Daimler, Renault talking about large van joint venture

mercedes sprinter 2014 300x195  Daimler, Renault talking about large van joint venture Daimler and Renault officially joined hands in April 2010. Since then, Nissan has agreed to build engines for the Germans, Daimler is expected to construct a plant near the Nissan plant in Mexico, the Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo will share platforms and electric siblings and the same Renault manufacturing facility, and Mercedes is supposedly considering a Renault-based X-Class vehicle to slot between Smart and the A-Class. Not bad for less than three years’ work.

But wait, there’s more. According to a report in Automotive News, the two firms are talking about developing a large van. When it comes to big cargo haulers, Mercedes is in bed with Volkswagen at the moment, but the contract has just three more years to run and VW has announced its intention to go solo on the next-generation van.

This wouldn’t be the first commercial vehicle tie-up for the brands: Mercedes already uses the Renault Kangoo as the base for its Citan. Both Daimler and Renault have confirmed the talks, but have not confirmed a French newspaper report that the manufacturing site has already been chosen in France.

No Comments |Tags: , , ,
seperator

Nissan lowers price of seven models for better search results

628x417xnissan price cuts.jpg.pagespeed.ic .0dSoMvmkAu 300x199  Nissan lowers price of seven models for better search results Intent on not eliminating itself from consideration, and adapting to the way consumers research new car purchases, Nissan has announced price discounts now in effect, indefinitely, on seven models: the Altima, Armada, Juke, Maxima, Murano, Rogue and Sentra.

It was found that Nissan’s price points fell outside the competitive pool when prospective buyers searched for cars based on maximum price.

The price cuts vary and depend on the equipment spec, but they range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars; the MSRP of the Altima drops by $580, the Sentra by $730, the Armada by $4,400. Discounts on the Murano alone range from $1,460 to $2,410.

Under orders from CEO Carlos Ghosn the brand is working to raise its US market share to ten percent by 2016, from 7.9 percent currently – which includes Infiniti – and appears to be optimizing its placement every step of the way to do so.

No Comments |Tags: , , , , , , , ,
seperator

Chevy sees greener pastures with 2014 Silverado High Country

628x398x2014 chevrolet silveradohighctry 628.jpg.pagespeed.ic .VgtKjE9qiK 300x190 Chevy sees greener pastures with 2014 Silverado High CountryIt’s no secret that fullsize pickups are the financial engines that power Detroit automakers – it’s been that way for decades. In recent years, though, growing consumer appetites for dolled-up trucks has meant even more opportunities for manufacturers to line their coffers while pleasing increasingly discerning customers. Trims like King Ranch on the Ford F-Series and Laramie Longhorn on Ram trucks now include high-end amenities that were the exclusive preserve of luxury cars just a few years ago.

General Motors has been content to let its GMC brand harvest top-shelf pickup buyers for some time now – particularly with its high-line Denali models – but it’s hard to turn away easy profits. GM says over 30 percent of new pickup sales now transact above $40,000, and that figure is growing by the year. Thus, it’s no surprise that execs are finally letting Chevrolet get in on the action with this new range-topping High Country trim for the 2014 Silverado. Officials tell Autoblog that it’s the first premium-branded Chevy pickup since the Cameo Carrier of the 1950s. read more »

1 Comment |Tags: , , , , , ,
seperator

Ferrari F12 races Air Malta A320 jet

air malta f12 race 628 300x167 Ferrari F12 races Air Malta A320 jetAir Malta recently worked up a little stunt that pitted an Airbus A320 against a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in a drag race to raise funds for charity.

It’s easy to forget just how quick something the size of a jetliner can be, but watching the video below shows us just where the big passenger aircraft stands when it comes to sprinting down a runway. We won’t spoil the clip for you, you’ll just have to check out the showdown below.

Air Malta says it raised over 178,820 euro with the stunt, which is around $230,000. That’s despite the fact that intermittent rain showers kept crowds away.

Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton even stopped by to say “Hi” to the crowds. He wasn’t piloting the F12, however. Check out the video below for yourself. read more »

No Comments |Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
seperator

Next-gen Mini interior ditching familiar center speedo

2015miniinterior 300x168  Next gen Mini interior ditching familiar center speedo A Reddit user has posted images of the 2015 F56 Mini Cooper, one each of the exterior and interior. As has been the case since the launch of the new Mini in 2001, the overall exterior shape underneath camouflage screams Mini, but insiders are still calling the coming F56 model “the most aggressively different new Mini yet.” Inside, though, the two-door that defined premium hatchbacks has, according to its most devoted buyers, gone mainstream.

The giant ring atop the center console is there, but there’s no longer a speedometer inside of it. Instead, in an integration that brings to mind words like “shoehorned,” Mini designers have placed radio and telephone controls inside the bezel. According to the Mini experts at MotoringFile, the picture above is the base trim and one of four possible treatments – in the upper trims a larger screen for navigation takes up most of the space. The bezel itself is marked with mood lighting that supposedly “swirls around” when you start the car with the red toggle switch.

The speedo rests atop the steering column with a tachometer placed to its left. The BMW wheel pictured is just for the prototype – you can expect a familiar three-spoke Mini wheel when the car is revealed, and latest rumor is that the event will take place at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

No Comments |Tags: , , , , ,
seperator

Chrysler begins shipping 2013 SRT Viper

2013 srt viper fd 300x199 Chrysler begins shipping 2013 SRT ViperAlmost a year to the day after SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles first introduced – and kissed the fender of – the 2013 SRT Viper at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the high-performance coupe has begun shipping to dealers. The first production cars started rolling off the line at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit back in January (a facility Gilles lovingly compares to Santa’s workshop), but The Detroit News is reporting that the cars just started heading to customers across the US on Sunday.

Two of the first examples destined for driveways include a Stryker Red example that was the very 2013 Viper to be sold (the car was won by Scott Thomas of Oklahoma City at a Barrett-Jackson charity auction for cancer for $300,000), along with a white example headed to Gilles’ personal collection. The report says that Gilles took delivery of his Viper and put just 30 miles on it before heading to New York for this week’s auto show. What, he didn’t drive?

4 Comments |Tags: , , , , ,
seperator

Daniel Craig nets $1M to show up at Land Rover NY, leaves quickly

daniel craig land rover range rover sport 628 300x168 Daniel Craig nets $1M to show up at Land Rover NY, leaves quicklyThe New York Post reports actor Daniel Craig pocketed a cool $1 million to appear at a the New York Auto Show on behalf of Land Rover this week, despite staying at the function only briefly. The actor appeared at the Skylight at Moynihan Station on Tuesday, and was shown in a video driving the 2014 Range Rover Sport to the venue before driving onto a stage, live. From there, the actor who plays James Bond walked along a line of photographers and vanished from sight.

While speaking with The New York Post, a representative from Land Rover said, “We won’t comment on our relationship with Mr. Craig beyond confirming that Land Rover supports the charity SAFE, of which the actor is a patron, and will continue its charitable efforts with a vehicle donation later this year.”

You can watch Craig’s entrance as well as an interview with the actor in the videos below. read more »

No Comments |Tags: , , , , , , ,
seperator

Jeep Cherokee faces on-sale delay

fiatmoneyissues2 300x215  Jeep Cherokee faces on sale delay A report in The Wall Street Journal looks at some of the obstacles to the 2014 Jeep Cherokee that go beyond its mootable yet “very contemporary” looks, almost all of them based on Fiat’s financial position. Starting with that sheetmetal, in defense of it SRT president Ralph Gilles and Jeep design head Mark Allen said they wanted to “make sure the design still looks modern five years from now.”

The WSJ piece doesn’t cite longevity as a factor, instead saying that its features originated in a design for an Alfa Romeo, the transformation into a Jeep design meant allowing Chrysler get it to market more quickly and save “hundreds of millions of dollars” in engineering.

The need for Fiat to save money while it weathers the European situation has cut budgets for development, engineering and the pace of retooling the Toledo, Ohio plant to build the Cherokee. In a familiar case of snowballing at work, among the effects will be pushing back the Cherokee’s volume sales date and delaying updates to some of Chrysler’s other products. read more »

No Comments |Tags: , , , ,
seperator

Mazda3 successor due in dealers this fall

001 2015 mazda3 spy shots628opt 300x195  Mazda3 successor due in dealers this fall Following exciting new models like the 2013 CX-5 and 2014 Mazda6, Mazda is getting ready to introduce the next generation of its high-volume compact, the Mazda3. After talking to several of Mazda’s dealers, Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is planning to introduce its new compact this fall, which is earlier than what was originally reported.

Aside from what we’ve seen in recent spy shots and what appeared to be a full-scale design mockup back in October, there is little information about the third-generation 3, but we can see that the car will get plenty of cues from Mazda’s stylish Kodo design language, and we expect even more technologies from the company’s SkyActiv efficiency program to come to bear.

AN says that Mazda is hoping to top 300,000 sales this year in the US, and the sooner Mazda can replace the current aging 3, the better chances it has at reaching that goal.

No Comments |Tags: , , ,
seperator

BMW 4 Series production coupe caught on commercial shoot

2014 bmw 4 series coupe 628 300x194  BMW 4 Series production coupe caught on commercial shoot Despite filming at 2:00 AM and at an undisclosed location, BMW minders filming a commercial for the fast-approaching 4 Series coupe were unable to ward off the long lenses of spy photographers. The result, as you can see here, is our first-ever look at the production version of BMW’s new coupe, completely uncovered.

The night shots may be a little bit grainy, but the fast-moving 4 Series still looks pretty good with its camo closeted, matching the svelte lines of the concept car we saw in Detroit this winter. Expect that the 4 coupe will come to market with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in 428i trim, and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder in 435i spec.

Take your time looking through our gallery of movie-star 4 Series photographs, and tell us what you think about the uncovered Bimmer, in comments.

No Comments |Tags: , , , ,
seperator