Rumormill: Porsche forum claims eco-friendly 911 Blu coming to Frankfurt

Filed under: Porsche, Rumormill

2014 Porsche 911 Carrera Blu Edition front three-quarter

The fiftieth anniversary of the Porsche 911 has been a nearly year-long affair, with unique tributes and even a special anniversary edition with plenty of retro throwbacks. The party is expected to continue through the end of 2013, and if one 911 enthusiast forum is right, we’ll see yet another special edition model near the anniversary of the original car’s September 1963 debut, when it arrives at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

It’s called the 911 Blu, and where the 911 50 Years Edition was more expensive than a 911 Carrera S hardtop, the Blu would be an entry level special edition. That’s right, a limited run car that actually slots in at the very bottom of the 911 range. According to Porsche forum 911UK.com, the new car would be priced at 74,600 euros ($98,718 at today’s rates) or 64,750 pounds. That undercuts the price of a base 911 in Germany by nearly 16,000 euros and in the UK by nearly 8700 pounds (although to be fair, it’s roughly identical to the price of a base 911 C2S in the US).

This 911 will reportedly feature a detuned flat-six with 300 horsepower and 211 pound-feet of torque.

This 911 will reportedly feature a detuned flat-six with 300 horsepower and 211 pound-feet of torque, while cylinder deactivation and active grille shutters should help with economy. Stop-start technology will be standard, along with Porsche’s new Regeneration System. (There’s no explanation of what this system is, by the way.) The wheels will be 18-inchers, and will use hollow spokes for less weight. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management will be an optional item rather than standard. Finally, the Blu is reportedly a hardtop convertible.

If you’re like us, you’re mainlining salt by this point. There are so many things about this proposed special edition that don’t make sense that it’s difficult to cover them all here. And that’s without us even mentioning the woeful Riviera Blue/Guards Red exterior seen above. (No, we aren’t kidding.)

First and foremost, there’s been nothing from Porsche about this car. Not a peep, not a spy shot, not so much as a hint that something special was coming to Frankfurt. The oft-rumored budget 911 is already available – it’s called the Cayman S. There’s even a convertible version called the Boxster S. The reported run to 62 takes 5.4 seconds in the PDK-only car, meaning you will get trampled by most other sports cars that cost half as much as this 911. Who, but the most diehard 911 fanatic, is going to spend this kind of money on a car that will be slower and more expensive than a Cayman S? Also, if Porsche had developed some kind of “revolutionary” hardtop for the 911, why not show it on one of the more robust Carrera models? We could go on.

According to the forum, the 911 Blu will be limited to 911 units (cute), with 300 earmarked for the US market. We’ll see if any of this is true when we attend the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Porsche forum claims eco-friendly 911 Blu coming to Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Queensboro Bridge “Off-Ramp of Doom” claims third VW

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Videos, Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf crash at the queensboro bridge

Volkswagen Golf crash at the queensboro bridge – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Queensboro bridge in New York City has seen its third major accident involving a Volkswagen since March. According to The New York Post, a 2007 Volkswagen Golf lost control while exiting the bridge, struck scaffolding erected outside of a building and landed on top of a parked livery vehicle. The driver of the VW was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. No one else was harmed in the incident.

That’s a better outcome than in both of the previous accidents. The post reports that in April, the driver of a Jetta lost control in that exact location and spun into two store fronts. The driver later died of her injuries. Likewise, in March, a single-car accident at the off ramp resulted in the death of a pedestrian. The driver of that particular Volkswagen Golf lost an arm as a result of his injuries.

At this point, it’s unclear what will be done to curb speeding on the off-ramp. Hit the jump to view a news report of the latest incident.

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Queensboro Bridge “Off-Ramp of Doom” claims third VW originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokian tires claims it’s already beaten Bentley’s new ice speed record with Audi [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Etc., Europe, Videos, Audi

nokia tires ice speed record audi

Nokian Tires slides past Bentley’s Ice Speed Record – Click above to watch video after the jump

Nokian Tires was paying close attention to Bentley’s Ice Speed Record. If you don’t recall, Bentley used a Continental Supersports Convertible to dash across a stretch of ice last month at 205 miles per hour, 205.48 to be exact. Nokian strapped a set of its Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tires on to an Audi RS6 and decided to have its own icy blast. Thanks to the grippy rubber and aerodynamic mods (as well as a curious lack of detail regarding performance mods), the Nokian team and driver Janne Laitinen upped the ice-speed ante with a trap figure of 206.05 miles per hour.

The Nokian team previously set an Ice Speed Record using its Hakkapeliitta 5 tires. During that run, a Bentley was used, but this time Nokian preferred Four Rings, Quattro all-wheel-drive and its latest generation of studded snow tires. Click past the jump to watch the new record and Nokian’s previous 199.86 mile per hour record run. Thanks for the tip, Ville!

Gallery: Nokian Tyres sets new Ice Speed Record

[Source: Nokian Tires]

Continue reading Nokian tires claims it’s already beaten Bentley’s new ice speed record with Audi [w/video]

Nokian tires claims it’s already beaten Bentley’s new ice speed record with Audi [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford probing worker abuse claims at Chinese supplier

Filed under: China, Government/Legal, Ford

Ford investigates worker abuse in China

Blue collar labor in the U.S. has come a long way in the past century, and Ford Motor Company has been among the leading manufacturers in the fight for hospitable working conditions. But while The Blue Oval is a shining symbol of progress here in U.S., the automaker may have some issues with suppliers in China.

The Detroit Bureau reports that an investigation by The Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights reveals that workers at one of Ford’s Chinese suppliers are being subjected to 14-hour days, seven-day work weeks and dangerous working conditions. And all that for the equivalent of 80 cents per hour. Further, the report claims that supervisors at the plant force their employees to turn off safety equipment so that they can work faster.

And as a result, there have been at least four major injuries according to the report. One worker, who was referred to as “Worker A,” lost three fingers while operating a stamping machine. He received $7,430 for his troubles, compared to $144,000 for a similarly injured U.S. worker. Worker A, like the other injured employees, also lost his job for his troubles. Charles Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights, is asking that Ford pays about $72,126 to cover the damages for the injured worker.

Ford, for its part, is investigating the claim of worker abuse. The company said in a statement that it takes the situation very seriously, adding “we expect our suppliers to comply with local laws and our Code of Basic Working Conditions.” Head over to The Detroit Bureau for the full report.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau | Image: AFP/Getty]

Report: Ford probing worker abuse claims at Chinese supplier originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Icy Pittsburgh hill claims half a dozen cars

Filed under: Etc., Videos

Icy hill in Pittsburgh causes vehicular mahem

Icy Pittsburgh hill becomes the scene of automotive carnage – Click above to watch video after the jump
The east coast is under attack. The assailant? Mother Nature. Snow and rain continue to hammer this part of the nation, and when a downhill section of a road in the Pittsburgh town of Squirrel Hill became covered in ice yesterday, vehicular mayhem ensued.

Less a road and now more an Olympic-spec bobsled run, motorists had a hard time competing against physics and slick asphalt. Fortunately, no one was injured and a camera was rolling to capture the carnage as the hill consumed about a half dozen vehicles. Follow the jump to watch the clip, and when you do, remember this winter driving tip: Sometimes your brakes can actually work against you.

[Source: YouTube]

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Video: Icy Pittsburgh hill claims half a dozen cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AP: Seven insurance companies sue Toyota over unintended acceleration-related claims

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Toyota, Earnings/Financials

unhappy Toyota windshield sticker

Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming… According to the Associated Press, seven insurance companies* are suing Toyota in California court for damages in excess of $230,000. We suspect that figure could rise, as it’s derived from just 14 of the alleged 725 total accidents the insurers claim Toyota is at least partially at fault for.

The suit reportedly alleges that Toyota is at fault for accidents blamed on unintended acceleration because the Japanese automaker failed to equip its vehicles with a brake override system that would electronically force the engine to return to idle if both the accelerator and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. After the recall hubbub first began, Toyota announced that all of its future models will come with this technology.

For its part, a Toyota spokesperson unsurprisingly responded that “any allegation that a vehicle-based defect is the cause of unintended acceleration in this or any other complaint is completely unfounded and has no basis.” In December of 2010, Toyota agreed to settle a high-profile case in California regarding unintended acceleration in a Toyota Camry for $10 million, though it never admitted any wrongdoing. Four people were killed in that accident.

In October of 2010, Allstate filed suit against Toyota seeking $3 million in compensation as a result of 270 claims of sudden acceleration.

*The seven insurance companies bringing forth this suit are: American Automobile Insurance Co., Fireman’s Fund Insurance, National Surety Corp., Ameriprise Insurance, IDS Property Casualty Insurance, Motorists Mutual Insurance and American Hardware Mutual Insurance.

[Source: Associated Press via AOL Autos | Image: David McNew/Getty]

AP: Seven insurance companies sue Toyota over unintended acceleration-related claims originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 15:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Saudi prince claims to own 1% of GM

Filed under: GM, Earnings/Financials, Middle East

Saudi Prince Walid bin TalalThe dust is beginning to settle around the General Motors IPO, and we’re finally getting a sense of exactly who is holding onto big slices of the company. The New York Times is reporting that Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal has managed to snag a full one percent of the automaker with a massive $500 million investment. The prince has a long history of backing various American companies through Kingdom Holdings, including Citigroup. Talal says that in the case of The General, he has faith that the company’s new management can pull off respectable growth and profits.

The prince calls King Abduallah uncle, and while he isn’t likely to ever ascend to the country’s throne, odds are he wouldn’t want to even if he had the chance. Last we heard, the guy was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 billion thanks to his successful investments.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: Rabih Moghrabi/AFP/Getty]

Report: Saudi prince claims to own 1% of GM originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Brabus claims the world’s fastest, most powerful sedan with new SV12 R Biturbo 800

Filed under: Aftermarket, Sedan, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Brabus SV12R Biturbo 800

Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to wickedly powerful and insanely fast luxury sedans. After all, its AMG models are among the fastest and most powerful on the market. Leave it to specialty Benz tuner Brabus, then, to take it the extra mile… and then some.

The freshly unveiled Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800 claims the mantle as both the fastest and most powerful sedan on offer. To get there, the German tuner has tweaked the 5.5-liter V12 from the S600 to 6.3 liters, fitted a new crankshaft, camshafts, cylinder heads, air intake, exhaust, turbochargers, quad interoolers and bigger pistons, and of course, remapped the ECU. The result is a massive 788 horsepower (800 in metric form, hence the name) and 1,047 pound-feet of torque. The twist is so massive, however, that Brabus had to electronically limit it to 811 lb-ft. Don’t worry – performance hasn’t been hindered. 0 to 62 sprints are managed in just 3.9 seconds and its Autobahn-devouring top speed is electronically limited to just 217 miles per hour.

Bigger brakes help keep the beast under control, as well as a new limited-slip differential. A full aero kit and upgraded rolling stock are on hand, as well, completing the “we mean business” look. Check it out for yourself in the gallery below, and hit the jump for Brabus’ official release.

Gallery: Brabus SV12 R Biturbo 800

[Source: Brabus]

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Brabus claims the world’s fastest, most powerful sedan with new SV12 R Biturbo 800 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Oct 2010 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: AMS Alpha 10 claims new quarter-mile record for Nissan GT-R

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Nissan

AMS Alpha 10 GT-R at the starting line

AMS Alpha 10 Nissan GT-R claims a quarter-mile record – Click above to watch the video after the jump

AMS Performance has broken its own quarter-mile record in a Nissan GT-R, this time gussied up with its Alpha 10 package. The most important thing you need to know about the suite of changes is that it takes the car up to 1,100 horsepower. The details include an Alpha 10 turbo system on top of a blueprinted engine, with all that horsepower routed through an Alpha 10 transmission. Naturally, just about everything else from the turbo inlet pipes to the fuel injectors to the downpipes have been upgraded or reworked.

The result was a 9.33-second run at 153 miles per hour. That takes 0.56 seconds off AMS’ time from March of this year in its GT-R SR850 at the TX2K10 Supra & GTR Nationals. Video footage of the run (completely with overly dramatic music and buildup) is after the jump, and a few shots of the runner itself are in the gallery of images below. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

Gallery: AMS Performance Alpha 10 GT-R

[Source: AMS Performance]

Continue reading Video: AMS Alpha 10 claims new quarter-mile record for Nissan GT-R

Video: AMS Alpha 10 claims new quarter-mile record for Nissan GT-R originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Oct 2010 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota sued by Allstate over sudden-acceleration insurance claims

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Toyota

Toyota emblem and dealer sign

Like every other automaker, Toyota is always looking to increase the safety of its vehicles, be it through investing millions of dollars towards R&D or incorporating new safety measures as standard equipment. It’s also working hard to fully restore its recently tarnished public image. Hurdles do keep popping up now and again, however, with the latest one has been placed by Allstate. According to the Los Angeles Times, the insurance company is seeking $3 million in compensation as a result of 270 claims of sudden acceleration.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 1, 2010. Allstate claims that the suit was a last resort as a result of failed out-of-court negotiations. However, a spokesperson for the automakers says “the unfounded allegations in this suit have no basis.”

Toyota recently announced that it has resolved issues with over five million vehicles, as a result of three main recalls. Nearly two million of the vehicles had stuck accelerator issues while the other three million had their floormats replaced or repaired.

Complaints of sudden acceleration have fallen by 80 percent since April of 2010. At its peak, the claims averaged 800 per week but have since fallen to around 150 per week. Toyota has dispatched safety review teams to examine over 4,000 vehicles and has yet to find an instance of sudden acceleration being caused by anything electrical. Regardless, the automaker is increasing the standard safety features fitted to its vehicles, the latest of which is Smart-Stop, a brake override system that engages when the throttle is open greater than 33 percent, the vehicle speed is over 5 miles per hour and the brakes are pressed firmly. Allstate believes that Toyota vehicles should already have featured this technology.

[Source: Los Angeles Times | Image: Ramin Talaie/Getty]

Toyota sued by Allstate over sudden-acceleration insurance claims originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Oct 2010 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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