So much for Carbon Motors. The would-be police pursuit vehicle manufacturer has officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (read: liquidation) according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. The company officially lists its liabilities at $21.7 million and its assets at a mere $18,976, including one prototype, a few bits of furniture, books and the company's intellectual property. Some of the largest debtors are investors and suppliers, including BMW. The German automaker claims Carbon Motors owes them some $3 million.
Carbon Motors built a business model around for its diesel-powered E7 police car by securing a Department of Energy loan through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program for $310 million, but the US Government denied the company's application in March of 2012. From that point, it was evidently only a matter of time before the company caved in on itself. The warning signs were already thick on the ground when it was revealed that the company had quietly pulled out of its Connerville, Indiana plant back in April.
Bankruptcy protection shields Carbon Motors from lawsuits against the manufacturer. That's good news, considering three former executives have already filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this year for $600,000 in deferred wages.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation on the 2006-11 Suzuki Grand Vitara and 2007-11 Suzuki SX4 due to issues with the airbag and seatbelt for the front passenger seat. So far, NHTSA has received 128 complaints on these vehicles for airbag warning lights, airbag off lights and seatbelt lights, on a vehicle set that totals around 205,000 units, but there is no indication as to how many, if any, injuries have reported.
Via technical service bulletins, Suzuki has already acknowledged two airbag-related issues with front passenger seats on both vehicles, including a programming error for the passenger seat load indicator on 2009 models and an open-circuit problem for the sensor mat that determines if an adult or child is sitting in the front seat. Since this latter issue would not shut off or lessen the impact of the passenger airbag, Suzuki has already extended the warranty for the seat cushion bottom to 10 years or 120,000 miles. After ceasing new-car sales in the US and Canada, potential recall repairs (which still may or may not happen) would be handled by remaining dealers as laid out in the recent court-approved bankruptcy plan.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mitsubishi has already announced that it will be returning as a competitor to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a pair of all-electric MiEV Evolution II racecars. In addition to these entrants, the automaker will also be the presenting sponsor of the race as well as providing the official safety vehicles to the event using specially prepped versions of the 2014 Outlander and Lancer Evolution.
While it isn't clear what exactly will be demanded of the safety vehicles, this isn't going to your run-of-the-mill pace car duty. To get the Outlander and Evo ready for the 156-turn, 12.42-mile course, Mitsubishi teamed up with companies such as BBS, Cobb Tuning, AEM and Muellerized Suspension Systems as well as DC Sports and Kenwood to create these one-off safety cars. These vehicles, and all the racecars, will be at Pikes Peak later this month for the 91st running of America's second-oldest racing event. Scroll down for the official press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mercedes-Benz has AMG on an impressive growth curve these days, the official name of the effort being Performance 50. By the 50th anniversary of AMG in 2017, the Mercedes performance division will produce 30,000-plus units per year, up from today's 20,000 or so. In addition, AMG will boast a catalog of 30-plus models, and a greater dedication to making AMG cars truly nimble performers in every sense will be a priority. Within that very full agenda, this new CLA45 AMG is certain to be an important contributor on all accounts.
The thrill monitors at AMG have a long-established reputation for creating large, open-road rockets that err on the side of brute force and everyday comfort over zippy, tight-feeling sports car finesse and balance. The strategy has worked wonders for the company's sales ledger and created handsome levels of profit per unit, but entire developing sectors of the premium hot-car market have been knowingly left out of the AMG equation. While there are exceptions, AMG has never been considered a maker of truly agile machinery that's easily tossed around.
The very first thing that we notice while driving the CLA45 AMG - on schedule for North American deliveries beginning in November with a reported starting price of $47,450 - is exactly how lively its new 4Matic chassis can be. It's an entirely new feeling for an AMG, and it's entirely welcome by us. Some will complain about the price being asked for this super CLA-Class, but this little sedan is a true AMG of the new genre, and as such, it might just be something of a bargain.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It was just a rumor, but now it's official, mates: Volvo will be joining the V8 Supercars series in Australia with an official team for 2014. Volvo is partnering with Garry Rogers Motorsport and its own Polestar tuning firm to create Volvo Polestar Racing.
A V8 engine will be produced by the Swedish arm of the racing effort, and will be supplied to the Garry Rogers team, which will get the whole shebang ready for the track. The outfit will be running two V8 Supercars "based on the production S60 road car." Considering that the S60 uses a range of transversely mounted engines with four, five or six cylinders (powering either the front or all four wheels) while the new race car will employ a V8 sending about 650 horsepower to the rear wheels, make that very loosely based on the production S60...
Volvo claims this is the first factory-backed entry in the V8 Supercars series from a luxury brand. We should note, though, that Mercedes-Benz is represented in the series with an E-Class sedan, but that outfit isn't quite an official entry from the car's German parents. In any case, you're encouraged to watch the teaser video and read the press release below for all the details.Permalink | Email this | Comments