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Paul Teutul Sr. from Orange County Choppers launches Ducati dealership

04/24/2009   [Original: Ducati | Image: Andrew H. Walker/Getty via Autoblog]
Category: Motorcycles, Celebrities

American Chopper fans were surely shocked as the latest season kicked off with the apparent firing of Paul Teutel Jr., but that's not the only surprise in store for the long-running reality television series this year. It seems the Teutuls have more on their cycling minds than just screaming matches and outlandish Harley-inspired customs. In fact, Paul Sr.'s next two-wheeled venture is just about as far in the other direction as you could imagine. Curious? Think Italian, and think fast.

That's right, though it seems at first glance like a rather odd pairing, Teutul Sr. (right) is indeed opening a Ducati dealership in his home state of New York called Ducati Hudson Valley. To celebrate OCC's 10th anniversary, the shop has turned its torches away from rumbling American V-twins for a moment and focused its attention on a new custom L-twin-powered Monster 1100 that will be featured on an upcoming episode of American Chopper on TLC.

Still don't believe it? No worries - we did a double-take too. Click past the break for the official press release.

Continue reading Paul Teutul Sr. from Orange County Choppers launches Ducati dealership

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Chicago: Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video]

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, SUVs, Trucks/Pickups, Toyota, Off-Road

Toyota TRD Pro Series

With a rich history of creating off-road worthy trucks and SUVs and a somewhat bland impression of its brand overall, Toyota has wisely created a line of TRD Pro Series vehicles to spice up its showrooms and newly engage customers. Debuting at this year's Chicago Auto Show before rolling into dealers this fall, the TRD-tuned vehicles include the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra, all with added rough-road gear and amped-up looks.

The TRD Pro Series trucks might end up, in many cases, as lifestyle accessories for outdoorsy types, but that doesn't mean they're all show. TRD springs and Bilstein dampers are set up for off-road performance, while skid plates will protect the softish underbellies of these would-be rock-crawlers. The trio all get lifted over stock height, as well, with two-inch gains for the Tundra and Tacoma (lovingly referred to as "Taco Supreme" in the Toyota press release), and an inch-and-a-half rise for the 4Runner.

We detailed all of the changes to the Pro Series vehicles in our original announcement post, and you'll also find more granularity of information in the Toyota press release below. Before you dive in, however, be sure to take in our set of live, action-packed images from the Chicago Show floor.

Continue reading Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video]

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The best place to get your Top Gear fix online has been thwacked by lawyers

07/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Government/Legal, Tech, Celebrities, TV/Movies

Top Gear World Tour - Photocall

The website Final Gear is one of the premiere fan sites for Top Gear on the Internet. For over a decade, it has been providing followers of the show and its spinoffs with BitTorrent links for the episodes and gave people a place to discuss all things related. However, the site was hobbled on July 17 by a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown notice that forced it to remove all of its links to the series.

In addition to publishing the notice in full, the site left this brief message to fans: "While FinalGear.com does not host any torrents or copyright infringing material, we have had to disable all episode links due to a DMCA Take-Down covering every Top Gear (and spin offs) episode." The letter indicated that it came from BBC Worldwide Consumer Products, and it specifically requested that Final Gear remove all of its links to Top Gear, Top Gear Australia and Top Gear America. While not mentioned, the site removed BitTorrent connections to Fifth Gear, as well. Otherwise, everything else, including the episode summaries and forum, are still up and running, as of this writing.

According to Final Gear, the site originally launched in October 2003 and did host the actual downloads at the time. In March 2004, it was redesigned and began using the torrents. Autoblog has reached out to the site for more information on what it plans to do going forward. We'll update this story, if we hear back.

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Lexus looking for performance with 600-hp LF-LC?

07/27/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Lexus, Rumormill, Luxury

Lexus LF-LC Concept

Lexus has been keeping development of the production version of its LF-LC concept tightly under wraps. Last we heard, that halo GT car had received the green light for production, but that was over a year ago. Since then, things have been pretty silent. Finally though, fresh rumors about the luxury coupe are starting to leak out, pointing toward the model's powertrain lineup.

According to unnamed sources speaking to Motor Trend, the production LF-LC will eventually sport three very intriguing engine options. The base model will reportedly use a naturally aspirated V8 providing around 450 horsepower - very similar specs to the upcoming RC F. The next step up will allegedly be the upcoming hybrid powertrain shared between BMW and Toyota pumping things up to around 500 hp. Finally, a top-of-the-heap F version will use a twin-turbocharged version of the RC F's 5.0-liter V8 to bring output to 600 hp. The insiders even claim that the hybrid and the twin-turbo V8 could find their way into other Lexus products like the LS and possibly even a more beastly RC.

None of this speculation sounds too outlandish. Lexus could get more capacity out of the RC F's tuned V8 by shoving it into other models, and rumors are flying about performance cars spawned from BMW and Toyota's partnership. Given Lexus' recent embrace of turbocharging, even the twin-turbo V8 doesn't seem too dubious. That said, with no hard facts to back up the rumormill, we'll have to keep waiting to see what the LF-LC shows up with.

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Chrysler may develop new V6 engine family

06/21/2006   [Original: Autoweek via Autoblog]
Category: Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep

Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda says that the company is considering developing a new line of V6 engines -- a decision he expects will be made by the end of the year. The engines will likely fit the Chrysler 300/Dodge Magnum/Dodge Charger platform, which is expected to go through a redesign in 2009. The plants being considered for the business are the Trenton Engine plant in Trenton, Mich.; Toledo Machine in Perrysburg, Ohio; and Kenosha (Wis.) Engine, but Chrysler's big boss says that the UAW has to be willing to change the work rules and stay competitive.

Unlike the company's four-banger that currently hauls around the Dodge Caliber and will serve to power the Jeep Copmass and Jeep Liberty, the new V6 engines will be developed completely in-house. The V6 lineup may also contain a diesel, but that has not yet been confirmed.

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Forbes Best Pickups for 2006

06/21/2006   [Original: Forbes via Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Trucks/Pickups

While foreign manufacturers dominate the car and SUV vehicle segments, that quintessential American icon, the pickup truck, continues to be ruled by the domestic automakers. Forbes Dan Lienert wrote that Toyota Tundra engineers, while touring Texas Stadium during a Dallas Cowboys' football game, continued to be amazed how Americans loved their pickups even as personal transportation. We'll have to wait until next year after the new Tundra has debuted to see if Toyota's engineers have tapped the pulse of America's pickup purchasing public.

Without further adieu, Forbes top pick pickups for 2006:

  • Best Midsize Pickup: Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider
  • Best Pickup For Off-Roading: Dodge Ram Power Wagon
  • Best Pickup For Pulling Stumps: Ford F-Series Super Duty
  • Most Fuel-Efficient Pickup: Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series
  • Most Sinister Pickup: Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 (pictured)

  • Most Upscale Pickup: Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • Raciest Pickup: Dodge Ram SRT-10
  • Safest Pickup: Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra
Related:

Strategic Vision Top Quality Award winners for 2006 announced

Forbes picks hottest family trucksters

Consumer Reports' 2006 Top Picks? 100% Japanese

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Goodwood debut for Colin McRae R4

07/10/2006   [Original: 4Car, ColinMcRae.com via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Coupes, Hatchbacks

Rally superstar Colin McRae unveiled his eponymous R4 high-performance rally car at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. The road-legal competition car is being developed by specialty builder DJM Race Preparations.

The R4 prototype will begin testing in August, with production of the final version slated to begin in the first quarter of 2007.

The R4 chassis is custom-built around a steel rollcage, with carbon-fiber bodywork front and rear, and a steel-covered cockpit area. Double wishbone suspension is fitted front and rear, managed by Proflex dampers.

The R4 prototype is driven by a 2.5-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder powerplant from Millington Racing Engines, putting out 340 hp at 8,700 rpm (damn!). 0-60 times of around 5 seconds are expected. Power is delivered through a DJM sequential six-speed gearbox, to a buyer's choice of RWD or 4WD configurations. More competition-oriented powerplants are being considered for the R4, including a 2.2-liter twin-turbo and a 3-liter V6 twin turbo, with the latter capable of 750 hp in competition trim. Only serious enthusiasts need apply - pricing for the 340 hp version is expected to start at around $240,000.

Fuzzy live shots of the R4 are here, but the computer-generated renderings are clearer. We'll update with pics when we find some good ones.

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Honda officially announces the all-new Stream

07/13/2006   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Etc., Japan, Honda

The new Honda Stream

Honda officially announced the all-new Stream MPV , which goes on sale Friday, July 14 in Japan. The restyle gives the new Stream a modern, more aggressive appearance (especially in RSZ trim) and also evokes the front-end design of the current JDM Odyssey, creating a family resemblance that didn't exist before. The outgoing Stream was much more funky-looking and incorporated some puzzling styling cues -- one of which appears to have set the precedent for the controversial side window shape seen on the upcoming CR-V. To illustrate the differences between the new Stream and the model it replaces, we've added a photo comparison after the jump.

The external makeover is complemented by a new interior that bears a strong family resemblance to those found in the new Civic models. The cabin is roomier thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase and redesigned sills that add a small increase in width for the first two seat rows. A completely flat floor adds a little extra room for all passengers, including those in the 3rd row. Naturally, multiple seating configurations can be implemented, allowing drivers to haul a variety of items in the cargo bay.

(Continue reading after the jump. Photos, press release also follow.)

All Streams are available in either FWD or 4WD configurations, and power comes from a choice of two i-VTEC 4-cylinder engines. The 1.8L produces 140 hp and 128 lb-ft of tourque. It's mated to a 5-speed automatic no matter which drive system is used.

The 2.0L adds 10 more horsepower and increases torque to 140 lb-ft. FWD cars are equipped with a CVT, while the 5-speed auto is used on 4WD versions.

Fuel economy using the Japanese 10.15 mode driving schedule ranges from 31mpg to over 34mpg depending on the drivetrain being used. Prices start at ¥1,806,000 (around $15,800 USD) for a FWD Stream X 1.8 and range up to ¥2,541,000 for a 4WD Stream RSZ 2.0 with standard equipment.

The Stream is a sharp-looking, practical, and economical car that would have little trouble winning over fans in the US. Too bad there seems to be no plan to bring it over anytime soon. That could change, though. Who would have thought we would ever see the Fit on American streets? If the Stream appeals to you, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Check out the photos below, and read Honda's full press release for additional details on all the new features.

Photo Gallery:

Stream RSZ 2.0

Honda StreamHonda Stream

Stream X

Honda Stream

Stream Interior

Detail

Engines

Design Sketch

PHOTO COMPARISON

New Stream

New Honda Stream

Old Stream

Old Honda Stream

Odyssey (JDM Version)

HOnda Odyssey (JDM)

Press Release:

Honda Announces an All-New Stream

TOKYO, Japan, July 13, 2006 - Honda announced the release of an all-new Stream. Featuring a low-floor platform, the new Stream combines stylish compact exterior with a comfortable interior and powerful driving performance. With a low overall height of 1,545mm*, the new Stream has a modern dynamic look and fits conveniently into most restricted-height mechanical parking lots. The new Stream will go on sale from Friday, July 14 at Honda automobile dealers throughout Japan.

The new, second-generation Stream is a 7-passenger car with the versatility and functionality to make getting around a true pleasure. Along with its vibrant, low-slung styling, it delivers total comfort and a feeling of integration wherever the driver and passengers come in contact with the vehicle - whether getting in and out, steering, throttle response, or changing the seat arrangements.

Body frame rigidity has been enhanced for improved driving performance, and the front sub-pillars have been eliminated to attain a significant increase in visibility. The floor design has also been significantly improved to create a flat foot area from corner to corner and a significantly lower floor for the third row of seats. These innovations mean improved passenger comfort as well as a lower center of gravity for superior handling. Both powerplants-the newly developed 2.0l i-VTEC engine with CVT and the 1.8l i-VTEC engine with 5-speed automatic transmission-deliver powerful, smooth driving performance from low-to-mid speeds.

The sporty RSZ, available in both 2.0-liter and 1.8-liter versions, comes equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels and a custom-tuned suspension for extra driving enjoyment. The RSZ's custom aerodynamic parts, black interior, and other attractive design features combine to enhance the car's sporty driving image.

All models have earned Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport certification as Low-Emissions Vehicles, with emission levels 75% lower than those required by 2005 standards, while the front-wheel-drive models exceed Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 10%.

The new Stream is also available with the most advanced Honda safety technologies, including IHCC** (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control), which controls vehicle speed and distance to the car ahead to reduce the burden on the driver, and CMBS2 (Collision Mitigation Brake System) + E-pretensioners**, which uses millimeter wave radar technology to detect the possibility of a collision and then help avoid or reduce the force of the collision.

* 4WD model height is 1,570mm (micro antenna excluded from both measurements).

** Available as a factory option on all FWD models

Key Features of the New Stream


Styling
The new Stream's dynamic styling features an agile, low-slung form that expresses functional beauty reminiscent of a coupe.

o. The low overall ride height imparts a vibrant aesthetic, while the sporty, dynamic exterior design belies the utility of the extra third row of seating.

o. The RSZ boasts an even more sporty image thanks to its custom aerodynamic parts.

Packaging
The comfortable interior breathes relaxation and quality from every nook and cranny.

  • The wheelbase has been increased by 20mm* and the pedal layout adjusted to increase the tandem distance between the second and third row seats by 30mm1, giving more room to third-row passengers .
  • The side sill has been redesigned to obtain an extra 20mm1 of width for passengers in the first and second rows. For the third row, the use of a slim fuel tank permits a lower floor, while the reduced cross section in the rear frame results in more width. The adoption of a separate rear frame and floor panel construction allows for a floor flat all the way out to its edges on both sides
  • The floor tunnel has been eliminated for a significant gain in leg room. Exhaustive efforts to remove even minor bumps and gradations in the floor overall result in a completely flat floor that creates a relaxing space, no matter where the passenger is sitting.

* Honda calculations. All comparisons are with the previous model.

Interior
The new Stream's interior combines a sporty driving environment with a refined, modern quality.

  • The instrument panel features two oversized meters positioned for easy viewing, along with a center panel angled toward the driver for enhanced ease of use. The internal configuration of the instrument panel has been made more compact to secure more room for the driver's legs, while the portion of the dashboard on the passenger's side employs soft materials to give the passenger a heightened feeling of security.
  • The instruments and center-console cup holders are finished with ring-shaped metal rims to impart a modern feel. Blue lighting at night creates a change from daytime ambience.
  • A telescopic tilt steering wheel and seat height adjuster allow the driver to find just the right driving position.

Utility

The new Stream's simple, easy utility features are designed for maximum ease of use.

  • The seat mechanisms are designed for easy operation. The second-row seat is equipped with an easy-to-use walk-in slide mechanism that allows third-row passengers to enter the vehicle comfortably, while both the second- and third-row seatbacks can be folded down for increased luggage space.
  • A variety of storage compartments are located around the cockpit and for each of the three rows of seating. Shape, volume, and positioning of the compartments have been designed for maximum ease of use.
  • The luggage area features two separate, lidded compartments left and right, for greater versatility to suit a variety of uses.

Powertrain

The intelligent powertrains deliver strong acceleration and near-perfect linear response.

  • Newly developed 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine and 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine.

    The i-VTEC system further improves on Honda's original VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology to allow the engine to retard intake valve closure timing under low engine-load driving conditions. Valve control is complemented by a DBW (Drive By Wire) system that provides optimum throttle valve control, significantly reducing pumping losses. This results in greater energy efficiency, for a major improvement in fuel economy while cruising. At the same time, improved intake efficiency and a higher compression ratio create ample low-range torque, while comprehensive friction reduction measures and precise air-fuel ratio control result in outstanding fuel economy.

  • The increased energy efficiency of the i-VTEC variable valve timing control system is further enhanced by a 3-stage variable-length intake manifold on the newly developed 2.0-liter engine to deliver torquey performance at all engine speeds, while the 1.8-liter engine employs a variable-length intake manifold that optimizes intake ram effect. Both engines achieve excellent fuel economy of 14.8km/l*, exceeding Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 10%**, along with outstanding exhaust emission performance certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as being 75% lower than that required by 2005 standards.
  • 2.0-liter models are equipped with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with torque converter***. The torque converter delivers powerful, snappy off-the-line performance to go with the CVT's smooth, seamless acceleration.
  • 1.8-liter models come with a 5-speed automatic transmission that takes advantage of the engine's performance characteristics to achieve both powerful acceleration and outstanding fuel economy. The upgrade to a 5-speed transmission from the previous Stream's 4-speed transmission permits both a wider overall range of gearing and closer gear ratios.
  • The RSZ comes equipped with a paddle shifter with intelligent control. Operating the paddle shifter when the transmission is in Drive automatically flips the transmission into manual mode. The transmission then detects driving conditions, paddle-shifter and throttle operation to automatically return to auto mode, so anyone can enjoy carefree, sporty shifting. What's more, the RSZ (2.0l FWD) with CVT also comes with a 7-speed manual-shift mode to make the most of the CVT's remarkable shifting freedom. Intelligent shift control captures the driver's sensibility more faithfully than ever.

* G (FWD), X (FWD)

** FWD models

*** G (FWD), RSZ (2.0L FWD)

Chassis

The new Stream's high-balance chassis combines smooth handling with a flat ride.

  • Suspension geometry has been reworked to produce both linear handling and a flat ride. The attachment points of the suspension and the steering box were strengthened while the chassis made more rigid overall, with improved rigidity balance.
  • In the front, a McPherson strut suspension is employed for its outstanding space efficiency. A side-force cancellation spring has also been adopted to improve ride comfort while maintaining the compactness of the suspension.
  • In the rear, a compact, reactive-link, double-wishbone suspension contributes toward increased space for passengers in the third row of seats. The lower arm employs high-tensile steel for significantly higher rigidity to handle the loads imposed by the large, wide tires and provide improved stability. The use of more compliant shock absorbers and upper suspension arm bushings enhances ride comfort and reduces road noise.
  • The RSZ features a rear stabilizer bar, large, 17-inch tires, a front spoiler, and front strakes along with custom-tuned spring rates and shock absorber damping characteristics. The result is superior handling stability with no loss in ride comfort.

Body
A high-precision body combines passenger comfort, driving performance, and stability.

  • Use of strong, lightweight, high-tensile steel has been expanded, along with tailored blanks that incorporate fused steel plates of varying thickness and materials for more efficient strengthening. This results in increased rigidity and a 10kg reduction in body weight over the previous model.
  • Pillar joints have been strengthened to improve the rigidity of the body door frames, and the sub-pillar located behind the front pillar in the previous model eliminated to secure increased visibility and contribute to a cleaner outer appearance.

Advanced Features
A full range of advanced features imparts a level of comfort and security normally only found in higher grade vehicles.

  • The IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control)* vehicle speed and distance control system helps reduce the burden on the driver during freeway driving. It assesses driving conditions using data from vehicle speed and yaw rate sensors, along with data from a millimeter-wave radar unit built into the front grille of the vehicle that measures the distance to the vehicle ahead. In addition to maintaining the vehicle at a set speed, this cruise control system automatically regulates vehicle speed and distance depending on whether or not there is a vehicle in the same lane ahead.
  • The Honda HDD InterNavi System** with rear camera utilizes the enormous information storage of a high-capacity (30GB) hard drive to deliver a wide range of information. The 7-inch touch-panel display provides an easy-to-see, easy-to-operate interface, while Bluetooth*** compatibility enables wireless connection with cellular phones for even more powerful communications capabilities.
  • The Honda Smart Card Key System**** allows the card key holder to lock and unlock the doors and tailgate and operate the ignition with a single touch.

* Factory option on all FWD models

** Factory option on all models

*** Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. of the US.

**** Factory option on all models

Safety Performance

Advanced safety performance prevents accidents before they can occur, predicts and prepares for impending accidents, and mitigates injury and vehicle damage should a accident occur.

  • The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system-which includes the Antilock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), and sideslip control9-works incombination with the DBW electronic throttle control that optimizes engine torque to achieve more precise vehicle control.
  • The Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS)* uses millimeter-wave radar, assessing collision risk based on inter-vehicle distance and relative vehicle speeds. As a risk of collision is assessed, the system uses audio and visual warnings and light braking to alert the driver and prompt preventative action. As collision risk increases to the point where a collision unavoidable, the system activates the brakes more firmly to help reduce vehicle speed and mitigate damage and injuries.
  • A side curtain airbag system** for the first-to-third-row seats is available as a set option combined with the front-seat i-side airbag system.
  • Honda's Crash Compatibility Body enhances passenger protection while mitigating impact on the other vehicle.
  • The vehicle is also designed to mitigate pedestrian injury in the event of a collision.
  • The head shock protection interior designed to protect vehicle occupants form shocks to the head in the event of a collision.
  • All models are equipped with front seats designed to reduce the impact of a rear collision on an occupant's neck area.
  • All models are equipped with ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and brake assist.

* Factory option on all FWD models

** Factory option on all models

Environmental Performance

Advanced clean technologies result in outstanding environmental performance.

  • All models are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as having emissions levels 75% lower than what is required by 2005 standards.
  • Front-wheel-drive models exceed Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 10%.
  • The G/RSZ 4WD model complies with Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010. The X 4WD model exceeds Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 5%*.
  • Interior VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) levels have been reduced in all models to within the guidelines set out by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

* Vehicles equipped with the factory option 17-inch aluminum wheels model complies with Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010.

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Tuner Tuesdays: Steinmetz Opel Astra TwinTop

07/26/2006   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Tuner Tuesdays, Convertibles, Euro

Steinmetz Astra TwinTop

German tuning house Steinmetz specializes in tuning Opels (some of our American readers may remember the Cadillac Catera they prepared for the 1999 Auto Show circuit as well), and their latest creation is pretty darn cool. The Steinmetz Astra TwinTop shows what happens when the garden-variety TwinTop is given a full visual makeover and some added snarl underhood.

For starters, the stock grille is replaced by a black honeycomb unit that deletes the Opel's stock chrome bar and badging. This change is augmented by the addition new front, rear, and side skirts, a sweet-looking aluminum filler cap, heated Steinmetz rearview mirrors, and a new two-piece rear spoiler. Of all the new bodywork, the rear spoiler would take us the longest to get used to. A single-piece decklid spoiler might look better. The example pictured wears a set of 18" Steinmetz ST4 wheels, one of several styles available from the tuner.

Underhood, ECU reprogramming boosts power of the 1.9 CDTI diesel from 150 to 175 horsepower. If the 2.0 turbocharged gasoline engine is used, output is 230 horses an improvement of 30 over the stock powerplant. A Steinmetz muffler with a trapezoidal dual-tip exit gives the exhaust note a little edge.

It's a good-looking car whose mods don't overdo things. Now, if we could just get GM to import the TwinTop as a new Saturn Ion convertible...

(Additional photos, info after the jump)

Source: Steinmetz

Steinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTopSteinmetz Astra TwinTop

PRESS RELEASE:

STEINMETZ Astra Twin Top Enjoyment and Addiction

It's a pleasure to devote yourself to something. The result can be addiction. And it can happen fast with the Steinmetz Astra Twin Top. Exciting design with additional aerodynamic components, accessories in the interior and the wheel and tyre combinations up to 19" rims, will have both owners and observers in raptures again. Sporting and elegant, and ready for any weather, it's always at its best.

Engine:

At present the Opel engine range contains four petrol variants and one diesel. Extra power is available from Steinmetz Opel-Tuning for the 1.9 CDTI diesel engine. With a control unit, the Steinmetz Astra Twin Top with 150 HP as standard then develops 175 HP. The development objective was perceptibly higher torque over a wide rev range, while still maintaining Euro 4 emission standards.

For the turbo engine developing 200 HP as standard, Steinmetz Opel-Tuning also has an option for faster acceleration. Here the standard control unit is reprogrammed. Then the driver of the Steinmetz Astra Twin Top has 230 HP at his disposal.

Steinmetz gives 2 years guarantee from first registration.

Engine 1.9 CDTI

Power kW/HP: Steinmetz 129/175 - Standard 110/150

Top speed: Steinmetz 212 - Standard 208

Max. torque (Nm): Steinmetz 380 - Standard 315

at speed (rpm):Steinmetz 2.000 - Standard 2.000

Engine 2.0 turbo

Power kW/HP: Steinmetz 169/230 - Standard 147/200

Top speed: Steinmetz 238 - Standard 230

Max. torque (Nm): Steinmetz 302 - Standard 262

at speed (rpm):Steinmetz 4.400 - Standard 4.200

Exhaust:

The Steinmetz trademark is the high gloss polished, trapezoid twin pipe rear silencer. Design and sound are persuasive purchase arguments for every Opel fan. On the Steinmetz Astra Twin Top, the silencer can be fitted with or without Steinmetz rear skirt.

Lowering / suspension:

Connoisseurs will appreciate the set-up of the suspension lowered by 30 mm. Driving comfort and safety reserves for fast cornering were the focal points in the development. Combined with a Steinmetz wheelset, driving around the Nürburgring or cruising through the city becomes a true experience.

Wheel/tyre combination:

Wheel and tyre combinations from Steinmetz are available for the Astra Twin Top from 16" to 19". The latest highlights are the new ST4 and ST5 rims. The ST4 is available in size 8.0J x 18" and the ST5 in 7.5J x 17". Both wheels are bicolor designs which fascinate the observer with their black/silver appearance. The brilliant look is achieved with the surface finish. The resulting light reflections are the desired effect which make both wheels into true eyecatchers.

5-hole ST1

7.5J x 16" with 205/55 R 16

8.0J x 17" with 215/45 R 17

8.0J x 17" with 225/45 R 17

5-hole ST3

7.0J x 16" with 205/55 R 16

7.5J x 17" with 215/45 R 17

7.5J x 17" with 225/45 R 17

8.0J x 18" with 225/40 R 18

8.0J x 19" with 225/35 R 19

5-hole ST4

8.0J x 18" with 225/40 R 18

5-hole ST5

7.5J x 17" with 225/45 R 17

Bodywork / Aerodynamics:

Chief designer Michele Viandante has transformed the Astra Twin Top into a true Steinmetz Astra Twin Top. Starting with the front grille in honeycomb design, through to the two-piece rear spoiler. But one thing at a time. One striking outer symbol of Steinmetz is the honeycomb front grille with the Steinmetz logo which gives the Opel front a sporting emphasis. The front is completed by the front spoiler which fits perfectly into the standard skirt.

Continuing the styling lines towards the rear are the side skirts which visually give the Astra a even lower appearance. Rearward vision is provided by the electrically adjustable, heated Steinmetz sports mirrors which are adapted to the form of the Astra.

A two-piece rear spoiler provides even more downforce on the rear axle, and generates the "Ooh" effect for anyone viewing the Astra Twin Top from behind. Finally, on the same visual line as the side skirts and front skirt, Steinmetz developed the rear skirt which offers the Astra driver the option of a choice of rear silencers. Further body accessories include the designer stripes in silver or anthracite, and the aluminium filler cap cover.

Interior trim:

Steinmetz Opel-Tuning has developed a new aluminium gear knob for the Astra Twin Top. This fits snugly into the hand on every gear change. The interior is further enhanced by the aluminium handbrake handle, the 3-piece aluminium pedal set, and the aluminium foot rest. The Steinmetz interior is completed by the 4-piece foot mats with Steinmetz logo in stainless steel and the sill trim strips.

All Steinmetz components are TÜV-tested and available direct from Steinmetz or via your Opel dealer.

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BOSS FX-57: PC modder's tribute to a classic Mustang

08/15/2006   [Original: Bit-Tech.net via Autoblog]
Category: Etc., Ford

BOSS FX-57 by Craig TateMost people are happy to have a PC that simply gets the job done. There are a lot of hardcore enthusiasts and gamers, however, who go to great lengths to modify and personalize their computers. Craig Tate (aka Tech Daddy) is recognized as one of the premier modders out there today, and his latest creation is something the staff here at Autoblog would pretty much kill for: The BOSS FX-57.

Craig is a big fan of the 1969 BOSS 302, and used that car's styling cues as the design inspiration for his new PC. Painted in that familiar orange, and sporting custom BOSS striping, the FX-57 designation goes where you'd normally find the "302," replacing the car's displacement with the name of the AMD Athlon 64-bit processor that gives this BOSS its horsepower.

A custom hood scoop mounted on the top of the case acts as the exhaust port for an "blow hole" fan. "Supercharged 6800GT" adorns the sides, a reference to the machine's video card. Around back, the exhaust fan grilles are made of RC car wheels (brilliant), and the open side panel shows the world perhaps the coolest (and simplest, according to Craig) mod of all: a real air filter mounted atop the CPU heatsink fan. We're not worthy.

Custom lighting adorns everything, and the mouse and keyboard are also painted to match the case. We'll admit to not knowing of any other auto-themed custom PC's, but we're going to go out on a limb here and say that Craig Tate's one-of-a-kind BOSS FX-57 is the benchmark against which all others will be judged.

Check out Craig Tate's complete photoessay on the build at Bit-Tech.net.

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