Kamis, 31 Maret 2011

New Concept Car: Chevrolet Miray

Chevrolet is celebrating its centenary with this striking new all-wheel drive hybrid sports car concept at the Seoul motor show.

The Chevrolet Miray, unveiled by General Motors Korea, is an open-top sports car with heavily sculpted carbonfibre bodywork inspired by some of Chevy’s classic models including 1963’s Monza SS and the Corvair Super Spyder from the previous year.

GM is heavily involved in South Korea and is the third largest manufacturer in the country. It has design, engineering and manufacturing operations in the country and this two-seat concept is a product of these facilities.

The hybrid system consists of mid-mounted 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a dual-clutch ’box powering the rear wheels and twin 20bhp electric motors with a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack powering the front wheels.

The electric motors are capable of powering the Miray, meaning ‘future’ in Korean, alone, although range or performance figures haven’t been confirmed.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 BMW M3 Pick-Up

BMW has revealed this 414bhp pick-up version of the M3.

The BMW M3 pick-up has been spied at the Nurburgring several times in the past few weeks and BMW has claimed it has been extensively tested and set-up for a familiar M driving experience.

At the front of the car is the same 4.0-litre V8 developing its 414bhp at 8300rpm and 295lb ft at 3900rpm as the rest of the M3 range. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. Performance figures haven’t’ been released, but BMW claims the speedometer has displayed 186mph (300km/h) in ‘Ring tests.

Despite substantial modifications at the rear, in particular to the suspension, the M3 pick-ups still weighs in 50kg under the M3 convertible’s 1885kg kerb weight. Wind tunnel tests have also revealed the pick-up to be as slippery as an M3 Coupe.

The M3 pick-up boasts high levels of practicality to match the performance. The maximum load capacity has been raised to 450kg and a trailer tow hitch features on an M3 for the first time. The cargo area is clad in aluminium sheeting and it is capable of storing up to 20 golf bags.

The cabin is similar to that of the standard M3, featuring M-badged sports leather seats, steering wheel and gearlever. There is a special badge to commemorate the project on a carbonfibre strip on the dashboard.

It also comes with a removable targa roof that sheds a further 20kg and lowers the centre of gravity when it is removed.

BMW claims to have gone through all the necessary requirements to make the pick-up legal for road, which has led to it officially being classified as a truck.

But any well-heeled tradesman looking to replace their Toyota Hilux with an M3 pick-up should look at today’s date.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Kia Naimo

Kia has revealed this electric Naimo concept at the Seoul motor show.

The 'crossover utility vehicle' (CUV) is powered by twin 27kWh lithium-ion batteries located under the boot floor, which drive a 108bhp electric motor with 207lb ft of torque.

According to Kia, it will have a full-charge range of 124 miles and top speed of 93mph. An 80 per cent quick-charge (50KW) takes just 25 minutes, with full charge reached with a more realistic 3.3KW charge in five and a half hours.

Design features of the 3.9 metre Naimo concept include wrap-around windscreen, asymmetric sunroof, low-drag 20-inch alloy wheels and three-way split opening boot-lid for ‘versatile access.’

Further concept elements include its front and rear dot-style LED lights, high-intensity air jet, which replaces conventional windscreen wipers and small, camera-integrated door mirrors.

Much like the Hyundai's Curb concept from the Detroit motor show, the Naimo features rear-hinged, rear doors and short overhangs to maximise space in the four-seater city car.

On the inside, Korean oak is used for the entire floor and door panels, and Korean paper is used for the concept’s headlining. In contrast, modern interior features include a transparent LED display instrument panel and full connectivity.

Kia design boss Peter Schreyer said: “Naimo is a perfect balance of innovation, high-tech and Korean tradition, but combines this with cutting-edge technologies to deliver a truly premium experience.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Audi Plans BMW X6 Rival

The X6 is under attack! In its quest to fill every niche in the premium market, Audi is preparing a coupé-style SUV, likely to be called the Q6 – and our exclusive images show just what to expect.

The newcomer will be gunning for the controversial BMW X6, which has proved a runaway 
success, selling more than 110,000 units. It will be based on the same platform as the new VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, itself a shortened version of 
the Audi Q7’s underpinnings. Sacrificing some of that model’s huge load space, the Q6 will compensate with more style.

As our images show, the Q7’s blistered wheelarches and crisp surfacing will be carried over, but the smaller car will sport more steeply raked screens and a plunging roofline. Wraparound tail-lights and a curved boot spoiler create a visual reference to another Audi coupé, the A7.

While the front passengers 
will enjoy the same space and ambience as those in a Q7, the rear bench will be squeezed down to only two individual seats. Boot space will also be reduced, thanks to the lower and sleeker roof. Engines will include petrol and diesel V6s, while the same supercharged V6-electric motor combination as fitted to the Cayenne and Touareg hybrids is also on the cards.

All models will feature permanent quattro all-wheel drive as well – with the aim of boosting on-road stability more than mud-plugging ability.

There are even whispers of a flagship Q6 arriving later on, with the brand new 4.0-litre V8 turbo which will debut in the Audi S6 and Bentley Continental GT later this year. For proof that the market exists for such a car, just look at the 547bhp BMW X6 M – more than 3,000 have found homes 
globally since it arrived in 2009.

Due to the success of large cars such as the X6 in the Chinese market, it’s possible that the Q6 will make its world debut in concept form at next month’s Shanghai Motor Show. It should hit dealers late next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2012 Audi RS4

The RS4 is ready to roll! Our spies have caught a development mule for the ultimate A4 during testing in Germany. And despite the S4 badge on its grille it's clear there's more than meets the eye.

Most obvious are the huge 21-inch wheels, destined to be an option on the finished car. Behind those are larger discs designed to cope with this car's extra performance over and above the 328bhp V6-engined S4. The bulging wheelarches have been stretched too, to accomodate a wider front and rear track for improved stability in the bends.

Up front the air intakes have been enlarged to provide additional cooling for the engine - likely to be the same 444bhp 4.2-litre V8 as the RS5, connected to a seven-speed S Tronic twin-clutch gearbox. Performace will be similar too, with a 0-62mph time in around 4.5 seconds and a 155mph limited top speed.

It will offer additional practicality over the RS5 though, with both Saloon and the Avant version shown here, going on sale. Expect to see the car officially unveilied some time later this year - possibly at the Frankfurt show in September.For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Buick Envision Concept

It’s been a busy couple of days for General Motors with two Chevrolet concepts already revealed. Now, it’s Buick’s turn to tease us with a new SUV concept that will debut in Shanghai.

Developed by Shanghai GM and GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, the Envision concept is designed with China in mind. In fact, GM specifically says the Envision is the product of “global design with local aesthetics for the Chinese market,” so don’t expect to see it in the U.S. After all, China is now the largest auto market in the world (and for Buick), so it’s no surprise this is a China-only vehicle.

It’s more than just a “dynamic, fluid, quiet and comfortable” design, as GM’s press release sums up the essence of Buick. The Envision is also a plug-in hybrid and features “loads of other new technologies” that the company will be showing off. So while the Envision may not be destined for production as-is, elements of its design and technology will likely make their way into future products.

The Buick Envision Concept SUV will make its big debut on April 18, just before the opening of the Shanghai auto show.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

First Sketch: Hyundai Envisions Concept

Although hybrid and electric vehicles have taken the forefront in the race to build greener cars, Hyundai hasn’t given up on the idea of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The company unveiled its Blue2 concept (pronounced “Blue-square” )at the Seoul Motor Show to demonstrate its vision for fuel-cell sedans of the future.

As with all fuel-cell cars, hydrogen is passed through a fuel cell stack, which in turn generates electricity to power electric motors, which ultimately propel the car. We’ve been given no stats on the motors themselves, but Hyundai says the fuel cell stack is rated at 90 kW. To optimize performance, the Blue2 has aerodynamic alloy wheels shod in low-rolling-resistance tires to help improve its rolling efficiency.

The body is likewise designed for aerodynamics, although its convoluted shapes — think Fluidic Design but cranked up to 11 — aren’t as pleasing to the eye as they are to the wind tunnel. Gaping air intakes and jagged headlight housings define the awkward nose, while the Blue2’s greenhouse is reminiscent of the new Saab 9-5. LED displays at the front and rear of the car can display “unique and futuristic images,” which will surely prove distracting to rubbernecking drivers.

Futuristic interior features encompass anti-bacterial leather seats, electric-blue accent lighting, and a broad LED screen that spans the instrument cluster and center console. The driver’s door opens automatically to greet the Blue2’s pilot, and traditional mirrors have been replaced by three cameras, which feed video to the dashboard display. The car’s entertainment system is controlled by a controller that Hyundai calls a “Motion Sensor Moustick,” while rear-seat passengers can work or play on tablet computers integrated into the front-seat headrests.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevy has announced that it will unveil a show-car version of the next-gen Malibu simultaneously at the Shanghai auto show and on Facebook. Yes, really. The reveal will take place at 8:30 p.m. EDT on April 18th, meaning that in several U.S. time zones, Chevy’s big reveal is at the same time as “American Idol.” Along with the news, Chevy released a teaser photo of the car’s Camaro-inspired taillamps, as well as a teaser video about the design of the new ‘Bu. We’ve taken some screencaps and embedded the video below.

The 2012 Malibu is touted as “all-new,” but as we saw in recent spy photos, should largely resemble the current car. The sedan will ride on an evolution of the Epsilon architecture and feature a redesigned interior. We expect it to offer a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making about 180 hp and a 3.0-liter V-6 good for 260. Fuel economy—already a strong suit for the Malibu at 22 mpg city/33 highway for the four—should improve to keep pace with rivals’, and the Malibu may even get its own version of Buick’s eAssist hybrid system.

We’ll bring you the full details on the 2012 Malibu when it takes the stand at the Shanghai show, and live coverage from its U.S. debut at the New York auto show the next day.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S

It was inevitable—and reported by us just yesterday—that Porsche would further extend its Panamera range. Just a couple of years after the launch of the Panamera Turbo, Porsche is adding a Turbo S to the lineup by squeezing another 50 hp out of its awesome 4.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8. This model is not exactly a surprise: The Panamera’s V-8 engines are shared with the Cayenne, and the last-generation Cayenne was already offered with a 550-hp variation. (Here's a wild prediction: Porsche will add a new Cayenne Turbo S soon.)

The Panamera is a big and heavy car, but it shines as it thunders down the road at surreal speeds. Modified engine management and improved titanium-aluminum turbochargers enable the aforementioned 550 hp, as well as 553 lb-ft of torque, up from 516 for the regular Turbo. In the chassis’s "Sport" and "Sport Plus" modes, an overboost function increases the twist to a wild 590 lb-ft. The regular Turbo can muster an already-impressive 568 lb-ft under overboost, which is accessed by paying for the Sport Chrono package. This package is standard in the Turbo S.

The added power translates into performance you won't need to complain about: Porsche says 60 mph can be achieved in 3.6 seconds, but we clocked the regular Turbo at 3.3. Figure a tenth or two quicker than that, thanks in large part to the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic, which includes a launch-control function. It is the only available transmission. The company claims a top speed of 190 mph, but based on our testing, the real-world figure will be higher by about 5 mph. If you care, Porsche has no final fuel-economy ratings yet, but it says they will be close to the Turbo’s city/highway figures of 15/23 mpg.

No major changes were made to the chassis, which can be considered supremely competent even among high-performance sedans, but the rear track has been engorged by specific 20-inch Turbo II wheels. Europe gets the option of low-rolling-resistance tires on 19-inch wheels, which increase efficiency—yippee!

The slight performance increase comes at a not-so-slight premium. Porsche is asking for a cool $174,175, as opposed to the $136,275 required for a Panamera Turbo. For that money, you get some of the Turbo’s performance options as standard (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, Sport Chrono, etc.), as well as side skirts out of the "Porsche Exclusive" parts bin and the choice of special color combinations. Agate gray metallic is exclusive to the Panamera Turbo S, and inside there are two color combos—black/cream and agate gray/cream—that you can't get on any other Panamera. We predict these color choices will prove to be especially popular among Turbo S customers, who will be eager to point out to their friends exactly what they got for an extra $38K. (It’s worth mentioning that Porsche also offers a $21,000 Power Pack to upgrade your Panamera Turbo to 540 hp, but it doesn’t include all the S goodies.)

The spacious Porsche hatchback remains the second-fastest sedan in the VW Group—the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed has a top speed of 200 mph—and that’s not likely to change for a while, at least until the Bugatti Galibier comes to market. And, if anything, it will serve as a nice benchmark for Audi and its upcoming RS6. Is anyone else enjoying VW Group’s high-powered supersedan civil war as much as we are?

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 29 Maret 2011

Spied: 2012 Mini Coupe

Mini’s new Coupe has been spied in testing ahead of its launch at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Along with its soft-top Roadster sibling, which will be launched at Geneva in March 2012, the Mini Coupe is a last hurrah for the current generation of Mini models before the all-new model range starts to appear in late 2012.

The Mini Coupe will go on sale before the end of the year. It will be a strict two-seater and will offer significantly improved luggage space over the current Mini Cabrio it is based on.

It also gets a new windscreen surround and more heavily raked windscreen than the Cabrio, while the rear wings and elevation are also all new. An Audi TT-style pop-up rear spoiler features, too.

The Mini Coupe is expected to be available in Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works formats. A diesel model is also likely for European markets, using the new 2.0-litre BMW diesel unit.

The Roadster and Coupe are, however, unlikely to get the upcoming 1.5-litre, twin-scroll turbocharged, three-cylinder engines destined for the new-generation Mini hatch.

This new-generation engine has been designed specifically for use in the new-generation Mini platform, which will also underpin the front-drive replacement for the BMW 1-series.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: SEAT Plans 4 New Cars in 2012

Things are looking up for SEAT! The beleaguered Spanish brand has posted encouraging sales figures for the first two months of 2011, and things are set to expand further as the firm prepares to launch four brand new cars in 2012.

The firm has already confirmed that it shifted 51,048 cars in January and February, which is up 1.3 per cent, while its sales have risen 11.9 per cent outside of its Spanish home market.

Still, SEAT lost €311million in 2010, which is one of the reasons that parent firm VW shifted production of Audi’s new Q3 SUV to SEAT’s factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, to make use of its ample spare capacity of 500,000 cars per year.

But SEAT’s Welsh boss James Muir is confident that the firm’s upward trend will continue. Speaking to top trade publication Automotive News Europe, he confirmed that 2012 will see SEAT launch four new cars:

"We will launch four new cars: the new Leon, a totally new entry-level model, a four-door sedan and a major Ibiza facelift."

That means more jobs too, with SEAT and the Catalan government ensuring that 1,200 new posts are created, both to build the new Audi model and SEAT’s new cars.

As well as its new models, SEAT is looking East, and will exhibit at next month’s Shanghai Auto Show ahead of launching the brand in China in 2012.

It’s likely that the new sedan Muir talks of is aimed at the Chinese market, along with VW’s new Jetta and Audi’s new A3 saloon, while the brand also hopes to sell high-spec Ibiza and Leon Cupra models in China too.

The entry-level model will effectively be the successor to the Arosa, and will be SEAT’s version of the VW Up.

Thanks to Audi’s investment in Martorell, SEAT will also add a production version of the IBX crossover in 2013, which is the year that the firm hopes to return to profit, taking its range to seven models. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Mini Cooper Hybrid AWD

Proving that you can pack a lot of technology and hardware into a small package, we’ve come across photos of what appears to be a hybrid version of the Mini Cooper S. Aside from the “hybrid” sticker affixed to the side of the vehicle, there’s also an unusual-looking “pumpkin” between the rear wheels.

It’s believed that the hybridized Mini has all-wheel-drive courtesy of an supplemental electric drivetrain powering the rear wheels. If true, this clever arrangement eliminates the need for a driveshaft or transfer case. With packaging at a premium to begin with in the Mini, this setup was likely decided upon at least partially for interior packaging reasons. However, it does bring up the issue of packaging the almost obligatory lithium-ion battery pack, which can cause packaging headaches on larger vehicles, much less a sub-compact.

However, there is still one highly-experimental solution that BMW may have up its sleeve to facilitate this model: Supercapacitors. These Thermos-sized energy storage units have power density similar to lithium-ion batteries, but in a much more compact size. If this model does come to market, it may be the first mass-production application of this emerging technology.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 BMW M6

It’s only a matter of time before BMW turns its fresh new 6-Series coupe into a Bahn-storming M6, and with our spy shooters capturing prototypes like this one on the open road, it appears that time is drawing nigh. Telltale signs that the car seen here will wear that holiest of monikers, the M: a unique front air dam up front, quad exhaust tips out back, massive 10-spoke wheels similar those seen on development M5s, and massive, cross-drilled brake rotors that would be more than a touch hard-core on a standard 6er. Not as easy to discern beneath the squiggly camouflage is whether this prototype is capped by a carbon-fiber roof, as is the previous M6.

The third-generation M6 will share much of its inner workings with the upcoming 2012 M5 sedan—which we expect to debut at the Shanghai auto show this April. That means the M6 should sport a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, estimated to produce 550 hp (perhaps more) and 500 lb-ft, as well as a dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox. No word on whether a three-pedal manual will return for duty, but if it does, it may even be exclusive to the U.S. (Demands from the American market led BMW to include a stick in the last-gen M5). Don’t be surprised to see the M6’s 0-to-60 time crack the four-second mark, while fuel economy should improve on account of active aerodynamics within the front air dam, an engine stop/start feature, and electric power steering.

BMW remains mum on when the next M6 will appear, either on a show stand or in showrooms, but we expect to see it officially revealed by this fall, and be on sale by summer 2012.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 23 Maret 2011

Hot News: Lexus LF-Gh Concept for New York Show 2011

Lexus has confirmed that its New York motor show star will be a concept called the LF-Gh that offers “a glimpse into the future of Lexus design”.

The firm is keeping coy about the details until the car is unveiled at a special preview event on April 19 ahead of the show’s opening to the press the following day.

However, the car’s name stands for Lexus Future G-series hybrid, and is expected to preview the replacement for the current GS saloon (pictured) which is due to arrive in 2012.

Tipped to be inspired by the angular, sculpted look of the LFA supercar, the next GS will be hybrid only and feature a plush interior that moves the car further upmarket than before.

The GS is also expected to grow in size, and will use a larger version of the platform that also underpins the next generation IS which arrives next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Senin, 21 Maret 2011

New Concept Car: Chevrolet Colorado

Ahead of its public debut at the Bangkok Auto Show, General Motors has taken the wraps off of the preview version of its next-generation midsize pickup, which has been (not so) imaginatively dubbed the Chevrolet Colorado Show Truck.

Why Thailand? As it so happens, the southeast Asian country is the number one market for midsize trucks in the world and about 43% of the new cars sold there are trucks.

Technical details on the Show Truck are few. GM has said that under the hood is a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine and that it's equipped with all-wheel drive, which helps to lend it a taller stance. GM currently uses a 2.8-liter diesel inline-four in the Brazilian-market Chevrolet S-10, where it makes roughly 138 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. It's likely that the Colorado Show Truck is employing a version of this mill.

The extended-cab truck sports the same dual-port grille that's become a signature of Chevrolet's design. In this case, it looks much like that of the Malibu midsize sedan. The truck rides on 20-inch aluminum wheels fitted with off-road tires and its exterior features details such as LED turn-signals in the rear-view mirrors, Pepperdust Metallic paint with aluminum details in the fascias, projector-style headlamps with LED accents, and LED taillamps. GM vice president of global design Ed Welburn says that "its broad-shoulders proportions are derived from nearly a century of Chevrolet truck heritage."

Much time and money was reportedly spent on the interior. It features a dual-cockpit instrument panel that flows into the doors that's highlighted by motorcycle-inspired, three-dimensional gauges in the instrument panel. Other interior details include contrasting trim, chrome accents, and soft-touch materials. There are copious storage compartments throughout the cabin, including a covered center console and dual glovebox. The truck is also equipped with dual-zone climate control and a seven-inch LCD display in the center stack.

As for whether the truck will replace the existing U.S.-market Colorado/Canyon, GM continues to remain silent. However, a GM official we spoke with said that the automaker has no plans to abandon the midsize truck market and that a new version of the truck is on the way. We're betting it will come out looking much like the show truck, with different engine options and a steering wheel on left side, of course.

Whatever it ends up being, it will surely built somewhere in the NAFTA area to avoid the so-called "Chicken Tax" that makes importing trucks from countries like Thailand unprofitable. GM says details for the production model will come later in the year, so stay tuned.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Mitsubishi Confirms Evo Succesor

Mitsubishi has confirmed there will be a replacement to the Evo X – but it will not be “advancing the concept in the same way as before”.

Mitsubishi’s global product director, Gayu Eusegi, revealed to Autocar at the recent Geneva show that although there was still a demand for the Evo, “we must stop” as there had been a “policy change” towards EV technology.

Eusegi’s comments attracted much negative publicity and internet campaigns to try and save the rally-bred sports saloon, and Mitsubishi’s president and CEO, Osamu Masuko, has now further clarified the future of the Evo.

“Production of the current Lancer Evolution X continues as planned,” he said. “As for its successor, regulations and market feedback will dictate its engineering package and architecture.

“MMC [Mitsubishi Motor Company] has kept the Lancer Evolution sedan evolving as the brand's highest performing model in the global market.

“However, as the markets need's and demands change, MMC is considering not advancing the Lancer Evolution concept in the same way as before, but to find a different direction for the Lancer Evolution model to evolve.

“The new direction, the technologies involved, and corresponding products will be disclosed in due course.”

Autocar understands that the next Evo will switch to a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, designed to save the car from tightening economy and emissions regs, while preserving its trademark mid-range shove.

Engineers hope that the mix of clean-diesel torque and electric motor assistance will allow the Evo XI to deliver a 0-62mph time of under five seconds, yet cut CO2 emissions to well under 200g/km.

Handling will be entrusted to a revised version of the Evo’s highly rated four-wheel drive system, S-AWC, which integrates steering, braking and traction control.

Thanks to: Autocar

First Sketch: 2012 Porsche 918

Porsche’s hybrid hypercar is go! With fuel consumption of 94mpg, but a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, the 918 Spyder is set to blur the line between performance and economy as never before. Only 918 examples will be made in total at Porsche’s flagship plant in Stuttgart, with production beginning on 18 September 2013 and first deliveries planned for two months later.

The price has been set at £678,000, which is nearly three times that of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, and almost £250,000 more than the 918’s
predecessor, the Carrera GT.

Unlike the Geneva Motor Show concept, the production model will 
feature a manual roof system with removable panels that stow in the front 
luggage compartment. The side-exit exhausts have been deleted, and now emerge from pods behind the headrests. The rear wing will extend upwards for more downforce at high speed.

In keeping with the 918 Spyder’s eco-friendly approach, weight will be kept to a minimum. At the heart of this strategy is a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque carried over from the Carrera GT. Magnesium and aluminium will also be used throughout, ensuring the 918 weighs in at less than 1,500kg.

Under the skin, the plug-in hybrid powertrain is identical to the layout shown on the concept. It features a high-revving mid-mounted V8 and 
two electric motors – one on each axle – which brings the benefits of four-wheel drive.

The engine is derived from the racing unit used on the RS Spyder and will have a displacement of “more than four litres and an output of in excess of 500bhp”. Power is transmitted through 
a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK gearbox. The two electric motors have a joint output of 215bhp.

The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged from a normal power socket in as little as three hours and provides a range of 
16 miles in electric-only mode, 
at speeds of up to 94mph. It’s 
this electric-only function that allows the 918 to achieve such remarkable fuel economy of 94mpg, and corresponding 
emissions of 70g/km.

Although it potentially puts out less CO2 than a Toyota Prius, 
performance is expected to be scintillating. Porsche claims the 0-62mph sprint will take 3.2 
seconds – on a par with the McLaren MP4-12C – with a 
top speed of around 200mph. Simulations have also calculated that the 918 will be able to lap Germany’s famous Nürburgring circuit in seven minutes and 30 seconds – a few seconds quicker than the V10-powered Carrera GT.

Customers putting down a deposit will get the chance to 
buy the ultimate accessory – 
in the shape of a special 911. The Turbo 918 S Spyder Edition comes as a coupé (£125,865) or 
a cabriolet (£133,553), and will also be limited to 918 units.

Mechanically identical to the 523bhp 911 Turbo S, the limited-run model features acid-green highlights on the seats, instrument dials and 
illuminated door sills. There’s also higher-grade leather on the interior and additional carbon elements inside and out.

A badge on the glovebox 
will bear the same order number as your 918 Spyder, plus it can be ordered in the exact same 
colour. But Spyder Edition will 
be available to the public, too, with deliveries starting in June. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

Mercedes reserves the Black Series moniker for its most extreme performance cars. While even standard AMG models might be considered absolute beasts by most, the Engineers from Affalterbach will pull out all the stops and build something next-level when it comes to these limited edition products. Their next rendering of the dark arts will take place on the refreshed C63 sedan.

Sources close to AMG say the C63 Black will be powered by the same 6.2-liter V-8 seen in the standard C63, but tuned to deliver 510-horsepower. That is almost 30 more horsepower than a standard C63 with the optional AMG Development Package. On top of the extra power, the special edition sedan will receive carbon ceramic brake rotors, larger tires and wheels underneath even larger flared fenders and more aggressive front and rear bumpers. The front will feature a larger splitter and the rear diffuser with distinct Formula-1 styling. If tradition holds, the C63 Black will also be lighter than the standard car, using high-tech materials and construction methods to shave off valuable pounds.

While only the sedan version has been seen testing so far, our same sources say a coupe version will be close behind. This is the first time the C-Class has gotten the Black Treatment and some would say long overdue. Previous cars include the CLK63, the SL65 and SLK. Even though this will be the top of the performance envelope for the C-Class, it is still said to use Mercedes 7-speed automatic transmission. No word on price yet, but if you have to ask, you won’t have enough time to scrape together your lunch money anyway. As rumors started stirring a few months ago, we would assume deposits have been made on the pure speculation of their existence and they are likely sold out.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe

Even in the realm of high-performance rock-star cars, few can rival the profane, knock-your-teeth-out mayhem that is the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Yes, the phenomenal BMW M3 offers a more cohesive all-around experience than the Benz, but the Merc is no slouch dynamically, and besides, its soundtrack is pure aural sex. And now you can get that same goodness in the newest addition to the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the C-class coupe. The two-door C63 AMG will debut at the New York auto show in April.

If you read our story on the recently updated Mercedes C63 AMG sedan, the coupe’s specs will sound familiar—the powertrain is the same, regardless of door count. As in the four-door, the rear-wheel-drive C63 coupe’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 pumps out 451 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque; the optional Development package increases horsepower to 481 (torque remains the same). For 2012, the coupe joins the sedan in featuring Benz’s seven-speed MCT automatic transmission, which swaps in a single wet clutch where the torque converter would normally go. Drivers can select from an Efficiency mode, or turn up the volume to Sport, Sport+, or Manual, modes in which gears are held onto for longer and downshifts are rev-matched. In the E63 AMG, where this transmission also finds a home, we found the gearchanges to be near-instantaneous, so we have high hopes for its performance in the already-no-slouch C63.

Let’s talk about that performance. Mercedes estimates that the C63 coupe, like the new C63 sedan, will take care of a 0-to-60 sprint in 4.4 seconds (4.3 with the Development pack). We think that’s just conservative Teutonic nonsense. The last two C63 sedans we clocked each ripped off 3.9-second 0-to-60 runs. One had the Development pack and the other didn’t, but both used the older-style automatic gearbox that’s now been replaced. It’s possible that the new MCT transmission could shave another tenth of a second off the 0-to-60 time, especially with its Race Start launch-control function, but we’ll find out for sure when we can load it with test gear and hit the track. When we do, we’ll also see about keeping Benz honest on its claim of an electronically limited 174-mph top speed for the Development pack version.

The C63 coupe features an AMG sports suspension with retuned springs and shocks and larger anti-roll bars; the layout is multiple links all around. The track is wider than the regular coupe’s by 4.3 inches up front and 3.2 in the rear; yes, the track increases are huge, but a wickedly modified front suspension and fat rear tires will do that. The brakes also are, naturally, upgraded from those you’d find on a non-AMG C-class coupe. The hot two-door has 14.2-inch rotors up front and 13.0-inchers in the rear.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Jumat, 18 Maret 2011

Hot News: Renault to Make Small-Roadster

Renault is planning to turn its highly rated Renaultsport division into a stand-alone brand with its own unique models — starting with a roadster based on the stunning Dezir concept.

The French manufacturer has decided to build upon Renaultsport’s reputation for fine-handling hot hatches instead of reviving the classic Alpine badge.

Renault product manager Beatrice Foucher told Autocar, “Renaultsport is key to Renault’s strategy. It already has excellent loyalty and is perceived by some owners as a brand in its own right, and we can develop that further. “We will continue working on derivative versions of the Mégane, for example, because that’s a terrific car and excellent for us. But we also need specific models only for Renaultsport. We have started working on that; we’re thinking of small volumes, where there are good business models.”

Foucher insisted that no decision has been taken — but admitted that Renaultsport could potentially support “two or three” unique models beyond its breathed-on hatchbacks.

That line-up is likely to start with a version of the Dezir, which previewed Renault’s new front-end styling. The concept will influence the firm’s entire next generation of models (including the Clio, due at the 2012 Paris show) — but one senior insider said it is now “highly probable” that a version of the sports car will make production.

The source also indicated that the car would be a convertible, that it would be produced as a limited-run Renaultsport model, and that it “won’t be cheap”. A figure of £30k has been mooted.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2012 Audi A6 Avant

Audi is pursuing sleeker looks over a huge load capacity with the next-generation A6 Avant, spied here during winter tests.

The new model gets a rakish tailgate and sloping roofline that are likely to leave its load bay some way short of the Mercedes E-class, currently the estate to beat.

The new A6 saloon hits UK showrooms in April and this Avant version is expected to follow by the end of the year. Audi says it has designed, engineered and specified the new A6 to deliver class-leading quality, comfort and refinement; outstanding spaciousness and efficiency; generous equipment levels, and low costs of ownership.

The wider use of aluminium in the car’s aluminium and steel hybrid construction has made the saloon version of the new A6 the lightest car in its class, and 80kg lighter than the last one. It’s 12mm shorter overall than the outgoing car, but better packaged so that it grants occupants more leg-, shoulder- and head-room, trends expected to be adopted in the Avant.

UK buyers will be offered the choice of 175bhp 2.0-litre, 201bhp 3.0-litre and 242bhp 3.0-litre TDI commonrail diesel engines, alongside only one range-topping petrol option: the 296bhp 3.0-litre TFSI.

The powerplants come with efficiency-boosting technolgies such as electromechanical power steering, intelligent on-demand ancilliaries and automatic start-stop, contributing to fuel economy and CO2 improvements of more than 20 per cent in some cases versus outgoing versions of the car.

Thanks to: Autocar

Kamis, 17 Maret 2011

New Car; 2012 Honda Brio

Honda Motor Company has officially launched its Brio hatchback in Thailand.

The Brio for the Thai market is available in two trim levels, the S and V. Standard gearbox is 5-speed manual while the V variant can also be equipped with a CVT. The Brio is equipped with 1.2-litre 4 cylinder SOHC motor churning out 90bhp at 6000rpm and 11.21kgm at 4800rpm. This is the same motor that does duty on the Jazz hatchback.

The production version of Brio more or less sticks to the concept previewed earlier. It is 3610mm long, 1680mm wide and 1485mm in height and has a wheelbase measuring 2345mm. The Brio offers clever space utilisation on the inside.

The Thai-market Brio is equipped with safety features such as ABS and EBD as well as dual front airbags on all trim levels. Additional features include halogen headlamps, LED-brake lamp equipped rear spoiler, electronic power steering, adjustable steering wheel column, double-DIN music system with USB and AUX but no CD player - this is a similar arrangement that we see here in the City. There is also the inclusion of a security alarm and an engine immobilizer. However, it remains to be seen whether these features make their way in the Indian-market Brio.

The Brio S comes with 14-inch wheels while the upmarket V variant gets alloys.

For the Indian market, Honda knows that in order to achieve success in this segment, it will need to be cost competitive. India prices are expected to start at Rs 4.5 lakh, which will be good value. The Brio will arrive around September 2011, which means that it will be the last of the three hatchbacks launched next year, after the Toyota Etios hatchback and the new Maruti Swift.
Thanks to: Autocar India

Spied: 2012 Mini Coupe JCW

MINI's Coupe is coming! Our spy photographers have snapped the clearest pictures yet of a pair of camouflaged MINI Coupes, ahead of the car's launch date later this year. But these aren't just another set of images, they confirm that a hot John Cooper Works model will be part of the line up and reveal a number of other important details, too.

Previewed by the 2009 MINI Coupe concept, it's clear that the production version will stick rigidly to the original show car's styling. Take a close look at the camouflaged areas and you can see the same floating-roof design that forms the roof spoiler, plus the steeply-raked rear screen. The uncovered bodywork is identical to the MK2 MINI Hatchback on which the Coupe is based.

Giveaways that this is the range-topping JCW variant include the large-diameter, centrally-mounted twin exhaust pipes, plus badging on the wheels and front grille of the lighter-coloured car. A deeper front spoiler and side skirts also hint at the two-seater's potential.

Look carefully at the black car and you can make out a pop-up rear spoiler, which deploys above certain speeds. And it should prove useful as this JCW version is will get the same turbocharged 1.6-litre powerplant as the hatch, producing 211bhp and capable of hitting a top speed of around 150mph.

The Coupe is the first in a rash of new models on the way from MINI over the next few years, including a two-seater roadster, a production version of the Countryman-based Paceman coupe and possibly even a showroom-ready incarnation of the pocket-sized MINI Rocketman shown at Geneva this month. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet’s current Malibu was a huge success when the company needed it, winning a place on our 2008 10Best list and proving that the bow-tie brand could build more than monster SUVs and pickup trucks. Now that the compact Cruze, even smaller Aveo, and minute Spark are all in or on their way to production, the Malibu is up for a little refresh.

The current car is sleek enough, but the overall design isn’t particularly elaborate. The 2012 model will change that with a bit more rake to the beltline, echoed by a faint crease in the body side. The nose and tail will see a great deal of change, with huge front-lighting arrays marking a more-chiseled nose. The hood appears to sit on a taller terrace, bearing a stronger resemblance to that of the Buick LaCrosse than to the current car’s. In the tail, we see additional ornamentation around the trunk, which is recessed deeper into the surrounding sheetmetal and plastic. The top of the decklid appears to taper into a sort of flat, ducktail shape, reminiscent of the more-controversial BMW designs of the last decade.

While it won’t look worlds different, the new Malibu will be comprehensively altered beneath the skin. It will join the Buick Regal and LaCrosse on GM’s new Epsilon II platform, an evolution of the current car’s Epsilon I bones. It will be slightly wider and a little taller, alleviating our primary concerns about the interior. Materials used inside the car supposedly will be vastly improved, although we hope the money to do so didn’t come out of the design budget—the stylish cockpit is one of our favorite things about the current car. We expect Chevy will offer a Malibu with the pseudo-hybrid eAssist powertrain to boost the sedan’s fuel economy ratings. And expect to see the HiPer strut system unveiled on the 2010 Buick LaCrosse find its way into top Malibu trim levels.

No doubt there is plenty more for the spies to catch as they stalk the Malibu, and they have plenty of time left to do so: The car’s introduction probably won’t happen until the 2012 Detroit auto show. Stay tuned for more info.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 16 Maret 2011

Spied: 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Only a month after the unveiling of the 550-plus-hp 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, word is leaking out that Ford will substantially advance the muscle-car wars with a 2013 Shelby GT500 making a pants-bursting 600-plus horsepower.

Our well-informed sources say the stratospheric output figure, which could be as high as 620 horses, is the result of boring out the current 5.4-liter V-8 to 5.8 liters and swapping the existing Eaton M112 supercharger for the same firm’s more-efficient and quieter TVS unit. This supercharger, with its four-lobe rotors, is the blower of choice for the Audi S4, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and, interestingly, the Camaro ZL1.

The 5.4-liter in the current GT500 makes an already pretty absurd 550 hp. The car rips to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.4. Based solely on the horsepower increase, we estimate that the 2013 model will drop almost half a second through the quarter, for a 12.0-second run. As it is already traction limited, we don’t see the 0-to-60 number changing much. We do, however, anticipate that it’ll be a straight-up bitch to launch consistently, at least without the addition of a launch-control system. If it isn’t limited to 155 mph, as the current car is, the 2013 GT500 should be capable of topping 190 mph.

Like all 2013 Mustangs, the GT500 will sport a body altered with the goal of looking somewhat less retro and more modern and edgy, according to sources. And, yes, we do take “modern” to imply the addition of LEDs to the head- and taillight assemblies. You won’t see any of the new bodywork in the spy photos here. This powertrain mule caught today in Dearborn wears familiar bodywork (and 2011 Mustang GT headlights) but rides very low over a set of current GT500 Performance package wheels. What won’t change is the basic rear-suspension design. That’s right: This most insanely powerful of Mustangs will keep its live axle. It’ll just be a little, er, livelier.

The new model is, of course, still a long way off. Hell, the 2012 ZL1 that it’s intended to battle won’t go on sale for another 11 or so months. Expect the 2013 GT500 about 10 months after that, leaving you plenty of time to save your dollars. You’re going to need about 60,000 of them to buy one.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 09 Maret 2011

Hot News: Jeep Plans Nissan Juke-Rival

Watch out, Juke... Jeep is coming! The US firm has announced that it’s building a small 4x4 to take on the supermini-based Nissan.

The newcomer would slot into the UK line-up below the relaunched Compass, and give Jeep a key volume model as it scrambles to reverse a falling market share across Europe.

“I have seen the design, and it’s fantastic,” British-born company boss Mike Manley told Auto Express. “It’s a true Jeep.” He emphasised the car’s link to Jeep’s core Wrangler model, adding: “I can tell you the styling is going to create a similar icon.”

Manley expects the two-wheel-drive version to be the top seller in the new range, but will ensure top-end variants send power to all four wheels. “In every model, there has to be a 4x4 version that ties it back to the Wrangler.”

Styling cues are expected to be taken from the Renegade concept that appeared in 2008, which showed the manufacturer’s vision of a supermini-length sports SUV complete with its traditional seven-bar grille.

Manley also confirmed that the junior Jeep would be powered by engines from new parent company Fiat. That is likely to mean both the 1.3 and 1.6-litre Multijet diesels – cutting emissions to below 120g/km on the most frugal two-wheel-drive models – as well as a 1.4-litre petrol turbo version.

The car is also expected to be built on a Fiat platform, with a stretched version of the next Panda 4x4 a strong candidate. Expect the newcomer to hit Jeep showrooms in 2013.

Meanwhile, Manley also strongly hinted that a hybrid Jeep is on the cards, using technology from the old DaimlerChrysler partnership. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2012 Audi S6

We’ve only recently driven the 2012 Audi A6, a car that left us with very few complaints. But the upcoming S6 pictured here should be a great reason to not buy an A6.

Visually, the S6 is almost unchanged from an A6 with the optional S-line package. A subtle lip spoiler in the rear improves roadholding at ultra-high velocities, and the quadruple tailpipes typical of S models are present. The seats will be sportier, but otherwise, changes will be limited to things necessary for identification purposes: S badging in the grille and on the steering wheel.

The main difference is under the skin: The S6 packs an entirely new engine, a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that makes around 450 hp. In the interest of fuel economy, the eight also boasts cylinder deactivation. This is the same engine that will power the entry-level Bentley Continental, as well as the upcoming S7 and S8—although it will probably make more power in the S8 than in the S6 and S7. The naturally aspirated V-10 in the current S6 and S8 will be history, but don’t worry—the torquey turbocharged V-8 should run circles around it.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2014 BMW i8

BMW is at its segment-busting ways again with the i8 prototype we’ve caught testing in Sweden.

Part of BMW’s emerging environmentally friendly strategy, the i8 is likely to use a plug-in hybrid powertrain and will attempt to deliver on the “sporty hybrid” premise tried by Honda with the CR-Z. The difference, of course, is that the i8 — based on the Vision EfficientDynamics — is more of a low-volume supercar than a sporty urban runabout.

It’s clear based on this early prototype that the production i8 in 2013 will have bold and very aerodynamically efficient bodywork. Those disc-like wheels are probably lightweight and built for minimal air resistance.

The i8 will have an aluminum chassis while the passenger cell is made with carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. No doubt we’ll be seeing the i8 out testing again before it reaches dealerships years from now.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Infiniti G

Japanese luxury car maker Infiniti has revised its BMW 3-series-rivalling G-series line-up.

The tweaked range - comprised of saloon, coupe, and convertible models – now features the firm’s 3.7-litre petrol V6 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as standard. New alloy wheel designs are offered for the Coupe and Convertible models, while new paint colours are offered across the range.

The G Saloon is available with four model options - G37, G37x GT, G37x GT Premium and G37 S Premium – with prices starting from £33,508 for the entry-level version.

The G37 features 18-inch alloys and will hit 60mph in 5.9 seconds, according to the firm. From £36,538 the G37x GT gets all-wheel drive, leather trim and heated seats, with the GT Premium adding cruise control, sat-nav, sunroof and reversing camera for £40,264.

Top spec S Premium comes with rear wheel drive, and adds sport suspension and sports seats to GT Premium, with prices starting from £40,574

Coupe versions are available with three specifications, and prices start from £36,319 for the G37 S Coupe, rising to £41,395 for the range-topping S Coupe Premium. This gets sat-nav with voice command, rear spoiler and 19 inch alloys.

The convertible range has been simplified to one equipment model costing from £45,185. This gets climate controlled front seats, sat-nav and cruise control and is also available with red leather and wood interior trim – adding a premium of £890.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2012 Opel/Vauxhall Astra OPC/VXR

Vauxhall’s next Astra VXR has been spotted chilling out in Northern Scandinavia. The hot hatch is undergoing severe weather testing to ensure it’s ready to take on the Renaultsport Megane 250 and forthcoming four-cylinder Ford Focus ST.

Set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the VXR is based on the three-door Astra which was shown in concept form at the Paris show in 2010.

When it arrives in UK dealers in early 2012, the hottest Astra is expected to feature a direct injection turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine which develops around 300bhp, continuing Vauxhall’s tradition of making its VXR models the most powerful in their market segment.

The engine is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox and drives the front wheels through an electronic limited slip differential similar to the XDS system used on the Golf GTI.

To tame the immense power, the Astra will have a version of the HyPerStrut front suspension layout from the Insignia VXR and will feature the FlexRide adaptive damping system which alters the throttle, steering and suspension responses to suit drivers’ tastes.For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2014 BMW i3

Take a look at BMW's all-new electric car! This is the i3 – a compact 1-Series-sized MPV that shows the way forward for the German firm's new 'i' sub-brand. And Auto Express has the world-first pictures of the new model.

Caught testing in Scandinavia where BMW was doing some filming for its new "Born Electric" campaign, the zero emission i3 is a remarkable sight. It gets a distinctive body shape with short front and rear overhangs, a raised body and a narrow, low rolling resistance tyres.

Under the skin lies an innovative new rear-wheel drive architecture. An aluminium chassis houses the powertrain, with lightweight but strong carbon fibre-reinforced plastic for the passenger cells. Due on sale in 2013, it has targets of a range of around 100 miles and a 0-62mph time of 10 seconds.

The i3 will be assembled at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany – along with an i8 supercar – where the firm has invested £336million, allowing component crossover for the electric motors and batteries, cutting costs significantly.

As you can see from this prototype, it looks very different to regular BMW models. Behind the disguise lies a blue-rimmed version of the trademark kidney grille, large but narrow wheels for better aerodynamics and a ‘stream-flow’ C-pillar design which supersedes the Hofmeister kink. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Ram Cargo Van

The Ram truck brand today unveiled its new 2012 Ram Cargo Van. The front-wheel-drive van features the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and six-speed automatic powertrain as its consumer-grade cousin, with strategic improvements to make it suitable for commercial use. The Ram Cargo Van will replace the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V in the Chrysler Group’s product lineup.

Replacing the side glass windows on the regular Caravan, the Ram C/V features a solid sliding door, rear quarter window and backlight privacy panels in place of the glass. Buyers will have the option of equipping their Ram C/V with several combinations of solid and glass panels, including a choice of solid or glass backlight.

Among the upgrades made to make the C/V suitable for commercial duty are a heavy-duty load-leveling suspension, a heavy-duty radiator, heavy-duty transmission oil, and specially-tuned hydraulic power-assist rack-and-pinion steering.

Ram C/V provides a Class 1 commercial vehicle-leading 1,800-lb. cargo payload and category-exclusive towing capability of up to 3,600 lbs. Ram C/V has a maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 8,750 lbs. A 20-gallon fuel tank and 25 mpg highway also deliver best-in-class fuel range.

Further differentiating it from the consumer passenger version, the Ram Cargo Van receives a structural aluminum rear load floor with two flooring options. The optional floor provides through-the-floor access to three exclusive storage bins and load floor tie-downs.

The van will be offered with up to $1000 in commercial upfit or service contract credits, and will go on sale in the third quarter of 2011.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 08 Maret 2011

First Sketch: 2012 Chevrolet Colorado

Last month, we learned that General Motors was planning a successor to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks. Now, GM has teased us with a sketch of the truck and set a date for a concept version’s unveiling.

While the teaser sketch doesn’t reveal much of the new truck, and even though it is a concept, we can see that the production version will bring the Colorado into line with the rest of the Chevrolet family. The front fascia matches the patent rendering we’ve already seen and wears a smiling, split grille with the bowtie logo in the middle of the center bar similar to the one on the Cruze and Malibu sedans, Volt hatchback, and Traverse crossover. Its broad, upright shoulders and plateau-like hood look to be taken almost directly from the Colorado’s Silverado big brother. Chrome wheels and accents on the fog light surrounds, headlight bezels, and mirror caps finish off a clean and tidy exterior package.

The 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon start at $17,855, before any incentives. Currently the duo is offered with a 185-horsepower 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. There are two optional engines: a 242-horsepower 3.7-liter five-cylinder for those who want a little more punch, and a 5.3-liter V-8 making 300 horsepower for those who want a lot more punch.

The next Colorado will face some stiff competition, however. Ford has just released its new Ranger for consumption in all global markets except the U.S. Engine selections are between two diesels and a single gasoline option. The gas engine is a 164-horsepower Duratec 2.5-liter inline-four. The smaller oil-burner is a 2.2-liter straight-four with 148 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, while the larger 3.2-liter inline-five puts out 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. Transmissions include a five- and six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

GM will show the Colorado show truck at the 32nd Bangkok International Motor Show in Thailand – a country where pickup trucks make up 43 percent of the market; it also has plans to show the truck here in the states later this year. According to a GM official we spoke with, the automaker has no plans to abandon the mid-size truck market and a new version of the Colorado is coming. Although the next-gen truck for Thailand will differ from what we will eventually get here in the U.S. (and be sold minus the diesel engine option), the new truck will be similar in scope to the Thai production model.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: Rinspeed BamBoo Concept

Rinspeed has revealed this concept at the Geneva motor show, described as a modern take on the convertible.

The Swiss firm’s quirky BamBoo EV incorporates a range of concept car features, including colour-changing rollbars to indicate the driver’s mood and an 'Identiface' front grille enabling passengers to display social network site pages or offers for rides.

“This screen-based section replaces the radiator grille, which is mostly redundant on an electric vehicle anyway,” said Rinspeed.

Both the rear seats and roof are inflatable, which can be removed and used as beach blankets, while the glovebox contains a removable HTC tablet device “so BamBoo and its passengers are always connected".

The four-seat concept is available in colours including Salmon and Lobster, while the red interior’s thread is made entirely from bamboo. The chassis is made from steel and it rides on 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels.

Its is powered by a 72bhp electric motor and has a top speed of 75 mph.
Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: ItalDesign Go! Concept

Italdesign - the firm of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the designer of the original Golf and Scirocco - is also using both cars to experiment with ‘panels’ within the glass area. The coupé study has a spoiler in the middle of the rear hatch, while the five-door also gets a pronounced strip that floats within the side glass and houses a small camera instead of a side mirror.

The Go features a slimline front grille treatment that’s similar to that of the three-door concept, an angular waistline and a large glasshouse enhanced by a panoramic roof.
Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: ItalDesign Tex Concept

Italdesign has shown two ideas for small Volkswagens at the Geneva motor show.

The two cars are a rakish three-door Polo coupe concept called Tex and a more upright five-door MPV called Go, both of which have been built within a four-metre length.

The Tex has a full-length panoramic glass roof and its front end is dominated by a particularly slim headlight and grille treatment.

There’s a deep scallop in the door, drawn from what looks like a small vent at the rear of the front wheel arch. The car also features a ‘pinstripe’ of colour that runs from front wing to the edge of the tail.

Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: 2012 Pagani Huayra

This is the Pagani Huayra, the Italian firm’s one million euro hypercar replacement for the Zonda, which has been shown at the Geneva motor show.

Known in development as the C9, the Huayra – a ‘god of wind’ and pronounced ‘Wirer’ with a heavy Spanish accent – has taken Pagani seven years to develop and, according to company boss Horacio Pagani, offers a different flavour of supercar to the Zonda.

Continuing Pagani’s alliance with Mercedes’ AMG department, the Huayra is powered by a bi-turbo 6.0-litre V12. Pagani will sell two versions of the Huayra: the standard engine with 700bhp and 664lb ft, and a Sport version with 730bhp and 811lb ft. While the block is shared with Mercedes’ own SL65 Black Series, Pagani commissioned AMG to reduce turbo lag and improve the throttle progression, resulting in new heads, pistons, manifolds and turbos.

Currently Pagani is being quite coy about the Huayra’s performance, but is claiming to have seen 230mph, and Zero to 62mph in 3.3sec in testing. Helping to manage the inevitable slip is a three-stage Bosch traction control system.

The Huayra uses a mandatory seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox, built for Pagani by UK race specialist XTRAC. To reduce the length of the drivetrain the gearbox is mounted transversely behind the engine.

Kerbweight has been kept to 1350kg (dry), despite the fact the Huayra is larger than the Zonda and carries more safety equipment. Which along with the forced induction ensures the Huayra is homologated for the US - the first time a Pagani has done so.

Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: 2012 Koenigsegg Agera R

Supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has featured its new Agera R at the Geneva motor show.

The Agera R features a 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing an impressive 1100bhp and 885lb ft of torque when fuelled on E85 biofuel – this drops to 972bhp and 811lb ft of torque using regular petrol.

Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the R should hit 60mph in around three seconds and on to a top speed of 250mph.

Features of the Agera R – Agera meaning ‘to act’ – include a carbon fibre monocoque and removable roof panel, which can be stowed inside the car. Pictured in the gallery, is a custom carbon fibre roof box to house skis, as specified by its owner.

Other highlights include Vortex Generating Rim (VGR) wheels, which maximise the Agera’s downforce thanks to its turbine inspired spokes, and tyres rated to 260mph - the highest-speed-rated tyres in the world, according to Koenigsegg.

Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: De Tomaso SLS Concept

he model that has relaunched De Tomaso at the Geneva motor show is this Pininfarina-designed BMW 5-series GT-rivalling luxury crossover concept, dubbed SLS.

Former Fiat marketing executive Gian Mario Rossignolo will present De Tomaso’s new SLS (meaning sport luxury sedan) at the Geneva show and the Italian is also planning to launch new coupé and luxury saloon models.

De Tomaso went bankrupt seven years ago. Rossignolo purchased it from a bankruptcy court in November 2009.

He signed a deal with Pininfarina a month later to rent its Grugliasco plant near Turin, having previously failed to acquire Bertone’s coachbuliding facilities. The SLS, which will be renamed for production, is going to be put together at the Grugliasco plant from 2012, with Rossignolo planning an annual production run of 3000 units.

The plant has an assembly line, body shop and paint shop and employs 900 people. Planned production of the luxury saloon is 3000 units, while 2000 units of the coupé will be made.

All will be built on an aluminium chassis using an innovative construction technique known as Univis, full details of which will be revealed at Geneva by Rossignolo.

In production, the all-wheel-drive SLC will be offered with 542bhp V8 and 296bhp V6 petrol engines and a 247bhp V6 diesel.

Rossignolo is investing 116 million euros (£98m) in the project. The LC is pictured here in these teaser images ahead of its full reveal at Geneva.

Thanks to: Autocar

Senin, 07 Maret 2011

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: Zagato 500 Coupe Concept

Italian coachbuilder and styling house Zagato has unveiled its novel take on a coupe version of the Fiat 500 at the Geneva show.

Developed in conjunction with Fiat’s own styling centre, and displayed on the manufacturer’s stand, the 500 Coupe Zagato sits on a regular 500 platform but sweeps its rear bodywork up towards the lowered roofline. It features a ‘double hump’, a traditional Zagato design motif, plus 17in alloy wheels. Zagato, which also created a version of the original 500 back in 1950, says the new concept is designed “mainly for a young and dynamic male target”.

The cabin gets yellow leather to match the Pop Yellow paintwork, contrasting stitching on the steering wheel and sports seats.

The coupe is powered by a new, more potent version of Fiat’s turbocharged, two-cylinder TwinAir motor, now with 103bhp at 5500rpm and 114lb ft at 2500rpm. Zagato claims the unit, which has a high figure of 122bhp per litre, delivers CO2 emissions of 95g/km.

No production plans have been announced. But Fiat has been actively considering a more sporting 2+2 version of the 500, and the Zagato’s debut - and the fact that it is sitting on the Fiat stand - suggest that the Italian manufacturer will be monitoring reaction to the concept closely.

Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: Skoda Vision D Concept

Skoda has revealed its future design direction with this new concept, dubbed Vision D.

The new Octavia-sized concept is an evolution of Skoda's current design language rather than a revolution. Its clean exterior look, which includes an enlarged gloss-finished front grille and widened lower air intake, are borrowed from parent firm Volkswagen. A slimmer design for the front headlights also features, as does a more distinctive design for the C-pillars and an integrated taligate.

The long wheelbase design with short overhangs also allows for greater interior space. The futuristic interior includes clear glass on the centre console and a reduction in the amount of switchgear. The dials, seats and steering wheel form part of the futuristic look, while most of the interior controls appear to be carried out by a small touchpad facing the driver and positioned on the edge of the centre console.

The new model previews the design language Skoda will start to introduce to its models from 2012. The year will also see the launch of the firm's revised badge, which is seen on the concept for the first time. Designed to be much larger and more visible, it now features brighter colouring and chrome rim to give it more of a modern flair.

Thanks to: Autocar

Geneva Show 2011 Highlights: Tata Pixel Concept

Tata is showcasing its vision for an ultra-compact European city car with this Geneva show concept, called Pixel.

Based on the platform that already sits beneath the Nano, the rear-engined Pixel is just over three metres long but is capable, Tata says, of accommodating four adults. The design - the work of Tata’s own studios in India - incorporates scissor doors and a large glass area, including a panoramic roof.

The car’s neatest engineering trick is a system which helps the outer rear wheel forwards and the inner rear wheel backwards when turning at acute angles. The set-up gives the Pixel a turning radius of just 2.6 metres, so there could be applications in India’s burgeoning taxi market.

The looks more modern than the Nano’s, although the emphasis is still on interior space rather than luxury. The centrepiece is ‘My Tata Connect’, an infotainment system that integrates the user’s smartphone or iPad into the car controls.

The Pixel has a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbodiesel engine, plus low-resistance tyres, stop-start technology and what Tata calls “intelligent battery charging”. The firm claims the car can return combined fuel economy of 83mpg and CO2 emissions of 89g/km.

Thanks to: Autocar

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