Video: Fiat Abarth Zagato lovechild is a double bubble worth the trouble

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1957 Fiat Abarth Zagato 750 GT Corsa

The Italian automotive industry is filled with legendary names: Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Lamborghini, De Tomaso, Pagani… but the names Fiat, Abarth and Zagato belong up there right beside them – especially when they came together on a vehicle as singular as this one.

It’s a 1957 Fiat Abarth 750 GT Zagato Corsa, and it’s a rare little monster indeed. It’s based on a Fiat 600, tuned by Abarth and rebodied in classic double-bubble form by Zagato. There were only about five or six hundred of these made, and only 21 of them were Corsas. Its owner, Carl Gustav Magnusson, had one just like it when he lived in Europe, and entered it five times in the Mille Miglia. But after selling it and moving to America, he found another – with matching numbers – scooped it up and has enjoyed it ever since.

Fiat and Zagato took a modern stab at a similar formula a few years ago, and if it had ever reached production, an Abarth version would likely have followed. But alas it never did, so the closest we’ll likely ever get is to join the videographic artisans at Petrolicious as they tell the story of this beautiful little classic in the video above.

Continue reading Fiat Abarth Zagato lovechild is a double bubble worth the trouble

Fiat Abarth Zagato lovechild is a double bubble worth the trouble originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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U-Turn: What you missed on 12.17.14

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Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe driven

There’s a whole lot to love about the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe – it’s sexy, powerful, and immensely comfortable. We’ve already driven the standard S550 with its 4.7-liter, twin-turbo V8, but now, managing editor Jeremy Korzeniewski gets behind the wheel of the far more potent S63 AMG Coupe. Beauty, brains, and a hell of a lot of brawn. Read all about it, here.

Acura NSXProduction Acura NSX confirmed for Detroit

Finally. No, FINALLY. After seeing several conceptual versions of the long-awaited Acura NSX, the production version will officially show itself at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show next month. For now, Acura has released a few teaser images and a short video about its super coupe, and to say we’re on the edge of our seats would be a vast understatement. Bring it on.

lexus fLexus teases new Detroit-bound F model

In more Detroit Auto Show hotness, Lexus has given us a glimpse of something fast that’ll make its debut next month. Honestly, we aren’t totally sure what to expect here – some sources say GS F, while others report IS F. Either way, it’s an F-badged something-or-other, and we’ll know more once the Detroit show officially kicks off in just a few weeks.

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What you missed on 12.17.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Toyota Mirai videos continue questionable hydrogen claims

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2016 Toyota Mirai in White

“Toyota engineers were simultaneously working on a brand new technology that met all the driver’s needs with an even smaller carbon footprint.”

Toyota has released a number of new promotional videos for the hydrogen-powered 2016 Mirai. Most are exactly what you’d expect: pretty, full of promise and vaguely informational. But there was one line in the Product Introduction video that caught out ear.

In the Product Information video about the Mirai, the narrator goes into a short history of Toyota’s green car advances. After talking about the Prius and the Prius Plug In, making EVs for urban commuting and the rest of Toyota’s advanced fuel programs, we hear this: “Never satisfied though, Toyota engineers were simultaneously working on a brand new technology that met all the driver’s needs with an even smaller carbon footprint, one that took its lead from nature itself.” You can watch the video (and four others) below.

Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott told AutoblogGreen, “Show us the math! Toyota claims the FCV has a smaller carbon footprint than their EV, but every paper I’ve read indicates the FCV uses 3-4 times as much energy to travel a given distance as an EV. If they are making this claim, let’s call them out to prove it. Show us the math!” There’s some math that comes out in favor of EVs here and here.

“BEVs and FCs have a very similar carbon footprint, dependent on fuel source.” – Toyota’s Jana Hartline

Plug-in vehicle advocate Chelsea Sexton went further. “Assuming appropriate comparisons in energy feedstock, basic science doesn’t support the notion that the footprint of an FCV is smaller than that of an EV,” she told AutoblogGreen, explaining that “appropriate comparison” would mean using similar energy generation methods for both hydrogen and plug-in vehicles. Not the tendency, she noted, “of H2 fans to compare FCVs based on solar-based electrolysis to EVs running on coal-bases electricity and similar shenanigans.” Besides, Sexton said, “focusing purely on efficiencies entirely misses the biggest struggles that FCVs face in the market, namely fuel price, inconvenience, and market fear, even if the vehicles themselves are initially subsidized. An average consumer won’t understand the true energy equation, but even if not yet sold on a full EV, he’ll grok that a Chevy Volt provides most of the “long range, fast fueling” promise of FCVs today at a fraction of the cost and no compromising.”

Toyota says the video does not directly compare EVs to fuel cells. Instead, said environmental communications manager Jana Hartline, “The video outlines our portfolio of technologies that have been developed over the last 20 years (hybrids, PHVs, EV) then references the simultaneous development of fuel cell technology. The commentary is merely noting that 20 years ago we started working on fuel cell vehicles that have a lower carbon footprint than traditional vehicles and even hybrids. BEVs and FCs have a very similar carbon footprint, dependent on fuel source.” Watch the video below (again, it’s the Product Information one, and the quote above starts at around 1:45) to get your own take on what the comparison is.

Toyota, through its Lexus arm, had to retract a pro-hydrogen ad earlier this year when it was discovered that the ad made incorrect claims about H2, including that there were “20 states with an ‘established infrastructure’ for hydrogen.”

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New Toyota Mirai videos continue questionable hydrogen claims originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Here’s how to get your mug on the world’s fastest car*

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The Bloodhound SSC, trying to be the first car to go faster than 1,000 mph, front three-quarter view..

Next fall, the Bloodhound SSC will line up on a South African plain and try to go faster than 763 miles per hour, the current land speed record. If it does that, then it will try to break its own record one year later by going 1,000 miles per hour. The team behind the effort is running an Indiegogo campaign to raise 50,000 pounds ($78,251 US), and if you contribute, you can get your name or your sexy selfie on the navy blue flanks of the fastest car on the planet. (*You know, if it breaks the record.)

The money isn’t just going to the speed effort; while they work on the car, the Bloodhound crew runs a thorough, hands-on education program that shows schoolkids how math and engineering can be more exciting than graph paper and scientific calculators.

You can donate any amount you wish, with 15 pounds enough to get your name on the tailfin, 50 pounds to get your school’s name there, 500 pounds to nominate a business name and 1,000 pounds to have your Snapchatted face travel 1,000 mph. You know the cliche: it’s all for a good cause, folks. But this time it’s true. Check out the video to see more.

Continue reading Here’s how to get your mug on the world’s fastest car*

Here’s how to get your mug on the world’s fastest car* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Sacré bleu! PSA mulling moving Paris headquarters to cut costs

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FRANCE-TRANSPORT-PSA

PSA Peugeot Citroën has been based in its current offices, located less than half a mile from the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris, for a half century now. But the latest word has it that the French automaker is planning on leaving the historic location as part of its plans to cut costs.

According to Bloomberg, chief executive Carlos Tavares recently presented a plan to the company’s supervisory board to abandon 75 Avenue de la Grande Armée for a new location about an hour away from the city. The headquarters would be moved to the company’s assembly near Poissy, while around 500 of the 1,500 employees based at the headquarters would be moved elsewhere in the French capital.

The automaker – which produces vehicles under the Peugeot, Citroën and recently emancipated DS brands – is in the midst of a massive restructuring plan. It sold part of its shares to the French government and part to Chinese automaker Dongfeng at the expense of the founding Peugeot family, and named new top executives, including Tavares and board chairman Louis Gallois, formerly of Airbus, pictured above in front of the headquarters building.

The aforementioned restructuring also resulted in PSA sell the building in question back in 2012 for over $300 million – it has been leasing it back for 50 million euros (>$60M) per year. If the move goes ahead, it would be implemented gradually through the end of 2016.

Sacré bleu! PSA mulling moving Paris headquarters to cut costs originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Sacré bleu! PSA mulling moving Paris headquarters to cut costs

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