Jumat, 31 Oktober 2008

New Car: 2010 Ford Fusion

Ford has released an image and details on the updated 2010 Ford Fusion. Highlights include a revised engine and transmission lineup, as well details on the hybrid versions of both the Fusion and its Mercury twin.
The lone photo provided by Ford shows a more aggressive front end for the Fusion, with fenders that bulge out more at the corners and a larger chrome grille with “eyebrows” that stretch above the restyled headlights. Trapezoidal openings in the lower front fascia are reminiscent of Ford’s European Kuga crossover and U.S.-bound Fiesta small car. Changes to the rear were not revealed, but we do know that restyled taillights and fascias are in the cards.
No images of the Milan have been released, but based on the camouflaged development vehicle that was on hand for the announcement, expect a larger grille as well as updated rear styling.
The Fusion powertrain lineup has been completely overhauled. All transmissions, both manual and automatic, will have six speeds. Front-wheel drive is still standard, with all-wheel drive continuing as an option on V-6 models.
Mirroring changes made for the 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner, Ford will replace the Fusion’s 2.3-liter four-cylinder with a bored and stroked version that displaces 2.5 liters, as well as drop in a reworked version of the 3.0-liter V-6. The four-cylinder option now delivers 175 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, up from 160 and 156, respectively. Ford is also claiming that the four-banger will achieve 33 mpg on the highway when mated to an automatic transmission, which bests the four-cylinder versions of the Toyota Camry (31 mpg) and Honda Accord (30 mpg). Ford says to expect a 0-to-60-mph time of 9.5 seconds for 2.5-liter Fusions equipped with the six-speed auto.
The 3.0-liter V-6 now makes 240 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque, increases of 19 hp and 23 lb-ft over the current version. It will also be E85-capable, and using the ethanol-heavy fuel will yield an additional 10 horses—and fewer mpg.
Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 will finally see duty in a Fusion as the standard powerplant for Sport models, helping to differentiate a trim that is currently little more than an appearance package. The big V-6 is rated at 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque, and Ford says 7.0-second 0–60 sprints will be possible. Unlike the other engines, the 3.5-liter will not be shared with the Milan.
The 2010 Fusion and Milan will be fully revealed at the upcoming Los Angeles auto show.

Kamis, 30 Oktober 2008

Spied: 2011 BMW 6-Series

The lid has been lifted on BMW’s next 6-Series. Auto Express has the first pictures of the German car makers soft-top. But what’s more surprising is the coupe is yet to break cover. Wearing a similar disguise to the MINI Crossman in recent spy shots, the pictures clearly show the new 6-Series convertible will continue to wear the more traditional canvas roof - not the folding hard-top used on rivals like the Mercedes SL.Following a series of facelifts the next 6-Series will be a brand new version, seven years after the current model made its debut. Expect changes to be subtle though with refinement and build quality taking priority. The engine line-up is unlikely to change much from the current cabrio either.Still in the early stages of testing the cabrio version of the new 6-Series isn’t expected to go on sale until early 2011 and unusually the hard-top will follow after. BMW expect this new strategy to maximise the soft-tops sales when the car is released in the spring. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Check out WheelHQ.com and their large selection of BMW Wheels.

Spied Up Date: 2010 Mercedes CLK

It's the news E-class fans have been waiting for! Mercedes’ forthcoming CLE is ready to hit the road... These exclusive images of the hotly tipped replacement for the CLK show the upcoming car carrying out final tests before it goes on sale next year. It appears the coupe will be almost identical to the concept that inspired it.Subtly decorated in black tape, it’s clear to see under the minimal disguise that the new CLE will have a more angular and sporty design than the car it replaces. Sharp creases down both sides and a more rounded outline help distinguish the coupe further. Despite its change in class the exterior will still draw many influences from the current C-class range, including the large sports-styled front grille and CLS rear lights.Inside, the dash will offer a less complex setup than the current car and the sat-nav has been moved to a higher position offering better visibility while creating more space. The new coupe will also be a proper 2+2 coupe with enough room in the back for passengers.Under the bonnet the 3-Series and A5 rival is expected to carry a similar range of engines to the current C-class including a new 2.2-litre four-cylinder BlueTec diesel unit delivering 201bhp tipped to be a top-seller.The changes are part of Mercedes‘ plan to help return the E-class to its once legendary status. Expect a convertible version of the new CLE to follow in 2010 a year after the coupe. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Center Console of 2010 Ford Mustang

Does everybody know what time it is? That's right, with another Wednesday come and past, it's 2010 Mustang teaser picture time. After last week's up-close shot of what we're fairly sure is the hood, Ford has dropped another interior picture on us this week.

Except that it's not entirely new, it's the same picture they dropped two weeks ago (left), but zoomed out a bit to show us more of the center console. The centerpiece, of course, is the shift knob, which has been borrowed from the Bullit-edition Mustangs. Also in view now are the climate controls as well as some of the stereo controls. We see here that it will have Sirius Satellite Radio available, as well as seat heaters and the ability to disable at least some of the electronic nannies. There's also some nice stitching revealed on what appear to be leather seats.

Of course, most of this isn't news to us since we've already seen the entire interior unmasked in spy shots, sans fancy shift knob. Despite the multitude of spy shots already making their rounds on the internet, Ford has remained committed to their one-teaser-a-week rollout, so expect three more pictures to pop-up on Ford's official 2010 Mustang webpage. Ford is obviously trying to built suspense around the new 'Stang prior to its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, but considering we pretty much know what it looks like already, we have to wonder how much there will be left for them to surprise us with in a few weeks. Ford's shown their commitment to their rollout plan, but as we've asked in the past, is it time to just show the car already?

New Car: 2009 Honda Element

Honda has dropped details and pictures of the restyled 2009 Honda Element online today. The changes are mostly cosmetic, updating the quirky SUV with Honda's latest family look. Under new sheet metal and an updated interior, the Element retains the same engine and transmissions, so the 2009 Element is a refresh, not a full redesign.
The most obvious change is right up front, where the grille has been restyled to mimic Honda's new bold chrome ring look first seen on the redesigned 2009 Honda Pilot. Honda has also restyled the front fenders -- this time in metal rather than composites -- and squared the wheel arches all the way around.Inside, the 2009 Element has been updated with modern gadgets such as Bluetooth connectivity, Honda's satellite-linked navigation system with Voice Activation, a rear-view camera for automatic transmission models and USB digital media connectivity.
Under the hood remains Honda's versatile 2.4L i-VTEC inline four-cylinder engine making 166 hp and 161 lb-ft. of torque. It can be mated to a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission and can be had in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive format on the LX and EX models and front-wheel drive only on the SC model. When two wheels are driven, the 2009 Element gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with the automatic transmission, while AWD models get 18 mpg city and 23 mpg highway regardless of what transmission they're mated to.
The base model Element LX will start at $20,845 including destination charge, while a fully-loaded Element SC carries a manufacturers suggested retail price of $26,345. Honda hasn't announced an on-sale date yet, but the restyled Element should see dealer showroom floors fairly soon.

Rabu, 29 Oktober 2008

New Concept Car: Renault Sand 'Up

This unusual combination of pick-up and cabriolet is the Renault Sand’Up, a heavily modified concept version of the Dacia Sandero hatchback due on sale in the UK next year - and the first Renault concept from the firm’s Brazilian design studio.
Described as a 2+2 coupe, the car is based on the Sandero Stepway, a four-wheel drive version of the Sandero on sale in Brazil and Argentina.
Similar in design to the Citroen Pluriel, the Sand’Up’s arcing roof pillars allow for three different body structures; convertible, pick-up truck and what Renault describes as a coupe.
The Sand’Up has a load bed that can extend by 40cm giving 1.7 metres load space thanks to its fold flat rear seats. When equipped with its manual hard-top, the concept also gets a split tailgate clamshell boot, similar to the Renault Koleos. Other features include electro-hydraulic doors, previously used on the Laguna concept, and rear view camera wing mirrors.
Powered by a 1.6 litre engine running on ethanol and driving the front wheels, the Sand’Up will produce 108bhp and 109 lb ft of torque, and reach 60mph in 10.6 seconds.
Renault are unlikely to launch a car like the Sand’Up for the European market, but another South American market only model could be possible.
Pick-ups are a popular alternative to passenger cars in Brazil; Renault says younger buyers are interested in the look of a pick-up rather than its practicality.
Thanks to: Autocar.

Hot News: Audi Green City Car

Take a look at the smallest, most beautifully formed Audi ever. Auto Express has learned that the German firm is planning a new city car – and it will be based on VW’s ultra-economical micro-machine, the up!
The new baby blends fuel economy and style never seen before from Audi. It will share nearly all its underpinnings with the VW, while maintaining the badge appeal and executive air that buyers have come to expect from the four-ringed brand.
Bosses had previously hinted at the possibility of a small car, and speculation suggested it would be based on the same platform as the A1 concept, first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
But now it has come to light that the platform will be shared with the up! – which will also spawn a raft of other models from fellow VW Group brands Skoda and SEAT.
Audi’s new car will rival top-end versions of the Ford Ka and Fiat 500. As you can see from our pictures, the model adds a distinctive body to the chassis of the up!, with a gaping grille, neat headlamps, beefy wheelarches and a sculpted rear end. But the most innovative move – and potentially the model’s biggest selling point – is the choice of ultra-economical powerplants. Engineers at the VW Group are working on a pair of 600cc two-cylinder turbocharged units – one diesel and one petrol.
Fuel economy is predicted around 95mpg, with super-clean CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km – meaning the Audi won’t cost a penny in road tax under current rules. The company is also toying with the idea of introducing a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine.
Yet near-100mpg fuel returns are clearly not enough – as an electric powertrain is also under development. Details are sketchy at the moment, but ultra-low running costs and emissions are guaranteed.
In addition, Audi has hinted that an eco-minded replacement for the A2 could be on the way. Rupert Stadler, chairman of the manufacturer’s board of management, told us: “We have intentionally left a gap between the A3 and forthcoming A1. Although it’s too premature to talk about the car that will fill it – as it needs time – the A2 had a certain type of DNA with its aluminium body, and this should be respected. But electric drive is a must.”
This newcomer could be based on the larger, MPV-style space up! displayed at 2007’s Los Angeles Motor Show.
However, the up! project is not without its problems. Originally, VW had planned for a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout, devised to provide more interior space. But top brass have since revealed that this threw up issues in testing, with the car proving unstable in cross winds and suffering difficulties with engine cooling.
So, a more modern and straightforward front-engined, front-wheel-drive layout is likely to be adopted. The up! is due on sale in 2010, with its Audi sister model following in 2012.
Thanks to: Auto Express.

New Car: 2009 Porsche Cayman & Porsche Boxster

It's a Porsche double-whammy! Thanks to images that were leaked onto the internet when they appeared on Porsche's online car configurator, Auto Express can bring you the facelifted versions of the Cayman and Boxster.
Set to go on sale next year, the new models get subtly tweaked exteriors with restyled headlights, new air intakes and sleek LED tail lights. However, under the skin, there are bigger changes. Out goes the old 2.7-litre flat-six cylinder engine and in comes a new 2.9-litre unit with 265hp and 300Nm of torque, up 20hp and 27Nm over its predecessor. As a result, expect a 0-62mph in around six seconds for the entry-level Cayman. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, but like the 911, Porsche's PDK twin-clutch gearbox will be available as an option and thanks to its snappier shift, expect a couple of tenths to be shaved off the 0-62mph time. Other options will include a limited-slip differential (LSD) for the first time too on the entry-level model.
The range-topping S models gets a 320bhp direct injection version of the new 2.9-litre engine, capable of accelerating the Cayman S from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds, with the PDK-version hitting the benchmark in five seconds dead. Not only do these improvement result in more performance, but they also help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions too.
In addtion, expect a slightly restyled interior with new trim and upgrades to the navigation and entertainment systems.

For more photos click here.

New Car: 2010 Nissan 370Z

Earlier this month, Nissan provided us special access to a camouflaged prototype of its next-generation Z sports car. Now come three photos and official confirmation that this Z will indeed be the 370Z -- or officially speaking, the 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe
What does this mean? Well, for starters, that the rumor mill was 99.99% correct. If you go off name alone, the next-generation Z will be powered by a 3.7L V-6 engine -- no doubt the same one that is in the 2009 Infiniti G37 sedan and coupe. Output should be the about the same as those vehicles as well -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 330 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Now we don't know all of this for sure, as no details were provided with the images, only this statement:
"All-New 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe Readies for Debut. Nissan offers the first look at the upcoming 2009 370Z Coupe, which makes its world debut at the Los Angeles auto show on November 19. The all-new 2009 Nissan 370Z, the first full redesign of the iconic Nissan Z since its reintroduction as a 2003 model, solidifies the strengths of its predecessor with an unmatched balance of performance, style, and value. The all-new Z will go on sale at Nissan dealers in early 2009."
We can, however, learn a bit more by examining the photos. Both exterior shots are of a right -hand-drive model, so we can't assume everything you see here will make it to the North American market. Same goes for the interior. Even though it shows a more accurate left-hand-drive configuration, there are no guarantees that color, trim, or any of the optional equipment shown (such as that nav system) will make it to production.
Still, there are some tasty morsels here.
As you see from the both exterior shots, the 370Z adopts the boomerang-shape head- and taillights first seen on the 2009 Maxima. There is also a new front-end treatment -- two structures curve up and in off the lower airdam, like a pair of canines. Without camouflage, the dramatically shortened wheelbase, heavily sculpted front fenders, and revised door handle all become more obvious. The rear three-quarter angle provides a much better view of those V-shaped lights as well as the backswept roofline and bobbed tail. Most dramatic is the greenhouse. Gone is the 350Z's nose-to-tail beltline; now the window line curves up after the door's trailing edge, creating a small set of rear windows - and daylight openings reminiscent of the original 240Z. For more details click here.

New Car: 2010 Aston Martin One-77

While teasers may be the latest trend among automakers, it does put them in a vulnerable position for internal leaks. Arising on the Web today are what look to be the first uncovered photos Aston Martin's latest ultra-fast (and expensive) One-77 supercar in its full production-ready splendor.

The images, courtesy of Dutch blog 925.nl, clearly show the car's extra-wide stance and intricate carbon fiber bodywork. Characteristic Aston lines -- somewhat reminiscent of a Coke bottle -- permeate exotic's exterior and are accentuated further by aggressive functional vents and diffusers, both fore and aft. To the sides, the likely gull-wing doors incorporate deep grooves, while louvers adorn the One-77's hood in order to keep ample airflow on the 7.3L V-12 powerplant.Now that the Aston Martin's approximately $2 million One-77 has broken cover, expect more images and information to surface in the coming weeks.

New Car: 2009 Dodge Trazo

The first fruits of Nissan and Chrysler's manufacturing partnership have been bared and launched today at the Sao Paolo Motor Show in Brazil in the form of the Dodge Trazo C1.8. The ethanol-capable sedan is being launched in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and is a version of the Versa built by Nissan.

"The new Trazo C1.8 by Dodge allows us to enter into a segment in which we currently do not compete," said Mike Manley, Executive Vice President of International Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Chrysler in a statement. "The Trazo C1.8 offers customers a high-quality vehicle with great value and provides our dealers with further opportunities to expand their business."The Trazo C1.8 rides on a 102.4-in. wheelbase and slips through the air with a low 0.31 drag-coefficient. It's powered by a 1.8L 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing that is E100 ethanol capable, perfect for countries like Brazil that use ethanol extensively. The engine will be mated to both manual and automatic transmissions, though Chrysler did not elaborate on what transmissions those would be. The car will be backed by a three-year, 50,000-kilometer limited warranty.

Nissan is also reportedly working on a small car for Chrysler to sell in the U.S., though it's unknown at this point if it will be at all related to the Trazo.

Selasa, 28 Oktober 2008

Hot News: 2011 Volkswagen Sedan for USA

Despite an ongoing feud with Porsche over who actually owns the company, Volkswagen AG's management is promising the very latest engine technology and sleek new sheetmetal for a new car it is planning to build in the U.S. Based on the Passat’s architecture, but with its own unique interior and exterior looks, the new sedan will compete for the heart of the mid-size sedan market now ruled by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Although the current Passat architecture already underpins a stylish spinoff in the 2009 Passat CC, the new vehicle will reportedly not replace the Passat, leaving the family with three vehicles squeezed onto one platform.
Walter de’Silva, the chief of Volkswagen design, declined to show any drawings of the new vehicle to a group of Tennessee government officials visiting VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, but insisted the design of the new car is destined to stand out from the competition. “It's not boring,” he said.
De’Silva, who was in charge at Audi when it rolled out the Q7 in 2005 as well as the production R8 and redesigned TT in 2006, confirmed he had “frozen” the final design of the new sedan. “The car is completely designed. I don't freeze a model that I don't feel passionate about,” added de’Silva, who has also won awards for cars such as the elegant Audi A6 and the Lamborghini Murciélago roadster. De’Silva indicated that the new American-built Volkswagen will incorporate the same design philosophy that animates the 2009 Volkswagen Golf, which has just gone on sale in Europe. “We gave the new Golf simple surfaces” he said. “It gives a clear look at what to expect from future Volkswagen models.” The new Golf also has a new front-end and grille design that will carry over on future models, he said. “We need to be unique. We need to be consistent with VW’s brand history and we need to communicate quality, solidity, simplicity, and sustainability,” the latter of which is the car industry’s new shorthand for responsible, eco-friendly vehicles.
For the powertrain, VW is clearly leaning toward a TDI diesel or a direct-injection gasoline engine, which the company has been steadily refining right alongside its new clean diesel engines. The direct-injection gasoline engine could be equipped with a new turbocharging system as well variable valve timing, while the automatic transmission would be ditched in favor of VW’s computer-controlled, dual-clutch DSG. Earlier this year, Volkswagen won the “Golden Drop of Oil 2008” award for the new seven- speed DSG gearbox. The German Automobile Club awards the prize annually for technical developments which “reduce fuel consumption and safeguard the environment.
Tobias Loesche-ter Horst, the director of VW’s advanced gasoline-engine development team, noted that automatic transmissions generally don't have a very good reputation among European drivers. However, Volkswagen officials say that part of their plan for the new sedan is to move closer to the American mainstream. VW has been able to appeal to American enthusiasts, but the company wants to triple its sales in the U.S. by broadening its appeal among the more mainstream buyers who have made bestsellers of cars such as the Camry and Accord.
At the same time, Volkswagen wants to make sure the new car, which will be priced below the Passat, will retain much of its genuine German heart even if it’s built in the U.S. "It's not our philosophy to develop a car for a particular market," says Stefani, who also added that VW does, however, pay close attention to the specific preferences of customers in key markets such as the U.S. and China.

Spied Up Date: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

No, that’s not a Chevy Malibu wagon, but it’s the closest thing to it. This Equinox prototype looks like a miniaturized Traverse and shares the current Chevy face first seen on the Malibu.
The next Equinox will ride on a lengthened version of the Saturn Vue’s TE platform—a combination of the Theta (current Equinox and Pontiac Torrent) and Epsilon (Malibu and Saab 9-3) architectures—which by our calculations makes it 75-percent car. The stretched TE platform will also underpin Cadillac’s SRX replacement, as well as the Saab 9-4x crossover. A fifth version for GMC is also possible—rumored to be called Terrain—which would top GM’s quartet of Lambdas for crossover proliferation.
Little has been done to hide the identity of the five-seat crossover, save for removing the bow ties and blacking out most of the trim. The added length is visible in the longer rear doors as well as the thick C-pillar that separates the door glass from the rear quarter windows. The smooth front end has a sporty look while large fender flares give a somewhat rugged feel. A lone interior shot shows a clean cabin with chunky door handles, vent, and gauge pods.
Under the hood will be one of the first applications of GM’s new 2.3-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine, which product boss Bob Lutz says will allow the Equinox to lead its segment in fuel economy. A larger—and thirstier—option could be the 257-hp 3.6-liter V-6 that’s found in the Vue. Two-mode and plug-in hybrids are also a strong possibility. The Equinox will continue to be offered in all-wheel- and front-wheel-drive variants.
An on-sale date of May 2009 has been previously discussed for the Equinox, but a delay would not surprise us given GM’s recent production schedule changes.

Hot News: BMW's Green Supercar

BMW is exploring a plan to build what a senior company official calls "a breakthrough green supercar" by the end of 2012.
The new car would rival the Audi R8 and forthcoming Mercedes SLC, and has been described by company insiders as ‘a puristic two-seater that draws on all the very latest BMW technology and lightweight build processes.’
The car is also intended to showcase BMW’s Efficient Dynamics programme, combining fuel-saving technology such as direct injection, brake energy regeneration and stop-start.
A source privy to early design proposals says that the new BMW supercar will be the equivalent of a modern-day M1, a car that the company recently made reference to with the retro M1 Homage concept.
The as-yet-unnamed new model will be capable of combining supercar performance and driving dynamics with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions "on a par with or better than a mid-range 5-series".
The car will be mid-engined, with power most likely to come from a retuned version of the company’s twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine.
BMW is also considering introducing it with a kinetic energy recovery system similar to the one that the company’s F1 team will be using next year.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Audi Sketches Drop on Web

The last renderings we saw out of Audi's design studio were of the retro-cute A1 Concept from the Paris Motor Show last month -- that is until today, when new design sketches were released that give us an idea of where Audi is going with a few key models.
First up is a sketch of what the 2010 Audi A5 Sport back may look like. Appearing more sedan-like than hatchback, the A5 Sportback nevertheless integrates the A5 coupe's nose and tail, with swooping bodywork in-between. Reports peg the A5 Sportback to retain the same engine options as the coupe, with possible 'S' and 'RS' versions to come, for those looking for more sport appeal. The A5 Cabrio is also shown, and looks exactly as one might think - just like an A5 coupe, sans roof.
We also get our first look at the 2011 Audi A8 - the German automaker's flagship sedan. We've been told that the next-generation luxury sedan will retain the model's trademark all-aluminum construction, and if these renderings are any indication, the A8 is taking on a more aggressive look - we can't complain there. The top-range S8 is said to boast a 5.0L V-10 FSI powerplant good for a whopping 620 hp.
Last up is Audi's contribution to the four-door coupe world - the highly-anticipated A7. Based on the same architecture as the A5 (and upcoming A6, for that matter), the A7 will be a sportier, budget-oriented competitor to the Mercedes-Benz' CLS sedan for the 2010 model year, with a debut in late 2009. Engine details aren't crystal clear yet, but expect the base engine to be one of Audi's 3.0L supercharged six-cylinder mills. For more photos click here.

Senin, 27 Oktober 2008

New Concept Car: Chevrolet GPiX

Just last month, GM teased compact crossover fans in America with images of its Orlando concept, a small seven-seater based on the upcoming 2011 Chevy Cruze. However, even before it bowed at the Paris motor show the automaker canceled plans to bring the CUV stateside, opting for a small car from Asia instead. And now the General is introducing another soft-roader not intended for U.S. consumption -- the new Chevrolet GPiX Concept, created specifically for markets in South America.
Making its debut at this year's Sao Paulo International Auto Show, the GPiX was styled by GM's Brazilian design studio, and the automaker believes it could help create a new segment for the region. Featuring a sleek two-door body style but with high-enough ground clearance to handle unpaved roads, GM's general director of design for Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East Carlos Barba says the vehicle "offers the sporty design and versatility necessary" for countries like Brazil. Its front-end a variation on the Chevrolet design theme found on vehicles like the Traverse and upcoming Cruze, the GPiX concept sports off-road cues such as flared wheel arches and 17-in., mixed-use tires, while seating just four and including extras like a panoramic glass roof.

Its name standing for Global Image, the GPiX is designed to be built at a cost that would make it affordable in the developing world. Despite featuring extras like Bluetooth, an entertainment system, and seats that fold flat into the floor, the president of GM Brazil and Mercosur (a trade region encompassing much of South America) believes the GPiX "could result in the development of many models for Brazil and Mercosur region." That said, considering GM is focusing much of its attention on global vehicles like the Cruze and Opel Insignia (which will reach the U.S. as the next Saturn Aura), if a GPiX-based crossover becomes a runaway hit in the southern hemisphere, it's always possible the General might be convinced to bring a version stateside, too.

Sabtu, 25 Oktober 2008

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Renault Scenic

This is picture of Renault’s new Scenic are patently the real deal. They come directly from the EU patent office – and the famously secretive firm will be kicking itself that they’ve been exposed.
The images reveal how the Scenic and seven-seat Grand Scenic people carriers will look at launch in the spring. They share the new Mégane platform, and the hatch’s influence is clear from the front-end styling. Both variants get the Renault corporate face, while the elongated lights stretch up the bonnet.
The main difference between the Scenic and the stretched Grand comes at the back. While the five-seater has conventional high-level tail-lights, the bigger car features boomerang-shaped clusters which curve round the flanks. But unlike the latest Mégane, the Scenic sticks to the template of the previous-generation model, retaining the gently sloping roofline and kinked rear pillars.
Engines will broadly be shared with the hatch, with the emphasis on 1.5-litre diesels delivering up to 110bhp, and the larger 130bhp 1.9 and 150bhp/180bhp 2.0 dCi units. At least one model will emit less than 130g/km of CO2, and so cost only £90 a year in road tax from 2009.
Gadgets such as keyless entry are likely to remain. But Renault will work to eradicate the electrical glitches that are to blame for the current car’s poor reliability.
The higher-quality cabin features a Mégane-style dash, while the Grand’s clever hideaway rear seats are carried over. Prices aren’t likely to change, with the five-seater from £14,500 and the Grand Scenic starting at £16,000. For more details click here.

SEMA Show 2008 Preview

I just checked my e-mail. And my friend shared this web sites. This site tells about the preview SEMA Show 2008. There are 13 cars that you can see with photo slideshow. From Hummer H3T Weekend Warrior until 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six Packs by Hotchkis. I hope you enjoy this site. Thanks to DJ for sharing this site. Click here to see the site.

Jumat, 24 Oktober 2008

Hot News: Infiniti GTR Saloon on Way

Nissan’s GT-R is growing, Auto Express can reveal. Sources in Japan have discovered that the hi-tech supercar will soon be available as a four-door – and it’s set to wear an Infiniti badge.
The flagship will rival the Porsche Panamera and BMW M5, and it uses the same four-wheel-drive chassis and twin-clutch gearbox as the GT-R coupé. However, it will have a longer wheelbase and place an emphasis on comfort and luxury rather than performance. Instead of the GT-R’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6, the saloon will have the same 5.0-litre V8 as the Infiniti FX50 SUV, tuned to give around 420bhp. That should still mean a 0-60mph time of five seconds and a top speed of 170mph. Expect the saloon to arrive in spring 2011.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 23 Oktober 2008

Spied: 2010 Mini Cooper S Convertible

MINI is getting ‘roofless’ with its Cooper S – and these are the best picutures yet of the sporty drop-top. Our spies have managed to spot the flagship ‘S’ version of the Cooper almost completely undisguised on test in Germany, and it looks like MINI is onto another winner.Like previous versions, the new Cooper S Convertible gets a mulit-layered fabric roof and engineers will be working hard to ensure the newcomer offers as much interior refinement as the hard-top version.Gone are the trademark roll hoops of the previous version – MINI has decided to replace them with a a solid roll-over bar that pops up in the event of an accident, but otherwise hides behind the rear-seat backrests.With the top down, the C-pillar is just as wide and prominent as in the current model, so unfortunately rear visibility hasn’t been improved, but the new top should stow better than in the current model. Just like the tin-top, the Convertible gets the same 1.6-litre turbo delivering 175bhp – enough for a 0-60mph time of around seven seconds. Along with the rest of the Convertible range, the Cooper S will make its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March. For more detail click here.

Spied: 2010 Bentley Continental GTC Speed

The lid has been lifted on Bentley’s most powerful production cabriolet ever. This is the Continental GTC Speed – a 200mph bruiser with all the menace and performance of its hard-top sibling. Spied here in the final stages of testing, we’ve managed to capture the GTC Speed without any disguise. Not for the self-conscious, the cabrio looks set to stand out with huge alloy wheels, vast twin exhausts and a neat boot spoiler. Under the bonnet lies a 600bhp 6.0-litre, W12 engine, capable of propelling the GTC from 0-60 in under 4.5 seconds, and onto a 200mph top speed. In-gear pace will be incredible thanks to 750Nm of torque which is fully available from only 1,750rpm.It will come at a premium though – expect to pay around £150,000 when it reaches showrooms early next year. For more details click here.

Spied: 2011 Lamborghini Supercar

These are the first spy pictures of Lamborghini’s next-generation supercar, the replacement for the Murcielago, snapped here testing outside Audi’s research centre in Germany.
According to insiders at Lamborghini, it is likely to carry the ‘Jota’ name, and is expected to be lighter, wider and faster than its forebear.
The test mule is based on the current Murcielago, but beneath its skin the next car is thought to have an aluminium chassis rather than a steel tub to reduce weight. The prototype is clearly wider than the Murcielago around the front end.
The engine’s expected to be a 6.0-litre V12 with direct injection, able to deliver around 700bhp to all four wheels.
We know little about what the finished supercar’s will look like but the styling’s expected to be inspired by the €1million Reventon hypercar.
It’s also a fair bet that carbon fibre will be used extensively to help keep weight as low as possible while the rood and doors are likely to be made from aluminium. For more photos click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Electric Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is seriously considering building electric versions of its cars, probably as plug-in hybrids, as a hedge against any possible future ban on big-engined saloons in urban areas.
The company’s new CEO, Tom Purvis, says the company needs to prepare itself for much-tougher inner-city CO2 legislation, and believes that the near-silence of electric propulsion, and the fact that full torque is available from a standstill, would align perfectly with Rolls-Royce’s core values.
He also said that many owners would find the notion of an electric Rolls “very cool.”
“When you study how our cars are used by their owners, you soon see that they either do huge open-road mileages, or relatively small distances in urban areas,” Purvis said, “an electric Rolls-Royce would be ideal for the second category.”
Purvis believes the technical expertise the BMW group has already amassed in producing its forthcoming electric Mini will greatly reduce the time it will take to engineer a new plug-in Rolls if the decision is taken to green-light the project. But he insists that engineering and market research are yet to begin.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: 2010 Renault Espace

Renault is planning to replace today’s soon-to-be-axed Espace MPV with a lower and more luxurious six-seater, company design boss Patrick Le Quemen has said.
The new car will ditch many of the compromises of modern people-carriers, and follows recent research conducted by Renault that suggested modern buyers no longer appreciate the ‘exposed’ high seating positions and low window sills of traditional MPVs.
The new car is likely to have three rows of two seats and should be launched before the end of 2010.
Renault insiders insist that the Renault Espace name, first used 25-years ago on the original Matra-developed car, is “too valuable to lose”, and will probably be applied to the forthcoming six-seater. The new car is also likely to depart from the current Renault Espace’s simple, steeply-raked nose and windscreen for a more complex design.
Renault’s design team has decided that an odd number of seats, employed in most MPVs, are relatively uncomfortable for most passengers. Hence the decision to go for a ‘2+2+2’ configuration similar to that employed by the Mercedes R-class.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Mazdaspeed 3

With its winning combination of pleasing looks, high-end features, and fun-to-drive dynamics, the present Mazda3 continues to win comparison tests despite being on the market mostly unchanged since 2004. Even so, going on five years is a long time in the car world, and now Mazda is readying its all-new, 2010 Mazda3 to keep the compact fresh. Official photos of the new Mazda3 sedan hit the Web recently, stirring up a lot of excitement, but lacking any specs or additional info many enthusiasts were left wondering -- what about a new 2010 MazdaSpeed3?
Wonder no more, because the Hiroshima automaker's latest road-rocket has been spotted out in the open testing on Germany's famed Nurburgring, wearing just a minimum of camo. The first new MazdaSpeed model since 2007, this also marks a debut of sorts for the new 3's hatchback bodywork. More so than the sedan, this hatch resembles the current Mazda3 five-door, particularly in profile, although through all the black tape the car's new, smiling grille, angular headlights, and prominent wheel arches can be clearly seen, along with a rising beltline and revised side detailing. Of course, as part of the 'Speed3 treatment this particular Mazda hatch has also been kicked up a notch, including the addition of a body kit, dual-exhaust, rear diffuser, new wheels, a slightly larger rear wing, and a new, bulging hood.
Oh, yeah, about that hood -- instead of the current model's prominent lower air-intake, Mazda has decided to go the route of its Mini and Subaru rivals by adding a seriously large hood scoop, which appears functional and hints at some serious forced induction within. While details are still unknown, word is the new MazdaSpeed3 will offer a larger 2.5L four-cylinder under the hood, and if the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 includes a turbo version of this mill, expect a significant improvement on the present car's 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This would give what is already one of the power leaders in the hot-hatch segment even more brawn, and no doubt improve on the current model's 0-to-60 mph time of 6.0 sec. Still up in the air is if the new MazdaSpeed3 will move from a front drive to AWD, but the smart money is on it staying front drive like its high-end Ford Focus RS cousin.
The new, 2010 Mazda3 sedan will make its public debut at the Los Angeles auto show this November, but whether the MazdaSpeed3 joins it or is held back for a later show -- possibly Detroit -- remains to be seen. Subaru and Mitsubishi have recently upped their games with a more powerful WRX and new Lancer Ralliart, respectively, but if the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 continues its tradition of offering serious go-fast ability for a relatively low price (2008 models start at just $23,410), Mazda should stay a major player for at least another five years.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 22 Oktober 2008

Hot News: Volvo Reinvents the Estate

The next Volvo V70 and V50 could be the first in a new generation of estates to scrap the conventional long roof and low driving position higher roofline and driving position.
The conventional estate has long been a brand-defining vehicle for the Swedish carmaker, but many senior people within the company are now convinced that it is reaching the end of the line and is in urgent need of reinvention.

Earlier this year Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s senior VP for brand, business and product strategy, told Autocar that Volvo had come close to giving the green light to a high-roof V70 design when the current model was signed off for production in 2004/5.
The taller roof line of a typical crossover such as the new Volvo XC60 usually results in a more versatile loading bay, while the more upright seating positions allow the XC60 to be a useful 20cm shorter than a V70.
The arrival of the Volvo XC60 compact SUV is expected to cut into the sagging demand for the V70, hastening the rethink over replacements for both that car and the Volvo V50.
“Within Volvo we are re-examining the estate car and many people are currently scratching their heads,” a senior Volvo manager told Autocar at the recent unveiling of the XC60. “We’d be interested in your opinions.”
The trend towards road-orientated ‘crossovers’ (such as the Ford Edge and smaller SUVs such as the Audi Q5) will hit Volvo hard, , especially in the important US market. It has had significant success with the XC70 in the US over the last decade.
Volvo’s future model plans for the S60 and XC90 have also been shaken up in the light of significant losses and the axing of thousands of jobs.
The S60 replacement is being redesigned, putting its arrival back from early next year to 2010.
The ageing Volvo XC90 will not be replaced until 2012, getting a major makeover (including a possible diesel hybrid drivetrain) in 2010. For more renderings click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Acura Crossover

These days, buyers seem to care just as much about sport as they do utility when shopping for a new crossover, or at least that's what automakers like Acura are thinking lately. With BMW's new X6 -- a crossover decidedly in the sport column -- selling out its first year of production, it looks as though Acura is going to follow BMW's lead with a new crossover that likely will slot between the RDX and MDX in its lineup. Our spy shooters caught up with a prototype of Acura's latest project in Germany, most likely on its way for some chassis and suspension tuning at the Nurburgring.
The new Acura crossover, which also takes aim at Infiniti's new FX35 and FX50, reportedly will be designed more for cruising L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard than tackling rugged terrain or hauling a week's worth of camping gear. The bulky, squared-off camouflage this test mule wears is probably covering much more stylish lines than might otherwise be suggested. Plan on a steeply raked rear roofline, some angular styling cues (seen here in the taillights and exhaust tips), and Acura's trademark "shield" grille up front. Judging by the reaction to the new TL's mug, that may not be the best idea.
The spy shooters also nabbed an interior view of the vehicle, which looks to be in line with the latest Acura efforts. Powertrain options would probably include a version of the 3.7L V-6 powering the TL and MDX, with Honda's SH-AWD also probably part of the package.
If one needs more proof that Acura is targeting the chic, sport-crossover market, we're told a BMW X6 is along for the ride on this development run, presumably providing the benchmark for Acura's R&D team.
Should Acura's new crossover be at the 'Ring testing stage, we suspect the production version can't be far away. Should that be the case, Acura likely has enough invested in its new model that it will choose to release it even considering a struggling economy and unfavorable market conditions.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 21 Oktober 2008

Spied: 2010 Mini Cooper Convertible

Our spy photographers have snapped the new Mini Convertible being tested ahead of its official launch next year.
The current ‘R56’ Mini hatchback has been on sale for nearly two years, but the previous-generation ‘R50’ cabriolet remained on sale until early this year.
As with the hatchback, the visual differences between the old and new versions of the Convertible are minimal, and the new car retains the current model’s folding hood.
But with the roof down the new car looks much neater, with its rollbar hoops hidden away – they will only pop-up in the event of a roll-over.
This prototype is the Cooper S model, which will uses the 175bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which endows the hatch with 140mph and 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds.
The Convertible won’t be able to match the hatchback’s figures due to the greater weight imposed by the folding roof mechanism and strengthened chassis, but it should still be the quickest open-top supermini on the market.
The Convertible will also be available with a diesel option coupled with BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology for the first time, using the Cooper D’s 1.6-litre 110bhp engine – which should be able to return a combined fuel economy of over 70mpg.
We’re expecting the Mini Convertible to be launched at the Detroit motor show in January, and go on sale in the UK in the spring. Prices are likely to rise slightly over the current car, meaning this Cooper S will cost around £18,500.
For more photos click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Nissan Announces Production Cut

Nissan has scaled back production at its Sunderland factory until Christmas to avoid stockpiling vehicles that aren't selling.
The company will stop building the Micra and the Note completely for two weeks at the end of this month, and will operate a further three weeks of short shifts after that.
Temporary work contracts will be cancelled, but a Nissan spokesperson confirmed that no permanent workers would be made redundant. Staff will take part in training on the non-production days.
"There will be down-days between now and December and temporary contracts will go," said the Nissan spokesperson. "It's part of our volume flexibility agreements that allow us to adjust to market demand."
The Japanese brand is making similar cut backs at its factory in Barcelona, where the large Pathfinder and Navara 4x4s are made.
Nissan is the latest in a string of manufacturers to wind back car production in the UK and elsewhere. Rival Korean company Hyundai today announced plans to idle its US factory for 11 days during the last quarter of the year.
Sunderland is one of the biggest UK car factories. However Nissan has already announced plans to move production of the Micra to India by 2010. The current model is in the final phases of its lifespan after six years on the market.
The Japanese firm's popular Qashqai compact-SUV - also built in Sunderland - continues to sell strongly. There's a 12-month waiting list for the Qashqai in Russia, part of the reason that its production line remains unaffected.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: More Details About Toyota/Subaru Sportcar

More details about the new sportscar that is being jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru have emerged.
Subaru is planning to aim its version of the car at the sub-£20k performance market traditionally dominated by hot hatches and cheap roadsters like the Mazda MX-5 when it goes on sale in 2011.
As previously reported, the car will be a compact, rear-driven two-seater, with power coming from a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine with close to 200bhp.

Sources inside Subaru indicate that it will cost significantly less than £20,000, putting it into direct competition with the Mazda MX-5 and the new Renault Alpine, which is also expected in 2011.
Toyota owns around 16 per cent of Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, hence the joint venture. Both cars will be built at a new factory in Gunma, Japan, with Subaru developing the basic platform, chassis and engine of the car, while Toyota concentrates on the design and engineering of the car’s cabin.
A Subaru spokesperson was quick to point out that the car was not intended as a replacement for the Impreza, which will continue in its current form well into the next decade. “This will be a smaller, lighter car with more niche appeal,” he said.
He also ruled out turbocharged ‘WRX’ and ‘STi’ badged versions of the car: “Subaru already has a big challenge ahead to conform to the EU’s 120g/km carbon target by 2012.
“We need new cars that make that challenge more achievable, not more difficult.”
Toyota’s European arm has not confirmed whether its version of the car will be made available anywhere in the EU.
Insiders suggest that, given the predilection of the UK market to affordable performance cars and the model’s native right-hand drive layout, if it comes to Europe, we will take it in Britain, possibly with the Supra brand. For more detail click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Senin, 20 Oktober 2008

Hot News: Hybrids Getting Cheaper

The cost of making hybrid cars will fall by two-thirds within 10 years, claims a report published this week.
Financial consultants JP Morgan Chase & Co predict that the cost of making each petrol-electric engine will drop by more than 60 per cent, and that by 2018 hybrid models will account for 10 per cent of the global new car market.
A hybrid engine is currently estimated to cost around £3000 per unit, a figure that’s expected to fall to nearer £1000.
Analysts expect hybrid sales to total 9.6 million models over the coming decade. They say increased production and greater economies of scale will drive prices down.
Japanese manufacturers currently lead the hybrid market. The Toyota Prius passed one million sales earlier in the year.
Toyota predicts its third-generation car can now be as profitable as one of its saloon models
Engine and battery costs are reported to have halved since the first Prius model was launched, and Toyota expects the latest model to reduce costs by a further 50 per cent.
Rival firm Honda will launch its significantly cheaper Insight hybrid in the UK early next year, with prices estimated to start at around £15,000.

(Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2008

New Car: 2009 Mini E

Mini has recently touted its ‘carfun’ footprint in its ads. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Mini is building a fleet of approximately 500 plug-in electric vehicles that will be made available to select companies and individuals in California, New York, and New Jersey by early 2009.
The heart of the vehicle is its lithium-ion battery, a three-element power source made up of 5088 cells that are linked together with a combination of series and parallel connections. With a maximum capacity of 38 kilowatt-hours—28 of which are usable—the Mini E can go 150 miles on a full charge, which works out to 0.19 kWh per mile. At today’s energy prices, that’s less than three cents per mile, or just pennies on the dollar compared to fossil-fuel costs.

The battery is situated where the rear passengers normally go, making this a two-seat affair. The power-storage unit weighs 573 pounds, which accounts for the bulk of the vehicle’s added poundage. (The Mini E weighs 3230 lbs compared to an automatic-equipped Mini Cooper’s 2634.) Mini says the vehicle’s batteries can be recharged from any wall plug, with the quickest full charge coming from the included wallbox. This will be installed in the customer’s (lockable) garage and can step up normal amperage to charge the vehicle in two and a half hours.
Power is fed to a transversely mounted electric motor that turns the front wheels. Output is rated at 204 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which is completely available from a standstill. The Mini E uses a modified single-stage version of the Cooper S’s helical transmission. Top speed is 95 mph, and 60 mph comes from a stop in 8.5 seconds, which happens to match Mini’s claimed time for a manual-equipped Cooper. All of this with zero tailpipe emissions (since there’s no tailpipe)—but it’s important to remember that the electricity still has to come from somewhere, and in the U.S. there’s a good chance that it’s a coal-fired plant.
Because of the added weight and unique nature of the vehicle, the driving experience will likely be different from that of the rest of Mini’s lineup. Weight distribution is now even front and rear, compared to a 60/40 front/rear split on the Cooper hatchback. The suspension has been reworked to accommodate the additional rear weight. Since there’s no engine to drive accessories, the Mini E uses an electric air-conditioning compressor, as well as the electric power steering system from standard Minis. Power can also be regenerated on deceleration, so drivers will have less use for the brakes – Mini claims that you can stay off of the brakes 75 percent of the time in city driving.

Jumat, 17 Oktober 2008

Spied: 2010 Mini Cross

Our spy photographers have captured Mini’s forthcoming SUV being tested ahead of launch in 2010.
We’ve already seen the car as the Crossman concept at the Paris show, but these are the best pictures of a production version.
It’s clear that this is going to be the biggest car to wear a Mini badge so far, likely to be more than 4.0 metres in length.

The Paris show car was badged as the Mini Crossman, but BMW insiders say the production car will be sold as the Mini Cross.
The finished car will also lose most of the Paris show concept’s more outlandish details, including the sliding ‘parallelogram’ hinges of its rear doors.
But it’s possible that the production version will keep the concept’s wind-down tailgate windows, which make it easier to carry longer loads to be carried.
Although the Mini Cross is almost as big as BMW’s forthcoming X1 compact SUV, the two cars will not share mechanical components.
Instead the Cross will use a developed version of the platform and powertrains already offered in the existing Mini and Mini Clubman.
The production Mini Cross will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr, which builds European versions of the current BMW X3.
Autocar has also learned that a lower, less aggressively styled, two-wheel drive variant will be launched shortly after the 4x4 version.

For more details click here

Thanks to: Autocar

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Kamis, 16 Oktober 2008

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Toyota Prius

Three images of the new Toyota Prius have leaked onto the internet ahead of the petrol-electric hybrid’s launch next year.
The pictures show that Toyota has stuck closely to the current Prius’s proportions, but that the new car has been given a sleeker, more aggressive look.
We already know that the new car is going to be bigger than the outgoing model, with Toyota insiders saying it will be about 10cm longer and 3cm wider than the second-generation Prius.
It will also get a more tightly packaged hybrid drivetrain and battery pack to further increase interior accommodation.
A bigger capacity 1.8-litre petrol engine will provide more power and still lower emissions, with the new car capable of a combined economy figure of more than 70mpg, and CO2 emissions likely to be below 90g/km.
Despite the rush of other manufacturers towards lithium-ion batteries, the new Prius will initially continue to use a version of the current car’s nickel hydride battery pack.
Toyota is determined that nothing should sully the company’s reputation for reliability, and the plan is to introduce lithium-ion batteries in 2010, after the technology has proved reliable. For more details click here
Thanks to: Autocar for News and Pictures

Hot News: Mazda to Expand Range

Mazda is planning to produce a new city car, a fresh compact SUV and more variants of its existing models as it tries to expand its market share.
The company’s president and CEO, James Muir, told Autocar that he wants the company to become a “more aspirational brand that will be an alternative to the premium manufacturers.”
The plan majors on creating what Muir describes as “more depth” – offering a wider range of variants based on each model.
Small cars, including the microcar that will be based on the Kiyora Paris concept are going to play a much bigger role in the company’s future according to Muir, so we can expect more than one variation on the new Mazda 1.
Sportscars will also play a crucial part in Mazda’s future. Autocar has already reported on the next MX-5 becoming more lightweight and radical in appearance, and Muir described the iconic roadster as “going back to basics” when the new generation arrives in 2012.
A new Mazda RX-7 is also in the works. Although it is yet to be officially confirmed for production, a modern version of the rotary-engined icon would form an ideal halo model to a more premium Mazda range. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Hot News: More New Models for Kia

Kia will add a new version of the Sorento SUV to its line-up next year, alongside an all-new Euro-built baby MPV, currently known by its internal codename, ‘YN’.
The Sorento will arrive in mid-2009 after a public debut at the Geneva motor show in March. The new car will be ditch the current model’s separate body-on-frame chassis in favour of a monocoque design.
The new SUV will also be available with the option of seven seats. It will be also be manufactured in the US, although European versions are likely to still be produced in Korea. Company insiders say that it has a vastly different look, influenced strongly by the KND-4 concept created under the stewardship of design boss Peter Schreyer.
Powertrain options will include a 2.4-litre petrol engine and two diesels. The more powerful diesel unit is a new 2.2-litre 185bhp motor, which will be offered in conjunction with a six-speed autobox for the first time.
The new car is 80mm longer than the old one, although marginally lower. Insiders say that they have worked hard on improving interior space and, especially, cabin quality. It’s also claimed to be vastly improved dynamically and much more refined, although it loses the off-road and towing credentials of the current version.
Kia’s new compact MPV arrives at the end of next year. It’s set to be built in the Czech Republic and shares the same platform as the new Kia Soul and Hyundai i20.
The ‘YN’ is set to continue Kia’s attention to making good-looking cars and we’re told it will be a trendier alternative to the likes of the Vauxhall Meriva, with a more extravagant interior – albeit with similar levels of versatility. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Hot News: Abarth Coupe

Fiat could make a special-bodied Abarth Coupe in order to expand the ‘affordable high performance’ credentials of its recently re-established brand.
The company is reportedly delighted with the early reception for its Abarth Punto and 500 variants and believes that a special Abarth model may be feasible. A coupe would be in the spirit of the cars created by the firm’s founder, Carlo Abarth, in the 1960s.
Fiat bosses, who recently reopened an Abarth HQ in Turin (where Carlo Abarth had his original premises), are eyeing three business models for the reborn company.
One is simply to update the 500 and Punto as the mainstream models develop. Another is to produce a special-bodied coupe, probably using components from another coupe to be launched in the Fiat Group range — possibly the proposed Lancia Fulvietta.
A third proposal is to produce high-quality performance parts for other marques, even rivals, just as Carlo Abarth produced exhausts for a wide range of cars, even Porsches and Ferraris. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Hot News: 2010 Volkswagen Polo

It's a hole new look for the Polo. Volkswagen is upping the stakes for its long-serving supermini in a bid to keep up with the trendy new Ford Fiesta.
As our exclusive images reveal, the styling will closely mimic that of the new Golf MkVI as VW aims to revamp its look throughout the brand. Destined to arrive in May 2009, the fresh baby will boast familiar robust build quality along with generous spec.
Top models will get luxury kit such as touchscreen sat-nav, automatic park assist and a rear view camera. Both safety and handling are boosted, too, due to improved structural rigidity and a tweaked chassis. The engine range kicks off with two petrol-powered three-cylinders delivering 59bhp or 69bhp.
Due later in summer 2009, the Polo Bluemotion will arrive, powered by a 74bhp 1.2-litre TDI diesel with 180Nm of torque. Longer gearing and modified aerodynamics will bring emissions down to only 89g/km of CO2, meaning the model is exempt from road tax.The remaining engines should cater for every need. Three 1.4-litre petrol units – a standard 84bhp, 104bhp TSI and 168bhp TSI GTI – will be followed by a trio of diesels. These 1.6-litre powerplants come with 69bhp, 89bhp or 104bhp. The VW Group’s brilliant seven-speed double-clutch DSG box may also find its way on to some variants, but most models are likely to get a standard manual, with an auto on offer with some engines. For more details click here

Rabu, 15 Oktober 2008

Spied: 2010 Mini Electric

Our spy photographers have caught images of a groundbreaking new all-electric Mini being tested for the first time – and this is no concept car.
Instead the Mini EV is a top-secret project that BMW has been quietly developing in Oxford and Munich. Autocar understands from well-placed BMW insiders that the electric Mini will make a surprise debut at the LA motor show next month, going on sale in limited numbers shortly afterwards.
The electric Mini isn’t intended to be a global product. Initially it is likely to be piloted in US cities where recharging infrastructure is already available, although a small batch of the cars could be offered to selected customers in London.

Technical details are scarce, but its interior will have to be dramatically altered to fit a battery pack – possibly even losing the rear seats. Using modern lithium-ion batteries, the electric Mini is expected to have a range of between 100 and 135 miles after a full recharge.
Seamless drive – as we’ve sampled in other modern electric cars – should also make this Mini a spirited performer off the line. We expect a 0-60mph time below nine seconds. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Hot News: Kia's Green Future

Kia plans to have both a fuel cell car and a Prius-style standalone hybrid on sale by 2013, senior company executives said today.
The first new model will be a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car. Ambitious plans for the new car include delivering power using four in-wheel electric motors and giving it a 370 mile fuel range.
Kia’s engineering team is also confident that it can get round the biggest disadvantage of fuel cells, extreme cold starts, with this model designed to be able to start in temperatures as low as minus 30 Celcius.
Kia intends to follow Honda’s business model with the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity: leasing the new car, and initially targetting it at 1000 US owners a year. The company is planning a rapid expansion of production, and wants to be making 10,000 fuel cell vehicles a year by 2015.
The hybrid model will be a ‘plug-in’, capable of charging off the mains to extend its all-electric range, and will probably be sold globally. Before then, Kia plans to ‘hybridise’ its existing US lineup, with a hybrid version of the Forte saloon due next year.
However the company is planning to bring petrol-electric power to Europe, probably beginning with a hybrid version of the next Magentis in 2011. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures)

Hot News: Alfa Romeo SUV

This Autocar image shows how a new Alfa Romeo SUV could look when it arrives in 2010.
The all-new Alfa Romeo 149, the front-drive Focus rival due for launch next year, will share its platform with the SUV, and could also underpin a bigger saloon and possibly even a new Coupé and Spider.
Alfa bosses insist that the ultra-flexible platform, which will also be utilised in modified forms for Fiat and Lancia models, is starting life as a pure Alfa Romeo project.
It is being used to create a “beautiful” Ford Kuga-sized SUV crossover which revives the 2003 Kamal concept.
That idea was canned — it was certainly ahead of its time — but now Alfa believes that it must have a small SUV in its model line-up if its planned 2010 re-entry into the US is to get off to a flying start.
The platform can also be used as a basis for a replacement for today’s 159 saloon, which will be lighter but no smaller.
Meanwhile, the company is still believed to be in “super-secret” talks with Jaguar to source a rear-wheel drive platform for a bigger Alfa luxury saloon, for which it believes there would still be a demand.
Fiat Group boss Sergio Marchionne invited Jaguar/Land Rover’s Ratan Tata to join the Fiat board last year, and the pair are understood still to be talking on the subject. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures)

Hot News: Peugeot - Citroen to Produce Logan's Rival

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is planning to build a low-cost car specifically for emerging markets. It will be a cheap, five-seat model built around mechanical components from inside the group.
The new entry-level car will be a rival for the Renault Logan and the forthcoming Fiat Topolino. The Logan has been a runaway sales success since it was introduced in 2007, selling 367,000 units so far. PSA’s new model will be sold using the Peugeot and Citroen names throughout eastern and central Europe, Russia, Turkey and north Africa.
Four suitable factory sites are currently being assessed in Romania, Ukraine, Turkey and Poland. The new model is expected to use the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine from the C1/ 107/ Aygo, and it will sit on a modified version of an existing platform.
PSA boss Christian Streiff has said that a five-seat saloon could eventually be sold in other emerging markets, including China and South America, but he stated that the car would not come to western Europe. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).

Spied: 2010 Jaguar XF-R

There's a Big Cat on the prowl in Death Valley. This is the XF-R – and, as you can see, the BMW M5 rival will really look the part when it goes on sale in 2010.
Spied testing in California in the US, this prototype is wearing a minimal disguise, and the wide wheelarches are clearly visible, along with the low side skirts and large bonnet bulge with deep air intakes. Power comes from a 500bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8, which should rocket the XF-R from 0-60mph in less than five seconds and on to 155mph. Its chassis has been honed at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, so the result will be one of the best-handling cars in class – but it will still provide a soothing ride, thanks to adaptive damping. The XF-R goes on display at the Detroit Motor Show in the US in January.
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Selasa, 14 Oktober 2008

Hot News: Ford to Sell Stake in Mazda

Ford is considering selling its controlling stake in Mazda after 30 years as an investor in the profitable Japanese car firm.
The Blue Oval currently owns one third of Mazda, equating to shares worth $1.36 billion. The American car giant would use the capital raised from selling its stake to bolster its struggling operations back in the US.
Both Mazda and Ford refused to clarify their positions today. A Ford spokesperson told Autocar: "We do not want to comment on speculation."
However an unnamed Ford US insider revealed the ongoing deliberations, adding, "No decision has been reached, yet." The Dearborn source confirmed that discussions were underway but that a decision wasn’t imminent.
All this has prompted speculation over who might buy the controlling stake in Mazda. Tata Motors today released an intriguing statement denying that it is interested in buying the shares.
Whatever the outcome, there's no doubt that Ford could use the estimated $1.36bn cash injection. The American car market has slumped to its lowest level since 1991 amidst the global financial crisis.
Ford has lost $23.9bn since 2005 as sales of its SUVs and pickups - which provided the bulk of North American profits in the 1990s – have slumped.
However market experts suggest that selling Mazda isn't all about the money. Many argue that Mazda has no obvious role in Ford's future strategic plans.
Ford of Europe and its small car line-up has already made Mazda redundant. And Alan Mulally, Ford's CEO, has made clear his intention to unite the Blue Oval's often disparate worldwide operations. (Thanks to Autocar for News and Pictures).
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