thursday car blogging

Yes, yes, technically it’s Wednesday, but I already had this stuff compiled, so I am posting it early. Sue me. I went a little overboard this week, but oh well. There was a lot of cool stuff this week!

Lots of F1 news this week:

Porsche has unveiled its first prototype in nearly 10 years. The chassis and body are all carbon fiber, with the car weighing in at 1653 lbs. 3.4L V8, 480HP at 10k rpm. And BMW announced this week that they are buying Sauber’s F1 team.

And as a followup to last week’s Grand Prix news, the FIA is considering punishing the teams that sat the race out. That’s just stupid. They sat out the race because it could have been deadly. In related news, though, Michelin has offered to mollify upset fans by offering refunds to any fans that want it.

This is an interesting development on the Hybrid front. State Farm is issuing warnings on some of the newer dangers brought on by the hybrid cars. One of them is that these cars have high-voltage lines – some as high as 144 to 650 volts – Yowza!! – the danger being that safety workers could get electrocuted while cutting into these cars during rescue operations. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi signals its twisted desire to contribute to the electrocution of safety workers by announcing a mass-produced electric car.

Wow – I blogged about the new miata a few months ago, noting that it was improved in just about every area. Mazda has announced the pricing, and it’s stellar – almost 2 grand lower than the current model’s prices. Base price starts at $20,435. For a fun, yet practical car, the MiataMX-5 continues to be one of the best new car values on the market, if you ask me.

I’m sorry, but this cracks me up. LandRover is opening a third school for an “off road driving experience”. Which is probably good, because who the hell would actually take a brand new LandRover offroad? Most of these things go straight from the dealer to the local rim-shop for some bling-bling, DVD players, and in-seat LCDs.

Autoblog has a semi-interesting post about project cars. The project car in question is a Malibu Classic Wagon. A Malibu Classic Wagon. I have no comment.

Need hubcaps? has over a million in stock and offers free shipping in the continental US. That’s pretty cool. I might get some for my Sentras – gotta look fly when I’m cruisin the strip.

Spy shots of the new Civic. Looks like it comes pre-riced for your convenience.

USA Today has a piece on the phenomenal success of the new Mustang. Of course it’s successful. It’s not ugly. As I’ve pointed out before, it’s all in the nose, baby. And it’s a good thing Ford has the Mustang, because they are otherwise seriously hurting from slipping SUV sales. Explorer sales down 25% and Expedition sales down 21%, due to high gas prices. I think it’s time to revisit an old classic.

A possible limited-production run of the Maserati Birdcage?

GM has some interactive learning thing on their website that explains how a basic four-stroke engine works. It’s nice, but it’s no Matt Keveney’s animated engines.

I am a closet TVR fan – a lot of the car news I get comes from Somehow I missed that TVR was sold to a Russki last year. No worries, though, the new Tuscan 2 drop-top is freakin gorgeous. The article notes that the design was crafted with a right-to-left-hand-drive conversion in mind, so could a US import be in the works?

Throughout my life I have basically battled with a few constant answer-less mysteries of life: “why oh why can’t I have a light saber?”, “how do you tear a piece of saran wrap without wrinkling it into a useless ball?” and “how the hell do you actually get to be a Ferrari test-driver?” Well, the answer to the latter has been provided, and it’s simpler than I thought: One million dollars. Now you know.