Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Photograph I took of a Daytona Prototype at th...Image via Wikipedia

No one was faster during the month of January at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway than the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing, featuring drivers Max Angelelli, Ricky Taylor, Pedro Lamy and Wayne Taylor.

But despite clocking the month’s fastest testing lap in record-setting time, qualifying on the pole for this weekend’s 48th Rolex 24 At Daytona, and setting the fast lap of the twice-around-the-clock Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series endurance marathon itself, the SunTrust team had to persevere through multiple mechanical maladies and a fateful meeting with a concrete barrier to earn a hard-fought sixth-place finish by the time the checkered flag flew Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps darkness is to blame for the fact the SunTrust team never had a fighting chance to exploit its lightning speed over the 3.56-mile, 14-turn superspeedway road circuit. During the daylight hours Saturday and Sunday, Angelelli, Taylor, Lamy and Taylor led an incredibly trouble-free existence in the team’s efforts to bring SunTrust its second Rolex 24 victory since 2005. But once nightfall began to set in on Saturday, troubles of all kinds began to send the SunTrust Racing machine to the pits and the garage for extended visits for repairs, which gradually distanced the No. 10 car further and further from the race leaders.

After helping set the pace under rainy and wet conditions at the outset of the 24-hour affair, the troubles started, innocently enough, when Angelelli had to make an unscheduled stop during the second hour for a new set of rain tires when his right-front tire was beginning to come apart due to excessive heat. He stayed on the lead lap in 13th place, nonetheless, with plenty of time left to regain his position at the front.

But then, midway through the third hour, a freak occurrence plucked Angelelli from his forward movement. The rooftop radio antenna mount collapsed and fell into the cockpit, right into Angelelli’s field of vision. The Italian driving ace bolted into the pits for a quick fix, but fell two laps off the pace as he handed the car over to his new full-time co-driver Ricky Taylor. The antenna mount proved to need better reinforcement as Taylor was having to help keep it propped up while negotiating the Daytona circuit. He was able to pit shortly after the three-hour mark under caution so the team could make a permanent fix without losing any more laps.

Midway through the sixth hour, after taking over from Taylor and completing his first fuel-and-tire run, Lamy, the Portuguese former Formula 1 competitor and current factory driver for Peugeot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans just left the SunTrust pit with a full load of fuel and fresh tires when he slid into a concrete barrier on the pit exit road. He was able to continue, but inflicted significant damage to the right-front and rear of the SunTrust car. He headed straight to the garage for 13 minutes of suspension and gearbox repairs that dropped him five laps off the pace.

Not long after relieving Lamy during the eighth hour, Angelelli reported that the rear end of the car didn’t feel quite right. The crew directed him to the garage and ended up replacing the gearbox a second time, as well as other major driveline components. Angelelli resumed 18 laps off the pace.

All the while, between trips to the garage, the SunTrust car was able to turn some of the fastest laps on the race track even though the team’s hopes of winning had essentially vanished well before the race’s midpoint. And the troubles would continue in the overnight hours.

Midway through the 14th hour, Lamy reported gearbox troubles once again and brought the SunTrust car to the garage. In addition to a third gearbox change, the crew also had to replace the left-side driveshaft before Angelelli took over and resumed in 10th place, 44 laps down. One final visit to the garage less than an hour later, when the crew noticed via onboard telemetry that the gearbox oil temperatures were beginning to spike, dropped the SunTrust car to its largest deficit of the race—47 laps—to the leaders.

Once the darkness began to turn to light on Sunday morning, the SunTrust car’s troubles would be behind it with more than eight hours of racing left. At one point, just after dawn, Angelelli showed his and the No. 10 car’s mettle when he drove up behind the first- and second-place cars, picked them off one-by-one, and left them in his rearview mirror.

He turned the race’s fastest lap of 1 minute, 41.101 seconds (126.764 mph) in the process. As the SunTrust driver lineup rotated through the cockpit the rest of the way, attrition came to the rescue and enabled the team to leave move up in the order and end up with a relatively successful points day despite its unusual array of mechanical troubles.

“I think this is such a great team,” said team owner, two-time Rolex 24 winner and three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, who put the exclamation point on the sixth-place finish by driving the car across the finish line to take the checkered flag. “Everybody works for one thing, and that’s to be successful, and they never give up. There is so much respect amongst this group, as well as all of our partners—SunTrust, Toshiba, Roush Yates Engines—it’s what we do. It’s all we do. I’ll say this, and I mean this: I’ve never known my team to be more prepared than they were for this race. But it’s always those little things that take you out in a 24-hour race, and we had more than our fair share of those. We proved we had the best car. We have the best team. And that bodes well as we move forward from here.

Angelelli, who co-drove with Taylor to the 2005 Rolex 24 win en route to that season’s Rolex Series championship, had one of the many smiling faces in the post-race revelry despite the disappointment of having such a fast car and having to settle for a sixth-place finish.

“It’s quite rare to have such a fast car all the way through a weekend and leaving the weekend without a win,” Angelelli said. “It was such a good car, it was really upsetting. But we’re happy because, despite all of the bad things that happened to us, we finished sixth and that leaves us looking good for the championship. I’m enthused about Ricky. He did everything so perfectly, so incredibly perfect. We can’t forget that, for him, this is his first real race as a regular driver with a championship-contending team. I’m looking forward to the season with Ricky. We will have a lot of fun.”

The younger Taylor, who made his Rolex Series debut just two years ago when he co-drove the SunTrust car to a fifth-place finish in the Rolex 24, turned competitive laps throughout his three double driving stints and left no doubt the team would be able to mount a strong run for the championship once again.

“This SunTrust Ford Dallara was really, really unbelievably strong today,” said the 20-year-old Taylor. “It was just a shame for a little bit of bad luck through the night just ruin it for us. It’s the 24-hour, it’s expected to have some bumps. But I felt so strong during the race. Hopefully, we can have a solid season for the rest of the year. All the worries, all the uncomfortable feelings, are gone. I’m ready to get to Homestead (for the next race) and get the season going. I was in the motorhome during all of our major problems, so I didn’t get to see everything that was going on. But going through four gearboxes is unheard of. Hopefully, I didn’t have anything to do with that. But the car was so strong, and it’s just a shame we weren’t there at the end to fight for the win.”

Asked his opinion about his son’s performance, Wayne Taylor deferred.

“That’s difficult for me to talk about, personally, because he’s my son and I don’t want to say things that would come across as biased,” Wayne Taylor said with a laugh. “I guess what you should do is ask Max, and Dallara, and Ford, and the rest of the team. Ask them, because I know what I think.”

Finally, Lamy heads back to the Peugeot Le Mans program after his second Rolex 24 with the SunTrust team, wondering just what might have been.

“We had many problems,” he said. “And I made a big mistake going out of the pits on cold tires. I touched the barrier, and then we lost some laps there and kept losing laps with the other things. It was a terrible race for us from that standpoint because the car was very fast. If we could have finished without so many problems, we might have won the race. But that is a part of these kinds of races. This is a very good team and I think they will go on and have a great year.”

The new No. 9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley team, a spinoff of the Brumos Porsche team that won last year’s Rolex 24, took the checkered flag today, 52 seconds ahead of the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley. They were the only two competitors to finish on the lead lap. There were 13 race leaders in all, including the SunTrust car, which held the point for seven laps. The lead-lap cars covered 755 laps, or 2,687 miles. The SunTrust team finished 44 laps down.

Round Two of the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will be the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday night, March 6.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


1970 Boss 302Image via Wikipedia

Forty years after it’s namesake became a road racing legend, the BOSS 302R is back on track for 2010 with the new 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

Jamie Allison, director Ford North American Motorsports; Fritz Wilke, Ford Mustang Brand Manager; Mike Harrison, Ford Motor Company Engine Programs manager; and the man who made the original BOSS 302 famous, Parnelli Jones participated in a press conference before the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series season-opener to celebrate the debut of the new BOSS 302R.

“Absolutely. What an exciting moment here with Parnelli. Almost 40 years, actually 40 years and counting when Parnelli established and set the legend of the original BOSS 302. We couldn’t be more thrilled. Brand new car, this year at Ford Motor Company, it’s the 2011 Mustang with a new 5.0-liter engine. That in itself is a great history, but to actually track it down and actually build a race car around that historic 5.0-liter and be surrounded by the legend, and our dear friend Parnelli, to re-introduce the BOSS 302R to its true form, which is back on the track where it belongs.”

“To compare the two cars, obviously they can make a lot more power today and they’ve certainly done that. The new car is phenomenal, it handles great. I got a chance to drive a little bit out at Laguna Seca, drive the new car that they’re racing today, and I can certainly see that they’ve come a long way. Obviously, they have a little better power, a little better brakes, probably a little better drivers, probably, anyway. It’s really thrilling to be a part of Mustang because I certainly feel a great part of it, spent my whole life, I always say 40 years, I’ve got 4 of them myself. They’re really enjoyable cars and I can’t say anything greater than that.”

“Well, actually that’s one thing that’s quite different. In our day, we didn’t have any electronics, and we had metals, for example, that weren’t as good as they are today. Valve springs, for example, was a big problem that we had back in 1970, and today they’ve come a long ways. The amazing part of it is you can, in today’s Mustang, you can take it out and go hot lap it for quite a few laps and things like that without hurting it. In our day, in ’70, you couldn’t do that quite with a streetcar and went out and take a few laps, you would probably burn it down. They’ve come, with technology, a long ways. As we can see, you can make so much more power today in the same amount of cubic inches as we did then. It just goes on and on. The brakes are better. The tires are better. Technology has just come a long way, so it’s not the same, but take whatever you race, whatever you have at that particular moment, and try to maximize the most out of it.”

“It’s a good question. I don’t think one driver from one place to another is any different. What really makes a race driver stand out is his will to win, his desire. I think there are a lot of drivers out there that have a lot of talent, maybe they’re lacking a little bit in their desire. The ones that standout have the most desire. You see that in the famous names that you see in racing.”

“You’re talking about desire, that’s what you’re getting at. When I first started racing we were running old jalopies, and we had as many as 200 cars show up to qualify and they only took 16 for the main event. You gave it 110-120 percent constantly. There was no letting down at any moment, you pushed, shoved, took everything to the max. That probably hurt my career a lot because when I went into other types of racing, I tended to do the same things, well they corrected me right away, the officials did. I think it just spells out the desire. I want to win, and I did at all costs so-to-speak.”

“Certainly both have enough motor to be competitive in their times. I know the original BOSS 302 had lots of power out on the track. The street car was a little de-tuned from that, but you had plenty of power at the top in Parnelli. With the 5.0-liter that we have here today for the BOSS 302R, we’re essentially pretty much stock for what we’ve announced for the 2011 5.0- liter. It’s very slightly modified from the 2011 engine, but we get to take advantage of that fact. Really we’ve got a lot of torque to pull out of the corners and also it’s going to make racing a lot more affordable because this is a primarily production based engine that we’ve pulled off our machine and assembly lines, so it’s very economical for us to do this. It’s going to make racing a lot more affordable.”


“We’re so excited to have our Mustangs back on track and we’re so excited to debut this 5.0-liter that a lot of people have been waiting for with the BOSS 302R. We’ve got legendary paint schemes, Parnelli, we’ve borrowed your paint scheme, thank you for letting us do that. We are so excited and we think all of the Mustangs are going to do great this year. We’re really looking forward to it as a brand to really embrace the heritage of racing that we have engineered for 45 years.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


DSC_4381—Mustang Boss 281 GTImage by kptyson via Flickr

Forty years ago, racing legend Parnelli Jones piloted a Mustang BOSS 302 to a championship title. Starting today, five Ford Racing BOSS 302R teams look to channel the spirit of Jones’ success and go for another championship while Jones himself looks on.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Parnelli Jones’ 1970 Trans-Am Championship in a Mustang BOSS 302 prepared by Bud Moore Engineering, Ford Racing recently introduced the new BOSS 302R, a factory-built race ready Mustang for track days and road racing in a number of SCCA and NASA classes.

Built with a special Grand Am Homologation Package, the BOSS 302R will compete in the Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series (formerly known as Koni Challenge), starting with today’s season-opening race in Daytona. Multimatic Motorsports, Jim Click Racing, JBS Motorsports and Racer’s Edge Motorsports will campaign for their first victory this weekend, and Parnelli Jones will be on hand at the track, visiting with the teams and drivers.

“The original BOSS 302 was a championship-winning icon,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North Motorsports. “The new Mustang BOSS 302R will be ready to carry on that tradition. The Mustang was born to race from the start, and this new Mustang is born to win.”

The BOSS 302R features the Ford Racing Boss 302 crate engine, based on the new 5.0-liter 4-valve V-8 found in the 2011 Mustang GT. With the Grand Am Homologation Package, this turnkey race car also includes a 6-speed manual transmission with a roll cage, race seats, a safety harness, race dampers and springs, upgraded brakes and tires. The total ready-to-race package will cost $129,000 (MSRP).

The BOSS 302R follows in the very successful footsteps of its most recent road racing predecessor—the Mustang FR500C from Ford Racing. In 2005, when the Mustang FR500C debuted at Daytona, the first car was delivered on Wednesday of that week and won the Koni Challenge race on Friday.

In five years of competition since then, the FR500C has won three drivers’ championships, including back-to-back (2008—2009) Triple Crown championships of driver, team and manufacturers titles in Koni competition. The FR500C has also seen success in European FIA GT3 and FIA GT4 competition, and also by the recent E-85 fueled land speed record set by Hajek Motorsports at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

“We expect the BOSS 302R to continue the successful tradition of winning, factory-built race cars from Ford Racing,” said Allison.

“The FR500C and FR500S road racing Mustangs, and the CobraJet drag racer have proven to be competitive right out of the box for our customers, helping teams win races and championships. We have high hopes for the BOSS 302R to provide that same sort of competitive product for our customers with the tradition you can only get from Ford Racing.”

Ford Racing engineer Andy Slankard has been instrumental in the development and testing of the new BOSS 302R. Slankard attended the recent Daytona test sessions and is confident with the performance of the purpose-built race car.

“We have won three championships in five years, so we know how to make a Mustang fast,” said Slankard. “So far, everything is looking really solid. I don’t anticipate any major changes. We are pretty sorted with the content that will be in the car. We are just working on things to make sure they are durable and reliable.”

Available through the Ford Racing warehouse, a total of 50 BOSS 302R Mustangs will be built by Ford Racing. Delivery is anticipated in third quarter of 2010. For those who miss out on the initial lot of 50, Ford Racing Performance Parts will sell all the parts necessary to convert a Mustang to a BOSS 302R including the BOSS 302 engine.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Ford Mustang GT (racing GT car)Image via Wikipedia

Bret Seafuse navigated his No. 37 Mustang BOSS 302R to the highest finish among the Ford teams in the Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway.

“We went down the board because I made a bit of a blunder on the second restart and I jumped the start so I had to come in for a stop-and-go. We went from seventh or eighth to last behind all the ST cars and everybody, so we battled our way back and we won it on pit strategy.”

“I drove that new Boss 302R as hard as I could and passed as many as people as I could, got it as far back up as I could. We weren’t in bad shape when we put James [Gue] in the car; we were coming back and decided upon a fuel strategy we thought might work and it darn near paid off.

“I’m not really sure, I’ve not done that before. Something must’ve looked different to us than it did to others but I don’t plan to do it again because it makes for a lot of extra work to overcome.”

“We sort of put ourselves in a bad situation right off the bat.”

“This is a brand new car for us and have only had it for less than two weeks now. I just jumped in it [Thursday] for the first time so we’ve got a lot to learn though we learned a lot in the last couple of days.

“So far, I’ve got no complaints straight out of the box after having had the car for only a handful of days, especially after having come from the back as we did. We were not necessarily the quickest car but we certainly know how to race.”

“Well Ryan [Winchester], my young rookie buddy here gave me a very good car. We put scrap tires on it. Our tread didn’t work quite as well as we thought it would, had to fuel early. That’s just the luck of the game, but the car was good. We had a great run and the old man and the kid did a very good so we’re pleased.”

“The tires started going off in the last eight to 10 laps, so I was getting a little bit of an oversteer, but it was very manageable.”

“We qualified well yesterday and had a good starting spot for the race today. The header got a crack in it right at the beginning of the race, so we were down a lot of horsepower. The Mustang was really good handling wise in the infield. If we would have had more horsepower, I think we would have had a pretty good shot at a top-five easily, but the BMWs were just way too strong. I’m happy with our result. Ken Wilden drove the Mustang like the champion he is. I think we finished pretty strong with that broken header. I’m excited about it, not excited as we should have been or could have been but ninth is better than what I did last year, so I can’t complain.”

“I learned a lot from Ken Wilden this weekend. We looked at his data all weekend and I think it helped me improve my lap time from last year. He helped me a lot, I just we wish we could have made the finish a little bit better and got them a little higher in the championship standings.”

“It wasn’t the best day for us. It wasn’t what we had planned on happening going in. We just couldn’t get the car fast enough today. We have some time before Homestead to really work out the kinks and figure out a new strategy. Last year our worst finish was eighth, which isn’t horrible, but we need to do better in order to defend our title.”

“Andrew is a talented driver. He really put forth his best effort today, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the car up where we wanted it.”

“We had a couple of issues to start. First, we had something with the engine where it went down in power, some electrical issues, then it kind of fixed itself and it was going good. We had a really strong run coming back and I was coming up through traffic, but the engine was just cutting out so it was just really tough and then all of a sudden it just cut out completely. Then I cycled the ignition and it was fine and then I was going in the bus stop and I hit the brakes and the car wouldn’t stop and then it just stopped. Coming around in Turn 1 I hit the pedal again and just went all the way to the floor.

“It was a trying race but we use these as test sessions, so I’m sure that we’ll go to Homestead with all of the issues fixed. I’m very confident with that. There’s no way in testing to simulate what do you do during a race weekend like this. The last program when we introduced the Mustang FR500C we had pretty much a whole year of development to get the car right. This time we only had three months, so we’re just a little bit behind schedule, but I know without a doubt in my heart that this car is going to win a race season.”

“We had a really good race and started off well. We didn’t perform like we did in qualifying yesterday because we changed the car set-up but we made it up in the race. We had a couple problems in the race that we had in practice, so we started working on the car and didn’t find those problems this morning. We weren’t sure if it was a fuel pick up or ignition problem. Unfortunately, it hurt us. Hopefully, we’ll fix this and do better next race.”

“I had a lot more seat time in the BOSS than I did in the other Mustang. The BOSS has more development and will be very competitive this season.”

“Typical with a new car there were numerous problems, but the main one that put us out is we keep either breaking a power steering belt or a pump, I’m not really sure but that’s what caused us to pit stop. We were also struggling with some engine issues and brake issues, more engine issues than anything, a bit of brakes towards the end, but that’s what you expect with a brand new car out of the box. We will get it right for the next race.”

“We had a good qualifying effort by Mr. Click, he did a great job. We had a great start. We made it up to ninth and things went really well. We pitted, I think a bit too early, but the pit stop went really well. When we got back out on the track, we made it up to 15th and then we had an issue with the right rear tire. All the lug nuts came off and got a big vibration. We came into the pits and the wheel fell off. We were lucky there. We had minimal damage, the Mustang is in good shape and it is a learning process for Click Racing. We’re going to continue to progress and keep working at it.”

“I think at certain points in time when I was on track, there was a lot going on. Any time you have so many cars in little spots and speed differences then you’re going to have issues. But it’s just one of those things—that’s racing.”

“We had a little bit of contact with a car out there and I think it interfered with the cooling ducts, causing the oil and water temperatures to shoot up.”

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to finish but, Jack [Roush Jr.] showed a lot of speed. He was able to move up to second place and he did an awesome job. We wanted to have a better result, but we ran into some problems. I’m not sure what happened to the motor. The team is showing that the car is capable of doing well and we look forward to going to the next race to have that results show for it.”

“I think the biggest concern right now is fixing whatever happened to prevent us from finishing this race. Then with the continued speed that we showed, the result will come from that.”

“I’m not sure. The team will take the Mustang back and work with Roush Yates guys to find out what happened.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Chevrolet Cruze finalist for World Car of the Year, Camaro finalist for World Car Design of the Year

2010 Chevrolet Camaro photographed at the 2009...Image via Wikipedia

The World Car Awards announced that Chevrolet Cruze is a finalist for the prestigious World Car of the Year Award, and the Camaro is a finalist for the World Car Design of the Year award. The winners will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday, April 1.

The Cruze is one of 10 finalists for the World Car of the Year award, as selected by a jury of 59 international automotive journalists, based on their experience with each candidate as part of their professional work. The jury members constitute a balance of representation from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, as well as other parts of the world.

The jurors' next step is to re-evaluate the "top ten" cars, in preparation for a final round of voting in February. They will specifically rate each vehicle in terms of overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance.

"Being a finalist for the World Car of the Year confirms the momentum behind Cruze," says Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. "More than 125,000 customers in Asia and Europe have already chosen the all-new Cruze. That strong acceptance on the world stage makes us confident that Cruze will be successful here in the U.S. as well when it goes on sale in the third quarter of this year."

Cruze has already earned the top rating of five stars from the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP). According to EuroNCAP, Cruze is the first passenger car to receive maximum scores in both the frontal offset collision test and side impact crash test since EuroNCAP began providing crash test ratings in 1997. Cruze also received best-in-class, five-star crash safety ratings in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) testing in Australia, and the Chinese New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) testing in China.

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of four finalists for the World Car Design of the Year, as selected by a jury of five design experts from around the world. The 59 World Car Awards jurors will now vote on the expert's design recommendations.

“It’s rather humbling to be nominated for the best new design in the world,” says Tom Peters, design director GM performance cars. “The nomination is a tribute to the passion of many individuals who worked so hard to make the vision of the new Camaro come to life.”

According to Yahoo!, Camaro was the most-searched vehicle in 2009. Camaro has also received the Popular MechanicsAutomotive Excellence Award, and was named an All-Star by Automobile Magazine. Since its introduction in 2009, Camaro has outsold Mustang for seven straight months.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

The logo of Swedish automaker Saab lies under ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.

"Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward. The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time.

The Swedish government is at present reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.

“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

GM Invests $246 Million in Electric Motors and Hybrid Components creating jobs in Baltimore

General Motors CompanyImage via Wikipedia

General Motors will invest approximately $246 million in electric motor and electric drive manufacturing including construction of a high volume electric drive production facility at the Baltimore Transmission plant that will begin to manufacture in 2013 electric motors for GM’s Two-mode Hybrid system. The plant will be the first electric motor manufacturing facility in the U.S. operated by a major automaker.

By bringing this capability to the U.S., GM will create approximately 200 jobs. Local and state incentives, along with the Recovery Act funding announced in August 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy, are helping to make this facility expansion and job creation possible.

“Electric motors are the engines of the future,” Stephens said. “By designing and manufacturing electric motors in-house at Baltimore Transmission, we can more efficiently control the design, materials and production processes. It will also enable us to lower costs and improve performance, quality, reliability, and manufacturability of the electric motors we use in our vehicles.”

Stephens also noted the importance of the new technology to the nation’s and Maryland’s overall economic growth.

“Electric motors are driving the next wave of automotive growth,” Stephens said. “The expansion of the Baltimore plant will generate a significant influx of money and jobs into the greater Baltimore area, creating U.S.-based manufacturing jobs.”

Through job retention and creation, Baltimore Transmission, which opened in 2000, will employ close to 400 people.

Nationally, including immediate project jobs, manufacturing jobs and the impact on suppliers and local communities, the investment is estimated to retain or create about 1700 jobs.

“Ultimately this expansion, its direct economic impact, its contribution to GM’s capabilities, and its impact on the vehicles we drive will be a model of what a lean, energetic, creative General Motors is capable of doing and contributing, “ Stephens said.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Ford Galaxy IIImage via Wikipedia

Ford of Europe unveiled new versions of its top-selling S-MAX and Galaxy at the 2010 Brussels Show. With fresh designs and the latest evolution of Ford's kinetic design cues, they feature new interior materials and features, a range of more efficient powertrains and a host of driver focused technologies aimed at safety and comfort.

"We've given both models a fresh new look and more premium appeal, but it is beneath the skin that the major changes have been made," said John Fleming, Executive Vice President and Chairman & CEO, Ford of Europe. "S-MAX and Galaxy are the first European Ford models to benefit from our global EcoBoost family of direct-injection, turbocharged, petrol engines delivering more power and performance from a lower displacement powerplant, yet with impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. And that is just the start of the 2010 S-MAX and Galaxy story."

These are the first cars to be available with Ford's all-new, high efficiency, 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Producing 203 PS (149 kW) it joins a significantly improved
2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel, with 140 PS (103 kW), plus a new 163 PS (120 kW) variant. Additionally, the smooth and effortless Ford PowerShift double wet-clutch transmission system is available for the first time on Ford's large car range; it will be standard equipment with the EcoBoost petrol engine and optional for both Duratorq diesels.

A range of innovative new safety and convenience features debut in the Ford range on versions of the new S-MAX and Galaxy, including a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), and new Rear Door Power Child Lock facility.

Sophisticated, Flexible Manufacturing
As with previous models, the new S-MAX and Galaxy share the same assembly line with the Mondeo at Ford of Europe's Genk manufacturing facility in Belgium.

A highly sophisticated, flexible and lean manufacturing process allows Ford to adjust the sequence and production quantity of different vehicles within its large and luxury car range, ensuring that it can respond very quickly to changes in customer demand.

More than 12 million vehicles have been built Genk plant since it opened in 1964. The Belgian facility is one of the most modern vehicle assembly plants in Europe, and a cornerstone of Ford of Europe's lean manufacturing strategy. It currently employs some 5,000 employees.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


For the first time in 40 years, a Ford Motor Company car will be pacing the field for the NASCAR season-opening Daytona 500 when the 2011 Mustang GT, powered by the all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine, officially starts the race on Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway.

“Having the opportunity to pace America’s biggest auto race with a Ford icon like the 2011 Mustang GT is truly an honor,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “And to have the new 5.0-liter engine powering the car will be a great way to demonstrate its power and class-leading fuel economy.”

This latest version of Ford’s legendary muscle car will be a Race Red glass roof coupe with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine capable of producing 412 horsepower, while delivering a class-leading 25 mpg on the highway.

The one-of-a-kind model will feature a special Daytona 500 paint scheme, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique painted wheels, and special interior treatment, including specially branded lit sill plates.

The 2011 Mustang GT Daytona 500 Pace Car model is one of only 50 special editions that will be built and sold to the public.

“Everybody loves Mustang,” Allison continued. “That was evident last year from the fan reaction when we announced it was going to be our new model in the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting later this year. This is just another way to showcase a true American icon in its most natural environment.”

The last time a Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was 1970 when a Ford Torino GT convertible led the field to the green flag.

And while Mustang may be a rookie when it comes to pacing the Daytona 500, its 45-year history is firmly entrenched in racing and winning championships. Mustang captured championships last year in the Grand-Am KONI and SCCA Speed World Challenge, in addition to leading Robert Hight to his first NHRA Funny Car championship.

Another element that makes this year’s pace car even more unique is that it will be auctioned off for charity before the actual race. Saturday, the Mustang GT Daytona 500 Pace Car will be offered at the annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction, which is taking place in Scottsdale, Ariz. Seven-time Daytona 500 champion Richard Petty, the newest member of the Ford Racing family, will be on site to help hand over the car to the winning bidder.

All proceeds more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price from the pace car auction will go to help cure childhood diabetes through a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The new Mustang GT continues Ford’s powertrain offensive with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8, which uses advanced technology to deliver 412 horsepower and projected unsurpassed highway mileage of 25 mpg.

The 2011, Mustang GT adds specially tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS), 11.5-inch front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, and an enhanced suspension featuring an improved rear lower control arm and stiffened rear stabilizer bushings.

For enthusiasts, a Brembo brake package, with larger rotors and calipers from the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, unique 19-inch wheels and summer performance tires, is offered; new fender badges herald return of the 5.0-liter engine.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

2010 Camaro Synergy Special Edition

2010 Chevrolet Camaro photographed at the 2009...Image via Wikipedia

Hot and cool exterior colors are a part of Chevy Camaro history. Now the 2010 model is getting its own.

Chevrolet today debuts the Camaro Synergy Special Edition with pricing starting at $26,790. Synergy will be produced in limited quantities from February to May.

“Synergy Green continues a long tradition of dramatic Camaro colors,” says Camaro historian Scott Settlemire. “Some of the most sought-after Camaros are first generation cars – those from 1967 to 1969 – in Hugger Orange, Daytona Yellow, and Rallye Green.”

The 2010 Camaro Synergy Special Edition is based on a Camaro 1LT, with a 3.6L direct injection V-6, paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The powertrain has become a benchmark for the segment by offering a combination of performance and efficiency: The V-6 delivers 304 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, and returns up to 29 mpg on the highway.

The Synergy Green exterior color was first previewed at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers (SEMA) show. In production form, the Synergy Green is accented by Cyber Grey Rally Stripes running the length of the Camaro hood and rear deck. Other exterior features include a standard rear spoiler, and standard 19 inch, Sterling Silver painted wheels wrapped with P245/50R19 tires.

The color scheme is mirrored on the interior, with Synergy Green instrument panel and door inserts. Synergy Green stitching also accents the Jet Black cloth seats, steering wheel, shift knob and center console.

“Just as those colors helped make the first generation Camaro an icon, modern colors like Inferno Orange, Rallye Yellow Transformers Edition and Synergy Green will define the 2010 Camaro,” Settlemire said.

The Special Edition also includes the Camaro Convenience and Connectivity Package, with Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB port for MP3 players, and remote vehicle start for models equipped with an automatic transmission.

“The Synergy Special Edition package is designed for customers who want a unique performance car at an attainable price,” says Camaro marketing manager John Fitzpatrick. “For under $27,000, Camaro Synergy Special Edition offers standout styling, modern technologies like Bluetooth, and 304 horsepower under the hood.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cadillac CTS Coupe Wins Top Honors in The Detroit News Readers Choice Awards

Cadillac CTSImage via Wikipedia

Two Cadillacs and a Chevrolet won three of The Detroit News Readers Choice Awards today, including the top honor of Best in Show for the Cadillac CTS Coupe.

Each year, the Detroit News takes 100 readers to the North American International Auto Show at Cobo and then asks them to pick their favorites in a variety of 11 categories along with Best in Show, according Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of The Detroit News.

The CTS Coupe and the other award winners were announced today during a Detroit Economic Club luncheon. The dramatic CTS Coupe is slated to arrive in Cadillac showrooms in the spring of 2010.

Cadillac also claimed the Best Future Fantasy Award for the Cadillac Platinum XTS Concept car. Finley said that each of the categories were close calls with the exception of the Future Fantasy/Concept award. "Our readers overwhelmingly voted for the Cadillac XTS as best Concept. They were really impressed by the vehicle," he said.

The XTS Concept showcases Cadillac’s emerging top-of-the-line Platinum series, emphasizing new expressions of luxury and technological features, including a plug-in hybrid propulsion system.

The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability claimed the newspaper contest's Most Earth Friendly Award for being the greenest vehicle at the show. The Chevrolet Volt is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. The onboard range extender also allows you to take longer trips without plugging in. Volt production is scheduled to begin in late 2010.

"Volt represents a cornerstone in Chevrolet’s gas-friendly to gas-free approach,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. "We are grateful that the Detroit News readers named Volt as the most earth friendly vehicle at the North American International Auto Show."
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, January 9, 2010


STERLING HEIGHTS, MI  - MAY 6:  Ford workers i...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ford Motor Company will introduce nine new or upgraded engines and six new transmissions in North America in 2010 as part of a five-year effort to overhaul its entire global powertrain portfolio.

The push began in 2008 and continues through 2013 and includes 60 new or significantly upgraded engines, transmissions and transaxles globally over the five year period.

One of the advanced and fuel-efficient North American powertrains is the 2012 Ford Focus’ all-new normally aspirated 2.0-liter direct fuel injection engine, the first of its kind in a Ford vehicle in North America.

“Ford is delivering on our commitment to lower emissions, improve fuel economy and deliver the highest quality powertrains in the industry,” said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president, Powertrain Engineering. “We are making this happen with one of the most ambitious powertrain upgrades ever undertaken by Ford. By the end of 2010, nearly all of Ford’s North American engines will have been upgraded or replaced since 2008.”

North American launches
In 2010, Ford will launch new engines and transmissions in Fiesta, Mustang, Super Duty and F-150. These new powertrains are expected to propel each vehicle to best-in-segment in fuel economy.

Fiesta’s Ti-VCT 1.6-liter engine and PowerShift dual clutch transmission will deliver an estimated 40 mpg on the highway, topping both Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.

Mustang’s new Ti-VCT 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 delivers the class-leading performance and fuel economy Mustang buyers expect. The 2011 Mustang V-6 with six-speed automatic will deliver at least 30 mpg on the highway. No other V-6 powered sports coupe in the world delivers this level of performance and fuel economy, regardless of price.

Mustang GT gets a new 5.0-liter V-8 that cranks out a 412 total horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque yet delivers at least 25 mpg on the highway – better than any competitor.

Both versions of the Mustang get all new fuel-saving manual and automatic six-speed transmissions.

Spring also marks the arrival of an all-new Ford-designed-and-built Super Duty diesel truck engine. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 turbocharged diesel powerhouse is expected to lead the class in fuel economy towing, hauling, horsepower and torque.

With its advanced emissions systems, the new 6.7-liter diesel engine also will run cleaner than the outgoing model. The 2011 Super Duty also gets a new 6.2-liter gasoline engine.

Even as they concentrate on improving powertrain performance, Ford engineers continue to reduce engine and transmission weight. For example, the new Super Duty diesel and transmission together are185 pounds lighter than the outgoing powertrain.

With its novel features such as a “live drive” Power Take Off (PTO) and rugged TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission, Super Duty will remain the most capable workhorse in the segment.

Ford: Driving powertrain innovations into the market
Other new Ford powertrains coming in 2010 include an EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 for the F-150. The EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged engine delivers the thrust and performance feel of a V-8, with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. Current EcoBoost-equipped models are delivering up to a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions versus larger-displacement engines.

By 2013, Ford plans to offer EcoBoost engines on 90 percent of its product lineup with annual volume of vehicles with EcoBoost at 1.3 million globally.

Toward the end of the year, a new 2.0-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder for the next-generation Focus will mark the first introduction of a normally aspirated direct injection engine to the powertrain lineup. The all new engine will launch on the 2012 Focus in North America.

Ford: America’s fuel economy leader
No automaker has posted a larger fleet-wide gain in fuel economy in the past five years. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Ford’s combined car and truck fuel economy has improved nearly 20 percent since 2004 – almost double the next closest competitor.

Additionally, Ford’s tailpipe CO2 emissions are declining. Ford’s 2009 fleet-wide average is down approximately 9 percent from 2008.

“We are focused on sustainable technology solutions that can be used not for hundreds or thousands of cars, but for millions of cars, because that’s how Ford will truly make a difference,” said Samardzich.

Scheduled for 2010 are:



1.6-liter Fiesta I-4

6-speed automatic FWD

2.0-liter Focus DI I-4

6-speed PowerShift Fiesta

2.0-liter Ecoboost I-4

6-speed PowerShift Focus

3.5-liter F-150 EcoBoost V-6

6-speed manual Mustang

3.7-liter Mustang V-6

6-speed automatic Mustang

5.0-liter Mustang V-8

6-speed automatic TorqShift Super Duty

5.4-liter Shelby GT 500 V-8

6.2-liter Super Duty (gas)

6.7-liter Super Duty Power Stroke

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Bob Tasca Sr., an automotive enthusiast, Ford dealer and drag racing innovator, passed away today, his family announced. Tasca Sr. was 83 years old.

An automotive businessman for more than 60 years, Tasca achieved fame as a record-setting automotive dealer and as an internationally-known designer of high-performance race cars. Tasca Sr. is credited with helping create the Ford Thunderbolt drag racing car, and bringing the Cobra Jet 428 engine to NHRA in the 1960s.

“Bob Tasca Sr. had three important aspects to his life—his family, his friends, and Ford Motor Company,” said his grandson, Bob Tasca III. “Those were the touch points in his life and for that we’re thankful. We are grateful and privileged to have had so many years with him, and it’s hard to say goodbye.

“My grandfather has touched so many and he will live forever in the hearts of people around the world. It was his time to move on. I think he held on and fought the fight for as long as he could fight it, but clearly his passing doesn’t mark the end of the impact and influence that he’ll have on this world, that’s for sure.”

Tasca Sr. started his long relationship with Ford Motor Company on May 5, 1943, while working at a dealership. In 1953, Tasca acquired his first dealership in Bristol, R.I., and attributed his success to two elements—knowing cars and taking care of the customer.

After a hurricane destroyed his Bristol dealership, Tasca moved to East Providence, R.I., at the famous 777 Taunton Avenue address. While in East Providence, Tasca Sr. developed a friendship Carroll Shelby and became the first person to help Shelby assemble the Cobra. The two automotive legends maintained a lifelong friendship.

Tasca Sr. became a Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury dealer in Seekonk, Mass., in 1971. Under his guidance, Tasca Ford acquired a Volvo dealership in Seekonk in 2001 and built its Cranston, R.I., dealership in 2002. Several years ago, the Tasca family purchased an adjacent property that now serves as its wholesale outlet, body shop and truck center.

Tasca Sr. and his Rhode Island dealership team created their own engine, the Cobra Jet 428, from parts found in the Ford service parts catalog. Tasca’s Mustang Cobra Jet race cars were often taken to the drag strip where they defeated the competition, creating a demand for the Cobra Jet 428.

While dominating on the race track, Tasca Sr. coined the phrase, “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday,” because that was exactly what he did. Tasca Sr.’s dealership modified Mustangs on Sunday, won races, and sold those same cars in his dealership on Monday.

Tasca Sr. is also credited with helping make Ford products better than when they left the factory. His influence at Ford, as a quality consultant, resulted in years of Ford performance. Every one of Tasca Ford dealership’s vehicles was driven 200 miles by a Tasca before it was delivered to a customer as part of Tasca’s “de-bugging” plan. Tasca Sr. was also instrumental in the advent of short-term leasing, which made automobiles affordable throughout the world.

Tasca Sr. developed a tight bond with Henry Ford II during the 1940s and two men held mutual respect for each other as automotive pioneers. Ford II viewed Tasca Sr. as one of his most trusted advisors in the automotive industry.

He also wrote a well-known book in 1996 on customer service, “You Will Be Satisfied,” which remains the slogan of Tasca’s dealerships today.

Ford Motor Company asked Tasca Sr. to train more than 150,000 Ford employees and dealers, and he was the key force behind the Quality is Job 1 initiative. In his life, Tasca affected an entire generation of products and sales techniques from his dealership in Rhode Island.

“I want to thank all of his friends through these last couple of years,” said Tasca III. “He’s had some health issues and we’re so grateful for the network of people that really become part of our family and we want to thank them for their support and prayers. Many people from Ford Motor Company and the NHRA series loved being around my grandfather, and I know he loved being around them. We’re grateful for all of the support and friendship that we’ve built, and just want everyone to know that Grandpa is in a better place right now.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Award-winning Month Drives Chrysler Group LLC’s December U.S. Sales

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 01:  A Chrysler PT Cruiser is...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Awards and accolades for Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram vehicles drove customers to dealer showrooms resulting in improved sales and market share in December. Chrysler Group today reported December sales increased 36 percent compared with November 2009 and 20 of 24 vehicles posted sales increases for the same time period.

Chrysler Group received multiple accolades in December, including Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award for the all-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck that is arriving in dealer showrooms now. In addition:

  • Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon hailed as “Most Significant 4x4 of the Decade” and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon named “Best 4x4 of the Decade” by editors at Four Wheeler Magazine
  • Jeep named “Top Domestic Brand” in Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com® 2010 Residual Value Study
  • 2010 Ram Power Wagon was named Four Wheeler Magazine’s “Pickup Truck of the Year”
  • 2010 Ram 1500 was named a “2010 All Star” by Automobile Magazine
  • Dodge Challenger was named “Most Satisfying Car” by readers of a prominent consumer magazine
  • Jeep Liberty and Dodge Challenger R/T chosen as “Best of 2009” by Gaywheels.com editors
  • 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan identified as one of the “Safest Vehicles under $30,000” by NADAguides.com

“As we kick off the new year, Chrysler Group continues to build momentum with some of the best products in the marketplace, and we are enthusiastic about the new products coming this year” said Fred Diaz, President and Chief Executive Officer-Ram Brand and Lead Executive for the Sales Organization, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our great Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram products are being recognized by opinion leaders in the industry, and consumers are responding in a positive way. In 2010 the company will continue to earn the trust of consumers with exciting, high-quality vehicles that are priced right.”

Chrysler Group reported total U.S. sales for December of 86,523 units. Sales increased 36 percent month-over-month and declined 4 percent year-over-year. The company finished the year with 931,402 units sold, a decline of 36 percent compared with 2008. Inventory is down 55 percent compared with December 2008, with 178,538 units in inventory, representing a 58-day supply. Overall industry figures for November are projected to come in at an estimated 11.3 million SAAR.

December Brand U.S. Sales Highlights

  • Eleven Chrysler Group Vehicles saw year-over-year sales increases in December:

    • Dodge car brand sales increased 25 percent compared with December 2008
    • Dodge Caliber (up 83 percent, 5,389 units), Avenger (up 85 percent, 3,799 units), Charger (up 16 percent, 6,273 units), Journey (up 61 percent, 6,872 units) and Grand Caravan (up 24 percent, 8,563 units) all increased sales compared with December 2008
    • Chrysler 300 (up 20 percent, 4,452 units), Sebring Sedan (up 19 percent, 3,500 units), Sebring Convertible (up 47 percent, 937 units) and Town & Country minivan (up four percent, 8,465 units) increased versus December 2008
    • Jeep Patriot (up six percent, 2,759 units) and Liberty (up two percent, 4,609 units) sales increased year-over-year
  • 20 of 24 Chrysler Group vehicles posted December sales increases versus November 2009:

    • Jeep brand sales increased 36 percent compared with the previous month
    • Jeep: The entire Jeep lineup posted month-over-month increases. Wrangler, Liberty, Compass, Patriot, Grand Cherokee and Commander improved sales compared with November
    • Chrysler brand sales increased 79 percent compared with November 2009
    • Chrysler Sebring Sedan, Sebring Convertible, 300, PT Cruiser and Town & Country had month-over-month sales increases
    • Dodge car brand sales increased 43 percent compared with November 2009
    • Dodge: Caliber, with an all-new interior for 2010, Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Viper, Journey, Caravan and Nitro posted month-over-month increases
    • Ram Brand sales increased 14 percent and the award-winning Ram pickup sales increased 23 percent versus November 2009
  • In December, overall Mopar U.S. net sales increased 8 percent compared with November 2009. Compared to the same time period last year, service contracts per new unit sold increased nine percent. Last month, in conjunction with the dealership network, Mopar officially opened its eStore for business at www.mopar.com, offering customers more than 100,000 parts and accessories on-line

Chrysler Group today announced “Zero Percent Financing” for almost all 2010 model year vehicles and the expansion of its “Invest in America” partnership with more than 90 million Credit Union members in the United States. The Credit Union member-preferred pricing program has been expanded to include all 2010 model year vehicles. The incentives announced today are valid through March 1, 2010.

“Your local Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealer has award-winning cars and trucks in stock that just became more affordable,” said Steven G. Beahm, Vice President, Sales Operations – Chrysler Group LLC. “Most consumers will qualify for 0 percent financing available through GMAC Financial Services, and we also are offering attractive lease rates on some of our best-selling vehicles.”

Chrysler Brand
Beginning today, consumers purchasing Chrysler brand vehicles can choose 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or 1.9 percent financing for 72 months through GMAC Financial Services, or consumer cash of up $3,000. In addition, consumers who purchase a Chrysler 300 can receive “no charge” all-wheel drive. Also, consumers who purchase a Chrysler 300 can choose a “no charge” HEMI engine in lieu of consumer cash or 0 percent financing.

Jeep Brand
Starting today, consumers who purchase a Jeep brand vehicle can choose 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or 1.9 percent financing for 72 months through GMAC Financial Services or consumer cash of up $4,000. Current Jeep owners who purchase a Jeep Liberty, Commander or Grand Cherokee also qualify for $500 owner loyalty bonus cash.

Dodge Car Brand
Beginning today, consumers purchasing Dodge brand vehicles can choose 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or 1.9 percent financing for 72 months through GMAC Financial Services or consumer cash of up $3,000. In addition, consumers who purchase a Dodge Charger can receive “no charge” all-wheel drive. Also, consumers who purchase a Charger can choose a “no charge” HEMI engine in lieu of consumer cash or 0 percent financing.

Ram Truck Brand
Starting today, consumers who purchase a Ram truck can choose 0 percent financing for up to 60 months or financing as low as 1.9 percent for 72 months through GMAC Financial Services or consumer cash of up $3,500.

Chrysler Group is offering attractive lease rates on several products, including:

  • Jeep Wrangler Sport two-door 4x4 for $229 per month with approximately $2,800 due at signing
  • Dodge Journey SE for $249 per month with approximately $2,800 due at signing
  • Chrysler Town & Country LX for $289 per month with approximately $2,900 due at signing
  • Ram 1500 Quad Cab ST 4x4 for $299 per month with approximately $2,900 due at signing

Sales Chart

Chrysler Group LLC U.S. Sales Summary Thru December 2009
Month Sales Vol % Sales CYTD Vol %
Model Curr Yr Pr Yr Change Curr Yr Pr Yr Change
Sebring 4,437 3,572 24% 27,460 71,663 -62%
300 4,452 3,707 20% 38,606 62,352 -38%
Crossfire 0 110 -100% 499 2,021 -75%
PT Cruiser 736 1,823 -60% 17,941 50,910 -65%
Aspen 32 1,515 -98% 5,996 22,254 -73%
Pacifica 0 574 -100% 1,955 7,345 -73%
Town & Country 8,465 8,152 4% 84,558 118,563 -29%
CHRYSLER BRAND 18,122 19,453 -7% 177,015 335,108 -47%
Compass 913 1,225 -25% 11,739 25,349 -54%
Patriot 2,759 2,597 6% 31,432 55,654 -44%
Wrangler 6,798 7,048 -4% 82,044 84,615 -3%
Liberty 4,609 4,529 2% 43,503 66,911 -35%
Grand Cherokee 4,097 5,504 -26% 50,328 73,678 -32%
Commander 1,634 2,188 -25% 12,655 27,694 -54%
JEEP BRAND 20,810 23,091 -10% 231,701 333,901 -31%
Caliber 5,289 2,896 83% 36,098 84,158 -57%
Avenger 3,799 2,050 85% 38,922 61,963 -37%
Charger 6,273 5,414 16% 60,651 97,367 -38%
Challenger 2,536 2,602 -3% 25,852 17,423 48%
Viper 44 152 -71% 482 1,172 -59%
Magnum 0 31 -100% 113 6,912 -98%
Journey 6,872 4,275 61% 53,826 47,097 14%
Caravan 8,563 6,927 24% 90,666 123,749 -27%
Nitro 1,208 2,036 -41% 17,443 36,368 -52%
Durango 29 1,435 -98% 3,521 21,420 -84%
DODGE BRAND 34,613 27,818 24% 327,574 497,629 -34%
Dakota 618 1,701 -64% 10,690 26,044 -59%
Ram P/U 12,014 16,618 -28% 177,268 245,840 -28%
Sprinter 346 1,132 -69% 7,154 14,600 -51%
RAM BRAND 12,978 19,451 -33% 195,112 286,484 -32%
TOTAL DODGE 47,591 47,269 1% 522,686 784,113 -33%

TOTAL CHRYSLER GROUP LLC 86,523 89,813 -4% 931,402 1,453,122 -36%

TOTAL CAR 26,830 20,535 31% 228,685 406,125 -44%
TOTAL TRUCK 59,693 69,278 -14% 702,717 1,046,997 -33%
Selling Days 28 26 308 308

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Chevrolet Aveo RS Show Car

2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 photographed in Silver Sp...Image via Wikipedia

Chevrolet announced the world debut of the Aveo RS show car at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. It features a European-inspired hot hatch look designed to appeal to young enthusiasts, and hints at the next-generation Aveo.

Longer, wider and more spacious than the current production Aveo, the Aveo RS showcases the car’s upscale-looking design cues both inside and out, and presents the many personalization options potentially available on the next-generation car.

“We hope the Aveo RS show car will demonstrate that we are as serious about redefining the Aveo and its place in the small-car segment as we were about reinventing the Malibu,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager.

First impressions

The Aveo RS show car, finished in electric Boracay Blue, wears global Chevrolet design cues such as the dual element grille, round taillamps and fender flares, but designers turned up the attitude on the show car with low openings and a lower mouth trimmed in a combination of brushed and polished aluminum. Outboard fog lamps are integrated into an exaggerated brake-cooling inlet that flows into the front fender flares, creating an aggressive-looking face.

Exposed headlamps, with their brushed aluminum structural surround, are inspired by the designers’ affection for motorcycles. The sleek side profile is characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roofline. The side mirrors with amber-colored turn signal indicators carry the same shape as the car and seemingly disappear into the profile. At first glance, the car actually looks like a three-door hatch because the rear door handles are discreetly located in the “C”-pillar area.

“The Aveo RS show car demonstrates how progressive design can inject personality into a small car,” said Michael Simcoe, executive director, North American Exterior Design. “We want customers to see it and have an emotional reaction to it.”

No performance-minded car earns its street cred without large wheels and tires. The Aveo RS show car’s wheels are 19-inch, five-spoke with a gun metal metallic finish Chevrolet logo. The wheel openings reveal large Boracay Blue brake calipers.

The rear of the show car continues the sport theme, with an integrated spoiler that flows from the roof, a center-mounted exhaust and chrome exhaust tips. The exposed motorcycle-inspired rear taillamps feature tinted aluminum housings and a discreet Bowtie logo.

Spacious and stylish interior

With its matte black interior highlighted by gloss black, metallic and blue accents, the Aveo RS show car reflects as much attention to detail as the exterior. The Boracay Blue theme continues inside, with accent stitching across the dual cockpit instrument panel, front and rear door insert, steering wheel rim, gear shift boot, parking brake, leather seat bolster and even the floor mats. The integrated center stack holds the gearshift, HVAC controls and the sound system, including a USB port. Ice-blue backlighting on the audio display, telltale indicator screen and knobs augments the blue stitching.

The motorcycle inspiration also carries inside, with a round, analog tachometer set within an asymmetrical LCD readout also trimmed in milled metal with round cutouts; and round, aluminum-trimmed side vents.

The interior is as functional as it is stylish, with storage compartments in the center stack and doors. The rear seats fold flat for carrying larger items.

Efficient performer

The Aveo RS show car is powered by the same highly efficient 138-horsepower (103 kW) 1.4L I-4 Ecotec turbocharged engine that will be available in the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze.

A six-speed manual transmission is designed to ensure the car will provide a spirited driving experience.

For the show car, designers created a special engine cover in graphite silver with a brushed aluminum insert. The coolant and power steering fluid fill caps are rimmed in ice blue, and the honeycomb vents flanking the center of the cover are matte-finished in shadow chrome and designed to match the wheel color.

Chevrolet has previously announced the new Aveo will be built at Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich., in 2011, a move that will restore 1,200 jobs to Southeast Michigan. Timing for retooling Orion Assembly for Aveo production is anticipated to begin in late 2010.

About Chevrolet
Chevrolet is one of America's best-known and best-selling automotive brands, and one of the fastest growing brands in the world. With fuel solutions that range from "gas-friendly to gas-free," Chevrolet has nine models that offer an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway, and offers two hybrid models. More than 2.5 million Chevrolets that run on E85 biofuel have been sold. More information can be found at www.chevrolet.com. For more information on the Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt.



Chevrolet Aveo RS show car

Body style / driveline:

five-door, five-passenger front-engine transaxle, front-wheel drive subcompact car


1.4L turbocharged DOHC I-4 with VVT (138 hp / 103 kW – est.)


M32 six-speed manual



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Buick Unveils Regal GS Show Car

2010 Buick LaCrosse CXL photographed in Woodbr...Image via Wikipedia

With an estimated 255 turbocharged horsepower (190 kW), a six-speed manual transmission and an advanced, adaptive all-wheel-drive system, the Buick Regal GS show car is a high-tech, high-performance version of the brand’s newest sport sedan. It was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.

The mechanical elements were developed with the aim of delivering a driving experience that is sporting, confidence-inspiring and refined. It has a performance-oriented drivetrain, a lowered body and lower center of gravity. Exterior and interior cues include two additional vertical front air intakes; large, forged aluminum 20-inch wheels and performance tires; a racing-inspired sport steering wheel and metal pedals. Recaro high-performance front seats feature four-way lumbar support and cushion extensions.

“We designed the Regal GS to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal,” said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for Buick. “Like the Regal, the Regal GS is based on the award-winning Opel Insignia, and we believe it will reinvigorate Buick’s storied Gran Sport legacy.”

The Regal GS exterior is distinguished by vertical air inlets in the front fascia, as well as unique rocker panels, an integrated rear spoiler, dual exhaust outlets, Olympic White paint and satin metallic accents.

“The idea behind the Regal GS was taking the production model in a more aggressive direction to appeal to performance enthusiasts,” said John Cafaro, Buick design director. “But along with its aggressive stance, there’s sophisticated style in the design that complements the driving experience.”

Inside, the Regal GS varies from the standard Regal by featuring a completely jet black interior, including the pillars and headliner, sport shifter for the six-speed manual transmission and a suede-covered, flat-bottom steering wheel reminiscent of those used in international racing series. The instrument panel glows ice blue when the driver engages the sport mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS).

Turbocharged AWD performance

Power for the Regal GS comes from a high-output 2.0L Ecotec turbocharged engine with direct-injection technology. It is based on the engine that will be offered on Regal CXL models later this summer, but the engine and turbocharger are tuned to deliver greater boost pressure in the GS. The output is estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).

The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that directs torque to an adaptive all-wheel-drive system calibrated for performance driving. An electronic, limited-slip rear differential helps ensure the engine’s power is distributed effectively during cornering.

The high-performance drivetrain is expected to enable the Regal GS to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. That performance is complemented by a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) design in front. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering. This improves ultimate grip levels in dry and wet conditions, as well as improves the direct feel of the road, while isolating undesirable feedback. Behind the wheel the driver experiences reduced torque steer, improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.

The Regal GS features a high-performance Brembo brake system with 14 x 1.2-inch (355 x 32 mm) cross-drilled rotors; four-piston, high-strength aluminum calipers, and high-performance pads.

The Regal GS is also equipped with Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology (also offered on Regal CXL models with the 2.0L turbo engine). It delivers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety, while also adapting the driving characteristics of the car to the driver’s preferences. The driver selects among three operating modes – normal, sport and GS – that change the suspension settings, throttle response and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system.

About Buick

Buick is in the midst of a transformation that started with the Enclave luxury crossover and continues with the completely redesigned LaCrosse luxury sedan and Regal sport sedan. Buick is emerging as a modern, premium brand with vehicles characterized by sculpted designs, personal technologies, luxurious interiors and responsive performance. Future new sedans and crossovers are planned and will continue to expand Buick's portfolio both in North America and China. More information can be found at www.buick.com.




Buick Regal GS show car

Body style / driveline:

four-door, 5-passenger, front engine, transaxle. All-wheel-drive midsize vehicle


steel body-frame integral (unibody)


High-output 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbo

Displacement (cu in / cc):

122 / 1998

Bore and stroke (in / mm):

3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86

Block material:

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum


overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust

Ignition system:

individual coil-on-plug

Fuel delivery:

direct injection with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control

Compression ratio:


Horsepower (hp / kW):

255 / 190 (est.)

Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):

295 / 400 (est.)


6-speed manual



independent, HiPerStrut-type with dual-path mountings, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; continuous damping control (Interactive Drive Control System)


four-link independent rear; hollow stabilizer bar; continuous damping control

Traction control:

adaptive all-wheel drive; StabiliTrak electronic stability control

Steering type:

hydraulic, variable-effort rack-and-pinion power steering



four-wheel disc w/ABS (w/ESC)

Brake rotor diameter
(in / mm) caliper type (front and rear):

14 / 355, vented and cross drilled rotors; four-piston aluminum calipers


Wheel size and type:

20-inch aluminum


Bridgestone 245/35ZR20


Wheelbase (in / mm) :

107.8 / 2738

Overall length (in / mm):

190.2 / 4831

Overall width (in / mm):

73.1 / 1811

Overall height (in / mm):

58.4 / 1483

Front track (in / mm):

62.4 / 1585

Rear track (in / mm):

62.5 / 1587


Seating capacity (front / rear):

2 / 3

Headroom (in / mm):

38.8 / 985 (front)
36.8 / 935 (rear)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]