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Dangerous Russian road roulette appears in Bulgaria

Many drivers seek an adrenaline rush every time they get behind the wheel, as you can see dangerous things like mini drag races from the traffic light happen all around the world, but some drivers from Bulgaria, which I call crazy and reckless, have devised an even more dangerous “game”, adapting the concept of Russian roulette to normal city traffic.

What they’ll do is bet and challenge one another to run through as many red traffic lights with the highest speed possible. Wagers are reported to go as high as €5,000 (or $7,400) and even pedestrians get involved in the betting game, watching these mindless drivers attempt the impossible with regular people on the street in this Russian road roulette.

Prosecutors and police are trying to stop this dangerous game, but since it started in the summer, it has become more and more popular, especially in the crowded streets of the country’s capital, Sofia. It wasn’t long before the first victims were recorded, in June, when a motorcyclist crashed into a pedestrian while trying to play this game on one of Sofia’s ring roads.

But while the police is sending out more and more squad cars onto the roads, drivers and participants in this mad game set up meeting places and courses via text messages when the evening approaches, and evade the places that the police will be searching.

I can hardly believe that some people would be so reckless to attempt such things, but we shouldn’t overestimate the other people on the road. Hopefully this thing won’t become popular in other countries or going outside will become an even bigger risk to our health, or worse, our lives.


Mitsubishi releases sketch of its compact crossover which will launch in Geneva

We revealed a few days ago that Mitsubishi is planning to launch its first compact crossover, supposedly dubbed the Outlander Sport, at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, taking place in Switzerland in 2010.

Now, the Japanese company revealed the first sketch of the future model, ending speculations on just what it will borrow from the 2007 Compact-cX concept, which we picture in that article. This new sketch doesn’t stray away from those design lines though, featuring a bit more Lancer “shark-like” front end, which has already been featured on the small Colt and the upcoming facelifted Outlander.

But besides this interesting sketch, the press release from Mitsubishi says that it will mark a definite change in the posture and position of the Japanese carmaker, which will shift from “being an SUV-focused nameplate to a manufacturer of environment-friendly passenger cars & crossovers, with a presence in the “authentic off-roader” segment.”

Does this mean that we’ll see fewer off-road models and more things like the Lancer or i-MiEV? We’ll just have to wait and see.


IMSA GTV Lamborghini Gallardo gets revealed alongside beautiful girl

IMSA may be a German tuning company but they certainly know how to present their works in style, like this new package for the Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560, entitled the IMSA GTV kit, which saw the presence of a very beautiful lady, just like any fast Italian sports car should.

Besides featuring many carbon fiber body panels, the team added a polished stainless steel exhaust system, which led to an increase in power to 590 PS and in torque to 560 Nm. Exterior modifications brought by this package include new front and rear aprons and fender flares, side skirts, and a new wing on the back. IMSA Challenge central-locking wheels were used, with lighweight tires wrapped around them.

On the inside, the Italian style has been left largely undisturbed, with the seats being replaced by carbon fiber bucket ones and a few touches of leather and alcantara.


Hennessey reveales 500 HP Hyundai Genesis Coupe wrapped in carbon fiber

It seems that before any recent edition of the SEMA show in Las Vegas, we are assaulted with dozens of highly customized cars. But since its introduction, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe has been the preferred target for many tuning and performance companies.

One of them is led by John Hennessey, which recently partnered with Hyunday in order to form a Tuner School, with participants invited to work on a special Genesis Coupe model.

After teaching them anything from tuning engines to fitting turbo/superchargers, the students have revealed their creation, a monster Genesis developing over 500 HP and around 465 lb-ft of torque. This is due to a single 66 mm turbocharger, a new fuel system with high flow injectors and many other aftermarket parts. This means that it will do 0 to 60 in just 3.9 seconds, and pass a drag strip’s quarter mile in 12.5 seconds.

But what’s really interesting about the car is that it is wrapped completely in carbon fiber, giving it a very unique look, which will surely attract many eyes when it will be presented at next week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.


Volvo offers Twilight fans the chance to win an XC60 or tickets to film premiere in “What drives Edward” campaign

Volvo offers Twilight fans the chance to win an XC60 or tickets to film premiere in

Sigh, I was hoping that the Twilight phenomenon would escape the car industry, but it seems that Volvo is quite bent on using the hype that the film saga is experiencing and wants to promote its models which are prominently featured in the films.

The newest campaign started by the Swedish manufacturer is focusing on the upcoming premiere of the second movie in the saga, New Moon, in which the main male character, Edward Cullen, swapped his old C30 from the first movie (arguably one of the best parts of it, but that’s just my opinion), with a manlier, or should I say vampier-er XC60.

“Volvo is central to Edward’s character in the Twilight saga,” said Jeff Pugliese, president and CEO of Volvo Canada. “One lucky fan will be the first to solve all of the puzzles in Volvo’s What Drives Edward contest and win a new XC60. While the XC60 doesn’t come equipped with a vampire, the winner will experience the power, beauty and protection that is Volvo, and it will transport them to all of their great moments in life.”

In order to win either an XC60 or tickets to the world premiere of New Moon, people will need to visit the WhatDrivesEdward website and answer many questions regarding the popular movie and book series. Be advised that it is only available for Canadian fans of the vampire stories as Volvo Cars of Canada is organizing the competition.

The contest starts will start on November 1 and continue onto November 23, and besides the big prizes, will also offer exclusive content like wallpapers or trailers. You never know who might win, so guys you’d better get your girlfriends to enter the contest.


Bugatti Veyron isn’t immune to the parking laws

Well this is certainly interesting. It seems that a Slovakian man decided to park his beautiful $1 million+ Bugatti Veyron right in the middle of a pedestrian zone in the center of Bratislava, thinking he can get away with it.

But the authorities weren’t impressed and decided not only to fine him but to also jam his wheel with a special device, so he won’t be able to move it before he contacts the authorities. This just goes to prove that money can’t make the law not apply to you (although I can think of plenty of cases in other zones when it isn’t so).


Crazy custom 1966 Chevrolet Corvette with HEMI V8 and blower up for sale on Ebay

I don’t really cruise around Ebay Motors that much, but when I did, I found quite a lot of “interesting” cars there. The latest one is this 1966 Chevrolet Corvette which has been customized with a HEMI V8 engine complete with classic hot-rod style blower coming out of the hood.

Other modifications that have been made include a chopped windshield to give it a Grand Sport look, a paint job which only a mother could love and an a black leather interior. Without a doubt this is truly a collector’s piece, but with the current bid of $21,100, not a lot of people will be interested in it.


A great sound but a rather ugly rear end: new video of the 9ff Porsche Panamera

I have quite a lot of mixed feelings towards the Porsche Panamera. From the front, it looks rather good, but the rear end isn’t quite as pretty. Perhaps the fact that I’ve gotten used to how a 911 looks from the rear and the Panamera looks like a sacrilege.

Either way, the beautiful sound from this 9ff Panamera more than makes up for the fact that two thirds of the video has the rear of the super sedan in the frame. It seems that the tuners added, besides a set of 22-inch wheels, a valve-controlled sports exhaust system, which means that you can set it to loud, and produce the lovely sound you’ll hear in the video, or to quiet, perfect for driving through a residential area.

Hit the jump and see the stunning new 9ff Porsche Panamera PT55, developing 550 HP, showcase its exhaust system. Be sure to watch until the end to catch another pass of the upcoming model.


Prior Design brings wide-body kit to BMW M6

Say what you will about the BMW design philosophy of the last few years, but I think that the 6 Series is quite attractive, not to mention the top-of-the-range M6 model, powered by that massive V10 engine. In order to make it stand out even more, the team at Prior Design conceived a wide-body kit for the Bavarian luxury coupe.

Dubbed the PD550, the kit, as its name suggests, featured wider body elements like the front wing, side skirts or rear fender flares. The engineers also added a special hand-made PD silencer to the four stainless steel exhaust pipes in order for that V10 sound to travel even further. As a whole, the body was widened by 80 mm in order for the handling and dynamics to be improved. In case you prefer your M6 to stay the way it is in terms of width, you can opt for a simple kit, named the PD450.

Prior Design also offers two types of rims and tires, a set of 20-inch and one measuring 21-inch. If you prefer to be closer to the ground, you can lower the M6 by 30 mm in the front and 25 in the back.


The results are in from GM’s Cadillac V-Series Challenge, the CTS-V beats M3, M5, Evo X

As you all know, today was General Motors’ Cadillac V-Series Challenge was held at the Monticello Motor Club in New York. This is where GM’s vice president and main PR man, Bob Lutz, put his honor where his words were and challenged any and all to beat the CTS-V in any sedan they could get on the market.

As expected, this interesting marketing stunt brought forward a lot of challengers to the claims of the CTS-V, but among them, a few cars were chosen, the most important being a BMW M3 and an M5 (the latter being driven by Michael from CarGuyDad and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X driven by Jalopnik‘s Wes Siler.

As expected, the race generated a huge amount of hype and debate, especially on Twitter, where everyone was talking about it (consider GM’s goal accomplished), and you could even follow the live tweets from the people involved (and from our account, so you’d better subscribe for future events).

But now the race is done and the results are in. As much as we rooted for our fellow colleagues in the automotive blogging business, both Wes and Michael were beaten by Lutz, and the M3, which managed a very good time, was beaten by GM’s engineer Aaron Link, which also drove a CTS-V.

The times were as follows: Wes Siler – 3:08; Michael – 3:05; Bob Lutz – 2:58; BMW M3 – 2:54; Cadillac CTS-V, driven by Aaron Link – 2:48; CTS-V driven by John Heinricy – 2:46. It turns out that out of the top 7 lap times, 6 of them were achieved by a CTS-V.

Lutz declared promptly after the race, via Cadillac’s Twitter account, that: “I’m pleased, the car is wonderful, the track is wonderful. I haven’t done this in 30 years. Young whipper-snappers showed me a thing or two. Let’s see them do this when they’re 77. I’m not complaining, the automatic [transmission's] sport mode helped me a lot.”

Overall, it was an ingenious campaign from GM and one which should definitely be copied by other carmakers. Maybe next time we’ll send someone from our own team to fight them.

Porsche’s three-year release plan leaked, seven new models confirmed

Well it seems that someone at Porsche will get a serious payment deduction as the company’s three-year release plan was leaked yesterday to the Internet, revealing seven new models and version that will appear up until 2013. Among them are things we knew, like a new generation Cayenne, but also other things like a crossover or a coupe version of the Panamera.

First off, it seems that next year will see two new V6 engines, one petrol one diesel, added to the Panamera lineup, which will become much cheaper, but also, as we revealed a few days ago, a new generation of the Cayenne SUV, which will be more rounded off and lightweight, for a SUV that is.

2011 will be the year of the hybrids, as Porsche is seemingly set to reveal both such a power option for the Panamera but also for the new Cayenne model. The powertrains might come in different styles for the SUV and super sedan, and it isn’t sure what type of engine, either a V6 or V8 would be running in tandem with an electric motor.

2012 will be dedicated exclusively to a new generation of the 911, which, as usual, won’t stray off from the normal design recipe. It is expected that it will grow a bit in dimensions, and that it might receive new, revamped engines, but it won’t be anything to blow the minds of Porsche fans or deter its target audience.

2013 will be the most interesting one, as not only will Porsche be basing a crossover on the platform the Audi Q5 is currently using, in order to appeal to those who don’t want a big cluncky Cayenne, but it will also release a coupe version of the Panamera, in vein of the old 928, largely because it wants to use the platform of the sedan for other purposes, and make more money.

Overall, it seems the German company is preparing quite a lot of interesting additions to its lineup. Nothing is certain though about these rumors, but there is a high probability that most of these new models or version will appear at one point or another in time.


BMW M5 CSL revealed, it just won’t be sold

BMW has revealed that it will make a M5 CSL version, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the performance saloon. But sadly, before you pop out that champagne and let loose all of the women, the company revealed that it will not be made available to the public, being revealed as “the M5 CSL we never built,” by the head of development from the M division, Albert Biermann.

Here are the many changes that the company made to the M5, which makes it “comfortably faster than the stock M5.” First off, the 5-liter V10 has been tweaked and enlarged, nor displacing 5.5-liters and becoming the biggest engine featured by an M model. Other modifications made to it include a carbon-fober manifold and a secondary oil cooler, which now requires an extra air duct in place of the usual license plate support. All of these tweaks to the engine makes the stock figures, 407 HP and 348 lb-ft seem insignificant, as Biermann placed the new figures around 580 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque.

The power is fed to the back wheels thanks to a more powerful edition of the M3′s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which can be operated via paddles or push-pull gear lever, replacing the old sequential 7-speed manual one

It wouldn’t be a CSL without going on a drastic diet, meaning that the M division’s engineers installed a carbon fiber roof, saving 50 kg, but also stripped the interior, removing the back seat and replacing the front ones with two carbon fiber ones.

While it is awesome to see such a model, it’s too bad that it won’t be made commercially available to everyone. Hopefully the next generation M5 will more than make up for it.


Ford Focus RS gets even more power from Loder1899

The Ford Focus RS is the most powerful hatchback in its class, with its 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine directing 300 HP to the front axle. But more even is newer a bad thing, at least according to German tuning house Loder1899, which has modified the American hot hatch and added 45 HP to the final output.

Among the customizations, the biggest role in increasing the power rating was played by a new stainless steel Y-pipe exhaust system, which added 20 HP to the already powerful RS. Other tweaks included a new air filter and many other optimizations to the electronics.

Cosmetic enhancements include the lowering of the suspension by 35 mm and fitting a set of 20-inch Vertigo Viginti wheels made by Loder1899 itself.


Google launches free turn-by-turn GPS navigation to all Android 2.0-powered smartphones, video demo included

It seems that another step in eliminating all of the multiple gadgets you own has been made, as Google announced yesterday that it will be bringing free turn-by-turn navigation to its Google Maps service for all of the smartphones that will be based on the Android 2.0 operating system.

Currently, the first smartphone to feature such an OS will be the Motorola Droid, which will be exclusive to Verizon in the United States. Other models released before it will be able to upgrade to 2.0, and thus support this replacement for any GPS device.

But it wouldn’t be Google if the corporation didn’t add its own unique twist, meaning that you can just type in or even say out loud your destination and the software will figure it out or reveal a list of suggested destinations, you will be able to get up to date traffic reports thanks to the Internet connection, including the ability to select Google Street View in order to better determine the turns you need to do.

Overall, this is certainly something which might force GPS manufacturers like Garmin or TomTom to reconsider their business strategy, as having free navigation in an all-in-one device like an Android smartphone would be much better than having multiple devices and swapping between them.

Hit the jump to see a video demonstration of the new service in action.


Fiat launches limited edition 500 So Pink in France

Well I don’t know about you, but to me it seems that Fiat has released more limited editions of its 500 city car than actual models. The latest in a vast line of special version of the small and adorable vehicles is exclusive to France and it called the 500 So Pink.

As you might have guessed, it boasts a unique paint job in pink, promoting an optimistic view on life, La vie en rose. Only 100 models will be made, an according to the official website of the small city car, 67 models have already been reserved, at the time of publishing this article.

Retailing for €14,900, the special edition will be powered by the 1.2-liter petrol engine developing 69 HP, and will include, besides the unique paint job, things like electric windows and mirrors, MP3 player or a Blue&Me system. On the outside, it will be sitting on a set of 15-inch alloy wheels. You can find out more about this special edition by visiting its website.


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