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All The Dirt On The New McLaren MP4-12C

On: Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 2:48PM | By: John Welch


All The Dirt On The New McLaren MP4-12C test 1-1

We've all heard rumors about McLaren's new super car, known internally at McLaren as the 'P11'. Now we have some solid information on the car. For instance, it will be named the MP4-12C, a nod to the code McLaren uses to name its F1 cars. We also know that the car is powered by a mid-mounted, McLaren-built V8, and that it will feature a seven-speed, paddle-operated gear box. My beef? The early renderings of the car look like a Ferrari kit-car. Hopefully the exterior design undergoes some updating before the car is actually released. A full report can be found here.

Jay Leno (aahhggkk) was given a look at pre-production bits earlier this year. He has written a fairly shtick-free article outlining his experience. Highlights: the carbon fiber monocoup is so light Jay was able to pick it up without the forklift's assistance. That's mighty impressive. The price is also fairly impressive, McLaren aiming for a sub $200K base price. Fix that nose and I'll start knocking over Brinks trucks in earnest.

Source: The Times Online


Gems From the International Motoring Press

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 3:25PM | By: John Welch


Gems From the International Motoring Press test 1-1

Dateline, India!: Harley Davidson to sell enormous double-black motorcycles in India! Maybe that will lessen the 95ish% decrease in sales in this country . . . Of course, this story comes with quotes that mangle the English language;

"“Our mission was to lay a strong base in India to help play a long innings. India is a vital part of company’s expansions plan which now is getting global,” Harley Davidson chief operating officer Matthew Levatich said."

The story comes from good 'ole Motorbeam.com

China must be filled with suckers, or just really bad cars/China carries our economy in so many ways Department:

GM and Ford are starting to turn things around in this country, but in China they've been killing it! Killing what? I don't know, lemme get back to you . . Ford sales in China were up 111% last month, as they sold 21,127 vehicles in China for the month of August. After unloading 88,711 units in August, SAIC-GM's sales are up a whopping 122.6%. The articles come from China Car Times, and can be viewed here and here. I for one, welcome our Asian Over-Lords . . .


BMW To Produce Two New Minis

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 2:50PM | By: John Welch


BMW To Produce Two New Minis test 1-1

BMW wouldn't dare sell front drive cars under the nameplate 'BMW'. Good. I don't want them to. If you are just dying to own a front drive BMW, why don't you go buy a Mini. 'Cause that's what a Mini is, a front drive BMW.


Now that that's out of the way, BMW has confirmed it will expand the Mini line up with two new models, the 'Mini Coupe' and 'Mini Speedster'. I LOVE the Coupe; it's sultry and porportional in all the right ways. Not so hawt on that 'Speedster' deal though, it doesn't look right to my eye. I'm sure the production model will look much different when it is actually produced, I hope so anyway.

Howabouts a nice video introducing the Coupe Concept?...


 

The G,B,U; Unattainable 911 Edition

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 4:14PM | By: John Welch


The G,B,U; Unattainable 911 Edition test 1-1

The Good: Porsche is introducing a new 911, the 'Sport Classic'. New Porsches are always appreciated, but the good news here is the new flappy-paddle transmission. The transmission itself isn't new, just the flappy-paddles. Prior to this model, a Porsche customer not possessing the wherewithal to specify a manual transmission had to settle for Pontiac Grand Prixesques thumb-shifter thingees. I've always thought this to be a rather moronic solution for gear-changing, just like the universal inter-automaker refusal to make auto-boxes with levers that move down for an up shift and up for a down shift. How many times has an auto-journalist bitched about that in the last ten years?

With the old Porsche system you were required to squeeze the sides of the steering wheel's spokes to effect gear changes. Completely counter-intuitive. Thankfully, the electronic connections are all the same for either system, so all Porsches with the bizarro shifters could theoretically be retro-fitted with flappy-paddles. Honestly, who are these goons that are buying Porsches with automatic transmissions to begin with?! Sigh, IDIOTS . ..


AutoAnarchy Timeline

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:13PM | By: John Welch


AutoAnarchy Timeline test 1-1

I dig auto-themed timelines. My attention span is short and my need for usueless facts is vast. Mostly so that I can regurgitate them during polite conversation; making me appear either extremely informed, or extremely obnoxious, take yer pick.Timelines make it easy for me to acquire a sensible amount of information without offending my ADD.

Auto-info ala carte comes to us from the New York Times today. Starting with four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, the timeline spans the last year of horrific auto-debauchery. Very informative, each month features a number of articles devoted to industry wide collapse, carnage, and failure.

Source: The New York Times


Fisichella to drive for the Prancing Horse

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:53AM | By: John Welch


Fisichella to drive for the Prancing Horse test 1-1

Driver swapping is a common-place occurance in the Formula One world. All weekend we've heard rumors about Giancarlo Fisichella leaving Force India for Ferrair; taking over the seat left vacant by an injured Fillipe Masa. Will his career with Ferrari last beyond the last five races of this year? Probably not, but Fisichella is a native Roman, and a drive with Ferrari is every Italian-born driver's wildest dream. Who am I kidding? That's everyone's wildest dream click on the 'source' link for the full story.

Source:Speedtv.com


Shumacher Previews 458 Italia, Drooling Allowed

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 10:53AM | By: John Welch


Shumacher Previews 458 Italia, Drooling Allowed test 1-1

We've been seeing teasers for the Ferrari 458 Italia all over the Internet lately. The video below was the first 'offcial' teaser for the 458, released a few weeks ago. Since then, Ferrari has commissioned several videos that reveal further details about the F430 replacement. More videos are available after the jump.


No Buick Grand National, or anything fun apparently

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 5:45PM | By: John Welch


No Buick Grand National, or anything fun apparently test 1-1

During a recent web-chat (one of the more useless uses for the internet- the 'webchat') the general manager of Buick-GMC, Susan Docherty, was put in front of the firing squad. She spent pages and pages of chat space answering questions with mostly negative answers. One avid Buick-phile asked if the G8 chassis would make for a decent GNX. "The G8 won't become the Buick Grand National." was the response. I could have told you that was what she was going to say, buddy.

Edmunds Inside Line
covers the webchat briefly, but the entire spleepy episode can be viewed at GM Fast Lane


Good news for Random-CarBlog Types

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 4:45PM | By: John Welch


Good news for Random-CarBlog Types test 1-1

Just pointing out that this 'CarBlog' thing might not be complete waste of time,

The Wall Street Journal provides us with an article outlining the increased popularity of online auto mags.

Here's to shallow success!


Ford's New Power Stroke

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 2:54PM | By: John Welch


Ford's New Power Stroke test 1-1

Deciding that the engines they have purchased from supplier Navistar were more trouble than they are worth, Ford has designed and constructed their first pick-up truck diesel. The 'Scorpion' 6.7-liter V-8 diesel has many innovative features that contribute to lower emissions and NVH. Each set of valves has its own rocker configuration, the block is cast of a lighter iron, the cylinder heads are now aluminum. On top of those improvements, the motor has a unique turbo set-up.