Jumat, 29 Februari 2008
These first spy shots tell us is that not only is the coupe well into its development cycle, but that much of the concept’s striking styling will make it to the production car, too.
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz himself said that when he and his team saw the proposed bob-tail styling of the coupe during its earliest design phase—with its radically sloping roof and rear window; chopped rear; tall, spear-like taillamps; and razor-thin windows—they knew they had to bring it to life. However, Lutz stopped short of making a formal production announcement (though we had sources that winked and nodded and more or less confirmed it for us).
Then appeared not one, but two CTS coupes in a convoy on public roads, and though we were only able to catch them from a rear three-quarter angle, we’d seen enough: the severely canted roofline, cropped tush, big wheels, dual center-mounted exhaust, and parking assistance sensors (which will probably come standard, given the trunk height and poor rearward vision inherent to the design).
In other words, it appears that what we saw and loved so much on the CTS coupe concept will make it to the showroom. But that may not be until the end of 2009, which for many of us here, can’t arrive soon enough.
Rabu, 27 Februari 2008
It was supposed to be a secret until next week's Geneva Motor Show, but Vauxhall’s Meriva concept has been leaked!
Following on from the official sketch of the new city car, these images reveal all the details of the new Corsa based five-door. With a sharp style and attractive details the new Meriva is set to see Vauxhall tempt buyers away from trendy rivals.
The features set to draw the biggest crowds at the Geneva show are undoubtedly the revolutionary rear hinged back doors. While Mazda RX-8 and MINI Clubman already have similar openings, the Vauxhall’s FlexDoors are unique because the front and rear doors can be opened independently of each other.
The downside is that designers have been forced to include a conventional B-pillar to maintain occupant protection in side impacts.
Other styling cues include what Vauxhall calls Blade body sides - neat ticks stamped into the bodywork behind the front wheels.
At the back, designers have penned a rear screen that stretches up over the roof to create a lighter cabin environment.
The production version of the new Meriva is set to go on sale in the UK early next year. Sharing many parts with the current Corsa, the people carrier will get a range of engines including 1.3-litre and 1.7-litre CDTI diesels and a 1.6-litre turbo petrol. What’s more, all units will have stop-start technology to help to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions.
American tuner and boutique automaker Saleen has released this sketch of a supercar concept it plans to unveil at March’s New York auto show.
The producer of the prodigiously powerful and prodigiously expensive S7 and S7 Twin Turbo, Saleen says the S5S Raptor concept is “designed for the premium performance market,” which to us places it in competition with anything from the Corvette ZR1 up to the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 or beyond. Remember that the awesome S7 Twin Turbo’s base price was near $600K, a figure nearly as eye-popping as its 750 horsepower.
While the Raptor’s exact horsepower figure remains a secret for now, it will be powered by an E85-burning, 5.0-liter supercharged powerplant. Based on Saleen’s past body of work, we can assume the engine will be a V-8. The car will utilize aluminum construction and composite body panels to keep weight down, and top speed is claimed to be in excess of 200 mph.
Check back during the New York auto show press days for all the details on this sure-to-be-hot supercar concept.
It's all change at Alfa. The Italian brand has revamped its range for 2008 – and first up is the Spider (above), which now comes in an Ice White finish. There are new, lightweight 18-inch alloys, while the drop-top’s upgraded cabin gets more supportive seats. The tin-top Brera benefits from the same changes. Also revamped is the 159, with new wheels and aluminium brake calipers shaving 45kg off the weight, and sharpening up performance across the range. A Q2 electronic differential is now fitted on all front-wheel-drive Brera, Spider and 159 models. And finally, from July, buyers of Alfa’s GT coupé will be able to specify the more potent 168bhp 1.9 JTDM diesel engine.
Senin, 25 Februari 2008
Minggu, 24 Februari 2008
Sabtu, 23 Februari 2008
Renault will be unveiling the GT performance variant of the the Laguna midsize sedan and wagon next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Powering the Laguna GT will be either a 2.0-liter turbo four that makes 205 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque or a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that makes 180 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Additonally, the Laguna GT is equipped with bigger brakes, 12.9 inch discs up front and 11.8 inch discs in the rear and four-wheel steering using a chassis called Active Drive.Visually, the Laguna GT is separated from the standard Laguna with 18-inch alloy wheels, larger front grille and air intakes, smoked taillights, and black-background headlamps in addition to the obligatory GT badging. Inside, the Laguna GT is fitted with leather/alcantara sports seats, aluminum pedals and shift knob, and a GT steering wheel.
Jumat, 22 Februari 2008
Hyundai's coming Genesis Coupe, far and away the hottest car at last year's L.A. auto show in concept guise, has been caught chilling in the great white north during cold-weather testing in advance of its debut in production form at the upcoming New York show in March.
The highly anticipated rear-drive coupe is sporting some significant differences through its camouflage cloak. The grille looks to be bigger and is now sporting more of a traditional Hyundai look. The rest of the front fascia has toned down as well, with a look that's more in line with a production vehicle. The bottom area appears to be sporting chrome-style strakes and the foglamps seem rounded off.
Out back, the biggest visible changes are the exhaust pipes, which are now fitted horizontally as opposed to the vertical trapezoids of the concept show car, and the rear taillights also appear to have been transformed and now look to have three vertical elements. There have also been some changes to the car's side profile. The prominent creases on the concept that moved from the fender along the top of the door look to have been smoothed out some, as has the line along the bottom of the concept. The tapering of the rear windows has also apparently not made it to the production version.
The Genesis Coupe will join the sedan as Hyundai's one-two rear-drive punch. The vehicle is expected to be powered by two engines, a 3.8-liter V-6 boasting some 300 horsepower and about 250 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.0-liter turbo four pushing somewhere north of 200 horsepower, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic.
Hyundai is reportedly working hard to keep the weight to a minimum and to achieve a 50/50 weight balance, which should help make the coupe a competent handler. Other options likely to be available on the car will be Brembo brakes and a limited-slip differential.
Expect pricing to start in the low 20s for the turbo four, and mid-20s for the V-6-equipped models when the car hits Hyundai showrooms, likely late this year or early in 2009.
Called the Hidra, the new multi-purpose coupe concept is a four-seater, five-door vehicle based on a layout that produces 'notable results' in vehicle dynamics, passive safety and flexibility. Claimed to marry Fioravanti's propensity for innovation, functionality and elegance, the Hindra also holds a revolutionary patent for transparent surfaces.
As the former Managing Director of Pininfarina's research arm, Fioravanti also worked at Fiat Group between 1988 and 1991, first as deputy General Manager at Ferrari and then as head of Fiat's design center.
The company, which showed the Thalia at last year's Geneva show (pictured bottom right), is based in the historic Italian town of Moncalieri, outside of Turin. It is now in its 20th year of researching new architectures for future vehicles utilizing alternative sources of energy.
Rabu, 20 Februari 2008
A senior Nissan source has confirmed the company is studying the possibility of producing a high-performance four-door sedan based on the exotic Nissan GT-R hardware. The source suggested the car may be sold as an Infiniti.
Producing a four-door GT-R is certainly feasible, though it wouldn't be cheap. Although the GT-R coupe is based on Nissan's flexible FM (front midship) platform, it is what one analyst calls "a major deviation" from that platform's architecture, to the point where it's known internally as PM (premium midship).
The PM platform could be stretched to allow an extra set of doors and useable rear passenger space, while keeping the existing suspension pickup points, powertrain mountings, and other sheetmetal. This would enable the four-door to share a lot of the GT-R's mechanical hardware, including the 480-horsepower twin-turbo 3.8-liter VR38 V-6 engine, all wheel drive, and the rear-mounted six-speed DSG-style auto-clutch transmission.
However a sedan version would require a new bodyside, plus expensive revisions to the carbon fiber intensive front structure, so while Nissan could save some money through component sharing with the GT-R, it's likely that a sedan variant would cost $3000 to $5000 more. One alternative would be to make the car with a conventional steel body (it would add weight, but Nissan would want the GT-R coupe to remain its performance flagship anyway).
A high-tech, high-performance Infiniti sedan also could serve as a halo car for the expansion of Nissan's luxury brand into Europe, China, Japan, and other world markets. After dithering for a decade or more, Toyota has finally made Lexus a global brand, and its new IS-F sedan signals an entry into the premium high-performance segment dominated by Mercedes-Benz's AMG and BMW's M cars.
The significance of both moves won't have been lost on Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Selasa, 19 Februari 2008
Senin, 18 Februari 2008
It's set to be one of the most striking models in its class - and is almost ready to take on small 4x4s such as Ford’s forthcoming Kuga, the Nissan Qashqai and VW’s Tiguan.
As you can see, the 3008 takes styling cues from its big brother, the 4007. It has similar proportions and a bold front end that’s dominated by a vast grille, large Peugeot badge and distinctive headlights. Inside, the 4x4 is expected to offer plenty of flexibility. Our sources have revealed that the 3008 will be offered in five and seven-seat configurations, with the latter featuring a third row of fold-flat chairs. Options including a panoramic glass sunroof and satellite navigation will also be available.
In terms of the driving experience, the 3008 promises to be one of the most car-like SUVs in its class. Peugeot is famous for combining driver involvement with good road manners, and the newcomer is expected to be agile and fun, yet comfortable. Customers will also be able to choose between two and four-wheel-drive versions, with base models front-drive only, to keep emissions and fuel consumption as low as possible.
A mix of 1.6-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines will power the majority of models. Cold weather testing is well underway, as you can see from our spy picture (below). The newcomer will go on sale in the UK in 2010, with partner firm Citroen launching its own version of the compact SUV soon after.
Minggu, 17 Februari 2008
Applying the large-scale manufacturing practice of platform-sharing, BMW has been able to flesh out what is—for Rolls—a large and varied lineup. Indeed, the newest Roller isn’t really even all that new: slap some hand-welded sheetmetal in place of the Phantom Drophead Coupé’s canvas top, and you’ve got the Phantom Coupé, which makes its worldwide debut at the 2008 Geneva auto show. Yes, the suicide doors carry over intact.
In an automotive world where too many vehicles have strayed from their respective brand’s design heritage, Rolls-Royce has stayed true to its traditions. Indeed, the new Coupé is tastefully elegant—the seven-foot long hood, characteristic waterfall grille, and short front and long rear overhangs are all distinctly Rolls-Royce—yet contemporary.
In designing the four-seat Coupé, Ian Cameron, Rolls-Royce’s chief designer, said the team wanted to emphasize the “dynamism” of the vehicle. This car, he believes, caters to an entirely different driver than the similarly styled Drophead convertible. We guess that’s true; obscenely rich guys who want a mind-blowingly expensive two-door car with a fixed roof will be interested in the Phantom Coupé. Obscenely rich guys who want a mind-blowingly expensive two-door car with a roof that goes down will be interested in the Phantom Drophead Coupé.
Sabtu, 16 Februari 2008
Ford first showed the Kuga, its new for-Europe-only compact crossover, last September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in pre-production "concept" form. With all the details now ironed out and the factory ready to roll, the production Kuga is set to bow at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
The Kuga is based on the same C1 platform that underpins the S-Max compact minivan and European Focus. Only one engine will be offered, a 2.0-liter common rail diesel rated at 134 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Only one gearbox too, a six-speed manual. Those unable to row their own gears need not apply. FWD will be standard, with a Haldex AWD system available as an option.
The Kuga rides on a 105.9 inch wheelbase and checks in at 174.4 inches long, 72.5 inches wide, 67.3 inches high, which is almost the same size as the U.S. market Escape. The only notable size difference between the pair is the Kuga's wheelbase, which is 2.8 inches longer than the Escape's, though it's also a bit heavier. In FWD form, the Kuga weighs in at 3468 lbs, 101 lbs more than the FWD V-6 Escape. AWD models weigh 3556 lbs, 34 pounds heavier than its U.S. counterpart.
Where the kinetic design language falters is the rear end. Its not bad looking per se, but the words "derivative styling" come to mind - take off the badging and it looks like any other crossover on the road from the back. Only the diffuser-like lower fascia and the dual exhausts give the Kuga a feeling of individuality from the rear. The tailgate does feature a creative two-piece design Ford calls "liftgate in liftgate" that can be opened either in its entirety or just partially for access in close quarters.
Available in two trims, base Trend and premium Titanium, the Kuga goes on sale in Europe shortly after its Geneva debut. It will not be making its way across the Atlantic, however, as the Escape was recently redesigned and is a solid seller. The next product cycle, however, should produce a vehicle that will be similar both here and in Europe that will have been developed under Ford's recently-introduced global development process.
We want to start with a disclosure: We don’t understand why BMW needs this car, and we fear the Bavarian master is slicing the sausage a little too thin.
BMW says the PAS, which stands for "progressive activity sedan," is designed to slot between the 5-series and X6, creating a new segment of sedan with the functionality of a multipurpose vehicle.
But the PAS is based on the next-generation 5-series, which amply fills mid-size-car needs already, and BMW is preparing to launch the X6 that, in size, is the SUV equivalent to the 5-series for those who want a bit more utility.
The PAS has a fastback like the X6 (which we also are not sure fills as big a demand niche as BMW thinks it does) but offers more headroom and presumably a more-dynamic, carlike ride, like the 5-series. Forgive our redundancy, hence our point.
Even so, based on these latest spy shots and illustrations, the PAS is an elegant take on a roomy mid-size passenger car.
Powertrains likely would mirror those already in the 5-series stable, and the PAS looks like a good candidate for all-wheel drive.
The PAS is plan B, replacing original plans by BMW to offer the vanlike Space-Functional concept that debuted at the 2005 Geneva auto show and was envisioned to compete against the Mercedes R-class—probably a good switch.
Infiniti also is using the occasion to herald the launch of the luxury brand in Western Europe—starting in October—part of a multi-year global rollout.
However, it was in the U.S., on the brand’s original and primary sales turf, that our spies caught a lightly camouflaged FX parked on the streets of Los Angeles.
Built on the prodigious FM platform—which also underpins the Nissan 350Z, Infiniti G sedan and coupe, Infiniti EX35 crossover, and Infiniti M sedan—the second-generation FX appears as if it will remain a five-seater and continue to wear rakish styling.
The headlamps look much faster, cutting back into a point along the fender, and the hood has gained more pronounced bulges. The grille is wider and shorter, which should serve to visually reduce front-end height. At the rear, the non-glass portion of the liftgate is less curved and more upright, much like that of the smaller EX35.
We also expect a properly luxurious interior if the FX expects to remain a rung above the new Nissan Murano, which has soft-touch materials throughout its new cabin.
We expect the powertrains to mirror those currently available—that is to say a V-6 and a V-8. It's unknown at this point whether the V-6 will jump in displacement from 3.5 liters to, say, 3.7. If it does stay with the 3.5, it still gains a power upgrade as the VQ engine has been tweaked.
V-6 models will probably continue to be available with rear- or all-wheel drive, with the top-dog
Kamis, 14 Februari 2008
Infiniti has confirmed that it will unveil the second-generation of its FX crossover next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Though Nissan's luxury brand did not divulge any details about the vehicle, the launch is designed to spearhead its entry into the European market. It will be the first Infiniti to be launched outside the U.S.The second-generation FX goes on sale in Europe along with the rest of Infiniti's European portfolio, which will consist the G sedan and coupe and the EX crossover, in October of 2008.
Rabu, 13 Februari 2008
Forget the Fiat 500 – this is 2008’s most hotly anticipated small car! Replacing one of Ford’s longest-lived models, it’s the all-new Ka – and Auto Express is the only magazine to give you an exclusive first look.
Hot on the heels of our spy shots in Issue 997, we can now bring you these images, which provide the best view yet of the blue oval’s new baby.
The Ka is the latest step in a thorough overhaul of Ford’s range. As you can see, the newcomer retains the familiar design cues of the original model, which was launched in 1996.
The city runabout has a loyal legion of fans in the UK, and they are sure to recognise the Ka’s wheel-at-each-corner stance, curvy shape and short overhangs.
But the second-generation car also brings in new styling details that have made other Ford models – such as the Mondeo and S-MAX – stand out from the competition.
Heavily influenced by the Fiesta-replacing Verve concept, the Ka gets a distinctive family nose, with a large grille set low in the front bumper and big headlamps that extend up the bonnet. At the rear, it’s a similar mix of old and new, with a high, arcing roofline and upright rear end reminiscent of the current Ka, which is completed with fresh tail-lights.
Inside, designers will take further inspiration from the Verve concept and address one of the major flaws of the current Ka – its dated cabin. In comes a classy dashboard with soft-touch materials and a host of hi-tech equipment, including a socket to plug in MP3 players and a hands-free Bluetooth phone connection.
Under the skin lies a chassis shared with Fiat’s 500 and Panda, but Ford’s engineers have been working hard to ensure the Ka offers the same driver-pleasing handling and sharp steering feel of its predecessor.
With quality taking a leap forward, so will refinement and the new Ka will have a far better ride than the current car, as well as lower noise levels. It promises to be able to cope better with town and motorway use than any rival in its class – and that includes the 500.
Engines will be shared with the Fiat, so buyers can expect to see a choice of two petrol units at launch – a 63bhp 1.2-litre and 100bhp 1.4-litre – along with the Ka’s first-ever diesel, in the shape of a 75bhp 1.3-litre Multijet powerplant.
The firm’s current Sportka is a popular budget hot hatch, and Ford will seek to repeat its success with an ST model. Performance will eclipse its predecessor though, thanks to power from the same 1.4-litre turbocharged engine as used in the Fiat 500 Abarth. Pumping out 135bhp in standard form, the new Ka ST promises to be a real pocket rocket – and there’s a chance that an even hotter version will be available with the 155bhp unit from the Abarth SS.
The all-new Ka will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show in September, with the first showroom-ready models arriving before the end of the year. Prices will be similar to the current model, starting at around £7,500 for entry-level versions.
GM left drawings of a proposed Mini Cooper-fighter in a design studio room where journalists got a preview of the work being done on the production Chevrolet Volt.
The drawings illustrated what appeared to be a BMW Mini copy, a two-box, threedoor hatchback design with a conventional, vertical B-pillar. Both were illustrated in green with a white top, and one drawing showed what looks like a lift-off roof panel between the A- and B-pillars. It had a large, egg-crate grille and Chevy bowties.The other was a profile view of a light-blue car with a white top, its B-pillar raked, like that of a Chevy Nomad wagon.
Drawings of the green car suggest front drive, however. Even as a premium small car, it doesn't seem to fit where Buick is heading. Cadillac, as we've reported, will get a version of the rear-drive Alpha and shouldn't go any smaller and certainly not front drive.
Our guess: a Saturn at the very least, or, more likely, a Saab, which has more room in its pricing and could sell such a car in the $25,000 range. Saab needs a higher-volume car as the ill-fated 9-3x was designed to be and has a European dealer network.
Selasa, 12 Februari 2008
If the car looks anything like these sketches, the firm will have successfully developed a stylish minivan which appears to be moving the design direction for MPVs closer to 'sporty', incorporating many crossover styling cues. The new concept is also claimed to feature revolutionary materials and construction techniques which have been developed in co-operation with partners such as Recaro, Bayer and LG.
Though Hyundai's release doesn't provide much more information, the company is also touting its 'near production' environmentally-friendly 'Eco-Dynamic' package set to be revealed at the show, leading us to believe that this technology, which reduces CO2 emissions by 29 percent, will be fitted to the concept car as well.
Senin, 11 Februari 2008
Acura has made it official: Its next-generation 2009 Acura TSX sedan will make its world debut at March's New York auto show. Based largely on the upcoming European Honda Accord which is scheduled to be unveiled a couple of weeks before at the Geneva Motor Show, the TSX is expected to be the first Honda to come with the automaker's new, much-hyped, i-DTEC clean diesel engine. The TSX will hit dealer showrooms in the spring, shortly after its New York debut.
Minggu, 10 Februari 2008
In the fall of 2008, we'll be seeing the revamped version of the six-year-old Nissan 350Z, according to the Japanese magazine Best Car. The Z has a long and storied history as Datsun/Nissan's flagship sports car and it appears that the automaker will buck industry trends by making the next-generation vehicle -- which by all accounts will be named 370Z -- both smaller and lighter.
It is rumored that one of the main modifications to the new Z is a shorter (reportedly by about 4 inches) wheelbase, which would help explain the spy photos of what looked like a scrunched up 350Z that were circulating a couple of months back. A shorter wheelbase car would also point to it being lighter as well.
Reports also indicate that a version of the 3.7-liter V-6 used from the Infiniti G37 will propel the new Z, hence the 370Z moniker. Estimated horsepower figures are ranging from 333 to 350 horsepower. Another notable change is the new look to the front and rear fascia and smooth, continuous bodylines on the car's flanks.
As for when the car will first be shown, it's been reported that it will debut at either the Paris Motor Show in early October or at November's LA auto show, most likely in a pre-production concept form. We'll find out later this year. One thing's for sure, six years on market is a long time and the Z is overdue for a redo.
Jumat, 08 Februari 2008
GM will debut its Opel Meriva Concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March, as a small monocab vehicle with styling elements from the GTC Coupe and Flextreme concepts of previous shows.
The Meriva Concept features extensive use of glass, giving all passengers better visibility -- a nice touch on what is essentially a design study for a European minivan. As we've seen in the past, GM's Opel models are starting to hit U.S. roads under the Saturn banner so we may well be seeing some of the Meriva's design features on upcoming stateside models.
Kamis, 07 Februari 2008
For the most positive change in the refresh of the 2009 Acura RL, the flagging flagship of Honda's luxury division that's making its production debut at the 2008 Chicago show, you'll need to look beyond its odd chrome snout and under the blow-formed aluminum hood. New for 2009 is the 3.7-liter, 300-horsepower VTEC V-6 that also powers the MDX, with 275 lb-ft of torque (up from 256 lb-ft on the 2008 RL) on tap.
In the "if it ain't broke, let's just make minor improvements" category, the engine is mated to an upgraded version of the Acura's Sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission that you can shift two ways: via F1-style steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters or the new straight-gate console-mounted gear selector. While adequate, we hope Acura is developing a six- or seven-speed transmission to better keep it inline with today's luxury competition. The RL's fuel-economy ratings check in a bit lower for 2009 at 15 city/22 highway.
A number of other changes also have been made to the car's fully independent suspension in an effort to improve the RL's handling, including the use of larger-diameter stabilizer bars, stiffer subframe mount bushings, higher-rate coil springs, and improved steering-rack components.
In the cabin, some much-needed room has been added for the rear-seat passengers, but Acura has not yet said how much. The front passenger seat has 10-way power adjustability and is ventilated, as is the driver's seat. Both driver and passenger are treated to softer armrests, redesigned air vents, and what Acura says is a more intuitive climate-control system. The steering wheel is fitted with a better quality wood and "metal-like" accents, with the latter also used on the new gauge cluster.
Rabu, 06 Februari 2008
Feast your eyes on the ‘Super Corsa’. This is Vauxhall’s striking new baby – a sleeker and more practical sister car to the popular supermini, which will offer buyers real flexibility and style when it goes on sale next year. Effectively replacing the Meriva in the firm’s line-up, the newcomer is a very definite step upmarket. It will go into battle with models such as VW’s Golf Plus, the MINI Clubman and Ford’s upcoming Fiesta-based MPV. As you can see from our exclusive pictures, which have been produced using insider information, the model drops the Meriva’s upright stance for something much more desirable. Its shape has been heavily influenced by the Flextreme concept, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September. At the front, the model has the same pronounced grille, faired-in headlights and raised bonnet edges – a look that will also appear on the Vectra-replacing Insignia (see our new spy shots on Page 14). Its flanks get the same bold cut-outs as the Flextreme too, but it’s the rakish roofline – complete with panoramic glass – and rising waistline, which runs to the angled C-pillars, that really mark the newcomer out. Together with a roof spoiler and a sharply styled rear, the design is sporty compared to the traditional look of the supermini-MPV Meriva.
In addition to our exclusive images, we can also reveal Vauxhall's first official sketch of the Concept Meriva. The drawing shows what to expect on the show stands of the Geneva Motor Show next month where the eye-catching hatchback will be revealed.Although our illustrations show a model with conventional back doors, there’s a possibility that the newcomer will feature Flextreme-style rear-hinged items to boost practicality. With suspension borrowed from the Corsa, the model will offer excellent agility and plenty of driver appeal. The newcomer will also use the super-mini’s engines, including 1.3-litre and 1.7-litre CDTI diesels and a 1.6-litre turbo petrol. All units will have stop-start technology to help to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. Sales of the newcomer are scheduled to kick off in early 2009
Nevertheless, the Lucerne Super is set apart from lesser Lucernes with its specially-calibrated version of GM's Magnetic Ride Control technology for reduced body roll, suede inserts in the interior, a leather-covered instrument panel with French stitching, and the larger chrome waterfall grille, which will likely be applied to all Lucernes soon. The Lucerne also comes with heated and cooled front seats, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, XM radio, a nine-speaker 280-watt Harman Kardon audio system and floor mats embroidered with the Buick insignia.
Loaded Supers will be equipped with a Lane Departure Warning System, which uses a camera located between the rear view mirror and the windshield, to alert drivers they can't keep their Buick in one lane. Buick also offers the Side Blind Zone Alert, a radar-based system which can detect vehicles in a zone 11 feet on either side of the Lucerne and up to 16 feet behind the side mirrors. The system's sensors are located at the rear corners of the car.
Surprisingly, Buick lists 18-inch chrome wheels, a touch screen DVD-based navigation system, and even a power sunroof as "available features" we think should be covered in the MSRP, and no, using OnStar as a navigation system does not provide the same experience as having an in-dash screen like the one pictured below.
A V-6 Toyota Avalon is in the same price range as the V-8 Lucerne Super, but for those drivers who want a bit more exterior style with their full-size entry luxury sedan, the Buick makes a convincing argument.
The newest entry in VW’s North American lineup clearly shows its German lineage with its VW grille which, along with the headlamps, differ greatly from the Chrysler vans.
The overall shape of the seven-passenger minivan strikes a middle ground between the curves of past-generation Chrysler minivans and the boxy profile of the 2008 model that has received mixed reviews. If you were looking for the VW Eurovan or Microbus to be resurrected, you will be disappointed.
A VW Minivan for Under $25,000
We expected top-notch materials in a high-end minivan from VW, and are surprised to learn the German automaker will offer an economical entry with a starting price under $25,000 (the cheapest Chrysler starts at $22,470, the lineup tops out at $36,400). But the center stack in our first look at the Routan reminded us of old-school Chrysler.
The Routan has second-row captain’s chairs, with almost 33 cubic feet behind the third row seats and a full 83 cubic feet available behind the second row. The Chrysler minivans offer Stow ’n Go second-row seats that fold into the floor, or Swivel ’n Go seats that turn to face the rear, with an optional table that fits between the two rows, which the Routan does not appear to have inherited.
The Volkswagen offers dual power-sliding doors with power windows, a power liftgate, and touch-screen navigation system with twenty-gig hard drive.
A minivan is a family room on wheels. To that end, the Routan has the prerequisite rear-seat entertainment system with two nine-inch screens for the second and third row, and wireless headsets.
There is powertrain sharing as well. The Routan offers the top two engine choices found in the Chrysler minivans: the standard 3.8-liter pushrod V-6 (197 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque) or the newer and optional 4.0-liter V-6 (251-hp and 259 lb-ft of torque). Both are mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. When Chrysler introduced its new minivans last year, it was the first in the segment to offer a six-speed automatic.
Volkswagen says it gave the Routan a European-tuned suspension and steering optimized for handling and improved driving dynamics. Well, we’ll have to wait until we get behind the wheel to verify those bold claims. The minivan also comes with standard traction control and ESP.
Under the partnership between VW and Chrysler, the Routan will be assembled alongside Caravan and Town & Country minivans at the Chrysler plant in Windsor, Ontario. Prototypes (testers that are not for sale) have already been running down the line.
As for the name, it is the word “route” with the suffix “an,” following the pattern set by the Touran and Sharan, both European minivans, as well as the Tiguan small SUV.
Selasa, 05 Februari 2008
The Edge’s strong beginnings in the market are no doubt due in large part to its clean, subtle shape, which Ford hopes to improve on with the Edge Sport.
Nothing says “sport” like big, heavy wheels, so the Edge Sport comes with 20-inch hoops wrapped in low-profile Pirelli Scorpion Zero rubber. Optional 22s keep the Edge Sport on level with the Cadillac Escalade’s available deuce-deuces and will no doubt degrade acceleration and braking performance further than the 20s.
Four exterior colors will be offered: blue, black, silver, and red. Regardless of exterior color choice, Edge Sports will wear a dark gray leather interior. Contrasting “suede-feel” inserts and light gray stitching trim the seats and the center console wears a faux etched-metal appliqué.
We’re fans of the Edge’s appearance, but also proponents of putting the 4500-pound ute on a diet. The Sport package deepens our affection for the styling, but the big wheels will likely exacerbate its already somewhat average performance.
Those who are light on the pedals and don’t care about performance (there are no boosts to the 265-hp V-6 in this package) as much as looking good will be able to buy an Edge Sport in this fall. No pricing yet, but we would hope the body kit doesn’t add more than a couple thousand dollars extra.
Minggu, 03 Februari 2008
Mercedes claims to be aiming for a 'more aggressive' look with the new M-Class, and these images show only minor alterations have been made to try and achieve it.
Most of the changes have been made at the front end, which sports a deeper bumper with more sculpted lines around the slightly larger, lightly revised grille.
Though they're disguised in these images, expect redesigned headlights to add to the new 'more aggressive' M-Class.
Changes to the rear are even less obvious, with mild alterations made to the bumper and LED lights added to the options list.
Interior changes will be more evident, with new seat design, leather dash and the latest Mercedes infotainment system seen in the recently revealed SL and SLK will also make an appearance.
However, the 3.0-litre V6 Blutec diesel engine that will form one of the most popular engines in the forthcoming M-Class range in the US, is unlikely to go on sale over here due to issues with making it conform to UK legislation.
Instead, the green option will arrive in the form of a hybrid model based on the ML450 concept seen at the Detroit motor show this year. The ML450 will utilise an electric motor teamed to a petrol V6, allowing pure electric power from low speeds.
The new M-CLass will to go on sale in September this year, with the hybrid ML450 likely to reach the UK in 2009.
Despite the vehicle's official unveiling at the 2008 Chicago auto show next week, Mitsubishi has chosen to release images and information for its 2009 Galant ahead of schedule. A number of changes have been made for the new model year ranging from styling to equipment.
Most noticeable, the 2009 features a revised design with a completely redesigned front end. New hood lines, grille, and front intake all provide a slightly more aggressive look for the 2009 Galant, and the rear of the vehicle has its share of changes too. A revised bumper, rear deck, taillamps, and new rear glass all contribute to a wider-looking rear end. Fresh 17-inch wheels at all four corners and a new center high-mounted brake light considerably update the Galant's image.
A variety of trim packages is offered on the new Galant -- four in total. The range starts at the Galant ES and Sport Edition, both of which are 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder models. Two V-6 options are also offered: the 3.8-liter, 230-horsepower V-6 Sport model and the topline sport-tuned 3.8-liter 258-horsepower Galant Ralliart -- a true sport sedan said to give a 0-to-60-mph run in around six seconds. All models include a Sportronic automatic gearbox for 2009, the four-cylinder engines receiving four-speed units and the six-cylinder engines with five-speed 'boxes. All Galants also get a tire-pressure monitoring system standard for 2008, while the V-6 models also receive standard traction control.
The Ralliart Galant also includes a Rockford Acoustic Design premium stereo (also standard on the Sport V-6), a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, perforated leather-trimmed seating surfaces, heated front seats, automatic climate control system, power glass sunroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink transmitter. Aluminum pedals and Micro-delta print accent panels are also included as standard equipment.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant will be available in all forms of trim this month at dealerships, and we'll bring you even more photos and information when we see the car in person at the 2008 Chicago auto show next week.
Jumat, 01 Februari 2008
Is this the car that will save the reputation of Renault's baby? Following a lukewarm reception from city car fans, the firm's hopes rest on the hot Renaultsport version of the new Twingo to win customers over.
These are the first official pictures. As you can see, in RS form the Twingo is transformed from cute city car to aggressive hot hatch. Wider wheel arches feature all round, while low side skirts an oval exhaust complete the makeover.
Power comes from the firm's 1.6-litre petrol engine, tuned to produce 131bhp. Extensive chassis tuning has also been carried out to give the car the handling to match its feisty pace.
Renault describes its newest hot hatch to be "an affordable high performance car". Full performance details will be revealed when the car is revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March.