BRZ Production Starts

March 20th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles has started production of its sports coupe, the BRZ and the similar Toyota 86 at its Gunma Main Plant near Tokyo.

FHI and TMC first agreed on business collaboration in October 2005 when Toyota took a 16.7 percent share holding in FHI.

After the companies expanded their cooperative ties with new agreements related to development and production in April 2008, they then began four years of development of the Boxer engine BRZ based on a shortened Impreza chassis.

At the ceremony, TMC President Akio Toyoda said, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the ceaseless efforts of all FHI people and staff who were involved in the development, production and preparations for both models. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 would not have been successfully developed without collaboration between FHI and TMC. We started the alliance for mutual growth in 2005. Now I’m delighted to see that our alliance has borne fruit.”

FHI President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, after extending his gratitude to all participants at the ceremony, said, “the car symbolises our corporate strategy in two significant aspects: good progress of our alliances; and advancement of our “select and focus” approach. The start of production today made a huge step for us, but it is not our goal. By constantly refining both models, TMC and FHI hope to nourish each model to be loved by customers all over the world for a long time to come.”

Subaru’s Gunma Main Plant, where minicars were previously manufactured, was recently renewed for the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 production. FHI plans to produce the Impreza at the same plant by March 2013.

BMW starts new 3-Series production in Munich

October 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new sixth-generation BMW 3 Series is officially on its way, with news that manufacturing has begun at its Munich plant.

To prepare for the new model BMW invested around €500 million into the Munich facility and safeguarded the jobs of around 9,000 workers. A portion of the money went toward the purchase of a new press that can operate at speeds of up to 17 strokes per minute and process up to 600 tons of steel per day. That means the plant could process all the metal in the Eiffel Tower in just 12 days.

In terms of cars the plant will be able to roll out over 900 units per day once it’s fully functioning.

Chrysler 300C wagon faces extinction

October 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Some said it looks like a hearse others said it was the ugliest thing they’ve seen since Paul Holmes went on Dancing with the Stars – it’s the Chrysler 300C wagon. Although it never appealed to all tastes it did gain a substantial following and there will be some that are sad to hear that a wagon variant won’t be offered with the new 300C model.

Chrysler-Lancia CEO Saad Chebab said in a recent interview that the 300C wagon’s sales in the States weren’t enough to justify the development costs of a five-door version of the platform. Apparently the 300C Touring had proved more popular in the U.K and Europe than it did in the States. Continue reading “Chrysler 300C wagon faces extinction” »

BMW confirms production of X4

September 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Online reports are claiming that BMW has confirmed production plans to build an X4 crossover. The new entry into BMW’s SUV range will slot in between the X3 and X5 models.

The X4 will likely use the same platform as the current X3 and will be positioned like the X6 (pictured) is to the X5. Expect the X4 to have more raked-back sportier styling than the X3 and a coupe like roof line. In terms of powertrains the X4 will use the same four- and six-cylinder turbocharged options as the X3. A higher-output X4 M is also on the cards for future production.  Continue reading “BMW confirms production of X4” »

VW drops covers off production model Up!

August 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has just given the motoring world the low down on its up! The up! is VW’s new compact city car and will become the brand’s entry-level machine in many global markets.

As you’d expect the up! is a very small machine being just 3.54 metres long, 1.64 m wide and 1.48 m tall with a wheelbase of 2.42 m. There’s 251 litres cargo capacity in the hatch expanding to an impressive 951 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Under the bonnet there will be two variants of VW’s three-cylinder, 1.0 litre petrol engine with BlueMotion technology. Power output will be either 44kW or 55kW respectively. Economy is extremely frugal at just 4.2 litres/100km and 4.3 liters/100 km, depending on power grade.

A special feature of the up! will be optional City Emergency Braking – a safety system that works at speeds under 30 km/h, detects an imminent collision and apply the brakes automatically. Continue reading “VW drops covers off production model Up!” »

Mazda ends production of RX-8 sports car

August 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has ended the manufacture of its RX-8 sports car and subsequently finished mass production of the rotary engine. While the news may come as a shock to rotary fans it may not be the end of the road for the hard-spinning motor.

Unofficial reports are stating that the final RX-8 rolled off the production line last month and the remaining stock should be sold by the end of this year.

The RX-8’s demise into extinction didn’t happen suddenly and has been on the cards since Mazda stopped offering the car in Europe last year. The RX-8 couldn’t make the grade with the stricter EU emission standards and was sent packing. Over in the States, Mazda sold just 1,134 of the models last year and 2011 has been even slower.

It’s a tough end for a car that was coveted and admired when it launched back in 2003. The best sales year for the RX-8 was 2004 when it sold 23,690 units. It’s hung on as the last in the long line of rotary-powered sports machines that started back in 1971 with the RX-2, continued through the years with the successful RX-7, which lasted for three generations, and ultimately ended with the sharp-handling RX-8. Continue reading “Mazda ends production of RX-8 sports car” »

Hulme Supercars sending F1 concept into limited production

August 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After a successful driving debut at last month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, kiwi carmaker Hulme Supercars has announced it will be taking orders and pushing ahead with production of its Hulme F1.

The Hulme CanAm was one of only 55 invited supercars on display at the prestigious event held on the country estate of Lord March. Paul Radisich, double World Touring Car Champion, drove it up the famous Goodwood Hill in front of thousands of spectators.

After receiving interest from potential customers and experts in the Supercar industry, the decision was made to build the Hulme F1 – the hard top concept first displayed at Goodwood back in 2006.

Hulme Supercars is looking to get the car classed as a limited-production vehicle in Europe which means the supercar could be sold freely across the continent. Continue reading “Hulme Supercars sending F1 concept into limited production” »

Lexus to produce striking LFA Roadster

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Lexus LFA coupe has established itself as one of the most coveted super cars in the world and with a production run of just 500 models this beast from the east is certainly exclusive. But when production of the LFA coupe finishes in 2013 an even rarer variant looks like it will built – the LFA Roadster.

According to recent reports in mid-2014 the LFA roadster is scheduled to debut with a price tag only the mega rich can afford. This is the first new news on the roadster since it was teased in a stunning concept version (pictured) back in 2008. Strangely, there is expected to be a one year gap between the end of LFA coupe production and the beginning of LFA roadster production.

The roadster will headline a whole gang of new or updated models Lexus plans to unleash in the coming years to help it fight key players like BMW and Mercedes-Benz in global markets. Continue reading “Lexus to produce striking LFA Roadster” »

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