31st January 2009

VW Beetle – Herbie

Why it’s special: Probably unique in that the car actually was the star – the producers looking to make a film version of Gordon Buford’s book Car, Boy, Girl held a casting session for a dozen different models, and the Beetle was chosen above less ‘lovable’ Volvos and Toyotas. The film, The Love Bug, was the first of five pictures starring car number 53.

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off

31st January 2009

McLaren P11 supercar on winter snow test: new spy photos

We’ve caught McLaren’s new supercar – internally codenamed the P11 – on winter test in Sweden. This generation of prototype appears to be wearing a slightly different disguise to the last time we published a P11 scoop (taken by a CAR Online reader) but we’re pretty confident this is the junior McLaren supercar.

Our man in Sweden reports that the P11 is on test at a known industry facility and the fleet of rented Volvo back-up cars surrounding the Macca is a typical ‘blocking’ tactic used by engineers to prevent spy photographers getting too near to secret new cars.

The bodywork is certainly clad in different disguise panels to our previous P11 spyshots, but the basic silhouette, glasshouse and other details make us think this is the McLaren and not a rival supercar from Modena. Even the wheels match closely the items we’re expecting on the production P11.

McLaren P11 and CAR Magazine

CAR’s been following the McLaren P11′s gestation with interest, after we landed an award-winning world-exclusive scoop back in 2007 with our first story on Woking’s new supercar and last year we then published pictures of the actual clay design models.

The P11 is designed to be a rival to the Ferrari F430 – mixing the design purity of the legendary McLaren F1 with more affordable, low-to-mid volume manufacturing processes. It’ll be powered by a V8 engine driving the rear wheels and electric performance is guaranteed by lightweight composite construction in parts of the car. We should see the car in 2010.

• Click here for CAR’s full story on the P11
• Click here for details on McLaren’s new road car range
• Click here for the reader spyshots of the P11

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off

31st January 2009

Texas Motor Speedway, Gossage mentioned in Terry Blount’s new book

ESPN.com writer Terry Blount gives kudos to Texas Motor Speedway and Eddie Gossage in his new book, The Blount Report: NASCAR’s Most Overrated and Underrated Drivers, Cars, Teams, and Tracks with the venue being named the most underrated and Gossage…

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off

31st January 2009

News & Rants: Lincoln MKT Video Sheds Light on New Crossover

I’ve been intrigued by the 2010 Lincoln MKT since I first saw it as a concept car at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The 2010 MKT was revealed at the 2009 Detroit auto show, and since then I’ve been curious to see how the production model differed from the concept.

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off

30th January 2009

AutoNation: What Do You Mean “Our” Inventory Problem, Kemosabe?

Rumors of GM channel-stuffing became reality when we heard that the General was forcing dealers to take on unwanted inventory to qualify for incentive cash. And while the smaller dealers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, big boys like AutoNation at least have enough clout to make a choice. And CNN reports that AutoNation has told GM where it can stick its overstock. GM and Chrysler “have implemented wholesale incentive programs where they basically say to get the incentives for the inventory you want, you have to buy more inventory,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Thursday with his trademark subtlety. “The channel is full, and they are trying to stuff more in. I think this is the wrong thing to do. We are not playing that game.” Meanwhile, GM and Chrysler are exhorting their dealers to take more unwanted inventory. While on a sales drum-up dealership tour last week, Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press said the auto maker needs dealers to begin ordering vehicles because the “downside could be a lot worse” if orders don’t increase. For the OEMs, anyway. AutoNation’s fourth quarter sales dropped 34 percent, although $200 million in cuts and $750 million in debt paydown last year have helped keep the retailer afloat. “We do believe that there’s the possibility of an improvement in March if credit really begins to thaw, but we are taking a wait-and-see attitude,” Jackson said. “We want to see it before we’ll stop at that level.”

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off

30th January 2009

Second Arizona Jurisdiction Rejects Speed Camera Tickets

Another Arizona jurisdiction has joined Pinal County in refusing to accept photo radar ticketing. In December, Arrowhead Justice Court Judge John C. Keegan issued an order declaring the state’s freeway photo radar program unconstitutional. Since then, Judge Keegan has torn up at least 400 state-issued tickets, ruling them invalid for carrying penalties that differ from tickets issued by a “live” police officer.

Read more

posted in Car News Articles | Comments Off