1st Gear: Bimmerfile is reporting that BMW's M-Team will be doing more than unveiling the M5 ‘Concept' in Shanghai this April. They claim that BMW's performance division will be showing a concept car that likely won't see production. The concept "will show the possibilities of how BMW M can progress in relation to full lightweight bodyshell and chassis using the ideas from the BMWi programme which will filter through to BMW's core production models. It is more of an "engineering and performance showcase" than a visual one." Bimmerfile's reading these tea leaves to mean "an E92 M3 re-imagined with carbon fiber and...other technologies to create a lighter, faster car without adding power." That's a concept we can get behind.
2nd Gear: At 1,873 lb., the GT racing version of the Mazda MX-5 — called the Mazda MX-5 GT — is the lightest and most powerful version of the iconic roadster ever built. The light little roadster will race in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011 where it's expected to accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in just three seconds and hit a top speed of 160mph. It has been built as "an engineering challenge to get the weight as low as possible using Mazda's gram strategy as the inspiration." When asked why Mazda was choosing Britcar, Mazda spokespeople replied, "because we'd like to show up that Chris Harris bloke." We swear that's what they said. Scout's honor. If we were scouts. Which we weren't.
3rd Gear: Autocar's reporting two new models and a fresh styling direction will kick-off Cadillac sales in Europe as GM's "American luxury" brand tries for a third attempt in 15 years to crack the continent's premium car market - but a diesel still seems a long way off. "The only thing you can do is try, try and try again with Cadillac in Europe," said GM chief executive Dan Akerson. Yes, and Albert Einstein once said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
4th Gear: More than 1,700 minivans have been piling up at Chrysler Group LLC's Windsor assembly plant after the automaker could not reach an agreement with one of its primary vehicle-hauling contractors. Allied Systems Holdings withdrew carrier services from Chrysler and General Motors Co. March 16, and talks between the companies have not repaired relations. So if you're a mom with a hardcore need for a new minivan, there's only one thing you can do: Blame Canada!
5th Gear: According to a recent report by Go Auto, Holden is reversing on GM's previous statements on the Cruze by developing an SS version to battle the Ford Focus ST and Mazda3 MPS. They believe the model will likely be available in four- and five-door body styles and possibly resemble the Cruze Z-Spec concept unveiled at last year's SEMA Show. We promise that if these rumors are true, we'll only call it the Cruze "Super Shitbox" occasionally.
6th Gear: See, we told you BMW's not going to build the M3 pickup truck. According to Matt Davis, Autoblog's new hairless European editor, the one-off pickup was nothing more than an April Fools' Day joke and it was, as we said originally, nothing more than a one-off parts hauler.
⏎ Hey, Lamborghini, can we please just skip the Estoque sedan and move right on to the wagon? [Car and Driver]
⏎ Edmunds Inside Line continues to lose itself in its track-testing of highly relevant vehicles — like the Chrysler 200 Limited. [Edmunds Inside Line]
⏎ Bernie Ecclestone will meet with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg this weekend about a possible Staten Island location for an F1 race. You heard that right — Staten Island. [GPUpdate]
⏎ Is a front-wheel-drive-based pickup in Chevrolet's future? [Automotive News]
⏎ GM vs. Ford: The hundred-year war. [Fortune]
⏎ Toyota will delay the launch of the Prius hybrid minivan in Japan due to continued disruptions in its parts supply. [drive.com.au]
⏎ One Subaru dealer's take on the after-effects of the tsunami. [Be Car Chic]
⏎ The PickupTrucks.com first drive review of the 2011 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman has pretty pictures. [PickupTrucks.com]
⏎ National Speed Sport News, the weekly tabloid that covered everything from midget racing to Formula 1 for 77 years, will publish its last issue today. Sam Smith mourns its loss. [MSN Autos]
⏎ The first Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid has rolled off the assembly line in Finland. While in Finland, why not take a short swim across the Gulf of Bothnia and visit the majestik møøse in Sweden. Did you know a Møøse once bit my sister? No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink." [Automobile]
⏎ We apologize for the fault in today's Morning Shift. Those responsible have been sacked.
⏎ General Motors plans to sell $1.02 billion of perpetual preferred stock in Ally Financial. [GM]
⏎ Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretty nasti...
⏎ We apologize again for the fault in today's Morning Shift. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
⏎ Jenson Button's Ferrari is getting auctioned. [New York Times]
On this day in 1937, Craig Breedlove, the first person to reach land speeds of 400mph, 500 mph and 600 mph in a jet-powered vehicle, is born. [History]
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