Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 112

The people living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, aren’t going through the best of times, as floods are rampaging through the capital city. But at least there’s one big upside for both pedestrians and car owners.

What’s that you ask? How about a free and fast shower or car wash, respectively, every time a train passes through the flooded streets.

The guys waiting on the overpass are definitely thankful for not opting for a convertible, while the people on the street probably wish they’d have taken their umbrellas that day.

Hit the jump to see the world’s fastest car wash/shower.
Read More: “Video: Check out the world’s fastest car wash”

A few months ago, rumors were circulating about the current partnership between the French PSA group, formed by Peugeot and Citroen, and Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi. Currently the French companies both use the Outlander platform for their 4008 and C-Crosser SUVs, and are also developing their own electric city cars, the iOn and the C-Zero, both based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

The rumors at that time were deeming certain a transaction which would give PSA a majority stake in Mitsubishi, buying out the Japanese carmaker, and taking their influence global. Talks were speculated, but at the recent 2010 Geneva Motor Show, executives from all three companies met, and a conclusion has been agreed upon.

Surprisingly it seems that certain parameters of the sale haven’t been met, meaning that PSA won’t be buying any stock in Mitsubishi for the time being. Rumors circulated a while back about a purchase of around $3 billion in shares, money which would definitely help a financially-struggling Mitsubishi.

Do you think this is a bad move for PSA or Mitsubishi, or is it for the best for all of the parties involved? Share your thoughts below.

Read More: “Peugeot and Citroen cancel Mitsubishi purchase”

The 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is already quite an impressive machine, having many fans both in its native North America and in other continents like Europe. But Karl Geiger, the boss of Geiger Cars tuning company took his passion for the model much further than most guys.

Not content with the 550 HP the 5.4-liter V8 produced in stock form, Geiger and his team added a new Whipple supercharger, larger throttle valves, an upgraded fuel injection system and ported cylinder heads, taking the output to a dizzying 799 HP and 697 lb-ft of torque. This translates in a top speed, at least according to Geiger, of 220 mph.

The massive increase in power also demands an increase in stopping performance, and Geiger fitted 15-inch, six-piston brakes. Other handling upgrades include the three-disc carbon clutch and the heavy duty six-speed transmission. A racing chassis and adjustable control arms for the suspension were also added.

Overall, I’m sure this 799 HP 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is something even Caroll Shelby would approve of.

Read More: “Geiger tunes 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 to 799 HP”

The 2011 Audi A8 has just made its European debut last week at the Geneva Motor Show, but the tuners at Hofele Design have already revealed the first details on their upcoming performance and cosmetic tuning package for the new Ingolstadt flagship sedan.

The company tackled the 4.2 V8 FSI and the TDI variant, with some very impressive results. Power figures are now at 400 HP and 350 lb-ft for the petrol one, while the diesel boasts 395 HP and 649 lb-ft of torque. According to Hofele, these performance upgrades haven’t taken a toll on the fuel economy, still ranked at 24.75 mpg (US) for the FSI and 30.9 mpg (US) for the oil-burner.

Other upgrades include larger ventilated steel disc brakes and high performance ceramic discs can also be fitted for an extra cost. The suspension has been lowered between 40 and 90 millimeters, but as an added safety feature, the car springs back to the factory setting when traveling at over 80 mph (128 km/h). New alloy wheels measuring 20-inch at the front and 22-inch at the back have also been added by the team at Hofele.

Last but not least, the styling of the 2011 Audi A8 also saw an upgrade, thanks to the restyled front fascia, now boasting bigger air inlets and front fender outlets, the new side sills, and the restyled rear end, complete with a diffuser and quad-pipe exhaust. A decklid spoiler, as well as two-tone leather, Alcantara and a new steering wheel round off the Hofele tuning package for the 2011 Audi A8.

Read More: “Hofele Design reveals tuned 2011 Audi A8”

Hamann is a pretty busy tuning company, as not only did it present upgraded takes on the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Esseesse at the Geneva Motor Show, but it also presented the stunning Hamann Tycoon Evo M, based on the BMW X6 M.

Now, the company has revealed yet another tuned SUV, this time a fresh take on the older Conqueror package it revealed for the Range Rover Sport. The aptly named Conqueror II is based on the Supercharged version of the luxury SUV, taking the output of the 5.0-liter V8 to 560 HP and 506 lb-ft of torque. This is largely due to the optimized ECU and a new sports exhaust system.

Of course the styling of the British SUV couldn’t be left unchanged, and Hamman fitted a complete body kit, a carbon fiber hood, LED daytime running lights and offers a variety of 23-inch wheels. Customers will also enjoy aluminum and carbon fiber accents on the inside, as well as new materials from which to choose.

Read More: “Hamann unveils new Conqueror II tuning package for Range Rover Sport”

Yesterday we revealed to you our suggestions for the best and worst stories of last week, and you faithfully voted for your favorites. The turnout wasn’t as expected, but it was enough for us to figure our the results.

Perfect Shift

The best story of the week was Porsche’s stunning 918 Spyder Concept, with its huge hybrid power of a combined 718 HP. The bold styling, eco-friendly nature and the possibility of a production car appearing in the future, got everyone excited.

What’s more surprising is that all of the other nominees didn’t even manage to gather a single vote, losing to the popularity of the hybrid Porsche.

Over Rev

The worst news of the week concerned Mini’s launch of the Countryman crossover at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. We expected something truly unique, but instead we got a breakdancer and a cowboy/country-like couple dancing on techno beats in front of the new car.

It’s safe to say the video scarred a lot of people, considering the other nominees didn’t receive any other votes.

As the Geneva Motor Show is wrapping up, with all the biggest news already accounted for, next week will bring other news than concepts or announcements. Keep checking back to see all of them.

BMW’s 1 Series recently received a lot of attention, thanks to the many rumors confirming a high performance version of the entry-level lineup, which might get the prestigious M1 badge, when it will appear.

But even though we received dozens of presumed specifications for the performance model, BMW declined to comment on any of them. A new report, coming from InsideLine, reveals that the performance 1 Series won’t bear that badge, and won’t be so hardcore, as to not steal customers from the bigger M3.

Instead, this new car, presumably set to receive the 135is name, like the recent 335is and the Z4 sDrive35is, will sport an upgraded version of the N54 twin-turbo inline-six unit. Power figures are also expected to be somewhere along the lines of 320 HP and 332 lb-ft, with an overboost function taking torque ratings to 370 lb-ft.

With all of the conflicting rumors, we can’t really say for sure what will happen. But what’s clear is that a more powerful 1 Series, whether it is the M1 or 135is, will appear. Until then, more rumors will certainly follow.

Read More: “BMW set to launch 135is instead of M1”

Citroen‘s design team is on a roll recently, showcasing stunning models left and right. What first started with the bold GT by Citroen supercar concept, has now evolved into many models. From the production DS3, to the Revolte or Survolt concepts revealed at trade shows around Europe.

Now, the French company is at it again, revealing the GQ by Citroen model, developed in partnership with the famous magazine, as “the ultimate gentleman’s drive”.

The car is a plug-in hybrid, using a 1.6-liter direct injection petrol engine coupled with an electric motor, both of undisclosed power. What is known is the 0 to 62 mpg time of 4.5 seconds and the electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Last but not least, the CO2 emissions are pegged at a very impressive 80 g/km.

The GQ by Citroen concept was styled by a team led by Mark Lloyd, and you can fully admire it in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: GQ by Citroen Concept

Read More: “GQ by Citroen concept presents itself”

Spyker has captured the media spotlight in recent months due to its purchase of Swedish carmaker Saab from the hands of General Motors.

But while many believe Spyker’s money will revive Saab, it seems the Swedish company can also help the Dutch one with producing new models. One of them will be the D12 Peking to Paris luxury SUV, which was showcased way back in 2006 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Speaking at the 2010 edition of the Geneva conference, Saab Spyker CEO Victor Muller revealed that the new facilities owned by Saab, including the Trollhattan plant, will help Spyker release new models, including the bespoke SUV, but declined to reveal any details.

Last time we heard of it, the D12 Peking to Paris, which honors a historical race from Peking (current-day Beijing) and Paris, in which an almost stock Spyker model finished in second place, was set to be powered by a W12 engine from Volkswagen. Things are pretty blurry, but considering Saab and Spyker have a long road ahead of them, we’ll find out more in the following weeks.

Read More: “Spyker continuing work on D12 Peking to Paris luxury SUV”

Times are changing and carmakers make no exception. It’s getting increasingly difficult for supercar manufacturers to continue making sleek and expensive models fitted with some of the biggest V12 engines they can find.

CO2 emissions must be lowered, and at the end of the day, supercar owners would like something smaller and simpler for city travel, especially when the limousine gets stuck in traffic or you can’t see out of your expensive sportscar.

Aston Martin realized this problem, and revealed the first pictures of its Cygnet model a few months ago, and is now showcasing it at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Essentially an Aston-styled Toyota iQ, the Cygnet is an alternative for the days when owners can’t take their lovely DB9 or Vantage models in congested cities, and need something smaller and more practical, but with the same style of an Aston.

While we can’t say we approve of the endeavor, the logic behind it good enough to warrant other supercar manufacturers like Ferrari or Lamborghini to attempt modifying small cars to take care of its customers. Only time and the sales of the Cygnet will tell though.

To further prove the utility of the Cygnet, the company also released a set of pictures with the car in various urban situations. Check them out in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: Aston Martin Cygnet

Source: Aston Martin

At the 2010 edition of the Geneva Motor Show, Honda president Takanobu Ito once again emphasized what his company believes will be the future of the carmaking industry: fuel cell vehicles.

“We will continue to offer mobility solutions with low associated co2 emissions,” said Ito. “We believe that fuel cell cars are the ultimate solution. We have recently produced a solar powered hydrogen refining unit without a compressor that’s 25 per cent more efficient than previous units. Ideal for home use, so you won’t need to buy hydrogen elsewhere.”

But while FCVs will be the main goal, until the technology behind them becomes more profitable and better developed, other methods of producing low CO2 emitting vehicles will need to be used. As such, hybrids like the Insight or the recently-unveiled CR-Z hatchback will still be promoted by the Japanese company.

We already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in one of our RPMGO Answers feature. While we support the technology, it has a lot of growing to do before it will become fully viable and get us off our fossil fuel addiction.

Read More: ““Fuel cell vehicles are the future” Honda executive says”

BMW Z4 fans were treated at the end of last year with two very big surprises: the announcement of the sDrive35is model, which unofficially supplants the need for a dedicated M-car, and the promise of a Z4 GT3 race car, which will be offered to professional teams.

Now, the Bavarian company decided to finally unveil the first pictures of its GT3-spec roadster. In case you forgot, the powerful 4.0-liter V8 under the hood of the race car was taken straight from the road-legal M3, and optimized with things like a Type-408 ECU or a Power400 control unit, so that its output is now around 480 HP.

A racing six-speed sequential gearbox was added, sending power to the rear wheels. Race teams will also be able to enjoy things like ABS or central-locking wheels, and for those of you planning to race in hot environments, air conditioning is an optional extra.

BMW will be offering the Z4 GT3 for €298,000 (around $407,000), and you’ll be able to race it, as the name implies, in all GT3-spec competitions.

Read More: “BMW Z4 GT3 presents its track-ready self”

Suzuki is quite proud of its new Kizashi sedan, which is currently being launched or is already available in many countries.

That’s why it wants to get some of its main attributes across. In order to achieve this, two very interesting ads were just released by the Japanese company.

One tackles the preconception that only rich guys can afford quality sedans and the other tackles a daily annoyance when driving in the winter: killer snow men. I’m sure most of you encountered this problem time and time again, but thanks to the new Kizashi with AWD, you’ll escape their wicked wooden arms much easier.

Don’t believe me? Hit the jump and enjoy these new ads for the Suzuki Kizashi.
Read More: “Videos: Suzuki unveils two new ads for its Kizashi sedan”

In order to improve its public perception, Toyota announced that it will receive key input and feedback from a new independent group, the North American Quality Advisory Panel, which is led by former US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater.

“I am pleased that Secretary Slater has accepted our invitation to lead the distinguished group of safety and quality experts who will help Toyota to improve its quality controls in North America,” said Yoshi Inaba, President and Chief Operating Officer of TMA. “We are committed to more transparency regarding our safety and quality controls, and the independent advisors will have our full cooperation and access to any information they believe they need.”

The mission of the Quality Advisory Panel will be to evaluate the findings of Toyota’s own internal investigations, and will have direct access to the head honcho of the Japanese company, Akio Toyoda. One the primary goals will be to evaluate the electronic throttle control system (ECTS-i), used in Toyota and Lexus models.

With new reports indicating that already recalled and fixed Toyota models might still suffer from unintended acceleration problems, this move might be one in the right direction for the Japanese company.

Read More: “Toyota to receive input from independent North American Quality Advisory Panel”

Mercedes-Benz is reducing emissions across its lineup and wants to become a cleaner carmaker. From this process not even the venerable G Class off-road model, now celebrating 31 years of existence, has escaped.

The German company has announced the introduction of the G 350 BlueTec model, with reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide (Nox). This is due to the AdBlue solution used by the car, consisting of “an aqueous urea solution which is injected into the exhaust-gas stream.” This process then releases ammonia, converting the nitrogen oxides in water and pure nitrogen, both harmless to the environment.

In order to further help the use of AdBlue, a special filler cap was mounted besides the traditional diesel one, allowing for an easy fill (one full tank of the solution lasts around 12,000 km).

With the new technology, the G 350 BlueTec version sees the V6 diesel develop 210 HP and 540 Nm, but with a 50% drop in NOx emissions. The off road abilities, according to Mercedes-Benz, will be even greater than before.

Read More: “Mercedes-Benz G 350 BlueTec model revealed”