Archive for March, 2010

Honda HSV Race Car

Honda tested their new supercar Honda HSV at the Super GT Race Circuit where they have found what improvements should bring to it.


Honda HSV Race Car

It seems that the street version will be different from the circuit one, because it will not have a central engine, but one placed front, as seen on Lexus LF-A model.


Honda HSV Race Car

So, the 5.0-liter V8 engine is credited with not too many opportunities to reach mass production and they will probably opt for a smaller engine and maybe supplemented by an electric one.
Source: Carztune

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Hummers are for Horses: Artist reimagines the monsterous SUV [w/video]

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Horse-drawn Hummer H2 - Click above to view the video after the jump

When the internal combustion engine finally helped the automobile pass the horse-drawn carriage as the chosen method of transportation for a majority of citizens in the United States, that a step in the right direction. Right? Moving forward about a hundred years... when the behemoth Sport Utility Vehicle that never actually seems to venture off the beaten path passed the minivan in the hearts and minds of families across the country as the people-mover of choice, was that a step in the right direction?

If you answered no to either of the above questions, perhaps you'll enjoy the video pasted after the break. Created by artist Jeremy Dean (read about our initial post on the project here), the converted Hummer H2 is called Futurama and is pulled by two white horses named, appropriately enough, Duke and Diesel. Hummers are for horses? See for yourself.


Continue reading Hummers are for Horses: Artist reimagines the monsterous SUV [w/video]

Hummers are for Horses: Artist reimagines the monsterous SUV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2012 Ford Explorer caught completely disrobed

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2012 Ford Explorer spy shots - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's never good to be caught by the paparazzi in the buff. Unless, of course, that was your plan all along in order to get your C-list self some much-needed coverage in the various gossip rags. But we digress. Our intrepid spy photographers managed to snap off a giant series of photos of the hotly anticipated 2012 Ford Explorer completely uncovered, and that is a very, very good thing indeed.

For the first time ever, thanks to an unruly gust of wind, we get to see the first-ever unibody Explorer in all its glory. That looks to include a new take on the familiar in-your-face three-bar grille with newly perforated top and bottom rungs bisected by two thin chrome strips up front. Note, too, the mildly sculpted flanks that lead to the currently en vogue fastback-like sharply raked C-pillar. A closer look at the fascia reveals not-yet-completed projector headlamps ensconced in clear covers that angle well back into the fenders. Lookin' good so far, we'd say.

Though we don't quite get a good look at the rear fascia, we do get a clear shot underneath the car from the hind quarters. This is most definitely a front-wheel drive chassis, and though this particular mule isn't equipped with one, there will surely be an optional rear differential for all-wheel drive duty. See all the shots for yourself in our high-res image gallery below.



[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: 2012 Ford Explorer caught completely disrobed originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 16:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Want the first Corvette Z06 Carbon? Bring your checkbook to Palm Beach

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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon - Click above for high-res image gallery

In the last few years it's become a tradition for automakers to auction off the first production model of a collector car at Barrett-Jackson. That's set to continue next month when Chevrolet will offer the very first Corvette Z06 Carbon at the Palm Beach Auction from April 1-3. The winner of the auction will not only get the very first Z06 Carbon, but will also be given the opportunity to take a tour of the GM Performance Build Center where the LS7 and LS9 engines are constructed by hand.

Designed as a tribute to the Corvette's first race at Le Mans 50 years ago, the Z06 Carbon features some parts from the range-topping ZR1 including the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Magnetic Ride Control suspension and a ZR1-style spoiler. The hood, side sills and front spoiler are also made from lightweight carbon fiber.

If past GM auctions at Barrett-Jackson are anything to go by, the first Z06 Carbon should command a significant amount of cash. The first Corvette ZR1 went for a cool million dollars and the first Camaro had a top bid of $350,000. Most recently a limited edition Corvette Z06 raised $200,000 to benefit Haiti at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction in January. Follow the jump for the official press release from GM.



[source: GM]

Continue reading Want the first Corvette Z06 Carbon? Bring your checkbook to Palm Beach

Want the first Corvette Z06 Carbon? Bring your checkbook to Palm Beach originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 BMW 5 Series priced from $50,475*

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2011 BMW 535i - Click above for high-res image gallery

On the whole, we're pretty impressed with the 2011 BMW 5 Series, and after conducting our first drive in Portugal, we're confident that the F10 Fiver will make its way to the head of the class once again. Next week, the car will officially debut for the North American public at the New York Auto Show, and it will officially go on sale in June of this year, priced from $50,475 for the 535i and $60,575 for the 550i (including $875 for destination and handling).

The first key item to note is the base prices for both models are actually less than the current cars (only slightly, truth be told). However, in true German business-class luxury form, it's the options list that'll get you. Naturally, you'll want to shell out $2,200 for the Sport Package, and we'd recommend adding $2,700 for the Dynamic Handling Package, as well. Other fancy-shmancy add-ons include the usual Premium ($1,800, 535i only) or Premium 2 ($4,900/$2,800, 535i/550i) packages, Nappa leather ($2,450/$1,000), rear-seat entertainment ($2,200), integral active steering ($1,750), active cruise control ($2,400) and night vision with pedestrian detection ($2,600). The full list of options is available after the jump.

Still, even with the exhaustive options list, the 5 Series is competitively priced against its key competitors - the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And with a choice of two turbocharged engines, top-notch interior refinement and some shiny new sheetmetal, we're sure that prospective 5 Series owners will be quite pleased.



Photos by Chris Paukert / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: BMW]

Continue reading 2011 BMW 5 Series priced from $50,475*

2011 BMW 5 Series priced from $50,475* originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS gets HiPer [w/video]

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2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS with HiPer strut front suspension - Click above for high-res image gallery

Now that Buick has a refreshed reason to exist in a post-bankruptcy General Motors, the brand isn't sitting still with its products. Take, for example, the redesigned Buick LaCrosse, which only went on sale about nine months ago. GM is already updating the sedan's hardware. It's not that there was anything terribly wrong with the 2009 LaCrosse we first drove last spring, but GM was already working on improvements that are ready to roll out on the 2010 model year.

The first improvement to hit dealers is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that was announced last year. We've driven that one and will have our first impressions for you next week. However, enthusiast-minded drivers will probably be more interested in Buick's new HiPer strut front suspension. This new adaptation of the long-serving MacPherson strut is designed to almost completely eliminate torque steer while at the same time provide a more compliant ride. Make the jump to learn how it works as we take the 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS with the new HiPer strut front suspension for spin.



Photos by Sam Abuelsamid / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Quick Spin: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS gets HiPer [w/video]

Quick Spin: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS gets HiPer [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volvo V70 axed in favor of front-drive XC70, S80 V8 going away?

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2010 Volvo V70 - Click above to view internal Product Update Bulletin

It's a refrain that two-box enthusiasts have to be tired of hearing, but proper station wagons remain a really hard sell in America. The latest casualty appears to be segment-stalwart Volvo, which, according to a leaked dealer document from an AB tipster (click here to view), is apparently giving up on its V70 estate in the U.S. As noted in a March 25, 2010 internal Product Update Bulletin, the move comes at least in part because of the success of the XC90 and XC60 "chipping away" at the V70's volume. In its stead, the Swedish automaker plans to add a front-drive version of its XC70, which is itself basically just a lifted version of the V70 anyhow. As it stands, production of Yankee-spec V70s is slated to end on May 14.

In another consolidation move, Volvo's S80 will no longer be available with a V8 engine for 2011. Changes to the six-cylinder T6 model will boost power to 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque - the outgoing eight-cylinder offers identical torque and a bit more horsepower (311), but with inferior fuel economy and added weight. Volvo expects the revamped six-cylinder will offer up to a nine-percent improvement in fuel consumption over its predecessor.

Finally, for 2011, Volvo is moving its smaller S40 and V50 models to a single-engine lineup, dumping the entry-level 2.4i (168 hp/170 lb. ft.) in favor of the turbocharged T5, which offers nearly identical fuel economy with significantly more power (227 hp/236 lb. ft.). While that's likely no big loss for would-be buyers (assuming pricing doesn't get out of hand), the range is also going front-drive and automatic-only, with T5 all-wheel drive and 2.4i models also going out of production on May 14. Top tip, Ian!

Volvo V70 axed in favor of front-drive XC70, S80 V8 going away? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari 599 GTO pricing sheet leaked?

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Ferrari 599 GTO price sheet - Click above for high-res image

You know that when Ferrari comes out with a new flagship supercar, it's going to cost a pretty penny... or eight. The upcoming exotic from the gates of Maranello is the 599 GTO, reviving the stoic nameplate that adorned the 250 GTO of the 1960s and the 288 GTO of the 1980s on what stands to be the ultimate iteration of the 599 GTB Fiorano.

A pricing sheet has apparently leaked onto the interwebs, revealing the "base" price of the 599 GTO and itemizing the various costly options available on top. The cost of entry, according to the sheet, comes in at a whopping 319,495 euros (nearly $430k). But that's just the tip of this high-performance iceberg.

Want the entire engine bay done up in carbon fiber? That'll be another 7,774 euros (over ten grand). Four point harness? That's a must-have at 2,990 euros (four grand). Want a full leather or Alcantara interior? Tempting choices at 4,425 and 3,708 euros, respectively (nearly six grand/five grand). There's plenty more, so click the scanned image above for the full specs.

[Source: Autogespot (translated)]

Ferrari 599 GTO pricing sheet leaked? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EXCLUSIVE: Next-gen S-Class to go all-hybrid in U.S., save AMG variants

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2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to an Autoblog source close to the project, Mercedes-Benz will go all-hybrid with its next-generation S-Class lineup in America - with the exception of enthusiast-oriented AMG models. The plutocrat cruiser is expected to roll up in 2012, and it is understood that gas-only S-Class models will be the exclusive preserve of the company's performance arm - the German automaker is not talking about offering both regular and hybrid variants of the same model, at least in the States.

Presently, Daimler only offers a single gasoline-electric variant of its W221 S-Class - the S400 hybrid (the range's price leader at $87,950), and it incorporates a 3.5-liter V6 with a mild hybrid assist system for 295 horsepower and 26 miles-per-gallon on the freeway. Other models in current S-Class lineup all have more cylinders and power, including the 382-hp 5.5-liter V8 of the S550 and the twin-turbo 5.5-liter V12 of the S600. It is not immediately clear if company engineers plan to downsize the internal-combustion side of the next S' powertrain equation as a result of the all gas-electric strategy. While we expect Mercedes will offer a range of CDI diesel models in European market, no such model is apparently planned for the States at this time.

While the Daimler board has yet to sign-off on this plan, it appears to be all but certain. Interestingly, our contact indicates that S400 sales are going swimmingly in the States - particularly among Hollywood's green-minded glitterati, a contingent that our source maintains is abandoning their Priuses at a furious rate now that the model has become "something of a pariah" due to Toyota's recent troubles.


EXCLUSIVE: Next-gen S-Class to go all-hybrid in U.S., save AMG variants originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Ford Mustang pricing undercuts Camaro

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While our drive impressions of the 2011 Mustang V6 and 2011 Mustang GT are still under a strict embargo until Monday, we can tell you one thing with certainty. That thing is pricing, and even though Ford has managed to add close to 100 horsepower to each car, the cash customers need to lay out has barely budged.

The 305-hp Mustang V6 starts at $22,995, while the 5.0-badged 412-hp Mustang GT starts at $30,495, with the V8 premium GT starting at $33,695. That's some pretty potent bang for your buck, especially as both prices include destination charges. Consider that the 304-hp V6 Camaro starts at $23,530, a difference of $535. Of course, that's for the 2010 Camaro, as Chevy has yet to release Camaro pricing for 2011.

The 426-horespower 2010 Camaro SS starts at $31,795, a difference of $1,300, with no 2011 prices announced yet. Of course, many people will be quick to point out that you do get more horsepower for the money (about $93 per pony according to our math). And paying more money for more power is always justified, right? Not so fast. Our friends over at Inside Line managed to (somehow) sneak the new 5.0 'Stang onto a dyno and record 395 horses at the rear wheels. Factor in about 12% parasitic drivetrain loss and you're talking in excess of 440 horsepower. Dang. Of course, we've driven the car and we can tell you with some certainty [CENSORED].

As it stands, the re-ignited pony car wars just got a whole lot more hot.

2011 Ford Mustang pricing undercuts Camaro originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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