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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.
The first images of Koenigsegg’s One:1 hypercar have leaked and won’t disappoint you.
The automotive equivalent of yoga pants, wrap a car in carbon fiber and it’s instantly much, much sexier. This is certainly the case here.
A stockpile of about 900 Saabs is finally set to be sold off after having sat in three U.S. ports since December 2011 as collateral in the company’s financial snafu.
April 14, 1927 marked the first mass-produced Volvo ÖV4 model to roll off the Volvo Lundby factory of Göteborg, Sweden. Now, 2012 marks the 85th anniversary of Volvo cars.
To celebrate the occasion, Volvo president and CEO Stefan Jacoby will join Volvo Group president and CEO Olof Persson to drive a restored ÖV4 past the Lundby factory gates once more to commemorate the company’s history.
According to Stefan Jacoby, the ÖV4 is “a fantastic car, but it’s easy to see how much has changed over the last 85 years.”
A lot has changed indeed as Volvo sold a very modest 300 vehicles on its first year of production. Last year the company sold about 450,000 cars in 120 countries with the United States as its single largest market.
Standing toe-to-toe with Bugatti Veyron, the Koenigsegg is harder to pronounce, lesser known, and more exclusive, arguably making this small Swedish carmaker the definitive supercar marque, full stop.
Continuing to raise the bar, the latest 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R now boasts an output of 1,140-hp. Since last September, Koenigsegg claimed a number of new production records, reaching 200 mph from a stand-still in 17.68 seconds, braking to a stop from 200 mph in 7.28 seconds, and finally a full cycle 0-200-0 mph run in 24.96 seconds. While the Bugatti Veyron Supersport holds the top-speed title at 268 mph, the Agera R sprints from 0-300 kmh (186 mph) more than 2 seconds quicker than the Bugatti. Mind-boggling numbers on paper, but what does that mean in real life?
From the Nurburgring pit lane access at Dottinger Hohe, the very end of a 2.2 mile long straight, a track-side fan records a top speed fly-by and receives a serious case of whiplash in the process, as the screaming 5.0-liter twin turbo V8 engine propels the Agera R to an insane 249.5 mph at the end of the straight.
The violent 250 mph pass is shown at the 1:40 mark. Hold onto your butts and check out the video below: Continue Reading…
Since Saab‘s bankruptcy, multiple automakers and outfits have expressed interest in purchasing the Swedish marque albeit no deals were sealed. As for Saab Cars North America (SCNA), the distribution company continues its fight against an involuntary bankruptcy filing in Delaware by its dealers and is working to move the case to Michigan.
In the meantime, its North American imports are held in limbo, as roughly 900 new Saabs were spotted at building 263 of a Newark, New Jersey port facility. A disheartening sight, Saab 9-3 and 9-5 sedans and sport combis as far as the eye can see lie neglected under layers of grime. More still are kept inside the warehouse buildings.
According to original poster aireeca of Found Our Own Road, “It’s hard to explain what it was like to just stand there and look at these cars and think, ‘This is it. These are the last new Saabs we’ll ever see.’ It’s not like Oldsmobile or Saturn or Hummer where the parent company lives on.”
GALLERY: Saabs At New Jersey Port
[Source: Found Our Own Road]
Despite the demise of the Saab automaker, racing team Tidö and Flash Engineering are hard at work developing and performing shakedown tests on their new Saab 9-3 TTA race car that will compete in the Swedish Racing Elite League.
Recently, the Saab 9-3 TTA was seen conducting first round testing in France with Swiss driver Fabian Thuner lapping around the Alés track. Then, the race car as well as the new information and developments found during testing will be carried over to undergo official tests in Karlskoga and Anderstorp.
Competing against Saab in the Swedish Racing Elite League include automakers Citroën, BMW, and Volvo. Racing head to head against the Volvo S60 TTA, Flash Engineering Managing Director says enthusiastically, “I have longed for 40 years to see the fight between Saab and Volvo on the race tracks. It becomes reality this summer and my biggest dream is to get all Saab fans to the TTA races to cheer us on.”
GALLERY: Saab 9-3 TTA
Check out the test teaser video of the Saab 9-3 TTA taken at the Alés track of France after the jump: Continue Reading…
Batteries and cold climates often don’t mix well. Anyone who has tried to operate an electric device, like a camera that has been sitting in the cold, will soon find that the batteries have lost their charge.
This sort of issue isn’t catastrophic with a small device, just a little inconvenient. The same can’t be said about a car, which has to work in all climates.
Volvo currently allows select customers to lease the C30 Electric and worked hard to ensure that not only the car will work in cold climates, but also the car can generate heat to make its occupants feel more comfortable.
To prove what its car has achieved, the company staged an event in Finland to show what the C30 Electric can do.
The test started by placing the car in a cold climate chamber, which kept the car at a steady -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not only did the cars start, but they were also able to warm up very quickly because of its separately-fueled heating system. The C30 Electric has three heaters, an electric immersion heater, an electric PTC heater, and a fuel operated heater that runs on ethanol.
The testers on hand were very impressed, not only with the way the car drove in icy conditions, but also how quickly the heaters warmed up the car. You can watch the video after the jump:
Despite the tragic demise of the Saab brand, former Saab CEO Victor Muller isn’t going to quit just yet.
Victor Muller elaborated upon the proclamation and revealed details to keep Spyker Cars, the Dutch hand-made supercar marque that put him on the automotive map. “I’m excited to get back into this business,” said Muller, adding that he has already put most of the liabilities incurred during the Saab fiasco behind him. Cash and finances will now be dedicated to restoring Spyker.
What’s more, Russian business partner Vladimir Antonov invested a significant amount into Saab and Spyker during its most turbulent period. Now, Muller is happy to say that Antonov is “out of the picture” entirely, suggesting more freedom for Muller to run his business. He ambitiously suggests the expansion of the Spyker line-up as well, which had never produced more than 100 vehicles a year.
Letting out a sigh at the mention of Saab, Muller hinted that Saab isn’t through with all nine of its lives. Some reports have indicated the possibility of several potential investors that could revive the Swedish brand. Unfortunately, the speed bump is dealing with intellectual properties from GM that are found within the 9-5 and 9-4X models. In any case, Saab is no longer Muller’s problem.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg makes really cool cars, there isn’t any arguing about it. The company uses so much carbon fiber in its cars that even the wheels, which are hollow, are made of the stuff on the higher-end Agera R model.
Both the Agera and Agera R got a refresh and debuted Tuesday at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. These cars have a simply scary power-to-weight ratio, 2.63:1 pounds to horsepower. Running on E85, the car makes 1140 hp and has a top speed of 273 mph.
Cars like this impress on paper, but few people actually experience the thrills such machines can provide. Thankfully, Koenigsegg’s cars are a true joy to behold. Sure, spending time gawking is no substitute for driving, but it’s still a sight to remember.
We spent a little time snapping detailed photos so you could do the same vicariously through us.
GALLERY: 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R
The stylish five-door featured a range of six engines, three gasoline and three diesel. The range-topping T5 gas engine actually gets as much torque as the most powerful diesel option in the line at 295 ft-lbs of torque but is more powerful with 254 hp to the diesel’s 177.
Despite that, the oil-burner is sure to be more efficient and probably a better seller as a result, though there are more efficient options on both the gas and diesle sides. The low-end options are a 1.6-liter inline four in either gas or diesel making 150 hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque or 115 hp and 210 ft-lbs respectively.
The V40 would be a tight-fitting car to some, and probably more expensive than currently-available competition.
Size aside, the Volvo is available with the range of safety features customers know the brand for. Drivers may choose such flagship features as blind spot detection, lane assistance and pedestrian detection among the long list of others.
Drivers more concerned with what’s happening inside their car than on the road will probably appreciate those features. Perhaps more so than that, they might also enjoy the car’s seven mood light settings which are good for adding an extra, though totally unnecessary customization.
The exterior features distinct Volvo style with a wide front, sharp lines and the typical pinched tail lights we’ve come to expect from the brand.
It’s unfortunate that there won’t be any of them for sale in the U.S., but the niche they meet is already well-filled by economy cars like the Ford Focus which offer more interior room and luggage capacity with similar styling.
Sure, it’s not a Volvo, but history has shown us time and time again that luxury hatchbacks struggle in America more often than not.
GALLERY: 2013 Volvo V40
GALLERY: 2013 Volvo V40
The new Volvo V40 might be one of the most attractive hatchbacks that you can’t have. Sorry, but that’s just how it goes. Europeans get the freedom of choice to take a fifth door in elegance, Americans don’t.
Volvo Cars North America head of public relations Geno Effler made an announcement via email that, “the V40 is not coming to the United States.” What’s more, Effler wrote that “the V40 is not replacing an existing model; it is a new model.”
2011 marked the final model year for the Volvo V50 wagon, thus making the aging Volvo XC70 the final station wagon in the Swedish Automaker’s North American line-up. The Swedish automaker’s shift away from offering station wagons that first distinguished the brand to Americans is a strong signal that demand for the practically-minded cars is falling fast in the U.S.
GALLERY: Volvo V40
Swedish automaker Saab is attracting more interest dead than alive. The officially bankrupt automaker is in the process of liquidating its assets and former rivals are lining up to buy a piece of the much-talked-about but little-bought maker of quirky cars.
Recent reports indicated that German automaker BMW was interested in purchasing Saab, but we now have confirmation of another bid. This latest offer comes from Saab’s Swedish rival Volvo, which is now owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Co.
Other interested parties include China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., Turkish private investment firm Brightwell Holdings and Indian truck maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Those in charge of liquidating Saab have commented that the ideal solution would be to sell off the company’s manufacturing facilities as a whole, keeping in mind the best interests of the creditors, employees and the city of Trollhattan. Sale to a tier one automaker like BMW would certainly fulfill those qualifications, although sale to an automaker like Volvo with a heritage and interest in Sweden could out-weigh that.
The latest detail in what’s become a sad saga of failure has to do with dealerships and their reaction to being caught in the fallout. It’s probably easy to forget, but if an automaker goes belly-up, the folks who made a living pedaling their products have to find a new source or go home.
That’s exactly what’s happening with many of the 900 Saab dealers worldwide who are either giving up the ghost or getting creative to stay in business.
Depending on their plans for the company, anyone trying to resurrect the defunct brand may find a dealer exodus too great a burden to overcome.
Without a conduit to sell cars, there is very little an automaker can do to bring their vehicles to market. Given this development, there is only one realistic business option: a company absorbing Saab purely to own their patents and to adopt their engineering.
If that were the case, we could start seeing Saab drivetrains and tech popping up in other cars around the world.
Brand names changing hands isn’t uncommon in the automotive world, Fiat now owns Chrysler and Ferrari, Volkswagen is the master puppeteer behind a myriad of companies including Porsche and Lamborghini and the automotive smorgasbord is hardly finished.
That said, we’re anticipating Saab will continue its slow somersault into the scrap bin with fewer hands reaching to catch their fall as the months wear on.
[Source: the Detroit News]