Official: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition shows off at Indy

2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors officially unveiled the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition to a crowd of dealers and enthusiasts on the eve of the Indianapolis 500. The droptop muscle car boasts a slew of tweaks that are destined to eventually make their way to the greater Camaro lineup, including new soft-touch materials on the dash, a new steering wheel that’s not ridiculous to use, and a few suspension changes. GM tells us that SS models will be equipped with the new FE4 suspension package, born from the development the upcoming Camaro ZL1. V6 Camaros will now pack 323 horsepower, a gain of 11 over the 2011 model-year cars.

GM will produce the Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition to meet demand, so there should be plenty to go around. In addition to the interior and mechanical adjustments, the car wears special logos on the fenders, seat backs, door sills, steering wheel and dash to separate it from the rest of the Camaro stable. Pricing will be available closer to the convertible’s fall launch date. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

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2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition shows off at Indy originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 09:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW 328 Hommage unveiled to celebrate 75th anniversary of original

Filed under: Concept Cars, BMW, Design/Style

BMW 328 Concept

BMW 328 Hommage – Click above for high-res image gallery

Pop quiz time: What vehicle holds the highest average speed on the famed Mille Miglia circuit? A BMW 328. Their average speed was 103 miles per hour, and it was set way back in 1940. That car, the BMW 328, is a legend in the automaker’s halls, and was named one of the 25 greatest cars of the century. This year marks the 328’s 75th birthday, so BMW has prepared a unique concept car to pay tribute to one of its own iconic vehicles.

Dubbed the BMW 328 Hommage, this ultra-lightweight sports car was built to mirror the principles used to create the original 328. The 328 Hommage weighs in at a svelte 1,720 pounds, accomplished through the use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. While CFRP wasn’t exactly around in the 30’s and 40’s, BMW engineers of that era kept the 328 light through the use of aluminum and magnesium. Both cars are cut from a similar cloth to achieve a lightweight end result, even if the methods to get there are very different.

Many design elements are shared between both cars. The original 328 was one of the earliest BMW vehicles to show off the now familiar kidney grilles. Those grilles nearly jump off the face of the 328 Hommage. Out back, the wide-set taillamps help close off the wide stance that runs the length of both versions.

BMW casually mentions that the 328 Hommage is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Yet, we have no word on any potential output figures or what type of transmission it might be connected to. Of course, BMW fans might remember that the automaker built a similar concept a few years ago. It was called the Mille Miglia Concept Coupe. Stunning at the time, the 328 Hommage ups the wow factor several notches. Dive into the gorgeous photos in the gallery below, and click past the jump for the full press release.

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BMW 328 Hommage unveiled to celebrate 75th anniversary of original originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 17:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Government/Legal, Chevrolet

2011 camaro indy pace car

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Americans began racing cars just as soon as they started to appear on our streets, as evidenced by the fact that the Indianapolis 500 has been going strong for 100 years. The U.S. Senate wanted to tip its collective hat to commemorate that momentous occasion, so our senators decided to pass a resolution officially recognizing the race for its longevity. And since it doesn’t cost anything to recognize a date, the resolution was passed unanimously.

In other interesting Indianapolis 500 news, the event’s 100-year history also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of Chevrolet. The company and the race are so intertwined that Arthur Chevrolet, who’s brother Louis founded the Bowtie Brand, ran the very first Indianapolis 500. Louis actually ran the race himself in 1915 and 1919, while another brother Gaston took first place in 1920. The 2011 Camaro Convertible will fittingly serve as the pace car for this year’s event.

Senate passes bill recognizing 100th anniversary of Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda 787B restored, returning to Le Mans for 20th anniversary of win

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Mazda

Mazda 787B restored and returning to Le Mans

Mazda 787B restored and returning to Le Mans – Click above for high-res image gallery

In 1991, Mazda became the first and to this day only Japanese automaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans using the 787B you see above. It was also the first and only rotary-powered car to ever win the grueling French endurance race.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of that Le Mans win, and to celebrate that victory, Mazda has restored the original winning 787B and been invited by the event organizers to drive it on the Circuit de la Sarth just a few hours before this year’s 79th running of the race.

The 787B is powered by a four-rotor rotary engine producing 700 horsepower, though it was said to be capable of a maximum power output of 900 hp. Even after 20 years, it could probably keep up with today’s crop of Le Mans prototype cars.

We don’t know yet who will be driving the 787B on June 11, but the man who drove the car across the finish line 20 years earlier, Johnny Herbert, will be on hand, and we’re sure he’d be happy to help out if asked.

Check out the amazing gallery of the Mazda team testing the 787B after its recent restoration, and follow the jump for two amazing audio clips of its engine.

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Mazda 787B restored, returning to Le Mans for 20th anniversary of win originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pebble Beach to celebrate 50th anniversary of Ferrari 250 GTO with historic gathering

Filed under: Classics, Ferrari

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 250 GTO has long been considered the most desirable Ferrari of all time, and up until last year was regarded as the most valuable car in the world. The 250 GTO’s rarity (just 39 were produced including a single prototype), its success in international racing in the 1960s, and the beautiful shape designed by Bizzarrini are an unmatched combination.

The 50th anniversary of the 250 GTO is just around the corner, and to celebrate, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has decided to hold a gathering of as many of the cars as possible. An invite has been sent out to each of the owners, and more than half have already committed to attend. If it’s anything like the Jaguar XK-SS reunion held at Pebble Beach last year, then the sight should be nothing less than epic. Hit the jump for the official PR from Pebble Beach, or peruse through our collection of Ferrari 250 GTO photos in the gallery below.

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Pebble Beach to celebrate 50th anniversary of Ferrari 250 GTO with historic gathering originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack

Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, Hatchback, Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com

Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s not unusual for an automaker to roll out a special anniversary model when the brand or a specific model celebrates a milestone. This Volkswagen doesn’t come from Wolfsburg itself, though. Instead, an independent outfit bent on marking the 35th birthday of the Volkswagen Golf GTI is behind the effort.

Partnering with German tuning house Wunschel Sport, the website GTI35.com has outfitted the hopped-up Golf with a 50-horse boost to 260 hp, a body kit, lowered suspension, and 19-inch OZ Quaranta wheels on low-profile rubber. The result is a claimed half-second off the 0-100 km/h (62mph) sprint, now down to 6.4 seconds (as equipped with the DSG) and a top speed of 255 km/h (158 mph).

The titanium-colored aftermarket special also wears decals emulating a racing number, which is repeated on the keychain, parking sign and t-shirt that come along with the €32,800 package, which is also available as individual components. Follow the jump for the press release and check out the high-resolution images in the gallery below.

Gallery: Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com

[Source: GTI35.com]

Continue reading GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack

GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NASCAR marks 10-year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death at Daytona 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Celebrities

Dale Earnhardt Senior

It was 10 years ago today that racing legend Dale Earnhardt Senior died while competing at the Daytona 500. It’s no secret that not every motorsports afficianado is a fan of the NASCAR scene, but there’s no denying the outright skill and presence that racers bring to the game both on and off the track. Nowhere was that more evident than with Earnhardt, who sprang from a long-line of circle track racers. Even if series fans rooted for a different driver, they respected Earnhardt for his down-to-earth nature and old-school approach to racing. When Earnhardt was behind the wheel, it was clear he wasn’t there to make friends or play nice. He was there to win.

While Earnhardt’s death was a tragedy on many levels, we can’t help but feel that NASCAR lost more than an icon when he passed. Today’s field is populated by overly polished, nameless media machines that lack the heart and human emotion that the old-timers brought to the table. Maybe that’s why we just can’t bring ourselves to flop down in front of the TV for 500 laps anymore.

For an excellent (and tear-jerking) retrospective on The Intimidator’s fatal accident, check out Dale Earnhardt’s Last Ride from ESPN.

[Sources: Yahoo Sports, Kansas City Star, USA Today | Image: Bruce Ackerman/AP]

NASCAR marks 10-year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death at Daytona 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Feb 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daimler paying all 260,000 employees a 125th anniversary bonus

Filed under: Mercedes-Benz

Daimler

January 29 is a big date in the history of Daimler. On that fateful day back in 1886, Carl Benz filed his patent for the world’s first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. Thus, January 29 a date worth celebrating, and Daimler management seems to agree.

The Detroit News reports that Daimler will pay out 125 million euros ($170 million in United States currency) in bonus money to the company’s 260,000 employees. Split evenly, our math tells us that workers stand to gain about €480 (about $659) each, provided that the employee has been with the company for at least one year. Other reports, however, have stated that each person’s bonus could be as high as €1,000, or about $1,360 based on current exchange rates.

Regardless of the exact dollar figure, Daimler workers will indeed be happy to receive an extra bonus this year. What’s more, Daimler has reportedly worked out a deal with its employee council to shell out 3,125 euros ($4,315 USD) in bonus money for a successful 2010, so this year’s bonus earnings could be even higher.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Torsten Silz/AFP/Getty Images]

Daimler paying all 260,000 employees a 125th anniversary bonus originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Jan 2011 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shelby celebrates original Cobra’s 50th anniversary with special edition continuation car

Filed under: Classics, Convertible, Performance

Shelby 50th Anniversary Cobra

Shelby 50th Anniversary Cobra – Click above for high-res image gallery

2012 marks half a century since the very first Cobra was released on the street, and to celebrate, Shelby has announced a limited-edition 50th Anniversary model that was introduced at Barrett-Jackson earlier today. Using CSX8000 chassis numbers, each of the continuation cars will be painted in “Shelby Black” and feature a premium leather interior, wire wheels and special badging.

Pricing for a 50th Anniversary Cobra rolling chassis (car minus drivetrain) is set at $69,995 or $134,995 for an aluminum-bodied car. Expensive, yes, but with just 50 units slated for production, we can see them getting snapped up pretty quickly. Hit the jump for the full details from Shelby.

Gallery: Shelby 50th Anniversary Cobra

Shelby 50th Anniversary CobraShelby 50th Anniversary Cobra

[Source: Shelby]

Continue reading Shelby celebrates original Cobra’s 50th anniversary with special edition continuation car

Shelby celebrates original Cobra’s 50th anniversary with special edition continuation car originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What does Lamborghini have in store for its 50th anniversary?

Filed under: Performance, Lamborghini

Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary edition

Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary – Click above for high-res image gallery

In two years’ time, Lamborghini will be marking the half-century milestone, and the impending anniversary has everyone asking how the Italian automaker will choose to celebrate its landmark anniversary.

If we look back at how the company marked previous anniversaries, we find examples like the 25th Anniversary Countach (pictured above), the Diablo SE30 and the 40th Anniversary Edition Murciélago. In other words, while arch-rival Ferrari celebrates anniversaries with purpose-built supercars like the F40 and F50, Lamborghini has typically done so with special editions of the cars they already produce.

Will the next example follow the same path? Or is the 50th birthday one too important to leave to a trim and tape package? Some are suggesting that the limited-production version of the Sesto Elemento concept will arrive in time for the festivities, but we’ll just have to sit tight to find out for sure.

[Source: Inside Line]

What does Lamborghini have in store for its 50th anniversary? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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