June 2010 Archives – rpmGo.com

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is in full swing these days, but besides classic Ferrari or Alfa Romeo models, not to mention a plethora of British sportscars, like the Jaguar XKR 75, people are treated with something a bit more special this year.

The ‘bit more special’ model we’re talking about is the … thing you see above, a classic Austin Mini, fitted with a massive 78-liter V18 diesel engine, complete with 12 turbochargers and capable of a whopping 3,500 HP at 1,900 rpm and 10,157 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm.

Who would be able to engineer such madness? Independent diesel engine manufacturer Cummins, which decided to take one of its spare engines, regularly used in huge dump trucks which operate in the mining industry, and add it to a classic Mini model.

“We never like to let a challenge go by unanswered so we got to thinking maybe we could fit the QSK78 into an original Austin Mini. It proved to be a bit tricky to fit under the bonnet but our engineers came up with a more creative solution. We’re certain that the Goodwood crowd will have difficulty believing what they are seeing,” said Steve Nendick, Cummins’ Communications Director.

Just in case you’re wondering, that huge engine weighs 24,912 lbs, and as you can see above, more than dwarfs the original Mini.

Sadly, the company didn’t reveal if the car is actually operational, but don’t get your hopes up.


Post tags: Tags: austin mini, classic, extreme, goodwood festival of speed, Mini, Special, Tuning

After hearing some speculation about the 2011 Dodge Challenger yesterday, the guys at MotorTrend have now revealed some rumors about the next generation Chevrolet Corvette.

According to the magazine, GM plans to really downsize the engines, as the 6.2 and 7.0-liter units the Corvette C6 models use are just too harmful to the environment and don’t provide adequate amounts of power, when compared to their size.

Instead of those big units, the C7 Corvette is scheduled, according to the report, to benefit from a 5.5-liter small-block V8 engine, capable of a respectable 440 HP, as opposed to the current generation’s 430 HP.

Even though it will decrease in displacement, the C7′s engine will benefit from all the new technologies GM will implement in its new small-block family. These include direct injection, E85 flex-fuel capability, a new combustion system plus the older overhead valve design, which guarantees smaller size and lower manufacturing cost.

You’ll have to wait for this improved Chevrolet Corvette C7 though, as reports peg it appearing around 2012, if we’re lucky. Besides the new and improved engine, a new Corvette design was also rumored to appear with the next generation.


Post tags: Tags: Chevrolet, chevrolet corvette c7, chevrolet-corvette, engine, gm, next generation

One of the most iconic muscle cars in America, the Ford Mustang, is getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014, so for traditional Mustang tuner Shelby, it’s never too early to start thinking about that special occasion.

In a recent interview with MotorTrend, Shelby American’s current CEO, John Luft, said that the company is working closely with the Blue Oval to release something extremely special, not just a Mustang with a few badges on it.

According to the exec, tuning legend and founder of the company, Caroll Shelby, has been spending some time at the Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters of Ford, in order to really straighten out the celebrations for the ‘Stang’s half century birthday.

Until then though, Luft also hinted that track-ready ‘R’ models might be resurrected, seeing as how the 2011 Mustang is moving beyond its muscle car, drag-ready image, to a more balanced, racing persona. If you want to celebrate the Mustang’s birthday early, don’t forget that the 2011 Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 are already up for sale.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 ford mustang, 2011 shelby gt350, 2011 shelby gt500, Ford, ford-mustang, shelby, Tuning

The BMW M3 is one might impressive sportscar and easily one of the company’s best sellers.

Now, after offering the M3 Competition Package and the limited M3 Frozen Gray edition, BMW of North America has just announced a brad new offer for existing customers.

Current BMW M3 owners, no matter the body type, sedan, coupe or convertible, will be able to order specific carbon fiber accessories. All M3 versions can receive a special carbon fiber reinforced plastic front splitter and exterior mirror caps, while the sedan and coupe versions will enjoy a rear decklid spoiler.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the parts, which can be installed at any authorized BMW dealership, are covered by a 2-year warranty.


Post tags: Tags: accessories, BMW, bmw-m3, carbon fiber, components, Tuning

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors has been through some pretty tough times. Luckily, at least for its CEO, Elon Musk, who is now almost broke after financing the company, the Initial Public Offering of stocks took place yesterday.

With a starting prince of $17 per share, contrary to a lot of nay sayers, the stock sold like hot cakes, ending the day at a whopping $23.89. It is reported that over 13.3 million shares were sold, resulting in $226 million worth of financing, ready to be used by the electric vehicle manufacturer.

This comes as a pretty big shock, seeing as how Tesla hasn’t turned in a profit since its birth in 2003, and that its only current model, the Roadster, is really selling all that well.

Still, after seeing the future plans of the company, which includes the new Model S sedan, a crossover, a van and a next generation roadster, things might be looking up for the California automaker, especially as the money will continue to come in after this IPO.


Post tags: Tags: Electric Vehicles, ipo, stock market, Tesla, tesla motors

The new Citroen DS3 is definitely becoming a pretty popular upmarket city car, combining attractive styling with high end features.

According to a new rumor though, the current coupe model might soon be joined by a convertible version. It seems that the great reception for the regular DS3 has prompted Citroen to push the convertible version to production as soon as possible.

Don’t expect it to arrive until 2012, at the earliest, as the French company wants to leave the coupe ample time to sell. No word yet on what convertible mechanism will be used though. Given that its main competitor, the Mini Cooper Cabrio, uses a folding cloth top, such a choice is quite possible.

What’s certain is that Citroen has denied a future convertible version of the DS3 Racing hot hatch, which captured the attention of a lot of people.


Post tags: Tags: Citroen, citroen ds3, citroen ds3 convertible, citroen ds3 racing

Chrysler’s PT Cruiser is definitely one of the most emblematic models made by the US carmaker. It survived through a lot of problems, even though it was largely ignored in terms of new options, let alone upgrades by the Pentastar.

Even more, the car was set to end its 10-year life cycle in 2009, but due to the bankruptcy and the fact that Chrysler needed as many cars on sale as possible, the car extended its welcome and was pushed as a choice for long-time fans

Now, The Detroit Free Press reveals that the last PT Cruiser of this generation will be produced on July 9. Afterwards, Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico plant will be fitted with new technologies and equipment, in order to produce the Fiat 500.

So, will you miss the odd little hatchback? Share your thoughts about the PT Cruiser and its long life in the comment section below.


Post tags: Tags: Chrysler, chrysler pt cruiser, fiat-500, production

After a very successful seven year life cycle, Aston Martin has finally decided to refresh its DB9 model.

The 2011 Aston Martin DB9 features just a few changes, with new styling cues used on the front fascia and the addition of the same Active Damper System used in the DBS and in the Rapide.

Aston Martin’s grand tourer has seen a new finish on the radiator grille, while the lower front air intake has been reshaped and also received bright hexagonal mesh. Other styling changes include silver brake calipers, 20-spoke diamond-turned wheels and new, clear taillights.

From a mechanical standpoint, the DB9 has seen the introduction of the Active Damper System, which has improved the handling of the 2011 model that the Sport package has been erased from the options list. A new tire pressure monitoring system, a revised bluetooth connectivity pack plus the option of a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system were also added.

Besides that, the 2011 Aston Martin DB9, both in Coupe and Volante (Convertible) form, still packs the massive 6.0-liter V12, capable of 470 HP and 442 lb-ft of torque. Production is already underway, and deliveries will arrive shortly.

Until your own 2011 DB9 gets delivered, feel free to check out the refreshed British sportscar in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Aston Martin DB9


Post tags: Tags: 2011 aston martin db9, Aston Martin, aston-martin-db9, facelift, photo-gallery, refresh

Seeing as how the 4th of July is rapidly approaching, Scion has revealed a new type of competition.

Entitled the Battle of the Builds, the contest tasked military servicemen and women with designing their own special xB model. The entries were submitted to the youth-oriented Japanese brand, and can now be voted at the special Battle of the Builds website.

From the 25 semi-finalists now up for vote, only three designs will be chosen. The winning teams will be given a budget of $15,000, and tasked with turning their initial drawing into a reality on a brand new 2011 xB.

The ultimate winner will be featured by Scion at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Interested in showing your support for military creativity? Then go and share your votes at the Battle of the Builds website. Voting ends tomorrow, June 30.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 scion xb, battle of the builds, competition, contest, design, scion, scion xb

Yesterday, a rather huge bomb was dropped by a report from British newspaper The Telegraph, which claimed that the Chevrolet Volt, at least in its European version, the Opel Ampera, will directly use the 1.4-liter gasoline engine in order to attain highway speeds.

As you know, the Volt uses an electric motor as means of propulsion, with the gasoline engine used just for charging up the batteries which power the aforementioned motor. This makes the Volt become an extended range electric vehicle, not a hybrid.

The Telegraph’s report said that in order to attain speeds worthy of a highway or autobahn, the powertrain of the Volt/Ampera would be re-engineered, in order to directly connect the engine to the wheels.

As you can imagine, this sparked a lot of debate on the Internet.

Luckily, GM quickly settled all these rumors. Talking to The Car Connection, GM electric vehicles, batteries, and hybrids communications executive, Rob Peterson, revealed that such a dramatic re-engineering of the Volt/Ampera won’t happen.

He said that the Voltec powertrain is more than capable of taking the car to adequate speeds, great for traveling around the city but also on highways. He revealed that the report from The Telegraph was wrong, and based on an older prototype Volt, which wasn’t using up-to-date software to calibrate its speed.

As such, you can forget about the Chevrolet Volt (or Opel Ampera or whatever name the extended range electric vehicle will get depending on the market) using its internal combustion engine for anything else except charging the batteries of the car.


Post tags: Tags: Chevrolet, chevrolet-volt, Electric Vehicles, europe, extended range electric vehicles, General Motors, gm, Opel, opel ampera, technology

Most drivers know that when approaching a sharp corner, it’s best to brake in order to maintain control over your car and trajectory.

According to a recent statistic revealed by Ford, however, things aren’t like that. It seems that over 50,000 accidents that happened in the USA last year were caused by drivers who didn’t brake before entering curves, eventually going off road or in the opposite way.

As such, in the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV, the Blue Oval will be premiering a new technology called Curve Control. The system, as its name implies, will help the car go around curves more accurately and safer. It will sit atop the existing electronic and roll stability control systems, and actively apply the brakes on all four wheels, preventing the car from going off road.

In order to really highlight the tech, a new video was revealed by the guys at Autoblog, who experienced first hand the Curve Control system on a camouflaged prototype of the 2011 Explorer. Check it out after the jump.

Post tags: Tags: 2011 ford explorer, curve control, Ford, ford explorer, technology, Video

Fiat’s high end divisions, Maserati and Ferrari, are researching a lot of ways to make their performance and luxury models more eco-friendly, in order to comply with harsher fuel average or emission regulations.

As such, while Ferrari is busy fiddling with KERS and might share that with Maserati in the future, the less sporty company will do the next best thing with the 2012 Quattroporte model: use a new platform with smaller engines and eco-friendly technologies.

As such, the future Italian luxury sedan will be sitting on a new joint platform, set to be used by flagship Fiat and Chrysler products in the future. Smaller and lighter V6 and V8 engines will sit on top of the new platform, and power all the wheels, even though that might lead to an increase in fuel average.

Thankfully, technologies like Start-Stop, which turns off the engine when standing still and powers it back on when moving, might be used. A more efficient eight-speed gearbox will also be used. The goal, according to Maserati CEO Harald Wester, is to cut 15% of the weight of the car and make it 25% more efficient.

Seeing as how Ferrari won’t dabble in the super sedan segment, Maserati’s Quattroporte will be the only offer from the Fiat group. As you can imagine, a lot of effort will be put into making it the best offer on the market.


Post tags: Tags: 2012 maserati quattroporte, Fiat, Maserati, maserati-quattroporte

With the 2011 model year fast approaching Dodge, the Chrysler subsidiary will be left with just one proper performance model, the Challenger, as the Viper’s life cycle will end.

As such, the guys at AllPar have got their hands on some juicy rumors. It seems that the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will see its 6.4-liter HEMI V8 develop around 480 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 55 HP and 40 lb-ft.

That’s not all, as Dodge will be partnering up with ZF to equip an eight-speed automatic gearbox into the 2011 Challenger SRT8.

The more tamed Challenger R/T will see its power levels remain the same, while the SE version will benefit from an upgraded Pentastar V6 unit, capable of 290 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Changes will also be made across the lineup, as elements from the Charger, will make their way onto the Challenger, as well as an upgraded interior and an electronic power steering pump.

Bear in mind that none of these changes are confirmed, as of yet, by Chrysler, so we still need to wait a few months until the official unveil of the 2011 Dodge Challenger.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 dodge challenger, Dodge, dodge-challenger, dodge-challenger-srt8, refresh

Fiat’s performance division, Abarth, is definitely riding high in terms of popularity, as its upgraded versions for the 500 city car, as well as for the Punto, are selling like hot cakes.

This has prompted Antonino Labate, the company’s sales and marketing boss, to say that a dedicated Abarth coupe will arrive in the next two years.

Until then though, Abarth won’t sit idly. Instead, the company will be launching even more hardcore Esseesse versions for the Punto Evo Abarth and the Abarth 500C, which will arrive this November in Europe.

The Punto Evo’s MultiAir engine will see its output raised even further, to over 180 HP. Stiffer suspension plus a tuned braking system will also be added to the Esseesse.

The Abarth 500C Esseesse will see the output from the turbocharged 1.4-liter, currently at 137 HP, raised to around 157 HP, just liked in the regular Abarth 500 Esseesse. The faster, five-speed MTA automatic gearbox will also be added.

Most importantly though is the fact that Abarth might soon start making performance packages for Alfa Romeo models. The new MiTo or Giulietta are excluded, however, due to the already powerful Cloverleaf editions. Seeing as how Alfa Romeo models are heading to the USA in the future, Abarth performance options might not be a bad thing.


Post tags: Tags: abarth, abarth 500c, abarth punto evo, Alfa Romeo, esseesse, Fiat, fiat 500c abarth, fiat punto evo abarth, performance

Gordon Murray is one of the most popular designers in the automotive world, penning the iconic McLaren F1 hypercar.

Now, after splitting with the British sportscar manufacturer and opening his own design studio, Murray has finally revealed a big project: the T.25 city car.

As you can see, this ultra compact model is definitely something else. It weighs just 1,212 pounds and is just four feet wide. Believe it or not, it has seating for three people on the inside, retaining the F1′s 1+2 arrangement, with the driver in front and passengers in the back. In case you’re wondering how you can get into the T.25, it has a hinged front end, similar to BMW’s iconic Isetta model.

Power for the compact model comes from a 51 HP three-cylinder engine, capable of pushing the T.25 to 62 mph in 16.2 seconds. The projected fuel average is a mighty impressive 61.9 mpg US.

As you can imagine, its diminutive size makes it perfect for city environments. You will be able to park the T.25 perpendicular to the curb, and three such models can occupy one regular parking space.

No word yet on when or if we will see the T.25 on the market, but you can be sure that competitors like Smart are going to face a tough challenge with this British car.


Post tags: Tags: city-car, design, gordon murray, great britain, t.25, uk