Ford Racing unveils Mustang Boss 302S race car!

@funkmasterflex

Today at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Orlando, FL, Ford Racing took the wraps off its latest Mustang race car, the Boss 302S. Serving as a replacement for the now defunct FR500S race car that was used for the Mustang Challenge race series, the Boss 302S is intended for the serious track day enthusiast as well as racing series like the SCCA’s World Challenge and NASA’s American Iron.

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George Clooney To Play John DeLorean In Biopic?


John Z. DeLorean, driving force behind such iconic vehicles as the Pontiac GTO, Firebird and the DMC-12 that bears his name, led an interesting life. He helped jump-start the muscle car era, created a unique stainless steel sports car of his own, was charged with trafficking drugs in an attempt to raise funds for his company and later successfully defended himself against those charges.

@funkmasterflex

It’s no surprise, then, that Hollywood has been attempting to get a biographical film together that focuses on the charismatic industry playboy. The idea for the film has been floating around for some time now, but we’ve gotten word that a big name might be cast in the lead role. According to Forbes, George Clooney could be the man destined for gullwing greatness.

Nothing is confirmed and it appears Forbes is merely speculating that Clooney would be the right man for the part based upon a conversation with Stephen Wynne, head of the reborn DeLorean Motor Company. It’s certainly not a bad choice, but we’re sure you have some good ideas as to who could fill John Z’s on-screen shoes. Sound off in Comments and let us know who you think should play John DeLorean in the forthcoming David Permut-produced biopic.
AB

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Ford to Invest $600 Million to Build New Assembly Plant in Louisville, Adding 1,800 Jobs!!


Ford Motor Co. is investing $600 million to renovate its Louisville, Ky., assembly plant to build the next-generation Escape for North America. An estimated 1,800 jobs will be added when the plant reopens in late 2011, Ford announced today.

@funkmasterflex

The automaker said the factory is the third North American body-on-frame truck plant it is retrofitting to build more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The refurbished plant will be flexible enough to produce five additional models — cars, crossovers and wagons — and making it Ford’s most advanced factory in the world, the automaker said. Bloomberg News reported the plant will also produce a small crossover for Lincoln starting in 2012.

The plant has assembled the Ford Explorer SUV since 1990. Ford plans to end output of the 2010 Explorer SUV on Dec. 16.

Two shifts

Ford has shifted output of the all-new 2011 Explorer to its Chicago assembly plant. The Escape and Escape Hybrid are currently built in Kansas City, Mo.

Ford’s Kansas City plant will continue to build the Ford F-150 pickup on one shift. Missouri lawmakers have offered Ford incentives to bring a new model to Kansas City and keep the plant open.

“Additional new products for Kansas City will be announced at a future time,” Ford spokesperson Marcey Evans told Bloomberg.

When the Louisville factory reopens in 2011, Ford said it will operate on two production shifts with about 2,900 employees — up from one shift currently and about 1,100 employees.

Ford said the 1,800 additional jobs are expected to

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Gran Turismo 5 racing wheel teased by Thrustmaster

Let’s face it – driving games are best enjoyed when your control surfaces are in the shape of a proper steering wheel. And so we present to you the Thrustmaster T500RS, which will apparently be an officially licensed steering wheel accessory for Gran Turismo 5. At present, Logitech’s Driving Force wheel is the only available steering wheel controller for the real racing sim.

@funkmasterflex

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Ariel Atom 3 Wimmer RS

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Wards Auto Announces 10 Best Engines


Wards Auto has announced its 10 Best Engine Winners for 2011. Check to see the engines that made the list after the jump.

@funkmasterflex

Not surprisingly, fuel-efficient creations like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf (the first EV to get the award) both found their beating hearts among the winners. Likewise, the 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI found favor with the judges for its green credentials, though the 10 Best list didn’t simply stick to the eco warriors of 2011 for its picks. Lumps like the 5.0-liter V8s in the 2011 Ford Mustang GT and Hyundai Genesis also made the cut. Wards said that it intentionally tried to make sure that there was an engine for everyone, and we have to admit that it looks like they’ve done a smart job of keeping the bases covered.

Glad to see that the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 from Chrysler is slotted among this year’s winners. The engine single-handedly managed to improve vehicles like the Dodge Avenger and Journey by leaps and bounds, throwing in excellent fuel economy and power at the same time. In fact, of all the engines on the list, we’d have a hard time finding an argument against any of the winners. Head over to Wards for a closer look.
AB

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Pontiac still a hotter Google keyword than Buick

Pontiac may be dead, phased out by parent company General Motors in the wake of its financial collapse, but you wouldn’t know it from searching these interwebs. According to search trends tracked by BringPontiacBack.org, more people are still searching for Pontiac on Google than they are for Buick.

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(Video)First Look: Brammo Enertia Plus


Brammo, makers of the electric Empulse and Enertia motorcycles, announced the release of an upgraded Enertia Plus with a doubled operating range of 80 miles. This has been made possible by adopting the Empulse-style Lithium-ion 6 kWh battery.
@FunkmasterFlex

Other refinements accompany this change. First, the plug-in charging process has been simplified. Second, starting the vehicle is now a key-only operation, rather than the previous key-and-button sequence.

The Empulse 6 kWh battery has a recharge time of 2.4 hours from a 220V line (as used to power electric clothes dryers) or 8 hours on a 110V household outlet.

Steering has been lightened by increasing fork offset to reduce trail. Handlebars now come an inch closer to the rider, which is said to considerably increase comfort. This model has also been homologated for European sales, a process that required a tighter turning capability.

There is an option for hard bags—useful in this machine’s likely principal application as a commuter or shopping vehicle. To increase machine appeal to fleet operators, a centerstand has been added. Four new colors are offered: Eclipsed Black, Aluminum Silver, True Blood-Red or Peacekeeping Blue.

CEO Craig Bramscher mentioned his company’s alliance with Flextronics, a large supplier of electronics services, saying that it moves his products to higher value more quickly than simple reliance on by-the-component purchasing. Although it is possible to build electric vehicles from equipment catalogs, this “science-fair approach” ignores the gains to be made by engineering the vehicle as an integrated system of designed-for-the-job elements.

There

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Lamborghini Estoque Concept

Lamborghini remains intent on adding a third model to its range. This, straight from the proverbial lion’s mouth – that of the company’s affable CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who would like a new model to attract new buyers to the brand. The question is, what form will that new model take?

@funkmasterflex

According to a new report from Autocar, the most likely scenario is a production version of the Estoque concept sedan unveiled in Paris a couple years back. Previous reports suggested a successor to the LM002 sport-utility vehicle could be in the works. But while either model could borrow underpinnings from within the Volkswagen Group (the Porsche Panamera or Audi A7 for the Estoque or the Porsche Cajun/Audi Q5 for the LM00X), enabling a faster and more cost-effective development process, Winkelmann seems to like the idea of the Estoque better.

Building the Estoque could also potentially lead to more variants as well, including a front-engined coupe and convertible, while the LM002 would, in all likelihood, be a single-model proposition.

Us? We just hope that the new model (whatever it is) gets built soon. In the case of the Estoque, there’s nothing worse than a painfully slow gestation of an already aging concept car to kill buzz.

AB

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon


During a product briefing Tuesday, Acura executives revealed that the 2011 TSX Sport Wagon.

@funkmasterflex

This TSX Sport Wagon will be priced from $30,960 (not including $860 for destination) when it goes on sale in just a few weeks. This represents a price increase of $1,350 versus the slightly refreshed 2011 TSX sedan that recently debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

All TSX Sport Wagons come standard with a leather-trimmed interior, premium seven-speaker sound system, XM radio, USB audio with iPod integration, Bluetooth connectivity and a power moonroof. For an extra $3,650 you can opt for the TSX Technology Package, which adds sat-nav with voice recognition and rear-view camera, an ELS surround audio system, GPS-linked solar-sensing climate control and a power liftgate out back.

The only engine available in the Sport Wagon is the TSX’s 2.4-liter inline-four, mated exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission (a six-speed manual is available on the sedan). 201 horsepower is perfectly adequate for the Sport Wagon, but we’re curious as to why Acura felt it necessary to leave the sedan’s 280-hp V6 mill out of the mix. We’ll have the full report of how the TSX Sport Wagon fares out on the road in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

AB

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