an "independent retiree health care trust" like the GM is pumping billions into. The amount Chrysler will contribute is still unknown.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty

Whaddya know? Apparently Forbes knew something everyone else didn't, as the UAW has just released a statement saying that it has reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler LLC on a new four-year contract. All of the 49,000 some UAW workers who walked off the line will return to building cars at their next available shift. No details of the arrangement have been released yet, but speculation as to what it entails has probably already started. We'll see if the UAW finds its new Chrysler contract a harder sell to the rank and file than the GM contract that was just officially ratified today.

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

Continue reading DARN! Forbes was right, UAW strike against Chrysler is over


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Representative wants Corvette named Official Sports Car of Kentucky

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click above pics for more images from our first drive of the 2008 Chevy Corvette

Kentucky State Representative C.B. Embry, a 66-year-old Republican, filed a bill yesterday proposing that the Chevrolet Corvette be designated the Official Sports Car of the Bluegrass State. The Corvette is built in Bowling Green, KY at a facility that employs over 900 people, though Embry carefully noted that other vehicles like the Ford Explorer, F-Series Super Duty and Toyota Camry are also built in the state. That's why he proposed the Corvette be designated the Official Sports Car and not Official Vehicle of Kentucky. Spoken like a true politician.

According to Embry, "Everything we do is not a big earthshaking thing like healthcare or pensions. It is nice to slide in a fun thing from time to time." Fair enough, as long you eventually get to those earthshaking things before my buddy in Kentucky needs a heart transplant or retires.

What would be the Official Sports Car or Official Vehicle of your state? Off the top of my head, Jeeps, Hondas, Fords and GM vehicles are all built in Ohio where I live, and that's probably not a complete list. If I had to choose one vehicle that defines the Buckeye State, however, it would have to be a 1997 Ford Probe with three missing plastic wheels cover and a giant crack in its rear bumper. Me thinks we have the largest collection of them per capita in the U.S.

[Source: Courier-Journal via Motor Authority]


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Forbes reports UAW/Chrysler strike is over, but it's not

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UPDATE: A more fleshed out report from Forbes was published at 4:25 PM EST that still maintains the strike is over. The new report claims a tentative agreement was in UAW president Ron Gettelfinger's hands an hour after the strike started. This report has not been confirmed by other sources.

click above pic for more images from the UAW's strike against Chrysler

We're not sure how a mistake like this happens. Forbes published a report online at 1:45 PM EST claiming that "Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal," even going so far as to state that the strike ending had been confirmed by both the company and union officials. Of course, Forbes was unable to provide any details as to what the agreement contained, most likely because such an agreement doesn't exist.

Neither Automotive News, The Detroit News nor the Detroit Free Press have reported that the strike has ended. Automotive News, in fact, reported at 3:42 PM EST that negotiators have left the table for the day and not even scheduled another sit down. The Detroit Free Press, meanwhile, has already published a counter-story denying Forbes' claim that the strike is over.

We're entirely puzzled as to where this bogus Forbes report came from. Our honest guess is that it was written in case the strike actually did end quickly today and was published on Forbes' servers where it was then found by an intrepid member of the GM Inside News forums. We'll never know for sure, though.

[Source: Forbes via GM Inside News]

Gallery: Images from UAW strike against Chrysler


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Break out the Krylon: Bad Boy Vettes designing C6.R livery for season-ender at Laguna Seca

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Some websites have a lot of pull. Take, for example. Dedicated to covering and rooting for Corvette Racing, this band of superfans has already achieved a great deal. The Bad Boy Vettes skull logo serves as Corvette Racing's unofficial mascot, and it has adorned the race cars' b-pillars since the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans. That in itself is cool beyond description, but it's nothing compared to what the BBV crew got Corvette Racing to agree to for the final round of the ALMS at Laguna Seca the weekend of October 20.

Bad Boy Vettes has convinced Corvette Racing to let it design the race livery for the pair of C6.Rs that weekend. The #4 car will be revealed at a party on October 17th, and in the image above, you can catch a glimpse of the paint scheme under the spray cans. As if the C6.Rs weren't badass enough to begin with, now they're going to be adorned with giant skulls. Evil FTW!

Conversely, at Autoblog Decentralized World Headquarters, we have had no say whatsoever in the paint scheme of the LeMons entry Damon's preparing.

[Source: Bad Boy Vettes]


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Vandenbrink announces production 599 GTO and new 630 GTO

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click above image for new pics of the Vanderbrink 599 and 630 GTO

We're reported on the Vandenbrink 599 GTO before. Based on the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the 599 GTO is a coachbuilt bespoke beauty designed by Michiel van den Brink in the Netherlands. Response to van den Brink's original renderings of the car was so overwhelming, he eventually decided the car should be built. Though not officially blessed by Ferrari, the GTO does a great job of honoring its muse, the original 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.

We already knew five copies of the 650-HP 599 GTO were set to be built and had, in fact, already be sold. Vandenbrink, however, revealed today that a new model called the 630 GTO would also be offered. The 630 GTO was developed with the help of well known exotic tuner EVO Competition and features an enlarged 6.3L engine producing 750 HP. The price for a fully optioned upgrade to the 630 GTO, not including the cost of the 599 GTB doner car, is €933,000. That is not a typo, and when converted to U.S. dollars equals $1,318,982. So what you have to ask yourself is whether or not the 630 GTO is over a million dollars more beautiful than a plain old Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

Check out the new gallery below that shows a more production ready 599 GTO in red and a 630 GTO in black. Though still renderings, they're extremely photorealistic.

[Source: Vandenbrink]

Continue reading Vandenbrink announces production 599 GTO and new 630 GTO


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25th Annual Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance

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Click for high-res gallery from the Newport Beach Concours

As part of its silver anniversary, this year's Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance gathered together a selection of former Best of Show winners as its featured marque. That meant visitors were greeted by a Jaguar XK-SS and SS-100, a mauve Gullwing Mercedes, a Maserati A6 GS (above), an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, a unique ostrich-skin interior Delahaye 135, and a beautiful black and orange Duesenberg SJ Boattail Speedster. A pretty good start to a day of classic car nirvana. Although this is a much less prestigious show than Pebble Beach, Meadowbrook, Amelia Island or Villa d'Este, the quality of cars in Southern California means the cars themselves are still first tier.

Some of the most beautiful and significant vehicles from every era come from the most exclusive collections around. Representatives from The Petersen, The Nethercutt Collection, the William Lyon Estate, and the Marconi Museum were on display, enticing spectators to dig into their pockets to raise money for charity. Although still referred to as the Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance because of its original home, this event has changed venues several times before ending up at Strawberry Farms Golf Club a few of years ago. With the cars parked in the natural bowl of the driving range, it is an intimate and manageable show.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story and some additional photos. And don't forget to check out the gallery to see all 60 desktop wallpaper-quality photos in high-res.

Continue reading 25th Annual Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance


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