The Car Geek: March 2007

The Car Geek

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kia’s “Concept i” in time for April fool’s Day

Who knew that Kia people have such a sense of humor? It’s advertisement on its self-build concept car, dubbed as “Kia unveils groundbreaking self-build CAR with ‘Concept i’” just shows a heap of boxes. Some may wonder if Kia’s porch light turned off too soon but it’s supposed to elaborate an April fool’s Day prank in which the last line of the release states: An on-sale date and pricing is yet to be announced by the Korean company, but it currently has no i Kia.”

So there’s no “Concept i” after all. Though there are much-debated speculations about the intriguing car wringing to be in the works. If there is, the DIY Kia parts would be equipped with “a selection of existing powertrains from the recently launched CEE’d, including the popular 1.6-liter turbodiesel.” Transmission options also range between a four-speed automatic to a six-speed manual gearbox.

According to Kia, the car’s inspiration comes from an innovative “flat-pack furniture” that the customer builds at his or her very own garage. An Allen wrench is all that’s needed to put together the vehicle (that’s also included in the kit).

The supposed warranty states that it will vary according to the skill level of the customer. Yes, all his time there’s a catch to its ploy.

“A questionnaire can reveal how adept they are at building the car,” that’s in accordance to a Kia statement.

The Kia “Concept i” will deliver a few guffaws and giggles along the way – if you get the whole shaggy dog story.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Zipcar and MBTA Teams Up to Increase Commuting Options

The renowned urban lifestyle brand Zipcar hooked up with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) just recently to declare a multi-faceted conjunction that will expand the Zipcar program to make people live and work car-free in the city. The program is extended to various T locations along the Green, Orange and Red lines. The MBTA is the first transit agency to house vehicles at several transit stations throughout its service area. The transportation authority provides customers services in work, school, medical appointments, entertainment and shopping goals.

The partnership will garner Zipcar location expansions from three to twelve. Currently, a Zipcar is available at Alewife, Forest Hills, JFK/UMass and Savin Hill stations. The next few months will allot 20 more spaces at 8stations along the Red, Orange and Green lines.

More than 24 vehicles at a dozen T stops which include Alewife, Woodland, Riverside, Savin Hill and Forest Hills have allowed residents to depend on commuting while using Zipcars for their trips. Zipcars have also expanded its trace further outside Boston, Quincy, Newton and Braintree for the first time. Also, the partnership constitutes website integration with Zipcar incorporating T maps, locations and details into its new web reservation system as well as cross, in-station co-marketing and a joint venture for the new CharlieCard to riders and tens of thousands of local Zipcar members.

Zipcar and MBTA will inevitably host a launch event at the South Station on which people can learn more about Zipcar as the world’s largest sharing service and the partnership as well as take on several promotions and meet top execs from both Zipcar and MBTA. Since there are high gas costs these days more people are actually considering commuting.

MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas remarked that the transportation service is continuously examining methods to improve transportation options while also benefiting the environment. Both the T and Zipcar utilization minimizes traffic congestion and pollution at urban areas and also time-saving and cost-efficient.

More than 550 vehicles are in the Zipcar range allotting 250 locations throughout Greater Boston. Over 40% of its members reported that Zipcar has engaged them to sell or put off purchasing a vehicle while taking the task of public transportation.

Dan Curtin, Regional Vice President for Zipcar enthused that the partnership will reap its benefits since a recent survey of Zipcar members in Boston revealed that 96% regularly ride the T. There are also an increasing number of commuters taking the transit to work and use Zipcars to do their business.

Zipcar is a brand that also takes a stake at being a performance parts lifestyle distributor and provides its customers with hourly and daily access to cool, affordable and conveniently-located vehicles.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fantastic Four Gets Dodge HEMI As Super Hero Ride


You are maybe mistaken. This is neither the Bat Mobile nor Kitt from the Night Rider. I am talking about the new super car for the Fantastic Four movie. Yup, finally they will have their very own car and its coming from Dodge. The film was a follow up from its 2005 debut Fantastic Four.

It is neither a Ferrari nor a Lamborghini. The new supercar is powered by a Dodge HEMI which will be the official car for our four superheroes - the Fantastic Four. This Fantasticar will be running on a powerful speed of 550 mph and 30,000 feet. Filled with Dodge parts, the new car will soon rock the theaters near you.

The super car has been a part of the Fantastic Four since its comic release in 1962 and coming on theaters this summer. The Fantasticar was made into reality by Tim Flattery from the Transformers in collaboration with the Chrysler Group’s Trevor Creed, as the chief stylist under the brand name Dodge HEMI. The car breaks into three parts on the movie.

The Fantasticar also has wings and these are not the same as those found on any Dodge HEMI.

The latest movie is about the four heroes who are defending the earth against the evil plans of the Silver Surfer and the shockingly alive Dr. Doom (oh yes, he is!). The new super hero movie will be opening this June 15. We’ll see you at the theaters.

Cadillac getting a Drastic Product Makeover

Cadillac is going through a phase, rolling in the process of a major product overhaul that is. The GM’s Cadillac brand will marshal a new look as well as various production models. The transformation is the main cue of GM’s sketch to craft Cadillac into a global luxury brand. GM’s not being ambitious, the brand just wanted to churn Cadillac editions ready for its vehicle competitions.

Cadillac aspires to progress into a head-to-head competitor in the automotive market and is developing a new line of products and Cadillac parts to bolster its image in foreign and domestic markets. The first of the new products is the modified CTS sedan which will be launched later this year as a 2008 model. Following its rear would be a new CTS coupe and wagon which will be 2009 models. The new CTS is the forerunner of Cadillac’s next-generation expression. The styling hints from the Cadillac Sixteen concept that made a grand entrance at the 2003 North American International Auto Show at Detroit.

The Cadillac designing group has set its sights on shifting to rear-wheel driven vehicles. It also includes the launch of two new high-end RWD sedans mainly for North America and a low-end RWD sedan in Europe. By the year 2010, Cadillac will be providing an array of vehicles on four different RWD platforms beginning with new compact bodywork known as Alpha. The brand also plans to execute a new midrange crossover vehicle known as the BRX, an offshoot of the premium version of the Theta all-wheel drive platform.

The new Alpha platform is said to be the hobbyhorse of Bob Lutz, General motors’ product exec. The use of the platform is to serve the base for a broad range of midsize rear-wheel-drive models for various GM brands (which includes Cadillac, Holden, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Vauxhall and even Chevrolet).

As sources have claimed, Lutz plans to see the Alpha platform used in place of the front-wheel-drive Epsilon II platform on a number of GM products. The arrangement would include planned substitutes for the Cadillac BLS and the Pontiac G6. Chevrolet could also use some Alpha-based successor to the Malibu sedan or a coupe that’s badged as the Chevelle.

While the new Zeta platform will be produced in Australia underpinning two new luxury sedans in its wing. One is a successor to the front-drive DTS (nee De Ville). When the new rear-wheel drive DTS be made available in the U.S. in 2010, Gm insiders remarked upon the phasing out of the current Sigma-based STS.

New Alpha models will reach mainstream markets in 2010-2011 while the next-generation XLS roadster has been set for a 2012 launch.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

NYIAS Share Of Concept Cars

Why do we love concept cars?

For a fact, these concept cars may seem strange but they do give us a glimpse of the possible future of the auto industry. They also do serve as venues for the current batch of auto makers to show off what they can possibly do given the right amount of time, technology, science, and knowledge.

And for this year’s set of concept cars that took the spotlight at the New York International Auto Show, it seems like these concept cars still do not fail to enthrall people and attendees of the glamour and the excitement that they continuously bring year after year after year.

Take a look at the share of concept cars set out on display at the mentioned auto show which happens starting April 6th up until the 15th.

Chevrolet Camaro

  • A convertible
  • Comes in a tri-coat paint named the Hugger Orange
  • Has a classic hood and short decks
  • Has wide wheels
  • Comes with a V8 engine with just the right amount of torque to make it zoom
  • Powertrain parts are coupled with a manual transmission
  • Chevrolet Volt

  • An electric vehicle
  • Makes use of an electric drive system that is rechargeable so that the driver can still up to miles in just one charging
  • Can run on E85, biodiesel, electricity and even the conventional gasoline
  • Comes using the GM E-Flex Propulsion system
  • Can seat four to five people
  • Chrysler Nassau

  • Comes with four doors and four seats
  • Built as a luxury coupe
  • Has rear side and front side glass that can be retracted to the highest extent
  • Has a personal control interface found on the instrument panel
  • The entertainment system seems to be based on a home theater
  • Dodge Demon

  • Can spurt out 172 horsepower from its 2.4 liter engine
  • Named as the “roadster with an attitude”
  • Combines the classic sports car features with modern style and capabilities
  • Ford Airstream

  • Comes as a plug in hydrogen hybrid with a drivetrain that could run using fuel cells
  • Uses electricity to zoom forward
  • Ford Interceptor

  • Uses a Cammer engine with a capacity to take in 5.0 liters
  • Uses E85 fuel
  • Other vehicles in the auto show include:

  • Honda Accord Coupe
  • Jeep Trailhawk
  • Kia Rondo SX
  • Lexus LF Sports Car Concept
  • Lincoln MKR
  • Mazda Hakaze
  • Mazda Nagare
  • Saab BioPower 100
  • Suzuki Flix
  • Suzuki Zuk
  • Toyota FT HS
  • Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Showcasing the Chang’an CV11 Minivan

    The Chang’an CV11, launched by Ford’s partner Chang’an Motor in China and Suzuki, is the latest offering of domesticated, homegrown Chinese vehicle innovations. The new CV11 is a seven-seater that runs on a twin camshaft 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

    The minivan is designed by Italian firm IDEA and developed by the Chinese automaker in-house. The CV11 was actually first displayed as a concept car at the 2003 Shanghai Auto Show.

    Chang’an Motor has three joint ventures to build automobiles with Chinese, Japanese and Western Auto Companies and plans to build models for domestic markets and exports in the future. And thanks for being affiliated to Ford, Chang’an Ford was formed. The Chinese company has set its intentions ready for the Ford Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo production. Also the company, a former affiliate of the People's Liberation Army, said it plans to export 100,000 vehicles a year by 2010. The company is currently building a new factory in Nanjing to build Mazda cars.

    Last year, Chang’an assembled more than 700,000 vehicles (makes you think that the Chinese are really very competent and industrious people). About half of the produced vehicles and its auto body parts were in partnership with Ford and Suzuki.

    Chang’an’s joint ventures to various automotive brands:

    •Chang’an Suzuki – 1992 – present – with Suzuki Motors •Chang’an Ford – 2001 – present – with Ford Motor Company •Chang’an Ford Mazda Engine – 2005 – present – produces engines with Mazda •With Jiangling Motors – produces the Jiangling Landwind SUV

    So far, we just have to anticipate good wholesome vehicles from this Chinese automaker. I’m sure it won’t be long for most big automotive companies to take on importing small cars from its Chinese affiliate. Who knows?

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Proteus Jaguar C-Type Coupe Revealed

    Proteus has been a leader in the field of revamping sports cars such as the Jaguar C-Type. The curvaceous Jaguar’s exterior car parts is splashed in electric blue and it’s not impossible to notice it.

    Proteus is also acquired by rival sports-car maker Enduro Cars. Both Proteus and Enduro brands will be represented at the exhibition. It has been sourced that Proteus will be “reserved for fully built, factory-warranted cars and the sale of any other body and chassis units, while the Enduro moniker will be used for the retailing of any separate mechanical components."

    Take note that jaguar never made a coupe with the C-type. Though there will be a Proteus one as the specialty carmaker ponders over building a striking half-scale model that will be displayed at Race Retro, the 2007 International Historic Motorsport Show in Coventry. And through it all Proteus will build the real thing.

    Proteus recently revealed the artistic notion of the car elaborating that “there will be a Proteus One if the public reacts positively.”

    Proteus Chairman Matt Beverley remarked. “Where there has been the choice of both roadster and coupe versions of a sports car (for instance: Jaguar XK120, 140, 150 and E-Type), many have opted for the coupe, if for no other reason than it offers added protection from the elements. It will be very interesting to see people’s reaction to the car Jaguar never built.”

    Proteus has a knack for seeing through quality and detail and it’s positive that the Jaguar C-Type Coupe along with its new and innovative Jaguar parts will be quite a stunner.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Latest Prices and Specs of Hyundai Azera

    Hyundai Azera

    Efficient cars with great value are obviously in demand in the US car market. This is the main reason why most of the car makers are building new cars that boasts of economy and quality features.

    And when it comes to durability and economy-friendly vehicles, the Asian auto makers take the lead. Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Mazda are just some of the world’s famous makers of value-ridden cars. Just recently, Hyundai, a South Korean car maker, released a four-door version of the Azera that comes with smaller fuel parts, a V6 engine and has quite a low based price tag.

    The Hyundai Azera GLS model is currently filled with a 234-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6, instead of the 3.8-liter V-6 found under the hood of other Azera models namely the Azera SE and the Azera Limited. All are given the same five-speed automatic as found on each engine. The GLS edition is also given 21 miles per gallon in the EPA city cycle and 28 mph in the highway cycle.

    The SE models is also included on its Azera line-up which will wear 17-inch wheels, optional leather features, a new 605-watt Infinity sound system for Limited editions, and standard tire pressure monitors on all Azeras.

    The Hyundai Azera GLS will be wearing a price sticker of $24,895 and this is almost $1300 less than the mid-line SE model. All these models will have standard factory installed features like a CD/XM audio system, eight airbags, and the stability control system. The package could also include the optional sunroof.

    All coming this 2007, these models are equipped with Hyundai parts and factory offered standard tire pressure monitoring systems which is new for this year.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    The 2007 Dodge Charger Police Package

    Get ready for the quickest and fastest police sedan around, the 2007 Dodge Charger Police Package, that’s sure to whip around most crime-doer butts. The vehicle is actually sold through your typical government bidding procedures.

    The mean and athletic-looking sedan harbors a powerful engine gunning a 340-horsepower Hemi V8 incorporating a standard Electronic Stability Control mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that runs on optional plastic covers on the standard 18-inch steel wheels and rims. When in full throttle, the car will rocket to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds, a speed that’s just enough for police chases. It also include two-way radios perfect for ranting out suspicious doings in the vicinity. The Charger police package is also available with a 250-hp, 3.5-liter V6 that’s quite cheap much to the delight of municipal police departments.

    The sedan’s chassis has a modernized take on its toughened police car look. It ahs a contemporary and sporty outline that matches its sculpted waist. The slightly tail-in-air rake of the Charger makes this one of the most aggressive-looking squad cars of all time.

    The Police Charger doesn’t have much design aesthetics since it’s just suited for doing a cop’s dirty speeding job. Only the holes lugged out of its A-pillars to fit twin spotlights and inside rear door handles and locks beyond this have been disabled and the 160 mph speedometer is certified for enforcement.

    Instead of a console, the Cop Charger has a bracket, and the light bar and siren operate from the control panel below the public address microphone which has a radio-ready bay beneath it. The Charger’s unfamiliar face and a low-profile light bar should conceal the Dodge’s appearance at first glimpse in traffic. Talk about inconspicuous.

    Although there is some major setback when it comes to carrying police equipment (not to mention hauling prisoners at the backseat), there’s not much space for road flares, shotguns, riot gear, evidence bags, traffic cones and several other cop stuff that will relax its way into the cargo hold. Besides, the Charger’s roofline pinches the door openings, making it mildly hard for getting a prisoner in.

    Well, you can just take in mind the Police Charger’s aggressive face. If you’re on the wrong side of the street, you’ll be seeing it more often in your rearview mirror.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Mazda Expands Its Hydrogen RX-8

    The Mazda Motor Corporation is on the seventh version of its test hydrogen flex-fuel RX-8 and has recently announced that it has delivered its one dual-fueled RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle which runs on either gasoline or hydrogen. It aims for garnering world data on cars that can run on either hydrogen or gasoline. The automaker is determined to prove that rotary engines are best suited for use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

    The Mazda RX-8 has a rotary fuel engine with a dual-system that allows the driver to select either gasoline or hydrogen fuel with just a press of the switch. The vehicle was turned over to Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) for testing.

    Vehicles made by other automakers utilize piston-driven power plants for hydrogen application. Unlike them, Mazda stands out with its produced rotary engines. The rotary engine’s compact size and the use of separate air intake and combustion compartments make it better suited for hydrogen fuel.

    Revving up a 107-horsepower flex-fuel RX-8, it can run through 62 miles on hydrogen and cover 340 miles on 16 gallons of gas. The latest version of the flex-fuel RX-8 Hydrogen RE will be used to create plans for international hydrogen standards, establish examination and evaluation techniques and provide safety hydrogen development regulations as well. The hydrogen supply will mainly come from JARI’s own hydrogen station at their facility in Tsukaba City, Japan.

    True to its goal, Mazda is independently working on developing hydrogen cars with rotary engines as part of its efforts to promote an environmentally friendly urban living.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Foot & Ankle Trauma Because of Air Bags?

    foot and ankle trauma

    It has been found out that the numbers of people who suffer from foot and ankle trauma after being in auto accidents is continuously increasing. And when the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (or the ACFAS) did a study on this, these experts did find out that it is because of the air bags.

    It was back in the year 1998 when the government had started out that requirement that vehicles should have dual front air bags. And it was during that time that the people from ACFAS started noting the gradual increase of injuries on the foot and the ankle. And it seems to be backed up by a federal report which said that drivers of these vehicles which came equipped with air bags were suffering from such injuries. It also does look like there are more than 17,600 people who suffer such per year with a third of this having the pains coming mostly from their feet or ankles.

    Feet and ankle injuries may not be fatal but it can be quite uncomfortable for those suffering from it. People who have it would most likely have to go through physical therapy as well as rehab. And that could be costly.

    James L. Thomas, DPM, FACFAS, is the president of ACFAS and on this matter, he states, “We see trauma we never saw before. A decade ago, these patients would have died from head trauma or other upper body injuries. Now, thanks to seat belts and air bags, they survive.” Thomas is also a surgeon for foot and ankle trauma at the University of Alabama and the Birmingham Hospital.

    He even does continue, “Many patients who suffer foot and ankle trauma in an auto crash - with or without air bags - face a long road to recovery.” But there seems to be good news. He shares, “But the good news is, many patients do recover and lead a normal active lifestyle.”

    A Toyota Topless? And Other Odd Vehicle Names

    Admit it: some vehicle names are just plain weird. We think automakers have opted for grand doses of name recognition that would still be instilled in our minds, say, if we’re already 90 years old. Speaking of names, a book that features 75 vehicle names has just been published in the UK. The Register of Model Titles is controlled by the SMMT, the British car’s industry umbrella organization. Even though some particular facts are plain boring, it also suffices to interesting facts that might just keel you over with fascination and hilarity. Significant highlights:

    Leyland Titanic – although it’s not a car but a bus, you might think otherwise. Read: a sinking ferry boat. It’s not a good name.

    Ford Era – say it wrong and an extended period of time becomes a mistake.

    Saab Tjugofem – it’s a meaningless word. Enough said.

    Daihatsu Widget – I’m thinking donuts or is that a midget?

    Toyota Lightening – sounds more like a whitening product than an automobile name.

    Toyota Topless – obviously, the Japanese automaker liked the sound of it. It should be based on its exterior car parts whether it has full frontal, ahem, nudity.

    Toyota Tsunami – bring on the waves and wash this ridiculous name away.

    And here are gems which could hack lawyers for a potential killing:

    Cayman belongs to Porsche, but Caymen is Citroen. Optima belongs to Citroen (and Kia in the U.S.), Optimo is Toyota. Insideout belongs to Ford, but Inside Out is Daihatsu. Rally belongs to Peugeot, Rallie and Rallye are VW, but Rally Raid is Nissan. Pzazz belongs to Kia, but Pzzazz is Citroen.

    Despite the entire feud over vehicle names, this book is one handy and quick informative book for an automaker’s naming division to see if anyone else if using the signature titles they want for their new vehicles and products.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Tiger Trucks to Build First U.S. Plant for Chinese Trucks

    Tiger Trucks is a private international equity stationed in Dallas Texas. It has been delivering a series of multi-use trucks and vans for of-road capacities right at your doorstep since 1999. Now, in an event where the Tiger Truck owners, Texas Congressman Kevin Brady and other officials from the Texas state, City of Jasper and Jasper County, all together announced the first Assembly Plant that will be placing its ground on U.S. soil for vehicles based on detailed elements by the ChangAn Automobile Group.

    Tiger Truck is now a U.S. manufacturer for ChangAn which in China has manufacturing agreements with bigwig leading companies such as Suzuki, Ford and Mazda. Tiger Truck’s big players are thrilled to be investing in the U.S., hiring skilled U.S. personnel and delivering products made in China for the American aftermarket.

    Tiger Truck has been the first to produce and build vehicles powered by an automatic transmission or standard shift, 4WD options, electric drive, hybrid drive, limited slip differential and will be the first to deliver genuine "Made in U.S." vehicles with a Chinese signature.

    So go get your truck tonneau covers ready since the Jasper facility will assemble two new truck platforms. First platform: they’re the Champ (a full-size pickup truck available in a two-door or four-door cab which will be sold to the U.S. and the Canadian market) and the Leopard (will be embedded with a diesel engine, dual rear wheels and rims and other innovative features). Second platform: it still yet to be named which will be a medium duty truck that will be sold worldwide for on-road use and will also be delivered with an EPA/C.A.R.B. certified diesel engine.

    The U.S. plant is a 92-acre site with more than 250,000 square feet of existing indoor manufacturing space with sufficient utilities and a rail spur in the building. The design of the vehicles and the assembly floor layout make it easy to blend arrangements on the line.

    This plant will be serving a section of the international marketplace, surrounded with a skilled workforce and automotive expertise to meet many of Tiger Truck’s strategic ploys. Look forward to many of the good things to come from Tiger truck and see for yourself by logging onto:

    First vehicles will be released in early 2008.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Hyundai’s New Luxury Sedan

    The next new premium sedan from Hyundai will be the Concept Genesis. The Hyundai Motor Company announced recently that the new concept sedan will provide a stepping stone toward a future premium rear-wheel-drive sedan. Knowing the Hyundai group, they will be good with their words.

    Hyundai's growth in the U.S. market has led the Korean company to commission a new luxury sedan that will fit above the current Azera range. Come to think of it, the styling of the Concept Genesis is similar to the current Azera as seen in the concept’s rear fascia. Unfortunately, only few details have been given out about the Concept Genesis but its existence offers no kind of concealment.

    There are several prototypes that have been caught testing over the past year such as the prototype testing in the California desert which is likely to become the production version of the Concept Genesis. Each one indeed exposes a little more about the new Hyundai concept that’s going to cost a sturdy sum of $30K-$35K.

    It has muscular proportions prior to its trimmed outline, riding on a 116-inch wheelbase. A V8 engine was rumored to be embedded in its powertrain but a prototype caught with its hood open reveals a V6 driving the rear wheels. Don’t get confused since Hyundai knows what its doing.

    The cabin's features burbles over dashes of wood trim and center console. Leather trim covers are stitched everywhere with the backseat's appearance offer a roomy interior.

    Sources have claimed that the production version of the Concept Genesis will have a competitive edge especially with its costs as it will offer a significant list of features and other technological innovations.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Four Cars For Charity

    1967 Jaguar E Type

    Four cars are going to be auctioned and sold to benefit charity. This is going to be part of the American Concours Foundation’s drive to help out various charities that they do want to reach out to. The list of charities includes the Amelia Island Concours Foundation as well as the Concous Las Vegas. These four vehicles are classic units and the auction is going to be sold online.

    The four vehicles are a 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing Show Car, a 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Drop Head Coupe, a 1933 Lincoln KA V12 Model 513A, and a 1967 Jaguar E Type Vintage Roadster OTS which is prepped right up for the race track. All of these vehicles can be viewed on eBay Motors and that is where the auction is happening. The first and the third vehicles’ auctions ended last March 11th while for the other two, the auction ends on March 13.

    These vehicles are, of course, made to still be in topnotch shape and if you would perhaps add an Edelbrock auto part for this one, the performance and capacity of the vehicles would surely be going up in no time flat.

    1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Show Car

  • Introduced at 1954 New York Auto Show
  • Made popular because of its gullwing (or commonly translated as the butterfly wing doors)
  • Made popular also because it is the very first car that runs on gasoline and comes using a fuel injection right into the car’s combustion chamber
  • $600,000 to $700,000 in worth.
  • 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Drop Head Coupe

  • New owner (or the winner of the auction) would be the fourth owner of the vehicle in its entire history
  • Vehicle is totally free from rust after a restoration done in 1999
  • 1933 Lincoln KA V12 Model 513 A Convertible Roadster

  • Comes with a Dietrich design
  • Can carry two to four passengers
  • Has rumble seats
  • Has side mounts
  • Body of the vehicle was built by Murray Corporation
  • 1967 Jaguar E Type Vintage Roadster OTS

  • Prepped right up to take the challenge by the race track
  • Has got a real good looking design
  • Very powerful vehicle
  • Prepared for the challenge by Al Garz who works with Speedway Motors
  • Ford to offer “Warriors in Pink” Limited Edition Mustang

    Want to own a Mustang that comes with a higher cause?

    This could be the perfect car for you – another exclusive stallion that Ford will be adding to its stable: the “Warriors in Pink” trim package which is designed in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and will be built to order, complete with pink exterior stripes and interior stitching. The models will only be offered with a V6, in either coupe or convertible styles, and black will be the primary exterior color choice.

    But although the Mustang is named “Warriors in Pink”, it won’t be coming in pink exterior car parts, sorry.

    This new Mustang will join two new special edition Mustangs due out later this year, including the Bullitt.

    A portion of the profits will be given to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, whose primary goal is to increase awareness, research funding and treatment of the disease.

    Ford has long been a leading sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, having already donated more than $87 million in cash and in-kind donations to fund its mission of breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    The Tata Elegante

    Most automobile big shots don’t see India as a source of good vehicles but the Indian automaker Tata shows its aptitude when it comes to producing wholesome roadsters. Tata engages a cheap $1,700 car and has been also busy upgrading its midsize family-oriented next-generation models such as the Indigo hatchback and the Indica sedan.

    The Elegante concept stressing a prominent snout was first previewed at the Geneva Auto Show and also the first glimpse of Tata in the all-new sedan range. The concept car drives its powertrain parts a mild 1.4-liter to 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Tata also stated that the possibility of a V6 gas engine and Fiat-based common-rail direct injection turbo diesels are effectual.

    Although its production version is not as elegant as it looks like, the Elegante will be introduced later this year as a conceived sedan followed by the hatch edition. Note that these models will be bigger and larger than their predecessors. The Elegante will be a good companion emphasizing versatility and functionality at all times thus Tata is now trying to widen its portfolio. Well, only slight accessorizing is made but so what. Tata knows about product portfolio diversity when it really matters.

    There are also various off-roaders and pickup trucks strutting India’s rural areas, all of which are additions to the Indigo/Indica lineup. For instance, there’s the miniscule 1-ton Ace that’s been raiding tracks for quite some time.

    MotorWeek’s Best of 2007

    In another round of “The Best of 2007” lists MotorWeek has just released their Best Car and Trucks of 2007, and without further ado here they are:

    Car of the Year: 2007 Honda Fit

    • Best Small Car: Honda Fit

    • Best Family Sedan: Saturn Aura

    • Best Convertible: VW Eos

    • Best Luxury Sedan: Lexus LS 460

    • Best Eco-Friendly Manufacturer: Toyota

    • Best Sport Sedan: Infiniti G35

    • Best Performance Car: Ford Shelby GT500

    • Best Dream Machine: Jaguar XKR, Ferrari 599, Porsche 911 turbo (tie)

    • Best Minivan: Kia Sedona

    • Best Small Utility Vehicle: Honda CR-V

    • Best Large Utility Vehicle: GMC Yukon & Chevy Tahoe

    • Best Crossover Utility Vehicle: GMC Acadia & Saturn Outlook

    • Best Pickup Truck: Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra

    Well that’s it. Now go check your car’s auto body parts and see if you need to replace those Civic tie rod ends or those Porsche parts.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    The TechArt Porsche GTstreet

    TechArt, the German tuning specialist, continues to develop a deviation based from the archetypal Porsche 911 Turbo of the 996 model series. It’s even faster than it looks like, based on the 911 Turbo of the recent 997 lineup. The exemplary street-legal sports car unveiled its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show.

    It takes Porsche’s legendary powerful engine turning a 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat engine that squeezes out to 630 hp/463 kW at 6,800 rpm up from the standard 480 hp/353 kW. The maximum torque boosts up from 620 Nm to 820 Nm at 4,500 rpm. Its engine conversion (the TechArt TA’s 097/T3) consists of two special VTG turbochargers, new air box with sport air K&N filter, high-performance diversity, intercoolers, high-performance catalysts and stainless-steel sport exhaust parts.

    That entire power tune up is breathtaking since the vehicle’s power is transferred to all four wheels by means of a modified transmission with TechArt gear-throw shortening. The techArt also comes with an aero bodykit that offers full downforce, minimized drag and stunning style elements.

    The TechArt’s features include retractable carbon-fiber splitter in the front fascia providing radiator, oil coolers and brakes with more cooling air because of the large air inlets. The auxiliary headlamp units with daytime running lights and fog lamps improve active safety. Also the TechArt Gtstreet’s roof spoiler extends the roofline and increases airflow.

    TechArt design offers various editions of the Formula wheel in different sizes. Consumers can opt for several color combinations and between the one-piece Formula and the multi-piece Formula II designs (the Formula II wheel features an exchangeable wheel lip).

    The TechArt Automobildesign absolutely built one of the fastest sports cars in the speeding range.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    The 2008 Spyker C12 Zagato

    The eminent Dutch automaker partnered with Zagato to design a flagship for its exotic and unusual lineup of vehicles. Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars and Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato recently introduced the Spyker C12 Zagato at the 77th Geneva Motor Show. The premiere of this exclusive C12 edition coincides with Spyker’s entry into the Formula One range of vehicles and marks the first integration of styling cues and design details from the Spyker F8-VII Formula One car into the Spyker road car range.

    The joint collaboration between Spyker and Zagato fits aesthetic point of views which harbors skill, talent and passion in their line of work. “The Spyker and Zagato Atelier brands perfectly align because of their common aeronautical origins and because of the shared passion of Victor Muller and myself for sports cars” states Andrea Zagato. “Nevertheless Victor, before starting this extraordinary adventure with Spyker, was a Zagato collector owning cars like the Flaminia SS and TZ. Together with our neo-classical approach, this Spyker C 12 Zagato shows the capabilities of Zagato Atelier for innovative and non conventional solutions.”

    Now onto the main dish: the Spyker C12 Zagato is an aluminum rear-wheel drive sports car which is actually based on the Spyker C12 Spyder. Its engine is matched with a six-speed manual or automatic gear box with F1 style shifting, Chronoswiss instruments and incorporating a Zagato design cue of full leather trims touched with an aluminum instrument panel. It runs on a full-powered 6.0-liter, 12 cylinder and 500 bph W12 and speeds off from 0-100 in 3.8 seconds. If you’re thinking high-peak performance cars, then this is for you.

    Its auto body parts is accented with aluminum with stainless steel roof rails and has various F1 derived design details such as an F1 nose, air scoop, chimneys, mirrors, rain light, fuel parts like a fuel lap and diffuser. Let’s not overlook its panoramic roof that features the Double Bubble, tinged with a typical Zagato element.

    This sports car will be sold to a handful of buyers by March 2008.

    Hyundai i30 And Crossover SUV Concept Coming To Geneva

    Hyundai i30

    We all have been waiting for the opening of the most awaited car oriented event of the year. And our waiting would soon be over for the Geneva Auto Show would be unlocking its doors this week. More car makers are promising to bring out their latest designs, concepts and production vehicles to the show to display.

    Almost all car makers will be revealing their new vehicles. Like the Korean automaker Hyundai which will take the wraps off its newest crossover SUV on the upcoming Auto Show - the 2007 Hyundai crossover concept. The new vehicle has been developed using the latest technology and advanced materials in making eco-friendly cars. The car is also expecting to set a new standard for pedestrian impact testing. Teasers of the new car have already been circulating the World Wide Web even before makes its debut in Geneva.

    The Korean will not only reveal its crossover SUV concept, but they will also unveil the Hyundai i30 for the first time. This vehicle is a new C-segment hatchback and it is codenamed FD. It was taken from the Arneis concept which was revealed last September at the Paris Exhibition. The new vehicle is said to be exclusively produced for the European market and it will be on sale coming later this year. Both the Crossover SUV Concept and the i30 are filled with powerful powertrain parts under the hood and come equipped with more quality Hyundai parts for a safer and tuned up driving.

    Nissan Retrieves McNabb

    Nissan swipes McNabb off his feet from Mercedes-Benz as impending decisions have chosen him as head of its Infiniti global brand. McNabb who used to be Mercedes’ vice president of sales will take on the title of head of the Infiniti global business campaign.

    Two passing years has left McNabb pining for the Mercedes-Benz auto brand then relocated himself again to Nissan’s Nashville headquarters. During his 20 year career in Nissan’s automotive industry, McNabb served in various sales, marketing and business leadership roles in both North America and Japan. No wonder, his retrieval from Benz allotted Nissan’s valuable business asset.

    The plans for how the global business will be operated are not yet completed and finalized though it is still not determined where McNabb and his new team will be located, according to an Infiniti spokesperson.

    In addition to other North American function stores and services, its Infiniti stores will be opened in various global locations including Europe, Russia, China and Japan.

    For more details and information regarding McNabb and the Infiniti global business, Nissan and Infiniti parts, log onto Nissan’s official website. Well, to Infiniti and beyond!

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    It’s Up for GM, Down for Ford, Chrysler

    Alrighty, after much hand-wringing and hitting of panic buttons, here are the numbers.

    Things seem to be looking up for GM, at least as the automaker GM reports a 3.4 percent total sales increase (compared with February 2006), despite an expected decline in U.S. industry sales. The sales gain was reportedly due to an 11 percent retail sales increase. Retail and fleet sales by GM dealers in the United States totaled 311,763 vehicles, compared with sales of 301,545 in February 2006. Fleet sales were down 18 percent due to a planned 25 percent reduction in daily rental sales.

    According to Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North American Sales, Service and Marketing, "Our pickup, SUV and crossover business was terrific across the board. Our customers are telling us that we have the winning formula - the best products, industry-leading fuel economy and the best value."

    Retail truck sales were up as well climbing 16 percent (compared with February 2006) and total truck sales were up 7 percent. Leading the retail sales gains were full-size pickups, up 36 percent compared with February 2006, thanks to positive showings by the Chevrolet Avalanche, up 110 percent and Silverado, up 34 percent. GMC Sierra retail sales volume was up 27 percent compared with last February.

    The increase in retail sales of the Chevrolet Aveo has also helped push GM's economy car segment retail volume up 17 percent compared with February 2006. We’re also looking at a 45 percent retail increase in Pontiac G6 and a 65 percent increase in Chevrolet Impala retail sales, compared with the same month a year ago, boosting GM's mid-car segment retail volume up 25 percent.

    On bleaker news, Ford's February U.S. sales declined 13 percent compared with a year ago. The company's February sales totaled 211,150, compared with 244,021 a year ago. Lower sales to daily rental companies (down 16,000 units) accounted for about half of the decline. Sales to individual retail customers were down 8 percent compared with a year ago.

    Such sad news for Ford President of Americas, Mark Fields, quoted as saying that, “Our objective is to deliver more of the products that people want and, in doing so, stabilize retail share. We're encouraged by the results we have achieved over the past several months. Our new products and our initiatives to strengthen our brands are starting to pay off."

    But everything seems to be still going downhill as Ford brand sales were down 15.2 percent: Mercury was down 13.2 percent, Lincoln was up 10.8 percent, Jaguar was down 28.3 percent, Volvo was virtually even at plus 0.7 percent, and Land Rover fell 10 percent.

    Another automaker suffering in the sidelines is the Chrysler Group which reported sales for February 2007 of 174,506 units; down 8 percent compared to February 2006 with 190,367 units.

    However, Chrysler executives are still optimistic about things, saying their new product offerings, are “a sign of things to come.” Looking at the numbers they look to be right: the Dodge Avenger posted sales of 5,205 units; Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited continued to post strong sales in February with 9,240 units (a rise of 63 percent over February 2006 sales of 5,673 units); Jeep Compass increased 3 percent over the previous month with 4,071 units (compared to 3,965 units in January 2007); the Dodge Caliber finished February with sales of 9,900 units, an increase of 14 percent (compared to last month with 8,672 units).

    Meanwhile, you can still get quality Eibach springs at your favorite online auto parts store.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    The Chrysler 300C SRT8 Project E490

    Chrysler Group Australia recently unveiled its internal "customer evaluation vehicle project", the E490. The local Australian project, the Chrysler 300C SRT8 Touring "E490", draws attention to the unique style and performance capabilities of the 300Cseries much credit to these auto services: Mopar genuine performance parts, Alpine Electronics and XPH Wheels.

    Although the E490 customer evaluation vehicle has not yet been approved for public offering, the assessment stands for the range of enhancements that customers make to their beloved 300C's. A small team from the Chrysler group has in small time garnered support of a bunch of suppliers to produce a customized and distinctive vehicle which has a cheaper consideration.

    Australia-Pacific's Managing Director of Chrysler Group Gerry Jenkins said E490 began as a bit of a small project of some Chrysler Group workers in Mulgrave. The wedge leading sales rate of the 300C continues at a rate of knots.

    The SRT8 array in particular has maintained its leadership position with the uppermost model variant rate in the auto industry for its rear wheel drive enhanced performance vehicles. The 300C can be as good as standing its own ground when it comes to individuality.

    The Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, DaimlerChrysler Australia-Pacific, David McCarthy said "I have always been a huge fan of the 300C and the introduction of the SRT8 Touring gave us an opportunity to do something special. It was too good an opportunity to let go by! The SRT8 Touring combines the evocative style of the 300C with the versatility that a wagon provides. E490* is a vehicle that reflects the performance heritage of Chryslers past as well as our present range. We are living up to our Chrysler motto that 'Inspiration comes standard'."

    Its bodywork consists of customized touches. Thanks to its fitted Alpine; it gives off great car entertainment available for small outlays. When this is allied to the sports exhaust parts and Mopar cold air intake E490 is a car that delivers some serious hearing pleasure.

    The Manager Field Support, Service and Parts, Chrysler Group, Craig Rosevear proudly said in a statement that the E490 embodies the true spirit of the Chrysler Group. You just have to see it to believe it.

    The Edag LUV Concept

    Edag, the German vehicle engineering specialist, has announced it will reveal its new pick up truck on March 6, 2007 at the Geneva Auto Show. The design concept is intended to showcase the company’s to develop role models through to production. LUV is not only a term used by sailors and seafarers but it also stands for Luxurious Utility Vehicle and I know you folks will surely love this new, svelte pickup. No pun intended of course. The pickup can be exchanged for a convertible or coupe simply by releasing a catch mechanism integrated into its LUV's auto body parts. Talk about versatile.

    The vehicle conveys a nautical look from a series of teak applications such as its oiled teakwood on the hood, as the flooring on the interior and on the elegant cargo area. It also hogs attention because of its cargo area – behind two rows of seats with plenty of room for five passengers, has been prepared with teakwood and distinctly resembles a quarterdeck.

    The Edag engineers, headed by project manager Andreas Funk, set themselves to work on using the greatest possible number of carry-over parts. Edag described LUV as a one-off, although speculations have been ruled out as it will reach production in small numbers. "In addition to our efforts to use a maximum number of identical parts, we were especially careful to keep the existing production concept of the basic vehicle in mind during the development of the 'EDAG LUV'," explains Andreas Funk.

    I’m sure road users will be a fan of this pickup module since Edag engineers incorporates easy, comfortable headrests and passengers (especially computer geeks) in the rear seats can utilize their application software such as MS Word, PowerPoint, etc., plus WLAN and UMTS provide them Internet connectivity. So you can download, compose and answer e-mails while on the road.

    Under the LUV’s top offers 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers, ventilated and perforated front brake disks, air suspension module, classy monoblock S wheels and an all-wheel drive. It is also fitted with a high-performance 6.1 displacement engine that allows the Edag LUV to accelerate to 100km/h in a little more than six seconds for a speed of 250 km/h.

    Here's much love to Edag's LUV pickup.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Announcing Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Picks of the Year

    Mazda MX-5 Miata

    Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam was held at the CT this week and we were blessed to be a part of the publication’s Press Day. Me and my mates were so impressed with the facilities that they had as well as the demonstration that they showed us. The highlight of the show was the formal announcement of their top ten vehicle picks for the year 2007.

    It was more fun and informative rather than amusing. We went out of the show having with us a real appreciation of Consumer Reports’ testing methodology which was really remarkable. And for those still doubt the CR’s ratings, I can attest that the men and women behind all the efforts are very serious car enthusiasts themselves. They are testing the cars in real time. The people behind the tests are real people and real consumers.

    Curious about which cars belongs to the top ten list? Here, check this out.

    Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2007
    Fun To Drive: Mazda MX-5 Miata
    Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
    Small Sedan: Honda Civic
    Family Sedan: Honda Accord
    Minivan: Toyota Sienna
    Luxury Sedan: Infiniti M45
    Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
    Green Car: Toyota Prius
    Upscale sedan: Infiniti G35
    Budget Car: Honda Fit

    The Toyota Pruis remains to be the best green car according to Consumer Reports. Almost all notches are filled with Japanese auto brands. Hmmm… what is happening to the US car brands and their products? It looks like Asian car brands are moving far ahead of them, aren’t they?

    Meanwhile check out some car parts stores online to look for Toyota parts for your car.