- Video: Chrysler debuts "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad
How do you follow up a Super Bowl ad staring Eminem’s music and one of 2011′s most successful taglines? If you’re Chrysler, you call in Clint Eastwood and revisit the city of Detroit’s comeback story for a progress update.
Appropriately titled “Halftime in America,” Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad made its impactful debut immediately following the game’s halftime show. Starring American icon Clint Eastwood, the ad’s theme mimics the game itself, reminding Americans that even though times are tough, Detroit has proven that comebacks are possible.
Stirring? We think so. See for yourself after the jump and let us know in the comments if you think Chrysler has created a worthy follow up to last year’s commercial.
Chrysler debuts “Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 20:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Video: Get pumped up with this 24 Hours of Le Mans historical highlight reel
Filed under: Motorsports
Even though Aston Martin’s gone home and Audi won’t have Peugeot to kick around at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, there’s a heap to look forward to: a large field of entries that includes two Audi diesel R18s plus two more hybrid R18s, Toyota’s TS030 LMP1 hybrid and LMP2 racers from Lotus and Morgan.
But it’s the entire field that delivers the magic of Le Mans, and it’s not like we need more reminders of the race’s awesome history, but we’re glad the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organizer) has given us one. You’ll find all three minutes of it after the jump.
Get pumped up with this 24 Hours of Le Mans historical highlight reel originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Official: Volvo marks 30th anniversary of the 760
When you think of old-school Volvos – you know, those boxy designs that pre-date the more curvaceous models of today – what do you picture? The 240? The 850? Or do you think of the ultimate in squared-off Swedish design, the 760?
The model credited with saving Volvo was introduced in February, 1982, making it 30 years old this month. Reflecting on the occasion, Volvo looks back at the 760′s development, when it needed a car that would be reliable, efficient, durable, easily serviceable, quiet, somewhat attractive, and be a decent performer (in that order). The result was a rear-drive sedan four inches longer in wheelbase than the 240, yet a good 220 lbs lighter.
And that boxy design? That decision was as financial in nature as it was stylistic. After considering a number of design proposals, the final look was selected to be as cost-effective to produce as possible. In the end, those budgetary restrictions left us with a car that was, while not particularly exciting to behold, certainly an enduring icon of its time. Follow the jump to read the full retrospective, and flip through the images in the attached gallery.
- Breaking: Ford asks Chevrolet, then NBC, to pull Silverado Super Bowl ad
Chevrolet is having some pointed fun with its apocalyptic Super Bowl ad featuring the Silverado called “2012,” only the fun is pointed directly at Ford, which finds it a little too sharp to be all that much fun. So on the eve of the big game, Ford sent Chevy a cease-and-desist letter to pull the ad and “pressured” NBC not to run the commercial, according to a report on Yahoo!’s Motoramic blog. Chevy has released a statement in response, which you can read after the jump, indicating that the ad will run despite Ford’s protest.
Ford found no reason to chuckle at some of the commercial’s claims, “particularly around durability.” One in particular comes from a character that says of their now-deceased, F-150-driving pal, “Dave didn’t drive the longest-lasting most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford.”
Ford spokesman Mike Levine says his company has more trucks with 250,000-plus miles on the road than any other brand, which would appear to contradict the small print that appears in the “2012″ ad that reads, “Dependability based on longevity: 1981-2011 full-size pickup registrations.” Ford says its lawyers will decide what to do (if anything) after the ad airs during tonight’s game, but Chevy’s legal minions must have vetted the spot closely well before time.
Or Ford could take Chevy marketing honcho Joel Ewanick up on his offer and bide its time. Said Ewanick, “We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize.”
Ford asks Chevrolet, then NBC, to pull Silverado Super Bowl ad originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 17:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Report: Jaguar to close museum, looking for new location
Jaguar’s headquarters and production were located at Browns Lane in Conventry for more than fifty years. Part of the complex included the Jaguar Heritage Museum and its collection of 150 cars, so when the Browns Lane site was sold in 2007 to an Australian developer, the countdown began on the museum’s remaining time.
Now comes the formal announcement that the collection will vacate its current spot in September, the tragedy being that it might not relocate to a publicly accessible location. Museum reps say that the collection will continue to be in circulation, either on the historical circuit like Goodwood or on loan to other museums. Even now the Jaguar Heritage Museum only has about 30 cars on-site.
Nevertheless, unless another location is secured you won’t be able to just show up, buy a ticket and stroll among cars like the 1935 SS Airline AWR564, 1950 Jaguar XK 120 NUB120 or 1956 Jaguar D-type ‘Long Nose’ 393RW. You’ll also miss Austin Powers’ “Shaguar,” if that’s more your style.
- BMWism.com chronicles BMW designers through the eras
Chris Bangle may be the name most recently associated with BMW design, but he’s just one of many men and women who have sketched and sculpted automobiles for Bayerische Motoren Werke. BMW enthusiast website BMWism.com has gone all the way back to the beginning of the brand, when a BMW was a knockoff of an Austin 7. The names we all know show up in the chronology; giants of post-World War II automotive design world like Michelotti, Bertone, Gandini, Bracq, and of course, Hofmeister.
In addition to the Italian hired guns who sketched for BMW at one time or another, a few surprising names dot BMW’s history. Josef Ganz, the largely unsung automotive engineer responsible for much of the original Volkswagen Beetle, also did contract work for BMW. Aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm based his Kamm-Coupe on BMW 328 mechanicals. Raymond Loewy’s mid-century lines were wrought upon at least one BMW 507, and Albrecht von Goertz was a colleague of Loewy’s before he designed the 507.
In more recent years, it’s intriguing to note the diversity of backgrounds. You’ve got Bangle, Henrik Fisker, current design chief Adrian van Hooydonk (the man actually responsible for the “Bangle Butt”), and Z4 designer Juliane Blasi. Perhaps the most understated of all BMW designers is Jojii Nagashima, the man responsible for the outgoing E90 3 Series, the iconic E39 5 Series, and, along with Boyke Boyer, the E36 3 Series. Taken as a whole, BMW has a pantheon of automotive design big-thinkers, a trend that doesn’t look to be slowing anytime soon.
BMWism.com chronicles BMW designers through the eras originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Official: Force India F1 team reveals 2012 VJM05
Force India has come a long way. What started out as Jordan Grand Prix and changed hands (and names) several times before landing in the stewardship of Indian bazillionaire Vijay Mallya has become a solid mid-field contender on race days. In 2011, the team finished sixth in the constructors’ standings, behind front-runners Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus Renault GP. In 2012, however, Force India aims to challenge Mercedes and Lotus for fifth place using the car shown above.
The VJM05 bears the same unfortunate stepped nose of the just-unveiled Ferrari F2012 and Caterham CT01, a trend we expect to see across much of the field as teams deal with F1′s technical regulations. Engine, transmission and KERS are again provided by Mercedes-Benz through a partnership with McLaren, and while former DTM champion Paul di Resta returns for another season in the cockpit. Adrian Sutil departs the team in the wake of his assault conviction, his seat now occupied by Nico Hulkenberg.
We’ll be watching to see if the young duo can continue to move Force India up the F1 hierarchy. For now, you can check out the press release after the jump and photos from the car’s unveiling – which included the first on-track session of any 2012 F1 cars revealed thus far – in the image gallery above.
- Official: Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry
When Toyota announced its return to endurance sports car racing with the new TS030 Hybrid this season, the plan was to enter a handful of races, like Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps, on an invitational basis.
Plans change, though, and Toyota has now upgraded the program to a full manufacturer entry, paving the way for it to compete in the entire FIA World Endurance Championship schedule. Now, with budget constraints, it’s likely that Toyota will still pick and choose which races to contest, but it does open the door.
The change was apparently made in order to support endurance racing as a motorsport discipline. As part of its arrangement with the FIA, organizers at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) need at least two manufacturers in the LMP1 category. With Peugeot’s withdrawal, the series lacked the requisite level of participation, so Toyota stepped up to fill the void. Follow the jump for the full announcement.
Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
- Official: Renault chops UK lineup in half
Renault has a wide array of products in its portfolio. In its home market it offers a baker’s dozen model lines, and when you get down to bodystyles the range ratchets up past 20.
While we don’t get any of them in North America, the United Kingdom remains a vital market for the French automaker. But British buyers haven’t been buying Renaults as much as they used to, prompting a drastic shift in strategy. As a result, Renault is cutting the Modus, Kangoo, Wind, Laguna, Espace and the entire Gordini line from its UK lineup, .
So what does that leave for UK shoppers? The Twingo, Clio, Megane, Grand Scenic and Traffic. Renaultsport models remain on offer, through the Twingo RS is now available in only one version. Those will soon be joined by the Fluence ZE and Twizy, as well as the Dacia range. Regardless, this represents a drastic cut in a vital market for one of Europe’s largest automakers. Details in the press release after the jump.
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