The Autoblog Weekender – Click above to find out what you missed
This week's roundup is like a Jim Jarmusch film or a big pot of gumbo: there's a little bit of everything in there, and some of it might make you wonder "What happened here?" People who watch UFOs end up catching a Honda CR-Z. The Buick Regal might not come with all-wheel drive but it might come with a nine-speed transmission. And one man buys ten – that's ten – Aston Martin One-77s. For his family. But as with those Jarmusch films, these things are hard to explain, you just have to experience them yourself. Just one little click to follow the jump will do it...
1. Honda CR-Z Gets Caught by UFO-Watchers
Do you think it's a coincidence that the Honda CR-Z was caught in Columbus, Ohio by a gent who's normally on the lookout for aliens? The sitemaster of Paranormal Daily News caught eight shots of Honda's soon-to-be hybrid runner, and we hope it's got the sporting chops to match its chunky looks. However... is it just us, or is this the Insight – no, the first Insight – all over again? The rest of the photos are hanging out at the link below Hat tip to Jimmy
[Source: Paranormal Daily News]
2. BMW M1 Gets All Kinds of Personal(ization)
Another week, another drip among the droplets of information on the BMW M1. If the 350 horsepower, 310 foot-pounds and aero alterations aren't enough, The Roundel is preparing a bevy of options under the umbrella of a Cosmetic Personalization Program. As on the the hotted-up, track-focused 1 Series models on the auto show circuit (e.g., the Tii Concept, pictured), your retail pleasure will be caressed with items such as: carbon fiber hood, trunk and mirror housings, M-stripes available in three colors and in three different positions on the car, and shadowline chrome. And that's only the outside. Of course – as if there were any question – you should expect your massaging of options to cost you a standard fortune. Hat tip to Henry
[Source: 1 Addicts]
3. The General gets Jiggy with a Patent for a 9-Speed Transmission
Remember when bicycles had ten speeds and car's had three? No more, dear friends! Progress wants better gas mileage and smoother motoring, and that means more ratios. This time the ante-upper is General Motors, having filed a patent application for a nine-speed transmission – as in "nine forward gears and one reverse." Now that is how you start to make Cadillac a class-leading luxury segment entrant... Hat tip to BarCODE
4. The Stig's Valentine: a Zenvo ST1
Top Gear magazine hung out with a Zenvo ST1 and its makers in the Middle Eastern desert, and takes an in-depth look at what the Danes have done. It's good reading about a good car, but the words only tell part of the tale: The Silent One in the Alpinestars suit is just as revealing, and maybe says all you need to know when we find out the Zenvo is "his new favorite car." Hat tip to Joergen
[Source: Top Gear]
5. The Scirocco Says 'Tag to the Other America'
South America gets the Volkswagen Scirocco, we don't. It hasn't gone on sale yet but two samples of VW's square-butt coupe were caught in Itupeva, Brazil, looking rather good in white and rather funky in metallic green. So the Scirocco has a thing for thongs, Capirhinhas, and lasses from Ipanema. We get it. But The South of America is pretty close to South America, and we're sure Alabama can do a mean churrasco steak if asked nicely. It'll be just like São Paolo, promise. Come on VW, how 'bout it? Hat tip to Luis
[Source: No Transito (translated)]
6. XJ Excess
Autocar has the cats in the bag, testing the three versions of the Jaguar XJ on sale in England right now: the 3.0d V6 and the Portfolio and the Supersport with their 5.0-liter V8s. The questions queued up are "Is it big enough, is it good enough quality, and does it feel special?" Answers include such assessments as: it doesn't "float and glide" and it doesn't have "pillowy softness," but it does have much better steering and body control. For the rest of the give-and-take, watch the video and see for yourself. Hat tip to Anand
7. The Most Speculative Speculation: Jaguar XF Coupe a Geneva Motor Show Surprise?
File this under Believe When Seen, but an Italian site called Jaguar Mania claims to have heard rumors (that they heard from a guy who knew a guy) that a Jaguar XF Coupe could make the cut at the Geneva Motor Show. This rumor has been around since at least 2008, when Auto Express suggested said car would be on sale this year. But that didn't happen. And frankly, neither has anything else, but we'll talk about this now because we love the idea of an XF Coupe, especially if it looks like the one Auto Express dreamed up, and we just like the idea of Italians going mad for Jaguars. Only four more days before we find out...
[Source: Jaguar Mania (translated)]
8. Cities, Courts Still Playing Red Light Green Light with Red Light Cameras
Cities are determined to keep using and installing red light cameras for
[Source: Sun-Sentinel, CBS4]
9. Proving the Chupacabra: GM Inside News Tries to Make a Case for a RWD Impala
A guest commentarist on GM Inside News runs throws continents (U.S., Australia, Europe), brands (GM, Opel, Buick, Holden, Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler) executives (Mark Reuss, Bob Lutz, Fritz Henderson), engines and platforms into a Cuisinart and somehow comes up with this: "I shall leave you off with my word that GM will reverse it's decision sometime later within this year" and commit to building a rear-wheel-drive Impala. Sound theorizing, or sophistry? You'll have to dissect it yourself and decide... Hat tip to Anlil
[Source: GM Inside News]
10. Buick Regal as Something Rotten in Denmark: To AWD, or not to AWD...
Remember that all-wheel drive Buick GS that might maybe possibly be built to "reignite Buick's performance fire?" You might maybe want to unremember that part about AWD. Seems the product leadership at GM can't decide whether the extra powered wheels are worth the extra lard and greenbacks. Because who wants to spend a few extra dollars on a sporty, all-wheel-drive Buick? Certainly not the folks currently digging themselves out of the Snowpocalypse Part II – they would never pay a little more for four driven wheels, right?
11. Reason #813: Why the 1970s Were Awesome
This thing. Hat tip to Tyson
[Source: Live Leak]
And Then Some...
– Nostalgia Lane with Arnold and Hummer
The brand's future in doubt, nothing like a look back at its higher rolling days with its most famous brand ambassador not wearing desert fatigues. Hat tip to Steven
[Source: Motor Trend]
– Who Needs Ten One-77s?
A man in the Middle East. A very rich one. With $23 million to spend. On cars for his family. Of course. Hat tip to Gilli
[Source: Auto Guide]
– Spyker CEO Victor Muller Sees a Saab 9-5, Says "That's Mine."
The Spyker head celebrated his successful purchase with a 9-5 that's so new that no one can buy it yet. Well, unless you buy the whole company.
[Source: Moto Bullet]
– What was He Thinking? Oh, That's Right, He Wasn't. Obviously.
One truck. One flooded road. Many screams for help. Hat tip to Duy