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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

Lambo Aventador J

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“This year’s Geneva Motor Show served up a scintillating buffet of vehicles, but the Lamborghini Aventador J may very well have been our everyones favourite. With no roof, no windshield and all of the insane running gear of the standard Aventador, the roadster is the embodiment of exotic. But according to Top Gear, the car went from design sketch to reality in record time. Designer Filippo Perini told TG he first sketched up the Aventador J in mid-January after CEO Stephan Winkelmann asked his crew to to come up with something special for Geneva.

Despite the apparent similarities between the Aventador and the new Aventador J, the two models share only a handful of body components, including the front hood, fenders, headlights and rear fenders. Everything else is bespoke just for the concept.

If you like what you see as much as we do and want to take one home, too bad. The world’s only Aventador J is already sold to an unnamed collector for the lofty sum of $2.76 million Cdn. at current conversion rates.”

Source: Autoblog

Only 6,000 BRZ’s Coming to North America

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“If you have your heart set on picking up a new Subaru BRZ, you better get moving. Car and Driver reports the automaker is only shipping 6,000 of the coupes to North America for the 2013 model year. The news reportedly surfaced via a Subaru dealer. While the automaker hasn’t officially announced exactly how many 2013 BRZ Coupe models will be allocated for Canadian buyers, it has said the vehicle will arrive in “extremely limited quantities” in the past.

The news dovetails with earlier reports, which indicated the company would need to sell somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 units at around $25,000 a piece to break even, though at the time, no one mentioned Subaru wouldn’t bump up production if there was demand.

We’ve reached out to Subaru Canada for comment and will keep you posted on any forthcoming information. In the meantime, we’ll leave you to pour over your finances to figure out how to bring one of these fine-handling machines home before there are none left. Word has it Subaru is already accepting pre-orders.”

Source: Autoblog

Nissan CEO Ghosn Turned Down Ford

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“With just a day until Bryce Hoffman’s American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company is released, more revelations from the book are hitting the headlines. Among the juiciest: Nissan-Renault chief Carlos Ghosn was offered the top job at Ford prior to Alan Mulally, but turned it down because he didn’t want to work for then-CEO Bill Ford.

According to excerpt from the book published by Automotive News, Ford made Ghosn a formal offer in early 2006, but ‘Le Cost Cutter’ insisted the only way he would come to Ford was if he was named both the CEO and Chairman of the Board. When Mulally was eventually hired as CEO, Ford stepped aside but retained his position as chairman of the company that shares his surname.

Despite Ford’s power at the company that bears his family’s name, other excerpts from the book reveal that he didn’t always get the straight scoop from other executives. One soon-to-be-famous example concerns the second-generation Ford Focus, which went on sale in Europe in late 2004. Just as most journalists did at the time, Ford wanted to know why the new model wasn’t coming to North America. According to the excerpt, then-president Jim Padilla gave his boss a PR-spin-worthy line about “product cycles [that] don’t line up.”

Ford was unpleased with the explanation, according to the report: “This is all a bunch of [expletive], he fumed as he left the meeting. Nobody will give me a straight answer.””

Source: Autoblog

Nurburgring in Las Vegas?

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“Burton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports, may have his eye on an ambitious new project. According to reports swirling around the web, Smith (whose company owns and operates tracks like Infineon Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, among others) aims to create an accurate reproduction of the famous Nürburgring just outside of Las Vegas. While speaking during an interview on Sirius XM Sports, the executive mentioned he had already been in talks with the Governor of Nevada, the Nevada Bureau of Land Management and “some Germans” about the project. It’s estimated Smith will require some 8,000 acres to bring the track to reality. It’s a good thing Las Vegas is surrounded by an expanse of largely vacant cheap desert land.

The rumoured plans call for the track to be constructed around 16 km from The Strip. Unfortunately, the facility probably wouldn’t play host to sanctioned races like the real deal. Instead, the reproduction would simply be for private individuals to have some fun and manufacturers to test their wares against Nürburgring times. Throwing an element of brutal desert heat onto an already challenging road course could certainly make for a useful development tool. Keep your ears pinned for more information.”

Source: Autoblog

Bridgestone Shows the Next Big Thing

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  • On 15, Mar 2012

“How many times have you said to yourself, “Self, I’ve modded every single part of my car, but those tires, they’re just so… black. And boring.” Bridgestone has the answer in the form of its Tire Printing Technology.

Comprised of two layers of ink – one below and one above a protective coating – you can fully customize the design of your sidewalls using any kind of vector-based graphics. Bridgestone claims the outer most layer won’t succumb to scrapes and scratches, and neither the durability or the weight of the tires are compromised by the technology.

Bridgestone hasn’t set a date for production, but the tires could be available as early as this summer. And if it hits in time, there’s little doubt we’ll be seeing plenty of horrid designs lining the halls of SEMA.”

Source: Autoblog

Nissan May Revive Datsun Brand

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“Japan’s Nikkei news service is reporting that Nissan is dusting the cobwebs off its Datsun brand, dropped back in 1986, and preparing it for a return in 2014. Loyalists will be disappointed to learn that the “new” Datsun badge won’t be riveted to the nose of any upcoming Fairlady Z in the near future – it probably isn’t even coming to North America. Instead, the report indicates that Nissan will use Datsun as a backup brand for low-priced vehicles manufactured and sold in emerging Asian markets. According to the Nikkei, Datsun-branded vehicles will be priced about 500,000 yen ($6,200 USD) with annual sales goals of about 300,000 units.

Rumors about Datsun’s return have been circulating for years. But only now, with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn pushing to expand the brand into new markets (e.g., Russia, India, Brazil and China), does it really start to make sense as way to protect the upmarket corporate Nissan identity from being associated with low-cost entry-level vehicles.

The return of Datsun is interesting, but a two-tier strategy is hardly new. For example, Volkswagen uses its entry-level SEAT and Skoda brands to capture the low-cost market (though the two have moved upscale), while General Motors (working with SAIC) recently launched Baojun to target first-time buyers in China. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the Nikkei also notes that Nissan officials have not commented on the report.”

Source: Autoblog

Toyota FT86 Convertible

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“Around the Autoblog virtual office, the Toyota GT-86 is among the most eagerly awaited new models this year. So when we spotted a report in AutoBild that Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the car, has confirmed that a convertible is coming, we got excited.

Of course, we’re tempering our excitement with the knowledge that the 2013 Scion FR-S we’re getting here in North America isn’t the Toyota version. It may be the same actual car save for the brightwork, but when it comes to market positioning and all that stuff, Scion has differing objectives than the parent brand.

While we have heard rumors of a convertible before, they came in the context of the third GT-86 offspring, the Subaru BRZ. If a convertible version of the car ever does see the light of day here in the N.A., though, we’re certainly not going to quibble over its badges.”

Source: Autoblog

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