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Dodge Lays Down Challenger to Mustang

Dodge Lays Down Challenger to Mustang

With a wave of the green flag, Chrysler officials confirmed the most poorly kept secret in the auto industry. "It's a go," proclaimed the automaker's CEO Tom LaSorda as the Dodge Challenger show car rolled into view. A production version of the two-door prototype will screech into showrooms in early 2008 as an '08 model, company officials announced at a press conference prior to the holiday weekend's NASCAR race inDaytona, Fla.

Dodge Lays Down Challenger to Mustang (7/2/2006)
Retro coupe confirmed for 2008; will it beat Camaro?

Spy Shots: '08 Lotus Esprit

2008 Lotus Esprithe British sports car maker Lotus - owned by Malaysia's Proton - is developing a new mid-engined Lotus Esprit, due for launch in 2007.

These photos show a first mule in high-speed testing at the N├╝rburgring. It has wider fenders and a big rear wing than the current car. More important is what will be underneath: the next Esprit gets a 32-valve, 4.8-liter V-8 engine from BMW delivering 367 hp.

See more Lotus Esprit pics

Spy Shots: 2007 Honda CR-V

2007 Honda CR-VImagine the surprise Benjamin Hong felt when he spotted a not-yet-out Honda CR-V in his rearview mirror as he was driving in downtown Vancouver. And then he saw another-and yet another. Hong grabbed his trusted cell phone-camera and managed to snap a few pictures before the convoy of Hondas disappeared. And, remarkably, he got exceptional pictures with the little phone. See the bigger pictures - and get more CR-V info - today inside TheCarConnection.

Spy Shots: 2007 Honda CR-V (7/2/2006)
Caught in motion. Thanks, Verizon!

GM, Ford Ditching Some SUVs, Vans

Both General Motors and Ford will prune some light trucks from their lineups as consumer tastes seem to be shifting to car-based utility vehicles. Automotive News reports that GM is canceling production of the TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy sometime before the end of the decade, while Ford will drop the Monterey minivan from its lineup as soon as this summer. The GM twin SUVs were originally scheduled for a restyling in 2009, but the vehicles are being dropped so that GM can focus attention on new crossover vehicles like the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave. The Monterey, meanwhile, will be followed into obsolescence by the Ford Freestar minivan at an unspecified date. Ford is planning to build a new family utility vehicle based on its Fairlane concept from the 2005 Detroit auto show. The News reports that Lincoln will get a version of this vehicle as well.

Rolls-Royce Building 25 Black Phantoms

2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom BlackNo, you won't see it on the Cartoon Network, but the Phantom Black is on its way. Alas, Rolls-Royce only will build 25 copies of the sedan noir, each already spoken for. The handbuilt cars are painted in Diamond Black paint with silver stripes, and are fitted with 21-inch wheels and run-flat tires. The interior has black leather, black ash trim, and a dash swathed in black metal foil, and a Nokia 8800 mobile phone is included. Black trim also graces the 6.75-liter V-12 engine, which produces 453 hp and pushes the Phantom Black to 149 mph.

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