Ginetta G60, Dodge axes Grand Caravan, Avenger, and Detroit is having a moment

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1st Gear: Meet The New Farboud-Farbio-F400-Ginetta-G60!
This is the new Ginetta G60, a $106,000 rival for the Porsche 911 and Cayman, and a homegrown opponent for Jaguar's forthcoming XE sports car. If you recognize the Ginetta G60, you should. It started life as a Farboud, then became a Farbio when Chris Marsh (of Marcos fame) bought the rights. And now Ginetta owns the company and has completely redeveloped the car. For an engine, expect a 3.7-liter Ford ‘Cyclone' V6 engine — the same engine used in the 185 MPH GT3 racing Ginetta — mounted in the middle, sending 310 horses and 288 torques to the rear wheels. We're told that the 0-to-60 time is 4.9 seconds, with top speed of somewhere upwards of 165 mph. The body is still all-F400, except with new carbon fiber cooling vents and a revised splitter.


2nd Gear: Chrysler To Axe Dodge Grand Caravan, Avenger
Chrysler will offer just one minivan in the future — as part of a plan to end duplication in dealer showrooms — will axe the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan in favor of a single crossover in 2013, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News. The Chrysler brand will get a replacement for its 200 mid-sized sedan when the Avenger, its sibling, is replaced. Thankfully, the Chrysler sedan and Dodge crossover will both be built on Fiat platforms.


3rd Gear: Ford Transit To Get Home-Grown In U.S.
Bloomberg reports that Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AS, the Turkish unit of Ford Motor Co. in partnership with Koc Holding AS, will not export a new Transit van model to the U.S., Hurriyet reported, citing chief executive officer Nuri Otay. Ford Otosan's Golcuk plant in northwestern Kocaeli province will be the biggest center for new Transits, making 300,000 units a year, Otay said, according to the Istanbul-based newspaper. Ford will also start producing Transits in Kansas City, Missouri, according to an agreement signed with the United Auto Workers, Hurriyet said. We're also told it'll be, like the E-Series or F-Series vans and pickups, a T-Series naming scheme.


4th Gear: Detroit Is Having A Moment
USA Today tells us what we've already known for a while — these days, people think about Detroit a little differently. "A new spirit is heard in the euphoria for its professional sports teams: The Tigers are in the American League Championship Series, while the Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 - and playing on Monday Night Football for the first time in a decade. That spirit is celebrated in an Emmy-winning Super Bowl ad that touts the city's working-class roots. It's felt in the resurgence of the auto industry, which has seen sales rebound with new products and improved technology three years after almost collapsing. "There's a tendency to think about Detroit as this Rust Belt, throwaway city," says Susan Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit Inc., whose group is offering financial incentives for people to move into the city. "All this has reframed that conversation... There is a moment in time for Detroit." Who ever thought the words "imported from Detroit" - tagline of the Super Bowl ad - would be cool? People here say it's not just Detroit's image that's changing. They say after years of decline, the city finally is taking baby steps forward." Read more here.


5th Gear: Vauxhall's New Convertible Takes A Volkswagen Eos-Like Turn
Vauxhall's new convertible will not be the Astra cabriolet, CAR has learned. Instead the new Astra-based convertible will be positioned as a separate, standalone model like Volkswagen's Eos. The new mid-sized Vauxhall/Opel convertible will be launched in 2012 but we should expect to first see it unveiled next summer, with UK sales kicking off later in the year. We hear it'll even have a canvas roof. How very retro.


6th Gear: BMW Will Use Over 110% Production Capacity In 2011
BMW will run its factories above capacity this year, the carmaker's production chief Frank-Peter Arndt told Automotive News Europe. Arndt said capacity use will be 110% for 2011, measured according to the Harbour Report, an industry standard that defines full capacity as two shifts working five day a week. "But more important than the percentage capacity use is to have the right capacity at the right time in the right place," the executive said in an interview.


⏎ Man, they'll put the New York City Subway map on anything! [NYC Subway Line]

⏎ Chrysler-UAW Talks Winding Up. [Wall Street Journal]

CAR interviews Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo. [Car Magazine]

⏎ Saab's plans hinge on investment. [Automotive News]

⏎ Ricky Gadson leaks 2012 Kawasaki ZX-14R. [Hell for Leather]

⏎ Mercedes' deal to name Superdome was hatched at dealer meetings. [Automotive News]


⏎ 'Monday Night Football' fires up Detroit fans. [Detroit News]

⏎ Chrysler may face fine over L.A. store. [Automotive News]

Today in Automotive History:

On this day in 1987, the song "Here I Go Again" by English hard-rock group Whitesnake tops the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States. Today, what most people remember about the song is its saucy video: The actress Tawny Kitaen spends a great deal of it in a white negligee, writhing and cartwheeling across the hoods of two Jaguars parked next to one another. It is one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s, and it features two of the most famous cars in pop-culture history. [History]


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