By on November 14, 2012
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All 12 North American employees have been officially notified that their jobs are saved.

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By on January 8, 2012

Maruti Suzuki’s big news at the Delhi Auto Show was the debut of its production compact MPV, the Ertiga. But it wasn’t all staid family-carriers at the Suzuki stand, as the Japanese-Indian automaker also debuted its XA Alpha concept, described in this dramatically-narrated (to put it mildly) video as “The Small God For The Big Future.” Remember the Suzuki Samurai (our global readers will certainly remember the Jimny)? It’s getting ready for its 21st Century makeover…
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By on December 27, 2011

Need an engineering project? Got 1,200 hours to kill with nothing to do? Take a tip from this heroically patient Spaniard, and hand-machine your own tiny (12 cc displacement) V12. This would be amazing feat of handwork even if it weren’t fully operational (using compressed air injection), but the fact that it works, runs and was made without a single CNC machine is nothing short of astounding.. If, as the book suggests, Shop Class is Soulcraft, this guy is like an engineering bodhisattva, inspiring us with his precision, patience and skill. In a world where not much is made by hand anymore, this achievement is worth taking a few minutes to marvel over… [Hat Tip: Dean Huston]

By on October 30, 2011

Here’s hoping your weekend motoring has been a little bit safer than surfboard designer Roberto Ricci’s…

By on October 21, 2011

Usually it’s the Germans who we find continually pushing the crash-test envelope, but this time around the UK’s Fifth Gear TV Show that decided to crash a car at 120 MPH. Sure, the Germans already proved how much of a difference can be made by crashing at 50 MPH instead of the traditional 40 MPH, just as the Chinese can make any of their cars appear safe by testing at 35 MPH rather than 40 MPH. But 120 MPH? It’s never been done before…

By on October 16, 2011

Axle and transfer case-maker Marmon-Herrington is still around, supplying OEMs and the aftermarket alike with up-rated drivetrain components. But back in the ’40s and ’50s, the firm designed its own vehicles as well, from an air-droppable tank, to a South African armored car, to monocoque electric trolley buses. Its predecessor company, Marmon Motor Car Company, even built the first car to win the Indy 500, the Marmon Wasp. Sadly this beast, an experimental amphibious off-road (on-marsh) vehicle called the Rhino (more here), was never produced. Otherwise, the Marmon name might have been exhumed during the ’90s SUV boom by a bespoke coachbuilding firm, offering specially-bodied medium-duty truck chassis bearing the brand name that won the first Indy 500 and parachuted into Nazi Germany. Imagine the possibilities…

By on October 14, 2011

America has a fine tradition of automotive spy shots, but it pales in comparison to Germany’s “Erlkönig” tradition. So much so, that Germans seem to exhibit a downright Pavlovian response to camouflaged vehicles, chasing anything that looks like it might be a factory prototype. Even if it’s actually a vehicle they probably see every day. How did this conditioning take root in the German psyche? For that, we need a brief history lesson.

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By on October 8, 2011

When Aston-Martin was first trying to explain there’s nothing undignified about rebadging a Toyota iQ, the firm’s argument was that the Cygnet would be like a “luxury yacht tender.” If you own a yacht (or a “real Aston”), went the company’s logic, nobody’s going to make fun of you for being seen in a dinghy. Or a Toyota. But it seems as though Aston’s argument has been taken a bit too literally. Here, a Top Gear Magazine feature tries towing a Cygnet in a Virage, effectively ruining the “real Aston’s” performance in exchange for more urban practicality when they arrive in Monaco (but at least they got a schadenfreude-laden picture of the Cygnet next to its Toyota cousin). And lest you think this “yacht tender” nonsense is only being done by barmy British magazines, think again. Now Aston just needs to build an actual yacht, so your DBS or Virage can be the yacht tender, and the Cygnet can be the yacht tender’s yacht tender. Now that would be luxury… [via Derek Kreindler's Tumblr]

 

 

By on October 8, 2011

It’s been… several months since I last indulged my strange obsession with Kia’s forthcoming funky take on first-gen Scion xB values, known as the TAM. And back then, all I had to share were a few crummy photos. Now, thanks to Youtube user daniel78park, we can see the Tam flying down the Korean freeway in glorious cell-phone-o-vision. And though I’ve always assumed the TAM was just a boxy, city-delivery variant of the Picanto/i10 platform, it seems my weird crush is more than that. Automotive News [sub] reports

Kia has dubbed its EV effort the TAM project. Kia’s first EV will be a small vehicle based on the platform underpinning the Hyundai i10 minicar. The company plans to produce 2,000 units in 2012.

Hold up… is my weird crush electric?
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By on October 7, 2011

No, it’s not a special-edition 911 with a few extra horsepower and leather-wrapped mirror-adjustment levers. Nor is it a water pipe built to the most exacting standards ever imagined by German engineers. No, Porsche has a freaking palace for sale, Schloss Bullachberg to be precise. Conveniently located in Bavaria’s castle district, near  some of Germany’s most famous castles, Bullachberg was once the seat of the von Thurn und Taxis dynasty… and can now be yours for an undisclosed sum. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Porsche bought the property five years ago, for some six million Euros, with plans to turn it into a luxury resort hotel for “kaufkräftig” (literally purchase-powerful) customers and management retreats. Fast forward through one financial crisis and one overambitious attempt to buy Volkswagen, and Porsche has decided to let the property go. But be warned, as the FAZ reports that

only the most necessary work was done on the building’s upkeep.

Now that Ferrari even has its own amusement park (conveniently begun before the financial crisis), there’s no way Porsche will ever match its Italian rival in terms of cross-branded destination tourism. Which is fine. After all, we’re talking about car companies here… right?

 

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