The Autoblog Weekender – Click above to find out what you missed
Welcome to another edition of the Weekender. The Friday goods this week come from all over the world: Formula 1 drifting on ice in Montreal, an underwater Dodge Ram in Argentina, Skodas in Monte Carlo, a Hot Tub Edition Mini in New York, and free tickets to the Chicago Auto Show.
The domestic front also brings us a Fast Company profile of Volkswagen Group of America's head honcho Stefan Jacoby, which includes him admitting, "It was clear we were not understanding of our customers. We needed to change our style in the U.S., as we are a very stubborn bureaucratic German company – and German management – to some extent. I am here to listen."
And then there was all that singing and dancing at the Detroit Auto Show, but Beyoncé provided the lyrics this time, not the Chevy Volt marketing team. Follow the jump to get your weekend fill.
1. Detroit Auto Show Taken Over by the (Flash) Mob
Sure, there was that Dodge Ram on the ceiling, but After the media left the building the peeps at the Detroit Auto Show decided to have some real fun. During the show's annual charity event a flash mob broke out, singing and dancing to Beyonce in the middle of the tuxedo'ed hoi polloi. It's awesome to see impromptu fun at an auto show again, and if we had been there we would definitely have put a ring on it... Hat tip to Einor!
It looks like 2010 will gift Formula One with the largest cast of awesome drivers we've seen in a while. Still, now that the last of the true characters is gone, that being Flavio Briatore, the sport lacks a little off-track tingle. For that, there's Red Bull, a company that is bigger than any of its teams since it seems to exist purely to have fun – and sell the occasional drink and win an occasional race. But to the fun: to celebrate the return of F1 to Montreal this year, they put Sébastian Buemi in an F1 car, installed some studded tires and set him loose on a lake in Quebec. That is how you do Icecapades... Hat tip to Sébastian!
Guy Wilks pilots a Skoda Fabia in the Monte Carlo Rally - Click above for high-res image gallery
While we await the F1 season, the Monte Carlo Rally is on and Skoda and Peugeot are racing for the Intercontinental Rally Championship flag. The race is no longer part of the World Rally Championship, which means slightly slower S2000 cars but more open racing and flexibility. Eurosport has daily coverage of the race for those who want to be there. A primer on WRC vs IRC from one of the IRC co-drivers sounds like F1 vs NASCAR. Not that we care what you call it as long as there are giant wheel arches, light bars, and snow...
Peugeot is replacing two cars with one: the handsome 407 sedan and never-quite-got-there 607 are combining to form the 508. It's too soon to see what new design chief Gilles Vidal will have in this sedan, but the 508 is said to be the first integration of styling cues seen on the recently uncovered SR1 Concept. If so, it could make a decidedly attractive change for the brand. Hat tip to Antal
Volkswagewww.autoblog.com/make/volkswagen/n Group of America has a hearty task ahead. It needs to grow quickly at the same time as it works to ameliorate the ill will from the last time it grew quickly and left a trail of broken down cars in its wake. It is also presiding over a new American factory and a new line-up that includes a crucial new car. Stefan Jacoby is the captain of VW's American ship, and a Fast Company magazine profile on him illuminates the man, the company, and their consumers.
7. 1,400-Horsepower Evo 8 Aptly Named "Drag Monster"
Magnus Motors 1,400-hp Evo 8 – Click above for high-res image gallery
Of the 2-years-in-development Drag Monster, Magnus Motors says "without compromise... it is the most technologically advanced AWD drag car that the world has ever seen." Weighing just 2,266 pounds and packing 1,400 horsepower up front – check out that front side-mounted exhaust and the tube frame where the rear seats used to be – the Mitsubishi Evo 8 is predicted to do 7-second runs. We aren't sure, however, if that means to the end of the dragstrip or the galaxy. Hat tip to Jim
8. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne Takes the Reserved Route
This is the kinder, lighter, nicer, gentler, abler Cayenne. The front end especially has been toned down so much that it looks positively soft, but the slate of improvements will make this vehicle a comprehensive change over the current one. We'll see the real thing, and it's Panamera-inspired interior, at the Geneva Motor Show. Hat tip to Julio
Dok-Ing XD electric car – Click above for high-res image gallery
We dig this company because its slogan is "Don't send a man to do a machine's job." That refers to the heavy rigs the company makes – for mine removal, firefighting, and underground mining – and that makes the fact that Dok-Ing has created Croatia's first electric vehicle even more intriguing. It has two 65-horsepower electric motors that power the front wheels, an 82-mile-per-hour top speed, a range of 250 kilometers, and "X"-shaped rear lights. And it has one seat. It will be good for people who think the Smart Fortwo is a behemoth. Hat tip to Jim
10. Cuban Gynecologist Urges Viva la Revolution Trade-In!
The tale of the immigrant coming to America from the distressed country is an oft-told one because it's full of ex-nuclear physicists turned taxi drivers and ex-lawyers become night watchmen. This one goes in the ex-medico gone car salesman, a Cuban gynecologist arrived to liberate used cars from his lot and into the freedom they deserve. Don't know if we'd buy a car from him, but we could watch him do his thing all day. Thanks to Jaime
The meme is gets yanked into just about everything, but when done right it can bring the goods. After telling anyone who drives a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury to leave them room, we find out just what the leader thinks of Block's move to Ford... and Dave Mirra. It's almost as funny as the time he got angry about the lack of dedicated PC servers for Modern Warfare 2... cat helmet boy! Hat tip to Seminole
- Remember the Hyundai Genesis snafu?
This is the same, but in reverse... kinda... A woman buys a car from a dealer, the dealer accidentally undercharges her by $6,000 because of a "clerical error," dealer sues customer – not the clerk – to get $6,000. Hat tip to Jacob