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Camaro ZL1 Delayed

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“Nearly two weeks ago, we reported news of a “quality assessment” issue with the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that was holding up deliveries and further production. We checked in with Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran today to get some clarification on where things stand with the 580-horsepower coupe after being alerted by a reader that forum members with the car on order are growing increasingly frustrated with the delay and not having a clear status update on the fate of their vehicles.

General Motors is declining to say what the nature of the problem is, but Doran says the automaker is confident they are close to a fix that will enable deliveries “in the weeks, not months.”

Doran estimates that GM has built “a couple of hundred” 2012 ZL1 models, but only one was delivered to a customer, and that example was handed over due to a dealer error and subsequently reclaimed pending the update. Any ZL1s that were delivered to dealers are back at Chevrolet’s Oshawa, Ontario plant awaiting the unspecified fix.

Given that the ZL1 was to launch in spring, the high-performance coupe was already looking at an unusually short model year. This stoppage could mean that the 2012 model year run is even shorter. Doran says GM hopes and expects that when production does resume that it will do so with 2012 models, but he admits that depending on timing, it’s possible that Oshawa could transition directly to 2013 model year builds. Either way, contrary to rumours, ZL1 models already built will be delivered as 2012 models. Doran also indicates that GM has instructed its dealers to not accept further orders for 2012 models at this time.

GM acknowledges that this is an unfortunate situation – particularly because the ZL1 is a hotly anticipated model where some eager customers have had their deposits in for six months or more – but Doran says Chevy wants to focus on “getting the car right” so that customers are satisfied in the end.

While the delay is no doubt frustrating for those who have been waiting months for their cars, we couldn’t help but wonder aloud to Doran if the very abbreviated 2012 model year production may result in increased collectability down the road. Doran paused and replied, “You’re not the first person to suggest that.””

Source: Autoblog

Subaru BRZ/Toyota FT86

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“It looks as though Subaru will be producing considerably more BRZ, Toyota GT 86 and Scion FR-S units than previously thought. According to FT86club.com, Yasayuki Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy Industries, has announced that his company will produce 100,000 units per year at the Subaru plant in Ota City, Japan. (That figure accounts for every iteration of the sports coupe.)

So far, Toyota has seen around 7,000 orders for the GT 86, while Subaru fans have raised hands for 2,500 units. Those numbers are seven and 5.6 times more than each company’s monthly sales goals, respectively.

Last we heard, Subaru was only planning to sell 6,000 or so BRZ units in North America first year. With the new production figures, it remains to be seen if the company plans to alter that figure to satiate the apparent demand. While some of the pre-order buzz will certainly die down after the vehicle has been around for a few months, we’d like to hope that sales will remain strong.”

Source: Autoblog

Datsun Returning!

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“It turns out the rumours were true: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has officially announced the resurrection of the company’s storied Datsun nameplate. The company will use the brand to strengthen its foothold in emerging markets from Indonesia to India and Russia, offering buyers inexpensive, fuel-efficient vehicles with loads of content right out of the box. Last year, Nissan sold 60,000 units in the quickly growing Indonesian market, and the company aims to see that number swell to 250,000 units by 2014. That may seem ambitious, but total industry volume is set to balloon to nearly double its current size 890,000 units per year by 2017 according to analysts.

Datsun now marks the third brand in the Nissan stable alongside Infiniti. The automaker retired the Datsun nameplate in 1981 after re-establishing itself in North America as Nissan. With a new focus on low cost, small-displacement hardware geared toward emerging markets, we sadly don’t expect to see the Datsun name reemerging on our shores any time soon.”

Source: Autoblog

Volkswagen to Build Porsches This Fall

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  • On 19, Mar 2012

“Volkswagen still has to go over the river and through the woods before it can close the deal to take over Porsche, but this fall it will begin building them. Primary Boxster production will commence this summer at Porsche’s factory in Zuffenhausen, where the 911 is also built.

Overflow production will be handled by VW at its Osnabrück plant, which also handles assembly for the VW Golf Cabriolet and overflow Porsche Cayman production. The arrangement isn’t unexpected, with plans for the Osnabrück option mentioned as far back as 2010.”

Source: Autoblog

AMS GTR Smashes Records

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  • On 19, Mar 2012

“The Nissan GT-R is no joke. Sure other forums poked fun at its portly weight and tendency to grenade trannies after 100 or so launches but its still spooky fast. Want proof? Auto Moto Sport (AMS) from Chicago has taken the R35 platform to new heights (or lows if you consider ETs) in terms of performance numbers and raw twin turbo thrust. Their latest feat is just another in the rapid progression they have developed with their latest iteration, the Alpha Omega GT-R.

At Lonestar Motorsports Park in Texas, the AMS crew trailered their beast down from Chicago to make a statement. And a statement, they made! The Alpha Omega revved up squatted down and peel its way up the quarter mile for a new world record. The car ran 8.63 @ 172.15 MPH and was all over the map meaning that their 1,602 whp car (with 1,152 lb-ft) is going to need way more traction in the future. The car was equipped with a street legal drag radial and was a full weight, full interior car meaning if you have the funds, AMS will make one for you to drive to work and back.”

Source: Autoblog

Samual Hubinette Retires

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  • On 19, Mar 2012

“Samuel Hübinette, two-time Formula D champion, will not return for the 2012 Formula Drift pro championship season. “Two of our main sponsors changed their marketing direction, so we decided that the best thing to do with the Dodge Challenger SHR drift car is to focus on doing demos,” said Hübinette, driver and team owner of Team Samuel Hübinette Racing. But don’t think team SHR has lost its competitiveness. While drifting has been put on the back burner, Hübinette (the “Crazy Swede”) has refocused his team on rallycross and off-road truck competitions.

Born in Sweden, Hübinette earned an early reputation for pushing motorcycles, cars and snowmobiles to the limit. He worked for Volvo Cars as a test driver in product development and was on the company’s Touring Car racing team from 1997 through 2000. Since moving to the United States 2004, he has secured a bronze medal in the X Games, won two Formula Drift championships, and driven in the Baja 1000. He is also a working stunt driver in Hollywood productions.

Not only has Hübinette been one of the top names in drifting, but he maintains the record for most Formula D victories. “We will miss having a competitor like Samuel this season,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift.”

Source: Autoblog

Prius C Sales Skyrocket

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  • On 19, Mar 2012

“Toyota is pretty sure that its expanded Prius family will drive up sales of the world’s best-selling hybrid, and the early sales returns indicate that the company is right, right, right.

After the Prius V sold about 8,400 units in the U.S. in the first ten weeks, the smaller, cheaper and more efficient 2012 Toyota Prius C is also getting a lot of attention. Toyota announced today that the C (priced at $20,950 in Canada) sold 1,201 units in just the first three days it was on sale. That’s enough to make it “one of Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles,” according to the automaker, which also pointed out that those three days of sales is more than either the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt sold all last month.

If anything, those 1,201 sales are not as impressive as the C managed in Japan (where it is badged ‘Aqua’) – Toyota obtained 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale, though it isn’t immediately clear how many units have actually been sold. So far, the newly expanded Prius family has sold over 10,000 units in North America through the first half of March. This certainly points to the Prius franchise doing well in 2012 and estimates are 250,000 Prius models of all types will move off North American dealer lots in 2012.”

Source: Autoblog

Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ Productin

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  • On 19, Mar 2012

“Finally. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for ever since Toyota and Subaru jointly announced their compact rear-wheel-drive sports car: production is now underway.

With an official ceremony at Subaru’s Gunma Main Plant, attended by Toyota president Akio Toyoda, Subaru pushed the Big Red Button (quite literally, in case you were wondering) that sent BRZ and Toyota GT 86 coupes down the assembly line. And the event was captured in both still images and video for our viewing pleasure.

Check out our high-res image gallery above, and see below for the video and official press release. Oh, and if you’re one of the lucky ones with a deposit down for either the Subaru or the Toyota’s Scion FR-S twin (America won’t get one with an interlocking rings badge), it’s officially time to consider making room in your garage.”

Source: Autoblog

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