Sabtu, 29 November 2008

Hot News: Lamborghini Estoque to Share Platform with Audi A7

More details are emerging on the Lamborghini Estoque four-door set to debut in 2011 or 2012. Lamborghini insists the aggressive sedan is still only under consideration, but company insiders tell us Sant’Agata is already preparing the car for production. The only obstacle is a strategic review of the entire Volkswagen Group's future vehicle portfolio, currently being carried out by Porsche, VW's majority shareholder.
A conservative sales estimate is about 1500 units annually, but Lamborghini hopes to sell at least 2000 per year. That doesn't seem unrealistic compared to Porsche's far more ambitious targets with the Panamera, of which Stuttgart hopes to make 20,000 in the same time span.
The Estoque will be built on Audi's modular-longitudinal platform, which is the base of a number of new models, including the current Audi A4 and A5, the next-generation A6 and A8, the forthcoming all-new A7, and the 2013 VW Phaeton. There is very little component sharing with the recently revealed Porsche Panamera, which uses a standalone platform close to that of the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, and VW Touareg SUVs.
The Lamborghini Estoque will most likely have an aluminum body. All-wheel drive will be standard, since front-wheel drive, theoretically a possibility on this platform, is out of the question for Lamborghini. Much development on the underpinnings has been carried out by Audi's Quattro GmbH performance division in Neckarsulm, Germany.
The Audi A7, with its hatchback body, will be closest to the Estoque in concept and dimensions. The Estoque will definitely come to market after the A7, says an insider.

Jumat, 28 November 2008

New Car: 2010 Mini Convertible

The new MINI Convertible has broken cover, and given the success of the previous drop top it’s no surprise that BMW has lifted the lid on the current generation.
Due to reach showrooms in March, the new MINI comes two years later than its hatchback equivalent. These are the first official pictures of the soft-top and it looks like it's been worth the wait.
The second version of the best-selling convertible will make full use of MINI’s ‘Minimalism’ package, BMW's clever term for its EfficientDynamics systems. The result is a cleaner more frugal beast. Performance has also been improved and the range-topping Cooper S now pumps out 175bhp from its turbo-charged 1.6-litre unit.
The new cabrio gets a healthy makeover too. A raised shoulder line and added chrome strip surrounding the car, highlight the cars sporty nature. While the trademark circular headlamps and hexagonal grille both remain. There are also two all-new colours making their debuts; Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue.
Opting for the same two-stage electronically-operated canvas roof as the previous car, the top can be partially opened to act as a sunroof as well as fully retracted.
Another accessory making its debut is MINI’s ‘Openometer’, the add-on records how long the top has been down, letting passengers know how long they've been 'cool' for, air conditioning also now comes as standard.
Prices start at £15,995 for the standard Cooper rising to £18,995 for the Cooper S. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Rabu, 26 November 2008

Spied: 2010 Audi A7

Spy shots of the A7, Audi’s upcoming low-roofline sedan, continue to surface. The A7 is likely to be based on the next-generation A6 architecture, which itself will be a lengthened and modified version of the current A4/A5 platform. Judging from the name, the four-seat A7 should slot into the Audi lineup above the A6 and below the A8 and will likely occupy the $50,000-to-$70,000 price range. The grainy new snaps seen here clearly show the A7’s bulbous rear end, which hides a hatchback configuration, a body style that resembles the recently revealed—and not beautiful—Porsche Panamera.
In the U.S. we’re expecting that base A7s will be powered by the A6’s recently introduced 300-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6; V-8 engines are almost a certainty but we don’t yet know if the V-8 will be the A6’s direct-injection 350-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 or the R8’s 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8. Transmission choices will be a six-speed automatic, a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, and an eight-speed automatic that will likely be reserved for the V-8 model.
After the launch of the regular-grade models, the sportier and more powerful S7 will debut, powered by the S6’s 5.2-liter V-10 with upwards of 435 hp under the hood. An ultra-powerful RS7 is a possibility, although it, like the current RS6 sedan and wagon, may be deemed too expensive and too niche-y for the North American market.
Audi usually shows a thinly disguised concept version before showing the final production car, and we expect such a concept of the A7 to debut in early 2009 at the Detroit auto show, with the production version appearing perhaps as early as the Geneva auto show in the spring.

Spied: 2010 Honda Accord CUV

A gap exists in the Honda lineup between the mid-size Pilot and compact CR-V SUVs, and the company might be filling that hole with an Accord-based crossover. Caught here wearing no camouflage, this bash-up mule could turn into a vehicle that would do battle with the new Toyota Venza.
Possibly based on the European-only Accord Tourer wagon, this CUV prototype wears the familiar U.S.-market Accord front end grafted to a Tourer body. There are fender flares pinned to the body sides, indicating a wider track, and masking around the C-pillar hides a stretched wheelbase. From the back, a rear differential makes it evident the CUV will get power to the rear wheels as well as those in the front, likely via Honda’s VTM-4 all-wheel-drive system. Power could come from the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V-6 engines offered on the current Accord; the dual exhaust on this mule likely means it carries the V-6.
When asked to comment on the spy photos and its possible reponse to the Ford Flex and Toyota Venza, Honda stated simply that "it is always evaluating the needs of its customers." However unconfirmed, we’d expect that a mid-size crossover is all but guaranteed from a company known for being as forward-thinking as Honda.
Prancing around with no camo and combining currently produced sheetmetal, this is likely a mule that would look markedly different in production. Watch for an announcement at an upcoming auto show. We'll keep you posted.

Spied: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera

Here are the first decent spy shots we’ve seen of the 2011 Porsche 911 in something resembling its own metal; it’s the car which Porsche internals and Porschephiles alike will refer to as the 998. Clearly, this prototype wears the expected placeholder front lighting elements—these ones cribbed from a pre-face-lift version of the current 997-gen Carrera—bulging from tacked-on front fender extensions that conceal a flatter, Panamera-like nose. The roofline and doors appear very close in design to the current model—no surprise there—but the rear fenders of this car conceal a vastly wider track than the current 911, leading us to believe that this car could be an all-wheel-drive 4 or 4S model.

New Car: 2010 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Just days after we were first introduced to the 2010 Mazda 3 sedan at the L.A. show, its five-door hatchback sibling has been unveiled electronically, in advance of its meatspace debut.
On December 3 (Coincidence? We think not), the more useful 3 will be shown at the Bologna motor show in Italy. The hatch shares the sedan’s somewhat-goofy-looking, smiley front end, as well as its new interior and, of course, chassis. Expect the same powertrain options as the current U.S.-market hatch, namely one: the 2.5-liter four. Europeans will be able to choose from among two turbo-diesels and 1.6- and 2.0-liter gas-fired fours, the latter also found in the U.S. sedan.
What’s more exciting for us, though, is the promise of a new Mazdaspeed 3, which will once again be offered in hatchback, front-drive form only. After catching a few glimpses of the speediest of the 3s on the Nürburgring, we’ve been anxiously awaiting further details on the replacement for one of our favorites. It is expected to use the same turbocharged 2.3-liter as now, generating at least the 263 hp of the current model. That car should be arriving for the Geneva show, which takes place in March of next year.

Senin, 24 November 2008

First Sketch: Volvo S60

This is the first look at the new S60 concept Volvo plans to reveal at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The concept gives an indication of what the new sedan will look like when it's launched in 2010.
The new car's coupe-inspired silhouette follows on from the original S60's and is also underlined by entirely new shoulder contours and a gentle double wave that runs from headlamps to taillamps. "The inspiration comes from the Swedish coastline's cliffs and seas," explains Volvo Cars' design director, Steve Mattin.
"On the inside we've been even more daring - there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future," says Mattin. Among the interior features is a floating center stack made of hand-crafted Orrefors crystal. "Using pure crystal is a thrilling experiment. We may well see interior features in crystal-like materials in the future."

Sabtu, 22 November 2008

Spied: 2010 Porsche Speedster

The revised Porsche Boxster made its world debut at last week’s Los Angeles Motor Show – and we drive it for the first time in this week's Auto Express magazine. But as these spy pictures show, engineers at the firm aren’t downing tools just yet. They are working on this Speedster edition, which harks back to a rare 911 model from the Eighties.

Take a close look at the rear of the prototype, and you’ll see a large cover. Underneath this lies the trademark dome-shaped mid section, which emanates from the headrests, denoting this sleek-looking variant. In addition, the newcomer gets a lower windscreen and a modified canvas hood.

There’s no official news on the Speedster’s engine, although it’s expected to be the same 304bhp direct-injection flat-six cylinder unit as in the Boxster S.

Inside, the Porsche will get unique figure-hugging, leather-trimmed seats, along with a generous level of equipment, too. The new model will go on sale late next year, with a price tag of around £45,000.For more details click here

New Car: 2010 Porsche Panamera

After years of waiting and dozens of sightings by car spies, we’ve finally gotten our first non-grainy, camouflage-free official look at the first performance sedan in Porsche’s history, the Panamera. And, well, let’s put it this way: if you can handle the Cayenne SUV, you can probably handle the Panamera.

Not that we love it. Indeed, we’re not going to sugar-coat things here: some of us flat-out hate the look of this big, flat-nosed, bustle-backed five-door. The more diplomatic among us are cautiously optimistic that the Panamera will merely take some getting used to. It’s the same swirl of controversy that surrounded the introduction of the Cayenne, which initially all but sent Porsche purists to the psych ward, but has ultimately become respected, if not loved.For more details click here.

Kamis, 20 November 2008

Hot News: Jaguar Gets Green Light for XF Roadster

You heard it here first! Way back in September last year, Auto Express revealed Jaguar’s plans to expand its XF range.
And, just as we predicted, a source from within the maker’s parent company, Tata, has confirmed that a raft of sporty new models is on the way from the revived British marque. We can now bring you the full story.
Our pictures show how the big cat’s new litter will shape up, starting with a two-door cabriolet version of the hugely successful XF saloon.
The XF Roadster will employ a folding fabric roof, along with a slightly shortened wheelbase to improve structural rigidity, while maintaining the saloon’s handsome profile. Bosses will ensure there is a significant cost differential, so that the new model doesn’t poach sales from the XK Cabriolet. As a result, prices are set to start at around the £35,000 mark.
But that’s not the only XF variant which has been earmarked for production: a two-door Coupé is also on the way. Designed to lock horns with Audi’s curvy A5, it will add even more style to the XF’s taut bodyshape with a tapered roof and high waistline. This, too, will be pitched below the XK in the £30,000 bracket. Both models are expected to borrow engines from the XF saloon.
The line-up will include V6 petrol and diesel units, plus the firm’s 4.2-litre V8, available in normally aspirated 300bhp or supercharged 420bhp form.
Jaguar is tipped to take the wraps off the two newcomers in 2010. And don’t forget the hardcore 500bhp XFR, with its 5.0-litre supercharged V8.
It was seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, and is set to debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January.
Our sources have also revealed that Jaguar is eyeing up the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes SLK – and seriously considering a ‘budget’ two-seater to compete in this lucrative sector of the market. We published images of the sporty roadster in Issue 1,012.
Following in the footsteps of the F-Type concept, this model will be pitched firmly in £40,000 Boxster territory – leaving room for a coupé model to rival the Cayman.
The small two-seater, which is due in 2012, will use a cut-down version of the lightweight aluminium chassis from the new XJ – itself due in 2010. Styling inspiration will be taken from the XF, while power is from a 4.2-litre V8.
There are also rumours that both cars could benefit from the top-of-the-range 5.0-litre V8 in the forthcoming XFR. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Rabu, 19 November 2008

New Concept Car: Honda FC Sport

Honda unveiled its vision for the future of transport at the LA Auto Show today with the FC Sport concept. The three-seat hydrogen fuel cell-powered design study was created at the Japanese manufacturer's Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena, CA.The low-profile body is designed to convey a high-technology appearance and has been finished in white to communicate the car's environmental aspirations. Sculpting that combines angular shapes in the front of the vehicle taper into geometric hex forms in the rear. The rear hex forms house cooling radiators for the fuel cell, while Formula 1-style barge boards behind the front wheels enhance high speed aerodynamics and convey the vehicle's racing pedigree. The hydrogen storage tanks, visible from the rear deck, showcase the FC Sports fuel cell technology in much the same way that a 'naked bike' motorcycle showcases its engineering technology.

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Peugeot 3008

Our spy photographers have captured the first undisguised pictures of the Peugeot 3008.
The ‘crossover’ is based on the 308 hatchback, and is meant to combine MPV practicality with occasional off-road ability. Apart from the absence of concept car jewelry, the 3008 is little changed from the Peugeot Prologue concept car that was revealed at the Paris motor show in October.
The most obvious rival to the 3008 is the Nissan Qashqai, which has enjoyed considerable success across Europe since it went on sale last year. Peugeot will also be hoping that the butch styling helps to attract buyers who would otherwise go for a conventional C-segment MPV, a segment that the company has chosen not to compete in.
The platform is shared with the Peugeot 308, and when the 3008 goes on sale next year, power will come from the PSA group’s familiar range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
However, there’s also the strong possibility that Peugeot will offer the 3008 with a hybrid drivetrain. Peugeot recently announced that it would put the world’s first diesel hybrid into production within two years, and the 3008 could well be that car.
Thanks to: Autocar

Selasa, 18 November 2008

New Car: 2009 Pontiac G6

Pontiac has announced that it is ringing in the new year with a fresh look for its best-selling line of G6 mid-size vehicles. Additional fuel-saving powertrain options, more aggressive exterior styling, and a sleek new instrument panel highlight the 2009.5 model G6, which will begin arriving in Pontiac dealerships in January.
"The G6 has always been one of our most important vehicles and has been Pontiac's number-one seller since it was launched in 2004," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "As the most complete family of mid-size vehicles available in the marketplace, the new enhancements for 2009 will further solidify the G6's reputation for sporty style and handling without sacrificing value and fuel efficiency."
All G6 models, including sedans, coupes and convertibles, receive the interior upgrades. The uniquely styled G6 GXP models will not be affected by the exterior or powertrain changes. For more details click here.

New Car: 2009 Volvo S80L

Apparently, extra-long cars are all the rage in Chinese executive transport these days. Following up on the success of the A6L, Audi unveiled the A4L for the Chinese market yesterday. Today, Volvo has gotten in on the act, taking the wraps of the Chinese-market-specific S80L at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China.
"Volvo made a decision to produce its flagship sedan, the S80, in China, with upgrades to suit the tastes of Chinese consumers and to meet the increasing demand for premium cars in China," said Dr. Alexander Klose, CEO of Volvo Car China.For the discerning Chinese buyer, Volvo has stretched the car 14 cm, or about 5.5-in, and all that extra space has gone to the rear seats. The S80L's design is otherwise unchanged from that of the S80 and boasts the same level of passenger safety that Volvo is known for, as well as top level trim and amenities. The S80L will be produced using locally-sourced parts at Volvo's CFMA Chongqing plant in China.

New Car: 2010 Nissan Cube

Nissan has released the first official U.S.-spec photos for the 2010 Nissan Cube, the automaker's latest take on its box on wheels making its world bow this week at the 2008 L.A. auto show. The Cube will start rolling on U.S. streets sometime in the spring.

The Cube has been a hit in the Japanese market since its introduction in 1998, with Nissan moving close to a million Cubes in the country since 1998. Of course, Nissan's billing the latest Cube as the biggest and best version yet, with loads of new features and a larger cabin.Powered by a 1.5L four in Japanese-spec trim (we should know the U.S.-market engine at its debut, our guess is the 1.8L out of the Versa) mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT, the Cube will be available in both front drive or with an all-wheel-drive system Nissan calls e-4WD, which uses a rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear wheels when the fronts begin to slip (because it eliminates the need for a prop shaft, the e-4WD system provides enhanced interior space).

For moredetails click here.

New Car: 2009 Ford Fiesta Sedan

China's third main auto event, the Gunagzhou Auto show, marks the official release of the production version of Ford's four-door Fiesta. Having been previewed by the Verve Sedan concept less than a year ago - when it was planned predominantly for the Chinese market - the production model is of huge significance to the ailing US manufacturer.
The 2009 Fiesta sedan's design is nearly identical to the concept's, with a form that has a high deck point displacement, a good body-to-DLO proportion, and graphic boundaries on the headlamps. Only minor details such as the fog lamps, alloy wheels and front grille have been changed, and both head- and taillamps have been toned down for production.
Factories located in Beijing, Thailand and Mexico will build the four-door version for China, the United States and Canada respectively. And with reports of the Mexican factory expecting to produce 500,000 units alone, the Fiesta could play a major role in the uncertain future of its maker.

Hot News: Under the Skin of Honda New NSX

Check out the nuts and bolts of what will make the replacement for the Honda NSX special!
Set to reach showrooms late next year, the new supercar will be as technologically advanced as the Nissan GT-R. It will target big-name rivals such as the Ferrari F430, Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Porsche 911 GT3.
Where its predecessor had a mere 280bhp from its 3.0-litre V6 engine, the new model features a 5.5-litre V10 delivering 560bhp. This increased power is transferred via a six-speed semi-auto box, with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters.
As a result, the car should cover 0-60mph in less than four seconds and hit a near-200mph top speed. Honda’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system promises amazing grip, while huge brakes complete the package. Inside is a luxury two-seater cabin, with soft leather throughout. A price of around £100,000 is likely.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Senin, 17 November 2008

New Car: 2010 Ford Mustang

How do you refresh a retro car for its second generation? The "what's next?" dilemma has baffled designers since J Mays' Concept 1 became the 1998 Volkswagen New Beetle-after all, VW has no Mark II original Beetle from which to crib. The problem followed Mays to Ford, where the 2002 Thunderbird became a one-hit wonder.
Lucky thing for Ford, it can draw from a half-decade's worth of Mustang redesigns and facelifts from mid-1964 to 1970. While the 2005-2009 Mustang paid homage to the 1967, 1968, and a bit of the 1969, the redesign simply amps up the 1969/1970 cues slightly more, and the new car is made to look smaller. The nose looks pointier, the power-bulge is more pronounced, and the front turn signals are out of the bumper and inside the headlamp clusters. The much-ballyhooed new pony badge is in a vertically tighter grille. The V-6's grille has a thin, horizontal chrome bar, with foglights now placed in the lower fascia, while the V-8's fogs surround the new "black chrome" pony emblem in the grille. In back, the trunk key cylinder is gone, replaced with a center-console remote button and the tail is canted a bit like the 1969-1970's.
Taillamps are off the 1965-1971 T-Bird/ 1967-1973 Mercury Cougar/1967-1969 Shelby Mustang: They're sequential rear turn signals. Cool. The taillamp sections are chamfered, and the lower front and rear fascias and the rocker panels are now black instead of body-color, part of the effort to make the car look smaller.
Mostly, the 2010 Ford Mustang is to the 2005-2009 model what the 1994 Fox Mustang was to its Fox-based predecessor, a huge sheetmetal upgrade that was bigger than it looked. The 2010 Mustang retains the 2005's live rear-axle platform and its V-6 and V-8 engines. Sheetmetal is new below the roof, which has been retained to accommodate the glass roof option added in mid-2008. It's within millimeters of the outgoing car's overall length, and the new profile surfacing, including more pronounced wheel openings and the sharp shoulderline, makes the car settle "back on its rear wheels," says design chief Doug Gaffka. For more details click here.

Hot News: Nissan GT-R Wins Motor Trend Car of the Year

Yes, we are fully aware of the GT-R's best-known nickname, "Godzilla" -- so called because the automotive press found previous generations as ferocious and all-conquering as Japan's fire-breathing monster. But following a full week of intensive evaluation in Nissan's new sports car, we here at Motor Trend now lay claim to a more suitable GT-R moniker -- Ichiban. From Japanese, ichiban translates to "number one." In Motor Trend vernacular, however, it simply denotes: 2009 Car of the Year.
Every September, it seems a few editors comment, "This is the toughest field I can remember." Sure enough, as this year's testing drew to a close, several staff members expressed those same sentiments.
And for sound reason-the competitive set is more imposing than Jamaica's Olympic track team. From the jumbo-shrimp Honda Fit and the discount-Lexus Hyundai Genesis to the quicker-than-a-Cayman BMW 1 series and the cat's-meow Jaguar XF, this year's pool runs deeper than any of recent memory. Yet, no contender proved as profound, awe-inspiring, or, more important, able to fulfill our criteria as the GT-R. How did Nissan so competently clinch the calipers? For more details click here.

Hot News: Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Wins European Car of the Year

In one of the closest contests ever Vauxhall's Insignia has emerged on top - but only just. With a score of 321 it beat the new Ford Fiesta by one point. The latest car to come from the Luton-based manufacturer received 20 first place votes out of 59 compared to 19 received by the Fiesta.This year 37 cars were put forward for COTY, with just seven short-listed for the ultimate award. Each contender must be on sale in at least five European countries. The Insignia is the first Vauxhall to scoop the award since the Carlton/Omega in 1987. The news couldn't have come at a better time for GM in light of its ongoing financial troubles, which have resulted in the company meeting with the German government to discuss plans for a bail-out. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2010 Audi A4L

China likes long luxury cars. Just look at the success of Audi’s A6L, which first went on sale in 2000 and sold in record numbers. Now that the stretched A6 reaches its second generation, Audi looks to increase the “L” offering by announcing a new, long-wheelbase variant of the new A4.
The A4L, as it will be called, has a wheelbase 2.4-inches longer than the standard A4. At 112.9-inches long, the A4L will be 4.2-inches longer than a 3 Series sedan but 0.8-inches shorter than a 5 Series. An actual increase of interior space was not supplied, but, for comparison, when the BMW 750 swelled 5-inches for the 750L, rear legroom grew 6.2-inches. After extending the chassis, Audi tuned the suspension specifically for Chinese roads. Everything else carries over, including the available 180-hp 2.0-liter I-4 or the 265-horse 3.2-liter V-6.Chinese consumers can expect the Audi A4L at dealers in January 2009.

Sabtu, 15 November 2008

My Blog Turns 1st!!!!

Today is November, 16th. It means My Blog turns 1st!!!! I just wanna say thanks to visitors and people who visited my blog. Thanks for your attention. I will try to keep blogging and up date the news. Thanks to American Muscle and Thanks to Auto Express, Autocar, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Press Portal. I hope My Blog will be better than yesterday. Keep in touch guys...

Hot News: Ferrari, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, and Suzuki Pull Out of Detroit Show 2009

As budgets are tightening around the industry, it's no big surprise that most automakers are scaling back their presence at national auto shows. But a growing amount have taken the cost cutting measures a step further and have pulled out altogether from displaying their vehicles at shows. A recent report pegs Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Suzuki, and Land Rover as no-shows at January's Detroit auto show.
Of course, other shows are being impacted as well. According to the recent Los Angeles Times report, General Motors has canceled its only scheduled press conference at next week's L.A. auto showm which was to be highlighted by a speech from company vice chairman Bob Lutz. This announcement comes after the decision to downsize its presence at the show with the delayed debut of two future models, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse and 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe. Chrysler also is diminishing its presence and has asked its local dealers to front the bill for a display. Ford, on the other hand, is looking to capitalize on its competitors' scaling back -- though it too is in dire straits -- and plans to debut six new models, including the redesigned 2010 Mustang. For that occasion, the Blue Oval plans on throwing a lavish celebration at the show. Just last week, Europe's biggest automaker, Volkswagen AG, announced the delay of its new Roadster to the Detroit show, rather than at the originally planned L.A. auto show.

Jumat, 14 November 2008

Hot News: 2011 Peugeot 3008

The Qashqai had better watch out! Peugeot has confirmed a model based on its Prologue concept, seen at this year’s Paris Motor Show, will go on sale here by the end of 2009.
It’s codenamed the T84 and is likely to be called the 3008 when it hits showrooms. The SUV/hatchback crossover will be the first model to take the fight directly to Nissan’s smash-hit Qashqai.
Two-wheel-drive variants of the 3008 go on sale next year, with a choice of petrol or diesel power. And in 2011, an all-wheel-drive diesel-electric hybrid will join the line-up.
Peugeot anticipates the latter will have a power output of 197bhp, with CO2 emissions of 109g/km. Prices for the 3008 range are set carry a premium of about £1,000 over the equivalent 308 hatchback models. Further details are set to be revealed at the official unveiling early next year.
However, that’s not all Peugeot has in store. Our sources say the company is also readying an all-new seven-seat MPV, based on the same platform. This is due to appear in showrooms in 2010. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Audi A5 Sportback

Feast your eyes on the A5 Sportback! Audi’s aim is to fill every possible niche in its range by 2015 and this is the next model in its line-up. Despite the trademark disguise, this prototype version was exposed briefly and our eagle-eye spies were on hand to capture it.From the picture we can see the A5 Sportback will feature a high waistline and low, sloping roof, while the front should remain identical to the current A5 Coupe it is based on.It is also clear it will have five doors but the sporty, raked, hatchback rear-end will ensure it looks much sleeker than an Avant. The coupe-hatchback will have a more spacious cabin than the standard A5 too which will help the new Audi stand in a niche all of its own.Expect the same engines as in the A5 line-up, with base models remaining front-wheel-driven. All-wheel-drive will be available on the range-toppers though. The A5 Sportback is set to be launched in the second half of 2009. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Rabu, 12 November 2008

Hot News: Volkswagen Postpones Roadster Launch

Volkswagen has postponed the launch of the VW Roadster, its mid-engined sports car concept.
The two-seater was expected at the Los Angeles motor show next week. Now VW has put back the launch of the sports car until the Detroit show in January 2009 at the earliest.
There’s speculation that the delay could be due to the difficult economic conditions, but VW sources suggested it’s because the company believes the Roadster will attract more interest at Detroit.
The VW Roadster will use an economical four-cylinder engine – probably the 2.0-litre TFSI – and will need to have a relatively low kerbweight, if it is to rival the likes of the Lotus Elise, as some Wolfsburg insiders have suggested.
VW is believed to be using a high proportion of aluminium in the Roadster’s construction in an effort to keep weight down.
It would be normal to expect the production VW Roadster two years after the concept has been revealed, but the turbulent new car market means plans for this lower-volume model could yet be revised. Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Fiat 500 Convertible

It’s hats off to the Fiat 500! Our exclusive spy shots reveal the new 500 Convertible undergoing testing in Germany.Top brass at Fiat aren’t too fussed about who sees the roofless baby out and about, as they’ve made little effort to disguise the car, save for the sliver of fabric covering the roof.The Italian manufacturer won’t go down the usual folding hard top route for the 500, instead opting for a more traditional canvas roof, which will boost fuel economy and drive down emissions by saving weight and match the retro look of the little car. Buyers will have plenty of scope for customisation, too, as they will be able to choose from a variety of colours for the soft-top. Aiming straight at the MINI convertible, Fiat will also drop a pair of rear seats into the 500 cabrio, but adjustments to the interior don’t stop there. The company has used noise-reducing materials in the cabin to keep road and wind noise down to a minimum. Don’t expect any big mechanical changes, though. The 500 Cabrio will be available with the same engine range as the outgoing hatchback when it arrives in summer 2009. Expect the usual 69bhp 1.2 and 100bhp 1.4-litre petrol engines, along with a 75bhp 1.3-litre Multijet diesel unit. For more photos click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Ford B-Max

The Fiesta-based car – which replaces the much-criticised, slow-selling Fusion – offers style and practicality in a compact package. It will slot into the range below the C-MAX, which will be available with five and seven seats when the next generation version goes on sale in a couple of years’ time. But the B-MAX will take Ford into the rapidly expanding supermini-MPV class. While the Fusion could never rival the Vauxhall Meriva and Renault Modus, its replacement will have a lot more going for it. And, as we revealed in Issue 1,035, it’s already been given the green light. Production will start at Ford’s recently acquired factory in Romania in 2010. Yet it faces some very stiff competition. The forthcoming Meriva replacement will be sleek and versatile – so the B-MAX has to be good.As you can see from our pictures, the fresh-faced machine certainly has style. The shape takes much of its inspiration from the stunning new Fiesta. A taller roofline has been added to improve headroom and boot space, but the B-MAX still looks great. Huge, bold headlights, neat tail-lamps and an eye-catching rising waistline add visual appeal, as do the chunky wheelarches and athletic stance. The newcomer will sit on a slightly longer wheelbase than the Fiesta’s, and although the supermini has been criticised for being short on space, the same can’t be said of the B-MAX. There will be plenty of legroom in the rear and accommodation for at least two tall adults. Versatility will be high on the agenda. A development of the C-MAX’s sliding seats is likely, so occupants can vary boot space and passenger legroom. Up front, the cabin’s design and layout will be inspired by the Fiesta, where the emphasis is on quality. And the B-MAX is also likely to get a BMW iDrive-style control system, scheduled to debut first on the new C-MAX. With agile handling, sharp steering and a fine ride, the B-MAX will be great to drive, too. But the best news comes under the bonnet. We revealed in Issue 1,037 that Ford plans to equip its models with a fresh range of small-capacity, direct-injection, turbo petrol engines. As a result, the B-MAX is expected to use 1.0-litre units with outputs ranging from 89bhp to 108bhp, while there is even scope for a 148bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine. Diesel fans will be able to specify 1.6-litre TDCi units developing 89bhp and 108bhp. The oil-burner is also set to form the basis of a green Econetic version, offering ultra-low CO2 emissions. Production of the B-MAX is set to start at the Craiova plant in 2010. Ford has said it plans to build 100,000 models in the first year, but the factory has the capacity to increase output if sales demand it. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Audi Baby R8

Sports car fans are in for a real treat! Audi is planning a striking new mid-engined machine – the R4. The newcomer will be based on an entirely new platform and sit above the TT in Audi’s range, offering buyers a driver-focused two-seater with a starting price of around £35,000.It’s the result of a rumoured joint venture with Porsche – so the project will produce a new platform to underpin Coupé and Roadster versions of the R4, and also provide the basis for the next Boxster and Cayman. It’s these core sellers in the Porsche line-up that the R4 will target. Our exclusive picture shows that the new Audi takes much of its visual inspiration from the R8 supercar, with LED lights, deep air intakes and a sweeping profile. But this similarity is no coincidence. The Porsche joint venture is all part of Audi’s plan to launch a range of R-badged sports cars, which will follow in the wake of the range-topper. These will include an R6 to rival Jaguar’s new E-Type replacement and the Porsche 911, plus an R10 model based on the V12 TDI R8 diesel concept. Of course, it’s not only Audi which will benefit. Porsche will be able to share Audi’s engines and reduce the costs associated with developing a new platform. The upmarket sports car firm is keen to ensure it maintains its healthy profitability – a factor that has enabled it to take a majority share in Volkswagen – particularly in the current financial climate. While the two firms will work together to produce the new platform, the R4 and the next-generation Boxster/Cayman will be very different models. Keen to retain the DNA that’s made the TT and R8 so successful, bosses will give the Audi a body made from aluminium panels. It also gets quattro four-wheel drive with torque split 40:60 in favour of the rear wheels. In addition, the newcomer benefits from adaptive magnetic dampers and Audi’s Drive Select system. The latter allows the driver to switch between several modes which tweak steering and throttle response. Power will come from the firm’s range of TFSI engines, with the entry-level model most likely to get a highly tuned 2.0-litre turbo. The new 335bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder super and turbocharged unit lined up for the flagship TT RS will be available, too. There’s even the possibility that the R4 will be offered with a high-performance diesel and a petrol V6.As for gearboxes, a six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with a seven-ratio S tronic twin-clutch semi-auto as an option. The R4 is some way off reaching showrooms, though. There are still plenty of loose ends to tie up with the mooted joint venture, and it remains to be seen which company will launch the new platform first. Considering Porsche’s increasing control of the VW Group, it may be that it gets to call the shots. If that’s the case, the R4 could arrive in around 2011, shortly after the Boxster and Cayman. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Subaru/Toyota Coupe Coming to US as Scion

Even before Toyota officially announced its intention to partner with Subaru on a small, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive coupe, a rumor and speculation brush fire has been burning around the car.
The latest flames are licking up over what brand(s) the new coupe will wear when it finally hits the U.S. market sometime in 2011. According to recent Internet chatter, the Subieota, or Toyobaru, will instead don the Scion badge for Toyota when it comes to the States.If true, it would be a logical choice for Toyota. Scion is clearly in desperate need of a true performance-themed halo car. The tC is a solid vehicle you can have some fun with (especially if you add the factory supercharger) but it's front drive -- not the type of car you're taking to the local drift event. The Scion tC coupe is also aging, and the brand could conceivably make a big splash with a turbocharged, rear-drive replacement. The coupe would join the Scion version of the new Toyota iQ, the quirky small car we recently told you is coming to the U.S., giving the brand two interesting new cars to market.Under the hood of the sports car will be a Subaru boxer engine, most likely a version of the automaker's 2.0L turbocharged unit (the 2.5L is a remote possibility for the U.S.) tuned to about 200 hp. In addition, while the car will sit on a new Subaru platform, it will be "designed" by Toyota, the companies said in April (we're not sure if that's a good or bad thing). Each brand will have its own version of the car for sale in markets around the world. Will Subaru bring its version to the U.S.? That's still unclear, but with the company staking its reputation on AWD here, it would be surprising if Subaru decides to introduce a rear-drive car to the American market. Reports have indicated that the platform will support both rear and all-wheel-drive applications, and that a higher-spec version is being considered.

New Car: 2010 Bentley Azure T

Really? Of all the cars on the market today that need to muscle up, Bentley’s $342,000 land yacht, the palatial Azure convertible, definitely isn’t one of them. With some 450 horsepower and a prodigious 645 lb-ft of torque available from its twin-turbocharged 6.8-liter V-8, the base Azure can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a figure that is in no need of improvement, frankly. More to the point—who the hell wants to go hyperspeed in a 6000-pound ragtop, anyway?
In reality, customers interested in fast Bentleys probably aren’t looking at Azures, not with the far faster, far more agile Continental GT/GTC in the same showroom. The more prestigious Azure’s appeal, on the other hand, stems from its inexorable snob factor and old-world opulence—both attributes best savored at relaxed speeds. Indeed, we speculate most Azures will share garage space with a pricey sports car or two that satiate the owner’s occasional need for speed, and thus the likelihood of any Azure T getting tail-happy on a twisty road, or, heaven forbid, hustling around a racetrack is about the same as that of the Queen of England entering an Ultimate Fighting competition.

Selasa, 11 November 2008

Hot News: MG Hatchback

Take a look at the latest instalment in Rover’s return. Auto Express has learned that Nanjing Automobile – the Chinese company who owns the MG brand – will launch a new Ford Focus-sized hatchback in the UK as soon as 2010. Images of the new model appeared on a Chinese website recently – and we’ve been able to grab them along with pictures of the car’s interior for the first time. Based on the forthcoming Roewe 550 saloon – which is shown alongside the newcomer and has been developed by Nanjing’s partner, Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) – it will be built at MG Rover’s old home of Longbridge, in the midlands. The model is the first stand-alone new MG to be developed in the UK and according to sources, engineers from Ricardo are tweaking suspension settings at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire. As you can see, it’s a lot sportier than the Roewe version with deep air intakes, a low front splitter and a complete absence of chrome. There are also side skirts too and although the tail isn’t particularly stylish, its hatchback will give it added practicality over the saloon.Inside, the newcomer gets a classy cabin, with a BMW-style centre dashboard featuring a large central display. As you can see, the model shown here also boasts an automatic gearbox, which will be available as an option next to the standard manual model. Although the car is badged MG6 in these pictures, it's believed that the Longbridge-built model will carry the ZS tag like its predecessor. Power for the new car will come from a 1.8-litre normally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.8-litre turbocharged unit, with outputs ranging from 120bhp to 160bhp. Production of the MG TF is due to ramp up later this year at Longbridge, with the new MG ZS leading a new range of MG models that are rumoured to include a revised TF, a supermini and a large saloon too.

First Sketch: Nissan NV2500

Nissan has released a sketch of the full-size NV2500 van concept the North American division of the company will unveil at the NAIAS in Detroit in January. Billed as one of the largest concept vehicles ever created by the company, the latest NV2500 has been 'designed to highlight multi-purpose utility solutions in the real world'.
The new vehicle follows the NV200 van concept designed at Nissan's European studio in London under the direction of Stephane Schwartz. But while that vehicle featured an innovative storage pod that extended from the van's load area, Nissan is not divulging any additional information on the new vehicle; stating only that it previews the company's entry into the North American commercial vehicle market in 2010.

Senin, 10 November 2008

Hot News: Toyota Prius Coupe

Toyota is developing a range of Priuses that will include a small pickup based on the 2008 A-BAT concept and a sporty, 2+2 coupe to compete with Honda's upcoming CRZ hybrid coupe. The Prius coupe will have a lower roofline than that of the all-new 2010 Prius hatchback sedan launching this year and will share its powertrain.
The 2010 Prius sedan's battery technology is carried over from the 2004-2009 model, but its 1.5-liter engine may get a small bump in displacement or power output with no penalty in fuel economy. Since the 2+2 coupe will be significantly lighter than the hatchback sedan, having the same powertrain means it will be quicker and faster. Think 1984 Honda CRX with a standard Civic four-cylinder.
We still can't say whether the A-BAT pickup, expected as a production truck no earlier than calendar 2010, will be badged a Toyota or a Scion. Management has decided to return Scion to its original mission of offering only one generation of each model, which would limit the A-BAT's lifespan. A small hybrid pickup would go far in improving Toyota's Corporate Average Fuel Economy for trucks, so you can expect it would be around for more than one product lifecycle.

Jumat, 07 November 2008

Hot News: Renault Plans Three Electric Cars

Autocar has learned that Renault’s plans for a range of electric cars will include a bespoke small car that’s bigger than a Twingo, a battery powered version of the Kangoo and a Megane-based saloon.
The small car will be a five-seater, with a unique design that won’t be shared with any other cars. Renault is keen to build an electric car that isn’t just a reworking of a current model, and will give the car what it describes as an ‘emotional design.’
That means a compact city car with flair and style rather than the utilitarian look that many small electric cars are currently saddled with.
The Megane-based four-door, which is primarily intended for the company’s electric vehicle venture in Israel, arrives in 2011. The Kangoo should arrive earlier. The cars are expected to feature as transport for competitors and VIPs at the London 2012 Olympics.
Renault is benchmarking the saloon’s performance from a standing start against a 100bhp 1.6-litre petrol car, although the company is keen to emphasise that the electric car’s flexibility between 30 and 70mph will be superior.
“It will be very good in urban situations,’” said the company’s Electric Vehicle Project Director, Serge Yoccoz. Its maximum speed is over 80mph, “and it will be fun to drive.”
Engineers are concentrating on the saloon’s aerodynamic performance, which brings big gains in battery conservation at higher speeds, and the thermal challenge of heating or cooling the cabin in hot or cold weather, which demands a lot of range-limiting energy.
Experimental versions of the saloon and the Kangoo presently need around eight hours to recharge for a 100-120 miles range from a home powerpoint, but Renault envisages a network of high-ampere home and work power outlets that will halve that time, as well as specific fast-charge points in the street that will cut this to 20-30 minutes.
As an alternative it’s also considering a quick battery change system that will effectively provide around 100 miles in five minutes, which competes well with refuelling a conventional car.
Every electric Renault will have satellite navigation as standard, the system able to pinpoint garages with exchange batteries availability in real time as the journey progresses. It will also be possible for owners to recharge their batteries from the mains.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Roewe SUV

These spy shots are slightly different to the norm – they were taken in China, and show a new Roewe SUV being put through its paces ahead of launch next year.
European relevance comes with the fact that the car could well be heading over hear wearing an MG badge, as part of Roewe’s plans to use the famous octagon badge for its exported products. An ‘MG’ version of the Roewe 550 has already been introduced in Chile.
The as-yet unnamed Roewe is based on the Ssangyong Kyron, sharing its proportions and mechanical set-up. Engines are expected to be identical to the Kyron so we can expect a 2.0- and 2.7-litre diesel – the latter of which is a previous-generation Mercedes CDI unit. Both models will be available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive.
The Chinese firm has already said it intends to launch in the UK, and a keenly-priced SUV could be a sensible addition to the range. For more photos click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Kamis, 06 November 2008

Hot News: BMW Cancels CS

BMW has cancelled its sleek CS four-door coupe in what’s being seen as the company’s latest response to the global car sales crisis.
The CS - which has already been previewed as a close-to-production concept car - would have shared a platform with the 7 Series.
Despite this, BMW boss Norbert Reithofer said the Mercedes CLS rival wouldn’t have met “internal requirements for rates of return.”
Profits are 62 percent down at the German automotive giant compared with last year. The firm has already confirmed that it’s stopped development work on the X7 SUV.
BMW now plans to focus heavily on Project I, its future plan to devise a new range of sustainable urban transport solutions.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: 2011 Ford Focus

The heat is on in the compact hatch sector – Auto Express has learned that Ford is readying a dramatic new Focus to go head-to-head with Vauxhall’s forthcoming Astra.
Boasting a wild new look – dominated by an outrageous grille – it will be a real head-turner, and is set to polarise opinion like never before.
Power comes from the very latest EcoBoost range of turbocharged engines, while the cabin will feature an all-new BMW iDrive-style control system. As with the Mondeo, the Focus will head further upmarket with greater emphasis on quality – as well as a higher price tag than the current generation.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. According to our sister magazine in Germany, Auto Bild, the five-door model pictured here will be joined by a Focus-based coupé. This will have a bold three-door shape to rival the likes of the VW Scirocco and Renault’s new Mégane Coupé. It will help differentiate the Focus range and appeal to younger buyers in the process.
However, it won’t be the Focus or even a new coupé that spearheads Ford’s attack on the compact family car class. While the third-generation model will be launched in late 2010, the blue oval will go into battle first in 2009, with a replacement for the C-MAX compact people carrier.
As we revealed in Issue 1,023, the new MPV will be available in both five and seven-seater form for the first time. Debuting a dramatic new face, it will preview the third-generation Focus and be based on Ford’s new compact family platform. And as you can see from this illustration, the new face is certainly daring. Designers have consigned the current car’s upper and lower air intakes to the history books in favour of a striking horseshoe-shaped radiator grille.
Other stand-out styling cues include the prominent bonnet, with lines that run from the base of the windscreen to form an overhanging focal point for the Ford badge. Then there are the huge headlights and further air intakes in the lower part of the front bumper, which house integrated foglights. Elsewhere, there’s a more evolutionary styling approach, with influences from the latest Fiesta in the angular C-pillars and chunky stance.
Inside, the cabin will employ even higher quality materials than the current version, but the big news from our German sources is that Ford is developing a dashboard control system similar to BMW’s iDrive and Mercedes’ COMAND set-ups. This will be one of the car’s highlights, as it will help to reduce clutter and improve the Focus’ ergonomics at the same time.
There are important new developments under the bonnet, too. Just as the Vauxhall Astra will boast a fresh line-up of small capacity turbocharged engines, the third-generation Focus will feature Ford’s new EcoBoost range (see panel right). Power for entry-level models will come from a 1.0-litre turbo four-cylinder unit with either 89bhp or 108bhp. The majority of sales will be taken by a new 1.6-litre turbo available in both 148bhp and 178bhp form. These new units will offer great performance and low CO2 emissions, too.
Our sources have revealed that Ford also has two new oil-burners up its sleeve: a 1.6-litre TDCi with 89bhp, 108bhp or 128bhp, and a 2.0-litre with 168bhp or 197bhp. All engines get manual gearboxes as standard, although Ford will expand the use of its PowerShift twin-clutch transmission.
The Focus will go on sale in late 2010, with a three-door coupé arriving in the same year, plus an estate and CC coupé-cabrio appearing in 2011. For more detail click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek Up Date: Interior of Ford Mustang

We were hoping for some new juicy tidbit this week, but at least now we have a complete look at the interior. Either way, it's still better than last week's recycled photo. We do get a better look at the center stack now, and can see the complete layout as well as the multi-function display for the stereo. Given its resemblance to other Ford center stacks, it's likely that Sync will be offered on 2010 Mustangs as Ford works to incorporate it into their entire line-up. Tune in next week for what we expect will be the final teaser shot before the car's unveiling the following week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. We presume that the final locked picture will be the unveiled car, but it very well could be one final teaser just before the car is actually unveiled. Either way, this will all be over in two weeks, so stay tuned

Rabu, 05 November 2008

Hot News: Hyundai i40

Autocar has learned more details about the forthcoming Hyundai i40.
The new mid-sized saloon and estate will go on sale in the UK in 2010, replacing the ageing Sonata. According to a Hyundai insider, the i40 will major on style, “and won’t be a car that people buy purely for value.”
Billed as a competitor to the new Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo, the Hyundai i40 will initially be launched in estate form, with a saloon version following in 2011.
Many of the styling cues seen on the Hyundai Genus concept from the 2006 Geneva show could make it to production on the i40.
The i40 is believed to be based on an all-new platform which will underpin other future Hyundais and Kias, with the newly unveiled 181bhp 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engine being the most popular powerplant.
Other powerplants will include modified versions of the i30’s current 1.6-litre diesel and petrol units, as well as a 2.0-litre petrol engine.
Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Lexus RX

The leaks keep on coming from Toyota. Hot on the heels of secret images of the next-generation Prius come these brochure shots of the new RX SUV from the firm’s luxury arm, Lexus.
It’s set to make its official debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show later this month. And these pictures reveal that the all-new BMW X5 rival clearly evolves the look of the current generation, but has a more prominent grille and sleeker lines.
The interior is full of dramatic shapes, with a bold triangular centre console clad in silver trim mounted below a large screen that displays sat-nav information. The RX is expected to grow slightly, so there will be more passenger space available. For the first time, buyers will get the option of a seven-seater version, too. As the new RX will be heavier than its predecessor, Lexus is expected to offer even more powerful engines.
The entry-level 3.5-litre V6 petrol unit for the RX350 is likely to be bumped up to around 280bhp, and while there are no plans to introduce a diesel, Lexus will increase the power on the hybrid version, called the RX450h. It’s likely to get the same 3.5-litre V6 petrol-electric unit as the GS450h saloon, and will deliver around 340bhp. There are rumours thatthe 4.6-litre V8 from the LS460 will appear in the RX, too.
A new six-speed automatic gearbox is also expected. First to arrive will be the RX350 late next year, with other variants hitting showrooms in 2010 at the earliest.
As ever, an incredible array of gadgets is set to be included as standard, with even entry-level models getting a reversing camera, heated leather seats and Bluetooth phone connection. More details of the new model will be revealed at the Los Angeles show, which opens on 21 November. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Selasa, 04 November 2008

Hot News: New Lagonda will be Based on S-Class

The first car to be produced under Aston Martin’s revival of Lagonda could be based on a Mercedes S-class, if a proposed partnership between Aston and Mercedes goes ahead.
Due in 2012, the car (a large luxury saloon) would be conceived, developed and produced alongside the next-gen Maybach, which will also use the W222 platform from the next Mercedes S-class.
The new Lagonda will be engineered to support advanced new hybrid drive systems and new pre-scan suspension technology. The platform has been described as the German car maker’s most advanced system to date.
While Mercedes is set to deliver the platform, the engineering of bodyshells for the two marques would be handled by Aston Martin. By joining forces in such a way, development time and overall costs would be slashed.
At the same time, the two car makers could look forward to increased economies of scale in the longer term, an important factor with models that are likely to sell in very low numbers.
The proposed co-operation is being headed by Aston Martin Lagonda boss Ulrich Bez and Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche.
It builds on a parts-sharing deal in which upcoming Aston Martin models will use engine and driveline combinations from Mercedes-Benz. The deal includes a development of the petrol-electric hybrid system recently unveiled in the new S400 Hybrid, and a reworked version of the Maybach’s twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

In case you hadn’t heard, Ford’s skunkworks known as SVT—Special Vehicles Team—is back. Well, it never really went away. SVT put its two cents in on the Ford GT and Shelby GT500, though neither of those vehicles wore an SVT badge. In fact there hasn’t been an SVT-badged Ford since the F-150 SVT Lightning and SVT Focus. Both were last produced in 2004.
Working with the new F-150 as its base, SVT has created what it thinks is the most off-road-ready production truck to hit the market. The heart of this truck is not the powertrain, as it was in previous SVT pickups, but its long-travel suspension. The Raptor boasts beefy cast-aluminum lower control arms up front and Fox Shox Racing dampers at all four corners—the rears have external reservoirs. When it’s all put together, the front suspension has 11.2 inches of travel, with 13.4 in the rear. That’s about 50 percent more than a standard F-150 with the FX4 off-road package.
Underneath the Raptor is the same frame that underpins the new F-150. The only modification made to the stock F-150 frame is aft of the rear axle, where the frame rails are splayed out slightly to make room for a full-size 35-inch spare tire. But the modifications to the rest of the truck are by no means short of serious. SVT even claims the mods to the Raptor are greater than any changes it has made to any other vehicle before.
Visually, the Raptor stands out from Ford’s other trucks. The all-black grille reads F O R D—absent is any blue oval. All of the quarter panels—the fronts are fiberglass—are unique to the Raptor, complete with giant fender flares that encase a seven-inch growth in track over the standard F-150. The hood receives the ubiquitous vent treatment, but unlike many vents on cars today, the Raptor’s are functional. There is also a vinyl graphic splashed across the rear quarters that was inspired by snowboard design. The Raptor will only be available in SuperCab form.
The front bucket seats received bolster treatment and the steering wheel has an on-center marker at 12 o’clock, just in case drivers get so crossed up they need a reminder of which way to point the wheel.
The Raptor is also equipped with a dedicated stability control system that has a competition mode, but in the Raptor it is called “off-road” mode. In the same way a competition mode raises the intervention threshold, off-road mode lets the driver hang it out. The ABS system is even tuned for off-road driving.
Like other recently introduced products from Ford—the Flex and Lincoln MKS—the Raptor will go on sale with one engine, only to get the optional, more powerful, and more desirable engine some months later. This summer, early adopters will get a 320-hp, 390-lb-ft version of Ford’s SOHC 5.4-liter V-8. For those that show some patience, an all-new SOHC 6.2-liter V-8 making an estimated 400 horses and an equal number of lb-ft of torque will be added to the options list sometime during the winter of 2010, possibly wearing a “Boss” badge.
Expect the three-ton truck to ring in near $40,000—a price SVT claims is affordable.

Check out and their large selection of Ford F150 Parts.

Senin, 03 November 2008

New Car: 2009 Citroen C1

Citroen is refreshing its C1 city car with a facelift, an engine upgrade and a posher interior for 2009.
A cleaner, more efficient version of the 68bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine will be on offer which, Citroen claims, returns 62.8mpg (compared with 61mpg before) and emits 106g/km CO2 (previously 108g/km).
Exterior changes will bring the C1 into line with newer models in Citroen’s range. An altered front end features a larger grille and redesigned headlights, echoing the city car’s recently facelifted big sibling, the C2. Sharp new alloys complete the makeover.
Inside the updated C2, new cabin materials and upholstery are intended to boost quality.
Full details on UK trim, equipment and prices won’t be confirmed until the revised C1 is launched early next year. We expect a slight increase over the current model, which starts from £7545. For more photos click here.
Thanks to: Autocar
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