La Renault DACIA Sendero se vend au Bresil

00:01 03/11/2010, OGV,
Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer
Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer – Click above for high-res image gallery

Zero South, a company that popped up at SEMA in2008, is back again with its Biodiesel Electric Hummer. The heavily modified H1 rides on tracks at all four corners – a necessary modification, since this Hummer is designed for an expedition to the South Pole.

The trip is going to be documented by Chris Paine, who’s best known for the film Who Killed the Electric Car? It was reported back in 2008 that the vehicle was going to be driven by Buzz Aldrin and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The film is called Drive Around the World and was shot in 3D. Drive Around the World is also the name of an organization that works to inspire an urge to explore while raising money for various charities. The H1 shown above is Zero South’s vehicle for participating in these expeditions.

The Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer was originally setuo to run on B99 fuel, but Jay Leno joined the team and modified the powertrain so that a four-cylinder diesel Volkswagen engine would act as a generator to four electric motors. Each motor would then provide power to the individual track it’s coupled to. It’s one heck of a Hummer, and we invite you to check it out for yourself in the gallery below.

Gallery: EMA 2010 : ZERO South Biodiesel Electric  Hummer 

 Zero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric HummerZero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer


It’s time for Episode #202 of the Autoblog Podcast, and the cast of characters keeps on revolving as auto show season starts ramping up. Steven Ewing joins Chris and Dan this week to kck the ball around about SEMA, the Consumer Reports Reliability survey for 2010, the refreshed Dodge Grand Caravan and Avenger and the Cadillac ATS. We wrap it up with your feedback and questions before calling it a night at the hour and a half mark. Thanks for listening, see you next week!

Reliability, Chrysler interiors and the Cadillac ATS

Design Ferrari 458 Italia – Click above for high-res image gallery

HRE had a trio of cars parked in its booth, one of them being a Ferrari 458 Italia tuned by British aftermarket house Oakely Design. The car was showed off for the first time in June, and in white, and Oakley said it would build just five. The production was upped to the seven, and this one here comes in a hue red rich enough to make Sleeping Beauty want to take another bite.

The carbon fiber lip up front boosts downforce by more than 50 pounds, and the sliver of a rear spoiler adds about 48 more pounds of aero downforce to the rear axle at 150 miles per hour. A carbon fiber roof panel, mirror housings and 20-inch HRE wheels complete the coupe’s Jenny Craig makeover, with the rims subtracting 11 pounds at each corner. Performance mods tune the car to 632 horsepower, and a reflashed ECU is meant to make the most of it. Oakley’s work is said to reduce the 0-62 mph time to three seconds and top speed is a lofty 208 mph.

Just in front of that was a Gumpert Apollo, rarely seen on the big-rim circuit, wearing a set of single-lug-nut HRE’s, and a Porche GT3 RS with some fire-engine red multi-spokes. They’re all in the gallery of high-res photos below.

SEMA 2010: HRE Wheels Booth Ferrari F458SEMA 2010: HRE Wheels Booth Ferrari F458SEMA 2010: HRE Wheels Booth Ferrari F458SEMA 2010: HRE Wheels Booth Ferrari F458SEMA 2010: HRE Wheels Booth Ferrari F458

Ford Fiestas at the 2010 SEMA Show

Ford Fiestas
Perhaps the biggest (or smallest) champion car for Ford this year has been the 2011 Fiesta. The fizzy little sedan and hatchback duo are drawing a lot of attention to Blue Oval showrooms, and thus, Ford has a whole flock Fiestas  represented at this year’s show.

A host of aftermarket tuning companies have put their touches on the pint-sized Ford – modified Fiestas from 3DCarbon, H&R Springs, Steeda Autosports and FSWerks are all on hand, just to name a few. Our favorite, though, might be the automaker’s own Ford Racing Performance Parts Fiesta, powered by a modified version of FoMoCo’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four (bumped to 2.3 liters), that produces a staggering 350 horsepower. We’ll take two. See the full grip of Fiestas live from Las Vegas in our high-res gallery below.

SEMA 2010: Ford FiestasSEMA 2010: Ford Fiestas2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Custom Accessories2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Custom Accessories2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Custom Accessories

Shelby Cobra

The Real Deal: A 1964 Shelby Cobra, CSX2557  
 Shelby and Factory Five Racing have been going at it for years. Back in 2000, Shelby filed suit against the Massachusetts-based replica builder, which resulted in Factory Five being allowed to continue building cars as long as it made no reference to the terms "Cobra," "427 S/C," "Shelby," "Shelby Cobra," "Daytona Coupe" or "Daytona Coupe Cobra." Eight years of apparent peace passed until Shelby again filed suit against FFR because the company felt that the the replica builder’s Type 65 Coupe name was too close to its Shelby Daytona Coupe. The court ruled in favor of Factory Five.

The two companies went back to court a third time because Shelby recently attempted to patent the shape of the Cobra. Well, the case has been settled and the result is yet effectively another victory for Factory Five Racing. The United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board felt that the shape of the Cobra does not solely belong to Carroll Shelby. Factory Five had the following to say:

"On October 13th, 2010, the court denied his application and our opposition was successful. We felt that if he were to get a trademark on the Cobra shape, his PR machine would use that to make the legitimate replica industry look bad. Our position was that a Shelby trademark would have ignored the factual history of the car, which started life as an AC car with a Ford engine in it, as well as completely discounting the huge contributions that replica guys have made to the car’s continuing legacy since the 1970’s. We have never denied Shelby’s part in history, but he has enjoyed huge popularity, in-part, due to replicas.

Looking back, our little company has done more than anyone ever to secure this car for all. Factory Five Racing and our customers have made such a huge contribution to the industry over the years.

I am attaching the Court’s opinion as a PDF document here so you can read it for yourself. Factory Five Racing does not use the word COBRA to describe our products."

You can weigh in on the outcome for yourself and read the full, 49-page ruling of the of the court here: Shelby vs FFR. Thanks for the tip, Bip-D-Bo!

Gallery: 1964 Shelby Cobra CSX2557 


Toyota Prius Plus Performance Package
Looks like Honda isn’t the only automaker trying to cash in on the idea of a "sport hybrid." Toyata has just debuted its new line of Plus performance parts at this year’s show, and the first vehicle to benefit from these new accessories is the Prius hybrid.

The Prius Plus Performance Package (say that three times fast) includes a seven-piece aero kit that still allows the sleek hatch to maintain its 0.25 coefficient of drag. The new front and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts and rear diffuser are rounded off with an attractive set of 17-inch forged wheels wrapped in slick 215/45-series tires.

In an effort to keep things as economical as possible, the Prius’ hybrid engine does not receive any upgrades, but the hatch’s suspension has been tweaked to provide better overall handling. Sport-tuned lowering springs have been fitted and a rear sway bar has been put in place to keep things flat and stable during cornering.

Toyota will be offering the Plus Performance Package in limited quantities beginning in April of next year. Follow the jump for the official details and see the modded-up Prius for yourself in the galleries below.

Toyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance Package
Toyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance PackageToyota Prius Plus Performance Package


Never say Toyota doesn’t understand the crowd at SEMA, bringing a Sienna minivan and Scion xB with bodies engorged several feet like rolling demonstrators for ExtenZe. How else do you put the swagger in your wagon?


2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen
2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen – Click above for high
Heads up, CR-Z fans: Honda has announced that the company will be releasing a mere 300 Mugen accessory kits for the Japanese sport hybrid. The ultra-rare bodywork includes bits like a completely revised front fascia with an altered grille design, a massive rear spoiler and flashy 17-inch rollers. Under the hood things stay nearly completely stock, though Honda has swapped the blasé plastic oil filler cap with a billet aluminum piece. Astounding, we know.

But all of that pales in comparison to the interior work. Along with a new shift knob, Honda has installed "sport mats." We aren’t entirely sure what makes a floor mat sporty, but we’ll take their word for it.

The body kits will be available in all five CR-Z colors. So far, there’s no word on how much the kits will cost, but we can’t imagine they’ll go cheap.  

Ford Police Interceptor Stealth Concept

Ford Police Interceptor Stealth Concept
While we should be excited to see Ford show off a new, updated cop car, the Police Interceptor Stealth Concept already has us checking our rear-view mirrors. The full details on this cop cruiser were released yesterday  , but seeing it under the bright lights. The man behind the car, Ford designer Melvin Betancourt, says he drew inspiration from the SR-71 Blackbird stealth plane. The blacked-out finish and hidden blue and reds, coupled with the potential for hosting a 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 under the hood are more than enough to cause speed-limit scofflaws to think twice about pushing harder on that gas pedal.

It’s not only the outside that incorporates the idea of stealth design. The interior features a police radio hidden in the console, along with the on-board computer and the glove box has a hidden space to hide weapons. Slow down and check out the Stealth concept in our high-res gallery, below.

Ford Police Interceptor Stealth ConceptFord Police Interceptor Stealth ConceptFord Police Interceptor Stealth ConceptFord Police Interceptor Stealth ConceptFord Police Interceptor Stealth Concept’s Adam Zillin was chilling at Fuji Speedway when two Lexus LF-As arrived for some race-quality testing. This blue example flashed yellow brake calipers, some of the infinite customization Toyota promised for its supercar fans.


If you’ve ever heard of the Dacia Sandero, it’s probably from Clarkson teasing James May about it on Top Gear. The no-nonsense, bare-bones hatchback – sold alternatively as a Renault in markets where its budget subsidiary Dacia doesn’t exist – is a favorite of Captain Slow.

In South America, the Sandero also comes as a crossover version called the Stepway, and taller though it is, it’s just as decidedly spartan. That didn’t stop Renault from drumming up some excitement over the budget range, however, with the show car you see here.

Envisioned as a successor to the current model and closer to a junior Duster, the Sandero Stepway Concept dials up the glitz factor just a touch with a sporty body kit, three-tone paint scheme and enough blue LEDs to light up the trendiest of night clubs. Also, some flower decals… for some reason. The result is something akin to a futuristic cup of cappuccino, and you can check it out in further detail in the high-resolution image gallery below.

Gallery: Renault Sandero in Brazil  

[Source: Renault]

 Airhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super Duty

Airhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super Duty 

Airhead Kustoms is going big for the show . Calling its creation the Pit Boss, Airhead Kustoms has teamed up with Cars by Kris to transform the rugged 2011Ford F-350 Super Duty into the ultimate tow and support truck. The already lofty power numbers of the stock pickup have been given a boost thanks to the addition of a Snow Performance water/methanol injection system, Nitrous Express diesel nitrous system and an AFE Power cold air intake.

Sorting out the ride and handling is a DJM Suspension setup that uses front lowering beams, a rear flip kit and beefy shock absorbers. Hellwig anti-roll bars and Firestone Ride-Rite air helper springs further aid in keeping this Pit Boss in check.

Inside, the Super Duty interior has been upgraded with a custom headliner and leather upholstery. A Rockford Fosgate sound system and a Dashboard Devices in-dash computer provide plenty of entertainment and information. The Pit Boss was built to get a race car to the track but the interior keeps things cozy once you are there. Have a look for yourself in our high-res gallery below.

Airhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super DutyAirhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super DutyAirhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super DutyAirhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super DutyAirhead Kustoms Ford F-350 Super Duty

myChevrolet Mobile Phone App

If you own a 2011 Genaral Motors  vehicle equipped with OnStar and you also carry an iPhone or Android-based phone, then you are in for a treat. Two new apps have just been released for your smartphones: myChevrolet and OnStar MyLink. OnStar MyLink works with the onboard OnStar system in your car and offers location-based services, such as a GPS parking reminder and vehicle reference material. The MyLink app also features a searchable database of warning lights, dashboard indicator lights and a variety of commonly searched features from the owner’s manual.

The myChevrolet app takes things a step further. Working in conjunction with the OnStar app, the myChevrolet application allows you to lock or unlock the doors, start the engine and access a wealth of diagnostic information. The app allows you to see fuel level, remaining oil life and current tire pressure.

These features aren’t just for Chevy owners either; the app is available for Buick, GMC and Cadillac models, as well, in the form of myBuick, myGMC and myCadillac. All of the apps are available as a free download from the phone’s respective app marketplace. The full details are available in GM’s press blast, after the jump.
[Source: General Motors]

SEMA Savini wheels booth

This is what happens at SEMA: you’re strolling the aisles minding your own business, you turn your head and then a cluster of mighty malicious metal rocks you like a pow! straight out of vintage Batman. Holy Toledo! In this case it was the Savini Wheels booth, loaded up with a sedan and four coupes that should be parked outside the Legion of Doom. A  Rolls -Royce Ghost inscribed with the ominous phrase "The Omen Machine" (probably meant for Lex Luthor), sits among a Lamborguini Murcielago with white-carbon-fiber-accented rims, Mercedes SLS, Bentley Continental GT  and aFerrariu 458  on a delicious set of spokes.

We couldn’t get any more information on the cars or wheels because the hall wasn’t open yet… but what more do you need? Beastly cars for bad, bad men are in the high-res gallery below.

SEMA 2010: Savini Wheels Booth Lamborghini MurcielagoSEMA 2010: Savini Wheels Booth Lamborghini MurcielagoSEMA 2010: Savini Wheels Booth Lamborghini MurcielagoSEMA 2010: Savini Wheels Booth Lamborghini MurcielagoSEMA 2010: Savini Wheels Booth Lamborghini Murcielago

Platinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Platinum Motorsports SL65 AMG at Continental’s SEMA booth – Click above for hiigh-res image gallery

The Mercedez-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series isn’t short in the tooth, but gussied up correctly it can still make a worthy meal for the autophile – even when it’s dressed in everybody’s-doin’-it matte gray. Continental tire’s booth, showcasing its ExtremeContact DW and ExtremeContact DWS rubber, had this light-eating creature from Platinum Motorsports glaring from the corner. ‘Roided-up skirts and splitters with carbon fiber trimmings abound, and every transparent plane has been remedied by the liberal application of tints. We’d buy that for it for a dollar, no doubt.

There was something else under covers that we’ll be bringing you later. For now, the SL65 AMG was left to preside over a back-up band consisting of a Bentley Continental GT, a Maybach as black as the intergalactic void itself, and a BMW racer with a set of slick slicks. Enjoy the view in the galleries below.

Platinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMGPlatinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMGPlatinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMGPlatinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMGPlatinum Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW M3Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW M3Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW M3Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW M3Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW M3

2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2009 Mazda MX-5 
 Mazda is hard at work on the next-generation MX-5. We know the automaker has set a target weight of 2,200 pounds for the forthcoming roadster, and it plans to keep weight distribution at the magic 50/50 figure. A new report from Autocar, however, reveals a bit more information about what’s in store for the new MX-5.

Mazda showed off a concept vehicle back in 2003, called the Ibuki, that previewed the styling of the current generation car and many believed that was all it revealed. However, the Ibuki concept featured a twin-backbone frame that can be found in the current Mazda RX-8. This layout allows for vital components, such as the powertrain, gas tank and exhaust system, to be placed between the front and rear axle. The twin-backbone setup also enables the automaker to produce an open-top car with the rigidity of a fixed-roof vehicle. If the next-generation MX-5 receives these updates, it will allow Mazda to take its iconic two-seater to new heights.

Takao Kajima, who was in charge of the suspension on the first generation car and then promoted to program manager for the second, says:

"The MX-5 must always be lightweight sports. The car has got bigger and heavier over the past decade, but it’s now time to reverse the process and get back to basics."

Those words are pure symphony to the ears of Miata owners around the world. As for what Mazda is planning for the next-gen MX-5, consider us on the edge of our seat.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Miata

The R/T version of the reworked Dodge Charger peeped out from under the covers at SEMA long enough for us to grab a few shots, showing Dodge gaining supremacy in the race for fake ducts.


Neiman Marcus 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Neiman Marcus 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Behold one of the quickest-selling special edition vehicles in General Motors history – the Neiman Marcus 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible  A total of 100 models just like the one you see above sold in a scant three minutes, which is nothing short of astounding given the vehicle’s lofty $75,000 price tag. With its show-car quality metallic purple paint (GM calls it Deep Bordeaux), unique red-trimmed wheels and high-end interior, the droptop is likely to be the nicest Camaro to roll out of Detroit anytime soon.

Don’t let anyone tell you that exclusivity isn’t worth something.

The Neiman Marcus 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible is laying the groundwork for the production model, which is slated to land next year with a more manageable MSRP of around $30,000.

2010 Audi A3 TDI

2010 Audi A3 TDI – Diesel is slowly making an impression here in the United States and Audi has been paying attention. Parent company Volkswagen has been selling a steady stream of diesels for many years, and the enthusiasm for the oil-burners has filtered up into the luxury segment. By 2015, Audi plans to have a diesel variant available for every volume product in its lineup.

This means we still won’t see a production R8 V12 TDI, but it does mean we can look forward to seeing the A4 , A6, A8 and Q5  with TDI variants. Currently, the A3 and Q7  are the only US Audis available with diesel engines. You’ve no doubt seen rolling past you as you stop for gas, since the diesel version now accounts for nearly half of all A3 sales. 40 percent of Q7s have the diesel engine under the hood, and Audi is having trouble keeping either model in stock.

Automakers face stricter fuel economy targets in the coming years, and one way to improve their lineups’ mile-per-gallon figures is by adding diesel versions across the entire range. Audi believes that by 2015, diesels will make up 20 percent of the U.S. sales volume – a vast improvement over the current 5.5 percent.

Chevrolet Camaro SSX Concept

Chevrolet Camaro
 Chevrolet has made it clear that the company has a strong interest in helping owners get the most out of vehicles like the Corvette and the Camaro on a race track. While the epic Covette Z06X Concept was seemingly envisioned as the Bow Tie answer to the Dodge Viper ACR-X, Chevrolet is showing the Camaro similar love via the SSX Concept. The car makes use of a host of carbon fiber in places like the trunk lid, hood, fenders and doors to keep weight as low as possible, and while the company isn’t saying exactly how many pounds it managed to shed compared to the standard SS, we’ve got to imagine that the figure is far from insubstantial.

In addition to putting the Camaro on a diet, Chevrolet also took it upon itself to play havoc with the 6.2-liter under the hood by bolting on tricks like new CNC aluminum cylinder heads, sliding in a new camshaft and swapping in a dry-sump oil system. Make no mistake, with around 524 horsepower on tap, this dog will hunt. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Concept

Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Concept
 Chevrolet was kind enough to give us a sneak sampling of what the company has planned for SEMA 2010, and the star of the show looks to be the car you see above. Called the  Corvette Z06X, the bruiser is effectively a race-ready behemoth with a host of suspension tweaks and a slew of weight-reducing materials on board. Built by the Corvette legends at Pratt and Miller, this Satin White machine started its life as a Z06  with the CFZ carbon-fiber package. Throw in an adjustable rear wing borrowed straight from the C6R along with a full SCCA roll cage and you’ve got the bones for go-fast trackday goodness.

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