Magna Steyr tapped to build more KTM X-Bows than expected

We just got word that KTM has decided to switch builders for its grown-up go-kart, the X-Bow. This 1,500-pound, 300-hp track day special is set to launch next February with an initial, special-edition run of 100 units. It was originally anticipated that 100 would be the total number of units sold per year, so Dallara had been tabbed to produce them. Continue reading Magna Steyr tapped to build more KTM X-Bows than expected

First Subaru Camry rolls off the line in Indiana

No, we’re not confused – Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Toyota cooked up a deal in 2006 that creates more production capacity for the Camry by having Subaru of Indiana Automotive begin building the country’s best selling car. The deal was one of the first fruits born from Toyota’s decision to snatch up the 8.7% stake in Subaru that GM dropped back in 2005. Continue reading First Subaru Camry rolls off the line in Indiana

CAW rejects, Kerkorian cozies up to UAW workers’ bid for Chrysler

We just reported that a group of Chrysler employees in Toledo are crafting a proposal that would have the automaker’s 50,000 UAW workers buy a controlling stake in the automaker. The proposed worker buyout offer is already stirring up a reaction among the major players involved in the potential sale of the Chrysler Group. Continue reading CAW rejects, Kerkorian cozies up to UAW workers’ bid for Chrysler

Mercedes-Benz injects more Sport into CLK

Want the more aggressive looks of an AMG without the extra power and huge jump in price? That’s what the Sport Editions have traditionally been all about. Popping up on models that need a little something extra to create a bit of a stir in sales, they typically feature bodywork changes as well as upgraded wheel/tire/brake packs. The CLK is the latest model in the Mercedes-Benz range to get its own Sport Edition. Continue reading Mercedes-Benz injects more Sport into CLK

Renault planning five new upscale models by 2010

Renault is planning to expand into the upscale market with five new models within the next three years, sources have confirmed. Previous ventures upmarket didn’t turn out so well for the French automaker, but it’s determined to make another go of it with the hopes of cashing in on the market for pricier vehicles.

The first new model slated for production is a compact crossover previewed by the Kaleos concept (above) unveiled last year in Paris. It’s been developed with input from Samsung Motors, Renault’s South Korean subsidiary. Samsung is also expected to contribute to the development of a large sedan and a large SUV for Renault as well. Further premium models could be niche vehicles made in limited quantities, and Renault would be smart to start cashing in on its Formula One success with something other than a special-edition Clio or Megane before their racing prowess evaporates.

Management admits that previous upscale models from Renault have been less than successful, humorously referring to the dismal Vel Satis as “the automotive equivalent of wearing a suit without removing the hanger.” For a time, Renault had considered acquiring a premium brand for itself, but such ventures didn’t pan out, and apparently Infiniti, which came along with the Nissan acquisition, wasn’t enough to satiate Ghosn’s appetite for the upscale.

[Source: Just-Auto]

Flameout! Audi Roadjet ist kapputt.

Details are few, but Audi has decided to pass on building its Malibu Maxx Roadjet concept. All of the flowery prose about how the Roadjet is “a vehicle that blends the latest evolutionary stage of Audi’s formal idiom with an entirely new space concept” with an “unprecedented synthesis of performance, liveliness, and efficiency” are now considered overstatements by Ingolstadt. Continue reading Flameout! Audi Roadjet ist kapputt.

Mayor Mike readies $8 congestion fee for NYC drivers

New York’s mayor, Mike Bloomberg, is ready to steal a page from his London counterpart’s handbook and announce plans to hit drivers who bring their cars into Manhattan below 86th street with an $8 congestion charge in a bid to ease gridlock in the city’s crowded midtown business district. The fee would include the existing bridge and tunnel tolls drivers currently have to pay. Some people are understandably upset, and opposition groups are said to be forming in the outer boroughs. Continue reading Mayor Mike readies $8 congestion fee for NYC drivers