Monday, April 30, 2007

Brit pays 65.000 USD for a custom-made Toyota Prius!

That’s about 47.600 EUR or 32.900 GBP, meaning that this guy paid a 63% premium over the retail price of a fully loaded Toyota Prius in the UK which costs 20.082 GBP (40.164 USD or 29.400 EUR)! So, you’re wondering what the heck this Brit did to get the price up so high. Well, for starters, Jemca Toyota in north London prepared the one-off Prius, recruiting specialist suppliers and trimmers to meet his specific requirements. Jemca Toyota resprayed the car in Brechin Slate, a metallic finish that is usually reserved for Lexus models while the interior was reupholstered in hand-stitched leather and a set of polished steel Fox RS3 rims took their place on the cars tires.

And yes, we had the same dorky expression on our face like you’re having right now; a paintjob, a leatherjob and a set of alloys for 25.000 USD? Oh, boy was he ripped off… -More high-res pics after the jump

Technorati: Toyota+Prius, Tuning, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Chinese Roewe models coming to Europe in 2008 via SsangYong distributors

According to a report from Automotive News Europe, Roewe will enter the European market quite sooner than expected thanks to the help of SsangYong, which like Roewe, is a subsidiary of SAIC. Starting in 2008, Roewe will introduce its first model in Europe, the production version of the W2 concept (pic) that premiered at the Shanghai Show. Although the Chinese carmaker intends to launch Roewe as a separate brand in 2010 through an extended SAIC network, ANE reports that the W2 will be distributed through the dealer network of its Korean subsidiary and sold under the SsangYong badge.-Continued: Click "Read More..." below

Not exactly the turnout most industry observers were expecting when SAIC bought the design rights for the Rover 75 & 25 from MG Rover before the latter collapsed in 2005. Albeit SAIC’s "SsangYong dribble" seems like a smart move now, helping them fastforward their European penetration, I believe it would have been wiser to wait a couple of years until they created a SAIC network.

Via: Automotive News Europe

Tuning: Hamann Lamborghini Murcielago LP640

Making its premiere at the 2007 Tuning World Bodensee in Germany, Hamann’s version of the Murcielago LP640 boasts visual (?) and aerodynamic enchantments but no mechanic alterations maintaining the 640Hp strong V12 of the stock edition. The Lambo package consists of 20-inch black rims, a front spoiler and a rear wing available in Carbon-Kevlar or fibreglass, a two-part rear diffuser with additional air hoses for the extendable side air intakes, side sills and a central running air box on the roof reminiscent of the Lamborghini Diablo GT-R. As for the LP640’s inner-self, Hamann offers an 8-part carbon-look interior set. –Images & Press Release after the jump


Stealth-Bomber for the race track: HAMANN Lamborghini MurciƩlago LP640

  • Aerodynamic-components provide impressions of racing motor sports
  • double-pipe stainless steel rear silencer
  • Wheels „Edition Race“ in 20 inch
  • Carbon-look interior set
  • Complete interior kits to customer preferences on individual basis

It looks like a Stealth-Bomber on four wheels. It is one of the most masculine looking sports car and it is fast. The Lamborghini LP640 through its appearance gives a clear impression it’s not just for show. HAMANN decisively set its goal to send a clear message and sharpened the Italian steer’s horns. HAMANNs modifications through look, driving dynamics and sound create a distinct difference.

Maintenance of road contact is most essential when one is pushing a super sports car to the limit. To achieve greater downforce on the front and rear axle HAMANN offers a front spoiler as well as a rear wing. Whoever prefers to show their affiliation to motor sports can order the parts in Carbon-Kevlar instead of the fiberglass version. Where’s the starting grid?

HAMANN applies further aerodynamic components in form of a two-part rear diffuser with additional air hoses for the extendable side air intakes, side sills as well as a two-part front wing and Carbon-pendants for the original side intakes in the sills in front of the rear wheels. Furthermore, a central running air box on the roof brings back memories of past Lamborghini Diablo GT-R days. Naturally, these parts are also available in Carbon-Kevlar or fiberglass.

Impressive sound and stunning rims

The HAMANN double-pipe stainless sports rear silencer (2x120mm end pipes) emits a sound similar to that generated from race tracks announcing the arrival of the blood-curdling steer. Positive side effect; an even sportier rear look. Export customers can extend their exhaust system with a HAMANN sport metallic catalytic converter.

Also for individualization of vehicles within this high performance calibre, a choice of new wheel design is inherent. HAMANN suggests its own creation „Edition Race“. This multi-pieced, forged light alloy metal wheel with black wheel spider, “Y” spoke design, Titan bolts and high polished rim flange utilized for Lamborghini MurciĆ©lago LP640 comes in the combination 8,5Jx20“ front and 13,0Jx20“ rear. As expected, HAMANN also offers here a complete wheel set with typical tires sizes 235/30 ZR 20 (FA) und 325/25 ZR20 (RA).

HAMANN prepares the cockpit of the Super-Lambo providing even more sports racing atmosphere. For this, the tuners from Laupheim, Germany offer an 8-part carbon-look interior set. The race car look is established through instrument cockpit bordure, the air bleed jet, the gear shifting panel as well as the cigarette ashtray console. Naturally, HAMANN offers each Lamborghini customer preferred alterations on an individual basis. For instance, extravagant leather furnishing in a variety of colours is possible or additional of multi-media articles.

Technorati: Tuning, Hamann, Lamborghini+Murcielago+LP640, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Stunt driver Terry Grant burning rubber at the 2007 Tuning World Bodensee

Renowned stuntman Terry Grant performs some pretty cool tricks at this year’s Tuning World Bodensee in Germany which is considered as one of the largest car-tuning shows in Europe.

Technorati: Video, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007


Phaeton, originally uploaded by mowitsch.

Yellow Classic car

PacDreamsHMB (102), originally uploaded by sjipp.

Lexus LFA concept

Lexus LFA concept, originally uploaded by yvanroy99.

Red mustang

red mustang no. 3, originally uploaded by contidrifter.

Rinspeed launches 600Hp Porsche 997 Turbo "Le Mans"

Swiss Porsche specialist Rinspeed has supped-up the latest 997 Turbo giving it a power boost and a more distinct look with an eyecatching but luckily not over-exaggerated bodykit. Mechanic wise, Rinpeed’s 911 Turbo “Le Mans” receives two special VTG turbo chargers, a new Carbon air intake ram-air system with sport air filters, improved intercoolers as well as a high performance exhaust system with metal catalytic converters.

These modifications are enough to increase output 480Hp @ 6000 to 600Hp @ 6.700 rpm and max torque from 620Nm @ 1950-5000 to 800Nm & 4.000. According to the Swiss company, the “Le Manssprints from 0-100 km/h (62mph) in just 3.3 seconds, the 200 km/h (124mph) mark is reached in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is clocked at 343 km/h (213 mph). Comparatevily, the stock version needs 3,9 for the 0-100km/h sprint while its max speed is 310 km/h (193 mph). -Picture Gallery & Press Release after the jump

Press Release: The Swiss Porsche specialist Rinspeed launches its new and exclusive accessories program "Le Mans" for the latest Porsche 997 Turbo models

The body

The "Le Mans" front skirt with integrated Carbon splitters appears eye-catching and produces a higher aerodynamic down force at the front axle. This increase results in a better road handling. The bigger and re-shaped air intakes for the radiators and the brakes improve the cooling of them considerably. Additional headlights with day light driving lights and the inboard moved fog lights guarantee a sporty yet elegant appearance. The newly - especially for the Turbo developed - side skirts connect optically the front and rear fenders in a maximal way. It follows the new body lines harmonically. Further appearance improvement is achieved by the Carbon covers for the rear view mirrors. The "Le Mans" rear skirt with integrated exhaust tips also increases the down force on the rear axle and esthetically supports the high performance exhaust system with integrated metal catalytic converters. Eye-catching yet not separable element is the rear wing which sits tightly above the rear hatch. The wing profile is also available in a Carbon finish.

The propulsion

For the first time the Swiss tuners have also addressed the engine output. The 3.6 liter power pack produces in the "Le Mans" breathtaking 600 hp (441 kW) at 6'700 rpm, the torque is increased to almost unbelievable 800 Nm at 4'000 Nm. The engine conversion includes two special VTG turbo chargers, a new Carbon air intake ram-air system with sport air filters, improved intercoolers as well as a high performance exhaust system with metal catalytic converters.

These modifications allow the Rinspeed "Le Mans" to be accounted amongst one of the fastest street legal sports cars. The sprint from 0-100 km/h is achieved by the super sportsman in just 3.3 seconds, the 200 km/h mark is reached in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is clocked at 343 km/h.

Further equipment of the "Le Mans" consists in an adjustable suspension which is based on the original PASM damper system. It has been developed in cooperation with Bilstein and assures a precise road handling in the top class. Maximum braking is achieved by an efficient and stable high performance brake kit with 8 pistons aluminum calipers and 380 mm x 34 mm at the front axle and 6 pistons calipers with 360 mm x 32 mm at the rear axle.

A close contact to the road is ensured by the typical and well sold Rinspeed 20 inch aluminum wheels in the C5/1 design. The rear wheels have been widened to the size of 12 x 20" especially for the Turbo. The tires sizes of 245/30-20 at the front axle and 325/25-20 at the rear axle hug the road for sufficient grip for the Swiss super sportsman.

Technorati: Porsche+911+Turbo, Rinspeed, Swiss, Tuning, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, autos, Carscoop, blogs, 2007, images, pictures

Shaquille O'Neal’s LWB Lamborghini Gallardo!

WTF; a… XLLL Gallardo? Well, if there’s a distance of 7ft and an inch between the tip of your head and the floor, that’s probably the only way you’ll ever fit into one of these Italian beauties. According to Edmunds, the LWB (+12 inches) Gallardo was created for NBA star Shaquille O’Neal by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters, a supplier for corporations like the Boeing Company and PPG Aerospace Glass. -Continued after the jump

Gaffoglio’s CEO George Gaffoglio noted that, “we relied on our aerospace and coachworks divisions to make sure Shaq could fit in the car, but the naked eye could not detect any differences from the original Gallardo". Umm, sorry but, we can…

Source: Edmunds , Via:

Technorati: Lamborghini+Gallardo, , Shaquille+O'Neal, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, autos, Carscoop, blogs, 2007, images, pictures

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dodge Challenger Production Version Test Mules Scooped

A Dodge employee/visitor managed to scoop some very interesting inside pictures featuring what seems to be a couple of handmade test mules of the actual Challenger production version. If you zoom up in the ¾ front view image you’ll see a piece of paper referring to various parts “Manually Weld” hence the handmade test mule characterization. From the looks of it, Dodge has stayed loyal to the original concept with differences including the addition of a B-Pillar that hosts a stationary window and the roof lines both of whom were absent from the concept. -More Images after the jump

Via: GMinsidenews , Source: Newhemitech

Technorati: Dodge+Challenger, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Update: Wagoner gets a 29% raise in base salary for 2007 and not a cut as Reuters / Automotive News reported

Late Friday night we posted an article questioning news-website reports that Rick Wagoner got a cut in his base salary. To make things short, Automotive News published an article via Reuters saying that GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner got a 25% cut in his base salary for 2007. We checked around several news sites and to our surprise, we found variations not only in concern of Wagoner’s 2006 total salary but also in whether he got a raise or not. You can check our full article here.

Sunday morning we sat down and riffled through GM’s 121 page-long SEC Fillings. A coffee and a few cigarettes later we found what we were looking for: As you can see on page 24 (or 26 in the PDF), GM notes, “Messer. Wagoner, Henderson, and Lutz recently reviewed this matter and in support of the continued GMNA Turnaround Olan, again decided that beginning March 1, 2007, they will continue voluntary salary reductions. The Committee agreed with this approach. Mr Wagoner’s salary will be $1.65 million. 25 percent less than his January 2006 base salary of $2.2 million.”

Confused? Well, let us straighten things out. Wagoner’s base salary in January 1, 2006, was $2.2 million. However, in February of the same year, Wagoner agreed to a 50% cut -actually, it was a 42% reduction as he got a $1.28 million “pay check” for 2006. As of March 1, 2007, Wagoner’s base salary is $1.65 million. Therefore, compared to what he should have received as a base salary according to his contract, Wagoner’s getting 25% less but, compared to last year's paycheck, he’s actually getting 28,9% more! In other words, GM agreed to restore 50% of the cut he received in February 2006.

Obviously, Reuters and subsequently Automotive News who citied the first as the source, neglected to check out Wagoner’s cut in February 2006.Thumbs up to Bloomberg for being the only site we checked that got all the facts right.

Data: Automotive News, Reuters, Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, GM (GM Excel file)

Video: BMW M5 chasing an Audi RS4 Avant on the highway

Two previous generation German sports cars giving it a go on a Russian or Eastern European highway. Both drivers exhibit some pretty dangerous but nevertheless impressive highspeed lane or, shall we say, Lada dodging skills…! Via: Jalopnik

Technorati: BMW+M5, Audi+RS4, Video, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

2007 MINI Convertible Pops Up in Florida Based MINI Dealer Site!

Strangely enough, this image featuring the yet to be unveiled, 2007/8 MINI Convertible appeared on an official MINI dealer’s website (Braman MINI Palm Beach), in the section “New Car Specials”. I’m pretty sure that you’re wondering what we think. Well, honestly, we’re not sure. There’s a chance that the dealer could have received some images/renderings that were intended for internal use but on the other hand, this could be nothing more than just a photoshop. Either way, this guy has several questions to answer for selling a car on his website that practically doesn’t exist!

Via: , Source: Braman MINI

Technorati: MINI+Convertible, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tryane II: Three-wheeler Woodie made by Mr… Wood!

Honestly, we’re not joking at all; this wooden two-seater was created by a furniture maker named…Friend Wood! Boy, this guy must really cherish his African mahogany! Mr. Wood based the Tryane II on the chassis and the mechanicals of a Citroen 2CV using the French car’s 0,6-liter engine. Weighing in at 900lb / 408 kg, the Tryane II can go up to 101 mph (162 km/h), but to be honest, this is something we’d never attempt in this wacky woodie! Via: Dailymail

Technorati: Gadgets, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Subaru tuning

scooby sti, originally uploaded by b.j.h..

rally one

rally one (1), originally uploaded by MAX 2006.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Question of the day: Did or didn’t GM cut Rick Wagoner’s Base Salary?

Well, depends on whom you ask. See, what started out as a simple post on GM’s decision to cut off 25% of Rick Wagoner’s base salary this year turned into a reporter’s (or rather blogger's), nightmare when we decided to crosscheck the facts. First we read an article on Automotive News (via Reuters) announcing that GM’s CEO takes a 25 percent pay cut to support turnaround, meaning that as of March 1, Wagoner's base salary was $1.65 million, down from $2.2 million in January 2006. A visit to Reuters reveals a more detailed article which adds that Wagoner's total compensation for 2006 was $10.2 million -including $3 million in option awards and $3.6 million in stock awards. -Continued: Click "Read More..." Below

Next stop, Detroit News. Whereas the two articles (Automotive News / Reuters & Detroit News) agree on Wagoner’s total compensation, the site reports that GM’s CEO received a basic salary of… $1.28 million in 2006. Note that Detroit News doesn’t talk about any cuts in Wagoner’s “wage”. Detroit Free Press on the other hand, agrees with Detroit News on the basic salary -$1.3 million, but cuts $600.000 off his total compensation ($9.6 million)!

Before we go to GM’s official site, we decide to look at Bloomberg. According to the latter, Rick Wagoner's total compensation for last year was $10.2 million, including $1.28 million in salary, $769,566 in other compensation and $6.67 million in stock options and awards. Bloomberg notes that Wagoner's salary was 42 percent less than the $2.2 million he got for 2005, due to a 50 percent pay cut he agreed to in February 2006. And here’s another surprise, Bloomberg adds that GM said Wagoner's salary for this year will be $1.65 million, restoring half of the cut! In other words, according to Bloomberg, Wagoner got a raise!

Finally we head over to GM’s site to get the official numbers: $ 1.283.333, Stock Awards: $3.574.594, Option Awards: $3.095.560, Change in Pension Value & NQ Deferred comp: $1.468.100, All other Compensations: $769.566, Total 2006 Compensation: $10.191.153. Confused? So are we and its getting really late so we’ll just let the facts talk for themselves, we think….

Data: Automotive News, Reuters, Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, GM (GM Excel file)

Supercar Trifecta: Porsche Carrera GT vs Maserati MC12 vs Mercedes SLR McLaren

Some guys get all the luck; three of the most desired supercars of our time at Garda Lake which is located in Italy at the foot of the Alps. Five-and-a-half minutes of supercar porn. Need I say more? Via:

Technorati: Porsche+Carrera+GT, Maserati+MC12, Mercedes+SLR+McLaren, Video, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

World Health Organization’s Innovative Road Safety Campaign

On the occasion of the First United Nations Global Road Safety Week (23-29 April, 2007) ,the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a series five posters dubbed “Road Marks” promoting action on helmets, drink-driving, speeding, seat-belts, and visibility. According to WHO, more than 40% of all road traffic deaths occur among people aged 0–25 years. The posters invite young people in an innovative way to be part of the solution by wearing a helmet, never drinking and driving, never speeding, always wearing a seat-belt and trying be seen on the road. -See the rest of the posters after the jump

Technorati: Safety, Accidents, commercials, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Edo Competition’s 585Hp Porsche 996 Turbo

Apparently the tuned Ford GT we posted a couple of days ago wasn’t the only new product of Edo Competition. The German tuner also offers a power upgrade and an aesthetic… degrade for the previous-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, codenamed 996. The wacko looking Turbo gets a new turbocharger and a BMC-airfilter along with a sport exhaust all of which help to boost power from the stock 420Hp to 585Hp. According to Edo Competition, 0-100 km/h (62mph) comes in 3,7 sec while maximum speed tops at 345 km/h (215 mph). Besides that, Edo also equips the 996 Turbo with a sport-brake-system, 18-inch rims and a sport clutch. -Full specs and image gallery after the jump

Technical Data

Engine: 6 Cylinder-Boxer-Motor

Performance: 585 HP/(438 kW) at 6.790 U /min

max. Torque: 780Nm at 4.530/min

Driving data

Top speed: approx. 345 km/h

0 - 100 km/h approx. 3.7 s

0 - 200 km/h approx. 9.9 s

Special features

  • Increase performance to 585 HP
  • New Turbocharger
  • BMC-Sport air filter
  • Sport-end pot stainless steel with Tri-alloy cat converter
  • Stainless steel tail pipe
  • edo competition Sport- brake system – FA:370mm brakepads wit 6-piston-single block-saddle und sports brake lining, RA: 342mm brakepads wit 4-piston- single block-saddle und sports brake lining, steel flex- brake cables
  • 18 inch racing wheel set 3-part with FA : 9.0x18 ET41 with 245/35R18, RA :12x 18 ET45 with 315/30R18, painted wheel rim star and ZV- cap
  • RDK-tyre pressure control system
  • Stainless steel threaded chassis adjustable in compression and rebound
  • Sport clutch kit
  • Compacted gear change
  • Front spoiler lip
  • Front protective grill
  • Tail lid 996 GT2
  • Tail aerofoil profile with increased contact pressure
  • Porsche – CD changer
  • Porsche – telefone module with light wave cable setup

Technorati: Edo+Competition, Porsche+911+Turbo, auto+news, car+news, automobile, cars, automotive, vehicles, Carscoop, blogs, 2007

Mini Cooper S JCW

Mini Cooper S JCW, originally uploaded by chaos & career.

Bahrain Drifters

Bahrain Drifters, originally uploaded by Tushal.