Autoblog Weekender: IRL, Making Mulsannes, a Russian Hummer Tractor Thingy, IRL, the Alfabeast ... and more IRL

The Autoblog Weekender – Click above to find out what you missed

In February's first Weekender, NASCAR already has its Car of Tomorrow and now Indycar is planning its car of 2012. Dallara has designed three sample chassis, and while they might not make IRL any more fun to watch, they could make it far more interesting to look at. In other lands, the Alfabeast is what you get when you cross a 2.5-liter V6 and a hardtail motorcycle, Ford says "No" to manatees and monkeys, Bentley shows you how to make a Mulsanne, the new Porsche Cayenne interior looks hot as cayenne, and did you hear the one about the guy who ate a bowl of chili and crashed into a house? Yeah, neither had we. Follow the jump for all those stories and more...

1. New Dallara IndyCar Chassis Concepts

The IZOD IndyCar series has revamped the rules of its chassis design, and these are the criteria for the new cars: safer,
"raceable" – they need to promote good racing, not major spacing between cars, more cost-effective, American-made, lighter, modern, green, and with "relevant technology." Chassis builders Deltawing, Lola, and Swift are working on new designs for the series, but Dallara is the first to release renderings of its three takes on the new car. Deltawing's version will be revealed next week at the Chicago Auto Show. In the meantime, and the Indy-verse has been all over the map in terms of response to what Dallara envisions. Hat tip to Travis

[Source: Silent Pagoda via Pressdog]

2. Farbio Flies West

The details are scant and you never know how these things are going to go, but Farbio now has a North American distributor. William Prior took the reigns of an entity called Farbio North America, LLC and will be bringing the little UK kit car (joining its mates like Rossion and Ariel) to American Anglophile pilots. The homologation and certification work has yet to be completed, so it will be at least 15 months before it passes through customs and pokes its headlights out of the arrivals area. It's a depressingly early announcement since it won't be until late 2011 until you get your hands on a Farbio GT350 track day special... but when you do, boy, look out! Hat tip to Pottz

[Source: Farbio]

3. Crossbreed Alfabeast is Straight-Up Hot

In its own words, UK bike builder and fabricator Crossbreed makes "sick, twisted motorcycles." Like this: the Alfabeast, which puts a 2.5-liter Alfa Romeo V6 into an aftermarket hardtail frame, with a 4-speed Harley 'box and, get this, a kickstarter. Note the six exhaust pipes, four protruding Weber carbs, and the detail work. You know what they say: if loving this is wrong, we don't need to be right. Ever. Hat tip to Chris

[Source: Bike EXIF]

4. Bentley Bodies the Mulsanne


Bentley has provided a look behind the curtain at what it takes to build the new Muslanne. There are 100 men and 125 man-hours invested in just creating the award-winning, superformed high-strength steel body with hand-brazed seams. And that's well before the humidors, flatscreens, and color-matched pink fluffy bits are thrown in. The Mulsanne is still working to make the right impression on a lot of folks, yet the detail that goes into creating it – as with any Bentley – is unquestionably impressive. Speaking of Mulsannes, the Bentley Drivers Club will host its Annual Race Meeting at Silverstone on August 7, 2010, which we note only as an excuse to put up pics of a 90s-era Muslanne with a giant green wing.

[Source: Bentley]

5. On the Flip Side, Tom Purves Has a Few Thoughts on How to Sell a Rolls-Royce

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Tom Purves is departing the captain's quarters of the Rolls-Royce Motorcar ship. That means that now will probably begin the "How I Did It" biopics and lectures, and they're not unwarranted: not only in charge of moving Phantoms and Drophead Coupes in an absurdly tough market, he's also the man who helped move the Mini to America, and you see what happened with that. He knows a little about how to sell a lot of cars. And he'll share it with you if you just watch the video... Hat tip to John

[Source: Meet the Boss]

6. Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Tesla IPO

So Tesla filed for an IPO recently, and there were already revelations about the fate death of the Tesla Roadster and the company's revenue. The astute investment types over at Daily Finance also took a look at the paperwork, and they found a few more eyebrow-raising notations: the company admits it expects "the rate at which we will incur losses to increase significantly in future periods from current levels," it plans to build the Model S "with an adaptable platform architecture and common electric powertrain" but "We have no experience with using common platforms in the design and manufacture of our vehicles and the design of the Model S is not complete," and Elon "does not devote his full time and attention" to Tesla. Aha. Ahem. Make your checks out to "Tesla IPO..."

[Source: Daily Finance]

7. Wendy's Chili Makes a Man Make a Mess

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Man driving lumber truck buys $0.99 bowl of Wendy's chili. Truck driver eats chili. Truck driver chokes on chili. Truck driver passes out. Unconscious truck driver plows lumber truck into house. House slated to be demolished due to damage sustained. You could make this stuff up, but thanks to said truck driver you don't need to.

[Source: MSNBC]

8. Ford Won't Swim with the Fishes... Or the Reptiles...

Carmakers have been swooping over Toyota's weakened body like buzzards and trying to steal bites of its market share in increasingly brazen ways. Here's a tale from another angle, though: Ford was apparently looking to do some advertising at zoos and aquariums as a way to gain market share from Toyota by speaking to women in a new milieu. With Toyota down on one knee and shedding market share like a cat sheds fur, Ford has been accused by a zoo and aquarium insider as dropping "all pretense of marketing to women and zoo and aquarium visitors." It's a bit of he-said-she-said, but nonetheless a novel view of how marketing channels are opening and closing.

[Source: Z and A Visitor | Image Credit: James Disley – CC2.0]

9.Porsche Cayenne Interior Comes a Long Way

No matter what we think of the Panamera's outside, we think its inside is having a wonderful effect on Porsche interiors. Autocar took the Cayenne out for a development ride in the desert but was only allowed body shots. Autozeitung got a glimpse of the inside, and in the words of Borat, we find it "very niiiiiiiiiiice."

[Source: Autozeitung via German Car Blog]

10. - Is That an LED Display in Your Pocket?

We're going to skip the Ready for the World reference and just let you know that there's a site for all your digital dashboard pr0n needs. Which is probably a category you didn't even know existed. Hat tip to April

[Source: Double You Digital]

11. Why We Love Russia, Reason #17: Russians Make Things Like This

No idea what this thing is. But it swims, it dives, it breathes fire. Or something like that. And we love it. Hat tip to Pasi

[Source: English Russia]

And Then Some...

As if Prius owners didn't have enough problems
Yeah, don't worry about those brakes for the moment, you might want to take a look behind you... Hat tip to Josh
[Source: Quattroworld]

Design your own IRL
With all those F1 types unveiling cars in Europe, you can whip up a little American action with Honda's Indycar paint scheme designer. Hat tip to Mike R
[Source: Honda]

Speaking of IRL, Danica on CSI
And if that's not enough IRL for you and you need more CSI in your life, they come together in Danica Patrick when she shows up on CSI: New York on February 10. Because you really can't get enough Danica, can you? The answer is no. So don't fight it. Hat tip to VP
[Source: ESPN]

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