Report: Canada getting ready to sell GM stake

Filed under: Government/Legal, GM, Earnings/Financials, Canada

Canada readies to sell stake in GM.

Canada’s federal government and the government of the province of Ontario have started searching for an investment bank to sell the rest of their combined 140 million shares in General Motors, according to an unidentified source, Bloomberg reports. That represents a 10-percent stake up for sale. The news doesn’t come as a surprise because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in December that Canada wanted to sell its shares of GM stock, a point that was reiterated yesterday by one of his spokespeople.

Canada invested $9.5 million for 175 million shares of GM’s stock in 2009 as part of the company’s government bailout. The automaker made an Initial Public Offering in November 2010, at which point Canada sold 35 million shares. The country currently is the third-largest GM shareholder, behind the US Treasury and GM-United Automobile Workers Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association. Two-thirds of Canada’s stake are held by the federal government and one-third by the Ontario government.

In addition to Canada’s move to sell its GM stock, the US Treasury also said in December that it planned to sell all of its stock in the next 15 months, reports Bloomberg. It seems to be a good time to sell, as the stock has gained 11 percent since the IPO and 27 percent so far this year.

Canada getting ready to sell GM stake originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: SRT Viper GT3-R is ready to kick racetrack butt

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Racing, SRT

SRT Viper GT3-R race car - front three-quarter view

This weekend, SRT Motorsports will be focused on returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Viper GTS-R, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t looking a bit further down the road. While the GTS-R is the factory-backed racecar running at Le Mans and in the America Le Mans Series, SRT is also preparing to introduce this new Viper GT3-R for private race teams to run in various GT3 classes around the world.

Culminating from a collaboration with Riley Technologies in Mooresville, NC, the SRT Viper GT3-R uses many of the same performance technologies as the GTS-R. While a stock Viper produces 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, the GT3-R’s unrestricted V10 lays down 680 hp and 640 lb-ft. This car goes on sale – ready to race – later this year with a starting price estimated at around $459,000. Scroll down for more info on the newest member to the Viper family.

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SRT Viper GT3-R is ready to kick racetrack butt originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog gets ready for Le Mans with an R8 road trip and Allan McNish

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Europe, Audi, Luxury, Racing

Audi R8 at Le Mans

This car is the master link between what Audi does on the race track and sells on the road.

We’re attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi and we figured we’d make the world’s biggest endurance race even more interesting by driving from Munich to Le Mans in an R8. We’ve also had a brief chat with Audi driver Allan McNish, and if you haven’t already, check out all the multimedia ways to enjoy the next four days from the Circuit de la Sarthe, then read on.

The R8 we’ve been driving – a white, 430-horsepower V8 coupe with the S-tronic seven-speed gearbox – is a bag of tricks when it comes to making a road trip, some of those tricks sublime. The obvious reason to want to do a road trip to Le Mans in an R8 is because, ahem, it’s a road trip on occasionally unrestricted Autobahn in an R8. The next most obvious reason is that this car is, for the moment, the master link between what Audi does on the race track and sells on the road.

In truth, however, tied at number one is that we wanted to see if we could find a way to love the R8. Not appreciate it, not respect it, but love it – to want to rearrange our loins such that every meal passes through a long intestine shaped like The Four Rings and a short intestine that spells “R8.” We drove the V10 Spyder and considered it Supercars for Dummies, so farcically easy to drive fast that it destroys the grading curve for supercar driving ability and, as an aside, supercar thrills. Since you can apparently teach a python to open doors, as soon as they teach one how to drive it will be able to podium in SCCA races if it’s in an R8.

We’d been told the V8 was better balanced than the V10, yet it was more than balance we sought – we wanted soul. Ten days and 1,500 kilometers in (with another 770 kilometers to go before Le Mans), we’re still looking for it.

But what we can say is this: This car is so [insert expletive] good that we can’t honestly consider it a car.

It is, more accurately, tender violence.

Continue reading Autoblog gets ready for Le Mans with an R8 road trip and Allan McNish

Autoblog gets ready for Le Mans with an R8 road trip and Allan McNish originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: ATS Sport 1000 is ready to be your trackday Italian

Filed under: Performance, Specialty, MISC, Racing

ATS Sport 1000 Street - front three-quarter view

Late last year, Italian sports car automaker Automobili Turismo e Sport, better known as ATS, announced that it was getting back in the car-making game after a 50-year hiatus, with a two-car lineup consisting of the 2500GT and the track-ready Sport 1000. Designed to take the world’s ultra-focused trackday cars like those from Radical, Ariel and BAC, the latter model goes on sale “worldwide” – including the US – by the end of this year in Race and Street versions. Starting prices of 24,990 euros and 43,500 euros have been announced for the two models, but US pricing hasn’t been announced yet (a straight conversion yields $33,000 and $58,000 ballpark figures).

Anteing up the extra money for the Street model (shown above) will get you headlights, taillights, mirrors and… an engine. This version comes with the same mill found under the gas tank of a Kawasaki Ninja 1000, good for over 200 horsepower. Weighing in at just 1,100 pounds, this should be plenty of power for the Sport 1000 Street; Race models are available without an engine, but can also be equipped with motorcycle engines from Honda, Kawasaki, MV Agusta, Suzuki or Yamaha. ATS has also given the car a fully adjustable suspension, six-speed sequential gearbox and a limited-slip differential.

The super-lightweight Sport 1000 is built in either left- or right-hand-drive configurations, and it uses a stainless steel frame and a fiberglass body. We can only imagine how much lighter (and more expensive) this car would be if it made use of aluminum and carbon fiber. Measuring about 165 inches in length and 63 inches in width, the Sport 1000 is longer and slightly narrower than a Mazda Miata, but without bumpers and a windshield, it will probably take some doing to register in the US, even as a homebuilt.

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ATS Sport 1000 is ready to be your trackday Italian originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Lamborghini Cabrera spotted, ready to fill Gallardo shoes

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Lamborghini, Luxury

Lamborghini Cabrera

Facebook user Marchettino (already a minor YouTube celebrity for his supercars channel) spotted the successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo throne out and about on public streets and was kind enough to snap a few photos of the machine. Word has it that a concept car precursor to the newest supercar will bow at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show this September under the Cabrera name. As you’ve likely already heard, the model is said to ride on the second-generation Audi R8 platform, complete with a composite aluminum and carbon fiber construction to reduce weight as much as possible. How light will will the Cabrera be? Lamborghini is reportedly shooting for a curb weight of around 3,300 pounds.

Power will likely come from a massaged version of the 5.2-liter V10 in the current Gallardo. Expect around 600 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.

The vehicle in these photos looks to have abandoned some of the Gallardo’s angles in favor or more organic lines, though it’s possible body cladding is hiding the car’s true design. Murcielago SV-style sills and side air intakes serve up quite a bit of aggression and the quad exhaust looks properly menacing as well. We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Lamborghini Cabrera spotted, ready to fill Gallardo shoes originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mercedes ready to offer Car-to-X communications by end of year

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Mercedes-Benz

Although Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first automaker to develop a Car-to-X system, it sounds like it will be the first to get this automated safety technology into a production vehicle. Car-to-X allows a car to transmit and receive data in order to warn the driver of impending danger or traffic problems.

Using a mobile communication platform, the car would be sent alerts for approaching concerns including a broken down car, dangerous weather conditions or a car being driven the wrong way. In addition to automatic alerts, this system will have the ability to allow users to warn other motorists of road dangers, such as animals or debris on the road.

Mercedes says that it will not only have this technology as a standard feature in its vehicles by year’s end, but will also offer a kit that can be retrofitted to older models. It sounds like this technology will likely be limited to Germany or Europe for now, and the automaker it is also working with other automakers to get such a system implemented quicker. Scroll down for a press release.

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Mercedes ready to offer Car-to-X communications by end of year originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorsports: SRT Viper ready for Le Mans after 10-year absence [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Racing, SRT

The Viper will once again roar down the storied Mulsanne straight, as SRT is returning to the famed French race with two identically prepared GTS-R race cars set to compete at Le Mans later this month. Enthusiasts have been waiting a long time for a repeat appearance of the ten-cylinder coupes, which haven’t raced since winning the GTS class three times from 1998 to 2000. Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive officer of the SRT brand and motorsports, told Autoweek, “Le Mans is a world stage. The GTS-R has enjoyed great success at Le Mans in the past, and we’re excited to start a new chapter of Viper racing at that historic venue.”

Understandably, the rules at Le Mans have changed over the past decade and the automaker will be racing a new vehicle. Gary Johnson, SRT racing manager, told the publication, “Our plan is to be as competitive as we can and see what happens at the end.”

The new GTS-R shouldn’t have trouble running against its competitors in the LM GTE Pro Class, as its chassis has proven itself several times since its American Le Mans Series (ALMS) debut last August. This year alone, the No. 91 Viper has finished in the top five in all three races it has entered. “We’re going with the same commitment to do our best,” said Johnson.

To learn more about SRT’s race efforts, check out its new web series called Beyond the Checkered Flag. We’ve linked to the first video below.

Continue reading SRT Viper ready for Le Mans after 10-year absence [w/video]

SRT Viper ready for Le Mans after 10-year absence [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 19:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: BMW X3 M getting ready to rumble

Filed under: Performance, Crossover, BMW

2011 BMW X3

2011 BMW X3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to the wizards at Europe’s CAR magazine, sources within BMW have confirmed that the high-performance X3 M could launch as early as 2012. A stupid-fast X3 hardly seems necessary, but then again, that’s what we said about the larger X5 M and X6 M before falling in love after our stints behind the wheel.

CAR states that the X3 M will likely be powered by a tweaked version of the new six-cylinder engine bound for duty in the M3. In the X3, this engine will reportedly produce somewhere around 450 horsepower, and could use a brand new tri-turbo system – one electric turbocharger paired with two exhaust-gas-driven units.

A 450-horsepower X3? With three turbochargers (one of which is electric)? Sounds absurd (and is to be taken with a grain of salt… for now), but based on our experiences with the rest of BMW’s M range, consider us totally stoked.

BMW X3 M getting ready to rumble originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Amazing Scion FR-S Soapbox car ready to roll in Red Bull race this weekend

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Scion

Scion FR-S Soapbox Derby Car

Scion FR-S Soapbox Derby Car – Click above for image gallery

Remember the good old days when you and your dad spent countless hours in a dimly-lit garage to piece together an old ramshackle Soapbox Derby car for an upcoming downhill race? It probably was constructed out of ancient materials, rocked wagon wheels and had a cable brake that may or may not have stopped you before kissing something solid. Well, my friends, just like the rapture of tomorrow, those days are over.

Scion FR-S Soapbox Derby CarRenowned concept car builder Five:Axis is ready to throw down with a truly outstanding build for an upcoming Soapbox Derby. Being put together by Red Bull, this ain’t your regular Soapbox Derby, and this certainly ain’t your average backyard special. This is a custom one-off fiberglass micro-body based on the super stylish Scion FR-S Concept unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April. Since Five:Axis is well intertwined with Toyota, Lexus and Scion, it looks like they got some design studio CAD files to design the shell and the same slinky red metallic paint that the FR-S was wearing for its first stage appearance.

Think the underpinnings are still ’50s Soapbox technology? You couldn’t be further off because the custom aluminum space frame features a TEIN coilover suspension and Wilwood disc brakes. But all that technology isn’t going to be worth jack if there isn’t a ringer behind the wheel. The Five:Axis Scion FR-S will be piloted by none other than Dai Yoshihara, the Formula D drifter who slides the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX. Dai knows a thing or two about grip as well since he also competes in the Redline Time Attack Tuner Car Championship in an imported Civic Type R.

However, at this point we’re not sure what part of Dai’s expertise is really applicable for the upcoming Redbull Soapbox derby race. The only race on the calendar in the U.S. this year, it’s slated to be held tomorrow, May 21 at 5th & Grand in downtown LA and promises to be nothing like what you might envision a traditional Soapbox derby to be. There are sharp 90-degree turns, NASCAR-style banks and myriad of sweet jumps. Although it appears the Five:Axis build will hold together during the abuse, we are not sure that Dai’s run will be crash or injury free.

Amazing Scion FR-S Soapbox car ready to roll in Red Bull race this weekend originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Audi R8 GT Spyder almost ready to scatter toupees across race tracks

Filed under: Spy Photos, Convertible, Performance, Audi

audi r8 gt spyder

Spy Shots: Audi R8 GT Spyder – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi keeps churning out more exciting versions of its two-door supercar, the R8. It began with the R8 V8, went power hungry with the R8 5.2 FSI V10, topless with the R8 V10 Spyder and on a track-focused diet with the R8 GT. Soon, Audi will let loose with the next iteration; the Audi R8 GT Spyder, a lightweight droptop poised to bring a more aggressive open-air motoring to R8 fans.

The Audi R8 GT Spyder is powered by the same 5.2-liter V10 found in other non-V8 R8 coupes and convertibles. The mill produces 560 horsepower and sends marching orders directly to both the car’s four tires and your ears, seeing as it’s mounted right behind them. Audi is going to build 333 of them, so get your cash in line now. The R8 GT coupe costs $196,800 so bring at least $200,000 for the convertible, just to be safe.

Audi R8 GT Spyder almost ready to scatter toupees across race tracks originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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