2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie puts customization program on display

September 29, 2012 at 5:57 am

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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie - live at 2012 Paris Motor Show reveal

Customization programs are nothing new in the auto industry. For a fee, they offer a chance to work directly with the manufacturer to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle for the customer. These programs, however, are usually offered by makers of the most exotic, expensive and exclusive vehicles, like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Porsche. It’s not often that a manufacturer of, shall we say, a more humble stature, offers this type of vehicle personalization. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what Fiat is doing with its “Fuori Serie” program.

The Italian automaker’s new personalization program is being offered only for Abarth models, and is represented at the Paris Motor Show by the Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie, a stunning reinterpretation of the Fiat Abarth 131 Mirafiori “Olio Fiat” livery that debuted at the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally. The matte yellow-and-blue colors of the livery are the most striking aspect of the car, but walking around it reveals other details like a hood that features a NACA duct on one side and louvered vent on the other, the highly polished wheels with yellow center caps that match the painted Brembo brake calipers, and lastly, the special “Fuori Serie” and “695″ badging. Along with colors and finishes, Fuori Serie vehicles also get a special 180-horsepower tune of Abarth’s 1.4-liter turbo that normally leaves the factory with 160 hp.

The 500 Abarth Fuori Serie is just one example of what a customer can create using Fiat’s new program, which starts by choosing one of two customization collections: Heritage or New Wave. The car you see here came from the Heritage collection, which draws its colors, materials and finishes from Fiat’s motorsports exploits. The New Wave collection, meanwhile, draws inspiration from the “modern world.” We’re not quite sure what that means, but hopefully Fiat will show up at the next international auto show with another Fuori Serie car to explain.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie puts customization program on display

2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Fuori Serie puts customization program on display originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Only about 5% of Chrysler dealers will sell SRT Viper

September 26, 2012 at 3:45 am

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2013 SRT Viper - blue with white stripes - front three-quarter view

Back in May, we were the first to reveal that Chrysler was going to be requiring that its dealers meet certain special criteria to sell the 2013 SRT Viper. Now, USA Today is reporting that no more than 6.5 percent of Chrysler’s U.S. dealerships will earn the right to sell the new Viper. Of the 2,300 dealerships, “only about 100 to 150″ will satisfy the qualifications SRT has deemed necessary to satisfy the “different kind of a customer” and “different approach” that the Viper requires. That’s far fewer outlets than the one-fifth of Chrysler’s dealer body that was rumored back in July.

Those fortunate enough to make the cut will receive full-circle training in how to deal with all aspects of the $99,390 SRT Viper and $122,390 Viper GTS, and a report in Automotive News indicates that they’ll have to pay for it: a “high-performance agreement” to sell the 640-horsepower coupe will cost $20,000, but a further $5,000 is needed for tools, training, preferential ordering and peripherals that apply to the brand and every vehicle in the SRT stable.

Any dealer can opt in at the $5,000 level, and if they have met customer satisfaction standards, they are eligible for the special treatment when it comes to ordering. Any dealer can also work on any SRT vehicle, excluding the Viper. Only the select few, though, will get the chance to spend that $20,000. What it will take to be among the chosen hasn’t been divulged, with SRT CEO Ralph Gilles saying only that “the first unofficial requirement… [is] a love affair with the cars.”

Only about 5% of Chrysler dealers will sell SRT Viper originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Sep 2012 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Further speculation about radical new SRT Barracuda

September 26, 2012 at 3:45 am

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2015 SRT Barracuda rendering by Jon Sibal - chopped front 3/4 viewAlmost as soon as Chrysler showed us the new Dodge Challenger, Mopar fans began wondering when the Pentastar brand would put together a Barracuda. Some financially sound fans even created their own retro ‘Cudas, some to much praise. But if Car and Driver is to be believed, those visions of a modern, rejuvenated ‘Cuda are not nearly modern enough.

The magazine commissioned artist Jon Sibul to combine all the rumors it has collected into a speculative vision of what the look of a 2015 SRT Barracuda might be.

Instead of making a retro-modern version of the beloved, iconic Barracuda shape, it looks like the artist chose to imagine a far different approach for the speculated Pony Car. The original’s long hood and short deck are replaced by a short hood and short deck. The split grille tries to evoke earlier ‘Cudas, but we think it might actually be more appropriate as a Pontiac than a Plymouth (err..SRT, you know what we mean).

C/D says its sources point to a 2015 SRT Barracuda replacing the current Challenger, but with a smaller vehicle that’s more of a sports car than muscle car. Engine choices could be as varied as a turbocharged Targershark inline-four, a 3.6-liter V6 and one of two Hemis: either the 5.7 or 6.4-liter.

Overall size is expected to be closer to the Ford Mustang than the Charger, with a weight loss of as much as 300 pounds.

Check out the complete renderings at over at C/D and let us know in Comments what you think of them.

Further speculation about radical new SRT Barracuda originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage

September 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

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Icon Derelict DeSoto on Jay Leno's Garage

Of all the shops turning out cool hardware these days, few get us as excited as Icon. And while their off-road beasts are heart-stopping in their execution and attention to detail, it’s the company’s Derelict line that really gets us grinning. Icon founder Jay Ward swung by Jay Leno’s Garage to show off his latest creation: a 1952 Chrysler/DeSoto wagon with modern bones underneath. Ward started with a Chrysler Town and Country wagon before swapping over a DeSoto front clip for a little more style. The old Hemi V8 was then ditched for a 2010 6.1-liter fuel-injected lump, though Icon kept the original valve covers in order to keep the engine bay looking as period as possible.

As with all Derelicts, there’s little on the underside of the ’52 that hasn’t been re-engineered by the Icon team. The car uses a complete modern running gear and a set of six-piston Wilwood brakes bring the family hauler down from speed. Check it out on the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage below.

Continue reading Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage

Icon Derelict DeSoto cools its heels in Jay Leno’s Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What does original Viper designer Tom Gale think of the new SRT? [w/poll]

September 12, 2012 at 6:07 am

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Tom Gale with Dodge Viper on show stand

The good people at Motor Trend met up with Tom Gale at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to discuss the new SRT Viper. As you may recall, Gale was one of the designers instrumental in penning the exterior of the first generation bruiser.

How does he feel about the successor to the throne he helped build? Gale says he likes how the new Viper pays homage to its RT/10 and GTS Coupe forebearers. This is despite the fact that Gale had no input on the final design of the new model, though he says he “thinks the world of Ralph [Gilles].”

Gale went on to give the new Viper a quick design analysis, praising it for retaining the near-vertical A-pillar of its predecessor while pushing the aesthetics forward with more modern touches. You can head on over to the Motor Trend site to read the interesting interview, but before you do, be sure to vote in our Viper poll below.

View Poll

What does original Viper designer Tom Gale think of the new SRT? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Sep 2012 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 SRT Viper priced from *$97,395, new images released [w/video]

September 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

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2013 SRT Viper - Blue with white stripes

Come November, you’ll be able to put a mean snake in your garage for $97,395, *plus $1,995 for destination.

2013 SRT Viper in yellowChrysler has announced pricing information for the 2013 SRT Viper, with the base price seen above, and the higher-spec Viper GTS model at $120,395 (plus destination). Either way, SRT’s latest snake will pack the same 8.4-liter V10 engine with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. For those keeping track, the Viper’s weight-shedding diet means each of those ponies is lugging around just 4.9 pounds. Stepping up to the GTS will net the buyer such goodies as two-mode active suspension, premium interior furnishings.

Along with the official asking price, SRT has seen fit to release a smattering of new images showing the Viper’s curves in yellow and blue. We suggest you check out the images above, then skip back down below for some video and the official press release.

Continue reading 2013 SRT Viper priced from *$97,395, new images released [w/video]

2013 SRT Viper priced from *$97,395, new images released [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Sep 2012 19:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge may add ‘Barracuda’ model to Challenger lineup

September 8, 2012 at 3:56 am

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The upcoming re-launch of the SRT Viper (formerly a Dodge Viper, of course) may be dominating the fast-Mopar coverage to date, but that super-coupe may turn out to represent just the tip of the iceberg. Automotive News is reporting that multiple Dodge performance products are likely to hit American streets over the next three years.

Perhaps most exciting are the prospective plans for the Challenger in 2014 and 2015. The muscular coupe is likely to get a significant bit smaller for the 2015 model year, with two or three inches set to be removed from its now-generous 116-inch wheelbase, as well as having launch control added to the specification sheet.

The upcoming SRT-tuned version of the Challenger, today the SRT8 model, may very well be dubbed the “Dodge Barracuda” for 2015. The resurrected ‘Cuda will feature a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, which we are strongly in favor of. And though Dodge isn’t offering up any output numbers for such a mill, current competitors from Ford (Shelby GT500) and Chevrolet (Camaro ZL1) would seem to indicate that 500 horsepower is the bare minimum for entry into this market slice.

In the nearer term, look for a new Daytona performance version of the Dodge Charger to appear in the first part of 2013, along with an SRT4 tune for the new Dodge Dart around the same time.

Dodge may add ‘Barracuda’ model to Challenger lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Sep 2012 17:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Contrary to reports, Dukes of Hazzard merchandise not having Confederate flag removed?

September 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

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General Lee roof graphic

Fear not, Dukes of Hazzard fans, no one is going to mess with the General Lee. After a forum post on HobbyTalk.com indicated that Tomy Toys, manufacturer of all official Dukes of Hazzard merchandise, would no longer produce scale models of the show’s famous 1969 Dodge Charger with its Confederate battle flag displayed on the roof, Warner Brothers has issued a statement to the contrary. The original story reportedly came courtesy of an anonymous worker with Tomy Toys, who said the Stars and Bars livery would be excised from the models beginning on January 1, 2013.

The news incited substantial fan backlash and even a lengthy editorial by Ben Jones, the actor who played Cooter on the classic TV show. But, in its statement, Warner Brothers cleared up the matter by saying, “We were not, and are not, planning to change the design of the General Lee on merchandise. All reports to the contrary have been inaccurate.”

American pop culture remains safe for another day.

Contrary to reports, Dukes of Hazzard merchandise not having Confederate flag removed? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Sep 2012 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Seinfeld’s CiCGC pairs Alec Baldwin with 1970 Mercedes-Benz SL

August 22, 2012 at 6:25 am

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Alec Baldwin (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (right) in Mercedes-Benz 280SL

For both comedy and car fans, Jerry Seinfeld and his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” web series has been a car-filled, caffeine-fueled, laugh-fest. The trend continues in the two latest installments of his unusual unscripted series.

In the first video seen above, Jerry picks up actor Alec Baldwin in a Signal Red Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster. The two exchange anecdotes about their shared hometown of Massapequa, New York and of a Kirk Douglas-Burt Lancaster rivalry. Baldwin also considers his mortality and calls Seinfeld a “lazy, shiftless bastard.” Baldwin also decrees that he is the most articulate person in the Screen Actors Guild, and talks about the jealousy induced by watching his neighbors play on a Slip ‘n’ Slide.

Click below to see the video of the two prolific funny men talk over coffee and while tooling around in Seinfeld’s cherry SL.

Additionally, we’ve added a recent episode of the web series that you might have missed, and this time Jerry is on the West Coast at the wheel of a 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A. Powered by a 340 Six Pack, Seinfeld picks up standup comic Brian Regan.

Continue reading Seinfeld’s CiCGC pairs Alec Baldwin with 1970 Mercedes-Benz SL

Seinfeld’s CiCGC pairs Alec Baldwin with 1970 Mercedes-Benz SL originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Aug 2012 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SRT unveils 2013 Viper GTS Launch Edition

August 17, 2012 at 6:15 am

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2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition

SRT has just surprised us with news that it will be making an appearance in Monterey this week with a special vehicle in tow. Taking its place among historic automobiles on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend will be the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition model, wearing the iconic GTS Blue paint and dual white stripes of prior Viper coupe launches from both 1996 and 2006.

The Viper GTS Launch Edition also features exclusive five-spoke polished forged-aluminum wheels that evoke, but also evolve, the wheel designs of those prior launch models. These special Vipers also get a serialized dash plaque placed inside their cabins to increase collectibility, and their interiors will be swathed in Black Laguna leather with contrast stitching. Production will be limited, but Chrysler has refrained from saying how many Launch Editions will be built.

Check out official images of the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition in the gallery above, and stay tuned for our own live images of the car when we encounter it out in person at Pebble Beach.

Continue reading SRT unveils 2013 Viper GTS Launch Edition

SRT unveils 2013 Viper GTS Launch Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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