BMW 3 Series loses more of its camo

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, BMW

BMW 3 Series spy shots

BMW 3 Series spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

The next-generation BMW 3 Series has been out stretching its legs before its official debut, and our tactical team of spy photographers was quick to snap a few photos before the vehicle returned to the automaker’s lair. These photos give us a more complete look at the new 3er for the first time as its shed more of the psychedelic-swirl camouflage than in any of its previous outings. We can clearly make out the rear fascia in its entirety and we’ve been given a good glimpse of the vehicle’s LED tail lamps as well. Those rear lights look an awful lot like the hardware found on the newest BMW 5 Series to us.

In addition, this particular mule shows off the vehicle’s new headlights as well. Those rigs look to be rocking the same squared-off LED shape as the latest 6 Series, which means we may see the diodes spread to the rest of the German automaker’s lineup. Check out the full gallery for a closer look.

Gallery: BMW 3 Series: Spy Shots

BMW 3 Series: Spy ShotsBMW 3 Series: Spy ShotsBMW 3 Series: Spy ShotsBMW 3 Series: Spy ShotsBMW 3 Series: Spy Shots

BMW 3 Series loses more of its camo originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saab loses $107 million in Q1, looking for a Chinese partner

Filed under: China, Saab, Earnings/Financials

saab logo

Automotive News reports that Saab lost $107 million during the first quarter of 2011. The automaker says that it is unlikely to meet its 2011 production target of 80,000 units, which is hardly news when considering that the automaker can’t even make vehicles right now. The automaker sold only 9,674 vehicles in the first quarter of this year.

Saab is still looking for funding to jump-start production, and the company is reportedly in talks with three Chinese automakers in hopes of finding a partner. Spyker CEO Victor Muller reportedly said in a statement that Saab is looking for alternatives for funding operations, including “discussions with Chinese car manufacturers.” Bloomberg reports that a deal could be made with one of the companies within the next few days.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Saab loses $107 million in Q1, looking for a Chinese partner originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maxime Berger loses a wheel at Donington Park [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Motorcycle, Racing

Maxime Berger loses a wheel during World Superbike Racing at Donington Park

Maxime Berger loses a wheel during World Superbike Racing at Donington Park – Click above to enlarge

There are a few common ways to crash a motorcycle while racing – most often either the extremely dangerous high-side or the usually-little-more-than-ego-scraping low-side incident – but, when dealing with machinery pushed to the very edges of its mechanical abilities, there’s always the outside chance of catastrophic equipment failure leading to an astonishing accident.

Such was the case for Maxime Berger, who crashed out of the first race during the second round of World Superbike action at Donington Park in rather spectacular fashion. As you can see from the image above and the video after the break, Berger’s privateer Ducati somehow managed to completely shed half its normal allotment of wheels… and in the case of a motorcycle, that’s a very bad thing indeed.

Click past the break for a video of the incident, along with a brief press release from the Supersonic Racing Team that includes a quote from Berger himself. Oh, and better luck next time, Maxime!

[Source: Supersonic Racing Team, Youtube]

Continue reading Maxime Berger loses a wheel at Donington Park [w/video]

Maxime Berger loses a wheel at Donington Park [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 20:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Media Strategies loses Chrysler contract after F-bomb tweet *Update

Filed under: Etc., Chrysler

On March 9, 2011, a now-former employee of New Media Strategies – the company responsible for managing Chrysler’s Twitter account – thought they were using their personal account to push out a message related to the less-than-stellar driving abilities of Detroit’s residents. It contained the F-word and, unfortunately, was accidentally sent out on Chrysler’s Twitter account. Whoops.

As a result, New Media Strategies was forced to terminate that employee, but now it seems that the company lost even more than one foul-mouthed worker. In a statement released today, Chrysler has announced that it will not renew its contract with NMS and that it will work with the social media company while a new agency is sought. There is no mention of exactly why Chrysler is choosing to sever the relationship but, in the wake of the F-bomb tweet, we’re pretty sure we have a good idea.

Is one errant tweet enough to torpedo an entire relationship? It seems to be the case for Chrysler. Click past the jump for the Pentastar’s brief statement.

*Update: Chrysler has posted a follow-up message on its corporate blog, where it is explained that Chrysler did not fire the employee who made the mistake. Further, Chrysler explains why it reacted the way it did in letting go of NMS. Check it out here.

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading New Media Strategies loses Chrysler contract after F-bomb tweet *Update

New Media Strategies loses Chrysler contract after F-bomb tweet *Update originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rendered Speculation: Lamborghini Aventador loses its lid

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Lamborghini, Luxury

Lamborghini Aventador Spyder

At long last, we’ve seen the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. As any fan of the golden bull should know, when it comes to guessing the next variant of Lamborghini’s biggest and baddest coupe all one need do is imagine the car with about two feet of roof gone missing. Or you don’t even need to suppose, since RenderedSpeculation.com has done it for you.

The Aventador’s close outward relation to previous members of Lamborghini’s V12 family means the roadster’s appearance – at least in rendered form – is exactly what you’d expect. So instead of considering this a test of the imagination, consider it planning: tax refunds will be coming soon, and you might as well figure out now whether the coupe or the inevitable roadster deserves your money…

[Source: Rendered Speculation]

Rendered Speculation: Lamborghini Aventador loses its lid originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Feb 2011 16:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Richard Branson loses F1 bet, will cross-dress as Air Asia stewardess

Filed under: Motorsports, Lotus, Celebrities, Humor

You don’t get much higher stakes than Formula One. And while some teams have their own airplanes, there are a couple this season that have their own airlines: Richard Branson’s Virgin, and Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing and Air Asia.

As you may recall, the rivalry between the two tycoon-backed upstart teams escalated to such a point that Branson and Fernandes made a gentlemanly bet that was anything but: the owner of the team that fared worse in this year’s championship would have to cross-dress as a female flight attendant and serve as such on the other’s airline.

Well, Lotus edged out Virgin towards the bottom of the standings, so it’s Sir Richard who’ll be wearing Air Asia’s finest skirt and blouse. Fernandes is keen on placing his rival on a long-haul Kaula Lumpur-to-London flight, tickets for which he plans to auction off for charity. Looks like the negative effect of downforce isn’t the only kind of drag these guys will be dealing with in the offseason.

[Source: Autosport]

Richard Branson loses F1 bet, will cross-dress as Air Asia stewardess originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Nov 2010 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2014 Lotus Elite loses its roof

Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Performance, Videos, Lotus, Design/Style, Luxury

Lotus Elite with roof down

2014 Lotus Elite goes topless – Click above to watch video after the jump

Lotus made quite a splash at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The automaker grabbed the spotlight by showing off five new concept vehicles. One of the proposed cars is the Lotus Elite, a 2+2 grand tourer powered by a 611-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from the Lexus IS-F. One surprising detail for this Lotus is its weight. The Elite tips the scales at 3,600 pounds, which is a mammoth sum for anything carrying the company badge. The reason for much of that extra weight may lie in the roof, as the Elite is fitted with a retractable folding hard-top.

Losing the roof creates a whole new perspective for both the driver and people gawking at the car as it passes by. The dramatic lines get a visual boost with the top stowed, since the eye has fewer places to wander. The result is an attractive grand touring car that aims to rival similar offerings from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin, even if it is a heavyweight by Colin Chapman’s standards.

You can let some virtual wind blow through your hair by watching a new Lotus Elite video clip posted after the jump.

Gallery: Lotus Elite Concept

Lotus Elite conceptLotus Elite ConceptLotus Elite ConceptLotus Elite conceptLotus Elite Concept

Gallery: Paris 2010: Lotus Elite Concept

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Live photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Lotus]

Continue reading Video: 2014 Lotus Elite loses its roof

Video: 2014 Lotus Elite loses its roof originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Oct 2010 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officially Official: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor gains SuperCrew, loses 5.4L V8 for 2011

Filed under: Truck, Ford, Off-Road

2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford’s off-road beast, the F-150 SVT Raptor, has only been on sale for a year, but it’s already getting a few upgrades for the 2011 model year.

Many reports and a few spy shots indicated that Ford had been prepping a four-door SuperCrew version of the Raptor (you know, for when the family wants to do the Baja run with you), and the automaker has officially confirmed the details (again). The SuperCrew’s wheelbase is a full 12 inches longer than the standard Raptor, meaning it should provide a more comfortable ride along the way, and the 5.5-foot box can still haul everything you need when you get there.

Speaking of capability, all Raptors now come standard with more power on tap – the 6.2-liter V8 will be the only available powertrain for 2011 (sad trombone for the people who rushed out to get the 5.4). As we reported earlier, it stands to reason that the 2011 Raptor will get a price increase to account for the larger mill, but it’s a small price to pay for an extra 101 horsepower and 69 pound-feet of torque over the 5.4-liter V8.

From there, the other enhancements for 2011 are purely cosmetic. Raptors can now be had in a new color – Ingot Silver Metallic (pictured) – and matte black accent graphics are available on the hood. These new graphics can be ordered separately from the box side decals, too. Inside the cabin, Ford now offers a standard 4.2-inch LCD display (called the “productivity screen”) in the center of the revised instrument gauges, similar to what was introduced on the 2011 Super Duty.

Dealers will start taking orders for 2011 Raptors as you read this with the first examples hitting dealerships later this year. Ford’s detailed press release is available after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

[Source: Ford]

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Officially Official: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor gains SuperCrew, loses 5.4L V8 for 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Sep 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BBC loses court battle to block the Stig book

Filed under: UK, Celebrities

The Stig has taken another step toward shrugging off the shackles of the BBC. As you may recall, Top Gear’s tame racing driver recently locked horns with the Beeb after he made it clear he wanted to publish his memoirs. The show’s producers found issue with text, saying that revealing his identity would not only be a disservice to the fans of the show, but that it would also violate the terms of his contract. Thing is, a judge has struck down the BBC’s injunction to keep The Stig from publishing his book. That means publisher HarperCollins can move forward on bringing the book to life without fear of any further legal action from the BBC.

Interestingly enough, Ben Collins, the man who has long-been rumored to be the Stig, was spotted leaving the courthouse shortly after the ruling was issued. Collins was evasive when asked by reporters if he was the man in white, though we have a hard time thinking of any other reason why he would be at the hearing.

[Source: The Guardian]

BBC loses court battle to block the Stig book originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Sep 2010 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jack Roush loses sight in left eye after plane crash, still aims to fly

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Celebrities

They say that statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving. Jack Roush might beg to differ with that assessment. After his second life-threatening plane crash in eight years, the NASCAR bigwig was back at the Michigan International Speedway this past weekend to watch his team in action.

Roush’s recovery from his injuries during the crash in Oshkosh, WI will be almost complete with one notable exception: Roush has lost the vision in his left eye. For now, Roush also has a back brace to support a fractured spine and piece of hardware in his cheek.

Despite the loss of vision on one eye, The Detroit News indicates that Roush has excellent sight in the right eye and fully intends to fly again once his physical recovery is complete. While there are tougher vision restrictions on commercial pilots, private aviators are evidently allowed to fly with only one eye.

Interestingly, based on a quote in the DetNews article, it sounds like Roush might be blaming the airport’s air traffic controller for the plane crash:

“I filed my NTSB report today, which is a matter of public record. It speaks for itself. The reality of it, on a trip arrival into Oshkosh, Wis., I was put in conflict with the flight plan of another airplane close to the ground, and I was unable to address the conflict and keep the airplane flying. I ground-looped the airplane. The airplane did a great job staying intact.”

No doubt we’ll hear more about this as the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the incident further, but for now, Roush says he just feels extraordinarily lucky.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Jason Smith/Getty]

Report: Jack Roush loses sight in left eye after plane crash, still aims to fly originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Aug 2010 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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