Last Dodge Viper Rolls Off the Production Line [with Video]

It's the end of the line [at least for now] for one of the most recognizable and iconic American sports cars of the past two decades as the last of the current-generation Dodge Vipers "slithered" its way out of the firm's Conner Avenue plant in Detroit.

The final example of the 2010 Dodge Viper is a customized coupe model for D'Ann Rauh (second from right in the picture), who along with her husband Wayne from Arp, Texas, own more than 40 Dodge Vipers. The Texas couple own the largest personal collection of Vipers in the world.

Rauh's Viper is finished in a custom bronzed gold exterior paint supplied by House of Kolor, while unique interior features include various leather appointments crafted by Tony Spampinito from Venzano. The dark graphite five-spoke forged-aluminum wheels complete the package.

Production of the V10-powered Dodge Viper started in 1992. A next generation model has been rumored but not officially confirmed.


New Design Package for BMW Z4 Roadster

Starting from September, BMW Z4 buyers will be able to outfit their roadster with a new styling package called Design Pure Impulse. The Bavarian automaker's new pocket digging scheme adds unique style to the two-seater model through a combination of colors and materials featured on interior elements, based on the recommendations of the BMW design team.

The equipment package adds black Alcantara / Nappa leather sports seats with yellow colour accents, a black Alcantara surface décor with a yellow contrast seam on the front seat passenger side along with unique interior trim strips in a black piano lacquer finish.

Other special features include an anthracite BMW Individual roof lining, yellow Alcantara inserts in the door linings, the lower section of the instrument panel also in yellow as well as fabric car mats, while the arm rests on the centre console and in the doors are covered with high-quality black Nappa leather.

Exclusive to this package is the Atacama Yellow body color seen on the Z4 in these photos. Alternatively, buyers can opt for Alpine White, plain Black, Space Grey metallic, Titanium Silver or Sapphire Black metallic.

Lexus Officially Announces Recall on U.S. Market Models to Fix Engines

Toyota today notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its intention to recall certain Lexus models in the United States to fix faulty engines in the automaker's latest quality problem.

The recall affects approximately 138,000 Lexus vehicles powered by 4.6 and 5.0 liter V8 and 3.5 liter V6 engines in certain 2006, 2007 and 2008 GS, IS and LS models. No vehicles from the current 2010 model year nor 2009 are affected.

"In the covered vehicles, due to slight variations during the manufacturing process, some foreign material may have contaminated a small number of the valve springs. If a vehicle is affected, there is a remote possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur. In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation," Lexus said in a statement.

To fix the problem Lexus plans to replace the engine valve springs on the affected models.

The Japanese automaker said owners can continue to drive their vehicles, but it added that if symptoms such as vibration, rough idling, unusual engine sounds or poor performance occur, then they should take their car to a Lexus dealer for service.

Earlier this week, Toyota announced in Japan that it would recall a total of 270,000 Lexus models (plus the Toyota Crown) around the world to address the engine stalling issues.

Affected Models in the U.S.A.


Model Year

GS 350



GS 450h



GS 460


IS 350




LS 460



LS 460 L



LS 600h L


2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Facelift, Keeps Name but gets New Bi-Turbo V8

This here is the refreshed 2011 CL-Class, which despite the rumors, doesn't adopt the S-Class Coupe moniker as part of Mercedes-Benz's new nomenclature that started with the new E-Class Coupe that replaced the CLK. For its mid-life facelift, the CL coupe has received a mild redesigned and a new bi-turbo V8 engine.

Visual updates include a redesigned front bumper housing LED strips with chrome surrounds for the daytime running lights, a reshaped hood, new headlamps and a more V-shaped grille.

The LED turn indicators and position marker lamps along with the reprofiled rear bumper and newly-designed tail lamps round off the exterior changes.

Inside, the higher-quality trim materials and new color options are matted with redesigned multifunction wood/leather steering wheel steering and additional ambient light spots.

Under the bonnet, there's a new 4.7-liter bi-turbocharged V8 engine with BlueDIRECT technology for the CL500 (CL550 for North America), which comes with a revised version of Mercedes-Benz's seven-speed automatic gearbox with an integrated stop-start system and brake energy recuperation.

The eight-cylinder unit produces 429HP, a 12 percent increase in power over its predecessor, which had an output of 382HP. At the same time, torque was raised from 391 lb-ft to 516 lb-ft, an increase of 32 percent.

Furthermore, the new V8 engine achieves a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy and 23% improvement in CO2 emissions.

The CL500 / CL550 4MATIC requires 4.9 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 100km/h (62mph), a 0.5 second improvement over the previous model.

The range also includes the CL600, with its 510HP 12-cylinder biturbo engine and 612 lb-ft. of torque that accelerates the luxury coupé from a standstill to 100km/h (62mph) mph in a 4.5 seconds. Top speed on both models is electronically limited at 250km/h (155mph).

For buyers needing more power, Mercedes will debut the new CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG models later this year.

Among the many tech highlights is a new Active Lane Keeping Assist safety feature that utilizes a camera mounted on the inside of the windshield and a radar system that scans the side of the roadway, to gently apply the brakes when the driver steers away from his lane.

The 2011MY CL-Class will make its market debut in Autumn of 2010.

Citroën Reveals New DS3 R3 Rally Car for the Masses

Citroën is looking to take on the rally circuit with its new DS3 R3, homologated for FIA's new Group R3T regulations. "Versatile, high performance and yet affordably-priced, DS3 R3 is set to become the new leader in its category," says the French carmaker about its rally-prepped DS3 that will be available in both in kit and ready-to-race versions.

Featuring the same structural design and appearance as the production model, with the steel body shell reinforced by a welded, multi-point roll cage, the DS3 R3 Rally car comes with an upgraded 1.6-litre turbocharged inline-four producing 210bhp and 350Nm / 258.2 lb-ft of peak torque.

As with the French carmaker's hardcore C4 WRC, the DS3 R3 is equipped with a six-speed sequential transmission (a first for a customer-racing product), which the company claims allows for gear changes to be made twice as quickly over a manual gearbox.

The suspension has been redesigned and upgraded to make full use of the Group R regulations, allowing for a wide variety of setup options. Rally-spec alloy wheels and a reworked braking system are also part of the package. For more details, check out the complete list below.

- Racing engine, assembled and bench-tested, ready to be mounted
- Gearbox, assembled and bench-tested, ready to be mounted
- Reinforced body shell, with roll-cage and seat attachment brackets and accessories (handbrake, ECUs, spare wheel, mounting brackets)
- Reinforced engine sub-frame
- Protective skidplate for engine and exhaust
- Adjustable front and rear suspension elements
- Reinforced hub carriers
- Adjustable specific front suspension wishbones
- Maximum size front and rear brake discs
- Front and rear specific brake callipers
- Reinforced rear axle
- Set of rear axle geometry adjustment shims
- Direct power-steering rack
- Specific braking system
- Specific 'pedal box' assembly
- Tarmac 7x17'' wheels
- Fuel system with FIA-homologated tank
- Specific engine and gearbox cooling system
- Air/high-capacity air exchanger and specific booster circuit
- Aviation type electrical system with digital instrument panel display
- Data acquisition system built into the injection unit
- Roof-mounted air intake
- Glossy dashboard strip
- Specific wheel arch protections
- Front and rear tow straps
- Spare wheel straps

- Gravel rallying adaptation kit, including shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bar, front brake discs, 6x15'' gravel wheels and bodywork protective covers
- Short or long torque settings
- Co-driver footrest
- Citroën Racing rear-view mirrors
- FIA-homologated crash panel doors
- Xenon headlamp assembly
- 64MB data acquisition unit upgrade
- Specific mapping for racing fuel
- Tool kit, including: wheel hub fitting tool, brake fluid bleed device, steering rack shim
- Springs of varying levels of stiffness
- Anti-roll bar of varying diameters
- Standard bodywork spare parts kit

- Seats
- Harness
- Fire extinguishers
- Battery
- Spare wheel
- Jack and tyre-changing accessories
- Radio equipment and on-board computer
- FIA-approved anti-shatter protective film
- Tyres

Structure Reinforced body with welded, multi-point roll cage
Bodywork DS3 THP 150 with specific roof-mounted air intake and rear-view mirrors

Type 1.6 THP PSA
Bore x stroke 77x85.8 mm
Capacity 1,598cc
Maximum power 210bhp at 4,750rpm
Maximum torque 35Nm at 3,000rpm
Specific output 131.4bhp/litre
Distribution Double overhead camshaft valve train
Breaker arm with adapted cam profile
Specific pistons, connecting rods, engine flywheel and camshaft
Fuel feed Direct injection
Motorized single throttle valve

Type Thrust mechanism
184mm cerametallic twin-disk

Type Front-wheel drive
Gearbox Six-speed sequential
Control Electronically controlled with steering wheel-mounted paddle
Differential Self-locking type ZF differential

Front Ventilated disks, 330x30mm (tarmac) and 300x30mm (gravel)
4-piston callipers
Rear 300x8mm discs
2-piston callipers
Distribution Adjustable
Handbrake Hydraulic control
Front McPherson type
Specific hinges and hub carriers
Rear H-shaped axles
Shock absorbers BOS three-track adjustable shock absorbers (low-and high-speed compression and rebound)
Adjustable hydraulic bump stop

Type Hydraulic power-assisted steering

Tarmac 7x17'' wheels
BFGoodrich 200/50/R17 tyres
Gravel 6x15'' wheels
BFGoodrich 195/70/R15 tyres

Length 3,948mm
Width 1,715mm
Wheel base 2,465mm
Track 1,520mm (front) – 1,490mm (rear)
Fuel tank 67 litres
Weight 1,230kg with driver pairing (regulations)
Weight distribution 64/36% (front/rear)

VIDEO: Mark Webber Makes a... Viral Pit Stop with F1 Racer at London's Parliament Square

Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber had an early wake-up today as he took a seat behind the wheel of Red Bull's F1 racer for a quick spin and an ever quicker pit stop right outside the Houses of Parliament in Parliament Square, London at 6 o'clock in the morning. Nothing much else to say here, so follow the break to watch the video clip.

M Sports Package for New BMW 5-Series Officially Revealed, Includes Suspension Upgrade

Well, just about everything there is to say about the new M Sports Package for the 2011 5 Series Saloon and Touring has been said already thanks to the leaked product brochure and photos that hit the internet last week, but BMW made it all official today.

Available from September 2010, the new package was developed by BMW's 'M' division. It comprises an M sports suspension, M aerodynamics package with a new front bumper and a rear diffuser, and 18-inch M light alloys featuring a double spoke design. Optionally available features include 19-inch M light alloys as well as an M rear spoiler for the saloon.

Interior add-ons include sport seats featuring Alcantara / fabric upholstery and contrasting seams, an M leather-clad steering wheel and gear knob, the M footrest, an anthracite BMW Individual roof lining and aluminum hexagon interior trim strips.