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Atlantic Racing Scene

Side curtain air bags to be on all GM vehicles by 2012

General Motors Corp. will make side curtain air bags that protect people in rollover crashes standard equipment on all retail vehicles by the 2012 model year, the automaker announced recently. The announcement was made as GM unveiled a new $10-million crash test facility in Michigan that will help it study rollover crashes.

2006 GM Midsize SUV Side-Curtain Air Bags

GM said it planned to perform 150 rollover tests next year at the Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan to help the company better understand rollover crashes. In 2005, rollovers accounted for about 4% of all crashes but 33% of occupants of passenger vehicles killed on the nation’s highways. GM’s new facility includes a 120-foot bay of lights, which can move from 27 feet above to within 1 foot of the floor and articulate to 80 degrees, allowing better illumination of the crashes that are captured on high-speed video for analysis. Engineers demonstrated a rollover test during the facility’s unveiling, which was attended by Nicole Nason, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nason said her agency is working on rules to protect people involved in rollover crashes from being ejected from vehicles.


AIAMC members win most ‘Canadian Car of Year’ awards

The President of the association representing international automobile manufacturers in Canada congratulated the member companies for their unprecedented showing in the 2007 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year awards announced recently.

“To have our members win Canadian Car of the Year awards in twelve of thirteen categories is an honour for the Association and most importantly a testimony to the strength of each manufacturers’ product in the face of unparalleled competition for the hearts and minds of Canadian automobile consumers,” noted David Adams, President of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada.

In the US, Honda is working with House of Blues Entertainment. Inc. in a month-long “Fit In The House” promotion and the creation and subsequent charity auction of a one-of-a-kind, custom-painted Honda Fit, the company announced. Conceived as “drivable art,” the 2007 Honda Fit Custom Art Car was painted by renowned folk artist Jack Poppitz, whose many pieces of original folk art and murals are hung in House of Blues® clubs throughout the US.

“Our industry is about three things: product, product and product, and the results today demonstrate the success of our members in producing vehicles that meet the needs of consumers. Given that these prestigious awards influence over 58% of new car buyers, I look forward to our members achieving significant market success throughout 2007 with each winning vehicle,” added Adams.

The AIAMC members with 2007 AJAC 'Canadian Car of the Year' category winners are:

Best New Small Car (under $18,000)
Honda FIT LX (photo above)
Best New Small Car (over $18,000)
Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5
Best New Family Car ($22,000 - $30k)
Toyota Camry LE
Best New Family Car (over $30,000)
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Best New Luxury Car (under $50,000)
Lexus ES 350
Best New Prestige Car
Audi S8
Best New Sports/performance Car (under $50k) Mazdaspeed3
Best New Sports/performance Car (over $50k)
BMW 3-Series Coupé
Best New Convertible
Volkswagen EOS 2.0T
Best new SUV/CUV (under $35,000)
Toyota RAV4 - V6 Sport
Best new SUV/CUV ($35,000 - $60k)
Acura RDX Technology Package
Best new SUV/CUV (over $60k)
Mercedes-Benz GL Class

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada is the national industry association representing the interests of thirteen member companies engaged in the manufacture, importation, distribution and servicing of light duty vehicles in Canada. The association was established in 1979.

AIAMC membership includes BMW Canada Inc., Honda Canada Inc., Hyundai Auto Canada, Kia Canada Inc., Mazda Canada Inc., Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc., Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc., Nissan Canada Inc., Porsche Cars Canada Ltd., Subaru Canada, Inc., Suzuki Canada Inc., Toyota Canada Inc., and Volkswagen Canada Inc.


Canadian 750 HP Supercar 'Quebec Bomb' makes debut

In thirty nine years of existence, the Montreal International Autoshow has seen nothing quite like it. Nicknamed the “Quebec Bomb”, this first-ever Canadian supercar is the result of years of work by passionate designer Luc Chartrand. It’s called the Plethore, and it’s built by HHT Locus Technologies.

Built entirely of carbon fibre - a la Formula 1- the Plethore is motivated by a standard 750 horsepower engine, while a 1300 horsepower mill is optionally available. That’s more horsepower than the entire Kia model lineup in a vehicle that weighs just 1100 kilograms.

Those numbers give the Plethore the power-to-weight ratio of a photon torpedo, meaning it can easily achieve velocities in excess of 330 km/h while driving. Chartrand speaks about the Plethore’s interesting central driver seat, a rarity adopted from racing cars.

“Not only does it offer incredible visibility from the central driver position, it also has room for as many as three people up to 6’6” in height each . . . a true first for this class of vehicle.”

The Quebec Bomb first appeared at the Montreal International Autoshow in January 2007 and is expected to push Canada into the international Supercar scene.