Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Volvo Recalling XC90 and S80 Models Equipped with V8 Engines


Swedish carmaker Volvo is recalling 102 MY 2008 XC90 and S80 vehicles equipped with V8 engines as these models may have been built with incorrect bolts to the engine mount. The aluminium bracket for the engine mount could break due to lack of adequate clamping force allowing the engine to come in contact with the sub-frame, resulting in a reduced engine torque or stalling of the engine without prior warning. Volvo’s dealers will inspect the engine mount bolts for specific markings. If any of the bolts contain the incorrect markings, the bracket and bolts will be replaced free of cost.

Geely GT Concept Heading for 2008 Beijing Auto Show

Before you get all
wound up and start commenting about the design of Geely’s new GT
Concept Coupe that’ll premier at the Beijing Auto Show this April,
while we too find its styling reminiscent of other cars like the
Maybach Exelero or the Maserati GranTurismo Coupe, we must admit that
our first impressions are positive. Of course we’ll have to wait to see
more angles of the car to make our final evaluation.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible preview

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible -1Chevrolet Camaro Convertible -2
The new Chevrolet Camaro already has a place in the Australian market if GM ever decide to sell it locally, filling the void left by the Monaro’s departure.

However unlike stillborn Monaro concepts of the past, Chevrolet has revealed a sneak peek of the new pre-production Camaro Convertible.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible -1Chevrolet Camaro Convertible -2Holden has previously tested the waters with a drop-top V8 Coupe in the form of the 2004 Holden Marilyn concept - basically a convertivle Monaro.

This presumably didn’t fair too well with the accounting department as it obviously never saw production - maybe it was the name?

Chrysler Cuda Convertible Concept

Chrysler Cuda
Maybe the 'Cuda is alive after all. While we have speculated about the existence of one ever since we first heard a hint of the SEMA show car from last year, all we've had to work with since are rumors and sketches of what might be. Well, today at the weekly Cars and Coffee show in Irvine, a genuine 'Cuda Concept was parked right in the midst of everything. A convertible nonetheless. It just sat there with only a few people really spotting it for what it was.

Chrysler CudaConsidering that real original '70s 'Cudas are plentiful at this show and that several Challenger SRT-8s have already made appearances, it doesn't seem surprising that people might not spot this concept immediately. The surprising part is that it is painted purple with a white convertible top that can't be ignored no matter how hard you try. While the car sported no badges, it wore a mock "NEWCUDA" Colorado plate and had a seemingly stock Challenger-like interior, complete with a Hurst pistol-grip shifter for the automatic trans. While many of the details emulate the 70-74 cars, the bulk says Challenger. Particularly fun is the grill and headlight setup and the Shaker hood scoop. Very nicely done. The only badge we spotted was a big G on the front fenders, the mark of Metalcrafter's Gaffoglio boys. Looks like we have a SEMA '08 preview on our hands.

Acenta S special edition

Acenta -1Acenta -2
Nissan’s capacious family hatchback, the NOTE, now offers even greater variety with the debut of a new special edition and the introduction of a more powerful diesel engine into the mix. Offering supreme value-for money and packed with practical and easy to use additional features, the new five-strong Acenta S line-up slots in between Acenta and the top of the range Tekna grades and starts from £11,995.

The punchy new diesel meanwhile is a higher output variant of the same 1.5 dCi engine currently on offer in NOTE, boosting power from 86 to 103 PS, and available in both Acenta S and Tekna; prices are £14,245 and £14,995 respectively, an increase of £1150 over the 86 PS engine.

Moving to the outside, Acenta S comes in a choice of four vibrant colours: Blade (Silver), Pearl Black or Intense Blue metallics or a Flame Red solid; door handles and mirrors are body coloured. These features come on top of Acenta’s standard spec which includes 15 inch alloys, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, trip computer, the unique flexi-board boot storage system, six airbags and active front head restraints, front seat storage nets and foldaway tables, secret storage under the front passenger seat, front and rear electric windows, rear sliding seats, friendly lighting and a cooled glovebox. Acenta’s heated mirrors also have an additional electric folding function on the Acenta S.

Acenta S is offered with all four engine options – 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol and 86 PS and 103 PS 1.5 dCi diesel engines – while the 1.6 can also be specified with an automatic transmission.

The Acenta S range and the new diesel models are available to order from the second week of July.

Geely GE MPV Coming to 2008 Beijing Auto Show


We’re gearing up here at Carscoop for this year’s Beijing Auto Show which is expected to host a wide variety of premieres from Chinese and other car manufactures. Up until now, Geely has announced two debuts for the Beijing car show in April.

Apart from the GT Coupe concept that we showed you yesterday, the Chinese automaker will also present the GE MPV which looks like it was partially inspired –that’s a phrase we’re going to hear more than once- from the European Ford Mondeo. Other than that, we don’t have any information whatsoever on the mid-size minivan, but we’ll try to find out more later on.

Saleen Gurney Edition Mustang arrives at dealers

It's been just a few months since Saleen announced its Dan Gurney Signature Series Mustang at the New York Auto Show in April, but the limited edition Mustang has already hit showroom floors. Apparently the car at the show was fairly production ready, although we heard that Gurney spent the last few months helping fine tune the suspension just the way he wanted it. According to Saleen, he still would be if they had let him. In addition to the specially tailored suspension settings, the Gurney Edition also features unique bodywork, graphics and interior as well as lightweight 19-inch wheels and Saleen's supercharged V8 pushing out 465 horsepower. We attended a kick-off party at Galpin Ford in Van Nuys, CA where Dan Gurney was on hand to show off the car and sign autographs. We were also able to take a closer look at the car so we could choose which of the three color schemes we like best, but we're still undecided. A high resolution gallery is below that should help you decide for yourself.

Peugeot launches limited edition 207 Le Mans

In honor of its almost all-conquering 908 HDi diesel race car, Peugeot has decided to create a limited edition 207 Le Mans. Like the big gun 908, the 207 will only be powered by 1.6L diesel engines with a choice of two power levels. The lesser engine will be rated at 110hp while the more sporting edition rates 175hp. The 2,000 European customers who get their hands on a 207 Le Mans also get to select from Banquise White and Obsidien Black. Like the race cars, the 207 gets a longitudinal red stripe on its nose. The little 207 gets big 17" wheels and assorted badging including a number plate on the steering wheel.

GM struggling to recruit engineers for advanced projects

In order to create the next generation of more efficient transportation, automakers and suppliers need a lot of engineering talent. The problem is the talent pool today is very limited and those that have the necessary skills are tending to find greener pastures than Michigan. The number of American students going into science and engineering has been on the decline as everyone wants to be the next Donald Trump instead of the next Charles Kettering. Kettering, you say? Who's that? That's precisely the problem. Few of the engineers and scientists who have helped shape the industry over the past century have gotten the kind of popular recognition that financial types have gotten.

As a result, students have tended to migrate to biz schools instead of engineering schools. That makes it harder for car makers to get the people they need. Unfortunately, they also partly have themselves to blame as talented engineers in this industry often get left behind when it comes to promote to the management ranks. With little opportunity for advancement past the staff level, many engineers tend to migrate elsewhere after a time. Recently, GM's Dan Hancock and Tom Stephens attended the FIRST Robotics competition to try and entice the students to consider a career in automotive engineering. There are certainly plenty of opportunities right now to work on interesting stuff, but they will have a hard time recruiting until they can demonstrate that the jobs and the companies have some longer term viability. Right now, engineering jobs outside the auto industry look a lot more attractive and that will be a tough perception to change.

2008 Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance: Haute Wheels

Father's Day in Beverly Hills can only mean one thing to car lovers: The annual Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance. As its name implies, the concours is held right along that world-famous shoppers' paradise that is Rodeo Drive, right in the shadow of the "Pretty Woman" hotel. This year's theme was "Haute Wheels: Celebrating Car Couture," which might have made a few people at Mattel cringe, but was intended to evoke memories of the original Parisian Concours where high fashion was on display along with the beautifully crafted custom coachwork. Estimates say 30,000 people were on hand braving the heat, doing some window shopping, and catching glimpses of celebrities like Larry King who simply mingled with the crowd and became just another car guy on Sunday. The Rodeo Drive Concours is always a special show because of its location, the cars almost feel secondary to the setting, but car fans weren't disappointed, either.

Approximately 100 cars were on display, running the gamut from hot rods to Veyrons, Fords to Ferraris, and motorcycles to Maseratis. Personal highlights were a rare 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, gorgeous original Stutz Bearcat, a 21-window VW Microbus complete with matching trailer, a coveted 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, a wild Dubonnet Hispano Xenia custom and a beautiful green Delahaye 135S we happened to spot on the drive into the event. It wasn't too smart to be sporting those Celtic colors in LA right now, but the driver and car made it in safely. Other notable entries included one of six or seven (depending on who you ask) Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes, what is believed to be the only modern Marcos in the U.S., a gorgeous Zagato-bodied Maserati that was once found behind a wall hidden from plunderers, a 1933 Duesenberg Model J Tourster that was too popular to photograph whole, the Porsche Design boat, Cizeta, F40, Veyron...check out the gallery to find your favorite.