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Official Pics: Mercedes Shows Off SLS AMG Roadster Coming Later This Year

On: Sat, May 7, 2011 at 9:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster test 2

There has been no shortage of spy shots of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster. But this week, Mercedes took it to the next level with the most revealing pictures yet of its upcoming convertible. There is very little camo, no shadows, no weird angles, just a few nice, [low-flying] bird's-eye views of the sporty roadster.

The SLS AMG convertible will make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. And judging by the early start, we suspect we'll see a lot more of it before then.

GM Profits At $3.2 Billion For The First Quarter

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 6:05PM | By: Tim Healey

GM Profits At $3.2 Billion For The First Quarter  test 2

General Motors has posted a profit of $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2011. That marks quite the turnaround for a company that was helped into a guided bankruptcy by the federal government in 2009.

The $3.2 billion profit marks the fifth straight quarter that the automaker has been profitable. Revenue was up 15 percent, to $36.2 billion.

It was good earnings in North America—which more than doubled to $2.9 billion—that helped GM achieve its first-quarter numbers.

Is This The De Tomaso Pantera?

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 5:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

To Be Or Not To Be The De Tomaso Pantera? test 2

At the Geneva Motor Show, De Tomaso disappointed the world when it unveiled the Sports Luxury Sedan. You could almost hear the collective grunt of disenchantment. It wasn't so much that the SLS was bad (although it kind of was), it was that De Tomaso is a name that's almost synonymous with one car: the Pantera, an Italian sports coupe from the 80s/90s that has been sorely missed. Seeing as how Geneva was the first time we've seen a Pantera presence in more than half a decade, it would have been nice if it coincided with a re-launched Pantera.

While the SLS disappointed, news of a Pantera revival at the 2011 LA Auto Show later this year brought chins soaring back up. And today, a short spy video gives a glimpse at what is thought to be a camoed prototype of the Pantera.

Out In The Desert With The Jeep Pickup

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 5:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Jeep JK-8 Independance test 2

Last month, Jeep and Mopar introduced a special kit called the JK-8 Independence. In short, it's a pickup kit that delivers a bed to the back of a Wrangler. It's pretty sweet option for the Jeep Wrangler line, given that Jeep has long lacked a production pickup model here in the States.

Unfortunately, the 2011 Easter Jeep Safari came and went, and we didn't really hear anything else about the JK-8 or other special edition Mopared Jeeps at the event. But a new video clip from PickupTrucks.com takes a closer look at the package in Moab.


Chevy Silverado 2500HD; No. I Won't Help You Move

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 4:28PM | By: Chuck Arehart

Chevy Silverado 2500HD test 2

It's funny how having a full-size pickup that can do lots of stuff suddenly puts you in demand. Once the Chevy Silverado 2500HD test vehicle arrived, my popularity among those that needed something hauled, towed, or yanked out of the ground soared to the heights of Justin Beiber. When I stopped by a friend's house, I heard everything from, "I was thinking of putting the boat in the water," to “I picked out a new sofa bed." "Well, gotta get going'," was my common reply, escaping any time investment. Not that the Silverado HD wasn't up for those chores.

The 765 lbs.-ft. of torque that peaks at a low 1600 rpm is a 105 lb.-ft. improvement over the 2010 Silverado HD and is backed up by 397 horsepower. Ah, the beauty of big diesel engines. Other perks to the powertrain for 2011 include a 63-percent reduction in emissions and B20 biodiesel capability.

New One-Off Ferrari Super America 45 Announced

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 3:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta  test 2

It's been a while since we've seen a one-off Ferrari special edition. Too long. The last one that I seem to recall is the Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta (pictured), a 599 GTB converted by Ferrari's own Special Projects division to look like the Ferrari in the 1968 film Toby Dammit. That model debuted in late 2009, so it's high time we got a new privately commissioned one-off to gawk at.

Luckily, just such a car will fill that role at the upcoming Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. And it will be just as "super" as the P540. It's called the Super America 45.

Back In Black: Chrysler Reports First Profit In Two Years

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 1:26PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Reports First Profit in Two Years  test 2

What a difference a couple of years (and a few billion dollars of public money) can make. After spiraling into bankruptcy and groveling to the U.S. government—not to mention a European namesake—for big bailout bucks, Chrysler has reported its first profit. In the first three months of 2011, Chrysler finally got to use some black ink, raking in $116 million of profit.

The Latest Electric Bullet: Amarok P1 Electric Bike

On: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 1:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Amarok P1 Electric Bike  test 2

In a way, motorcycles are the perfect vessel to develop electric powertrain technologies around. They are lightweight and use smaller engines, which mean less power is needed to drive the wheels and deliver speeds and ranges comparable to gas bikes. And if electric powertrains are good for one thing, it's less power and lower speeds. On the other hand, the heavy, bulky nature of lithium-ion batteries can make integrating an electric powertrain into the narrow, streamlined frame of a bike more difficult than plopping it somewhere in the chassis of a compact car.

Canadian company Amorak has the latest solution to integrating electric technology into the motorcycle. It's called the P1 and it looks pretty damn good.

Porsche Panamera Goes Diesel

On: Thu, May 5, 2011 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

orsche Panamera Goes Diesel  test 2

Since introducing the Panamera to the market in 2009, Porsche has been adding numerous variants to the Panamera line, most recently with the Panamera Hybrid in New York. Porsche added one more Panamera earlier this week, when it revealed the Panamera diesel. The latest Porsche four-door makes use of a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel to add to the range and fuel economy of the Panamera line.

Rumors: Kia Planning Large V-8 Sedan

On: Thu, May 5, 2011 at 4:30PM | By: Tim Healey

Kia Planning Large V-8 Sedan  test 2

Now that Hyundai has the Genesis luxury sedan, complete with available V-8, could subsidiary Kia be planning to follow with a large V-8 luxury sedan of its own?

For its part, Kia will neither confirm or deny such a project, saying only that a rear-wheel drive premium sedan could be interpreted as a logical next step following the redesign of the brand's Optima mid-size sedan this year.

SRT8 392: Not So Challenging To Love

On: Thu, May 5, 2011 at 2:00PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Dodge Challenger  SRT8, 392, test 2

If we are being honest, when the Dodge Challenger first bowed onto the scene, it didn't really live up to the legend and lore of its namesake. Sure it looked good, but it was heavy, a bit underpowered unless you opted to drop down 40 grand for the SRT variant, and seemed to just be another cookie-cutter wannabe amidst a lineup of mediocre models.  

It seems Dodge may have realized this somewhere along the way, and actually did what a lot of American car companies refused to do in the past:  They fixed their mistake, at least in terms of the SRT model. The new Challenger SRT 392 is nothing short of a beast. Taking a page out of other performance car's books, Dodge execs realized that car guys (and gals) are nostalgic in their taste for fast iron. They enjoy heritage, and want to feel a link to the past when gas was cheap and changing a cam in your car took a weekend and a few beers. So for those not in the know, the 392 harks back to those days gone by.