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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

It’s Partner or Die

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“It’s only a question of how deeply the knife will slice as Mazda’s desperate cost-cutting measures take aim at its workforce in the U.S. this week.

The maker has signaled it will post a US$1.2 billion loss when the Japanese fiscal year wraps up on March 31, its worst performance in 11 years, and only by offering more than a billion dollars in new stock is it likely to head off a more serious crisis. For now, anyway.

With long-time partner Ford Motor Company slashing its stake in its Japanese affiliate from 33 to just four per cent since Alan Mulally was named CEO, even Mazda’s top executive Takashi Yamanouchi admits it will be difficult to go it alone, Yamanouchi recently acknowledging his company is “actively” looking for new alliance partners.

Of course, Mazda is not alone. General Motors confirmed this month that it would enter into a far-reaching partnership with Paris-based PSA Peugeot Citroen. And Germany’s Daimler AG has repeatedly expanded the coalition it formed two years ago with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.”

Source: Autoblog

Juke-R vs GT-R

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“Now that Nissan UK is finished with the dog-and-pony promotional show for the Nissan Juke-R, it’s free to do what we’ve all been waiting for: hand it over to The Fourth Estate for proper testing. AutoExpress was the first in line, and they didn’t waste the chance, pitting Faust’s CUV against the car that made it possible, the Nissan GT-R, around the Bedford Autodrome circuit.”

The Juke-R keeps up with the GT-R but is edged out by a few short seconds in the end.

Source: Autoblog

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