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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jun 22 2010, 5:14 PM

The Ford Focus RS can be accurately described as belligerent, with its crackling exhaust, electric green paint and bulldog-esque stance. But there will inevitably be a segment that isn’t satisfied with its outrageous appearance.

For 5 lucky members of that demographic, Ford has whipped up a few Focus RS hatchbacks painted in historic liveries used by the Ford GT40 and Ford Capri RS 2600 race cars. In case you’re wondering, yes, the Gulf Oil paint scheme will be

Inside, custom Alcantara suede that matches the exterior paintwork, leather shift and handbrake boots and a numbered plaque help augment the car’s exterior changes.

The only downside is that Ford is only making five cars, and all will be available in France. If you’re well heeled and an EU Citizen, you know what to do.

[Source: TopSpeed]

Report: Smart fortwo Electric Car Announced for 2012

Pre-production models to begin testing in the U.S. and Europe next year

 |  Oct 14 2009, 12:34 PM
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Daimler AG has announced that the second generation Smart fortwo electric drive will go into series production starting in 2012. The announcement was made during the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the facility where the electric Smart cars will be built in Hambach, France.

A small number of vehicles will begin production in November of this year as Daimler continues to test the product durability and battery capability. Using a more compact lithium-ion battery pack sourced from U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc., the second generation of the Smart fortwo electric drive doesn’t compromise space and has adequate room for two adults. Power is rated at 30 kW (40-hp) and 120 Nm (89 ft-lbs) of torque, with a range of 135 km (84 miles). The initial vehicles will begin testing this year in cities across Europe and the U.S.
Smart claims the cars can hit 60 km/h in 6.5 seconds (the same as the gasoline models) and are speed-limited to 100 km/h (60 mph).

GALLERY: Smart fortwo Electric Drive

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 01 2009, 9:39 AM

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Shown for the first time a month ago at a private event in Molsheim, France, the Bugatti Galibier 16C sedan has now reportedly been given the green light to head into production.

The reported cost of the quad-turbo 16-cylinder sedan is £900,000 or roughly $1.5 million, with a possible production date of 2013. At that time the Veyron should have ceased its production run and the Galibier, will continue as the only model in the Bugatti lineup.

Named after a pass in the Alps, the Galibier is said to use a detuned version of the Veyron’s engine making more like 800hp, with an estimated top speed of around 220 mph. Rumors have also suggested the car will get an eight-speed automatic transmission, rather than the more performance-oriented dual-clutch setup found on the Veyron.

The body is made of both aluminum and carbon fiber with the car’s most unique trait being a Parmigiani Reverso Tourbillon timepiece which can be remove and warn as a watch by the owner.

GALLERY: Bugatti Galibier 16C

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[Source: AutoExpress]

 |  Aug 28 2009, 10:05 AM

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When MINI officially debuts its Coupé Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month, that model will be joined on stage by a Roadster Concept as well.

According to Inside Line, both models will see production for the 2011 model year. MINI also plans to offer both models in all of its international markets.

The picture above was snapped by the folks at Edmunds at the official 50th anniversary party for the MINI in Nice, France, where Alex Issigonis designed the original model on a cocktail napkin.

In addition, BMW is reportedly in talks with Toyota over using the next generation of the iQ platform as the basis for an even mini-er MINI line, including both a coupe and roadster. A super-small BMW Isetta-sized car is also reportedly in the works.

As for the MINI Countryman, its debut has reportedly been delayed and will not take place at the Frankfurt Auto Show as first reported. Expect a Geneva Auto Show debut instead.

[Source: Edmunds]

 |  Aug 24 2009, 12:31 PM

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National Geographic’s Traveler magazine has put together a list of the 50 best road trips. Included in the list are perennial favorites like California’s Pacific Coast Highway; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; the Florida keys and the Arkansas Ozarks.

International drives include Provence, France; the Pirate Route in Jamaica; New Zealand’s North Island and the Flower Route in the Netherlands.

Canada also rates highly with five of the top 50 drives. Recommended are Banf and Jasper National Parks in Alberta; pretty much all of the province of British Columbia; the Manitoba prairies; the Montreal, Quebec area and (one of our favorites) the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

And while we don’t want to call into question the talents of fine folks at National Geographic, Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park should surely be included a well.

[Source: National Geographic]

 |  Jul 30 2009, 11:03 PM

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If all goes as planned the Penske-owned Saturn brand could be selling rebadged vehicles from French automaker Renault in the U.S. Thought to be a wild rumor at first, Renault has now confirmed that Penske has in fact approached the automaker to supply both parts and cars.

Currently Penske Automotive Group has a tentative deal with General Motors to buy its Saturn brand. Penske is expected to take full control of the company by September. The deal would see GM continue to supply vehicles for two years and does not include any manufacturing abilities, meaning that Penske must forge an alliance with another automaker to obtain vehicles.

Renault spokeswoman Frederique LeGreves would not comment further on the proposed deal but did say that it would not involve any part of Renault’s Nissan division.

Penske Automotive spokesman Tony Pordon wouldn’t comment specifically either but did say that his company is in talks with several different manufacturers.

In Europe Renault sells a full line of vehicles including the popular compact Clio as well as high performance models like the Megane RS (pictured above).

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jun 01 2009, 1:33 PM

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On June 8 auto journalist Gerhard Plattner and co-driver Franz Doppler will attempt to set a world record, driving from Africa, through Europe to Asia in just 72 hours. The duo will depart from Rabat, Morocco in an Audi A3 TDI e, traveling 3,044 miles (4,900 km) through 13 countries before the adventure ends on the Asian side of Istanbul.

The small 105hp Audi will undergo a genuine torture test while en route, testing its safety, efficiency and comfort. “The A3 has ideal characteristics for all three continents. Nevertheless, any attempt to break a record also requires a lot of good luck, especially regarding the weather and traffic,” said Plattner at a press conference during the  Audi Forum Ingolstadt.

The route will take both Plattner and Doppler by ferry to Spain, where they will drive along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, France and Italy before crossing the Alps into Germany. There they will proceed on to the Balkans and then over the Bosporus to arrive on the Eastern side of Istanbul.

Plattner already holds several records, including the fastest drive around the world (in an Audi S2).

In total he has driven more than 4.3 million miles.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…