Has Saab found a buyer?

9 June 2009
Confidential

Thanks BMW, but I'll take an old M3

I notice that there is an M3 ‘Edition’ on its way. It’s a tad lower by ten mill, can have shiny black 19-inch alloys, with so called ‘dark chrome’ everywhere and some contrasting stripey interior trim. Isn’t this an M3 too far? I know BMW makes more profit this way and buyers love the idea of a racer for the road, but can’t they do without all the luxury extras and the bodykit bling which leaves 318Ci drivers in doubt as to what has just overtaken them?

9 June 2009
Half-price heroes

Meet Maranello’s Romeo and Juliet

You may not know it but, at Ferrari HQ, inside its ‘Nuovo Meccanica’ (its 18 month old engine plant to you and me), a tribute to Shakespeare’s finest love story takes place every couple of minutes. It’s a fascinating, intimate, computer-controlled ballet of elemental chemistry and perfect physics, and it’s flawlessly repeated once for every eight- or 12-cylinder motor that’s made at Maranello. I caught a one-minute matinee earlier this week; here’s how the miniature romance went. The main protagonists are two robotic arms – a big one, ‘Romeo’, and a smaller one, ‘Juliet’. Together they carry out quite a dangerous and complicated process on the Prancing Horse’s engine production line; they fuse valve seats into those motors’ aluminium cylinder heads.

9 June 2009
Anything goes

The death of KERS

It now seems certain that the future purpose of the much vaunted KERS energy recovery system is to enable F1 anoraks to look smug when its name appears on the question sheet of the local pub quiz in a few years time. Expensive, unreliable and of unproven merit, all the F1 teams want shot of it save BMW which, in the interest of keeping the peace among FOTA members (and because it has no choice but to go with majority opinion) will not use it next year either.

9 June 2009
Motorsport

Saab bets on green-tinged growth

Saab’s 20 years under GM control has been one long war of attrition. The first 10 years saw a stand-off between GM and co-owner Investor (a Swedish investment company). Neither side would commit serious development funds to the company.

7 June 2009
Confidential

Paintwork that’s up to scratch

In the world of cars it is easy to skim over the never-ending developments in technology. But every so often something stands out, and today it is Infiniti’s self-healing paint. <br /> <br />Self-healing paint? It's been around for a while but no matter how many times you hear these words it still sounds like a feature on Tomorrow’s World.

5 June 2009
Anything goes

What 'bikers could teach learner drivers

The subject of the sub-standard driving that so frequently displays itself on British roads is one that us users of Autocar.co.uk love to discuss. I’m wondering if I can tempt you all to discuss it again. But I’m not just picking a likely topic that’ll make everyone wade in; I’ve got a practical suggestion to improve things that could, I think, make life better for all of us.

4 June 2009
Anything goes

F1 poised to go nuclear

You might think that Gordon Brown has got his problems, but Max Mosley could be about to trigger a seismic F1 meltdown which will make our prime minister’s little difficulties look like a walk in the park.&nbsp; Yesterday, in an interview with the respected Swiss racing magazine Motorsport Aktuell, Mosley dramatically raised the stakes in his confrontation with the Formula One Team’s Association by telling the nine teams who submitted their entries en bloc last Friday, that if they don’t like the new rules then they had better push off and make their own arrangements for their own separate championship.

4 June 2009
Motorsport

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