Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

New Concept Car: BMW i8

It’s been nearly two years since BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt show, and the car has now officially re-emerged one step closer to production as the BMW i8 concept. As you can see, little has changed in the styling department. In fact, other than a new wheel design, the only other notable change we’ve spotted concerns the doors, which seem to have claimed some territory along their bottoms and thereby reduced the size of the blue body-side accent. Interestingly, the car didn’t show that change when BMW paraded it around for spy photographers this past March, but we like it.

As with the i3 city car concept that debuted at the same time (you can read about it in full here), the story of the i8 begins with its LifeDrive architecture. BMW says that its experiences in creating the Mini E and 1-series-based BMW ActiveE showed that adapting cars engineered for internal-combustion power to electric propulsion results in a lot of excess weight and compromises in packaging. As a result, both the i8 and i3 are built using two purpose-built modules: one to house passengers, dubbed “Life,” and one for propulsion and suspension components, called “Drive.” Combine them, and you have a car—and marketing-friendly “LifeDrive” branding.

While the i3 and i8 share the LifeDrive architectural philosophy, the cars differ in execution. That’s because the i3 is fully electric, while this i8 is a plug-in hybrid, so its Drive component is actually split in two, with an electric motor at the front axle and a gas engine at the rear. Unlike the i3, which situates its batteries below the passenger compartment, the i8’s lithium-ion cells are actually part of the Life module, stacked through a central tunnel that might house a transmission and driveshaft in a conventional car. Arranging them this way allowed BMW’s engineers to achieve yet another claim of perfect 50/50 weight distribution, thereby preserving peace in the city of Munich. As in the i3, the i8’s Drive components are largely crafted of aluminum, while the Life module uses a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque. Using so much lightweight material essentially cancels out the added weight of the heavy electric drive components, thereby allowing the car to weigh less than 3300 pounds, according to BMW. The rigidity imparted by the carbon fiber also allows for long, dramatic doors that ease access to the two small rear seats, and is a boon to crashworthiness, too.

While most other so-called “through-the-road” hybrids (meaning the propulsion systems each drive their own axle) are based on existing front-drive vehicles—meaning they add electric power to the rear wheels—BMW had the luxury of starting from scratch. Because most braking energy gathers at the front of the vehicle, the i8 has its electric motor up front for the sake of recapturing energy. The i8 uses a modified version of the i3's electric motor, with a peak output of 168 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s fed juice, of course, by those lithium-ions, which take about two hours to charge and return 20 miles of all-electric driving.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Concept Car: BMW i3

BMW has been hyping up its “Megacity Vehicle” for a couple of years now, and despite teasers about innovative tech features and full carbon-fiber body structures, we’ve withheld judgment, even when we spied one in the wild over the winter. But as of now, the shroud of mystery has been lifted about all the details except how the thing actually drives. Like a BMW? Like nothing before it? Maybe both?

The i3’s story begins with its LifeDrive architecture. According to BMW, experience with the Mini E and BMW ActiveE (the electric 1-series coupe) has proven that creating an electric car out of a structure designed to house an internal-combustion engine results in wasteful excess weight and imperfect packaging. As a result, the i3 (as well as the i8 sports car also being announced now) is made up of two separate modules. The “Drive” portion houses a large array of lithium-ion batteries, plus the suspension, transmission, and electric motor. For a low center of gravity, all of these heavy components are low to the ground, with the batteries spread within the wheelbase for optimal handling. The main structure is all aluminum, with an additional aluminum barrier around the batteries for crashworthiness.

The “Life” module sits atop the drive components and houses passengers and luggage. As BMW has already announced, this structure consists of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, a first for any vehicle this side of a few exotic supercars. While the aluminum Drive module weighs 30 percent less than a similar steel structure, the weight reduction in the CFRP Life module is closer to 50 percent. As a whole, the i3 weighs in at 2756 pounds, according to BMW. When speaking about the safety of CFRP, the company points to Formula 1 cockpits as proof of security. While metals require large crumple zones, carbon can be designed with special deformation elements that result in large amounts of energy being consumed in a very small space. A further benefit of the LifeDrive architecture is the deletion of a driveshaft tunnel, allowing more space to be dedicated to the cabin. BMW says each set of seats (front and rear) is connected so that every passenger can leave from one side in a tight parking space, but we think someone at the company just really digs bench seats. There’s approximately seven cubic feet of space left over in the rear for luggage, as well as a small compartment up front where the gas engine would usually be for stowing a charging cord or other small items.

Back inside the Drive structure, the i3 uses an electric motor that’s 40 percent more compact than that of a Mini E, allowing it to fit right above the rear axle that it powers through a one-speed transmission. Yes, one speed. That means the car will never shift on its way up to a computer-limited top speed of 93 mph, which BMW has determined to be the point at which the batteries drain too quickly. The company says the i3 will run 0 to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds. In terms of passing power, accelerating from 50 to 75 mph should take just six seconds.

Peak power is 125 kW, or 168 hp, and 184 lb-ft of torque. Range is estimated at 80–100 miles, and a standard charge will take about six hours. With a special high-speed charger, the i3 is said to be capable of reaching an 80-percent charge in just an hour, meaning medium-range drives can be done with just a long coffee break in the middle. But wait, there’s more, as the infomercial folks might say.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2014 Mercedes CLC

Mercedes will enter the premium small saloon market in late 2013 with a swoopy new Mercedes CLS-inspired car based on the upcoming front-drive B-class.

Called the Mercedes CLC, and pictured here testing for the first time in the US, the new four-door will also spawn an AMG model as an indirect successor to the classic 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II.

The CLC, codenamed C117, will use the long-wheelbase version of Mercedes’ new compact MFA platform that will also underpin the upcoming GLC off-roader (codenamed X156), as well as the new B-class (W426). A short-wheelbase iteration of the platform will be used for the rakish new A-class (W176).

Standard versions of the CLC will be offered in front-wheel drive, with selected models — including the AMG — coming equipped with four-wheel drive.

Turbocharged petrol engines include a 1.6 in 121bhp and 154bhp guises. There’s also a 207bhp 2.0, with 0-62mph performance of 7.0sec and a 145mph top speed. Diesels include a 1.8, in 108bhp and 134bhp forms, and a 2.1 with a choice of 168bhp or 201bhp.

The Volkswagen Golf R-rivalling CLC AMG will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 296bhp. It will also have a dual-clutch gearbox, while other models get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Renault Twingo

Renault has released this first official image of the facelifted Renault Twingo, ahead of the car’s launch at the Frankfurt motor show

The front-end of the new Renault Twingo features a “stylistic renewal,” with big Nissan Juke-style fog lights and an enlarged and more vertically positioned Renault logo.

Renault describes the Twingo’s new look as in-keeping with the model’s “typically expressive front face.”

Under the bonnet, the biggest change to the range is likely to be the addition of Renault’s new 0.9-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine, first seen in Renault’s R-Space concept at the Geneva show earlier this year.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek Up Date: 2013 Infiniti JX

Smile for the camera! Halfway through its strip-tease of the 2013 JX crossover, Infiniti has released the clearest shot yet of the car: a photo showing most of the front end. No shadowy figures here, just straight-on front thee-quarter.

We can see that the JX falls right in line with the rest of the Infiniti family, bearing a familiar resemblance to both the QX and FX. The grille reminds us of the larger QX, but it also takes after that on the Ethera concept shown earlier this year in Geneva. Headlamps are shaped like those used on the FX, but are a little less aggressive. Two lateral hood bulges leading into the A-pillar match the JX into the rest of the Infiniti lineup.

We’ll get a full look at the JX in the coming weeks, as Infiniti has told us that there will be a total of seven teaser shots before the JX Concept’s debut on August 18 at the Pebble Beach Concoursd’Elegance, and the production car’s unveiling this fall at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Once it hits the marketplace, the JX will do battle with the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Lexus’ long-rumored three-row crossover, and Cadillac’s forthcoming sub-Escalade crossover.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 28 Juli 2011

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Subaru XV

The Subaru XV will be produced in China via the still unofficially announced joint venture between Subaru and Chery in 2012 and should sit under the Forester in terms of product placement according to media reports. Chinese consumers have already seen the XV in concept form at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year where it gained center stage on the Subaru stand. The original XV is already on sale in China as a crossover version of the current Subaru Impreza, but the latest generation is expected to offer a cleaner design for the whole car and will come in crossover and regular styling.

Engines are likely to be 2.0L, although Subaru could potentially introduce some its smaller engines from the Japanese market into China – possibly even some small displacement turbo units.

Pricing is purely guesswork at this stage, but anything from 120,000rmb and rising with an eventual product launch date of early to mid 2012.

Thanks to: China Car Times

Hot News: 2013 Audi Allroad

The new A6 Avant has only just arrived, but Auto Express has learned that Audi is already working on expanding the line-up, with the next generation of the popular Allroad model.

Our exclusive image shows the new version gets a similar look to before, with a raised ride height, steel bumper guards and subtle plastic cladding to protect the body over rougher terrain.

Audi’s adaptive air-suspension will be included as standard, so drivers can adjust the ride height to suit different conditions. The newcomer should also feature an ‘off-road’ ESP system that adapts to changing surfaces and levels of grip.

The Allroad is likely to be available only with the most powerful V6 engines from the range, including a new 309bhp diesel and the smooth 3.0-litre TFSI turbocharged petrol.

As with the standard estate, the new car’s longer wheelbase should mean more room inside for rear passengers. But the Allroad isn’t the only new A6 on the way.

The hot S6 saloon and estate will debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, while a petrol-electric hybrid to rival the Lexus GS is due here in the spring. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Toyota Prius Family

The Prius family is growing again. Toyota is already set to bring the seven-seater Prius Plus to UK showrooms early next year – but Auto Express can reveal that it’s also planning to launch a trio of all-new models in the next three years as it moves to turn the Prius into a standalone brand. This bold step will see hybrids sold through specific dealers by 2014.

That’s when the replacement for the current Prius saloon is due to arrive, and our illustrations show the cars that will join it in these new franchises. Readers may be familiar with the first of these, as the Prius C was previewed by the striking Prius C Concept at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

Gone are the blade-like headlamps and distinctive LED running lights seen on the car on the stands. The bold indent running down the flanks has also been axed, as the production C takes on a more conservative design. The idea remains the same, though, with the compact five-door hatch providing a new entry point to the Prius brand and competing with smaller hybrids like Honda’s Insight and CR-Z.

With its compact dimensions and low kerbweight, as well as its combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, the C will be the most efficient Prius. It’s set to deliver economy well in excess of 80mpg. But if you thought the new Prius brand wouldn’t be exciting, think again – a two-door performance hybrid is also earmarked for 2014.

The Sports Coupe is based on a rear-wheel-drive platform taken from the next Lexus GS. It will get a new plug-in hybrid set-up featuring lithium-ion batteries, and be offered with a manual gearbox. Also set to debut in 2014 is a Prius SUV. This high-riding model has been rumoured since the Hybrid X Concept was seen at 2007’s Geneva Motor Show, and it’s set to be based on the Toyota RAV4.

Our sources say it will be the most efficient car in its class, and offer the latest Hybrid Synergy Drive set-up or a version of the Sports Coupe’s plug-in drivetrain. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Land Rover Defender to be Axed?

Is Land Rover about to ditch the Defender? That’s certainly one of the options being considered by the brand’s bosses, as it decides the fate of its iconic mud-plugger.
In an exclusive interview with Auto Express, Land Rover UK’s MD Colin Green explained that coming up with a plan for the 4x4 was a huge challenge. “If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons, and in that sense it’s a tremendous responsibility.”

Other options include fitting cleaner engines to extend the life of the Defender yet again, or a complete redesign, according to Green.

On sale since 1947 and meeting Euro V emissions regulations until 2016, Defender is popular with farmers, rescue services and utility companies. But Green said the issue was how to keep its legendary capability, but expand its appeal to attract new customers seeking a less functional vehicle.

One proposal would see a new version built on the same platform as Discovery and Range Rover Sport, but that chassis is expensive compared to the current one.

“Another option is to carry on the current model using Euro VI engines. A third is that we abandon that section of the market. It’s our least preferred choice because we have serviced that customer base for a long time, but there’s no point in servicing the customer and not the business. We have to make money and all three options are on the table,” said Green. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2012 Renault Twingo

The facelifted Renault Twingo has taken its first public steps, more than a month ahead of its scheduled worldwide debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Our spies caught this re-styled model completely undisguised in France – and it's clear that the updated model has a very different look. At the front it gets Renault's new grille and headlight arrangement, with a larger, more prominent diamond badge, which was first revealed on the DeZir.

However, designers have controversially added a pair of prominent circular spotlights too. At the rear the tailights are split into two separate units.

Other changes are likely to include an updated cabin with higher quality trim, while engines will be carried over from the current car, but made more efficient thanks to tweaks to the car's electronics.

The range currently includes 1.2-litre petrol and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engines. While the entry-level variant emits 119g/km of CO2, Renault will be striving to get the Twingo below 100g/km for road tax-free status. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Rabu, 27 Juli 2011

New Car: 2012 Hover H6

The Hover H6 is the first new Hover from Great Wall that is not based around a facelift of the original Hover H3, the H6 is going to be a city-fied car that has a greater focus on its handling rather than its offroad ability when it finally makes it to the roads. Chinese consumers got their first look at the H6 when it was launched at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year, but the introduction of the H6′s official pictures has of course raised interest in the SUV once again.

Power will come from a 2.4L gasoline engine delivering 164bhp and a max torque of 210Nm, true power will come from GWM’s 2.0T diesel engine that delivers 150bhp and 310Nm of torque, there is also talk of a 1.5L engine but this seems like too small an engine unless of course it was supercharged. A 5 speed manual will be available at launch, although a CVT is reportedly in the works as well.
Thanks to: China Car Times

Hot News: 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

The fourth generation Subaru Impreza have been unveiled at 2011 New York Auto Show and will arrive showroom at late 2011.Offcause the new WRX STI will develope from standard Impreza like past 3 generation.The new WRX STI will get new design sporty and bold front bumper with big air in take and flares,A red STI logo at grille and a top-mount intercooler,A fender flares will be add and sporty skirt.At rear will got new bumper with diffuser gether with twin exhaust and massive wing at rear boot to get more impressive aerodynamic.

The car will have similar size to the standard car.Expect a 4580 mm long x 1795 mm wide x 1470 mm height and wheel base will be increase from 2625 mm to 2645 mm.The car weight will have more 10 kg to 1500 kg.

On the engine, The 4 cylinder DOHC will have a more powerful house power output.Expect a 330 PS at 6600 rpm (increase from 308 at 6400 rpm) and 44.2 kgm at 4600 rpm (increase from 43.0 at 4400 rpm).Fuel economy of Japan’s 10.15 mode is 12.0 km/liter

Price will slightly increase to 395.000 yen. release date is set at 2nd half of 2012.While WRX status was report by topspeed that Subaru next generation WRX and will be a totally different vehicle!So, we have to wait and see.

Thanks to: Autoten

New Car: 2011 Mazda 2 Black

The Mazda2 Black, which is based on the 83bhp, 1.3-litre Tamura version, features a black vinyl roof, privacy glass, front fog lights, a rear bumper sports trim and matt black, 16-inch alloys. It also has air-con, a Bluetooth hands-free kit, electric rear windows and limited-edition floor mats.

The car will be available in the same green and white shades as the MX-5 as well as ‘True Red’. Just 618 examples are destined for the UK. Prices start at £12,395 on-the-road for the True Red version and £12,815 for the others.

Both new versions have ‘Black Limited Edition’ badging and a numbered interior plaque. The cars go on sale this month.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2011 Mazda MX-5 Sport Black

The manufacturer says the MX-5 Sport Black has been inspired by the MX-5 GT racer that competes against Lotus, BMW and Ferrari in the Britcar Production GTN Championship.

The new road version is based on the 160bhp, 2.0-litre, six-speed Sport Tech Roadster Coupé model. It features a ‘Brilliant Black’ retractable hardtop roof and comes in three bodywork colours – metallic ‘Spirited Green’, pearlescent ‘Crystal White’ and ‘Velocity Red’ mica.

It has gunmetal 17-inch alloys, and comes with black leather interior, a Piano Black steering wheel and deco panel and limited-edition floor mats. The equipment specification is the same as the Sport Tech, which means you get air-con, a Bose audio system, a Bluetooth hands-free kit, cruise control and front fog lights.

Only 500 examples of the Mazda MX-5 Sport Black will go on sale in the UK at an on-the-road price of £22,995 – £360 more than the Sport Tech model.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2011 Mercedes S-Class Grand Edition

Mercedes has unveiled a sportier, AMG-styled version of Mercedes S-class, called the Grand Edition.

This new version of the Stuttgart manufacturer’s best-selling luxury car features an AMG body kit, which includes a more aggressive front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper as well as a chrome exhaust.

The Grand Edition sits on 19-inch alloy wheels and has AMG front brakes and drilled calipers painted in silver.

Four engine choices are available – two petrol and two diesel. The diesel options are a 204bhp four-cylinder Biturbo S 250 CDI and a V6 350 BlueTec, which produces 258bhp and 457lb ft of torque.

The petrol versions are the 306bhp V6 S350 BlueEfficiency with 306bhp and 273lb ft and a 4.6-litre V8. The latter has 430bhp and 516lb ft of torque.

Inside, the Grand Edition has been kitted out with a leather steering wheel, stainless-steel sports pedals and bespoke floor mats, as well as black ash trim.

The car features LED running lights, along with Merc’s Intelligent Light System, which features five self-adjusting headlight modes.

Standard kit also includes the Comand sat-nav system, voice control and speed limit assist. All the cars get a rear parking assist system, except the Biturbo S, on which it is an option.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2013 Fiat Panda

Fiat’s latest-generation Panda, set for a Frankfurt show launch in September, will grow in size to make space in the range for a smaller Topolino city car, due in 2014.

The length of the new Panda will increase from 3540mm to around 3650mm, although its wheelbase will remain unchanged at 2300mm.

Engines include a base 65bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit, while Fiat’s two-cylinder 875cc TwinAir unit will be offered in 65bhp normally aspirated guise and as a hybrid 85bhp turbocharged version. The latter unit uses an electric motor housed within a new double clutch gearbox developed specifically for the two-cylinder engine. It is being developed to handle torque loads up to 103lb ft.

A 105bhp version of this engine is also being considered for a range-topping Abarth model.

Following the standard five-door Panda’s April 2012 UK showroom debut will be a 4x4 version in late 2012, which will feature a six-speed manual gearbox

Panda production is switching from Poland to Alfa Romeo’s old Pomigliano factory in Italy, which Fiat has spent £560 million on modernising. Production capacity there will total around 280,000 units per year.

Production of the new Fiat Panda is due to start in November.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Land Rover Plans Evoque Cabriolet

Could 2011’s most exciting new car convert into a cabriolet? The idea isn’t as wild as you may think. Speculation is mounting that a soft-top version of the groundbreaking Range Rover Evoque is in the pipeline.

And when we broached the subject with Land Rover, a spokesperson added fuel to the fire.

“A convertible Evoque wouldn’t be the maddest brand extension. It isn’t a totally crazy idea,” she admitted. “All I can say is watch this space. We’ve got lots of ideas for the Evoque.”

The three-door Evoque is the first-ever Land Rover or Range Rover coupé, and would lend itself perfectly to a layout with a retractable fabric roof. And our exclusive image shows how the head-turning convertible could look.

Anyone thinking a roofless SUV isn’t possible need only check out Nissan’s line-up. Earlier this year, the firm introduced a convertible version of the Murano, called the Cross Cabriolet.

This four-seater crossover has a canvas hood, and is designed specifically for American customers – a lucrative market the Evoque cabriolet could also exploit.

Land Rover claims a key part of the appeal of the regular car – on sale as a three and five-door from September – is the fact buyers can have it anyway they want it. A cabriolet model would broaden that choice even further.

A unique special edition of the Evoque, with an interior designed by Victoria Beckham, has also been confirmed for release early next year. This is an important component of the marketing push behind the newcomer. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Ruf CTR 3

The Porsche 911 is already a must-have accessory for The Man Who Has Everything, but for the man who wants more than that, there’s this: the updated form of Ruf’s CTR 3 supercar.

The so-called Ruf CTR 3 is produced by the engineering mavens at German manufacturer Ruf. Ruf has long been known for tuning the snot out of all sorts of Porsches, but the CTR 3 is its own unique beast — despite the fact it picks liberally from Porsche’s parts bins.

So, what’s changed? The original CTR 3, as released in 2007, and featured a tweaked version of the Porsche 911’s 3.8-liter flat-six engine, which was good for 691 hp and 657 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a curb weight of just over 3000 pounds, that made for a veritable road rocket — but Ruf apparently believes there’s always room for improvement.

The new model also has a 3.8-liter flat-six, but output has been increased to 750 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque — all of which is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential manual gearbox. For those keeping score at home, that’s 130 ponies more than the mighty 911 GT2 RS. With that amount of power, it’s no surprise the car is quick. Ruf says gear ratios limit the CTR 3 to 236 mph (1 mph better than before), and 0-60 mph runs are ticked off in a scant 3.2 seconds.

For the first time, Ruf will stuff the massaged flat-six into the middle of the car, within a custom modular tube space frame. Body panels are crafted from lightweight Kevlar composites, aluminum, and galvanized steel. The new CTR 3 uses MacPherson struts up front and a pushrod suspension in back, and engineers have stretched the wheelbase to help high-speed stability. All four brakes receive six-piston setups to make sure the car can stop just like it goes. Sound like a road-legal racer? Perhaps that’s also why Ruf fits an integrated roll cage into the interior, which is otherwise trimmed and customized for each customer with leather and Alcantara materials.

Ruf hasn’t yet announced pricing for the new CTR 3, but considering that the last model rang in at close to $510,000, don’t expect the updated model to be any less expensive.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: New Hyundai Azera to Debut at LA Show 2011

If you’ve forgotten about the Hyundai Azera, we don’t blame you. The full-size sedan has been upstaged by almost every model the automaker’s line up including the Genesis, Sonata, and Elantra. Today, the automaker announced on Twitter that it’s in the final stages of tuning the ride and handling of the U.S.-spec 2012 Hyundai Azera and that the new Hyundai sedan will make its world debut at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show.

We first learned of the updated Azera last November when we got a hold of renderings of the Korean-spec model. The KDM version looks almost identical what we’re getting, but is instead called the Grandeur. A few months later, we got a better look of the Grandeur/Azera when Hyundai released a video of the new sedan. If you like the Sonata’s interpretation of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design theme, then the Azera will not disappoint. It will sport the same waterfall-style grill along with dramatic character lines, especially at the rear. Interior shots are harder to come by, but we expect the plush Hyundai to follow the Sonata’s theme.

The bigger sedan will also get a bigger engine. In Korea, the Grandeur is offered with a 3.0-liter, direct-injected V-6 that puts out 270 hp, while other markets also have the option of a smaller 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s rumored that the U.S. version will get an even bigger 3.5-liter V-6 with more than 300 hp. We’ll know closer to its debut.

Also unknown is its price, but should fall in line with its placement between the smaller Sonata and the larger, rear-drive Genesis sedan.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

Hot News: Next-Gen Mini Line-Up Expands

The all-new, Mk3 Mini family will grow to encompass 10 individual models as the British brand becomes fully integrated into the BMW family.

Mini’s staple three-door hatch — codenamed F56 — will be the first of the Mk3 Minis to arrive. It’s due to be revealed before the end of next year and go on sale in 2013.

Another nine Mini spin-offs will be launched by the middle of the decade, including a new interpretation of the Clubman estate and Mini’s take on the MPV — known internally as the ‘Spacebox’ but likely to wear the evocative ‘Traveller’ badge.

The new-generation Mini will be based on a brand-new BMW-engineered platform called UKL1. This front-drive architecture will come in two wheelbase lengths and is based around MacPherson strut front suspension and BMW’s Z-axle rear end. BMW recently announced a £500 million investment in converting the Cowley, Oxfordshire plant to accommodate the platform.

Most of the Mk3 Mini line-up will be powered by a new range of advanced BMW three-cylinder engines. They will be just as powerful as the existing Mini four-cylinder engines but are claimed to be significantly more frugal.

Power outputs are expected to span 120bhp to 160bhp. UKL1 will also accommodate the new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder BMW engines, which could produce more than 230bhp. This engine is expected to form the basis of the John Cooper Works motor and also raises the possibility of an all-wheel-drive Mini JCW.

As well as accommodating four-wheel drive, UKL1 will offer at least one type of hybrid drivetrain. It’s currently unclear whether a battery-powered version of the new Mini will make series production. BMW has already shown an extended-range electric drivetrain for a front-drive car, and a senior BMW engineer has told Autocar that he believes an extended-range drivetrain is a better investment for the future than a purely battery-powered car.

UKL1 will also be used as the basis for a new range of compact BMW models, including three-door and five-door hatches, a super-compact SUV and a tall 5-series GT-style car. With 10 Mini models planned and as many as five BMW models in the medium term, UKL1 will become BMW’s biggest-selling vehicle range.

When BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer announced the plans for a range of front-drive cars in March 2010, he said the new platform would allow BMW to “achieve its profitability aims in the small car sector”.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied Up Date: 2013 Porsche 911

Gotcha! These are the clearest pictures yet of the hotly anticipated new Porsche 911, spied testing in Germany.

Spotted joining the public road, the car is almost completely free from disguise. The car will be officially revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Look closely, and it’s possible to see how the firm’s designers have evolved the car’s legendary shape, adding sharper looking lights at the rear.

The front end of the car is different too, and there’s a new look bumper, plus different looking headlamps – which are more oval in shape than before. Still lightly camouflaged, the lights take inspiration from the 918 Spyder concept car, revealed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Our pictures also show the car’s new indicator arrangement, and modified bonnet opening, which is expected to give the car a more aerodynamic look. The side mirrors have also been moved onto the doors, rather than the wing.

As we have come to expect from Porsche, the new 911’s design is far from what we would describe as radical, however, drivers can expect a big boost in luxury, quality and functionality inside. According to our sources, the refresh includes a Panamera-style centre console, and new leather trims.

Under the skin, the car shares its front suspension and steering set-up with the forthcoming Boxster and Cayman, however, the rear suspension remains unchanged.

Cars will continue to offer Porsche’s impressive PASM damper system, which allows drivers to choose between a series of different driving modes. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Coupe

Can’t stretch to the £157,000 SLS AMG? A new, slightly more attainable supercar has joined Mercedes’ ranks – and the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series has its sights set on the BMW M3 GTS.

Dominating the headlines is the 510bhp 6.2-litre V8 engine. Hooked up to Merc’s 7G-Tronic paddleshift semi-auto gearbox, it puts out 59bhp more than the standard AMG Coupe. This helps shave three-tenths of a second off the 0-62mph time, taking it to only 4.2 seconds. And that’s a mere four-tenths down on the SLS supercar. The engine note is incredible, too.

At a private preview event, we had the opportunity to listen to the eight-cylinder powerplant explode into life. And thanks to its freer-flowing and amplified exhaust system, the roar had more in common with a piston-engine fighter plane than a road-legal car.

On paper, however, this is the most sensible Black Series Mercedes ever. In the past, the label has been reserved for two-seaters, but bosses have caved in to demand and made the C63 the first fettled AMG model to be offered with the option of four full seats. The penalty? If you want rear passenger space, you can’t have the fixed racing buckets up front you see here. That aside, it looks every bit as insane as previous form would suggest.

A wider front and rear track, plus race-derived suspension, gives the coupé a lower and more muscular stance. This is enhanced by a bodykit, 19-inch multi-spoke alloys and blistered wheelarches. There’s also a pair of air scoops on the bonnet, plus quad exhaust pipes and body-coloured brake calipers.

The interior of the two-seater, shown here, is identified by its shell-like bucket seats and bright red seatbelts. There’s a useful parcel shelf in the back, but it does without the roll cage seen on its more extreme M3 GTS rival. The dash is awash with carbon trim and AMG Black Series logos.

Plus, buyers can add an AMG Track Package, to make the car even more focused for circuit work. This includes competition-spec tyres, extra transmission cooling and an adjustable rear spoiler.

Prices are expected to be in the region of £100,000 when the car goes on sale later this year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2011 Honda Ridgeline Sport

There’s a new trim level of the Honda Ridgeline truck for the 2012 model year, and although it’s called Sport, the trim is mostly distinguished by visual changes rather than performance upgrades. The Sport trim debuts alongside several other tweaks for the 2012 Ridgeline.

The key word for the Ridgeline Sport is black, as the color is applied to the head-, fog-, and taillight bezels; the mirrors; door handles; unique honeycomb grille; and 18-inch wheels. It’s a cool look, but we wonder whether the Sport label is truly justified by what’s essentially just a collection of blacked-out body parts. From what we can tell, the Sport will sport much of the same equipment as a typical Ridgeline RT model.

New duds aren’t limited to this black-on-black model, as Honda will graft a new grille design onto every 2012 Ridgeline. There are no pictures of the non-Sport model, but our money says the Ridgeline will score the same chrome-slat grille design as the 2012 Pilot.

The 2012 Ridgeline is said to boast improved fuel economy; the 250-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine will probably remain unchanged while the five-speed automatic transmission could be swapped for a six-speed unit, like that used on the Acura MDX, which rides upon a similar platform. The truck is currently EPA-rated at 15/20 mpg (city/highway). The new Ridgeline (and the Sport variant) goes on sale this November.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Honda Pilot

Honda, like airline companies, likes its Pilots to be sober, and there’s nothing to raise a pulse in the 2012 Pilot, which the company has just revealed via a single photo. But for the vast number of Americans—and many of our own staffers—who appreciate the current Pilot and the innocuous, reliable, and easy way it transports up to eight people and their stuff, this is no bad thing.

Up front, the seemingly Battlestar Galactica–inspired fascia seen on the current model is mostly gone, replaced with a rather plain face for 2012. A three-slat grille has been installed, while the lower edge and fog lights are redesigned.

It’s the changes we can’t see—from Honda’s first picture of the new Pilot, at least—that comprise the significant upgrades to the three-row crossover for 2012. Honda promises that the Pilot’s fuel economy will improve, and we expect that this will largely be attributable to a six-speed automatic transmission taking the place of last year’s five-cog unit. We’re also told that the car’s interior has been freshened, with “upgraded” navigation and audio systems. Given that antiquated nav systems and hard-to-navigate radio units have been one of Honda’s most glaring faults in the past several years, we’re glad to hear that some kind of change has been made—although we’ll be eager to try the new setups out for ourselves.

Beyond some new paint colors and a new wheel design, the rest of the 2012 Pilot is about the same as it was in 2011. The automaker says this refreshed model will begin arriving at dealers in September.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Concept Car: Honda CR-V

Honda has released a picture of the concept version of its next-generation CR-V, and it looks, well, pretty much like we expected based on recent spy photos. The vehicle seen here is, as is typical with Honda’s concepts, a loosely disguised version of the production car.

That’s not to say that when the fourth-generation CR-V arrives at dealerships some time in late 2011, it will be festooned with some of the concept’s more colorful design elements. Items like the smoked-out headlights, prominent front skid plate, gargantuan wheels, and polished black lower trim likely will remain the domain of the show car. Otherwise, though, what you see here is what we’ll get.

Despite a relatively significant change in the CR-V’s design—it’s major by Honda’s conservative standards, at least—the new car will be mechanically similar to the one it replaces. Front-wheel drive definitely will again be standard, with optional all-wheel drive returning to the menu, too. It’s doubtful that Honda will make any major changes in the engine department from last year’s car, meaning that buyers will probably get a 2.4-liter inline four good for about 180 hp. Unlike the 2011 CR-V, which had a five-speed automatic transmission, the new model is likely to receive a six-speed unit. If Honda does go this route, you can expect a modest boost in fuel economy over the current CR-V’s 21 mpg city/28 highway for front-drive models and 21/27 for those with AWD.

While the CR-V has never fully roused the enthusiast’s soul, it has always been one of the more involving small crossovers to pilot. (Pun intended as an excuse to post a link to the face-lifted 2012 Pilot, which Honda also announced.) At the same time, the CR-V has been one of the more practical and easy-to-use small utes, too, a factor we’re sure is of higher importance to most of the people with one in their driveway. (There are a lot of those people: 227,760 CR-Vs were sold in the past 12 months alone.) We don’t expect those traits to change with this next-gen model, although we’ll have to wait until Honda decides to show us the production model to find out for sure.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

Hot News: Porsche Baby Boxster Gets Green Light

Porsche boss Matthias Mueller says that the carmaker will build a ‘modern-day’ version of the classic 550 Spyder as an entry-level model for the brand, confirming Autocar’s scoop story of 12 months ago.

According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Matthias said ‘I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well-received by our customers.’ He also said that new model would not be retro-styled.

The Porsche is expected to be based on a new mid-engined aluminium and steel platform being developed by Audi which will also be used for the proposed Audi R4 roadster.

The Porsche will probably from £35,000 slotting in underneath the next-generation Boxster, which will grow notably in size and cost.

The car will get a new four-cylinder boxer engine that will also power the Boxster, the Cayman and potentially even the 911. Sources say the flat four motor is sized at 2.5-litres and has been producing around 360bhp in turbocharged form.

The outgoing head of R&D Wolfgang Durheimer said at the Detroit show last January: “We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development.” He admitted that the unit “can be applied” to the Boxster and Cayman.

Durheimer said the unit “could be applied if necessary to the 911. Our decision is, on the 911 side, we’ll stay with the flat [six]. But there are opportunities for the future.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Mini Paceman

Take a look at the Range Rover Evoque's new rival. These images, leaked from the European Patent Office and picked up by a blog site in the US, show how the MINI Paceman will look when it arrives in the UK in 2012.

The car was originally revealed in 'concept' form at January's Detroit Motor Show where BMW board member, Ian Robertson, gave the model the green light for production.

Given that the show car was pretty-much production ready anyway, it'll come as no surprise to learn that the images filed with the Patent Office, and subsequently leaked, reveal a car that looks identical, getting the same sweeping rear roofline and three-door layout, which sets it apart from the Countryman.

Based on that car, it is likely to be built alongside it at the Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria, sharing the same engines - including a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol - and platform with four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive options.

Before the Paceman arrives, MINI will launch the hatchback-based Coupe and then a convertible Roadster model in early 2012. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 21 Juli 2011

Hot News: 2015 Toyota Alphard

The Alphard is luxury midsize MPV produce by Toyota since 2002.Current car is 2nd generation began selling since 2008.The Alphard and the co-developed Toyota Vellfire is amoung the popular MPV in Japan.Knowed as luxurious ,very comfortable and planty of interior speace.In some countries they use as an exclusive car more than a normal people commuter.

Before the model change in 2014.Toyota is planning current Alphard with Hybrid system that will power by a petrol 2.4 liter 170 hp/22.8kgm and power from THS-II Hybrid system total at 190hp/24.0kgm in addition to E-Four drive system, CVT stepless automatic transmission will be as standard equipment. Start sell of the hybrid at late 2011.

In 2014 the new generation Alphard will arrive.rendering from best car reveal that styling cues will not have much change. the car will feature a big front grille,more angular and more clear lines and headlight will have LED feature.The cockpit will have integrated audio, air conditioner panels and flat floorplan.the car will have 3 row and midle row will offer captain seat.In the dimention ,the car will have major upgrade in plantform the will add 50 m.m. to the wheelbase to the total of 3000 m.m. (L 4860 x W 1850 x H 1840 )

The power still use naturally aspirated inline four-cylinder 2.4L 170 hp/22.8kgm with CVT and NA petrol 3.5L V6 with 6 speed automatic ( also offer with 4WD) fuel efficiency of 2.4 liter in 10-15 mode is 11.6 k.m./liter and 14.0k.m./liter in hybrid version.
Thanks to: Autoten

Hot News: Bentley SUV Gets Green Light

Thought the Porsche Cayenne was heresy? Stop reading here because according to Auto Motor und Sport, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has approved a new SUV for production. The uber-SUV would sit atop the sport utility hill, doing battle with the Range Rover and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and costing even more.

Durheimersees potential in this segment, as there are few competitors in the ultra-luxe SUV market. The British marque would be able to compete at a higher price point and level of exclusivity to help differentiate itself from the competition. More importantly, Bentley’s key markets are seen as the U.S., Europe, and China — all places where sport utilities and crossovers prove popular.

This SUV project has been on-again, off-again for years now. However, the basis has stayed constant: it will be based off of the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne/Volkswagen Touareg/Audi Q7. Bentley’s version will reportedly be most closely linked to the Porsche, although it will receive its own bespoke interior and exterior design. If it does finally come to fruition, expect it to reach dealers sometime around 2015, and help keep the Bentley range fresh after the full launches of theContinental and Mulsanne lines.

But is it really necessary? Right now, the most expensive SUVs you can buy are the $116,950 Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography, the $125,325 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, and the $108,075 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Is there really room above that bracket for a $150,000 SUV, even with the flying B on the hood? Should Bentley even make an SUV, or should it expand elsewhere with its models and keep away from tarnishing the brand with a soft-roader?

Thanks to: Motor Trend & Sybarites

Spied: 2014 Chevrolet Colorado SUV

The Chevrolet Colorado has stirred up more buzz than any mid-size pickup has in a very long time—a little surprising, since it hasn’t officially been confirmed for sale in the United States. Is it just another case of us wanting what we can’t have? Perhaps, and Chevrolet seems to want it that way. While some quotes from the division the past few months indicate the global Colorado will indeed be built and sold in America within the next two years, the company’s communications staff continues to give us the cold shoulder when asked for outright confirmation.

Interest has again spiked, because, as you can see in these spy photos, there’s going to be an SUV version. As you’ll remember, Chevrolet stopped producing truck-based mid-size SUVs here with the death of the TrailBlazer; the unibody Equinox and Traverse now represent the bowtie in their respective classes. There is recent precedent for a small-pickup-based GM SUV, however, in the form of the Hummer H3, which used the current Colorado as its base. If the new pickup is in fact headed here (and we think it should be), Chevrolet just might see a market for truck-based sport-utes as well. Nissan serves as an example of car- and truck-based utes living in harmony, with the Murano, the Pathfinder, and the Xterra being sold side-by-side for some time now.

Both the Colorado pickup and SUV are still heavily camouflaged in these spy photos, but imagining how they’ll look isn’t hard. The open-bed version should look nearly identical to the concept shown back in March. Now, remember back to when the Chevy S-10 and the Blazer were both on sale and it’s easy to picture the SUV, even if that tall, boxy camo is throwing off the proportions. If or when Chevrolet launches it here, we expect it’ll be spun as an active-lifestyle alternative to the city dweller’s Equinox.

As far as engine choices go, it’s easiest to imagine a U.S.-spec Colorado getting the corporate 3.6-liter V-6 because, well, every mid-size anything under the GM umbrella makes use of that engine. The Equinox’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four is another option, although we’d love to see both a turbo four and a small turbo-diesel (as was installed in a second Colorado truck concept) used to make smaller pickup trucks and any resulting SUVs relevant again. Hopefully, more details will come soon, but we have plenty of time to continue speculating—don’t expect either of these vehicles to show up before 2013.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 20 Juli 2011

Hot News: Caterham is Going to Enter Chinese Market in 2012

Caterham has signed a new deal with a Chinese importer to sell its cars in one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Courtenay Trading International (CTI), the British marque’s Chinese importer expects to appoint six retailers in China, with estimated sales of between 30 and 50 cars expected in the first year.

Included in the imported range are the Roadsport 120, Superlight 120, Roadsport 175, Superlight R300 and CSR 175 – with the first Sevens scheduled to arrive in China in January 2012.

Caterham Cars’ international business manager David Ridley said: “We are engaged in one of the most exciting new chapters in the Caterham Cars story and our entry into the Chinese market is another tangible sign of how Caterham is striving to become a truly global brand.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: 2013 Smart Roadster

A Smart revolution is on the way. We can exclusively reveal that a replacement for the Smart Roadster is set to hit showrooms next year, followed closely by a new 4x4.

An Auto Express reader and Smart customer got in touch after a visit to his local dealer, who confided he’d been informed of plans to produce a successor to the roadster during a trip to the Smart factory. Not only that, a factory worker also let slip that a 4x4 competitor to the MINI Countryman is in the pipeline. Our pictures show how the models could look when they reach production.

The Roadster takes inspiration from the ForSpeed concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and stays true to the 2003 original with its distinctive low stance, while featuring modern design touches such as sculpted flanks and intricate detailing. The chunkier five-door 4x4 harks back to the ForFour supermini that was axed in 2006. It retains Smart’s trademark two-tone body, highlighting the central safety cell, and will be the firm’s largest model yet.

The 4x4 is likely to be based on Mercedes’ new B-Class platform, but underpinnings for the Roadster have yet to be confirmed. However, the recent tie-up between Smart parent firm Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance has already heralded a joint rear-drive platform to be shared between the next ForTwo and Renault Twingo. This could feasibly serve the Roadster, too.

It’s not the first time that the Smart Roadster has been pencilled in for a comeback. Back in 2006, an industry group called Project Kimber planned to sell revised versions of the car using the AC Ace badge. Production was slated for 2007, but the operation was quietly dropped before a prototype had even taken to the road.

New versions of the ForTwo and ForFour are scheduled to land in showrooms in 2014. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Subaru Impreza & WRX will Split?

The new Impreza and high-performance WRX – two versions of the same car since 1992 – are splitting to create separate models, Auto Express has learned.

The WRX will be a completely different beast to the revamped Impreza – which was revealed at April’s New York Motor Show – with unique components. Our image shows a Japanese artist’s interpretation of the car, as a two-door with a shorter wheelbase and heavy-duty bodywork. Our source revealed: “Every part of the WRX will be unique – even the engine and body.”

From now, the standard Impreza will be Subaru’s fuel-efficient core model, while the WRX will employ the brand’s rally-proven 4WD and a new 200bhp 1.6-litre boxer turbo. “We have developed it from the ground up to win in motorsport,” added our source. “That is why we have focused on weight issues, not to mention a shorter wheelbase that permits faster, more precise turn-in. We think we have a winner.” So although the firm pulled out of the World Rally Championship in 2008, a return looks possible.

Above the WRX, Subaru will still offer a low-volume flagship STi, which will be more hardcore than ever. The maker was able to push the limits with this car because its forthcoming coupe – co-developed with the Toyota FT-86 – will fill the gap for a more forgiving performance model.

The new WRX is expected to be revealed within the next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2002 - 2011 Ford Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ford have issued a recall for 26,715 vehicles. The recall affects the 2011 Ford Ranger, as well as service parts sold to dealerships for the 2004-2011 Ford Ranger, 2002-2007 Ford E-Series, and 2002-2005 Ford Excursion. A poorly manufactured switch could fail, preventing certain exterior lights from working.

2004-2011 Ford Ranger, 2002-2007 Ford E-Series, 2002-2005 Ford Excursion

The Problem: A slider within a multifunction switch could deform over time, which could prevent the turn signals, taillights, hazard lights, or brake lights from illuminating. If these lighting systems fail, NHTSA says there is an increased risk of vehicle accident.

The Fix: Ford will recall 2011 Ranger trucks built between January and April 2011, as well as replacement switches distributed to dealers for the Ranger, E-Series, and Excursion. The Rangers will be repaired for free starting August 15. Ford will recall any unsold parts from dealerships, and will attempt to contact owners whose vehicles were repaired with faulty components.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 20,450 Ford vehicles and 6265 replacement switches in dealer inventories.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 19 Juli 2011

New Car: 2012 Toyota Fortuner

Toyota has launched a refreshed version of its Fortuner SUV at a ceremony in Bangkok. The refreshed SUV has been launched for the Thailand market and the same could make it to India in early 2012.

The refreshed Fortuner has an all-new nose designed to appear wider and more aggressive. It has new headlamps that are slightly stretched, a restyled and sculpted bonnet with a larger scoop for the air-intake, a re-profiled bumper and a wider redesigned chrome grille that makes it resemble the Land Cruiser. The Fortuner gets new seats and darker wooden trim.

Toyota hasn’t changed the SUV’s side profile but the rear now gets new clear-lens tail-lamps that have a different profile from the current ones. The roof-rack and scuff plate, as seen in the picture, however, are likely to be optional, which may or may not come with this updated version.

The current Fortuner is powered by a 3.0-litre common-rail diesel motor that churns out a respectable 169bhp. This is the same motor that does duty in the Land Cruiser Prado as well, although the Prado gets more torque. The Fortuner may be given this step up as well for India. An automatic version is also likely.

Toyota has developed a latest “Diamond Tech” system that allows the 32-bit ECU to more precisely detect operating conditions within the injection system, improving fuel efficiency. New injectors feature a new “diamond-like” carbon coating that makes the process more efficient, as well as lengthening the life of the injectors and related combustion process components. The variable-geometry turbo also sees its relationship with the ECU improved, for a faster flow of more detailed information.

Toyota plans to increase the local content on the Fortuner and this facelift may provide the perfect opportunity.

Thanks to: Autocar India

Hot News: 2012/2013 Acura CSX

The Acura CSX is not only an entry level compact luxury car but also a smallest car from Acura offering.First generation arrive in 2005 as a rebadge version of 8th gen Civic.This car is not much popular but at least got resemble among Honda/ Acura fan.

The all new CSX is in developing and will arrive around march 2012.As they say.The car will be get more excitement in order to gain more interest from the customer that not a hard core Honda/ Acura’s fan .

The CSX replacement will build from the 9th gen Civic that arrive in late 2011 but According to Mag-x the new car will have more different from Civic more than the car it replace.Expect a newly build front and rear bumper,new design and more sharp headlight and Acura brand’s grille.

The new car (codename 2TA) will get similar size to the new Civic.Expect 4540 mm long X 1750 mm width X 1445 mm height.The prefered engine will be newly introduce petrol 4 cylinder 2.0 liter and expect a Hybrid IMA petrol 1.5 liter engine will be offered at later date.Also in pipe line is current petrol 2.4 liter that will improve power and fuel economy.

Thanks to: Autoten

Hot News: Buick Baby SUV

Buick owes its life to the Chinese auto market, if the brand did not get an early foothold in the door in China then there is no doubt that the brand would have gone the way of Saturn a long time ago, in the US market the brand only appealed to the silver haired army whilst youngsters ignored the brand completely, in China the Buick brand gained its name for being an affordable luxury brand. Although Buick China line up is now populated by re-badged Opel models, the Buick brand continues to sell in major numbers.

Major automotive site, Auto 163, set about putting what they think Buick’s next Chinese made SUV will look like, and the result seems to be a baby Enclave. The Enclave is on sale in China but is an imported model from the US, the Enclave does offer excellent value for money when compared with other imported luxury SUV’s, so it is likely that the new baby SUV will offer the same value for money.

According to Auto163 we should see a concept version at the end of the year and then it is likely to make it to the market in early to mid 2012, the new Baby Buick SUV will be riding on top of the Opel Astra platform which is already produced in China for the Buick Excell and also the Chevrolet Cruze.

Thanks to: Chinese Car Times

Senin, 18 Juli 2011

New Car: 2012 Shelby Tuatara

This Lamborghini-esque hypercar is the latest creation from American manufacturer Shelby Supercars.

Aptly named after a Kiwi lizard boasting the fastest changing DNA of any animal on earth, the 'Tuatara' is powered by a mid-rear mounted twin-turbocharged 7.0-litre V8 developing 1007kW. Power is put to the ground via a choice of seven-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions.

The remainder of the car's specifications are a closely guarded secret, though we do know it's constructed of carbon-fiber with aluminium reinforced crash structures.

Tuatara was penned by ex-Bertone desinger and current Saab design chief Jason Castriota; the man famous for the 'Mantide' concept.

"The design specifications for the Tuatara were so extreme that a proper name would be a key piece of the puzzle for this project," explains SSC CEO, Jerod Shelby.

"The name Tuatara was inspired by a modern day New Zealand reptile that bears the same name. A direct descendent of the dinosaur, this reptile's name translated from the Maori language means 'peaks on the back,' which is quite fitting, given the winglets on the back of the new car."

SSC is yet to finalise numbers for the Tuatara but in true hypercar style we expect these to be limited to around a dozen. Pricing has not yet been announced, though some sources quote upwards of USD$800,000.

Similarly, the car's top speed is not advised, though it will need to top the Veyron's 407km/h v.max if it is to score a place in the record books.

Thanks to: Car Point

New Car: 2011 Fiat 500 First Edition

Fiat has introduced a special limited edition version of the Fiat 500 for the Chinese market, ahead of the car’s official launch there in September

The ‘First Edition’ model is based on the top of the range lounge trim and adds white paint, red leather interior and badges on the door pillars. Numbers are also limited to just 100 units.

Under the bonnet sits a 101bhp 1.4-litre four-pot petrol engine, which is mated to a six-speed auto box.

Fiat vice president international operations Lorenzo Sistino said: “The 500 will have many versions and special series, in addition to the 100 ‘First Edition’ models. Next year we will be launching the 500C convertible and the exclusive ‘500 by Gucci’ special series.”

When it goes on sale in China, the Fiat 500 will cost from 190,000 RMB (£18,274). Customers who pre-order between 12 July to 15 September are then entered into a prize draw to win the special edition car at no extra cost.

Thanks to: Autocar

Recall Up Date: 2007 Ford Five Hundred & Mercury Montego

Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall notice for the 2007 Ford Five Hundred and the 2007 Mercury Montego. On each of the sedans, a defective fuel tank could potentially leak fuel.

2007 Ford Five Hundred, 2007 Mercury Montego

The Problem: Some fuel tanks produced by Visteon may have poorly welded seams between the tank and the fuel-filler neck. Over time, or after a rear-end impact, the seams could crack. This could cause the check-engine light to illuminate, produce a gasoline odor inside the vehicle, or allow fuel to leak from the tank. In the latter case, the leak could trigger a fire. Ford says it has not received any reports of fires resulting from this problem.

The Fix: Ford will examine affected vehicles and replace any tanks with a problem. The recall will begin August 15.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 2945 2007 Ford Five Hundred and 2007 Mercury Montego sedans.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Dodge Small-Car

Every previous look at the upcoming Dodge Caliber replacement (commonly called the Hornet by folks who hope it adopts the blocky looks of the 2006 Geneva concept) has shown the car wearing a black, undisguised Alfa Romeo Giulietta body. That changes now with these first photos of a disguised Alfa. No, we don’t think Dodge has engineered a car that can move back in time through development, and we’re quite sure it isn’t all an elaborate “reverse engineering” joke. The front end is now covered because the car has its very own Dodge crosshair grille in place of the Alfa’s triangular piece. Despite also wearing camo, the headlamps—complete with four-bulb LED running lights—seem to be unchanged from the Giulietta’s.

Look closer and you’ll notice a few other things are off, though, like that dark strip along the center of the hood and roof. Yes, it seems that the engineers cut a Giulietta in half and widened it by a few inches. In addition, the rear doors are longer, likely in the name of back-seat legroom. It isn’t often that changes to an architecture are so clearly laid bare; the car will be built on Fiat’s C-Wide platform to cater to space-lovin’ Americans. This is a modified version of the C-Evo platform that underpins a number of European models, and this wider version will find itself carrying the next-generation Jeep Patriot, as well as the next Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200. For those last two vehicles, the length and width will again be increased.

We’re torn about what to predict for the car’s styling. It won’t be as boxy as the Hornet concept, but we also doubt it will head to production looking like a badge-engineered Alfa Romeo. The altered panels indicate the car will have to use several new stampings, so we’re optimistic that the Dodge will get its own body. (A sedan version would make some sense, too.) Those hopes are supported further by the fact that the Alfa’s hood creases flow off the corners of the original grille, meaning they’ll look downright silly with the wider Dodge crosshairs. Plus, Alfa’s U.S. comeback is supposed to include the Giulietta, so how much sense does it make to produce an identical Dodge?

Our spy photographer’s peek at the interior doesn’t help the case, however. As far as we can see, this mule is still using a largely unchanged Giulietta cabin. We’re not sure how it still fits in the wider car, but, hey, engineers tend to have excellent MacGyver skills.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Sabtu, 16 Juli 2011

Spied: 2014 Ferrari Hybrid

Ferrari is preparing the world for its first hybrid supercar — and this prototype looks to be solid proof that the project is well under way.

The Maranello firm has been talking about a hybrid supercar since the 2010 Geneva motor show when it unveiled the Hybrid Concept, based on a standard 599. The firm’s goal is to develop hybrid technology to get its fleet average CO2 emissions down to around 240g/km by 2018, a significant reduction from last year’s figure of 310g/km.

Spied testing in Germany, this two-seater looks at first glance to be a ‘cut and shut’ 599 GTO, running as a mule for the all-new 599 due in 2013.

But its red-on-white German ‘pre-registration’ plates give away its identity as a test bed for Ferrari’s hybrid tech. Ferrari prototypes normally wear Italian ‘Prova’ identification plates, but those have been ditched while this prototype is driven in Germany to throw spy photographers off the scent.

Ferrari is keen to disown any knowledge of its hybrid prototype, but the ‘S’ on this car’s plates means it is registered in Stuttgart, home of German supply giant Bosch, which is thought to be helping Ferrari with the engineering and software set-up.

The cut-about 599 GTO body panels are covering up a well finished car underneath, whose details appear to mark it out as a California, Ferrari’s V8-powered coupé-convertible. The California’s headlamps, wheels, chromed wheel nuts, folding metal roof shutlines, brake caliper position and distinctive instrument binnacle can all be seen.

However, the revised arrangement of the test mule’s exhaust pipes is an important new detail. The standard California stacks its twin rear pipes on top of each other, rather than two pairs of side by side pipes as seen here.

That may be linked to new routings for the exhausts, dictated by the hybrid powertrain and its space-consuming battery.

Thanks to: Autocar

Jumat, 15 Juli 2011

Hot News: Skoda is Going to Build New Compact Saloon in China

Skoda has confirmed plans to build a new compact saloon for the Chinese market.

The Czech firm has not provided specific details on the model, but has confirmed it will be built by Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co from 2013 as part of a joint venture between SAIC and Volkswagen.

Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co already builds Fabia, Octavia, Superb and Yeti models for Skoda for sale in China.

Skoda chief Winfried Vahland said China "plays a central role for the growth of Skoda" and the country would be the key if it plans to doiuble sales to 1.5 million units by 2018 are to be realised.

Skoda has sold more than half a million units in China since its launch there in 2007. In the first half of 2011, it sold more than 112,000 units in the country.

Thanks to: Autocar & Burn Your Fuel

Hot News: 2013 Volkswagen Golf

The all-new, seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf will have more rakish looks than the current model when it goes on sale in a year’s time.

Volkswagen’s plan to subtly alter the proportions of its bread-and-butter hatchback includes giving it a wider footprint, a lower roofline and a lower driving position, which should improve the driving environment.

In addition, the Mk7 Golf will get a more steeply raked windscreen to further move its design in a new direction.

The subtle rethink is intended to create a greater distinction between the three-door, five-door and high-roofed Golf Plus models. The next Golf Plus will be more clearly positioned as a spacious five-seat mini-MPV.

Volkswagen’s intention is to make the three-door Golf Mk7 look even sportier than the five-door, although it won’t be as extreme as the new Vauxhall Astra GTC.

Inside, the Golf will get an all-new instrument panel and a centre console that is angled towards the driver.

There’s also a new active steering system on the way, called ‘mechanical active’.

Thanks to: Autocar

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