Official: Bulleta Motors launches RF22 supercar… kind of

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Design/Style, Luxury

Irvine, California-based supercar maker launches the Bulleta RF22 and RF22-R.

New, Southern California-based supercar maker Bulleta Motors says it has launched the Lotus Evora-based RF22, its first vehicle. If the car allegedly designed by Samir Sadikhov also reminds you of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet, then the RF22 successfully embodies its inspiration. Maybe a little too much; the jet struggled with oxygen-delivery and software problems through the long course of its development, and Bulleta seems to be facing an existential crisis in the early going.

Bulleta claims to offer two versions of the mid-engine supercar: the RF22, with 400 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque, and the RF22-R, which makes 505 hp and 390 lb-ft. Both versions are equipped with a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. The R model will do 0-60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds, Bulleta states, but the 400-hp model can do it in 3.9 seconds – still extremely quick. For those who want just two pedals, there’s also an option for a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

But before we delve further into what makes an RF22, it must be noted that there is controversy surrounding the car’s very existence. Carscoops published a piece on the supercar and reportedly received a response from Kevin Smith, Lotus Cars USA marketing and PR communications executive, saying that the RF22 is “vapor,” or not real. He told the publication that Lotus isn’t selling Evora chassis to Bulleta to make RF22s.

Bulleta Motors’ co-founder, Ferris Rezvani, then got into the mix, sending e-mail messages to Carscoops saying the RF22 is, in fact, a real car. Rezvani claimed Bulleta Motors isn’t dealing with Lotus Cars USA, only Lotus Cars UK, and that Kevin Smith wouldn’t know about the RF22. While the RF22 is seeming more like a pipe dream than a production reality, we’re still holding out hope that the sleek supercar will be seen on the road someday… we’re just not holding our breath.

Bulleta Motors launches RF22 supercar… kind of originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Bulleta Motors launches RF22 supercar… kind of

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Design/Style, Luxury

Irvine, California-based supercar maker launches the Bulleta RF22 and RF22-R.

New, Southern California-based supercar maker Bulleta Motors says it has launched the Lotus Evora-based RF22, its first vehicle. If the car allegedly designed by Samir Sadikhov also reminds you of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet, then the RF22 successfully embodies its inspiration. Maybe a little too much; the jet struggled with oxygen-delivery and software problems through the long course of its development, and Bulleta seems to be facing an existential crisis in the early going.

Bulleta claims to offer two versions of the mid-engine supercar: the RF22, with 400 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque, and the RF22-R, which makes 505 hp and 390 lb-ft. Both versions are equipped with a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed manual transmission. The R model will do 0-60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds, Bulleta states, but the 400-hp model can do it in 3.9 seconds – still extremely quick. For those who want just two pedals, there’s also an option for a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

But before we delve further into what makes an RF22, it must be noted that there is controversy surrounding the car’s very existence. Carscoops published a piece on the supercar and reportedly received a response from Kevin Smith, Lotus Cars USA marketing and PR communications executive, saying that the RF22 is “vapor,” or not real. He told the publication that Lotus isn’t selling Evora chassis to Bulleta to make RF22s.

Bulleta Motors’ co-founder, Ferris Rezvani, then got into the mix, sending e-mail messages to Carscoops saying the RF22 is, in fact, a real car. Rezvani claimed Bulleta Motors isn’t dealing with Lotus Cars USA, only Lotus Cars UK, and that Kevin Smith wouldn’t know about the RF22. While the RF22 is seeming more like a pipe dream than a production reality, we’re still holding out hope that the sleek supercar will be seen on the road someday… we’re just not holding our breath.

Bulleta Motors launches RF22 supercar… kind of originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pro-Tesla Motors petition asks White House for direct-sales permission

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Tesla Motors, Legislation and Policy

Tesla store with Model S on display

In what could be an important step in taking Tesla Motors’ fight with various state auto dealer organizations nationwide, a grassroots petition is calling on the White House to let Tesla Motors sell cars directly to customers. The petition was started by a “K.S.” in Stow, MA (CNET identifies him as a fan named Ken). The petition says “state legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition,” and that Tesla offers that competition, “which is good for consumers.”

While dealer groups in New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts have suffered setbacks in their attempts to stop Tesla, Texas does prohibit the electric vehicle automaker from offering test drives of vehicle deliveries in that state because all new vehicles there need to be sold through a licensed third-party.

So far, over 18,500 people have signed the petition, but the target is 100,000 by July 5 to force the White House to respond. You can read the petition text below and decide whether or not you wish to sign over at the We The People site. If the petition gets attention from the Obama administration, that still doesn’t mean Tesla will be in the clear, since dealer organizations have decades of experience influencing local governments. As CNBC says, “For many legislators, the message is clear: protect the local auto dealers, and you protect the economy in your district.”

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Pro-Tesla Motors petition asks White House for direct-sales permission originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Carbon Motors officially files for bankruptcy, lawsuits follow

Filed under: Sedan, Government/Legal, Technology, Police/Emergency, Diesel

Carbon Motors E7 diesel police car - front three-quarter view

So much for Carbon Motors. The would-be police pursuit vehicle manufacturer has officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (read: liquidation) according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. The company officially lists its liabilities at $21.7 million and its assets at a mere $18,976, including one prototype, a few bits of furniture, books and the company’s intellectual property. Some of the largest debtors are investors and suppliers, including BMW. The German automaker claims Carbon Motors owes them some $3 million.

Carbon Motors built a business model around for its diesel-powered E7 police car by securing a Department of Energy loan through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program for $310 million, but the US Government denied the company’s application in March of 2012. From that point, it was evidently only a matter of time before the company caved in on itself. The warning signs were already thick on the ground when it was revealed that the company had quietly pulled out of its Connerville, Indiana plant back in April.

Bankruptcy protection shields Carbon Motors from lawsuits against the manufacturer. That’s good news, considering three former executives have already filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this year for $600,000 in deferred wages.

Carbon Motors officially files for bankruptcy, lawsuits follow originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bentley Mulsanne stretches out thanks to ArmorTech Motors

Filed under: Aftermarket, Sedan, Europe, Bentley, Specialty, Luxury

2011 Bentley Mulsanne ArmorTech

2011 ArmorTech Bentley Mulsanne – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Bentley Mulsanne is officially ready for use by warlords and dictators the world over. Thanks to the work of ArmorTech Motors, the world’s tyrants can safely roll over crowds of protesters and the odd land mine swaddled in the comfort of Connolly leather and a high-def entertainment system.

ArmorTech will stretch your Mulsanne a minimum of 20 inches, and refinish the interior with all the bespoke touches your heart desires, including a top-shelf entertainment system and passenger compartment divider wall. If a 20-inch stretch won’t cut it, ArmorTech will be happy to stretch the big Bentley a mind-boggling 45 inches.

Armor plating is an optional extra, so if you don’t expect to encounter a hail of bullets any time soon, you can opt not to have the extra poundage tacked on. In any case, with the appropriate application of funds, you can distance yourself even further from the Great Unwashed – and those who opted for the plebeian standard Mulsanne.

Bentley Mulsanne stretches out thanks to ArmorTech Motors originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: KISS-themed Mini Countryman one-offs rock on to eBay Motors for charity

Filed under: Car Buying, Auctions, Mini, Celebrities

kiss custom mini countryman

KISS and Mini create custom Countryman models for charity – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ready for your garage to rock and roll all night and party every day? Break out your checkbook. Mini has teamed up with legendary rock group KISS to create a quartet of customized Countryman crossovers for charity. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have applied their trademark style to the exterior of four examples of the 2011 Mini Countryman.

The vehicles, which debuted at the New York Auto Show, each have their own auction listing on eBay Motors, and the proceeds from these auctions will be donated to UNICEF. The organization is working hard to raise money for children affected by the recent disasters in Japan.

These customized Countrymen Countrymans cars aren’t wearing decals. Each vehicle was hand painted by a group of BMW employees who provided the artwork while off the clock. The four vehicles have been named after the members of KISS they mimic; Starchild, The Demon, Spaceman and Catman.

The full press release is located after the jump, and you can check out all four Mini Countryman custom cars in the gallery below.

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KISS-themed Mini Countryman one-offs rock on to eBay Motors for charity originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Motors finally gets its own iPhone app

Filed under: Car Buying, Technology

eBay Motors iPhone app

If you’re anything like us, trolling eBay Motors for cars you can only hope to one day own is like teeth brushing or hair combing – you could go without it for a day, but it wouldn’t be a very good day. Thankfully, the chances of that happening have just dropped to nothing with this week’s introduction of the eBay Motors iPhone app [iTunes link]. Sure, eBay itself has had an iPhone app for a while, but it’s a PiTA to use if you’re just looking for cars.

What we like about the new eBay Motors iPhone app is that it’s designed around how we use eBay Motors’ website. The app will of course let you search eBay Motors’ big database of vehicles and parts for sale, but it also has an area of the app called the Garage. This is where you input both the vehicles you own (My Vehicles) and the vehicles you want to own (Dream Vehicles), making it easy to search for either with the flick of a finger. One slick feature is that you can add vehicles to your Garage by using the iPhone’s camera to scan a VIN barcode, which is usually located on the inside of the driver’s door.

There are some things we’d like eBay Motors to fix with the app’s first update, mainly that the app’s search parameters are so limited. For instance, when filling the app’s Garage with cars, you have to input a specific Year, Make and Model, which means you can’t, for instance, claim an entire generation of vehicle as a Dream Vehicle you want to own, just one particular model year. Likewise, you also can’t dig deeper and pick a particular trim, which means my own vehicle, a 1991 Ford Taurus SHO, shows up in My Vehicles as just a 1991 Ford Taurus, making a search for the right parts damn near possible.

That said, we’re still happy that eBay Motors finally has its own iPhone app and hope the team behind its development will take a serious look at the limitations we mentioned. Click here to check it out in iTunes, and why not download the new Autoblog.com app while you’re at it.

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eBay Motors finally gets its own iPhone app originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Great Wall Motors denies Saab talks

Filed under: China, Europe, Saab, Earnings/Financials

Man affixes 'Save Saab' sign to car window

According to The Detroit News, Chinese automaker Great Wall has made it clear that the company has not been in talks with Saab over a potential partnership. After word trickled down that a $233-million deal between the Swedish automaker’s parent company, Spyker, and Hawtai Motor Group imploded, rumors of various other Chinese suitors have cropped up in a serious fashion.

Spyker said that Hawtai was forced to back out of the arrangement due to the company’s inability to obtain proper government consent, while Hawtai denied those claims. Instead, the Chinese automaker said that claim in a statement by saying that the true issues were commercial and economic realities.

Meanwhile, both BAIC and China Youngman Automobile Group have said that they aren’t in negotiations with either Spyker or Saab at this time. The Detroit News reports that BAIC recently bought the rights to some Saab technology, though the automaker said that no further discussions had been made about the future of the relationship between the two organizations.

Great Wall Motors denies Saab talks originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Meet General Motors’ new crash test dummies

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Technology, Videos, GM

general motors crash test dummies

Crash test dummies enjoying their employee lounge – Click above to watch video after the jump

Once there was this kid, who, got into an accident and couldn’t come to school… he said it was from when the cars had smashed so hard (Mmm mmm mmm mmm). Thankfully, that “kid” is actually a full-scale anthropomorphic test device, better known as a crash test dummy. General Motors, along with all major automobile manufacturers, use them extensively to gain precious insight into the physics of a crash, and the toll it takes on the human body. Like when it turns people’s hair from black to bright white.

Data is constantly being collected from these unsung heroes of the automotive industry. As Moore’s Law continues to hold true, the data collecting devices become smaller and more powerful. This allows engineers to stuff the ATDs with more gear, thus collecting even more information. Click past the jump to get an inside look at General Motors’ Anthropomorphic Test Device Laboratory.

[Source: YouTube]

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Meet General Motors’ new crash test dummies originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Deja-Vu: Saab’s chances of survival depend on… General Motors?

Filed under: Europe, Government/Legal, Saab, Earnings/Financials

Saab logo

The Saab Shutdown of 2011 grinds on, with uncertain finances threatening to silence the operation for good. Even though Spyker took on the ailing brand, former owner General Motors is still the key to Saab surviving, The New York Times reports. Saab’s Trollhättan plant ground to a halt in early April, and part of owner Spyker’s plan to infuse working capital includes selling the plant and other real estate holdings to Vladimir A. Antonov and then leasing the property back from him. Antonov is a controversial figure in this triangle, and the Swedish government and the European Investment Bank need to sign off on his becoming a shareholder of Saab.

The European Investment Bank told the Times that it has provided an answer on the matter, so it now all hinges on General Motors. For its part, GM is keeping mum about whether or not it will sign off on the deal, with spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin offering up a “no comment.” That statement has been directly echoed to Autoblog by GM spokesman Jim Cain, so it looks like we’re all playing the same waiting game to see if Saab makes it.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: Chris Paukert/AOL]

Deja-Vu: Saab’s chances of survival depend on… General Motors? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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