1st Gear: Shelby SuperCars (SSC), the American supercar manufacturer and creator of the world record breaking Ultimate Aero, has introduced the name of its latest supercar — and a couple of exclusive photos. Following several years of design and development of its revolutionary new supercar, SSC has named its new car Tuatara (pronounced twu‐tar‐ah). It's a name designed to mix the sound of the word "auto" with the sound of the word "Twitter." We kid. We actually don't know what the hell it means. What do we actually know? Precious little other than power's supposedly an astonishing 1,350 HP. But I sure do think it's got a purdy mouth — and even purdier back end. Wait a second, what is that thing on the back end... are those... Spaceballs? Shit, there goes the neighborhood. There's video too. Check it out here.
2nd Gear: Brabus, the tuners of all things Mercedes, have unveiled a slew of new aero enhancements for the AMG versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class. So if you're one of the few buyers out there of the S63 or E63 who don't really want turn the batshit-crazy dial all the way to 11, but want it to look like you did, now's your chance.
3rd Gear: Ford Motor Co. said today it is recalling nearly 3,000 2007 Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans to replace the fuel tanks. In a notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, Ford said the fuel tanks on 2,945 vehicles may not have proper welds between the fuel tank and fuel filler neck. As a result, some may not have enough strength in the event of a severe rear impact. An improper weld could result in a crack in the joint which could cause a fuel odor or fuel leak. And this, of course, could lead to your fiery death!
4th Gear: United Auto Workers President Bob King told the Detroit News the UAW cannot afford to turn back the clock and make General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC uncompetitive. Instead, King says workers need to trade wage increases for profit sharing. That would keep the automakers more competitive with the foreign automakers, and insulate them from future market declines. "Do they want base wage increases? Of course," he said of his members. "Anybody does. But that isn't the most important priority. "The single most important thing to our membership is long-term security. People don't want a guillotine hanging over their head. They don't want to have to worry about whether they have a job tomorrow or not, or if their pension is secure, or if their health care is secure."
5th Gear: Lexus dealers admit to being disappointed with sales of the GS sedan and are counting on the redesigned version due next spring to compete better with the Audi A6, BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E class. The new GS will draw on styling from the Lexus LF-Gh hybrid concept, unveiled at the New York auto show in April. The production car will likely look the same, except have a much more toned-down version of the concept's large, bold grille. So, basically, it'll have the same problem the last one had — too beige.
6th Gear: Relations between Suzuki Motor and Volkswagen's have soured, with an executive at the Japanese automaker saying on Monday the two needed to go back to the drawing board on their multi-billion-dollar partnership. VW's purchase of a near-20 percent stake in Suzuki for $2.5 billion in December 2009 was welcomed by investors who expected Volkswagen to gain an inside track into Suzuki's leading small-car technology, while Suzuki would have access to Volkswagen's hybrid and other advanced technologies that it would not be able to afford on its own. More than 18 months on, however, Reuters reports that no progress has been made, a fact Suzuki Executive Vice President Yasuhito Harayama blamed on Volkswagen's notion it could wield influence over Suzuki's management.
⏎ Just to be clear, despite what the Toronto Star claims, Jim Kenzie did not build a "man-vase" for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. Dan Edmunds and I did. He did, however, take a picture of it after we parked the car and we told him he had to cite us. And this is why we never trust Canadians. [Twitpic]
⏎ Speaking of Canada, Chrysler's now beating Ford there as the No. 1 truckmaker. [Bloomberg]
⏎ Chrysler may revive Dodge Magnum wagon. [USA Today]
⏎ Nissan Leaf far outsells Chevy Volt. [LA Times]
⏎ Chevy Convertibles: He collected the full set. [New York Times]
⏎ BMW is making a 335is sedan! But where's the 335i Touring? [Automobile]
⏎ Solar car team sets out on mock race to prepare for world challenge. [Detroit News]
⏎ For Artist's Latest Work, Inspiration Comes in Triplicate [New York Times]
⏎ Mercedes Silver Arrow Display Team at Mercedes-Benz World. [Edmunds Inside Line Straightline]
⏎ Renault's new model in the "Wind" lineup is called the "Wind Gordini." No, I'm not kidding. [Autoevolution]
⏎ Would You Buy An Electric Rolls-Royce? [Time]
⏎ G.M. Said to Consider Diesel Cruze. [New York Times]
⏎ Tour bus crash in New York kills 2, injures 35. [USA Today]
Today in Automotive History:
Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap and shoulder seatbelt—considered one of the most important innovations in automobile safety—is born on July 17, 1920 in Härnösand, Sweden. [History]
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