Come today, local news channel ABC reported that Holden has made the decision to “pull out of Australia as early as 2016, according to senior Government ministers”. The report added that the announcement was to be made this week, but is has been delayed until early next year when workers return from their summer vacations.
Holden, on its behalf, brushed off the reports and said it is still in discussions with the Government to receive an assistance package that would allow it to continue building cars in the country. Nevertheless, an unnamed source told ABC that GM has already made up its mind to leave Australia regardless of any assistance package.
It’s not made clear in the report whether General Motors would shut down Holden’s manufacturing and possibly other departments such R&D (research and development), while keeping the name for imported cars, or if would pull the plug on the brand altogether – though, admittedly, the latter wouldn’t make much sense.
According to recent studies, if Holden were to stop producing in the country, it would cost the South Australian economy $ 1.24 billion and 13,200 jobs alone, while its departure would surely affect the remaining companies in the (general)industry, which would likely follow suit shortly after leaving Australia without a car manufacturing business.
In an effort to bolster its customer care ratings, Mercedes-Benz has launched a new program called MB Select, to make sure every buyer of the all-new S-Class luxury sedan also gets a pleasurable experience out of purchasing the vehicle.
Thus, since the car’s US launch, up to $ 2,500 per buyer has been offered, which as per the manufacturer’s request will be spent “no questions asked.” Since its launch, it has also been extended to the CLA sedan too, but it only gets $ 1,000-worth of attention per buyer.
The money doesn’t only cover coffee and peanuts while you’re waiting for it to be serviced, and in fact can cover some of the servicing costs, if a (technical) problem needs immediate attention. Dealers don’t even have to ask for permission from up top and are given free rein to do what they deem necessary to keep their buyers smiling within the budget.
For instance, Automotive Newsbrings up the example of an S-Class owner from the state of Virginia who came in with a check engine light problem that was fixed with a software update, an apology and dinner out. He apparently came into the showroom the next day and purchased an SL… Another one got a pair of $ 150 Ray-Ban sunglasses because his own shades did not fit in the specially designed compartment (sic…).
According to Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, the idea started out of the wish to be able to get problems fixed quickly, even if they are sometimes not covered by the warranty. It’s expected to cost the manufacturer many millions to keep it running, but while all customers are eligible for it theoretically, not all will really get a chance to experience it too.
It looks like McLaren likes to keep us in suspense, as the sports car manufacturer has just released a spectacular video with the P1 in full attack at the ‘Ring, but didn’t provide the numbers we’ve all been waiting for. All McLaren says is the P1 lapped the track in under 7 minutes.
We don’t know how many seconds below 7 minutes the P1 was, but we’ll probably find out soon. The only numbers revealed by McLaren to TopGear are that the P1 clocked an average speed in excess of 111 mph (179 km/h) around the Nordschleife and that it hit a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h) on the Dottinger Hohe straight. The British firm also says the run was set on the P1’s standard-fit road tyres.
One thing is for sure: the sight of the McLaren P1 let loose on the Nürburgring is like watching a wild animal devour its prey…
As we’ve tried to explain before, it’s basically an updated version of the previous automotive fetish dispenser, GT5, with a total of 37 new tracks and 120 new cars to choose from, as well as graphical improvements on all of the content that has been carried over; or at least that’s what they say, and we won’t make any kind of assessment until the reviews are out and we get our hands on a controller.
Furthermore, the Japanese brand revealed the new Red Bull X2014, an update of the X1 (now X2010) car found in GT5, the one that is a theoretical showcase of what a vehicle that used all of the latest go-faster technologies without the annoyance of racing regulations and restrictions to weigh it down.
If you don’t know it, let me put it this way: you’d need a fighter pilot’s G-suit to drive one and not black out.No performance specs have been provided for it, though it most certainly will be at least as mental as the previous iteration.
Check out the videos and photos below, some of which are from the Spanish launch event.
McLaren Special Operations, the division responsible for the company’s bespoke projects, has unveiled a new concept car based on the McLaren 12C coupe that showcases customizing ideas for those wishing to make their McLaren more distinctive.
Unlike the radical X-1 one-off project, the MSO 12C Concept is still recognizable as a McLaren 12C. The coupe sports a series of bespoke features including a revised bonnet, front wing louvres, rear wing vents, a unique Airbrake and a new roof featuring an integrated snorkel channelling air to the engine. All these bespoke elements are crafted in lightweight carbon fibre.
The bespoke 12C features lightweight wheels that have been diamond cut in a new design. McLaren Special Operations also added titanium parts including wheel bolts, oil and water filler caps, which further contribute to reducing the weight of the car.
On the inside, the 12C gains more carbon fiber upgrades including body color switch packs and bezels, as well as a new instrument cluster with integrated shift lights.
McLaren Special Operations asked on its Facebook page which of the upgrades seen on the 12C Concept should be produced. I’d say all build them all, MSO.
The latter includes close to 135 HD live images of both versions from the presentations, as well as a video from the Australian debut of the soft-top model and some extra pictures of the coupe in a silver shade, which we hadn’t seen before.
Ford said that the convertible will be available together with the coupe late next year sporting a traditional, electrically operated cloth top, which needs approximately half the time of the current model to open or close at the touch of a button.
A few other things of interest that we learned in the meantime include the 2015 Mustang’s dimensions. While it retains the same 107.1 inch (2,720mm) wheelbase with the outgoing 2014 Mustang, at 188.3 inches (4.782mm) long, 75.4 inches (1,893mm) wide and 54.9 inches (1,394mm) tall, the 2015MY is 0.2 inches (5mm) shorter, 1.5 inches (38mm) wider and 0.9 inches (22.8mm) lower respectively.
One of the world premieres at the Essen Motor Show was the Brabus 850 Biturbo based on the Mercedes E 63 AMG T-Modell. With 838hp (850PS) and 1,450 Nm (1,069 lb-ft), Brabus says it is the world’s most powerful street-legal all-wheel-drive wagon – a title it shares with the Brabus version of the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, which has the same powerplant.
As you can imagine, the performance is mind-blowing for a wagon of this size. The 4WD version sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), which is limited electronically to protect the tires. Average fuel economy is officially rated at 10.3 l/100 km (22.8 mpg US).
To get this amount of power, Brabus engineers increased the displacement of the standard engine from 5,461 cc to 5,912 cc or 5.9L (333 to 361 cubic in.) and replaced the production turbos with Brabus turbos featuring a larger compressor unit and special exhaust manifolds.
The result is Brabus’ most powerful engine to date: 838 hp (850PS) at 5,400 rpm and 1,450 Nm (1,069 lb-ft) of torque between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. However, peak torque is electronically limited to 1,150 Nm (848 lb-ft) to ease the stress on the gearbox.
Brabus offers the performance package for both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive E 63 AMG, as well as for the sedan and wagon. Besides the increase in performance, the Brabus 850 Biturbo brings an aerodynamic kit, tailor-made Brabus Monoblock wheels with diameters of 19 or 20 inches and a fine leather interior custom made to the buyer’s preferences.
The people at Alcraft, a new UK-based bespoke design and engineering business, may disagree, but the first thing we thought upon seeing these renderings of its coach-built style Range Rover concept, is how much some of the changes, including the wheels and the headlamps, remind us of modern day Rolls Royce models.
The styling of the concept was prepared with input from students at London’s Royal College of Art, thanks to an Alcraft-sponsored project studying British design
“It is very unusual for the Vehicle Design programme to engage with a company outside the ranks of the car makers, but personalisation is an important trend which the students now have to consider,” said RCA senior tutor Matteo Conti.
Newly founded Alcraft said that the Range Rover study is just one of a number of design directions it is currently exploring for production.
“We’re extremely pleased with how the Range Rover study has turned out,” said Alcraft design consultant Matthew Humphries, who previously worked as chief designer at Morgan Cars and is now also on the RCA teaching staff. “We’ve made it more elegant by simplifying the lines and have given it the timelessness associated with the best British design. We’ve also differentiated it more from the other Range Rover models and I think we’ve achieved a more limousine-like presence while ensuring a degree of classic British understatement.”
The company said it is currently taking in customer enquiries for a range of styling packages for the Range Rover flagship as well as the Sport and Evoque models, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
Like it or not, the 2015 Mustang will be the talk of the week, and given the history of the series, the significant changes it brings both cosmetically and mechanically, and perhaps more importantly, Ford’s global sales aspirations, it’s something to be expected.
While we’ve seen a whole lot of images of the production ready 2015 Mustang, auto spyChris Doanehas shared a photo table with the three final design prototypes that ultimately led to the car that will begin its sales activities towards the end of next year.
The three cars share a common base styling theme but differ in details on both ends as well as their profiles.
Do take a closer look and tell us if you see anything you like or hate about them.
Bloody hell. If all my co-presenters talk of trees/flowers/peace/hairy-stuff is leaving you reaching for the Rennies, don’t forget on the Podcast you also get my selection which includes The Fall, Pendle Coven, Sparks, Kraftwerk, Luke Vibert and a bit of this: