It's Official: The Camaro Cometh
The all-new Camaro is on the way-GM has confirmed it will be built (did anyone doubt that after the Challenger became a go?). The next-gen Camaro is to arrive in early 2009 and should be a pretty spot-on redux of the concept model-a rear-wheel drive with IRS, a V-8 and V-6, and auto or stick transmissions.
Meanwhile, Ford was nipping at the ankles of all these big musclecar announcements by making its own: The Shelby GT will be produced, which will be an upscale (both in performance and looks) Mustang GT but a downscale Shelby GT500 (both in performance and looks). Or you could call it an affordable, retail version of the GT-H rental car.
When the Experimental Aircraft Association held its Gathering of Eagles fundraiser this year, it wasn't some kit plane that stole the show. Nope, flyboys and other flying fanatics were fixated on the trifecta of important automotive words listed in their program: Ford Shelby Hertz-specifically an '06 GT-H that was auctioned off for $250,000. Let the stupid-money for these cars begin.
Return of the Little Women
They're back, and this time they're musclecar-themed! A couple of months ago, we showed you the import minis, including Luscious and Candy. Now these 1:18-scale girls have gone retro in costume and pose for our world (Joyce, Mimi, and Missy, among the new offerings). They're hand-painted and posed just as you'd want a girl to do with your fullsize car if only she'd listen to how you wanted it done and you would not sound like a perv. They'll classy-up your toy collection. Visit motorheadminiatures.net for more info.
Porsche's New Motorsports Center
Four buildings located in Weissach, Germany, will be stuffed with workshops, race-vehicle manufacturing areas, and other high-tech thingies to make up the all-new Porsche Motorsports center. There will be designated sections for working on Carrera Cup and customer race cars, engines, transmissions, prototypes, and other race machines.
Everyone seems to be sick of "best" lists, so let unleashing of "craptastic" ones begin. Both Wikipedia and Forbes have jumped on the bandwagon, choosing their picks based on lousy fuel economy, lousy safety ratings, and lousy resale. According to Forbes, some of the worst American cars for 2006 were the Grand Prix, the Crown Vic, and the Dodge Ram 1500.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia went with an age-defying list, the biggest flops in automotive history, be it unreliable (such as the Yugo), terribly designed, or no sales. And yes, a few have earned cult status despite their repulsion at launch. Among 'em?
It's what we all experience after a robust helping of beans or broccoli, but it's also technology: Paint fumes are being turned into electricity. Yeah, it sounds like something crazy Uncle Larry would have percolating in his garage/workshop/lab. But in this case, crazy Uncle Larry is Ford. It's taking paint emissions from its Michigan Truck Plant and generating 55 kilowatt-hours of electric power every hour. What happens is that fluidized carbon beads can pull volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the paint-air emissions. The cleansed air emissions then go back to the environment, and the VOC flow to a generator and bam-you got yourself electricity. It saves money and energy on the spot.