Long term update: 2008 Honda Civic LX

Finally time for a 6 month update on our 08 Honda Civic. We've wrangled up a nice 4,000 miles on the Civic in the last 6 months. Here's what we have to report.
With the biggest thing on every one's mind being gas mileage. We're reporting an average of 23-24 MPG with our LX tester. Honda gives a combine rating of 29 for the Civic broken down to 25 City/36 Highway.

Overall performance is adequate from the 1.8 liter 4 cylinder. Honda rates the engine at 140Hp, but it actually feels much much less. Especially on hills. This leaves you in some situations where you feel you can't get out of your own way. The 4 speed automatic trans leaves a lot more to be desired. Tha lack of a manual shift kick over disappointed us as this might have helped a little with the performance.
Ride is ok, a little on the harsh side but not bad. Handling is excellent. Our car was fitted with 16 inch 5 spoke alloys that really set off the refrigerator white paint. Disc brakes all around with ABS keep things under control. One complaint we have is the low ride height. The springs are set so soft that if we had our equipment in the trunk or more than one person in the car when pulling out of the garage, we were greeted with a loud bang and scraping noises from the car bottoming out. Our permanent fleet includes a modified 1999 VW New Beetle that is lowered with a sport suspension that doesn't even come close to doing this.

Moving inside, there is an interior that is very futuristic. It reminds me of some GM concept cars from the late 1980s-early 1990s. The leather interior is supple and comfortable with a nice driving position. The steering wheel is covered in perforated black leather and is more of a squared oval design rather than the typical round circle. It has a very nice feel to it and has the added bonus of thumb controls for the radio, cruise, and blue tooth set up. The instrument cluster is uniquely laid out with the odometer set right above the steering column and the speedo further up near the top of the dash.

It takes a little time to get used to this setup. The speedo does cause a glare at night that drove some of us crazy. To the point we would take another car from the test fleet at night. Round out the interior with MP3 player jacks, Sirius/XM satelite radio, in dash cd, Scan Disc slots, blue tooth, and touch screen navigation and it makes for a very nice in car entertainment package.

I'd be lying if I were to say that I was sad to see the Honda leave us. But it is a nice little car for what it is. Especially with the lightness it leaves on the wallet at the gas pump.

Out of 5 stars we give it 3 and a half.

Motorsports being shaken to the core. Not stirred

If there is not a further sign that our economy is in peril, then look no further than to the motor sports community. In the last couple weeks we have seen most major forms changed. We have Honda pulling out of Formula 1. Then Suzuki pulls their World Rally Championship program. Followed a few days later by Subaru.

Next Audi and Porsche suspend racing in the American LeMans Series, with a triple blow by the announcement canceling the 2009 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix after its short two year stint after nearly a decade off the circuit.

Nascar is pretty much in shambles because of the Detroit Big 3 cutting spending.

And now off road racing is feeling the effects. Land Rover is canceling the G4 Challenge.

While we do hate to see this happen. But given the current economic conditions it is understandable to see major changes like this. Especially since that is the reason given in each case. Hopefully 2009 will be prosperous for the economy and many of these series will resume to normal operating procedures.

Save General Motors!

I'm am sure by now, everyone has seen the failure of the Auto Industry (Not a Bailout) Loan. Like many of you. I myself work in the auto industry and am very scared about the goings on in both Washington and Detroit. Now is the time to put aside personal differences and bias to a particular manufacturer.

The U.S. Auto Industry is the backbone of America. The auto industry stepped up to the plate at the beginning of World War 2. They stepped up after 9/11. Killing the Auto Loan Bill in Washington is killing the American Spirit at its best. Both General Motors and Chrysler have begun to seek bankruptcy lawyers. Can you picture a world with GM? I can't.

Detroit lost their chance by a simple 8 votes. Now is the time to stand up an be heard. This is OUR time to make history. It is time for us as U.S. citizens to make a difference. http://www.savegm.org/ is a grassroots campaign started by a friend. All proceeds go directly to General Motors. It may not be much, but at times like this. Every little bit counts.

We have arrived at the end of the road. The U.S. Auto Industry Officially Dead

It's not often that you will get a rant out of me like this.

Thanks to our wonderfully stupid, thinking nothing but themselves politicians in Washington. And the lying folks over at the UAW. The United States Automobile Industry is now dead in the water.

8 Votes. 8 Votes. That's all they needed to get the 60 required for the government to get some much needed cash to the Big 3. 8 Votes.

52 ayes, 35 nays. We find it unbelieveable that there are that many uneducated and uninformed people in our government. "We don't want to have to take this money from our taxpayers" one Congressman said. Uhm, aren't the people who work for GM, Ford and Chrysler taxpayers? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the lineworkers and other folks working for the Big 3, would want to keep their jobs. Surely they wouldn't mind.

The Asian markets are already falling. In a few short hours Wallstreet and the European markets will open. And surely mass chaos will ensue.

We're absolutely at a loss for words with this one. This is it. Game over.

Breaking News: Acting and Racing Legend Paul Newman dead at 83

Few can claim the great success that Paul Newman was able to gain in 83 years. A 50 year marriage, a successful food line with all proceeds going to charity, acclaimed Oscar winning actor, philanthropist, and avid race car driver and enthusiast.

Paul Newman lived life to it's fullest. He retired from acting in 2006. And had quietly battled with cancer for the last few years.

Newman became an avid race enthusiast after staring in 1969's "Winning". Throughout the 1970s he raced at many races including a 2nd place finish at the 24 hours of LeMans. And became the oldest member of a winning team at age 70 at the 1995 24 hours of Daytona.


In 1983 he went on to partner with Carl Haas and Michael Lanigan to form Newman, Haas, Lanigan Racing. And competed in the Champ Car Series.


Last month Lime Rock Park was closed for a few hours so that Newman could take a few final laps in his GT1 Chevrolet Corvette race car.

Newman is survived by his wife of 50s years Joanne Woodward, two daughters, and eight grand children. His son Scott passed away in 1978.

Words fail to capture what Paul Newman was able to do. But his impact on the world will live on forever. God Speed Paul.

Racing legend Phil Hill 1927-2008

The racing world has just got a little bit sadder today. We have been informed that car racing legend Phil Hill has passed away at the age of 81 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Mr Hill was widely known for his victories over his 20 year racing career. Including the 3 wins at 24 Hours of LeMans, the Italian Grand Prix, and the Belgian Grand Prix. In 1961 he was honored with being the first American to win the Formula One World Drivers Championship. Many of his wins were with Ferrari.

Phil Hill retired from racing in 1967. And had the honor of being one of the few drivers that have won both their first and last races of their careers. After retirement he had a business restoring antique and classic cars. He has also worked as a comentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports and as a contributing editor for Road & Track magazine.

Hill's assistance was also sought by Caroll Shelby and the Ford Motor Company to help develop the Ford GT40 and Shelby Daytona Coupe.

Hill will be sadly missed. He was truly one of the greats in racing from the days when racing was racing. God Speed Phil Hill!

Finally! Top Gear launches official YouTube page.

There's no denying how popular Top Gear has become worldwide. Through it's monthly magazine and the hugely sucessful TV show. The BBC has a winner. Well now the BBC and YouTube have made an agreement to have exclusive Top Gear TV clips hosted on YouTube.com.

So now you don't have to worry about posting your favorite clip and having it removed. So sit back, relax, and watch The Stig, Clarkson, Hampster, and Captain Slow do what they do best.

Top Gear YouTube Channel.

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2008: Italian Car Fun!

It's not to often, unless you live in Los Angeles that you get to see Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfas, and Maseratis all mixed together out in the wild. For the 26th Annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, all of these marqes along with Fiat and some of the lesser known Italian brands had the spotlight as marque of the year. To see a Ferrari F40, 308 GT4 2+2, 308 GTS, 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Maserati Quattropotrtes, etc, is a sight to see. The marque of the year brought out over 100 of the finest Italian cars to the event. Enjoy the gallery of pictures.

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Gallery

GM to discontinue Hummer brand? And close more plants

Now surely there a vehicles much more fuel efficient than the Hummer H2 right? Of course. So many in fact that we haven't seen an H2 actually driving on the road in well over 3 weeks. I caught wind of this little quote in an article released by the Associated Press this morning. GM CEO Rick Wagoner has announced the closing of 4 more GM plants in the United States and Mexico.

This is in efforts to save GM an additional $1 billion a year by 2010. By 2010 GM is hoping to have cut costs by $15 billion a year. The plants affected are Oshawa, Ontario; Moraine, Ohio; Janesville, Wis.; and Toluca, Mexico. The closing of these plants eliminates 2500 jobs, but in an act of good faith. They can return later this year thanks to 19,000 buyouts and early retirments that will leave towards the end of 2008.

Now what caugt me, was the mention of GM discontinuing the Hummer brand. It's mentioned by GM, but is not quoted anywhere in the article by Rick Wagoner. Of course it's no surprise since gas is nearly $5 a gallon in parts of the country. And the shift to smaller, economical cars is permanent said Wagoner.

But what about Hummer? You'd figure if the CEO actually dropped this bomb in an interview with MSN that there would be a quote in there somewhere outlying the fate of Hummer. So who knows how much truth there is to the article other than the plant closings, confirmation of high gas prices, and yet another confirmation that we'll see the Chevy Volt in 2010. We'll keep following this one til we get some answers. In the meantime, here's the article. Read it and draw your on conclusions as to how AP missed this one.

Source: MSN


Northwood University unveils Sloan Family Building for Automotive Aftermarket Studies

Our alma mater of Northwood University in Midland Michigan has cut the ribbon on their newest learning facility on their campus. The Sloan Family Building for Automotive Aftermarket Studies. While attending NU from 2000-2004 there was a giant spike in growth in the Automotive Aftmarket program that Northwood offers. The new facility was completed in record time to finish out the 2007-2008 school year. The Sloan building marks the second Automotive specific building at Northwood. The first was the NADA(National Automobile Dealers Association) Education Center.

Northwod University was also home of the Automotive Hall of Fame prior to construction of their new building in Dearborn Michigan. The building now houses the DeVos Graduate School.

Northwood University is the only University in the United States that offers majors in both Automotive Marketing/Management and Automotive Aftermarket Management.

Source: Northwood University.

Press Release:

MIDLAND, Mich. - Northwood University held a dedication and unveiling ceremony of its new Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies on May 8, 2008 at 3:00 pm in Midland, Mich. The 25,500 square-foot state-of-the-art education center has been under construction since March 2007.


"The Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies has been named in honor of industry icon O. Temple Sloan, Jr., the founder of General Parts International, Inc. (GPI) and CARQUEST, his brother, C. Hamilton Sloan, an early partner in GPI, and their family members," said Northwood University President Keith Pretty. "The Sloan family and the employees of GPI and CARQUEST are responsible for just more than half of the $6 million needed to build this innovative facility which will house the Sloan Aftermarket Management Program, the University of the Aftermarket, and key university faculty."

Located near the NADA Education Center, the two-story Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies consists of a 3,600 square-foot atrium that serves as a focal point of the facility and was designed for large group gatherings. Four tiered classrooms with seating capacities of 60 students per classroom on both the lower and upper levels have also been created, as have three traditional classrooms that accommodate 40 students, each on both the lower and upper levels.

Located on the lower level is an alumni lounge that features a fireplace and a comfortable setting for small meetings and entertaining, as well as a conference room with seating for ten, six faculty offices, and a faculty reception area. A two-story graduate-school-style auditorium with seating for 150 and the latest technology is located on the lower level, with access from both levels.A more traditional student lounge is located on the second level.

Additionally, an executive boardroom complete with multi-media and seating for 20 will be located on the upper level, with a panoramic view of the surrounding campus area. Two executive offices and reception area complete the upper level.The striking design of the new building conveys the strength of the industry on the outside with unique dynamics in the interior. The building supports the growing automotive aftermarket program through an interactive education center, which can be linked to other interactive classrooms on Northwood’s Texas and Florida campuses.
Dr. Timothy G. Nash, vice president for graduate and specialty programs and dean, DeVos Graduate School of Management, noted, "These ‘smart classrooms’ will allow resident faculty, special instructors, and world-renowned guest speakers to teach students in the classrooms. In addition to housing the O. Temple Sloan, Jr. Aftermarket Management Program and the University of the Aftermarket, the facility will serve other allied academic and executive development activities on the Michigan campus. The Sloan Program in Automotive Aftermarket Management Studies will now have the exposure it deserves while attracting the best and brightest to the program and the industry."

In March 2006, Northwood University announced the naming of Northwood’s automotive aftermarket program in honor of O. Temple Sloan, Jr. This unique four-year undergraduate dual major enables students to enroll in core industry courses in aftermarket manufacturing, heavy-duty marketing, aftermarket retail/wholesale management, supply chain management, lean distribution, logistics, and current issues affecting the industry, as well as general education and strategic management courses. Students will also complete industry internships and create an operational business plan.

O. Temple Sloan III, president of GPI, stated, "The Sloan family and the Northwood family hold many core values in common. Our mutual belief in and respect for free enterprise and education is accented by a shared commitment to ethical management and people."

Dr. Nash went on to say, "Northwood University has established a rich reputation of educating future entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs for careers in organizational leadership. The close relationship with the Sloan family and General Parts International, Inc. adds an invaluable resource that will greatly benefit Northwood students for years to come."

Contributors to the building fund to date include: Activant Solutions; Affinia Group; Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance; Aisin World Corporation; AMS Automotive; Mary Anderson & Family; ArvinMeritor, Inc.; Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association; AutoZone; Babcox Publications; Jesse and Tina Berger; Berman Scholarship Foundation; BWP Distributors, Inc.; David and Mary Carraci; CARDONE; CARQUEST Teammates; Delphi Automotive Systems; David and Robin Dilley; East-Penn Manufacturing Company; Federal-Mogul Corporation; Greg and Kathryn Foote; Randall and Michelle Foote; Ronald Friedman; Dr. David & Claudia Fry; Gene and Diane Gardner; The Gates Rubber Company; General Parts International, Inc.; The Greensheet; Grote Industries, Inc.; George Hopper; Kevin & Diane Judge; Dale and Marilyn Larson; Scott Marquiss; N.A. Williams; Kevin and Diane McCormick; BD & JE McIntyre Foundation; C.S. and Marion McIntyre Foundation; Meineke Car Care Centers; Dr. Richard & Linda Morgan; Morse Automotive Group; Muffler Warehouse, Inc.; Dr. Timothy and Pamela Nash; Glenn Orr; Paul & Peggy Rowley and Family; RPM Group; SBA-TLC, Inc.; Dr. Mort and Mickie Schwartz; Dr. O. Temple, Jr. & Carol Sloan; C. Hamilton & Ann Sloan; Standard Motor Products; Dr. William & Linda Stavropoulos; United Components, Inc.; University of the Aftermarket Foundation; The Valvoline Company; John & Carol Washbish; and Gordon Whiting.

Northwood University’s Michigan campus is located at 4000 Whiting Drive in Midland. For additional information regarding the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies dedication ceremony and related activities, or to attend, please call 989.837.4758 and ask for Linda Mathieu.

ABOUT NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY’S O. TEMPLE SLOAN, JR. AFTERMARKET MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

The automotive aftermarket parts industry continues to need managerial personnel due to the high demand for automotive parts. The role of Northwood University is to develop the management skills of those individuals who want to take advantage of the opportunities available in the automotive aftermarket industry. It is important to note that Northwood University is the only university that offers a bachelor’s degree in aftermarket management.
ABOUT NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY

Northwood University is a private, nonprofit, accredited university specializing in managerial and entrepreneurial education offering four-year degrees in a variety of enterprise fields. The Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management’s Full-time, Evening, and Switzerland MBA programs make Northwood’s free market-based degree offerings in management and enterprise the most complete anywhere. The university emphasizes the importance of free enterprise and is dedicated to the preservation of the free market and the important relationship between business and the arts.Northwood operates a residential campus in Michigan, Florida and Texas; the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine; University College outreach centers and locations in eight states in the U.S. including a Distance Education online program; and several international study programs abroad.

ABOUT GENERAL PARTS INTERNATIONAL, INC.

General Parts International, Inc., founded in 1961 and headquartered in Raleigh, NC, is a distributor of replacement automotive parts for foreign and domestic car, truck, farm, and industrial vehicles.The largest member of the CARQUEST network, General Parts International, Inc. operates 40 distribution centers supplying 3,300 CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores of which over 1,525 are joint venture stores (with the store and sales management) and over 1,675 independently owned stores in the U.S. and Eastern Canada. CARQUEST’s primary customers are the professional service dealer, collision shops, fleets, and farms which represent 85 percent of the organization’s sales.

The company also operates WORLDPAC Corporation with 54 branches and two distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada, distributing import parts to specialty import repair shops.General Parts International, Inc. and WORLDPAC are both wholly owned subsidiaries of General Parts International Inc., an employee-owned company, with approximately over 16,700 employees in the U.S. and Canada.

Ford produces 9 millionth Mustang

It's hard to believe that since 1964 Ford has produced 9 million Mustangs. Having hung on long enough to become Ford's longest running car nameplate. The Mustang has always been popular, except maybe when the Mustang II came out in the 70s. But we'll fogive Ford for that mistake. A milestone like this makes you sit back and think about how the new CAFE standards will affect a car like the Mustang. We're still waiting for our 08 Bullitt.

Source: Ford Motor Company

PRESS RELEASE:

Ford Motor Company announced today it has built its 9 millionth Mustang. The GT Convertible Mustang is heading west to be delivered to a dealership in Iowa.

The Ford Mustang, approaching its 45th anniversary on April 17th, 2009, is one of the most widely recognized vehicles in the world. Today, one of every two sports cars sold in America is a Ford Mustang. The Mustang is also Ford Motor Company's longest-running nameplate. Mustang was introduced on April 17, 1964, at the New York World's Fair.

Mustang sales hit an astounding 419,000 in its first 12 months on the market, and topped the 1-million mark in the first two years, shattering the sales records of any single model in the history of the automobile. Mustang leads the nearly $1-billion aftermarket parts and accessories industry as the most personalized vehicle of all time, and has been recognized by SEMA as the most accessory-friendly new vehicle.

The 2009 Mustang offers a Glass Roof option and a new Warriors in Pink Package, available this summer.

Audi packs 1 2 punch at Long Beach

I an astounding 3rd race of the season, Audi has pulled of another win in the American LeMans Series at the Long Beach Grand Prix. This time a one, two win of Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner(Audi R10 TDI #2) and Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1). Not only that, it also marks two historical achievements for Audi. It marks the first victory for the R10 at Long Beach. And the second consecutive victory on a street circut.

Both Audi teams pulled off true underdog wins. Clinching first and second place in the final moments of the race. The win at Long Beach follows closely on the heels of the team's first win of the season at St. Petersburg, Florida a little more than a week ago.

Congratulations to both teams on their wins.

Source: Audi North America
Press Release:
20 April 20081-2 FINISH AT LONG BEACH IN 25TH RACE OF AUDI R10
-First victory of the Audi R10 TDI at Long Beach
-Second consecutive victory of Audi TDI power on street circuit
-Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner extend championship lead

Ingolstadt/Long Beach – In the 25th race of the Audi R10 TDI, the car scored a historic 1-2 victory at the Long Beach (California) round of the American Le Mans Series. After the success at St Petersburg a fortnight ago, the diesel-powered sportscar won a street race for the second time in a row. With Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner taking their personal as well as Audi’s second win in three races in 2008, the German works drivers extended their lead in the championship standings.

Having started from sixth position on the grid after a tight qualifying session, Lucas Luhr improved to fourth position at the wheel of the #2 Audi R10 TDI in the early laps of the 100-minute race. When the German driver was due to hand the car over to his team-mate, he held second position. Marco Werner returned on ninth overall position into the race after a full pit stop including the driver change.

Meanwhile, Frank Biela who had started from seventh place improved to sixth position that he held throughout his stint. In lap 43, he was due for his pit stop including a driver change to Emanuele Pirro. Only two lap later, however, debris on the track caused a full course yellow period of four laps. With more than half the race gone, Audi didn’t seem to be the likely winner.

However, both Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro made best use of the Audi TDI power and grabbed back position after position. In lap 57, Marco Werner passed Porsche driver Romain Dumas and took the lead.

After a third and final safety car phase between lap 58 to lap 60, Emanuele Pirro overtook Romain Dumas as well and completed the Audi 1-2 victory. In 25 races, the Audi R10 TDI has scored 15 victories so far, emphasizing its strenghts once again even on a type of circuit it has never been designed for.

Quotes after the race at Long Beach

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Audi Sport and the team of Audi Sport North America can be really proud of this success. The Audi R10 TDI has not been developed with street circuits in mind. So it is all the more a great performance that we succeeded in clinching two consecutive races on this type of track. There is no better finish we could have wished for on the 25th anniversary race of the R10 TDI.”

Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI #2): "It is a tremendous success for us, for Audi, for Team Champion and for Audi Sport North America. I think our boss Dr Ullrich is be delighted as well. The 1-2 finish was the icing on the cake. It was a thrilling race. Towards the end, Marco drove such a strong race that I could hardly watch at it – I had to turn away from the screens. This was fantastic. Marco and myself both felt a bit sick in the stomach so victory feels even sweeter.”

Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "It was a fantastic race for Audi. We have been very happy after last year’s result. This is what we wanted although we didn’t expect it. After qualifying, we knew that it would become very hard. But it was okay. Thanks to TDI power, we have set the pace on the straights and we managed to clinch position after position so we won the race. I want to thank everybody.”

Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1): "A superb result for Audi. After qualifying, you wouldn’t have necessarily expected a 1-2 finish. It was quite tight in qualifying so we have hoped for a good result, but I wouldn’t have put my money on it. Both cars worked well. In the first ten minutes, I was struggling a little bit with tyre temperatures and grip but then it worked out perfectly for the remainder of my one-hour stint. We worked our way through the field during several caution periods.”

Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): "I was never very good in history but I think it is exceptional that we scored two consecutive wins for Audi on two street circuits. Especially here, it was great as I like the circuit and I have enjoyed the race very much. We haven’t been very strong at the beginning but later on we got much stronger and drove a good race. I’m really pleased especially as we did a 1-2. Such a result in this series is really nice.”

Dave Maraj (Director Audi Sport Team North America): "It was a great team effort by everybody. The drivers did a great job. Also, we had a very good strategy. To win here was very difficult. But to come home 1-2 was really a surprise to me. Congratulations to the whole team.”
The results at Long Beach

1 Luhr/Werner (Audi R10 TDI), 71 laps in 1h 40m 37.791s
2 Biela/Pirro (Audi R10 TDI) + 1.964s
3 Brabham/Sharp/Johansson (Acura/Honda) +3.786s
4 Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) +4.822s
5 Maassen/Long (Porsche) +5.440s
6 Herta/Fittipaldi (Acura/Honda) +15.252s
7 Franchitti/Leitzinger (Porsche) +19.212s
8 Fernandez/Diaz (Acura/Honda) + 19.780s
9 Smith/Dyson (Porsche) + 20.517s10 Devlin/Bonilla (Lola) - 1 lap

Danica Patrick wins Indy Japan 300!!!!

Let's face it. If you're a car guy. You can't honsetly say that you don't find Danica Patrick stunningly beautiful. Heck if she wasn't already married, I'd have my proposal in already.

This is a histroic win for Patrick, as it is her first win while racing in the Indy Racing League. She pulled off an astoundign finish against Helio Castroneves, passing him with 2 laps left of the 200 lap race at the Twin Ring Motegi raceway in Japan.
Congratulations to Danica, and here's to many more 1st place wins!

Source: AP

Official pics of the new 2009 Audi Q5

There is not much more to really add to the new Q5 that the press release doesn't already give us. So this one will be short. Essentially what the Q5 will be is Audi's alternative to the VW Tiguan. But the styling is fresh for Audi, and it looks much better than the Q7, and will likely fit in the garage quite a bit better than the Q7 as well. We'll take ours with the S-line package.

Source: Audi

Press Release:
The new Audi Q5: Sporty and versatile
* The performance SUV from Audi raises the bar

* Innovative technologies for dynamic driving excitement

* Spacious interior with a myriad of intelligent functions

The new Audi Q5 combines the dynamism of a sports sedan with highly variable interior and versatile options for leisure-time and family use. Strong and efficient engines, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and agile running gear have been brought together to create a superior technology package for both on- and off-road driving. Highlights such as the innovative seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and the Audi drive select control system are proof of Audi's Vorsprung durch Technik. The sportiest SUV in its class is dynamic, multifunctional and comfortable.


The dimensions alone indicate that this is a SUV of all-new proportions. Measuring 4.63 meters (15.19 feet) long and 1.88 meters (6.17 feet) wide, the Audi Q5 is just 1.65 meters (5.41 feet) high - making it sportier than any of its competitors. What's more, this SUV sets another benchmark in its class with a low drag coefficient of 0.33.

With its sporty elegance and artfully sculpted forms, the design of the Q5 is perfectly in tune with the character of Audi as a brand. The front end is dominated by expressive headlights on both sides of the large single-frame grille; on request, they can be outfitted with bi-xenon lamps and LED daytime running lights. Viewed from the side, the large wheels and rising edges are especially prominent features.

Crowned by a railing, the elegant slope of the roof underscores the slim, coupe-like styling. At the rear, the wraparound tailgate - made from aluminum just like the hood - clearly identifies this SUV as a relative of its older brother, the Audi Q7. The taillights are available in eye-catching LED technology as well.

Audi offers three different options for the external trim of the Q5 - black (standard), contrasting color or full paint finish in the color of the car. Two body packages are available as well. The S line exterior package imparts a decidedly sporty look to the performance SUV, while the alternative off-road style package with underbody protection in the front and back and 19-inch wheels gives this SUV a robust flair.

Long wheelbase, roomy interior
At 2.81 meters (9.22 feet), the wheelbase is the longest in its segment - creating a roomy interior on board the Audi Q5. The vehicle comfortably accommodates five persons in ergonomically designed seats that can be flexibly arranged. The backrests for the rear seats are angle-adjustable and especially easy to fold down by activating the remote release lever in the luggage compartment. This compartment, offering access to a second storage area under the floor, then expands from 540 to 1,560 liters (19.07 to 55.09 cubic feet) in volume. Optional extras include a rail mounting kit for luggage, a net partition and a luggage compartment liner.

The Audi Q5 is a multi-talent for sport, leisure-time and family activities. As an option, Audi offers the "rear bench seat plus", which slides 100 millimeters (3.94 inches) lengthwise to provide a load-through facility. The front passenger's seat can be outfitted with a folding backrest for transportation of long objects such as surfboards. Numerous practical storage compartments, drink holders, bottle holders and onboard power outlets are supplied ex works. On request, Audi even offers a climate-controlled drink holder to keep drinks hot or cold. The optional storage package features another clever detail as well - an attachment point in the passenger-side footwell to which various storage fixtures can be attached.

Top-of-the-line safety equipment is a matter of course for Audi cars. On the front seats, the belt force limiters and airbags work together in a new and especially intelligent manner. Much of the body of the Audi Q5 is made of high- and ultra-high-strength steel components assembled with maximum precision. They reduce weight while at the same time improving crash safety as well as rigidity and vibration patterns.

The Audi Q5 employs design elements typical of the brand in the interior, but adds its own unique variations - the driver-oriented cockpit is set higher, for example, in keeping with the upright sitting position. The ergonomics are exemplary, boasting the uncompromising craftsmanship one expects from Audi - a little treat for the senses in terms of look and feel. The clear-cut interior takes on even more charisma with fine materials such as aluminum, exclusive woods, chrome, leather and Alcantara as well as a large selection of optional design packages.

The Audi Q5 comes standard with an electromechanical parking brake, an intelligent chip key, a climate control system and a display screen in the instrument cluster depicting, among other things, the recommended ideal gear for efficient driving in the given situation. A large, central monitor is part of the standard equipment as well. When an onboard navigation system is added, many of the controls are shifted to the MMI panel on the center console. This is the next generation of the best operating system on the market - with even more intuitive graphics and control via the large rotary pushbutton.

Strong and efficient - the engines
The Audi Q5 is rolling off the production line in three engine variants - one gasoline engine and two TDI units. All of the engines are direct-injection models with a turbocharger - characterized by outstanding performance, hefty propulsive power and cultivated running while at the same time offering impressive fuel efficiency.

The 2.0 TFSI has been entirely redesigned. The four-cylinder engine unites three high-tech features - turbocharging, gasoline direct-injection technology and the innovative Audi valvelift system for variable control of valve lift.

The high torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) is available at 1,500 rpm and remains constant up to 4,200 rpm, with performance peaking at 155 kW (211 hp). The Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph). On average, the vehicle consumes just 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (27.67 mpg).

Drawing on four cylinders and two liters of displacement as well, the 2.0 TDI is superbly refined thanks to a new common-rail fuel injection system; like the gasoline engine, it has two balancing shafts. With 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) (between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm), this diesel engine delivers strong propulsive power at an outstanding 125 kW (170 hp). Average consumption of just 6.7 liters per 100 km (35.11 mpg) is proof of Audi's successful efficiency strategy. The two-liter TDI catapults the Audi Q5 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.5 seconds, peaking at a top speed of 204 km/h (126.76 mph).

The most powerful engine in the line-up is the 3.0 TDI. This V6 diesel engine delivers a gratifying 176 kW (240 hp), with 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. With outstanding power flow and cultivated sound, it takes the Audi Q5 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.5 seconds, accelerating to a top speed of 225 km/h (139.81 mph). On average, the three-liter engine consumes 7.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (30.55 mpg).
Seven speeds - the new S tronic

The 2.0 TDI transfers its power to a six-speed manual transmission. Audi has built innovative technology into both the 3.0 TDI and 2.0 TFSI - the S tronic, a new twin-clutch transmission with seven speeds. This high-tech component can execute gearshifts in just a fraction of a second while offering exceptional comfort and high efficiency. Drivers can let the seven-speed S tronic shift automatically or select gears manually, when desired with rocker switches on the steering wheel.

Just like in the new Audi A4, pronounced the best midsized sedan by the trade press, the position of the component units in the drivetrain has been altered in the Audi Q5 - the differential is located in front of the clutch, directly behind the engine. This solution, which made it possible to move the front axle much further forward, creates a long wheelbase and optimum distribution of axle load. It is precisely these features from which the Audi Q5 derives its unique strengths - good directional stability, high comfort and impressive dynamics.

The pioneer of all-wheel drive, Audi builds the Audi Q5 standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive - the only logical solution for a dynamic SUV. In normal running conditions, the transfer case distributes the power to the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio for a rear-focused style that enhances driving pleasure. When needed, the quattro driveline can deliver up to 65 percent of the power to the front axle and a maximum of 85 percent to the rear axle.
The running gear in the Audi Q5 further emphasizes its sporty nature. The five-link front axle and trapezoidal-link rear axle are made primarily from aluminum, the steering box below directs the steering impulse directly to the wheels. Large brakes ensure high retardation. The vehicle comes standard with 17-inch lightweight forged wheels in size 235/65. Audi offers even larger wheels of up to 20 inches in diameter on request.

The new performance SUV from Audi is sportily precise, spontaneous, safe and comfortable at the same time. Its electronic stabilization program (ESP) has been re-designed and enhanced with innovative functions not available from the competition. A sensor "tells" the ESP if a roof rack has been mounted, causing the Audi Q5's center of gravity to be shifted higher in keeping with the roof load of up to 100 kilograms (220.46 pounds). If a roof rack is present, the ESP engages earlier in the handling limit. Without a roof load, the driver is free to tap the full dynamic potential of the Audi Q5.

The Audi Q5 is suitable for all purposes and driving surfaces. Capable of towing up to 2.0 tons, this powerful vehicle delivers excellent performance in rough terrain as well. The standard hill descent control system makes it safe to navigate down steep inclines by regulating the preselected speed when driving at under 30 km/h (18.64 mph). The ESP and its sub-function, the ABS, have special ranges for off-road driving. The ESP focuses on achieving maximum traction in off-road driving; the ABS automatically recognizes the consistency of the driving surface and selects the ideal strategy for sand, gravel or loose rocks.

The numbers speak for themselves: The Audi Q5's climbing capability of 31 degrees of incline is exceptional. The overhang angle is 25 degrees thanks to the short front overhang. The ramp breakover angle, determined by the wheelbase, is 17.5 degrees. Ground clearance is an impressive 20 centimeters (7.87 inches), with a fording depth of up to 50 centimeters (19.69 inches) when driving through water.

Audi drive select - for more driving pleasure
A large package of high-end technologies makes the Audi Q5 driving experience even more fascinating. The optional control system Audi drive select guides the operation of various technology components and is available in several upgrade variants. At the touch of a button, the driver determines whether the system should work in a comfortable, an especially well balanced or a sporty mode. The MMI operating system offers a fourth mode, which can be individually programmed.

Audi drive select is available with two innovative components. One is an electronic controller for the shock absorbers, the other is Audi dynamic steering. Outfitted with a superposition gear, it continuously varies the steering ratio and the power steering assistance depending on the speed driven - which means less steering effort is required when parking, and firm steering with low sensitivity at higher speeds. At the handling limits, the dynamic steering stabilizes the Audi Q5 in conjunction with the ESP by means of instantaneous steering interventions.

The new performance SUV from Audi is rolling off the production line with a generous range of standard equipment including an audio system with eight speakers. A highly contemporary modular system of components is available for multimedia options - the highest upgrade level features a Bluetooth telephone, a DVD drive, a TV tuner, an intelligent speech control system, an iPod interface and a top-of-the-line sound system from the Danish specialists Bang & Olufsen. The excellent navigation system boasts a high-resolution monitor for new, three-dimensional representation of maps. The hard disk from which the system reads can also save music files in MP3 format.

The assistance systems: Straight from the luxury class
On request, the Audi Q5 comes with a spectrum of high-tech, onboard systems taken directly from the premium class to make driving an even more superlative and relaxed experience. These include the Audi parking system advanced with rearview camera, Audi lane assist (the lane departure warning system) and Audi side assist, which warns of hazards when changing lanes. Adaptive cruise control maintains a constant distance between the performance SUV and the vehicle in front.

Additional high-tech extras for the Audi Q5 include the advanced key for keyless access to the vehicle, a tire pressure monitoring system, the large panoramic glass sunroof with additional tilting function, the triple-zone climate control system, sun blinds for the rear side windows, the dynamic cornering light system known as Audi adaptive light, an electric tailgate and a swiveling trailer hitch. The high-beam assistant automatically switches between the high and low beams. On request, the front seats can be electrically adjusted, heated and ventilated - Audi offers the extras from the luxury class in its new performance SUV here as well.

In the garage: 2008 Mini Cooper, 2008 Honda Civic

We recently picked up our first long term test cars for review. So expect to see much more about both cars in the coming weeks. First is a 2008 Mini Cooper. We opted to test the base Cooper rather than go with the Cooper S that you see tested every where else.
The second long term tester is a 2008 Honda Civic. Both cars will be tested in real world circumstances. To give you a real world idea of how both cars stack up. Look for future updates.




Chicago area tourist attraction offered on eBay

Just about everyone has seen images of the Berwyn Car Spindle statue on their tv screen while watching Wayne's World. For the last 20 or so years, the statue in the parking lot of Cermak Plaza Shopping Center near Chicago has been entertaining shoppers, movie buffs and car enthusiasts alike. The statue by artist Dustin Shuler contains 8 cars stacked on top of one another looking as though they are stuck on a giant nail.

Now a Walgreens(as if we DON'T have enough of those around) is going to take the place of the landmark statue. So Cermak Plaza owners have decided to auction the statue off via eBay. That way atleast there is the possibility to have the Spindle live on in another location. Auction Link
For a starting bid of $50,000 you can own this one of a kind piece of history. Though shipping the item, may be a bit of a challenge. That is unless of course you own an 18 wheeler car hauler.

Artist Dustin Shuler, who built the piece in 1989, calls the dismantling "painful" and "a loss for Chicago." "Personally, I would have moved the Walgreens and left the Spindle where it is," he said.

The Spindle is made up of the following cars. 1967 VW Beetle, 1976 BMW 2002, 1981 Ford Escort, 1974 Mercury Capri, 1978 Ford Mustang, 1981 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1980 Ford LTD and a 1981 Mercury Grand Marquis.

Should the name Shuler ring a bell with some of the VW enthusiasts. Dustin Shuler is brother to none other than VW historian and author Terry Shuler.
Source: eBay, via Jalopnik.com

Meet Max, Das Auto

VW is rolling out a new advertising campaign. And this one is right up our alley. Rather than the Drivers Wanted and all those "Sign THEN Drive" ads we're used to seeing from VW. This one takes us on a surprising trip down memory lane. Looking to a vintage 1964 Beetle, and using some of the magic created with Herbie the Love Bug. We get Max, part of VWs new "Das Auto" campaign. Max assures us that he knows what the people want. Well I know that I want more vintage Volkswagens, so I'm already hooked. People want German Engineering. And in this country, nothing symbolizes that more so than a Volkswagen Beetle. For the last 50+ years, when you ask a person on the street, What is German? A VW is pretty likely to be near the top of that list. And just about everyone in the U.S. has a story to go along with a VW. Everyone can relate to the Beetle. In upcoming print and television ads, Max will be tooting his own horn so to speak about the exciting new products from VW. Cars like the Tiguan, Routan and the all new diesels.

"We're reintroducing Volkswagen to the world by using a lovable icon that everyone will know and relate to," says Tim Ellis, VW's vice president of marketing. "Max will be integrated into everything we do and will be the connective tissue as we launch new vehicles."

The first spots will feature celebrities on Max's talk show. Bobby Knight, Leonard Nimoy and Heidi Klum will be among the celebs featured. The ads will then eventually work into the new vehicles that VW will be releasing over the next few months.

This to me seems like a brilliant way to advertise. You capture the buying public's imagination and play off of emotion. Here's to VW!

Source: USA Today.

It's official. Jaguar and Land Rover sold to Tata

Ford Motor Company has made official announcement that it has sold Jaguar and Range Rover to the Tata Motors of India. For $2.3 Billion, two of the most famous brands to symbolize Great Britan will now symbolize India. While Ford is selling the companies. They will maintain a stake in both automakers. Ford will also supply Tata with various components for both brands. Items such as stampings and powertrains will be supplied. While the deal is final, there are still some governmental hoops for Ford and Tata to jump through before it's all said and done. But these should not be a problem according to Ford. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that a $2,500 Jaguar doesn't become part of the plan. Though a plain jane $2,500 Land Rover would be cool for weekend off roading.

Source: Ford

PRESS RELEASE
FORD MOTOR COMPANY ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO SELL JAGUAR LAND ROVER TO TATA MOTORS

DEARBORN, Mich., March 26, 2008 – Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.

The transaction is the culmination of Ford's decision last August to explore strategic options for the Jaguar Land Rover business, as the company accelerates its focus on its core Ford brand and "One Ford" global transformation.

The sale is expected to close by the end of the next quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.

The total amount to be paid in cash by Tata Motors for Jaguar Land Rover upon closing will be approximately US $2.3 billion. At closing, Ford will then contribute up to approximately US $600 million to the Jaguar Land Rover pension plans.

"Jaguar and Land Rover are terrific brands," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. "We are confident that they are leaving our fold with the products, plan and team to continue to thrive under Tata's stewardship. Now, it is time for Ford to concentrate on integrating the Ford brand globally, as we implement our plan to create a strong Ford Motor Company that delivers profitable growth for all."

"This is a good agreement. It provides the Jaguar Land Rover management team and employees with the assurances needed to maintain their focus on delivering the best results for the business," said Lewis Booth, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, who has responsibility for Ford of Europe, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover. "I am confident that, under its new owner, Jaguar Land Rover will continue to build upon the significant improvements and product successes it has achieved in recent years."

As part of the transaction, Ford will continue to supply Jaguar Land Rover for differing periods with powertrains, stampings and other vehicle components, in addition to a variety of technologies, such as environmental and platform technologies. Ford also has committed to provide engineering support, including research and development, plus information technology, accounting and other services.

In addition, Ford Motor Credit Company will provide financing for Jaguar and Land Rover dealers and customers during a transitional period, which can vary by market, of up to 12 months.

The parties believe these arrangements will support Jaguar Land Rover's current product plans, while providing Jaguar Land Rover freedom to develop its own stand-alone capabilities in the future that will best serve its premium manufacturer requirements.

The parties do not anticipate any significant changes to Jaguar Land Rover employees' terms of employment on completion.

Speaking about today's agreement, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, commented: "We are very pleased at the prospect of Jaguar and Land Rover being a significant part of our automotive business. We have enormous respect for the two brands and will endeavor to preserve and build on their heritage and competitiveness, keeping their identities intact. We aim to support their growth, while holding true to our principles of allowing the management and employees to bring their experience and expertise to bear on the growth of the business."

Jaguar Land Rover's employees, trade unions and the UK Government have been kept informed of developments as the sale process progressed and have indicated their support for the agreement.

Speaking on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, Geoff Polites, chief executive officer, said: "Jaguar Land Rover's management team is very pleased that Ford and Tata Motors have come to an agreement today. Our team has been consulted extensively on the deal content and feels confident that it provides for the business needs of both our brands going forward.

"We have also had the opportunity to meet senior executives from Tata Motors and the Tata group," Polites continued. "They have expressed confidence in the team that has delivered significant improvements in Jaguar Land Rover's business performance. We feel confident that we can forge a strong working relationship with our new parent company, and we look forward to a bright and successful future for Jaguar Land Rover."

Back from hiatus

Sorry we haven't been around much in the last month. We're back and will be brining you all news automotive.

Barrett Jackson 08: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 #1

Following along the lines of the Corvette ZR1 and Shelby Gt500KR. Dodge decided to offer the first 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 to be sold to the public at the Barrett Jackson collector auction. And 100% of the proceeds going to charity. The winning bidder can spec out the car to their liking with options and color and get a host of added bonuses from Dodge including a weekend trip to the cars official launch. Bidding stalled at $350,000 before being bid up to $375,000 by auction CEO Craig Jackson. The final bid came in for an even $400,000 with the money going to the NotMyKid charity which helps children with a host of issues. It was definitely on the light side compaired to the other cars offered. Maybe it was because there were so many cars with proceeds going to charity. Either way NotMyKid has to be happy as $400,000 can go a long way.

Barrett Jackson 08: 1969 Dodge Charger "Bo's General Lee"

In a stunt so cool that not even George Barris could steal the thunder of. John Schneider a.k.a Bo Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard rolled his personal General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger on to the block of Barrett Jackson. With two blasts of dixie from the General's air horns Bo Climbed out(through the window) and showed the crowd he could still do a running jump back into the car. Bo then climbed up on to the roof with mike in hand asking if anyone knew the dusenberg or thunderbird songs before breaking out in "Just a good ol' boys" with ALL of the audience singing along ending with Yee Haa! Brings a tear to any car enthusiasts eye. Bo's General Lee packed with a Hemi motor making over 600hp backed by a built up torqueflight automatic, 4 wheel discs, tuned suspension, roll bar, push bar, American Racing wheels, and perfect General Lee grapics. This General also served duty in Dukes go to Hollywood, the last original cast Dukes movie, as well as some of John Schneider's produced movies. When the gavel fell, the General raised $450,000. Most going to the Cure Autism Now charity.

Barrett Jackson 08: 2009 Corvette ZR1 $1,000,000!

This just in. The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 serial #1. The First customer retailable car has just sold for $1,000,000 to Mr. David Ressler. Not only will he get the first ZR1, but his car will also be the only one sold in LeMans Blue. As part of the package he has the choice to watch the car be built and have delivery at the Bowling Green Kentucky factory, or take delivery in Jay Leno's garage in Los Angeles California. He will also receive a 3 day driving experience at Bondurant Racing School, an autographed design sketch of the car, autographed engine cover, all press materials, and all ZR1 memoribilia. Awesome package.

Detroit 2008: VW Passat CC

Move over Mercedes, there's a new kid on the block......again. Volkswagen is going to give it another go with the luxury car market with the new up scale Passat CC. inspired by the lines of the Mercedes Benz CLS, which is also this car's chief competitor.

Styling is distinctly Volkswagen, with a nice mix of Audi flair. Definitely a nice place car if you want to jump from the Passat to the Audi A6. Four door coupe styling with pillarless doors. A drastically sloping roof line leads into a short trunk overhang. But don't let that fool you. The trunk is spacious, and big enough for golf clubs.

The Passat CC will feature a three engine choices. A 3.6 liter FSI V6 with 300hp. A 2.0 TSI with 200hp. And lastly the baby motor, the 1.8 liter TSI with 160hp.

Also a first for Volkswagen are three new drive systems. Lane Assist, which is entirely new will countersteer the car if an unintentional lane change takes place. It will cancel itself out if the turn signals is used.

Dynamic Drive Control allows for instant chassis adjustment. A the quick turn of a switch. The drive can select from three different chassis settings. "Normal", "Sport" and "Comfort". Each setting adjusts the suspension and power steering settings depending on the driver's tastes.

Lastly comes Park Assist. This is Volkswagen's adaptation of the same program offered by Lexus. This will guide the Passat CC into a parking spot without any driver interference other than gas and brake control.

This makes for one of the most technologically advanced VWs ever produced. Look for the Passat CC in showrooms later this year.


Source: Volkswagen.

Detroit 2008: Audi R8 V12 TDI

The Audi R8 has been receiving lots of press and just as many awards recently. And it gets our vote for sexiest car ever built. It's hard to believe that Audi could find a way to top their super car. But they did find a way. Behold the R8 V12 TDI. Yes TDI as in Diesel. Audi took a page from their American LeMans success to combine sports cars with diesel power.

Audi took the 6.0 liter V12 used in last years Q7 concept car from last year and stuffed it into the R8 super car. This R8 has 500 horses on tap while the V8 version stops at 420. Though where the R8 V12 TDI shines is torque. All 738 lb ft of them. This enables the R8 V12 to roar to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds. With a top speed of 186 mph. Being a super car, you'd figure it would get horrible gas mileage. Wrong. 23mpg, that's really impressive for any car in this class. Top that with Audi's Quattro full time all wheel drive and it makes one superb handling car.

The front bumper has been redesigned and looks awesome. And how about the glass roof with built in air scoop to feed air to the motor.
Now this is a concept car, though it certainly looks good enough and feasible enough to be a production car. Hopefully Audi won't wait too long to decide to produce this bad boy.





Source: Audi.

U.S. VW Factory? "Ja. Ve Vill Do Zis"

It's official. Volkswagen will have another go at making cars in the United States. Execs from VW have recently been saying that they might consider looking into the idea of a new plant. And the answer has finally came back as "Ja. We will do this". The current plan is be making cars here by 2011. They will build a large scale plant, which will produce vehicles for both the United States and Europe. Though a location has not been selected as of yet. Locations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are rumored to be "in play" as a factory site.

One site in Rocky Mount, NC would centrally locate the factory between the new Volkswagen Group of America headquarters in Virginia and several suppliers that also work with BMW and their Spartanburg, South Carolina factory.

The Rocky Mount property could close as early as the end of the month. The farmer who owns most of the property does not know who the interested party is, only that they're German.



Look for more details as they come to light.





Source: Automotive News.

Detroit 2008: Dodge Rampede the 2009 Ram Intro

We reported several weeks about Chrysler's plans for the Ram introduction. It involved the herding of a stampede of cattle in front of Cobo Hall using the redesigned 2009 Dodge Ram. Chrysler and the City of Detroit kept very quiet about what was going to happen. But it happened. And only Chrysler could pull it off. 115 long horn cattle along with cowboys and Sheriff Jim Press, Marshal Bob Nardelli, and Bandit Tom LaSorda made sure everything was in order.

For the first time, Chrysler execs announced that the Ram will be offered with a Hybrid option that will be "available soon" in 2010. Three new engines will be available. A new 380hp 5.7 liter V8, 310hp 4.7 liter V8 and lastly a 215hp 3.7liter V6. A six speed manual and 4 and 5 speed automatic transmissions will be available. Along with revised gear ratios of 3.21, 3.55, 3.92 or 4.10. This allows for a Ram that can go from 0-60 in 7 seconds. When properly optioned. Another first will be a light duty diesel engine due to arrive sometime in 2009 or shortly after.

An entirely new multi link coil spring rear suspension is utilized rather than the typical leaf springs. Now while this may concern those of you who do a lot of towing. Don't worry, towing capacity is not affected by the change. 1,840 pounds for payload and a whopping 9,100 pounds for towing.

There is storage a plenty in the 09 Ram's bed. The It now features an available RamBox cargo management system that places storage bins within the bed rails that are weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable. Ala the Chevy Avalanche, though much larger. Ram Crew 1500 models can also be had with a pair of "store in the floor" bins that can hold up to ten cans of pop, beer or what have you. This is similar to Sto n' Go from the Caravan.

The Ram's new interior makes it easy to forget that you're driving a truck. everything is laid out right at your fingertips and very easy to use. The exterior styling is very classy for a truck. It's nice to see some sharper corners for a change rather than all the rounded bulbous looks we're seeing on many trucks.

The 2009 Dodge Ram will hit show rooms this fall.
Source: Dodge


PRESS RELEASE:
Dodge Unleashes Game-changer Into Truck Market

All-new 2009 Dodge Ram Breaks From the Herd
All-new, bold, powerful, "get-out-of-the-way" Dodge Ram design

New, aggressive "grille-forward" design
First-in-segment chrome-tipped dual exhaust styled dramatically into the rear bumper
Best-in-class aerodynamics – an estimated .422 Cd
Dodge Ram's first-ever crew cab, giving Dodge an entry into the largest and fastest-growing part of the market. Crew cab accounts for nearly 50 percent of market
New 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 provides more horsepower (380 hp) and torque (404 lb.-ft.), with increased fuel economy (an estimated 4 percent)
Best-in-class performance: 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds
New interiors with premium seating, soft-touch materials, redesigned controls, floor console with shifter, and even more storage options
More than 35 new or improved features
Industry-first RamBox cargo management system (crew cab) includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into bed rails (a total of 8.6 cubic feet of space); pickup bed divider/2-foot bed extender; and cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats
RamBox bins hold up to 10 cases of 12-ounce beverages, or other gear for work or leisure
First-in-segment "store in the floor" storage bins with removable liners, big enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice
First-in-segment heated and ventilated front seats
Heated rear seats also available
Heated steering wheel a first for any Dodge vehicle
First-in-segment coil-spring, multilink rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle provides ride and handling capabilities unexpected in a pickup truck
First-in-segment live SIRIUS Backseat TV™
First-in-segment surround-sound audio system
More than 30 safety features, including standard four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Stability Program with Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control
All-new 2009 Dodge Ram to arrive this fall
Light-duty diesel to arrive after 2009; two-mode hybrid powertrain to be offered in 2010 model year

Dodge has been building trucks since1917. Throughout its storied history, Dodge introduced a number of innovative trucks – the original "Suburban," aerodynamic Airflow-model trucks and the ultra-capable Power Wagon. But it was in 1994 that Dodge introduced a revolutionary Ram in the light-duty pickup market, with its "big rig" styling and iconic crosshair grille.
"We put a truck on the market that tripled our market share," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Jeep®/Truck Design Studio, Chrysler LLC. "Our design was polarizing – people loved it or hated it. But the people who loved it, bought it. They still do, because Dodge Ram continues to stand out from the herd of 'me-too' trucks."

For the redesign of its all-new, next-generation Ram, Dodge pulled out all the stops.

"Our mandate was to make a quantum leap and add even more voltage to Ram," said Scott Kunselman, Vice President – Body-on-Frame Product Team. "Our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is a game-changer in terms of capability, convenience, craftsmanship and safety."

Capability
In addition to the new-generation 5.7-liter HEMI which produces 380 hp (283 kW) and 404 lb.-ft. (548 N·m) of torque, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram offers a 4.7-liter V-8 providing 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 N·m) of torque, and a 3.7-liter V-6 generating 215 horsepower (160 kW) and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N·m) of torque; a six-speed manual transmission and four- and five-speed automatic transmissions; part-time and on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer cases; and 3.21, 3.55, 3.92 and 4.10 axle ratios.
Equipped with the new HEMI, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram R/T regular-cab 4x2 model with a short bed and 4:10 gears blasts to best-in-class performance of 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds.

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram is offered in regular cab, Quad Cab® and crew cab, with three box lengths: 8-foot (regular cab), 6-foot-4-inches (regular cab and Quad Cab), and a new-for-2009 box length of 5-foot-7-inches (crew cab). Five trim levels are available, each with a unique appearance: ST, SLT, TRX, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie.
An improved frame design incorporating high-strength steel supports an all-new, first-in-segment, multi-link coil spring rear suspension that improves ride and handling characteristics without sacrificing payload (up to an estimated 1,840 pounds) and towing capability (up to an estimated 9,100 pounds).

Convenience
The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram Crew 1500 features an available first-in-segment RamBox cargo management system that provides weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into both fender sides for effortless access and convenience. Each box holds up to 4.3 cubic feet of whatever – such as five cases (120 cans) of 12-ounce beverages.

The RamBox system includes a bed divider/2-foot bed extender for oversize loads and a rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats for infinitely adjustable tie-down capability. The 2009 Dodge Ram's tailgate features a standard assist feature that reduces the effort needed to raise and close the tailgate.

Another new segment-first innovation for the 2009 Dodge Ram Crew 1500 is a pair of "store in the floor" bins with removable liners that offer even more versatile storage – large enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice.

There are many other convenient storage locations throughout the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram including a large upper glove box, map pockets in door panels and a configurable center console. All in all, there are nearly twice as many storage locations in the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram than were in the previous model.

Technically sophisticated, yet simple-to-navigate electronic and infotainment choices include MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System with 30-gigabyte hard drive, navigation system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system available in the Quad Cab and crew cab. Also available is first-in-segment live SIRIUS Backseat TV™ and segment-first surround-sound audio.

Other premium amenities include first-in-segment heated and ventilated front seats, available heated rear seats, first-for-Dodge heated steering wheel, one-touch up/down driver and passenger windows, automatic-on headlamps and dual-zone automatic temperature control – a first for Dodge Ram.

Craftsmanship
In addition to the exterior, the all-new interior of the 2009 Dodge Ram stands out with a renewed emphasis on craftsmanship expressed in premium interior appointments including six-ring instrumentation, redesigned controls, chrome accents, premium seating with improved bolsters and two-tone upholstery. An automatic-transmission floor shifter, incorporated into a configurable center console, is available for the first time in a Dodge Ram. All 2009 Dodge Ram interiors are significantly upgraded with "soft-touch" materials that feature industry-first two-tone technology and premium fit and finish. Full-width contrasting stitching is offered on soft-touch instrument panels for Sport and Laramie models.
On the exterior, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram features a redesigned aluminum hood with a large power bulge and a forward-canted grille, imparting a "head down, ready to charge" attitude, while front and rear bumpers wrap around each body side. The rear bumper on HEMI-equipped models is radiused over chromed dual exhaust tips – a first in light-duty pickups. Attractive 20-inch wheels are available in three styles. Sills are pulled down to cover frame rails for a premium appearance. Badges are three-dimensional, rather than decals, and are designed to stand out. The sculpted Ram's-head badge on the tailgate is 250 percent larger than the previous badge.
Safety
On the safety and security front, the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram offers more than 30 active and passive safety features, including standard front and rear side-curtain air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, knee bolsters, seat-belt pre-tensioners, Anti-lock Brake System, BeltAlert® System, and Electronic Stability Control; and available adjustable pedals, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist and ParkView® Rear Back-up Camera.

Manufacturing
The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram will be built in two locations: Quad Cab and Ram Crew 1500 models will be built at the Warren (Mich.) Assembly Plant, and regular cab and Ram Crew 1500 models will be built at the St. Louis North Assembly Plan in Fenton, Mo.

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. Last year, 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 this year, and will be available outside North America in both left- and right-hand drive in mid-2008. And later this year, Dodge will introduce its modern muscle car, the all-new Dodge Challenger. For the 2010 model year, Dodge will offer the all-new Dodge Ram with an advanced two-mode hybrid system.

Detroit 2008: 2009 Mazda RX8

We have already been treated to views of the 09 RX8 already at the Tokyo Auto Salon as the RX8 RS. Mazda revealed the official 2009 RX8 in Detroit at NAIAS today.

Not much has changed as the RX8 is due for replacement soon. So a minor face lift and some mechanical upgrades were made for 09. Horsepower was upgraded to 232hp with the two-rotor Renesis rotary motor backed by a 6 speed manual transmission. If you opt for the automatic trans with paddle shifters, horsepower drops 20 hp to 212. The 1.3 liter Renesis motor is one of the smoothest rotary motors ever produced. Providing smooth acceleration through 9,000 rpm. New engine bracing and suspension geometry round out the major mechanical changes for 09.

The revised front and rear bumpers and different exhaust tips are the noticeable changes outside. In my opinion, it looks much better than the previous RX8. Inside the interior received some minor upgrades aswell.

The big news for 2009 is the R3 package. It harks back to the R1 & R2 package offered on the RX7 in the 1990s. This package is for the serious performance minded enthusiasts. The R3 RX8 will include "a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and front suspension crossmembers filled with urethane foam. Filling the crossmembers makes for a smoother ride, minimized NVH and greater suspension control."

"On the visual side of the package, a rear spoiler, side sills, fog lights and sporty front bumper are added to give an aggressive appearance, along with 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels with high performance tires. Inside, the R3 adds a 300-watt Bose® audio system with Centerpoint® surround sound and AudioPilot® noise compensation technology, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, front Recaro sport seats with leather side bolsters, leather-wrapped parking brake handle and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system."

Look for the RX8 to hit showrooms later this year.

Source: Mazda

Detroit 2008: 2009 Subaru Forester

We have been seeing some spy and leaked photos of the third generation 2009 Subaru Forester from Japan for the last few weeks. Though they were always of the home market Japanese version. The U.S. version has finally been unveiled at NAIAS.

For the U.S. customers will have a choice between a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 2.5 liter boxer 4 cylinder. Horsepower and low end torque have been reworked for 2009 and come in at 170hp/170 ft-lbs and 224hp/226 ft-lbs respectively.

New for 2009 features include satellite navigation, Vehicle Dynamics Control(standard), traction control and incline start(manual trans).

The styling is fresh and is a nice break from the tired, boxy look of the second generation Forester. The wheelbase has been lengthened 3.6 inches for improved interior space and ride quality. The completely revamped platform now features a new double wishbone rear suspension, and improved crashworthiness.

The 2009 Forester features two different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, both of which power all four wheels all the time and can transfer more power to the wheels with the best grip. Models equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission utilize a viscous-coupling locking center differential that distributes power 50:50, transferring more power to the wheels with the best traction should slippage occur.

Availability will begin in the spring, and pricing should be announced in the next few months.


Source: Subaru.

Hot product 2008: Pump Top TV

Now everyone can agree that pumping gas can be a pretty boring thing to do. Especially when it's cold. What do you get to do? You can't talk on a cell phone at many stations. So you stand around and look at the other cars, maybe even talk to someone. Now you can watch TV from the comfort of your gas pump.

From Westinghouse Digital comes Pump Top TV. An all weather flat screen TV that sits atop the gas pump. The technology is already in use in some states and brings data such as news, weather and traffic to motorists as they fill up. There is one drawback to the TVs though. Poor visibility in heavy sunlight. This is a very cool idea. But hopefully it won't cause for any long waits at the pumps cause the Joe in front of you wants to catch the latest episode of The View.


Source: Engadget via Autoblog.

Leaked: 2008 Audi TT-S official looking photos

We have been hearing rumors of a tuned Audi TT to be hitting showrooms soon named the TT-S. Though Audi hasn't said much about it other than a few specs. They did say they were going to be bringing some special cars to the North American International Auto Show, and we assumed that the TT-S would be one of them. These pictures come from Spanish automotive site Motorpasion, and they do look to be official Audi photos.

The TT-S will feature a 272 Horsepower 2.0liter TFSI 4 cylinder. And judging by Audi's decision to not offer Quattro on the 2.0s will likely lack that option box. LED daytime running lights(ala S6, R8), Brushed nickle rear view mirrors, quad exhaust tips, and special badging stick out from the stock TT. A revised front fascia is very bold and sporty while featuring Audi's "Shield Grille". The wheels look to be the same 18 inch units found on the new S5 and look the part on the TT. And will be offered in both coupe and roadster form.

Look for further developments from Detroit.

Source: Motorpasion via Autoblog.

Detroit 2008: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V

The Cadillac CTS-V was one of our favorite Caddies to roll out of the General in a long time. A few of us here at AAM had a chance to get up close and personal with the original CTS-V totally by chance before Cadillac even announced that they were developing the car. It pays to live and travel around Michigan.
Ok back to the topic at hand. Cadillac has announced that the new 2009 CTS-V will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show this week. Unfortunately we will not be in attendance at the press days so we're bringing you this now.

The new CTS-V will have a confirmed 550 horsepower from a 6.2 liter supercharged LS9 V8. The LS9 is the same motor found in the upcoming Corvette ZR1. Power will be put to the ground via your choice of a 6 speed automatic or 6 speed manual transmissions. Torque is matched pound for pound with the horsepower at 550 lb. ft.

The suspension is modified accordingly and features Cadillacs new Magnetic Ride Control for optimum handling, comfort & performance. 15 inch Slotted Brembo brakes and 6 piston Brembo calipers up front with 4 pistons in the back keep the CTS-V under control. 19 inch 10 spoke aluminum wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires to round out the eye candy.

The CTS-V exterior is held together by redesigned front and rear fascias featuring larger air inlets in the front, a lip spoiler and mesh grille. The larger strut tower brace over the engine allows the V to feature a muscular looking power bulge hood. And lastly a mesh grille is used to differentiate the V from regular CTS'. Out back you find Cadillac's standard LED tail lights and the new redesigned rear bumper, with dual exhaust cut outs and polished aluminum exhaust tips to help you hear the CTS-V's V8 rumble.
As the top of the line CTS, the V will have a luxurious interior. Special Recaro seats old you in place. Covered in leather and a new microfiber material that resembles suede. But is easier to clean and more durable. DVD navigation, 40G hard drive, Bluetooth compatibility, OnStar, and BOSE stereo system will also round out the interior goodies.

The 2009 CTS-V will be available starting in the 4th quarter of 2008, and will be one of Cadillac's new world cars. With versions being offered for Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Pricing has not been announced but should be available soon.
Source: Cadillac.

PRESS RELEASE:
2009 CTS-V: CADILLAC'S ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF PERFORMANCE AND LUXURY

DETROIT - As the new CTS sport sedan earns accolades and new owners, Cadillac takes the next leap forward by premiering the 2009 CTS-V, the brand's ultimate expression of performance and luxury.

Launching in the fourth quarter of 2008, the all-new CTS-V intends to combine the serious performance of an elite sports car with the poise and elegance of a prestigious luxury sedan. Part of Cadillac's acclaimed V-Series of high-performance models, CTS-V delivers an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW). More than just power, CTS-V also includes a comprehensive suite of technical and design enhancements, including Magnetic Ride Control, an industry-first Performance Traction Management program and the addition of a new automatic transmission with paddle-shift control.

"The CTS-V represents the full extension of our design, technology and performance capabilities," says Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "The V-Series takes the award-winning CTS sport sedan and elevates it to a position within the club of the world's most exclusive and capable cars."

As an all-new version of the CTS sport sedan was prepared for 2008, Cadillac engineers and designers began to scheme a new CTS-V that would reach much higher in terms of performance and luxury. Through the original CTS-V, Cadillac proved it could develop a very potent, high-performance sedan. The challenge for the 2009 model was enhancing every aspect in a comprehensive manner, along with reaching higher performance limits.

Several key technical and design elements combine to transform the already highly capable CTS into the new V-Series. Like the existing CTS, the V-Series is the product of an intensive development process across North America and Europe, including famed test tracks and millions of miles of road. Supporting Cadillac's ongoing global expansion, the 2009 CTS-V is planned to be offered outside North America for the first time, including exports to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Sophisticated technical enhancements
The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V features the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology, Magnetic Ride Control (MRC). It uses shocks controlled by electro-magnets, rather than mechanical valves, greatly accelerating response time. Electronic sensors at all four wheels literally "read the road" every millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create virtually instantaneous and extremely precise control of body motions. This is of particular benefit for a high-performance sedan, helping to keep the car very composed during hard cornering, acceleration, braking and other dynamic maneuvers.

MRC technology first appeared on the Cadillac STS performance sedan and has been used on some of the world's most celebrated cars, including the Chevrolet Corvette and a select few European sports cars.

Enabling the precise control expected in a high-performance sedan, the CTS-V features Performance Traction Management system, borrowed from championship racing teams. This technology uses advanced electronics to manage engine torque for optimal traction during acceleration. In situations such as acceleration from a stop or exiting corners, Performance Traction Management regulates torque delivery for the best possible launch.

Performance Traction Management uses the same sort of electronics as stability control programs such as Cadillac's StabiliTrak system, but applies it in a different manner. Rather than monitoring and controlling wheel slip to assist in stopping or slowing the car, PTM regulates torque delivery to instantly match the available tire grip for maximum acceleration.

CTS-V also includes sophisticated braking and tire systems, in partnership with two companies renown for high-performance technology: Brembo and Michelin. Brembo brakes are at all four corners and include powerful, six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. Michelin worked with Cadillac engineers to develop its acclaimed Pilot Sport 2 (PS2) summer tire for CTS-V and its 19-inch wheels.

And, of course, there is the matter of power. It has increased nearly 35 percent for the '09 CTS-V, via a new 6.2L LSA supercharged V-8 engine generating an estimated 550 hp (410 kW) and 550 lb.-ft. (745 Nm) of torque. The engine delivers this power with remarkable refinement. A sixth-generation Eaton supercharger minimizes the added noise previously associated with supercharged engines, and tightly controls intake air temperature for optimal performance.

Transmission choices include either a six-speed manual or an exclusive, six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It is the first automatic offered on the CTS-V.

Accentuated design elements
The 2009 CTS-V extends Cadillac's acclaimed design language, both inside and out. The V-Series includes all the elements of the CTS sport sedan's well received cabin, while adding some elegant and purposeful accents.

V-Series will offer Recaro performance driving seats, providing excellent support for spirited driving and adding to the luxurious and purposeful interior. These new, 14-way adjustable performance seats include pneumatic bolster controls in the seat cushion and backrest.

A microfiber material is added to the steering wheel, seats and shifter, providing the soft feel and luxurious appearance of suede without suede's inherent drawbacks of difficult care and moisture sensitivity. These accents on the steering wheel, seat inserts and shifter are elegant to the touch and help support high-performance driving.

The car's integrated center stack is trimmed with a new Obsidian material that is also applied to the center console and door trim. Just like every CTS, the V-Series includes a hand-stitched instrument panel, door trim and center console. Leading-edge infotainment features, including a 40-gigabyte hard drive, advanced navigation system with a "pop-up" screen and Bose digital surround audio, extend to the V-Series, as well as factory-installed Bluetooth capability.

The exterior of the new CTS-V amplifies the assertive stance and elegant details of the standard car, and communicates the car's remarkable capabilities. The dihedral Cadillac grille is larger to enable more air intake and features a satin finish. The raised hood encompasses the supercharged engine, and new front and rear fascias identify the vehicle as a V-Series. The car's 19-inch wheels enhance its stance on the road.

The founding member of the V-Series, CTS-V was initially offered in 2004 and sold primarily in North America through the 2007 model year. The supercharged STS-V and XLR-V were added in 2006 to make the V-Series an exclusive trio of models all capable of zero-to-60 acceleration in less than five seconds with enhanced overall performance and luxury features.

2009 CADILLAC CTS-V: PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Overview
Model: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V
Body style / driveline: rear-drive four-door high-performance luxury sedan
Construction: unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension assembly
EPA vehicle class: midsize car
Manufacturing location: Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing, Michigan
Key competitors: BMW M-5, Mercedes Benz E55 AMG, Mercedes Benz E63 AMG
Engine
Type: 6.2L supercharged V-8 (LSA)
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 / 103.25 x 3.62 / 92 mm
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder;
0.492-in (12.5 mm) lift
Supercharger: Gen. 6 R19 with single brick intercooler; 1.9L displacement w/4-lobe rotor design
Fuel delivery: SFI; center feed
Ignition: direct-mount ignition coils; extended-life dual platinum-tipped spark plugs
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 550 / 410 @ 6200 (est)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 550 / 745 @ 6200 (est)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): TBD
Additional features: pan-mounted oil cooler; cast pistons; high-flow cylinder heads; block-mounted piston squirters; steel crankshaft w/ 8-bolt flange; close-mounted converters; acoustic engine cover; E67 engine controller
Estimated fuel economy: TBD
Transmissions
Type: Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual; fully synchronized with single overdrive.
Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
Gear ratios (:1)
First:
2.66
4.02
Second:
1.78
2.36
Third:
1.30
1.53
Fourth:
1.00
1.15
Fifth:
0.80
0.85
Sixth:
0.63
0.67
Reverse:
2.90
3.06
Final Drive Ratio:
3.73
3.73
Chassis & Suspension
Front suspension: independent SLA; 29-mm hollow stabilizer bar; elastomeric handling and ride bushings; 65-N/mm spring rate; Magnetic Ride Control with electro-magnetically controlled shocks
Rear suspension: independent SLA; 24-mm solid stabilizer bar; elastomeric trailing arm bushing; 90-N/mm spring rate; Magnetic Ride Control with electro-magnetically controlled shocks
Wheels: 19 x 9-inch; forged alloy, 5-lug (front) 19 x 9.5-inch, forged alloy, 5-lug (rear)
Tires: 255/40R19 Michelin PS2; summer Z-rated (front) 285/35R19 Michelin PS2; summer Z-rated (rear)
Brakes: four-wheel disc with four-channel ABS, hydraulic brake assist and dynamic rear brake proportioning
front rotors: vented; co-cast; 380 mm x 32 mm
rear rotors: vented; 373 mm x 28 mm
front calipers: aluminum; six-piston
rear calipers: aluminum; four-piston
Steering: power-assisted rack-and-pinion;
Steering ratio: 16.1:1
Turns lock-to-lock: TBD
Turn radius (ft / m): 37.9 / 11.55
Additional features: standard: StabiliTrak (four-channel, four mode); traction control; engine drag control optional: Performance Traction Management
Dimensions
Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm): 113.4 / 2880
Overall length (in / mm): 191.6 / 4866
Overall width (in / mm): 72.5 / 1842
Overall height (in / mm): 58.0 / 1472
Track (in / mm): front: 61.8 / 1570 rear: 62.0 / 1575
Curb weight (lb / kg): manual: 4200 / 1905 (est) automatic: 4300 / 1950 (est)
Weight distribution (% front / rear): 54 / 46
Approach Angle (deg) 10.4
Departure Angle (deg) 18.3
Tumblehome (deg. 24.6
Interior Headroom (in / mm): front: 38.8 / 986 rear: 37.2 / 944
Leg room (in / mm): front: 42.4 / 1078rear: 35.9 / 913
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 56.7 / 1441 rear: 57.4 / 1390
Hip room (in / mm): front: 55.1 / 1400 rear: 54.1 / 1375
Capacities
EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L): 98 / 2775
EPA trunk volume (cu ft / L): 13.6 / 385
Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): TBD
Fuel tank (gal / L): 18.0 / 68
Engine oil (qt / L): TBD
Cooling system (qt / L): TBD
Seating Capacity (front / rear) 2 / 3
Drag Coefficient 0.355
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