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Scion FRS Added to Leno’s Garage

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  • On 19, Jun 2012

“Jay Leno has finally gotten around to getting his hands on the Scion FR-S. The latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage is all about the new low-buck sports car from Toyota. Jack Hollis, the vice president and General Manager of Scion, stops in to give the TV personality a full walk-around of the 200-horsepower coupe. While Leno’s collection includes every shade of high-horsepower machinery, the comedian is also a fan of cheap driving fun for the masses. Hollis hits the high points of the model’s development, including the tie-in with Subaru and not-so-subtle nods to the ghosts of Toyota performance past.

As usual, the cameras follow Leno as he takes the FR-S onto the streets around Los Angeles for a quick sprint. He also submits the boxer four to his typical “immaturity test” with mixed results. We approve all the same. You can check out the full video by scrolling below or head over to JayLenosGarage.com to check out a few photos of the FR-S hanging out in the Big Dog Garage.”

 

Source: Autoblog

Peugeot Branching Out

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  • On 19, Jun 2012

“Design might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Peugeot. (Actually, since it doesn’t market in North America, we don’t tend to think of Peugeot much at all – particularly since it withdrew its Le Mans program.) But much as any automaker does, Peugeot has a fully developed design department. Most of its energies seem to be focused on producing outlandish concept cars that never see more light than the lamps bathing them from the high ceilings of European convention centers. But now the Peugeot styling division will have some new projects to work on.

That’s because the French automaker is launching a spin-off design consultancy. Not unlike Porsche Design or
+, the new Peugeot Design Lab is being set up primarily to undertake projects for external clients. From its offices in Paris, Shanghai and Sao Paolo, the Peugeot Design Lab has already undertaken a variety of assignments to showcase its capabilities. Those include a pair of bicycles, a jet airplane, a powerboat, a sailboat and a wristwatch,”

Source: Autoblog

Family Feuding Over Shelby’s Body

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  • On 11, Jun 2012

“Death dredges up all matter of emotions in those around the deceased. For the fortunate, it brings up warm – if difficult – memories and a coming together of loved ones. However, it’s all too common that a passing exposes old wounds and creates new ones among those left behind. Such appears to be the case with Carroll Shelby and his family.



As you’ll recall, the automotive icon passed away in Dallas after a protracted illness on May 10, but according to celebrity gossip site TMZ, Shelby’s family is still squabbling over what to do with his remains, so his body sits interred in a freezer at a medical examiner’s office.



The dispute is reportedly between Shelby’s estranged wife Cleo and his children. Cleo has apparently been estranged from Carroll since he petitioned for divorce back in 2010, but she claims the two were still married, giving her sway over what happens to his body.



For their part, Shelby’s children say their father signed a document giving control over his remains to his oldest son, a claim that Cleo is apparently disputing, arguing that Carroll lacked the “physical capacity or eyesight” needed to sign off on the paperwork. Further, there’s word that Shelby himself filed a petition to have the couple’s 14-year marriage annulled in April on grounds that Cleo mislead him about everything from her assets to her actual name.



There’s no resolution in sight, but TMZ reports that a judge could still award Shelby an annulment posthumously. However, it isn’t immediately clear that such an action is being pursued.



In his 89 years, Shelby saw and survived a great many things, from serious race car accidents to the loss of (previous) spouses to painful lawsuits – not to mention both liver and heart transplants. He was a tough and savvy man who battled a lot of demons, many of which were of his own creation. Even so, we’re glad he’s not around to bear witness to this distasteful mess.”



Source: Autoblog

BMW Making 7 Speed Manual

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  • On 11, Jun 2012

“BMW has invited itself to a party that Porsche started. Someone trolling through patent filings found drawings submitted by BMW for two slightly different takes on a seven-speed manual transmission. The first take is a more conventional setup that provides an honest clutch pedal. The second variant uses a shift-by-wire system to swap gears through an electromechanical actuator. To prevent drivers from accidentally engaging an engine-damaging gear in such a closely spaced pattern, both rely on an electromagnetic fluid inside a shifting module that can change viscosity to prevent the ‘lever’ from making a shift.

According to the filing, the system can work with up to eight(!) gears. It isn’t clear if, even in the system with the clutch, the gear lever is actually attached to any of those gears.

What’s also notable about the drawings is the shift pattern. Porsche’s seven-speed shift pattern in the 991-series 911 places reverse and the odd gears above, the even gears below. But the BMW pattern in the drawing places reverse and seventh gear in opposing positions at the ends of the axis that is normally, entirely, neutral. Also, the shift pattern is drawn on what looks more like an iDrive-shaped stick, not the usual BMW manual transmission knob, nor the stubby dual-clutch stick as found in the BMW M6 whose reverse gear is still located above neutral.

Who knows if or when we’ll ever see it, but it’s encouraging just to know that advanced, row-your-own transmissions are still on drawing boards somewhere.”

Source: Autoblog

Toyota Subaru Join Venture

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  • On 11, Jun 2012

“It’s pretty safe to say that the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ joint venture has been quite a success so far. Here at Autoblog, we’ve had nothing but nice things to say about the Toyobaru coupe, and it’s a similar story elsewhere in the automotive press.

Toyota has certainly been keeping track of the car’s progress, and because of the success of this project, Autocar reports that the Japanese automaker is now more keen to do joint ventures in the future. Previously, Toyota had worked with PSA Peugeot-Citroën to create the Aygo/107/C1 city car, and let’s not forget about the company’s joint manufacturing initiative with General Motors here in North America, NUMMI, which created vehicles like the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix twins.

Speaking to Autocar, the GT 86’s development chief, Tetsuya Tada, says that the automaker is interested in partnering with new companies “if we can jointly produce something exceptional.” Toyota will work with Subaru on a convertible version of its new rear-wheel-drive sports car, and the deal with PSA Peugeot-Citroën will be continued for the next-generation trio of city cars.”

Source: Autoblog

Nissan Hires Former Audi CEO

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  • On 04, Jun 2012

“After abruptly resigning on Friday after 19 years at Audi, former CEO Johan de Nysschen’s future has come more clearly into focus today. Nissan has announced that de Nysschen will be joining the company effective July 1. His official title will be Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Company in charge of the Infiniti division.

Nissan just opened a new global headquarters for its luxury brand in Hong Kong, where de Nysschen will be stationed. Its new boss will be expected to lead Infiniti’s expansion in China, the brand’s second largest market. Infiniti has said it intends to more than triple global sales to 500,000 by 2016.
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Ferarri 250 GTO

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  • On 04, Jun 2012

“Bloomberg reports that a 1962 Ferrari GT0 has been sold for US$35 million, making it the most expensive car in the world. The record price eclipses the US$32.5 million paid for a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT0 back in February and the US$30-34 million dished out for a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic back in 2010.

The 250 GT0 in question is chassis number 3505GT and was built specifically for the legendary Stirling Moss. While Moss never actually ended up racing the car (a career-ending crash in April of 1962 prevented him from getting behind the wheel), it has a fairly significant race history with several wins. 3505GT also competed in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, although it ended the race with a DNF. The car stands out among the other 250 GTOs thanks to its unique lime-green livery.

Amazingly, the price of this particular car has increased tenfold since 1996, when it was purchased for US$3.5 million. From there the car has changed hands a few times, with the most recent owner, a Dutch businessman, purchasing it for US$8.5 million about a decade ago. The 250 GTO’s newest owner, car collector Craig McCaw, earned his fortune by selling a telecommunications company to AT&T for US$11.5 billion back in 1993.

We most recently saw the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last year, where it was displayed as part of the 250 GTO’s 50th anniversary celebration.”

Source: Autoblog

Mazda Cutting 25% of Jobs

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  • On 04, Jun 2012

“Automotive News Europe reports that struggling Japanese automaker Mazda is set to cut a total of 250 jobs in the U.S. and Europe. The cuts, originally reported by Japan’s Nikkei, come as part of new reorganization efforts and represent 25 per cent of the company’s staff in both markets. Mazda has registered losses for the past four years due in part to slow sales and a stronger yen. As a result, the company is looking to tighten its belt around the world.

Mazda will slim its workforce to under 200 workers at a subsidiary in Germany, while the manufacturer’s sales staff in California and Michigan will fall to around 550 employees. The news comes on the heels of a buyout last month that saw 107 U.S. employees leave voluntarily. Currently, Mazda has no plans to cut its Japanese workforce, though some reorganization may take place on the home front in the coming months. Those efforts are largely expected to consist of moving workers from satellite offices in Tokyo and Osaka to the home base in Hiroshima.”

Source: Autoblog

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