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industry news

  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

Things at Jaguar Land Rover have just gotten more interesting. The British car company has just announced its own skunk works department, called Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The new division is charged with making high performance and ultra luxury editions of standard production Jaguar and Land Rover products on a bespoke, individual level.

Much like BMW Individual, Special Operations will build vehicles to specifications outside the normal assembly line ordering guide. Customers can order their choice of colors, interior amenities, trim packages, and add-on accessories. The shop will also handle the company’s limited-edition collectables that run with small production numbers.

Even more, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will work on vehicle restorations and servicing with parts gathered through salvage or recreation of specialized historic parts. The Heritage Team already has their first major project lined up. You may recall the six lightweight E-Types we reported Jaguar is building from parts left over from the 1960s.

The operation will be led by John Edwards and overseen by Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive. Paul Newsome, formerly of Williams Advanced Engineering, is heading up the team of designers and engineers under Edwards. In the media statement after the jump, Speth says the new Special Operations division was created in an effort to “reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover in building exciting and desirable products.”

The Special Operations division will be located in the company’s new Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, just outside the corporate headquarters and will employ some 150 team members.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations Division.

The Renault -Caterham joint venture has officially been dissolved. It was a nice plan at first, but like a lot of nice plans, this one sputtered and died before anything great could come from it. The two sides decided on an amicable split two years after joining forces on what was initially planned as the rebirth of the Alpine brand. The companies were so dedicated at one point, they went so far as to co-found Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham with the intention of launching a pair of similarly styled sports cars by 2016.

But somewhere along the way, the relationship between the two companies disintegrated. It even came to a point where disagreements on the development of the sports cars caused significant delays. So instead of soldiering on and squashing the tensions between the two sides, both companies chose to drop the project entirely and go their separate ways.

Renault has since acquired full ownership of Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham and dropped "Caterham" from the official company name. Both companies are moving forward in building new sports cars but will do so independently.

A lot of people, including us, are understandably disappointed that the Renault-Caterham marriage didn’t work. It really had so much promise at the beginning. The thought of a shared sports car that incorporated the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept had a lot of people in the industry at attention, wondering what these companies could create together.

Surprisingly, there are no hard feelings, as the two brands still plan to work together through "other forms of cooperation," but it doesn’t sound as exciting as building a sports car together.

Oh, well. So much for that.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault-Caterham’s joint venture.

Alfa Romeo’s arrival in North America has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the Italian automaker announced the first 86 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. The announcement is the latest piece of evidence that the company’s long-awaited return to North America will finally go on as scheduled.

All in all, 33 states in the U.S. will receive an Alfa Romeo dealership. Of those 33, California received the most number of dealerships at 12 with Texas a close second with 10 and Florida with nine. Other major auto markets also received a handful of dealerships, including Michigan (5), Ohio (4), Virginia (4), and Illinois (3). On the flip side, New York received only one dealership, which is a little surprising to say the least.

As for Canada, the entire country was given four dealerships, including two in Quebec and one for both Ontario and Vancouver.

Alfa Romeo is expected to announce more franchises later this year. But for now, these 86 dealers will get first dibs on selling new Alfa Romeo models in their market, including the 4C and the limited edition 4C Launch Edition .

Get ready, North America, Alfa Romeo is set to return!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C.

The Electronics Entertainment Expo — also known as E3 — is currently going on, and that means lots of great news for lovers of video games. We just brought you news that the Nurburgring is now available for the Xbox One game Forza Motorsports 5 , and now we have even more Forza news. The freshly announced Forza Horizon 2 has a cool new announcement trailer, and we have a release date.

On September 30, 2014, Forza Horizon 2 will be racing onto the Xbox One .

Along with a release date, this new trailer gives us a few more details about the upcoming game. We get a look at some of the environments, including what appears to be an Italian coastline. We also get a look at some of the cars — according to the video there are more than 200 cars in total.

We see a C7 Corvette , an Audi R8 V10 and a Pagani Zonda . A close eye will also spot an SRT Viper, a Camaro — looks like a ZL1 — and there is a McLaren P1 and Aston Martin Vanquish. The video then shows off a little bit as it parades cars like the Koenigsegg Agera R, Mercedes SLS and Pagani Huayra through some old city streets. There is also a quick snap of a C63 AMG and what appears to be a Alfa Romeo 8C .

If you prefer a more Japanese lean to your car selection, there are multiple generations of GT-Rs, the Toyobaru coupes and I spy the Nissan 370Z . The rally-bred monsters of the Subaru WRX STI and the Lancer Evo X also make cameos.

The video also shows off the pre-order bonuses that include special versions of the A45 AMG, Dodge Challenger and the Ford Fiesta ST.

So we have more cars, more tracks and even better locations. If you weren’t excited about Forza Horizon 2, that should have just changed.

If you’re one of those lucky people enjoying a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on a daily basis, then you’d better pick up the phone and call the GM recall hotline. The company has found an issue with the supercharger sitting atop the muscle car ’s 6.2-liter, V-8 engine and needs to check all models sold for the 2012 and 2013 model years.

The manufacturer says the defective superchargers may not perform as intended and, if left unrepaired, a contamination of the internal bearing shaft grease could cause the bearing to rattle when the engine is idling. In more extreme cases, the issue is known to cause bearing failure and severe damage to the point where the engine will no longer start.

The good news is that GM is replacing all affected superchargers at no charge to customers, a campaign that will cost the company $2,095 and additional labor hours per car. What’s more, General Motors is extending the warranty coverage on the 2012 and 2013 Camaro ZL1s to 10 years or 120,000 miles.

In addition to the aforementioned Chevys , GM is also recalling all 2009-2013 Cadillac CTS-V models, which are equipped with the same engine and blower as the ZL1. The affected Caddys benefit from the same no-cost supercharger fix and extended warranty.

So far, there is no official recall from the NHTSA, so it appears as if this is GM showing that it is on the ball following that ignition switch mess.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Heroes come in many shapes and forms, and for this 79-year old Irishman, he learned first hand that his 11-year old grandson is one of them. Charley Cullen may not be old enough to drive, but when his grandfather Finn blacked out behind the wheel of his car, Charley had no choice but to take the wheel. Fortunately, he already knew what he had to do, a skill he learned playing Grand Theft Auto .

Young Charley and his grandfather were on their way home when Finn, 79, lost consciousness while he was driving his car, pushing the pedal to speeds in excess of 117 km/h (72 mph). That’s when young Charley sprung into action, taking control of the steering wheel of the car, and pulling it back out on the the road.

“We met a few cars going by," Charley told the Irish Mirror. "I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other trying to wake papa.”

Incredibly, the youngster not only got his grandpa’s car out of a ditch, but he also managed to navigate his way around a busy main road before hitting a sidewall and crashing into a gate close to their house. From there, Charley pulled his grandfather out and carried him the remaining 50 yards to his home.

Charley suffered a fractured skull from his bout of heroism, but the important thing was he managed to not only save his own life, but also that of his grandfather.

For his incredible episode of bravery, the young soccer fan was rewarded by the Football Association of Ireland with free tickets to an Ireland-England friendly next year.

It’s an incredible story that serves as a reminder to all of us that no matter the ills of this world, there are still people who can be called upon in times of distress. Charley Cullen proved that by saving his grandfather’s life and in so doing, reminded all of us that kids can be our heroes too, even if their means of heroism involves what they learned from video games .

Click past the jump to read more about Grand Theft Auto.

Source: irishmirror
Posted on by Simona  

Ultra-luxury brands beware, another one of your comrades is falling down the shame spiral and building a - gasp - SUV! Sure that’s a little dramatic, but so are all of the people that are scoffing at the fact that Bentley has now confirmed a new SUV scheduled to hit their lineup sometime in 2015. If everyone remembers correctly, these are the same people that were horrified that Porsche decided to build the Cayenne and look how well that turned out for them.

Now, with a 37-percent increase in sales in 2011 (to 7,003 vehicles sold), Bentley is looking to double this number by the time this new SUV, rumored to have the name "Falcon Falcon " — comes out by making it "the world’s most luxurious 4x4" SUV and targeting growing SUV markets like the U.S. and China. The "luxurious" title will also match the price; rumors point to the starting price for this future SUV coming in at $271,000, making the $48,200 starting price of the Porsche Cayenne look like it belongs on a Kia Sportage .

So, what constitutes the jumbo price tag? Other than the supposedly tremendous amount of luxury built into the future SUV, rumors are swirling that a V-8 twin-turbocharged engine would be the standard powerplant and a W-12 engine is a possible option.

Bentley is taking a big step with its improving sales by giving an SUV a chance to flourish. Does the world need a strong competitor for the Porsche Cayenne? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that high-end customers with deep pockets won’t be writing out checks for a chance to wallow in the luxurious nature promised by Bentley.

Updated 05/27/2014: Bentley launched a new website for its upcoming SUV. The automaker will update the site continuously with details on the future model. Described as the "world’s most powerful and luxurious SUV," the new Bentley will put its new SUV on sale in 2016, with a plug-in hybrid option set to follow in 2017.

Updated 06/30/2014: In a recent interview with the British magazine AutoCar Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer confirmed that the company’s future SUV will be the most expensive SUV currently available on the market. It will be priced at about £130,000 - or $220,000 at the current exchange rates. This is a lot indeed, but its less than initially expected: £200,000 - or $340,000 at the current exchange rates.

The M8 is a funky little computer that BMW Designworks styled, and ASRock manufactures and sells. It’s unique for many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a barebones kit. This means you only get half the parts, and it is a build-it-yourself style affair. It also features a cool AMOLED screen/control on the front that has been dubbed A-Command.

Before you get too excited, note that this is BMW Designworks, not BMW itself. Much like Porsche Design , BMW Designworks is a separate division that designs products with a certain aesthetic for third-party groups around the world.

Despite that, it still has a super-cool design, and being able to tell your friends you have a BMW computer is pretty awesome, even if it’s not really a BMW. Best of all, it makes a great addition to any car-guy office or study. For bonus points, you can also pick up a BMW Designworks-designed mouse or headset from a company called Thermaltake. If you had a keyboard and monitor from BMW, you could have a whole BMW Design works computer.

AS Rock was kind enough to loan us a test unit of the M8 for a few weeks to test out. Here is what we learned before we sent it back.

You may be aware that I love my racing games , and that I am super excited about Grid Autosport , but why should you care about this game? Well apart from the fact that it looks amazing , and that it should be a blast to play, the team at Codemasters has been working as hard as humanly possible to make the new Grid game feel amazing.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at this new trailer. It covers the Touring Car racing side of the new Grid Autosport game. With a huge collection of interviews with current professional drivers and a smorgasbord on wheel-to-wheel action in-game, the video is freaking amazing to watch.

It may not be the most technically accurate game with a million physics calculations like what Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsports wants to provide, but I have never seen a game capture the pure essence of speed and aggression that comes with driving on track like Grid Autosport seems to. Now I am not going to say it should be top on your buying list until I get the chance to play it, but it sure looks like one of the most promising candidates.

The game is coming out in just a few weeks, so keep your eyes glued here at TopSpeed.com for my full review when it goes live. Also, make sure to listen to the TopSpeed podcast , as I am likely discuss the game at length there as well.

Sir Jack Brabham, a three time F1 World Champion and the only man to have won the Formula One drivers’ title in a car he designed and built, died Monday morning, aged 88.

An iconic figure of the classic era of motorsport, the Australian started racing after watching a midget car race in the late 1940s. He joined Formula One in 1955, after moving to Europe and tying a friendship with John Cooper, a relationship that would last until 1961.

It was under Cooper’s flag that Brabham started to make a name for himself as both a passionate driver and a skilled engineer, commonly adopting his own tactics while behind the steering wheel. Just like Juan Manual Fangio , Brabham started to race Formula One single-seaters in his 30s, proving that talent and prowess don’t fade away with age.

Brabham had sporadic appearances in his first three season in Formula One, starting in only seven races and finishing just three, without scoring a podium. That changed dramatically in 1958, when the Australian raced a full season, although he failed to score more than three points.

Success finally came in 1959. Cooper introduced the rear-engine, T51 car and Brabham drove it to two wins and three podiums to win his first World Championship. In the process, "Black Jack" defeated famed figures such as Stirling Moss , Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren. He reached new heights the next season, when he won the series with a comfortable lead after taking five consecutive checkered flags. McLaren, Moss and Hill had to settle with yet another defeat.

Click past the jump to read more about Sir Jack Brabham.

Source: BBC

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