Chrysler: Uh oh! We screwed up.

Well it looks like the MSRP for the Dodge Challenger SRT8 was a little bit off. The Challenger ends up getting slammed with a gas guzzler tax of $2,100. That's now going to bring the price of the hot muscle car up from the $37,995 originally announced yesterday, to $40,095. Oh well. I guess that's the price you pay to play.

Chrysler could easily get rid of this if they oh, I don't know lowered the MSRP of the Challenger $2,100. But that's just me.
Source: Autoblog.com

Legendary daredevil Evel Knievel dead at 69

Another tragic loss to our motor loving society. Today we lost legendary daredevil Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel. His career is known to millions around the world with his motorcycle jumps and rocket powered hi jinks. His legend will be forever remembered, and likely never challenged. We're off to pay homage by trying to have our Snake Rive Canyon motorcycle jump over the couch. God bless Evel and God Speed!

Source: Yahoo.

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills. He also suffered two strokes in recent years.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundle said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.
"It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?" Rundle said.

Immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution as "America's Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

"I think he lived 20 years longer than most people would have" after so many injuries, said his son Kelly Knievel, 47. "I think he willed himself into an extra five or six years."
Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the '80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel's trademarked image in a popular West music video.

Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the "Evel Knievel Days" festival, which Rundle organizes.

"They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."

For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there always were mountains to climb, feats to conquer.
"No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You're looking at a guy who's really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

He had a knack for outrageous yarns: "Made $60 million, spent 61. ...Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. ... Had $3 million in the bank, though."

He began his daredevil career in 1965 when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions and being towed at 200 mph behind dragster race cars.

In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps.

He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year's Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month.

His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.

In the years after the Caesar's crash, the fee for Evel's performances increased to $1 million for his jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London — the crash landing broke his pelvis — to more than $6 million for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC's "Wide World of Sports."

The parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff. Strong winds blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

On Oct. 25, 1975, he jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio.

Knievel decided to retire after a jump in the winter of 1976 in which he was again seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater. He continued to do smaller exhibitions around the country with his son, Robbie.

Many of his records have been broken by daredevil motorcyclist Bubba Blackwell.
Knievel also dabbled in movies and TV, starring as himself in "Viva Knievel" and with Lindsay Wagner in an episode of the 1980s TV series "Bionic Woman." George Hamilton and Sam Elliott each played Knievel in movies about his life.

Evel Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and '80s.

Born Robert Craig Knievel in the copper mining town of Butte on Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. He traced his career choice back to the time he saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil Show at age 8.

"The phrase one-of-a-kind is often used, but it probably applies best to Bobby Knievel," said former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont., Knievel's cousin. "He was an amazing athlete... He was sharp as a tack, one of the smartest people I've ever known and finally, as the world knows, no one had more guts than Bobby. He was simply unafraid of anything."

Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, Knievel went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.
He also formed the Butte Bombers semiprofessional hockey team, acting as owner, manager, coach and player.

Knievel also worked in the Montana copper mines, served in the Army, ran his own hunting guide service, sold insurance and ran Honda motorcycle dealerships. As a motorcycle dealer, he drummed up business by offering $100 off the price of a motorcycle to customers who could beat him at arm wrestling.

At various times and in different interviews, Knievel claimed to have been a swindler, a card thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man.

Evel Knievel married hometown girlfriend, Linda Joan Bork, in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s. They had four children, Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

Robbie Knievel followed in his father's footsteps as a daredevil, jumping a moving locomotive in a 200-foot, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle stunt on live television in 2000. He also jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon.

Knievel lived with his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, splitting his time between their Clearwater condo and Butte. They married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together. Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Former General Motors Chairman Roger B. Smith dies at 82.

Roger Smith may have done many things at GM. Both good and bad. He served as the Chairman and CEO of General Motors from 1981 to 1990. We became aware of Mr. Smith about 10 years ago through one of our contributors who showed us Michael Moore's movie "Roger & Me" which focused heavily on the downfall of Flint, Michigan. Through out the movie he tried to get an interview with Mr. Smith. Unfortunately, it never happened. At least not on film.

Roger Smith's career at GM spanned 41 years. Begining in 1949 as an accountant, and grew to become treasurer in 1970. He held various other vice presidency positions before becoming Chairman and CEO in 1981. During his time at GM he oversaw GM's first major jump in to a world platform sharing car came under Smith's leadership with the Chevrolet Celebrity, and its many offspring. Mr. Smith also was one of the driving forces behind the startup and development of the Saturn brand, before his retirement. He also worked out NUMMI, the joint venture with Toyota to build cars in the US.

Farewell Roger.
Source: GM

PRESS RELEASE
Roger B. Smith, Former GM Chairman And CEO, Dies At 82

DETROIT – Roger B. Smith, who led General Motors in the 1980s through a period of significant change, passed away here November 29 after a brief illness. He was 82.

Smith was appointed chairman and CEO on January 1, 1981, and led the world's largest automaker until his retirement on July 31, 1990.

Smith directed GM during a revolutionary period in the auto industry, a time of expanding global business, tough new environmental and safety standards, and increased competition from import brands.

During Smith's tenure as chairman and CEO, GM introduced its first front-wheel-drive midsize cars, formed NUMMI, a joint venture with Toyota to manufacture cars in California, created Saturn, and acquired Electronic Data Systems and Hughes Aircraft Corp.

"Roger Smith led GM during a period of tremendous innovation in the industry." GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said today. "He was a leader who knew that we have to accept change, understand change, and learn to make it work for us. Roger was truly a pioneer in the fast moving global industry that we now take for granted."

Prior to being elected chairman, Smith had been an executive vice president and a member of the GM Board of Directors since December 1, 1974.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, on July 12, 1925, he received his formal education in Michigan. He graduated from Detroit University School in 1942. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1947 from the University of Michigan and was awarded a master's degree in business administration there in 1953. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946.

Smith began his GM career in 1949 as a general accounting clerk in the Detroit Central Office. After a series of promotions, he became treasurer of the Corporation in 1970 and vice president in charge of the Financial Staff and a member of the Administration Committee in 1971. The following year, he became vice president and group executive in charge of the Non-automotive and Defense Group. In 1974, he was elected executive vice president, with responsibility for the Financial, Public Relations, and Industry-Government Relations Staffs.

Smith was the originator in February 1978, of the General Motors Cancer Research Awards, designed to recognize basic and clinical scientists throughout the world for hallmark accomplishments in research on the cause, prevention and treatment of cancer.

In the international world, Smith's leadership in promoting free trade was recognized by many countries where General Motors operated. He was awarded gold medals by the heads of state of Austria, Belgium and Spain, as well as the French Legion of Honor. He served on the U.S. Presidential Commission on South Africa.

On the national scene, Smith served on two presidential commissions. He was chairman of both the Business Roundtable and the Business Council. He was a trustee of the California Institute of Technology and received honorary doctorates from several universities. Smith served on the boards of directors of Citicorp, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo. He served as chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee of the New York Stock Exchange that originated the concept of "circuit breakers" to moderate large price fluctuations in the stock and option markets. His leadership in finance and industry was recognized by awards from leading associations and publications across the country.

In state and local affairs, Smith served as chairman of the board of the Economic Club of Detroit, Detroit Renaissance and the Detroit United Foundation. He served on the board of directors of many other charitable and educational organizations.

Smith is survived by Barbara, his wife of 53 years; four children: Roger B. Smith Jr., Jennifer A. Ponski, Victoria B. Sawula, and Drew J. Smith; and six grandchildren.

Services will be private. The family asks that contributions, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Roger B. Smith Memorial Fund to Benefit the Fight Against Cancer at William Beaumont Hospital, c/o of the Beaumont Fund, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007-9620.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

It's a go. 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 pricing announced

We have anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Challenger since we saw the Concept in Detroit in 2006, and had some time to spend with the concept again in Pittsburgh this past spring.

The look of this car is spot on. It has everything that the Mustang lacks. And now with the pricing finally announced by Chrysler for 2008. It proves to be quite a bargain too. At just under $38,000 you will score yourself a 2008 Challenger SRT8. For 08, all Challengers will be SRT8s, with V6, RTs, and over options following for the 2009 model year.


Each 2008 will be a limited edition. Available in Silver, Black, and of course the concept car's Hemi Orange. Each car will also carry the carbon fiber racing stripes on the hood. And each will be individually numbered. And all will be powered by the 6.1 liter Hemi V8.


Dodge dealers will begin accepting orders starting Monday, December 3rd. And the first cars will begin to arrive in the spring. We'll be back later, we're going to go camp out down at the Dodge Dealer...........


As an added bonus, here is the new Challenger TV commercial.



Source: Dodge


PRESS RELEASE:

Dodge Announces Pricing for All-new 2008 Challenger SRT8®


Dodge Challenger SRT8 available for $37,995


  • The American muscle coupe is back, packed with modern technology and innovation

  • Demand for contemporary version of iconic pony car drives Dodge to accept orders for the 2008 Challenger SRT8® beginning Dec. 3, 2007

  • Introduction begins with limited-edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 models – each with numbered dash plaque

  • Complete, broader Challenger lineup details and pricing still to come

  • 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 models feature 6.1-liter HEMI® V-8 and are available in Black, Silver or HEMI Orange

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Dodge announced pricing today for the modern interpretation of the American muscle coupe. The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8® will arrive in showrooms next spring at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $37,995 (which includes $675 destination).


Due to unprecedented demand, Dodge dealers will begin taking orders on Dec. 3 for the limited-edition 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 models. Each will feature a numbered dash plaque and a 6.1-liter HEMI® V-8 engine. 2008 Challenger SRT8 models will be available in Black, Silver and HEMI Orange. All will feature dual "carbon-fiber" hood stripes, harkening back to the original Dodge Challenger.


"The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 offers pure American pony-car muscle," said James Press, Vice Chairman & President – Chrysler LLC. "With styling that stays true to Challenger's original heritage, an abundance of modern amenities and cutting-edge technology, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will deliver the SRT credo of benchmark performance at a tremendous value.


"The Challenger SRT8 is only the beginning of the story, as we'll soon follow with a complete lineup of Challenger models that will offer a wide array of features and deliver outstanding value for our customers," Press added.


Customers may begin placing orders at their Dodge dealer on Monday, Dec. 3. They can expect to take delivery of their vehicle next spring.


The all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will be built at the Chrysler Canada Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario, on the same assembly line with the Dodge Charger, Charger SRT8, Magnum, Magnum SRT8, Chrysler 300 and Chrysler 300 SRT8 vehicles.


Pricing for the complete all-new Dodge Challenger lineup will be announced at a later date.


SRT performance vehicles – including the Dodge Viper SRT10, Dodge Caliber SRT4, Dodge Magnum SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8, Chrysler 300C SRT8, Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8, and now, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 – are engineered by Chrysler's in-house performance organization: Street and Racing Technology.


The all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 showcases the renowned, five key aspects of every SRT vehicle: exterior styling that resonates with the brand image; race-inspired interiors; world-class ride and handling characteristics across a broad range; benchmark braking; and standout powertrain. The all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will unquestionably deliver in all five areas.


Dodge Brand

With a U.S. market share of 6.4 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC's best-selling brand and the fifth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2006, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market. In the highly competitive truck market, Dodge has a 15 percent market share.


Recently, Dodge introduced the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with 35 new or improved features including the newest innovation, the Swivel 'n Go™ seating system. Dodge is entering key European volume segments with Nitro, Caliber and Avenger. The all-new 2009 Dodge Journey will debut in 2008 calendar year, and will be available outside North America in both left- and right-hand drive in mid-2008. Also in 2008, Dodge will introduce its modern muscle car the all-new Dodge Challenger.

Sneek peek: Corvette ZR1 6.9 L LS9 V8

This one got leaked out by the guys over at Jalopnik.com yesterday. This is a sneek peek of the 2009 Corvette ZR1s 6.9 Liter LS9 V8 engine. Horsepower should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 650hp. The LS9 is a Supercharged version of the 6.2 L LS3 used in the stock Corvette. The supercharger also features unique integrated twin intercoolers for optimum performance. The new ZR1 will debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.





Since there is not much info coming out of GM. We'll keep you posted as it develops. We'll be in Detroit for the unveiling so it should be very exciting.
Integrated Twin Intercoolers. Intercooler cut away.

2008 Porsche Boxster RS 60 Spyder

Before you start drooling. Don't get your hopes up too high. We won't be getting this one on this side of the Atlantic. I know, it's a bummer. Porsche has really been into the special editions recently. We've seen special edition Boxsters, Caymans, and Cayennes. But the new Boxster RS 60 Spyder is by far the coolest of the bunch.


Echoing the glory days of grand prix racing, this Boxster recalls the winning #42 1960 Porsche Type 718 RS 60 Spyder. The very car that went on to win overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1960, with Hans Herrmann and Olivier Gendebien at the wheel.

Based off the Boxster S, the RS 60 Spyder will feature unique styling cues, 19 inch Porsche Sport Design wheels, Special GT Silver Metallic Paint, and the oh so sexy Carrera Red leather interior.

The engine is going to remain relatively stock. A special sport exhaust system will help to boost the horsepower to 303hp. So you're getting an 8hp boost over the stock 295hp.

On the inside you will find Carrera Red leather sport seats, a combination of stainless steel and GT Silver dash and interior accents, and of course special RS 60 badging. The instrument cluster will be sans the hood that typically is found. This is to give the car more of a race car feel. The dials will also be painted GT Silver. There will be a choice of an optional interior. Rather than red, a dark gray natural leather, with a black top will be offered.

Porsche is limiting production to 1,960 cars, and as of this writing will be offered only in the UK & Ireland. Pricing will be set at £45,400.

PRESS RELEASE
Porsche Boxster RS 60 Spyder Echoes Sporting Heritage

Porsche is presenting a new version of the mid-engined Boxster roadster at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy on December 5 - 16. In its distinctive design, features and philosophy, the Boxster RS 60 Spyder echoes the classic motorsport era of the 1960s, and in particular the success of Porsche sports cars during that period.

After countless class wins around the circuits of Europe and America, in 1960 the Porsche Type 718 RS 60 Spyder beat competitors with much larger engines to score its first overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida, USA, one of the most prestigious long-distance sports car races, courtesy of Hans Herrmann and Olivier Gendebien.

The new Boxster RS 60 Spyder reflects the sporting character and design purism of that successful mid-engined two-seater sports racing car. The RS 60 Spyder is based on the acclaimed Boxster S model, but differs significantly in terms of its performance and features.

Externally, the RS 60 Spyder is distinguished by a unique front spoiler and 19-inch diameter Porsche SportDesign alloy wheels, which spacer plates have moved outwards purposefully in the wheel arches. A modified sports exhaust system combined with dual tailpipes increases engine output to 303 bhp as well as adding further definition to the car's appearance. Completing the sporting orientation to the driving experience is Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) which adds further dynamism to the Boxster chassis.

Distinctive GT Silver Metallic paintwork is accentuated by the contrasting natural leather interior in Carrera Red. The roof is also finished in red. As an alternative, there is also the choice of Dark Grey natural leather in conjunction with a Black roof. The tail light clusters are also finished in red.

Inside, door trim strips made of stainless steel proudly bear the "RS 60 Spyder" model designation. The leather interior trim is further distinguished by a textured surface on the centre sections of the sports seats and the centre door linings, and this also extends to the steering wheel rim and handbrake lever. Completing the sporting ambience is a bespoke gear lever.

Complementing the exterior appearance, the faces of the instrument dials have a GT Silver Metallic finish and with this model not having the usual hood over the instrument cluster, the large central rev counter and the two circular dials on either side bring something of the flair of a racing car to the cockpit.

Further features include the windscreen surround finished in black, as well as the centre console, the seat backrests and the roll hoops all finished in GT Silver Metallic and thus harmonising with the seat belts also finished in Silver.

Reflecting its model designation, the Boxster RS 60 Spyder is limited to 1,960 examples, each one proudly bearing a silver-coloured plaque on the lid of the glove compartment.

The Porsche Boxster RS 60 Spyder will be priced from £45,400 including VAT, and deliveries in the UK and Ireland begin from March 2008.

Source: Porsche

European autos have resale edge over domestics

Recent surveys show that the Detroit Big Three are starting to lose footing on their vehicles resale values. Kelly Blue Book is saying that the top five brands with the best overall predicted resale value are Volkswagen, BMW, Honda, Acura, and Porsche. The rest of the Top Ten are Lexus, Subaru, Toyota, Infiniti, and Audi. Of course, none of these are Big Three domestics. Many of those brands made up the 1o worst picks for resale value for 2008.

Why the big turn? Simple. Over production. The Big Three lean towards overproducing their vehicles. Then they slap on huge discounts and rebates. Those combined with the over abundant supply of Taurus, Impala, and Stratus fleet and rental cars. Helps to absolutely destroy the resale value of those cars.

Volkswagen is the surprise comeback kid on the survey list. They have steadily grown over the last 5 years. Thanks to big boosts in quality, fuel efficiency, European styling, and exceptional value.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Head em' up! Rawhide! 2009 Dodge Ram intro plans

Word on the street in Detroit are the plans for Dodge's introduction of the new 2009 Dodge Ram. Sources say that Dodge is working with the City of Detroit to stampede a herd of cattle down Jefferson Avenue, and herd them up with the new Ram.

Chrysler LLC is no stranger to having over the top introductions at the Detroit show each year. Their biggest to date was by driving the redesigned Jeep Wrangler through the plate glass windows of Cobo Hall, ala The Blues Brothers. They also pulled a similar stunt in 1992 with the Grand Cherokee. Though they drove up the steps of Cobo Hall and then trough the window from the outside.

With Chrysler under new managment, this years Detroit show will be all the more important to impress the worlds automotive press.

Along with the Dodge Caravan, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300, the Ram is a cornerstone in the automaker's lineup of vehicles.

Chrysler and the City of Detroit are both keeping tight liped about this one, with good reason too. This could go down as the most incredible new vehicle introduction in history... at least until 2009.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Spy Shots: 2009 Ford F150

Here's some new spy shots of the 2009 Ford F150. Nothing yet from Ford on what the specs will be but this is going to be what the truck will look like due to its last of masking. KGP photography recently spotted this F150 out in the desert. More than likely the truck was out there from some brochure photography.

The styling is very crisp with it's new bolder grille, following the same lines of the F250s. New doors, mirrors, head and tail lights. Looks very very good. Surely the new truck will make its official debut at the Detroit Show in January. So
we should have more information then.

Source: KGP Photography, autoblog.com

2008 Barrett Jackson Shelby GT Mustang. A special edition of a sepecial edition

Amen to Ford and Shelby for offering the Shelby GT. It brought the Shelby name and performance at a price that we can afford. Though it's still not the same as the Shelby GT 500.

When the GT500 went in to production the 1st one for sale was sold at the Barrett Jackson Auction for some crazy money. And the car wasn't even built yet. Since then we have seen many first run special cars go across the blocks at B-J each year.

Thus year though we will see a different kind of Barret Jackson special car. One that you can actually buy. Well 100 people can actually buy as there will only be 100 made. If you live in Arizona or Las Vegas, Nevada. You can go down to your local Ford dealer and pick up one of the 2008 Barrett Jackson Edition Shelby GT Mustang. Offered in both coupe and convertible, each will come only in black with "Barrett Jackson Red" stripes. And special B-J signature door sill plates. Oh, and an autographed photo of Carroll Shelby, Craig Jackson, Amy Boylan and Steve Davis.

The rest of the package is made up of black 18 inch wheels, a Ford Racing tuned 319 horsepower V8, flow through exhaust with x pipe crossover, 5 speed manual trans with a Hurst short throw shifter, front strut tower brace, and Ford Racing Handling Package. That adds special dampers, larger sway bars, and a 3.55:1 ratio rear axle.

Not a bad package for only $39,000. Though I'm sure dealers will mark them up since there's only 100 to go around. Though I highly doubt that the dealers are going to match or exceede the $250 per car donation(built in) that will go to the Carroll Shelby Children Foundation. So buying one is for a good cause. Now to get my tickets to Arizona.......

http://www.shelbychildrensfoundation.org/

Source: Ford, Chelby, Barrett Jackson.

PRESS RELEASE:
Exclusive 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT Unveiled in Arizona

  • 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT Production is Scheduled for 100 Total Units

  • Black Exterior with "Barrett-Jackson" Red Stripes and Other Touches Included

  • Cars Will Be Sold Through Arizona Ford Dealers

  • A Portion of Proceeds from Sales to Benefit the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --(Business Wire)-- Nov. 21, 2007 Three American automotive icons, Ford Motor Company, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and Shelby Automobiles, have collaborated to create collector car history with a limited edition 2008 Mustang Shelby GT. The companies today unveiled the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT based on the Ford Mustang at the Arizona International Auto Show.


With an MSRP beginning at US$38,980.00, a total of 100 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GTs, in both coupe and convertible body styles, will be sold through Arizona Region Ford dealers beginning today. The purchase price of each car will include a $250 donation to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation.


"The Arizona and Las Vegas Ford dealers have been strong supporters of mine over the years, which is why Shelby Automobiles joined with Barrett-Jackson and Ford Motor Company to create a limited edition car just for their customers," said Carroll Shelby, CEO of Shelby Automobiles. "And I'm pleased that a portion of the sales will benefit an endowment we're building at the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation. This is a rare chance for enthusiasts to enjoy a very special car and support a great cause."

Ford is a strong supporter of Barrett-Jackson and has sponsored its Family Value Day that kicks off the automotive lifestyle week in Scottsdale. Family Value Day was designed to attract a new generation of car enthusiasts by offering discounted tickets for adults and admitting children under the age of 12 for free.

"Barrett-Jackson's unrivaled lifestyle events celebrate America's love of the automobile," said Ford Motor Company Phoenix Regional Sales Manager, Tim Stoehr. "Their passion for the automobile has resulted in a unique venue to share our vehicles with the public. This limited edition car symbolizes our high octane relationship and gives a few lucky people the chance to own a piece of the Barrett-Jackson experience."

Over the past 37 years, Barrett-Jackson has evolved from an auction primarily attended by dedicated collectors and dealers into a retail automotive lifestyle event that is broadcast live worldwide. Shelby Cobras, GT350s and GT500s have been among the most popular cars to cross the auction block.

"We have a long tradition of selling the best Shelbys in the world because they are among the most desirable cars ever built," said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. "Over the past several years, we've worked with Ford Motor Company to raise almost a million and a half dollars for Carroll's Foundation by offering new Shelby cars for sale. It was natural to celebrate our connection to these cars with a very limited edition Shelby."

From the black 18-inch wheels to the Shelby Cobra roadster hood scoop, the car is mean. The engine is upgraded with a Ford Racing package to pump out 319 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque through a high-flow exhaust system with X-pipe crossover. The Shelby GT comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission featuring a Hurst short-throw shifter; a five-speed automatic transmission is optional. The package includes a Ford Racing Handling Pack with special-tuned dampers, unique sway bars and a 3.55:1 ratio rear axle assembly. Overall ride height was dropped and a front strut-tower brace added.

"The Shelby GT was designed to deliver an exhilarating driving experience," said Amy Boylan, President of Shelby Automobiles. "In addition to the 'go faster goodies,' each will receive special badges and equipment, as well as a photo of one of these cars signed by Carroll."

Unique features of the Barrett-Jackson edition will include:

-- Black exterior with "Barrett-Jackson Red" LeMans Hood and Side Stripes

-- Barrett Jackson Edition Door Sill Plates



-- Black interior with the Shelby GT serial number plate



-- Special Gas Cap Insert



-- Autographed photo of Carroll Shelby, Craig Jackson, Amy Boylan and Steve Davis

"As someone who has been personally involved with Shelby cars for the past three decades, I'm very proud to be part of this limited edition car," noted Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson. "Rarity and documentation are two of the keys to collectability, which is why only 100 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GTs are scheduled to be built. Each car will come with complete documentation and be included in the factory authorized registry."

The Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT will be displayed at the Arizona International Auto Show from November 22-25.

Daytona 500 50th Aniversary: Corvette announced as pace car

Come February 08. The Daytona 500 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Over the year last 50 years we have seen many different cars from the big 3 be chosen to be the pace car. The Chevrolet Corvette has to have been chosen as the pace car more than any other car for this prestigious race. This year we will again see the Corvette pacing the Daytona 500.
The Central Florida International Auto Show, was official debut of the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Pace Car. It is the fifth consecutive year that Chevrolet has chosen the Corvette to pace the Daytona race. The 505-horsepower Z06’s special anniversary gold paint is accented by hues of gold, red, blue and white. The graphics scheme is accented with unique, gold iridescent-coated wheels. This is one of the best looking pace cars yet!
From left, Daytona Speedway President Robin Braig, NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, Mayor Rich Crotty and Chevrolet's Jeff Chew.

Chevrolet will help celebrate the 50th running of the Daytona 500 by providing 50 race fans, selected from all 50 states, a weekend experience at the Daytona 500, on Feb. 17, 2008. Ten of those fans will also win a 2008 Chevy Impala. Now, through Dec. 3, fans can visit Chevy.com/Daytona500 to enter.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

The MTM Audi R888. The cool just got cooler

The Audi R8 is starting to really turn some heads in the tuner world. Here is the latest custom R8 from tuner MTM from Germany. Exterior changes are minimal aside from the rear air scoops and the matte black paint. Under the hood the addition of a super charger more than doubles the stock R8s 420Hp to a downright insane 888. So 888 horsepower with 610 lb ft of torque with Quattro all whee drive. 0-60 in 3 seconds flat, and a top speed of 223 mph. Where do we sign up?



Source: Autoblog.com

Chevrolet Volt in production by 2010!

Yup. We heard it right. Direct from Bob Lutz's mouth to our ears. At the Reuters Auto Summit in Detroit Mr. Lutz announced that a production version of the Volt concept car will be in production by the end of 2010.

Though it will not look anything like the concept car. The first test of the Volt will come by Easter of 2008. Which is a polite way of saying we have testing prototypes built and ready to go, or at least very close.

GM's hopes are to move above Toyota in the marketplace. Toyota is currently the industry leader in the "Green" market. GM currently has two suppliers for the lithium-ion batteries working overtime to further enhance the durability and performance of the batteries.


Sounds very exciting to see this much development. Especially when the concept was just unveiled at Detroit in January 07. This should definitely have Toyota standing on their toes.


Source: Reuters

2008 Cadillac CTS: Motor Trend's Car of The Year

Cadillac's all new CTS was up against some tough competition this year for Motor Trend's prestigeious Car of The Year award. But they preveiled with what is one of the best cars to roll out of the General in quite a while.




Stiff competition from the Chevy Malibu, Mercedes C-class, Audi TT, Honda Accord, Subaru WRX, and Mitsubishi Lancer, and many others.


Congrats to Cadillac.

Press Release:
DETROIT - The editors at Motor Trend, one of the world's premiere automotive authorities, announced today that they have chosen the Cadillac CTS as the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

"Cadillac is truly honored to receive one of the world's most coveted automotive awards," says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "This is a very meaningful reward for our team that created the all-new 2008 CTS, and a powerful statement to consumers everywhere about Cadillac's product renaissance."

The Motor Trend Car of the Year honor highlights the wide acclaim the 2008 CTS sport sedan has earned around the world and with consumers since its launch earlier this fall. Luxury cars buyers are responding similarly, with CTS U.S. sales jumping 75% in October.

The full report from Motor Trend appears in the January issue of the magazine (on newsstands in early-December) and online at http://www.motortrend.com/. Cadillac was the first automaker ever to win Motor Trend Car of the Year in the magazine's inaugural year of 1949, and again in 1952 and 1992.



Source: GM

Techart Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

The Porsche 997 911 Turbo Cabriolet has a lot going for it in stock form. 480 Horsepower, all wheel drive, the great looks, and the Porsche heritage. Techart has been know for their line of wheels, body kits, and performance upgrades for years. They take the best and make it better.

Just in time for the Essen Motor Show(European equalivent of SEMA) arrives Techarts version of the new 911 Turbo. Techart really outdid themselves with this one. 630 Horsepower with 604 lb ft of torque. This makes for a top speed of 214mph! What makes all this power? Techart started with adding larger turbos to the 3.6 liter boxer engine, a new exhaust system and manifolds, a new intake system, and of course a reprogramed computer. The enhanced chassis also allows for the car to be lowered an additional 25mm from stock. While still taking advantage of the Porsche's sport mode. Techart also enhanced the brakes with new calipers, rotors, and brake lines.

Two different aerodynamic packages are planned also. Aero Package I consists of a front spoiler lip, side sill, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. Aero Package II adds a different front spoiler, side sill, rear apron and rear spoiler. Headlight shades, mirror shades, roof spoiler, air outlet grid in the front apron. Also part of the package are 20 inch Techart Formula wheels. With your choice of either Continental or Michelin tires.

Pricing for the package is not available yet, though it should be a considerable amount over the stock 911 Turbo Cab's $136,000 price tag. Still a very exciting package.

Source: Techart

What to do with a DTS and an extra 572?

We were tipped off to this wild creation one of our readers. Tallant's Hot Rod Shop out of Kansas City Missouri are the mad mechanics behind this wild creation. They took your everyday run of the mill pearl white 2003 Cadillac DeVille DTS and swapped in a Chevrolet 572 big block crate motor. Now that may seem easier said than done. But after revamping the engine compartment and front suspension. Adding an over drive transmission, and a 9 inch Ford rear end complete with 4 link. It's quite possible. To look at the car, other than the custom made hood scoop on the hood. It looks like a stock Caddy. That is of course till you fire it up.
http://www.tallantsauto.com/amsrud03cadi.htm








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LA 2007: 2008 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Holy cow! We had a chance to spend some seat time in a regular C Class a few weeks back and were very impressed in the new Baby Benz. But the newest offering from the AMG headquarters is going to be out of this world for any car in its class. Los Angeles was the debut for the C63. Pricing or a release date were not made available at the unveiling.


From every angle the C63 is stunning. With its aggressive front fascia and power bulge hood to the rear air diffuser bumper and trunk spoiler. The car certainly demands presence on the road. But where the the power really lays it on the line is under the hood. The 6.3 liter V8 is the first engine to be developed entirely in house at AMG. Horsepower is set at an astounding 451Hp with 443 lb. ft. of torque. 0-60MPH is a respectable 4.3 seconds.

Also new is the 7 speed. Yes 7 speed automatic transmission. Manual shifting can be done via the shift lever or by Formula One style paddles on the steering wheel. When in manual mode, AMG programed the trans not to up shift or down shift automatically. All while performing 35% faster shifts.

The C63 is also the first AMG model to offer a 3 stage ESP program. ESP Off, ESP Sport, & ESP Off. Sport mode allows for more aggressive driving and higher drift angles. Excellent for race track use. The rest of the suspension has been given the AMG treatment as well. Stiffer shocks and springs are used in all four corners. A limited slip differential is used in the rear end. 18 inch wheels, and AMG designed composite disc brakes. 14.2 inches in the front, 13 in the rear. With 6 piston and 4 piston calipers round out the package.

The interior is dressed out in full napa leather. AMG designed a new steering wheel and instrument cluster specifically for the C63. It includes specially designed analog gauges with red needles and a lap timer.

The C63 is certainly going to give the BMW M3 and Audi RS4 a run for the money. And certainly has the looks and performance to back it up.





Source: Mercedes Benz

LA 2007: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

The WRX STi is an awesome car. Always has been . The brans new 2008 Impreza WRX STi is no exception.

The first thing you notice is that the new WRX is now a 5 door hatchback rather than a 4 door sedan as in the past. The entire car has been redesigned and engineered from the ground up. The top of the list is the new 305 horsepower 2.5 liter 4 cylinder boxer motor. Backed with 290 lb. ft. of torque.

The WRX STi of course features Subaru's famous symmetrical all wheel driver. But topped with the Driver Control Center Differential(DCCD) which is exclusive to this car. This offers three automatic performance modes and six manual differential locking settings, based off of driver response. Also new for 2008 is an entirely new double wishbone rear suspension.

Add in Brembo brakes, optional BBS wheels, standard 10 speaker stereo, ABS brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, standard side curtain air bags, satellite radio, and the totally unique WRX styling and you have quite a race inspired machine.
I'm not totally sold on the styling, though I wasn't on the previous 2 generation WRXs either. They grew on me, which I'm sure the new WRX will also.


Pricing is set at $34,995 MSRP, though a release date has not been mentioned.

PRESS RELEASE:
SUBARU LAUNCHES NEXT-GENERATION IMPREZA WRX STI
All-New Platform with Competition-Inspired 5-Door Body
• 305-HP Intercooled / Turbocharged Boxer Engine
• New Multi-Mode DCCD All-Wheel Drive System and VDC
• New Double-Wishbone Rear Suspension and 18-Inch Wheels

LOS ANGELES. – Subaru of America, Inc. debuts the all-new 2008 Impreza WRX STI today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The ultimate performance Subaru is powered by a 305-horsepower Boxer engine and features a new level of driver-selectable powertrain- and dynamic handling-control. The 2008 WRX STI is built exclusively as an aggressively styled wide-fender 5-door model with a design strongly influenced by the brand's competition heritage.

The 2008 WRX STI is the third-generation of the rally-bred supercar, which Subaru of America first launched to the U.S. market in 2004. Developed by Subaru Tecnica International, the high-performance and motorsports subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the WRX STI features an exclusive engine, drivetrain, suspension and interior.

The WRX STI's revised 2.5-liter intercooled turbocharged Boxer engine, now with Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS), produces 305 horsepower (SAE) at 6,000 rpm, a gain of 12 over the previous model. The 290 lb.-ft. torque peak is the same as before but arrives at 4,000 rpm, which is 400 rpm earlier, for better response. Significantly, the more powerful 2008 WRX STI achieves the very stringent Bin 5 Tier 2-Federal (EPA) and LEV2-California Tier 2/Bin 5 emissions certification.

The Driver Control Center Differential (DCCD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – which remains exclusive to the Impreza WRX STI – takes driver-controlled response to another level for 2008. The DCCD system now offers three selectable automatic performance modes in addition to the six manual differential-locking settings. For the first time, the DCCD AWD system integrates the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, also with three driver-selectable positions. The 2008 WRX STI offers five-spoke 18 x 8.5-inch wheels as standard. Also available are optional 18 x 8.5 in. BBS® forged aluminum-alloy wheels. All 18-in. wheels wear Dunlop SP600 245/40R18 tires.

New side-curtain airbags are standard, and the new Incline Start Assist feature can momentarily prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline. Even with the new, roomier 5-door body, special chassis reinforcements, new double-wishbone rear suspension and added safety features, the 2008 WRX STI (with the available BBS wheel package) weighs just 22 lbs. more than the 2007 WRX STI sedan. In addition, the 2008 WRX STI offers the added refinement instilled throughout the next-generation Impreza model line that was introduced for 2007.

The new suspension with special STI tuning along with the stiffer platform give the 2008 WRX STI the agile responses that have made this model a performance superstar. At the same time, the new WRX STI exhibits a more refined demeanor on any road. The Brembo Performance Brake System employs ventilated 4-wheel Super Sport anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The braking system is enhanced in the new 2008 WRX STI with slightly larger rotors.
The bulged fenders and rear quarter panels, along with the rear gate-mounted spoiler and aerodynamic ground effects, give the new WRX STI a direct link to Subaru competition cars. The hood scoop, brake-cooling air intakes and engine heat outlets are all functional. The standard high-intensity discharge (HID) low beams use manual height adjusters. Fog light insert covers add to the no-nonsense look, and fog lights are included with the BBS wheel option package.

Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system with cabin air filtration; a standard AM/FM premium stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and 10 speakers, plus a vehicle security system with engine immobilizer. The Radio Broadcast Data System can display a variety of information, including a song's title and artist. For the first time, the WRX STI is available with an optional navigation system, which integrates a vehicle information center. In addition to an input for MP3 players, the center console also includes video jacks that can accommodate portable gaming devices. The WRX STI comes pre-wired for XM® or SIRIUS® Satellite Radio.

Source: Subaru
Photos:autoblog.com

LA 2007: 2008 Mini Clubman. A bigger Cooper

We here at AAM fell in love the Mini Cooper when it was launched in 2000. With the face lift of the Mini this year, BMW announced a new Clubman wagon. We saw concepts of the new Mini wagon last year at Detroit and were very impressed.

The new Mini Clubman takes a page from Minis history. This is a modern rendition of the classic Morris Mini Traveler, Austin Mini Countryman, and the Mini Clubman Estate.

What makes the Clubman unique is its 5 door set up. While it may look like a two door wagon, there is a conventional drivers door and passenger door. With the addition of a 3rd door on the passenger side. Then of course rather than a tailgate, the rear is opened wide via two more doors. Overall the Clubman is only 9.45 inches longer than the standard Mini. With a wheelbase extended 3.15 inches longer. This allows for a great deal more rear seat legroom for the backseat.

Performance will be up to Minis well known standards. Powered by a 1.6 Liter 4 cylinder capable of 120 HP. A Clubman S will also be offered with a turbocharged 1.6 Liter with 175 HP.
The new Mini Clubman will go on sale starting in February with a MSRP of $20,600. And the Mini Cooper Clubman S starting at $24,100.


PRESS RELEASE:
NEW MINI CLUBMAN MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

New Member of MINI Family Offers Flexibility, Fun and PerformanceWoodcliff Lake, NJ - November 14, 2007... The 2008 MINI Clubman, an all-new addition to the MINI model line, has just made its North American debut today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, bowing to the audience most unconventionally, with its rear-end first! With a little more room in the back and an innovative door configuration, the eagerly anticipated MINI Clubman defies convention in its concept and style. This all new addition to the MINI family will go on sale in the US February 16th, 2008 as both a Cooper and a Cooper S model. The MINI Cooper Clubman will be offerd with a MSRP of $20,600, while the MINI Cooper S Clubman will come with a MSRP of $24,100. Both prices include a $650 Destination charge.

The MINI Clubman paves the way into a totally-new market segment, offering new opportunities for the MINI brand and showcasing, yet again, MINI's leadership in the premium small car segment. With its hallmark design elements, the MINI Clubman is clearly a MINI from every angle. Yet it is the MINI Clubman's unique rear-end design and new proportions that distinguish it from other members of the MINI family and make it unlike anything else on the road today.

Compelling Design and Five Doors in a Brand-New Configuration.
MINI is well known for its combination of successful attributes - a truly unique design; agile driving characteristics; premium quality; a high level of safety; a wide range of customization options, and outstanding efficiency. Now the all-new MINI Clubman offers another compelling attribute - an additional 9.45 inches in body length and wheelbase extended by 3.15 inches that helps create more space in the rear legroom area. What makes the MINI Clubman truly unique is its innovative five door configuration with the conventional driver's and front passenger's door supplemented by an additional rear-hinged door on the right-hand side of the car and the two split-rear doors in the back.

The MINI Clubman extends an open welcome to rear-seat passengers with the "Clubdoor", a rather ingenious door configuration on the right side of the vehicle. The Clubdoor swings open in the opposing direction relative to the main passenger door to dramatically increase the access to the rear seating area. Behind the front seats, the new MINI Clubman offers remarkable rear seating comfort and flexible use of space. Rear seat passengers now enjoy 3.15 inches more legroom compared to the MINI hardtop. Without an exterior handle, the Clubdoor is integrated unobtrusively into the body design of the MINI Clubman and for safety, can only be opened with the adjoining front door open. The MINI Clubman comes to the US in a four passenger configuration.

The split-rear doors at the back of the MINI Clubman are another unique design element of the MINI Clubman and open up to offer easy and convenient access for larger parcels and equipment such as sports gear. In addition to increased functionality, the split-rear doors represent a modern interpretation of an authentic detail seen on MINI's classic forerunners. The rear doors are further highlighted with the C-pillars painted in a contrasting silver or black finish. Inside, the generous luggage compartment may be further extended with a flexible rear seat configuration, offering very easy and convenient loading options thanks to the two rear doors.
The MINI Clubman is the modern successor to the legendary classics Morris Mini Traveller, Austin Mini Countryman, and Mini Clubman Estate. However, the MINI Clubman retains all the functionality, handling and performance characteristics that one expects in a thoroughly modern MINI.

Enhanced Function With MINI Performance and Driving Characteristics.
MINI has developed the new MINI Clubman specifically for the active and passionate individualist wishing to consciously stand out. The MINI Clubman retains its sporting character, while offering new and flexible options in interior use and practical value. Despite its slightly longer proportions the MINI Clubman retains MINI's typical "wheels at the four corners" stance and the car's driving characteristics still offer the legendary go-kart feeling unique to MINI.

The MINI Clubman will be available in the U.S. with two different engines:
* Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct gasoline injection and maximum output of 175 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm, the MINI Cooper S Clubman offers the highest level of performance.

* The MINI Cooper Clubman, benefiting from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder developing 120 hp at 6,600 rpm and featuring fully variable valve management, offers impressive performance and economy.

More Than 40 Color Combinations for the Individualist
Motoring in a MINI is more than just getting from A to B - it is an expression of ones' lifestyle - a genuine attitude towards life. In particular, it is the focus on the enjoyment and experience of driving combined with an appreciation of powerful, trendsetting design. The MINI Clubman offers the enthusiast even greater options in personalizing his or her style, with more than 40 combinations of the exterior paintwork alone. Add to that the full compliment of options and features and the possible combinations a MINI Clubman can be configured becomes almost limitless.

Source: MINI

LA 2007: 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5

Chevy hit a gold mine with the Aveo in 2003. And who can forget their great advertising. Sure it was a rebadged Daewoo. But they were able to pull it off. Chevrolet has unveiled the new 2009 Aveo5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. And they have hit the nail on the head again.

The new Aveo5 will be available in two trim levels LT and LS. Power comes from a 107 HP 1.6 liter Ecotec 4 cylinder. Standard features come by way of dual front and side air bags, 60/40 split rear seat, body color accents, OnStar, keyless entry, cruise control, and air conditioning. Heated mirrors, XM satellite radio, ABS, and a sunroof round out the optional extras. Though these are standard on the LS model.


Styling is fresh and crisp. And truly marks this as a world car for General Motors. But the big news is that the Aveo5 may become the lowest price automobile in the United States. Pricing has not been announced. Though it should come closer to the release date in mid 2008.


Souce: GM

LA 2007: Pricing for 2009 Jaguar XF announced

Jaguar has finally announced pricing on the all new 2009 XF, which is the replacement for the X Type.

MSRP will start at $49,975. The new XF will offer 2 V8 engine choices. A naturally aspirated 4.2 V8 and a supercharged 4.2 V8. The later will have an MSRP of $62,975.
The styling is a drastic move for Jaguar. Following the lines of the XK coupe and roadster, yet has a look all its own.
Look for the 2009 XK in Jaguar showrooms starting in March 2008.

PRESS RELEASE:
JAGUAR NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCES U.S. PRICING FOR THE NEW 2009 XF SEDAN
LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 14, 2007 – Jaguar North America announced today at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show the U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for their newest model, the 2009 Jaguar XF.

"This is the New Jaguar" says Marti Eulberg, executive vice president Sales and Marketing, Jaguar North America, "The well-equipped 2009 XF sedan will go on sale March 1, 2008 at an MSRP under $50,000 with a standard V8 engine."

The XF will launch with the starting MSRP price of $49,975 (USD)
"The 2009 XF showcases Jaguar's leadership in automotive design, with stunning craftsmanship, quality and dynamic refinement, while offering exceptional standard equipment and exciting advanced technology," adds Eulberg. "This groundbreaking sedan is proof that Jaguar is moving boldly into the future with seductively-designed cars that are head-turning and of the highest quality."
The introduction of the XF signals a dramatic new design and engineering direction for Jaguar. Challenging convention and setting its own rules, the new Jaguar XF fuses the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a modern luxury sedan.
The 2009 XF will be priced starting at $49,975 MSRP for the V8 Luxury model. The V8 Premium Luxury XF will have a base MSRP of $55,975. A Supercharged XF with its 420 horsepower engine will retail for $62,975 MSRP. All prices include a $775 destination and delivery charge. Tax, title, and registration fees not included.

NEW JAGUAR XF KEY POINTS –
  • Three trim levels will be offered in the U.S. market – Luxury, Premium Luxury and the 420hp Supercharged model.

  • The XF is a four door Jaguar that combines the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury sedan.

  • Class-leading torsional stiffness delivers refinement and dynamic performance – underpinning the driver-focused yet remarkably comfortable driving experience.
  • The XF will be available at launch in the U.S. with two different engines – 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 and 4.2-liter supercharged V8 – all featuring Jaguar's proven six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddles as standard in the XK sports car.
  • With its dramatic styling, powerful yet beautiful lines and a distinctive face, the XF is the first sedan to exemplify Jaguar's new design language.

  • Using only the finest materials, which are applied in a very contemporary way, the XF's interior is crafted to create a truly warm and bespoke environment.

  • Challenging convention, the XF offers sophisticated instrumentation and intuitive technologies. Upon entry, the start button pulses, like a heartbeat. Start the engine and the JaguarDrive SelectorTM rises into the palm of the hand, while rotating vents turn from their flush, 'parked' position to their functional open position.

  • The coupe-like lines of the XF (which are similar to the XK's) belie the amount of space inside: there is room for five adults in comfort, generous interior stowage and a trunk capacity of 17.7 cu. ft., plus the opportunity to fold down the rear seats and add a further 14.8 cu. ft.

  • Key driver aids on the XF include Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control and Engine Drag Torque Control. And, for the first time in a Jaguar, Understeer Control Logic which decelerates the car and helps to restore grip to the front wheels when required.

  • Jaguar-exclusive Bowers & Wilkins 440-watt Surround Sound System is available on all three trim levels.

  • The first cars will be delivered to U.S. customers in March 2008.

Source: Jaguar

LA 2007: Hyundai Concept Genesis Coupe

I had never been a big fan of Hyundais, but this concept coupe is one sweet looking coupe. Hyundai announced today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show that the Genesis Coupe marks the plans for a new rear wheel drive coupe in the lineup.

The styling is very emotional, and looks as though it could be a car from Europe rather than Korea.

Plans so far for the coupe include being powered by a 3.8 liter V6 that will produce 300+ HP, backed by a 6 speed manual transmission. And lastly Brembo brakes. Sounds like a good start.
Let's hope this car doesn't change much in production form.
Press Release:
Hyundai unveils rear-wheel Drive Concept Genesis Coupe
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2007 - Hyundai unveiled its highly anticipated Concept Genesis Coupe during a press conference at the Los Angeles International Auto Show today. The concept car heralds the introduction of an all-new, rear-wheel drive 2 + 2 sports coupe scheduled to join the Hyundai lineup in the spring of 2009. Following the introduction earlier this year of the Concept Genesis sedan, Concept Genesis Coupe signals Hyundai's second step in broadening its appeal to driving enthusiasts.

The Sonic Orange concept is complemented by a Ballistic Black carbon fiber hood, roof and ground effects for reduced weight. Strong hints of the production version are highlighted in its "Z" bodylines and powerful curves. When the production sports coupe arrives, it likely will be the most affordable 300+ horsepower car on the market, and the most dynamic performance car yet from Hyundai.
Concept Genesis Coupe"Concept Genesis Coupe is the most thrilling, most emotional Hyundai yet," said John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. "When it hits the market in early 2009, we aim to deliver a driving experience that challenges cars like Infiniti G37, at prices more like Mitsubishi Eclipse."

DESIGN PROCESS
"The mission for Concept Genesis Coupe was to create a pure performance car with a design that would capture the imagination of hardcore automotive enthusiasts," said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. "With its aggressive look from just about any angle, I think we have been able to do that."

Designers used the Day Light Opening (DLO -- a designer's term for the side glass) from the HCD9 Talus Concept on the Concept Genesis Coupe.
The HCD8 sport tourer concept's sensual body forms influenced the overall design direction of Concept Genesis Coupe. The powerful curves, surface detail and "Z" bodyside lines come straight from the same underlying inspiration that guided two earlier, well-received concepts: the HCD9 Talus and the HCD8 sports tourer. The undulating beltline borrowed from the Talus adds intrigue while enhancing outward visibility for both the driver and rear passengers. The HCD8 sports tourer's sensual body forms influenced the overall design theme while also providing direction for the concept's assertive headlight and taillight designs.

The look of Concept Genesis Coupe was in part inspired by LeMan's race cars, drifters and by Jada Toys Dub City™ die cast vehicles. The front and rear stance of the Concept Genesis Coupe can be described as sinister. "Beauty and danger co-exist in the design of the Concept Genesis Coupe," said Eric Stoddard, senior creative designer. "When viewed from a distance, the car is beautiful to look at. But up close it can appear a bit menacing and even a little intimidating."

The concept's rocker panels are drawn close to the ground making the bodysides extra thick and the daylight opening extremely thin, allowing the wheels to be slammed up into bulging fenders. To complete the aggressive sports car look, the depth between the fenders and the greenhouse has been maximized.

Three large heat extractors sculpted into the hood are designed to cool just about any powerful engine. When the concept becomes reality, three large openings in the front fascia will allow for better engine breathing. The dual exhaust tips integrated into the rear fascia repeat the design theme of the front cooling ducts and are surrounded by a large carbon fiber air diffuser. An arching roofline and tapering greenhouse highlight the exterior profile and emphasize the car's broad shoulders and wide stance. Concept Genesis Coupe rides on 20-inch polished aluminum deep-dish wheels with Hankook 255/35 ZR front tires and 275/35 ZR rear tires.

CONCEPT GENESIS COUPE SPECIFICATIONS
• Configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe
• Wheelbase: 2,820 mm / 111 inches
• Overall length: 4,666 mm / 183.7 inches
• Overall width: 1,902 mm / 74.9 inches
• Overall height: 1,386 mm / 54.5 inches
• Wheels: 20-inch, five-spoke
• Tires: Hankook 255/35 ZR front and 275/35 ZR rear

PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION CAR DETAILS
• Engine type: V6
• Estimated horsepower: more than 300 horsepower
• Estimated torque: more than 250 lb. ft.
• Displacement: 3.8 liters
• Block material: high pressure die cast aluminum
• Cylinder head material: aluminum
• Valvetrain: Dual Over Head Cam (DOHC)
• Valve timing: continuous variable valve timing• Estimated 0-60 mph: under 6 seconds
• Transmission type: 6-speed manual
• Front brakes: Brembo, 340 mm disc, twin-piston calipers
• Rear brakes: Brembo, 330 mm disc, twin-piston calipers
• Limited slip differential
Source: Hyundai, jalopnik.com, autoblog.com

Volkswagen builds 15 millionth Passat

Emden, GERMANY – Today, the 15 millionth Passat produced throughout the world rolled off the assembly line at Volkswagen’s Emden plant. Official DKMS ambassador Sybille Beckenbauer accepted the vehicle as a donation from Prof. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Pavel Vacek, plant manager at Emden and Peter Jacobs, Chairman of the Works Council of Emden plant.

The anniversary vehicle is a Passat Variant BlueMotion 1.9 TDI in arctic blue silver metallic with 77 kW (105 HP). The Passat is one of the most successful Volkswagen models throughout the world and also one of the most popular midsized models in Germany.

“Fifteen million Passats produced in 34 years are a fantastic achievement which everyone at the Emden plant can take pride in together with all the other members of the Passat family at plants throughout the world,” Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann stressed.

Plant manager Pavel Vacek added: “This round figure has a very special significance for our plant. Of the 15 million Passats produced in total, 5.9 million were made in Emden. This indicates the tremendous importance of the model as a symbol for our plant and our region."

Works Council Chairman Peter Jacobs commented: “13 plants around the globe have been involved in the Passat success story since 1973 and the model has provided work, security and income for people throughout the world. The Passat has become a flagship of the Volkswagen brand. At Emden, we are proud of the Passat and we share this success with our colleagues at plants around the world.

On the presentation of the vehicle in Emden, Sybille Beckenbauer said: “I am very pleased that Volkswagen has actively supported the charitable work of the German Bone Marrow Donor Center (DKMS) for many years. By presenting the 15 millionth Passat, Volkswagen has provided the DKMS with even more mobility, flexibility and safety. This is important for the large number of tissue typing campaigns organized by the Center for leukemia sufferers throughout Germany. Potential stem cell donors are included in the world’s largest donor database.”

The popularity of the Passat with Volkswagen customers throughout the world is underlined by the accolades received by the leading mid-sized model from specialists, journalists and customers over the past few months. In particular, the Passat BlueMotion has been awarded the coveted “Auto Environment Certificate” by the ├ľKO-TREND institute; the Passat is therefore one of the most environmentally compatible automobiles of 2007.

LA 2007: 2009 Nissan GT-R. The wait is over

Here in the US we have not been privileged to buy a Nissan Skyline GT-R, that is of course you imported one from Japan and went through the lengthy process to legalise the car. Now we finally get our chance to buy a legit US Spec GT-R. Today Nissan unveiled the all new 2009 GT-R at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. This of course being the official US Spec car, unlike the worldwide debut at the Tokyo Auto Show last month.

The new GT-R is quite an impressive piece of machinery. Utilizing the worlds first ATTESA E-TS all wheel drive system with an independent rear axle. This layout allows for the transmission, transfercase, and final drive at the rear of the car for greater weight distribution.

Top that with an all hand built 3.8 liter twin turbo V6 capable of 480 HP with 430 ft. lbs of torque, and you have quite the tarmac eater on your hands.

Styling is bold, daring, and dare I say....Sexy. This Nissan has a look all its own. And while it looks great in stock form it will be interesting to see what the aftermarket is able to come up with.
A new feature to the GT-R is a anti-chip dual layer clearcoat paint system. There is also a seven coat silver paint available that is baked 5 times and polished by hand. Sounds good to me. Where can I get my VW painted like that?

Pricing is set at $69,850. So it's up there in price, and I'm sure the car is well worth the wait. Cars should start showing up at dealerships starting in June of 08. Finally no more skyline ownership through video games.








PRESS RELEASE:
All New 2009 Nissan GT-R Comes To North America – Multi-Dimensional Supercar Available in June 2008

The all-new 2009 Nissan GT-R, the fifth-generation of the legendary Nissan supercar, makes its North American debut at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, following its worldwide debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2007. No longer the unobtainable object of desire on a video game or in the movies, the GT-R will be available on sale for the first time in North American in June 2008.

GT-R is a multi-dimensional performance machine that lives up to the concept of "the ultimate supercar that can be driven by anyone, anytime, anywhere" and achieved a lap time of 7:38 around the famed N├╝rburgring Nordschleife, one of the fastest times achieved by a production-spec vehicle to date.

Packaging and Driveline Suited for a Supercar
The new Nissan GT-R is built on an exclusive all-new Premium Midship platform. This new platform enables the use of a world's first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimizes weight distribution and handling capability. This layout places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, without the use of traditional torque tubes, allowing the suspension to operate independently and optimizing tire grip at each corner.

Under the hood, the Nissan GT-R features an all-new hand-built VR series 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 producing 480 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and 430 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 to 5,200 rpm, while meeting ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standards.

The all-new VR38 engine, named VR38DETT, features innovative plasma-sprayed bores replacing cast iron liners for reduced friction, lighter weight, enhanced cooling, power output and fuel efficiency; a symmetrical independent intake and exhaust manifold system featuring twin high-performance IHI turbochargers; a secondary air management system for improved cold-start emissions performance; a thermostatically controlled oil-cooling system; an oil scavenger pump to maintain oil flowing to the turbochargers; and a lateral wet and dry sump oiling system. All GT-R engines are hand-built in a clean room environment at the Nissan Yokohama engine plant.

The VR38DETT is backed by an all-new, paddle-shifted GR6 sequential 6-speed dual clutch rear transaxle, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for immediate shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on uphill inclines.

Contributing to overall vehicle balance and low center of gravity, the unique offset input and reaction shaft design of the GR6 rear transaxle enables a shorter design profile versus a typical manual transmission, moving the concentration of powertrain weight lower in the vehicle.

Putting the power to the ground is an electronically-controlled ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system specifically developed for GT-R. The rear drive-biased system can vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate. Of note is a special GT-R-specific yaw-rate feedback control, which measures the differences between the target yaw rate calculated from steering angle and actual yaw rate detected by the yaw-rate sensor and G sensor to adjust torque bias.

Handling duties are managed by a sophisticated 4-wheel independent suspension system mounted to high-precision six-point front and rear subframes.

A special Bilstein DampTronic driver adjustable shock absorber system utilizes multiple vehicle information systems to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations. The DampTronic system features three driver selectable settings - Normal; Comfort, for maximum suspension compliance; or "R," for ultimate handling. The same three-stage adjustability is available for the VDC system and transmission shift operation, which also includes a Snow mode.

Stopping power is provided by Brembo mono block six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with large 15-inch Brembo full-floating cross-drilled two-piece rotors and low-steel high-stiffness brake pads which minimize fade and provide intense stopping performance. The calipers utilize race car-style radial mounting to minimize caliper flex during extreme braking.

GT-R-specific lightweight forged 20-inch wheels, with special knurling to assist with securing the tires during hard acceleration or braking, are shod with nitrogen-filled Bridgestone high-performance summer run-flat tires specifically designed for the GT-R, sized 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear. High-performance Dunlop all-season tires are also available.



GT-R's Signature Functional Design – High Performance Aerodynamics and Style
The Nissan GT-R's styling follows the "function over form" theory. Every styling aspect, from the overall design to the smallest details, is created to maximize the vehicle's driving experience – as well as suggest GT-R's "supercar" level of performance. Utilizing advanced aerodynamics, GT-R's aggressive styling evokes the lines of a well-trained athlete, combining strong character lines with smooth and solid areas.

The all-new GT-R's hybrid body construction is created with a combination of steel, carbon fiber and die-cast aluminum, providing a unique combination of stiffness, precision and lightness. The body features a low coefficient of drag of 0.27 while achieving high front and rear downforce, providing stability and handling performance in a wide range of driving conditions.

GT-R's front fenders express power and stability, while the "aero-blades" on the fenders' leading edges provide optimum airflow around the tires and along the body. The vents in the fenders' trailing edges assists in providing front downforce and optimizing side air flow. The aggressive front end, with a large hood budge and single central air intake, provides a sophisticated style as well as undisturbed air flow for power and cooling. New "super wide beam" headlights feature three additional sub-reflectors (compared to conventional lights) to give a wide illumination spread.

The Nissan GT-R's four-passenger cabin features a sloping "aero blade canopy" roofline and curved C-pillar "sword edge," which expresses the distinctive GT-R identity, as well as facilitating air flow around the rear of the vehicle. The signature rear view of the GT-R is provided by its hallmark four-ring taillights, while air flow above and below the vehicle is managed by the functional rear carbon fiber underbody diffuser, rear spoiler and large, integrated quad exhaust tips.

GT-R's advanced technology is present even in the vehicle's paint, which utilizes a durable anti-chip paint and "double clear coat" process. A special seven-coat silver paint color is available, which is baked five times and is also hand-polished by craftsman.

An Interior Suitable for Daily Driving or Supercar Duties
Key to the Nissan GT-R's usability as a both daily driver and a high-performance machine is its interior, which is designed to balance functionality and comfort. It provides comfortable four-passenger seating and trunk capacity of two golf bags or suitcases.

Sculpted performance bucket seats give the driver and passenger a comfortable driving experience, and soft pads are utilized on the dash in front of the passenger and both doors to give an extra level of comfort. The rear transaxle layout of GT-R, with a flat floor and narrow center tunnel, allows GT-R to have an optimal driving position.

A cockpit-style instrument panel surrounds the driver, with all meters and multi-function meter at a uniform height to minimize the driver's head movement. A large center-mounted tachometer, with gear display on its upper right, as well as the easy-to-read graphics of the display, gives the driver instant detailed information, essential for the performance nature of the GT-R.

Functional style is also evident in GT-R's interior – each meter features a dial plate design that evokes the idea of engaged gears, as well as a three-dimensional metal-like ring, suggesting the multi-dimensional performance of GT-R. A large, metallic-framed center console features an ergonomically designed shift lever and a red "engine start" button.

The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a video game-inspired multi-function display. Eleven pages of information are available on this system, including mechanical and driving information, acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback. Additional on-screen information includes a Navigation system, enhanced entertainment system with a Music Box Hard Drive and a Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.

An available specially-designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system features two forward-facing woofers in the rear center armrest area. Rigid aluminum die cast panel-mounting of all speakers allowed Bose engineers to perfect the acoustical performance of the GT-R sound system.

High-Performance Safety Technologies
The Nissan GT-R offers a long list of safety features, including, for enhanced visibility inside and out of the vehicle, high-mounted LED stoplights, bright LED rear combination taillights, "super wide beam" headlights, heated door mirrors and flat-blade windshield wipers.

Standard safety equipment includes a Nissan Advanced Air Bag System for driver and front passenger, front seat belts with pretensioner and load limiters and tension reducers, and three-point ELR/ALR rear seat belts. Driver and front passenger SRS Side Air Bag System and SRS Curtain Air Bag System are also available.

Source: Nissan
Photos: Autoblog.com
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