Today hot auto news

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Report: Suzuki cozying up with Fiat?

05/24/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Suzuki, India, Tata, FIAT

2012 Fiat Sedici - Front three-quarter view, purple static shot

Fiat and Tata has reportedly stepped away from a tieup in the Indian market that saw Fiats being built in India, using engines shared with Tata and Maruti models, and being sold through Tata dealers. Neither company commented, but according to analysts, the issue was that in addition to Tata was simply too busy with its other endeavors, especially Jaguar Land Rover, to attend to the Fiat deal. Sales of the joint-venture vehicles have declined by more than 20 percent year-on-year.

The Fiat-Tata union isn't binding, and talk has now centered around Fiat snuggling up with Suzuki. Suzuki has a huge position in Asia, Suzuki-Maruti being India's largest carmaker and the Japanese firm having sold more than half its cars in the Asia region, excluding Japan, over the year that ended March 31. Fiat, on the other hand, only sold three percent of its wares in Asia in 2011.

There is debate about how beneficial a Fiat-Suzuki tieup would be. Suzuki's position is facing pressures, but some observers say the Japanese firm has all the strengths and, at most, would benefit from "a timely supply of engines," but possibly confuse customers by adding Fiat to its distribution channel. Others think that it would be a good union, with Fiat providing "a sound name" and a technology exchange.

Such a venture would rely on Suzuki extricating itself from its still-binding union with Volkswagen, an adventure that has probably soured Suzuki on the phrase "technology exchange" for a bit. Among the problematic issues, Suzuki has accused VW of breach-of-contract by not sharing VW technology and not initiating any of the joint projects that were Suzuki's reason for the deal. Suzuki and Fiat presently collaborate on the Fiat Sedici/Suzuki SX4, and when Suzuki bought diesel engines from Fiat instead of VW, the German company accused the Japanese automaker of breach-of-contract. Both parties are in arbitration over the matter; last we heard, Suzuki wants its 20-percent stake returned, while VW is still in favor of the partnership. A VW victory would nix the kind of Suzuki deal with Fiat being speculated now.

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Mercedes updated M-Class spotted stripping camo

07/23/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, SUVs, Mercedes Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz M-Class Spy Shots

Following a spate of images in early April, Mercedes has removed some of the camouflage on the facelifted M-Class SUV in preparation for its eventual debut, probably at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Gone is the swirly, psychedelic camo that featured so heavily on our last round of photos. In its place sits simple, unpatterned vinyl, which is limited to the front and rear of the mid-level luxury SUV. The vinyl looks to be hiding new headlights, which appear to borrow inspiration from the new S-Class and C-Class. Unlike the previous example we spotted, this new model has its taillights concealed, indicating there could be minor changes in store. The rear bumper is also slightly different, with more visible exhaust outlets, indicating that this could be the ML550 that we're seeing.

There remains a fair amount of camouflage over the front grille and lower intakes, through which we can spot a tweaked grille, which should, again, borrow inspiration from the brand's newer sedans.

We'll keep our eyes open for additional info and images of the facelifted Mercedes M-Class as its debut date continues to approach.

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Uber favors former GE leader as its next CEO

08/20/2017   [Original: Autoblog]

Filed under: Green,Hirings/Firings/Layoffs,Transportation Alternatives Uber's board is expected to vote on a new CEO within two weeks.Continue reading Uber favors former GE leader as its next CEO Uber favors former GE leader as its next CEO originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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eBay Find of the Day: Alice Cooper's Supercharged Mustang GT

11/12/2006   [Original: eBay via MustangBlog via Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Auctions, Ford

Alice Cooper 2005 Mustang GT

Alice Cooper is a serious car guy, and as you might expect, his garage has seen its share of cool toys pass through. Those who watched this past January's Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale may remember Cooper's sublime '39 Lincoln Zephyr, which changed hands for $248,000. Well, Matt over at MustangBlog shot us a note letting us know that another one of Alice's machines is on the block, this time over at the virtual auction house for everyman: eBay.

The car in question is a black 2005 Mustang GT pushing out over 500 horsepower (535, according to a graphic on the car itself) with a little help from things like a Paxton blower and intercooler and Billy Boat exhaust. An automatic transmission tackles the duty of wrangling those ponies to the rear wheels. It looks good too, sporting a Shaker hood (very sweet), red racing stripe, and red line tires that look right at home on the neo-retro Mustang.

"No More Mr. Nice Guy," the title of one of the well-known songs off the rocker's Billion Dollar Babies album, is emblazoned on the quarter panels under the "GT" badging. Those who don't heed the subtle warning may find themselves getting dusted should they decide to get frisky with the car at a stoplight. If you're interested, head on over to eBay and check it out. Bidding starts at $30,000 and yes, there is a reserve to meet.

(Additional photos after the jump)

Alice Coopers's Supercharged 2005 Mustang GT

Visit the car's eBay listing for additional photosAlice Cooper 2005 Mustang GTAlice Cooper 2005 Mustang GTAlice Cooper 2005 Mustang GTAlice Cooper 2005 Mustang GT

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Separated at Birth: Bugatti Veyron and Bentley Hunaudi?res Concept

01/02/2007   [Original: Sybarites via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Time Warp, Supercars, Bentley, Bugatti

Look too quickly and you'd swear that these two exotics are the same car. Anything longer than a glance and you start to notice the differences. Even then, the silhouette of the Bugatti and the Bentley are quite similar. Both brands are under Volkswagen's corporate umbrella, and both cars were touched by the design fingerprint of Hartmut Warkuss. The shape of these two cars seemingly represents what VW's design folks thought of as a supercar eight years ago. We think it still works pretty well.

Remembering our remedial lesson in how to pronounce Hunaudieres brings 1999 flooding back. Volkswagen had recently purchased Bentley, and they made a splash by debuting a supercar concept powered by a W16 engine with rumored LeMans aspirations. In fact, Hunaudieres is the name of the straightaway at LeMans. The car never made it out racing, though Bentley campaigned the Speed 8 from 2001-2003.

A few months after the Bentley was on the stand in Geneva, the Bugatti Veyron was rolled out at the Tokyo Motor Show. The Veyron was originally slated to run a W18 engine, but the production version wound up with a turbocharged W16. The Veyron has gone on to become the fastest and most powerful new car you can buy today. It looks like the Bentley team donated their engine and interior to the final car, which has turned out quite nicely, thank you.

More pictures after the jump

Continue reading Separated at Birth: Bugatti Veyron and Bentley Hunaudi?res Concept

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Bose Media System debuts in Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

03/09/2007   [Original: Bose via Autoblog]
Category: Audio, Gadgets, Ferrari

If you're going to introduce one of the world's most advanced automotive media systems, you might as well showcase it in one of the world's best vehicles. Bose has chosen the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti as its debut model. The new Bose Media System features customized 5.1-channel surround sound, an AM/FM/XM satellite radio tuner that can be accessed by genre, a 200 hours hard-drive, navigation system, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity with access through the system's display and a USB 2.0 input.

Oh, and it has an industry-first multi-format disc player. It can read and play virtually any type of disc you feed into it: CDs, DVD audio discs, DVD video discs, Super Audio CDs, MP3s, AAC and practically every other format available on recordable CDs and DVDs. It even has the Bose uMusic intelligent playback system that uses tags to identify listener "moods" and calls up similar songs from the hard drive. Of course the speakers have been optimized for the 612, as well. The system looks fairly easy to control with two large knobs and an upper and lower bank of preset function buttons. Follow the read link for more details on the system.

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Geneva Motor Show: Citroen's six-wheeled beast - the Cruise Crosser

03/08/2007   [Original: Citroën via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Trucks/Pickups, Geneva Motor Show, Euro, PSA

Click photo for hi-res image gallery

When we previewed the Citroën Cruise Crosser earlier in the week, we didn't have a whole lot of info on the orange beastie. Since the show's begun, however, we're able to add more. A joint effort between Citroën and the Espera Sbarro School, the Cruise Crosser is a vehicle designed to traverse harsh terrain with ease. Presumably, the vehicle's first and second axles can operate in a 4x4 mode (not an unreasonable expectation, since the new C-Crosser SUV is the basis for this show car). When the going gets rough, the electrically-powered third axle can be engaged to help get the Crosser out of trouble. That electric motor can also be used as the Crosser's sole propulsion source, giving the rig a true zero-emissions electric-only mode.

Normal motivation comes courtesy of a diesel-electric hybrid drivertrain of unknown displacement and power, but it can't be a slouch if it has to move this thing around. The interior (for which Citroën provided no photos...thanks, guys) features orange trim and mesh-pattern leather seats in the first two rows. The folding 3rd row from the C-Crosser source vehicle is in there as well, but the interior is really of secondary importance. This is an eye-popping, cool-as-all-get-out show car that really brings out the kid in us. Seriously -- a massive orange six-wheeled pickup truck? Our inner 8-year-old is going bonkers right now.

Gallery: Citroen Cruise Crosser

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China Reversal: Tiger Truck opens plant in Texas

03/15/2007   [Original: PR Inside via Autoblog]
Category: Trucks/Pickups, China, Plants/Manufacturing

While other manufacturers are hurrying to move factories and parts suppliers to China, Chinese truck maker ChangAn is going the other way. Dallas-based Tiger Truck, the exclusive US importer of ChangAn vehicles, has announced plans to open an assembly plant in Jasper, TX. Tiger's vehicles are for off-road uses here in the US - applications such as groundskeeping, farming, and manufacturing. Tiger CEO Mike Ward is reportedly happy to be hiring U.S. workers and seeking contracts with US OEM suppliers. Tiger will be building two new platforms, the Champ full-size pickup, and a medium-duty truck with gross vehicle weights from 14,000 to 21,000 pounds. Tiger's trucks are EPA/CARB certified, as well as meeting frontal crash-test standards. The drivetrain options are wide-ranging, from 2WD to 4WD, hybrid, diesel, even electric. Tiger is serious about equipping work trucks, and there are all sorts of options and accessories available.

Initially, most of the Jasper plant's output will be for export, but the Tiger folks have designed growth into their plant. The Texas location is good for Tiger's exporting efforts to South America and the Carribean, as well as shipping to all points in the U.S. from their very own rail spur. The 100 employees will be capable of cranking out 7,500 vehicles per shift, according to Tiger's PR materials. If the dealer network and popularity of Tiger products grows, we'd expect to see the operation grow. Even if they're not for on-road use, we can see how these vehicles would be extremely useful, and we're encouraged by the decision to locate in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers, as well as involving U.S. OEMs.

Thanks to tipster Dan!

Continue reading China Reversal: Tiger Truck opens plant in Texas

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Kia pro_cee'd fully unveiled ahead of Frankfurt

08/21/2007   [Original: Kia via Autoblog]
Category: Ask Auto Specialists, Frankfurt Auto Show, Euro, Hatchbacks, Kia

Click image for photo gallery

Kia will officially whip the cover off its jaunty Euro-only (why, God... WHY?) pro-cee'd 3-door hatchback on September 11 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. We'll be there to bring you on-scene coverage, but in the interim, Kia has provided a new set of photos showing the car in its entirety. Based on the same architecture that underpins the 5-door cee'd, the pro-cee'd is longer, lower, lighter and sportier-looking thanks to styling elements unique to the 3-door.

Despite the differences in appearance, the pro-ceed boasts interior passenger room on par with its five-door brother, thanks to its identical wheelbase length. And while on the subject of the interior, it's very appealing to the eye -- a requirement if it's to be a viable player against the likes of the VW Golf. Longer doors with 70-degree openings help make backseat ingress and egress less cumbersome (thus minimizing Britney-style exhibitions), and cargo capacity behind the rear seat is said to equal that of the more reserved and outwardly practical cee'd. The pro-cee'd will be available in a wide array of trim, engine, and color combinations when it hits the Continent next year. We'll take one of the 143-horsepower cars equipped with the Sport Pack (shown). Oh wait. That's right, we can't. Bummer.

Press release after the jump.

Gallery: Kia pro_cee'd (EU)

Continue reading Kia pro_cee'd fully unveiled ahead of Frankfurt

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Sydney 2007: Holden HSV Maloo R8 a "coupe with a damn big boot!"

10/11/2007   [Original: Holden via Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Trucks/Pickups, Misc. Auto Shows, Holden

click either image above to view more live and official shots of the HSV Maloo R8

Those are the words of John Clark, Chief Engineer for the just unveiled Holden HSV Maloo R8 ute. Currently rotating on a stand in Sydney at the Australian International Motor Show, the HSV Maloo R8 looks like the combination of a Corvette and S-10, excepts it's so much cooler than you would imagine such a bastard love child would be. Take one garden variety VE Ute, add a body kit gets the point across, a motorized rear tonneau cover that can be controlled via the key fob and, oh yeah, a 405 HP LS2 V8 to make things interesting, and you'll begin to understand how Holden goes about making a Maloo. The trucklet, however, is worked by the HSV team, Holden's equivalent of SRT, AMG, SVT, etc. This means the rear-wheel-drive HSV Maloo R8 should be able to carve an Aussie corner as well as it can ripple pavement behind its rear wheels in a straight line.

The Holden HSV Maloo R8 will cost $59,900 AU, or about $53,778 USD. The only options are an automatic transmission for $2,000 AU and a performance pack that includes 20-inch wheels and GTS-inspired sport seats for an additional $3,750 AU.

Check out the official press release from Holden after the jump and our exclusive high-res live shots and official images in the gallery below.

Gallery: Holden HSV Maloo R8

All photos (C)2007 Siddharth Raja/ Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Sydney 2007: Holden HSV Maloo R8 a "coupe with a damn big boot!"

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