Minggu, 22 November 2009

Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car

Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car - click above for high-res image gallery

Ford Motor Company and noted rally masters M-Sport have pulled the veil off their latest collaborative rally machine, the Fiesta S2000. It's their first global rally car, and as such will be able to compete in a whole bevy of international competitions ranging from IRC to the S2000 World Cup to Aatos and Aamu's Finnish Tree Bash. Long story short, going by past history alone, this should be one bruiser of a successful rally car.

Right, so let's talk stats. The Fiesta S2000 comes with a naturally aspirated 1998cc I4 Duratec S2000 engine good for 280 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of twisting torque all the while spinning to an 8,000 rpm redline. That mill gets mated to a permanent all-wheel drive system hooked up to a sequential manual transmission with an AP clutch. Sizable Brembos are at all four corners (and like the wheels, vary in size depending on asphalt or gravel). Ready for the best part? It weighs just 2,640 pounds – and that's with the roll cage. And get this – the Fiesta S2000 is "due for homologation in January 2010." Fake, well-produced "spy video" after the jump, gigantic high-res gallery below.

Ford and M-Sport Fiesta S2000 rally car

BMW M division pushing for hardcore version of next 1 Series

BMW Concept 1 Series tii – Click above for high-res image gallery

Successive generations of the BMW M3 have come a long way since the original, with a skyrocketing curb weight and an ever-climbing price tag. The new M3 GTS may have done a lot to counter the former, although sadly it only further escalated the latter. But enthusiasts take heart, because someone's on the case. Fortunately, that someone is Dr. Kay Segler, head of Munich's famous M division.

According to reports, Segler and his team are pushing the beancounters to give them the authorization to make an M-tuned 1 Series. While the twin-turbo 135i is touted by many as a closer successor to the original M3 than the current M3, he feels there's more that can be done.

Unfortunately, Segler is talking about the next-generation 1 Series, so even if approved, it'd be a while before any future M-tuned 1 hits the road. If and when it does, however, it could take aim at the Audi S3 with a 330-horsepower version of the Bavarian automaker's new TwinPower engine. As for naming schemes, they may have to get a little creative to avoid confusion with the original M1 supercar.

BMW Concept 1 Series tii

Ferrari preparing hardcore 599 GTO?

Ferrari 599XX – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ferrari often uses its World Finals event to unveil exclusive new versions of its most enticing road cars. The FXX Evoluzione was unveiled there a couple of years ago, and the 16M Scuderia Spider made its debut at the event last year. But aside from a mishap involving Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Luca di Montezemolo in a California convertible, this year's event at Valencia came and went with nothing new to offer. However, the latest churns from the rumormill indicate Maranello could be working on an exciting new project.

Supposedly leaked pre-order sheets reportedly refer to a "599 GTO Limited Edition", named in deference to the iconic 250 GTO (to say nothing of the ground-pounding 288 GTO). Based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, the GTO could be Maranello's answer to arch-rival Lamborghini's Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce.

Incorporating design cues and technologies from the 599XX program, the 599 GTO could benefit from a weight-reduction program to cut some 100-150 pound off the curb weight thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, while squeezing out as much as 700 horsepower from the Enzo-derived 6.0-liter V12. Pricing would be expected to jump by as much as a quarter to nearly $400,000, and if the reports prove accurate, the 599 GTO could be ready for debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March with the first of just 500 examples slated for delivery by this time next year.

Ferrari 599xx

Jumat, 06 November 2009

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne presents 5-year business plan

Chrysler LLC has concluded its 7-hour-long marathon presentation of the business plan (read our Live Blog of the event here) that will see it through the next five years, and what we're left with is a little confusing. It's almost as if the automaker's new executives, amidst apologizing for the company's past and promising to do better in the future, were hoping we'd all fall asleep or get lost in the details. Well, we didn't fall asleep or get lost, and below you'll find a breakdown of what we learned while spending the day hip deep in Chrysler's future product. You can also check out the slides from Chrysler's presentation relating to product in the gallery below.

Models On Their Way Out
  • Jeep Patriot (end of 2012)
  • Jeep Compass (end of 2012)
  • Jeep Commander (end of 2010, may continue being sold internationally)
  • Chrysler PT Cruiser (end of 2010)
  • Dodge Dakota (mid 2011)
  • Dodge Caliber (mid 2012)
  • Dodge Viper (mid 2011, may return in 2012)

New Models That Are Coming
  • Jeep compact SUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, may be Panda)
  • Jeep small CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, replaces Patriot and Compass)
  • Jeep Liberty (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Chrysler compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat, replaces PT Cruiser)
  • Chrysler Sebring (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler midsize CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Ram midsize unibody pickup (under consideration for 2011)
  • Ram large and small commercial van (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge Avenger (major update 2010, replaced by Fiat product 2013)
  • Dodge full-size CUV (2010)
  • Fiat 500 (late 2010, convertible 2011, Abarth 2012)

Models Staying, Receiving Attention
  • Jeep Wrangler Diesel (2010/2011, not confirmed for U.S. market... yet)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler 300C (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler Town & Country (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
  • Ram 1500/2500/3500 (major update 2012)
  • Dodge Journey (major update 2010)
  • Dodge Nitro (major update 2011 under consideration)
  • Dodge Challenger (refresh 2011)
  • Dodge Charger (all-new 2010)
  • Dodge Grand Caravan (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
UPDATE: You can dive whole hog into the plan yourself at Chrysler's website.

Steve Saleen launches SMS Superparts

SMS Superparts - Click above for a high-res image gallery

With SMS Supercars recently launching the 570 Challenger and with a Mustang and Camaro, it was inevitable it would soon offer many of the parts individually. On the first day of SEMA Steve Saleen and his new company announced Superparts, the aftermarket sales and distribution arm of SMS Supercars. Many of the parts on the 570 Challenger are now available individually, including the SMS 296 supercharger, aerodynamic parts, and suspension, wheel and tire packages.

Also making its debut at the show is the new SMS 296 supercharger for the 2005-2010 Ford Mustang. The system uses many of the same core components from the Challenger kit, but has a few new features specific for the 4.6-liter V8. The most notable feature is the "Duo-Path" induction system that splits the incoming air starting at the throttle body, going around the supercharger housing to the back of the engine where it enters the rear intake of the compressor. Expected power will be in the 475-650 range depending on the package.

Read more on the SMS Superparts announcement after the jump, or opt for the visuals with the '90s-style 2010 Mustang and a 570X Challenger painted in Sour Grape Green in the high-res gallery below.

Honda FF engine demonstrator - click above for high-res image

For 2010, Formula F is getting some fresh blood. The Sports Car Club of America's board of directors has given the thumbs up to Honda's proposal for a new engine in the class. Next year, competitors will be able to swap out their ancient Ford Kent engines for a new 1.5-liter four based on the Fit.

Honda Performance Development created the engine so that it was specifically able to bolt up to many contemporary Formula Ford chassis designs with minimal modification, all while providing comparable performance. The air restrictor and ECU calibrations can be adjusted by HPD to ensure performance parity with the series' existing engines.

The engine's electronically fuel injected engine promises significantly reduced service requirements compared to the Kent, along with better efficiency. The engines will be supplied complete with intake, exhaust and conversion kits. The kit for the Swift DB-1 including the engine and all necessary parts runs $11,750 with deliveries starting February.

Honda Fit FF engine

Win one of five Sony PSP/Gran Turismo bundles - Day 4

It's Day 4 of our SEMA Sweeps! After giving away three of five limited-edition PSP/Gran Turismo bundles, we're ready to give away our fourth. Yesterday's winner has been randomly selected and contacted, so here's how you can win today.

We're doing this in honor of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and with it, the Seventh Annual GT Awards, so take advantage of our generosity and follow the directions below for your chance to win.

Today we're asking whether you prefer the PSP-3000 or new PSP Go. Your answer won't have any effect on your chances of winning since the sweepstakes winner is drawn at random, so pick your favorite portable Sony system, leave a comment and keep your fingers crossed!

Entering is easy. All you have to do is:
  • Leave a comment in this post telling us whether you prefer the PSP-3000 or PSP Go.
  • You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the U.S. or Canada (excluding Quebec, désolé!)
  • Limit 1 entry per person per day
  • This entry period ends at 3:00PM EST on Friday, November 6
  • At that time, we'll randomly select one winner to receive one PSP/GT bundle (ARV $199.99) that includes a Mystic Silver PSP-3000 system, Gran Turismo PSP game on UMD, a PlayStation Network downloadable voucher for a white Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 2GB Memory Stick PRO Duo, PlayStation Network downloadable movie voucher (title TBD) and Sony MusicPass voucher good for 10 downloadable songs.
  • For a list of complete rules, click here

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