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Ferrari F430 supercar shiny Chrome plating has become the focus of attention at the International Festival Velden sports car.

One event in international sports car Velden recently held in the Austrian town of Velden, with the participation of more than 300 super cars from around the world like: Techart GT Street R, Weismann MF5, Lamborghini Murcielago, Gallardo Superleggera, Aventador LP700-4, McLaren MP4-12C, Ferrari 458 Spider, Porsche Carrera GT, 599 GTB, Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Lamborghini Diablo ... which must include the presence of a Ferrari F430 Chrome.
Ferrari F430 to go into production from 2004 to 2009 with certain success, super food before giving Ferrari 458 names for the Italian carmaker officially born.

Ferrari F430 is equipped with 4.3 liter V8 engine production capacity of 483 kW and maximum torque of 465Nm achieved. Thanks to the specifications of this impression that the F430 is capable of accelerating from 0 - 100km / h in 4 seconds, before reaching a top speed of nearly 320km / h.


Hyundai Motor America and Rhys Millen can continue their partnership into the 2012 world RallyCross season that starts on could twenty six in Charlotte, N.C. He'll come back to drive the hopped-up Veloster hatchback in all seven races, as well as 2 at ESPN's Summer X Games.

“I'm thrilled to represent Hyundai and also the Veloster within the GRC series for a second season,” Millen said. “The RMR Veloster demonstrates simply how spectacular the assembly Hyundai Veloster is for everyday enthusiasts. GRC fans get to expertise rallycross versions of cheap, fun-to-drive cars exploited to their full race potential.”

Hyundai is that the lead sponsor for Rhys Millen's entry. the opposite Veloster within the series is driven by Stephan Verdier, who is sponsored by Disney XD. Millen has success in several types of racing, as well as victories in RallyCross, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Formula Drift and alternative series. He additionally showed us a way to do some real workplace drifting.

Millen's race-spec Veloster is tuned up to five hundred hp from its turbocharged four. that is regarding three hundred hp quite the Turbo version we'll see this summer. It additionally options an all-wheel-drive system that you simply will not realize on street-spec Velosters.


Nissan's design objective for the 2013 Altima was to create a car that was "a class above" the actual category in which this model plays. Sure, it sounds like a glib promotional line, but we had several people come up to us during the initial drive experience and ask if this was a new Lexus. Clearly they thought they were looking at a premium brand and we won't argue with that. The sheetmetal now has a more sophisticated character, and even the joker-grin grille that Nissan favors doesn't detract much from the expensive look.

While the rear end looks familiar, the deep-draw trunklid stamping produces interesting contours, and the prominent chrome accent bar's subtle shape was influenced by styling from a Shinto temple. The car's profile is clean, and the strategic creases in its sides are right up to date with current design trends.

All in all, the new Altima is a good-looking piece, and it even weighs less now thanks to the use of aluminum for the hood and bumper reinforcements, and expanded use of high-tensile steel. Overall, total vehicle weight was reduced by about 80 pounds.

The new car's dimensions are much as they were for its predecessor, but the new unibody benefits from a front strut-tower brace and an additional structural support at the rear parcel shelf to improve solidity.

Nissan retained the 3.5-liter V6 despite the prevailing flight to all inline-fours for midsize sedans by much of the industry, noting that there is still a group of drivers who like V6s. Predictably, the four-cylinder car feels lighter in the nose, able to turn in a fraction quicker than its V6 sibling, but the six-cylinder model rules in the throttle-response stakes.

Some people might not like the unusual engine cadence one experiences with a CVT, but you can't beat it for instant response. Need to move into a gap on the freeway? Step on the gas and hold on. Then, on the open road, you can dial back and let the revs drop to a discreet purr as the CVT spools to its long-striding high ratio. All that's left is to sit back on the new NASA-inspired "zero-gravity" seats (designed to reduce muscular load) and enjoy the trip.

Looking ahead, one sees an appropriately space-age instrument panel with a center info screen that offers virtual three-dimensional displays. The car is loaded with all of the usual modern electronic stuff, including a backup camera that provides not only a rearward peek but also lane-departure and blind-spot warnings, plus moving-object recognition to see toddlers and shopping carts.

Along with navigation and cell phone integration (allowing streaming audio and text-message services), the Altima has available remote start and easy-fill tire-pressure monitoring, where the car beeps to tell you when the correct pressure has been reached.
Nice as those convenience technologies are, the Altima's major attraction for us is its performance on the road. Both engines are strong and responsive, and the CVT has some brilliant features to help the driver. For one, it stays at the current ratio if you lift off the gas momentarily, such as when trying to merge. For another, it shifts to a lower ratio when you're braking, to be ready for a strong drive off the corner.

And when you do hammer off that corner, there's an active understeer control (which brakes the inside front wheel) to keep you on the right line. With features such as this, we can live with a bit of motor-boating from the drivetrain.

With the four-cylinder model priced from $21,500 and the V6 starting at $25,360, we find the Altima an attractive alternative to the other big players in the class.

2013 Nissan Altima

On Sale: Late June

Base Price: I4, $21,500; V6, $25,360


2.5-liter I4; 182-hp, 180 lb-ft, FWD, CVT

3.5-liter V6; 270-hp, 258 lb-ft, FWD, CVT

Curb Weight: 3,108-3,355 lb

0-60 MPH: 7.8 sec, 6.2 sec (est)

Fuel Economy: 27/38 mpg, 23/30 mpg (est)


Michael Schumacher was fastest in qualifying, but a penalty means Mark Webber will start the Monaco Grand Prix from pole

Michael Schumacher was the fastest man in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, but a penalty means Mark Webber will start from pole position.

Schumacher's final lap of the day was just eight-hundredths of a second faster than Webber, but he starts sixth due to a five-place grid penalty following his collision with Bruno Senna in Barcelona. Webber has form at Monaco, having won the race from pole in 2010.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg - who was fastest in final practice - will join Webber on the front row of the grid, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean.

Fernando Alonso is in fifth, having qualified just a tenth of a second faster than his teammate Felipe Massa. This is the first time the Brazilian driver has qualified within the top 10 this season, and he was fastest of all the drivers in Q2.

Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen will start in seventh place ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who was the only driver not to set a time in the final qualifying session.

Maldonado was ninth fastest but will start the race from 19th place due to a 10-place grid penalty, following a crash in final practice. The Venezuelan driver - who took his first Formula One victory in the last race in Barcelona - appeared to cause a collision with Sergio Perez, before crashing his Williams just a few moments later and bringing the session to an end. This follows his penalty for driving into Lewis Hamilton in Belgium last year.

Nico Hulkenberg has then inherited 10th place, and will start ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and Jenson Button. All three failed to make it into the final qualifying session.

The biggest casualty of the day was Sergio Perez. He crashed into a barrier during the first qualifying session, due to what looked like a steering problem. He lost his left-rear wheel and was forced to park his car on track.

Perez also had a huge crash during qualifying in Monaco last year, which left him out of the race and in hospital with severe concussion.

2012 Monaco Grand Prix grid


Does new GT 86 coupe finally give Toyota a sports car contender? We hit the road to find out

The Toyota GT 86 is the car keen drivers have been waiting for. Ever since its debut as a sleek concept at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, this coupe has become one of the most anticipated models of the decade.

Developed in partnership with Subaru, the GT 86 has gone back to basics in an effort to deliver undiluted and affordable driving thrills. With its traditional front-engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, low kerbweight and eye-catching £24,995 price, it has all the right ingredients to succeed. So does it live up to the hype?

It certainly looks the part. With its long nose, low roofline and short tail, the GT 86 has classic coupe proportions. Racy touches include an aerodynamically tuned tailgate spoiler, ‘double bubble’ roof and huge twin-exit exhausts. It’s not as sleek as an Audi TT or as muscular as a Nissan 370Z, but has plenty of visual appeal.

Inside, the GT 86 is less impressive. The busy dashboard design already looks a bit dated, while there are far too many hard and shiny plastics, giving the cabin a slightly low-rent feel. And the cramped rear seats can only really be used by small children. Yet the driving position is perfect and the high-backed, figure-hugging seats are extremely comfortable.

Press the starter button, and the 2.0-litre flat four fires into life with a purposeful burble. Drivers who are used to torquey turbocharged diesel and petrol engines will find the naturally aspirated 197bhp engine feels a little gutless at low speeds.

Get the revs above 4,000rpm, however, and the Toyota pulls strongly all the way to its 7,400rpm red line – although this relatively narrow powerband means that you will have to make plenty of use of the precise, but slightly clunky, six-speed manual gearbox.

The star of the show is the Toyota’s chassis. Engineers have worked hard to achieve near-perfect weight distribution, with the result that the GT 86 is beautifully poised when threaded through a series of bends.

The meaty steering is full of feedback, while the use of low-rolling-resistance tyres from the Toyota Prius means that the car’s excellent handling balance can be explored at relatively low speeds.

When you factor in the growling exhaust note and the progressive brakes, it’s hard not to be won over by the GT 86. On a twisting back road, few cars at any price are as entertaining or engaging.

The Toyota even makes a decent case for itself as a daily driver. If you can live with the sluggish response at low revs and the cheap cabin, then you’ll discover a firm but comfortable ride, loads of standard kit and a well shaped 243-litre boot.


Moody's is the second agency to upgrade Ford's debt from junk status, paving the way for the company to recover assets it mortgaged in 2006 to stave off bankruptcy. The company raised $23.5 billion in a move that allowed it to avoid government bailouts or bankruptcy when the industry collapsed in 2008.

"The Ford Blue Oval is back where it belongs with the Ford family of 166,000 employees around the world," Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of the automaker, said in a statement. "This is a great day for us and is the result of several years of hard work and progress by everyone associated with Ford."

Moody's said the upgrade reflects the automaker's strength in North America and its expectation that "improvements Ford has made are likely to be lasting."

Ford is expected to continue to manage its balance sheet well, Moody's said.

The rating agency also said it believes Ford can maintain its investment grade rating even in the face of a European downturn.

"Moody's believes that Ford has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining sound operating and financial disciplines by preserving a low break-even level; matching production levels to retail demand; limiting the use of incentives and price discounting; capitalizing on the use of global vehicle platforms; and, building healthy supplier relationships," the agency said in a statement.

Moody's cautioned that Ford would have to build its strength outside its North America stronghold before the agency will boost its rating further.

"In order to support a positive outlook or higher rating, Ford will have to demonstrate clear progress in building profitability outside of North America. This would require a sustained turnaround of its European operations and a profitable expansion of its position in China. The company would also have to maintain its solid position in North America and a healthy liquidity profile."

Moody's had ranked the second-largest U.S. automaker's debt as junk since August 2005.

Ford -- helped by deep cost cuts, staff reductions, plant closings, new models and a rebound in industry sales -- has produced 12 consecutive profitable quarters through the first three months of 2012.

The automaker earned $29.5 billion in the last three years after racking up $30.1 billion in losses from 2006 through 2008.

Ford has also pared debt and reinstated a cash dividend.

In April, Ford's rating was upgraded to investment grade by Fitch Ratings. Standard & Poor's still rates the automaker below investment grade.

Bill Ford Jr., clearly elated at the move by Moody's, announced the news of the upgrade to Ford employees via the automaker's in-house public address system, "which is only ever used for fire drills," he said.

He described the company's decision to mortgage its assets back in 2006 as a "once-in-a-lifetime decision" and said he hoped the company would never have to go through anything like it again.

"By definition, today is also a once-in-a-lifetime event, which I couldn't be happier about," Bill Ford said.

He attributed the company's comeback to an "heroic effort by every Ford employee."

"When we pledged the Blue Oval, it was enormously emotionally for me and my family," Bill Ford said. "We weren't just pledging an asset, we were pledging our heritage. It feels wonderful."

Asked whether he ever doubted Ford would win back its assets, Ford said: "No, I said back in the darkest days I was absolutely confident we had the right leadership and the right plan. The only question is whether we had enough time."

Ford CEO Alan Mulally, 66, said the investment upgrade won't change his plans. At the company's recent annual meeting, Bill Ford and other directors endorsed Mulally's performance and provided no timeline on his retirement.

Said Mulally: "Clearly it is a very significant milestone, but it changes none of my plans to continue to serve this great corporation."

Mulally described the upgrade as "a very exciting moment for employees, dealers, suppliers. It's way up there on the highlight film."

Bob Shanks -- who succeeded Lewis Booth as Ford CFO on April 1 -- said the upgrade won't have a major impact on the company's operations but it will help lower borrowing costs.

"Operationally, it doesn't have too much effect," Shanks said. "We had pledged the assets but it hadn't affected our operational flexibility. We will see a reduction in our borrowing rates."

STATEMENT: Moody's raises Ford and Ford Credit unsecured ratings to Baa3; outlook stable

New York, May 22, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service raised the senior unsecured ratings of Ford Motor Company (Ford) to Baa3 from Ba2 and Ford Motor Credit Company LLC (Ford Credit) to Baa3 from Ba1. Ford's Corporate Family and Probability of Default Ratings, as well as its Speculative Grade Liquidity rating, are withdrawn.

The rating of Ford's secured credit facility is lowered to Baa3 from Baa2 in anticipation of the imminent fall away of the bank agreement's security interest. This fall away, which would be consistent with the facility's terms, would result in any outstandings being pari passu with Ford's other senior unsecured debt.

The upgrade of Ford recognizes the strength of the company's position in North America, its robust liquidity position, and our expectation that the company will continue to embrace sound operating and financial disciplines. We believe that these strengths will enable Ford to maintain an investment grade profile in the face of the sector's ongoing cyclicality and weakness in the European market.

The upgrade of Ford Credit's ratings results from the upgrade of the Ford ratings. Ford Credit's strategic importance to Ford as a provider of critical dealer and consumer auto financing, as well as Ford's explicit and implicit support of Ford Credit tie Ford Credit's ratings to those of its parent. Based on the liquidity and capital positions of Ford and Ford Credit, Moody's estimates that Ford has the capacity to support Ford Credit to a level equivalent to the Baa3 rating. Ford Credit's stand-alone credit profile remains unchanged at a mid-Ba level.

The rating outlook for both Ford and Ford Credit is stable.


Bruce Clark, senior vice president with Moody's said, "The key factor in our considering an investment-grade rating for Ford was whether or not the company would be able to sustain its strong performance. We concluded that the improvements Ford has made are likely to be lasting."

Moody's notes that one of Ford's key strengths is its low North American breakeven level. The rating agency estimates that since the 2009 restructuring of the US auto industry and the adoption of a new UAW labor agreement, Ford's North American annual breakeven level has declined by approximately 45% from 3.4 million units to 1.8 million units. Moreover, for the last twelve months through March 2012, Ford's North American wholesale shipments were 50% above its estimated breakeven point. This large margin over breakeven, combined with the improving outlook for US auto demand and the $6.2 billion in segment profits Ford North America generated during 2011, reflect a healthy and sustainable business position.

This sound North American business model is further supported by a product portfolio that is increasingly competitive with that of Asian OEMs. In addition, we believe that Ford will maintain a robust new product renewal program.

Importantly, Moody's believes that Ford has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining sound operating and financial disciplines by preserving a low breakeven level; matching production levels to retail demand; limiting the use of incentives and price discounting; capitalizing on the use of global vehicle platforms; and, building healthy supplier relationships.

Ford's ability to contend with stress is also supported by its strong liquidity profile. At March 2012, the company had a $32 billion gross liquidity position consisting of $23 billion in cash and over $9 billion in committed credit facilities. We estimate that after accounting for maturing debt and the minimal levels of cash needed to run the business and fund intra-period working capital requirements, Ford has approximately $20 billion in incremental liquidity that would be available to contend with stress.

The major challenges facing Ford stem from its high exposure to the depressed European auto market and the company's modest position in Asia -- particularly China. Approximately 25% of Ford's global revenues are generated in Europe and the company expects that losses in the region will be in the range of $500 million to $600 million in 2012 after breaking even during the prior year. Due to the high level of over-capacity in Europe, and the continuing uncertainty surrounding the region's sovereign and banking debt crisis, we believe that there is additional downside risk to Ford's performance in 2012 and 2013. We note, however, that compared with its mass-market OEM peers in Europe, Ford's operations are relatively efficient and are near 90% capacity utilization. Moreover, Ford's strong North American position and healthy liquidity profile are critical elements of its ability to contend with the risks posed in Europe.

Ford has a small position in the large and strategically important Chinese auto market. Expanding its operations in this region represents the most significant long-term challenge facing the company. Success in this expansion initiative and in restoring the profitability of its European operation will be necessary for Ford to establish a more balanced global footprint.

Ford Credit's high encumbered asset levels constrain its stand-alone profile. Additionally, Moody's anticipates that Ford Credit will increase its leverage in the future, though not to the level it maintained in the years prior to the financial crisis. Ford Credit is seeking to modify its funding mix to incorporate more unsecured debt issuance, which in time should cause encumbered asset levels to decline and increase its financial flexibility. Ford Credit's ratings are supported by asset quality performance that has significantly recovered since the depths of the credit crisis and pre-tax pre-provision profitability that compares with historical levels.

In order to support a positive outlook or higher rating, Ford will have to demonstrate clear progress in building profitability outside of North America. This would require a sustained turnaround of its European operations and a profitable expansion of its position in China. The company would also have to maintain its solid position in North America and a healthy liquidity profile. For the LTM through March 2012, Ford's performance (reflecting Moody's standard adjustments) included: EBITA margin of 5.4%; debt/EBITDA of 3.0x; and EBITA/interest of 3.9x. Metrics that would support a positive rating action include: EBITA margin above 8%; debt/EBITDA below 3.0x; and EBITA/interest above 5x.

Metrics that might indicate pressure on the rating include: EBITA margin below 4.5%; debt/EBITDA of approaching 4.0x; and EBITA/interest below 3.0x. The principal methodology used in rating Ford Motor Company was the Global Automobile Manufacture Industry Methodology published in June 2011. The principal methodology used in rating Ford Motor Credit Company LLC was Analyzing The Credit Risks Of Finance Companies published in October 2000. Please see the Credit Policy page on for a copy of these methodologies.


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The Model S base model will be priced at about $57,000, before a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit, for a car that can travel 160 miles on a full charge.

Tesla Motors Inc. said today it will begin delivering its Model S sedan to customers on June 22, identifying the date for the launch of the electric carmaker's most crucial launch yet.

The company said several customers will receive their cars that day in an invitation-only event at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif.

Tesla had previously said sales of the Model S would begin in June, ahead of earlier July projections.

"In 2006 our plan was to build an electric sports car followed by an affordable electric sedan, and reduce our dependence on oil," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. "Delivering Model S is a key part of that plan and represents Tesla's transition to a mass-production automaker."

Tesla, which said test-drive events for the Model S will begin in select North American cities in July, reiterated that it plans to deliver 5,000 Model S cars by year end. Reservations for the electric car top 10,000.

Tesla has described 2012 as a "year of two halves" with the Model S launch as the dividing line. Ninety percent of the company's revenue this year is expected to come from the sedan.

The Model S base model will be priced at about $57,000, before a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit, for a car that can travel 160 miles (258 kilometers) on a full charge.

More popular, the company previously said, will be the Model S version that will be able to travel 230 miles (370 km) on a full charge. That version will cost $10,000 more. A version of the Model S that will have a range of 300 miles (483 km) will cost another $10,000.


Nissan has made its pick and the executive will be named "at a fitting time," CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters in Hong Kong today.

Nissan, which introduced the luxury brand to China in 2007, plans to increase China sales by 50 percent this year, he said.

Nissan is counting on China to help drive growth and challenge Volkswagen AG's Audi, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG.

Ghosn plans to more than triple Infiniti sales to 500,000 units in five years to raise its share of the global luxury car market share to 10 percent.

"What they are trying to do in China is what Toyota's doing in the U.S.," said Kota Yuzawa, an analyst of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. "It's very much from scratch. Lexus 20 years ago was also from scratch."

Global management, sales and marketing staff for the brand will be based out of Hong Kong, while engineers will remain in Yokohama, Japan, said Haruko Wada, a spokesman for Infiniti in Hong Kong.

The new headquarters will have a workforce of about 100 by the end of this year, mostly hired externally, she said.

Hong Kong gateway

Nissan's deliveries of Infiniti vehicles in China climbed almost 40 percent to 19,000 units last year, making it the luxury brand's second-largest market after the United States, where two-thirds of Infiniti cars were sold last year.

In the United States, Infiniti lags Mercedes, BMW and Lexus in sales. Infiniti's U.S. sales dropped 5 percent in 2011 to 98,461, and sales have dropped 4 percent to 33,349 this year through April.

"Establishing our headquarters in Hong Kong, the gateway to China, is an acknowledgment of the center of gravity in luxury vehicle sales," said Andy Palmer, the Nissan executive vice president in charge of Infiniti.

He said dealerships will increase from 25 last year to more than 100 over the next year.

Sales of premium cars have "considerable" room to grow as they only account for about 5 percent of vehicle sales in China, compared with 10 percent in the U.S. and 16 percent in Europe, Yuzawa said in an April 20 report.

Infiniti M sedan

Nissan said last month it will begin manufacturing two Infiniti models in China starting in 2014.

It unveiled a stretched version of the Infiniti M sedan designed for Chinese customers at the Beijing Auto Show last month.

Ghosn said details, including the location, of Infiniti's China plant will be announced by the end of the year. Nissan manufactures most Infiniti models in Tochigi, Japan, about 62 miles north of Tokyo.

The yen's climb, reaching a postwar high in October, has prompted the company to reduce Japan production and shift output overseas.

Infiniti JX SUVs started rolling off assembly lines in Tennessee in February, Nissan spokesman Toshitake Inoshita said.

"The challenge is how they will bring new models to meet local demands," said Masatoshi Nishimoto, an analyst with IHS Automotive. "The Chinese premium car market is already very competitive as there are German luxury brands like Audi and BMW that have already established a good reputation among local consumers."

Adding markets

Infiniti vehicles are sold in 46 countries and regions, with the company planning to expand that to 70 markets by 2016.

This year, it will add new markets including Australia, Mexico and Brazil, Ghosn said.

The company plans to produce vehicles at "full-speed" and stockpiling is "not an issue for Nissan" in China, where industry vehicle sales may increase 7 percent to 8 percent this year, Ghosn said.
Infiniti sales may reach 300,000 in the country by March 2021, according to Yuzawa's report.


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