Kamis, 30 September 2010
Audi has unveiled its new A7 at the Paris motor show.
This is the car that Audi hopes will take sales from Mercedes-Benz’s CLS and continue the Ingolstadt firm’s evolution of its ‘big car’ design: the new A7 Sportback.
The A7 Sportback is designed to fill a niche between the A6 and A8. It offers big-car interior packaging for four people, the practicality of a rear hatch, a sizeable boot and what Audi calls a ‘four-door coupé’ shape.
The A7 is 4.97m long and 1.91m wide, which is 17cm shorter and 4cm narrower than the A8. But it sits 4cm lower than Audi’s luxury saloon, at 1.42m. At 2.91 metres, the wheelbase is around 8cm shorter than the regular A8’s, but longer than the current A6’s by a similar amount. It’s likely that the next generation of A6 will sit on the same platform.
The A7 was previewed by a concept at the Detroit show last year, and the production car sticks closely to the show model’s appearance. Its looks are dominated by a deep front grille, a low nose, narrow headlights, a sharp crease that runs along its flanks from nose to tail, and a bootline that tails off quickly, minimising the rear overhang. That last element, and a distinctive lip on the third side window, reference Audi’s 100 Coupé from the 1970s.
The new model will be offered with four V6 engines, all with direct injection, Audi’s thermal management system, stop-start and brake energy recuperation. The petrol units are a 2.8-litre V6 with 201bhp and 207lb ft, and a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 295bhp and 325lb ft.
They are available with a seven-speed S-tronic transmission and quattro four-wheel drive only. In 3.0 TFSI form the A7 can reach 62mph in 5.6sec and go on to a limited top speed of 155mph. The 2.8 emits 187g/km of CO2 and the 3.0 190g/km.
The line-up will include two V6 diesels. The more potent of the pair comes with four-wheel drive and S-tronic only, and it has 241bhp and 369lb ft of torque. That’s enough for the A7 to crack 0-62mph in 6.5sec and reach a maximum of 155mph.
The lower-powered oil-burner, which will arrive soon after the A7 Sportback’s launch, is being positioned as the eco model in the range.
The 201bhp powerplant is available with the same S-tronic/quattro set-up as the other variants, or with the combination of front-wheel drive and Audi’s multitronic CVT transmission.
Thanks to: Autocar
Audi is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its iconic Quattro with this Paris show star: the Quattro Concept.
Based on a shortened RS5 platform, the concept is actually closer in spirit to 1984’s Sport Quattro, a more compact version of the original coupé that was designed to improve the car’s agility on the world’s rallying stages.
Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has told Autocar he wants the firm "to do" the Quattro, with the possibility of it entering production within three years. He said the cost of putting a new body on an existing platform was between 400-500 million euro and this money would be recouped by either high volume or high prices. If it makes production, Winterkorn expects a combination of both strategies in making and selling the car: around 30-35,000 Quattro units would be made per year with a "solid price" tag.
The concept’s wheelbase is 150mm shorter than the RS5’s, its roofline is around 40mm lower and the 4.28m overall length is around the same as a Volkswagen Scirocco’s. That's 200mm shorter than an Audi A5. Unlike the RS5, though, the concept is a strict two-seater.
Most of the bodywork is aluminium, but the bonnet and rear hatchback are carbonfibre. Audi says the car weighs approximately 1300kg, around the same as the Sport Quattro.
Power comes from a 408bhp version of the TT RS’s twin-turbocharged five-pot, mounted north-south insetad of its transverse installation in the TT-RS. This is comfortably more than the 300bhp of the original roadgoing special. It is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and the Quattro is good for 0-62mph in just 3.9sec.
Like the RS5, the Quattro "has full four-wheel-drive, not the TT's [part-time] Haldex system," the Quattro Concept's designer, Steve Lewis, told Autocar.
The front styling is dominated by a huge rectangular grille, while the side profile’s key feature is an extra-thick C-pillar that also has Audi’s four-ring logo stamped into its metal. No images of the cabin have been released, but Audi says it features a slender, ‘floating’ dashboard and bucket seats that are 40 per cent lighter than regular items.
The concept was built at Volkswagen Group's latest acquisition, Italdesign, which has form in producing limited-run sports cars, such as the BMW M1. However, even if it does get the green light, don't expect a public announcement on that for another year.
Thanks to: Autocar
Rabu, 29 September 2010
When Mustangs started pouring into the Kimberton Fairgrounds last weekend, it quickly became apparent that this was not going to be a typical car show! Within a few short hours, over 500 of the sickest Mustangs from all over the country had arrived! Some came in packs, others rode solo. There was everything from classics to special editions to fox bodies and late models. Some will say it was a mixture of a great cause, hot girls and free food! Others will say it was the perfect weather (I’m not buying it!). Either way, this car show was kicking off the right way…
With such a great turnout, it was very hard to decide our trophy winners. Congrats goes out to some beautiful rides:
- Cindy Iacocca & Family - 1st Place Specialty (2009 Iacocca Mustang)
- Stephen Donapel - Runner Up Specialty (2009 Super Snake)
- Rob Horner - Runner Up Speciality (2004 Mach 1)
- Joe Ferro - 1st Place 05-11 (2008 Mustang GT)
- Mary Mullin - Runner Up 05-11 (2006 Mustang GT)
- John Bartholomew - Runner Up 05-11 (2011 Shelby GT500)
- Emil Hibian - 1st Place 99-04 (2004 Cobra)
- Janice Hall - Runner Up 99-04 (2000 Mustang V6)
- Ralph D’Ambrosio - Runner Up 99-04 (2003 Cobra)
- Wayne Stamps – 1st Place 94-98 (1998 Mustang GT)
- Fred Tollin - Runner Up 94-98 (1998 Mustang GT)
- Rich Nagle - 1st Place 79-93 (1993 Mustang GT)
- Joe Caria – Runner Up 79-93 (1989 Mustang GT)
- Ralph Tuckett - Runner Up 79-93 (1989 Mustang GT)
- Ruben Tabares - 1st Place 1964.5-1978 (1967 Convertible)
- Frank Hoover - Runner Up 1964.5-1978 (1969 Mach 1 428CJ)
- Tim Brillhart - Runner Up 1964.5-1978 (1968 GT500KR)
- Karen Baum - Employee Ride (2003 Mustang GT)
- Valley Forge Mustang Club - Club Participation Award
As you can see we had some of the hottest, loudest and baddest Mustangs in the country show up, and at the end of the day we had raised nearly $15,000 for Homes for our Troops! Hats off to a great day with some awesome Mustangs! Click here to see more...
India will be one of the first countries to see the effects of Volkswagen’s $2.5 billion investment in Suzuki for a 20 percent stake. With Maruti Suzuki cornering just under 50 percent of the market, India is clearly the most important market for Suzuki and VW sees a huge opportunity to piggyback on Maruti’s success.
Cooperation between VW and Suzuki has already begun at a high level and an organisation structure has been put in place for regular interactions between teams from Wolfsburg and Hamamatsu to jointly explore opportunities. For VW, India is a key market and the Suzuki alliance presents the German automaker with a huge range of possibilities in the small car segment.
The alliance with Suzuki coincides with VW’s decision to axe the Up!-based mini-car for India, but that would leave VW with no presence in the core segment of the Indian market below the Polo. Also, VW’s cost structure is too high for it to effectively compete in such segments that are super-sensitive to price. Yet, it’s a part of the market which no carmaker can afford to ignore.
However, Maruti’s dominance in the lower band of the market where VW is completely absent could prove to be a golden opportunity for German giant. The VW Group has identified two models from the Maruti stable that it is keen to rebadge as its own brands. According to company sources, at a meeting, Maruti, VW and Skoda India officials explored the possibility of putting a VW badge on the A-star and a Skoda badge on the WagonR.
The thinking is that the sophisticated looks, driving dynamics and overall styling of the A-star are more suited for the VW badge while the WagonR with its roominess and space, a Skoda attribute too, is better suited for the Czech brand.
VW is keen to begin the its rebadging exercise as soon as possible and in fact, wants to have the VW- badged A-star and Skoda-badged WagonR in their respective showrooms as early as 2012. To meet this deadline, we understand that only minimal changes would be done. Reskinning is not feasible.
Apart from new lights, bumpers and grilles, the rebadged cars could end up looking unmistakably like Marutis. Even the interiors would remain largely untouched as a redesigned instrument panel will take too long develop.
Talks on powertrain sharing between the two companies are on and while the logical first step is to plonk a VW diesel under a Maruti hood, especially since Suzuki doesn’t have its own diesel motors, the reality is that it’s still cheaper to use a Fiat Multi-jet (even after paying license fees to Fiat) because of the huge amount of investment that’s gone into localisation of the Multi-jet.
In fact, VW is looking at some of Suzuki’s motors and indications are that VW engineers have been greatly impressed with the K-series engine, especially the 1.2 litre. We wouldn’t be surprised if these motors ended up under the hood of a future VW or Skoda. It is not clear where these ‘Volkzukis’ will be made. Again, it would be logical for Maruti to produce them for VW and Skoda in the same way it produces the A-star as the Pixo for Nissan. However, Maruti has huge capacity constraints at present, which may not be freed up by 2012. VW has a huge plant at Chakan with capacity to fill and may consider this location to produce VW’s A00 platform cars.
Both VW and Suzuki are totally mum on the subject and are unlikely to announce any cooperation immediately. But VW is in a big hurry to expand its presence here and the alliance with Suzuki will play a key role in VW’s big ambitions on the sub-continent.
Thanks to: Autocar India
Isuzu Ute Australia (IUA) is marking its second year of local sales with the launch of a limited edition D-MAX 'LE II' 4WD crew-cab one-tonne ute.
Following successful sales of the D-MAX 'Pearler' special edition last year, the 'LE II' is a strictly limited build, offering only 180 units for sale across the country, priced at $47,300 before on-road costs.
"Last year's 'Pearler' limited edition D-MAX was very well received so we've sweetened this year's special edition with some even greater value unique elements at very reasonable cost," said IUA's general manager of sales, Paul Vuko.
Available in two new and exclusive paint colours – 140 Lunar White and 40 Solar Bronze – the D-MAX LE II is based on the well-equipped D-MAX LS-U 4WD crew-cab ute and offers an additional $9000 retail value for only $5000 more than typical D-MAX LS-U retail pricing.
Offered in both manual and automatic guise, the Isuzu Ute D-MAX LE II offers a Kenwood touch-screen infotainment system featuring satellite navigation, reversing camera, DVD player, USB music player connectivity, Bluetooth, CD and AM/FM tuner. The integrated unit also features a detachable face for added security and includes a remote control.
Also included in LE II's additions list are side steps with integrated polished aluminium step inserts and rubber grip stipples, a lockable hard tonneau cover, chrome nudge bar, chrome sports bar, bonnet protector, fog light recess bezels, tail lamp guards and optional monogrammed leather upholstery, available for an extra $2400.
Of course no limited edition model would be complete without the obligatory badging, D-MAX LE II featuring 'Limited Edition II' badging on the tub's rear flanks and an 'LE II' graphic integrated into custom striping on the lower doors to denote the special model.
As with other models in the D-MAX range, the LE II is equipped with air conditioning, folding wing mirrors with integrated LED indicators, cruise control, projector headlamps, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, rear limited slip differential, lockable tailgate, rubber tub liner, chrome rear step and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The high-riding 4WD model also offers impressive specifications including 225mm of ground clearance and a 3000kg (braked) towing capacity.
Isuzu D-MAX Limited Edition II is available now and is priced from $47,300.
Thanks to: Car Point
Several undisguised 2012 Nissan GT-Rs have been spied at the Nurburgring.
The revised model will be at the Paris motor show, but Autocar understands it will not be on public display and will instead be shown to selected VIPs.
The pictures, taken at a very wet and foggy Nürburgring, reveal the addition of new LED lights at the front and revised styling to front and rear bumper designs.
The GT-R is also understood to have undergone a rigorous weight-saving programme to ensure the latest model tips the scales at 30 kilos lighter than the current car.
Thanks to modified turbos, oil cooler and exhaust system, the GT-R’s twin-turbo V6 now pumps out 506bhp at 6400rpm and produces 448lb ft of torque between 3200 and 5200rpm.
There are also tweaked gear ratios, while completing the changes are revised spring rates and rear suspension geometry – which should help deliver a more compliant ride with sharper handling.
Thanks to: Autocar
This grainy leaked image is believed to be the first picture of Lamborghini’s new Paris motor show concept.
The image, leaked on to the internet by French blogging site blogautomobile, reveals the name of the concept to be Sesto Elemento Concept. According to the site, the name (which means Sixth Element in English) refers to the concept’s extensive use of carbonfibre – carbon having an atomic number of six in the periodic table.
It is said to weigh just 999kg and be capable of being powered from 0-62mph by its V10 engine in just 2.5sec and reach a top speed of 217.5mph.
Lamborghini will formally reveal its Paris concept on tomorrow’s first press day of the show.
Thanks to: Autocar
Although Saab’s first foray into the people-hauler segment—a Saab-badged Chevy TrailBlazer SUV called the 9-7X—is most memorable for being a punchline, the embattled company is finally ready to launch a far more serious product as its second salvo, the 9-4X crossover. This picture—posted on SaabsUnited.com, where you’ll also find a rear shot—shows a pre-production 9-4x in advance of its official reveal at the L.A. auto show in November.
As expected, aside from the usual show-car-to-production tweaks, little has changed in the 9-4X’s final design from the 2008 9-4X BioPower concept. The characteristic and attractive blacked-out A-, B-, and C-pillars have been retained, giving the 9-4X some design cohesion with the recently introduced 9-5 sedan. The 9-4X’s underpinnings are the same as those of the Cadillac SRX, and the 9-4X will in fact be built alongside that model at a GM plant in Mexico; the General will sell fully finished vehicles to Spyker-owned Saab. Powerplants for the 9-4X most likely will include the 2.8-liter turbocharged six found in both the SRX and 9-5, and the Caddy’s naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V-6 is a possibility, too.
Even though it’s still weeks away from its L.A. reveal—and months from its April on-sale date—the 9-4X is perhaps the most important Saab product we’ll see for the foreseeable future. This isn’t just because it may be several years until we begin to see Spyker-helmed Saabs (although that’s a good reason on its own), but because the crossover segment is where the action and profits are: the best-selling vehicle last month for Saab’s fellow Swedish brand, Volvo, was the XC60 crossover.
Thanks to: Car and Driver
Selasa, 28 September 2010
French race team Exagon Engineering will branch out into road cars when it launches this 2+2, the Furtive-eGT, at this week’s Paris show.
The new car has been developed with input from several top-line engineering firms, including Siemens Corporate Technology (engines), Saft (batteries) and Michelin (tyres).
The 4.5m-long Furtive-eGT has two electric motors, each producing the equivalent of 168bhp. Exagon claims the car can crack 0-62mph in 3.5sec and reach a limited 155mph. Its range is around 250 miles on electric power alone, but a small generator can extend this to just over 500 miles, using 5.5 gallons of petrol.
Exagon does have prior experience with electric vehicles: it developed a one-off electric prototype Andros Trophy ice-racer during 2009. It aims to put the Furtive-eGT on sale before the end of 2012.
Thanks to: Autocar
Porsche’s model line-up will expand further with the addition of a new baby SUV, according to Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn.
Winterkorn, speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel, said that Porsche would launch “a new SUV, a smaller brother to the Cayenne which might be named Cajun.”
Volkswagen wants to double Porsche sales in the medium term to 150,000 units and the new baby SUV, expected to be based on the Audi Q5 and be launched by 2015, will play a key role.
Another new Porsche that will help significantly boost volume is the forthcoming ‘baby Boxster’; this will be based on the VW Bluesport and will be available in both roadster and coupe forms, starting at just under £30,000.
In the interview, Winterkron also conceded that VW Group’s plans to overtake Toyota by 2018 as the world’s leading car maker had been made more difficult as it had to incorporate both Porsche and Suzuki into its operations.
“We know how ambitious our goals are,” he said. “All this won’t happen automatically.”
Winterkorn added that he would like to carry on with his role after his contract expired next year. “[I] would not object to carrying on if the supervisory board should so wish,” he said.
Thanks to: Autocar
Sabtu, 25 September 2010
Jumat, 24 September 2010
It’s not obvious from the impressively generic exterior, but this is the new Ssangyong Korando. This is the first monocoque vehicle that the Korean company has ever produced and represents the first steps in a re-launch that is intended to make the brand more competitive against major budget European makers.
A 173bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor, developed by the company independently, is the only motor available in the Korando. A six-speed auto and all-wheel drive is on offer, but we’re testing the entry-level two-wheel drive model.
Rather bland in many respects, which for many will be an improvement on the rather eccentric previous models. When not under load the Korando is impressively refined by class standards, but otherwise the motor fails to meet modern diesel standards in terms of its usability.
Power delivery is very peaky – significantly more so than is now usual in modern turbodiesels - with all of the 266lb ft of torque arriving between 2000-3000rpm. The effect of this is amplified by awkwardly spaced gear ratios. Second is very short, but changing up into third leaves the engine floundering beneath its limited power range.
So powertrain is not something that Ssangyong can yet claim to have reached current European standards in, but ride quality is well judged – a little bouncy occasionally but nothing you wouldn’t expect of a softly sprung compact SUV, and body roll is also kept in check.
Steering is entirely sterile and has a disconcerting elasticity around the dead-ahead, but it is linear enough in response. Passenger space is also very competitive, particularly for those in the back, though luggage capacity of 486 litres is some way behind class best.
Thanks to: Autocar
Kamis, 23 September 2010
Skoda will unveil its next-generation of Greenline models at the Paris motor show at the end of the month.
The new line will see two reworked engines – a 103bhp 1.6 TDI and a 74bhp 1.2 TDI – with stop-start and braking energy-recuperation technology fitted.
The Fabia Greenline and the Fabia Estate Greenline, both fitted with the 1.2 engine, will now emit 89g/km of CO2.
The Roomster compact MPV, which will also use the 1.2 unit, will have CO2 emissions of 109g/km, which Skoda claims is the best in class.
The Greenline models of the Octavia, Yeti and Superb use the 1.6 engine. The hatchback version of the Octavia will emit 99g/km of CO2 and the estate variant will emit 109g/km of CO2.
The Yeti and the Superb Estate have not been previously included in the Greenline range.
The Greenline version of the Yeti will emit 119g/km of CO2, accelerate from 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds and have a top speed of 109mph. Both the Superb and the Superb estate will emit 114g/km of CO2.
Thanks to: Autocar
Ram is debuting its most expensive and luxurious full-size truck yet at the State Fair of Texas today, called the Laramie Longhorn Edition.
Available on the 1500, 2500, and 3500 models, the 2011 Laramie Longhorn Edition is expected to reach some very high-end neighborhoods.
“The Ram Laramie Longhorn edition is going to share a driveway with some fine luxury cars,” said Fred Diaz, head of the Ram Truck brand. “The only difference is the Ram Laramie Longhorn edition is going to be the vehicle with the full-time job – towing the horse trailer, taking the crew to the game, picking up supplies. It’s ready to go from the dirt to downtown.”
Selasa, 21 September 2010
Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) will celebrate the 20 years of thunder with a limited edition anniversary model of its Maloo R8 ute.
The first Maloo was revealed at the Sydney Motor Show in October 1990, and is claimed by HSV to be the only V8-powered sports ute available on the Australian market at the time.
Powered by a 180kW/400Nm 5.0-litre V8, the first VG-Series HSV Maloo was a standout blend of hard working utility with performance car street cred, paving the way for a raft of models to come, each upping the ante with more power, better handling and aggressive new looks.
A decade later, Maloo again hit the headlines when it received the famous Corvette LS1 5.7-litre V8 producing 255kW/475Nm, and just six years later (in 2006), landed itself in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "world's fastest production pick-up/utility" when V8 Supercar driver Mark Skaife piloted the Aussie icon to a top speed of 271.44km/h.
Strictly limited to just 100 examples, the 20 years of Maloo R8 scores unique exterior equipment, including matte black 'Vector E' vents on the front guards and bonnet, 20-inch GTS alloy wheels, bi-modal exhaust system and new hero colours, including 'Hazard' yellow.
Power comes from a revised 6.2-litre LS3 V8 developing 317kW/550Nm.
Inside, special leather upholstery, bi-modal exhaust system, Side Blind Zone Alert (SBZA), satellite navigation, Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI), rear window decal and a numbered build plate.
The 20 years of Maloo R8 joins HSV's new E3-Series for a limited time, and is available now for $67,600 (six-speed manual) and $69,600 (six-speed automatic).
Thanks to: Car Point
Luscious sheetmetal is the must-have in the four-door-coupe arena, but power doesn’t rate far behind, at least in the U.S. The Mercedes-Benz CLS-class is available here exclusively with V-8 engines, the same goes for the rakish Jaguar XF, and even the BMW 5-series GT—admittedly a bit of an outlier to the segment—is available with a twin-turbo V-8. And so for the Audi A7, a V-8 option seems indispensable. Enter the top-spec A7, the S7 spied here.
To be sure, we like the A7’s responsive and gutsy, 300-hp supercharged V-6, but its muted snarl just can’t deliver the aural satisfaction and hearty growl of a V-8. In addition, the 333 hp the engine produces in the S4 is likely near its maximum output. So we’re not entirely surprised that Audi has chosen to add an entirely new engine to its arsenal for the S7 (as well as the next S8): a turbocharged and direct-injected 4.0-liter V-8 good for at least 400 hp.
Loosely based on the old naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V-8, the 4.0 will launch in the S7 next year, and will also serve as the base engine for the redesigned 2011 Bentley Continental GT. The fact that the power addicts at Bentley deem this powerplant fit to move their portly luxo-cruiser with sufficient authority can be taken as a strong indicator of its capabilities. We expect it to be equipped with a single turbocharger in the S7 and with twin turbos in the S8, where it could make around 450 hp. We hear rumblings that the S7 will scoot to 60 mph in fewer than five seconds; top speed will be a governed 155 mph. Power will be channeled to a rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system through Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which will surely be programmed to deliver all sorts of sweet-sounding, rev-matched downshifts.
The prototypes caught by our photographer are running on the same parallel-spoke 18-inch “S-Design” wheels that are standard on the Europe-only S5 Sportback. They will certainly be the smallest available on the S7; count on Audi to offer optional 19- and 20-inchers to visually offset the S7’s considerable size. The exterior of this prototype is rather low-key, and in fact virtually identical to the A7 with the optional S-line package that we sampled during the A7’s launch in Sardinia earlier this month. The gaping, rectangular air intakes do little to improve the look of the base model, and we hope—probably in vain—that the S7 will come to market with a somewhat more sophisticated front bumper. The four exhaust pipes out back, on the other hand, look just fine to us.
The suspension will naturally be upgraded to deliver sportier responses, and Audi will offer a number of assistance systems, such as the torque-vectoring “sports differential” and active steering. Inside, the S7 will receive specific trim and décor.
The S7 won’t arrive at U.S. dealers before the 2012 model year. By then, Mercedes will have unveiled its 550-plus-hp CLS63 AMG, which begs the question: How about an RS7?
Thanks to: Car and Driver
Senin, 20 September 2010
BMW is ditching the bullish appearance of the existing 6-series for a more svelte and classically elegant look, revealed here for the first time on a lightly veiled concept version that’s set to make its debut at the upcoming Paris motor show.
This highly refined look was first hinted at on the four-door Gran Coupé concept at the Beijing motor show in April. It ties the new 6-series in visually with other recent BMW models, notably the 5-series, with which it shares much of its mechanical package.
The new 6-series is set to go on sale in the UK in coupé guise next April. A fabric-roofed convertible version will follow before the end of next year.
The new 6-series continues BMW’s design revolution under the watch of Adrian van Hooydonk, whose mould-breaking Z9 Gran Turismo concept car of 1999 laid down the styling template for today’s 6-series.
“With this car, I feel like I have come full circle,” he said. “I was lucky enough to influence today’s 6-series. And I’ve also been heavily involved in defining the new look of the coupé concept.”
Despite this car’s billing as a concept, van Hooydonk confirms that the production version of the new 6-series will vary little from it. The only expected changes are altered exterior mirror housings, different tailpipes and less flamboyant wheels. “What you see is largely what we intend to place into production,” he said.
Thanks to: Autocar