Last week, the US House approved a $14 billion emergency aid for General Motors and Chrysler, the two Detroit companies who are facing serious financial problems. However, yesterday, the Senate rejected the bill, leaving the two giants very close to a collapse. While Ford only asked for a $9 billion “standby” line of credit in case the crisis gets worse, GM said it needs $4 billion in December and $4 billion in January in order to survive, and Chrysler needs $7 billion to make it through March 31.
Of course, there’s a lot of contreversy around this bailout, and while we heard a lot of people saying that the Big Three don’t deserve this aid if they weren’t able to cover their costs, but these people are forgetting is that there are millions of employees who will get affected by an eventual collapse of these companies. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. said after the talks collapsed. “It’s not going to be a pleasant sight. This is going to be a very bad Christmas for many people.”
However, all hope is not lost for the Detroit giants, because auto lobbyists said that the Bush administration may seek to tie funding of automakers to winning approval from Congress to spend the next $350 billion (the $700 billion bailout was split into two $350 billion rounds of funding).
The 2009 North American International Auto Show will mark the debut of the Subaru Legacy Concept, a vehicle which has two purposes: one is to celebrate 20 years since the Legacy was introduced for the first time and second is to preview the Japanese carmaker’s next generation midsize sedan, which is scheduled to debut in early 2010. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the show to get more details on the car, because all we have so far is this teaser photo (looks good, though) and some rumors that a new 3.6-liter flat-6 engine will power the car. But stay tuned, because we’ll let you know once we find out more about the car.
After last week we saw two leaked photos of the new BMW Z4, this weekend, the German carmaker officially unveiled their new sports car. When it will go on sale, the new Z4 will be available with three engines, an entry level 2.5 liter developing 204hp (152 kW) and 250Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque, a 3.0 liter (258hp (192 kW) 3-liter engine with 210Nm (228 lb-ft) of torque) and a top of the line 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged unit that delivers 306hp (228 kW) and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque and takes the Z4 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds.
A premiere for the Z Series is the use of a new retractable hard-top, which opens and closes in 20 seconds. Of course, this means that the car is heavier, but to deal with that, BMW has fitted the Z4 with an Adaptive M Suspension system (ride height can be raised/lowered by 10 mm with three configurations available), plus the Drive Dynamic Control function, available for the first time on the Z4.
The new BMW Z4 will make its world debut at next month’s Detroit Motor Show, when BMW will also probably announced the dates when the car will go on sale.
Check out more photos and a video after the jump. Read More: “The new BMW Z4 officially unveiled”
We would’ve figured that enthusiasts sites are usually a good resource for companies and deserve to be treated with respect and, who knows, maybe even ask them for an opinion from time to time. But apparently Ford doesn’t think so, because, recently, several enthusiasts sites recieved letters from Howard, Phillips and Andersen legal firm requiring the relinquishment of all Ford trademarks including domain names, banners, signs and merchandise. But that’s not all, because they also demand a $5,000 restitution payment by December 19th. In case the site owners refuse to do what Ford asks, they risk a $100,000 lawsuit. Oh boy, Ford really must need money if they started taking it from the people who love them. The official reason Ford gave was the the unofficial use of their trademarked names are damaging. Yeah, right!
Some of the website that got these letters are Mustang Evolution and Michigan Mustang. Read More: “Ford threatens enthusiasts sites with $100,000 lawsuit”
We saw the new Ford Focus RS concept live at the Paris Motor Show and yesterday Ford has unveiled the production ready version, which was already available for orders in the UK, with the first deliveries expected in March. Priced under £25,000, the new RS will be powered by an upgraded version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine from the Focus ST, which will develop 296 hp and take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and up to an electronically limited speed of 155 mph (over 160 without the limiter).
The RS will be fitted with an Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential, developed by British engineering specialist Quaife and with Ford’s new RevoKnuckle suspension. Other performance upgrades include a new stability control, lowered ride height and bigger brakes, while a very aggressive bodykit (available in Performance Blue, Frozen White and the awesome Ultimate Green paint finish) completes the package.
Photo Gallery: The new Ford Focus RS
It looks like Santa Claus came earlier this year for Michael Schumacher and he was very generous with the former F1 driver. Actually, it wasn’t Santa, but Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who’s a big fan of the German and bought him a $7 million island located in The World archipelago. Though it’s located somewhere in the Antarctic area, Schumi won’t have to worry about the temperature, because the Dubai weather is pretty hot. We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely not getting an island for Christmas, so Schumi must be one lucky man.
Though the new 2010 Mercedes Benz E Class was scheduled to be unveiled in January, the German carmaker forgot that the internet is one of the most powerful mediums and thanks to the guys from Autoscoops.eu we’ve got the first official photos of the car, one month before the official unveiling (which might happen sooner now). The first thing we notice is the heavy influence from the F700 design study, unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt show and from the Concept FASCINATION, unveiled a couple of months ago, in Paris. Unlike its direct competitors, the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A8, which have sporty and power written all over, the E Class has always been about style and class, and you must admit, the new one has plenty of those. The only flaw we spot is the rear part, with those tail lights that remind us of the Citroen C5.
There was no official press release so far, but we expect the new E to be larger, longer and wider than the current generation, which means more space and comfort for the passengers. Under the bonnet, the new luxury sedan will probably be powered by new versions of Mercedes’ current engine line-up, like the 200, 220, 250 and 300 CDI diesels, the 350 BlueTec, of course, and a range of petrol engine, including a top-of-the-line AMG powerplant developing around 600 hp. As you’d expect from a Mercedes, especially in this class, the car will be stuffed with all sorts of technologies, including Night Vision, blind spot and lane departure warning, plus a new set of safety features, like the new impact absorbing bonnet that pops up 5cm and protects to cyclists or pedestrians at low speed collisions, plus a new system that reacts when potential collisions occur.
As we said earlier, Mercedes planned on announcing the car in January, with the world debut scheduled for March, at the Geneva Motor Show. Along with the new generation, new versions of the E Class will debut: an E-based coupe (Geneva) and a cabriolet (next year’s Frankfurt show).
One more photo is available after the jump. Read More: “2010 Mercedes Benz E Class official photos leaked”
Who says policemen can’t also have fun while working? Especially the ones from the South Yorkshire Police department in the UK, who have just received three brand new, Police spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Not to mention that the department also had Evo VIII and Evo X in their garage. The new cars will be used in the Road Crime Unit in cases invloving drugs and car theft. Inspector Slack said: “The Evo X was the car of choice because of its excellent pursuit capabilities and the fact that so much time and effort has been put into maximizing performance whilst minimising the risk of accidents”.
Photo Gallery: Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Police cars
It looks like the Volkswagen Group really wants to take all the high performance coupe market, because yesterday the Audi R8 V10 was officially revealed. Powered by the 5.2 liter V10 engine from the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, which delivers 386 kW (525 hp) and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque, the R8 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 316 km/h (196 mph). Audi claims that, equipped with the R tronic sequential gearbox, the car achieves an average fuel consumption of 13.7 liters per 100 km (17.17 US mpg), which is not bad at all, considering its performance figures. However, as standard, the car comes equipped with a six speed manual transmission and, of course, quattro all-wheel drive system.
As you’d expect, the R8 V10 will come with a set of extra features comparing to the ‘regular’ R8: 19 inch exclusive 10-spoke Y design alloy wheels, all-LED headlights as standard, plus a few styling elements (more accentuated sideblades, wider side sills and matt aluminium look for the exhaust grilles). Also, the standard equipment list is very impressive: Fine Nappa leather heatable seat covers, a driver information system, navigation system and Bang & Olufsen sound system, deluxe automatic air conditioning, alarm system, instruments and gearshift knob decorated with red rings, while the footrests and the rocker switches of the R tronic have an aluminum finish. To see all the R8 V10′s features, check out the official press release.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro is scheduled to go on sale in Germany in the second quarter of 2009 at a starting price of 142,400 Euros.
Photo Gallery: Audi R8 V10
The matte black paint finish always gives a car a mysterious appearance and what more could you wish for when your car’s called ‘Phantom’. We have no idea who this special Rolls belongs to or where it’s located (yeah, we know, Middle East was our first choice too, but judging by the photos, it doesn’t look this way) (Update: As Dan pointed out, it looks like it’s in Venice, California). Anyways, this car really looks like a ghost: matte black finish, blacked out wheels, even the Spirit of Ecstasy got blacked out too. The black theme is applied to interior too, only this time it’s a glossy piano finish, that somehow contrasts the ‘ghostly’ exterior. You have to admit, the Rolls is pretty cool, in a very morbid way.
Photo Gallery: Rolls Royce Phantom in matte black
Check out a video too, after the jump. Read More: “Rolls Royce Phantom in matte black finish”
Last week, the new Honda Accord made its official debut in Japan and only a few days later, Honda specialist Mugen already presented the first details regarding the upcoming package for the car, both sedan and wagon versions. The Accord Mugen will a full new bodykit, with new front and rear spoilers, ‘aero’ bumpers, side sills and a huge rear wing, plus four alloy wheel designs available in 18 and 19 inches size. Performance upgrades include a new sport suspension kit, high-performance brake pads and rotors, plus a new sport exhaust system. No word wether the 2.4 liter engine or the 5-speed automatic transmission received any upgrades.
Photo Gallery: New Honda Accord by Mugen
General Motors has announced that the Chevrolet Aveo5 will get a new customization program for the Middle East. The Aveo is not the most beatiful car around and while this program brings something new, we’re not sure we like it (one thing’s for sure, our eyes hurt from looking at that interior). And we also understand offering these kind of programs for more expensive cars (especially with money not being a problem in that part of the world), but for the Aveo? Why would you do that?
Customers will be able to order new front bumper kits, side skirts, rear wings, spoilers, hood and roof scoops, new alloy wheels, decals or customized paint job. Karen Toor, Marketing Manager of Chevrolet in the Middle East said: “We understand some people might want to build on that wonderful package, and there are several options for them to choose from while doing so.”
Photo Gallery: Chevrolet Aveo program for the Middle East
The recent depression had a devastating impact on the three automotive giants in Detroit. In order to keep operating, they’ve requested a $34 billion emergency bailout from the US Government. However, the White House and Congressional Democrats agreed on giving them a $15 billion short-term emergency loan, congressional aides said late Friday. It seems that these loan will be given from a special $25 billion program that was initially intended to help the three companies develop more energy efficient technologies, and not from the $700 billion bailout. As you’d expect, the three giants are not really satisifed with this: while Ford is currently doing ok and doesn’t any urgent money (will ask for up to $9 billion only in case the crisis gets worse), GM needs $18 billion ($4 billion of which by the end of the year) and Chrysler needs $4 billion to make it until March.
To solve a part of their problems, the Big Three decided to ask for help from the Canadian government. GM asked for a $2.8 billion financial help (with $800 million urgently needed by the end of the year), Chrysler wants $1.6 billion as soon as January 1, while Ford is in the same situation, needs $2 billion, which will only be used in case the crisis worsens.
The three Detroit based companies and both United States and Canada are in a very delicate situation, because an eventual collapse of any of these three will mean that tens of thousands of employees (from the companies, dealers, suppliers…) will be left unemployed.
Last week we showed you a photo of the new BMW Z4 caught in a BMW showroom somewhere and now, thanks to our good friends from BMW Blog, we’ve got another goodie for all the car’s fans. This official brochure was leaked and we can get a look at the car’s rear (though it’s a scan, the quality is pretty good). Hmm, that makes us reconsider a little our previous position, because the car looks very good here. Some influence from the 6 Series, but that’s very promising, we must admit.
Source: BMW Blog
Some might say that’s a stupid thing to do, but what’s the point in getting an 860 hp supercar like the Ferrari FXX Evo if you can’t have some fun with it? Enjoy the video and let us know what do you think about this!
***Ferrari FXX Evo 860hp Supercar DONUTS!!***