Tuesday, October 30, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 8:20 PM

Legendary automotive designer and former racing driver Carroll Shelby will be auctioning off his 1969 GT500 convertible. The said vehicle which Shelby has owned since it rolled off the assembly line will be auctioned off at the annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event on January 12-20 next year in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Said vehicle is the only Ford-based Shelby Mustang which Carroll has owned since it came out of production. The vehicle which will be auctioned next year will attract gearheads as it will be showcased at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The said vehicle will be one of the highlights of the "Racing and Performance" area of the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center where the SEMA show will be held.

Barrett-Jackson Auction Company Chief Executive Officer Craig Jackson said that the auction will attract a lot of auto enthusiasts. "Barrett-Jackson attracts the most important collector cars because it is the greatest stage in the world to buy and sell these fantastic pieces of history," said Jackson. He also pointed out that they have also sold a car with a connection to Carroll Shelby last year and they would be outdoing themselves this year.

"Last year, we sold the only 427 Shelby Cobra built specifically for Carroll in Scottsdale and now we have the only Shelby Mustang that he’s owned for the past three decades," Jackson said. "This is an opportunity to be the second owner of a premier car and purchase it from the man himself on the weekend we celebrate his 85th birthday. This special car will also be a highlight of our SEMA display, which will be more impressive than ever this year," he added further.

The vehicle which will be auctioned off has been restored by Jim Cowles, known for his talent of restoring classic Shelby cars. The job was done at the Shelby Parts and Restoration in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The restoration of the vehicles makes it even more valuable.

Steve Davis, the President of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, commented that: "The only other Shelby that Carroll has owned longer than this GT500 is the first Cobra, CSX2000. With its recent restoration by one of the premier shops in the country, this historical GT500 would be a monumental acquisition for any serious collector."

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, posted by Auto Rider at 1:38 AM

Trying to purchase an SUV?

The 2007 Lexus GX 470 sport utility vehicle is one of the best in its class and possess a high level of technology and plush features. The basic price of the GX 470 is $46,635 which includes full-time four-wheel drive with a limited slip center differential, rear adjustable height control with auto-leveling, rollover sensing front and rear side curtain air bags, downhill assist control, hill-start assist control, bird’s eye maple wood trim, and leather seats.

The 2007 Lexus GX 470 has an engine that is so quiet that you can't even hear it running. The steering is also remarkably smooth and effortless.

The Lexus GX 470 shares its four-wheel drive system and the full-length chassis with Toyota's FJ Cruiser and 4Runner making it as highly capable in the field of off-road driving.

In terms of fuel consumption, the GX 470 posts 15 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway with the 4.7 liter, 263-horsepower V8.

So what are you waiting guys, go and get your SUV, the 2007 Lexus GX 470.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:07 PM

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen put his best at the recent Formula 1 season finale (the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix) in Sao Paolo to claim the 2007 Driver's Championship. Raikkonen now dethrones Alonso with the Spaniard's championship title.

Raikkonen teammate Felipe Massa followed him and landed the 2nd place. Massa helped out his Raikkonen to bag the championship title although the Brazilian driver also wanted to win the race in his hometown.

Check out the final standings below.

Driver's Championship

1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 110
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 109
3. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 109
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 94
5. Nick Heidfeld BMW 61
6. Robert Kubica BMW 39
7. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 30
8. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 21
9. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 20
10. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 14
11. Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 13
12. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 10
13. Jarno Trulli Toyota 8
16. Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
17. Jenson Button Honda 6
18. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 5
19. Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 4
20. Vitantonio Lizzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 3
20. Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 1

Constructors' Championship:

1. Ferrari 204
2. BMW 101
3. Renault 51
4. Williams-Toyota 33
5. Red Bull-Renault 24
6. Toyota 13
7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 8
8. Honda 6
9. Super Aguri-Honda 4
10. Spyker-Ferrari 1

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 10:20 PM

Earth Communications Inc. will be launching a new GPS-based vehicle tracking device ahead of OnStar which will launch a similar device for General Motors vehicles by 2009. The aim of the tracking device is to make recovery of stolen vehicles much easier.

The Auto Channel reported that the National Insurance Crime Bureau gathered that every 26 seconds, a car is stolen in the United States. In response to that alarming rate of scar theft, Kay Aladesuyi, the president and Chief Executive Officer of Earth Search, has this to say: "Not anymore. The only way a car thief can steal a vehicle equipped with one of our devices is by towing it - and we have an alert for that, too. We don't just find stolen vehicles; we provide the tool to stop the theft."

The technology works in a way that would make it virtually impossible for a thief to get away with a car equipped with Earth Search's device. Every time a vehicle owner gets out and locks the door of his or her vehicle, he or she can use his or her mobile phone to send a message to the device. That message can disable the engine. With the engine disabled, thieves' attempt at "hot-wiring" the car will fail. Isis Barchi, chief technology officer for Earth Search has this to say: "This is a highly user-friendly and effective auto-theft prevention device."

The Earth Search technology also informs a vehicle owner if his or her vehicle was moved in any direction. This capability of the device allows car owners to be always informed as to what is happening to their vehicle. The AutoSearchGPS as the device is called can also be used to locate a vehicle via a mobile phone.

A vehicle can be tracked in real time online. This capability allows authorities to learn where the vehicle is and where it has been. The exact location of the vehicle as well as its speed can also be learned with the use of the device. "In the highly unlikely event that a thief is able to move a vehicle equipped with our product, inevitably the vehicle can be found quickly," enthused Aladesuyi.

The device which is considered as a benchmark-setting system is now available as optional features on vehicles purchased at participating Mazda dealerships in Atlanta. Aladesuyi pointed out that OnStar's device works similar to the AutoSearchGPS. The only difference is that their device is available today and not two years from now.

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, posted by Auto Rider at 10:17 PM

The planned assembly facility will be built at AutoAlliance Thailand, a joint venture between the two automakers. Today, a pickup truck assembly plant is already operational and is now producing large vehicles at the said joint venture in Thailand. The car assembly plant will be built on the same site as the existing facility.

According to Mazda's newsletter, the car assembly plant will maximize manufacturing efficiency and flexibility by integrating a production line from stamping to the final assembly. Aside from that streamlining of the production process, the car assembly plant will be using Mazda's Three Layer Wet Paint System.

The Three Layer Wet Paint System will be used not only in painting the cars assembled but also in finished pickup trucks. Apart from its space-saving attribute, the said system also reduces the amount of VOC and carbon dioxide emitted during the painting process and at the same time improves paint quality.

"The construction of the new passenger car plant at AAT is one of the major strategic moves we are making to raise global retail sales to 1.6 million units under our mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan," said Imaki.

"The AAT plant is an outstanding symbol of our deepening synergies with Ford. Mazda will make maximum use of the new passenger car plant to enhance our product lineup in Thailand and for other export markets. In line with the new plant construction, we expect even greater direct and indirect contributions to the Thai economy," said Imaki.

Today, the pickup truck assembly facility at AutoAlliance Thailand produces 175,000 units annually. Upon completion of the car assembly facility, the AAT's annual production capacity will reach 265,000 units per year. That number includes complete knockdown kits.

The expansion of AAT will help not only Ford and Mazda but also the economy of Thailand. The AutoAlliance purchases about 90 percent from a Thai-based auto parts manufacturer. With the new car assembly facility in place in the near future, more components will be bought from Thai auto components producer. This means that new jobs will be created not only in the car assembly plant but also on the auto parts manufacturing sector. It is anticipated that 2,000 new jobs will be created with the car assembly facility. This is apart from the thousands of new jobs that will be created in related industries.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 10:25 PM

NADAguides.com recently offered a helping hand to consumers looking for a new car to buy ahead of the winter season. The company provides auto information on the Web and recently named new vehicles which are suited for the coming season.

Check them out.

2008 Audi A4 sedan - The said sedan is offered with an optional cold weather package. This adds heated rear and front seats, removable ski sack, retractable headlight washers, and the patented Quattro all-wheel drive system. The A4 sedan has good traction on a variety of road conditions.

2008 Cadillac STS - The said luxury vehicle is offered with an optional all-wheel drive system. The said system gives the STS good traction on any road condition. With the power transmitted to all four wheels of the vehicle, it can tackle slippery roads. The STS also comes with an all-speed traction control and a stability control system. Other features that will come in handy during the winter season are its window defroster, heated exterior rearview mirror, and a remote starter system.

2008 Chevy Tahoe - Heated exterior mirrors, halogen fog lamps and a remote starting system make it a shoo-in for the list provided by NADAguides. The powerful engine of the Tahoe is complemented by the SUV's AutoTrac system. The AutoTrac allows the vehicle to adapt to changing road conditions by maintaining traction on all wheels.

2008 Ford F-150 - It is offered with an optional snow plow prep package. Other features include rear window defroster, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps, and a rack-and-pinion steering. As usual, towing is no problem with the F-150. Its powerful V8 engine with a four-wheel drive configuration can tow up to 11,000 pounds.

2008 Hummer H2 - This vehicle has been under fire from environmentalists for its gas-guzzling attribute. But when it comes to traversing treacherous roads, the H2 is a friend to any car owner. Its V8 engine provides 325 horsepower. With a four-wheel drive configuration, traction is not a problem. Aside from that powerful engine, the H2 is also equipped with other features making it suitable for cold weather driving. Traction control, dual-zone heating, triple sealed doors, heated exterior mirrors and all terrain wheels are features that comes in handy when winter comes.

2008 Jeep Wrangler - is also recommended with its remote staring system, stability control, and an all-speed traction control. Other vehicles equipped with cold weather driving-friendly features are the 2008 Land Rover LR3, Subaru Outback, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the 2008 Volvo XC90.

"One of the most important things people can do to prepare for bad weather is to equip their vehicle with proper tires. In fact, if you own a rear wheel drive vehicle, a good set of snow tires may be all you need for improved performance. However, if your vehicle comes equipped with every safety feature on the planet, there's no substitute for safe driving. When it gets right down to it, careful driving is the most important safety feature of all", Don Christy, the president and CEO of NADAguides.

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, posted by Auto Rider at 7:45 PM

Volvo introduces its new smallest car – the 2008 C30 Hatchback.

The 2008 Volvo C30 Hatchback is based on the front-wheel-drive platform of the Volvo S40 sedan. It comes as a European-style package with four bucket-type seats inside, three doors, and a mostly glass rear tailgate. The design makes it look distinctive on American roads, and thanks to the recognizable Volvo front end one would know immediately that it is a product of the Swedish automaker.

The new C30 is shorter in length by 8 inches than an S40 sedan. However, it is longer by 10 inches than Honda’s five-door Fit, which has a starting retail price of $14,545 with manual transmission and non-turbo four cylinder. By weight, the 2008 C30 is heavier by 770 pounds compared to a Fit.

The 2008 C30 is powered by only one type of engine, which is the same turbocharged five cylinder that of S40 sedan. The engine is capable to boost the horsepower up to 227 -- an edge over Honda’s Fit which has 109 horses from a naturally aspirated four cylinder engine. The C30’s maximum torque is 236 foot-pounds at 1,500 rpm and continues to 5,000 rpm.

The federal government has rated the fuel economy of the new C30 with just 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg in highway, with V-6 engines. In this aspect, the Fit with manual ranks higher at 28 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg in highway.

As with the interior, the C30 has more of a European feel as its width measures 70.2 inches. The back seat provides a decent legroom as it measures 34.2 inches. The C30 also provides a cargo spade of 20.2 cubic feet when the back seats are folded.

The 2008 Volvo C30 has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $23,445, including the destination charge, with six-speed manual transmission. The five-speed automatic transmission is more expensive by $1,250, having a price of $24,695. Such price makes the C30 fit with other hatchbacks from European car companies, like the 2008 Volkswagen GTI at $23,370 with manual transmission and turbocharged four cylinder, and the Mini Cooper three-door car at $21,000 with manual transmission and turbocharged four cylinder.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 7:50 PM

Despite the hybrid vehicles being the new symbol for environmental friendly and fuel efficient vehicles, these are not literally seen by the blind. For blind people, because hybrids are quieter when they are on lower speeds when using electric power, it entails danger for them who merely rely on sounds of approaching vehicles when they are walking across the pedestrian lanes and at parking lots.
"I'm used to being able to get sound cues from my environment and negotiate accordingly. I hadn't imagined there was anything I really wouldn't be able to hear," said Deborah Kent Stein, chairwoman of the National Federation of the Blind's Committee on Automotive and Pedestrian Safety.

"We did a test, and I discovered, to my great dismay, that I couldn't hear it." she added.

There had been notably increasing demand for hybrid vehicles to go with increasing concerns for harmful emissions from the average vehicles. According to the company, the Toyota Prius remains to be the best-selling hybrid vehicle selling 460,000 units since its introduction on the year 2000. Aside from the Prius, the Japanese automaker also launched several hybrid versions of the Camry and other Lexus models.

According to Mike Camissa, the safety director for the manufacturer’s association, the group is working on “the possibility of setting a minimum noise level standard for hybrid vehicles”.

According to officials of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration comprising the two arms of the U.S. Department of Transportation, they are also aware of the problem but have not studied it and the possible solutions.

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Monday, October 8, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:15 PM

Auto experts say that women prefer chic and fun cars.

Earlier, NBC divulged the top ten flirtiest cars. First on the list is the Volkswagen Beetle. Statistically, the Volkswagen Beetle is the most popular car for women, with 57 percent of all buyers of Beetles since July having been women, according to JD Power and Associates. The starting price $16,400 and its uniqueness seem to be the feminine appeal of the car.

"Females, they have a much better sense of styling than men," said Tom Lisle, the general manager of Denny Hecker VW Dealership in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. "I think they like being different."

The Volkswagen Jetta continues to be one of the most popular automobiles for young women, "(The Jetta) is especially popular with college students," Yos noted. "It's a fun, very affordable car. It's safe, sporty, and we have a great college graduate program."

Third on the list is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. While it has fallen in popularity in the last two years, the Eclipse Spyder was the most popular car for women in 2005, according to JDPA, with 65 percent of all buyers being female.

Next in line is another VW car – the Eos. Yos, however, views the car as appealing to an almost solely female clientele, mostly in their 30s. "I think I've only sold one male an Eos so far. It's definitely a female-driven car," he said. "I think it definitely has an elegant feel to it, just a really sleek line."

BMW enters the list with its captivating Z4. The Z4 is engineered to cater to auto fetishes of successful, young women. Even for those who cannot afford the car, the Z4 still is still their option.

And also Toyota RAV4, a sleek SUV. "It has a sporty feel, but you're still high enough up so you feel like you have the security of an SUV, but with great gas mileage," Yos said. "It's very inexpensive. You can get Rav-4's for as little as $20,000. They're real great starter cars."

Completing the list are the Honda CR-V, Pontiac Solstice, Mini Cooper, and the Mazda Miata.

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Friday, October 5, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 7:43 PM

Lexus introduces the latest variants of the GS luxury sport sedan for the 2008 model year. All 2008 Lexus GS models come with a revised exterior design cues and enhanced interior components, according to the top Japanese automaker. Lexus released three model GS variants: the GS 350, GS 460, and the GS 450h equipped with a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.

Jim Farley, Lexus group vice president and general manager commented:
"The 2008 GS 460 demonstrates our commitment to delivering the performance expected in the mid-luxury segment without compromising the sensibilities that have made Lexus the leader in the luxury category in the U.S. market. We believe the GS models deliver the ideal balance of performance and luxury that customers seek in this segment."

Lexus offers both V6 and V8 gasoline engines depending on the model trim level. For the Lexus GS 350, a 3.5-liter V6 engine goes under the hood. This power unit is capable of pumping out 303 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and pulls out 274 lb. ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm.

Now for the GS 460 rear-wheel-drive model, the car comes with a V8 engine pumping out 342 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 339 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,100 rpm. The V8 also earned the Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) certification from EPA.

All Lexus GS luxury sedan models boast a comfortable and safe interior with a host of in-car technologies. Lexus offers three interior leather color combinations for the GS sedan. These include Light Gray leather with Dark Gray Bird's-eye maple wood trim, Cashmere leather with Brown Bird's-eye Maple wood trim, and Black leather with Walnut wood trim. Other interior highlights of the Lexus GS include power-tilt and telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone climate-control system filters the air, standard rear power sunshade, AM/FM/cassette stereo and a 6-disc in-dash CD changer with 10 premium speakers, optional 7.1-channel Mark Levinson Premium Sound system, optional Lexus DVD Navigation System with central screen featuring a high-resolution 800 x 480 pixel display in 32,000 colors, Bluetooth wireless technology on the navigation system.

Lastly, the 2008 Lexus GS sedan models are equipped with the most advanced safety systems in the market today. The car comes with Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with variable-force front airbags for driver and front passenger, standard seat-mounted side airbags for the front seats, knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, and front and rear side-curtain airbags. Other safety features found on the Lexus GS sedan include optional Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), Tire Pressure Monitoring system, and Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) system.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 8:37 PM

The Chinese Grand Prix is scheduled to be held from the 5th to the 7th of this month.

The Formula One season visits Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. Going into the penultimate race, the constructors' championship has already been decided as McLaren was disqualified from the championship after the Ferrari spying scandal. Hamilton now has one hand on the driver's championship. At the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix, he can clinch the title and become the first rookie to win the championship.

Heidfeld described the track in Shanghai saying: "Turns one, two and three are among my favourite sections in the race calendar. You approach the first turn at high speed, go into it flat out, but then the corner increasingly tightens up and you have to shift right down to second. Making a clean exit will be even more interesting next year when we'll be driving without traction control again. Overall I'm rather fond of this circuit."

His teammate Kubica also described the track as a "nice" one. "Quite a nice track with, again, a very long straight," said the Pole Formula One driver. "Maybe there is an overtaking possibility at the end of the long back straight. This is very long, but it is not easy because before the straight there is a really quick right hand corner and it is always difficult to follow the cars very closely there."

Teams are now in China preparing for the penultimate race of the season which might see Hamilton setting a record once again.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 7:54 PM

Mercedes Benz introduces the newest C-Class model with design cues and performance features from the company's AMG sports tuner.

The new Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG will roll out in the market with two variants: sedan and estate models. Both variants are equipped with a monstrous AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine capable of pumping out 336 kW / 457 hp and 600 Nm amount of peak torque. This naturally aspirated engine allows the Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. The car is equipped with a continuous dual-flow AMG sports exhaust system with two chromed twin oval tailpipes with large cross-sections to reduce back pressure, according to Mercedes Benz. Along with high performance catalytic converter, the C 63 AMG complies with almost all of the emissions standards including EU 4 and LEV-II. According to the NEDC, the new Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG achieves a fuel consumption of only 13.4 l/100 km and emits a mere amount of CO2 of 319 g/km. The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is coupled with AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission to complete the powertrain package.

Like all other Mercedes Benz AMG models, the C 63 AMG comes with a wide array of interior and exterior components. Outside, the C 63 AMG features AMG bonnet with power domes, distinctive AMG radiator grille, flared front wings, AMG rear apron with a black diffusor insert, AMG sports exhaust system with two chromed twin tailpipes, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, AMG spoiler lip, EASY PACK tailgate and load-securing kit, headlamp Assist, and bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function and headlamp cleaning. The C 63 AMG also comes with various wheel and tire combinations. These include the new 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a five-spoke design wrappe3d with tyres in size 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear). A 19-inch AMG titanium grey light-alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design is also available as an optional feature. These high-gloss finish wheels are covered with 235/35 tyres (front) and 255/30 R 19 tyres at the rear.

On the inside, the Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG offers the distinctive AMG sports seats with integrated head restraints, AMG performance steering wheel in a three-spoke design with a 365-mm rim diameter, flattened lower section, tubular-design AMG instrument cluster with AMG main menu, aluminium trim panels on dome, doors and centre console, armrest with roller-top compartment, AMG lettering and brushed stainless steel sports pedals, 1/3:2/3 split-fold rear seat backrest (saloon), /3:2/3 split-fold rear seat backrest (estate), AMG carbon-fibre trim, AMG velour floor mats, and Nappa leather upholstery, just to name the few. Safety feats include ISOFIX child seat attachment points in the rear, THERMATIC two-zone automatic climate control, knee bag on the driver's side, airbags for the driver and front passenger, and Mercedes Benz's PRE-SAFE system available as an optional feature.

Technical features include improved multi-link independent rear suspension with increased track width, fade-resistant AMG high-performance brake system, and new 3-stage ESP with Sport function.

The company said the Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG will roll out in selected markets in Europe early in 2008 carrying a base manufacturer's suggested retail price of 67,235 Euros ($95,782) for the sedan variant, and 69,853 Euros ($99,512 USD) for the estate. Probably this model will also roll out in the US market.

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