Report: Luca doesn’t believe in electric cars, but Ferrari will build more hybrids

Filed under: Hybrid, Performance, Technology, Ferrari

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari at Geneva

Confirming what we’d long suspected, the hybrid powertrain in the Ferrari LaFerrari was not a one-time thing. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” Ferrari boss Luca Cordero di Montezemolo tells Bloomberg. It’s unclear when we’ll see another hybrid Ferrari, though, as the automaker’s current lineup is quite fresh – the oldest model is the California, which was updated for the 2013 model year – but make no mistake, there are more electrified cars coming from Maranello. “The answer is yes,” Montezemolo told Bloomberg when asked about hybrids, although he was quick to add “without exceeding.” It’s that last part that is key for enthusiasts of the gas engine.

Ferrari’s move towards hybrid powertrains reflects a pair of trends in both the political and motorsports spheres. Politically, automakers, even exotics, are being pushed to produce cars with cleaner emissions, or in many cases, no emissions at all. Look no further than the Range Rover Hybrid, which was just announced. Formula One’s push towards hybridization and smaller engines is also informing decisions at Ferrari, with the LaFerrari already using hybrid tech already inspired by the sport.

Still, it’s reassuring to know that while Ferrari is pushing forward with future technologies, that the gas engine won’t go the way of the manual transmission in Maranello – at least in the near term.

Luca doesn’t believe in electric cars, but Ferrari will build more hybrids originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hyundai app lets you build your own zombie apocalypse car

Filed under: Hyundai, Humor

Hyundai app lets you build your own zombie apocalypse car

Walking Dead fans, rejoice! Thanks to Hyundai, you can build your very own virtual zombie survival machine. We’ve all seen the light-green Hyundai Tucson transporting the likes of Rick Grimes and his motley crew of survivors in AMC’s hit series, and now you can get in on the action with Hyundai’s Walking Dead Chop Shop.

Available both as a mobile app and desktop version, this quirky configurator presents you with a choice of three Hyundai vehicles: the Veloster Turbo, Santa Fe and Elantra. Each one has its strengths, though we particularly like the Santa Fe’s utility. After all, according to Hyundai, “There’s room for seven survivors inside” and you won’t have to worry about “getting zombie all over your seats. They’re easy to wipe clean.” But for those who prefer not to invite zombies along for the journey, the speedy Veloster Turbo and its 201-horsepower engine may be the way to go.

Once you select your post-apocalyptic ride, you have a choice of colors (including Apocalypse Black, of course), decals (“Alive Inside” is a useful one) and nearly 300 other zombie-fighting features. We’re partial to the automatic shotguns on the hood, although the flamethrower is also quite tempting. You can even add titanium or aluminum armor and a dizzying array of other defensive and offensive weapons: spinning saw blades on the wheels, a horde plow on the front bumper and barbed wire on the side windows, just to name a few.

When you’re finished creating your zombie death machine, the app spits out a percentage rating your likelihood of survival. You can also share your vehicle with friends on Facebook and Twitter. According to Hyundai, 37,672 vehicles have been built so far. And out of these, they’ll choose one vehicle to build for the New York Comic-Con convention this October (the automaker already debuted a zombie survival concept based on the Veloster at the San Diego Comic-Con). The only question now is… when can we buy one of these things for real?

Hyundai app lets you build your own zombie apocalypse car originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 04 Aug 2013 17:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford to build next F-150, outgoing model concurrently?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Ford, Earnings/Financials

Ford's Atlas-based F-150 testing spy photo

Ford is rumored to be considering concurrent production for old and new F-150 models in a bid to minimize supply chain disruptions and inventory. Automotive News is reporting that the Blue Oval will build both the current F-150 and its replacement, which we showed you testing just last month, side by side for about half a year before switching over entirely to next-generation production.

As IHS Automotive analyst Mike Jackson told AN, “In order to ramp up, you have to retool…and that means you have to take capacity offline.” Building both models alongside could allow Ford to cope with the still strong demand for the current F-150, while populating dealer supplies and working out supply chain kinks for the new model before making a full-time switch.

A loss of capacity when demand is so strong, even for a short period, could spell bad news for Ford, which nets an estimated 90 percent of its global profit on pickups and large SUVs. As AN states, Ford produces the F-150 in both Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan, which allows it to maintain some degree of flexibility in production. The new F-150 is expected to arrive at the 2014 North American International Auto Show as a 2015 model, with a design inspired by the Atlas Concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January.

Ford to build next F-150, outgoing model concurrently? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mazda on sales upswing in Europe but won’t build there

Filed under: Europe, Plants/Manufacturing, Mazda, Earnings/Financials

Auto sales in Europe have been a tricky proposition for some years, but Mazda has seen some success on the backs of the CX-5 and new Mazda6. According to a report form Automotive News Europe, though, that doesn’t mean we should be looking for the Japanese manufacturer to set up production operations there.

Mazda’s European CEO, Jeff Guyton, explained to AN that “Our intention is to have manufacturing scale. That gives you scale economy and quality through repeatability.” In other words, a big honking plant in one part of the world is preferable to a half dozen small factories building the same vehicles.

European sales for Mazda are up 5.4 percent in the first half of 2013, with 74,000 units sold. That kicked the Zoom-Zoom brand’s market share up from one to 1.2 percent. Small gains, but gains nonetheless. According to Guyton, Mazda would need to sell 200,000 units of just one model in Europe for local production to make sense. Mazda’s best European year saw 320,000 units sold across the entire range.

Mazda on sales upswing in Europe but won’t build there originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Jaguar releases C-X75 concept build story

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Videos, Jaguar, UK

Jaguar C-X75 Concept Story - video screencap

If you want to know what was going through the minds of decisionmakers at Jaguar when the company decided to build the batty C-X75 Concept, look no further than the quick video after the jump. Jaguar set about building a car with the performance of a Bugatti Veyron, the electric range of a Chevrolet Volt and the emissions of a Toyota Prius, and they turned to a legendary engineering firm to help make it happen. Williams, the same crew behind Williams F1, helped Jaguar stitch the concept car together, and the result is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The twin-charged 1.6-liter four-cylinder mounted amidship is paired with an electric motor at each wheel for a combined output of over 850 horsepower. And, since the whole chassis is hewn from carbon fiber, a production version would’ve been light enough to give machines like the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari a run for their money. Shame they apparently couldn’t make the business case work. Watch the concept build story in the video below for yourself.

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Jaguar releases C-X75 concept build story originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: A woman shows you how to build a proper circle track racer

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Videos, Chevrolet, Racing

Jeri Ellsworth

Jeri Ellsworth on building a race car – Click above to view video after the jump

Jeri Ellsworth is a certified renaissance woman. A high school and college dropout, she’s a self-taught computer programmer and an ace welder and circle track race car builder. She has also started her own race car building business while her peers were at prom and went on to open a chain of computer shops.

More recently, Ellsworth has taken to YouTube to show aspiring NASCAR-types how a street stock racer should be built. Ellsworth is extremely careful and meticulous, knocking out some seriously pretty welds on her way to completing a 1981 Chevrolet Camaro racer.

Her work (and plumber’s crack), looks to be enough to impress embarrass all of her male peers, both in the garage and on the race track. To check out Ellsworth’s skill, hit up the video after the jump. It’s the first in a series, so if you like what you see, we urge to watch ’em all.

Continue reading A woman shows you how to build a proper circle track racer

A woman shows you how to build a proper circle track racer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mugen itching to build hot Honda Fit

Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, Europe, Hatchback, Honda, UK

Mugen Fit

Mugen Honda Fit/Jazz – Click above for high-res image gallery

As the pseudo-works Honda tuner of choice, Mugen has tricked out Civic models for decades. They’ve also dabbled in the occasional Accord, are preparing to debut their supercharged CR-Z and have even had their way with the Ariel Atom – powered as it is by Honda engines. So what’s next for Mugen? It could be the Fit.

The five-door hatchback, known in other markets as the Jazz, has received some attention from Mugen in the form of aftermarket body kits and such, but the tuning house’s British garage could be looking at something a little more comprehensive, according to a fresh report from Autocar.

According to the British mag, the hot Fit’s engine program could incorporate either the 2.0-liter VTEC four from the Civic Type R or the supercharged hybrid 1.5 developed for the Mugen CR-Z. Tempting options, both, but whichever way the Honda tuner goes, the likelihood is that the result won’t make the trip over to these shores, anyway.

Mugen itching to build hot Honda Fit originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Porsche to relocate U.S. headquarters to ex-Ford facility, plans to build track

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Rumormill

porsche logo

The North American headquarters for Porsche has been in an Atlanta suburb for years, but a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution suggests that’s about to change. Unnamed sources claim that the German automaker is planning to announce that it will build a new headquarters on the site of the former Ford Taurus plant, just outside the Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport.

The old plant has since been leveled and the ground has been scrubbed of environmental hazards left from years of industrial use, so Porsche will need to start from scratch. That’s probably a good thing, since the German company reportedly plans to build a new offices where the plant was demolished and a new test track very similar to the automaker’s facility in Silverstone, England. Porsche’s lease at its current location ends in 2013, and it is likely to take several years to complete a new facility.

If true, the move would bring hundreds of new marketing and sales jobs to the region, though most positions are likely already filled at Porsche’s current suburban location. Porsche is expected to make the announcement on Thursday.

Porsche to relocate U.S. headquarters to ex-Ford facility, plans to build track originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 May 2011 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Seat to build IBX crossover based on Audi Q3

Filed under: Concept Cars, Europe, Crossover, Audi, SEAT

Seat IBX concept in Geneva

Seat IBX concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Seat was awarded the internal contract to build the Audi Q3 at its factory in Martorell, Spain, but jobs aren’t the only thing the Spanish subsidiary of Volkswagen may get out of the arrangement. According to a new report from What Car?, Seat will receive a production version of the IBX concept on the same platform.

The IBX show car was unveiled last month at the Geneva Motor Show, packing a hybrid powertrain and coupe-like three-door bodystyle. When it enters production – tipped for sometime next year – it is likely to more closely follow convention in both drivetrain and layout.

The last time Seat developed a crossover was with the Tribu concept of 2007, though its production was halted midway through its development process when the global economy began to tank.

Gallery: Seat IBX Concept: Geneva 2011

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: What Car?]

Seat to build IBX crossover based on Audi Q3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi teams up with Renovo to build… hardwood bicycles?!

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Audi, Design/Style

2011 Audi duoCity

2011 Audi duoCity – Click above for high-res image gallery

Renovo is a Portland, Oregon-based bicycle company that builds custom high-end bike frames exclusively from hardwood. For 2011, Renovo has teamed with Audi to produce the duo, a limited-run bike that uses a wood monocoque frame. Audi says the bikes are designed to show its commitment to sustainability and forward thinking.

According to Audi, wood is about 75 percent lighter per cubic inch than aluminum, and is just as stiff and durable while offering a shock-absorbing ride. The woods used mirror those Audi uses to decorate the interiors of its cars, providing a tidy aesthetic connection between the two companies.

The duo comes in three models: the duoCity, duoSport and duoRoad. The City and Sport models use an internal-gear belt-driven hub for space efficiency and ease of maintenance, while the Road model has a more traditional SRAM Red derailleur set up.

The wood frames are individually hand-built, and are bedecked with some seriously high-end components. Translation: they’re expensive. The City model is the cheapest, at $6,530, followed by the Sport at $7,350 and the Road at $7,460.

Gallery: 2011 Audi duo

2011 Audi duoCity Brown2011 Audi duoSport Brown2011 Audi duoRoad Brown2011 Audi duoCity Serrano Red2011 Audi duoSport Serrano Red

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Audi teams up with Renovo to build… hardwood bicycles?!

Audi teams up with Renovo to build… hardwood bicycles?! originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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