Wild Ass Rumor of the Day

BMW M2 CS Rumored to Arrive in 2020

With BMW’s M2 Competition coming aboard to succeed the well-respected M2, shaving a quarter of a second off its 0-to-60 time in the process, we figured the brand would put the model on the back burner for a while. However, earlier this week an M2 test mule was spied on the Nürburgring by Motor1.

The outlet surmised that this was likely a prototype for a high performance CS or CLS variant, but we remained uncertain. For all we knew BMW was simply testing new pieces from its performance parts catalog and felt the need to disguise them with some body-colored tape. Then, a few days later, rumors emerged that a production date had already been set for the M2 CS.

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Honda Civic Hatchback Looks Mean in Leaked Photos

The Honda Civic hatchback concept that will debut at this week’s 2016 Geneva Motor Show will wear an aggressive-looking body, according to images leaked by Carscoops.

The five-door bodystyle hasn’t turned the acclaimed 10th-generation Civic into an ugly duckling. The sloping roofline transitions smoothly into the rear liftgate, which incorporates taillights identical to those of the Civic sedan.

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RUMOR: Buick Resurrecting Grand National in Detroit?

If you were looking for at least one wild-ass auto show rumor to see you through the weekend, look no further: Bloomberg (via AutoGuide) is reporting that Buick may show “a sporty coupe concept” this weekend prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

The sports car, reported to be “about the size of the Chevrolet Camaro,” is expected to debut Sunday night. AutoGuide is now speculating that model will be called — drum roll, please — Grand National!

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Could Cadillac Leave General Motors to Be on Its Own?

According to Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen, it probably could.

According to Automotive News, de Nysschen told analysts that Cadillac would have a “a far higher degree of autonomy and self sufficiency” within two years, and the company could report its own profits and losses, separate from GM.

Already, Cadillac contributes “a very sizeable contribution to the overall profit at General Motors” de Nysschen said, so let’s cut the dead weight already and keep the ugly sorority sisters in the basement?

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Lotus is Definitely*, Absolutely*, Positively* Bringing Elise to US*

*Unless it isn’t.

According to Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the next-generation lightweight Lotus two-seater sports car has a future in the United States around 2020 — that is, if Lotus is still around then.

The chief executive spoke to Automotive News and said the Elise could be adapted to the U.S. market’s famously fussy safety regulations, which eventually killed the current-generation Elise in 2011 in the States.

This isn’t the first time Lotus has teased us. Remember the Esprit (pictured above) that was definitely going to be a thing? Yeah, um, I guess that one is still in the mail, huh?

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Maximum Air Speed Explained: Jack Baruth To Outrun Flying Car At NY Auto Show

“For 100 years, people have been dreaming about flying cars,” says, well, a promotion video that attempts to drum up investor interest for a flying car. Despite many attempts, we don’t see many flying cars, nether flying, nor driving. At TTAC, the story is as old as the old Farago-era layout. Fear not, flying cars will be here, real soon now, promise. One will even be at the New York Auto Show.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: "CadiVolt" ELR To Be Rear-Wheel Drive?

TTAC has long held that GM should have initially sold the Volt as a Cadillac, putting its newest, most high-tech drivetrain in a luxury car that could support its high list price. Of course the bailout made a CadiVolt a touch too elitist, which led to GM canceling production plans for its Converj Concept coupe. But with plans back on to sell a Converj-inspired ELR coupe, a new question arises: can Cadillac really charge significantly more than the Volt’s $40k-ish MSRP without doing more than simply rebodying the Volt in Cadillac’s Art & Science styling? Automotive News [sub]’s Rick Kranz reckons Cadillac could do more, and thinks that the ELR could end up with rear-wheel drive.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Scion And Daihatsu Considering Joint Small Pickup For US?
With traditional compact pickups growing into the new “midsized” segment, Scion has long been tipped as a likely candidate to lead the US market back towards…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Lincoln Drops Compact Car To "Focus" On Compact CUV

FordInsideNews reports

According to two independent sources within FoMoCo, FIN has learned that Lincoln has killed off plans for the MkC. Instead, Lincoln will focus all compact energies upon their new CUV, which is internally named the MkD. According to one source, Ford feared that the MkC would cannibalize sales of the larger MkZ sedan… According to a source who has seen the “MkD,” the Escape based CUV sports a design that is more of a tall hatch rather than a traditional CUV. When it comes to interior dimensions, it will be slightly less than that of the Escape

OK, let’s get this straight: a Focus-based “MKC” competes with the MXZ but a next-gen Escape-based CUV doesn’t compete with the MKX? It’s good to see Lincoln trying to focus its efforts, but it’s hard to say that a reborn Mercury Mariner is the place to be focusing. Meanwhile, this wasn’t the only spooky news coming out Ford’s struggling luxury brand over Halloween weekend…

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM Seeks "Far-Reaching Joint Projects" With BMW
Dow Jones cites a report in Der Spiegel Magazine which claims that GM Vice Chairman for Corporate Strategy Steve Girskyhas made enquiries at BMW to start di…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: After The Ridgeline, Honda Considering An Even Smaller Pickup?
In a blog item bemoaning the likely imminent death of the Honda Ridgeline, Automotive News Product Editor Rick Kranz accuses Honda of “abandoning&rdq…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Lincoln Is Going To Be Just Fine
About a minute into this clip, the auto industry’s most ubiquitous reporter John McElroy reveals that he’s seen three future Lincoln concepts and…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Toyota And Tesla Prepping "Billion Dollar" Deal
Edmunds Autoobserver reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed in today’s Q2 analyst call that“we’re in discussions with for a deal that…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Mazda Working On Rotary Engine With Freaking Lasers?
Having seen its RX-8 banned from Europe for flunking emissions tests, Mazda may be going to extreme lengths to improve the efficiency of its next-gen rotary…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Opel City Car Coming To The US
According to Auto Motor und Sport, this Opel “Junior” city car (A-Segment) could be sold in the US if Opel isn’t sold first and if union bo…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Ram Developing Minivan-Based Compact Pickup?
When Chrysler Group Design boss Ralph Gilles said yesterday that “nothing has changed from the Five Year Plan,” I failed to mention one of the is…
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Beyond The Valley Of The Revenge Of The Son Of The Mid-Engine Corvette Rumors
Apparently possessing the institutional memory of sperm, the auto media is once again trotting out the 50-year-old rumor that will never die: OMG, the new Co…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: MG By GM Edition
One of Bertel and my favorite Chinese car blogs, ChinaCarNews, has been reporting since October than the next-generation of MG/Roewe midsized sedans would be…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM Considering Front-Drive Pickup?

Reflecting on the recently-previewed Chevy Colorado Concept, Automotive News [sub]’s Rick Krantz notes

During an interview this year at the Detroit auto show, Jamie Hresko, then vice president of GM global powertrain engineering, strongly suggested the automaker was exploring a new mid-sized pickup. He resigned in late February to pursue other opportunities.

To meet proposed higher U.S. fuel economy and lower emissions standards, automakers that sell in the United States eventually will need to develop a leaner range of pickups, Hresko said.

At some point, especially with the likelihood of higher gasoline prices down the road, a smaller, lighter-weight pickup is inevitable…

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Lutz Headed Back To GM?
The Daily Beast reports:As General Motors Co. gets closer to emerging from government oversight, the automaker is trying to hire Bob Lutz, its former chief…
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A Tale Of The Undead Volksporsche: 914 All Over Again?

End of the 60s, Volkswagen and Porsche cooperated on a budget sportscar called the 914. Soon, one of the many feuds erupted between Wolfsburg and Zuffenhausen, and the mid-engined twoseater was sold as a “VW-Porsche” in Europe. Memories of the boxy, targa-topped car flash through my mind as I read in Germany’s AUTOBILD that Volkswagen might bring back a new Volksporsche.

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This Is Not The Cadillac ATS Engine List

Lord love the car blogs. On the same day TTAC was fooled by a local TV report’s use of a forum photoshop, the rest of the autoblogosphere has gone bananas for an “alleged spec sheet” that is in fact pure speculation on the part of a member of the GM forum cheersandgears.com. Although the “document” in question “surfaced” in a forum poll entitled “2014 Cadillac ATS – Powertrain Predictions” (and was never presented as an official or “leaked” document), the High Gear Media Hive Mind proceeded to write up the “alleged spec sheet” as if they’d just found it in the RenCen’s executive washroom. Though unable to “confirm its authenticity,” the HGM Collective was able to determine that

the new Cadillac ATS-V will feature a 6.2-liter V-8 developing 470 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, the bad boy of the current crop of executive sports sedans.

From there, it was inevitable that the big boys of the car blogging world would jump aboard the bandwagon, albeit with the decency to call the source a “speculative document” or “the rumormill.” Still, this document didn’t “surface”… it was put together by a fan who then asked the members of his forum to vote on whether they “love” or “hate” his speculative lineup. Meanwhile, in the rush to parrot the “news,” some basic considerations have been left out…

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Chrysler "Imported From Detroit"
When it comes to inside dirt on the happenings in Auburn Hills, Allpar tends to deliver the goods. Today they have what they say could be Dodge and Chrysler&…
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Beijing Runs Out Of Cars, Beijingers Mob Dealerships

Beijingers who shop for a car increasingly find themselves SOL. Dealers report a shortage of cars. Especially scarce: inventories of Volkswagens, China’s largest passenger car brand. “I have to turn to another auto brand for not being able to get a single car of Volkswagen’s for five months,” a customer named Li Guang complained to China’s Global Times. The paper reports delivery times of 3 months for China-made Polos, Sagitars (formerly known as Jetta) and Magotan (known as the Passat B6 in other countries.) Now, Beijing’s car dealers are pouring more oil on the fire. The rumor mill is ablaze with talk that Volkswagen might postpone its car supply to Beijing’s auto market for January next year, because Beijing might launch new car registration limit policies at that time. The result?

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM Outsourcing Development Of AMPed-Up Electric SUV
Just weeks ago, Amp Electric Vehicles CEO Steve Burns told the New York TimesG.M. doesn’t know if we are friend or foe… They’re trying to…
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What The Foxtrot Is Going On At Nissan?

Like most modern corporations, car companies tend to be extremely opaque. Only rarely do non-insiders like us get a peek behind the PR curtains of a major automaker, and when we do, we have to wonder why we’re getting the show… and what are we looking at, anyway? Just such a moment has arrived, as a tipster has pointed us to coolsprings.com, where an interview with a Nissan consultant based at Nissan North America’s headquarters in Tennessee appears to be literally overflowing with the kinds of juicy scandals, corporate gossip, and inside baseball that we so rarely see in print. But can the self-described whistleblower Sharyn Bovat be trusted? Is Nissan-Renault’s upper management really locked in a global struggle for control of the company? Do Tennessee taxpayers really pay for Nissan executives’ spa treatments? Did Nissan really relocate a number of employees from California to Tennessee, only to try to fire them shortly thereafter? This is The Truth About Cars, so we’ll proceed with caution… but this story is just too juicy to ignore.

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Question Of The Day: Kia Today, Gone Tomorrow?

If you’re reading this article, that means Fuhrer Schmitt has figured out under what moniker this article should be filed under. As far as I’m concerned it should be a “Question Of The Day”, but it could easily slot into “WTF” and “Wild Arse Rumor Of The Day”. So, here we go…

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WAROTD: GMC Granite, Compact Chevy Van Planned. Impala, Compact Pickup Coming?

GM has been showing off all kinds of future product at its day-long “Global Business Conference,” as it drums up support for its upcoming IPO. Sadly TTAC was not invited, but a wealth of exciting news is percolating through the autoblogosphere. Like this item: Compact MPVs are a big deal.

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Lutz To Lotus?

Our aim is to raise the Lotus brand equity back to its rightful place as it existed in the 1970s when it competed with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche or Aston Martin. Maintaining the unique Lotus DNA is crucial, but with more relevance, greater efficiency and even more sustainability than we have had in the past.

Lotus’s owner, the Malaysian automaker Proton, is getting tired of steady losses, and is giving the legendary British marque five years to become competitive with the top-rung of European sportscar houses. That means more volume (from 2,500 to 8k annual units in five years), more marketing and (almost certainly) less of the stripped-down enthusiast utilitarianism that keeps the brand so beloved by hardcore handling fans. Oh yes, and Lotus is reportedly getting one more thing that every brand overhaul needs: a little Maximum Bob Lutz.
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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: FT-86 Being Joined By Supra, MR2 Replacements
According to a hot tip from Autocar, Toyota is using the delay of its FT-86 sportscar (top, right) to develop a larger “Supra” version, said to b…
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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Cayman Unleashed-Ish?


Not being a regular trackday driver, my recent tryst with a Porsche Cayman S didn’t leave me wishing Porsche would make their own Turbo version. I may be putting my auto-writer-posturing credentials on the line by typing this, but on real roads patrolled by real police officers, 320 hp is plenty, thanks. Besides, everyone knows that Porsche will never allow its crocodilian coupe outshine its older (and more profitable) brother, the 911. But, according to forum postings from someone claiming to have attended Porsche’s recent general sales meeting [via Pistonheads], Zuffenhausen will let the Cayman get a little bit closer to its true potential with a lightweight version due out in the US next Spring.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Weekend: "Real" RWD Cadillac Flagship After All?

We’ve been pretty hard on Cadillac’s decision to replace its aging DTS/STS “flagships” with the stretched-Epsilon XTS, shown in concept form at this year’s NYIAS. We reckon Cadillac needs a true S-Class competitor (as opposed to a glorified Buick LaCrosse) to be taken seriously as a world-class luxury brand… and it turns out that Ed Whitacre agrees. C&D reports:

Cadillac fans will be thrilled to hear that Ed Whitacre himself has instructed the brand to build a true, full-size flagship above both the CTS and the upcoming XTS. The car has not been clearly defined yet. The Zeta platform (Holden Commodore, Chevrolet Camaro, etc.) is heavy and dated, and therefore the flagship is more likely be built on a stretched version of the CTS’s Sigma platform.

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Ford Killing Mercury?
Bloomberg is reporting that anonymous sources tell them top executives are preparing a proposal to kill Mercury to be presented to directors in JulyThe rum…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM Re-Committing To Compact Pickup Market?

If you’ve been reading TTAC regularly, you might have noticed that many of us have something of a soft spot for compact pickup trucks. And what started for me as an innate affinity for all forms of cheap, honest, rugged transportation has become full-blown affection on the strength of several months driving a ’92 Toyota with four-cylinders, four-wheel-drive and a manual transmission. Of course, all auto writers struggle with the disconnect between their personal taste and that of the buying public, and cheap full-sized trucks seem to have eliminated all chances of a re-investment in the segment. Ford, for one, has said that it plans on “replacing” its aged Ranger (which dies next year) with Ecoboost-powered F150 options and its Focus hatchback. Dodge, or Ram, or whoever builds the trucks in Auburn Hills is said to be considering an unibody Dakota replacement, but hasn’t made a peep about it in months. Meanwhile, GM is shutting down Canyon/Colorado production at its Shreveport plant by 2012, ending its half-hearted competition in the segment. But, according to Pickuptrucks.com (which is usually one of the best at breaking these kinds of stories), GM is considering a new entry into the otherwise neglected segment.

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BREAKING: Toyota And Tesla Partnering On EV?

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that Toyota will team up with Tesla to “build electric cars in California.” The governor made this shocking revelation at Google’s I/O Conference today, and told reporters [via the Sacramento Bee]

Today is a very exciting day for me because … I am also going over to the Bay Area to talk about Tesla and Toyota forming a partnership, where they take one of the Toyota cars and make them electric. And again, they’re going to do that here in California.

The obvious scenarios involve joint manufacturing at Toyota’s former GM joint-venture plant NUMMI in Fremont, CA, although there has been no confirmation of these or any other details yet. [UPDATE: According to insidebayarea.com, a Downey, CA city councilman
confirms that Tesla will build the Model S at NUMMI. The Downey City Council had planned to approve a lease deal for a Tesla factory site, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk called to announce that his firm would be setting up shop at NUMMI]

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM And Google Discussing Onstar-Android Tie-Up
The Wall Street Journal reports that GM and Google are discussing new ways to connect the internet giant’s Android mobile phone operating system wit…
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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM's "Mark Of Excellence" On The Way Out?

Personally, the lack of a blue “Mark of Excellence” was the last thing I noticed about GM’s latest advertisement. Over at GMInsidenews.com, however, they picked up on it a little quicker. GM’s trademark “chiclet” has already been removed from all of its future vehicles, and Cadillac has publicly announced that it’s distancing itself from the GM name. In fact, post-bankruptcy, everyone at GM has said that the “GM brand” should take a backseat to Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. But will The General go as far as get rid of its little blue box altogether?

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Peugeot-Citroen Considering Alliance With BMW?

Reporters didn’t hold a gun to Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s head when they asked him where the next big industry consolidation would occur. He didn’t have to give an answer, and Automotive News [sub] certainly didn’t have to run it as a standalone story. But then, Marchionne’s Fiat is the Don Juan of the global auto industry, having been linked to flirtations with nearly every automaker in the game. If anyone has an idea of the M&A picture in Europe, it’s Sergio. His reply?

The next merger will probably be French. [PSA Peugeot-Citroen] tried with Mitsubishi and they will try with someone else… An alliance involving France and Germany is not that easy, but a step in the right direction

PSA Peugeot-Citroen and BMW currently develop transverse four cylinder engines together… does Marchionne foresee a deeper relationship?

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Wild-Ass Speculation Of The Day: Was Jim Press The Man Who Knew Too Much?

In September of 2007, Jim Press surprised the automotive world by leaving Toyota to become president of Chrysler LLC. Press, the first non-Japanese member of the Toyota board of directors, was generally considered to be a major factor in Toyota’s North American success, and his move still has people scratching their heads. It’s been generally assumed that Chrysler’s then owner, Cerberus, promised him a big pile of money. That assumption seems to be reinforced by Press’ inability to pay $1.35 million in debt and taxes last September, which he attributed to bonuses not received due to Chrysler’s meltdown. Still, regardless of the merits of working for the strugling Auburn Hills automaker, leaving Toyota in the first place seemed like a poor career choice.

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My, My, Maybach: Bad Yarn Debunked

Yesterday, Chinese site auto.sina.com had what our Ed Niedermeyer called “a belly-laugher of a wild-ass rumor: they say BYD has its eye on Daimler’s zombie luxury brand Maybach.” Funny as it may be, media all over the world jumped on the story. Now, the story is heading right to Snopes. After what must have been a round of heated phone calls between Stuttgart and Shenzhen, Daimler denounced the dumb-ass tale:

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: BYD After Maybach?

Chinese site auto.sina.com [via thetycho.com] has a belly-laugher of a wild-ass rumor: they say BYD has its eye on Daimler’s zombie luxury brand Maybach. The rumor is clearly based on the fact that BYD and Daimler recently closed a cooperation deal, in which they will jointly build vehicles in China for sale under a new brand name. But beyond that, there’s not much to go on. From what I can tell from the Google Translate version of the story, auto.sina.com seems to have an anonymous source in BYD that on March 23 divulged:

BYD is on the matter and approached Daimler, Daimler announced soon abandoned the brand, BYD Auto will soon be underway acquisition action.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Mid-Engine Corvette Whispers Won't Die Edition

Along with flying cars and hydrogen fuel cells, the mid-engined Corvette occupies the most spurious level of automotive rumor-mongery. GM has a deep, rich history of flirtation with the idea of a mid-engine ‘vette (too deep and rich for us not to commission a forthcoming brief history from Paul Niedermeyer), but even in the last three years the engine configuration of the C8 Corvette has attracted intense speculation. In October of 2007, Motor Trend kicked off the modern era of mid-engine ‘vette rumors with a lengthy piece which “revealed” that

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz reportedly has been pushing for a mid-engine C7… We hear Lutz is backing down from his support of a mid-engine C7, though other powerful GM execs reportedly still favor it. Those at GM who prefer an evolutionary, front-engine C7 are facing a tough battle.

Almost exactly a year later, MT took it all back. With GM facing bankruptcy and bailouts, plans for a new Corvette were put on hold and the RenCen pendulum was swinging back towards an evolution of the front-engined C7. And yet now, with bankruptcy still less than a year in GM’s past, the mid-engine Corvette rumors are bubbling back up again.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Renault-Nissan Considering A Stake In GM?

Flirtation between Nissan and GM has a rich history, dating back to 2006, when the two firms nearly merged, in a move that would have left Nissan-Renault’s Carlos Ghosn in charge of French-Japanese-American juggernaut. GM fought off Ghosn’s advances (and a stockholder rebellion) to stay independent, but with a post-bankruptcy IPO now looming, Ghosn has once again appeared on GM’s horizon. In a bit of in-depth speculation at Dow Jones Investment Banker [via the WSJ [sub]] Jamie Miyazaki and Alessandro Pasetti break down the pros and cons of a Renault-Nissan hookup with GM. Their conclusions: although, Renault is currently playing footsie with Daimler:

Over the long haul, looking west to General Motors in the U.S. could prove more fruitful for Renault than strengthening partnerships in Europe’s saturated market. Taking an equity stake in a reborn, and eventually relisted, GM would give the Renault-Nissan alliance exposure to the U.S. auto giant’s diverse geographic presence… GM [has] shifted about 37% of its total 2009 sales in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, according to J.D. Power & Associates data. Throw in GM’s plans to ramp up its Indian operations and its large presence in the Brazilian market, where Renault is investing to roughly double its market share to 10%, and the Detroit giant’s allure is obvious.

Paging Captain Kirk!

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: The Bob Lutz Era Ends On May 1

Unnamed sources tell Reuters that the Maximum era at GM will end on May 1, when Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz will announce his retirement. Unless this is one of those Brett Favre things. Needless to say, TTAC appreciates the month of notice, and will struggle to put together a fitting tribute to the man we call Maximum.

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Give Us Today Our Daily Hummer

As connoisseurs will certify, daily Hummers are good for you. The Chinese agree and keep us supplied with the delicious staple of GM (and we don’t mean genetically modified) food.

Yesterday, we announced that time may be running out for the Hummer-Tengzhong deal. Jalopnik even went as far as saying that the deal is dead.

“Not so” said Shanghai Daily in the early Chinese morning hours of Wednesday. One of their sources said that “the chances of having the deal approved had dropped to 50-50,” another source of the Shanghai paper remained defiant: “Tengzhong has not given up hope yet to win government approval.”

This (U.S.) morning, the Wall Street Journal weighed in on the matter. Their Beijing correspondent reconnected with her “person close to the situation” after the source had returned from the Chinese New Year holidays. That impeccable source reported that “Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. has been told that the Chinese government won’t clear its deal to buy General Motors Co.’s Hummer unit.”

In the afternoon, Reuters did a straddle.

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Wild Arse Rumour Of The Day: Someday Enthusiasts Will Have To Stop Bashing Hybrids

Car enthusiasts are an odd bunch. They don’t understand why people buy “bland-mobiles” like Toyotas & Hondas, they can’t see why anyone would choose an automatic gearbox over a manuals, and they still can’t figure out why all cars aren’t RWD. For them, the smell of burning petrol (or oil, if you’re in Europe) combined with smouldering rubber, is somewhere between, a freshly baked apple pie and cooked bacon in the spectrum of heavenly smells. Well, there’s one other thing that car enthusiasts may have to combine with those smells, the hum of an electric motor… and it might just mean the end of their sweeping disdain for anything with the word “hybrid” in its name.

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Hyundai Prepping Wrangler Competitor?
Just in time for Truck Thursday at TTAC comes this hot bit of scuttlebut from Jalopnik: Hyundai might be developing a “highly-capable off-roader.&rdquo…
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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Tesla Model S Delayed

Speaking to MarketWatch at the Detroit Auto Show, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk apparently just revealed that the Tesla Model S sedan will be released “within two and a half years.” Which is interesting considering Musk claimed that production would start in 2011 at the Model S launch last March. But then, Tesla is still trying to decide on a factory location, apparently waffling between former aeronautical manufacturing locations in Downey and Long Beach. And apparently Tesla’s mere consideration of a brownfield site in Downey has drawn protests from a group calling themselves The Raging Grannies.

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Wild-Ass Rumors Of The Day: Ecclestone Bidding For Saab, Volt Pricing Under $40k?

We’ve got a two-for-one deal on today’s wild-ass rumors, as neither seems likely to amount to much. First off, GM’s Jon Lauckner caught a headline at the WSJ by conjecturing that the Volt’s price “could be notably lower” than the anticipated $40,000. “We have until this summer to figure that out,” Lauckner said. Meanwhile, The Atlantic‘s Daniel Inviglio ran a few numbers, and came up with some rough estimates about possible amortization compared to a Toyota Prius at different price points ($40k, $30k, $25k). Even at $30k, according to Inviglio’s analysis, you’d have to drive 3,350 miles per month to see an economic benefit over the Prius. Yikes!

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Apple COO "Top Candidate" For GM CEO Job
An anonymous tipster writes in to The Business Insider:I saw your recent post on Tim Cook at Apple. I don’t know if he has been contacted yet but he is…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM To Rebadge Saab 9-5?

Saabsunited ran a recent piece by Sweden’s Dagensindustrie through Google Translate, and came out with a possible (and very old-GM) outcome for the new Epsilon II-based Saab 9-5:

According to Dagens Industri’s sources, GM is planning to use the new Saab 9-5: an own model program, including a future Buick in the U.S.. GM is also in a letter to Saab’s sub-contractors have estimated the time of closure of Saab to five years.

There are sources in Saab Automobile in the Dagens Industri – DI – indicates that GM now see positive opportunities to closure of Saab. By making use of Saab’s technology, tools and production equipment for GM use the new 9-5: an – that would be launched in the spring – to a future Buick in the U.S..

In the GM is also talk of exploiting Saab technology for the production of a new premium car for Opel, “says DI’s sources. It would then be about the reopening of the closed trial with an Opel Senator in Europe.

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Wild-Ass Rumour Of The Day: Renault Considering Return To The US?

Thought, you’d seen the last of Renault in North America? Well, think again and this time, they’re bringing their big guns! The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that Gerard Detourbet, head of Renault’s entry level division is contemplating selling their low cost cars in South East Asia and North America. “We’re looking at Southeast Asia closely,” he said “We ended up not going there for a variety of reasons. But the idea is that we won’t remain absent from that territory.”

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM CEO Fritz Henderson Resigning In 5, 4, 3, 2…
Breaking, via the AP. We are currently listening to muzack waiting for GM’s press conference to begin.
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Wild Arse Rumour Of The Day: Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone?
Ratan Tata is unmarried and has no children. So he’s now on the hunt for a successor and because of the lack of Tata scions (Toyota joke here) he&rsquo…
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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Meet the 1 Series-based Roadster
Think the new Z4 is a bloated boulevard cruiser unworthy of the roadster-implying Z badge? We’d tend to agree. Which is why we were chuffed to see rend…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: LX-Platformed Lancia, Maserati Planned
Well, we’ve been here before. A while back we’d heard that an Alfa 169-branded, LX-platformed sedan would be built at Brampton for the US market,…
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Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Mercury's New Doors Closed for Good?

Because of an unusual concentration of radio and television broadcast antennae in and around the Detroit suburb where I live, just about every car company and automotive electronics vendor that does business in North America tests their cars for resistance to radio frequency interference in my neighborhood. Ford in particular seems to like the testing location – it’s only 20 minutes from Ford facilities in Dearborn and convenient to do worst case real world testing.

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Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Video Games Are Killing Car Sales
Home game machines are no good. Playing something that realistic makes the need for cars disappearSo goes the Gawker hive-mind translation of a quote, attrib…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Alfa May Or May Not Be Developing A V8
Autocar can’t decide. But then, Alfa’s denial, “No front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive Alfa Romeo will use a engine larger than a V6,&rdq…
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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Toyobaru Turbo After All?
About a year ago we heard that European emissions standards had killed off any hope of a turbocharged version of the Toyobaru sports coupe. That may be true…
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  • MaintenanceCosts Will the Bronco have a four-motor configuration a la Rivian? That seems to me like the right approach for an EV off-roader. Enables lots of neat tricks.
  • Lou_BC ERay? A southern model will be the BillyRay.
  • Lou_BC I've never used a car buying plan service. My Costco membership did get me 1,000 cash back on my last truck.
  • Jeff S I can understand 8 cars is a bit much unless you are a serious collector. I always loved the Challenger when it first came out and now. I don't need a car like this but I am glad it exists at least for 1 more year. If I had a choice between a Mustang, a Camaro, and a Challenger I would opt for a Challenger but probably with a V-6 since it has more than enough power for most and I don't need to be burning rubber. Challenger has the classic muscle car looks, more cabin room, and a decent size trunk which makes it very livable for day to day driving and for traveling. The base models of the Dodge Challenger has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that gives you 305 horsepower with 268 lb-ft torque. The car attains 60 mph from a standstill within just 6 seconds, which is quite fast. Even with their base engines, the Challenger and Camaro are lightning-fast. The Camaro reaches 165 mph, while the Challenger can go up to 11 mph faster!
  • Inside Looking Out I would avoid American cities if I can. European cities are created for humans and Americans for cars.