GM names Troy Clarke as new North America president. Nick Reilly to Succeed Clarke as President of GM Asia Pacific

Troy Clarke has been appointed president of GM North America and GM group vice president, effective July 1, General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced today.

Clarke, president of GM Asia Pacific since 2004, will work closely with Wagoner in implementing the GMNA turnaround plan, and will oversee day-to-day operations of GM's largest sales region. Wagoner has been leading GMNA since April 2005 to develop and drive the region's turnaround strategy.

"While much work remains to be done, we have reached several significant milestones in our turnaround plan over the past year," Wagoner said. "This is the right time to turn the region's day-to-day operations over to Troy, who has the experience and skills to help lead the GMNA team as it continues this unprecedented restructuring. Troy has a track record of success in general management, manufacturing and labor relations in the United States and globally, which will be invaluable in his new assignment."

Wagoner said he and his senior leadership team will continue to be actively involved in executing the next key steps in the GMNA turnaround plan, including a successful resolution of the Delphi reorganization; completion of the accelerated attrition and capacity-reduction programs, and achievement of the $7 billion structural cost-reduction target; flawless launches of key new cars, trucks and advanced technologies; and ongoing refinement and acceleration of GM's brand and product-focused marketing strategy.

David "Nick" Reilly, a GM vice president and president and CEO of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. in South Korea, will replace Clarke as president of GM Asia Pacific and will become a GM group vice president, also effective July 1. Reilly also will succeed Clarke as chairman of the GMDAT Board of Directors. A replacement for Reilly as CEO of GMDAT will be announced at a later date.

"Nick has demonstrated his managerial strength, most recently in growing GM Daewoo into a profitable enterprise that has quickly become a key part of our global expansion plans, well in advance of what was generally expected," Wagoner said. "The success of GM Daewoo is a tribute to Nick's leadership and commitment."

Vice Chairman John Devine, 62, who announced in December that he planned to retire this year, has decided to make his retirement effective June 1, Wagoner said.

"We all owe John a tremendous debt of gratitude for his vast contributions to GM over the past five years," Wagoner said. "John took on a number of challenging and important assignments during his tenure as vice chairman and chief financial officer. His extensive experience and expertise in the auto business, along with the respect he enjoys on Wall Street, enabled him to contribute to our turnaround in an exceptional manner."

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Toyota Recalls 1 million cars globally

Toyota announced on Tuesday that it would recall a total of about 1 million vehicles globally to replace faulty intermediate shafts and sliding yokes that could cause drivers to lose control of the steering wheel -although the company said it didn't receive any reports of accidents from the defects.

According to the statement, subject to the recall are a total of 565,756 vehicles (Allex, Isis, Wish, Prius, Corolla, Corolla Runx, Corolla Fielder, Corolla Spacio, and Ractis) manufactured between September 2002 and November 2005. A Toyota spokesman said the recall would also cover about 400,000 units overseas.

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Bugatti Veyron Doors vs Tom Cruise = Mission Impossible…

This is a no comment video …just hilarious!

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Maserati MC12 Corsa : The 1.000.000 euro car

Maserati announced the production of the MC12 Corsa, a supercar build-to-order for a select number of Maserati clients. Total production of the Maserati MC12 Corsa will not exceed 12 units worldwide.

The MC12 Corsa has been developed from the MC12 GT1 type which won the 2005 FIA GT Manufacturers Cup, and will allow its owners to test their driving capability in the most exclusive gentlemen drivers’ environment. It will be used exclusively on track during private test sessions - or exhibition activities organised by Maserati. It will not be homologated for road use or for any racing activities.

The Maserati MC12 Corsa – living testimony of Maserati’s ability to individually tailor-make specially produced high-tech cars - will be on sale at the price of 1,000,000 Euros (plus tax) starting from next Autumn. Available in the official Maserati “Blue Victory” color, it can be personalized upon request with several optional items, starting from a different colour upon request by the client.

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Volkswagen Eos "5th Gear" Test Video

Nice first drive video of the all new Volkswagen Eos Coupe-Cabrio from the guys over "5th Gear" during the official presentation of the car in Athens. So is VW's new hard top worth the fuss? Click below to find out “5th Gears” first impressions.

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Opel Astra Twin Top Commercial

This commercial of the Opel Astra Twin Top –Vauxhall in GB, is airing in the UK. It shows the coupe-cabrio version of the Astra as a surfer puting a fight in sea.

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Porsche 911 GT3 RS unleashed for road and track

In October, Porsche will launch the new 911 GT3 RS in Europe while sales for the North American market will start from March 2007.

The GT3 RS is distinguished by its performance capability and an unadulterated driving experience similar to that of a racing car. But while particularly suited for use on the track, the car also meets all requirements for road-legal sports cars.

The reference "RS" will quicken the pulse of Porsche connoisseurs. Models such as the legendary Carrera RS 2.7 of 1972 and the 1991 Type 964 911 RS were also sports cars that stood out on account of their extreme degree of maneuverability and handling. That tradition is continued with the new 911 GT3 RS. In common with its predecessors, it provides an homologation model for use in a range of racing series.

The powerful, normally aspirated engine boasts a displacement of 3.6-litres to generate 305kW (415 bhp) at 7,600rpm. Maximum revs are reached at 8,400rpm. The power output per litre of engine capacity is 115.3 bhp. These figures are shared with the recently-announced 911 GT3, but bespoke drivetrain components in the RS ensures it puts in an even better performance. Thanks to a close-ratio six-speed transmission with a single-mass flywheel and 20kg lower vehicle weight, the engine revs up even more freely, thus enabling the 911 GT3 to sprint from zero to 100kph (62mph) in 4.2 seconds. That's one tenth of a second faster than the GT3. And it takes just 13.3 seconds to hit to 200kph (124mph). Maximum speed is 310kph (187mph).

One characteristic of the new RS is the body, which is 44mm wider at the rear (a legacy from the Carrera 4 models with which it shares its shell) by comparison with the 911 GT3. The muscular-looking rear end conceals a wider track that not only improves directional stability but also increases the potential cornering grip of the two-seater coupe.

Despite its specialised body, the RS is 20kg lighter than the GT3, weighing in at just 1375kg. This weight-saving was achieved by the use, amongst other solutions, of an adjustable carbon fibre wing, the use of a plastic rear lid and a lightweight plastic rear window. As a consequence, the corresponding engine power to kerb weight ratio is over 300bhp per tonne.

With a view to the registration regulations for the important GT motor racing championships as future fields of application, the road version of the GT3 RS features technical attributes that will also appear in the racing version. These solutions will include the design of the entire wheel carrier and split wishbones on the rear axle, in addition to the carbon fibre components of the body.

The interior of the 911 GT3 RS lives up to the vehicle's sporting aspirations: two lightweight bucket seats made of carbon fibre composite materials come as standard, together with a bolted-in roll cage and pre-wiring for a battery master switch. A six-point seatbelt for the driver and a fire extinguisher are also provided. Internal trims are black, with the roof lining, steering wheel and gear stick trimmed in high-quality Alcantara leather.

The available exterior paint finishes are Arctic Silver metallic or Black; as an option, the GT3 can also be obtained in Orange or Green. All vehicle insignia and the wheels themselves are styled in orange or black to contrast with the body paintwork.

The retail price for the 911 GT3 RS is £94,280, including a Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), a sophisticated vehicle security package approved to Thatcham Category 5 standard, and a Porsche Driving Experience programme.

The basic price for the 911 GT3 RS is €111,600 (excluding country-specific requirements). In Germany, the coupe costs €129,659 including sales tax. The GT3 RS will also be available for sale on the North American market from March 2007.

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2007 Toyota Avensis Facelift - Official Pictures

Toyota brings some welcome positive news for the UK’s car manufacturing industry with the unveiling today of its new, British-built 2007 Avensis range at the Madrid Motor Show.

The new Avensis has fresh styling inside and out, increasing its dynamic and premium quality appeal. It also benefits from two new engines from Toyota’s latest generation of clean, efficient and refined D-4D common rail diesel units.

They are the 175hp D-4D 180, which exclusively powers a new flagship Avensis T180 model, and the D-4D 130, a more powerful replacement for the previous 2.0-litre D-4D engine, with additional gains in fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.

The new Avensis also delivers improved handling and ride, thanks to a series of detail revisions in the steering and suspension systems. The full range of saloon, hatchback and Tourer models will go on sale in Europe on 1 July. Pricing and specifications will be announced nearer that date. Click on the pictures to enlarge:

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2007 Subaru Legacy facelift – Sedan, Wagon & Outback

Subaru announced the introduction of its new Legacy models (Sedan, Wagon & Outback). The facelift series went on sale in Japan through its dealerships while in European and the US, the 2007 versions are expected latter this year

Major features of the faclifted Legacy

Exterior designs: Building on the style characteristics of the fourth-generation Legacy, which embodied beauty and functionality in its designs, the new Legacy boasts detailed design changes that heighten its original identity.

Interior designs: Additional decorative panels on the dashboard provide a quality feel and functional look, as well as accentuate the comfortable interior space. On the models with the SI-DRIVE, newly designed meter panels and steering wheel switches emphasize functionality in the interface with the driver.

Powertrain: FHI has improved further on engine combustion efficiency and the intake and exhaust efficiency for the new Legacy series. Improvements to the transmission also ensure smooth and responsive gearshifting. FHI has also expanded the availability of the 6-speed manual transmission on the new Legacy series to the 2-liter turbo as well as 3-liter engine models.

The SI-DRIVE on the 2-liter turbo and 3-liter engine models not only offers the driver a choice of three different modes of driving experience, but it can also help delivers to save fuel economy without sacrificing the driving pleasure.

Body/Chassis: Capitalizing on outstanding driving characteristics provided by the Symmetrical AWD, the new Legacy offers further improved stability and maneuverability through enhancement of joints in body frames and parts. High levels of comfort and relaxation, matched to the concept of the Grand Touring Car, have been achieved.

SI-DRIVE on 2-liter turbo and 3-liter engine models: The SI-DRIVE enables three distinctively different modes: the Intelligent mode; Sport mode; and Sport Sharp mode. By regulating the engine control unit (ECU) as well as the transmission control unit (TCU) in the automatic transmission, and by fine-tuning the electronically controlled throttle, the system provides vehicle performance unique to each mode. It allows the driver to choose from these three modes, which bring out very different driving experiences in the same car.

In addition to the SI-DRIVE selector on the center console for choosing the driving mode, FHI has also developed a new interface to display SI-DRIVE performance. The instrumentation incorporates an Info-Eco Indicator that lights up while driving on low fuel consumption; an ECO gauge that encourages mileage-conscious driving; and a multi-information display that shows comprehensive information about the driver-selected SI-DRIVE mode. A Shift-up Indicator is also available on the manual transmission models, which advises the driver to shift up a gear for better fuel economy.

The ECO gauge and Info-Eco Indicator have proven to positively influence drivers to drive more fuel-efficiently. Together with the improvements in the powertrain performance and control mechanism, the new Legacy driven in the Intelligent mode recorded 10 percent better gas mileage, compared to the current model without these improvements and display, according to FHI’s internal tests.

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2007 Land Rover Range Rover - New V8 Diesel, Improved Cabin & More Technology

All-new TDV8 diesel engine 272hp

Cuts 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) by over 4seconds, but same fuel economy as the outgoing diesel (25.1 mpg combined average)

Added technologies include Land Rover’s Terrain Response, electronic park brake and electronic rear ‘e’ differential

Improved cabin gains extra stowage, enhanced finishes and more effective air-conditioning – plus optional cooled front seats

New V8 Diesel: The technologically sophisticated, turbocharged 272 bhp/PS (200 kW) TDV8 diesel makes its debut in the Range Rover, and is one of the world’s most advanced engines. Acceleration is significantly improved, compared with the previous diesel engine: over four seconds has been cut from the 0-60 mph and 0-100 km/h times (now 8.5 sec and 9.2 sec respectively). Maximum speed is raised to 124 mph (200 km/h), electronically limited. In addition, the TDV8 is up to 75 per cent quieter overall, more refined, and has improved brakes and handling.

6Speed Auto: The new engine is matched to the six-speed, state-of-the-art ZF ‘intelligent shift’ automatic transmission, already used on petrol Range Rover models. The two petrol engine options for the Range Rover introduced last year to wide acclaim – a 396 bhp/PS (291 kW) supercharged V8 and a normally aspirated 306 bhp/PS (225 kW) V8 – continue for 2007 model year.

Terrain Response: The Range Rover’s outstanding off-road capability is enhanced by the addition of Terrain Response as standard for all 2007 models, together with a centre ‘e’ (electronic) differential and the availability of a rear ‘e’ differential. Terrain Response allows the driver to select one of five settings on the rotary switch, to suit the terrain. The vehicle’s electronic and mechanical controls are then optimised to tackle the specific conditions.

Improved Cabin: Other enhancements apply across the Range Rover line-up for the 2007 model year. The cabin gains better stowage space (including a new twin glovebox), an enhanced airbag package, a cleaner centre console design, an electronic parking brake, a new upper facia and substantially improved air-conditioning and ventilation. Switchgear and the audio system have been improved, and there are more extensive wood and metallic finishes, all contributing to an enhanced premium feel. Front seats now offer an optional cooling function, as well as a standard heating feature, and active head restraints contribute to improved safety.

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Fiat Ducato “Truckster” Concept

Pimp My Ducato!
The Madrid International Motor Show (25 May to 4 June), hosted Fiat’s Ducato “Truckster” prototype. Created by the Fiat Style Centre with the collaboration of Bosch SpA, Behr GmbH, SEWS CABIND SpA (Sumitomo Group) and Denso Thermal System SpA, this original concept vehicle is generously proportioned: 6.48 metres long, 2.55 m high and 2.49 metres wide.

The style is modern and “exuberant”, thanks to a design which accentuates the concept of sporting performance applied to a commercial vehicle, with features like 28 inch wheels, LED headlights, hydraulically-controlled gullwing doors, smoked glass windows and an aerodynamic spoiler. The interiors have also been given the same sporty feel, emphasising its “road racer” personality.

With its sense of power and sportiness, the Ducato “Truckster” takes the style hallmarks of the new Ducato to extremes. Like the Ducato it is also a modular vehicle with a huge range of possible uses: purely as a show car, or as an “Adventure” vehicle for transporting race cars or motorbikes, or even as a runway for fashion shows. This capacity for transformation has always been a key feature of the Ducato: take the camper van version, for instance, leader in its field (two out of three campers are fitted onto a Ducato base), all thanks to the technical characteristics of a vehicle designed for body fitters.

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2007 Land Rover Freelander II

These are the first pictures of the all new 2007 Freelander II. The leaked press kit of Land Rover’s new compact SUV model reveals that the new car looks very similar to the existing model, especially around the nose where Landrover trademarks such as the grille and clamshell bonnet are obvious –also think Discovery / LR3.

The car seems to have grown slightly in every dimension, with a wider track and longer wheelbase, thus improving space for both passengers and luggage. The pictures also show that the rear doors have grown in size, making access easier.

Despite its similar looks, the Freelander II is based on an all-new platform -a stretched version of the C1 platform that underpins the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Volvo S40. The new Freelander is expected to be an even more capable vehicle off-road than the current model, with a stiffer chassis and increased ground clearance. Most of the components are said to come from parent company Ford, but upgraded to ensure the new car performs like a genuiune Landrover.

Although the new Freelander will be offerd only as a five-door model, it is rumored tha we will eventually see a 'baby' 3door Landrover which will sit below the Freelander II in the Landrover range, possibly as early as 2009.

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BMW M3 CS vs Audi RS4 video from 5th Gear

Watch this fantastic comparision test video from “5th Gear” starring Tiff Needell and Jason Plato in the 2007 Audi RS4 Band the MW M3 CS respectively. See the two German gladiators compete in drift, speed and race track tests. A tiny bit long -12 minutes, but worth every second of it!

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Cadillac Offers Free Content Pack For Premiere Xbox 360 Game, “Project Gotham Racing 3”

Cadillac, in conjunction with Microsoft, announced today that it will provide the first free downloadable content pack available on the Xbox 360 for the Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) videogame title.

The full range of Cadillac V-Series vehicles is now available as a downloadable expansion pack for PGR3. The three Cadillac V-Series cars include the 400 horsepower CTS-V, the 443 horsepower XLR-V and the 469 horsepower STS-V.

In addition to the downloadable V-Series vehicles, gamers who perform in the top 100 on the Nürburgring Full F1 Circuit track via Xbox Live with any of the Cadillac V-Series performance cars will achieve Cadillac Elite status, a ranking system that will eventually represent the top echelon of console gamers across multiple gaming titles. The long-term vision of the Cadillac Elite program is to offer elite Xbox Live gamers access to exclusive events, customized downloadable content and potential prizes.

"We're offering constructive content for PGR3 that is desirable inside the gaming community," said Liz Vanzura, Cadillac marketing director. "Gamers will enjoy racing our high-performance V-Series vehicles against some of the world's finest sports cars and Cadillac Elite status will be a highly coveted and valuable level of achievement for players to strive for. It's taking brand integration to another level."

PGR3 is the first game in which the Cadillac Elite recognition can be earned and is unprecedented for the Xbox 360. More information can be found online at

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Toyota rolls off its first made-in-China Camry

Toyota Motor Corporation just rolled off its first Chinese-built Camry sedan which is based on the highly succesfull U.S. model. The launch, from Toyota's new $475 million factory in Nansha, near the southern city of Guangzhou, symbolizes the automaker's ambitions for China, which is about to surpass Japan as the world's second-largest auto market.

Toyota, a relative latecomer to China, hasn’t revved up in the specific market, as it controls just 3,5 percent of the Chinese market, with 180,000 vehicles sold in 2005. That puts it behind top foreign automakers like GM (665,390 units) and Volkswagen.

The former Camry was the lead import model in China during the past decade, selling about 30,000 cars annually. By shifting production to China, Toyota hopes to double its sales. Toyota's new plant comes with an annual output capacity of 100,000 units, though it aims to build 60,000 units this year. If the Camry takes off, a second shift will be introduced lifting capacity to over 200,000 units.

The new China-built Camry will sell for between $25.000 to $35.000 (200.000 yuan and 270.000 Yuan).

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New Audi Q5 to be built in Germany

EUR 300 million to be invested in production facilities
Production to start in 2009
Location chosen on strength of high productivity

The decision has been made: the new Audi Q5 will be built in Germany. The new model will start rolling off the production line at Ingolstadt in 2009. To that end, around EUR 300 million will be invested in the production facilities over the next years. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, explained: “The decision demonstrates what potential there is for industrial production in Germany. We are delighted that the Audi Q5 will be built in Ingolstadt, now that we have reached an agreement with the Works Council enabling us to build it at a competitive cost.” A total of some 1,700 workers will be involved in production of the Audi Q5 in Ingolstadt. “This decision will also benefit employment at Neckarsulm, because both plants will be very closely interlinked,” added Winterkorn.

The decision to build the Audi Q5 at Ingolstadt is the third major decision within a short space of time that AUDI AG has reached in favour of a German location. Just a few months ago, it was announced that the new Audi A5 is to be built in Ingolstadt, and the Audi R8 sports car in Neckarsulm. Production of the Audi R8 will commence in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The Audi Q5 will join the Audi Q7 as the Audi brand's second model in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. “The Audi Q5 will be an overtly sporty vehicle that will add an important product to the Audi model range. The Audi Q5 will take us a big step closer to vehicle sales of 1.4 million per year, a target that we have set ourselves for 2015,” continued Winterkorn.

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BMW Mille Miglia Concept Video

Ever wonder how Chris Bangle’s latest concept, the BMW Mille Miglia looks like in real life? Take a look at the following video and see the Bavarian prototype “stroll” around. If your curious enough to hear BMW Group’s head designer talk about his latest creation look at the second video bellow.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI “Edition 30” – Happy birthday GTI!

Its been 30 years since the first Golf GTI rolled off VW’s production line, so the Germans decided to make a birthday gift to the car that christened a whole new category: the Golf GTI Edition 30 concept.

As you can see from the pictures, the special edition GTI has a few cosmetic modifications –painted bumpers, 18’’ black alloy wheels, darkened rear lights, red stitched sterring wheel, gear knob with the classic Golf Ball Design and special "edition 30" signatures.

The most interesting part though is the pumped up 2.0 TFSI engine that now produces 230 hp, 30 more than the normal version –one hp for every year that the car was in production.

Although officially there is no word for a production version, Volkswagen is known for its limited series production models such as the Golf 20th or the Golf Pink Floyd which means we might very well see the Golf GTI Edition 30 come to life.

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