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Even though Bugatti still refuses to admit it, the Bugatti Galibier looks poised to be put into production. These photos were snapped out in Molsheim, France and it looks nearly identical to the concept that debuted just head of this year’s Geneva Auto Show. Rumors are that Bugatti will be launching the Galibier in 2013 with a $1.3 million price tag.
With how successful luxury sedans are becoming with Porsche’s Panamera, Aston Martin’s Rapide and even Rolls-Royce’s new Ghost, it would make sense for Bugatti to transition from their Veyron supercar to the Galibier. It’ll feature an 8.0L 16-cylinder twin-supercharged powerplant dropping anywhere from 800- to 1000-hp. Their vision is to have the most exclusive, elegant, and powerful four-door automobile in the world.
Here’s to hoping Conan O’Brien will get his hands on it in 2013 when his contract with TBS is over, one-upping his Bugatti Veyron Mouse.
GALLERY: Bugatti 16C Galibier Spotted
A little over a month after the new Outlander Sport SUV (known as the ASX or RVR in the rest of the world) took a bow at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi has announced that it will be giving a variation of the sharp-looking crossover to Peugeot and Citroen, two companies which have had a long alliance with the Japanese automaker.
The Peugeot/Citroen variant will come with a very European 1.6-liter diesel engine, and the choice of either front or four-wheel-drive. Expected to launch in 2012, Peugeot and Citroen expect to move a combined 50,000 units per year, with the companies forecasting a 60% growth in SUV sales by 2015. While Europe is not usually thought of as hot spot for SUVs, compact crossovers (like this small, diesel powered model) are a hit and the ASX could potentially be a popular vehicle for locales with tight, winding streets and high fuel prices.
Official release after the jump:
The elk test is one of the most infamous procedures used to evaluate new cars. A double lane change at 50 mph, the elk test was designed to help Scandinavian auto journalists evaluate the highway speed stability of a car, when the threat of a large animal in the road is a very real safety hazard.
The most infamous incident involving the elk test saw the Mercedes-Benz A-Class roll over during the maneuver. While it was an embarrassment for Mercedes-Benz, it had the benefit of introducing electronic stability control systems to passenger cars. 13 years later, a trio of similarly tall wagons from Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat underwent the same test in Britain, with similar results.
While the three cars are all based off the same platform, only the Fiat had stability control. While it passed the elk test, the Citroen variant suffered a roll-over, prompting Which magazine (the publication conducting the test) to suspend testing of the Peugeot, due to its lack of stability control.
Both Citroen and Peugeot say that they will be working on a stability control system for their cars. While many enthusiasts complain that these systems ruin the driving experience in high performance situations, most stability control programs can be turned off, and the elk test demonstrates how useful they are, especially in vehicles like the aforementioned vans, where the risk of a rollover in an emergency is far more likely than anyone ever driving them rapidly.
[Source: Which Magazine]
Infiniti to get 4-Cylinder and 6-Cylinder Mercedes Engines as part of deal
At a press conference earlier today a new partnership between Mercedes parent company Daimler and Renault/Nissan was announced that will see all three automakers working together to develop new products, while reducing overall costs. The partnership will see the German, French and Japanese automakers work together on future small car projects, engines and commercial vehicles.
The alliance also includes each automaker taking a share in the other with Daimler taking a 3.1 percent share in Nissan and Renault, while the Japanese and French automakers will each take a 1.55 percent share in Daimler.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the asset sharing was “symbolic” and commented that unlike the unsuccessful deal with Chrysler, this one focuses on shared products first. He even confirmed that, as rumored, the two automakers have been working together for some time already.
Zetsche commented on how the deal will see initial benefits for Daimler in the small car area, while Renault CEO Ghosn said that he expects to save 2 billion Euros over the next five years in cost reductions – apart from the new revenue the partnership will generate.
In terms of specifics, the two automakers will work to co-develop the next generation of the Smart ForTwo and Renault Twingo, both of which are due out in 2013. Both models will be offered with electric engines at launch and new 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines will be developed for use in both vehicles.
According to a statement released by Nissan, the automakers will also work to develop the new line of premium small cars for Mercedes-Benz – presumably the A-Class and B-Class.
The Mercedes connection will also help Nissan’s luxury brand, with Infiniti getting 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines that are to be used across the product line in the U.S., China and other markets. There’s no word if the 4-cylinder will appear in a rumored compact front-drive Infiniti model, but Infiniti does expect the new engines will help the brand grow more quickly. This move will, however, allow costs savings at Daimler due to economies of scale.
As for the commercial vehicle side, Renault will develop a new commercial van for use by Mercedes. There was no mention, however, if Nissan could get any help with its next generation of pickup trucks by using older Mercedes truck technology.
Both automakers have also said they are open to the possibility of more development and product sharing in the years to come.
[Source: Automotive News]
German automaker Daimler AG and French car manufacturer Renault have reportedly agreed on a new business strategy that will see both parties create a global small-car alliance, sharing development costs and technology. Details of the deal are set to be announced tomorrow in Brussels with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn taking part.
According to a report by Automotive News Europe, the management boards for each automaker have agreed to the partnership.
Currently Daimler, parent company to Mercedes-Benz and Smart, is looking to introduce new A-Class and B-Class models, as well as bring the B-Class to the U.S. New Smart models are also a part of future plans. Meanwhile, Renault, which owns Japanese automaker Nissan, launched a new sub-compact Micra (above), which is slated for global sales.
The move is just the latest partnership to emerge in a post-recession auto industry, where automakers are looking not only for ways to reduce research and development costs, but to partner with companies with expertise in other areas. Earlier this year, Volkswagen and Suzuki announced a similar partnership, while Italian automaker Fiat took control of Chrysler in a bid to reduce costs and expand into new markets.
[Source: Automotive News]
Bugatti still hasn’t confirmed that the Galibier luxury sedan will see production, but its looking considerably more likely as the automaker releases another round of photos – this time showing the heavyweight in monotone black. We like it considerably more this way, rather than the exposed carbon and blue shown before. These new photos have also given us a chance to notice a few more details about the superfast auto – like the illuminated logos on the rims.
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. As for price, it’s expected that if the Galibier does make it to market, the MSRP will be close to $1.6 million.
GALLERY: Bugatti Galibier 16C
New engines will be used in future MINI models
BMW and French automaker Peugeot Citroen have signed a new agreement to work together to develop a new generation of improved 4-cylinder engines. The new powerplants will be used in BMW’s MINI lineup as well as in Peugeot’s 207 and Citroen’s C3 Picaso.
BMW recently made several changes to the 2010 versions of the engines in Europe, delivering improved power and fuel economy. MINI also did away with the smaller 1.4-liter four-cylinder in its MINI One and MINI First models in favor of a larger but more efficient 1.6-liter engine.
The new engine lineup is being created to meet Europe’s upcoming 2014 “EU 6″ emissions regulations, and should deliver impressive fuel economy. Currently, the MINI Cooper achieves an impressive 28-mpg city, 37-mpg highway fuel economy rating in the U.S.
BMW and Peugeot Citroen also said the two automakers would look to work together in other areas, including production and development of select components.
BMW rival Mercedes-Benz is currently also engaged in talks with a French automaker, Renault, over a potential partnership on platforms and engines for a new line of small cars, including the next A-Class and B-Class.
[Source: Canadian Business]
Renault expected to help develop small cars for Mercedes parent company
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has said that the company will announce a small car partner mid way through 2010. Daimler has been in talks with French automaker Renault, with rumors that the two may partner on a new line of small cars and electric city cars. This partnership could also help produce future Smart models (including a 4-door) as well as future versions of the B-Class and A-Class (shown above).
Recently Renault’s CEO, Patrick Pelata confirmed discussions are ongoing saying that, “Yes, we are discussing serious matters with Daimler. Carmakers are holding discussions with each other. There are a lot at the moment.”
There is a possibility that the talks with Renault could be over more than just small cars, as industry consolidation seems to be a common trend as of late. Along with Volkswagen’s acquisition of Porsche and its purchase in a share of Suzuki, rumors have pointed towards Mitsubishi teaming up with French automaker Peugeot Citroen. Meanwhile Mazda, recently cut off from Ford’s hybrid technology, has cozied up with Toyota to develop a new line of hybrids.
Pelata has confirmed that a potential Daimler/Renault deal could see the two automakers co-develop and share engines, transmissions and even vehicle platforms.
Renault may be planning a return to North America, a market that it has been absent from since 1987. The news comes from a report in the Wall Street Journal, where Renault’s entry-level vehicle boss, Gerard Detourbet, admitted to the possible re-introduction of the French brand; a move that hinges on the success of the Duster SUV (above).
The Duster, which is being manufactured by Renault under the sub-brand of Dacia, will eventually also be sold as a Renault-badged vehicle. If it is successful in markets like South America and Eastern Europe it may just make its way to North America. The likelihood of Renault bringing over just one vehicle hardly makes sense and so Detourbet suggests the brand could launch with a small collection of vehicles.
Perhaps this move could bring about the introduction of two of the French automakers best-known vehicles, the Clio and the Megane, including the hot-hatch Megane RS, (pictured below).
GALLERY:Renault Megane RS
[Source: WallStreetJournal via Autoblog]
Europe’s second largest automaker, French company PSA Peugeot Citroen, is considering purchasing Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors. News of the possible purchase comes from Nikkei English News, and had Mitsubishi’s shares up 13.4 percent in overseas trading.
A similar report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Peugeot would take a 53 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors worth about $3.8 billion, with Mitsu taking a reverse 18 percent stake in the French automaker. This business sharing platform wold be similar to the one that Nissan and Renault engaged in roughly a decade ago when the French automaker bought the then-struggling Nissan.
The combined sales tallies of both companies in 2008 totaled 4.45 million vehicles, which would make any new company the sixth largest automaker in the world.
Some are skeptical of just what Peugeot sees in Mitsubishi, but there are many reasons to suggest why Peugeot is interested. For starters, Mitsubishi certainly has greater expertise in SUVs and crossovers – like the new Outlander GT (pictured above). Next up, this year Mitsubishi became the first automaker in the world to begin sales of an electric car, the iMiEV, and Peugeot is certainly keen on EV technology. Also, the added production output of more electric cars would make for bigger discounts.
Skeptics argue that the biggest problem with the merger is that while Mitsubishi does have a foothold in certain market’s that are foreign to the French automaker, Mitsu’s impact in those markets (like in Noth America) is insignificant. However, a brand like Mitsubishi does have a strong cult-like following, especially amongst performance car nuts, and would be much easier to build on than introducing a French brand.
The more realistic roadblock, however, is likely to be Peugeot’s limited resources having suffered significantly during the recent economic downturn.
The BusinessWeek report does suggest that the talks are ongoing and that a decision could be announced by as early as January.
***UPDATE*** We now have video of the actual crash, involving the Veyron, after the jump below ***UPDATE***
Oh noes! Any car loving man, woman or child is sure to shed a tear upon seeing the picture above, or watching the video below. Yes, that is a multi-million dollar, 1,000-hp Bugatti Veyron; and not only is it stuck fender-deep in water, but it’s corrosive saltwater no less.
The story that led to the tragic incident involved the Veyron’s owner who was driving to Galveston, Texas on Interstate 45 just south of Omega Bay, when a low flying Pelican caused him to jerk the wheel. The car then got caught in some mud, taking the AWD supercar for a ride and tossing it into a saltwater lagoon. The driver, who declined to give his name, was uninjured. His car, however, wasn’t so lucky. Not only will the salt water damage most everything it touches, but there’s bad news for the engine too as KHOU reported that, “The Veyron’s powerful engine gurgled like an outboard motor for about 15 minutes before it died.”
See the video of the Veyron being pulled from the lagoon after the jump:
Rumors of LA Auto Show debut arise
With our previous glimpses at Bugatti’s 16C Galibier ultra-sedan reportedly leaked, these are the first official images of the car from Bugatti, hinting that the ultra-luxury and ultra-performance Volkswagen brand might be preparing to confirm the car’s production – possibly as early as the LA Auto Show.
Little is still known about the car, other than it will be powered by the same quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine as in the Veyron. The body will be made of predominantly carbon fiber, while the interior (as the pictures confirm) will be a luxurious old-world oasis. And don’t forget the eight exhaust pipes, as well as the Parmigiani Reverso Tourbillon timepiece which can be remove and warn as a watch by the owner.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the car’s progress to production. In the mean time, follow the jump for a video of the Galibier.
GALLERY: Bugatti 16C Galibier
See the Bugatti 16C Galibier teaser video after the jump:
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
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]