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New Vector WX8 revives iconic American supercar name

11/14/2007   [Original: Vector Motors via Jalopnik via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, LA Auto Show, Time Warp, Supercars

If the name Gerald Weigert sounds familiar, you're probably a car nut of a certain age that remembers his travails trying to launch his pet supercar project, the Vector, back in the '70s, and the ensuing limited production run and financial difficulties during the '80s and early '90s. Originally powered by a turbocharged GM V8 in W8 guise, they eventually were fitted with a Lamborghini-sourced V12 in the M12 model. Fast forward to 2007, and the man that created quite a stir a generation ago with his All-American supercar is at it again. Vector Motors sent out a press release announcing their newest offering, the Vector Avtech WX8.

The full specs on the car are in the release (which you'll find after the jump), but it's fairly similar to the original plan. A race developed chassis with a bunch of aerospace technology, powered by a big V8. In this case it appears to be a Z06 mill that has been tweaked to produce 600HP, or a whopping 750 with an optional supercharger. Claimed acceleration is right in the middle of the supercar pack with 0-60 mph happening in 3.3 seconds, the quarter in 11.3 sec. at 138 mph, and a top speed of 260-270 MPH, given the proper gearing.

We'll see the car at the LA Auto Show this week, but Jalopnik ran these photos which make it look a bit like a mid-engined previous gen Camaro. We're not sure if this is the final look or not, so we'll reserve judgment.

Continue reading New Vector WX8 revives iconic American supercar name

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Video: Rapping grandmas love the Mitsubishi i EV

05/14/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Hatchbacks, Mitsubishi, Humor, Electric

For some reason, having unlikely rappers - like minivan-driving suburbanites or British mothers - spit about their rides is still a catchy advertising hook, even in other cultures. Far more so, we're guessing, than having P. Diddy sing about his dog and his pickup truck or a Brazilian street gang doing a Celtic dirge, for example.

And that's how you get three grandmothers ridin' dirty clean in a Mitsubishi i electric vehicle. The ad for the Belgian car sharing company Cambio - promoting the i in its fleet - gets the three "omaatjes" rolling through town in veteran hip-hop fashion, right down to the police once-over. Check out how they do it in the video below, but beware, there is some explicit language.

Continue reading Rapping grandmas love the Mitsubishi i EV

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VW Individual: More than just paint and wheels

08/11/2006   [Original: Volkswagen via Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Economy, Minivans/MPVs, Sedans/Saloons, SUVs, Wagons/Estates, Euro, Crossovers/CUVs, Hatchbacks, Volkswagen

Volkswagen IndividualThis week, Volkswagen introduced a new logo for their Volkswagen Individual line. Launched in 2003, Individual is Volkswagen's answer to other in-house customization and accessorization divisions like Audi Exclusive, Porsche Exclusive, and in Japan, Toyota Modellista.

In addition to customer-oriented personalization options, Individual also creates complete cars that are sold with the "Individual" branding. The Eos Individual (which you can check out after the jump) is one of the latest creations, and sports several attractive modifications like alternate wheels and a custom two-tone interior. Individual models are also available for the Touareg, Passat, Golf, Jetta, Sharan, Touran, and Golf Plus. Going forward, any vehicle that sports customizations by Individual will wear the newly-unveiled Individual logo shown above.

Volkswagen has also tasked the group with overseeing special projects like the 'R" product lineup (which today consists of the R32), "Product Impulse" vehicles such as the Touareg W12 Sport, and new niche creations such as the CrossPolo. "Green" efforts like the Touran EcoFuel and Polo BlueMotion have also fallen under the purview of VW Individual.

That's a lot of responsibility. Whether it's a set of rims, a one-off like the Phaeton Lounge, or a product offshoot like the R32 or CrossPolo, Volkswagen Individual's fingerprints are everywhere, and that seems to be a good thing.

(Photos, multiple press releases after the jump.)

VOLKSWAGEN INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT GALLERY

Phaeton Individual:

Phaeton IndividualPhaeton IndividualPhaeton IndividualPhaeton Individual

Phaeton IndividualPhaeton IndividualPhaeton IndividualPhaeton Individual

Eos Individual:

Eos IndividualEos IndividualEos Individual

Eos Individual

Golf & Jetta Individual:

Golf IndividualJetta Individual

Passat Individual:

Passat Individual

CrossPolo:

VW CrossPoloVW CrossPoloVW CrossPolo

R32

R32

Golf GTI 30 Edition (Study)

Golf GTI 30 Edition

Touareg Individual:

Touareg Individual

Polo BlueMotion:

Polo BlueMotion

Polo GTI Cup Edition:

Polo GTI Cup Edition

Touareg Expedition:

Touareg ExpeditionTouareg Expedition

Touareg W12 Executive:

Touareg W12 Executive

Touareg W12 Sport:

Touareg W12 Sport

Touran EcoFuel:

Touran EcoFuel

Phaeton Lounge (Study):

Phaeton Lounge:

Touareg V10 TDI Exclusive Edition:

Touareg V10 TDI Exclusive Edition

Touareg V10 TDI Exclusive EditionTouareg V10 TDI Exclusive Edition

PRESS RELEASES:

Volkswagen Individual GmbH: Exclusive Individual Models receive own logo

Wolfsburg, 08 August 2006 - The most exclusive automobiles of Volkswagen Individual GmbH can be recognized by its own logo starting in the fourth quarter of 2006: the "i" for the product brand "Individual". It is worked into an emblem which bears resemblance to the VW emblem of the 50ies. The product brand logo reflects what the competence center for striking low volume productions and innovative niche products of the Europe's largest automobile producer started in 2003 when establishing Volkswagen Individual GmbH - the project of dreams come true. Volkswagen Individual GmbH conceptualizes these dreams in three different business areas "Individual", "R" and "Product Impulses":

Business area product brand "Individual": Through the product brand Individual VW can offer a spectrum of possibilities unmatched by other high volume producers. It stretches from design oriented exclusive optional equipment to totally customized Exclusives. So far the options for individualization are offered for the Golf, Golf Plus, Jetta, Touran, Eos, Sharan, Passat, Passat Variant, Touareg and Phaeton.

Logo for two vehicle categories: Starting at a certain level of upgrading these Individual models will be graced by the new "i" logo. Located in three different positions on the vehicle: on the outside the chrome-plated emblem will be placed on the sides of the front fenders. In the interior the Wolfsburg upgrading specialists have the sign imprinted into the leather of the front headrests. Additionally, the logo can be found in combination the spelled out "Individual" in the door entry area door entry area. The logo is used for two vehicle categories. First for complete models like the Golf Individual or Touareg Individual and second for vehicles built in series which are upgraded by at least one Individual seat system.

Graphic joins tradition and modern days: From a graphic point of view the new logo of the product brand "Individual" brings three aspects together. Aspect 1 is self explanatory: the stylized letter "i" makes a typographical reference to the company and to its principal task, individualizing. Aspect 2 is clear to everyone the moment they set eyes on the side "face" of the Golf: the logo graces the graphic design of the front part with its headlights and radiator grill in an abstract way. Aspect 3 comes full circle to history: the shape of the emblem pays tribute to the brand history of Volkswagen: already the bow hood of the legendary Beetle was graced by the coat of arms of the city of Wolfsburg (starting 1951), later on being replaced by the round VW symbol.

Business area product brand "R": Under the label of the product brand "R" extremely sporty Volkswagen are developed. The current Golf R32 is the first one of the R-models and in its high performance takes center stage.

Business area "Product Impulses": In the business areas "Product Impulses" Volkswagen Individual sets a course and develops special series like the Polo GTI Cup Edition, the Cross Polo or the Touareg W12 Executive.

Special-Purpose Vehicles: Last but not least, Volkswagen Individual GmbH also develops special-purpose vehicles for the police and other official usages such as the natural-gas powered Touran EcoFuel.

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Volkswagen Individual - The Individual-Models: Golf, Eos, Passat, Passat Variant, Touareg

Unique vehicles with a very personal note

The exclusive models of the series Golf, Eos, Passat and Touareg

Spectrum of the individual complete vehicles is constantly growing

Wolfsburg, 08 August 2006

Individuality ex work - a contradiction? No, at least not at Volkswagen. Firstly Europe's largest automobile manufacturer offers almost countless possibilities to configure its new cars via the equipment spectrum of its models. Secondly there are the Volkswagen Individual models. Namely the Golf Individual, the Passat Individual, the Passat Variant Individual, the new Eos Individual and the Touareg Individual. An overview:

Golf Individual - Europe's number 1 in its most noble form

The Golf Individual is tailored to the growing number of customers that would like the comfort and performance of larger vehicles in the car body format of the lower middle class. Upon request this Golf can be painted in the new Individual color "Sommelier Red Pearl Effect"; it is available exclusively in connection with the Individual edition. Alternately the Golf Individual can be ordered in "Shadow Blue", "Reflex Silver" (each of them metallic) and "Black Magic" (pearl effect). Incidentally the roof top spoiler and bumper underparts are also painted in the body color. As for motors, Volkswagen Individual among others deploys the gas fuel 1.6 FSI (85 kW/115 hp) and 2.0 FSI (110 kW/150 hp) as well as the Turbo diesel 1.9 TDI (77 kW/105 hp) and 2.0 TDI (103 kW/140 hp). All in all fifteen motors are available.

The equipment of the Golf Individual is based on the version Sportline. 225 wide base tires and gloss turned 18 inch alloy rims set an optical highlight and optimize the road holding. In the interior the top sport seats known from the GTI fit the dynamic character. In this case they however come standard with leather upholstery; the middle lanes are out of exclusive holed leather which discretely lets the dark red ("Grenadine") or gray ("Art Grey") textile shimmer through. The door insets as well as the fabric borders of the foot mats are held in the corresponding tone. The equipment of the exclusive Golf is rounded off through Individual entry ledges and armature applications in the aluminum design "Mineral".

Passat and Passat Variant Individual - Noble black

The Passat Individual is offered as a limousine and Variant. On the outside the two most exclusive versions of the successful series can be electively recognized by the chrome applications and the specifically designed 18 inch alloy wheels. On the inside the sporty elegant appearance is rounded off by the dual colored leather equipment (in "Nappa Black / Snow Beige" or "Nappa Black / Teak").

Generally, the customer can chose between the classic light or sporty dark chrome style for the radiator grille, window frame and decorative ledges on the doors, rear bumpers and model logo. The dark chrome used for the first time by Volkswagen to refine a car is produced in a special metallization process, where vehicle parts are coated with a metalliferous layer. The result: a discreet shiny, ultra hard surface that is extremely scratch resistant and resilient against wear and tear and corrosion.

Together with the 15 millimeter lowered sport chassis, the anthracite lacquered 18 inch alloy wheels "Chicago" in five double spoke design with gloss turned surface give the Passat Individual an especially dynamic note. Optional and at no extra cost both models can be had with the alloy wheel "Samarkand". The wheel house ledges are colored in black, the side windows in the rear and the rear window are tinted correspondingly.

In the interior not only are the seats covered in a dual tone "Sensitive" leather but the door side panels are as well. The decorative seams on the three spoke multi function steering wheel and the gear shift cuff as well as the border of the textile foot mats correspond with each color combination. Décor inlays out of dark brushed aluminum underline the individual character of the interior.

Apart from the standard equipment of the Passat Sportline, the Passat Individual additionally is equipped with fog head lights, heatable window wash spray nozzles, an individually adjustable heatable seat for front and back seats as well as two zone climate automatic. The offer is rounded off by a radio-CD-system with four speakers in the front. If the, also developed by Volkswagen, Rear Seat Entertainment Systems (RSE) is on board there are either one or two LCD-screens (depending on the model) integrated into the front headrests. Apart from DVD's, the appendant player can also play music CDs. Furthermore, external devices such as games consoles, MP3 players and camcorders can be connected to the RSE through an interface.

Eos Individual - Exclusiv-Version of the 365-Day-Convertible

Its unique roof concept turns the Eos into a convertible for 365 days of the year. The most exclusive way to drive an Eos is offered by the program of Volkswagen Individual. In fact ex works. The spectrum of individualization possibilities reaches a level that is usually only offered by luxury brands like Bentley. Outside signs of the Eos Individual are alloy wheels in the 18 inch dimension. The customer can choose between the wheel types "Veracruz", "Chicago" and "Samarkand".

The seats of the Eos Individual are upholstered with dual tone Nappa leather. A contrast to the base color "Black" - which was also selected for the entire trim - are the middle lanes in "Corn Silk Beige" and the light colored piping. The sport steering wheel as well as the gear shift cuff and hand brake have light colored decorative seams as well. The edgings of the textile foot mats are also held in "Corn Silk Beige". An optical high light is set by the décor inlays that are covered with black piano lacquer.

Six exclusive auto paint colors are available for the Eos Individual: the metallic tones „Silver Essence", „Wheat Beige" und „Midnight Blue", the pearl effect-paint „Deep Black" and „Island Grey" as well as the especially sporty alternative „Red Pepper". The motor palette ranges from Turbo diesel 2.0 TDI (103 kW/140 hp) to the 3.2 liter six cylinder gas fuel with impressive 184 kW/250 hp and the double gear shift transmission DSG that comes standard.

Touareg Individual - Masterpiece for Off Road

The program of the independently designed complete models based on the successful off road specialist begins with the Touareg Individual. In the interior a dual tone leather equipment is used for the seats and parts of the door panels. The comfort seats of the Touareg are refined by a combination of Nappa leather and brown natural leather. Applications in ebony or piano lacquer black stylishly fit into this picture. Special foot mats in Tuft velour with colored edgings in color coordinated leather trim underline the exclusive character of the Touareg interior. An optical counterpoint to the natural materials in the area of doors and door entry ledges is the noble aluminum. The entry ledges are equipped with the Individual logo.

The Touareg comes standard with 19 inch alloy wheels, "Siena" style in a double spoke look. Upon request the alloy wheels can also be delivered in the 20 inch format. As is usually only with top motorizations, all Touareg Individuals also keep the running step on the rear bumper, the complete radiator grille and the side window frames in chrome. Corresponding with that: the silver colored roof rack.

The motor palette optimally fits the superior character of the Touareg Individual and offers the customer a broad selection to find the optimum power train suiting their personal needs. Two gas fuel engines - the 3.2 V6 FSI with 206 kW / 280 hp and the 4.2 V8 with 228 kW / 310 hp - are opposite three Turbo diesels. Their potential ranges from 128 kW / 174 hp with the 2.5 TDI over 165 kW / 225 hp to the burly 5.0 V10 TDI with 230 kW / 313 hp.

Apart from the Touareg Individual there are - and this is unique in this form - an entire program of further individualized Touareg. Here an overview:

Touareg Exclusive Edition: In less than three years, 250.000 drivers decided on a Touareg. So it is safe to say that the luxury SUV's enriched the company history with a new success story. Before this backdrop, Volkswagen Individual developed the Touareg Exclusive Edition limited to 999 models. Standard accessories such as a silver roof railing, two oval end pipes of the exhaust system and high end features for example decor inlays in piano lacquer or a dual colored Nappa leather seat system, underline the vanguard noble character of the Touareg. Every model of the Touareg Exclusive Edition comes with a certificate which includes the limited edition serial number. This serial number can also be found imprinted in the aluminum door entry ledges. The Touareg Exclusive Edition is offered with a performance spectrum ranging from 128kW / 174 hp to 230kW / 313 hp.

The dynamic as well as elegant exterior of the Touareg Exclusive Edition is primarily distinguished by its so called design package. It was designed by Volkswagen Individual. It is composed of modified bumpers, wider side sill ledgers, two chromium plated and oval end pipes (located on the left and right) of the exhaust system as well as a roof spoiler, serving as an aerodynamic air flow separator, painted in the body color. All details of the design package blend harmonically into the athletic appearance of the Touareg. The same goes for the titanium silver colored 19" alloy wheels type "Siena" with the double spoke look as well as the corresponding silver colored roof railing. The rims are equipped with 275/45 R19 tires. Furthermore, in the exterior area, the series also includes tinted and up to 65% light absorbing rear windows. "Black" and "Pearl Blue" are available as plain colors as well as the metallic or rather pearl-effect-colors "Black Magic", "Reflex Silver" and "Shadow Blue".

An exceptionally stylish ambiance distinguishes the individualized interior of the Touareg Exclusive. Some Examples: the surface of the applications on the instrument board, the upper side of the middle console and door paneling are in black piano lacquer. Optically in unison: the dual colored Nappa leather equipment. The middle of the seat as well as part of the sides and door panels are held in the light "Snow Beige", all other leather details such as head rests, arm rests and parts of the seat sides and seat backs provide a contrast with a dark anthracite. The anthracite colored areas of the seats are framed, with a piping in "Snow Beige". Furthermore the already outlined entry ledges out of aluminum with incorporated serial number (No. 001/999) and a ski sack that expand the exceptionally good equipment spectrum of the Touareg Exclusive Edition.

Touareg Expedition: The Touareg Expedition was developed for globetrotters and in regards to the vehicles attributes this term can be taken literally. Among other things, the Touareg Expedition includes specific off road features like the improved off road chassis with 25 millimeters more ground clearance as well as a protective aluminum undercoating for engine, transmission, tank and differential. A robust roof rack basket with two additional head lights is also part of the standard equipment suited for adventure. Other options are for instance a rope winch with 3.600 kilo pulling force and 30 meters rope length, a huge auto roof tent with aluminum folding table, an awning, a special alloy box and spare canister. Available on the engine side are the well known five and six cylinder engines.

Touareg W12 Sport Edition and Executive: The only off road vehicle in Europe with twelve cylinders was also conceived by Volkswagen Individual. And that in two versions: Touareg W12 Sport Edition and Touareg W12 Executive. Both are powered by the compact built 6.0 twelve-cylinder in unique W configuration, the 331 kW / 450 hp strong off-road SUV sprints from zero to 100 km/h in only 5.9 seconds. Their maximum speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The optically elegantly conceptualized Touareg W12 Executive is distinguished by a maximum comfort, which is reflected for example in the selected exclusive leather "Rodeo" and a cottonwood grain decor. The Touareg W12 Sport Edition appears consequently sporty. It is delivered with 20" alloy wheels in the "Casablanca" design (Executive: 19"), with front and rear apron as well as analog designed side sill and widened wheel arch. Other parts of the specific interior details are sport seats in anthracite colored Nappa leather as well as the aluminum decor "Micropoint". Apart from that, a unique complete equipment distinguishes both W12 versions.

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Volkswagen Individual - The Corporation: Philosophy and business areas

Specialist for dreams come true

Under the auspices of Volkswagen Individual GmbH, exclusive optional equipment vehicles as well as complete vehicles are built

Custom made solutions for all mobile avenues of society

Wolfsburg, 08 August 2006

The demand for individualized complete vehicles and exclusive equipment features is constantly growing. Some drivers only wish for a stand-alone rim or their iPod to be integrated into the standard Volkswagen sound system. Others might be dreaming of a refined interior with special leather or wooden inlays. And then there is a large number of others dreaming of a vehicle individualized to the core.

In order to be able to fulfill all these dreams in a highly flexible manner and delivering them in convincing quality Volkswagen AG founded Volkswagen Individual GmbH in February 2003 based in Wolfsburg, Germany. Ever since, Volkswagen has been developing, manufacturing and marketing vehicles that come with a certain extra in regards to individuality, specialization and / or sportiness under the name of Volkswagen Individual. While at the same time under the roof of Volkswagen Individual high-end technical equipment and special-purpose vehicles for government use (e.g. police) and rescue units (e.g. ambulances) are developed and produced.

For almost all series of the high volume brand and in addition to the already existing programs, Volkswagen Individual GmbH offers high-end refinement when it comes to design oriented optional equipment or innovative upgradings. Volkswagen Individual has centered its program into three business areas "Individual", "R" and "Product Impulses" and covers everything from high end components to complete vehicles with especially elegant or sporty optional equipment ex-works and to implementing totally new vehicle concepts. Additionally, Volkswagen Individual GmbH's staff of 207 manufactures singular vehicles, the Exclusive. The maximum range of feasibility can be found in the Exclusive "Phaeton Lounge", a unique long version of the luxury class models. All projects are conducted in close cooperation with Volkswagen's research and development department and with Volkswagen Design.

It is quite remarkable that through Volkswagen Individual all Volkswagen customers have access to a refinement program otherwise only known from luxury brands like Bentley. Assistance and consulting is offered through Volkswagen dealers and through an independent service-hotline. No matter if a Golf customer is looking for rims or a Touareg owner is selecting his individualized V10 TDI they can always expect a high level of expertise and proficiency.

Volkswagen Individual's Product Brands in Detail

Volkswagen Individual: Under the label "Individual" the special division creates exclusive models as well as ex works individualization offers. The selection ranges from special outside paintwork, design oriented attachment parts and rims to noble applications and leather equipment in the interior and to entertainment systems.

So far, the Volkswagen Golf, Eos, Passat, Passat Variant and Touareg are the complete vehicles which are offered as "Individual Models". Furthermore, single elements of the Individual program can be combined with each other. This way, customers that don't decide on a complete Individual car have extensive possibilities to fine tune their car. For example the offer includes design packages with exclusive leather interior equipment, special body paint or modern entertainment systems.

The Volkswagen specialists offer a tailor-made "Individualization" for the Golf, Golf Plus, Jetta, Touran, Eos, Sharan, Passat, Passat Variant, Touareg and Phaeton. At the top of the service offers under the "Volkswagen Individual" label are the partially handmade individual items, which among other things distinguish the Exclusives.

R-Models: Already with the first Golf R32, still based on the fourth Generation of the bestselling Golf, Volkswagen fulfilled the request for an exclusively equipped and particularly superior motorized lead Golf. 14.000 models were sold, far more than expected. Based on this success the idea was born to develop an entire series of R-models in the future - a typical job for Volkswagen Individual GmbH. Starting things off in 2005 was the second generation Golf R32, 184 kW / 250 hp strong and standard with the all wheel drive 4Motion. With this Golf, Volkswagen Individual not only put an extremely dynamic, but also very comfortable car on wheels. Character: superior understatement.

The special tasks of Volkswagen Individual in Detail

Product Impulses: With a high level of creativity Volkswagen Individual Inc. realizes complete vehicle projects on a regular basis. With these models innovation and lifestyle orientation take center stage. Examples for this are models such as, the Sharan Special, Touareg W12 Executive, Touareg W12 Sport Edition or Touareg Expedition. Furthermore, the specialists also develop new vehicle ideas for example crossover models. Crossover is a category that combines the best of two worlds. They are cars that fill market niches or create new ones. Here Volkswagen Individual has also developed a complete program which under the label with the additional name "Cross" melts two segments into a new one. The first model of this new series is the CrossPolo, introduced in 2006. The sharp four-door combines the advantages of a compact with the style elements of an SUV and therefore recommends itself as a practical and lifestyle oriented all round talent.

Development services: As a partner of research and development, Volkswagen Individual creates complete special-purpose vehicles (e. g. police cars and ambulances) and equipment components for special-purpose vehicles (e.g. cars for handicapped and driving school cars). Another field of activity with increasing relevance in times of constantly rising gas prices is the development of propulsion alternatives. In taking that into account, the company is banking on natural gas as an especially economic and low emission energy source. The latest examples here are the Touran EcoFuel and Caddy Life EcoFuel.

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The Mugen CR-V roadstar adds edge to Honda's SUV

10/13/2006   [Original: Mugen via CarScoop via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, SUVs, Crossovers/CUVs, Honda

Some of us have bemoaned the new styling of the Honda CR-V, which is why it's no surprise that the aftermarket has already stepped up to address our concerns. When you think of Honda tuning, you should think of Mugen (if you play Gran Turismo at all), and it's no surprise this Japanese tuning house is the first one to try and beat the ugly out of the new CR-V. Mugen today announced a whole catalogue of aftermarket appearance parts for the new CR-V that includes a front spoiler with integrated day/night lamps, a sports grille, a lower rear spoiler that integrates dual, center-mounted exhaust tips (!), a wing spoiler (pass, too much) and Mugen 19-inch TT wheels. The total effect is shocking and surely even more polarizing than an unadorned CR-V, but the consensus around the Autoblog office is positive. Now if Mugen could just fix that D-pillar we'd be happy.

More pictures can be found after the jump.

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eBay Find of the Day: Chop-top Caravan

01/12/2007   [Original: eBay via Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Etc., Dodge

This is just too sick for words. Maybe it was a factory attempt at ditching the soccer mom image. Or perhaps it's a reject from an episode of that failed pilot, Pimp My Mom's Ride. Whatever the motivation, somebody took a 1997 Chrysler Co. minivan and decided to turn it into a tri-tone, one-seat, open-top lowrider. The eBay description alternately describes it as a Chrysler and a Plymouth, but the nose is definitely a Dodge. So your guess is as good as ours as to which it truly is, but it's sort of a moot point. So little of the original vehicle is left anyway.

The seller begs us to believe he isn't responsible for this creation, and says that the vehicle runs and drives, but doesn't recommend taking it on the road as is. It's really a project car that somebody started and didn't finish. This Grand Voyager comes with a 3.0 V6 (with only 127,448 miles on it) that "runs decent," but "puffs some smoke at start up." The automatic shifts fine, but the van "rides like a buckboard." Perhaps the hydraulics were never sorted properly, as the tires rub, as well. If you've always wanted your own outrageous minivan conversion but didn't have the guts to take a torch to your mom's ride, then maybe this would be $1,000 well spent to get you started and avoid getting grounded. Check out eBay auction number 290070663925 if this sounds like your kind of thing.

Thanks for the tip, David!

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Aussie Love: FPV unleashes F6 R-Spec Typhoon

08/17/2007   [Original: FPV via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Ford, Australia, FPV

Click image for gallery

Since the next-generation Ford Falcon and its FPV counterparts have garnered much attention of late, it's easy to forget that the current Aussie BF Falcon is very much alive and well. And as if to remind us of that, FPV has come forth with its latest creation, the F6 R-Spec Typhoon. R-Spec refers to the track-tuned suspension the car sports under that bodywork. First implemented on the smashing FPV Falcon GT 40th Anniversary, the R-Spec chassis enhancements are intended to make the cars comfortable, livable daily drivers with excellent handling that are always ready for track days. The F6 Typhoon, with its 370-horsepower/406 lb-ft 4.0-liter turbo I6, was fun on four wheels already. With the improved handling the R-Spec suspension offers, fun probably turns to bliss. One more reason to go take that Australian vacation, folks...

Gallery: FPV F6 R-Spec Typhoon

Continue reading Aussie Love: FPV unleashes F6 R-Spec Typhoon

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Brabus mods coming to U.S. smart in the next few years?

12/06/2007   [Original: smart USA via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Tuner Tuesdays, Economy, SMART, Brabus

With all the hype surrounding the eminent sale of smart fortwos beginning next month here in the U.S., we overlooked a line on the smart's website that may hint at some hotted-up versions of the diminutive coupe. Although the model will initially be introduced with 1.0-liter three-pot, "Other engine types and sizes (including BRABUS) may become available in the next few years though no specific timeline has been outlined." What size engines they're referring to is up in the air, but if smart begins selling factory-authorized Brabus accessories - particularly the tuner's engine packages - it might open up a whole other demographic to the smart's growing fan base.

Gallery: BRABUS ULTIMATE 112

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SEMA 2008: Toyota's truck trio is 3x cooler than modded Venzas

11/05/2008   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, SEMA, Tuner Tuesdays, Trucks/Pickups, Toyota

Click any image for a high-res gallery of Toyota's SEMAfied trucks

Toyota's Venza trio didn't stir our souls, but a few of its customized trucks had us itching for some Italian iron and a remake of the first Back to the Future flick.

First up is the Toyota Tundra/Ducati Transporter that makes trips to the track a breeze with a motorized loading ramp, an integrated tool system, storage for spare parts and a set of solar panels mounted on the bed rails to provide auxiliary power. A 5.7-liter supercharged V8 sends power to 22-inch custom aluminum Alcoa wheels coated in Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires. In addition to a handful of suspension and body mods, the truck gets a custom interior with thrones fitted with an In Seat Solutions Relaxor Massage system. Naturally, the Ducati Desmo MotoGP bike is sold separately.

Tucked in behind the Tundra was the Tacoma Truck Concept, coated in a cream pearl exterior and retro stripes that had us fondly reminiscing about our first off-road experience in the 80s. A four-cylinder engine is mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox and a four-wheel-drive system (4x4x4) pulled from Landcruiser, featuring a solid front axle, transfer case and Toyota Motorsport rear axle. A custom roll bar and front grill joins KC Daylighter six-inch lights, Bushwacker fender flares and American Racing AR-23 wheels. And the exterior isn't the only thing retro about this Tacoma. According to our man Mike Levine from Pickuptrucks.com, the seats are swathed in 20-year-old Recaro fabric that the Toyota crew found in the corner of their warehouse.

The last of our Toyota trucks was the TRD Tacoma Off Road Project, which features a supercharged 4.0-liter V6, a seven-inch widened track, custom front control arms matched to a new set of Bilsteins with 13-inches of wheel travel and an independent rear suspension with 14-inches of wheel travel. Think of it as the Raptor asinterpreted by Toyota, but without the trick rear suspension setup.

Check the galleries below for plenty of pics and take a peek below the fold for all the details.

Gallery: SEMA 2008: Toyota Tundra/Ducati Transporter

Gallery: SEMA 2008: Toyota Tacoma Truck Concept

Gallery: SEMA 2008: Toyota Tacoma Off Road Project

Continue reading SEMA 2008: Toyota's truck trio is 3x cooler than modded Venzas

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eBay Find of the Day: 1974 Lincoln-based 'Bugatti' is a piece of work

10/11/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Sedans/Saloons, Auctions, Etc., Bugatti, Lincoln, Design/Style, Luxury

 Bugatti Lincoln Custom

We've come to expect varying levels of insanity from eBay Motors. The site is like a magnet for the one-off, the strange and the bizarre, which is part of why we love it. This machine is no different. Based on an unspecified 1974 Lincoln, the vehicle has received a full cosmetic makeover in the image of a Bugatti. Which Bugatti? The owner isn't saying, but there's no mistaking what lurks behind that big hoop grille as a French creation.

Now, we typically cringe at the over-application of fiberglass in any custom vehicle, which is part of what makes this Bug/Lincoln hybrid unique. The owner says that each body panel is crafted from aluminum, meaning that there are no seams, cracks, or, for that matter, rust. While not to our tastes, this creative rebody seems to have been done to a significantly higher standard than most of these sorts of misadventures. Either way, it isn't immediately clear if this is a one-off, or if someone built a small run of these things.

Inside, the interior has been given the mohair treatment along with a set of "European gauges." The castrated 460-cubic-inch V8 from the Lincoln is still tucked behind the headlights, but the engine is now concealed by a butterfly hood which should make working on the lump even more difficult than before. Wonders never cease. Head over to eBay Motors for a closer look. As of the time of writing, the auction carries a Buy It Now price of $39,950, but prospective buyers are welcome to make an offer.

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Video: The inner workings of Matt Machine makes us want to build, then ride

10/20/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Sports/GTs, Videos, Australia, Motorcycles

Matt Machine video

We're beginning to think Australia is the Promised Land. The wayward continent embraces all things motorized in a way that never fails to make us smile. Lately, we've become aware of the growing number of vastly talented motorcycle builders coming from that corner of the globe, including Matt Machine.

Machine is responsible for a volley of well-executed bikes, including a Moto Guzzi Mark 1 Le Mans that will stop your heart and start it back up again if you look at it for too long. A few video-oriented friends recently swung by the Machine farm for a few days to work up a quick flick on the man's inner workings as well as his creations. The result is fantastic.

The video after the jump is a well-shot ode to hand-crafting works of two-wheeled obsession. As Machine says, "It's about me learning how to use my hands and use tools and use my brain to build things from scratch."

Amen. Hit the jump to check out the clip for yourself.

Continue reading The inner workings of Matt Machine makes us want to build, then ride

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