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RPMGO Awards: Winners for week February 19-25

Welcome to the second, yet most important part of our RPMGO Awards feature for the week spanning February 19 and 25. We’ve revealed to you the nominees for the best and worst stories yesterday, and you’ve voted for them.

The turnout was pretty good, but it seems some kinks in our polling system didn’t allow some people to vote. Either way, the results are in and we can share with your what were the best and worst stories of the past week.

Perfect Shift

The Perfect Shift award goes out to Audi, which revealed its BMW M3 Coupe-rival, the RS5, this week. The three-door coupe is powered by a massive 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8, capable of pushing 450 HP through the quattro all-wheel drive system and propelling the Audi RS5 to 155 mph or 174 mph, for a price.

The very hot Citroen DS3 Racing was runner up to the Audi, proving that 200 HP French premium hatchbacks do have a place with our readers. What’s funny is that the eagerly awaited Mercedes-Benz F800 Style Concept earned no votes. It seems MB needs to try a bit harder next time.

Over Rev

According to our readers, Mansory went deep into Over Rev territory this week with its ghastly Rolls Royce Ghost tuning project. While any car fan would appreciate a 710 HP Rolls, no one in their right mind would go for such an eye-burning color scheme of strong blue and gold. I’m guessing Rolls Royce should seek out some damages from Mansory for the harm its done to the brand.

Honda’s futuristic concepts with no place in today’s world and the hoon who wrecked his Corvette while trying to do a burnout tied for second, while at least one voter thought that Hyundai’s mistake with the door latches on the 2011 Sonata was extremely bad news.

These were your votes and your awards. Next week will be filled with more news straight from the Geneva Motor Show, so keep checking back on our website.

GM examining two previous offers for Hummer

GM examining two previous offers for Hummer

As you all know, yesterday was a sad day for over-compensators and rap stars from all over the world, as General Motors announced that the Hummer brand will begin the wind down process, as the sale talks with China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines stopped due to problems with the Chinese government.

But all is not lost, as it seems GM has started examining two previous offers it received for the heavy SUV brand when the talks already started with Sichuan. The Wall Street Journal declined to say just who made those offers, but they will be found out sooner or later.

We’re pretty skeptic about the whole deal, but quite a few people are beginning to draw parallels between Hummer now and Saab just a few months ago, as the Swedish brand was also scheduled to be closed down, but Spyker came in and bought it from GM. But as we said yesterday, Hummer doesn’t have the same wide lineup as Saab, relying only on its tough image to make a sale. Sadly for it, this might not be enough.


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Videos: 2011 Porsche Cayenne presents itself

Videos: 2011 Porsche Cayenne presents itself

Yesterday saw the release of the first actual photos of the new 2011 Porsche Cayenne model. The new looks, combined with the multitude of engines and even a hybrid version will definitely bring new fans to the powerful SUV.

Now, the Stuttgart company released not one but six new videos, all focusing on the 2011 Cayenne, presenting its design traits, safety technologies, performance figures, environment awareness as well as its comfort, transport and audio quality.

For all of these videos of the new 2011 Porsche Cayenne, hit the jump.

2011 BMW X5 M Sport package officially revealed

After a pretty big leak a few weeks ago, BMW has finally decided to showcase the M Sport package for the 2011 BMW X5 facelift edition.

As you can see, the M Sport package brings quite a few changes to the X5, including enlarged air inlets, a new front apron and a variety of 19-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels, available in multiple finishes. Customers will also receive a slightly restyled rear fascia, which features new tailpipe design taken from the V8 engine variant.

The M Sport package will also boast accessories like satinised aluminum surrounds for the side windows or high gloss roof railings. For the inside BMW fitted sports seats in the front, an M-badged steering wheel wrapped in leather, brushed aluminum strips and an anthracite-colored roof liner.

The 2011 BMW X5 facelift and the M Sport accessories lineup will be showcased at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

Source: BMWBlog

Pagani Zonda Tricolore is a one-off tribute to Italian Air Force

The Pagani Zonda is nearing the end of its lifecycle and will soon be replaced by the new C9 model, which promises to continue the legacy of the flamboyant supercar.

But it won’t go out without a bang, as the exclusive Italian carmaker announced a one-off tribute model, the Pagani Zonda Tricolore, which honors the Italian Air Force’s acrobatics team, known as the Frecce Tricolori. Only one such model will be made, set to be sold for €1.3 million (or $1.75 million).

What makes it so special? Well it is based on the Zonda Cinque, and uses a bespoke carbon-titanium weave, which was left bear and adorned with a clear blue lacquer. The three colors of the Italian flag, red, white and green, will also span the whole car in a very tasteful way.

For those of you who want to check out this unique Zonda, you’ll have to attend next week’s Geneva Motor Show.


Mugen reveals accessories lineup for Honda CR-Z hybrid

Good news and bad news for Honda fans: Mugen decided to tackle the Honda CR-Z hybrid, but the company only released a series of accessories which just make the hatchback “look” fast and won’t improve its rather small power rating of just 122 HP.

You will get quite a lot of things to add to the upcoming hybrid hatch, including a full aerodynamic kit consisting of restyled front and rear fascias, side skirts, and a huge wing for the roof, which considering the low power of the car, just looks silly. Other style upgrades include a new grille with LED daytime running lights, triangular rear exhaust tips like the Civic hatch, and five various wheel design options. Weight will also be “saved” with the carbon fiber license plate mounting.

For the inside, Mugen revealed an aluminum gearshift knob, a three-gauge central cluster, floor mats and another brilliant weight saving option of a carbon fiber rear-view mirror cover! Handling will receive a slight upgrade through the optimized exhaust, suspension and braking system.

Until the oft-rumored Mugen-tuned high performance Honda CR-Z hot hybrid hatch appears, you’re going to make do with these offerings.


BMW M3 ALMS racers receive 2010 “Joy” livery

BMW is taking its “Joy” marketing campaign all over the world. After scoring some big wins with it in Europe, the company has introduced it to North America.

But the campaign won’t be focused on just ads or billboards, as it will also be displayed on the 2010 livery for the two BMW M3 race cars that the Rahal Letterman team will be running in the American Le Mans series of races.

The team currently has two BMW M3 track cars: #90 will be co-driven by Joey Hand with Dirk Müller while #92 will see Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner share driving seats. This year will also mark the 35th anniversary of BMW’s American presence, as well as 35 years from its first victory in North American racing, at the 12 hours of Sebring event, back in 1975.


Video: Ken Block shakes down the Ford Fiesta before 100 Acre Wood Rally

Rally driver Ken Block has a very special connection to the upcoming 100 Acre Wood Rally, which will take place this weekend. He won it four consecutive times in the last years, and is now aiming for a fifth win.

This time however, he’ll be wrangling the new rally-spec 2011 Ford Fiesta model on the dirt roads of the competition. As you all know if you’ve been following our Motorsport Weekend feature, the famous driver didn’t manage to finish the Sno*Drift rally because the suspension on the Fiesta broke down.

Now, he and his co-pilot, Alex Gelsomino, are giving the rally car a proper shakedown at the SayersBrook Bison Ranch before the 100 Acre Wood competition. Hit the jump to enjoy this great footage of proper gravel rallying.

Aston Martin anounces one-make Vantage GT4 racing series in UK

Aston Martin wants to make its racing-inclined customers happy, and has just announced that it will be debuting a one-make series in the UK focusing on the Vantage GT4 and the N24 variants.

The competition is set to run on five tracks in Britain, plus a bonus one at the famous Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. It is open to anyone owning the aforementioned two Vantage racing models, who just need to pay £12,950 for all of the major privileges and technical support from the authorized engineers at Aston. They will even help you replace your engine if you blow it, and N24 owners can even upgrade their car with the 4.7-liter from the GT4, to have a fighting chance.

Fuel and tires will cost extra, but the winner of the one-make series will get to drive either the Vantage GT2 or the DBRS9 GT3 racing cars.


Hispano Suiza bringing 750 HP bespoke model based on Audi R8 V10 to Geneva

Hispano Suiza, in case you haven’t heard, was a Spanish automaker specializing in bespoke products before the World War II. The name has been recently dug up by another company, which is preparing to make it famous once more.

How will it do such a thing? With a 750 HP customized Audi R8 V10. It seems that the company went to work quite seriously on the R8, adding a supercharger and many other modifications. The result? 750 HP propelling the German-born Spanish project from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and up to 205 mph.

That’s not all, as besides the redesigned model, which you can see above and below, there are also a few rumors concerning the possibility of a hybrid powertrain. This means that the V10 engine might see the addition of a 150 HP electric motor, enabling it to go on EV mode for a specific distance.

We’re not so sure about the hybrid talks, but the renders seen above are very attractive, so we need to wait until next week to see what Hispano Suiza brings to the Geneva Motor Show.


Techart brings Porsche 911-based GTStreet R and Panamera-based Concept One to Geneva

The upcoming Geneva Motor Show isn’t only about big carmakers showcasing new models, but also about tuning companies revealing their new projects and bespoke products.

One such name is Techart, and it will be showing two projects in the Swiss city. The first is the GTStreet R model, based on the Porsche 911 Turbo. It develops a whopping 660 HP and 635 lb-ft of torque out of its 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine. The improved car can now sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, and up to 214 mph.

The looks of the 911 GTStreet R have also been drastically improved, thanks to a full aerodynamic body kit, which even boasts an adjustable rear spoiler and carbon fiber rear diffuser and front splitter, which keep the tuned car on the road at all times.

Techart hasn’t forgotten about the Porsche Panamera, and it will reveal the Concept One project, which focuses on the super sedan from Stuttgart. The performance has been slightly improved, with the car generating 550 HP from the twin-turbo V8 engine, but the biggest changes were made to the design of the car.

The exterior boasts a new body kit with restyled front and rear fascias, bigger air inlets, side skirts, rear diffuser, adjustable spoiler and wider wheel arches. The design study now sits on 22-inch forged wheels, with performance Continental tires.

On the inside, things get a bit weird, with the Techart team using a combination of cocoa and white leather, which are in stark contrast to the phosphor green stitching, reflecting the unique personality of the Concept One. Other sports features like a three-spoke steering wheel with paddles for the PDK gearbox have also been added.


RPMGO Weekly Awards: Nominees for February 19-25

Hello and welcome to another nominee session for the RPMGO Weekly Awards feature where we honor the best and worst piece of news coming from the automotive industry. It’s been a pretty busy week, leading up to the start of the Geneva Motor Show, so we were literally flooded with good and bad news.

As you might remember, you’ll be able to vote one of four articles in each of our sections, Perfect Shift and Over Rev. Tomorrow we’ll be giving out the awards based on your votes in the polls below. Enough talk, let’s get right to business shall we?

Perfect Shift

Citroen DS3 Racing formally unveiled, 200 HP hot hatch – We were already pretty excited about the new Citroen DS3, but the DS3 Racing the French company unveiled at the end of last week has really sparked our interest. A hot hatch with over 200 HP and using the rally experience Citroen has accumulated over the years? Yes, please!

Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept previews future CLS – Mercedes-Benz already teased us with a rising sculpture, but it has decided at the beginning of the week to fully unveil the new F800 Style Concept, which previews the future CLS class. The SLS AMG-like grille coupled with the aggressive design definitely made us excited, but the plug-in and fuel cell powertrains which won’t make it to production anytime soon didn’t have the same effect.

Audi RS5 officially detailed: 450 HP 4.2-liter V8 brute coming to Geneva – We were treated over the weekend to a batch of leaked pictures portraying the new Audi RS5, but soon the German company formally unveiled it, and its massive 450 HP 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine, which might be capable of putting the BMW M3 Coupe in its place.

2011 Porsche Cayenne SUV photos and details leaked before official debut – Many people could hardly await the new generation 2011 Cayenne SUV, at least according to the massive sales the last generation recorded. The new car has a sportier design, but there are some elements over which we aren’t falling head over heels in love.

Over Rev

Video: Camaro owner tries to do a burnout, wrecks car – Burnouts, many car fans absolutely love them, that’s why such competitions usually attract a lot of people. This guy however, in his attempt to show off his Chevrolet Camaro, only ended up making a fool of himself.

Mansory-tuned Rolls Royce Ghost can’t outrun bad taste even with 710 HP – Rolls Royce models usually stand for elegance and distinction. According to the tuners at Mansory, they stand more for huge power and bad taste. This tuned Rolls Royce Ghost amazed us with its 710 HP but burned our eyes with the blue and gold paint scheme.

Hyundai stops sale of 2011 Sonata, recalls units over door latch problem – Hyundai was quite keen to take a chunk out of Toyota’s popularity, especially since the Japanese company was forced to issue many recalls. Sadly, Hyundai’s most anticipated launch, the 2011 Sonata, was also plagued with some problems, which forced a recall and sale halt, to solve.

Honda brings 3R-C and EV-N Concepts at its futuristic Geneva booth – I’m all for the futuristic thinking, but the two concepts Honda will be bringing to Geneva are just way too far out for anyone to wrap their heads around. Sure, the EV-N might be closer to production, but the 3R-C just seems it hopped out of a Sci-Fi movie.

Those were our nominees for the awards. Now it’s up to you to cast our vote in the two polls below, and choose which was the best and worst news story of the week.

Hummer to be closed down after talks between GM and Sichuan Tengzhong stop

Hummer to be closed down after talks between GM and Sichuan Tengzhong stop

General Motors is adding another brand to its ever increasing pile of closed down ones, as it has just announced that the Hummer sale talks between it and China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines have stopped.

As such, the brand specialized in big, heavy SUVs will begin a wind down process, at the end of which it will be no more. Warranties and parts will continue to be provided for some time now, but the production, which was already halted last month, won’t be restarting.

“One year ago, General Motors announced that we were going to divest Hummer, as part of focusing our efforts on Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac going forward. We have since considered a number of possibilities for Hummer along the way, and we are disappointed that the deal with Tengzhong could not be completed.”

For those of you who don’t know, GM placed the Hummer brand up for sale last year, and while a few parties became rather interested, only Sichuan Tengzhong entered talks with the US company. Those discussion were scheduled to end with the sale of the SUV company at the beginning of February, but the deadline was delayed.

Rumors at that time were saying that the Chinese government wasn’t keen on the whole deal, as Hummer was still a symbol of Western capitalism and consumerism, so the breakdown in talks might have been generated by the people in Beijing.

Either way, as we saw with Saab, the wind down process doesn’t necessarily mean Hummer won’t be sold, but considering its tarnished image and lack of diversity, potential buyers won’t flock to rescue it. What do you think? Share your thoughts below, in a comment.


2011 Porsche Cayenne SUV photos and details leaked before official debut

Porsche hasn’t really been keeping its 2011 Cayenne SUV a secret in the last few months, as we were treated to both the complete engine lineup, including details about the Cayenne hybrid which will be launched with this new generation, and to a few shots showcasing the undisguised car.

Now, a batch of official photos has been leaked before the car was set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week. From what we can see, the new design is much more attractive than the old Cayenne, finally looking the part of a sportier SUV.

According to these pics, the interior is very similar to the Panamera, sharing both the dashboard and a few dials with its fellow Porsche relative. The taillights are also pretty similar to the ones on the sedan, but they also bring to mind the image of the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Either way, from these leaked pictures, the new Cayenne will definitely earn more fans than the outgoing generation. The fact that it has denounced any off-road capability, and shed 440 pounds (220 kg) in the process will also make an impact on its road handling, pleasing more people.

Take a look at the photo gallery below and then share your thoughts about the 2011 Porsche Cayenne.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Leaked Photos


Video: 2011 Audi A8 gets promoted through new ad

Audi is slowly starting to promote its new flagship model, the 2011 A8, and has just released a video demonstrating how many details went into the components of the limousine.

From the Bang & Olufsen speakers to the LED headlights or the V8 FSI engine, many of the 2011 A8 components are featured in this ad, with one single motto: The art of progress.

Hit the jump and enjoy this new footage of the 2011 Audi A8 ahead of its European unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

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