January 2006 News Briefs

LOUD AND PROUD
From the premature-hearing-loss department comes the news of Scott Owens, whose 2002 Ford F-250 was recognized as "the loudest car in the world" last fall when his 115,000-watt sound system blasted out 180.5 decibels-as loud as a the sound of a rocket launching.

NOT-SO-GAY DIVORCE
After being jilted by Ferrari, Maserati now has to piece together a new product strategy. At the top of the wish list is a new platform that could underpin the next-generation Quattroporte and the Coupe as well as a smaller BMW 5-series fighter, plus a crossover. The company also wants a two-seat sports car, which would be based on the Alfa Romeo Brera and use a V-6 and Alfa's Q4 all-wheel-drive system, with a rear-wheel bias.

ONE MEAN MINI
Mini will offer a John Cooper Works GP kit this summer, which adds power (for an estimated 215 hp) and takes out weight. Throw in the GP's revised suspension, sleek body kit, and unique wheels, and you get one badass Brit.

FUEL-CELL FIRST
The fuel-cell era has begun. Honda has delivered an FCX-a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car-to a California family who will lease the car for two years. The FCX is the first fuel-cell vehicle in private hands.

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