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Next Gen WRX Downsizes Motor

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

“WRX. Those three letters tell automotive enthusiasts the world over that they are not dealing with an ordinary Impreza, and it all began in rally racing with a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four engine. Though some models – including the current WRX and STI in Canada – had engines displacing as much as 2.5 litres, the WRX earned its reputation with 2.0 litres, and that’s the displacement specified for competition use.

According to Motor Trend, the 2013 WRX, which will likely debut sometime in 2012, will go back to its original engine size. The new powerplant will reportedly be based on the engine found in the 2013 Subaru BRZ, a clean-sheet design for Subaru, with the addition of the expected turbocharger. That ought to bring power up from 200 horsepower to about 270.

Now we come to the question of what platform in which the engine will reside. While common sense would dictate that the latest version of the Impreza, which was recently released as a 2012 model, would get the WRX treatment, we’ve heard rumblings that Subaru would keep its current WRX shell around for a few more years while it continues development of the next chassis. Only time will tell.”

Source: Autoblog

Ferrari Offers Custom Options Program

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

“Good things come to those who wait. Or so the saying goes, at least. And while that may not seem like something you’d associate with performance automobiles like Ferraris, maybe it should. Because while some will pay a premium to get a Ferrari – any Ferrari – right away, others are willing to wait to get theirs just the way they want it. And when we say ‘just the way they want it’, we mean just the way they want it.

To meet the demands of customers willing to shell out a little extra to specify every last detail of their new sports car, companies like Ferrari have been gradually upping their customization portfolio. Maranello’s latest is called, appropriately enough, Ferrari Tailor-Made, and encompasses a wide array of customization options.

Ferrari breaks them down into three categories: Scuderia (which encompasses motorsport-derived materials like carbon fiber and Alcantara), Classica (with pastel colors from the company’s back catalog, cashmere and velvet trim) and Inedita (with avant-garde materials like denim and matte paint jobs).

The limited-edition 599 GTB 60F1 grew out of the Tailor-Made program, and Ferrari has put together three unique one-offs to demonstrate the extent of the possibilities: a 458 Spider with NART stripes, chamois leather upholstery, quilted fabric and high-tech woven aluminum/fibreglass dashboard trim; an FF in Grigio Ingrid with pinstripe cloth, cashmere headliner and teak-trimmed cargo area; and a California decked out to Lapo Elkann’s specifications in denim with matte Blu Scozia finish.

Of course, with such an array of options, each example coming out of the studio will be completely unique, guided by a personal designer at the Ferrari Styling Centre, and assuredly fetching a hefty premium over the already considerable list price.”

Source: Autoblog

GM is Going Carbon Fiber Crazy

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

“General Motors has announced a partnership with a leading carbon fibre producer in an effort to research the possibility of widespread use of the material in its vehicles. Teijin Limited has pioneered a new manufacturing process for carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic that allows for cycle times of under one minute. Typically, creating carbon fibre parts from molds requires the use of slow-setting resin that simply takes too long to be practical for use on a large scale. As part of the tie-up with GM, Teijin will set up a new technical centre in the northern United States to support development.

Carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastics have the benefit of being up to 10 times stronger than conventional steel while offering one quarter of the weight. Of course, carbon fibre can also come with a suitably steep price tag, though Teijin’s techniques will likely help curb costs significantly. As manufacturers continue to push for ever more efficient vehicles, ditching the weight will become increasingly important”

Source: Autoblog

2012 Texas Grand Prix

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

Everything is bigger in Texas. So it’s appropriate that the hubbub surrounding the imminent return of the United States Grand Prix to the Lonestar State should come down to a big last-minute deal.

As you may recall, Formula One was set to visit Austin next year at a new track complex currently being built. However, construction on the Circuit of the Americas came to a halt after F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone expressed his doubts that they’d be able to pull it off. The problem apparently came down to public funding, which was reportedly delayed when the state comptroller told organizers they’d have to wait. With the $25 million bond due to Ecclestone’s Formula One Management this week, an undisclosed last-minute deal has reportedly come through to get Bernie his money.

As a result, race organizers have reportedly secured the event’s place on next year’s calendar as planned, and construction will reportedly resume immediately now that the deal is a go. Somehow, we doubt this will be the last hiccup along the path of bringing Europe’s favourite racing series to Texas, but for now it looks like everything is racing ahead.”

Source: Autoblog

Next Gen Acura NSX Concept

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

“The rumours have been swirling for the better part of six years and now Acura has confirmed that the next generation NSX is finally on its way.

The Detroit Auto Show will play host to three new Acura models, with the centre ring occupied by a concept version of Acura’s next-gen supercar. Playing second and third fiddle will be the automaker’s interpretation of a compact luxury sedan, dubbed the ILX and competing in the same class as the BMW 1 Series, new Mercedes A-Class and Lexus CT200h. Power will be sent to the front wheels by either a 2.0-litre inline four or an optional hybrid drivetrain, with pricing somewhere south of $30k thanks to its Civic roots. Finally, Acura will show off a prototype version of the 2013 Acura RDX that gives current owners more of what their after, including fuel efficiency.

There aren’t much in the way of hints or details in the release after the break, but we do know that the NSX will take aim at the Audi R8 with a V6 hybrid powerplant mounted amidships and sending power to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The exterior will most certainly be inspired by the concept playing beside actor Robert Downey Jr. in the third Ironman installment and pricing won’t be anywhere near that of the Lexus LFA – Honda wants this to be obtainable, and if C/D is to be believed, it’s already been approved for 2013 production.”

Source: Autoblog

Scion FRS

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  • On 12, Dec 2011

“When it comes to wringing out a performance car, nothing beats track time. Public roads are crowded, chock full of regulations and policed. Race circuits are lawless expanses of curvy asphalt with just one golden rule: Keep it on the pavement.

Under invitation from Scion, we loaded into a wide-body 777 for the long trek across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. Our objective was to drive the automaker’s highly anticipated, and all-new, FR-S sports car. Upon arrival, we were pleased to learn that Scion had rented Sodegaura Forest Raceway for our full day behind the wheel.

After dozens of laps at unrestricted speed – few have been offered as much track time – we answered many of our own nagging questions. Does Scion’s new rear-wheel-drive coupe deliver all that it promises? How is the power delivery from the naturally aspirated flat-four engine, and is it sufficient? Is the handling balanced and the chassis up to the task? Most importantly, why would someone choose the Scion FR-S over its near-clone, the Subaru BRZ?”

Source: Autoblog

Own a Ferarri

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  • On 05, Dec 2011

“Life is full of unattainables. Most of us will never hold the keys to an expansive beach-front property, lounge on our own personal yacht or park a Ferrari in the garage, and for good reason. The very exclusivity of those objects is part of their lure, but a new site looks to change all that. Jointli allows regular Joes and Janes to co-own property, vehicles, boats and more. The site’s tools allow users to chose potential co-owners in their area, sign agreements and manage time shares accordingly. So, how much would it conceivably cost to own, say, a Ferrari F430?

According to Jointli, four people could conceivably wrangle one of the Italian exotics for as little as $8,000 per person, which works out to close to $8 per hour individually. Of course, Jonli’s math means that’s the cost after selling the vehicle after just one year of use. It also excludes any unfortunate dings or repairs that may arise as the result of four people who don’t know how to drive a Ferrari being tossed the keys. The whole scenario sounds great in a perfect world. Unfortunately, our planet is about as far from that bright centre as you can get.”

Source: Autoblog

Bring a Trailer Garage

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  • On 05, Dec 2011

“There’s really no website we like better than Bring A Trailer.

So we’re stoked about this latest offering from the same guys who fill our e-mail inboxes with automotive dreams for sale every day: The BaT Garage. This is not some virtual garage hosted on an Internet server in an office park in Nebraska, but a real facility, with mechanics and tools and grease and oil and all the smells you associate with such. It’s located in Hayward, CA, and here’s the best part: You can store your own car there and let the staff take care of it for you.

While basic pricing runs between US$200-$300 per month, BaT will also offer additional services like airport pickup, a fueling service, delivery and even detailing. The operation is being run by Virtuoso Performance, whose resume includes supporting 28 cars at this year’s Monterey Motorsports Reunion. We can’t wait to see the BaT Garage in person, and we have to ask, is it too early to talk about franchising opportunities?”

Source: Autoblog

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