• Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d’Este

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    1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS at Villa d'Este 2012

    BMW may be the sponsor of this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, but it was Alfa Romeo that cleaned up when the awards were handed out over the weekend. Top honors went to a pristine 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS with coachwork by Figoni. The Series XI coupe that could easily be mistaken for a Bugatti of the same era was initially shown at the Paris Auto Salon in 1933 and has gone on to appear at numerous concours around the world. At Villa d'Este, it won not only the Best of Show awards - both those selected by the jury and voted on by the public - but also the prestigious Coppa d'Oro (Gold Cup).

    The classic 6C wasn't the only Alfa to take top honors on Italy's Lake Como, however, as the 4C concept - first shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and again at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year - won in the concept car category. The public voted it the finest prototype displayed at the concours this year, overshadowing the Aston Martin AM 310 concept and BMW's own Zagato Coupe, both of which were new debuts at the lakeside exposition. Check out the high-resolution images from the show in the gallery above and the pair of press releases below.

    Continue reading Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d'Este

    Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d'Este originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video]

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    GrabCAD 500 Group Supercar Body Challenge street winner

    Often, engineers are forced to sit and watch as accountants and stylists wreak havoc on a vehicle's design. GrabCAD recently decided to turn the tables by giving engineers the chance to pen a body for a ready-made chassis by 500 Group. The site was flooded with 200 unique designs completed in just 40 days. The top quarter of those went on for final judging in two categories: street and track. 500 Group will then actually produce one or more of the designs through a General Motors Special Projects agreement.

    The chassis makes use of a number of GM Performance parts, and is set up to make use of the E-Rod LS3, LS7 or supercharged LS9 V8 engines. One skinless chassis has already been completed for testing.

    Each concept body has plenty of renderings as well as full description. Be sure to check out the full press release below, as well as a video of the chassis on track. Then, head over to the GrabCAD site for a deeper dive.

    Continue reading What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video]

    What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 May 2012 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Panoz wants to race fields of DeltaWings in American Le Mans Series

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    Nissan DeltaWing

    In pretty much any racing series you go to, the cars tend to progress in an evolutionary, not revolutionary fashion. This year's crop of Formula One cars, for example, may have those ungainly stepped noses, but they otherwise look pretty much the same as last year's cars, which looked mostly the same as the cars the year before and the year before that, and so on and so forth. The same could be generally said of Indy, Le Mans prototypes...even stock cars. The DeltaWing project, however, is another story altogether.

    Designed and developed by an alliance of some of the biggest names in racing and recently backed by Nissan, the DeltaWing represents a comprehensive rethink of what form a race car can and should take. The idea was originally fielded as a proposal for the new IndyCar chassis, but that series' organizers went once again for something much more conventional. So the brain trust behind the project adapted it for endurance racing and are taking it to Le Mans this year.

    But surely they didn't put all that work into it just to race it once - outside the classifications as a demonstration only - did they? Not if Don Panoz has anything to say about it. One of the partners in the DeltaWing project and the father of the racing car manufacturer that bears his name, Panoz hopes to find a way to race the DeltaWing in the American Le Mans Series which he essentially founded.

    A way to equalize its performance with either the LMP1 or LMP2 classes would need to be found with the IMSA and the FIA, but considering how it was adapted from an IndyCar proposal to a Le Mans racer, the platform seems pretty flexible. But Panoz doesn't want to race just one. Sure, a solitary entry in the full ALMS calendar would be a great start, but Panoz reportedly envisions assembling a quantity of DeltaWings at his factory in Georgia that has over the years built cars for Indy, Champ Cars, Superleague Formula and of course Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series.

    Just how many remains to be seen, but with powerhouses like Panoz, Nissan, Highcroft, Chip Ganassi and Dan Gurney on board, we would be very surprised if the DeltaWing ran just the once.

    Panoz wants to race fields of DeltaWings in American Le Mans Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 May 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • New Car Deals – Which Car Should You Own in 2012?

    The question I always ask myself. What will I be driving next? I found a list of the top 12 cars that you should consider for 2012. Personally, I like the Jeep!

     

    2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

    While we’ve heard reports that the SRT (or SRT8, depending on whom you trust) will get as much as 500 hp from its new 6.4-liter Hemi V8, we’re at least certain that the SRT is actually coming, and likely to arrive late this summer. If it’s anything like the already deeply impressive Grand, the SRT8 is going to be both refined and scary fast, with a predicted eight-speed transmission and at a price (roughly $45,000) that deeply undercuts the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and other performance crossovers.

    2012 Hyundai Veloster

    Hyundai is pulling a very neat trick with its Veloster. It’s a slightly larger car inside than the Scion tC (and Mini Clubman or Honda CR-Z hybrid). Yet thanks to a very low 2,600-pound curb weight—400 pounds less than the tC— it’s said to get up to 40 mpg from its directly injected, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. That would best Honda’s CR-Z numbers without necessity of hybrid technology, and with the benefit of a bigger cabin. One oddity: Access to the interior is a bit quirky, with one door on the driver’s side, but both front and rear doors on the passenger side. Remember that weight? Fewer doors allow a carmaker to reduce structural reinforcements, and that keeps down bulk. And a low weight allows an increase in fun factor—indeed, Hyundai is promising greater sportiness than its rivals. Can the Veloster “out-fun” a Mini? Hmm, we’re not sure, but Hyundai is promising a tighter turning circle than even a base Mini Cooper and a sophisticated, buttoned-down-sounding suspension. Transmissions include Hyundai’s first dual-clutch six speed (hopefully with paddles) or a six-speed manual. Pricing should be in the $20,000 range.

    2012 Toyota/Subaru FT-86 Sports Car

    The joint-project sports car from Toyota and Subaru is now getting far enough along to report at least the following, even though we’re certain much will change. The car is said to be very light, and to use at least two versions of Subaru’s flat, 2.0-liter four, with output purported to be around 200 hp in the RWD Toyota model and 250 hp in the Subaru version. Toyota’s edition bows first, reportedly late this year, and not as a Toyota, but as a Scion, with the name FR-S. The Subie, if it comes to these shores, won’t arrive until mid-2012 at the soonest. Pricing for the SubaScion is expected to be in the mid-$20K range.

    2012 ZL1 Camaro

    A hot Camaro is coming and will be powered by the Cadillac CTS-V’s 6.2-liter V8 with roughly 550 hp. Given how the Camaro SS with a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out a mere 426 hp can already clock a 0-to-60-mph sprint in less than 5 seconds, the ZL1 is going to be scary fast. This Camaro will go toe-to-toe with Ford’s Shelby GT500—and BMW M3 and Porsche 911 owners should watch their rearviews too. Price? We’d guess between $42,000 and $48,000.

    2013 Ford Focus ST

    The new Focus is at last debuting in the U.S., with a 2.0-liter, direct-injected, 160-hp motor and variable valve timing, as well as a five-speed manual. But, the car to wait for is the 2013 Focus ST, which debuts in early 2012. It gets a six-speed manual with the same EcoBoost (turbocharged) 2.0-liter as the much larger Edge and Explorer and will be good for somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 hp, which puts it in league with hot hatches like the MazdaSpeed3 and beyond the output of the VW GTI. Ford is also promising a tauter suspension and meatier tires as well as bigger brakes to go with all that horsepower. Expect to pay at least $25,000.

     

    Read more: Best New Cars for 2012 – 12 Cool Cars Worth Waiting For – Popular Mechanics

     


  • The New Ford Focus

    I have never really been a fan of the Ford Focus, that is until now. I am on the hunt for a new car and have never considered this one before. I have been hearing nothing but great things about it. I decided to do a little research about this car and here are some quick facts about the car. There are tons of images, videos and information on Fords website.


    Automatic 28 / 38 (city/hwy)
    SFE Pkg 28 / 40 (city/hwy)

    Starting at $16,500

    Comes in numerous colors

    And there is so much more that Ford has to offer with this car.


  • Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV

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    This past June I spent an excellent day hanging out with Joey Ruiter, driving and discussing his Reboot Buggy project. Before heading home, I let him know that he was more than welcome to keep me abreast of whichever new automotive project he'd get into. You can never have too many car designers and one-off fabricators in your Rolodex, right?

    Ruiter recently made good with the follow-up, emailing me with details on this Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed Concept that pushes a lot of hot buttons for the muscle car and off-roading enthusiasts.

    This all-terrain Mopar is a lot more than a Challenger body dropped on a truck chassis, too. A materialized version of the A/T would included a completely new, long-travel suspension, skid plates, body armor and rock sliders, and obviously flared fenders to help accommodate a hellacious set of off-road-ready tires. The dramatically revised underpinnings would be topped with a slick graphics package and a killer lower light bar, all making the A/T look quite cohesive in its own, radical way. And the result would be a car no longer limited to mere road-driving.

    I asked Ruiter if his concept was rocking a theoretical Hellcat V8 under the hood, and while he agreed that the supercharged engine would make the A/T "the most insane ride ever," he thinks a tuned V6 would make more sense from a weight standpoint. Ruiter also told me that he "wanted the passion given to the Hellcat to be pushed into more areas."

    That's a sentiment a lot of you should be on board with, considering how many "Hellcat Grand Cherokee NOW!!!!" comments I read, every time we run a new HC piece.

    Which is important to know, because, while the package isn't ready yet, Ruiter really would like to offer something like the Challenger A/T for real customers. He's working to develop a kit that could A/T-ize Challengers, Mustangs and Camaros. We're all for it.

    Do you think the Challenger A/T Untamed should transition from concept to reality? Have your say below, in Comments.

    Continue reading Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV

    Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Chevy’s hardcore Niva concept ready for Moscow adventure

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    Chevy Niva Concept

    A couple of weeks ago, Chevrolet released a pair of shadowy teaser images previewing a new Niva. And now, with its live reveal at the Moscow Motor Show looming over the next snow-capped mountain, the Bowtie brand has taken the wraps off the new concept.

    Though details are scarce at the moment - the press release below (presented in the original Russian and in translated form) deals more with the European debut of the new Tahoe, but it's clear from the 35 images that the new Niva concept is meant more for driving off the road than on it. It's compact but packs all manner of off-road equipment like knobby BF Goodrich tires, a winch, snorkel, underbody cladding, tow hooks, integrated lamp guards, auxiliary lighting and a big roof rack. Underneath and behind all that equipment, however, we're looking at a fairly handsome shape with a familiar Chevy front end and a rear section that seems to borrow heavily from Mercedes-Benz.

    Though the Niva (not to be confused with the Chevy Nova) is historically known as a Lada product, General Motors has been building its own version through a joint venture with the Russian parent company since 1998. This concept ostensibly previews its replacement.

    Continue reading Chevy's hardcore Niva concept ready for Moscow adventure

    Chevy's hardcore Niva concept ready for Moscow adventure originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Ford GT designer Camilo Pardo wins Motor City Masters

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    Camilo Pardo wins Motor City Masters

    Motor City Masters pulled off its concept of Project Runway for cars rather well. In the end, the TruTV reality series came down to former Ford designer Camilo Pardo and multi-disciplined designer Bryan Thompson, but Pardo was always kind of the show's ringer as the person instrumental in the gorgeous shape of the Ford GT. In addition to the title of Motor City Master, he won the grand prize of $100,000 and a 2014 Camaro Z/28.

    If you missed it, Motor City Masters challenged 10 designers and fabricators to come up with a concept around a different theme each week. The contestants were judged by former Mercedes-Benz designer Harald Belker and Jean Jennings, recent editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine, plus a celebrity guest. Their final task spread over the last episodes was to first create a clay model of a next-generation Camaro SS, then mock up a full-size version of it.

    You can still watch all of the episodes streaming on TruTV's website, and we suspect it'll be in rerun status on the cable network, too. Or if you just want a taste of what the show was like, check out our included show clip.

    Continue reading Ford GT designer Camilo Pardo wins Motor City Masters

    Ford GT designer Camilo Pardo wins Motor City Masters originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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