News: Maserati GranTurismo MC unveiled for the track

Maserati Granturismo mc-2 fq

Inspired by the MC Corse Concept, Maserati has finally unveiled the production version of its GranTurismo MC. Aimed at Maserati enthusiasts who’d prefer to keep their road-going GT in the garage, the MC is ready to compete in the GT4 European Cup class, with a full roll cage, carbon fibre body panels, plexiglass windows, upgraded brakes and suspension, along with lightweight wheels wrapped in racing slicks.

Output for the revised 4.7-liter V8 hasn’t been disclosed, but the MC should put out around 450 hp when it takes to the track. Priced at 135,000 Euros it’s the perfect option for a cash-rich gentleman racer.

Inspired by the MC Corse Concept, Maserati has finally unveiled th ...

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News: Ford seeks patent for new turbocharged V8 motor

Ford V8 patent

At Delaware-based Stamoulis & Weinblatt US patent office a recently-filed application from Ford for a new V8 engine has been received. Interestingly, the application describes a pushrod, 4-valve per cylinder unit with inboard exhaust and outboard intakes as well as turbocharging. This isn’t the first such manifolding setup a similar design was recently unveiled with BMW’s 4.4-litre turbo V8 and the just-canceled General Motors 4.5-litre diesel unit, both of which followed this model, only with overhead cams. There are some rumours this powerplant could appear in the Mustang in 2010, but it seems unlikely.

The patent application shows a strong focus on the intake/exhaust layout and valvetrain configuration. The text indicates that the technology could be applied to either gasoline or diesel engines. It’s most likely the layout of Ford’s new Scorpion diesel V-8, which will be used in its Super-Duty trucks. Ford is unlikely to put such an engine in its cars anytime soon, instead focusing on smaller EcoBoost four and six-cylinder engines.

At Delaware-based Stamoulis & Weinblatt US patent office a rec ...

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News: BMW M division boosts up with X5M and X6M

BMW has officially expanded its M division from just cars to include it’s SUVs. The New York Auto Show marks the world debut of the X5 M and X6 M, and in typical M fashion, the high riders get much more power than their standard siblings.

Both vehicles get uprated versions of the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that was first dropped into the X6 last year. Power boosts upward from 400 hp up to 555 hp in M form with torque swelling from 450 to 500 lb-ft. While the increase in torque doesn’t seem like all that much, BMW claims it’s produced from 1,500 all the way to 5,650 rpm.

The 4.4-litre V8 utilises direct injection and like other such engines with turbos, torque is huge. Like the standard version of the V8, the M variant has the intakes on the outside of the cylinder heads with the exhaust and twin turbos planted in the valley between the banks. This new version sports a revised exhaust manifold that combines the flow from both banks into the duo of twin scroll turbochargers.

BMW M engineers have also reworked the full drivetrain and chassis, with the addition of the new M-specific adaptive suspension, an uprated intelligent xDrive AWD system, and newly-developed Servotronic power steering.

Also featured for the first time on an M model is a six-speed automatic transmission, which for the X5 M and X6 M also comes with an electronic selector on the center console and offers three different driving modes — Drive, Sport and M Manual modes for absolute control of gear selection.

Check back as we bring you more updates from the New York Auto Show.

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News: Mitsubishi increases production of iMiEV

Mitsubishi iMiEV fq

Mitsubishi has just announced that it will ambitiously increase its production target of the iMiEV to 20,000 units annually by 2012 up 200% on previous goals of 10,000 per year.

Output targets for 2010 are also up 25%, from 4,000 to 5,000 units. That will ramp up to a target of 10,000 cars by 2010, with the 20,000 annual target to coincide with the car’s release for full retail sale in 2011.

The order book for 2009 output is already full for the iMiEV with Japanese corporations putting in requests for 2,000 of the cars.

The electric vehicles are built to fit Japan’s kei-class regulations, which give them the advantage of certain parking, insurance and taxation rules. It also makes for a very compact  and practical way to transport four adults around at city speeds. The iMiEV does remain a very utilitarian vehicle suited only to urban environments and lower-speed duties.

Mitsubishi’s stock saw a mild rise on the Japanese market as a result of the bold announcement despite the carmaker’s overall falling sales.

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News: Gold plated Bugatti Veyron made to order

Bugatti Veyron gold fq

Bare carbon fibre, full chrome, French racing blue, Bugatti’s done just about everything to maintain interest in the Veyron but dipping a full car in gold? The latest from our stupidly extravagant file, sees a Veyron plated fully in gold.

This gilded Bugatti was unsurprisingly ordered for delivery to the Middle East. But unlike the many Veyrons specially ordered to the United Arab Emirates, this one has been purchased by a Kuwaiti customer just up the Persian Gulf coast, who reportedly planning on actually driving it in between the occasional $10,000 detailing jobs and its storage in a climate-controlled chamber.

Generally speaking, we’re not big fans of this particular brand of wretched excess, but as far as gold-plated supercars go, the gold-and-tan combination works well and it some how remains almost tasteful… almost.

Bare carbon fibre, full chrome, French racing blue, Bugatti's done ...

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News: Hummer survives for a few more weeks

Hummer

General Motors has been trying to throw an offload of its Hummer division for almost a year now. Despite optimism late last year indicating that it could have the troubled brand off its books for good before 2009 rolled around, we are now nearing the end of the first quarter of ’09 and Hummer remains entirely owned by GM.

According to a new reports Hummer has been granted a final 3 week death row reprieve to get a deal started for its purchase. GM has claimed all along that there are multiple parties interested in the brand, and that’s apparently still the case.

A GM spokesperson has said that companies from “all different parts of the world” are in the mix to purchase Hummer and the automaker is “cautiously optimistic” that a sale will be made. If a decision to sell Hummer isn’t made in the next few weeks, it sounds like the brand will likely be pushed out into the cold to die quietly.

General Motors has been trying to throw an offload of its Hummer d ...

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News: BMW M division boosts up with X5M and X6M

BMW has officially expanded its M division from just cars to include it’s SUVs. The New York Auto Show marks the world debut of the X5 M and X6 M, and in typical M fashion, the high riders get much more power than their standard siblings.

Both vehicles get uprated versions of the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that was first dropped into the X6 last year. Power boosts upward from 400 hp up to 555 hp in M form with torque swelling from 450 to 500 lb-ft. While the increase in torque doesn’t seem like all that much, BMW claims it’s produced from 1,500 all the way to 5,650 rpm.

The 4.4-litre V8 utilises direct injection and like other such engines with turbos, torque is huge. Like the standard version of the V8, the M variant has the intakes on the outside of the cylinder heads with the exhaust and twin turbos planted in the valley between the banks. This new version sports a revised exhaust manifold that combines the flow from both banks into the duo of twin scroll turbochargers.

BMW M engineers have also reworked the full drivetrain and chassis, with the addition of the new M-specific adaptive suspension, an uprated intelligent xDrive AWD system, and newly-developed Servotronic power steering.

Also featured for the first time on an M model is a six-speed automatic transmission, which for the X5 M and X6 M also comes with an electronic selector on the center console and offers three different driving modes — Drive, Sport and M Manual modes for absolute control of gear selection.

Check back as we bring you more updates from the New York Auto Show.

BMW has officially expanded its M division from just cars to inclu ...

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Blogs: Tiger Woods – great at golf crap at burnouts

It’s all coming up Tiger Woods in the media this week, doesn’t matter where you look it’s all about the great golfer’s fall from grace. As the truth begins to surface people develop a blood-lust for details on why Tiger’s squeaky clean reputation now looks like the toilets at a trance gig.

See I don’t really want to know why he cheated on his wife, that’s obvious to every man out there. It’s because no matter how hot your Mrs is there is always going to be moments of weakness when you’re tired with what you’ve got and the grass looks greener elsewhere. I mean the fine female temptations that would throw themselves at Tiger would be more than any man could bear, and he failed. It ain’t cool, it ain’t right, but it happens. So that’s no mystery.The big mystery for me is why exactly he crashed his car, he wasn’t drunk, that’s been made clear, he was in the drivers seat and in control, his Viking wife was smashing windows quicker than world’s fastest stoner Michael Phelps smashes swimming records, but it still isn’t that obvious. My theory is that Tiger went for the angry burnout and it went 100 shades of wrong.

I mean, who of us hasn’t pulled the angry burnout at least once, you know, when you have an argument and you want to push home your point with a squealing, smoking burnout. It’s like the door-slam but in a car.

So Tiger gets into his SUV after a heated debate on weather sleeping with a cocktail waitress counts as cheating and his psycho wife smashes two windows of his balls-out pimping Cadillac Escalade, probably bending his favourite 3-iron in the process. So he’s dark – as in angry, and decides to retaliate with a burnout right in her face, seems logical, the Escalade is a very powerful vehicle. So Tiger flicks off the traction control plants his right foot and lights up the back wheels, it’s all going to plan his wife is choking on the smoke he’s throwing out, the local kids are diggin it, suddenly he loses control hits a shrub a fire hydrant (which should just be underground anyway) and whatever else and knocks himself out. Just another sad case of when good burnouts go bad. Case closed.

What gets me choked up is what Tiger’s dad Earl Woods must be feeling looking down from heaven on the situation, he must be thinking: ‘Damn, I really messed up, spent thousands of hours on the course teaching Tiger to be the greatest golfer the World has ever seen and I couldn’t even do ten minutes in the carpark with the boy showing him how to do a rightous burnout.’

Heartbreaking really, for Tiger’s Dad, Tiger himself, the Escalade and of course Tiger’s fiesty Mrs, but also for General Motors. Why? Because it turns out they own the Cadillac Escalade that got smashed up, and the last thing they need is another bill.

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It's all coming up Tiger Woods in the media this week, doesn't matter ...

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