Selasa, 31 Maret 2009

New Car: 2010 Mercedes E63 AMG

Mercedes has taken the wraps off the new range-topping E-class: the E63 AMG.
Despite talk from within AMG about ending the horsepower war between German car makers, this new model has more power than the car it replaces — although at 11bhp, it’s a modest gain.
But thanks to a number of efficiency-enhancing measures, the 518bhp Mercedes E63 AMG drinks 12 per cent less fuel than its predecessor. It now returns 22.4mpg.
The 6208cc V8 produces the same power and 465lb ft of torque as the SL63’s unit. Performance is practically the same as the old E63, but still impressive, with a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec and a top speed limited to 155mph.
The new car gains the SL63’s Speedshift MCT seven-speed ’box with a wet start-up clutch. The unit is lighter and more efficient than the old torque converter, as well as giving better response.
The transmission has four driving modes: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. In Manual the system will switch cogs in 100 milliseconds, while in Controlled Efficiency there are early upshifts to keep revs low and optimise efficiency.
To improve handling, the E63 AMG has been fitted with a newly developed front axle with more negative camber, a 56mm wider track, new control arms, a tubular stabiliser and revised wheel bearings. The rear axle also has extra negative camber and a new subframe mounting for greater stability on the limit.
New front spring struts improve responsiveness, while the rear air struts have automatic level control to keep the rear at the same height irrespective of the load.
Mercedes claims that its ‘AMG Ride Control’ system, which automatically varies the damping characteristics, ensures that the car is equally at home on a race track or the autobahn.
Visually, the car gains 18in AMG alloys with 255/40 front and 285/35 rear tyres, while 19-inch items feature on the options list. The front wings are 17mm wider than a regular E-class’s and feature ‘6.3 AMG’ lettering.
The car also gets LED daytime running lights and a more aggressive front spoiler, while a rear diffuser and quad tailpipes feature at the back.
The E63 will be on sale in September, although UK prices and specs are yet to be confirmed.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2011 Volkswagen Golf R20

The MkVI Golf GTI has only just hit the road, but already its crown is under threat! These are the best pictures yet of an even hotter variant, likely to be badged the Golf R20. We broke the story here in February, and these photos help to confirm the car’s existence. Gone is the V6 engine from the last-generation R32, instead a tweaked version of VW’s 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, also used in the Audi S3, producing in the region of 270bhp will be used. And with a similar kerbweight to the less powerful GTI, plus four-wheel drive to help traction off the line, 0-60mph should take little more than five seconds.Expect similar styling cues to the GTI, but with a deeper and more aggressive bodykit and chunkier wheels. As this test mule, disguised with a 2.0 TDI badge, demonstrates, trademark centrally mounted twin exhausts will also distinguish the ‘R’ car from the GTI.If rumours are to be believed the finished article will make its debut at the Nurburgring 24hr race in May – hosted on the same track that these photos were taken.Prices should start from around £25,00 for the three-door when the R20 goes on sale early next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Audi RS5

Meet the performance coupe that’s got BMW’s M3 worried. These are the best shots yet of Audi’s upcoming RS5 flagship, which we’ve spied testing at high speed on the Nurburgring circuit in Germany. Powered by a 450bhp 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8, it’s more powerful than the 414bhp 4.0-litre V8-engined M3 and boasts a Quattro four-wheel drive system too, available with a choice of both six-speed manual and seven-speed twin-clutch gearboxes. Performance will be epic with 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. The RS5 will be a match for the M3 in the corners too with stiffened and lowered suspension, a wider track and stickier rubber. In addition to four-wheel drive, it will also boast Audi’s new active rear differential – as used by the latest S4 – which helps distribute torque to different wheels, aiding agility and traction. Expect to the see the new RS5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with UK sales starting before the end of the year. A price tag of £48,000 is mooted. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia OPC/VXR

Take a look at the best pictures yet of Vauxhall's hottest ever Insignia! This is the high performance VXR version, which goes on sale before the end of the year packing a 300bhp 2.8-litre V6 turbocharged engine. This prototype was caught testing just outside of the Nurburgring circuit in Germany where General Motors engineers have been putting the newcomer through its paces. With the gutsy engine driving all four wheels, straight line pace will be very strong – expect 0-60mph in six seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. Completing the dynamic changes are adaptive dampers hooked up to stiffened suspension and uprated brakes with wide, sticky tyres. And, as you can see, the VXR has got the show to match its go too, with a muscular bodykit, 19-inch alloy wheels and, of course, bright blue VXR paint. Inside, expect the range-topping model to be loaded with standard equipment including leather upholstery and satnav. In addition to the saloon shown here, there will be a Sports Tourer estate version too. Prices will start at around £25,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Infiniti's Plan for Next 3 Years Revealed

The Nissan GT-R may be stealing much of the industry limelight these days, but sister brand Infiniti is no wallflower itself. Recently, Infiniti's short-term plans have come to light that could gain the premium automaker a little more stage presence.
U.K.-based Autocar has gotten word of Infiniti's plans for the next three years and they have revealed plans for new powertrains and new models to wage war against competing luxury brands from Japan, Europe and the U.S.Infiniti's most immediate plans call for a new M-series midsize model to debut next year at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show carrying Infiniti's 3.7L V-6. The car will also be engineered to accept the company's upcoming 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel, which will make its debut in the EX and FX SUVs before it climbs under the hood of the new M. A gasoline-electric hybrid is also planned, but there is no V-8 option. The hybrid has not been confirmed for Europe, nor have the diesels been confirmed for the U.S.After Nissan announced it would switch production at its Mississippi plant to its new light commercial vehicle line, we worried that the Infiniti QX56 was a goner. That doesn't appear to be the case, though, as Infiniti's plans call for a new model in 2011. Plans also suggest that a smaller, sportier seven-seat vehicle is in the pipeline and could hit the road by 2015 if it's approved.In 2006, Infiniti's Q45 luxury sedan quietly retired, taking the flagship Q-line with it. Future plans see it revived, though, with a new model debuting in 2012. That year will also reportedly see the debut of the next G-model, which could carry the aforementioned 3.0L diesel V-6. The diesel will not find its way into the G-series before then and may not come to the U.S.Beyond 2012, Infiniti's plans get a bit more vague. At the moment, they call for a compact battery-powered electric car, but little is known about the model. For now, it appears to be more of an idea than an actual product plan, but more information will inevitably come to light in the future.

New Concept Car: Kia KND-5

According to, the Kia has lifted the curtain on the latest concept car coming out of Seoul called the KND-5 just ahead of the city's anticipated motor show. A few shots of the model's highly camo'd preproduction variant -- codenamed VG sedan -- have been around for a bit (check out our shots HERE), but no other images have given us such a clear indication of what to expect on the upcoming production sedan.

Few details are known as of yet, but the KND-5 show car rolls on 20-in. wheels and sports advanced LED head and taillight clusters. The exterior mirrors too feature the advance lighting. Inside, passengers are coddled in a luxury cabin never really before seen from the likes of Kia. Adding more exclusivity is a panorama roof. No word on if any of these features will make it into the VG production plans.
Highly likely to be powering the sedan is a 3.5L Lambda series V-6 powerplant. It's expected to share its front-wheel drive platform with the next generation Azera and serve as the replacement to the long-in-tooth Amanti. An all-wheel drive edition is rumored to be included in the range, with Haldex supplying the drive system. reports the KND-5's dimensions as being 195-in. long, 73-in. wide, 58-in. high and with a wheelbase of 112-in. In essence, its about the same size as the current Amanti.Expect more info and images of the KND-5 next week as it makes its debut. Production VG models are said to debut in September -- possibly at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

New Car: 2010 Subaru Legacy

Subaru has a new strategy: going mainstream. Company officials are convinced that if its vehicles are competitive on price, size, and fuel economy (i.e. if there’s no penalty for the extra weight and friction of Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive), customers will cross-shop Subarus against big guns Honda and Toyota. The recently redesigned Forester is a perfect example. It’s slightly larger and significantly taller than the previous model with a much more spacious back seat, and the latest Forester now has a distinct SUV-like look and competes directly with big sellers in its category such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 The payoff? Sales of the new model have nearly doubled despite a nationwide collapse of car buying.
The next model that gets a mainstream overhaul is the fifth-generation 2010 Legacy sedan, which debuts at the New York auto show and goes on sale in August. Looks wise, the Legacy isn’t all that different; the new front end is slightly more aggressive with Infiniti G37–like headlights that extend further up the hood. More pronounced fender flares are meant to hint at the Legacy’s all-wheel drive, while the rear end is much flatter than before.
But the biggest changes are inside, including a redesigned interior that looks like an edgier version of the layout in the Tribeca. The look is upscale, although many of the materials are hard plastics, which is par for the segment. Overall length is increased by 1.4 inches and curb weight is up just 50 pounds, while the wheelbase has been extended by 3.2 inches creating a vastly larger interior. Front-seat space is up by four cubic feet to 56, and the back seat, at 46 cubic feet, is 21 percent larger with a gain of 3.9 inches of legroom. We sampled the Legacy’s back seat—a weak point on the previous car—and impressively, six-foot, five-inch males will now fit comfortably, even sitting behind themselves, putting the Legacy squarely in Honda Accord territory. A revised multilink rear suspension—now similar to the rest of Subaru’s lineup—helps to free up four cubic feet of additional trunk space, and Subaru says it will now hold four full-size golf bags. For more details click here.

Minggu, 29 Maret 2009

Hot News: No Star for Brilliance

The Brilliance BS4, a Chinese saloon, has been given a zero-star rating in a recent crash test.
ADAC, Germany’s largest automobile club, tested the car under the new EuroNCAP’s stricter rules, which require a car to have electronic stability control (ESC) to gain five stars and take into account the presence of a speed limiter on the car.
Under the old rules it is reported that the car would have received three stars for adult protection, but under the new system it failed to gain even one.
Some of the criticisms from the test were that the driver’s airbag was incorrectly placed, that sharp metal parts were not covered or padded, and that the clutch and brake pedals could damage the driver’s feet.
The ADAC said the car was not on a par with those produced by European manufacturers and insisted that the safety cell be improved.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: MG Confirms Two New Models

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) has confirmed it will release two new MG models in the UK based on its Roewe 550 platform.
Both models will be based on a cut down version of the Rover 75 platform.
An MG spokesman confirmed that a four-door saloon and fiver-door hatchback were being developed, but declined to name a launch date.
The five-door hatchback will be badged as an MG6 and will be powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, available with automatic and manual gearboxes..
Both cars will first be sold by SAIC in China, with UK and Ireland set to follow. The spokesman said that both models may also be sold in other European markets.
MG currently has one model on sale in the UK, the TF. The company revealed that 129 TFs were sold last year.
Thanks to: Autocar

Sabtu, 28 Maret 2009

New Car: 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTD

Say helllo to the Volkswagen Golf GTD - the first high-performance diesel version of the all new MkVI hatch.
Aiming to earn a reputation as the GTI of diesels – and this car's unveiling follows closely behind the launch of the brand-new petrol-powered GTI, which we got behind the wheel of here.
Power is delivered from VW’s familiar 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit - but here it’s tweaked to produce 168bhp and a substantial 350Nm of torque. Not headline figures by any means, compared to the GTI’s 207bhp and 280Nm, but when you consider peak torque is available between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm the in-gear acceleration should feel just as fast.
And that’s reflected in the performance figures. The 0-62mph dash is dispatched in just 8.1 seconds – less than a second behind the GTI - while the top speed is 138mph. Power is transmitted to the front wheels through VW’s optional six-speed DSG gearbox - a six-speed manual is standard kit.
But this car’s fuel-sipping nature is the real talking point. Claimed fuel economy on the combined cycle is a heady 44.4mpg - a significant difference when compared to the GTI’s more thirsty 31mpg. CO2 emissions are just as impressive at 139g/km, putting it in the £120-a-year tax band C.
VW is also looking to lay the myth that diesel engines can't offer a sporty soundtrack to rest with the GTD. Engineers have fine tuned the car’s acoustics using an innovative solution.
An electromagnetic sound generator evaluates engine speed, throttle input and vehicle speed and helps to filter a pleasing engine note into the cabin, especially at lower engine speeds. A noise damping film on the windshield also helps to reduce wind and road noise – improving refinement.
The car will go into production next month and should go on sale in the UK by the end of June - prices are yet to be announced. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Ferrari F450

Some manufacturers play spy shooters like fiddles (Chevy comes to mind, with its Camaro striptease). But Ferraris are tough to find, even for the best. But we’ll take what we can get when it comes to prancing horses, so thank you, Brenda, for nabbing this prototype of the upcoming Ferrari F430 replacement (likely dubbed F450, but F500 could be a possibility), even if it’s missing a few pieces.
Seen here as a coupe, this newest Ferrari looks promising, with sleek, windswept bodysides and a Lotus Evora–like tapering greenhouse, imparting a look that resembles the back half of an Enzo merged with the front of an F430, only with more elegance than both. What we can’t see are the fascias, which we hope will be more attractive than those of the new, bubble-butted Ferrari California and with more sensuous curvature than even the F430. The rear lights shoot off the deck even higher than before, and the vertical headlamps are longer and sexier than ever. In any case, it is pretty clear that Ferrari’s newest bread-butterer will take on a very exotic, more low-slung posture than even the F430, making us salivate at the prospect of tossing it around a track.
As for what is under the (likely Plexiglas-covered) rear deck? We don’t know the details, but it will almost assuredly be a slightly enlarged V-8, displacing perhaps 4.5 liters and making well over 500 horsepower. The engine will definitely be direct-injected, and a small turbo is a possibility, but a force-fed version of this V-8 will in all likelihood be reserved for the Millechili supercar. With Ferrari promising greater efficiency from its future models, some green technology is likely. Whether it takes the form of bio-fuel compatibility or something like a roadgoing version of the F1-developed KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology, we’re not sure.
Look for the Italian stallion to make its formal debut this fall at the Frankfurt auto show. A Spider convertible variant should make its debut a few months afterwards. And when Brenda—or anyone else—catches that, you can bet we’ll bring it to you.

Jumat, 27 Maret 2009

New Car: 2011 Tesla Model S

Tesla revealed its new Model S prototype at the independent firm's design studio in Hawthorne, California, yesterday. The second model in the company's two-strong range, the Model S is the first vehicle designed by Franz von Holzhausen since he left Mazda to become Design Director at Tesla last year.
The sleek, four-door coupe features the new face of the electric automaker and a DLO shape similar to that of the Rapide concept unveiled by Aston Martin in 2006. It also features a panoramic glass roof, split into two sections, that blends into the steeply raked backlight. The rear, meanwhile, comprises elements that are reminiscent of Jaguar's XF sedan. It's an elegant and refined design.
The high-tech interior, which will accomodate five adults and two children if fitted with optional rear-facing seats, features vegetable-tanned Italian leather and recycled carpeting made from PET plastics. A large 17-inch touch screen interface controls the HVAC, navigation and entertainment functions. Tesla expects to start production the Model S in late 2011.

Rabu, 25 Maret 2009

Hot News: Jaguar XF Estate

The XF is going XL! Jaguar is poised to expand its range with an estate version of the award-winning XF saloon at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.There’s been no shortage of new metal from the Coventry-based firm of late, with hot R versions of both the XF and XK breaking cover, as well as the new high-performance XF Diesel S. And the family is set to grow further when the wagon joins the fray. Auto Express has learned that the car at Frankfurt will be a thinly disguised production model, albeit referred to as a concept. And if the reaction from the public is sufficiently positive, it could arrive in dealers here next spring.Whispers of an estate variant have been circulating since very early in the XF’s development. It was always the plan for a more family oriented version to be the first new bodystyle spawned from the XF’s platform.With the saloon proving a sales hit, as well as winning numerous awards – including Auto Express’s Car of the Year title – the British maker has clearly decided that the time is right to expand the XF range.Engine choices are likely to mirror those offered on the saloon. That means the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel will be available in two guises: the S, with 271bhp and 600Nm of torque, or a toned-down version delivering 238bhp and 500Nm. The more powerful car should complete the 0-60mph sprint in around six seconds. The real fireworks come in the petrol line-up, though. Customers will be able to pick from a 238bhp 3.0-litre V6 or the all-new 5.0 V8. The latter delivers 397bhp in naturally aspirated form or an incredible 503bhp when fitted with a supercharger in the XFR.This flagship takes Jaguar into uncharted waters. It will rival established class leaders such as the hugely powerful Audi RS6 Avant and BMW M5 Touring, as well as Mercedes’ imminent E63 AMG estate. The XFR wagon promises 0-60mph in under five seconds and a 155mph top speed – so it’s as fast as it is practical.Under the skin, besides a few suspension tweaks to compensate for different weight distribution, the estate will share the same wheelbase and mechanicals as the XF saloon. That should enable it to deliver a similarly strong combination of cruising ability and cornering agility.According to Jaguar, the four-door XF is selling extremely well. Dealers worldwide are shifting around nine per cent more than they did at the same time last year, bucking the trend for the market as a whole. So company bosses are clearly keen to capitalise on this showroom success.They are also said to be considering producing coupé and cabriolet versions of the XF, completing the range in style. Concept versions of these cars aren’t expected to appear until sales of the estate are well underway next year, however. Appearing alongside the XF estate in Frankfurt will be another major new Jag: the XJ concept. Chief designer Ian Callum has promised it will be the most radical interpretation of the luxury model ever. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

These scoop pictures show a virtually undisguised Cadillac CTS Coupe undergoing testing.
It closely resembles the CTS Coupe concept car that was unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, including the distinctive central twin exhaust.
Reports suggest that the coupe will have a touchpad access system rather than traditional door handles, as well as a reversing camera because of its restricted rear visibility.
Other design touches include Cadillac hallmarks such as the distinctive front grille and wheels. Only the front end appears to have been toned down from the concept car's, to fall in line with the CTS saloon’s look.
This car appears to be a base model, powered by a 300+bhp 3.6-litre V6.
The CTS Coupe has endured a troubled run to production, after having its launch (originally scheduled for last November’s LA motor show) put back as GM tried to tackle its cash crisis.
Predicted to be a low-volume seller, the Cadillac was pushed back to conserve cash reserves as GM put the finishing touches to crucial high-volume sellers such as the next Vauxhall/Opel Astra.
The CTS Coupe is now tentatively scheduled to go on sale in 2010.
Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Mercedes F-Cell

Even before being designated full-blown Mercedes-Benz trained professionals, students at the automaker's Sindelfingen plant have used their skills to develop an alternative powered vehicle called the F-Cell Roadster.

A team of 150 trainees from mechatronics, model-building, electronics, coating technology, manufacturing mechanics, product design, and interior appointments conceptualized, developed, and constructed the hydrogen fuel-cell powered show car. Their objective was to integrate alternative drive systems into their larger Mercedes-Benz training program.If you didn't already surmise, inspiration for the roadster comes from the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car. As such, it sports mammoth spoke wheels and a slight build, but incorporates contemporary materials and technologies like carbon fiber bucket seats, a fiberglass front end, drive-by-wire controls, and of course, a hydrogen-powered drivetrain. The young crew claims the F-Cell Roadster has a 217-mile range and can hit a top speed of 15 mph.

New Concept Car: Hyundai Blue-Will

This is the Hyundai Blue-Will, a plug-in hybrid concept revealed ahead of its debut at the Seoul motor show in Korea next week.
The Hyundai Blue-Will show car uses a non-turbocharged version of the 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine first seen in the Hyundai ix-onic concept at this year’s Geneva show. It's coupled to a 100kW electric motor and the power is fed through a CVT gearbox.
Electric power is stored in a lithium ion polymer battery back which features battery technology similar to that used in the new Korean-market Hyundai Elantra hybrid, a first for this type of energy storage in a mass-production vehicle.
The Blue-Will concept also uses bio-plastics derived from plant material for the engine cover and parts of the interior, while its headlamp bezels are made from recycled plastic. The sunroof is also a solar panel that helps to power the car’s ancillary electric systems.
A spokesman for Hyundai said, “All the technology behind the Blue-Will concept is viable and, even though there are no plans for a production version, it shows where we’re going with our hybrid technology.”

Hot News: Audi Getting Ready to Unleash RS3

Is the fastest A3 ever on the way? It seems likely, as Audi development boss Michael Dick has given a strong hint that the best-selling hatch could be in line to receive the legendary RS makeover.
Only weeks after the German manufacturer unveiled its flagship TT-RS at the Geneva Motor Show, it looks as though a performance flagship version of the smallest model in the line-up could be added.
It would be the first time the RS badge is offered on the compact hatchback A3 – at present, the range-topping variant is the S3, powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. To give it the step up in pace required, the RS3 would take power from the same 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbo unit as in the TT-RS. This delivers a staggering 340bhp and 450Nm of torque to all the tyres via the firm’s quattro 4WD transmission.
It would enable the Audi to complete the 0-62mph sprint in around five seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph – figures that would make it one of the fastest hot hatches on the road. But Dick hinted the RS3’s power may be limited so that it doesn’t tread on the toes of the TT-RS.
Dick has also said that the current S3 wouldn’t need to be altered drastically, with only minor changes to the handling and aerodynamics required to bring it in line with what buyers would expect from an RS.
So far, nothing has been confirmed officially. But if the RS3 does reach production, a price tag of around £35,000 is likely – and that would make it an expensive rival to the Ford Focus RS and BMW 135i. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Selasa, 24 Maret 2009

Sneak Peek: 2011 Mercedes E63 AMG

Mercedes has given a sneak preview of the new E63 AMG ahead of its expected unveiling at the New York motor show on April 10.
The picture shows standard hot AMG detailing, with an aggressive nose treatment and large five-spoke alloys covering uprated brakes.
The car is expected to be powered by a 518bhp 6.2-litre V8 and will cost 80,000 euros (£73,000) in Germany.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2011 Mazda 1

Here’s ‘1’ for the album! These exclusive spy shots are the first to show just how far Mazda’s plans to launch a new city car have come.Based on the Kiyora concept car first shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2008, the innovative machine is due to hit the road in 2011 - and this test mule is the makers first step along the path to its launch. Though based on a ‘2’ this test car has a short wheelbase, and a dummy bonnet. It also features differently shaped taillights and headlamps, and shorter rear doors. We also spotted a differently shaped and placed fuel filler cap and a different rear hatch. And that’s not all!Under the skin, there’s a 1.3-litre direct-injection petrol engine, with a Smart Idle Stop System (SISS) that automatically shuts down and restarts the engine as required. The unit is mated to a newly developed six-speed automatic transmission system which boasts similar fuel efficiency as a manual system. Putting these technologies together limits CO2 emissions to just 90g/km or less. Let’s hope that – at least – this innovative system will make it into the production Mazda 1. Judging from the thin camouflage found on this prototype, me reckon we’ll see the car’s official presentation at the Frankfurt Show in September this year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Minggu, 22 Maret 2009

New Car: 2010 Mazda CX-9

Along with showing a revised 2010 Mazda CX-7 crossover and new 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 at the New York auto show, the Japanese automaker also will be debuting an updated CX-9 crossover with a new front fascia, an improved interior, and what the company says are better driving dynamics.
Now, we’ve grown quite fond of our long-term CX-9 over the past year, with many a staffer praising how its practicality and design blend with a sure-footed composure on the road. While we don’t yet have all the details for the new 2010 model, improved safety systems, more options, and more driving enjoyment all are welcome additions. What’s more, the CX-9’s revised nose adopts the company’s flowing design language as seen on the 2009 Mazda 6 sedan, RX-8 coupe, and MX-5 Miata roadster. The flagship crossover also gets a new split-five-spoke wheel design to accompany its freshened, chrome-ringed mug. Stay tuned for more detailed updates as the New York show draws near.

Jumat, 20 Maret 2009 - I Can Draw Mustang Contest

Have Your Kids Draw Your Mustang and Win A Cervinis Lil C500!

So you think you can draw? Too bad! Cause this contest is for the kids! And for once we are talking about actual kids, and not just those of us that are kids at heart.
This month the contest will tempt to get the entire family involved. Not only will this contest require the elder Stang enthusiasts involvement, but it will also require the participation of some of our younger followers. And what better way to get your son(s), daughter(s), nephew(s), niece(s), grandkid(s), neighbors kid(s), to put their "artistic" skills to the test, then by drawing a picture of your Mustang.
You might ask yourself, how will I get these kids to help and why would they want to do such a thing? Because we are giving away a Cervinis Lil-C500 Mustang PowerWheels that's why!
To check out more information on the contest, check out the American Muscle Blog. Instructions for submitting your entry are also there.

Rabu, 18 Maret 2009

Hot News: 2012 Audi R2

Could this be the car that finally cements Audi’s reputation as the world’s greatest sports car manufacturer?Not content with shaking up the automotive order among the likes of the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage with its stunning R8, the company is now planning a new mid-engined model to take on the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes SLK.The high-performance two-seater cabriolet is codenamed R2, and is being developed with VW. Audi’s sister firm is also believed to be putting the finishing touches to a production version of the BlueSport concept car revealed at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show.The mid-engined R2 gets an all-new chassis and suspension derived from the MkV VW Golf. A four-wheel-drive variant is also a possibility, using a development of the Golf R32’s Haldex system. Plus, there are rumours that a hybrid – with electric power driving the front wheels – is planned, to help Audi reduce the CO2 emissions of its range.The engine line-up is certain to include a mix of 2.0-litre four cylinder and 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol units. A diesel is under consideration, but it’s unlikely to be offered from launch. All models will offer a choice between six-speed manual and seven-ratio R tronic semi-automatic gearboxes.Performance should be stunning, with power outputs ranging from 200bhp to a spectacular 380bhp. Top speed will be limited to 155mph, while the 0-60mph time is likely to drop below six seconds.The R2 continues to develop Audi’s successful design theme as the tail-lamps of the new car will be sculpted to mimic the Q of its famous Quattro badge, just as they are on the R8. A third rear brake light will sit above Audi’s badge, while the engine cover is to be kept free of aerodynamic extras. Instead, an underbody diffuser helps to improve the car’s stability at speed.Inside, the high-quality cabin is likely to share much of its equipment with the BlueSport. That means an enormous touchscreen cabin control set-up, as well as lightweight sports seats.In addition, a clever heating system inspired by the innovative ‘headscarf’ system offered in Mercedes’ SLK is integrated into the seatbacks.The R2 also gets dramatic gaping side vents, designed to feed cold air to the powerplant, providing clues to the car’s mid-engine layout. Expect the baby R8 to be launched in 2012, with a starting price of around £30,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Toyota MR2 Sets to Return as Prius Coupe?

The MR2 is making a comeback, Auto Express can reveal. Toyota is developing an exciting performance hybrid which would revive the much loved sports car and rival Honda’s upcoming CR-Z. It’s set to swap its predecessor’s roadster shape for that of a compact coupé. Under the skin will be a rear-wheel-drive chassis, a paddleshift gearbox and a specially developed version of the Prius’s hybrid powertrain. The new model will boast an amazing blend of performance, economy and low emissions, all wrapped up in a stunning body. It would be a fitting successor to the MR2, which ceased production in 2007. Speaking exclusively to Auto Express at the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota executive vice president Masatami Takimoto said: “We are aware of the fondness with which the MR2 is held in the UK and Europe, and are developing a small hybrid sports car. “We have set a tough price point (expected to be around £20,000), as it will be easier to sell if it is affordable. It has to be fun to drive, too, which means the hybrid set-up must be different to the Prius’s, with greater responsiveness.”These artist’s impressions give you an idea of how it will look. At the front it mixes cues from Toyota’s FT-HS sports car concept with a deep lower air intake, while the side has a kick up on the door towards the roof. At the rear are lights from the FT-HS and a neat diffuser-style lower bumper. The key challenge for Toyota will be developing a powertrain that’s sporty to drive. It will have to improve the rate at which the batteries charge and discharge, for razor-sharp responses. If the company gets it right, the car could do 0-60mph in seven seconds, yet return 60mpg and emit less than 100g/km of CO2. A new MR2 would be a desirable addition to the range, but Toyota is concentrating more on family hybrids at the moment, with 10 being launched over the next 12 months. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Selasa, 17 Maret 2009

New Concept Car: Ssangyong C200

Ssangyong is to show a near production-ready version of its upcoming C200 crossover at next month's Seoul motor show.
The C200 will be the first of a new generation of Ssangyong vehicles to use a monocoque body and is likely to form the basis for future models.
The Giugiaro designed C200 is similar in size to the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV, but Ssangyong hopes it will provide a more affordable alternative in the burgeoning crossover sector. Power for the show car comes from a 173bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A manual option is likely to be made available when the car is launched.
The company will also unveil a new diesel hybrid version of the Kyron at the show. Ssangyong claims recent tests show it is around 25 per cent more fuel efficient than similarly sized competitors.
Both cars will be on display at the Seoul motor show on 2 April.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Mini Spirit Returns

We’ve uncovered a bold plan by the British car maker to develop a new family of city cars, including a zero emission flagship powered by an advanced electric engine. Though exact details remain scarce, it’s believed that the ultra efficient model line up will also offer drivers fuel sipping petrol engines as MINI owner BMW seeks to build an army of green machines aimed at beating tough legislation on CO2 and other gas emissions due in 2012.Set to hit the road as early as 2011, it’s been confirmed to Auto Express that the top-secret machine is being developed alongside two new models from a joint venture between Fiat and BMW that’s tipped to mark the return of the famous BMW Isetta and Topolino nameplatesAimed at a fast growing family of soon to be launched rivals – including Volkswagen’s Up! and a new family of small electric cars from French maker Reanult, MINI is promising to return to its roots with a lightweight model the promises to be every bit as innovative as the 1959 original.It’s said to be no accident that MINI has chosen its 50th year to begin to develop such a ground breaking new model.With its engine in back, petrol models will offer four seats and easy to access four door cabin. Individual chairs for driver and passenger will ensure safety is first rate, while the car’s wheel at each corner stance promises to ensure the car feels secure and stable on the road. Plenty of effort is being poured in to ensuring that visibility is as good as it can possibly be with a large glass area set to ensure that the car is as easy as possible to drive on congested city roads.Also under consideration is lightweight, tough plastic bodywork, like that fitted to the Mercedes Smart, while the car’s chassis will mix aluminium and composite materials like carbon fibre to deliver enormous strength and light weight.Electric models could further improve the car’s interior space by locating the batteries in a thin sandwich under the car, and placing electric motors in all four wheels.Technology to propel this version of the machine is reportedly already well advanced, and has already been publicly trialled in a prototype MINI called the E. This machine, which uses a battery and engine set up similar to that developed by American sportscar firm Tesla is set to be made available in small numbers in both the USA and Germany.There’s no word on pricing for the newcomer, but given the advanced technology it’s expected to offer, it’s likely that flagship models will cost at least £20,000. A concept paving the way to full production is tipped to make an appearance at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Kia Amanti

After years of fighting for recognition, Kia has been on a roll over the past few months with several hit product introductions and appears poised to keep up the pace through 2009. Today, we've received a fresh batch of spy shots, this time of the Kia Amanti replacement.
Currently known only by its "VG" internal designation, our spy photographers tell us that the Amanti replacement you see here is both longer and wider than the current car. Word is that it will be a luxury sedan with a premium interior aimed at the Volkswagen Passat CC and other luxury and premium European sedans. The VG is reportedly built on Kia's new FWD platform that also underpins the Azera/Grandeur. Reports indicate that a prototype 3.5L V-6 mated to an automatic transmission is lurking under the heavily-camouflaged hood and that it may be paired to an all wheel-drive system. Rumor has it Haldex provided just such a system to Kia for study, and it may well have found its way into this prototype.
Not much can be seen under the camouflage, but the projector headlamps and LED taillights are easy to spot. The wide stance, tall hood line and low roofline give the VG an aggressive look, but much of that could be attributed to the disguise. The massive vent-shaped accoutrements on the hood obviously will not make it to production, so the finished car's look could be substantially different.The Amanti replacement is expected to debut in September, likely at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. It will follow the expected debut of the Sorento replacement at the Seoul Motor Show and the debuts of the Forte at Chicago in February and the Soul at Paris last year.

Spied: 2011 GMC Terrain

We will admit to a fair amount of skepticism concerning the necessity of the GMC Terrain seen here. One frequently cited culprit of GM’s past quality-control problems is badge engineering, or the practice of building different versions of the same vehicle for multiple brands. The premier example is the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and its multitude of badge-engineered clones, which even the internet does not afford us the space to list.
The practice seems to be slowly sneaking back into vogue. The full-size Chevrolet Traverse is the fourth vehicle to be built on the General’s excellent Lambda platform. Likewise, the GMC Terrain will be the fourth vehicle to be built on the TE small-SUV architecture, following the Saturn Vue, Chevrolet Equinox, and Cadillac SRX.
GM today is less blatant about its badge engineering, with differences in appearance extending beyond just grilles and headlamps to the point that each vehicle wears wholly unique sheetmetal over similar underpinnings. Still, four derivatives is a quantity we feel surpasses the threshold of discretion for badge engineering, and the Saab 9-4X—a vehicle whose future is uncertain at best—would bring the TE total to five, although the Caddy and Saab will be built on a heavily revised version of the platform.
While the Terrain’s mechanicals will be pilfered from GM’s other trucklets, from what is visible beneath the minimal camouflage in our spy shots, it appears that the styling is cribbed both from its Lambda big brother, the Acadia, and the Sierra pickup. The Sierra lends its large-mouth grille and squared-off headlights to the Terrain, while the Acadia donates its high roofline, reverse-canted C-pillar, and the slope of its backlight. Together, those elements should make the Terrain instantly recognizable as a GMC, which is more than can be said of the TrailBlazer family’s grille and badge differentiations.
Like its siblings, the Terrain will likely offer a selection of four- and six-cylinder powerplants, with the most likely choices coming from the Equinox: a direct-injected (DI) 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 182 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, and a DI 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 255 hp and 214 lb-ft. Power will travel through a six-speed automatic transmission to either the front or all four wheels.
If the handsome and cohesive design is any indicator, this could be GMC’s best small SUV ever. As buyers continue to migrate from full-size, body-on-frame barges into smaller vehicles offering the same sightlines and sense of security, well-executed compact SUVs will be a potentially huge profit center. And, with the future of Saturn, and therefore the Vue, in doubt, perhaps four TE-based SUVs isn’t too many after all.

Sneak Peek: AcuraSporty Crossover

This teaser image showed up in our electronic inbox this morning from Acura, accompanied only by the word “INTRIGUE” (emphasis and capitalization theirs). If it is what we think it is—namely a sporty crossover coupe in the style of BMW’s X6—intrigue is probably an appropriate word. Four more teasers surfaced courtesy of an Acurazine forum member who located the extra shots hidden on Acura’s own media site. Consider any intrigue heightened.
As we hypothesized when it was spied last fall, the vehicle will likely use MDX underpinnings and feature Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. Power could come from the biggest V-6 in Acura’s lineup, the 305-hp 3.7-liter found in the TL. The now-mythical, on-again/off-again Acura V-8 would likely make an appearance if it were to ever become reality.
From the overhead view, we can see four doors—the rearmost with hidden handles—and a hatchback roofline. Protruding headlights and taillights are complemented by bulging front fenders and chiseled rear shoulders. Oh, and the side mirrors have integrated turn signals. The rest of the shots confirm an overall shape very similar to that of the X6, right down to the shark-fin antenna. It will likely prove sexy, but just as space-inefficient.
Like the vehicle’s specifics, its true identity is still a mystery. While we would love to see a return of Acuras with actual names, it’s doubtful that this one will be called the Intrigue (mid-size Oldsmobile, anyone?) or anything else that might conjure an image or feeling. Our money is on a badge consisting of three letters, ending in X. Ho-hum.
Real information on Acura’s secret scheme will likely come at the New York auto show in April. Or maybe this is all just an early April Fools’ joke. We’ll know soon enough.

Sabtu, 14 Maret 2009

Hot News: 2014 Audi S4 and S5

The current Audi S5 coupe is gorgeous, fast, and luxurious, but at over 3800 pounds, it’s not dainty. And the upcoming 2010 S5 cabriolet will weigh about 4300 pounds—more than a lot of mid-size SUVs—so forgive us for thinking Audi product planners were being intentionally ironic when they spoke at the car’s launch about their green philosophy and success in downsizing. They conveniently neglected to mention weight and focused on their powertrain strategy: a far more efficient supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 replaces the naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 in the S5 cabriolet and S4 sedan for 2010, with the S5 coupe getting the new engine for 2011. These cars are claimed to achieve the same acceleration as the V-8 models while using 20 percent less fuel.
Still, any idiot knows you can only get so far with engine downsizing in a performance car that weighs more than two tons. So we sat down with Michael Dick, Audi's global head of product engineering, and asked him about how he squares the company’s stated smaller-is-better credo with the reality of its hefty cars. For more details click here.

New Car: 2010 Lamorghini Murcielago LP650-4 Roadster

Knowing that Lamborghini can squeeze an extra 29 hp from its 6.5-liter V-12 for the lightweight, limited-edition LP670-4 SuperVeloce, it’s not surprising that the Italian automaker can give its flagship Murciélago a milder upgrade to keep its customers hungry. The new LP650-4 roadster has been granted such a promotion, gaining nine additional horsepower for a total of 641. Torque output will remain the same, though, at 487 lb-ft.
Aside from the minor engine tweaking, the new model—limited to only 50 examples—is set apart from the lesser Murciélago LP640 roadster by a unique Grigio Telesto exterior design. The gray bodywork is accented by a special orange-painted lip spoiler and side-sills, along with similar bold touches to the brake calipers and badging.
Black Alcantara covers the driver’s portion of the dash, door panel, and center tunnel, while the co-pilot must make do with only fine-leather trimmings. Orange paddle shifters direct the e-gear six-speed automated manual transmission, with additional orange accents scattered about the black interior.
Lambo estimates this bull will charge to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and top out at 205 mph. But as we have clocked an equally weighty coupe hitting 60 mph in 3.2 seconds with nine fewer ponies, the LP650-4 roadster stands to at least match the time of its fixed-roof sibling. No word yet on pricing or on-sale date, but stay tuned for updates as more info rolls in.

Kamis, 12 Maret 2009

Hot News: 2012 Lotus Evora Convertible

The Evora is looking to put the wind up its rivals! Lotus has confirmed that the fixed roof version – already in production and scheduled to go on sale on May 2 – will be joined by a convertible in 2011.Similar to its less-luxurious mid-engined sibling the Elise, the Evora convertible is likely to feature a removable fabric panel that can be left at home when the weather allows. This does away with the need for expensive and a heavy electric folding mechanism, meaning it should be every bit as sharp to drive as the hard-top. The extruded and bonded Aluminium chassis will be stiffened too, to compensate for the absence of a roof and keep body flex to a minimum. Behind the occupant’s heads is the same Toyota-derived 3.5-litre V6, tuned to produce 276bhp. Performance will be scintillating with the 0-62mph sprint dispatched in around five seconds and a top speed of 160mph. But if that’s not enough to get your pulse racing don’t worry – rumours suggest that as well as the convertible variant, a more powerful supercharged version is under development too. And with close to 400bhp it should be able to keep pace with exotic offerings from Ferrari and Porsche.
Lotus has also fleshed out some of the pricing the imminent hard-top version. Prices will start from £47,500 which will buy you a 2+0 car without any rear seats fitted, and the two extra chairs and the price jumps to £49,875. To celebrate the car's launch, the first 200 cars in the UK will cost £58,460 but come with every conceivable extra. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Range Rover LRX

It’s three of a kind for Range Rover with news of a new baby - due to make its debut next year.
Based on the popular LRX concept first shown at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show, the new model is tipped to join Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models in showrooms in 2011.
No official name has been revealed, and at present, the car is reffered to simply as the Range Rover Compact.
Land Rover’s Managing Director, Phil Popham said, "It would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient Range Rover that we've ever built,"
"The compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies of the LRX Concept showed how Land Rover is planning to respond to the needs of a changing world.
“Despite the current economic challenges, we remain committed to investing for the future, to continue to deliver relevant vehicles for our customers, with the outstanding breadth of capability for which we are world-renowned."
The new models development is being backed by a £27 million government grant – money that will be drawn as needed by Land Rover as the project progresses. It’s been announced that the aid is being provided on the understanding that the car will be built at Land Rover’s factory at Halewood, Merseyside where Jaguar also builds cars.
Though the car’s technical specification is still being determined, it’s thought the newcomer is likely to share some parts with the current Freelander, and offer an engine range capable of delivering on the firm’s emissions promise of 150g co2/km.
A hybrid version is also thought to be under development, capable of returning less than 120g co2/km.
Costing more than the current Freelander line up, the car will offer a wide range choice, and offer customers personalisation programmes through a huge options list. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Opel Corsa SUV

It looks like the Corsa is rising to the occasion! These are the best spy shots yet of the Luton-based firm's new small 4x4, which we've snapped undergoing testing in the Arctic Circle.Based on the Corsa’s underpinnings, but with a jacked-up ride height and a four-wheel drive system, the new model will go into battle with the forthcoming MINI Crossman and Skoda's recently-unveiled Yeti in the emerging supermini SUV segment. And as you can see from the wheelbase on this Meriva-based prototype the new model will be roughly the same size as the supemini MPV.Entering a totally new market for Vauxhall, the Corsa SUV will be powered by a wide range of small capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel engines and just like the Yeti, will be available in both front-wheel drive and 4x4 form.Expect the styling to feature muscular wheelarches, to accommodate a widened track and traditional SUV cues such as roof rails and plastic protective bumpers for a more rugged appearance. Although that car will go on sale in early 2010, the Corsa SUV is still some way off – don't expect a worldwide debut until 2011 at the earliest. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Diesel Cooper Works on Way

The adventure never ends with MINI, and it’s about to take a surprise turn... Auto Express can exclusively reveal that the firm plans to introduce greater economy and efficiency to its JCW hot hatch by swapping its turbo petrol engine for a diesel!The famous British marque pulled the covers off its new JCW Convertible at the Geneva Motor Show, and once the hot Clubman joins the line-up in July, the petrol-powered performance range will be complete. However, the firm’s plans are only just beginning.The JCW diesel would use the Cooper D’s powerplant, but it will stay true to its performance car heritage. The 1.6-litre unit currently produces 110bhp and 240Nm, while a hot version would deliver more than 160bhp and significantly increased torque.During an interview with a senior engineer, we posed the question of whether diesel power would ever be an option for the JCW brand. He wouldn’t confirm the existence of an oil-burning variant, but commented that it would be a “good idea”. With the project still on the drawing board, buyers shouldn’t expect the new oil-burner to arrive this year. Meanwhile, MINI’s tuning arm is also preparing for the arrival of the firm’s new crossover SUV. Bosses remain tight-lipped about whether a JCW version of the compact 4x4 will be built, but it’s likely to appear soon after the model is launched next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Buick 'Cruze'

Our intrepid spy shooters are at it again, this time in Sweden where they've staked out this heavily camouflaged vehicle testing near a GM facility. It seems clear to us that the sedan is based on the Chevrolet Cruze, but a close look at the semi-covered, slatted grille has us thinking that this could be a prototype of a Buick version. If this vehicle is indeed a Cruze-based baby Buick built GM's Delta II architecture, it will likely be targeted at the Chinese market, where Buick is a top-selling brand.
Before it makes it way to our shores in 2010, the Chevrolet Cruze (check out our first drive of the European Cruze here) is slated to begin hitting showrooms in the UK and mainland Europe later this year and is being billed as a Ford Focus fighter. The Cruze is expected to undercut a comparably-equipped Focus by some 4000 pounds in England.
If this is indeed a Cruze-based Buick, it could be built at GM's plant in Russelsheim, Germany for world markets, while U.S.-spec versions could be built alongside the Cruze at the automaker's Lordstown, Ohio facility. It all adds up to potential GM badge engineering that's too strong to ignore. Dare we speculate that a Buick Cruze could see Voltec internals down the line as well?
An outside guess leaves the possibility of the prototype also being a Cruze-based Daewoo (after all, GM Daewoo is in the family). Possibly a new Tosca sedan?
What's your guess? Is this a Cruze-based baby Buick? And if so, give us your thoughts on its viability for the U.S. market. Could this be the car to help turn around Buick's image in the U.S.? Or is it too late for the struggling automaker on its home turf?

Rabu, 11 Maret 2009

Hot News: New Subaru Legacy for New York Motor Show

Subaru will unveil its next-generation Legacy at the New York motor show in April, according to sources in Japan.
Subaru gave us a good idea of how the new model will look when it unveiled the Legacy Concept, a silver 3.6-litre four-wheel-drive saloon, at the Detroit show in January. It then reappeared at the recent Geneva show.
New York will be the first time that the production version of the Legacy, its fifth generation, will be seen in public. It may be just another taster, however; Subaru is likely to wait until this summer before launching the full line-up – saloon, estate and Outback – in Japan.
Europe is likely to see the new Legacy at September’s Frankfurt show.
The next Legacy is a crucial car for struggling Subaru; it is the firm’s biggest bread-winner, with its highest margins, so its fortunes will play a key role in the manufacturer’s bid to survive the global recession.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Smart ForTwo Ready to Grow

The Smart ForTwo is growing – and here’s the picture to prove it! Auto Express has learned that Mercedes is planning to add a pair of rear doors and extra seats to its famous city car.
Doubling the Smart’s carrying capacity to four people, the new variant will give the range some added practicality, letting it compete with an upcoming raft of desirable small cars such as Audi’s A1 and BMW’s Isetta. No name has yet been give to the newcomer, but it’s likely to carry the ForTwo +2 tag, indicating that it’s very much an addition to the ForTwo line-up.
As you can see from this illustration, the new model is near identical to the two-seater, apart from a pair of neatly integrated small rear doors. These reverse-hinged units give access to two individual chairs in the back. Underneath the skin, the car features the same rear-wheel-drive layout as the regular ForTwo with the engine under the boot floor, but with a stretched wheelbase giving extra legroom.
It’s hoped that the new model will be much more of a success than Smart’s last four-seater, the ForFour. A joint venture with Mitsubishi, which also produced the Colt, the ForFour was not popular and canned after only two years.
The ForTwo+2 is still some way off from reaching showrooms, though. It’s not likely to go on sale until 2012 at the earliest – although when it does arrive, there will be a wide range of engines, all featuring start-stop, plus a fully electric model. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Mercedes S-Class Coupe

Last month we showed you the first photos of the AMG version of Mercedes-Benz' updated CL - the car that will be renamed S-Class Coupe to coincide with the refresh (not unlike the CLK's renaming as E-Class Coupe). Now, our intrepid spy shooters have caught up with the standard S-Class Coupe which appear to love playing in the snow just as much as its sportier brother.

The standard S-Class Coupe receives many of the same changes we've already seen, still remaining a subtle refresh of the current CL design. The headlamps are reshaped and the modified front bumper is given LED daytime driving lights. The grille is slightly reworked and more upright than its predecessor, while out back, full LED taillights have been added. The rear bumper also receives a once-over (though it's heavily camouflaged) and new exhaust pipes round out the external cosmetic changes.

Following Mercedes' current philosophy, it's safe to say that the S-Class Coupe will receive a few mechanical enhancements to boost power while lowering emissions and increasing economy. Along these lines, could we see an S-Coupe 400 BlueHybrid in the near future? Wait and see...

Selasa, 10 Maret 2009

New Car: 2010 Kia Sorento

This is the first official picture of the new Kia Sorento SUV, released ahead of the car's expected launch later this year.
The new Kia Sorento is longer and lower than the current model, with a greater emphasis placed on interior space and quality. It also adopts a monocoque design based on the same platform architecture as the Kia Soul, instead of the current model’s body-on-frame chassis.
Kia will also offer an entirely new engine when the Sorento goes on sale after its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. The new 2.2-litre 185bhp diesel engine will be joined by a lower-powered diesel option and a 2.4-litre petrol unit.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2012 Mercedes SLK

This is the next-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK spied testing in Germany far in advance of its debut in showrooms in 2012.
The new SLK will not be a radical departure from the current model; it remains a two-seat, rear-drive roadster with a two-piece folding hard-top. Mercedes has decided against adding two occasional seats in the rear (in the style of the Audi TT) to increase the car’s practicality.
Although this test car is very heavily disguised, it’s easy to see that the biggest change will be to the new SLK’s front end, where the current model’s triangular SLR-style nose will be replaced by a flatter grille more like the SL’s.
LED driving lamps set into the lower half of the front bumper are just visible behind the disguise.

Rumours of a diesel SLK persist. There has been no confirmation from Mercedes that it will build a diesel SLK, but with rivals such as Audi offering diesel in the TT, the Stuttgart firm will have considered it.
And it has the perfect engine for the car: the new 2.2-litre four-cylinder from the E-class and C250, which produces 202bhp and 368b ft of torque. It provides the C250 with a 0-62mph time of 7.0sec, which could be reduced to around 6.0sec in the lighter, smaller SLK.
Thanks to: Autocar

Senin, 09 Maret 2009

Spied: 2010 Jaguar XJ

Autocar’s spy photographers have snapped these pics of the new Jaguar XJ.
Jaguar’s radical new executive model is also now just weeks away from being unveiled, Autocar can reveal. The new car will be stripped of its extensive disguise some seven months or so before its scheduled on sale date at the beginning of 2010.
These latest spy shots of the car also show that the Jaguar XJ will have the option of a fully glazed roof. The clear roof and the car’s shallow side windows are reminiscent of the 1992 XJ220 supercar.
Although the new Jaguar XJ is based on the all-aluminium chassis of the current car, it has been completely rethought.
Jaguar design boss Ian Callum is aiming to finally reinvent the company flagship’s styling language some 41 years after the original XJ was launched.
Those who have seen the car describe it as “very long and very low” with a coupe-like roofline. It is also said to be more radical in appearance than the recently launched XF, while the interior will get more in the way of high-tech proximity switches and subtle night-time LED lighting.
Under the bonnet will be the two versions of Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel (269bhp and 233bhp) and two versions of the new V8 petrol engine, 377bhp in normally aspirated form and 500bhp in Supercharged R form.
Thanks to: Autocar

Sabtu, 07 Maret 2009

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: Rinspeed iChange Concept

Swiss Porsche tuner and prototype car builder Rinspeed has been concocting outlandish concepts at Geneva for some time now and the iChange is one of its most innovative yet. The three-passenger car does just as its name suggests: changes from a sleek one-person speedster into a three-person people mover at the press of a button.
As the efficiency of cars becomes their centerpiece, Rinspeed designed the shape-shifting concept to be energy conserving in all forms. It achieves its best fuel economy and least environmental impact while carrying only the driver. With two more on board, the energy consumption increases, but only for the time they are onboard and strapped in, Rinspeed is quick to point out. The iChange features an aerodynamic optimized exterior and is powered by a zero-emission 150 kW lithium ion charged motor.
At the heart and soul of the iChange is a lithium battery supply capable of being stacked in two different configurations depending on drive distance. The batteries allow for a 220 km/h (137 mph) top speed and can propel the 1050 kg (2310 lbs) concept to 62 mph in just above 4 sec., the coachbuilder claims. A six-speed transmission borrowed from Subaru sends the power to the forged 17-in. front and 18-in. rear wheels.
Take a tour of its exterior and the iChange's uniqueness truly makes its mark. Not only does it appear futuristic, but it actually features a slew of next-generation technologies poised to make it in the mass-produced automotive scene. Solar panels on its roof and flanks provide power to the climate control fans, while at the same time charge the essential battery packs.
No need for clumsy door handles here, the iChange's roof lifts to let in passengers looking for an eco-friendly ride. Keys are a thing of the past too, with everything in this concept controlled via the driver's Apple iPhone. Once inside, occupants will be treated to a Harmon Kardon GreenEdge infotainment experience that's been built to be just as clear, crisp and encompassing as standard audio systems, but of course, at a smaller cost to the environment. Its Intel processor uses less energy and its intelligent navigation directs drivers on a less impactful route. Wool and leather comfort all in this designer cabin space of the future.

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: Opel Ampera Concept

Built on the same Voltec platform as the Chevrolet Volt, the Ampera is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle that will travel up to 60 km (37 mi) on electricity from its battery pack before a gasoline engine kicks on to generate electricity to power the wheels. The battery pack will recharge from a standard 230-volt outlet and is expected to provide more than enough power to allow most European drivers to make their daily commute without the gasoline engine ever starting up. According to GM's research, 80% of German drivers travel less than 50 km per day.

Jumat, 06 Maret 2009

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: 2010 Mercedes E-Class Coupe

Rather than starting with a concept, Mercedes is blasting straight into the market with the production E-Class coupe which is set make its debut alongside the redesigned E-Class sedan. After its North American debut at the New York auto show in April, it will go on sale in the U.S. in June of this year.
Not a great deal of technical information on the new E-Class coupe or sedan has been made public yet, but one number Benz is making a big deal of when it comes to the coupe is 0.24, its coefficient of drag number that Stuttgart says makes it the most aerodynamically efficient series production vehicle in the world. There are significant styling differences inside and out between the two cars. This is most likely due to the fact that the coupe is not only a variation on the E-Class, but a replacement for the CLK-Class, which is being discontinued.
Starting in the front, the E-Class coupe will stand out with its own grille, featuring fewer, beefier horizontal bars. Gone is the tri-star Mercedes-Benz hood ornament, replaced with a massive tri-star logo in the center of the grille. Down below, the radiator opening in the lower fascia has been slightly revised and is narrower and helps the front end look a bit more aggressive.

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: Magna Steyr Mila Concept

Austrian parts supplier and automobile manufacturer Magna Steyr doesn't plan to sell its Mila EV as shown but intends to use the it as a sales piece for its technology expertise.
Magna, which produces the BMW X3 and European-market Chrysler 300C, designed the Mila with flexibility in mind. As a result, the chassis allows for multiple powertrains and drive configurations. In Geneva trim, a 67-hp electric motor powers the four-door hatchback to a range of just below 100 miles. Its lithium-ion battery recharges in just 2.5 hours.

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce

From the Jota editions and Diablo VTs of the 1980s and '90s, to the more recent Gallardo Superleggera, Automobili Lamborghini has a thing for one-upping itself. So when the revised LP 640 Murcielago bowed in 2007, many figured it was only a question of time before an even faster, more powerful variant emerged. That time has come. Behold the Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce -- arguably the meanest, rip-snortin' Italian Bull Sant'Agata has ever produced.
Being unleashed on the world at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the SuperVeloce (a nod to the brand's historic Sport Veloce or SV badge) is capable of some super velocity, with a claimed 212-mph top speed and 3.2-sec dashes to 62 mph.
If you hadn't already guessed, the 670 in the Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce's name stands for 670 horsepower. To the get those extra 30 ponies, Lamborghini started with a massage of its hand built 60-degree 6.5L V-12. The engine airflow system has been revised, and a thorough optimization of valve timing and travel length was performed. Controlling the synchronized operation of the motor's cylinder banks are a pair of processors keen on sensing when extra cooling and lubrication are needed. A lighter, more robust sounding exhaust system sharply announces each of the 670-hp exotic's six sequential e.gear shifts. As a no-cost option, owners can opt for a six-speed manual gearbox should they desire. Both transmissions utilize a lighter, dry single disc clutch meant for supreme performance when handling the 487 lb-ft of torque sent to all four-wheels.

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: Koenigsegg Quant Concept

The Quant is an all-new platform Koenigsegg says will expand its range beyond the CCX and CCXR. Rumor has it that the Quant is in fact a four-seater and if the company sticks to what it knows best, the car will likely be faster and more expensive than its German, Italian and British rivals.
Along with the Quant, Koenigsegg also announced a few changes for the CCX line. Most exciting is a new double-clutch gearbox that can handle up to 811 lb-ft of torque and deliver shifts in about 30 milliseconds. The new, paddle-shifted box is nearly a foot shorter than the current transmission for better weight balance and features a new electronic differential to improve performance and handling.
Also new for the CCX line is an all-in-one touchscreen infotainment system. The new system will control the navigation, stereo, iPod interface, climate controls and Bluetooth connectivity. Even better, it will also display engine power and torque, lap times and other performance metrics, similar to the system in the Nissan GT-R. The system will also allow the driver to change traction control, chassis and paddle-shift systems and will be easy to upgrade.

Geneva Show 2009 Highlights: Kia No. 3 Concept

The No. 3 concept is an MPV vehicle that Kia promises is "fun to drive." We'll have to take a spin before we can take their word.
The styling is interesting; the windshield extends to the back of the car, split only by a diagonal support bar. The nose displays the new "face of Kia," which includes the grille, headlights and badge. We can expect future Kias to have a similar front fascia.
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