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


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:
-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
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