Selasa, 30 Desember 2008

Hot News: BMW PAS

BMW is set to take a huge risk by pressing ahead with the launch of the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) executive hatchback, a ‘5-series GT’.
The controversial BMW PAS is due to be unveiled in late 2009. One senior company source has told Autocar that the 5-series GT is “one of the bravest designs ever signed off by BMW”. But insiders describe the car as a ‘modern grand tourer with a luxury cabin and interior flexibility’.
The BMW PAS expected to be priced between the BMW 5-series and BMW 7-series and pitched at drivers who like a higher driving position but are not keen on full-scale SUVs.
One source has suggested that BMW is aware of an ageing population who now find conventional saloons’ seat positions too low for comfort.
Those who have seen the 5-series GT in the metal describe the BMW PAS as more of a ‘tall 7-series hatchback than a low-rise X6’.
The car is based on the latest version of BMW’s large rear-drive platform, first seen under the recently launched BMW 7-series.
Although the precise dimensions are not yet known, the PAS is slightly longer than a 5-series saloon and just shorter than a 7-series. It also rides slightly higher on its wheels than a normal road car.
The car’s overall height is pitched almost exactly between a 5-series and an X6, with higher than normal seating positions.
Insiders say this layout allows the PAS to offer the same rear leg room as a new long-wheelbase 7-series. Despite the sloping roof line, head room is said to be more than adequate.
The cabin is based on the same flowing theme revealed in the new Z4, with a wide centre console. Sources say front passengers get a “relaxing, semi-raised position”.
Although the 5-series GT gets a lower body similar to that of a saloon, the roof line and rear hatch are pure X6.
The car’s front end has more of a ‘nose cone’ look, rather like the recently cancelled CS concept. It also gets frameless doors, though there are no plans for a convertible spin-off.
The gently sloping roof line curves into an X6-style ‘fastback’ tailgate. The rear of the car is also said to be like the X6, with a lip at the base of the hatch window and a flat rear panel underneath it, between the rear light clusters.
Sources say the tailgate works in a similar way to the Skoda Superb’s, either as a hatch or with a saloon-style boot lid. But in the BMW it’s the upright rear panel that flips up, offering a letter box-shaped opening.
No definitive details have emerged about the 5-series GT’s technical specification, but it’s thought most European models will get a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and most US cars will use a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: 2010 Audi A8/ 2011 Audi S8

Audi is charging ahead with its third-generation A8, set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in the fall of 2009. Once released, it will battle a slightly face-lifted Mercedes-Benz S-class, expected to be unveiled next spring, and BMW's all-new 2009 7-series. But unlike the rather conservative 7-series, which backed away from the audacious styling of its predecessor, the next Audi A8 will show a new look and carry the brand forward stylistically.
Audi's chief designer Stefan Sielaff explains: "The first generation was very dogmatic and product-design-like. With the second generation, the theme was 'elegance'—softer, flowing lines. The upcoming third generation will be stronger, sharper, and more precise."
While the design of the current, second-generation car is pleasing to our eyes, you could argue that it doesn’t properly convey the advanced chassis technology under the skin—the A8’s all-aluminum structure is lighter and stronger than those of its steel-intensive competition. The next A8 continues to use an aluminum space frame and aluminum exterior panels, all of which bring weight down compared to a conventional steel design. Sielaff says that the next-gen Audi A8’s styling will play up that distinction. "It will highlight the aluminum aspect, and it will have a strong three-dimensional theme. In that respect, the next A8 will be the first of a new styling language at Audi. We are entering a new phase with a clear top-down strategy."
The A8 will be futuristic, but it will also have enough chrome to please customers in emerging markets such as Russia and China. There will be both short- and long-wheelbase versions, the latter to be launched in mid-2010. The A8 uses Audi's new modular longitudinal architecture, introduced on the A5, A4, and Q5. Compared to the current A8, the front axle is shifted forward.
The A8 will keep the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, but an entry-level front-wheel-drive version is again possible if the market demands it. In Europe, such a model is currently offered as an especially fuel-efficient alternative. Initial engine offerings will likely include a 4.2-liter gasoline V-8 and a 4.2-liter V-8 turbo-diesel, both equipped with an all-new, ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic (a gearbox which will simultaneously go into the BMW 7-series). Audi will also offer its 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel, an extremely popular engine in Europe, and the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 from the A6 and S4. And even though the current W-12 engine is no more than a footnote in the A8's European home market, expect Russia and China to demand a successor of the prestigious powerplant. Audi could also offer a version of the V-12 turbo-diesel introduced in the Q7, although modifications would be required to fit this big and heavy unit into the A8's engine bay.
We expect the next S8 to become available sometime in late 2010 or early 2011, and it will use the turbocharged V-10 found in the high-performance, Euro-only RS6. It will likely be even more powerful than the RS6, though, which could mean 600 hp—or more.
Audi engineers tell us to pay special attention to the interior, which they say represents as much a step forward as does the exterior. A large center screen and a new MMI architecture will be "more innovative" than the current system. We hope Audi won't tinker too much with MMI, a system we’ve always liked.
On the road, we expect the A8 to give the BMW 7-series a fight for the title of sportiest offering in the segment. The A8's all-wheel-drive system will be rear-biased, and it will be available with the same torque-vectoring system ("sport differential") that we found impressive during our drive of the latest S4.
In Europe and China, the current A8 has caught up with the 7-series and S-class in terms of sales and image. With the next generation, Audi may be able to pull off the same trick in North America.

Senin, 29 Desember 2008

Hot News: Toyobaru Project Postponed

Toyota and Subaru have postponed production of their jointly developed sports coupe in the wake of the new car sales slump.
The ‘Toyobaru’ - a 2+2 that could become the spiritual successor to the Supra – will not arrive until 2012 at the earliest, according to reports. That’s a delay of at least 18 months.
“We’re discussing with Fuji Heavy the timing for the start of production and other details,” is all Hideaki Homma, a Toyota spokesperson, would tell reporters.
Toyota recently doubled its stake in Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industry to 15 per cent. But Japan’s biggest car maker has posted an unexpected loss for the year and is reluctant to embark on any risky projects.
The plan was for Fuji Heavy Industry to build the coupe for both Toyota and Subaru. Both models would have had different styling and marketing. The designs were thought to be at an advanced stage and test mules have been spotted.
But as Japan’s domestic market continue to contract, analysts are predicting the project will be shelved for some time.
Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2010 Jaguar XF Diesel S

The big cat is finally out of the bag! Jaguar has released the first pictures and full details of its new XF Diesel S, an oilburning flagship that combines class-leading performance with impressive fuel economy.Due on sale in March, the newcomer is fitted with a new 3.0-litre V6 engine with 273bhp and a staggering 600nm of torque. Capable of a top speed of 155mph, and a 0-60mph sprint of 5.9 seconds the newcomer also promises to return 42mpg.Meanwhile, CO2 emissions are 179g/km – that’s 10 percent less than the acclaimed 2.7-litre unit that this new engine replaces.Power is transmitted to the road via the rear wheels, through an updated six speed automatic gearbox. Drivers can either select a fully automatic mode, or swap ratios via steering wheel mounted paddles.To complete the package, XF Diesel S also gets 20 inch wheels, an aerodynamic boot lid spoiler and discreet ‘S’ badging.Inside, the S gets sports seats, and a number of specification upgrades to the car’s satellite navigation and air-conditioning systems.However, the new Diesel S is not the only XF to benefit from the company’s latest diesel technology.Jaguar has announced that is also plans to add an entry level 3.0-litre V6 model to the line-up to replace the basic 2.7-litre V6. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied Up Date: 2010 Opel/Vauxhall Meriva

HERE are the pictures that prove Vauxhall’s new Meriva is a real smasher!
These spy shots show the aftermath of a controlled side impact test of the forthcoming supermini-MPV. And the little people carrier’s star feature – its rear-hinged back doors – have stood up well to the impact!
Set to debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Meriva will shake up the class with a stylish shape which has changed little from the 2008 Geneva Motor Show concept. The doors are similar to those on the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mazda RX-8, and are hinged at the rear to allow superb access to the back seats.
In addition, the Meriva will boast a flexible interior with a sliding rear bench seat. And it’s also set to continue the big leaps in cabin quality Vauxhall made with the Insignia. Add in a sleek shape that’s inspired by the Flextreme show car – seen at Frankfurt in 2007 – and it’s sure to turn heads.
As well as conventional petrol and diesel power, there will be an ecoFLEX variant emitting less than 120g/km. And a turbo VXR model is set to top the range. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sabtu, 27 Desember 2008

Spied: 2011 Ferrari Dino

Could Ferrari’s plans to replace the legendary Dino be back on the drawing board?Hot on the heels of the launch of the California comes this spy shot that appears to show that there’s a new supercar on the way from the Famous Italian firm. And this time it looks to be the spiritual successor to the Dino, giving the firm a Porsche 911 was thought that Ferrari had completed development of ‘entry-level’ small models. However this prototype is based on the 599 GTB, but has a shorter wheelbase and smaller wheels.Should a Porsche 911 rival from Ferrari be given the go ahead, it is likely to use the California’s 450bhp 4.3-litre V8 and seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 25 Desember 2008

Spied: 2010 Ford Taurus

You're looking are the latest spy photos of the new 2010 Ford Taurus. Ford is betting big on its updated fullsize Taurus sedan, which will make its world debut at the 2009 Detroit auto show.
The 2010 Taurus will feature updated powertrain options, and Ford will once again refresh the vehicle's styling, the previous iteration of which -- first seen on the Five Hundred and then slightly updated when Ford changed the name back to Taurus -- failed to jumpstart sales of the sedan. From the looks of the spy shots, it is possible new Taurus, which features Ford of Europe styling cues, might attract more buyers in the shrinking fullsize sedan segment.
Judging by the spy shots, the Taurus melds elements of the European Ford Mondeo exterior styling touches with a refined Flex-like interior. Outside, the Taurus eschews the Fusion's three-bar grille and sports lower fascia clearly inspired by the Mondeo -- the same can be said about the wheels, which are probably reserved for a more expensive model. Inside, this particular Taurus appears to have dual-zone climate control, plenty of wood trim, and a Sony audio system. And although we can't see any, we're betting customizable mood lighting is part of the package, as well.
One thing is clear: the blurry 2010 Taurus photo we showed you in April (bottom image) was, in fact, a close-to-production prototype.We don't know much about the Taurus' engines, but with the car riding on the D3 platform that also underpins the recently-released Lincoln MKS, a 3.7L V-6 like the one in the 270-hp MKS should make it to the Taurus, with the 3.5L from the Fusion also likely as an option. The MKS is slated to get a more powerful EcoBoost engine upgrade next spring; it's possible Ford could use that engine as part of a high-performance 2011 Ford Taurus SHO-like vehicle, but whether it's high-output or not, an EcoBoost engine will be coming for the Taurus as well. Ford will more than likely continue to offer front- and all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission as standard in all Taurus models.
With Mercury Sable production stopping sometime in 2009, Ford's Taurus will have slightly more room to move upmarket. Alan Mulally's decision to rename the Five Hundred the Taurus failed to boost sales, but maybe one more push is all the Taurus needs to better compete with the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lucerne, and other fullsize sedans.

Rabu, 24 Desember 2008


Hey, today is christmas day!!! I just wanna say Merry Christmas to readers who celebrate it. Hoping you all will be better people. Amen. ^_^

Selasa, 23 Desember 2008

Hot News: Lexus HS250h

Lexus has launched a new area on its consumer Web site for its upcoming HS 250h Hybrid car that is set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month. The new car, which we've yet to see any actual pictures of (the rendering above is from a Japanese magazine), will break cover on January 11.
Ever since rumors first surfaced that Lexus would be bringing out a new hybrid, speculation has been rampant about where the vehicle's platform would come from. Most agree that it will use the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain found in other Toyota and Lexus models, but the application is a mystery. There have been rumors for some time now that Lexus will get its own version of Toyota's popular Prius hybrid, but in far more luxurious trim in keeping with Lexus' image. To that end, some have speculated that the HS 250h could be that Lexus-ized Prius.That would be all well and good, but during the presentation of the new Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, Lexus executives told journalists that the HS 250h would be a full-size car. While technology from the 2010 Prius, which will also be debuting at Detroit, could certainly be used in the HS 250h, the platform is likely too small to build a full-size car on. In fact, Japanese car publication Mag-X claims that the HS 250h will share the underpinnings of Toyota's SAI project. That project will use the Prius drivetrain in a larger vehicle and with a larger engine, reportedly the 2.4L engine found in the Camry Hybrid. Of course, the 250 designation is used on the IS line for Toyota's 2.5-liter V-6, so that could also be a remote possibility as the engine for the HS, but best bet is on the 2.4L four as well as its gas engine. The new Toyota-branded hybrid will reportedly slot between the Prius and Camry in size, which means it won't be a fullsize sedan, but Lexus could build a larger car on the same platform. The car is also rumored to have a dual luggage lid system wherein you'll be able to open rear end like a trunk or like a hatch.At this point, all we really know for sure is that the HS 250h will be at Detroit. Will it be Lexified Prius, or something more?

New Car: 2010 Toyota Tundra Work Truck Package

Debuts are rare off the major auto show circuit, but that won't stop Toyota from showing its new 2010 Tundra Work Truck Package at the San Diego Auto Show next week. The package is aimed at commercial truck buyers and will go on sale in the spring of 2009.
The Tundra Work Truck Package will be a stripped down V-6 or V-8 Tundra with almost no options and an MSRP $550 to $650 lower than the MSRP of a similar non-commercial model. With the optional 381-hp 5.7L i-Force V-8, the bare-bones truck will be able to tow a respectable 10,800 lbs.The Tundra Work Truck Package will be available on a variety of models, including the Regular and four-door Double Cabs, standard and long beds and 2WD or 4WD. Work Truck Packages will be easy to spot with black plastic replacing the chrome on the bumpers and grille surround. Inside, though, is where you'll really be able to tell that this is a work truck. Here's what you don't get: power mirrors, map lights, courtesy lights, glove box light, ignition key ring light, cruise control and keyless entry. What you will get are vinyl bench seats and rubber floors for easy cleaning and black plastic trim instead of the standard silver. You also lose your voltage and oil pressure gauges in favor of warning lights. It's not all bad news, though. If you can't live without certain features like your Cruise Control and Keyless Entry, you can get them back in other, more glamorous Work Truck packages.
Exact pricing and options available in the packages isn't known yet and may not be made available at the show next week. All of that information will be available by this spring when the truck goes on sale.

New Car: 2010 Saab 9-5 Griffin Edition

How multifaceted is the noun “griffin”? For some, it refers to a mythical creature that’s part lion, part eagle. For Saab’s aircraft division, it describes the new JAS 39 Griffin fighter jet. And for car buyers, Griffin now means a special edition of the ancient Saab 9-5 to be launched at the 2009 Detroit auto show.
Starting in January, the Griffin package will be available on 9-5 sedans and SportCombi wagons. Though the moniker was inspired by Saab’s aviation heritage, there’s nothing jetlike about this car: propulsion comes from the same 260-hp, 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder as other 9-5s.
In lieu of actual performance upgrades, the 9-5 Griffin sports special 17-inch wheels and a plenary of “Griffin” badges. Sedans receive a trunklid spoiler, while SportCombis score a roof spoiler and matte chrome roof rails. Color choices are up to six, including two new shades of gray for 2009.
Other add-ons include standard backup sensors and heated-and-folding side mirrors. Leather sport seats, like those in Saab Aero models, come in two-tone parchment and black. Other interior changes are shiny interior trim and accent stitching for the steering wheel, shifter, parking brake lever, and seats.
When the Griffins go on sale in January—assuming GM hasn’t axed Saab or gone bankrupt by then—the sedan will sell for $42,775 and the SportCombi will command $44,045.

Hot News: Fiat Plans Low Cost Cars

Fiat has made plans to launch a new line of low-cost cars in western Europe.
Two of the three models are reported to have been developed by Fiat and its Brazilian subsidiary. They had originally been scheduled to replace Fiat’s ageing Palio ‘world car’ and the Uno supermini, which is still made in modified form in Brazil.
Fiat has decided to restyle the cars for western European markets and launch them by 2010 under a new brand. They would be aimed at budget-conscious buyers at the tail end of the global recession.
Fiat could also launch a re-worked version of the Seicento city car in late 2011, sources within the industry have reported.
It will be notably light and is likely to be powered by a new super-frugal, two-cylinder engine.
The car will probably be aimed at the growing market for ultra-compact city cars, but will be much cheaper than either a Smart or Toyota IQ.
The company wants to become one of the main players in the European market for low-cost cars and is keen to launch a second brand name alongside Fiat.
Fiat thinks it can tap the same new market targeted by Renault with the Logan family. Analysts believe that increasingly stringent pollution legislation – some of which will control entry to European city centres – will force drivers who had previously bought secondhand cars into the budget new car market.
There’s no concrete news on prices at this early stage, but the new Seicento could be priced as low as £5500.
The three models are expected to be built in Fiat plants in either Poland, Serbia or Italy.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Subaru Diesel Delayed

The long-awaited diesel Subaru Impreza UK launch has been delayed indefinitely due to the yen exchange rate, which hit its highest level in 13 years last Wednesday.
Sources inside International Motors, Subaru’s official UK importer, admitted that the company had no choice but to delay the vital diesel model until the Yen rate drops.
“At the current rate we would have to charge vastly more than we can justify for the diesel Impreza if we were to make a profit. As a result we can’t guarantee when the car will go on sale as we can’t predict when the economy will change.”
Subaru is not the only company suffering as a result of the poor exchange rate. Takeo Fukui, Honda’s chief executive, called on the Japanese government to ‘move a bit more swiftly’ to stabilise the Yen after the company announced that it could make a second-half loss. Toyota has also posted its first operating loss since 1941.
Though the Japanese government has intervened in its currency rates in the past, there is no guarantee as yet that any action will be taken in the current crisis.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Ssangyong Can't Pay Staff

Korean carmaker Ssangyong cannot afford to pay its December salaries and has confirmed it’s more than £50m in debt.
“Due to lack of operating funds for December, it is impossible for the company to pay salaries any longer,” Ssangyong told workers in a letter last Friday.
Korea’s smallest manufacturer turned to its parent company Shanghai Automotive Industry in China for emergency funds, but the request was refused.
The firm employs about 8000 staff in Korean. Shanghai Automotive bought the majority stake three years ago.
The Ssangyong executive committee now plans a protest rally against its Chinese management, according to Korean newspaper Chosun.
Ssangyong sales in Korea have dropped by more than a third in the last year. It’s already shut 60 dealers in the country.
In the UK Ssangyong has sold 595 cars to date this year, compared with 1299 during the same period last year.
Thanks to: Autocar

Senin, 22 Desember 2008

Sneak Peek: Toyota FT-EV

Toyota announced today its intention to debut an all-new electric-vehicle concept at January’s Detroit auto show. The vehicle will be called the FT-EV, and the single image released shows only the badge, affixed to a translucent, amber -colored surface. As to the vehicle’s actual identity, FT is simply Toyota shorthand for ‘future,’ so the FT-EV could be anything, really.

To wit, Toyota showed the FT-HS sports-car concept—HS for Hybrid Sports—at the 2007 Detroit auto show. The FT prefix was also applied to the FT-SX concept, which eventually morphed into the production Venza crossover, as well as theFTX concept, which became the current Tundra pickup.

We’ve got our fingers crossed for something sporty, but we’ll have to wait until the show’s press days to find out. Stay tuned for more details.

Toyota will also debut the next-generation 2010 Prius at the Detroit show, where it will battle the 2009 Honda Insight for attention.

Hot News: GM Holden to Build Small Car

GM Holden will build an all-new small car in Australia alongside the country's best-selling Commodore range.
The second carline will start in the third quarter of 2010 with support from the Federal and South Australian Governments.
The vehicle will be based on General Motors' global Delta small car platform and feature new technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions.
The new front-wheel-drive vehicle will be built as a sedan and hatch at GM Holden's Elizabeth manufacturing facility in South Australia. Design and engineering work will take place at the company's headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Start-stop hybrid technology and capacity to run on alternative fuels such as E85, diesel, LPG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are all being considered for the vehicle's development.
It will be GM Holden's first locally produced car beyond its current range of larger vehicles since the Asian economic crisis ended Vectra production in 1998.
The program will require 500 to 600 existing employees at Elizabeth and is estimated to provide 500 to 600 local supplier positions.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Reuss said the announcement provided opportunity to take a leading role in developing alternative fuel and fuel saving technologies in Australia for Australians.
Mr Reuss said the program would be a major contributor to the economy, generating an estimated $70 million to $80 million in wages and $30 million in research and development.
"Together with Government, we are extending the scope and consumer appeal of our local manufacturing efforts," Mr Reuss said.
"We have been building Holden cars to suit the needs of Australian motorists for 60 years. These plans build on that tradition.

New Car: 2010 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

With its unique headlamps, new look badges and ultra luxury interior, this is the car Maserati says will finally break BMW and Mercedes grip on the supersaloon class.
These are the first pictures of the new Quattroporte Sport GT S, a BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG rival which will be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show this week.Offering a staggering 432bhp from its 4.7-litre V8 engine, the model also gets a quick shift gearbox, and revised suspension.
The car’s ride height has also been lowered, and there a new sports exhaust has been fitted that features a special set of valves that varies the system’s volume and pitch.
To help drivers immediately identify the newcomer, changes have also been made to the front grille – which is now the same design as that fitted to the recently launched Gran Turismo.Door handles get a colour coded finish, while inside, driver and passengers are offered leather and alcantara trimmed bucket seats, plus composite detailing on the doors and dash.
Prices for the newcomer will be announced in the New Year.

Minggu, 21 Desember 2008

New Car: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Amid the dark fog of uncertainty pervading the future of General Motors, the automaker debuts the latest revision to its Chevrolet lineup at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit: a heavily redesigned 2010 Equinox mid-size crossover. Set to go on sale in mid-2009 in LS, LT, and LTZ trims, the new model adopts the brand’s split-grille mug introduced on the 2008 Malibu sedan and will be one of the first GM vehicles to feature all-new and direct-injected inline four-cylinder and V-6 engines.
Dimensionally, the new Equinox rides on the same 112.5-inch wheelbase of the previous model, yet is one inch shorter and wider. A more steeply raked windshield gives a sleeker profile for improved aerodynamics, while available 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheels pushed closer to the corners provide greater stability and allow for a more spacious cabin. The Equinox’s overall design is more aggressive than its bigger brother, the Lambda-based Chevrolet Traverse, with a more-sculpted front end, bold wheel arches, and distinct creases in the sheetmetal below the beltline. The rear sports stacked round taillights and dual exhausts, yet is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz ML-class with its forward-canted C-pillars and flush-fitting, wraparound side glass.

With cross-town rival Ford waving a turbocharged and direct-injected EcoBoost finger in GM’s face, Chevy’s new trucklet will come out of the gate fitted with a pair of efficient DI engines: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 182 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 255 hp and 214 lb-ft. Both powertrains are backed by six-speed automatics and optional all-wheel-drive systems (front-wheel-drive is standard), with the new inline-four developing nearly as much power as the previous Equinox’s 3.4-liter V-6. DI technology also endows the new 3.0-liter V-6, with output almost matching the current Equinox Sport’s 264-hp 3.6-liter V-6.
Combined with electric power steering and better aerodynamics, the new engines help four-cylinder models achieve up to a claimed 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Outfitted with the V-6, GM says fuel economy drops slightly to an estimated city/highway rating of up to 18/25 mpg. However, enlarged fuel tanks allow for more than 500 miles of driving range, regardless of engine choice. And, like the 3.6-liter DI V-6 in the Cadillac CTS and GM’s Lambda large crossovers, both engines are happy with regular unleaded.

Kamis, 18 Desember 2008

New Car: 2010 Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a grand-prix driving experience on the street—and have pockets as stuffed as Scrooge McDuck’s—the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss is the thing for you. Serving as the final hurrah for the SLR line, the Stirling Moss sheds both its top and windshield and continues the Mille Miglia–centric theme of the previous SLR 722 and Roadster 722 S special-edition SLRs—722 was both the number and start time of the 300 SLR that won the 1955 event. The driver of that car, of course, was Sir Stirling Moss.
This open-cockpit wonder’s 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine will make the same 641 hp as the 722. Zero-to-62-mph sprints are expected to be achieved in less than 3.5 seconds, and top speed is a claimed 217 mph. Imagine 217 mph without the protection of laminated safety glass; the two wind deflectors that stand less than an inch tall likely won’t do much to protect you from the impact of even a large moth at that speed. This car is hard-core.
Even beyond the obvious lack of a roof and windshield, the rest of the Stirling Moss edition's carbon-fiber exterior is radically different from that of other SLRs, beginning with a freshly styled front fascia. Gone are the quad headlights (removed in favor of stacked clusters), as well as the single-slat grille on both sides of the three-pointed star, giving the front a much smoother style. The lower portion of the front now peaks at the center and the larger intake resembles that of the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. Two large hood vents are added near the cowl along with a smaller vent in the front on the passenger side.
The Moss edition features a deep body crease that begins behind the front wheel and extends almost to the back of the door. Dual exhaust outlets now find their exit in the middle of the front quarter panel, rather than down at the rocker, as on conventional SLRs. Smaller and sleeker taillights give the rear a very modern look, while the deck sports two aero humps topped with roll hoops. The rear diffuser is considerably larger than the SLR coupe or roadster’s. There’s a retractable air brake as on the other SLR models, but the Stirling Moss’s air brake differs in that it can be operated manually.
The interior is reduced to what Benz calls the “bare essentials,” although it is still coated in high-zoot materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather. An aluminum plate around the shift lever will carry the engraved signature of Stirling Moss to remind you which SLR you’re driving, just in case the sparrow you nearly took to the face doesn’t do the trick.
The SLR Stirling Moss will be limited to 75 units, which will be the final SLRs ever built, marking the end of the manufacturing contract between Mercedes and McLaren. Assembly will begin in June of 2009 following the end of SLR roadster production in May. Production of the 75 vehicles will continue through December; each one will carry a price of about $1 million—the official price is 750,000 euros—and will only be made available to existing SLR customers in Europe. Considering the Euro-only sales, it’s strange that Mercedes chose to debut the SLR Stirling Moss at the 2009 Detroit auto show. We’re not sure there really is a perfect venue to unveil a radical, speedster-style supercar, but the Motor City probably isn’t it.

Hot News: Could Jaguar-Land Rover be Next?

Auto Express can confirm the British government has been in talks with Jaguar Land Rover regarding a possible bail-out.
If the plan does go ahead JLR will have access to around £1bn of taxpayers money over a two year period.
The Business Secretary Lord Mandelson commented “I have had discussions with the owners and management of Jaguar Land Rover in particular, because they argue that they are under particular strain,” he went on to say “The car sector - car manufacturing - is a centre of real excellence and competitive strength in our country.”
Lord Mandelson was quick to respond to questions about other possible bail-outs, saying there would “not be a long list of them.”
JLE’s large UK infrastructure is another major reason for the bail-out talks reaching this stage, with 15,000 staff employed in the UK.
Mandelson has made it clear though that JLR’s responsibility still lies with Tata, and if the government do end up helping it will not be “an open chequebook” situation.
Whatever is decided Gordon brown will cast the key vote.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Skoda Yeti Confirmed

Skoda has some big plans for 2009. At the opening of its new technology centre in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic, Skoda chairman Reinhard Jung spoke about two all-new cars in 2009.First off is the all-new Yeti compact SUV, which will hit UK showrooms in late summer. Built to compete with the likes of the Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4, the Yeti is all-terrain car with a Haldex full-time 4x4 system, with the option of a front-wheel-drive version for tarmac-only drivers. The powerplants are currently unspecified, but we expect 1.8 or 2.0-litre petrol units and 1.9 or 2.0-litre TDI dielels.Skoda believes that despite the slump in car sales, the Yeti will appeal to fans of 4x4s who are looking to downsize.Production of a second new model, the Superb estate, will also begin in 2009, with sales starting at the start of 2010. The estate version will feature the same engines as the current saloon, including the 3.6-litre V6 that will be added to the range in the UK next spring. The company is aiming at owners of BMW 3-Series Touring and A4 Avant, believing that it will be an attractive alternative to premium estates in the current financial market. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Kia Soul Concept

Kia will debut its latest twist on the soon-to-arrive Soul compact, the Korean automaker's Scion xB and Nissan Cube fighter, at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Kia has only released this teaser image and has promised that this is "more than just a package treatment."
The teaser photo -- a profile shot stopping at the B-pillar -- confirms that the concept will be more than just a dressed-up Soul. The concept appears to have a thicker B-pillar than production Souls you can view by clicking HERE. This could signal any number of variations on the Soul, which is itself based on a stretched version of the Rio platform. Might Chevy have a competitor for its HHR Panel vans? Will this latest Soul concept adopt a body style akin to the Jeep Wrangler? Or could it be a trucklet of some sort? We'll be sure to share all the details as soon as we get more information, but until then, tell us what you think Kia is hiding aft of the B-pillar.

Rabu, 17 Desember 2008

Hot News: Honda Cancels NSX

It’s another shock announcement from Honda, and a massive blow for performance car fans everywhere. Only two weeks after dramatically pulling the plug on its Formula one team, the Japanese car maker has revealed its hotly-anticipated NSX supercar has been canned.
Honda claims the 560bhp V10 NSX, which was due to go on sale in 2010, was still in the development stage, despite posting a series of hot lap times around the Nurburgring.The economic crisis has been blamed for the move, but Honda hasn’t entirely ruled out the NSX programme resuming in a few years time, once the firm’s financial situation improves. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Subaru Legacy Concept

In Subaru's lineup, the Legacy has mostly been forgotten -- the midsize all-wheel drive car sells less than all Subarus except the Tribeca SUV. With its upcoming Legacy concept, heading to the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, Subaru is looking to change that.
Subaru has only released one teaser image of the concept so far, but what we do see is promising. Then again, with the new Impreza, Subaru didn't exactly set the styling bar high. The Legacy concept's grille fits into the Subaru design language well, while vertical fog lights are nice touches we hope make it to the production Legacy.

Under the concept's hood is Subaru's 3.6L Boxer engine, a 256-hp version of which recently debuted in the 2008 Tribeca. The six-cylinder engine presently offered in the 2009 Legacy is a 3.0L Boxer producing 243 hp. A 2009 Subaru Legacy 3.0R is shown at left. The Legacy's 20th anniversary is next year, and we can't think of a better way to celebrate then to introduce a new model. Subaru says 43 percent of Legacys head to the U.S., so it's not too surprising that the automaker has chosen Detroit as the concept's debut location

Selasa, 16 Desember 2008

Hot News: Toyota Prius on Hold

Toyota has postponed plans to build the next generation of its Prius hybrid in the United States.
The £1bn project to build the Toyota Prius in a newly developed Mississippi factory will be shelved, with no specific timeframe for its completion.
UK sales of the Toyota Prius have remained relatively consistent, with sales up three per cent year-on-year. But worldwide sales have fallen by around 10 per cent, and the US market is down by nearly half; just 8660 units were sold in the US in November, down from 16,737 a year earlier.
The decision to suspend development of the plant comes amid growing uncertainty in the global car market and the continued fall in petrol prices, which has hit demand for electric and hybrid cars. Toyota is also wary of over-supplying what is soon to become a more competitive market with the imminent launch of the Honda Insight hybrid.
Once seen as financially beneficial, the Mississippi Toyota plant has become one of many financial burdens on the Japanese manufacturer. Toyota also has plans for more than a dozen factory projects, including new plants in Brazil and India.
Delays to the production of the new Toyota Prius are unlikely, but Toyota will resent the increased shipping and currency conversion costs associated with importing the Prius from Japan.
Toyota will finish the building work at the Tupelo plant, and has confirmed that staff already employed on the site in administrative and managerial roles will keep their jobs.
Toyota has stated its long-term plans to produce the Prius in the US remain, but that any decision will depend on market conditions.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2011 BMW CS

Could BMW’s low-slung Quattroporte rival, make it to the showrooms after all? Little more than two weeks ago, BMW bosses confirmed that the luxury four-door saloon, previewed by the CS concept, wouldn’t be built because of financial concerns… But our exclusive pictures would suggest otherwise!Our snappers caught this CS mule testing at the firm’s Munich Headquarters, sparking rumours that BMW has made a u-turn on its recent statement.
The CS will be longer, lower and wider than the 7-series on which it’s based - as our illustrations show - drawing comparison’s with the rash of recent ‘four-door coupes’, including the Mercedes CLS, Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera.
Let's hope BMW will be more decisive this time around, and confirm that the sporty saloon will make it from concept to reality. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Ford F-150 is 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year

This is it. Crunch time. The 2009 Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram are rolling onto the market like a pair of gigantic craps dice, and the companies tossing them are each betting big on this game. Unfortunately, the rules changed while these dice were in mid-air. Fuel prices skyrocketed, the economy tanked, consumer confidence evaporated, and folks who once chose half-ton pickups more for their Marlboro-Man-image-enhancing qualities than for their towing or hauling capabilities are shopping elsewhere.
Ford claims it sells more of its half-ton pickups to work and commercial customers than its competitors do, and Ford predicts this segment will grow to 45 percent of F-150 sales. Toward that end, the truck's fully boxed chassis is further fortified to provide best-in-class rigidity, payload capacity (up to 3030 pounds), and tow ratings (up to 11,300 pounds). As such, the new F-150 is well positioned to capture contractors migrating down-market out of Super-Dutys to save money and gas (did we mention that a new six-speed automatic, a lighter, more aerodynamic cab, and other tweaks boost fuel economy by 12 percent with the 5.4-liter?).
Ford claims payload and towing numbers like that simply can't be had with a coil-sprung rear axle, so it stuck with leafs but made them longer to smooth the ride and wider with new mounting hardware to improve lateral rigidity and roll control. The ride doesn't quite match Dodge's, but the chassis engineers managed to tune the steering for pleasing heft and remarkable accuracy that had many judges lauding the F-150s for feeling smaller and nimbler than their Dodge counterparts. Lateral grip of 0.70 g for both Fords bested all but the feathery base Dodge and Suzuki, and our rear-drive SXT scored the best stop at 133 feet from 60 mph (the three-ton Lariat needed 144 feet).
Status-conscious contractors will have eight F-150 models from which to choose (including the forthcoming SVT Raptor), which Detroit editor Todd Lassa reckons is "about four too many," adding, "If this Lariat is the third truck from the top, how much of a boudoir must the King Ranch and Platinum interiors be?" Judges praised the low noise levels and interior materials quality, though some found the design cartoonishly macho. Still, handy features like the Tailgate Step, Box Side Step, a stowable bed-extender, and rear seats that fold up with one hand to reveal a broad, flat load floor help tally a strong superiority score.

Spied: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta/NCS and NMS

Spied here, heavily disguised under stretched and widened Jetta bodywork, is a mule housing prototype components for two cars: Volkswagen's New Compact Sedan and New Mid-Size Sedan. Both will spearhead the company's attack on Japanese and Korean dominance of the import sector in the U.S. market.
It is VW's ambition to become the number-one global carmaker, surpassing even the Toyota juggernaut. To reach that goal, obstacles need to be overcome, a major one being the brand's lackluster performance in the U.S. Due to misguided product policies and the occasional severe quality problem, VW has dropped off the radar screen for many customers—if it was even there in the first place.
Both the NCS and NMS sedans are variations of the ubiquitous PQ35/PQ46 platform, which hosts a multitude of cars stretching from Golf/Rabbit to CC. The NCS will be developed mainly for the U.S. market, and it may retain the well-established Jetta moniker. The larger NMS is intended to simultaneously satisfy U.S. and Chinese tastes, so beware of chrome and ostentation. It won't go to Europe, where the next Passat will be aiming to make life difficult for the BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
Why is VW walking away from global cars, especially at a time when other automakers are globalizing? The company feels that American and Asian customers don't appreciate the refinement of its current offerings. "U.S. customers look at car size and engine displacement. They won't pay a dollar extra for a Passat over the Camry just because of its finesse and attention to detail," a company executive told us in Wolfsburg. And he was concerned the NCS and NMS might still be too costly to produce compared to their Asian competition.
Indeed, the Passat, despite its merits, doesn't come close to the sales success of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, but the Jetta has consistently done well in the U.S. Europeans find it hard to believe, but the Jetta enjoys an aura of coolness here, a reputation enhanced by performance versions such as the GLI, which was never available in the Old World. In Europe, the Jetta has always been viewed as an old folks' car; it hasn't sold well and was renamed twice as the Vento and the Bora before VW ruefully (and without much effect) reverted to the original moniker.
While the NCS and NMS are developed with strict cost-cutting targets, there is no reason to be concerned about a lack of capability on the road. The rather agricultural but still competent 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine is expected to carry on; for real fun, look for different variations of VW's turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine and the 2.0-liter TDI turbo-diesel. VW could also bring the highly efficient 1.4-liter TSI to the U.S. Dual-clutch transmissions will replace the current automatic gearbox, and all-wheel drive is a possibility.
The New Mid-Size Sedan will be built at VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant. The New Compact Sedan, which shares its platform, could be made there as well. Both vehicles will be available in 2010 as 2011 models.
We expect to get more technical details and information about styling direction shortly, so stay tuned.

New Concept Car: Volvo S60

In contrast to the exodus of manufacturers from next month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo offers up this first glimpse of its S60 concept sedan, which will debut on its stand as a preview of what the production model will look like when it arrives in 2010. Joining a growing number of sleek, coupe-inspired four-doors such as the Volkswagen CC and Mercedes-Benz CLS, the S60 concept represents a well-proportioned and aggressive departure from many of the company’s existing staid designs.
Sitting on seven-spoke, 20-inch wheels, the sedan sports a massive glass roof and an enlarged trapezoidal grille, which is flanked by small vertical running lamps and sweeping LED headlights inspired by Viking longboats. A “double wave” beltline extends from the tips of the headlights to the rear, where it flows over the bulged rear haunches and into unique taillight clusters that look clear, but illuminate their marker-light, brake-light, and turn-signal sections in appropriate colors when needed. A retractable diffuser improves aerodynamics at the rear of the vehicle and is part of Volvo’s attempt to infuse the S60 concept with cues reminiscent of the sweeping curves of a racetrack.

Minggu, 14 Desember 2008

First Sketch: Rinspeed iChange

From the company that brings you crazy ideas such as scuba-diving Lotus Elises comes yet another cockamamie concept. Making its world debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show is the Rinspeed iChange, a pie-in-the-sky electric sports car that can transform into a "compact sportsvan."
Just how does it accomplish such a feat? The iChange's piece du resistance is its "electronic trick-tail." The body morphs from a single-seat teardrop shape to a three seat configuration when the car's rear end rises up (according to the release, it does so "as if by magic.") Unfortunately, pictures of the transformation were not included in this initial press release. Propulsion comes from a 130kw-electric motor. Further energy savings will come from the car's low weight and aerodynamic drag. The concept intends to provoke the automotive industry to think about variability and energy demand through this radically flexible vehicle. Although it sounds like marketing folks from Apple joined those on the Obama campaign, the name "iChange" signifies the need for people to re-think their conception of cars.

Sabtu, 13 Desember 2008

New Car: 2010 BMW Z4

This is BMW’s new Z4, a completely reworked version of Munich’s two-seat sports car that the firm hopes will dramatically improve on the decidedly average fortunes of the outgoing model.
The new Z4 is due to go on sale next May, and BMW has sought to improve the car’s appeal in almost every area. Key differences include a lightweight metal folding hard-top, direct-injection straight six engines and a more spacious cabin.
The current Z4 has never been able to match the sales success of the popular Z3 that came before it. Sales in the UK peaked at 4800 in 2004, almost half the number of TTs Audi sold the same year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Mercedes S-Class

This is the face-lifted Mercedes S-Class undergoing final cold weather testing, ahead of an expected launch in the summer of 2009.
The big news is the arrival of the new S400 BlueHybrid version. This is powered by a new 279bhp petrol 3.5-litre V6 combined with the new hybrid automatic transmission developed by GM, Mercedes and BMW.
A three-phase AC electric motor is mounted within the front of the gearbox housing, and provides additional thrust when required, output swelling to 299bhp and 284lb ft.
The new S-Class cannot run purely on battery power; the electric motor is used exclusively to boost the petrol engine.
It’s also the first mass-produced hybrid to use a lithium ion battery. This weighs just 27kg and is said to be much more efficient than conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries.
With luxury car sales in freefall, the updated car can’t come soon enough, although the exterior changes are relatively modest.
The new car also gets a revised grille and a new front bumper, which reflects the more ‘edgy’ design language of the upcoming E-Class and new GLK SUV.
Inside, the upgraded dashboard will get the option of the innovative new Splitview screen, which can show two different images simultaneously. This will allow the driver to view a sat-nav display, while the passenger watches TV.
Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Mecedes BlueZero

It looks like blue will be the colour of this year's Mercedes show stand at the Detroit Motor Show. The German giant is set to reveal three variants of its new BlueZero concept, revealed here for the very first time.
Based on the same platform that underpins the new B-Class, all three promise ultra-green credentials thanks to a heady mix of cutting edge technology, and advanced design.
The most ambitious of the three is the all-electric BlueZero E-Cell, which is powered by lithium-ion batteries and a 100kw electric motor that boasts an impressive 320Nm of torque.
Merc claims that only two hours of charge will power the BlueZero E-Cell for around 100km (62 miles). That’s might not sound like much but as the car is being aimed solely at city drivers, it should fit the bill for eco-conscious types with short commutes.
For drivers with longer distance journeys, Mercedes has developed two, longer-legged alternatives in the form of the BlueZero E-Cell Plus and the B-Class F-Cell.
The E-Cell Plus uses the same set-up as the E-Cell, but it also features an internal combustion engine – a three-cylinder turbochrged unit borrowed from child company, Smart – which acts as a generator, charging the batteries on the move and stretching the range of the eco-Merc out to a respectable 600km (373 miles).
The third and final BlueZone variant – the F-Cell – gets a hydrogen fuel cell. Mercedes claims that the F-Cell will emit no emissions whatsoever and kick out around 134bhp and 320NM of torque – roughly the equivalent of a modern turbodiesel powerplant.
But it’s not all about showcasing the latest eco-friendly powertrains. The exterior of the BlueZone is a big hint to what the next generation of B-Class will look like when it arrives in 2010. The flat nose, swooping and sculpted sides and peculiar headlamps could all make their way onto the new B-Class when it arrives in showrooms, and you can bet that there will be at least one alternatively-fuelled B-Class on sale in 2009. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 12 Desember 2008

Hot News: Senate Reject US Bailout for Car Makers

The US Senate failed to vote through a $14 billion bailout proposal for GM and Chrysler last night in a move that could sink both firms.
Republican opposition to the House of Representatives bill had been mounting in the Senate, and the package was eventually thrown out by a 52-35 vote.
"We have worked and worked and we can spend all night tonight, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, and we're not going to get to the finish line," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "That's just the way it is. There's too much difference between the two sides."
Before the vote, it emerged that General Motors had already hired a team of lawyers and bankers to work out whether the car maker would be better served applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
This morning shares in London plummeted 180 points on the back of the US deal collapsing.
If GM and Chrysler do go bankrupt, the knock-on consequences for Ford will be extremely disruptive. Its key tier one suppliers are likely to go out of business.
Asian car companies - including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, whose shares have all taken a battering as a result of this – are concerned that, if GM and Chrysler collapse, the market could be flooded with cheap cars.
A glimmer of hope for GM and Chrysler comes from the White House.
In an effort to urge sceptical congressmen to pass the bill, Bush administration officials briefed that if Congress didn’t act, the White House may have to step in order to save jobs.
Bush could siphon funds from the Troubled Asset Relief program, and this loan could be offered to the car makers with much fewer restrictions than the Congress package.
Private conversations are understood to be continuing behind the scenes.

Kamis, 11 Desember 2008

New Car: 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6

True truck owners, those who need to buy pickups for towing and hauling, need the practicality of a truck, but like everyone else, would like to use less fuel. Unlike the commuters who haul air in their trucks, true truck users don't have the option of swapping their pickups for economy cars.
The obvious solution has been for manufacturers to start putting diesel engines into their light-duty pickup trucks, but the large price difference between regular unleaded and diesel, often about a dollar per gallon, has caused a rethink of that plan. Ford says it has put off (at least for a couple years) its previously announced plan to offer a diesel in the F-150 in 2010.
Instead, the company is developing a V-6 EcoBoost engine for the F-150 which employs turbocharging and direct-injection -- a design that Ford says will deliver similar power to a V-8 engine -- all while using less gas.
Such engines are cheaper to build than diesels -- less than $1000 more costly than a conventional V-8 in comparison to the $4000 or $5000 price tag of a diesel engine, according to Ford. That thousand bucks buys you more power, expected to top the targets of 340 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque from the 3.5-liter turbo V-6, compared with the 320 and 390 for today's 5.4-liter Triton V-8.

It will also return 15-20 percent better mileage, Ford engineers predict. That extrapolates to 16 mpg city/23 highway for the EcoBoost engine, compared with 13 and 18 for the V-8 today.
Towing and other hard work won't tax the EcoBoost engine, even though conventional wisdom would suggest that a smaller-displacement engine would have to work harder and that a turbocharged engine could be stressed by heavy loads. The direct injection of gasoline has the effect of cooling the combustion chamber, as the fuel absorbs heat when it evaporates. According to an engineer who is developing the EcoBoost F-150, "cooling has not been an issue."
One challenge will be the sound characteristics of a turbo six-cylinder, which will be different from the familiar mellow rumble of a V-8. The company is looking at solutions, including a simplified active sound-cancellation system that will mold the sound waves that emerge from the exhaust pipe, but without a complex closed-loop system using microphones to monitor and adapt to the sounds being produced. The system would instead use a simple data map to know what it should do under different circumstances.
EcoBoost-powered F-150s will arrive in showrooms in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

Selasa, 09 Desember 2008

New Car: 2010 Ford Focus RS

The fastest Ford hot hatch ever is finally here!
Following a scene-stealing debut at the British Motor Show in the summer, the 160mph-plus Focus RS has arrived in showroom-ready form at last – and Auto Express has the latest details and all the official pictures. Painted Performance Blue, the car evokes memories of the 1992 Escort RS Cosworth and original Focus RS MkI.
But the new model takes hot hatch performance to another level, with a limited-slip diff, unique suspension and a potent 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine which will power it from 0-60mph in less than six seconds.
And although prices have yet to be confirmed, it will cost less than £25,000. Already 1,500 people have put down an order for the newcomer, and they will be relieved to see that the RS's agressive look remains faithful to the stunning concept.
Up front, there’s a gloss black grille, plus circular spotlights and bonnet air intakes, while the rear gets a spoiler inspired by Ford’s world rally contender and a diffuser with twin exhaust pipes.Completing the look are 19-inch multispoke alloys wrapped in low-profile tyres. Inside, the RS boasts Recaro seats with body-coloured detailing, carbon fibre trim on the centre console and a brushed aluminium gearlever.
Under the bonnet lies a 296bhp version of the five-cylinder unit from the Focus ST. It rockets the RS from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and on to a theoretical top speed in excess of 160mph, although production models will be electronically limited to 155mph.
Transmitting the power to the road is an Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential, which was developed by British engineering specialist Quaife. It works in conjunction with Ford’s new RevoKnuckle suspension – a modified MacPherson strut set-up with special geometry – to maximise traction and limit torque steer. Uprated stability control, a wider track, lowered ride height and bigger brakes complete the package.
Expect luxurious standard kit, while exterior colours include the Performance Blue seen here, Frozen White and Ultimate Green, the shade of the British Motor Show car. Customer deliveries of the Focus RS begin in March. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Mercedes E-Class

Can you keep a secret? Apparently someone at Mercedes-Benz can't. After being spied multiple times in various forms, the first official photos of the upcoming 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan have leaked online ahead of the luxury car's scheduled debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. Taking several cues from the automaker's ConceptFACSINATION design study that debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the new E-Class will also reportedly form the basis for a new coupe version to replace the CLK, as well as a convertible variant.
The production 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class seems to have retained several of the features that made the ConceptFASCINATION memorable, including the stout, angular nose and four sharp LED headlights that replace the rounded units on the present-generation E-Class. The rear wheel arches feature swept-up, gentle fender flares and new LED light-bar-style turn signals are found in the front valance vents in a fashion similar to current Porsches.
Engine options should remain the roughly the same (at least initially) as those of the present E-Class, meaning a 3.5L V-6, 5.5L V-8, and 6.2 V-8 (E63 AMG). Later, expect a Bluetec diesel option (including possible diesel AMG models) and even a hybrid variant. Mercedes' recently unveiled myCOMAND infotainment system should also be featured prominently in the new car.

Spied: 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Feast your eyes on one of the hottest Porsche 911 models ever! Following on from the latest facelift that has graced the 911 Carrera, Cabriolet, Targa and Turbo versions, our spies have snapped the updated 911 GT3 RS. Caught testing in the French mountains with the current model, the new GT3 RS is likely to reach showrooms next year. Power will come from the same 415bhp 3.6-litre flat six-cylinder engine as the outgoing car, which will allow it to hit 193mph and accelerate from 0-60mph in around four seconds.will keep the "GT3 RS" side sticker and the special coloured wheels, the decorative stripe, contrast-painted outside mirrors, rear wing endplates, and roll cage. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a high-performance sports car built by Porsche since 2003. It is often confused with the non-roadlegal racecar Porsche 911 GT3-RS of 2001 and later, which was based on the Porsche 911 GT3-R of 2000. The RS (Rennsport, or "Motorsport") is mainly a carryover of the Porsche 911 GT3, albeit it is lighter thanks to a polycarbonate rear window, carbon fibre hood and rear wing. Porsche ceramic composite brakes, which are also more heat and fade resistant than the iron units fitted as standard, are optional. Mechanically the two cars are identical, and share the same horsepower and 3.6 litre flat-six engine. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: 2011 Dodge EV

When Chrysler introduced the world to a trio of electric vehicle concepts at a hastily assembled press conference back in September, we were surprised. Chrysler claimed that it had chosen not to make a big noise about its alternative powertrain development, distancing its plan from the approach GM is taking with its many (and continued) progress updates on the Chevrolet Volt. Up until that point, it seemed the Pentastar was content to let the world believe that the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen two-mode hybrids—on sale just this summer and already slated to be killed off by January—were its only solutions. The three EVs proved otherwise.
Two of the concepts were extended-range EVs based on a minivan and a Jeep Wrangler—two of Chrysler's few competitive products—while the third was a fully electric affair created using a Lotus Europa 2+2 coupe. The word back in September was that one of the three cars would go into production by 2010, and it was easy for us to believe that we’d never see the Dodge EV on the road again. Not so, apparently, as these spy shots provide the second surprise from the Lotus-based car.
Testing appears to be ongoing, with these grainy photos showing reworked front and rear fascias that likely accept Dodge-specific lights. (In the rush to show the vehicle to the press this fall, Chrysler rolled out what was basically a Lotus with Dodge emblems, including one glued over the badge on the steering wheel.) The most obvious change is on the face where Dodge’s signature cross-hair treatment fronts the lower grille, giving it a striking resemblance to the now-defunct Stratus coupe. We’ve created a rendering of what this vehicle might look like based on the spy photos. The new styling shows that Dodge is serious about its plans to bring this vehicle to market, even while it’s having trouble selling its mainstream wares.

Senin, 08 Desember 2008

New Car: 2010 Audi R8 V10

When it was released in 2007, the Audi R8 became an instant sensation. But seemingly before the car even turned a wheel the inevitable follow-up question was asked: when is the more-powerful variant coming? After all, Porsche is never content with just a base 911 and with comparisons aplenty between the Stuttgart legend and upstart rookie from Ingolstadt, it was obvious Audi would eventually up its R8 game.
But what engine route would it take? Early reports of a more powerful R8, dubbed the RS8 by some, spoke of it receiving a version of the beastly 575 hp twin-turbo V-10 from the RS6. Those literally went up in flames when a test mule overheated and burned to the ground late last year. The R8 V12 TDI that made its way around the auto show circuit earlier this year with its monstrous 500 hp, 738 lb-ft 5.5L diesel V-12 will for numerous reasons remain a concept - for now. Instead, Audi dug through ready supply of high-power engines to choose from and decided upon the naturally-aspirated 5.2L V-10 found in the S6 and S8, modified it for mid-engine duty, increased output to 525 hp at 8000 RPM and 391 lb-ft of torque at 6500 RPM, with redline coming at 8700 RPM. And at 569 lbs, the aluminum V-10 weighs just 68 lbs more than the V-8.

Like the V-8-powered R8, the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will come with either a traditional six-speed manual or R tronic six-speed sequential manual. Regardless of gearbox choice, Audi says the V-10 propels the R8 5.2 from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds -- about a half-second drop from the 4.4 second 0-60 claim for the R8 4.2 and squarely in the supercar pantheon. Audi also claims the R8 5.2 achieves an average fuel economy of 17.2 mpg, an impressive figure for a 525 hp supercar.
Other than the engine, the two R8s are nearly identical mechanically. Both have the same size same size wheels and tires (235/35ZR19 front, 295/30ZR19 rear) and brakes (15.0-in. front discs and 14.0-in. rears), though carbon-ceramic discs, with a combined weight that is 19.8 lbs lower than conventional discs, will be offered on the R8 5.2. There are some visual differences, however, the most notable being all-LED headlamps, with LEDs serving duty as low beams, high beams, turn signals, and daytime running lights. Each headlamp will be equipped with 54 individual LEDs with a color temperature of 6000 degrees Kelvin, which is closer to the temperature of daylight than the light of halogen or xenon headlamps. Other cosmetic changes include a chrome grille, more pronounced side blades, wider side sills, twin single-pipe exhausts, and a matte aluminum finish for the grilles on the side of the rear window.

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will make its world bow at next month's 2009 Detroit auto show and when the R8 5.2 is rolled out in Germany in the second quarter of 2009, it will come with a sticker price of 142,400 Euros, or $181,645 at current exchange rates. Though there is no official word yet on the timing of a U.S. release, it's likely the R8 5.2 will come stateside sometime late next year with a hefty premium over the base R8, which presently lists for just under $116,000.

American Muscle Contest!!!

Hey I just sign in to my e-mail and get an e-mail from Brian Cox from American Muscle. He gave some announcement. Read this: has always been known for running its crazy contests on both its BLOG and also on the forums it sponsors! Their latest "All I Want For Christmas Wish List Contest" on required forum members to post up two wish lists, one list of what their Mustang wanted for Christmas, and one wish list of what they wanted personally for Christmas, for a chance to win one of three $100 AmericanMuscle Gift Certificates! Pretty sweet, but that is not where the real story is.Here is where the story gets really good! At the end of the contest, American Muscle's Forum Representative AMNick picked out nearly 20 items worth over $2000 from people's personal wish lists, including a Digital Camera, Bowling Ball, a 204 Piece Craftsman Tool Kit, a Nintendo Wii, toys for a member's 3 year old daughter, and even some retro 80's tube socks, and actually sent them the items on their lists, all on the company dime!When asked if he was afraid of getting fired for what seemed like an incredible act of lunacy, AMNick responded, "Absolutely not! I had the full support of American Muscle behind me on this one! The thing about American Muscle is we can fully relate to our customers because we are real Mustang people too. With the currently devastated economy, we just thought this would be a great way to help out our fellow Mustang enthusiasts in these financially difficult times."Needless to say there were some very surprised, and very happy people on that day!The original contest threads and BLOG postings are available at:

  1. Link 1

  2. Link 2

  3. Link 3

Contact Nicholas Macura at American Muscle for follow up:Email: hone #: 610-240-5102

Thanks to: Brian Cox. And I'm so sorry because I was late to post it. ^_^

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