Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 165

Do you feel that? That’s the taste of irony. General Motors, one of the biggest car makers in the world, has officially announced, through the voice of its CEO, Fritz Henderson, that an American symbol of capitalism and over-indulgence, Hummer, will be sold to none other than Chinese corporation Sichuan Tengzhong, a leading company in the communist country.

The announcement was made at the end of last week, but we were sort of waiting for Henderson to pop out with a party hat and say it was all a joke. But it isn’t a joke, as Sichuan Tengzhong will purchase the american brand and all of its intellectual property through an investment entity in which it will hold 80% of the stock, with the other 20$ going to a private investor from Hong Kong, Soulang Duoji.

“Hummer is a strong global niche brand and this agreement signifies another important milestone in writing the next chapter for both GM and Hummer,” said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO in a statement. “For Hummer, the combination of its knowledgeable leadership team, vehicle design expertise and the capital financing of Tengzhong portend a successful future.”

It is rumored, but unconfirmed, that the whole deal cost the Chinese conglomerate about $150 million, and it covers both all of the license rights to manufacture the models in the Hummer range but also the right to keep on using the GM plants to make the models up until 2011.

“This transaction marks an exciting step for both Tengzhong and Hummer, as we invest in a business that has significant opportunity in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Yang Yi, chief executive officer of Tengzhong. “We are excited about some of the initiatives already underway at Hummer that we believe our investment will be able to accelerate, particularly related to the creation of the next generation of more fuel-efficient vehicles to meet not only future regulations but also customer expectations.”

Well, what do you think about this rather shocking turn of events for the American brand? Is this new Chinese ownership for the best of Hummer or will you just wait and see what plans the new bosses have for the brand? Don’t be shy to drop a comment below.

Read More: “It’s official: GM is selling Hummer to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong”

The Audi Q7 has slowly become a very popular SUV among the people who like to do a bit of off roading to their winter cabin but who also want to show off in the city. The new facelifted model has become even more attractive to this type of customers.

That is why the German tuning house B&B has unleashed multiple stage tuning kits for all of the engines available for the new Q7. It has also collaborated with the Belgian firm Caractere to produce some more unique body kits.

Let’s start with the entry-level 3-liter TDI engine, which received a three stage performance kit. The first stage will make the motor generate 280 HP with a torque of 585 Nm. The second, will take its output to 300 HP and a 600 Nm torque, while the stage three kit will offer 325 HP and a torque of 640 Nm.

For customers who opted for the 4.2-liter TDI, the tuning house released a two-stage kit. The first one will output 375 HP with a torque 850 Nm, while the second will take the engine to 400 HP and deliver a torque rating of 900 Nm. The first is pegged at €1,698 while the second will cost €4,950.

Last but most definitely not least, the 6-liter V12 engine will receive another two-stage tuning kit, with the first one costing €2,498 and the second, coming in at a pricier €7,950, which will both take the output to 595 HP with a torque of 1,270 Nm.

Read More: “B&B tackle the new Audi Q7 Facelift with multiple performance tuning kits”

Castrol is definitely promoting its engine oil line with the best of the best, as it has just launched a new ad starring acclaimed football (soccer) player Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays at Real Madrid in Spain. The Portuguese player promotes Castrol Edge with one of the best cars out there, the BMW M3.

Enjoy the ad below, and hit the jump to see a “making of” video, in which you can see how this impressive ad was made.

Read More: “New Castrol ad stars Cristiano Ronaldo and a BMW M3, video plus making of included”

Even though the model was spied multiple times and we even saw a parking lot filled with such cars, the convertible version of the Chevrolet Camaro will appear in 2011, according to General Motors’ CEO, Fritz Henderson, which recently went on a Q&A session for the company blog.

Among the issues tackled, the Chevrolet Camaro was one of the most important ones, as participant asked: “Been patiently waiting for Camaro Convertible. Best guesses are 2012 model in 1st quarter of 2011. With surging popularity of this model is there any chance of GM considering a push for earlier release?” Henderson quickly replied: “Good guess and no.”

So even though people are making their voices heard in terms of a convertible Camaro, the company is sticking with its plans and will wait some time until they unleash the model on the market. Don’t forget though that you can visit SEMA, where there are offers on customizing the Camaro by fitting a folding top on it. Until 2011, your hair will be staying where it is while driving the muscle car from Chevrolet.

Read More: “GM says Convertible Chevrolet Camaro will appear in 2011”

While the title may seem a bit confusing, bear with me. Many people are familiar with Head Up Displays, especially if you like to play video games. These things reveal any valuable information right on your screen. BMW implemented this sort of technology in its 5 Series models, which displayed different information like the speed of the car.

But the engineers at the Bavarian company aren’t resting on their laurels, and have announced that they will introduce in the future 5 Series and other models from the manufacturer a new version of this display. Dubbed “Head Up High“, it will display many other types of information besides speed, like navigation pointers, the speed limit on that current road and other such things.

It will do this in three dimensions, with the driver being able to select which details to be displayed at the front, he will also be able to perform other tasks such as switching radio stations while looking at his windshield. As another innovation, the new display will use a lot of colors, instead of the monochrome one, in the old system.

This system has already been tested with the Mini Crossover Concept and confidence is the project is quite high. Do you believe it will be a viable way of offering information to the driver without diverting his attention from the road? Drop a comment below.

Read More: “BMW working on “Head Up High” multi-color 3D HUD windshield display”

Yes, you read right, combining all of the great aspects of a drive-through like staying in your car and not moving an inch with the culture of a museum, the Chinese will start building a drive-through museum dedicated to, what else, cars.

After you recovered from the shock, let’s set a few facts straight now. The museum will be built in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in the east of China which is known for its car copy… pardon, making industry located there. Its designed is signed by Francesco Gatti, an Italian designer which won the competition held by the local government of the province, which will be taking care of half of the construction cost.

Inspired by origami designs and reflecting the Eastern philosophy, the museum will be host to some sharp angles and ledges on which various cars will be fastened to. People will be able to cruise with their cars the sides of the building, reaching the top where they can park and visit its center. Its designer and the Chinese government is marketing the building as a car safari, minus the weapons and the sand of the African savanna.

“You visit the first external ramp of the museum with your own private car, like a safari, you park your car on the roof and visit by foot the internal ramp going down,” said Francesco Gatti. “The building could seem to appear as an urban car exhibitor, with its corners and angles filled with tempting shining exposed automobiles.”

The 15,000 square meter museum was set to be finished at the end of this year, but the economic recession pushed back its completion date. Either way, you really have to hand it to this Italian-Chinese project, it certainly got me interested. What do you think? Don’t be shy to drop a comment below.

Read More: “The first drive-through car museum to appear in China”

When you talk about car safety, Volvo is one of the first things that pops into the mind of any car enthusiast out there. The Swedish company has made a name for itself by implementing and pioneering a lot of safety technologies into its various models.

For the upcoming 2010 S60, which is already under testing in Sweden, the company has prepared something truly innovative: a pedestrian detection system. It will consist of a camera which recognizes the objects and persons in front of the car and in case the current trajectory and speed will have a collision as a result, it will warn the driver. All fine and dandy, but if the driver won’t react, the system will automatically apply the brakes and stop the car at speeds under 25 km/h, and at speeds over this amount, to minimize the effects of the collision.

Overall, a very interesting system which might bring a big change to the car industry. Watch the video below and share your thoughts by leaving a comment

In case you’re not usually traveling by car, there’s a chance that you use your city’s subway system, or at least meet some escalators on your trip. Volkswagen, out of all companies, has observed this type of behavior, as people are becoming more and more lazy, and choose the escalator instead of the normal stairs.

In order to make the stairs more attractive, the company decided to implement its new Fun Theory strategy, and made climbing stairs a truly interesting experience. How did it manage to do that? The company put piano keys on each step, connecting it to a speaker at the entrance in a Stockholm subway station. The result? A lot of people began using the stairs in order to prove their creative sides. Enjoy the video below.

Read More: “Volkswagen showcases its “Fun Theory” strategy by making people climb stairs”

Mazda’s entry in the crossover market, the CX-7 has just received a facelift which operates not only a few visual changes, but also brings the first diesel engine to the motor range, addressing a big issue for the Japanese model.

This new 2.2-liter MZR-CD engine will be able to output 173 HP with a torque of 400 Nm available straight from the 2000 rpm mark. This new motor will not only cater to the diesel fans but also to the more eco-conscious ones, as it will average at about 7.5 liter/100 km (31.3 mpg) and output just 199 CO2 g/km, in compliance with the Euro 5 pollution norm. This doesn’t meant that the diesel will be lazy, as it can take the crossover from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a respectable 11.3 seconds, and topping out at 200 km/h (124 mph).

On the outside, the overall design line stay pretty much the same, with a redrawn front spoiler, more chromed accessories and a more pronounced grille changing the car’s “face”. The rear however, is host to a new spoiler as well as a set of new lamps, which go with the three new colors that the Japanese company is offering to clients: Aluminum Metallic, Stormy Blue Mica and Sparkling Black Mica.

Overall, the new Mazda CX-7 crossover is definitely looking pretty good. What do you think? Share your thoughts in a comment to this article.

Read More: “New Mazda CX-7 facelift brings efficient new diesel engine plus visual revamp”

For those of you in the market for a small and efficient city car, you will be thrilled to hear that Volkswagen revealed that its new Up! model will begin production in the first half of 2011, and will be appearing on the European market, under both the VW and the Skoda and Seat brands in the second half of 2011.

The model is set to begin production at the Bratislava plant of the German company. VW will invest until then about €308 million, in order to satisfy all of the demands it is hoping to get. No word yet on an electric version of the Up!, one which has been highly rumored especially after the reveal of the E-Up! concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

Are you excited about the Up! or are your views concerned with other small city cars? Leave us a comment with your choices.

Read More: “Volkswagen Up! to appear on the market in second half of 2011”

With many people getting tired of big heavy cars, a lot of them are turning their heads to smaller, city cars, which can also deliver a bit of an adrenaline rush when needed. For quite some time, BMW’s Mini brand has represented one of the best answers to such a search.

But with the German automaker planning to begin production on the recently unveiled Mini Coupe and Mini Roadster concepts, which were presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it seems that they will not be built in the traditional Oxford plant in the UK. With a weak pound sterling and troublesome manufacturing costs, its seems that BMW wants to build the new models exclusively at its Regensburg plant, which currently handles the production of the 1 Series and 3 Series models.

It is believed that the plant will be upgraded by the German automaker and both it and the Oxford one will be working at full capacity in order to anticipate the big number of orders that the Mini is experiencing these days. Would you like your Mini to be built in Germany or does the UK-made charm brings a smile to your face? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.

Read More: “BMW says future Mini models will be made in Germany”

Thing’s aren’t looking very good for Audi, as according to the Automotive News, the bad dollar-euro currency conversion rate has made the German automaker perform quite poorly in the United States. In order to get things on the right track, the company seems to have abandoned plans to release its A1 city car or the convertible edition of the A3.

It seems that the company will offer something which will cater more to the average American client, and besides the already announced 5-door A3 with a 2-liter diesel engine, it will bring a new crossover, the Q3 model, and a sedan based on the A3.

Besides these new releases, the German car maker is presumably preparing an electric A2 for the US market, which will run on batteries, and a revamped A8, set for the end of 2010, alongside the new A7, which will appear a short time after it.

Read More: “Audi to bring A3 sedan and electric A2 in the US”

Going green is all the hype these days, as many automakers and companies which employ a big fleet of cars are trying to get their green reputation high in order to become more popular. The latest institution to follow this new trend? Why the UK Police department, which has seemingly flooded Mitsubishi for requests to test its i-Miev electric car as a city patrol vehicle.

That’s right, the Police will soon be cracking down on crime in a cities across the UK in the peculiar i-Miev. The electric car, which has an autonomy of 100 miles and a top speed of 81 mph (130 kmh/), is powered by a 47kW / 64HP motor, which develops around 180 Nm (132 lb-ft) of torque.

Already revealed last month in “police uniform” the i-Miev has generated some big demands with various Police departments across the UK. The first boys in blue to get their hands on the vehicle will be the ones in the West Midlands, which will put the car on the road around December.

With any luck, perhaps we’ll see some blazing chases in the UK with cops using the i-Miev to catch the criminals. What do you think about this new initiative for the Police? Don’t be shy to drop a comment.

Read More: “UK Police to receive the Mitsubishi i-Miev as an electric patrol car”

The Ferrari 458 Italia is the newest model from the Italian supercar maker which will replace the extremely popular F430 and take performance and style to a whole new level for the people who are rich enough to own one.

But before the launch of the car, which happened at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Italian company put it through its paces, which included besides endurance testing, a lot of crash tests, in order to ensure that the passengers will escape with the least amount of injuries.

The result of these tests? Images, took by the guys from WreckedExotics, that will make plenty of Ferrari fans shed a tear. Multiple Italias lay under wrap after being subjected to some serious punishment. Some of them were involved in front and rear collisions while some of them got into side crashes.

Read More: “Supercar horror: Ferrari 458 Italia models after crash tests”

Lexus will finally put an end to all of the rumors, speculations and talk lately surrounding its presumed LF-A supercar, as it has just unveiled that it will premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show, alongside its LF-Ch premium hatchback a “revolutionary two-seater supercar”.

But besides these few sentences, the Japanese company, subsidiary of Toyota didn’t offer any other details, telling press members and fans all around the world to wait until the end of the month when the Tokyo Motor Show will start. Until then, we can only fantasize about what characteristics the new supercar will have.

Source: CarScoop