Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 204

At the Ferrari California‘s official launch in Sicily, the Italian carmaker also announced the car’s pricing for the United Kingdom. Getting your hands on Ferrari’s new amazing coupe-cabriolet will set you back £143,000. Is too expensive, is it too cheap? What do you think? But remember that, for that money, customers will get a 4.3 liter V8 that delivers 460 hp through the rear wheels and 357lb ft of torque and which is mated to a 7-speed double-clutch transmission. However, let’s assume you’ve got the money for it, there’s one small problem, the car’s sold out until 2011, so you’ll have to wait a while until you get your hands on it.

Photo Gallery: 2009 Ferrari California

Read More: “Ferrari California UK pricing announced”

The Subaru Forester won this year’s MotorTrend’s Sport/Utility Of The Year and we really think the car deserves the the award. This summer we had the chance to test drive the car, and we were really impressed with its performance, especially on offroad. On normal roads and in the city, we weren’t very impressed with it, but then again, we had the 150 hp 2.0 petrol engine, while MotorTrend had the chance to see it at work with the more powerful 230 hp 2.5 XT engine.

And here’s how MotorTrend justified their pick: “It takes only a few miles to begin to appreciate the Forester’s many virtues. It does everything most SUV buyers need-with more off-road capability than they’ll likely use-yet remains friendly and carlike in its character. In many ways, the Forester represents the new SUV paradigm; it’s the right vehicle for the times.”

Read More: “MotorTrend picks Subaru Forester as the Sport/Utility Of The Year”

Japanese tuning company ASI has a record of very flashy and impressive tuning programs for Bentleys. We saw their versions of the GT Speed and the Continental GTC and now it’s the Continental GT’s turn to meet the ASI engineers and designers. And we really don’t know what to write about first, the ‘Pimp my ride’ style body kit or the 800 hp engine.

The TETSU GTR (that’s what they call it) will be on display at this year’s SEMA and it was designed by artist Tetsuei Nakamura, who also worked on luxury hotels, for example. The exterior has received an ultra wide body kit finished in two-tone carbon fiber and Fujiyama matte white color, 22 inch black forged wheels and LED lights, while the interior fetures car seats and floor mats fashioned in the Nishijin weaving legacy. Like we said, the engine now delivers 800 hp, thanks to the enlarged turbo turbines, ECU upgrade, new exhaust system and improved cooling methods.

To be honest, there’s not much we can say about the car, we’re kinda speachless, so we’re gonna let the pictures do the talking.

Photo Gallery: Bentley Continental GT tuning by ASI

Read More: “Bentley Continental GT ‘TETSU GTR’ tuning by ASI”

It turns out that being a highway patrol officer is not the safest job in the world. We’ve seen a lot of videos where cops get shot at, insulted and God knows what other stuff. This video shows an officer which, while pulling over a truck, proves to have some amazing reflexes and jump a out of the way a driver that lost control of his car. Pretty amazing stuff!

Read More: “Video: Speeding driver almost kills police officer”

The Opel Insignia isn’t even available yet and Opel’s tuning partner, Irmscher, has already announced their goodies for the new sedan. The package will include a restyled body kit, with a honeycomb grille, front spoiler, side skirts, deck lid spoiler, rear diffuser and quad-tips exhaust system. 20 inch wheels available in several designs complete the package, which will be available from the beginning of Insignia sales. More details will be available at Opel dealerships.

Check out one more photo after the jump. Read More: “Opel Insignia gets Irmscher treatment”

GM spokesman Tony Sapienza announced that, due to slowing demand, GM was forced to lay off 1,500 hourly workers from three of its plants that build pickup trucks, large cars and a two-seat roadster. There were 700 workers laid off at a Pontiac, Michigan, assembly plant, and 400 each at plants in Hamtramck, Michigan, and Wilmington, Delaware. All workers received the bad news in late September. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we weren’t expecting, because the entire auto industry is hurting, plus that GM is on of the companies that suffers the most, with a $15.5 billion net loss in the second quarter and a lot of rumors about them heading for bankruptcy.

Read More: “Slowing demand forces GM to let 1,500 workers go”

Don’t know what’s happening, but we’ve seen quite a few tuning programs for Porsches lately. First it was Vorsteiner, then Roock, and now it’s DKR, which announced a pretty impressive package for the Porsche 911 Turbo. For €5,529 (around $7,400), you get an upgraded ECU software, a new sports exhaust system, 19 inch Cargraphic RS allow wheels, a new front lip spoiler and larger rear wings. With this mods, DKR managed to squeeze 540 bhp (402kW) and 775 Nm of torque from the 3.6-litre twin-turbo boxer engine. The red and black color scheme complete this package, which we have to admit, sounds pretty good (if you have the money for the Porsche, of course).

Photo Gallery: Porsche 911 Turbo tuning by DKR

Read More: “Porsche 911 Turbo tuning by DKR”

Since we started Auto Unleashed, we’ve seen a lot of crazy and weird tuning programs and accessories for cars, and this Hummer H3 with 32 inch wagon wheels is definitely one of the strangest. I mean, I know Hummer is going through some rough times right now, but can’t afford to put some decent wheels on the car? We’re kidding, of course. However, fortunately, we’ll never get to see this on the streets, because it’s a ‘work of art’ by Matthew Harrison, that will be on display at the Zoo Art Fair, between October 17 and 20, in Old Burlington Road, London. Thought the artist describes the car as a “mixture of art, engineering and motoring,” we can’t stop wondering about the engineering and motoring part…I mean, this thing actually works?!

Photo Gallery: Hummer H3 with wagon wheels

Read More: “Hummer H3 with the strangest wheels we’ve ever seen”

Yesterday, a few photos that revealed the 2010 Toyota Prius were leaked on the net. However, there was a lot of suspicion around these photos and no one knew whether these are for real or just some great Photoshop skills. But today the mistery is over, because Toyota made an official statement admitting that this really is the next generation of their popular hybrid. Beside confirming the photos, Toyota didn’t unveil anything else about the car, except that it will make its world debut at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, in January.

Many of you will have seen by now photographs on sites like PriusChat, Jalopnik and AutoblogGreen of a vehicle said to be the new Prius. We thought we’d take a moment to confirm that the car shown in these unauthorized photos – at least the ones we’ve seen so far – is indeed the new Prius. Sorry, we’re not able to provide details. Those will be forthcoming when the car is formally introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. What we can tell you, however, is this: This new Prius will retain all of the virtues of the model that precedes it. It’s about the same size as its forebear, but with more interior room and better fuel economy. But you expected nothing less, right?

Photo Gallery: 2010 Toyota Prius leaked photos

Read More: “2010 Toyota Prius photos leak, Toyota confirms they’re for real”

When you think about £1.2 million (more than $2 million), you’d say that’s a huge amount of money to pay for a car, right? Especially with the recent economic situation. But there are some people that wouldn’t agree with that. About 100 of them. Because that’s how many orders Aston Martin has received for their ultra exclusive One-77, of which only 77 units will be created. There’s aren’t many details about the Aston Martin One-77, who has just sent the Veyron to the second place in a top of the world’s most expensive cars, except that the car will be powered by a 7.2 liter V12 engine and will top over 200 mph. The car was only partially unveiled at the recent Paris Motor Show, Aston Martin reps saying that the first people to see the whole car will be the ones that placed their orders and paid the £200,000 ($343,000) deposit. If everything goes according to Aston Martin’s plans, the first units will be delivered in the autumn of 2009.

Photo Gallery: Aston Martin One-77 at the Paris Motor Show

Read More: “Ultra exclusive Aston Martin One-77 already sold out”

Luc Costermans, a 48 year Belgian, was blinded in an accident four years ago, however this hasn’t stopped him from achieving an impressive performance. He recently broke the world blind road speed record, on an airstrip near Marseille, France, by driving up to 192 mph (308.78 km/h) in a Lamborghini Gallardo. Until Luc, the record was held by Mike Newman, from the UK, who was clocked 166 mph (268 km/h) three years ago, in a BMW M5 and who already announced that he plans on breaking Luc’s record, in a Keating TKR.

Mr. Costermans, who was helped by his co-pilot, Guillaume Roman, dedicated this achievemnt to F1 driver Philippe Streiff, who has been a tetraplegic since 1989, when he suffered a severe accident in a Grand Prix in Brazil. This isn’t the Belgian’s first performance of this kind, two years ago he completed a tour of France piloting a light aeroplane, accompanied by an instructor and a navigator. It’s always a pleasure to see that handicapped people, often outcasts in our society, manage to overcome themselves and achieve great things, like Luc did. Big congrats to him! And here’s a video of his new world record.

Read More: “Blind Belgian goes 192 mph, breaks world record”

It looks like we’re gonna have a lot of Challengers at this year’s SEMA Show. Earlier we wrote about the Super Challenger, the SRT10 Concept and the Targa, and now here’s the Dodge Challenger Blacktop. Developed by the guys from Mopar Underground, the Blacktop is a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Mopar added custom spoilers and front brow, plus a black-on-black racing stripe paint scheme. Mechanical upgrades include Mopar coil-over suspension and strut tower brace, a cat back dual-exhaust and cold air intake, plus massive Factory Reproductions 22 inch Dodge Viper wheels. The interior also received some treatment, with Katzkin leather seating finished in bright red plus a Mopar Kicker audio system.

Read More: “Dodge Challenger Blacktop headed for SEMA”

Looks like they’re dropping like flies all over the world: first Hong Kong, then Malaysia, Isle of Man and the United States and now again the US. We have no idea why this Nissan GT-R looks like this or what happened at the auction that took place yesterday, but one thing’s for sure. This brand new GT-R (349 miles on the odometer) is almost destroyed and it was available at an auction yard in Nashville. The vehicle cost 87,000 and damage is estimated at around $55,000, so don’t think this is going to be a bargain for the auction winner. If you ask me, there are two reasons why someone would pay for a totalled GT-R: either you didn’t get the chance to place your order for a new one, either you’re having some evil thoughts regarding that lovely 480 hp engine, which looks ok.

Photo Gallery: Wrecked Nissan GT-R for sale

Read More: “Crashed Nissan GT-R for sale”

The Audi A3 Sportback is everything but an agressive car. However, German tuner JMS took care of that with the “Racelook Exclusive” tuning package for the A3. The kit includes a full body kit, with a new front spoiler with cutouts for air intakes screened with silver or black alloy mesh, new rear roof spoiler and apron and new side skirts. The car is lowered by 55 mm at the front and 45 mm at the rear with the help of a coil-over suspension kit. The ultra aggressive look is completed by 19 inch eta-beta tettsut wheels in black with stainless steel inlays. The pricing for the full kit is 5700 Euros (around $7,700) and you can get more info about it on the JMS website.

Check out one more photo after the jump. Read More: “Audi A3 Sportback gets JMS treatment”

If you’re thinking this is some kind of convertible Challenger, you’re completely wrong. The Dodge Challenger Targa is the competition car that raced and completed the Targa Newfoundland race this year. Called “Samantha”, the car was initially a Challenger with a Mopar drag race package, which then recieved a set of upgrades, like a Mopar chin spoiler “Splats”, Mopar gauges, Mopar hood with a scoop to make room for the large engine, KW race suspension and upgraded brakes from the Viper ACR. The car also borrowed its snakeskin paint from the Viper. Unde the hood, the rear-wheel-drive Targa is powered by a 392 HEMI V8 Mopar engine that delivers 540 hp and 490 lb. ft. of torque, mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox.

Overall, cool Challenger, looks like there will be plenty of them at this year’s SEMA. Here are more photos of the Targa.

Photo Gallery: Dodge Challenger Targa at the SEMA Show

Read More: “Dodge Challenger Targa to debut at the SEMA Show”