Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

2007 Abarth Grande Punto S 2000

(from Fiat Press Release) The Grande Punto Abarth S2000

2007 Abarth Grande Punto S 20002007 Abarth Grande Punto S 2000 22007 Abarth Grande Punto S 2000 32007 Abarth Grande Punto S 2000 4The public in Geneva will also be able to admire the extraordinary Grande Punto Abarth S2000. This is a racing car designed for racing stables, which the Fiat Racing Department will be entering in the 2007 Italian Rally Championship with Giandomenico Basso and his navigator Mitia Dotta. Davide Gatti, winner of the 2006 Fiat Abarth International Trophy, will compete at the wheel of an official Fiat Grande Punto R3D with a diesel engine. On the international scene, the Grande Punto Abarth S2000 will compete in the IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) with drivers Andrea Navarra, his navigator Guido D’Amore, and young Umberto Scandola and Anton Alen.

The Abarth & C. Spa racing team will be managed by Claudio Berro.

Powered by a 2000 cc aspirated engine that delivers 270 bhp, with 4-wheel drive, the new Grande Punto Abarth S2000 is heir to the version that took the 2006 Italian Rally Championship title with Paolo Andreucci and Anna Andreussi, winning 7 of the 11 races on the programme. Nor must we forget the excellent season of their team-mates Andrea Navarra and Guido D’Amore who took third place. Giandomenico Basso and Mitia Dotta won the European title and the International Rally Challenge.

Since its debut last season, the racing version has proved unbeatable, whatever the type of route or terrain. And we must underline that the 15 cars built so far have been ordered by several racing stables in Europe and elsewhere, to compete in domestic and international rallies. And now, thanks to this technological and competitive superiority, the new Grande Punto Abarth S2000 is ready to compete in these two championships with the same determination and assertiveness.

And finally, as well as a successful car and an outstanding team of drivers, the new Abarth & C. company can also boast a staff with a great deal of experience in motorsports: a total of 113 experts, 26 in the engineering field, 43 on the manufacturing side and 9 dedicated to racing.

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530-HP Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Debuts

SANT'AGATA BOLOGNESE, Italy — Lamborghini has taken the wraps off its new range-topping Gallardo Superleggera, which kicks up the Gallardo a notch by adding 10 horses and subtracting 220 pounds in weight. Purists will note that the weight reduction of the car for the U.S. is 154 pounds, according to the Italian supercar maker.

Lamborghini Gallardo SuperleggeraLamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 2The car hits the market in March after debuting at the Geneva auto show, where Lamborghini will start taking orders. Without specifying production numbers, Lamborghini said the Superleggera model will be restricted to lower numbers than the standard Gallardo.

Lamborghini boasts that the Superleggera has the "fastest acceleration in its class." The weight/power ratio of the Gallardo Superleggera is only 5.5 pounds/horsepower. The 530-hp 5.0-liter V10 rockets from zero to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, 0.2 seconds less than the basic Gallardo. It includes a standard robotized mechanical "e-gear" gearbox that "guarantees shifting without removing hands from the steering wheel."

Lamborghini stripped off the excess weight through such tactics as constructing an engine hood of visible carbon fiber and transparent polycarbonate, which it notes "also shows off the magnificent V10." Weight was also reduced by replacing some glass surfaces with transparent polycarbonate.

Other details include a sport package with shock absorbers and a suede-covered steering wheel. A rear video camera, a carbon accessories kit and a navigation system with CD changer are also on the options list.

© Source: article on insideline
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New Volkswagen Golf Estate

Amid the supercoupes and ketamine-fuelled concepts of the Geneva show, there'll be a healthy dose of practicality present in the shape of the new Volkswagen Golf Estate.

New Volkswagen Golf EstateNew Volkswagen Golf Estate 2Although VW is highlighting the estate's revised front end and dynamic lines, it's a unapologetically practical station wagon.

With a low-loading boot lip, roof rails and fold-flat rear seats, bootspace stands at a whopping 1,550 litres - the largest loadspace of any Golf to date.

Volkswagen's tried-and-tested 1.9- and 2.0-litre turbodiesels join a brace of petrol engines - a 1.4-litre TSI and 1.6-litre FSI - from the Golf hatchback.

The smaller petrol is actually the more powerful variant, and comes with the option of a DSG gearbox instead of the standard six-speed manual shifter.

The Golf Estate goes on sale this summer in the UK, with prices to be confirmed nearer to the time.

© Source: article on topgear
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2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport

(from Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH Press Release) World Premier in Geneva : Gumpert presents the Apollo Sport

2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport 22007 Gumpert Apollo Sport 3It is one of only a handful of super sport cars and after its debut at Geneva s international Motor Show in 2006 it was clear: the apollo is a synthesis of dynamic and design with pure driving pleasure and unique performance. On the road it speeds like a god and on the race track it cries out to be challenged by an opponent that can match its breathtaking acceleration and incomparable handling. Now, it is due to get a worthy competitor out of its own stable. At the 77th Geneva Motor Show, the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur will present the apollo sport to the wide public.

The apollo sport is the rebel amongst the super sport cars. Its bodywork combines sexy curves with potent edges and angles and aims for uncompromising aerodynamics. A clear demonstration of the principle form follows function. Its challenging sporting design derives from the requirement to built a street legal racing car, whose number one priority is to provide extraordinary performance on the circuit, but at the same time embodying a vehicle suitable for daily use.

The highest importance was attached to safety: the tubular space frame in chrome-molybdenum steel with integrated safety monocoque fabricated in carbon-fiber passes all crash-tests regulations, while a cashbox offers additional protection. The gaping air intake stub over the roof and on the rear signals power, dynamics and superiority. The eight cylinder, bi-turbo mid-engine with up to 800 horsepower is capable of catapulting this 1200 kg missile from 0-100 km/h in only 3 seconds.

The apollo sport is equipped with an extended aerodynamic package and, in contrast to the three part spoiler of the apollo, possesses a racing wing which gives even more down force and pushes the spolloss maximum speed up to 360 km/h.

As you can guess, it is not for nothing that this cars is named after the fierce Greek God.

The two-seater also convinces from the inside, with its sporty and elegant alcantara interior, and offers air-condition, CD-player, navigation system and reverse view camera as standard equipment. A two-layer metallic finish available in any conceivable color, gives this bolide a particular luster. As a special accessory the apollo is equipped with an airjack, a pneumatic jacking pad.

The standard version of the apollo sport costs 299.500,- plus VAT.

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Toyota Will Build Highlander at New Mississippi Plant

TOKYO — To keep pace with booming demand in the U.S., Toyota Motor Corp. said on Tuesday that it has selected Blue Springs, Mississippi, as the site of its eighth North American vehicle production plant. The new plant will produce 150,000 Highlander SUVs per year when it opens in 2010.

2008 toyota highlanderToyota said plans call for an investment of $1.3 billion and the creation of about 2,000 new jobs in Blue Springs. It said the additional plant will bring Toyota's North American annual production capacity to 2.17 million vehicles.

The new plant helps Toyota accomplish several goals. First, it helps the automaker boost output to meet growing U.S. demand. Toyota imported 46 percent of the units it sold in the U.S last year. The new plant also helps the Japanese automaker reduce foreign-sourced vehicles, which it fears may trigger a political backlash, especially as domestic manufacturers scramble to shutter plants and lay off workers in the wake of declining North American sales. Toyota may claim the title of the world's biggest automaker from General Motors this year.

According to some estimates, Toyota will need to add one U.S. plant per year at its current rate of growth.

Near Tupelo, Mississippi, there were 144 people living in Blue Springs at the time of the 2000 U.S. census. Mississippi is also home to a Nissan vehicle plant, as the trend continues for the Southern states to be the new locus of activity for auto production in the U.S.

© Source: article on insideline
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Vauxhall VXR8

Like the distant cries from the mad uncle locked in the attic, we hear that Vauxhall has another barmy Aussie motor on the way, just waiting to howl at the moon.

Vauxhall VXR8Vauxhall VXR8 2Vauxhall VXR8 3The Antipodean is called the VXR8, so it won't take a forensic scientist to work out that there's a big old V8 lurking under the bonnet.

It's the same 6.0-litre 420bhp monster that we last saw in the end-of-line Monaro VXRs, and in this VXR8 saloon, this is enough to see off 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds, although there's no word on top speed as yet.

Sticking with rear-wheel drive, the VXR8 comes with either a six-speed manual gearbox or, included for the first time, a five-speed auto.

The auto attracts a £1,400 premium, but when the VXR8 costs only £34,995, we reckon you can afford to indulge in a few extras when the car goes on sale in July.

© Source: article on topgear
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Italdesign Giugiaro Vadho Concept Makes Hydrogen Steamy

TURIN, Italy — Italdesign will be pushing the alternative-fuel message at next week's Geneva auto show with the unveiling of a futuristic-looking, hydrogen-powered concept car called the Vadho.

Italdesign Giugiaro Vadho ConceptBased around a unique chassis developed in-house at Italdesign's Turin-based headquarters in Italy, it moves well away from the retro themes explored on the company's last concept car, the Giugiaro Mustang, adopting distinct aeronautic-inspired styling cues, including seating for two within a tandem cockpit fashioned in a teardrop shape down one side of the upper body.

The car to be shown in Geneva is described as having left-hand drive. However, the use of compact drive-by-wire control systems is claimed to mean the Vadho can easily be adapted to right-hand drive. The Vadho does away with a traditional steering wheel in favor of two joystick controls. Power, meanwhile, comes by way of a hydrogen-fueled engine positioned at the rear next to the passenger.

Conceived to highlight the need for ecological propulsion, the Vadho also marks the debut of Italdesign's new corporate logo: a large G in the company's corporate shade of red.

© Source: article on insideline
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2007 Abarth Grande Punto Preview

(from Fiat Press Release) A great project will be launched at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show: the rebirth of one of the most prestigious brands in world motorsports. Its symbol is a scorpion, and its name is Abarth.

2007 Abarth Grande Punto2007 Abarth Grande Punto 22007 Abarth Grande Punto Preview 3Abarth has always been synonymous with assertive cars, competitiveness, passion and excitement, and it now returns with a new range that will appeal to all lovers of motorsports. Abarth’s first interpretation of the Grande Punto will be on the “catwalk” at the Geneva Show, the first step in an initiative which will later involve other models.

This new adventure starts in the familiar, uniquely emotional context and exclusive setting of the Geneva Motor Show. A striking stand has been prepared, in line with the philosophy of Abarth’s rebirth, an innovative space with a fresh, contemporary, technological language and great attention to every detail. The new elements that will publicise the Abarth brand are displayed with all their strong, original personality: the revamped version of the famous Abarth racing stripe has been rendered with LED tiles, while the new logo, the scorpion and the wording are all large, three-dimensional elements in polished, satin-effect aluminium.

The Abarth values and tradition on the other hand are underlined discreetly and technologically: refined materials and precious finishing details in aluminium, carbon fibre, enamel and lacquer decorate the exhibition area, and draw attention to the true stars of the stand: the Grande Punto Abarth S2000, a car that has been type-approved for racing and is proving to be highly successful, and the Grande Punto Abarth Preview, a concept car making its world debut.

These are the two souls of the Abarth world: racing and standard production.

Visitors to the Geneva Show will also have an opportunity to discover a third field in which the brand operates; a multimedia configurator will illustrate the whole concept of the ‘Abarth Kit’, and the flexibility and wide range of combinations that the brand will offer customers in its conversion kits. Some of these solid wooden boxes, inlaid with satin-finished aluminium trims, are on display inside glass cubes, with the historic mechanical and stylistic components from the conversion kits.

And finally, by means of exclusive LED technology and plasma screens, the walls of the stand propose historical photographs and films, alternating them with a reproduction of the new Abarth racing stripe, underlining the fine link between the past and the future, as well as the energy and personality that are inherent in the Abarth brand.

The Grande Punto Abarth Preview

The absolute star of the stand is the Grande Punto Abarth Preview, a true jewel of assertiveness and elegance. The car will be marketed in September, to enhance the sporty, youthful positioning of the Grande Punto.

The car on show in Geneva is equipped with a 1.4 Turbo petrol engine that delivers 150 bhp at 5500 rpm, boosted to 155 bhp by the adoption of 98 RON petrol. What is more, thanks to a booster kit, a version with twice as much power as the basic version (180 bhp) will soon be available. This is a revival of a tradition from the past: for example, the Fiat 500 of 1958 delivered 13 bhp at 4000 rpm with a top speed of 85 km/h, while the Fiat 500 Abarth of the same year delivered 26 bhp at 5000 rpm and a top speed of 118 km/h.

The Grande Punto Abarth aims to revive the feats of these entertaining performance cars, offering young drivers in particular an opportunity to enter the racing world in complete safety and at an accessible price.

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DaimlerChrysler Hooks Up With China's Chery To Sell Small Cars in U.S.

STUTTGART, Germany — In a major step toward adding fuel-efficient cars to halt declining sales in the U.S., DaimlerChrysler on Tuesday said the Chrysler Group is about to sign off on a deal to supply Chery-built vehicles in North America and Western Europe. The vehicles will be distributed under the Chrysler brands according to the limited partnership agreement.
CheryThe vehicles that Chery makes are expected to be new models. Specific products and production volumes were not announced. However, Chrysler signed a letter of intent in late December to buy China-made subcompact cars from Chery to sell in the U.S. under the Dodge brand, starting in 2009. DaimlerChrysler said it had approved the "framework" of a limited partnership on Tuesday to develop small vehicles between the Chrysler Group and Chery.

In a statement, Chrysler Group said the partnership will "allow the company to become a bigger player on the global automotive stage by giving it access to products in new segments more quickly, with less capital spending." The move will allow Chrysler Group to take advantage of China's low-cost manufacturing.

DaimlerChrysler said the deal is contingent upon the approval of the Chinese government. The two companies are expected to sign off on the deal in late March.

Until November, Chery had been working with entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin to build vehicles for Visionary Vehicles LLC.

© Source: article on insideline
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Ford Mondeo

Once upon a time, a new family car from Ford would simultaneously attract the biggest fanfare, and the biggest yawns.

Ford MondeoFord Mondeo 2Now, thanks to its appearance in the recent James Bond flick, the new Mondeo's film star looks have earned it a most triumphant fanfare.

The price of the new Mondeo is more Holyhead than Hollywood, however, and will kick off at £14,995 for the petrol 1.6-litre Edge five-door model.

There are the usual saloon, hatch and estate bodies, and four trims covering Edge, Zetec, Ghia and Titanium.

Order books open in March for the new vehicle, and deliveries are expected to begin in June.

© Source: article on topgear
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Fiat Bravo Takes a Bow in Solo Performance

GENEVA — Next week at the Geneva auto show, the Fiat stand will be devoted in its entirety to the 10 models that make up the Bravo lineup. The company hopes this move will maximize the effect of the show debut for the new model.

Fiat BravoFiat Bravo 2There will be engine variants from a 150-horsepower 1.4-liter gasoline engine to a 150-hp 1.9-liter Multijet diesel, a wide range of equipment levels, trim options and custom choices, and all kinds of enticingly named colors like Maranello Red, Maserati Blue, Provocative Black and so on.

This is not an unprecedented move for media days. A couple of years ago, Rover showed two prototypes of a forthcoming Mini replacement to journalists, but by the time the general public arrived, the stand had been rearranged and the one-off cars disappeared.

Fiat will also change the layout when the Geneva show opens to public scrutiny. Then the whole Fiat lineup will be presented, including the 100-hp Panda, the highly popular Sedici and the quirky Croma.

Also, the Geneva show will be the first opportunity for the Italian carmaker to show off its new logo.

© Source: article on insideline
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F&M Antas Ready for Its Close-Up

MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Faralli and Mazzanti, otherwise known as F&M, will unveil the production version of its classic-look Antas V8 sports car at the exclusive and high-profile Top Marques show in Monaco this year. The Italians also showed the Antas here last April, as a one-off.

fm antasThe name Antas means "Eagle" in the Etruscan language. The sports car was conceived two years ago by the team of classic car restorers whose usual work is returning legendary Italian sports cars from marques like Cisitalia and Maserati to their former glory.

The Antas features styling cues from such classic icons as the Bugatti 57, Talbot-Lago, and 1950s Maseratis, but will have a more muscular look. It means that there will be new carbon-fiber body parts and carefully chosen sporty wheels and tires.

The Antas retains its Maserati-sourced 310-horsepower V8 engine that is straight from a 1960s Maserati.

© Source: article on insideline
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Nitro Contest by Dodge

Hey ! Dodge Fans !
Here is a contest rules:

If you want the cool Black Nitro "Can" T-Shirt or long-sleeve Red Dodge T-Shirt (see the pictures below)

The "can" the t-shirt comes in
(You have to see it to believe it!) :

The T-shirt: (front)

Long-sleeve Red Dodge T-Shirt
(picture shows both the front and back)

Send me email (you can find in contacts section) with your address and "Black Nitro" or "Red Dodge" text in subject.

Then I'll randomly choose a 2 winners (future t-shirt owners).
The winners will be announced on this blog with photos of t-shirts dresssed on them :)

Official Dodge site

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2007 n2a Motors 789

The 789 gets its name from the melding of design cues from the 1957, 1958, and 1959 Chevrolet models. The headlights and nose are most similar to the 57 Chevy, while the mid-section and interior are much like the 58, and the rear and tailfins are styled after the 59.

2007 n2a Motors 7892007 n2a Motors 789 22007 n2a Motors 789 32007 n2a Motors 789 42007 n2a Motors 789 5The vehicle is built on a 2005-2007 Corvette C6 chassis, and shares the stock C6's 400 hp engine as well.

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Lamborghini Spiga Concept

There have been a lot of body modifications for the Lamborghini Gallardo released, but none have been as sexy as the Spiga Concept. Created by Ugur Sahin, an automotive and industrial designer, the Spiga Concept has not been evaluated by Lamborghini, but perhaps it should be.
Lamborghini Spiga ConceptLamborghini Spiga Concept 2Lamborghini Spiga Concept 3Lamborghini Spiga Concept 4Lamborghini Spiga Concept 5Lamborghini Spiga Concept 6The Spiga is clearly based on the Lamborghini Gallardo, which the Author says “proved itself to be a top-notch design.”

The main characteristic of the car is that the rear and the middle flows in an harmonic way which kind of reminds the human muscles stretching to the back, as the front is slightly different than the rear, it also gives a sense of speed and movement forward when viewed form the side angles. The air intakes near the side windows are designed integrated on the body which also shows strong Lamborghini aspects.

Be sure and look at the rear of the car, which is one of its best modifications.

© Source: article on automoblog
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Mercedes-Benz Rolls Out First Four-Cylinder Bluetec Model

STUTTGART, Germany — With the worldwide debut of the four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz Vision C220 Bluetec concept at the upcoming Geneva auto show, the German automaker is expanding its clean diesel technology to the lower end of the market.

Mercedes-Benz First Four-Cylinder Bluetec ModelMercedes-Benz First Four-Cylinder Bluetec Model 2With the Vision C220 Bluetec, which is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and a turbocharged four-cylinder power plant that delivers 170 horsepower and peak torque of 295 pound-feet, Mercedes-Benz has its eye on a wider portfolio of products in its Bluetec lineup. It said that the Vision C220 Bluetec gets 42.7 mpg on diesel fuel.

In a statement, the automaker said: "The [Bluetec] technology is currently being adapted to European market requirements and further Mercedes-Benz models, the aim being to also offer Bluetec in passenger cars for European customers, starting in 2008." For the U.S. market, the German automaker is offering three V6 Bluetec models — the GL-Class, M-Class and R-Class.

"With the Vision C220 Bluetec, Mercedes-Benz is providing a taste of things to come as part of its Bluetec initiative," the company said.

The Bluetec technology in the new concept includes an oxidizing catalytic converter, which reduces emissions of carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, as well as a particulate filter.

© Source: article on insideline
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Bizarre twist in TVR saga

Russian business tycoon Nikolai Smolensky has re-acquired the Blackpool-based sports car firm TVR.

Smolensky bought the assets of the company from the administrators, having sold them just before Christmas 2006 to avoid the hassle of redundancy payments.

Now, the firm is back in Smolensky's hands and it's thought he still wants to forge ahead with building a new range of cars.

However, the notorious plutocrat is considering taking the car's production abroad, possibly to Italy, where specialist coachbuilder Bertone would be responsible for building the vehicles.

The deal has been condemned by the Trade and General Workers' Union (T&G). "It's abysmal that the previous owner, who allowed the company to descend into administration, is now the owner once again," said a T&G spokesman.

© Source: article on topgear
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DaimlerChrysler May Take Stake in General Motors

LONDON — DaimlerChrysler could take a minority stake in General Motors if GM elects to acquire the Chrysler Group, according to a report in the U.K. business paper Financial Times.

2007 chrysler pacificaWord of the potential all-stock transaction filtered out of Europe over the weekend as industry analysts continued to question how to value Chrysler, which is in the process of yet another makeover and downsizing as it struggles to regain profitability.

Meanwhile, Russian automaker GAZ became the latest firm to deny an interest in acquiring Chrysler from its German parent. GAZ was responding to a German press report over the weekend linking the two companies. So far, rumored bidders from China and India have kept quiet.

Since DaimlerChrysler announced more than a week ago that "all options are on the table" regarding the disposition of Chrysler, there has been intense media and industry speculation about the U.S. company's fate. Among the options said to be under discussion are a possible spin-off or a sale to one or more private-equity firms.

It is unclear what value, if any, ultimately will be assigned to Chrysler. The stock market values of its larger U.S. counterparts, Ford Motor Company and GM, are $15.6 billion and $19.5 billion, respectively.

DaimlerChrysler is said to be asking around $13 billion for Chrysler, but analysts suggest the U.S. company could be worth far less, especially in light of its heavy pension and health-care liabilities, which are said to total more than $16 billion. Published outside estimates of the company's value range from $5 billion to $10 billion.

Analysts note that the right buyer — perhaps one of China's larger state-owned manufacturers — might be willing to pay a premium to gain access to Chrysler's platform and powertrain technology, its brands and its North American dealer network.

Chrysler's potential value to GM seems far less evident. There is almost a complete product and brand overlap between the two companies, and GM certainly doesn't need Chrysler's powertrains, its plants or its unfunded pension and health-care liabilities.

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Nissan Partners With Renault and Mahindra on India Plant

CHENNAI, India — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor will team with its French parent Renault and local carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra to build a $900 million assembly plant that will be one of the largest in India.

renault dacia loganWhen the plant opens in late 2009, it will have the capacity to build 400,000 vehicles a year. To be located in the South, near similar facilities operated by Ford and Hyundai, the new factory will assemble versions of the Renault Logan compact and a new Mahindra utility vehicle, as well as unspecified models for all three brands.

Mahindra, which will control 50 percent of the venture, is a former partner of Ford in India. It builds a range of utility vehicles and passenger cars. An independent distributor is planning to import and market the Mahindra Scorpio in the United States in 2008.

In India, Renault vehicles will be sold through Mahindra's domestic sales channel, while Nissan will operate a separate distribution network. Late last year, Nissan walked away from a proposed deal in India in which it would have partnered with fellow Japanese manufacturer Suzuki, which controls India's largest automaker, Maruti.

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Like all good 40 year olds, GTM is rallying against the inevitable descent into old age. And there's no better way of assuaging such horror than with a track day sports car that'll see off 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and top 150mph.

gtm 40trThe 40TR, which stands for 'track and road', uses a turbocharged version of Honda's 2.0-litre VTEC engine from the Civic Type-R and produces more than 300bhp.

A one-off race series is in the pipeline, but if you fancy a GTM 40TR for yourself, they're on sale from May and are expected to cost from £14,000 as a kit of parts for you to build yourself.

© Source: article on topgear
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Honda F1 Team Embraces Environmental Issues With New Green Look

LONDON — A striking, green-themed livery for Honda's Formula 1 racing cars was unveiled today at the Natural History Museum here, launching the company's effort to raise awareness of environmental issues.

honda f1 racing carIt's quite a turnabout for the team, formerly sponsored by British American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarette brand. Honda is one of the leaders among automobile manufacturers in exploring alternative technology for transportation purposes, and this endeavor carries that theme to motor racing.

It fits in with F1's own long-range plan to use Grand Prix racing as a proving ground for innovations that not only make racing cars go faster, but also make them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

"Climate change is probably the single biggest issue facing the global community, and F1 is not immune from it," said Nick Fry, chief executive officer of Honda Racing F1. "On the contrary, we believe that F1 with its huge global profile and cutting-edge technology can play an important role in not only highlighting the issues but also playing our part in developing solutions."

Universal Music and Gatorade are joining Honda as partners. Jenson Button of Great Britain and Rubens Barrichello of Brazil are the drivers.

For more information, visit

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GM's Street-Fighting Transformer Vehicles Rev Up

DETROIT — Until now, moviegoers only got a quick glimpse of the Chevrolet Camaro that stars in Paramount's upcoming Transformers movie via a trailer that hit theaters late last year. The brief clip also offers teaser images of the GMC TopKick truck, Hummer H2 and Pontiac Solstice that will star in what is likely to be the blockbuster film of the summer.

gm transformer camarogm transformer solsticegm transformer hummergm transformer topkickBut General Motors took the edge off this weekend, releasing several images of its four Transformer vehicles. The Chevrolet Camaro is undoubtedly the über-Transformer, dubbed "Bumblebee," a major character in the saga of aliens who take mechanical forms when on earth. GM said it will "roll out a fully integrated marketing and promotional effort around the film in the near future, including a major Chevrolet promotion."

Insiders say this effort may include specially badged vehicles to commemorate the film, as well as the usual line of toys, posters and other movie-related accessories.

GM vehicles are not merely static displays in Transformers. They are clearly embedded in the story line. "Autobot Jazz" converts from a hardtop Pontiac Solstice. "Autobot Ratchet" is a Hummer H2 that has been modified to serve as a rescue vehicle. "Ironhide" changes from a GMC TopKick medium-duty truck.

The movie will hit theaters July 4.

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