Cracking open a cold can of gasoline

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Over at If It's Got an Engine, they wondered what the reaction would be to gas usage if we had to pour gas into our cars like beer: that is, in 12-ounce cans. The writer, who owns a 1991 BMW 750 iL, would need two cases of beer gas to get to work and back, every single day. His beer-can-per-mile came in at 1.6 miles-per-can. Even if he took his motorcycle that achieves 48 mpg, he would still need to use 16 cans every day to do the round trip commute.

Following that line of reasoning, people with Suburbans and the like would need to stick with kegs, and probably set up some kind of in-drive refueling system. If you can go with the cheap stuff, you're still looking at $10 per gallon for Labatt's Blue. Thank heavens we only drink the stuff.

Thanks for the tip, Dorri!

[Source: If It's Got an Engine]

 

[via] Autoblog

Rendered Speculations + Spy Shots: Volkswagen Passat "Coupe"

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In case you've been wondering what would happen if a VW Eos and a Mercedes CLS were left in a garage overnight with some oysters and an open bottle of Spanish Fly, VW has your answer: the Passat 4-door-coupe. It's essentially got the new Mercedes tri-sectioned face with Eos overtones, and a CLS body reworked to VW proportions. Neither parent is really flattered in the mash-up. If nothing else, it is supposed to raise the stakes in VW's interior quality campaign.

Motors will start at the 1.4-liter TSI that also appears in the Golf and Tiguan, with diesels to include the 2.0-liter common rail variant. The car is scheduled to bow next year, perhaps at Geneva, and be in showrooms by the end of '08. Here's to hoping the sketch artists didn't get it quite right.

[Source: Auto Express]

 

[via] Autoblog

In Small Packages: Breitling unveils dashing new Bentley clock

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click above image to view many more pics of the Bentley Continental GT Speed

Put aside the massively powerful engines and the sheer prestige of the badge, and what sets a Bentley apart from ordinary vehicles is the attention to detail: things like thick carpeting, sumptuous leather, deeply lacquered wood and machined aluminum fixtures that make the cabin feel less like a car and more like something penned by Jules Verne. Even something as simple as the dashboard clock adds to the allure.

With the launch of the new, most powerful Continental GT Speed, Bentley's partner Breitling has premiered a new Swiss clock for the entire Bentley range. Like Jaeger-LeCoutre does for Aston Martin, Swiss watchmaker Breitling makes the dashboard clocks for Bentley road cars as well as a range of specially-designed wristwatches, like this most recent chronograph we reported on, bearing the winged-B icon that the two prestige brands share in common.

[Source: National Jeweler Network via The German Car Blog]

Gallery: 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed

 

[via] Autoblog

Demonstration in the Streets: Renault F1 event draws 300,000 in Mexico City

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While Bernie Ecclestone continues to bring grands prix to new markets every year, additional locations around the world get to see part of the Formula One action through individual teams staging demonstration events.

BMW-Sauber has held several such high-profile events, returning to the Nurburgring Nordschleife and racing on ice in Switzerland, and we reported on Ferrari's demo in Barbados a year ago. The latest event, organized by the Renault F1 team and title sponsor ING, drew a staggering record crowd of 300,000 on the streets of Mexico City, where Giancarlo Fisichella and test driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. drove last year's championship-winning R26 race car for the elated crowd.

The event marked what was undoubtedly the largest F1 event in the city since the last Mexican Grand Prix was held there in 1992, though both the NASCAR Busch Series and A1GP still hold races there.

To view fans' videos from the event, follow the link to Renaultsport's blog here.

[Source: Autosport.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

Klaus Beutler's futuristic custom BMW looks rather, uh... painful to ride!

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Klaus Beutler, the owner and builder of the attention-getting bike you see above, describes his custom BMW R1100GS as futuristic and aggressive. We suppose that those two adjectives are as good as any because in all honesty, we are at a loss for words when it comes to describing this one-of-a-kind bike. Pretty much all of the custom touches that went into this bike are on the surface; the mechanical bits remain mostly stock. In fact, the only modifications to the running gear are a cut-down stock exhaust system, open air filters and smaller-diameter wheels and tires from the newer K1200S. This project was apparently started after the bike was involved in a small accident. The radical design is intentionally (and eye-catchingly) over-the-top so that passers-by stop and take notice. Beutler owns a body shop and painting business in Germany and the bike is intended to bring in business... and we bet it's successful. No matter what your opinion of the end result, you must surely recognize the amount of work that went into it and that it was executed well.

As a parting note -- take a look at that seat. Ouch! Is it just us or does that particular proboscis look like an operating utensil straight out of an alien abductee's worst nightmare? NURSE!!!

[Source: Web Bike World]

Gallery: Custom BMW R1100GS

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: BMW X5 M

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The proud parents at BMW just can't stop adding new runts to the litter. The latest, which looks to be a rather large runt, is what could be a BMW X5 M. Spotted on a car hauler somewhere in the Fatherland, the modified X sports quad pipes that don't emerge from their usual slots, but are spaced further apart than the usual M arrangement. It's also got a note inside informing drivers not to let the engine run for more than thirty minutes, which could have something to do with the blacked-out camo job covering the front spoiler.

Some folks bet it will be powered by the 5.0-liter V10 from the M's 5 and 6. BMW has said, though, that that engine is reserved exclusively for those two cars. If not that, then it could be a twin-turbo V8 with 430 HP. That would be a 70 HP jump over the normally aspirated 4.8-liter V8, slotting the X5 M between the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, and putting it 80 HP down on the Mercedes ML 63. Frankly, we don't think that sounds very M, nor anything like The Ultimate SUV. Stay tuned.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ed Welburn is giving out hugs, if you're a Camaro

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Ed Welburn hugs CamaroLast week, we told you about Bob Lutz's Fastlane Blog post in which he stated that the production Camaro is as awesome as the concept. If you clicked through to read it in its entirety, you'll recall that one of the Aussie anecdotes that Maximum Bob recounted involved GM Design honcho Ed Welburn going up to the camo-clad Camaro prototype and hugging it. Well, as Lutz stated, someone in the group had a camera with them and captured the moment for posterity. Today, Fastlane posted it online, and if we're not mistaken, this is the first official shot of the production Camaro, camouflaged or otherwise. We'd prefer otherwise, of course, but we'll take what we can get, so camo it is. If you stare at the pattern long enough, we think it turns into a Calvin-style sticker of Bob Lutz whizzing on the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang.

[Source: GM Fastlane Blog]

 

[via] Autoblog

Pop quiz, Hot Shot: On what side of the car do you fill your tank?

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Easy question, huh? For most the answer is as close as sticking your head out the window and craning your neck for a look at the rear fender. No protruding bump from the fuel filler door's finger lip? It's on the other side then. There are, however, subtle clues right on your dash that indicate which side of the car should be sit next to the pump. Somewhere around the fuel gauge is usually placed an icon of a gas pump, next to which many manufacturers put an arrow pointing either left or right. Couldn't be more obvious than that, right? Well, not all cars feature the obvious arrow, and these cars may employ some subtler signs to point you in the right direction. We hadn't realized this, but some automakers will point the right way by which side of the gas pump icon they place the nozzle (see above photo). This was pointed out on Core77, a blog devoted to the art of design. Rather ingenious, we thought, until a quick dive into our photo galleries revealed at least one exception to the rule. The 2007 Acura TSX we recently had in the Autoblog Garage features the fuel filler door on the driver's side of the car, while the gas pump icon near the fuel gauge seems to indicate it should be on the passenger side. Doh! This is way too complicated, we're going back to sticking our heads out the window.

Thanks for the tip, Strongbadinator!

[Source: Core77.com]

 

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[via] Autoblog

Hah! So Lotus is working on a new supercar!

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It is a Lotus, it isn't a Lotus. It is a Lotus, it isn't a Lotus. Today we think it could be, despite earlier reports to the contrary. But whether that mysetrious test mule spotted with Lotus paperwork was actually a Lotus or not, the famed British sportscar company in fact does have a supercar planned for the near future. This right from the lion's mouth, the lion in this case being Lotus' American chief Mike Kimberly.

Not much is known about what form the car will take or what we'll find under the hood, but given Lotus' focus on handling as well as its current and past models, a mid-engine/rear-drive layout would be a safe bet. The supercar would cap a rapidly expanding range of sportscars for Lotus, and not just variants of the Elise like we have now. A new Esprit is on the way, despite powertrain-related set-backs, and the 2+2 known as "Project Eagle" is slated for debut at the British auto show before hitting the market in 2009.

The three new models are part of the company's plan to dramatically increase production from last year's 2,875 to 8,000 over the next several years.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Once more, with feeling: Inside Line releases its pics of the Nissan GT-R

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click above image for a full gallery of the Nissan GT-R

Moments after AutoWeek decided to release images of the Nissan GT-R taken at a media event in Japan a while back, Inside Line went ahead and opened its own coffers that contained 11 new images of the car that promises 911 performance at a Z06 price. These pics, however, appear to be official ones courtesy of Nissan, so check them out in the gallery. No more news has been offered in terms of engine specs and power output, though we do know it goes from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds, does the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds and can hit 192 MPH. Oh yeah, and its base MSRP will start below $80,000. We assume outlets like Motor Trend, AutoWeek and Inside Line know more about the car that they're not saying, but at least we have these pretty pictures to look at while we wait.

[Source: Inside Line]

Gallery: Nissan GT-R

 

[via] Autoblog

Commemorate your shotgun wedding with the A-Team Van

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click above image for a full gallery of the A-Team Van

Wedding days are often devoted to the wants and needs of the bride, with the groom on hand simply to deliver an "I do" at the right moment and not shove cake in his partner's pie hole. How refreshing is it then that a UK-based company is offering a service that caters to the male in domestic duos everywhere. Well, 'everywhere' as in within 75 miles of Bristol. The A-Team Van company will chaueffeur a wedding couple around on their special day for £350 the first hour and £100 per hour thereafter. Can you really put a price on this, though? In addition to the van being a spot-on replica of the A-Team's whip, the inside is outfitted with all manner of party gear including four swiveling captains chairs, two flat-screen TVs, every A-Team episode on DVD and A-Team tunes on demand! We particularly like one groom's reaction to the van's surprise arrival that can be seen after the jump. He apparently really loves it when a plan like this comes together.

[Source: The A-Team Van via Winding Road]

Gallery: The A-Team Van

Continue reading Commemorate your shotgun wedding with the A-Team Van

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoWeek releases more images of Nissan GT-R

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That sound you hear are cracks forming in an embargo that's about to break wide open. Though Nissan had planned to officially unveil the GT-R at next week's Tokyo Motor Show, today's gaffe by Motor Trend in which an image of the car on its December cover was accidentally released has given other outlets reason enough to spill the beans and enjoy the ensuing onslaught of traffic. First up is AutoWeek, which has just published 11 new official images from Nissan shots taken at a media event a while back in Japan. While most are of the interior or details of the exterior, AW did include two clear shots of the entire exterior so we can more easily analyze the design. What we learn is that the GT-R will have a fairly straightforward dash design with a thick-rimmed steering wheel and large nav screen. This particular model appears to be an automatic (boo!), and additional shots reveal a useless back seat and a surprisingly large trunk. There are likely many more official shots of the Nissan GT-R that have not yet been leaked, and we'll be trying to get our hands on high-res versions of each one all afternoon. Sit tight.

[Source: AutoWeek]

 

[via] Autoblog

Magna finally opens up the doors to unions

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Since it's inception a half century ago, Magna has grown into the fourth largest automotive parts supplier in the world with sales of almost $24 billion in 2006. The Canadian company has even gotten into complete vehicle assembly with its purchase of Steyr-Daimler-Puch a few years back. Of all the things Magna has done, the one thing it's never tried is negotiating a union contract. Magna plants up until now have now never been unionized. For the first time, the company has reached an agreement that would allow the Canadian Auto Workers union to try and organize the companies 61 Canadian plants. The company will stay neutral as the CAW conducts organization drives. It will be interesting to see if this new policy gets extended to Magna's US plants and the UAW, as well.

[Source: Globe and Mail]

 

[via] Autoblog

MV Agusta and Benelli developing middleweight triples of their own?

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Back when Triumph first released a middleweight sportbike, it aimed right at the heart of the market that was (and is) dominated by the Japanese four-cylinder models. After that initial failed attempt, Triumph chose to shake things up with its Daytona 675, which had one less cylinder and a bit more displacement, and they found a winning combination. So, with that precedent already firmly set, we hear that Italian bike makers MV Agusta and Benelli are planning to use the same formula for their upcoming middleweight bikes too. While Benelli has a recent history of offering triples, MV Agusta currently offers only a few soul-stirring and supremely beautiful four-cylinder sportbikes. Considering how much love Triumph's Daytona has gotten, we are pretty excited to see what the Italians have up their sleeves. If the rumor holds true, we'll know for sure in early November when the bikes are expected to be introduced in Milan.

[Source: Raptors and Rockets]

 

[via] Autoblog

Fifth Gear takes the MINI Clubman for a spin

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The MINI Clubman isn't a major breakthrough over the current Cooper but it does have one glaring distinction worth taking a closer look at and that's the suicide-style rear opening door. Fifth Gear's Johnny Smith shows us all there is to like and loathe about the new car in sunny Madrid.

[Source: YouTube]




Continue reading Fifth Gear takes the MINI Clubman for a spin

 

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Pedestrian safety inspires EU to consider better brake requirement

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Every time we hear that the European Commission has come up with a new proposal for the car industry, the general consensus amongst the Autoblog team has been 'oh no, not another one.' This time around, the Commission's latest proposal actually makes sense to us and is something we'd like to see implemented in other parts of the globe. Officials on Monday proposed that all new cars be fitted with an advanced braking system that can detect an emergency and cut reaction times for applying the brakes.

The hope is that all cars from 2009 onwards will feature new Brake Assist Systems as part of a greater plan to protect pedestrians. The set-up works by releasing pressurized brake fluid into the braking system as soon as the driver touches the brake pedal, applying greater stopping power in an instant.

Up to 1,100 lives could be saved each year, according to European Union officials. The good news is that the auto industry is also backing the proposal and the costs involved are expected to be minimal.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: The Evolution of the 911

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In the annals of automobiledom, few sports cars can touch the Porsche 911. The iconic two-seater has been constantly refined over several decades without a single drastic redesign, and it's hard to argue that one is needed. The German wonder car has received a steady regimen of more technology and more horsepower, but it never seems to get too much of anything at once.

The bloggers of all cars German (well, only Audi, VW, and Porsche) over at the German Car Blog found a great video that documents the slow but steady diet of change that has taken place over 50+ years. Click after the jump to watch the tires get wider and the headlights get flatter while the 911's body roll fades into history. You'll have to get over the yesteryear techno music, but the video is worth it.

[Source: German Car Blog]

Continue reading VIDEO: The Evolution of the 911

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 10.16.07

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Got diesel? Check out AutoblogGreen's 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD review.
Got Tesla? Check out what Tesla's co-founder says.
Got 1907? Check out this old electric car.
Got $70 million? You might be Th!nk and buying lithium-ion batteries from Ener1.

 

[via] Autoblog

Audi R8 V10 resumes Ring testing

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The Audi R8 turns heads on public roads like few other sports cars on the planet, and its 420 HP V8 makes for a terrific track toy too. We've been reporting to you about a forthcoming Gallardo-sourced V10 R8 for some time, but the pumped up supercar has been absent from the 'Ring since its melt-down a few months back.

The illustrious spy photo gang led by Sir Hans Lehmann caught the V10-powered Audi halo car back on the 'Ring, and this time it's ready for disaster. There are two red switches at the base of the a-pillar that can quell any fire with an electronic, foam-based extinguisher before the expensive prototype burns to the ground. The larger air intakes behind the doors and modified rocker panel skirts will help differentiate the R8S (or whatever Audi will call it) from its $109,000 "base" model, but the angry growl of the V10 should be a tip-off too. It's good to see that Audi has gotten over its fear of fire and is back on the track with the V10 R8, and we'll continue to eagerly await the 2009 Audi supercar.

[Source: AudiWorld]

 

[via] Autoblog

Mulally (again) professes faith in Mercury

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Every product forecast for FoMoCo shows new products for Ford and Lincoln, but other than the Milan Hybrid, the shelf is bare for Mercury. To make the situation more dire, sales are down 11-percent this year, and last year was the worst for the beleaguered waterfall in 44 years. Regardless of the grim statistics for Mercury, CEO Allan Mulally insists that there is a place for Mercury at the Blue Oval. Mulally sees a "great set of products" at Mercury, but the 1,900 Mercury dealers must be wondering when help is on the way.

We'd love to see a Saturn-like situation at Mercury, where Euro products come to the States donning the waterfall grille. Failing that, without products differentiated further from their Ford counterparts, Mercury is destined to fade off into the sunset whether Ford wants to keep the brand or not.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Lexus poised to be the next Cadillac, but not in the good way

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Cadillac's image resurgence sees it vacating its spot as fuddy duddy transport, which it filled for most of the 1980s and '90s. Quality woes didn't help, but overall, the brand induced yawns. Big, body-on-frame barges are still available at the Lincoln store, but there's also a market for luxury cars filled with technology and quality that invokes a ho-hum response. Yes, folks, that means that Lexus is getting sucked in by the vacuum Cadillac left when they went all Led Zeppelin on us. Well, that's not entirely true - what is happening, though, is the age of the average Lexus buyer is sneaking up. Currently it's at 51 years old, while kids who spent the 1980s learning hair metal riffs on their B.C. Rich are choosing Infiniti, Audi, BMW, or even the somewhat fusty Mercedes.

If you were at Yasgur's farm with your Microbus, chances are that you've got a lust to wheel around in an ES350 for your retirement years. The average age of that car's buyers is 61, and only Cadillac, Lincoln, and Jaguar have more buyers north of 60 in this segment. This data has Toyota's fancy division rethinking their future plans, lest they be left in the dust. While Lexus may not release a direct competitor, they're keeping a close watch on how BMW launches its 1-series. The way BMW woos buyers is what Lexus has to do, according to Jim Farley, who recently left for Ford. Younger buyers are looking for edgier cars with a higher degree of technology integration, so Lexus must make a serious run at building a real performer with the IS-F, as well as push design and image. You know they're serious when they plan to broaden the scope of their myownpursuit website to include more than squash on the lawn.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

2008 Nissan GT-R unveiled on cover of Motor Trend

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Motor trend December 2008UPDATE: We've spoken with Angus MacKenzie, Editor in Chief of Motor Trend, who claims that the December issue has not been released yet and is either still at the printer's or on its way to the mailing house. The sole commenter on Motor Authority's post, however, claims he spotted the issue on a newsstand in Toronto. Who to believe? Motor Authority, meanwhile, obtained the image of the cover at right from a press release announcing the Mazda CX-9 as MT's SUV of the Year. Angus told us the cover being released was an error, which we imagine will result in one less employed person by the end of the day.

Today is October 16, but Motor Authority reports that the December issue of Motor Trend has begun arriving in some subscribers' mailboxes. What those readers will find on the cover is the first unmasked photo of the 2008 Nissan GT-R. According to MT's headline, the GT-R boasts a 0-60 of 3.5 seconds, an 11.7-second quarter mile, a 192 mph top speed, and a sub-$80K price. Motor Authority had no additional info, but we expect to see that explode onto the web in the immediate future as other outlets sitting on long-lead info react to the Motor Trend release. As for the car, it looks good to us. It essentially retains the GT-R Proto's appearance minus the Alice Cooper makeup under the headlamps. We'll wait for the information/photo avalanche to comment further, as we'd like to hear the final engine specs, too. Stay tuned for more. As you know already, we'll be in Japan next week to see the big reveal in person.

We're curious to know if any readers have actually received their copy of the December issue of Motor Trend, as Motor Authority doesn't make it clear if it actually has a copy in hand. The cover you see to the right is not a scan, but appears to be an image made from an actual PDF that Motor Trend staff would use to proof read the issue. In the enlarged version you can still see the cut markers where the page would be trimmed by the printer. We're not sure where Motor Authority got the image, but have already emailed Angus MacKenzie at MT to find out what's up.

[Source: Motor Trend via Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

TTAC accepting "Ten Worst Automobiles Today" submissions

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We're getting to that time of the year where every publication on the face of the earth is declaring their car, truck, SUV, hybrid, and unicycle of the year. MotorTrend has already found the CX9 so exciting that the venerable tree killer is

[via] Autoblog

Two L.A. traffic engineers charged with sabotage, hacking traffic lights

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One way to get what you want when it comes to contentious negotiations with your employer is to throw them into disarray and then go on strike. Or, it could net you a trial, and if you're lucky, a stay in the clink. Gabriel Murillo and Kartik Patel are going to trial on felony charges after they allegedly broke into a computer system and disrupted traffic flow at four of Los Angeles' most busy intersections. The reason for the discombobulation was an impending job action by the Engineers and Architects Association, according to prosecutors. The pair contend that their motive was not sabotage, but protection of the computer system that controls more than three thousand traffic lights. The city of Los Angeles had locked engineers out of the computer system in light of the impending strike, and Murillo's attorney asserts that his client merely took note of the changed settings and modified them back to what they were originally. Whatever the reason behind it, the traffic signal chaos took four days to set straight, although no accidents were attributed to the actions of the two engineers. They don't call it HelLA for nothing.

 

[via] Autoblog

BREAKING: Massa and Ferrari extend contract through 2010

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More pieces are filled into the proverbial puzzle with each passing day as the 2007 Formula One season comes to a close, and next season's grid comes into focus.

The latest news comes in the form of an announcement from Ferrari that the team has signed a new contract with its Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who will stay with the team for the next three seasons at least. The news should come as no surprise, as Massa has had a very strong year, even if he fell from contention for the now three-way title race leading into the final race of the season. Massa, it should be remembered, is also managed by Nicholas Todt, son of Ferrari principal Jean Todt, and has driven under Ferrari power since his F1 debut for Sauber in 2001 under contract with Maranello.

The announcement also ends speculation that still-reigning world
champion Fernando Alonso would move to the Scuderia next season, and that Massa was shifting to Ralf Schumacher's seat at Toyota.

Following some truly stellar drives this season, winning three grands prix and nine podiums, this could be the best move Massa (and Ferrari) have pulled yet.

[Source: Autosport, photo by Clive Mason/Getty]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: 2010 FWD Corvette Concept

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When we took the 2008 Corvette for a spin, there was little doubt in our minds that the 436 HP C6 was, dollar for dollar, among the best sports cars money can buy. With over 50 years of history riding on the storied nameplate, one would think the General would take the highly-anticipated C7 less lightly than the FWD POS above.

Looking at the photo, someone obviously wanted to have fun with body panels, and the trademark Corvette butt stands alone as the one easily recognizable piece of the puzzle. Look at the custom bodywork; Grand Am designers are now kicking themselves for not taking the side-ribbing far enough.

While it's taboo to criticize a piece of... art work in progress, we're going to throw a haymaker and say this vehicle will always make people point and laugh. Well, it's hard to say for sure with the obviously huge rear wing still detached; the prototype must be in wind tunnel testing as we speak. We hear carbon fiber and melted beer cans are the leading lightweight materials being considered for the final spoiler build. We know the old Accord coupe's 4-banger was a reliable powerplant, but we have a hard time believing that the brakes and tires will ever get hot enough to justify the massive "air vents" aft of the front wheels. This guy's just begging to have rodents camp out in there. Check out PbNation for more by following the 'Read' link below.

Thanks for the tip, Alec!

[Source: PbNation]

 

[via] Autoblog

The anti-ticket donut will get you off with a warning every time

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Here's a novel way to ask for Mr. Maglite to introduce himself to your personage in a blunt manner. Simply present this little confection under glass the next time the jack booted thug officer appears at your window demanding license and registration. While it may sound kind of funny on the Web, certain officers are touchy about the donut cracks. It is produced in the USA, by an entrepreneur, though we've got no word on how good the enclosed doughy treat is. So, it seems like this bit of trinkum is a good way to have a laugh while blowing a little money. The maker reports that nearly three quarters of their production has been to police officers, so clearly there are good humored cops out there. We never seem to meet them. They must all be stuck in the drive thru.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

First drive: 2008 Nissan Rogue S

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click above image to view high-res gallery of the 2008 Nissan Rogue S

Crossovers. Every automaker either has one or has one in the works. Nissan has perhaps the first CUV in the Murano, and now it's joined by the Sentra-based Rogue. Let's start with that name. We're pretty sure Nissan intended to invoke thoughts of rebelliousness and individuality. But the word can also be used to indicate someone who is a cheat, a swindler, disobedient and savage. Nissan's Rogue is none of these, which is neither bad nor good. The Rogue is pretty much a tall Sentra wagon, and we think perhaps Sentra Wagon might have been a much more honest name.

On the outside, there's little to get excited about. Our base model Rogue's monochrome exterior could have benefited greatly from some chrome door guards, handles or mirrors - just something shiny to break up that expanse of Venom Red. The Rogue's face gets a little shiny nose sandwiched between two egg-crate Venom-red nostrils that lead down to, again, a Venom Red air dam. Those two creases seem lost in the hood, and do little to give the car any visual excitement. Out back Nissan continued the monochrome theme and we're surprised they didn't find a way to fit a body-color exhaust tip. We've seen photos of a chrome roof-rack equipped Rogue that proves brightwork can be a good thing. Nissan, meet chrome. It can be your friend.

Continue reading about our first encounter with Nissan's new Rogue after the jump.

Gallery: First Drive: 2008 Nissan Rogue S



Live Photos Copyright (C)2007 Chris Tutor / Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading First drive: 2008 Nissan Rogue S

 

[via] Autoblog