Selasa, 31 Agustus 2010

New Car: 2011 Toyota Verso - S

At the upcoming Paris Motor Show in September, Toyota will present its latest offering in the competitive mini-minivan segment. The Verso-S, an MPV with a footprint barely larger than Toyota's current North American offerings, will segue Toyota back into the B-segment with an able, space-efficient competitor.

While Verso S details are still thin, the photos shown here indicate that Toyota has taken styling cues from some of the major European marques, such as Renault, in designing its MPV. The chunky exterior hides the fact that, at just four meters (about 157 inches) it's barely longer than a Yaris hatchback, and nearly two feet shorter than a Corolla sedan. The interior is a familiar Toyota design, with a high-mounted gearbox.

We're not sure if the Verso-S will eventually make it to North America (unlike Ford's definite plan for its next Focus C-Max MPV). The Verso name is familiar to Japanese and European buyers who have had their choice of a Corolla Verso or a Yaris Verso, over several generations, for a little less than a decade.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Mercedes Confirmed A-Class EV

The A-Class has finally come of age! Mercedes has confirmed that it will show the production version of its all-electric A-Class concept at the Paris Motor Show, alongside the firm’s new CLS.

Called the E-Cell, 500 cars will be built at first and will go on trial in Europe next year. The trial will be used to build-up a bank of data about how drivers use electric cars, much like BMW is doing with its MINI E and forthcoming 1-Series-Coupe-based ActivE programmes. The firm confirmed that customers will be chosen and then leased the car for a period of four years.

As well as going on trial in Mercedes’ home city of Stuttgart, the E-Cell will join a fleet of alternatively powered cars and vans as part of Mercedes’ ‘e-mobility Baden-Württemberg’ project.

The original A-Class was penned by Brit Steve Mattin, who would later become head of design at Volvo, and was conceived with electrification in mind. The revolutionary sandwich floor, which remains in today’s car and sees mechanicals mounted under car’s passenger area, was intended to hold batteries rather than elements of the conventional petrol and diesel powertrains that the A-Class ended up with.

The E-Cell will be assembled at Mercedes’ Rastatt plant in Germany, using 40kW lithium-ion batteries and electronic controllers provided by US-based electric car firm Tesla. Few details have been released, but the A-Class should have a range of up to 124 miles and have 290Nm of torque, ensuring sprightly performance.

Mercedes’ parent company Daimler signed a battery supply agreement with Tesla last year. Tesla already provides batteries for the latest Smart ED, and the deal looks set to be strengthened with the announcement of the firm’s involvement in the A-Class E-Cell project. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied Up Date: 2012 Mercedes SLK

Gotcha! Here are the best pictures yet of Mercedes’ next SLK. Spied testing in Germany, these latest shots reveal almost every detail of the newcomer’s styling.

Penned by design boss Gorden Wagener, the SLK refines the successful two-door folding metal hardtop bodystyle that debuted way back in 1997. The all-new third generation car gets a prominent nose that’s clearly inspired by Mercedes’ range-topping SLS AMG supercar, while the swept-back headlights owe much to the latest CLS that will debut at the Paris Motor Show.

In profile, the SLK looks very similar to its predecessor, albeit with a new crease which runs from the front wing indicator back into the doors to add a little extra visual drama. Once again, the SLK features a two-piece retractable roof .

At the rear, the SLK features an angular bootlid, which is similar to that sported by the current E-Class Coupe, flanked by LED taillights. The newcomer also gets trapezoidal exhaust pipe tips.

On the inside, the design will be influenced by the SLS. A minimalist design and retro air vents are likely to feature, along with the firm’s clever AirScarf neck warmers built into the seats.

Under the bonnet, the SLK gets a new range of engines. The entry level SLK200 will get the 201bhp 1.8-litre CGI petrol, while the convertible gets diesel power for the first time, courtesy of the 201bhp 2.4-litre CDI unit from the E-Class. 

The 300 V6 model is discontinued, but the SLK350 gains the revised 302bhp direct injection V-Series 3.5-litre V6. A performance version is likely to be offered, which may be powered by AMG's hotly anticipated twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 which produces around 465bhp. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Mazda Shinari

Meet Mazda’s future. This is the Shinari concept, which will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September. The stylish four-door coupe previews the look of the next generation of Mazdas and ushers in a new design language.

Called Kodo, which translates from Japanese as ‘soul of motion’, the new look has been created by Mazda’s new design chief Ikuo Maeda.

At the front, the Shinari concept features the familiar Mazda prominent wheelarches and angular front grille. But the newcomer also gets a dramatic bumper, Audi-style intricate headlights and Aston Martin-aping grille in the front wing.

A pair of creases add flair to the car’s side, which looks a lot like the current Jaguar XF, while at the rear, there are shades of BMW’s Concept CS.

On the inside, the concept features a driver-oriented cockpit made of a high-class mixture of materials, including leather and aluminium.

The car that the Shinari previews is likely to be the next Mazda6. However, the concept’s look will influence the entire next generation of Mazda cars.

The number of obvious high-class influences on the design show-off Mazda’s desire to become more of a premium brand, and much like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, offering great handling cars that look the part too.

The new design language replaces Mazda’s previous Nagare, or ‘flow’ look that dictated the design of the Mazda5, which has drawn criticism for its looks.

Nagare was created by Mazda’s former design chief Laurens van der Acker, who left the firm for Renault earlier this year. Van der Acker will show off the DeZir concept at Paris as his new vision for the French brand. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2011 Citroen DS4

MEET the Citroen that’s riding high! These are the first pictures of the firm’s new DS4 hatch, which delivers on the style promised by the DS High Rider concept seen at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Following the DS3, which is based on the C3 supermini, the DS4 features a more extravagantly designed exterior than the C4 which underpins it. The newcomer measures 4.27 metres long, 1.81 metres wide and 1.53 metres high, making it shorter, wider and 10cm taller than the regular C4 and a little bigger than the MINI Countryman.

At the front, the hatchback wears the latest Citroen family face, that debuted on the C5. The extra chrome on the two-bar grille and the pair of boomerang-shaped daytime running lights add class, while at the side, generously flared wheelarches house 19-inch alloys, although smaller rims are available.

The coupé-like roof line and upswept shoulder line taper towards the rear, where the handle for each of the small back doors is hidden.

On the tail, the DS4 features a scalloped bumper with neatly integrated exhaust pipe exits.

The interior boasts higher-class materials than in the regular C4 hatch. Liberal use of chrome for the dials, leather on the dash and doors, plus aluminium for the pedals demonstrates the firm’s attention to getting the luxury details right. Buyers will be given the choice of five leather combinations. Top-specification cars feature hide trim designed to mimic expensive watch bracelets linked together. Meanwhile, every variant gets a panoramic windscreen which extends backwards into the roof line and helps bathe the cabin in light.

Also available is a high-end stereo system and front seats with a massage function. All cars come with a unique selection of four exotically named tones for the various warning sounds: Classic, Crystal Symphony, Jungle Fantasy and Urban Rythmik.

Despite the DS4’s style and luxury, practicality is still high on the agenda. The passenger door pockets have been enlarged, and a cooled centre console storage bin is standard fit. At 370 litres, the boot is larger than that of a Volkswagen Golf, too. Safety kit includes blind-spot monitoring and a speed limiter, fitted in accordance with the Safety Assist section of Euro NCAP crash tests.

Under the bonnet, the DS4 features a line-up of five engines. Diesel buyers can choose from a 110bhp 1.6-litre unit with e-HDi stop/start tech and regenerative braking, and a 160bhp 2.0-litre. There are three petrol choices, too: a 120bhp 1.6 VTi, and a pair of turbocharged 1.6-litre units with 155bhp or, in the range-topping car, 200bhp.

The DS4 debuts at October’s Paris Motor Show, before going on sale in the UK in early 2011. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Trio Nissan to Make Their Debut at LA Show 2010

Nissan announced its 2010 L.A. Auto Show model introductions today, and by the looks of the vehicle list, they're sure to attract plenty of attention. Three of the four planned debuts are world premieres.

Headlining the display is the brand's all-new Ellure concept. The sedan is said to add strong innovation to the typically drab four-door sedan.

Next is the Quest minivan. Designers promise the spacious van blends modern styling with functional and fun-to-drive qualities.

Finishing up the trio of premieres is the Murano CrossCabriolet, which Nissan says is the world's first all-wheel-drive crossover convertible. This four-passenger soft-roader mixes convertible fun with crossover versatility. Both the Quest and Murano CrossCabriolet will hit dealers early next year.

Lastly, a production-spec Leaf will be shown for the first time. It's still on schedule for a limited-market December release.

Nissan's luxury division, Infiniti, will bring its 2012 M35 Hybrid sedan to the show. Officials promise it gives "V-8 performance with four-cylinder fuel economy." The automaker's new entry-level, 218-horsepower G25 Sedan will make a showing as well.

Check back for more 2010 L.A. Show information as its November 18 opening day approaches.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Jumat, 27 Agustus 2010

Spied: 2012 Volkswagen Up! & Skoda Mini

It takes two to tango! And our spies have snapped VW and Skoda’s first versions of the New Small Family (NSF) cars hot weather testing together in Death Valley in the US.

Measuring 3.45-metres long, 1.63-metres wide and 1.5-metres high, the car is a little bigger than the current Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 family. And while these mules are heavily disguised, the high-level brake lights, short bonnet and wheel-at-each-corner stance are all recognisable from the original VW Up! concept shown at Frankfurt in 2007.

Both VW and Skoda models feature the same design traits, indicating that styling tweaks to distinguish the cars between brands will be fairly minimal.

The three-door supermini will have space for four adults and feature a range of downsized petrol and diesel engines. The base model will start from around £8,500 and get a 65bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol, while a 75bhp four-cylinder 1.2-litre diesel will also be offered.

A range-topping 85bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine comes later in 2012, while a fully electric version is expected to arrive in 2013.

VW, Skoda and SEAT will each launch versions of the three-door car. The VW version is due first, in late 2011, with the other brands following in early 2012. A larger five-door model will be added in summer 2012. VW will take responsibility for building the car at its plant in Bratislava, Slovakia from next year.

VW has a history of giving its concept cars a name derived from an existing production model. For example, the Iroc concept became the current Scirocco, and the Up! concept is likely to follow suit by becoming the Lupo.

Skoda may choose to adopt the Joyster name, taken from its previous small-car concept, while SEAT may elect to resurrect the Arosa name of its previous small car which was based on the last generation Lupo. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied Up Date: 2011 MG 3

Take away this Chinese test car’s disguise, and it’s clear to see how MG’s new supermini is shaping up.

The MG3 will be the smallest model to wear the octagon badge since the Rover 25-based ZR, and these spy shots show it retains the good looks of the MG Zero on which it’s based.

The Beijing Motor Show concept’s big central exhaust and chrome wheels have vanished, but the dynamic stance remains – as does the wide hexagonal front grille – giving the 3 a welcome hint of sportiness.

On sale in China in next month, from around £6,000, the model will be powered by a 109bhp, 1.5-litre petrol engine from sister firm Roewe. Also under development is a 1.3-litre four-cylinder unit and a turbocharged version of the 1.5. The latter could power a more focused MG3 hot hatch.

Tentative plans are to build European versions of this car at MG Rover’s old Longbridge plant in the West Midlands from 2012. Our spies in China have also seen a variant with a chunkier tail-light treatment – which could be a new Streetwise. Although the pumped-up Rover 25 was a flop here, it has since proved a sales hit in China. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Yes, it's another BMW1 Series M Coupe teaser video, but we're not complaining. Rather than showing the M Division's latest hot coupe on a track, it's stagnant in a showroom under a tight fitting cover.

If you didn't catch the other teaser video and spy shots, the 1 Series M Coupe is said to be the spiritual successor to the original E30 M3, meaning it should be light, compact, and powerful.

Rumor has it that BMW's speed-hungry engineers fitted their N54-series, twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine underneath the short hood. How do an estimated 350 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque sound? Yeah, we thought so, too.

Deliveries are expected to begin the first half of next year. Stay tuned for the full report...
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Lexus IS

Lexus IS ringing the changes! The Japanese luxury brand claims that the latest revisions to its 3-Series rivalling IS range are the most significant since the current car went on sale in 2005.

The line-up now boasts Euro V compliant engines, styling tweaks and more equipment, but prices remains unchanged.

The major change is that the previous IS220d has now been replaced by the IS200d. The car uses the same 2.2-litre diesel engine, and costs the same at £24,350, but the unit has be re-engineered to be more refined but detuned from 175bhp and 400Nm to 148bhp and 340Nm.

That means the 0-62mph time increases from 8.9 seconds to 10.2 seconds, but the all-important emissions figures improve from 50.4mpg and 148g/km to 55.4mpg and 134g/km, meaning that the IS drops a tax band and its Benefit-in-Kind rating drops too, which is good news for company car drivers.

However, the IS200d still can’t match the impressive BMW 320d which is more expensive, but faster, more powerful yet remains more fuel efficient and produces less emissions.

The IS250 and 250C use the revised V6 which is now cleaner and is only available with an automatic transmission, while Lexus has improved the F-Sport model line to make the looks more aggressive, and more like the range-topping ISF which the firm hopes will increase the car’s appeal to younger drivers.

All models benefit from styling tweaks to the bumpers, front grille and lights, and there are new alloy wheel designs and paint colours to choose from. Cars specced with the high-intensity discharge headlights now get LED daytime running lights, while buyers of the SE-I spec get auto wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and leather upholstery with heated front seats.

The high performance ISF will also receive the new LED headlights and a number of minor tweaks, but these will be confirmed at a later date. The new IS range will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, but is available to order now. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 26 Agustus 2010

New Car: 2011 Lotus Evora S

Lotus has officially revealed details on the Evora S and IPS in advance of the Paris Motor Show.

Last week, leaked email messages from Lotus executives showed that the Evora S and Evora IPS automatic-equipped car would debut in Paris.

Lotus says that aside from supercharging the 3.5-liter V-6 from Toyota, the 345-horsepower Evora S has a retuned suspension and overall more responsive driving experience.

"You don’t realise what you were missing from your driving experience until you get behind the wheel of the Evora S," said Dany Bahar, Lotus’ Chief Executive Officer.

Other motorists won't miss your Evora S, though, especially if you activate the exhaust baffles that apparently make the car sound more muscular.

The Evora S has a sport button that lets the driver customize throttle response and activate the exhaust bypass valve. That button is also the key to raising the instantaneous rev limit and lowering the interference from the dynamic stability control.

“The Evora S...retains core Lotus values such as performance through lightweight but it also gives more than that," said Lotus Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Prillmann. "It’s the perfect combination of top performance, style and comfort. Form doesn’t sacrifice function in the case of the Evora S.”

Clearly, the S model is the pure enthusiast's choice in the Evora lineup. Still, it's likely the other new debut -- the Evora IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) -- will help pay for the S model.

The Evora IPS is powered by the regular 276-horsepower V-6, now mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Aside from manual paddle shift and automatic drive modes, the IPS has a sport mode that enhances the feeling of control.

"It’s been a long time since Lotus created an automatic and we’ve spent a great deal of time refining this one to make sure that it perfectly complements the Evora drive experience," Bahar said.

Both new Evoras will debut at the Paris Motor Show, starting at the end of September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Toyota Highlander

True to prior speculation, Toyota has shown a refreshed 2011 Highlander at the Moscow Auto Show this week. Visual changes include tweaked front and rear ends, with a restyled grille, headlights, taillights, and bumpers.

The differences are subtle to be sure, even when you know what to look for. Still, the 2011 Highlander's slightly more angular features give the crossover an extra dash of presence -- rarely a bad thing. In Russia, the only engine available is Toyota's 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, paired to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The million-dollar question is whether or not we'll see these cosmetic changes on the U.S. version. While no official word is yet available, but with little differentiation in the global Highlander lineup thus far, we're expecting the refresh will make its way Stateside soon enough - perhaps debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. Expect the full bevy of 2.4-liter I-4, 3.5-liter V-6, and hybrid configurations to remain present and accounted for.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think of the 2011 Toyota Highlander's facelift in the comments section below.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 25 Agustus 2010

New Car: 2012 Chevrolet Orlando

It’s been a two-year wait, but Chevrolet has finally revealed the production version of its Orlando MPV. The concept car impressed at the Paris show in 2008, and the finished version of its seven-seater people carrier retains the striking looks.

Designed to blend the chunky looks of a crossover with a traditional MPV, the Orlando features a low, swept roofline, flared wheelarches and the traditional Chevrolet split front grille.

On the inside, the Orlando gets a flexible seven-seat layout where the second and third rows of seats are mounted higher than those in the front for a better view for rear-seat passengers. Designed with a family in mind, the Orlando interior also features a host of cubby holes and storage areas, plus Chevrolet claims it has one of the biggest boots of any MPV.

The Orlando is based on the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Cruze, and will launch with three engine choices – a 139bhp 1.8-litre petrol and low and high power 2.0-litre diesels which produce 129bhp and 161bhp respectively.

Set to go on sale in the UK early in 2011, buyers will have the choice of four Orlando trim levels, but all cars will be generously equipped with electronic stability control, six air-bags, air conditioning and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors fitted to all cars.

The Orlando is just one of four cars that Chevrolet will show off at Paris, and starts an aggressive expansion programme for the firm which will see seven new cars launched in the European market in the next 15 months. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Hyundai Concept RB

The Moscow Motor Show doesn't get much play here in the U.S. as it doesn't hold the cachet of other international shows, but that doesn't mean it's not worth checking out. After all, the new Audi A7 is launching there, along with this little-noticed Hyundai Concept RB.

Consultation with Russian auto publications reveals that this car is actually the latest interpretation of the Hyundai Verna, or to American buyers, the Hyundai Accent. According to Hyundai Motor Russia's own press release, the Concept RB is really just a thinly veiled look at the production model, which most expect to retain the Verna name. The new Verna recently debuted in China at the 2010 Beijing auto show.

Russian buyers will be able to pick up the new four-door coupe in the spring of 2011 with two variants of Hyundai's Gamma four-cylinder engine onboard. The first is a 1.4-liter mill good for 107 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque, while the second ups the ante with 1.6 liters of displacement, 124 horsepower, and 115 pound-feet of torque. Both are gasoline-powered and feature continuously variable valve timing and, according to Hyundai, best-in-class fuel economy. They can be mounted to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.

That's all well and good for the Russian market, but what does it mean for us, namely, which design cues will we see on our new Accent -- more RB or Verna? Naturally, we also expect more powerful engines and more transmission cogs in any U.S. or European market offerings, but few other necessary changes seem readily apparent. We put in a call to Hyundai of America to get the scoop, but were met with an official "no comment." With the company's recently revealed quest to reach 50 mpg CAFE standards, though, we wouldn't be surprised to see this car turn up outside of Russia in the near future.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 24 Agustus 2010

New Car; 2011 Honda Jazz Hybrid

Honda has confirmed that it will launch a hybrid version of its Jazz supermini at the Paris motor show at the end of next month.

The Jazz hybrid will share many of its components with the Insight, including that car’s 1.3-litre petrol engine-based hybrid powertrain.

The engine/electric motor mix is mated to a CVT gearbox and, like the Insight, the Jazz will be able to run on electric power alone in low-speed conditions.

The new model gets a few visual cues to make it stand out from regular Jazz variants, including revised headlights with a blue surround, clear tail-lights, a new front grille, different bumpers and flashes of chrome on the rear hatch.

The interior gets a single-colour dashboard and blue-lit dials and instruments. Leather trim will also be offered for the first time on a Jazz in Europe.

The Japanese manufacturer has yet to reveal any details on CO2 emissions or fuel economy figures for the car, which will go on sale in the UK next spring. But expect a CO2 figure of just over 100g/km, and more than 65mpg.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2012 Nissan GT-R

Thanks to Chuck H, who tipped us off to leaked information posted on about a slate of revisions for the 2012 Nissan GT-R. The updates are more significant than the minor equipment changes for the 2011 model year, although what’s been revealed so far is still somewhat less than earth-shattering.

The ’12 GT-R receives a redesigned front bumper with LED running lights and a new rear diffuser, and the former reportedly drops the GT-R’s drag coefficient from 0.272 to 0.268, while the diffuser is said to provide ten percent more rear downforce at speed. The rolling stock will be replaced by forged aluminum wheels from Rays, which are both stronger and lighter (by 6.6 pounds per corner) than the current ones; they’ll be offered with a three-layer paint process in Hyper Blue Black or Hyper Titanium colors. Less performance-oriented are two new paint colors (seen above).

GTRBlog also says that the updated GT-R will be sold in “Pure Edition” and Premium trims, although that likely applies to other parts of the world, as the American model switched to a single trim level last year. The bad news for potential buyers is that the base price is expected to climb between ¥80,000 and ¥210,000 in Japan. If those numbers convert exactly, we’re looking at increases of between $950 and $2500; the U.S.-market 2011 model bases at $85,060.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the 2012 Nissan GT-R, which should hit dealers here early next year.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Senin, 23 Agustus 2010

New Cars: 2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Shaheen & Phantom Bayunah

Rolls-Royce has unveiled two new Phantom models for the Middle East market: the Phantom Coupé Shaheen and the Phantom Bayunah.

Both will be built according to demand and pricing will depend on the options the individual customer chooses.

The base price in the Middle East is $381,000 (£245,000) for the standard Phantom, and $408,000 (£262,000) for the standard Phantom Coupé, not including delivery or VAT.

The four-door Phantom Bayunah’s interior and exterior styling features shades of beige and brown and has a tan ever-flex roof. It has been inspired by the landscape of the Baynunah area in the western region of Abu Dhabi famous for its sand dunes.

The inlay and marquetry are “inspired by the traditional, vibrant colours of an Arabian camel harness” according to Rolls-Royce and are made at Rolls-Royce’s headquarters in Goodwood using individually cut hand-assembled pieces of coloured veneer.

The Phantom Coupé Shaheen has been inspired by the region’s famous falcon, the Shaheen, and has a marquise-white exterior with a red and Seashell leather interior featuring falcon motifs embroidered into the head rests.

Both will be made available in Rolls-Royce’s eight dealerships across the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Manama, Muscat and Riyadh.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2011 Mazda 2

Meet the new-look Mazda2. The Japanese firm will pull the wraps off its tweaked supermini at the Paris show next month. Full details will be announced when the car emerges from beneath its dustsheet, but the newcomer will feature a host of changes to keep it up to speed with the Ford Fiesta and new Suzuki Swift.

The most obvious difference is the new nose, which features the signature Mazda smiley face that debuted on the latest Mazda3 and Mazda5. The firm has also turned its attention to improving the quality of the interior.

The more major alterations have taken place underneath. The firm promises a fully Euro V-compliant engine line-up, tweaks to the chassis to improve ride comfort and a new automatic gearbox option.

The new Mazda2 will debut at Paris alongside the new Mazda5, which debuts with the firm’s new 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine. The unit replaces the 2.0-litre diesel, and returns 54.3mpg, and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent. The new diesel engine will also be shown in the Mazda3. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

Here’s a glimpse into Peugeot’s future. The French firm has just unveiled the production version of its 3008 hybrid crossover.

Called the 3008 HYbrid4, the Peugeot teams a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, which drives the front wheels, with a 37bhp electric motor, which drives the rears. The 3008 is the first to use a diesel engine, unlike the petrol electric system used by Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight.

The combined maximum power output is 200bhp, with a substantial 500Nm of torque also being produced, while combined fuel economy is 74.4mpg and carbon dioxide is pegged at a tax-free 99g/km.

Despite offering four-wheel drive, there’s no mechanical link between the diesel engine and the electric motor. The diesel unit features Peugeot’s latest stop-start system and is mated to a six-speed automated manual gearbox.

The driver can select from four operating modes – Auto, which selects the best combination of diesel or electric propulsion, ZEV, which activates all-electric mode, four-wheel drive mode, which activates both powerplants, and Sport mode which speeds up the gearshift at higher engine speeds.

Peugeot has elected to use nickel metal hydride batteries which are less expensive than lithium ion cells. These are mounted beneath the boot floor, along with the electric motor.

To mark out the hybrid from its conventionally powered siblings, the 3008 HYbrid4 features daytime running lights and a small rear spoiler on the outside, and a seven inch display on the dash with a readout of the powertrain’s performance.

The 3008 HYbrid4 will be produced in France in Sochaux and Mulhouse and marketed in the spring of 2011 in Europe. Prices are still to be confirmed, but the hybrid will sit at the top of the 3008 range thanks to its generous spec, which includes sat-nav, a built-in hard drive for storing music, parking assist and distance alert, at around £24,000.

The 3008 is one of a raft of new hybrids that Peugeot will produce. The hybrid module has been designed to fit into many of the firm’s products, including the 508 and RCZ. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sabtu, 21 Agustus 2010

Hot News: Lamborghini Estoque Gets Green Light

Lamborghini is poised to revise plans to launch a four-door supercar, previewed by the Estoque concept shown at 2008’s Paris motor show.

CEO Stephan Winkelmann told reporters in the US that “a third model would fit Lamborghini very well”, and “a four-door car would be a very feasible approach”.

The Estoque was shelved last year due to the global financial crisis, but it may now be revised to help reverse Lamborghini’s falling sales.

First half sales this year were down 18 per cent on 2009. Winkelmann said a third model would need to provide “a real leap” in sales.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2011 Mercedes CLS

We’ve already seen a leaked brochure showing several pictures of the next-gen Mercedes CLS-class, due in 2011 as a 2012 model. Now you can save your eyes the trouble of straining to see a grainy German brochure, as Mercedes has released official pictures of a European-spec CLS.

The second-gen CLS—the four-door coupe that started a segment—has a more restrained, muscular design this time around. If the first CLS was meant to be mistaken for an Italian car (or so Benz’s PR folks said), this one is clearly Germanic, with flared rear wheel arches and squared-off corners. The headlights, which are now completely made up of LEDs, morph from the previous generation’s amoeba-shaped units to a blocky design similar to the lights on the E-class.

The interior is also significantly upgraded, notably ditching dash-mounted COMAND controls for the more intuitive console-mounted knob. The gearshift moves from the center console to the column, like on the S-class and other Benzes, making the cockpit more spacious. An unusual and charming feature from the first CLS, the matte-finish wood on the dash, will no longer be available. It’s replaced by optional high-gloss wood, piano black lacquer, or carbon fiber (seen in the accompanying pics). Overall, the interior still appears stylish and avant-garde—especially compared to an E-class—but based on the pictures, the intimate and warm atmosphere from the previous generation does not carry through.

While Europeans will have optional V-6 gas and diesel engines, the North American CLS will be V-8 only. The standard car will still be called the CLS550, but the old car’s 382-hp, 5.5-liter engine is replaced with Benz’s new twin-turbo, 4.6-liter V-8, which churns up 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. There will, of course, be an AMG version of the new CLS. It, too, will retain the first generation’s nomenclature—CLS63—but it receives the new corporate AMG engine. Another twin-turbo V-8, the AMG mill displaces 5.5 liters and cranks out as much as 563 hp and 664 lb-ft in the new S63 AMG.

Both cars will be sold with Benz’s seven-speed automatic, though enthusiasts will keep their fingers crossed that Merc will decide to install the seven-speed dual-clutch unit like the one in the SLS AMG. For the more sedate shoppers, the new CLS will offer 4MATIC all-wheel drive—the first generation was rear-wheel-drive only—available slightly after launch.

Mercedes has said the price for the new CLS will only increase 1–2 percent over the current car. For 2010, the big-boy CLS63 ran $98,825, while the CLS550 clocked in at $73,275. When it goes on sale in mid-2011 as a 2012 model, the 429-hp CLS550 might be the most expensive “bargain” on the market.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2011 Audi S1

Audi’s rival for the Mini Cooper S, the S1, has been caught undisguised near the Nürburgring in Germany ahead of its debut at the Paris motor show late next month.

As expected, the S1’s look is borrowed from the standard car’s S-line package, including lowered suspension, 17in alloy wheels and a small spoiler at the trailing edge of the roof.

The model spied here gives away its identity with a larger exhaust, while our spy photographer noted the S1 had a much louder and more distinctive sound than the rest of the A1 range.

Audi has yet to confirm any technical details on the car, but it’s understood to use a tuned version of the VW Group’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, producing around 180bhp and 184lb ft.

The S1 will be front-wheel drive, making it the first S-badged Audi to do without a quattro drivetrain. The gearbox will be a seven-speed double-clutch unit, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Expect the S1 to match the Cooper S’s performance figures; Audi technical development boss Michael Dick has said the firm is aiming for a 0-62mph time of less than seven seconds and a top speed of more than 140mph.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2011 Ford Mondeo Sport Edition

Meet the Mondeo that Sports a host of extras! In preparation for the new ‘60’ registration change that comes into effect on September 1st, Ford has announced the Mondeo Sport special edition. Just 3,000 cars will be offered, and Ford claims each packs over £2,000 worth of extra options.

Available with either the 1.8-litre diesel or 2.0-litre petrol engines, and five-door or estate bodystyles, the Mondeo Sport is based on the Zetec trim level, but gets Europe-wide sat-nav, auto lights and wipers, 17-inch alloys and front and rear parking sensors thrown in.

The Sport goes on sale on September 1st and starts at £18,795 for the petrol version and £19,495 for the diesel and comes in a choice of four – Frozen White, Panther Black, Sea Grey, and Moondust Silver. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 19 Agustus 2010

Hot News Up Date: Hyundai's Coupe to Make its Debut at LA Auto Show 2010

Hyundai’s answer to the Volkswagen Scirocco will be launched at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

The Veloster coupé, first seen as a concept in 2007, will replace the Coupe as the flagship in Hyundai’s UK range early next year.

It is a car the firm “wants to be bought for its looks, having been built with the Scirocco firmly in its sights”, according to one insider.

Engines are likely to include a 168bhp 1.4 turbo petrol with stop-start and direct injection. A normally aspirated unit will also be offered.

Hyundai promises “dramatic styling — even more so than the concept”. One key feature is Mini Clubman-style asymmetric doors, which will be re-engineered for right-hand-drive cars.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car; 2011 Nissan Note

Here’s a car that’ll strike a chord. Nissan’s Jazz-rivalling Note has been given a new look for the 2011 model year.

Both Acenta and Tekna grades now feature silver door handles and tailgate trim, and gloss black B- and C-pillars, while the n-tec gets a new front spoiler.

On the inside, the Acenta gets an uprated stereo with USB and AUX inputs. Buyers of the n-tec model get even more kit, with climate control and auto lights and wipers joining the Connect sat-nav and audio system, 16-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass already fitted as standard.

ESP is also fitted as standard to Acenta, Tekna and n-tec models, and the top-spec Tekna also gets the £250 keyless go option thrown in for good measure.

Both 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines now comply with the latest Euro V emissions regulations too.

But despite all the extra kit, Nissan has left prices for the new Note unchanged, meaning the range still starts at £10,895. The newcomer is available to order now, with the Euro V compliant diesel models becoming available in November.

Buyers can also benefit from Nissan’s British Built Trade-in Scheme which allows Note customers to receive a guaranteed £1000 minimum trade in against their existing car providing it is over seven years old. The scheme runs throughout August and September.

The Clear Nissan Scheme, which means Note customers benefit from 2 years free servicing, 3 years free RAC breakdown cover and 3 years 5.9% APR finance is also available. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2011 Mercedes CLS AMG

On the heels of a "leaked" Mercedes-Benz CLS brochure, our spy photographers captured an AMG-tuned version running the Nürburgring Nordschleife during tests.

With little camo masking the nose, this prototype is clearly a work of AMG. Designers have implemented the usual barrage of go-fast goodies -- aggressive front bumper, pronounced side sills, integrated rear diffuser, bigger cross-drilled brakes, larger wheels, lowered ride height -- onto this edition. Look closer and you'll notice a quad exhaust and subtle trunk-mounted spoiler.

Set in between the LED-clad headlights is a simpler grille with a single horizontal bar in place of the regular edition's double elements. There also appears to be brake ducts hiding under a layer of cladding set ahead of the front wheel wells.

Rumors are indicating this CLS AMG is powered by the division's latest twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, rather than the current 6.2-liter V-8. Insiders have told us the mill makes around 570 horsepower (up 63 horses), and that despite the smaller displacement, Mercedes product planners will likely keep the "63" badge so that owners don't feel shortchanged. Expect more information to arrive closer to its Paris Motor Show this October.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The Jeep Wrangler and its four-door sibling, the Wrangler Unlimited, are Jeep’s best-selling models despite remaining practically unchanged for years. The Wrangler’s pure, unfiltered charm and off-road prowess are the reasons it sells so well. For 2011, Jeep has addressed one of the SUV’s biggest letdowns by revamping the interior. The new trappings look much sharper and take cues from the new Grand Cherokee.

The overall layout is the same, with exposed screw heads and a passenger-side grab handle—now bearing a “Jeep, Since 1941” plaque—but the materials have been thoroughly modernized. The clunky center stack now has a smoother, cleaner layout with chrome-ringed vents and up-to-date climate-control knobs. There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel that incorporates cruise and audio controls, and a refreshed instrument cluster. Soft-touch materials appear on the center console (now lockable) and redesigned armrests. Two-tone interiors are now on offer, too, a welcome change from the monotone plastic setup that graced earlier Wranglers.

Additional features include a 110-volt power outlet, optional heated power mirrors, and Bluetooth phone and USB audio connectivity with the upgraded sound system. Jeep says it has added more sound-deadening to keep the interior quieter. The cabin upgrades make the Wrangler’s cockpit much more appealing, although traditionalists may decry the dilution of the Jeep’s rugged spirit.

Outside, buyers can choose from five additional paint colors: Detonator Yellow, Deep Cherry Red, Sahara Tan, Cosmos Blue, and Bright White. The optional hardtop for Sahara trim levels is now body-colored, for a more cohesive exterior look. It makes the two-door Wrangler look like a Dodge Nitro and the four-door Unlimited model resemble a Mercedes G-class.

The vehicles are mechanically unchanged from 2010, with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine and six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. Four-wheel-drive is standard on all but Unlimited models equipped with the automatic. Production of the 2011 Wranglers began earlier this week, so they’ll be in dealerships soon. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we don’t expect a drastic increase over the current sticker, which starts at $21,915 for a two-door model.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 18 Agustus 2010

Hot News: Hyundai to Overhaul i10

Hyundai will launch a revised i10 range at the Paris motor show next month, including a new 99g/km model.

This new 99g/km model will be the cheapest car with sub-100g/km CO2 emissions in the UK, according to Hyundai, “by some margin”.

A new 1.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine will power this model, which is in effect a smaller version of Hyundai’s 1.2-litre petrol unit equipped with variable valve timing. Despite its smaller displacement, Hyundai says this engine “is not a cheap unit, just a very efficient one”.

All i10 models will have their styling overhauled to take styling cues from the new ix35 crossover, including that car’s front headlight and front grille design. There will also be interior changes, although these will be less substantial than the exterior styling tweaks.

All of the i10’s engines will now be Euro 5 emissions compliant; the 1.2 petrol unit will be more powerful and have improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

The upgrade to Euro 5 means the 1.1-litre petrol engine will be deleted from the range, while the firm is still considering plans to introduce a three-cylinder engine to the i10 range.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2012 Audi Q3

Audi is keeping its forthcoming Q3 baby SUV under wraps - although leaving the lights on probably wasn't a good idea.

The Tiguan-based Q3 is due on sale before the end of next year. It’s loosely based on the Cross Coupé concept that was shown at the Shanghai motor show as long ago as 2007.

But although the bags draped over this test car’s bodywork disguise the detail, the profile does suggest that the show car’s steeply raked tailgate is being kept for production, making the Q3 more of a coupé crossover than a pure mini-SUV.

The new model will slot into Audi’s line-up beneath the Q5 and Q7. It’s around 4.4m long, 1.8m wide and 1.6m high — 20cm shorter and 7cm narrower than the Q5.

The Q3 will be mechanically similar to the Volkswagen Tiguan, although Audi is likely to offer adaptive damping on its model.

It will feature three petrol engines — a 140bhp 1.4, a 180bhp 1.8 and a 210bhp 2.0 — plus two diesels, with 140bhp and 170bhp. A 204bhp twin-turbodiesel is also in the pipeline.

The Q3 will be built at Seat’s Martorell factory near Barcelona — an ironic choice, given that the Spanish VW subsidiary’s own Tiguan-based project, the Tribu, has been postponed indefinitely.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2011 Lotus Evora S

The new range-topping Evora S has been spied testing in Germany ahead of its debut in Paris. The S comes with a supercharger fitted to its mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6. The blower is located between the two banks of cylinders to ensure that unlike in the Exige S, rear visibility won't be a problem.

The exterior design will be almost unchanged over the standard version. Look closer and you'll notice the more pronounced, larger rear diffuser which gives a clue towards the extra power on tap.

Most of the mechanical underpinnings, including the brakes and suspension, will be shared with the base car, but the addition of a supercharger should push power to 350bhp, and increase torque to 407Nm.

That’s a 74bhp increase over the naturally-aspirated model, and the power boost should mean that the Evora S will be able to reach 60mph in under five seconds, and go on to achieve a top speed of over 175mph.

The Evora S was caught during a three day handling test at Germany’s Nürburgring circuit, with its official public unveiling scheduled for the Paris Motor Show in September, alongside an automatic version developed primarily for the U.S. market.

Both will go on sale immediately after the show, and although prices have yet to be announced, expect it to cost around £62,000.

Also sharing the British brand’s 10,000sq ft stand will be three other new models, including the brand new Esprit, a new hybrid two-door GT, and a new Seven, all as part of a push to revive the marque. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2011 Bentley Continental GT

We've seen spy photos of the new Bentley Continental GT running around for some time, but had yet to hear word from Bentley on when the finished coupe will debut. Bentley just released a quick teaser video of the new coupe, along with a September 7 reveal date.

According to Bentley, this Continental GT is a new model, but judging from the glimpses of the car in the video, we'd call it a model refresh. The car's basic shape, though refined, remains the same; the headlights (pictured) have been updated, and show part of a new fascia, sculpted to more closely resemble Bentley's Mulsanne halo car. We expect styling cues on the rest of the car to be slight updates, with hints of Mulsanne, but we were hoping for an all-new ground-breaking coupe, as the current Continental GT was for the brand several years ago.

The video gives brief glimpses of the car, enough to determine rough styling details, but powertrain details are still unknown. Given the current Continental uses a version of corporate owners Audi/Volkswagen's W-12, rather than Bentley's 6.75-liter V-8, the revised Continental GT could use the updated 6.3-liter, direct-injected W-12 found in the new A8L W12. In the A8, the engine delivers 500 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, and we expect the engine will once again be accompanied by a pair of turbochargers to further increase output. The W-12's fury will likely be put to the ground via ZF's new eight-speed automatic, also found in the Mulsanne and A8L, and all-wheel drive.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Jaguar XJ Sentinel

Sure, nothing protects passengers like an Oshkosh MRAP, but for those who desire a little luxury mixed with their B7-grade armor, perhaps the new Jaguar XJ Sentinel is the perfect ride.

According to Jag, the Sentinel is certified at a B7 level, meaning it can withstand multiple rounds of armor-piercing 7.62-mm ammunition. Impressive, but Jaguar also says the XJ Sentinel protects against 33 pounds of TNT detonated near the car, and offers "substantial" protection from underfloor explosives.

Although the Sentinel retains the XJ's aluminum spaceframe construction, the additional armor causes its weight to swell from 3909 pounds to roughly 7275. Jaguar says it's updated the adaptive suspension to compensate for the additional weight, but for some reason, the Sentinel makes use of the 385-horsepower, direct-injection V-8, not the supercharged, 470-horsepower form. As such, the Sentinel can hustle from 0-62 mph in 9.7 seconds -- not horrible, but it's far slower than a standard XJ, which can achieve the same metric in roughly 5.7 seconds.

All XJ Sentinel cars do, however, receive the larger brakes from the Supercharged model, along with strengthened 19-inch wheels, Dunlop 245/45 run-flat tires, and a three-year/ 50,000-mile warranty. If that sounds like a blast (no pun intended) to you, give Jaguar a call.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: 2012 Saab 9-4x to Make its Debut at LA Auto Show 2010

Good news, Saab fans. Another new production model is headed our way in a few months' time. According to the official Twitter feed for the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2011 Saab 9-4x crossover will finally make its production debut at the L.A. show in November.

Although the concept's funky ski racks and flex-fuel capability may not cross into production, we're expecting the production 2011 9-4x to otherwise mirror the show car, which launched at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. At the time, we called the concept a thinly veiled version of the production vehicle, and based upon the numerous spy photos and prototypes we've seen since, we'll stick with that assessment.

In concept form, the 9-4x was powered by General Motors' direct-injection turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, which produced nearly 300 horsepower when running on E85 ethanol blends. We wouldn't be surprised to see such an engine make its way into the final product to make it more Saab-ish, but given the 9-4x shares its Theta Premium underpinnings with the Cadillac SRX, it may also be offered with a 3.0-liter direct-injection V-6 or a turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6. Regardless, expect engine offerings to be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and Saab's Haldex-sourced XWD all-wheel-drive system.

Although production of the 9-3 and 9-5 still occurs within Saab's factory gates in Trollhattan, Sweden, the 9-4x will continue to be supplied by GM, and will likely be built alongside the SRX in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Expect finalized details of this new crossover to emerge later in November, and deliveries to commence in early 2011.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Morgan Eva GT

The first details and a shadowy teaser shot surfaced two months ago and Morgan has now revealed the Eva GT at the automotive droolfest otherwise known as the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

The demurely named Eva breaks with Morgan traditions in that it offers seating for four occupants and their luggage (at least according to the company's claims) and also new is the fact that its propulsion comes from a high-tech BMW-sourced twin-turbo six-cylinder engine (rather than the customary V8).

The British-based sportscar specialist says the slinky, low-slung coupe -- which ditches the marque's familiar olde-worlde styling -- will go into production from 2012, and pricing is tipped to fall in the $125-150k bracket (ex-UK), which strikes us as rather good value.

Although its looks are a fairly radical departure from Morgan's existing offerings, the Eva GT is underpinned by an evolution of the lightweight bonded aluminium chassis used by the Aero Supersports.

Helping keep kerb weight down to a waiflike 1250kg are aviation-inspired superformed aluminium body panels, which have been sensuously sculpted to endow the Eva with classic long-bonnet-short-tail proportions.

The newcomer is about half a metre longer than the 4.2m Aeromax, which is ostensibly how the extra room has been eked out to accommodate four occupants.

The BMW-built 3.0-litre twin-turbo six pumps out 225kW and 400Nm and meets Euro6 emissions regulations, but of more interest is the fact that it allegedly enables the Eva GT to sprint to 100km/h in around 4.5sec and achieve a v-max of 270km/h-plus.

Despite the supercar-threatening performance, fuel consumption is said to be as frugal as 7.0L/100km. Transmission choices will include a six-speed manual or auto, but no word on BMW's excellent dual-clutch sequential DCT transmission.

The Eva GT will be technical tour de force by Morgan's standards, with standard kit expected to include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, xenon headlights, satnav and the latest-gen multi-stage airbags.

Company boss Charles Morgan was quoted by UK's Autocar magazine as saying: "It's intended to be capable as serving as everyday family transport as well as a luxury GT. The rear seats will be comfortable for children and small adults, and should serve for occasional use for taller occupants."

Thanks to: Car Point

New Car: 2012 Lancia Stratos

The Stratos has come into focus! Following last week’s grainy shots of Pininfarina's re-imagining of Lancia’s legendary 1970s supercar, more information and these pin-sharp pictures have emerged.

Taken at Fiat’s test track in Balocco, Italy, these photos show the Stratos piloted by ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro during a series of benchmark tests. Insiders claim that thanks to its low kerbweight and short wheelbase, the newcomer excelled in every tested area.

Visually, the modern day Stratos is a dead-ringer for its 1970s sibling with a side-by-side shot of the two cars revealing the dimensions are almost identical. Modern updates include traditional headlights – rather than the flip-up units of the original – as well as a more aerodynamic front spoiler and a newly added rear diffuser.

The original car used a Ferrari engine, and that’s true of the newcomer too. It shares the same V8 engine and sequential gearbox as the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, and uses that car’s aluminium chassis too, albeit shortened to fit the Stratos’ small wheelbase. Also recognisable are the rear lights from a Ferrari 599 GTB.

Production was initially envisioned as just a one-off for a wealthy entrepeneur named Michael Stoscheck, but now with the involvement of Fiat's test-track and an ex-Formula 1 driver, the suggestion is that a limited production run could be on the cards giving Lancia a retro-inspired halo model, like the 8C Competizione did for Alfa Romeo.

Reports suggest that Stoscheck has given the all-clear to Pininfarina to build around 25 examples of the Stratos which, judging by the late stages of development could go on sale within the next couple of years. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2012 Range Rover Evoque 5-Door

The five’s alive at Range Rover! Despite being launched back in July as a three-door, these spy-shots reveal the new Evoque will also come in five-door guise.

Bearing a striking resemblance to the original LRX concept, the Evoque is the smallest and lightest Range Rover ever made. Design boss Gerry McGovern describes the car as “a modern and relevant execution of the familiar Range Rover design language.”

The Evoque will also become the cleanest Land Rover when it goes on sale in the UK next summer. Available in both two and four-wheel-drive, the greenest version will emit less than 130g/km of CO2.

The five-door model is expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, where it will grace the Range Rover stand along with its three door sibling.

Both models will go on sale in summer 2011 with a starting price-tag of around £30,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

First Sketch: Kia Pop Concept

Kia's tagline, "The Power to Surprise," becomes more apparent with each new vehicle it's brought to market as of late, from the Sportage to the upcoming Optima. Now, Kia has delivered an electric surprise in the form of a 2+1 micro-city car, the Pop, which will debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Kia hasn't released any details or technical specifications on its electric city car other than its length (three meters long) and passenger capacity (three). The Toyota iQ-lookalike joins the ranks of upcoming electric city cars, such as the BMW Megacity, and features a futuristic interior and exterior surrounded by glass. Kia's design team spared no detail, and incorporated a design theme defined by ovoid circle window treatment and boomerangs in the headlights.

Like the iQ, the diminutive Pop will accommodate its three passengers through a 2+1 configuration -- two passengers in the front, and one in back. From the details in the pictures, the sleek purple and silver interior has a couchlike front bench, which we hope makes it to production.

The larger-than-a-Smart Fortwo concept car will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September. With this surprise introduction, it seems the electric city car wars are only beginning to heat up.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2011 Mercedes CLS

We've seen design concepts, spy shots, and unofficial renderings of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS that have given us a pretty good idea of how the actual production version will shape up when it arrives at the Paris Motor Show later this year. But now, thanks to a leaked brochure, we've got official images of the second coming of Mercedes' original four-door coupe.

With so much build-up to the real deal, we're not too surprised by what we see here. Mercedes' Shooting Break concept gave us our most developed official preview of how the CLS would be styled, albeit with a 'shooting brake' style wagon-like appearance. From there, lightly camouflaged test mules and artist renderings filled in most of the details. The CLS takes many cues from the new E-Class sedan, with its bulging rear fenders and svelte tail treatment, while the front grille is more upright than in the original CLS. LED exterior lighting is found front and rear.

Inside, Mercedes keeps the four-seat arrangement with two individually sculpted buckets in the rear and a center console design that continues nearly uninterrupted from the front of the cabin all the way back to the rear. A three-spoke steering wheel and three large, round gauges keep the driver's seat involving, and we're expecting a bevy of the latest technological gadgetry to compliment the opulent environment when we see the car in the sheet metal for the first time this October.

We're still expecting a couple different engine options for the U.S.-spec CLS, including a naturally aspirated, direct-injected V-6 and a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8. Stay tuned to Motor Trend Online for more info as it becomes available.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2011 Dodge Durango

Several months back, we caught our first glimpse of a heavily camouflaged Durango test mule running about. At that point, it was uncertain if the newly unibody SUV would wear the Durango nameplate or switch to something else—Magnum also being suggested as a possibility, as Dodge’s bad-ass wagon is no more. But accompanying these teaser images from Dodge is confirmation that its full-size crossover will again be called Durango.

Although we’ve only got a slight peek at the front and rear fascias shown here, the company has verified a few tidbits of info. As is pretty much required of a crossover, the new Durango will be available with all-wheel drive. Additionally, our hunch that the 2011 Durango will boast three-row seating has also been confirmed.

We understand if your heart rate hasn’t increased yet. However, as Dodge is officially referring to this as a “performance SUV,” we’re confident we can expect an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 underhood. To boost fuel economy, an eight-speed automatic transmission should accompany the Hemi. Miserly buyers will likely stick with the base engine, a Pentastar V-6 with about 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

From a styling standpoint, the Durango receives a handsome face like that of the Ram truck line, with its signature crosshair grille and a thick chin bringing the nose close to the ground. Out back is a much softer design that’s reminiscent of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a horizontal chrome bar connecting the taillights. As for the interior, look for amenities like push-button start, as well as vastly improved materials.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Jumat, 13 Agustus 2010

New Concept Car: Jaguar XJ75 Platinum

Jaguar has taken the wraps off this new XJ design concept at Pebble Beach, hinting at the styling direction for an XJR super-saloon.

Officially the one-off Jaguar XJ75 Platinum Concept has been built as part of Jaguar’s 75th anniversary celebrations to show off the scope for customising the new luxury saloon, but many of its styling changes could easily be adopted by an XJR.

Styling changes including ground-hugging front, rear and side sills give the Platinum Concept the look of the smaller XFR saloon. Other features include dark chrome and gloss black trim, Satin Matte Pearlescent White paintwork and bespoke 22-inch black alloys in a brushed contrast finish.

The long-wheelbase XJ Platinum Concept is powered by a 464bhp, 424lb ft version of the firm’s 5.0 supercharged V8. In the XJR, power is likely to exceed the 503bhp produced in the XJ Supersports, XFR and XKR models.

Jaguar insists “there are no plans yet” for an XJR and that the Platinum Concept “is just a design one-off”, but such a model is almost certain to appear in the XJ’s lifetime given the badge’s history.

Jaguar XJ chief designer Giles Taylor said the concept “brought the pure sporting character of the XJ to the fore by keeping the car’s clean graphic approach and further lowering its stance”.

Changes have been to its Jet Softgrain leather interior, too. A gloss pearlescent white finish is applied to the air vents, veneers and diamond stitch suede inserts to the seats and headliner, while suede and leather accents also feature. The centre console also houses a bespoke clock developed and designed by Jaguar alongside British watchmaker Bremont Watch Company.

Thanks to: Autocar

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