Hyundai Veloster Rally Car to Land at 2011 Chicago Auto Show

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Hyundai is certainly not wasting any time with its plans for the Veloster. Less than a month after the world premiere of the sporty three-door model at the Detroit Motor Show, and the South Korean firm released a teaser photo of a rally-prepped version, complete with Red Bull livery that will break cover at next week's 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Being a teaser, we don't get any additional information whatsoever with Hyundai pointing us towards its press event in Chicago on February 9 for more details.

We'll remind you that in the beginning of March, South Korea's largest automaker will also reveal the European specification Veloster at the Geneva Motor Show. It remains to be seen if we'll also see the rang4-topping version with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine kicking out 208-ponies that we first told you about in our scoop story here.
Source: Hyundai via Jalopnik


Marchionne: Fiat and Chrysler Could Merge into a Single Entity in a Few Years

Speaking at the J.D. Power and Associates International Automotive Roundtable, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today told reporters that the two companies could merge into a single entity based in the U.S. in the near future. Until then, Chrysler first has to refinance its government loans and launch an initial public stock offering, but Marchionne hopes that both will happen this year.

“Who knows? In the next two or three years, we could be looking at one entity. It could be based here”, said Marchionne. The companies are considering various “alternatives and scenarios. First we need to integrate them operationally and then look at governance”, he added.

Ever since the Fiat Group acquired a stake in Chrysler, in June 2009, the Italian company's main goal was to revamp the American brand’s portfolio. Models like the recently introduced 2011 Chrysler 200, 2011 Chrysler 300 and 2011 Chrysler Town & Country are just the tip of the iceberg, as the automaker wants to launch a total of sixteen all-new or revised models in 2011.

The automakers are also working on sharing an increasing number of platforms and technologies, which will help them to further expand their lineups. For example, early 2012 will mark the debut of a new Dodge compact sedan, built using Fiat underpinnings, with other models expected to follow afterwards.

Fiat currently owns 25 percent of Chrysler, a stake that could rise to 35% if a series of performance-related targets are achieved.

By Csaba Daradics

Source: Autonews


Brabus: New Hot Wheels for 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS Sports Sedan

As sure as the sun rises tomorrow, Brabus will present some horsepower crazy version of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS in the likes of the insane, first-generation CLS-based Rocket V12 that packed 730 twin-turbocharged horses under its bonnet. But for now, the German tuning firm is taking it easy simply releasing its alloy wheel and tire options for Merc's banana-shaped luxury sports sedan. You can check the available designs in sizes 19- and 20-inches in our gallery after the jump.


VIDEO: 2,000HP Ice Dragster is Not Your Typical Snowmobile....

The record snowfalls of the last couple of days might be a sign that America needs a new winter season sport. And, after seeing this clip, we’re pretty sure that ice drag racing could be a big hit. According to the folks over at Bangshift, this here is Paul Groth’s ice dragster, based on a Spitzer dragster chassis and motivated by a twin turbo Pro Line racing engine, reportedly delivering more than 2,000HP. There’s no information about how fast it is, but Mr. Groth went more than 200 mph (320 k/h) on ice back in the 1980s, so we reckon it could at least match that. Video available after the break.

By Csaba Daradics

Source: Youtube via Bangshift


Porsche Tuning Specialist TECHART Opens U.S. Subsidiary in California [Mega Gallery Alert]

Good news for Porsche owners in America who'd like to have their sports cars and SUV models tuned by Techart as the German company has finally opened a US headquarters in Irvine California. "The new subsidiary ensures a faster product supply to all its customers and sales partners," Techart said in a statement.

The company said that it its US subsidiary has been staffed with specially trained sales and engineering employees, some of which have been sourced from the company's central headquarters in Leonberg, Germany. Techart will offer American clients its full range of products from light alloy wheels and sport exhaust systems to full blown performance and styling kits as well as individual interior treatments.

"The North American automobile market is one of our most important sales markets in the world," said Techart CEO Thomas Behringer. "The foundation of TECHART USA, our own US-subsidiary, underlines the central significance of this market," he added/