Thursday, November 19, 2009

Buick confirms 2011 Regal 2.0T to come with manual transmission. Wait... wha?

by Chris Paukert

Trivia Time: When was the last time a U.S. market Buick was available with a manual transmission? Honestly, we can't recall anything more recent than a buddy in high school having a hand-me-down mid-Eighties Somerset coupe with a stubby, workmanlike five-speed. Even back then its presence in our friend's hooptie was a genuine curiosity and a source of perpetual amusement.

Naturally, we posed this same question to a few Buick PR-types this morning at a first drive event upon learning from vehicle line executive Jim Federico that the reborn 2011 Regal will receive a six-speed manual transmission option (mated to a blown 2.0-liter four, no less). The answer? Shoulder shrugs and sheepish looks. Curiously, nobody even tried to answer our query with a red herring like the ill-fated Reatta coupe (it only came with a four-speed automatic).

So we now know when a Buick will next feature God's Own Gearbox (probably in the third quarter of 2010), but we still can't crack this historical chestnut – so we beseech thee, Autoblog Nation... what year was the last Buick built with a DIY transmission – and what car was it in? Hit us with your best shot in Comments.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dartz Prombron drops the whale penis

by Jonny Lieberman

First of all, yes – this is pure Mercedes-Benz propaganda. We're fully aware of that fact. Second, despite it all, we're very jealous of what takes place in this video. In order to show off just how much junk you're able to fit inside the new E-Class Wagon -– or "Estate" in Mercedes parlance. How they settled on building a giant slot car track (or more precisely, sneaking it past the corporate money men) is beyond us, but we're glad they did.

So, how much junk? Quite a bit. Specifically, 1,275 pieces of track, including a section that snakes through the E-Class. All told, the track is over 400 meters long (about a quarter mile) and takes the 1/32 scale DTM cars four minutes and forty-seconds to complete. The track layout was designed beforehand on a computer because otherwise, well... they'd still be building it. Watch the full video after the jump.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Limited Edition Alfa Romeo Brera S 3.2

Alfa Romeo Brera S 3.2

A recent car project between Alfa Romeo UK and Prodrive, the limited edition Brera S 3.2 that features many upgrades the most significant being a weight loss of 100 kg (220 pounds). They suggest the use of front-wheel drive rather than the standard Brera V6's Q4 all-wheel drive system and a sportier suspension. Autodelta's proposal completes the overall package by adding a supercharger to the mix as well as further improving handling. The addition of Autodelta's supercharging kit with an intercooler boosts the 3.2-liter V6 engine's output from 260 bhp and 322 Nm to a more potent 352-horsepower and 435 Nm (320.8 lb-ft) of torque. No performance figures have been released yet for the Brera S 3.2 Compressore.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Britcar Championship: New Honda NSX Racer Debut

new honda nsx racer
The matte black Japanese sportscar was built to comply with the Britcar Production regulations and already completed a successful shakedown test at Snetterton in Norfolk last Friday ahead of its debut at the season's final round at Brands Hatch on November 7. The UK-based racing team said that this newly built NSX Racer is equipped with all the latest technology gizmos such as engine control and data-logging capabilities with GPS, Fly by Wire and live feed video while custom solutions have been adopted for for dampers and brakes.

The NSX racer will be driven by motoring journalist and TV persona Vicki Butler-Henderson alongside John Danby Racing regular James Barclay in the daytime Production race while the car's owner and Britcar regular David Fenn will drive the NSX in the evening GT race alongside Barclay.