Selasa, 30 Juni 2009

Your Favorite Car

Hi readers. As you know many cars that have released until July 2009. I just want to know what's your favorite car. I have some car lists and you can choose one or more. Just e-mail me to vote them ( I hope you can participate. I'll wait until 30th December 2009. Thanks before. And these are the cars:
  1. BMW Z4
  2. Buick LaCrosse
  3. Cadillac SRX
  4. Chevrolet Cruze
  5. Daihatsu Move Conte
  6. Daihatsu Luxio
  7. Ford Ka
  8. Ford Fusion
  9. Honda Insight
  10. Hyundai Genesis Coupe
  11. Hyundai i20
  12. Kia Forte
  13. Kia Soul
  14. Kia Sorento
  15. Lexus RX
  16. Lexus HS250
  17. Lincoln MKZ
  18. Lincoln MKT
  19. Mazda 3
  20. Mercedes E-Class
  21. Mercury Milan
  22. Mitsubishi Colt
  23. Nissan 370Z
  24. Nissan Cube
  25. Nissan Pixo
  26. Opel Insignia
  27. Peugeot 3008
  28. Porsche Panamera
  29. Proton Evora
  30. Renault Scenic
  31. SEAT Exeo
  32. Skoda Yeti
  33. Subaru Legacy
  34. Suzuki Alto
  35. Toyota Prius
  36. Toyota Verso
  37. Toyota Avensis
  38. Toyota Venza
  39. Volkswagen Golf
  40. Volkswagen Polo

Unofficial Picture: 2010 Saab 9-5

Three weeks ago, we caught what is arguably our best look yet of the new Saab 9-5 under a thin cover at Saab's headquarters. Now, the Saab fans who dug up those pictures have come across a pair of renderings purported to be highly accurate depictions of the upcoming 9-5 sedan and wagon.Last week, the fans over at Saabs United got their hands on these renderings from an inside source at Saab, only to take them off their website at Saab's request a few hours later, though not before they had spread across the internet. Saab's request lends a fair amount of credibility to the authenticity of the renderings, and from what we see here, we hope they're accurate. We'll find out for sure when the cars, along with the new 9-4x, make their debut, which is promised for later this year and expected at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
After waiting patiently for over 10 years for something more substantial than a minor cosmetic or mechanical update, the Saab 9-5 is finally getting a true redesign and a much-needed move to GM's new Epsilon II platform. Not much is known about the new 9-5's mechanicals, but it will likely share powertrains with its platform mates. That means it could borrow the 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder or 3.0L or 3.6L high-feature V-6 from the new Buick LaCrosse or possibly even the turbocharged 2.8L V-6 from the new Opel OPC. From either sibling it could also borrow an AWD powertrain like its little brother, the 9-3.What we can tell from these renderings, should they be accurate, is that the 9-5 will truly look like a Saab. To support that conclusion, we point you to the flat roof and long C-pillars, which follow a nearly flat, shallow slope that from this angle is highly reminiscent of hatchback Saabs of old, though this car would still appear to have a separate trunk rather than a hatch. Rumor has it, though, that this rendering may not be a completely accurate portrayal of the 9-5's roofline and C-pillars, but we won't know for sure until we see the real car. Up front, the big, long nose is a clear evolution of the current family nose and appears to incorporate Audi-like thin turn signals running in a small stripe above the fog lights. Small vents behind the wheels offer a new take on a classic design element, one a bit less jarring than the large vents often found on today's sports cars.
Though there doesn't yet appear to be a real Saab 900-esque hatch in the mix, the 9-5 will also be offered as a wagon for those desiring more cargo space. This ain't your daddy's Buick Roadmaster, though. It's far more similar to the new Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback with a steeply raked rear window and hatch. Where Saab separates itself from the herd is in the back window itself, which wraps around the C-pillars beyond the edges of the actual hatch. Combined with the reverse-wedge greenhouse, sharp, sculpted tail lights and twin chrome tail pipes, the 9-5 wagon looks more like a sports car than family hauler.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Senin, 29 Juni 2009

New Car: 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2

Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 pictures have leaked on to the web ahead of its official unveiling.
The pictures have been confirmed by company sources as genuine.
The car will mark a major departure for Lamborghini, as it will abandon four-wheel-drive in favour of rear-wheel-drive.
Naming convention means the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 will be powered by a 550hp (542bhp) V10, with the engine having been retuned to cope with rear-wheel-drive.
Unconfirmed details include a 0-62mph time of 3.9secs and that the car is 30kg lighter than its four-wheel-drive equivalent.
Reports also suggest just 250 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2s will be sold, with buyers getting a choice of eight different body colours. Prices are rumoured to be starting from around £135,000 - ten per cent less than the four-wheel drive car.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Porsche Rejects VW Offer

Porsche has turned down a financial rescue package offer from VW, according to reports in Germany.
VW has reportedly offered Porsche between three billion and four billion euro (£2.6 billion to £3.4 billion) in return for a 49.9 per cent stake in the ailing sports car manufacturer.
A Porsche spokesman said: “It is not a practical way for us to sell 49.9 per cent of Porsche AG to VW.”
Porsche has amassed a nine billion euro (£7.6 billion) debt trying to takeover VW before the financial crisis scuppered its plans. Porsche owns a 51 per cent stake in the firm and has an option of a further 25 per cent of VW shares.
This debt has led to VW reportedly putting pressure on Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and chairman Wolfgang Porsche to accept the terms of its offer to relieve Porsche’s financial burden.
Porsche had earlier claimed that VW had put pressure on it to accept a deal, something which it likened to blackmail.
Under the terms of VW’s offer, which Porsche would have to accept by the end of today or face having to pay back a 700 million euro (£600 million) to VW by September, Qatar would take Porsche’s options in VW, a move which would further integrate Porsche into VW’s operations.
Once all deals had been completed, VW would be 40 per cent owned by the Porsche and Piech families, 20 percent by Lower Saxony, 15 percent by Qatar, and a sovereign wealth fund would hold 5 percent.
VW has denied the German takeover reports, as well as Porsche’s claims.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2011 Mercedes E-Class Convertible

The E-Class is open for business! These are the best shots yet of Mercedes’ new drop-top, shown with the roof stowed for the first time. But that’s not all that’s intruiging about these exclusive snaps – a retractable wind deflector can be clearly seen at the top of the windscreen – a first for a car of this type.Similar to its main rival in the four-seater convertible class, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, a cloth roof has been favoured instead of a heavier and more expensive folding hard-top. Based on the E-Class Coupe, the convertible shares the same sharply-creased bodywork and dramatic rear wheel arch, while we can expect the engine line-up to include the choice of a four or six-cylinder diesel engine as well as three petrol units topped by the Audi S5 Cabriolet-rivalling E500.Our sources have revealed that the E-Class Convertible is set for a world debut at the Franfurt show in September and goes on sale in the UK shortly afterwards. Prices should start from around £35,000 - a premium of a few thousand pounds over the Coupe. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2009 Peugeot 207

One of Britain’s best-selling cars, the Peugeot 207, has been given a mid-life facelift.The hatchback, SW estate and CC folding hard-top get a fresh front end, with a softer look to the headlights, as well as LED tail-lamps on the hatch and CC. Brightening the cabin are new trims and detailing, plus more modern instruments, while standard kit now includes USB and Bluetooth connections and remote electric windows.Optimised aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tyres cut CO2 to as low as 99g/km in the base diesel. More details on specs and prices will be released at launch next month. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2010 Citroen C3

The all-new Citroen C3 is shaping up to be a glass act! These are the first official images of Citroen’s brand-new contender in the supermini class, and as with all Citroens nowadays style is at the top of the agenda. Taking pride of place on the outside is an optional ‘Zenith’ windscreen, which stretches dramatically over the driver’s head, offering a panoramic field of vision and creating an airy and light ambience in the cabin. A progressive tint on this huge slab of glass, provides occupants with optimum UV protection, too.Expensive-feeling materials and a dashboard shared with the more upmarket DS3 Concept take the interior to a new level in terms of perceived quality. Improved sound insulation and an integrated air freshener mean the new C3 is just as suited to tackling longer jounrneys as it is around town. From launch an entry-level HDi 90 version will be available emitting just 99g/km of CO2 - Citroen’s first sub-100g/km and therefore tax exempt road car. And from 2011 Citroen is going even further. Stop & Start technology will see a diesel version of the C3 emitting around 90g/km, while a next-generation three-cylinder petrol unit will be offered with less than 100g/km.Pricing is yet to be announced, but the newcomer is sheduled to arrive in the UK in early 2010 when it will go head to head with the talented Ford Fiesta. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Aston Martin Cygnet

From supercars to a supermini! These are the amazing pictures that will have car fans shaking their heads in disbelief. But it really is true...
Aston Martin is building a model that’s even smaller than a Ford Fiesta!
Based on the Toyota iQ, the Cygnet is the result of a joint venture with the Japanese giant. Details are scarce at the moment, but the tiniest Aston Martin ever is expected to share the same three-cylinder petrol engine as the iQ, along with its innovative three- plus-one seating arrangement.
It will also boast a Euro NCAP five-star crash safety rating. And with a low-emission, highly economical engine, the Cygnet will help Aston to meet increasingly stringent environmental targets too.As you can see, the firm has managed to distill all of the design cues from its supercar range into a package measuring only three metres long.
Inside, expect the same attention to detail as you’d get on the DBS, with a leather-clad cabin featuring the very best materials, along with an ECU (Emotion Control Unit) that plugs into the centre console, replacing a traditional key.
However, not just anyone will be able to buy a Cygnet. In order to snap up one of the must-have urban machines, you have to already own an Aston Martin, as the firm is only making them available to existing customers. The company has identified that around 30 per cent of owners have small cars such as the MINI or Smart ForTwo in their garages, using them for short journeys to and from city-based offices. Now Aston is giving them the chance to buy their very own ‘luxury commuter’.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin chief executive, explained more about the Cygnet: “Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this bold step to embark on this special project – made possible with the support of an organisation of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ. For more details click here
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Baby Range Rover Gets Green Light

The green oval has already taken steps to reduce its cars’ CO2 output and consumption with the stop-start Freelander. But it’s set to take an even bigger leap – by introducing a hybrid LRX. Land Rover will adapt the big cat’s hybrid system for use in the eagerly anticipated compact Range Rover. And, as in the Land-e concept displayed at 2006’s Geneva Motor Show, the LRX is also expected to feature a drive system that can run on electric only, petrol only or a combination of the two. In addition, it’s likely to get a development of the Land-e’s clever electric drive rear axle, which can send electric power to the front axle, alter inner and outer wheel torque and even disconnect itself from the central driveshaft, all in the search for traction. Working in tandem with the manufacturer’s Terrain Response system, it could even offer a super-efficient on-road electric mode. While a hybrid LRX is still at least two years away, stop-start and brake energy regeneration are set to be applied to all Land Rover models in the near future. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 26 Juni 2009

Hot News: Daihatsu Named Top Brand in German

No, really. Toyota's small-car subsidiary Daihatsu jumped from a sixth-place finish last year to take first place in this year's J.D. Power and Associates' New-Vehicle Owner Satisfaction survey in Germany. Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo tied for second.
Making Daihatsu's win even more impressive is the fact that the brand sold just 13,726 units in Germany last year, while heavyweights like BMW and Audi sold more than 250,000 units each. BMW finished third followed by Audi and Toyota tied in fifth. On the opposite end of the list, Chevrolet finished 26th and Smart finished dead last in 27th.
The owner satisfaction survey follows 113 models from 27 brands sold in Germany and scores the vehicles based on the owner's impressions of the vehicle's performance, quality, ownership costs, and satisfaction with servicing and service centers. Daihatsu scored exceptionally well in service satisfaction and ownership costs and came away with a total score of 843 points out of a possible 1,000.In individual categories, Daihatsu took home another win with the Sirion, which was named the top small car. Toyota took home both the top city car title with the Aygo and top lower-medium car with the Corolla, while Mercedes-Benz walked away with the top luxury car win for the E-Class and the best sports car title with the CLK-Class. The Renault Laguna picked up the award for best upper-medium car while the Skoda Roomster won best MPV and the Nissan Qashqai took best SUV.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2010 Kia C'eed

Kia has been making a splash in the U.S. lately with its new Soul, Forte, and Forte Koup, but that doesn't meant the Korean automaker is resting on its laurels elsewhere in the world. As evidence, we present these spy pictures capturing an updated Kia Cee'd running around Europe.Introduced in 2006, the Cee'd was coming due for a cosmetic update if nothing else, and Kia appears to be right on schedule with the redesign. Our spy photographers tell us that this Cee'd will go on sale late this year as a 2010 model following its debut in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Under the camouflage, we're told to expect new headlights and a new front bumper, as well as a reshaped hood. Indeed, looking close we see what appear to be larger air intakes in the lower fascia and much stronger creases on the hood. Out back, less work is expected, with new tail lights and possibly some minor body work on the rear bumper. Minor changes have also been made to the shape of the mirrors to add turn signal markers.For now, all we know for sure is that Kia has updated the Cee'd's exterior. Whether or not changes have been made on the inside or under the hood will have to wait until the cover comes off in Frankfurt.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Volkswagen Considering Stake Suzuki

Reports today are indicating that German auto giant Volkswagen may be looking to partner with Japanese automaker Suzuki to gain access to Suzuki’s small car technology for use in emerging markets."You have see it through an Asian perspective, particularly a Japanese one. There are vehicle sizes and classes that cannot be found here," a source close to the matter told Reuters. "You only see them at the Tokyo motor show but it is undoubtedly an interesting segment, just have a quick look at the developing markets like India. It's correct that there is a gap there that could be closed."
Reuters’ anonymous source corroborated a story published earlier today in Germany’s manager magazine claiming that Volkswagen is considering taking an initial 10% stake in Suzuki to secure the deal and gain access to Suzuki’s small car technology and platforms. Volkswagen’s larger goal appears to be to increase its presence in emerging markets where tiny, inexpensive cars are fueling huge amounts of growth.While Volkswagen does have experience in small cars, such as the Polo and the Up! Concept, Suzuki knows the territory better. Suzuki also has expertise in truly small cars, ones even smaller and less powerful than Volkswagen’s. Indeed, Suzuki has been making a killing in the tiny 660cc vehicle class in Japan. Not only does it fight for domination of the segment with Toyota’s Daihatsu arm, but it has helped Suzuki become the second-ranked automaker in Japan behind Toyota. Around the corner in India, Suzuki owns 54% of Maruti Suzuki, which is India’s largest carmaker and builder of the Alto, a top-selling model in the country which shares a platform with the Nissan Pixo.Volkswagen has also signaled an interest in Suzuki in the past, making reports of a tie-up all the more credible. At the launch of the latest Volkswagen Polo in Sardinia last month, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech was asked what other brands Volkswagen could consider buying or partnering with and responded by praising Suzuki.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

Spied Up Date: 2010 Audi A5 Sportback

Audi's A5 Sportback has been spied testing at the University of California San Diego.
It's not clear why the sleek five-door coupe is at the university, but a series of photos taken by students have been posted on the internet. It is thought to be a higher-spec model, as it has the sportier five-spoke alloys from the A5 coupe.
In the student's photo the front end of the car is masked, but the rear end is clearly shown for the first time. The front and rear of the car are closely related to the A5 coupe, with an extended middle section for the two extra frameless rear doors.
The Sportback has a coupe-like silouette with a lower roofline than the A4 with a steepily tapering hatch into a neat rear spoiler.
Despite this Audi says the car will have comparable head and legroom. The C-pillar of the Sportback differs from the coupe, with a dramatic kink at the back.
Joining the coupe and cabrio A5s in the line-up, the Sportback is likely to fit above the A4 range, which it is based on, at a price premium. The entry-level A5 Sportback will be fitted with a 168bhp 2.0 TDI engine, with a price of around £27,000.
There is also a 3.0-litre V6 TDI with 237bhp, the 2.7 TDI with 187bhp, and two petrol units, the 208bhp 2.0 TFSI and 261bhp 3.2 V6. All engines are direct injection.
Audi has hinted that a cheaper model, possibly the 141bhp 2.0 TDI, will be joining the range in 2010.
There could even be an RS5 version with an updated version of the last RS4’s 4.2-litre V8, retuned to give more power with fewer emissions.
This model would use a quattro drivetrain with Audi’s double-clutch S Tronic transmission, the first time an Audi RS product has featured twin-clutch technology.
The Audi A5 Sportback is expected to be officially displayed for the first time either at the Frankfurt motor show this September or at the Audi Centenary Celebration in July. It will go on sale in the UK in October.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Porsche Spyder Returns

One of the most revered names in sports car history, the Porsche Spyder, is back! And our exclusive illustrations show for the first time how the sub-Boxster two-seater will shape up when it arrives in 2013.Based on the VW Bluesport Concept’s underpinnings, also set to be shared with the forthcoming Audi R2, the new ‘baby’ Porsche will be aiming to maintain the firm’s reputation for unrivalled driving dynamics, but in a much lighter, fuel efficient and affordable package than any model in recent memory. The new Spyder will offer the same open air driving experience as the Boxster, thanks to its folding canvas roof, but at just 3.99 metres long, it will be significantly smaller than the current entry-level Porsche. That means a range of four-cylinder turbocharged engines raided from the VW parts bin will be plenty to deliver genuine sportscar thrills.Entry-level cars will use a version of the 200bhp 2.0 TFSI engine borrowed from the VW Golf GTI, mounted behind the driver and between the two axles for optimum handling balance. A Sport version will feature the same unit, but turned up to around 280bhp for a scintillating turn of pace. Prices will start from around £28,000, keeping the Spyder far enough away from the cheapest Boxster’s asking price of around £33,700, while maintaining a reassuring premium over the cheaper VW Bluesport. Inspiration and the design philosophy behind the new Spyder, comes from the first Porsche 550 Spyder, unveiled at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. The compact two-seater was originally designed for racing and took a famous class-victory at Le Mans. But the notoriously tricky-to-handle roadster cemented its place in history when the Hollywood legend James Dean died at the wheel of one in 1955. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Rabu, 24 Juni 2009

Hot News: Opel/Vauxhall Astra Roadster

The wraps are off the most exciting Astra drop-top ever. This sleek machine is a flagship convertible that will sit at the very peak of Vauxhall’s new family hatchback range.Boasting only two seats and a driving experience that’s every bit as focused as in the forthcoming Astra VXR, the new roadster will be one of the most desirable cars ever to come from the Luton company.Set to replace the current four-seater TwinTop, it will be a much more head-turning and upmarket machine. It will gun for sporty roadsters from Volkswagen – such as the BlueSport and upcoming Scirocco CC – as well as providing a cut-price rival to the Audi TT Roadster and Mercedes SLK.As you can see, the Vauxhall certainly packs visual punch, adding a muscular stance, shorter overhangs front and rear, a steeply raked windscreen and a chunky tail to the handsome Astra’s shape. Key to its look will be a folding metal roof. This will slot behind the occupants’ heads under a sporty tonneau cover that incorporates twin roll-over humps. Completing the look are neat details such as front spotlamps, lowered side skirts, twin chrome exhaust pipes and a prominent rear brake light.Inside, the roadster will borrow extensively from the hatch, adding a sports steering wheel and figure-hugging seats to help create the right feel. It’s similar in size to a three-door Astra, and while there’s space for only two people, boot capacity will be generous. Vauxhall has learned from the TwinTop, so expect the roadster’s folding roof to be even more compact.Under the skin, extensive strengthening of the A-pillar and rear subframes will make the newcomer one of the stiffest vehicles in its class, laying the groundwork for a responsive and agile driving experience. Although there won’t be a VXR version, the flagship car will get the same powerplant as the hot hatch – a turbocharged 2.0-litre. It will produce 270bhp, so expect 0-60mph in six seconds and a top speed of 150mph.In addition, there will be new 150bhp 1.4-litre petrol turbo and 170bhp 2.0-litre CDTI turbodiesel units. The new roadster is still some way off, though. Vauxhall will launch its five-door Astra later this year, with the three-door and Sport Tourer estate models following in 2010. After that, the maker will turn its attention to a new Zafira MPV. Only then will the drop-top be launched. In the meantime, the company is close to completing a deal which will see it and European sister brand Opel sold to Canadian car parts giant Magna. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2009 Kia Soul Denim Edition

It's only been a few months into its U.S. market introduction and Kia is already rolling out special editions of its hipster Soul people mover. Meet the Denim Edition, the first in what is anticipated to be a long line of special edition Souls.The variant is based on the Soul + model, so it comes pretty well equipped in standard form. Air conditioning, power locks and windows, multiple cabin storage spaces, and a 60/40 folding rear seat all are featured on the model.
So what's different? Well, the Denim Edition comes with the optional Audio Upgrade Package (center speaker, subwoofer, amplifier, pulsating speaker lighting) and a barrage of white accents strewn across its exterior. White mirror housings, matching 18-in. sport wheels, and an off-center racing stripe set on top of a denim blue livery differentiate the special edition. It also comes replete with a moonroof and foglights. Its engine remains untouched, so the standard 2.0L four-banger making 142 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque is still onboard and is rated at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway.The package as a whole is said to exude "edginess and confidence," as Kia marketing head Michael Sprague says. We're not so sure what makes the Denim Edition "confident" but it looks OK to us.Pricing is set at $17,300 with the five-speed manual transmission and $18,250 with the automatic gearbox. Both MSRPs exclude taxes, destination charges, and various other smaller expenses.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2012 Mercedes M-Class

Take a look at Mercedes' new luxury 4x4! These are the first spy shots of the new M-Class which is set to go on sale in 2011 – and when it does it'll be one of the most efficient SUVs you can buy. Judging from these exclusive images, the new M-Class won't be any bigger than the current car – and, in fact, our sources reckon it could actually be a little smaller. There will be a huge focus on reducing weight too, while under the bonnet the new M-Class will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain from launch. As you can see the looks won't change that much, although expect the newcomer to be a little sleeker and less aggressive. In addition to a hybrid powertrain, expect a wide range of diesels offering between 190bhp and 306bhp. Range-topping models will still be available with large petrol engines too. We'll see the new M-Class at a major motor show next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Volkswagen Caravelle

Usually, when we bring you spy shots from Germany, our spy photographers have caught some manner of sports car playing on the Nurburgring. Today, we're mixing it up a bit with spy photos of the refreshed Volkswagen Transporter commercial van.
As you can see, this tester is sporting little camouflage, hiding only its new nose job. Indeed, the fifth-generation T5 Transporter has received little in the way of cosmetic updates since its debut in 2003, and its latest trip under the knife appears to have garnered only minor enhancements as well. The most obvious change is in the headlights, which appear to be a bit smaller than those found on the current model and have had their bulbs and reflectors moved around a bit. In fact, the whole nose looks a bit shorter, with the grille losing a horizontal slat and the Volkswagen badge shrinking to cover two larger slats instead of the three smaller slats on the current model. It also no longer appears to intrude on the leading edge of the hood. Some work may also have been done on the shape and slope of the hood, as well as on the lower fascia, though it's difficult to tell through the camouflage. The lower radiator opening also appears to have lost its body-color horizontal stripe across the center. Our spies tell us that the final effect will be to update the Transporter to better resemble the new corporate look found on the new Golf.
We’ve also picked up some interesting tips about mechanical changes to accompany the new look. Our sources say that the popular 2.5L turbocharged inline-five-cylinder turbodiesel that powers the top-level Transporter models is on its way out, as it can’t meet stricter Euro V emissions standards. Replacing it is a new commonrail twin-turbo diesel mill putting out an impressive 220 hp, a healthy improvement over the old engine’s maximum of 174 hp. Word has it that the less-powerful 1.9L turbodiesel is also out and will be replaced by a 1.6L commonrail turbodiesel and a 2.0L commonrail turbodiesel as well as the first gasoline engine the Transport has had in years, a 1.4L turbocharged unit. There’s also talk of a DSG gearbox being offered as an option on some models, but no specific plans have been made yet.
Along with the fresh nose and new powerplants, the Transporter is expected to pick up some minor interior changes as well as an optional touchscreen navigation system, available for the first time. The refreshed Transporter is also expected to be lighter than the current model, even as much as 220 lbs to 330 lbs lighter for the Multivan model.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: 2011 Ford Kuga Coupe

Ford Europe's newest Kuga CUV is arguably one Blue Oval model that should be sold this side of the Atlantic. It's handsome, compact, fuel efficient, and offers some of the sporty styling of BMW's X6 at a significantly reduced cost. Just like its other siblings -- the current Focus and Fiesta -- which are roaming Europe's many streets, the Kuga is also one of the continent's most popular rides.
So strong is the case that Ford execs are not only considering the importation of the crossover to the States, but are looking to chip another model off its attractive design block. Seen here is the speculated upcoming Kuga Coupe, a two-door CUV sporting the brand's requisite kinetic design language in a neat, compact, and off-road-worthy package.Like its contemporary four-door big brother, the Kuga Coupe will be based on our next-generation Focus platform (which in Europe is the current model) and most likely will share its entire Ecotec gasoline and diesel powertrain lineup. We recently drove a 2009 Kuga sporting a 136-hp, 236 lb-ft of torque and 2.0L clean turbodiesel and were happily impressed with its quiet demeanor, luxurious appointments, and driving ease. A six-speed manual gearbox came in our tester, as did all-wheel drive -- two features currently rumored to make it to North America if it does indeed get the flashing green light. Also said to be available on the model are an mpg-boosting Powershift twin-clutch automatic transmission and start-stop system.Per our renderings penned by a former Ford designer, styling has been altered a bit from the current form in order to be on par with the times. Its headlights and taillights are pulled back around their respective corners into sleeker forms and are comprised of individual LED units. Front grille units have been reworked sans flashy chrome elements. The Coupe still features the model's high front and rear overhangs to welcome generous approach and departure angles should a rough patch of road be ahead. Hopefully the standard Kuga's supple, yet well-planted ride will make it to the new Coupe as well.Web scuttlebutt pegs the Kuga Coupe to make its world debut at a major international auto show sometime in 2011. And it's safe to say we'll be there, eagerly awaiting this cat's arrival.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: 2012 BMW City

Having the right products in the right niches might be the key to sales success for automakers when the economy emerges from its stay in the ICU. BMW’s plan is to develop a super-efficient car family code-named “Project i.” The first car will be launched in 2012. It will be smaller and cost less than the next BMW 1-series or Mini Cooper, both of which will come to market in 2011.
BMW is no longer pursuing small-volume niche cars such as the near-six-figure SUV version of the 7-series, dubbed the X7; the SUV-like X4 coupe; the diminutive Z2 roadster; and the company’s Audi R8 competitor, the small mid-engine CS sports car.
Instead, BMW will devote those resources to a three-door hatchback currently referred to as the BMW “City.” According to BMW chairman and CEO Norbert Reithofer, the City is designed specifically for the U.S. market to meet California’s Zero-Emission-Vehicle (ZEV) requirements that call for large-volume manufacturers to sell ZEVs by 2012. Smaller than a Honda Fit, the BMW City will be a four-seater powered by an electric motor. Styling will be BMW-like, with short overhangs, a wide track, and a low roofline. Electricity will be stored in a water-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that is expected to provide a 100-mile range. Other versions of the City will get a gas or diesel engine and are being developed for Asian markets, particularly China. It hasn’t been decided whether the electric City will be badged as a Mini or a BMW. Reithofer also hinted that it may get a new name. BMW holds the rights to Riley and Triumph, but considering the reputation of electrical systems in British cars, redeploying those old names probably isn’t the best idea.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Senin, 22 Juni 2009

Hot News: Rolls-Royce Ghost Configurator

Rolls-Royce has not even revealed the production version of the new Ghost yet, but potential buyers can already configure their car online.
On its website the car maker is giving a clear view of the car’s interior and exterior.
It is clear from the selection of colours available on the configurator – including a metallic turquoise and purple – that Rolls is attemping to appeal to a broader market with the Ghost.
With each colour combination there is the option of having the car with or without a “silver satin bonnet”.
Inside there are three wood options or piano black trim for the dashboard and the leather is available in a number of colours from cream to black.
The Ghost will be built on its own dedicated production line at Goodwood and will share paint, wood and leather workshops with the Phantoms.
It will be powered by a 500bhp-plus 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 mated to an eight-speed ZF gearbox. Production will begin later in 2009.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Buick to Offer 2.4 Liter Ecotec in LaCrosse

Buick has announced that it will add a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine to the 2010 LaCrosse roster. It joins the previously announced direct-injected 3.0- and 3.6-liter V-6 engines and like those powerplants is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4-liter will be the standard engine in the base CX model and marks the first Buick four-banger in more than a decade.
The engine makes 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque and also is found in the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. GM expects mileage to hit 20 mpg city and 30 highway when the four-cylinder LaCrosse runs the EPA gauntlet. Interestingly, that’s 1 mpg shy of the projected city ratings of both the Equinox and Terrain. LaCrosse production begins this summer.
Thanks to: Car And Driver

Sabtu, 20 Juni 2009

Hot News: Citroen Reveals DS4 & DS5 Plans

Citroen has revealed details of its planned upmarket DS4 and DS5 models which are scheduled for launch in 2011.
As their names suggest, these will be mechanically related to the C4 and C5 ranges, but they will be even further differentiated from their counterparts than the DS3 and C3.
The DS4 is inspired by the C-Sportlounge concept, and will have a high-riding crossover feel.
The C-Sportlounge, which was revealed in 2005, was an egg-shaped coupe-come-MPV hybrid, which also influenced the styling of the latest C4 Picasso. A sporty 2+2, it was described by designer Mark Lloyd as ‘a GT for the modern age’.
Such a model would supplement the continuing C4 hatchbacks and Picasso – as well as give Citroen a rival for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008.
DS5 will also have a crossover character: Citroen references the BMW X6 as an example of a similar coupe-SUV.
It will be derived from the Hypnos concept, which was revealed at the Paris motor show last autumn, and and while the production version will not get the rear-hinged ‘suicide’ rear doors, or colour-changing upholstery, it will take a very similar outline as well as a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.
The production version of the DS3, meanwhile, will be launched at the Frankfurt motor show this autumn.
Citroen insiders say that many details of the DS Inside concept will make it into the real thing; though the textured leather roof isn’t viable, a similar vinyl option may well be available. Even the leather seats, with interlocking patches and colour graduating from black to pale grey, could be offered.
Mechanically, the DS3 will share the same underpinnings and some of the powertrains of the new C3, which will also make its debut in Frankfurt. Its engines will include the 150bhp turbocharged 1.6 petrol unit fitted in the DS Inside.
However, ‘every body panel will be different’, says Citroen – not least because the DS3 will be a three-door supermini, and the mainstream C3 five-door only.
Citroen has also revealed that production of current C3 and Pluriel is to end in November, that there's no plans to replace the Pluriel, and that a car derived from the C-Cactus concept could be used to replace the out-going C2, which will not be replaced.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Porsche Struggles to Service Debt

Porsche is so deeply in debt that it has requested a 1.75 billion Euro loan (£1.5bn) from the German state bank KfW, according to reports from Germany.
Porsche is weighed down by debts of nine billion Euros (£7.6bn), an overhang from the sports car maker’s audacious attempt to takeover the whole VW Group.
In recent days Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking has written to union boss Bertold Huber and VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, warning them not to discuss Porsche’s debt problems in public. Wiedeking is said to be fearful that Porsche could be refused the loan.
Porsche is also currently discussing selling a stake in itself to the Qatar Investment Authority to relive its debt problems. If that sale is a success, Porsche will then probably merge with the wider VW Group.
In the meantime, however, Porsche also runs the risk of VW stock prices collapsing, which could, in turn, force Porsche to make high-value cash payouts to investors.
Despite having to finance its debts, and the effects of the global financial meltdown, Porsche says that it will return pre-tax profits. However, analysts say that much of gain was from Porsche’s stock market speculation on VW share price. Many in the city have described Porsche as a ‘hedge fund with a automotive subsidiary’.
Over the last nine months Porsche’s automotive sales have dropped 28 per cent to 53,635 units, with the Boxster and Cayman particularly affected by the global turndown.
However, turnover was down by only 15 per cent to 4.6bn Euros (£3.91m) underlining that sales of higher-end Porsches have not been the hardest hit.
Porsche claims that its profit margins just missed being ‘in double figures’. Over the last decade, Porsche has returned profit margins variously between 13 and 20 per cent, which were by far the highest in the global auto industry.

Thanks to: Autocar

Jumat, 19 Juni 2009

Spied: 2010 Skoda Superb Estate

Forget the Yeti... This is Skoda's real monster!
The vast Skoda Superb Combi has been spied out on test, revealing for the first time what drivers can expect from the vast new machine.
At the front, the spcious model incorporates many of the details first revealed on the standard saloon. At the rear however, it is all change, with a generous tailgate replacing the innovative split hatchback of the standard model.
It will be virtually the same length as the standard Superb, measuring around 4,850mm. But because it’s taller and benefits from a revised rear bench, the estate promises far greater load-lugging ability. Drivers will have the choice of six VW-sourced engines: three petrols and three diesels.Entry-level models get the 105bhp 1.9 TDI oil-burner, while the flagship will take power from a 3.2-litre V6 delivering 260bhp. Five and six-speed gearboxes will be available, although bosses have also hinted that a slick-shifting, six-speed semi-automatic – based on Skoda parent company VW’s DSG transmission – will also be offered shortly after the car is launched.
A four wheel drive version is also under consideration, while entry level machines look set to cost from around £16,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Citroen C3

Citroen’s new Fiesta challenger is shaping up nicely – just ‘C’ for yourself! These are the first spy shots of the new C3, which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Aiming to take the supermini market by storm the new small car gets a curvy body that takes some of its inspiration, especially the headlights and trapezoidal grille, from the stylish DS3 – Citroen’s upmarket MINI rival, and a car that boasts the same all-new front-wheel drive platform.
However, look carefully at the top of the windscreen and you’ll see that the C3 boasts a very distinctive detail that’s sure to set it apart from the DS3 and any of its rivals. It boasts a glass roof, which stretches from the windscreen all the way over the rear passengers’ heads to the top of the tailgate!
Together with the dramatically curved roofline, the new family car is sure to stand out. Inside, expect a cabin that borrows its layout from the DS3 with a central swathe of contrasting plastic, recessed dials in the instrument binnacle and a neat centre console with digital displays for the climate control system.
Under the bonnet, expect a wide range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, along with stop-start and the option of a semi-automatic transmission in addition to a standard manual.
As well as the five-door version shown here there will also be a three-door model too, badged C2. We’ll learn more about the newcomer with official pictures of he model in two weeks time. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 18 Juni 2009

Sneak Peek: 2010 BMW X1

BMW has released a teaser picture for its new BMW X1.
The picture comes a day after revealed spy photos of an almost BMW X1 undergoing development testing.
The BMW X1 is the fourth model in BMW’s off-roader line-up, slotting in beneath the X6, X5 and X3. It is aimed at high-spec versions ofthe Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan.
The X1 is close in size to the X3, but is 112mm shorter, 64mm narrower and a significant 139mm lower. The next-generation X3 is also expected to grow in size, differentiating it further from the smaller X1.
The BMW X1 is virtually unchanged from the concept version first shown at last year’s Paris show, right down to the large grille and a profile that’s strongly reminiscent of the X3's.
The underpinnings for the BMW X1 come from the four-wheel-drive version of the BMW 3-series, which is not available in the UK.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: China's Geely Reaches Agreement to Buy Volvo From Ford

Chinese automaker Geely has signed a letter of intent to purchase Volvo from Ford, a Chinese news site is reporting today. The report cites anonymous sources in the Chinese government and no official word has come from Volvo, Geely or Ford, nor has it been corroborated by other sources, lending doubt to its accuracy.
According to the report, Ford and Geely are still working out many details of the agreement, including the transfer of technology, Volvo's marketing and market position and any layoffs that will stem from the sale. Volvo will reportedly move a production line to the Chinese city of Dongguan in the Guangdong Province. The report indicates that Geely has already gotten the OK from the city and has applied for land and a loan to build a new factory on, though big business deals in China require the approval of the federal government. No purchase price was reported.The report says that Geely will invest US$10 billion in building the Volvo brand both in China and abroad. The first model to be built under Geely's watch will reportedly be the new 2011 XC90, at least one version of which will be built at the proposed new facility in Dongguan. It is not known how this deal, should it exist, will affect Volvo's partnership with Geely's rival Chinese automaker Chang'an.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 16 Juni 2009

Sneak Peek: 2011 Audi A5 Sportback

Audi's march toward becoming the leading premium brand by 2015 will include the new A5 Sportback, but with one caveat: The car has not been approved for launch in the U.S., Audi says.
Why no U.S.-bound A5 Sportback? We hear it's largely because the production version of the Sportback concept from the Detroit Auto Show -- to be called the A7 -- will be coming instead. Billed as a Mercedes-Benz CLS-fighter, the A7 is somewhat similar in mission to the A5 Sportback, but bigger and arguably more luxurious. An A5 Sportback on top of the A3, A4, A5 Coupe/Cabrio, A6, A7, and A8 would likely be overkill.
So far, Audi has only released a design sketch and this teaser photo of the car's rear three-quarter view. The A5 Sportback appears to draw from both the A4 sedan and the A5 coupe. The shape of the taillights are reminiscent of the A5, yet the LED pattern more closely resembles the A4.The A5 Sportback's rear three quarter windows fill out the side view well and actually remind us of the rear windows on the Honda Accord coupe.
With the launch of the A5 Sportback limited to markets outside the U.S., powertrains will roughly follow those offered on the A5 coupe and the car will come with all the latest tech features found on its sibling. From the start, the A5 Sportback will be available with the 2.0L 211-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, that same engine available with quattro, as well as the 3.2L 265-hp V-6 with or without quattro. Don't forget about diesel. The A5 Sportback will also be available with a choice of 2.0L, 2.7L, and 3.0L TDI diesels; the first and third engines can be optioned with quattro. Audi would be stupid not to offer a low-volume S5 Sportback as a high-performance halo vehicle for the new model, and we suspect they will.Audi says the A5 Sportback will feature 17.0 cu-ft of cargo space with the rear seats up and 34.6 cu-ft with them folded down. The A5 Sportback will begin arriving in dealerships this September after its debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: GM Exec Goes to GAZ

A senior General Motors executive is set to head the board of Russian car company GAZ, it has been reported.
Bo Andersson, group vice-president of global purchasing, was responsible for managing a flow of parts to GM plants through the company’s financial difficulties. His departure from the company was announced on Friday.
GAZ said in a statement, “The ex-vice president of GM, Bo Andersson, has expressed his agreement to take the post of the chairman of the board of directors of GAZ.”
GAZ is involved in a joint venture with Magna and Russia's largest lender Sberbank to buy German manufacturer Opel. It is hoped the deal will bring Opel’s expertise to the Russia’s ailing car industry.
The board of directors is expected to be elected at GAZ's annual general meeting on 29 June.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Koenigsegg Buys Saab

After months of speculation, Saab has finally been sold – and the ailing firm has been bought by fellow Swedish brand and builder of some of the world's fastest supercars, Koenigsegg.GM Europe sent a memo detailing an ‘understanding’ between the two firms and that a final deal will be made by September this year. Details are scarce, but we do know that GM will continue to provide platforms and parts for a ‘defined time period’, which means the new Saab 9-5 will launch on time as promised. It's understood that 370million euros will come from the European Investment Bank, while further investment will come from both GM Europe and Koenigsegg.
Carl-Peter Forster, GM Europe President, said: “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company.”Interestingly, Volvo has a small stake in Koenigsegg as the supercar maker sold shares in exchange for the use of Volvo's wind tunnel. How this will impact on the future running of Saab remains to be seen. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Senin, 15 Juni 2009

Spied Up Date: 2011 Alfa Romeo Milano

Say ciao bella to the Alfa Romeo Milano – the Italian firm's new VW Golf rival! Replacing the ageing 147 family hatch, the stylish family hatchback should make its worldwide debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

From these spy shots it’s easy to see that the design language from the supermini MiTo has been translated to the Milano. Large headlights sit proudly up front, while the signature Alfa Romeo grille nestles between. At the rear are a pair of bold, circular lights.

While Alfa is ditching numerically tagged cars and switching to names they’re also doubling up on platforms. The Milano is based Alfa’s new, larger mid-size car platform and will go on to underpin the next 159, which is likely to be called the Guilia.

Expect the Milano to be more spacious than the 147 and be powered by a range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines, including the MiTo's 155bhp 1.4-litre turbo, while range-topping models will get the classic Alfa 3.2-litre V6.

More details will appear before the proper reveal at Frankfurt but sales will start early next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Renault Megane Saloon

Here's the final edition to the Megane family! Our spies have caught a saloon version of Renault's new Megane out testing. Set to go on sale in South American and Eastern European markets first, it’ll reach UK showrooms in early 2010.

As you can see from these images, it'll pack a huge boot – just like its predecessor. Under the bonnet, it'll feature the same range of engines as its hatchback brother, with a wide line-up of economical diesels and even a turbocharged petrol.

Prices can be expected to start at around £16,000, though we’ll find out more at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Koenigsegg Hints at Saab Plans

A co-owner of Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg has spoken for the first time about the company's proposed takeover of Saab.
Although there has been no official confirmation of Koenigsegg's takeover of Saab, it is mooted to be the front-running bidder. Saab' sale is expected to be announced this week.
Baard Eker, who owns 49 percent of Koenigsegg told the Swedish Dagbladet newspaper: "We think it is possible (to rescue Saab) and we have several good solutions to bring into Saab."
Responding to reports that Koenigsegg would split Saab up, Eker said: "Let me make one thing clear - we are not buying Saab only to chop it up."
Eker is a Norwegian entrepreneur and cautioned that obstacles may still emerge which could stop the sale.
He also confirmed that several investors are willing to finance the acquisition, but declined to name them or how much money they would contribute.
When asked what was the most important thing that he and Christian von Koenigsegg, the sports car company's founder, could bring in as new owners, Eker said: "Culture and technology. Saab needs to be more innovative."
Eker also said it was not their intention to let "many people go," but refused to be more specific.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: 2010 SEAT Leon Cupra R

R you ready for the hottest SEAT Leon Cupra ever? Auto Express has learned that the Spanish company is planning a high-performance R version of its flagship hatchback!
Power will come from a 265bhp 2.0-litre TSI turbo unit – the same as in Volkswagen’s Scirocco R and imminent Golf R.
The Cupra R promises to pick up where the previous-generation range-topper left off, with sizzling pace. While the standard 237bhp Leon Cupra covers 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds – faster than the VW Golf GTI – the newcomer is expected to achieve a time of less than six seconds.
Hinting at its potential will be a racy bodykit and sports seats, while under the skin it’s likely to get uprated brakes and retuned suspension. The XDS electronic differential system from the Scirocco and Golf GTI is also set to feature. Sales start before the end of the year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Bentley Continental Hybrid

It's all go at Bentley. Not only is it preparing the new flagship Arnage, the luxury car giant is also working on a hybrid.
These amazing spy shots reveal the Crewe firm is testing a Continental prototype with a petrol-electric drivetrain. Look closely at our exclusive pictures, and you’ll see the rear of the car is filled with a new unit featuring battery-powered motors. Also, a retractable spoiler is visible at the top of the bootlid.
The powerplant is a version of the hybrid in the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne SUVs. That mates a 3.6-litre petrol V6, giving 280bhp and 375Nm, to a 284Nm electric motor. In the Bentley, it would be more powerful – expect the electronics to boost a new V8 or larger unit to around 500bhp. As well as stronger pace, this would give better economy than the Continental’s thirsty W12.
Bentley is likely to install the drivetrain across the range, including in the new Arnage. It will help cut fuel consumption and CO2 output in advance of new EU targets, which seek to force makers to reduce average emissions by 2015. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Minggu, 14 Juni 2009

New Car: 2009 Mercedes SLK 2LOOK

Fresh from the launch of the ESF Concept, Mercedes has shown that not just safety, but style is on their agenda too! The firm has revealed the special-edition SLK 2LOOK.
Priced at £31,235, the roadster is based on the SLK 200K, and will be limited to 150 examples. For the £2,395 premium over the standard model, the car offers Calcite White or black paint, while Obsidian Black Metallic and Mystic White are options.
Tinted headlamps, 18-inch alloys in either Chrome Shadow or Titanium Silver and 2LOOK badges also appear. Inside, black and white leather covers the seats, armrest, door panels and steering wheel, and a Mystic White dash contrasts with the black rooflining and carpet.
The 2LOOK also comes with heated seats, AIRSCARF – Mercedes’ neck-level heating system – and a transparent 2LOOK Edition wind deflector. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Jaguar Extended - Range Hybrid in the Works

Timing on Jaguar's XE two-seat roadster may slip past its planned 2011 Geneva show introduction thanks to lean resources resulting from the global economic crisis. However, Motor Trend has learned that whenever it first appears, the sports car will get a 21st Century, green-economy boost in the form of a Chevrolet Volt-like powerplant. An electric motor with an extended-range three-cylinder gas engine is being engineered for the new-age E-Type, in addition (we hope) to Jaguar's conventional 5.0-liter and supercharged 5.0-liter V-8s. Whether the extended-range XE will make it beyond the concept stage is uncertain.
It's also unclear whether the electric XE would be in addition to an extended-range electric XJ rumored to be scheduled for introduction in late 2011, a year after the conventional XJ's release.
Ratan Tata, whose company bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Company, is said to support the XE's development. His father once owned a Jaguar XK120, and Tata told Autocar earlier this year, "We need to emerge with something shiny and new, which is why we are reprioritizing the roadster right now."
The 5.0-liter, 385-horsepower AJ V-8 and 510-horsepower, supercharged 5.0 are obvious choices for the XE. While an extended-range electric XJ would be designed to take on the Fisker Karma, an extended-range electric XE could be a competitor for the all-electric Tesla Roadster.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 11 Juni 2009

Spied: 2011Peugeot RC Z

Peugeot engineers have been caught final testing the Audi TT-rivalling 308 RC Z, which will be fitted with a Mini Cooper JCW 1.6 turbo, possibly tuned to 218bhp.
As you can see from our spy pictures the production car is almost identical to the concept unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt show.
The headlights have been toned down slightly and the kink along the bottom of the side windows is not so exaggerated, but the overall proportions are the same.
The production car is even likely to retain the classic Zagato-style roof bulges and multi-spoke wheel design of the concept, although the centre exit exhaust is likely to be lost.
Peugeot believes the front-drive only RC Z will challenge non-quattro TTs but will undercut the Audi on price.
A Peugeot insider said the car has an almost identical footprint to the German coupe and prices will start below £20,000.
While the flagship gets the Mini JCW engine, the base model gets the 150bhp 1.6 THP (Turbo High Pressure) 16v engine that is currently found in the 207 150 GT.
The new generation 2.0-litre HDI in either 150bhp or 163bhp form will also be available, all mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. A six-cylinder engine is likely to be ruled out.
The name of the production car is yet to be decided and will be revealed at the car’s Frankfurt show debut this year. Expect UK sales to start in May 2010.
Thanks to: Autocar

Rabu, 10 Juni 2009

Sneak Peek: Bentley Arnage

This is the first picture of the Bentley Arnage replacement, which the company is calling the 'new grand Bentley'.
Bentley says the new car will be "exceptional in all respects on the road" and that it represents "the purest expression of the Bentley spirit."

One of the clearest new design features is the adoption of a triangular clamshell-style bonnet that tapers towards the grille.
The previous Arnage bonnet opened along the top of the wings but the new design is similar to the Continental and Flying Spur.

It is expected the car will herald an all-new design era for Bentley, with the company using modified versions of Audi's spaceframe chassis in future.
Despite the radical engineering, which should remove around 150kg from the weight of the bodyshell alone, Bentley chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen has previously emphasised to Autocar that the new Arnage will continue to have the unique proportions of the current model, particularly the traditional high roof and seating position, that give the car its "soul".
Bentley has confirmed it is not close to launching either diesel or hybrid versions of its cars, because most recent research indicates that few buyers want it.
"We have the technology to do a diesel right now," said Paefgen, "but whether we do it really depends on how successful VW, Mercedes and others are at normalising diesel sales in the US.
"Bentley could never lead the field in that area. You could only ever respond to a strong demand."
The company's possible future requirements have been included in recent VW-Audi hybrid research, however, and it also has easy access to Audi's big-capacity V10 and V12 engines.
Despite global concern over high oil prices, it has recently built an Arnage prototype powered by the 987bhp Bugatti W16 engine.
Bugatti wants to find new uses for its legendary quad-turbo unit, which is hugely expensive to make and underutilised as power for the million-pound supercar alone. However, it is far from certain that the New Grand Bentley will use this unit.
The car is expected to be unveiled this summer.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Ferrari to Build Hybrid Concept

After months of internet rumors, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa today reiterated Ferrari's direction in powertrain development, hinting more strongly than ever that a hybrid concept is in the works. Felisa said that in order to meet stringent 2014 European emissions regulations, Ferrari is looking at three solutions beyond those offered by the company's current V-8 and V-12 lineup. Felisa first noted that Ferrari is exploring turbocharging, but insisted that the engines would "still have that high-revving Ferrari feeling." Biofuel, a current hot topic among European politicians, is also being explored behind the gray Maranello gates. Felisa said, "The ECU in the California can already adapt to E85, so the know-how is there." Finally, and perhaps most interesting, Felisa hinted that a hybrid Ferrari concept will make its debut soon. "Not at Frankfurt," he said, "but shortly thereafter, probably at an American show." Our money's on the Los Angeles show in December.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 09 Juni 2009

Hot News: ran Turismo 5

Sony has released fresh details on the full version of Gran Turismo 5, the latest generation of its PlayStation racing game - and confirmed a version of the title for the PSP handheld console.
The technology giant issued a new teaser video of its PlayStation 3 title at the E3 electronics exhibition in Los Angeles. The footage appears to reveal that the game will contain licensed cars from Nascar and the World Rally Championship for the first time. It also shows a Subaru Impreza rally car with bent body panels, hinting that car damage - one of the most sought-after features in the series - has finally been implemented.
No on-sale date for GT5 has been set, but Gran Turismo creator Kazonuri Yamauchi recently stated that the game is "ready for release", suggesting that it could be Sony's big title for Christmas 2009.
Sony also used E3 to launch a version of the game for PlayStation Portable. It will contain 800 cars, including Ferraris, and 35 circuits offering up to 60 configurations. Despite the memory limitations of such a small console, the classic Nurburgring Nordschleife will be among the tracks featured.
Gran Turismo Mobile will be available on Sony's UMD format for the existing PSP, and also via a digital download for the forthcoming PSP Go console. It will go on sale on 1 October.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Lamborghini Hybrid on the Way?

It's the day supercar fans thought would never arrive... Lamborghini has announced officially that a hybrid powertrain is under development!
Details are scarce at the moment, but in a bid to reduce the C02 usage of its vehicles by 35 per cent by 2012, the Sant Agata based firm has pledged to have a look at its cars’ eco-credentials. The methods under consideration include reducing weight, direct injection technology, stop/start systems, biofuels and finally hybrid tech.And to prove its serious about its environmental responsibilities, Lambo is in the process of installing 17,000 square metres of solar panels to the roo of its manufacturing facility. The panels are expected (once they’ve been fully installed and turned on) to produce 1582mwh of electricity per year – that's enough to run an ‘average’ house for over a century! It's also working on better insulation and more energy efficient lighting in a bid to drop the factory's C02 usage by 30 per cent by 2010. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied Up Date: 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost

The Rolls Royce Ghost is almost finished – and we've caught it tooling around southern Germany practically undisguised!The 5.4 metre long ‘baby’ Rolls can be seen here with a stainless steel bonnet and windscreen surround, a feature that was only previously seen on the 200EX concept car. The only attempts made at keeping the true identity of the Ghost under wraps are the blacked out badges on the front and back, a lack of ‘RR’ badging on the wheel hubs and the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot is notably absent. Power nuts will be pleased to know that the Ghost has an all-new turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 under its shiny bonnet, which should be good for over 500bhp. While it looks like the Phantom, and apes its ‘suicide doors’, the Ghost actually shares a platform with the BMW 7-Series. Though it will be priced neatly inbetween them both at around £180,000 (before options).We’ll find out more about it in September, where it’ll be launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Senin, 08 Juni 2009

Hot News: Saab 9-5

Saab will finally unveil the all-new 9-5 at this autumn’s Frankfurt show as part of its drive to become a successful independent car maker.
As well as the 9-5 saloon — shown here in its final production form, and due next spring — Saab engineers are putting the final touches to the 9-5 Sport Combi estate and the 9-4X SUV, which is aimed at the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Both cars are due later in 2010.
Although the new 9-5 shares its Epsilon 2 platform with the Vauxhall Insignia, the Saab has a longer wheelbase and unique styling inside and out.
The 9-5 will be offered with two different types of suspension — standard and premium — as well as four-wheel drive. Engines will range from a turbocharged 2.8-litre V6 to a four-cylinder diesel that emits less than 140g/km of CO2.
The car goes into production early next year, replacing the 13-year-old first-gen 9-5. However, before that can happen, finding a new owner is an overwhelming priority for Saab. Sources are confident that a deal with a new investor will be signed and sealed by mid-June.
Saab will be formally abandoned by owner General Motors in January 2010, and the firm is currently in Swedish bankruptcy protection. Saab has already finalised a detailed business plan for the future that will see it launch four new cars (9-5 saloon and estate, 9-4X and the recently launched 9-3X all-roader) in 18 months.
A further facelift is scheduled for the current 9-3 range, too. Saab sources have told Autocar that the company will be able to prosper with just two platforms: Epsilon 2 (which underpins the 9-5) and a Saab-modified version of the Delta platform that is found under the new Vauxhall Astra.
Both the 9-5 and new 9-3 will be built at Saab’s Trollhattan HQ. The new 9-4X will be built by GM in Mexico, alongside its sister car, the Cadillac SRX. However, company insiders say the real volume will come from the next-generation 9-3, which will directly compete with the Audi A3 and VW Golf.
Potential investors have already been shown a full-size model of the car, which is expected to be launched in late 2011 or early 2012. Saab says it will be able to survive as a small ‘niche’ player because of its ‘á la carte’ purchasing plans. It benefits greatly from its new contract with GM, which means it can use the Epsilon and Delta platforms without paying a licensing fee.
Saab says it can engineer an entire car in-house, thanks to its extensive development capabilities. These lie in crash safety, refinement, all-wheel drive design, turbocharging, and hybrid drive and alternative fuels.
In future, Saab says it is likely to buy components from suppliers and rival manufacturers, rather than developing unique solutions.
Sources say Saab — which will not execute its own base engine design — has already talked to Peugeot-Citroën and Mini about using their drivetrains. Any deal could see the 1.6-litre Mini Cooper S turbo engine used in the new 9-3.
A lot of smaller components, such as premium-quality door locks that meet Saab’s own specs, will also be bought off the supplier shelf, saving huge amounts of development money.
Thanks to: Autocar

Jumat, 05 Juni 2009

Hot News: Opel Gets £440m to Save Jobs

Magna International and Russia’s Sberbank are set to give Opel €500m (£440m) to safeguard jobs while the company is restructured abroad.
Sberbank’s CEO Germna Gref said the investment was needed to minimise job cuts during the takeover and restructuring process.
“According to a preliminary plan, we could do with minimal jobs cuts in Germany but would need a bigger restructuring of foreign assets," said Gref.
He also said that Sberbank was unlikely to remain as a long term partner to Opel, and reports suggest the bank could sell up to a Russian car maker once the restructuring process is complete.
The €500m investment will be split between Magna and Sberbank according to their respective stakes in Opel, which are 20 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
Elsewhere, Volkswagen has spoken of its concern at Magna’s takeover of Opel, saying that there is likely to be a conflict of interest.
Magna is a key competent supplier to many of Volkswagen’s brands, including Audi and Seat, and it also supplies Porsche, which is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder.
Volkswagen spokesman Michael Brendel said, “Volkswagen will monitor this development very closely. Tax money has been used to a large extent for Opel's rescue. We hope that through this a sustainable and successful result will be achieved effectively”.
Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2010 Mini 'Rolls-Royce' Edition

If the Ghost is the new 'Baby Rolls', here's the MINI version! Spied in the workshop receiving its finishing touches, this is definitely one small car with big ideas.
Featuring a Royal Blue paint-job, bodykit and new alloy wheel design, it certainly appears upmarket from the outside. Inside the cabin, swathes of cream leather cover everything up to and including the air-vents, while high-quality walnut veneer finishes off the Rolls Royce ambience perfectly.
But before you start beating down the door of your local dealership, there's no conformation that the special edition will make into production. However, a spokesman for the brand told Auto Express recently that a limited-run MINI based on one the other brands under BMW's umbrella was not out of the question. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2010 Lincoln MKX

Lincoln is in the midst of a styling renaissance, of which the Ford Edge–based Lincoln MKX was one of the forefathers. Now that Lincoln’s corporate style is galvanizing around the split-waterfall grille, our spy photographers have captured evidence that the company will wrap the MKX’s nose with the now-familiar look for 2010.
While the family schnoz is the most immediately recognizable element of the redesigned MKX, perhaps the more important updates will take place inside, where the Lincoln’s somewhat stodgy interior gets a needed injection of pizzazz. As Ford and Lincoln try to spin themselves as technology leaders (witness the equipment list available on the new MKS and MKT), both the style and substance of their technologically advanced offerings become increasingly important.
To that end, the MKX gets a new stitched-leather dash that cascades around a wildly edgy new center-console design. The touch-screen nav system is nestled in a sculpted console that appears to sport tactile sensors—rather than traditional buttons—for the HVAC and audio controls. The smoothing of interior shapes also will reach to the new steering wheel, which loses a spoke and the previous blocky styling for a more upscale shape reminiscent of an Acura wheel, but without the button overload.
While nothing is confirmed yet, the new EcoBoost twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 is proliferating through Lincoln’s lineup and could endow this crossover with a serious performance edge. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the 355-hp mill powering the MKX somewhere down the line.
Regardless of powerplant, the interior of the upcoming MKX looks like it will take on a more space-age look in line with Lincoln’s new, high-tech image. Although the jury is still out on the brand’s new corporate grille, the inside of the 2010 MKX is shaping up to be a pleasant place to pass the miles.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Hot News: Saturn to be Purchased by Penske Automotive

Less than a week after officially filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, General Motors has announced the pending sale of the Saturn brand to Penske Automotive. The transaction, if completed, would shift the rights of Saturn to Penske, and would continue the sale of the Aura, Vue, and Outlook vehicles under a contract basis with GM.
Although the deal could save more than 350 dealerships and 13,000 jobs, according to GM, it won’t save the slow-selling Saturn Astra hatchback or low-volume Sky roadster. Penske does intend to preserve the customer-focused mentality upon which Saturn was founded in 1990. “Saturn has a passionate customer base and outstanding dealer network,” said Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive Group. “For nearly 20 years, Saturn has focused on treating the customer right. We share that philosophy, and we want to build on those strengths.”
The completion of the sale is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, pending many conditions and approvals from the U.S. Treasury, which now holds a majority stake in GM. It has been rumored that Penske has been in talks with Renault Samsung Motors to import the Korean-built vehicles under the Saturn name. Already owning the sole distribution rights in the States to the teacup-sized Smart brand, it wouldn’t be shocking to see this rumor become reality.
Ownership by a small, agile organization like Penske makes sense for Saturn, which always aimed to be a small, agile organization itself. But the brand was continually hampered by the bureaucracy that comes with being part of a huge conglomerate like GM, losing out on development and advertising dollars to higher-volume divisions like Chevrolet.
Thanks to: Car and Driver
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