Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 125

The Audi e-Tron concept is quite impressive all alone, previewing a very powerful all-electric model. But more impressive were the torque figures the company announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show where it unveiled the concept: a whopping 3,319.03 lb-ft (4,500 Nm).

Seeing as how even the newest supercars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG achieve just 738 lb-ft, quite a few eyebrows were raised. After a bit of detective work, it seems that the torque rating was measured at the wheel, and not at the drive shaft, as is the industry standard. It then seemed that the actual figure was around 252 lb-ft.

Now, it seems that Audi released a statement in which it clarifies the use of the huge number and reveals a “classic” torque rating for its model. It seems that 3,319 was used in order to truly convey the acceleration of the e-Tron, as the four electric motors made the torque available right from 0 rpm. But in case you want to actually know the rating, it seems that the four motors put out a combined 501.5 lb-ft, more than enough to throw you in your seat every time you touch the gas pedal.

Read More: “Audi now says its e-Tron concept generates 501.5 lb-ft of torque”

Great news for all the professional racing teams, as BMW has just announced that it will be releasing a special edition of its Z4 roadster, dubbed GT3, specifically targeted at racing competitions.

What does this new model have that recommends it for such a goal? Why the massive 4.0-liter V8 engine from the M3, which can pump out around 480 HP, and, up until now, wasn’t even believed to fit into the smaller body of the Z4. The most powerful edition of the Z4 up until now was the sDrive35is model, which was recently unveiled and is pictured above.

Teams which are interested in the new track car will find a wide array of systems which were already tested on the BMW M3 GT2 racing car, as well as a full set of customizations in compliance with competitions like the FIA GT3 or many 24-hour endurance racing championships.

The price for such a model? A “measly” €298,000 (around $427,000). But while this prohibitive price does mean it is aimed at professional racing teams, this doesn’t stop fans of dreaming about a special, road-legal Z4 GTS edition, as the Bavarian company did release such a thing for the M3 model.

Read More: “BMW announced Z4 GT3 track car with M3 V8 engine”

It seems Santa Claus has made one Swedish carmaker happy this holiday season, as Ford and Geely held a joint press conference and announced that a deal for Volvo has been reached, with the Chinese corporation, the largest privately owned carmaker in the Asian country, buying the company for an undisclosed amount from Ford.

While the final paperwork is set to be signed in the first quarter of 2010, the two companies have revealed that there are no more hurdles to jump through, and assured everyone that the deal will take place as soon as legally possible, preventing anyone from thinking of what happened to the negotiations between GM and Koenigsegg for another Swedish brand, Saab.

Geely might pay around $2 billion for Volvo, but no official word has been given. The sale, according to a Ford spokesman, “would ensure Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise.”

This is definitely great news for Volvo, which will continue its research in safety systems, but also for Geely which will access technology from both Volvo and Ford. What do you believe? Is it for the best? Share your thoughts below.

Read More: “Ford and Geely announce that a deal for Volvo has been reached”

Seriously, Honda needs to be more careful with its sales brochures, not that we mind, as these new, much clearer pics showcase the highly anticipated CR-Z hybrid hatchback coupe, which is set to appear next year on almost all worldwide markets.

Not only does the exterior of the production model get previewed by these new scans, but also the interior, which was all but a mystery until now. It’s quite futuristic, but not as over the top as the concepts released up until now revealed. The last pre-production model will be presented at the Detroit Auto Show, and after that manufacturing will officially start.

For those of you who don’t know, the new CR-Z will be powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine developing 112 HP and 107 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a 12 HP and 57 lb-ft electric motor. While its expected performance won’t blow anyone away, it will still be pretty good for a hybrid. With the possibility of a Mugen-tuned edition, or special versions like a Type-R, things might get even better for eco-conscious power enthusiasts.

Read More: “Clearer leaked images of Honda CR-Z hybrid come from new brochure”

We reported some time ago about the high possibility that the next generation Nissan GT-R (that’s R36) will be a hybrid, as its hungry gasoline engine will be mated to an electric motor which will boost the fuel efficiency.

Now, the guys at InsideLine have reportedly dug up a few new tidbits of information. It seems that the 160 HP electric motor, showcased on the Infiniti Essence concept in Geneva, will be used together with the current 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, which is available on the R35 GT-R.

It is also expected that Nissan engineers will throw in every weight saving tip they used on the current SpecV edition of the GT-R in order to balance the weight of the hybrid drivetrain. You should also know that this saved weight will come at a higher price than the current model, with rumors placing it over the $100,000 mark.

Either way, a hybrid version of Nissan’s fabulous GT-R, with around 600 combined HP and a fuel efficiency of 25 to 30 mpg on the highway is quite attractive. What do you think? Drop a comment with your view on the possible hybrid Godzilla.

Read More: “Future hybrid Nissan GT-R to borrow technology from Infiniti Essence concept”

Many Toyota fans were quite eager to see the new FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show this year, as it heralded the return of the Japanese automaker onto the rear-wheel drive coupe market which saw cars like the Celica, Supra or the famous Corolla AE86 coming from Toyota many years ago.

Further proof that Japanese carmaker is betting big on the upcoming model, developed in partnership with Subaru, is a new report which states that the company will release a special edition of the FT-86, only for track use. This special edition, coming around 2011 with the standard one, will be much cheaper, around $22,000, as opposed to the speculated base price of the regular coupe of $27,000.

According to British magazine EVO, this track-oriented model should see performance brakes and suspension as well as increased performance from the Subaru four-cylinder boxer engine, which powers it. No other details were given, but given tradition its former RWD coupe models had, the FT-86 will most certainly handle great in drifting competitions.

Read More: “Toyota to release cheaper, track-oriented version of the FT-86”

After hearing from Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo about his reported talk with seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, in which he revealed that there is a very high possibility of coming back to the motorsport which made him famous, new reports indicate that he has already signed with the new Mercedes F1 team.

Reports coming from German newspaper the Bild are revealing that he former champion has indeed signed with Mercedes, and will be the teammate of compatriot Nico Rosberg for the 2010 season. If it turns out to be true, it will be a major win for the Mercedes’ new team, formerly known as Brawn GP.

This means that the 2010 season of Formula 1 will be one heck of a ride, and Schumacher won’t be greeted with welcome arms by young guns like Lewis Hamilton or the current F1 champ, Jenson Button. Stay tuned for more official details as they arrive.

Read More: “Michael Schumacher reportedly signs with Mercedes for Formula 1 comeback”

After many years of seeing only a handful of manufacturers enter cars in its competition, the WRC (World Rally Championship), is now experiencing quite a boom of popularity, with rumors indicating that carmakers like Mini are preparing to get involved.

Another company has also admitted interest, with Volkswagen‘s motorsport boss, Kris Nissen, revealing that he has an interest in the rally competition, but there is a lot of work to be done if the company will go ahead and enter it. This confirms older rumors about the German company entering a Scirocco model into the WRC, but Nissen was quick to point out that other models, like the Golf or the Polo, also have rally potential.

“If we decided to go with the WRC, my view is that we would need at least a year and a half to prepare,” said Nissen. “So we would be looking at coming in for 2012 and in order to do that then we have to decide by March. We’ve spoken to the FIA and the existing manufacturers and we have a clear idea of the costs. The World Rally Championship appeals to Volkswagen on many levels but it could still be better. We would like to see more manufacturers and a maximum of 12 events, with a return to how it used to be, with the high-profile rallies like Monte Carlo. I think that what we want is what the existing manufacturers want as well. But it is a question of making it happen – and that is down to the FIA and promoters.”

So if Volkswagen will indeed join the WRC, it wants to bring a revolution with it. Although it is host to a fierce competition between Ford and Citroen, I believe that the rally championship needs new cars to provide some added thrills and attract new viewers. What do you believe? Should WRC change to embrace new manufacturers or should it just stay the same?

Read More: “Volkswagen admits it is interested in WRC”

While everyone is preparing for the winter holidays, Cadillac is getting ready for the 2010 edition of the Detroit Auto Show, which will start in January, next year. As such, the company has unveiled two surprises it will bring at the famous show: a production-ready version of the CTS-V Coupe and a brand new concept.

While everyone already expected the recently unveiled CTS Coupe to receive the high performance CTS-V edition next year, nobody expected new concept car from Cadillac. Rumors are already flying around, in regards to this new model, some saying that it will foreshadow the ATS lineup from the American brand which will take on rivals like the BMW 3 Series or the Audi A4, but some people are also speculating that it will be something completely new from Caddy.

Until the Detroit show starts, we can only take a glimpse at the CTS-like headlight the company attached to the press release, teasing the new concept.

Read More: “Cadillac will unveil new concept plus production CTS-V Coupe at Detroit Auto Show”

Many called the upcoming Aston Martin One-77 excessive, flamboyant and highly exclusive. But according to Aston, they won’t be able to say it’s slow, as during company tests on a dry track but with heavy wind, the coupe model achieved 220 mph (around 354 km/h).

The model, which will see all of its 77 models go on sale this summer, has beaten the Vanquish, which achieved 200 mph. As such, it seems that the exclusive model, which will cost around £1.2 million (around €1.3 mil or $1.9 mil), is definitely going to offer some excitement to all of its 77 owners.

2010 will definitely be a busy year for the UK company, as not only will it market the One-77 coupe, but also the Rapide sedan and the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet city car.

Read More: “Aston Martin One-77 reaches over 220 mph (354 km/h), will be fastest Aston ever”

Saab fans might have reasons to get excited once more, as Spyker, one of the remaining companies still interested in General Motors‘ Swedish brand has revealed that it has extended its new purchase offer, which was forwarded to GM after it announced that it will close down the brand, is valid until further notice.

What does this mean? Spyker is quite confident in Saab and wants to prove to GM that it will take care of the brand. The company also revealed that it had some talks with GM but a decision hasn’t been made.

Don’t forget that GM said a few weeks ago that a Saab deal is possible until the end of the year. Will the holidays catch Saab workers happy? Only time and an official GM statement will tell.

Read More: “Spyker extends its offer for Saab “until further notice”, GM still hasn’t said a word”

The Lexus LFA supercar has generated a huge amount of popularity ever since it was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in its native Japan. The V10 model was immediately a winner in the hearts of Lexus fans everywhere, and in the wallets of a lucky few.

In order to further promote the new supercar, which will enter production at the end of 2010, Lexus has released a new ad, highlighting the emotions the new supercar can get from its driver. That, plus some wicked powerslides with a V10 soundtrack around Nurburgring. Hit the jump to see the ad.
Read More: “Lexus unveils first ad for the LFA supercar”

BMW hosted quite a big launch at the end of November when it premiered the new 5 Series sedan. Available powered units were different flavors of gasoline and diesel, but according to new rumors, a hybrid model, bearing the company’s ActiveHybrid badge, might appear soon enough.

While many expect to see such a thing in Detroit, it isn’t confirmed that even the regular 5 Series will appear at January’s Detroit Auto Show, let alone the hybrid version. Rumors are pegging a proof-of-concept model to be unveiled to the world at the Geneva Motor Show, in March, 2010.

A mild hybrid setup, like the one on the 7 Series is expected to debut on the 5, as the full hybrid technology, which appeared on the X6, is much too heavy and costs more to manufacture and implement.

Bear in mind that this is still in rumor stage, and while a hybrid will definitely appear further down the road for the new BMW 5 Series, a concrete timetable isn’t available.

Read More: “BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Series might appear in Geneva”

General Motors has given an early Christmas present to the US and Canadian governments, as it has begun paying back the large sums of money it received from the two entities.

The US government has received $1 billion, while the Canadian one “just” $192 million. The company also highlighted the fact that it wants to pay back all of the money it owes as early as June, 2010, which is definitely optimistic, to say the least.

The US government still owns around 60% of GM, but will soon organize a stock offering, where it hopes to get rid of those stocks. Perhaps this is the first step towards the revival of the giant carmaker, but given the economy is still shaky, to say the least, nothing is certain.

Read More: “GM begins to pay back loans, will be finished by June, 2010”

Fiat isn’t taking the slow road to revamping Chrysler‘s image, as new reports indicate that the company is preparing to unveil a Lancia-based concept bearing the US company’s badge at the Detroit Auto Show, which begins in January, 2010.

The model is set to paint the picture of Chrysler’s future, as Lancia models, like the Delta, are set to be modified and rebadged in order to be sold as Chrysler vehicles in other markets, including the US and even Lancia’s native Europe. As such, the model will score big points for both Fiat and Chrysler at the Detroit Auto Show.

After the reveal, the concept will be rushed into production, as the two companies hope to get it on the market as soon as possible, in order to generate a much needed boost in sales. Nothing else is know, meaning we’ll have to wait a few more weeks until the doors open at the Detroit Auto Show. Until then, share your thoughts about this new strategy or branding Lancia models as Chryslers. Will it work?

Read More: “Chrysler to unveil Lancia-based concept in Detroit”