A 21-year-old man faces drunken driving charges after a collision with a car dealership near Melbourne, Australia. That's right, a dealership. Police told Australian newspapers that the driver lost control of his car and plowed through the window of Lance Dixon Ferrari & Maserati and into a showroom filled with expensive Italian cars. His car burst into flames, but he escaped without injury. Maybe the driver will blame the invitation that's on Lance Dixon's Web site: Please drop in for a cappuccino.
STUCK IN THE SLOW LANE -- Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche will be the first to point out that the 850-hp Chrysler ME Four-Twelve can go from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. But during a ride-and-drive at California's Laguna Seca Raceway last week, Zetsche didn't get the chance to find out. That's because Chrysler's PR staff wanted to get some pictures of Zetsche behind the wheel of the supercar concept. Zetsche had to follow a minivan hauling a photographer at a much slower speed than the car is capable of reaching. "Behind a minivan I did not come up with a best lap time," Zetsche admitted later. But, he added, "It was probably a better thing." Zetsche said Chrysler has not made a decision to build the ME Four-Twelve, which made its debut at this year's Detroit auto show.
SLICK OPERATION -- A British supplier has gotten itself into a slippery situation in Michigan. GKN Driveline, a division of GKN PLC, has opened a grease lab at its r&d center in Auburn Hills, Mich. The company wants to improve lubrication for its constant-velocity joints. Gareth Fish, who runs the operation, says GKN buys $20 million worth of grease annually - more than enough for the nation's male hair-care needs should the styles of the 1950s return. "Finding the right mix of material and grease can be tricky," Fish said. In other words, there's no room for slip-ups.
THE COW'S GONE DRY -- A couple of years ago, Tom Wallace was looking for ways to add vehicles and variants on General Motors' GMT360 architecture, which debuted with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. Now Wallace, the vehicle line executive for GM's mid-sized trucks, says the company has squeezed just about all it can from the architecture. Additions include the Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and 2005 Saab 9-7X, as well as variants such as the sliding-roof Envoy XUV. "We're not going to add any more brands," says Wallace. More variants are theoretically possible, but he says, "I don't know what the hell's left."