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Australians get track-tuned FPV Falcon GT 40th Anniversary model

03/02/2007   [Original: Drive.com.au & FPV via GM Inside News via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Ford, Misc. Auto Shows

Click above for hires gallery

Australia's FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original Ford Falcon GT with a special 200-car limited edition. The FPV Falcon GT 40th Anniversary is powered by Ford's Boss 290 5.4L V8. The 290 in its name refers to its power output in kilowatts. Put in our terms, that's 390 horsepower, and it's joined by 383 pounds of twist. That power goes to the rear wheels, natch. Breathing is aided by an FPV high-flow exhaust and six forward gears (manual or automatic) round things out on the powertrian side.

It should be noted the same drivetrain is found in the "regular" FPV Falcon GT. What sets the anniversary edition apart from its bretheren is the R-Spec suspension that underpins the car. Developed by Delphi at the request of Prodrive (co-owner of FPV along with Ford), it's designed to improve on-track performance without overly compromising everyday ride quality and tire wear.

The cars are given a coat of black paint with a gold Shelby-style stripe package (a la the Hertz Mustangs), GT 40th Anniversary decals aft of the front wheels, "BOSS 290" on the hood's power bulge, R-Spec badging on the rear, and 19" alloys (with red Brembos peeking through the spokes) trimmed in black. Note also the slick detail touches such as the FPV logo that's part of the lower grillework up front. The thing looks positively menacing and it has the goods to back it up. Man, they sure know how to do it right in Australia. Meanwhile, we get a new Five-Hundred Taurus. Yay.

Gallery: FPV GT 40th Anniversary Edition

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Mean and Roofless: Noble M12 roadster concept by Salica

02/07/2008   [Original: Salica Cars via Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, Tuner Tuesdays, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Supercars, UK

click above to view gallery

Chopping the top off of a supercar is usually a pretty good way for a small carmaker to increase interest in a dying model, but Noble evidently thought there wasn't enough interest when it shelved plans for an M12 GTC. The gents at Salica Cars think that was a mistake, but they're glad to pick up the ball.

Salica has taken on several former Noble employees to offer an open-air conversion for existing M12 owners. The ?20k chop-job is undertaken at Salica's workshop in Bristol, England, and consists of fitting a one-piece lightweight removable roof that can be stowed under the car's rear clamshell, and a new front-end with a proper luggage compartment. Salica also fits a new intercooler and radiators. Although it has yet to materialize into anything beyond some sketches, the result promises to be a marked improvement over the stock M12's closed cockpit. But Salica isn't going to stop there: the company has plans to release a more thoroughly modified version, called the Salica GT, also based on the M12 but taking the idea further with new mechanicals and a 460-hp twin-turbo V6, which Salica hopes to offer by August with a £65,000 sticker price. Considering the final 352-hp GTO3R version of the M12 cracked 60 in three and a half seconds, the Salica GT should be one mighty fast dose of wind in your hair.

Gallery: Salica Noble M12 GTC

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Officially Official: Tata buys Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion

03/26/2008   [Original: Ford via Autoblog]
Category: Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, India, Tata

Ford has issued a press release confirming that it has sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors for an approximate price of $2.3 billion, which comes under some numbers as high as $2.65 billion that were being tossed around yesterday. The rumor that Ford will contribute to pension funds associated with the brands is also true, as it confirmed that $600 million will be dropped into the retirement coffers of the brands once the deal closes. It is, of course, subject to regulatory approval in a number of countries, but the automaker expects the deal to be done by the end of the following quarter. As part of the deal, Ford will continue to supply powertrains, stampings and other unnamed vehicle components to Tata for "differing periods", as well as R&D research, environmental and platform technologies, and even accounting services, among others. Clearly the ties that bind Jaguar Land Rover to Ford are strong and will take some time to undo. Judging from the press release, it seems all parties involved, including the employees of Jaguar Land Rover, are pleased with how the deal went down, and for the time being both brands will be run business as usual during the transition period.

Continue reading Officially Official: Tata buys Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion

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Paris 2008: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept gets 52.3 mpg

10/04/2008   [Original: Peugeot via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Peugeot, Paris Motorcycle Show

Click above for high-res gallery of the Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept

The RC HYmotion4 concept is one of several hybrid concepts using a new through-the-road hybrid system being shown in Paris by Peugeot and Citroen. Unlike the hybrid systems used by current production vehicles, this one has no direct mechanical connection between the electric and internal combustion drive systems. The Peugeot RC has a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder in the back driving the rear wheels with 218 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque, while additional propulsion comes from a 70 kW electric motor situated between the front wheels. This way, the RC can operate in either rear-, front- or all-wheel-drive modes. That means it can also operate using internal combustion, electric only or blended modes, respectively. The 3,141-lb four-door coupe accelerates from 0-62 mph in just four seconds when both gasoline and electricity are flowing. The electrons are stored in a lithium-ion battery pack of indeterminate size, but having the electric motor at the front instead of the rear axle means that more kinetic energy can be recaptured through regenerative braking. According to Peugeot, the RC can get 52.3 mpg and output CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km. It's a trick system for sure, but there's no word on whether it's ever going to be produced.

Gallery: Paris 2008: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 concept

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Rendered Speculation: Volkswagen SP2 redux

10/25/2008   [Original: Carscoop via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Time Warp, Volkswagen, Rendered Speculation

Click above to view a high resolution gallery of Marcelo Rosa's SP2 rendering

Back in the 1970s when Volkswagen was trying to evolve from The Beetle Company to something more, the Type III was developed to go gunning for the mainstream. VW's Brazilian division was essentially it's own little fiefdom; with the market closed to imports and only Karmann Ghias to offer as sports cars. Even the spiffy and rare Type III Ghia was no longer too impressive by 1971. Division head Rudolf Leiding saw the need for a newer sports car and pushed through Project X, which used the Type III underpinnings and placed an attractive and modern coupe body atop the floorpan. Leiding was called back to run Volkswagen proper, but his modern coupe saw some success, and around 10,000 were produced making VW fans worldwide envious of the Brazilian market.

With the revival of the Scirocco, it seems only natural that interest in other sporty 1970's VWs would be piqued. Designer Marcelo Rosa has whipped up an updated vision of what a new SP2 might look like, and we like it. The idea is much like the upcoming Camaro - paying homage to the past without going completely retro. Some of the detailing is a little slavishly accurate and wouldn't fit with where VW's current style direction is going, but there's always room for a vehicle that pulls on the heartstrings; this is the company that makes the New Beetle, after all.

Gallery: Marcello Rosa VW SP2

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Seeing Red: VW unveils GTI and Polo W?rthersee '09 concepts

05/20/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Euro, Hatchbacks, Volkswagen, Misc. Auto Shows

VW GTI Worthersee '09 Concept

Click above for a hi-res gallery of the VW GTI Wörthersee '09 concept

Audi's not alone in bringing a customized production ride to the 2009 Wörthersee meet. Volkswagon's one-upping the interlocking rings by bringing two production-based concept cars: special Wörthersee '09 versions of the new VW GTI and Polo. The GTI's bodywork is finished in a dark Firespark Red color, offset with black wheels and exterior accents. The red is also used for the GTI's grille trim and to dress up the rims on its black 19-spoke alloys. Nappa leather trims the seats, with red contrast panels and white piping adding some more visual pop.

VW Polo Wirthersee '09 ConceptThe VW Polo Wörthersee '09 concept (shown at right) looks like the GTI concept's kid brother, and likely hints at the next-gen Polo GTI's appearance. Finished in Flash Red paint with black rally stripes, the Polo concept sports black 18-inch wheels with polished spokes sit at the corners, while inside, you'll find more Nappa leather appointments. Black surfaces are accented with white contrast panels and red accent stitching.

Both cars get sport exhaust systems and the obligatory commemorative doorsill plates, natch. Will the crush of fanboys rolling into the Wörthersee Tour approve of the two show cars? We'd place our bets on "yes."

Gallery: Volkswagen GTI Worthersee '09 Concept

Gallery: Volkswagen Polo Worthersee '09 Concept

Continue reading Seeing Red: VW unveils GTI and Polo W?rthersee '09 concepts

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Rumormill: Mercedes-Benz working on electric SLS eDrive for 2015

07/10/2009   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Tech, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, EV/Plug-in, Mercedes Benz, Lightweight, Rumormill

Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS - Click above for high-res image gallery

Green-minded fans of the upcoming SLS supercar that Mercedes-Benz AMG has been working on for well over two years, rejoice. The rumormill is buzzing with word that an all-electric version of the gullwinged monster could enter limited production in 2015. That's a ways off, but considering the gestation period of the gas-chugging version, it's pretty much par for the course.

According to the gossip-happy blokes over at Autocar, the electric SLS will share its lightweight aluminum body, gullwing doors, and most of the interior with upcoming SLS. The changes for the SLS eDrive will mostly be contained in the powertrain, which will use four 98 kW motors (one at each wheel) for a total of 392 kW (532bhp) and 649 lb. ft. of torque. A rumored 0-62 mph time of under four seconds and a top speed of 120 mph would put it in the realm of the Tesla Roadster if the SLS eDrive were available today, albeit undoubtedly at a much higher price point.

Of course, nobody actually knows what the electric gullwing will be capable of - if indeed it reaches production at all. According to Autocar, the SLS eDrive figures to have a shorter range than the Tesla, somewhere between 93 and 112 miles from a full charge that takes eight hours from a standard outlet, or five to six from a more powerful outlet.

The gasoline-powered SLS is expected to debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS

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Audi trimaran concept floats hybrid propulsion on the open water

05/06/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Etc., Audi, Design/Style, Diesel

Audi trimaran concept by Stefanie Behringer

Audi trimaran concept by Stefanie Behringer - Click above for image gallery

While hybrid propulsion is becoming more and more common in cars - concept cars especially - the application on the water has remained somewhat more limited. Some larger motorboats might incorporate sideways electric thrusters to help with docking, but that's by and large the extent of it.

As you might have guessed, however, this is no ordinary motorboat. For starters,- it doesn't actually exist - it's a design exercise. One created by German grad student Stefanie Behringer with input from Audi's design department. It's designed around a trimaran form - that is, a boat with three hulls that optimizes stability without the drag in aquadynamics that goes with a wider hull. Which picks up where the R8-inspired catamaran (that's two hulls to you landlubbers) and the nautical theme of the Q7 Coastline concept left off and takes the idea even further.

Attached to the center hull are two narrow outriggers that each house an electric-powered jet ski. The personal watercraft can (at least, in theory) be deployed as toys or tenders, but when docked inside the the outriggers supplement the main engines for trolling (that is, maneuvering around the marina) at up to 8 knots (9.2 mph) or accelerating. Oh, and the main engines? A pair of (presumably marinized) V12 TDI turbo-diesels with 500 horsepower apiece. Combined with the pair of 100-hp electric jet drives, that makes for 1,200-hp of thrust, which, with the boat's slender shape, is estimated to be good for 40 knots (46 mph).

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Video: Electric motorcycles from Brammo and Zero mix it up in the dirt

05/14/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Videos, Motorcycles, Electric

Trevor Doniak vs Kris Keefer at AMA Mini Moto SX

Brammo and Zero electric motorcycles at AMA Mini Moto SX - Click above to watch video after the jump

Both Brammo and Zero locked horns in a little friendly competition during last Friday's AMA Mini Moto SX race in Las Vegas. Brammo pulled the sheets off of a new electric mini bike called the Brammo Encite as well as a full-scale Brammo Engage dirt bike. Fortunately enough for those of us who live far, far away from Sin City, Trevor Doniak was kind enough to strap a camera to his noggin when he hopped in the saddle of his Zero MX. How'd it go? Let's just say that the electric bikes had no trouble overtaking the much slower internal combustion racers that started ahead of the battery-operated field.

Doniak suffered his fair share of falls during the quick race, including more than one tie-up with a Brammo rider. There's even some buzz that he was intentionally trying to unseat Kris Keefer from his Brammo steed in order to ensure that a Zero machine held all three spots on the podium.

Is it true? We can't say either way, but you can check out the video after the jump to decide for yourself.

Continue reading Electric motorcycles from Brammo and Zero mix it up in the dirt

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Geneva: Magna MILA Coupic Concept is a shape-shifting convertible crossover pickup

03/08/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Convertibles, Coupes, Trucks/Pickups, Geneva Motor Show, Crossovers/CUVs, Special/Limited Editions, Design/Style, MISC

Magna Steyr MILA Coupic Concept

Please excuse us while we banish thoughts of David Letterman's hosting of Oscar night - Magna; MILA... Uma; Oprah - and instead focus on what this concept car brings to the table. This is the sixth MILA Concept from Magna-Steyr, the Austrian arm of Canadian auto parts giant Magna International, and it's meant to showcase the capabilities of the supplier.

First and foremost, the MILA Coupic's two-door crossover shape can convert into a convertible or a pickup truck, depending on the configuration of the rear seat. There's seating for as many as five occupants in full CUV mode, and the two glass roof elements can be opened or closed independently.

The MILA Coupic is an impressive engineering exercise, and, since Magna builds such production machines as the Mecedes-Benz SLK, Fiat 500C and Opel Astra TwinTop, it's one that could potentially see a roadway near you at some point in the not-too-distant future. See for yourself in our image gallery above, and read more in the official press release below.

Continue reading Magna MILA Coupic Concept is a shape-shifting convertible crossover pickup

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