An almost audible gasp from the automotive world was heard when Porsche announced – unapologetically – that the newly revealed 991 GT3 will come equipped with Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) only. It will be the first time ever in the GT3’s history that a manual gearbox will not be offered. Apart from the change of the Mezger engine to the new, completely unrelated direct fuel injection (DFI) engine of the lesser 911 models, Porsche’s decision on PDK has got to be the single most talked about controversy surrounding the 991 GT3.
GM has an enormous problem in Europe. Namely, GM Europe is losing money, has been losing money, and will continue to lose money for years. Over the past three years since GM emerged from bankruptcy, GM Europe has lost $3.8 billion (with-a-b) USD. With Europe teetering on the edge of recession (if not already in one), a shrinking auto market, overcapacity, and government austerity, it’s a perfect storm of bad news for GM.
By James Wong
When you think of a showroom dedicated specially only to the hallowed BMW M nameplate, the first place that comes to mind would be Germany. ‘It would definitely be there,’ you would think, the home of BMW and also to the Nürburgring, the choice testing ground for BMW M vehicles.
By Chris Haak
According to a report over at The Detroit Bureau, Texas lawmakers are considering raising that state’s maximum speed limit to 85 miles per hour (137 km/h) on the wide-open, sparsely-populated sections of the biggest state in the contiguous United States.
While 85 MPH may sound fast – and it is – the change is not as dramatic as one might think. Texas already has about 520 miles of Interstates where it’s legal to travel 80 MPH. The change, if approved, would only raise the limit by five miles per hour. The bill has already been approved by the Texas House, and it’s now being considered by the Texas Senate. TDB reports that the Senate is leaning toward approving it, as is Governor Rick Perry (R) as well.
By: Carl Malek
Audi of America has released the official asking price for the 2012 Audi R8 GT supercar. Owners interested in owning one of these rare vehicles will have to act fast; only 333 will be built before production ends, (with only a third of that total expected to hit U.S roads), and owning this lightweight rarity will cost you a grand total of $196,800 dollars excluding any optional equipment.
The most potent model in the R8 supercar lineup, the GT sets itself apart from the normal R8 model by shedding 220 pounds of weight. This weight loss is due to the extensive use of various carbon fiber body parts and Audi’s familiar ASF lightweight construction.
By Chris Haak
Less than a week after the German government declined to provide the state aid that Opel requested to partially fund its restructuring, GM’s European arm has decided to withdraw all requests for state aid. Instead, the automaker will fund its €3.6 billion restructuring program with money from the parent company, according to GM Europe CEO Nick Reilly (pictured).
Though the company did not say so, most of the change of heart is probably an attempt to shed the “loser” image that Opel increasingly seems to find associated with itself, as its initial request for aid dates back prior to GM’s bankruptcy, or more than a year ago. In the ensuing months, Opel has begged, pleaded, and cajoled Berlin – not to mention other European capitals and other German state capitals – to open the purse strings to improve Opel’s competitiveness, from a cost and a product standpoint.
By Chris Haak
GM’s troubled European subsidiary, Opel, requested €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion USD) in state aid to help fund its expensive €3.6 billion restructuring program. Opel already has the support of its largest works council vis-à-vis plant closings, and also has secured aid from four of the German states in which Opel has plants.
According to German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle, the aid request was turned down mainly because he feels that parent company GM has enough financial wherewithal some 18 months after Opel’s future was thrown into doubt that it could fund Opel’s restructuring on its own. Also, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has recently announced austerity measures that did not sit extremely well with the public in an effort to save €80 billion over the next four years. Dropping 1.4 percent of the required savings in aid to Opel, where Germany didn’t think there was a dire need, would have likely proven politically unpopular.
Toyota has a replacement for the Corolla in Europe called the Auris, and has pulled out all of the stops in order to ensure a successful launch on the Continent. Ground Zero for the Auris launch is Germany, which is giving VW, Ford and Opel nervous palpitations.
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