Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chinese companies selling $1,400 Dodge Tomahawk knock-off

Click above for high-res gallery of the Tomahawk knock-off

Back before Chrysler was bought by Cerberus, you could always count on the automaker to roll out something truly special at the Detroit Auto Show. Whether by stampeding an entire herd of cattle through downtown Detroit or putting motorcycle bits all around the V10 engine of a Viper, Dodge has always found a way to capture people's attention. The Viper-inspired Tomahawk motorcycle was especially memorable. It seems that some are still miffed that Dodge never offered the fabled bike as a regular production machine, though a few were in fact created and sold as non-runners. Now a company (or companies, who knows?) in China has decided to offer a motorcycle based on the design of Dodge's original concept. We should stress that this is in no way a replica, as the original V10 engine has been replaced by a single cylinder 150cc engine and CVT transmission from a scooter. It's not street legal and also cannot be sold in California. As with all small-bore motorcycles and scooters coming from China with questionable origins, we really cannot recommend you purchase one for yourself with visions of riding it to work. If you just want to see it in your garage though, it'll surely work as a rolling sculpture quite nicely.

Gallery: Chinese Tomahawk Replica

[Source: ATV Discounter via]

BMW considering a 3-wheeler, large scooters

Rumors from various European motorcycle mags indicate that BMW is considering getting back into the scooter game. The Bavarian company's last foray into scooterdom resulted in the C1. Being that this was BMW Motorrad, its scooter would need to be different from everyone else, and indeed it was. Featuring a full roof, roll bars and seat belts along with ABS brakes, BMW claimed that C1 riders were safe enough that they did not need to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, though, not everyone agreed and low sales numbers resulted in the innovative machine's cancellation in 2002. Now, BMW is said to be considering a three-wheeled machine, which could allay some of the safety fears which ultimately led to the demise of the C1.

Rotax is also rumored to be involved, offering an 80 degree, four-valve per cylinder, liquid-cooled, V-Twin engine in three different sizes and ranging from 33 to 75 horsepower. The machine is said to retain the C1's windshield and roof and add BMW's paralever rear suspension design. BMW: You've got our attention, now please don't disappoint.

[Source: Visor Down]

Pics Aplenty: 2009 Toyota iQ

click to enlarge

Well, since we know quite a bit about Toyota's new minicar, the iQ, including the rumor that a plug-in hybrid version is in the works for 2010, what a pleasure it is to find ten new images of the car in our inbox today. Toyota thought that some action shots of the 3+1 seater on the road would be appropriate. They're right, we like the pics - but hearing that car will be available in the U.S. would be even better news.

We're sure to see more of this 3-meter long city car that spits out just 99 grams of CO2 emissions per km at the when the iQ officially drops at the Paris Motor Show this fall.

[Source: Toyota]

Audi reportedly considering bring A3 TDI to U.S. market

With Volkswagen having just debuted the Jetta TDI in the U.S. market, the question is what comes next? Volkswagen and Audi have already announced plans to launch diesel versions of the Touareg and Q7 early in 2009 with a 3.0L V6. The compact Audi A3 shares a platform with the Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf and Jetta and in Europe it's available with the same 2.0L diesel that's in the Jetta. Fourtitude reports that Audi North America is considering adding the TDI powerplant to the A3. The European A3 offers the 170 hp version of the 2.0L but if it does get offered here it would likely be only with the same 140 hp unit offered in the Jetta. This way Audi would not have to certify another engine. Audi officials, of course, will not comment on such speculation, but if it does happen it likely wouldn't be before 2010. Most likely, Audi will be watching how the already-announced diesels fare in the U.S. market before making a final decision.

[Source: Fourtitude]

Roger Goldammer: Official World Champion of Custom Bike Building

There seems to be a new trend in custom bike building, and it's one we're happy to see. The best designers are creating machines meant to be ridden and to perform better than anything else available, and this year's winner of the Official World Championship of Custom Bike Building proves this. Roger Goldammer creates stunning designs, yet he doesn't let his creations sit in a corner collecting dust. Rather, his winning bike is a world record holder, averaging over 160 miles per hour last year at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

This year, official voting took place at the Sturgis Rally and was broken down into four separate categories. Goldammer won in the Freestyle class, the most prestigious award available, with his machine known as Goldmember. Equipped with a custom 960cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine using modified Harley-Davidson cases, a supercharger and nitrous in addition to its streamlined bodywork, Goldmember is simply amazing.

Gallery: Goldammer Goldmember

[Source: AMD World Championship]

Talon Performance creates a quad only a mother could love

Talon Performance is where "Innovation meets the street." That combination apparently yields results like the Talon Street Quad, a body-kitted 4-wheeler based on the Kawasaki KFX700. We think it looks like the innovation and the street got in a big argument, attacked a manatee with bats, and then threw paint on it. Then put it on wheels. Nice, rims, though...

Part quad, part Cars movie extra, part dada, the Talon Street Quad is supposedly street legal. We don't know where these streets are (in America), because quads have been shown the hand by all 50 states when it comes to road duty. Yet according to Talon, "you can even take it on your next road trip."

It'll also save you money at the pump, which is lately the god of all things. So if you want it, but you're not sure about that two-tone paint job, do not fear: you can get it in a single tone for "shear and simple beauty." Or you could just buy the Quadrazuma. And check out the gallery of pics below.

Gallery: Talon Performance Street Quad

[Source: Jalopnik]

Duel: HSV GTS and FPV GT-P face off Down Under

FPV vs. HSV is basically Australian for "Ford vs. Chevy," but on steroids. The two performance divisions have elevated the production of the muscle sedan to an art form, with audacious looks and big power ruling the day. It's as if the original American muscle car era never ended, but got a passport and moved Down Under. Granted, we in the States don't have much to complain about lately, with Aussie muscle now available in a Pontiac wrapper, as well as the 21st century editions of Camaro, Challenger and Mustang waiting to wreak havoc at stoplights.

Still, the sweetest fruit is that which is forbidden, so you might be interested in the Motoring Channel's super acronym showdown: FPV GT-P vs. HSV GTS. The FPV is based on the new Ford FG Falcon, which arrived earlier this year, while the HSV's Holden Zeta platform underpinnings are now a couple years old. Both have V8s, both look evil, and tires break into cold sweats at the mere thought of being mounted on either machine's rear axle. With these two rides, the differences are such that picking a winner is akin to choosing between porterhouse and prime rib. It's not as if you're going to be disappointed either way, but deep down, you do have a preference. Click here to read which menu item the Motoring Channel likes best. Thanks for the tip, Torrent!

Gallery: HSV GTS

Gallery: 2008 FPV GT-P

[Source: Web Wombat/Motoring Channel]