Aston Martin making new/classic DB4 GT Continuation models


As the black and white photos suggest, the Astom Martin DB4 G.T. is an important part of the marque's racing heritage. As a long-time automotive builder, Aston has found a market for a continuation series of DB4 G.T. racers that will be constructed in their newly updated home in Newport Pagnell. The short-wheelbase, two-seat DB4s will combine classic design with new methods of construction. "Remaining faithful to the design of those original eight factory lightweights, each DB4 G.T. continuation will be built with Aston Martin Works’ unrivaled experience and exemplary attention (to detail). Employing a blend of old world craftsmanship and modern techniques, continuation cars benefit from improvements in engine performance, handling, braking and safety, with great care taken to ensure these enhancements build upon the original’s exceptional qualities while retaining its feel and character." Vehicle Identification Numbers for the continuation models will take off where the last cars stopped, Chassis (number) 0202R. The Tadek Marek-designed, straight-six cylinder engine (with two spark plugs per cylinder) will transmit its 340bhp to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, just as in the original DB4 G.T. Only twenty-five examples of the Aston Martin DB4 G.T. Continuation will be built with deliveries starting in the third quarter of 2017. No prices were given, but if you have to ask...

Source: Aston Martin - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Jaguar Special Operations group makes first new/continuation XKSS sports car - w/video


In recent years, storied brands like Jaguar discovered that they had chassis and other parts not to mention complete sets of drawings of classic cars in storage. The business of "contination" cars was born with some automakers creating new continuation cars from scratch.
Jaguar Land Rover Classic (a section of JLR's Special Operations group) is doing just that with a series of 9 new continuation Jaguar 1957 XKSS sports cars (that were originally developed from Jaguar's D-Type racing vehicle and were originally destroyed in a fire). Approximately 10,000 man hours goes into the creation of each of these "instant classics." The XKSS' original inline six-cyliner engine is lovingly recreated for example, but some parts like the fuel cell use modern technology. The nine cars will be delivered to Jaguar collectors in 2017 (60 years after the original) and each car will set them back more than £1,000,000 (more than $1,560,000 using today's exchange rates)...a small price to pay for a new classic car. For more info, check out the press release and the reveal video shot at the Petersen Automotive Museum after the jump. Enjoy!

Source: Jaguar - Press release after the "read more" jump.

BMW expands portfolio of electrically-driven vehicles with the new Cruise e-Bike


Some of you may not be aware that BMW and other automakers offer more than cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans, but some do (also fashion, consumer goods, etc.). BMW just announced the latest edition to it's 2016 Bicycle Collection, the Cruise e-Bike. The Cruise e-Bike uses a Bosch Performance Line electric motor to propel its rider up to 15 mph. The bike uses a bull-neck frame made of hydroformed aluminium for light weight and its battery can be charged in about 3-5 hours (a 50% charge takes just 1.5 hours). So now you have a new, more-affordable BMW to use for the cruise to work. The BMW Cruise e-Bike will set you back $3,430 (plus sales tax). Other bikes include the M Cruise Bike, the Junior Cruise Bike, and the BMW Kids Bike (see pic below). For more information, visit ShopBMWUSA.com.

Source: BMW - Brief press release after the "read more" jump.


Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 goes into TARDEC field testing - w/video


I previously posted about this joint venture project between the US Army (U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center - TARDEC) and General Motors. The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is a specialized Army vehicle that uses fuel cells as its power source to test the advantages of this technology for battlefield (and other) use. It also allows GM to get harsh real world testing of its fuel-cell powerplants. Said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC, “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power, and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.” Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities said, “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.” The Army's testing will focus on the ZH2's near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability; reduced acoustic and thermal signatures; high wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive' low fuel consumption across operating range; not to mention that water is a fuel cell by-product that can be used in the field. And this is one tough-looking truck, conveyance. I like the camo-fade wrap. It will be interesting to see the outcome of these tests and how they will effect road-going vehicles. The ZH2 might find a few non-Army buyers even with the fuel cell. How about it GM? For more info, check out the press release and short ZH2 construction video after the jump. Interestingly, the ZH2;s fuel cell can be used to power devices other than the vehicle's propulsion system. Kinda cool...

Source: GM - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Quick Post: GM and US Army TARDEC to show possible military fuel-cell vehicle


GM is working with the US Army's TARDEC (Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center) group to develop and complete feasibility studies on vehicles with alternative fuel sources, such as, in this case, fuel-cell vehicles. The GM.TARDEC truck is based on Chevrolet's Colorado mid-size pick-up and will feature GM's latest fuel-cell technology. The collaboration enables TARDEC to access consumer-driven automotive technology for use in military applications while providing GM with feedback on non-standard fuel cell technology applications. “This project is another example of how fuel cell propulsion can play a role in non-traditional applications,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities. “We need to continue pursuing these opportunities along with our plans for production of a commercial fuel cell system in the 2020 time frame.” For more info, check out the press release after the jump and check back next month for the reveal. Could be interesting...

Source: GM - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Quick Post: Tegna to spin off Cars.com into separate company


Cars.Com, one of the largest purveyors of automotive classified advertising, is being spun off by Corporate parent TEGNA Inc. into its own separate company. Cars.com will remain headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and will trade under the ticker symbol CARS. TEGNA will focus on its core television and media businesses. Another TEGNA online business, CareerBuilder.Com, will also be considered for spin-off into a stand-alone online business. CareerBuilder.Com is co-owned by TEGNA, Tribune Media, and McClatchy. For more information, check out the press release after the jump or visit each company's corporate site. Just a little FYI post...

Source: Tegna - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Volvo's Amazon/120-Series turns 60 - w/video


Volvo's second post World War II model, the Amazon/120-Series, was introduced sixty years ago this month. The Amazon was originally called Amason, but was changed to the more common spelling before sales began. Due to trademark conflicts in some markets, the Amazon was called the 120-Series (121, 122, 123, etc.) with the estate models utilizing the 220-Series nomenclature. The new Amazon was quite a departure from Volvo's PV444 with a more elegant style that also included many new safety features that were developed in conjunction with the Swedish Police (that are standard in all cars today such as 3-point seatbelts, etc). Contrast the Amazon's styling with other cars available at that time like the late 50s and early 60s Fords and Chevys and you can see the importance the car had to Volvo's continued existence. The Amazon was produced for more than two decades and was ultimately built in Sweden, South Africa, Canada, and Belgium. For more info, check out the interesting press release and vintage video (in Swedish) after the jump.

Source: Volvo - Interesting historical press release and video after the "read more" jump.

First Volkswagen #PinkBeetle to be auctioned for Fab-U-Wish and the Pink Agenda's Breast-Cancer Survivor charity event


Volkswagen has donated the first #PinkBeetle limited-edition coupe to benefit the Pink Agenda and Fab-U-Wish's upcoming event that will raise funds for breast-cancer research and awareness programs. E! television star Giuliana Rancic's Fab-U-Wish organization grants wishes to women undergoing breast cancer treatment and works to increase awareness with younger women. The Pink Agenda's annual gala will be held on October 13 and the winning bidder will get an invite to attend and meet Ms. Rancic. Bidding is open now at charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle. The #Pink Beetle VW is a limited-edition model that was created in response to customer feedback. The #PinkBeetle comes in a special Fresh Fuchsia Metallic paint with black accents. Interior refinements include a black dashpad with surrounding pink accent, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Pink Club cloth seats (reminiscent of the signature plaid inserts of the GTI), and pink piping. The #PinkBeetle will be available as a coupe or convertible. For more info about the event, the organizations, or the car, check out the press release after the jump (includes links).

Source: Volkswagen - Press release after the "read more" jump. Previous post.


Nissan develops solid-oxide fuel cell vehicle - w/video


Nissan has been working on a fuel cell that creates electricity from the processing of ethanol to charge batteries and provide power and more range for the EV (looking like a Leaf minivan) shown above. Brazil and other countries have been making ethanol (sourced from sugar cane and corn mostly) as a clean power source to replace gasoline. As a result, these countries already have an infrastructure that supports ethanol use which would make this fuel-cell vehicle relatively easy to put into production (fuel cell production willing of course). Glad to see that the work continues...

Source: Nissan - Press release, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.

Audi builds one-millionth Q5


Mazda recently celebrated building the one millionth MX-5 Miata Roadster, so it only seems fair to help Audi celebrate reaching the same milestone with its Q5 mid-size crossover. Audi recently built an SQ5 ute for a German family  that is the high-performance variant of the Q5 that hit the one-million mark. It appears that global Q5 production will switch from the Ingolstadt plant to a new facility in Mexico when the next-generation Q5 is scheduled to start production. It took Audi just one-quarter the amount of time (eight years versus twenty-seven years) that it took Mazda to sell and build roadsters, but hey, crossover/SUVs are more practical and have more than two seats. And let's not forget to mention that the Q5 has been very popular (yea, I know so has the Miata, but again...). Congratulations Audi!

Source: Audi - Press release after the "read more" jump.