Friday, May 6th, 2011

This is the Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?


Friday, May 6th, 2011

1st Gear: Jaguar confirmed today it will build the simply stunning C-X75 concept car first seen at last year's Paris Motor Show as a highly-exclusive hybrid supercar. The Jaguar C-X75 will become the British marque's most advanced model to date, offering a 0-to-60 time of just three seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Sadly, although the concept showed off some trick turbine technology that was powered by butterfly tears, the real production car will use a small-capacity, highly-boosted internal combustion engine with one powerful electric motor at each axle. Whether that'll get it to the 780 HP of the concept is anyone's guess. Only 250 examples will be built, each costing between $1.1 and $1.4 million, depending on market and local taxes. That's a pricey pussycat, but if it looks like what we saw in Paris, then it may very well be worth it. But the other question is how will they find the money to pay for the development of new technologies like this? The answer is that Tata just told Jaguar that they're giving them $8 billion to match German rivals. That's a lot of rupees.


Friday, May 6th, 2011

2nd Gear: After having already dropped the Boxster S and 911 Black Editions, Porsche is completing the threesome, today unveiling the Porsche Cayman S Black Edition. Under the hood, the Cayman S Black Edition gets ten additional horses over the standard edition, with the 3.4-liter six-cylinder now good for 325 bhp at 7,400 rpm ( Hey, that's 200 rpm higher than on the standard model), while the number of torques stays the same at 273 lb-ft. Additional features only found on the Cayman S Black Edition include a set of Boxster Spyder 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35ZR19s tires in the front and 265/35 ZR19 tires in the rear. Bi-Xenon headlights come standard, the seats are upholstered in black leather with the Porsche crest on the headrests and there's a new Sport Design steering wheel. A stainless-steel "Black Edition" badge also adorns the door sills. Prices for the Cayman S Black Edition begin at €67,807 in Germany, VAT included, and £50,420 in the U.K. We have no idea what it'll be in the United States, but it'll be on sale in Germany in July and the UK in September.


Friday, May 6th, 2011

3rd Gear: So just how important is color? Apparently, for automakers testing car designs in consumer clinics years ahead of production, color is crucial. How crucial? For example, Black makes a car look smaller, says Bryan Nesbitt, General Motors' executive director for North America exterior design and global architecture strategy. White makes a car look larger. And apparently if you give a terrible little shitbox a color so bright it makes you cry, you'll completely ignore the car it's sprayed on.


Friday, May 6th, 2011

4th Gear: Chrysler, in another sign of better times, has signed a lease for a 210,000-square-foot office building in Auburn Hills, Mich., because the automaker has now apparently completely outgrown the four buildings on its current global technology center and world headquarters campus. It's a shame they sold GEM cars, because those little golf carts would probably be pretty useful now, eh?


Friday, May 6th, 2011

5th Gear: Just days after German Economics Minister Rainer Brüderle spoke out against electric car subsidies, rumors are afloat that the government actually will commit billions of Euros to put a million electric cars on the road by 2020. Without naming sources, the Bild daily newspaper reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet plans to eliminate the motor vehicle tax on electric cars for their first 10 years of registration. The plan would put drivers opting for more expensive electric technology on a similar financial footing as those of traditional fuel-combustion vehicles.


Friday, May 6th, 2011

6th Gear: Bloomberg reports this morning that Honda, Japan's third largest carmaker, fell the most in seven weeks in Tokyo trading after halting production at factories in China for more than two weeks. Honda declined as much as 5.1%, the most since March 15, and changed hands 5% lower at 3,065 yen as of the 11 a.m. trading break. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average was down 1.8%.


Reverse:

⏎ GM's Opel to sell cars in Israel very soon. [Bloomberg]

⏎ Luck, if you've ever been a lady to begin with — luck, be a lady to Ford. [Automotive News]

⏎ Obama's fuel-efficiency push may lead fleet to use more gasoline. [Automotive News]

⏎ Chrysler offers pricing on $3.5 billion term loan to repay debt. [Bloomberg]

⏎ Saab Australia to consider some really Hawtai imports. [GoAuto]


Today in Automotive History:

On this day in 1991, 51-year-old race car driver Harry Gant racks up his 12th Nascar Winston Cup career victory in the Winston 500 in Talladega, Alabama. In doing so, Gant bettered his own record as the oldest man ever to win a NASCAR event. [History]

Friday, May 6th, 2011
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Friday, May 6th, 2011
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