The Malibu gets fresh grunt, the Quattro gets the axe and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang returns

March 9, 2012

Ken Block WRC Mexico
Ken Block WRC Mexico

What we're reading in the Motoramic Dash this morning about new engines in Detroit, the end of a promising Audi and the return of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

Audi Quattro concept won't go to production [Fourtitude] Last year's 402-hp concept from Audi suggesting how it could revive the Quattro coupe concept for the 21st century had been mulled for production, but Audi execs in Geneva say bringing the Quattro back would simply cost too much, leaving them with a small sports car that costs more than their flagship R8.

Chevrolet reveals 2.5, 2-liter turbo engines for Malibu [GM] For the first time, the Chevrolet Malibu will sport the now-fashionable all-four-cylinder engine lineup, with the new model getting a 2.5-liter four as a base engine and a 2-liter turbo good for 259 hp — which Chevy says should shoot the new 'Bu up to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. It's the most power Chevrolet has put in a factory car with the Malibu badge since the mid-1970s.

Ram trucks to get Pentastar V-6, 8-speed transmission [Detroit Free Press] Lagging behind Ford in the march for more fuel-efficient full-size pickups, Chrysler revealed in its annual report (of all places) that it will add the corporate Pentastar V6 to Ram pickups along with an 8-speed transmission for the 2013 model year. Chrysler will also deploy stop-start engine tech across its lineup by 2017 — a technology that saves drivers fuel, but doesn't improve federal fuel economy rankings.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies again [Yahoo News] The family of Ian Fleming has suddenly decided to commission the first sequels to "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," more than 50 years after Fleming wrote them (and soon thereafter died.) The first of three books by Frank Cottrell Boyce came out in England in October, and writes a complete new story rather than a continuation of Commander Caractacus Pott's tale.

Top photo: Ken Block, fresh off his rally win at the Hundred Acre Woods in Missouri, takes his own flying car for a spin ahead of this weekend's World Rally Championship race in Mexico. Photo via Ken Block/Twitter.