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Motoramic’s Dash for Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011


Motoramic’s Dash for Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011What we're reading this morning over the din of union protests:

2013 Scion FR-S revealed [Scion] Somehow in the transition from Japan to the United States and the application of a few Scion badges, Toyota's GT 86 picked up three extra horsepower. There's already some fingernail-nibbling around the tire size — the Scion/Toyota/Subaru trio wears the same shoe size as a Toyota Prius — but we'll have to drive one to see if it matters.

UAW says arbitration hearing on Ford sacrifice dispute continues [Bloomberg] After  Ford restored raises and 401(k) matches for salary workers, but not for hourly ones, 35,000 UAW workers asked for arbitration. For the next four years, UAW workers at Ford will get bonuses if the company's profitable, but no cost of living increases, while Ford can expand the number of workers hired at a permanently lower wage.

Jeremy Clarkson rant leads to BBC apology [Only Kent] The host of BBC's "Top Gear" spoke out during a strike by thousands of British public-sector workers over proposed cuts to their pension benefits, saying "I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean, how dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living." The BBC apologized by the end of the show Clarkson had appeared on (and you can see the hosts blanche when he made the remark) but it's lit a larger-than-usual bonfire for Clarkson, with the union calling for his job and considering filing a police report. It's the largest teapot-sized tempest…in the world.

Ferrari 599XX gets upgrade pack [AutoCar] If you're one of the 29 people worldwide who own a Ferrari 599XX, great news! You can now spend nearly $200,000 for an upgrade package that includes 30 extra hp from the 6-liter V12, and active aerodynamics that will generate enough downforce to drill for gold. Enjoy shaming those skanky GT-Rs at your next private track day.

Toyota, BMW join hands on green technology [Reuters] In a formal deal, Toyota will share lithium-ion battery work with BMW, in return for BMW building small diesel engines for Toyotas in Europe. Most auto industry deals such as this don't work out well, but Toyota now has some kind of alliance with BMW, Ford, Subaru and Tesla.