Monday, March 30, 2009

Geely to show updated GT Concept in Shanghai, Production Version may follow shortly

Geely to show updated GT Concept in Shanghai, Production Version may follow shortly

One of the most talked about concept cars at last year's Beijing motorshow, the Geely GT (where GT stands for "Geely Tiger") is making a comeback at next month's Shanghai auto salon. The Chinese automaker said in a statement that the positive reviews from the American press have "forced" the company to seriously consider building a production version of the coupe and for this reason, they have updated the concept by adding an interior and Lamborghini-style scissor doors as well as solving around 90 percent of the engineering problems - whatever that means.

Official: 2009 Dodge Challenger SE V6 Rallye with Stripes and 5-Speed Auto

Official: 2009 Dodge Challenger SE V6 Rallye with Stripes and 5-Speed Auto

Dodge has issued official details and a high-resolution gallery of the newest member in the Challenger SE family, the Rallye Edition, that will go on sale this April along with the rest of the updated 250HP 3.5-liter V6-powered SEs that receive a five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick in place of the previous 4-speed auto box. As we informed you this past weekend, the Rallye package consists of exterior and interior cosmetic upgrades.

Similar to the R/T package found the V8-powered Challenger, the Rallye edition adds hood and deck lid dual stripes with accent color outer stripes, 18-inch wheels with black painted pockets, chromed 'FUEL' filler doo, a body-color deck lid spoiler and Micro Carbon interior accents. The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger SE Rallye starts at $26,490 (including $725 destination) with dealers already accepting orders.

Hyundai CEO reveals Details on Tiburon Successor that's Planned for 2011

Hyundai CEO reveals Details on Tiburon Successor that's Planned for 2011

With the new, rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe already available on the market, Hyundai is now concentrating on the successor of the Tiburon (called Hyundai Coupe in Europe and other markets) that is scheduled to be introduced in 2011. Speaking with Autoweek magazine, John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, revealed that the firm's new coupe will be positioned below the current Tiburon in terms of size and more importantly, in price. If you're thinking in the likes of the long-gone Honda CRX, you're probably right.

"It will have a lower price point, kind of eco sport positioning, where it is not going to be all about performance," Krafcik said. "It is going to be very fuel efficient. It is going to be stylish, a real nice complement to the Genesis coupe," he added.

Krafcik also noted that the new coupe will share a front-wheel platform with the Hyundai Accent and Elantra and that it will be offered with an entry-level 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, adding that the car's styling will draw its inspiration from the Veloster 2+2 coupe concept that was revealed at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show.

We can't say that we're surprised with Krafcik's revelations as it was apparent that Hyundai would follow a different road with the Tiburon's successor after the introduction of the sportier and more powerful, RWD Genesis Coupe.

Via: Autoweek

Don't Cry for me America... GM's former CEO Rick Wagoner to Receive $20m Retirement

Don't Cry for me America... GM's former CEO Rick Wagoner to Receive $20m Retirement

While we feel the pain for any basic employee -white or blue collar, doesn't matter- that loses his or her job, somehow we don't feel the same for high-ranking execs. As it was revealed today by ABC News, GM's outgoing CEO Rick Wagoner who was ousted from his position by Barack Obama (eligible for a massive $20.2 million retirement package. See, while the Treasury Department does not allow GM from paying severance to Wagoner or any other senior exec, the former CEO is entitled to retirement benefits from the company...

And mind you, this does not include other benefits such as cars for life, free air travel and secretarial services, not to mention the fact that over his 16-year long reign as a high-ranking GM exec, Wagoner received a whopping US$63 million, according to an analysis of company data by compensation analysts Equilar, Inc.

Heck, with that kind of retirement plan, feel free to fire me whenever and as many times you want... Just to give you an idea of what $20.2 million means, if you got paid $1,000 a day, it would take you approximately 55 and-a-half years (including weekends and holidays) without spending a dime to gather this amount of money.

However, it should be noted that according to Dave Schmidt, an executive compensation analyst with James F. Reda and Associates, there is a possibility that Wagoner might end up getting much less if GM goes into bankruptcy.

In an email sent to ABC from GM spokeswoman Julie M. Gibson, it was pointed out that Wagoner's retirement "will be paid out as an annuity over five years, the remainder is a small lifetime annuity". This comes to around $4m a year. However, on a follow up email sent after ABC published the story, Gibson said that " the specifics on any compensation entitled to, or actually paid to Mr. Wagoner are still being reviewed."

Nevertheless, as GM said in an official statement, "Wagoner has worked for GM for nearly 32 years and he is entitled to certain vested awards, deferred comp and pension and other post retirement benefits", meaning that the company's former CEO will one way or another receive a significant amount of money.

Source: ABC News , Via: Truthaboutcars

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Chrysler 300C SRT UK Version

The Chrysler 300C is already the most striking vehicle on the road for less than £30,000 - and for 2008 Chrysler will make the 300C stand out even more - with a revised exterior and an updated interior across the range. Chrysler will also launch an entirely new model in the UK - the diesel-powered 'SRT-Design'.

The exterior of the Chrysler 300C has been refreshed for 2008 with changes to the rear fascia and rear light clusters. The rear saloon boot lid is also new and now incorporates an integrated spoiler and high-mounted stop light.

The interior has been enhanced with a new instrument panel and centre console design, highlighted with satin silver bezels. Soft touch surfaces on arm rests and door panels add to the comfortable interior while the new dark interior colour adds to the sophisticated feel. A new ignition key with one-touch start-up, a fully adjustable steering wheel as well as LED lighting in the front cup holders and front and rear door pockets all provide additional driver convenience.

In addition, seat-mounted air bags have been added to the front and side-curtain air bags to the rear for increased driver and passenger safety.

The MyGIG infotainment system is a new option that offers owners the very latest integrated onboard systems. There's MP3 player compatibility, a touch screen controlled navigation system featuring outstandingly clear graphical maps as well as the ability to store up to approximately 1600 songs on an integrated 20GB hard drive. The UConnect Hands-free Communication System uses Bluetooth technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication.

The Chrysler 300C SRT-Design model includes all of these refinements and adds all the visual enhancements that make the high-performance SRT-8 such a crowd pleaser. The SRT-Design is available as a saloon or a Touring and features the economical 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. SRT-Design features include SRT 20- inch alloy wheels and wheel arch spats as well as a chrome mesh grille. Inside, the SRT-Design gets MyGIG satellite navigation as standard as well as an SRT-8 steering wheel, SRT-8 leather sports seats and carbon fibre interior details.

Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler UK Ltd, said: "We have sold more than 6,000 cars since the launch in 2005 and this means the Chrysler 300C has been a huge success story for Chrysler in the UK. We have struggled to keep up with customer demand since launch and this sustained popularity has helped make sure that it has maintained a very health residual value and this bodes well for our future success.

"While the 300C SRT-8 is still one of the most affordable performance cars on the block the diesel-powered SRT-Design model means you get all the looks with the everyday driving benefits of our 3.0-litre diesel engine. The changes to the interior help take the 300C to a whole new level but the changes do not detract from what has made the 300C such a success - it remains a great looking, well-equipped and a very competitively priced car."

Standard features on the Chrysler 300C include Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and an all-speed Traction Control System, front and rear side-curtain air bags, Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and a rear park assist system. A leather interior, air-conditioning and heated driver and front passenger seats also come as standard on all vehicles in the range.

The 2008 Chrysler 300C saloon comes with a choice of two engines in the UK: a 3.0-litre V-6 engine that produces 215 bhp at 3800 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. of torque at 1600 rpm, and a mighty 6.1-litre V8 Hemi SRT-8 petrol engine that produces 425 bhp at 6200 rpm and 420 lb.-ft of torque at 4800 rpm.