Stepped away from your Blackberry, PC, or iPad for the week? Here are a few of the top news stories for the past week and racing action you may want to tune into during your weekend.
Lotus announced a while ago that it would be unveiling something special at this week’s Monterey Car Week, but we had no idea what to expect. Come to find out, Lotus revealed its open-wheeled Type 125 race car. The Formula 1-style car is powered by a 3.5-liter Cosworth-sourced V-6 engine, putting down 650 horsepower and happily revving all the way to a 10,300 rpm redline. Lotus plans to make no more than 25 examples of the $1 million car, but even at that price, we expect it to have no trouble selling.
Ed Whitacre Steps Down as General Motors CEO, IPO Delayed
Ed Whitacre took over as interim CEO of General Motors when Fritz Henderson vacated the position last December. On September 1, Whitacre is set to step down, and the position will be filled by Daniel Akerson, of the Carlyle Group, and a relative outsider to the automotive industry. Whitacre will surrender his seat as chairman to Akerson at the end of the year. Akerson has held title of CEO at telecommunications firms in the past.
GM was scheduled to file for its initial public offering this week, but was reportedly delayed due to Whitacre’s announcement. We expect GM to submit its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission sometime next week.
Slotting just below the G37, Infiniti unveiled its newest entry-level sedan trim, the G25 sedan. Initially, rumors suggested that the sedan would utilize a 2.5-liter I-4, but Infiniti unveiled the sedan with a 2.5-liter V-6 powerplant. The small-displacement V-6 makes 218 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels, save for the G25x, which utilizes all-wheel drive. The G25 sedan carries a retail price of $31,825 including destination, severely undercutting its closest competition (i.e. BMW 3 Series).
Infiniti also launched its performance line this week, a new performance oriented line of vehicles to sit atop its lineup. For starters, its G37 coupe has been outfitted with an array of sports-derived equipment, making it perform better than a standard model. Aimed directly at the new BMW 335is, Infiniti’s IPL G Coupe sports a 3.7-liter V-6 making 348 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque, just 18 horsepower and six pound-feet more than the base model. A full four-piece body kit has been added, along with 19-inch graphite-colored wheels. A tweaked suspension helps to keep the car firmly planted around tight corners. Infiniti says the IPL G Coupe is the first in a line of IPL vehicles, and we’re told to expect the first ones to arrive at dealerships come December.
Today, Ford unveiled the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and track-ready Laguna Seca at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Horsepower is up from 380 to 440, and the engine’s snarl is menacing. Is it an appropriate homage to the original Boss Mustang series? Read our posts about its engine development and the Laguna Seca track package, and the entire First Look of the limited-edition ‘Stang. It’s sure to be tough competition for the Chevy Camaro, as well as European coupes.
Spy Shots of the Hyundai Veloster
We nabbed photos of the upcoming Hyundai Veloster during the commute to work. These images give us the clearest view yet, aside from spy illustrations, of the Veloster’s proposed shape and proportions. A sharply raked front end contrasts with what appears to be a strikingly high taillight position. Although it has the profile of a hatchback, sources indicate that the Veloster will be a coupe with a third, side-access door on the right side. A recent interview with Hyundai North America president John Krafcik confirmed that the door will not be a suicide door. Initially, the Veloster will be powered by a 1.6-liter 140-horsepower engine, with turbocharged options possibly in the works. Although those numbers will place it squarely in line with the upcoming Honda CR-Z, sources say that the Veloster will be able to hold four, or possibly five, as opposed to the CR-Z’s two.
NASCAR Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway Sunday August 15, at 1 p.m. on ESPN