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by Jay Traugott
Toyota is closing in on GM for the number one spot, Bernie Ecclestone jockeys to save the Ring, and Chrysler loves its new V6 engine.
Normally we're not used to hearing about new supercar updates over the summer, but this past week seems to have been the exception. As we draw closer to the Paris Motor Show in late September, we're hearing some interesting news coming from the likes of McLaren, BMW and Jaguar.
However, automakers are quickly getting their more "standard" car lineup prepped for the upcoming 2013 model year. Here are some of this past week's highlights.
Bernie Ecclestone Vows to Save the Ring. We reported last week that the Nurburgring is bankrupt and the EU is not willing to finance its operations or help to repay its debts.
Enter F1 maestro Bernie Ecclestone who has reportedly promised to "do what he can" to save the Ring. He may offer to waive the usually required race sanctioning fee for F1 to return there next year. Normally F1 demands ridiculously high fees from race organizers for the right to hold the race, but Ecclestone may make an exception this time. Of course bearing all the costs would also entitle Ecclestone to all the revenues as well.
Chrysler Invests Millions More into Pentastar V6. Chrysler has been on a roll lately with their entire model lineup experiencing desperately needed changes. One of those highlights was the introduction of the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine which is appearing in numerous models, such as the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Charger. The engine has been so central to the automaker's revival that Chrysler is now considering to invest some $200 million into its Mack I Engine Plant in Detroit in an effort to boost production. Around 250 new jobs would be created as a result.
Carroll Shelby Finally to be Laid to Rest. Carroll Shelby passed away on May 10, but only this past week did his family reach a breakthrough in a dispute that will now allow him to be buried. The feud was between Shelby's four children and his last wife. The former claimed their father wanted to be cremated and divided up between them and a family plot in East Texas. His widow, however, claimed that agreement was a forgery and a new will was drawn up two years ago that gave her sole power to handle his affairs. The parties are now reportedly close to an agreement by which the remains will be split five ways between them.
Cadillac XTS to Become Opel Flagship? Opel is reportedly looking into the possibility of adding a large flagship sedan to its lineup in the near future. Since Opel a part of the GM empire, the upcoming Cadillac XTS has reportedly been considered to fill this void.
Possibly to be named Omega, the Opel XTS would likely be powered by the same 304-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injection V6. Another engine could be a 2.8-liter six-cylinder with 321 hp along with a likely four-cylinder option as well. If the Omega happens at all, it may be in European dealerships by the end of next year.
Toyota is on its Way Back to the Top. In the constant back-and-forth, General Motors currently holds the title as the world's largest automaker, but arch-rival Toyota looks set to reclaim the title soon. The Japanese automaker has just announced its sales figures for the first half of 2012 with a total of 4.97 million vehicles sold. Toyota seems to have recovered after a bad couple of years which included the unintended acceleration debacle and the Japanese tsunami. GM looks to sell about 4.56 million units by mid-year, but we won't know for sure until it releases official figures.