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

Formula One News: Ferrari & Mercedes 2008 cars, Hamilton resigns with McLaren

It has been a busy week in Formula One news. The teams are beginning to show off their cars for the 2008 season, and just about all the drivers have been signed. To help celebrate Lewis Hamilton's 23rd birthday and contract signing with McLaren. Mercedes Benz has given Hamilton his 2008 ride. Behold the MP4-23. The Mercedes - McLaren racer will continue to carry Vodafone as their sponsor for 2008, along with that uber cool paint job.

Mercedes unveiled the MP4-23 at the new Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart Germany to over 1000 invited guests. Seven hundred of which were from the nearby Stuttgart-Untert├╝rkheim manufacturing facility.

"The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 is the coolest birthday present you can get, well it is for me anyway! To see the car for the first time at such a great place as the Mercedes-Benz museum makes it an even more memorable day." Said Hamilton about his new toy.

The MP4-23 is now on it's way from Germany to the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain , where Hamilton and his new teammate, Heikki Kovalainen, will be giving the car proper testing. 14,000 man hours went into the engineering of the MP4-23 so far. With another 3,000 hours of wind tunnel testing. Development began in 2006, and development for the 2009 season car is already underway.

MP4-23 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

ENGINE
Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108V
Capacity: 2.4 litre
No. of cylinders: 8
Max. rpm: 19,000 (FIA regulatory limit since 2007)
Bank angle: 90O
Piston bore maximum: 98 mm (FIA regulation)
Bore spacing: 106.5 mm
Number of valves: 32
Fuel: Mobil 1 Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Lubricants: Mobil 1, newly developed 2008 formula for lower friction and better wear resistance
Engine: 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight) TRANSMISSION
Gearbox
Speeds: Seven forward and one reverse
Semi-auto: Yes
Driveshafts: McLaren
Clutch: Hand-operated

Chassis: McLaren moulded carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures. Contains integral safety fuel cell
Front Suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear Suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Suspension Dampers: Koni
Electronics: McLaren Electronic Systems control units incorporating electronics for chassis, engine and data acquisition. McLaren Electronic Systems also supplies the electronic dash board, alternator voltage control, sensors, data analysis and telemetry systems
Bodywork Construction: One-piece engine cover; separate sidepod covers; separate floor section, structural nose with integral front wing.
Tyres: Bridgestone Potenza
Radios: Kenwood
Race Wheels: Enkei
Batteries: GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering: McLaren power-assisted
Instruments: McLaren Electronic Systems

Ferrari F2008:
Ferrari has also launched their F2008 Formula One car. Ferrari's contender this year has been designed with all of the changes to the 2008 Formula One season. This includes the standard electronic control unit from McLaren, upgraded gearbox and safety changes to better protect the drivers head on the sides. The body for the F2008 has also be redesigned to allow for maximum safety, with updated aerodynamics.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Chassis
Carbon-fibre and honeycombcomposite structure
Ferrari longitudinal gearboxLimited-slip differential
Semiautomatic sequentialelectronically controlled gearbox quick-shift
Number of gears: 7 + Reverse
Ventiled carbon-fibredisc brakes

Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Weight (with water, lubricant and driver): 605 kg
BBS Wheels (front and rear): 13''
Engine
Type: 056
Number of cylinders: 8
Cylinder block in castaluminium: V 90°
Number of valves: 32
Pneumatic distribution
Total displacement: 2398 cm3
Piston bore: 98 mm
Weight: <95>


Lewis Hamilton:

All of this brings us back to Lewis Hamilton. He has renewed his contract with Mercedes-McLaren for a reported $138 million dollars. This is for a 5 year contract, earning the 23 year old Driver's Champion $27 million per year.
Things are shaping up for an exciting season in Formula One this year. Sadly of course there will be no U.S. venues this year. But we will still follow each race and report all the news this season.
Source: Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Motor Authority.

General Motors Cancels $4.1 Billion line of credit

In the early part of last year. General Motors took out $4.1 Billion dollars in a line of credit through various banks. All of this of course was to be used in case of emergency. 2007 proved to be a very lucrative year for the General. The new CTS and Malibu are flying off dealer lots all over the country. And talks with the UAW went smoothly. So General Motors has announced that they have canceled the agreements with the banks. GM has also informed the SEC that they have "sufficient liquidity and financial flexibility" for the start of 2008.


Source: Automotive News.

2008 Dakar Rally Cancelled

Unfortunately Al-Qaeda has struck another blow at automotive enthusiasts. Attacks on French tourists in Mauritania on December 28th 2007 has caused A.S.O. race officials, along with the French Government to cancel this years rally.

This marks the first time that the Dakar has been cancelled since the first Dakar in 1979. Mauritania was formerly a French colony, and the A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organization, the same folks who put on the Tour de France) is a French organization. Since Al-Qaeda took claim for the attacks, that pretty much means that anything French is fair game to them.

The 2008 Dakar Rally would have started tomorrow, January 5th. And ran through the 20th.

Since 1979, the Dakar has served as an off road endurance race. Til 1995 the rally began in Paris, France and competitors would drive across much of the continent of Africa. Usually the total distance covered is right in the neighborhood of 9,000 KM. The rally is also open to both professional and amateur teams making the drive. Vehicle classes are divided up into three categories. Motorcycles, Cars and Trucks. And range from lightly modified production vehicles, to heavy duty prototype racing machines.


Source: BBC.

PRESS RELEASE
Lisbon, Friday the 4th of January 2008

After different exchanges with the French government - in particular the Ministry for Foreign Affairs - , and based on their firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally, scheduled from the 5th to the 20th of January between Lisbon and Senegal's capital.

Based on the current international political tension and the murder of four French tourists last 28th of December linked to a branch of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, but also and mainly the direct threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations, no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by A.S.O.

A.S.O.'s first responsibility is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. A.S.O. therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally.
A.S.O. condemns the terrorist menace that annihilates a year of hard work, engagement and passion for all the participants and the different actors of the world's biggest off-road rally. Aware of the huge frustration, especially in Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, and beyond the general disappointment and the huge economical consequences in terms of direct and indirect repercussions for the countries visited, A.S.O. will continue to defend the major values of great sporting events and will carry on its engagement for a durable development through the Actions Dakar, started 5 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa with SOS Sahel International.

The Dakar is a symbol and nothing can destroy symbols. The cancellation of the 2008 edition does not endanger the future of the Dakar. To offer, for 2009 a new adventure to all the off-road rally passionate is a challenge that A.S.O. will take on in the months to come, faithful to its engagement and its passion for sports.

It's official. It's Tata for Jag and Rover

There were many speculations and leaks that Indian car maker Tata Motors was the front runner to purchase Jaguar and Range Rover. Both Tata and Ford denied that this was case and that an announcement would be made after the new year. So here is the official word from Ford. Tata is the favorite to purchase both luxury brands. This will give Ford Motor Company a much needed boost in money.

Tata Motors was favored by many of the principal parties involved. Mainly by the unions for the workforce at both companies in England. Ford has also stated that they are interested in keeping involved with both Jaguar and Range Rover, suppling components and engines. A similar system was set up when Ford sold Aston Martin in 2007.

There are still many hurdles to jump before all of this dust settles, and we will keep you informed with the latest developments.

Source: Detroit Free Press.

PRESS RELEASE:
STATEMENT: POTENTIAL SALE OF JAGUAR LAND ROVER


DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 3, 2008 – The following statement is attributable to Lewis Booth, executive vice president – Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group (Chairman – Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Ford of Europe):

"Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar Land Rover business."

"There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned."

Own the ultimate of all the muscle cars!

What we have found here for sale may be one of the most significant muscle cars to come up for sale in a long time. This is the first 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang offered to the public. Now it isn't the first one to roll off the line. Ford still owns that one, after buying it back in the 70s. This car is the first Mustang to be offered to the public. Still a very special car in its own right.

It looks as though it has been given a cosmetic restoration. Perfect white paint, blue top and blue vinyl interior. There are a few pieces I see that don't look like they were there originally, but there's nothing really wrong with that. It also appears to be a pretty well equipped car. There's a 260 Windsor V8 under the hood with a 3speed automatic transmission. The wire wheel hubcaps and skinny white walls really set the car off. And the car comes fully documented, certifying the history.

Now for the big question. How much? Well that's where it gets expensive. This 64 1/2 Mustang can be yours for only $42,064.26 a month with $1,000,000 down. Or you can make a one time payment of $5,500,000.

All in all a pretty strong investment. $5.5 million is a LOT of money for this car. There are lots of other cars you could buy with that money. But they might not have the story behind them. Maybe give it a frame off restoration to factory specs without all the added on crap on the interior. Then run it through Barrett Jackson. It'll bring $5 million then. Otherwise, we'd recommend to hold out for a Shelby.

Source: Autoblog.com
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