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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 17 2011, 7:33 AM

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If we asked you what the fastest Nurburgring time for a front-wheel drive car was you’d probably guess the Ford Focus RS. Nope, not even close. In fact it belongs to French automaker Renault, and has for some time.

Back in 2008 the automaker ran an 8:16 with a rather stripped-down R26.R version of the Megane. Now those baguette-lovers have bested their own time, obliterating the old record with an 8:07.97 lap. The car is the new RenaultSport Megane 265 Trophy and the lap time was set by Renault test driver Laurent Hurgon on just his second trip round the ‘Ring.

This puts the newest Megane ahead of some very impressive hardware including Evos and BMW M cars.

Hit the jump for a list of cars the new RenaultSport Megane 265 Trophy is faster than. It will shock you:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 31 2011, 8:17 AM

Nissan and Renault are planning to officially combine into one automaker, solidifying a partnership between the Japanese and French companies that has existed since 1999. Or at least, they were planning to do so according to a report by Japan’s Nikkei, that quoted company CEO Carlos Ghosn. Today, however, both automakers are refuting that claim.

A statement released jointly by the two automakers claims that the Nikkei article was, “a misinterpretation of a wide-ranging interview in which Mr. Ghosn said that the corporate structure of the Renault-Nissan Alliance would remain dynamic,” and that “There are no plans to create a holding company, and in fact Mr. Ghosn did not say that Renault and Nissan are ‘leaning toward establishing a holding company.”

If a tie-up were to occur, it would bring together two of the world’s larger automakers for a combined annual output of around 7 million vehicles. That would put it in direct competition with Volkswagen, which currently holds the title of being the world’s 3rd largest automaker with 7.14 million units sold last year. First and second place, held by Toyota and GM, are still comfortably out front with 8.42 million and 8.39 million units respectively.

[Source: Reuters]

 |  Mar 21 2011, 6:22 PM

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You could be the proud regretful owner of a Bugatti Veryron, for what is certain to be a fraction of the cost of a new model. No, we’re not talking about a Fiero kit car, but a real Veyron. There’s just one issue, it’s got a salvage title given by the insurance company when the owner famously confused it with a submarine.

Likely you recall the story (and video) of the Veyron that wound up in a Texas lake in 2009. You might also recall that this wasn’t even fresh water, but that ultra-corrosive salt water. Worse still, the owner kept the car running – although its not clear if the engine was ruined.

The car is technically a write-off however, meaning that the insurer saw the price of repairing it as more than the car is worth. And when you consider it retails for roughly $1.5 million when it was new – that’s one seriously expensive accident.

From the outside it doesn’t look half bad, apart from a missing headlight and the Bugatti badge that’s falling off. Treat those as an omen, however, as inside the wiring looks to be a mess and some shots show the salt water has already begun its rusty journey to return the Veyron to its more basic elements.

Not scared away? Then hit the link below to bid. Offers are being accepted until Wednesday at 9 a.m.

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Salvage Title

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[Source: bidisausa.com via Jalopnik]

And hit the jump for that famous video:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 21 2011, 12:33 PM

Everything that is old is new again. That is the mantra of pretty much every single major car company. Volkswagen has the Beetle (a newer version of which will be launched later this year), Mini has had the reborn Cooper for awhile now, and Fiat recently introduced the new 500 in the North American market. All these models mimic their predecessors in terms of styling.

If rumors are to be believed, Renault now also wants to jump into the premium hatchback market by bringing a new version of the Le Car. Called the Renault 5 or R5 in other markets, the car was a huge success in Europe, Asia and Africa, while it hardly made an impression in the North American market, despite having a successful racing career around the globe.

If Renault does decide to put a new Le Car into production, it can easily be based on their Clio platform to save money and speed up the process of development. Will this model ever make it to North America? While there are no plans for Renault to make a comeback, the Le Car could be sold through select Nissan dealers, just like Fiat is doing with some Chrysler dealers regarding the 500.

[Source: InsideLine]

 |  Mar 18 2011, 1:14 PM

It has been a long time since Renaultsport had a car entirely of its own creation. The last one, as some might remember, was the mid-engined roadster called the Spider (see picture).

Now it seems that Renault wants to create Renaultsport into its own brand and are looking to once again produce a roadster, and word is that it’ll be based on the beautiful DeZir concept.

According to Renault’s product manager Beatrice Foucher “Renaultsport is key to Renault’s strategy. It already has excellent loyalty and is perceived by some owners as a brand in its own right, and we can develop that further. We will continue working on derivative versions of the Mégane, for example, because that’s a terrific car and excellent for us. But we also need specific models only for Renaultsport. We have started working on that; we’re thinking of small volumes, where there are good business models.”

Foucher mentioned that Renaultsport could have upto three models of its own. However, the first model will be a mid-engined convertible, but unlike the DeZir concept, will most likely not be an electric vehicle.

Actual technical details are just speculation at the moment, but we will keep you posted as more details emerge.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Mar 14 2011, 8:25 AM

When several Renault execs were accused of selling the French automaker’s electric car secrets to the Chinese, it made headlines around the world. Last week came reports that the story might have been a hoax – and that now appears to be the case with a Renault security agent having been arrested.

The individual, who’s name has not been released, it charged with “organized fraud” for having invented the industrial espionage story. The arrest was made when the security agent attempted to board a flight to Africa at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Doubts arose recently when no evidence, including allegations of payoffs, could be determined.

The three Renault execs were never formally charged, but were placed on probation while under investigation.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Mar 07 2011, 8:01 PM

Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sold his 1977 Peugeot 504 at a chairty auction for $2.5 million, according to MSNBC. Ahamdinejad will use the proceeds to fund a low-income housing project meant for families.

“President Ahmadinejad’s Peugeot 504 was sold for 2.5 billion tomans ($2.5 million) to an Iranian who took part in the auction,” ISNA news agency said. According to local media, many of the bids came from America, but the winning bidder, an Iranian, will reportedly house the car in a specially built museum.

Ahmadinejad has rarely used to car since becoming leader of Iran in 2005. The Peugeot 504 would normally sell for about $2,000 on the open market in Iran.

[Source: MSNBC]

 |  Mar 02 2011, 2:51 PM

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Whether you love or hate the way the Nissan Juke looks, it’s hard to argue that it’s anything but a blast to drive. Renault seems to be taking a few things from corporate partner Nissan, and emulating the Juke with their Captur, a concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show.

Powered by a 158-hp 1.6-liter dCi diesel engine, the Captur also uses a dual-clutch gearbox rather than a CVT like the Juke, with a very uncanny torque-vectoring AWD system like its Nissan counterpart. No details were given as to the likelihood of production, but we’d be surprised if the Captur ended up not making it to the streets.

GALLERY: Renault Captur

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 |  Feb 10 2011, 10:42 AM

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Previewing a possible sister-car to the Nissan Juke, Renault has announced the new Captur Concept ahead of its official debut at the Geneva Auto Show. The two seater is a look at fun crossover mobility and is the second of six concepts that will set the tone for the French automaker’s future design language.

Powered by a 158-hp 1.6-liter dCi diesel engine, the Capture also gets a dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is an exciting development, considering the Renault-Nissan partnership and could result in Nissan models (like the Juke) getting this unit in favor of the CVT.

As proof that the two automakers are in fact sharing technology across brands, the Captur also showcases what Renault is calling RX2, a high-tech AWD system that can spit power left to right at the rear axle. The Juke just so happens to have this very system.

GALLERY: Renault Captur Concept

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Geneva Auto Show coverage starts March 1st. Until then, get more news on the show with AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show Preview here.

 |  Jan 08 2011, 6:10 PM

French automaker Renault, recently said that its strategic assets have been put at risk, due to suspected industrial espionage, particularly with reference to the firm’s electric vehicle technology.

Renault has been working on a new long range strategy, much of which includes a focus on electric vehicle technology and cooperation with partner Nissan – at present, total investment between the two companies is believed to amount to 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion U.S.), with Renault alone, planning to build more than 200,000 electric vehicles a year by 2016.

However, the plan is now believed to be at risk, due to an internal investigation that reportedly found three Renault executives to have leaked confidential documents to outside sources. French Industry minister Eric Besson, spoke to the press on Thursday January 6, stating “I have asked the economy ministry administration … to strengthen the requirements for protection of companies that ask for state aid and financial contributions for innovation.”

Besson also said, during an interview on French radio station RTL that the Renault espionage incident illustrates once again the risks our companies face in terms of industrial espionage and economic intelligence.

The official line from Renault, is that the three employees accused of leaking the information are still regarded only as suspects, with no formal charges yet announced against them. Although currently under suspension, they face disciplinary action and likely dismissal if found guilty of industrial espionage.

One source told Reuters that carelessness on the part of Renault’s security protocol rather than the employee’s intention to leak the information could also be a factor, especially with proliferation of social media delivery platforms – an executive within the intelligence gathering community, cited a hypothetical  example of an enthusiastic employee saying too much about their work to their friends via online forums or other similar outlets as something that could easily happen. The investigation continues.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jan 03 2011, 11:09 AM

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The Bugatti Galibier was first introduced in September of 2009 and while it has already reportedly been given the green-light several times, Germany’s Der Spiegel has just announced an additional confirmation. In an interview with company execs, Der Spiegel reports that a new model is in the works, based on the Audi A8 platform. It’s unlikely that the ultra-exotic brand is working on more than one model at a time and so the obvious conclusion is that this is the Galibier.

For power, the Galibier reportedly uses a version of the Veyron’s 8.0-liter W16 engine, but with a pair of superchargers rather than the quad-turbo setup. It also gets an eight-speed automatic rather than the Veyron’s seven-seed DSG box.

While the Veyron is due to be retired soon, one revelation out of the interview is that the Volkswagen board has made the call to cease all sports car development for the Bugatti brand, limiting it strictly to sedans.

GALLERY: Bugatti Galibier

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[Source: Der Spiegel]

 |  Dec 19 2010, 8:48 AM

Mention the name Bugatti and almost everyone will utter the name Veyron. We can’t blame them either since the Veyron was the first production car to have a power output of over 1000-hp, and in its Super Sport guise managed to hit 268-mph, making it the fastest production car in the world.

The Veyron is quite a phenomenal car, but before it, there was another Bugatti that was appearing on the cover of car magazines all over the world. It was called the EB110, and it was one of the fastest and most advanced cars of the 1990s.

The EB110 was built when the company was resurrected by an Italian businessman, Romano Artioli. During his ownership of the brand, many concept cars were made, but only the EB110 ever made it to production. However, there were two models of the EB110, the GT which had 552-hp, and the SS which had 650-hp. According to its brochure, the 3.5-liter, V12, quad-cam, quad-turbo EB110SS could launch from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and hit 217 mph flat out.

The GT version was slightly slower but had more creature comforts, while the SS was lighter and had fewer amenities. However, if you asked nicely – or paid generously, you could have the mixture of the two, and these cars are extremely rare. But they exist and we have found one such example in glamorous Dubai.

This bright red sled has covered just 324-miles since its birth in 1995, and looks to be very well stored. As for the price, the website didn’t mention, but we made the call and found out it’s a very reasonable $500,000. A bargain compared to a new Veyron SS, which will set you back $2.4-million.

Since it is Christmas time, we can’t think of a better present than this EB110. Aren’t we easy to shop for?

[Source: Alain Class Motors]

 |  Dec 12 2010, 5:16 PM

Talk about the ultimate internship. Bugatti, the manufacturer of the fastest production car ever made – the Veyron SS, is looking to hire an intern for their marketing department in Herndon, VA.

So while many people will never get the chance to get behind the wheel of this magnificent, 268 mph machine, you could actually get paid to spend time with this car – provided you get selected.

This position is open to any currently enrolled college or university student and requires the candidate to work at least 20 hours a week,  have excellent computer skills, with an emphasis given to Word, Excel and Microsoft Office programs.

Oh, and one more thing, a general knowledge of the vehicle would also help your chances to land this dream internship.

So if you read about this available position here on AutoGuide, and end up getting this gig, do send us a Veyron for a week as a thank you.

See the full description after the jump and click here to submit your application:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 29 2010, 8:13 AM

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Several months back we got our first look the the new Veyron Super Sport when Bugatti debuted the car by announcing it had been certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s Fastest Car. Then we brought you numerous photos from the unveiling of the second production version of the supercar from The Quail motorsports gathering during the Pebble Beach festivities.

Now Bugatti has revealed a massive number of photos of both of those cars as well as a third model, with incredible detail – right down to the blue carbon fiber.

Photographed in the Andalusia region of Spain, it’s an impressive backdrop for such a incredible vehicle.

Driven by Bugatti official test diver Pierre Henri Raphanel at the Ehra-Lessian high-speed test track in Germany, the Veyron Super Sport achieved a top speed of 267.81 mpg, far exceeding the original Veyron’s 253.81 mph speed. The improved top end speed is the result of improved aerodynamics and an added 200-hp for a new total of 1,200-hp. Production models will be limited to a top speed of 257.9 mph

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

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 |  Nov 28 2010, 9:00 PM

We believe Bugatti’s Veyron Grand Sport needs no real introduction as the convertible counterpart to Bugatti’s Veyron coupe. It weighs more, it costs more, but hey, you can hit 220-mph with the roof off.

Now with only 150 of these bad boys being made in the world, we wouldn’t imagine that a whole lot of units would be customized. But lo and behold, O’Gara Coach Company, a dealership in Beverly Hills, played host to this beautifully done matte white Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport.

A lucky enthusiast was just passing by the dealership with his handy video-recording Canon DSLR and captured a video highlighting the vehicle to share with the rest of the world. How fortunate for us, because this Grand Sport is simply stunning. The matte white exterior is contrasts with red carbon fiber, striping and accents, giving it a truly race-inspired look. The wheels are finished in a matching flat white as well, while the interior is completely matched to the exterior’s theme. Even the engine bay receives a red and white treatment.

Video available after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 23 2010, 2:29 PM

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to auction off his 1977 Peugeot 504 to help raise funds for a new low-income housing project.

A statement released by the Iranian government said that, “In order to help the Mehr housing project, as an act of charity yesterday (Sunday) Mr Ahmadinejad put his car up for sale.”

Ahamdenijad is known for his image as a common man and friend of Iran’s poor, but most famous for his frequent homophobic and anti-semitic tirades in front of world leaders.

Peugeots have been locally built in Iran for a number of years, and the brand enjoys strong sales throughout the Middle East.

[Source: AFP]

 |  Oct 27 2010, 2:51 PM

Citroen is going to enter the large luxury car market with a production version of the Metropolis concept car. The Metropolis will likely be badged as a DS9, and be positioned as a flagship to the company’s DS range, which currently markets a line of premium hatchbacks in Europe.

The Metropolis is unique in that its design and packaging will likely be dictated by the Chinese market and its unique demands. While the Metropolis show car was powered by a hybrid drivetrain, the Chinese market may not get this due to intellectual property issues. Citroen’s previous luxury car efforts have floundered against offerings from German car makers, but Citroen is hoping that their new styling direction and “made in China” design process will attract customers will make it a success.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Oct 19 2010, 8:04 AM

BMW and French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen have officially announced plans to partner on development of hybrid components for front-drive vehicles. Currently the two automakers already share engines, between the Peugeot, Citroen and MINI brands. It’s expected that the new hybrid drivetrains will be shared with models from those ranges (including the next-generation MINI Cooper) as well as with BMW’s upcoming lineup of front-drive 1 Series models.

“This cooperation will deliver a major contribution towards a competitive cost structure in the field of electrification. It also represents another important step on the road to sustainable mobility,” said Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 13 2010, 9:38 AM

PSA Peugeot Citroen is the first automaker to publicly stand up to the Chinese government’s proposed Green Car Plan. Recently an initial draft of a new piece of Chinese government legislation was leaked in which was revealed plans by the world’s largest auto market to strong arm international auotmakers into sharing their hybrid and electric vehicle technology with Chinese partners.

Currently in China if an automaker wants to set up shop it has to partner with a local company in order to do so. Under China’s new Green Car Plan, designed to make China a world leader in hybrid and EV technology, partnerships would now require the local business to take a controlling share of the joint venture if the international company wanted to build or sell “green” cars in China. In other words, the Chinese government is using the lure of its massive (and expanding) auto market to pry industry secrets away from companies – something that isn’t sitting well at all with companies like PSA Peugeot Citroen, after pouring billions of dollars into their own development projects.

In a recent interview with Automotive News China, PSA CFO Frederic Saint Geours commented rather unequivocally that, “The Chinese government will have to reconsider its position.”

With PSA making this dramatic statement, other automakers are likely to step forward and challenge the Chinese governments policy.

[Source: Automotive News China via Autoblog]

 |  Aug 13 2010, 5:48 PM

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As one of the lead-up events to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, The Quail, is quickly emerging as a rival venue showcasing vehicles both classic and modern. This year, The Quail landed a coup, with the world premiere of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport – the world’s fastest production car.

Rather than the ostentatious orange and black model that achieved the record setting 267.81-mph time, Bugatti instead showed off a deep blue carbon fiber Super Sport. As for what makes it so super, well, the quad-turbo W16 engine gets even more power (1,200-hp to be exact), while the body was reworked for an even more aerodynamic shape.

Be sure to check out our extensive gallery below and try to ignore the unfinished Bugatti stand that’s covered in wet grass – we were too eager to get these pics up to wait. Besides, at The Quail that grass probably costs almost as much as the Veyron.

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at The Quail

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GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at Pebble Beach

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 |  Aug 05 2010, 8:41 PM

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Mansory has just announced the one-of-a-kind Bugatti Veyron Linea Vincero d’Oro as a follow up to their Linea Vincero from last year. And in true Mansory fashion, the Veyron is adorned with some outlandish accents – this time in the form of carbon fiber with copper threads.

Compared to the run-of-the-mill Veyron, Mansory has shortened the hood and modified the fenders. The front has also been revised with LED daytime running lights. Side skirts and a new rear diffuser naturally fit into the package.

Now what makes this model so unique is the gold detailing sprinkled throughout the car. It’s a result of copper threads in the carbon fiber. Plus, the wheels, grille, door handles and fuel cap all get gold colored detailing. On the inside there are even more gold accents.

In the engine bay, Mansory increases horsepower output of the 8.0L 16-cylinder engine through a cold air intake and tuned exhaust system. This takes horsepower from 1001-hp to 1109-hp and torque from 922 ft-lbs to 966 ft-lbs.

We’re sort of glad that there’s only one of these out there. We’d hate to think more than one person would want to do this to a Veyron, never mind be able to afford it all.

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Official press release available after the jump.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 15 2010, 8:11 AM

Were it not for Top Gear‘s incredible production and entertainment value, surely we wouldn’t be telling you that James May, aka Captain Slow, managed to drive the new Bugatti Veyron Super Sport slower than the world record setting time. In fact, in case you can’t tell from his nick name, going under the car’s top speed is more his specialty. Then again, he did manage to drive the 1,200-hp supercar at an astonishing 259.11 mph.

While it’s not the 267.81-mph record setting time that a professional Bugatti test driver managed, it’s still outrageously fast and will surely make for an entertaining story. The Top Gear team certainly hopes you think so and that you’re so interested you’ll be willing to pay the $25 (or whatever outrageous price it is now) for the latest issue of Top Gear magazine, packed full of complete specifications on every model sold in the UK.

We’ll wait for the TV spot. In the mean time, check out May’s original 253-mph test run from a few seasons back after the jump:

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

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 |  Jul 05 2010, 7:35 AM

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Bugatti has done it again, setting a new record for the world’s fastest production car at an astonishing 267.81 mph. That time gives Bugatti back the title, after the original Veyron’s 253.81 mph speed was topped by upstart American supercar maker SSC with its 256.12 mph run.

Official test diver Pierre Henri Raphanel set the record attempt on Volkswagen‘s official Ehra-Lessian high-speed test track, with both the Guinness book of records and the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV) there to record the feat.

The car used is the new Super Sport model, a more powerful version of the Veyron, boasting 1,200-hp and a modified aero kit.

According to Guinness rules, the car made two runs (265.9 and 269.8 mph), which are then averaged out for the 267.81 mph speed. Production models won’t, however, be quite as fast, with their top speed limited to “just” 257.9-mph.

Bugatti will build a limited edition number of the Super Sport models, with the first five receiving the same black carbon fiber and orange paint scheme. The new car will go on display for the first time at Pebble Beach in August.

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport World Record

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 15 2010, 8:02 PM

Haven’t got Dad a gift for Father’s Day yet? Forgo the last-minute dash to 7-11 for usual card and Oh Henry! gift combo and order him a Bugatti Veyron Diamond Edition model car.

The Bugatti Veyron – the most expensive new production car in the world – is the inspiration for this ridiculous expensive dinky car. You can’t even go for a spin and show this bad boy off, as it’s a 1:18 scale model. And even if you could, you’d need a 24/7 security detail to guard it, as it’s made of solid 24ct gold and features 7.2ct single cup flawless diamonds. The work of Robert Gulpen of Munich and Stuart Hughes of Liverpool, this beauty comes with functional steering and operational hoods, certification of authenticity, glass house, aluminum case and photo documentation of the manufacturing process.

Okay, so chances are you won’t be able to afford this little trinket – it runs about £2 million (roughly $3 million), and even if you could, only three will be made (it takes about 2 months to finish, thanks to the intricate work required). Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

[Source: Born Rich]