Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

2008 Ford F53 RV is Built Tough off F-Series Super Duty

LOUISVILLE, Kent., Nov. 27 – Celebrating the growing popularity of RVing and the increasing luxury RV market, Ford introduces the most capable motorhome chassis to the new 2008 F53 Super Duty Class A lineup that has been fully re-engineered for better driving dynamics, more diverse offerings and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The new chassis borrows heavily from the industry’s most capable heavy-duty truck – the new 2008 F-Series Super Duty – and was proven out on many of the F-Series “Built Ford Tough” truck durability tests to improve on the Ford RV’s 25 percent quality advantage customers reported in Ford surveys.

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Enter the rumormill: Next Mustang iteration to get 007 flavor

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God help us for posting about another Mustang iteration, but with Ford’s commitment to bring a variant of the Pony car to market each year, it was simply a matter of time before the rumors began to swirl. This newest one, courtesy of MustangEvolution, contends that a revival of the Mach 1 is due out sometime in 2009.

While another special edition ‘Stang is enough to cause a bout of acid reflux, the basis for the Mach 1 may be yet another tribute to the coupe’s cinematic roots. James Bond drove a red Mach 1, sans black stripes and mag wheels, in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever, and supposedly Ford is looking for the original car as the basis for the 2009 model. While we can argue the merits of another Mustang variant, a Bond-badged version might seem a bit more palatable – barely.

[Source: MustangEvolution]


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Castagna Cinquino, aka another Fiat 500 with a kooky interior

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Click on the image above to see a gallery of the the Fiat 500 Castagna Cinquino

Now before you write in and say this isn’t a nice interior, notice we didn’t say it isn’t nice. It is nice. But we do think it’s kooky. Castagna is all over the galaxy with its customization choices, but of late has settled on the Fiat 500 for a muse. Castagna means “chestnut” in Italian, and frankly, that’s what the interior of this little baby reminds us of.

Outside, the car gets a two-tone paint job and some hand-applied stripes — the contrasting wheel arches emphasize the car’s stance nicely. It also gets a 30-mm lower ride height on Eibach springs, and Brembo brakes with 4-pot calipers on 280-mm discs up front. Under the hood, horsepower has been juiced up to 155, meaning the baby Fiat might crack 120-MPH.

Inside, vintage-finish leather, carbon fiber, and some mocha-colored Alcantara replace the usual fittings. As we said, it’s very nice. It’s just… very brown. If you’re interested, the car is called the Cinquino, the transformation is called “Passion Kit Corsa,” and price is, of course, never mentioned. And in case it isn’t brown enough for you: Castagna will be happy to make custom-fitted luggage to slot perfectly into the expanded, 40-liter trunk. Check out the hi-res gallery of images below.

[Source: Auto Blog Italy]

Gallery: Castagna Fiat 500 Cinquino


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Better sound in Volvos: HD radio standard in 2009

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Since the debut of the original C70, and even before, Volvo’s had a hi-fi fetish. That first C70 debuted the idea of in-car surround, running a Pro Logic head unit with available Dynaudio drivers arranged around the cabin. Volvo wants to continue offering its customers a euphonic experience, so they’re equipping virtually all 2009 models with HD Radio receivers beginning in late 2008. HD Radio offers expanded programming, like the satellite services, but there’s no fee. The selection may vary by geographic location, and variety may be spotty, but that’s not as bad as it seems. Rather than blanket the country with the very same show from Atlantic to Pacific, HD offerings vary by locale, just like good old radio. Volvo’s effort will give their vehicle fleet the largest base of standard-equipment HD receivers in the world, though the base S40 and V50 will not be available with the head units.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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Kimi Räikkönen gets hardcore with Marcus Walz

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click above image to view gallery of Kimi Räikkönen’s Iceman 2

Sure, you may think that racing Formula 1 in the Championship-winning Ferrari is pretty hardcore, but Kimi Räikkönen has an even better idea of what being hardcore really means. Or not. Whatever… what we do know is that Marcus Walz of Hardcore Cycles has made Räikkönen another bike. The first one was known as “Iceman”, and the second has been imaginatively named “Iceman 2”. The machine itself is pretty cool, although the basic premise of the machine is decidedly low-tech. Sure, it’s got a single-sided swingarm, but no rear suspension to speak of. The fork may be high-tech, but it’s placed at such an angle as to undermine its operation.

All of the preceding is beside the point, however. This bike is not meant to out-handle a Supermoto or out-race a GSXR. It’s meant to be as much about style as function, and the rider is expected to show it off whenever possible. Good thing the bike looks so good, then. And when Kimi wants to go fast… that’s not so much of a problem either.

Click past the break for the rest of the pictures.

[Source: Walz Hardcore Cycles]

Gallery: Kimi Raikkonen’s Iceman 2

Continue reading Kimi Räikkönen gets hardcore with Marcus Walz


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Loose lion chases cars in Ohio

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I am beaming with pride for my home state of Ohio as I deliver the news that motorists should keep an eye out for lions on the roadways this holiday season. Last Wednesday a pet lion named Lambert escaped from its owner’s cage near Columbus and began chasing cars on the highway. This King of the Asphalt Jungle escaped through the top of his pen and was the source of some pretty entertaining 911 calls before its owner, Terry Brumfield, managed to coax it back into its cage. Before that, Lambert was chasing down cars left and right, though fortunately did not cause an accident. Brumfield reportedly raises lions, of which he has two named Lambert and Lacey, to battle depression. We can think of a number of anti-depressants that do the same thing without the risk of some truly exotic road kill, but to each his own. While Ohio does regulate animals that are native to its region, it does not have any legislation regarding the ownership of exotic pets like lions and tigers and bears, Oh My! Well, there are probably a few bears native to Ohio, but they’re not usually found chasing cars on the interstate.

[Source: via Kicking Tires]


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Spy Shots: BMW E93 M3 hard-top convertible

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We knew it was only a matter of time before BMW would take the can opener to its 400 HP uber-coupe, and these newest spy shots prove that development is well underway. While little has changed from the standard 3-series cabrio, the fender flares, cut-up front fascia and quad exhaust are clearly M-specific kit, despite the lack of visible vents in the hood and on the front quarter panels.

We somehow doubt that a carbon fiber folding roof mechanism will be part of the package, but we’d like to be pleasantly surprised when the M3 convertible makes its debut in Geneva next year.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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Are GM and Toyota working on a hybrid together?

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The evidence: rumor had it at the LA Auto Show that customers would soon have the option of buying a hybrid Toyota Matrix and a hybrid Pontiac Vibe; the 2009 Pontiac Vibe is made at NUMMI, a GM-Toyota joint venture manufacturing plant where the Matrix is also made; Toyota’s already got its hybrid synergy drive — so is GM working on a hybrid with Toyota, or will they use Toyota’s hybrid tech to work in the Vibe?

The evidence is circumstantial, certainly. But it’s possible. Lutz said at the recent Reuters Auto Summit that, no matter what GM thinks of hybrids, the company made a mistake letting Toyota get so far ahead with hybrids such that now the Japanese brand has become practically synonymous with hybrids and is perceived to be atop a green moral high ground. True, there’s the Volt, and GM might not be doing anything with Toyota at all and it could just be a rumor. Or GM could surprise us with something completely new — it wouldn’t be the first time.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]


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On again, off again: BMW and Daimler may enter engine partnership

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It’s been rumored for some time and the newest comments from BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer is further proof that the propeller people are looking to get in bed with other automakers to cut the high costs of engine development and production.

This isn’t a first for BMW, which partnered with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen on the engine for the current crop of MINI models, but this newest endeavor could involve one of Bimmer’s biggest rivals, Daimler. Mercedes is in need of small, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for its next line of A- and B-class vehicles, and the MINI’s mill could be a good fit. The talks aren’t exclusive with BMW, however, as Daimler is also sitting down with unnamed Japanese manufacturers to provide petrol and diesel powerplants.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req’d]


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Hyundai’s worst kept secret: More shots of the Genesis surface

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Click the image above for more shots of the Hyundai Genesis sedan

Over the last couple of weeks, a number of spy shots showing the upcoming Hyundai Genesis have surface and they’ve left absolutely nothing to the imagination. The production version will be pre-released at an upcoming party coinciding with Hyundai’s 40th anniversary and then, two weeks later, the Genesis will make its official debut in Detroit this January.

These newest shots are some of the clearest we’ve seen yet, including several interior pictures that show a well-appointed cabin with an iDrive-like wart sitting below the gear lever. There’s a lot of 5-series in the exterior, particularly the trunk lid and much of what’s aft of the C-pillar, while we get a distinctly Toyota Crown feeling from the front end, hood and roofline.

Hyundai’s big reveal is quickly loosing its luster, but we’re still looking forward to seeing what kind of presence the Genesis has in person at the Detroit Auto Show.

[Source: World Car Fans]

Gallery: Hyundai Genesis spied in the buff


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