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Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Time’s 100 World’s Most Influential People is a very exclusive list and getting your name up there can definitely be the highlight of your life. And Alan Mulally, the Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company is one of this 100 people in this year’s issue of the famous Time 100. Mulally graduated from the University of Kansas in 1969 with Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and was immediately hired by aeronautics giant Boeing where, in 1994, was promoted to senior vice president of Airplane Development. In 1997, Mulally became senior vice president and in 1998 he was named president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. For his performance at Boeing, Aviation Week & Space Technology named Mulally as person of the year for 2006.

However, in 2006 Mulally decided to quit Boeing and chose a new challenge, by becoming the President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. Without doubt, one of Mulally’s main accomplisments is stabilizing Ford’s financial position and restructuring the company so it currently does not face the threat of bankruptcy unlike General Motors and Chrysler.

Another interesting thing is that the Time article was written by Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the world.

[Source: TIME]

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The new Camaro to get Lingenfelter engine upgrades and body kit

A couple of days ago US based Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has announced the first details about their future engine upgrades and body kit for the 2010 Chevy Camaro. The Lingenfelter body kit will include new front fascia and rocker extension, front Splitter, grille bar insert with wire mesh texture, new hood with air extractors, rear deck lip spoiler, rear fascia extension with exhaust tips and new rear tail lamp panel. As for the engine upgrades, there will be five packages available, each one boosting the power output and torque up to 550 hp (550 lbs-ft), 570 hp (570 lbs-ft), 650 hp (600 lbs-ft), 750 hp (685 lbs-ft) and 800 hp (800 lbs-ft). Extra details about the power upgrade packages after the jump. There were no procing details released, but we’ll probably get them closer to launch date, later summer.

Photo Gallery: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro body kit by Lingenfelter

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Usain Bolt crashes his brand new BMW M3

Usain Bolt BMW M3

Last year, Olympic champion Usain “Lightning” Bolt” was given a brand new BMW M3 by his sponsor, Puma. Unfortunately, a couple of hours ago, the fastest man on Earth crashed his M3 while speeding on a rain-slicked highway. Bolt and a female passenger, probably his girlfriend, were taken to a local hospital but it seems they only suffered minor scratches and they were released shortly after. According to police Sgt. David Sheriff the car was heavily damaged and the two were very lucky to get away unharmed.

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Twitter giveaway: Fast and Furious DVDs and sountracks

Guys and gals, we have an interesting little giveaway for you. We have a package with the first three movies from the Fast and Furious series and 3 soundtracks from the fourth (samples here), offered by Cornerstone Promotion (many thanks to Diego Vargas for all the help!). Though we weren’t very impressed with the fourth movie, its soundtrack sounds great and makes for an excellent driving music. And the first three movies from the series were really great, so we think you’ll enjoy the prizes. So, how can you get one? Well, for this one we’ll use Twitter. Don’t know what Twitter is? You should be ashamed of yourselves, because everyone’s talking about it. And of course, we have an account (@rpmgo). So all you have to do is:

1. Have a Twitter account (if not, it’s about time you create one!)

2. Log into your Twitter account.

3. Write a reply @rpmgo with what was your favorite movie from the Fast and Furios series (and you could also add why).

4. And that’s it!

5. Well, actually it’s not it because it would be great if you would also follow us :)

One of the replies will get a package with the first three Fast and Furious movies and three other replies will get the original soundtrack from the fourth movie. So, what are you waiting for!?

Updates after the jump.

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Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 999 Red Gold ‘Nightmare’

Actually, the car’s name is Red Gold Dream, but considering we’ve gone half blind when we saw it, we couldn’t call it a dream, on the contrary, most be one of the most hideous creations ever. This red nightmare was created by Swiss designer Ueli Anliker and it was unveiled at the Auto Emotionen tuning show in Berne, Switzerland. This abominable car is the result of 30,000 work hours and $4.35 million invested in it. Why so much you ask? Well, to decorate the SLR, they used 500 rubys and a lot of 24k gold. And this is an excellent proof that if you use expensive materials doesn’t mean you get a work of art. Oh, and not to mention the horrible body kit, I mean, what’s with that front spoiler, reminds me a little from the Alien monster. Anyway, we’re not saying the creators didn’t put a lot of work into this car, but for Christ’s sake, next time please consult a real designer.

Photo Gallery: Mercedes Benz SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

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BMW X1 spotted during photo shoot, without any camouflage

Last year, at the Paris Motor Show BMW unveiled the Concept X1, a concept car that previewed the BMW X1, a compact premium SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) built on the 1 Series platform. Meanwhile, the German carmaker has announced the final production version will debut later this year, at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. But now we won’t have to wait for the German show to see the car, because the car was caught without any camouflage, during a photo shoot in Koln, Germany. Unfortunately there’s only one photo and the quality is not very impressive, but we can tell BMW has managed to keep the car’s look very close to the concept’s, our friends from BMW Blog saying that the only changes the X1 will get are modified taillights and front bumper and it looks like they’re right.

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Lamborghini Diablo crash caught on tape

No, it’s nothing serious, no one gets hurt but we bet the driver’s ego got so hurt. Not sure where this took place (somewhere in Europe), but what happend is that this Diablo driver tried to impress everyone with a flashy exit from the starting point and he ended up making everyone laugh when he couldn’t control the car and smashed it into a parked truck. What can we say…s**t happends!

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RPMGO Interview: Nicolas Stone, freelance automotive designer

Some time ago we wrote about a very interesting concept car created by Nicolas Stone, a young automotive designer with a lot of talent. Then we had the idea of asking Nicolas for an interview (the first one ever done by us) and ask him a few questions about him and his work, because we really loved it. In the meantime, though he is still looking for his dream job in a large carmaker’s design department, Nicolas has launched his own website (nicstonedesign.com) where he has his portfolio, resume, bio, and a blog where he discusses various ideas and products, explaining what he would do to make them better. He’s also in the process of starting his own company with his business partner called “Element SA”, serving as a design and business consultancy. Their website (elementSA.com) is currently under construction. So, enough talking from us, we’ll let you read more of what Nic told us: (more…)

GM looking for potential buyers for Opel, Fiat might be interested

In what looks like an attempt to get some more money coming in, General Motors is currently looking for potential buyers for their European arm, Opel. “We are continuing to work toward a restructuring of our German and certain other European operations, which could include a third-party investment in Adam Opel GmbH that would own all or a significant part of our European operations,” GM said in a regulatory filing outlining its revised restructuring plan. Opel, which was acquired in 1929, has been the core of GM Europe operations and is doing pretty well now, comparing with the rest of GM, which is on the edge of bankruptcy.

Asked whether selling Opel would affect GM’s global operation, Fritz Henderson, the company’s CEO, said “”I think GM will remain a global corporation without a doubt,” Henderson said, “but there’s no question in my mind that the nature of those global relationships will change.” He also said that GM has held talks over the past month with several investors interested in Opel, but declined to give any names. However, according to The Detroit News, among the companies interested in Opel are the Italian giant Fiat and Magna International Inc., one of the world’s largest auto parts supplier.

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Anniversary one-off Bugatti Veyron Specials unveiled at Villa d’Este

Last week we told you about the four special editions Bugatti Veyrons which were planned for this year’s Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza and this weekend the four models were unveiled at the Italian event. After the Bleu Centenaire which debuted last month in Geneva, the four special editions celebrate Bugatti’s 100th anniversary, by paying an homage to the generation of legendary Bugatti Grand Prix race cars which made history during the 1920s and the ’30s. Each car is named after a Bugatti driver and features the racing colors of the respective countries: Blue for Jean-Pierre Wimille from France, Red for Achille Varzi from Italy, Green for Malcom Campbell from England and White for Hermann zi Leiningen from Germany. The four Veyron Specials were exhibited alongside the original Type 35s racing cars for the first and only time.

“We have put a lot of effort into translating colour and material, the defining characteristics of our historic role models, into the designs of the modern-day Veyrons,” explains Alasdair Stewart, Director Sales & Marketing at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “We have taken extreme care to match the original colours of the original race cars, exterior and interior”

However, if you missed the Geneva Motor Show or the Concorso d’Eleganza, Bugatti will continue its series of anniversay events planned for this year at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in mid-August and the main event in Molsheim, France on September 12, when more surprises might be on their way.

Photo Gallery: Bugatti Veyron Centenaire Specials

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Daimler agrees to give up on remaining Chrysler stake

Yesterday, the German giant Daimler AG announced that it will give up it’s final 19.9 percent stake in Chrysler, considering the Auburn Hills carmaker’s extremely tough period. According to Daimler’s spokesmen, the company will relinquish its stake after settling a dispute with Cerberus Capital Management, Chrysler’s current owner, over their 2007 deal. This means that Daimler has decided to forgive a $1.5 billion loan to Chrysler which was given when ownership was transferred to Cerberus. But that’s not all the money Daimler will lose, because yesterday they also signed a deal with the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., according to which they agreed to pay $600 million into Chrysler’s pension plans, in three installments, $200 million each year until 2011. This money will ensure pension payments for the former DaimlerChrysler employees.

So I guess it’s safe to say Chrysler, which cost Daimler $36 billion back in 1998 has been a major pain in the ass for Daimler ever since, with the German company losing a lot of money since they decided to drop the Auburn Hills carmaker, in 1998.

As for Chrysler, things aren’t easy for them, the carmaker’s management working hard these days to come up with a viable restructuring plan imposed by the Government in exchange for continuing financial aid. Beside the agreement with Daimler, Chrysler also has to seal the alliance with Fiat and deal with the $6.9 billion debt to different banks, including J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

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Spied: Audi RS5 with retractable rear spoiler, could be the modern Ur-quattro?

The Audi RS5 is getting closer and closer to debut and spy shots are showing up everywhere. However, the latest ones, taken on the Nurburgring track, are definitely the most interesting ones, because for the first time we see the RS5 being equipped with a retractable rear spoiler, just like the other sports cars in the Audi range, the R8 or the TT.

So what does this mean? Well, we don’t know for sure, but there are a lot of rumors going around about Audi planning to revive the legendary 1985 ‘Ur-Quattro’, one of Audi’s most successful sports cars ever. According to these rumors, the car will weight less than 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs) and, powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0 liters V6 delivering 425 hp, will offer an incredible experience. If all these are true, we should expect the special RS5 to debut in 2012 at a starting price of around 70,000 Euros ($91,000).

[Source: Auto Express]

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Carlsson tuning package for the new Mercedes Benz E Class

The German tuner Carlsson has announced that this weekend, at the Tuning World Bodensee, they’ll unveil their tuning program for the new Mercedes Benz E Class. One of the highlights of this program is the new aerodynamics kit, developed by Carlsson’s head designer Rolf Schepp, which features a newly designed front apron, completely re-engineered front wings, side rails, new rear apron with integrated diffuser framed by four stainless steel end pipes and a new rear spolier. The entire body kit is made of lightweight polyurethane (PUR-RIM). The car’s sporty look is completed by a set of 20-inch 1/5 REVO Carlsson wheels, painted in matt black and matt-varnished gloss-turned silver strut.

Carlsson also ‘played’ with the E Class’ engines, so power upgrades are available for almost all the engines in the Mercedes range. The E250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY received a 40 hp upgrade (available from June), the E350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY got a 46 hp upgrade (available from July) while the top of the range E500 got a CM50K compressor kit which includes a new exhaust system with racing header, high-performance catalysts and stainless steel mufflers, and is responsible for a 55 hp power increase. To make sure that extra power doesn’t doesn’t fo to waste, Carlsson offers their intelligent lowering kit C-Tronic SUSPENSION, which lowers the car by 43 mm and continuously adjusts the balance between sporty and taut settings for optimal comfort and performance.

Photo Gallery: Mercedes Benz E Class tuning by Carlsson

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Ferrari F430 destroyed in Russian crash

Looks like young Russians have a big problem keeping their cars intact. After about a month ago a Chrysler Crossfire hit a truck, with the two Chrysler passenger lost their lives, another tragedy was about to happen, this time in Moscow. According to the reports, a 19 year old Russian teen was doing more than 125 mph in his Ferrari F430, when he lost control of the car and smashed into a Range Rover. Amazingly, the Ferrari driver (whose dad seems to be one of Russia’s top bank managers) and the passenger are alive and they were taken to a local hospital and it looks like they’re gonna be ok. As for the Range Rover’s passengers, no serious injuries were reported.

What else can we add? Except that we’re glad everyone’s ok but the photos of the destroyed Ferrari really broke our hearts. We just hope this will be a lesson to the kids and next time dad let’s them drive one of his supercars they’ll be more careful because they might not get that lucky again.

Photo Gallery: Ferrari F430 crash in Russia

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Aston Martin One-77 finally unveiled to the public

This weekend, the amazing Aston Martin One-77 was finally unveiled and we got to see it in all its splendor at the Concorso d’Eleganza which took place at the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. The car was first shown at last year’s Paris Motor Show, but it was partially covered with a cloth, Aston representatives saying that potential buyers will see it first and only after that the rest of us, mortals, will get the chance to have a look at it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend the Italian event, but judging by these photos we can say that the car is amazing. And we’re not the only ones saying that, because the car made an impressive debut, winning the Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes, with more than 30% of the total votes given by the visiting public.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez said: “Embodying everything Aston Martin stands for; the One-77 has proven itself as the most desirable automotive art form at its premiere today. We have achieved a new level of design and craftsmanship which has been clearly recognised by the public here in the homeland of design at Villa d’Este.”

Photo Gallery: Aston Martin One-77 debut

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