Vlad Balan – 30/131 – rpmGo.com

Mazda has announced today that they’ve reached an agreement with Ford, according to which the Japanese company, together with its partners, will buy more than half of Ford’s stake in Mazda. Ford’s ownership will be reduced from 33.4 percent to just over 13 percent, but the two giants announced that their 30 years partnership will continue. Considering Mazda’s stock trading price, the deal is estimated at around $200 million. It’s not much, but going through some rough times, Ford needs all the money it can get, just like GM, who announced a couple of days ago the sell of their stake in Suzuki.

“This agreement allows Ford to raise capital that will help fund our product-led transformation, and at the same time, allows Ford and Mazda to continue our successful strategic relationship in the best interest of both companies,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.

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Post tags: Tags: Ford, Mazda


Today, at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, Ford has unveiled the four-door sedan version of the new Fiesta. The car, which will be built at the Ford plant in Nanjing, will be available to the Chinese market in the first quarter of 2009, and starting with 2010 it will be available to the rest of Asia and North America. What’s interesting is that the Fiesta sedan won’t be available in Europe, which is a little weird, considering it would probably sell pretty good there.

“We set out to design a truly exciting, desirable small car that exceeds all expectations. Today, we are keeping our promise that was made with the Verve Concept notchback last year,” said Chelsia Lau, chief designer of China/ASEAN Programs, Ford Motor Company. “The all-new Fiesta sedan is sleek and contemporary. The interpretation of kinetic design on the four-door body has given the Fiesta sedan an independent identity while retaining the emotional appeal of its five-door sibling.”

Check out more photos of the Ford Fiesta Sedan after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: china, Ford, ford fiesta sedan, ford-fiesta


Finally, some good news for GM. The new sedan from Opel won this year’s European Car of the Year award, but it was a close one, the Insignia beating the Ford Fiesta by only 1 point (321 points, comparing to Fiesta’s 320 points). Out of the seven finalists, the Insignia received 20 first place votes out of 59 compared to 19 received by the Fiesta. This is the first time an Opel car wins this award, but it has been runner-up four times, for example, in 2007, the new Corsa losing by just 2 points to the Ford S-Max. This year’s podium was completed by Volkswagen’s new Golf VI. And here are all the seven finalists and their scores:

1. Opel/ Vauxhall Insignia – 321 points 2. Ford Fiesta – 320 points 3. Volkswagen Golf VI – 223 points 4. Citroen C5 – 198 points 5. Alfa Romeo MiTo – 148 points 6. Skoda Superb – 144 points

7. Renault Megane – 121 points

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Post tags: Tags: european-car-of-the-year, Ford, ford-fiesta, Opel, opel-insignia, Volkswagen, volkswagen-golf


Well, after a lot of teasing, here it is, the 2010 Mustang, Ford’ competitor against the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, which received a redesign for the exterior, new interior and some performance upgrades. “The new Mustang marks new levels of both power and refinement,” said Paul Randle, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve designed and engineered this to be the next classic Mustang that everyone talks about for years and years.” Everytime a new car shows up, everyone judges it first by its looks, so let’s see what’s new for the 2010 Mustang. It features a more aggressive grille, new headlamps and turn indicators, redesigned powerdome hood, new front rear fenders, sculptured wheel flares, new rear end design with new tail lamps (features three LED bulbs firing sequentially from the inside for turn indication), new angled corners, sculpted decklid and a large rear badge.

Under the hood, the starting point for the new Mustang was the Bullitt, including the 4.6 liter V8 which has been upgraded to 315 hp. The new Mustang will be offered with bigger wheel-and-tire combinations, ranging from 17 to 19 inches. Beside that, the Mustang will come with AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control (ESC), all-speed traction control and ABS system, dual stage front driver and passenger air bags, front seat-mounted side air bags plus Ford’s Personal Safety System.

The interior has also received a redesign, featuring new one-piece instrument panel design crafted in soft-touch TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) with aluminum-finish panels, chromed-ringed gauges and dual-vane air register vents, the seats and arm rests have softer materials, plus a new center stack design that adds the latest version of Ford SYNC.

So, the question everyone is asking now…what’s the best new American muscle car, the Mustang, the Camaro or the Challenger? We have yet to drive any of these, but we’ve seen them and it’s going to be a very interesting competition between these three. So, what’s your favorite?

Photo Gallery: 2010 Ford Mustang

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Post tags: Tags: Ford, ford-mustang


German tuner Edo Competition has announced a new tuning program for the Porsche Cayenne GTS, which offers more power and an improved aerodynamics kit for the German SUV. By fitting the car with new high-flow catalytic converters, performance air filter inserts and new ECU calibration, Edo managed to take the engine up to 450 hp (331 kW) and a maximum torque of 530 Nm (391 ft-lb) at 3,800 rpm. This means the Cayenne GTS goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.4 seconds an up to a top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph).

Other mechanical upgrades include a new brake system with huge six-piston fixed mono-block calipers, new sport suspension system adjustable in height, compression and rebound damping (14 settings). The bodu kit includes a new hood featuring power domes and a new lower front skirt with 4 fog lights and mesh inserts, plus 22 inch forged wheels with stainless steel outer rims (can also be ordered custom painted).

Check out more photos after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: edo-competition, Porsche, porsche cayenne gts, porsche-cayenne, Tuning


This special MINI you see pictured here is the creation of Ken and Annie Burkitt of Ontario, Canada who covered the small British car with 1 million Swarovski crystals depicting 10 American symbols like the Statue of Liberty, White House, Mount Rushmore, the American flag or the Hollywood sign. Named American Icon, the shining MINI is on display at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum at Piccadilly Circus in London. So, a British car decorated by Canadian artists with Swiss jewels depicting American symbols…talking about globalization.

Photo Gallery: MINI Cooper covered in Swarovski crystals

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Post tags: Tags: luxury, Mini, mini-cooper, swarovski


A few hours ago, GM has announced that they’ve decided to sell their remaining stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. This probably comes as an effort to raise additional funds, after a couple of weeks ago the Detroit giant, which is going through its worst financial crisis ever, announced that it might have no funds left by next summer. GM plans to sell 16,413,000 Suzuki shares, which is equal to 3 percent of Suzuki’s shares, for around $230 million. GM was involved in Suzuki for the first time in 1981, when it purchased 5.3 percent of the Japanese carmakers’ shares. In 2001, GM was owning sligthly over 20 percent, before selling 17.4 percent in 2006.

According to both parties, this doesn’t mean the business relationship between the companies won’t go on: “We highly value our strategic relationship with Suzuki,” said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer. “Despite the sale of our remaining Suzuki shares, this action will have no impact on our existing bilateral business relationships. We look forward to continue building on our success to date with our long-term partner.”

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Post tags: Tags: General Motors, gm, Suzuki


German tuner Hamann released a set of photos showing new sets of wheels for the Maserati GranTurismo and for the new BMW 7 Series. But don’t imagine that Hamann got lazy and has only been on working on these wheels, because they actually preview the tuning programs for both vehicles. The Maserati is fitted with new 21 inch EDITION RACE wheels (FA 9.0Jx21 with tyres 245/30ZR21 and RA 12.5Jx21 with tyres 345/45ZR21), while the BMW, though not the most good looking car around, looks pretty good with the black wheels. Enjoy the photos!

Photo Gallery: Maserati GranTurismo Hamann wheels

Photo Gallery: New BMW 7 Series Hamann wheels

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Post tags: Tags: BMW, bmw 7 series, hamann, Maserati, maserati-granturismo, Tuning


Miami developer Michael Samuel and Lamborghini Miami owner, Brett David reached an agreement which will give a free $260,000 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to everyone who buys one of the South of Fifth luxury residences. That sounds pretty good, huh? However, there’s only one minor setback: each of the seven condos available (out of 28) costs between $6-8 million. That’s about 30 Lambos. It’s true, for this money you get two penthouses with private roof top pools, two two-story beach house villas with four bedrooms and maids quarters, and three four bedroom beachfront units with maid’s quarters. But still, why would anyone who pays $8 million be more atracted to the project because of a Lamborghini?

“There is simply no other development like South of Fifth,” says Michael Samuel, principle of Samuel & Co., “and no other vehicle like Lamborghini. Melding the two is the ideal live/drive marriage for a very discriminating consumer. Our main goal with the South of Fifth project has been to ensure an unprecedented level of luxury within all aspects of the residences [..] Teaming with Lamborghini Miami furthers that special lifestyle.”

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Post tags: Tags: Lamborghini, lamborghini gallardo spyder, lamborghini-gallardo, luxury, miami, real estate


To mark Karl Abarth’s centenary, Fiat has announced a limited edition of the Abarth 500, the “DA 0 A 100″. With 101 units scheduled to be built, the special edition is powered by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers 160 bhp (118 kW) at 5750 rpm, and peak torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm. By modifying the gear ratios and adding an IHI RHF3 fixed geometry turboblower, the car goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 211 km/h (131 mph). Other mechanical upgrades include perforated disc brakes, high performance front brake pads, special air filter “powered by BMC”, special low springs and new 17″ alloy wheels with chrome-plated hub covers and Scorpion logo.

The “DA 0 A 100″ comes in a Nuvolari Grey paint finish, with Abarth stripe on the sides and tone-on-tone effect, plus chrome plated badges on the pillar and wing mirror cases. On the interior, the car received hide colored leather seats with silver stichting, aluminium for the gear lever knob, the kick plate branded “da 0 a 100″ and the special “da 0 a 100″ plate with the number of the car. Check out one more photo of the car after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: abarth, Fiat, fiat-500, fiat-500-abarth, Tuning


The Detroit Motor Show, which will open its doors on January 11, is the United States largest motor show and is visited by houndreds of thousand visitors every year. However, it look like for some carmakers, having a stand here is not an option anymore, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Suzuki announcing they’ve withdrawn from the 2009 show.

“It’s a purely economic decision,” said Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland, adding that “this is no reflection on the people of Detroit or on the city.” Suzuki, whose US sales declined 12% so far this year (around 100,000 units sold) decided to cut costs and give up on a Detroit show stand, instead, the Japanese carmaker said it will hold a small dinner for reporters before the show. The other carmakers also said money was the most important reason behind their decisions, especially with them not having any new cars to show.

So, after last week we told you about GM canceling any press events for the LA Auto Show, now this, it looks like the motor shows will suffer in the future, and carmakers that won’t having anything really important to show will probably decide to withdraw from motor show and spend their money elsewhere.

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Post tags: Tags: detroit motor show, Ferrari, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Suzuki


Wow, that’s something interesting. Though actually we were wondering when will the first tuning programs for electric cars show up. And it looks like German tuner Brabus, specialized in programs for Mercedes cars is among the first ones to announce a tuning program for the Tesla Roadster. No power upgrades here, only a series of styling upgrades. These include a “space sound generator” that makes the Tesla sound as if powered by a mighty V8, race car engine or “Beam” and “Warp” futuristic sounds. Brabus has also fitted the car with LED running lamps, underbody neon lighting, a rear wing, new wheels (18 inch on the front and 19 at the rear), plus a matte white paint finish. The outcome depends a lot on each person’s tastes, but all in all we think it’s a decent upgrade and it shows that electric cars are ready to go mainstream. Of course, that doesn’t mean Tesla is ready, because they have a lot of problems on their hands now, not to mention that there haven’t been many Roadsters available so far.

Photo Gallery: Tesla Roadster tuning by Brabus

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Post tags: Tags: brabus, Tesla, tesla-roadster, Tuning


The Nissan Qahqai was a huge success and it looks like Peugeot is working on a new crossover that will compete the Japanese. Codenamed T84, the new crossover will be based on the Prologue concept and will most likely get the 3008 name. According to Auto Express, the two-wheel-drive 3008 will go on sale next year, followed by an AWD version in 2011. While, at its debut, the 3008 will be available with a range of diesel and petrol engines, it seems that the 2011 model will have a hybrid powertrain, delivering 197 hp and 109g/km of CO2 emissions. More details will be available next year, closer to launch date, but rumors say that the car will have a starting price £1,000 (around $1,500) higher than the equivalent 308 hatchback.

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Post tags: Tags: crossover, Nissan, nissan-qashqai, Peugeot, peugeot 3008, peugeot prologue


At the SEMA Show in Vegas, ROUSH presented the P-51B Mustang, their second aviation-themed Mustang, after the P-51ATM debuted last year. To be built in a limited run of 51 units, the P-51B is powered by a 4.6 liter V8 delivering 510 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. Among the upgrades the car received, there are forged aluminum pistons, forged steel H-Beam connecting rods and a forged steel crankshaft, upgraded high-capacity fuel delivery system and custom-calibration for the ECM. ROUSH has also fitted the P-51B Mustang with ROUSH Stage 3TM suspension, 6-piston brakes and new black chrome wheels with Cooper RS3 ultra-high performance tires.

For the exterior, ROUSH decided to go with the Ford factory Vapor paint, accented with Olive Drab green badging to match the World War II motif, and a rear decklid black-out panel. The P-51BTM logo decorates the shifter ball, floor mats and is embroidered into the leather seating. “The 2009 ROUSH® P-51BTM is really the closest thing we can do to truly match the performance and styling of the fighter plane, ” said Jack Roush. “Just like the airplane, the P-51BTM Mustang has the power to outrun most anything, can turn like virtually nothing else, and will make those other ‘pilots’ have second thoughts before engaging in a skirmish.”

The 2009 ROUSH P-51B Mustang will be available next year at Ford dealers, will come with 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and will have a strating price tag of $65,800 including destination fees and gas taxes. Check out more photos after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: Ford, ford-mustang, roush, sema show, Tuning


Yesterday, the final results for the Japanese Car of the Year were announced and, surprisingly or not, the Toyota iQ is the big winner. The mini car from Toyota managed to take home the award after polling more then 300 than the second place, who went to the Citroen C5. The Nissan GT-R joined them on the podium, taking the third place. For this competition, 65 jurors had 25 votes to give to five vehicles, each juror giving 10 votes to his/her top-rated car before giving the remaining 15 votes to the next four vehicles. The iQ managed to get 10 points from 39 of the jurors. Other awards that were given were for Most Advanced Technology, which went to the GT-R, for Most Fun car (Subaru Exiga) and Best Value (Honda Freed). And here’s the top 10 (the last two were considered a tie) cars nominated and the points they scored.

1. Toyota iQ – 526 points 2. Citroen C5 – 223 points 3. Nissan GT-R – 201 points 4. Audi A4/A4 Avant – 180 points 5. Jaguar XF – 115 points 6. Daihatsu tanto – 100 points 7. Fiat 500 – 90 points 8. Honda Freed – 62 points 9. Mazda Atenza – 60 points 10. The Suzuki Wagon R / Wagon R STINGRAY – 37 points

11. Subaru Exiga – 31 points

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Post tags: Tags: car-of-the-year, Citroen, citroen c5, japan, Nissan, nissan-gt-r, Toyota, toyota iq