Rabu, 31 Agustus 2011

New Car: 2013 Fiat Panda


Fiat says its new Panda has reached ‘full maturity’ in the third-generation car that will be shown at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The Italian company says the latest evolution of the car has made a “qualitative leap in comfort, technology and safety equipment, and has a modern, harmonious look”.

The new Panda, which will only come as a five-door, features more passenger room and a bigger boot. That means it has grown in length from 3538mm to 3650mm, is 1640mm wide compared to its predecessor’s 1578mm and is 10mm taller at 1550mm. The rear seat splits and slides to allow flexible space and seating arrangements, and the front passenger seat backrest can be folded to form a table.

The Panda will be available with a range of efficient, low-capacity engines designed for city driving. Three petrol-driven powerplants will be available at launch, including a brace of new 875cc two-cylinder units: an 85bhp TwinAir turbo and a 65bhp naturally aspirated version. The petrol line-up will be completed by a 1.2-litre, 69bhp engine. A 75bhp 1.3 Multijet diesel, featuring start-stop technology as standard, will also be offered.

Several engine and transmission variants will be added to the range in the future. Two hybrids will join the starting line-up — a petrol/methane version of the 0.9-litre turbo and a petrol/LPG engine based on the 1.2 naturally aspirated unit.

A range-topping Abarth-badged Panda is also believed to be under consideration. Based on the 875cc turbocharged petrol engine, it could pack 105bhp. A Dualogic ‘robotised’ manual transmission will become available after the launch. Next year, a braking system will be added that is able to detect obstacles at close range and stop automatically at speeds below 20mph.

Official fuel consumption and emissions figures will be released at the Frankfurt show. Production will begin in November at Alfa Romeo’s old Naples factory, which has been modernised by Fiat.

The car should go on sale in the UK in April 2012, priced from about £8500.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Audi S6


Car enthusiasts are an impatient lot. No sooner had we first seen Audi’s all-new A6 than we and many “Audisti” worldwide began speculating about the S6 variant. We had a pretty good idea of what it would look like—Audi’s S models tend to be pretty conservative—and what it would have underhood. (We also tortured ourselves dreaming of the sedan’s inevitable accompanist, the not-for-the-U.S. S6 Avant.) Finally, as it unveils the 2013 S6 at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, Audi has provided all the details, if not fulfilled our wagon dream.

Both S6 models (as well as the S7) are powered by Audi’s new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 4.0-liter V-8, which produces 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, the latter from just 1400 rpm. That’s a little less horsepower and a little more torque than the 435 hp and 398 lb-ft produced by the detuned Lamborghini-sourced 5.2-liter V-10 in the previous S6. It is also a full 100 hp and 173 lb-ft down on the output of the same engine in the S8 that is also being introduced in Frankfurt. The S6’s dual-clutch transmission features seven forward ratios, which the driver can select manually via aluminum paddle shifters. Quattro all-wheel drive will again be standard, this time with an optional torque vectoring differential between the rear wheels.

At a relatively dainty 4177 pounds (4299 for the Avant), the 2013 S6 is roughly 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing car, and the new A6’s architecture achieves a more-optimal front/rear weight distribution to boot. We could never break the five-second mark to 60 mph in the outgoing S6—the best we managed was 5.4 seconds—but Audi says that the new one should be able to do the trick in 4.8 seconds.

In addition to being lighter and achieving max twist at lower revs, the V-8 is said to be a whopping 25 percent more fuel-efficient than the old V-10. This is thanks to cylinder deactivation, smaller individual cylinders, and the fact that, well, that there are two fewer of them. When all eight are lit, Audi boasts of a sonorous, carefully tuned engine note that we can’t wait to hear for ourselves.

We expect that the new S6 will not only be quicker in a straight line, but will be dynamically superior in part due to upgraded brakes and the standard Audi Drive Select system, which allows the customization of various chassis and powertrain settings. The ride height is dropped by 0.4 inch from the A6, but we don’t expect it to be as skateboard-stiff as the previous S6. Just how much smoother it is may depend on which of the seven available 19- or 20-inch wheel designs one chooses—or which ones Audi decides to offer in the U.S.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


New Car: 2013 Audi S7


Audi’s presence at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show will be brought to you by the letter S: The German automaker is rolling out its high-performance S6 sedan and Avant, S8 flagship, and this beautiful S7 hatchback. (Plus its Urban Concept and Urban Concept Spyder, but when we’ve got this much turbocharged horsepower staring us in the face, electric city cars tend to fade into the background.) What the S models lack in exterior flair over their conventional siblings, they make up for with forced-induction V-8s.

All three S cars are debuting Audi’s new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. The S7 shares its engine tune with the S6 sedan and Avant, in which the eight makes 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The S8 will use the same engine, but dialed up to 520 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque to move its largesse—and to warrant the greater investment. Both derivatives of the V-8 feature fuel-saving tech with stop-start functionality and a cylinder-deactivation system that will shut down four cylinders under lighter loads. The latter prompted Audi to install an active noise-cancellation system that uses four microphones in the headliner to analyze cabin noise and then employs the audio system’s speakers to counteract any plebian four-cylinder sounds.

A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic will be the only transmission available in the S7, with the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system feeding power to the ground. The optional torque-vectoring rear differential will further aid performance. Audi estimates the S7 will reach 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds, which we’ll call very conservative, considering we scooted to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds in the regular 310-hp A7. Top speed is limited to 155 mph.

The styling, while very sleek and sexy in standard A7 form, hardly differs on the S7. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, with other sets of 19s and 20s available. Behind the rollers are matte-black brake calipers wearing S7 logos. Carbon-ceramic discs are available. Just a few other subtle details point to the S7’s zesty purpose, among them a V8T fender badge, quad exhaust tips, and aluminum accents on the front fascia, side-mirror housings, and rear diffuser.

It’s the same story inside, where there are few upgrades over the A7. Perhaps the biggest change is the standard sport seats with embossed S logos (regular chairs are available). U.S. details aren’t available yet, but at least in Europe, the handsome interior can be optioned with your choice of three upholstery colors, with four different trim materials to accent. In addition to the standard xenon headlamps and LED running lights, the usual groupings of high-tech extras will be available, including navigation with Google Earth overlays.

We thoroughly enjoy looking at and driving the normal A7, but the additional 110 hp of the S7 has us champing at the bit to get behind the wheel. We’ll have to wait just a little longer: The S7 is scheduled to arrive next fall, which is going to make for a long year.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Citroen DS5 Hybrid


The final production version of the new Citroën DS5 will star at the Frankfurt motor show next month, and will usher in the HYbrid4 technology the French firm shares with sister marque Peugeot.

The five-door hatchback is the third model in Citroën's 'premium' DS line, following on from the DS3 and the recently launched DS4.

The DS5 is Citroën’s first car to feature a full-hybrid drivetrain combining a two-litre HDi diesel engine with electric power. HYbrid4 technology offers 200bhp, four-wheel drive, electric power and will come with an automatic six-speed gearbox with optimised shift function and a stop/start system.

Co2 emissions are as low as 99g/km depending on which performance setting is used. Like other cars featuring HYbrid4, the DS5 will offer a choice of: 'auto', which automatically switches between the diesel engine and the electric motor to optimise fuel consumption; 'zero emission vehicle', for driving with the 27kW (37bhp) electric motor alone, at speeds of up to 37mph; ‘four wheel drive’, where the front wheels are powered by the diesel engine and the rears by the electric motor and ‘Sport’, which improves the engine response by maximising the use of the electric unit and the diesel.

The car's cockpit, which Citroën says is 'aviation-inspired' is fitted with premium materials including club leather and brushed aluminium.

Technology such as intelligent traction control, a new-generation lane departure warning system; an automatic high-beam function that activates and deactivates depending on light conditions and surrounding traffic and a reverse parking camera is included.

The DS5, which was revealed in pre-production form at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year, should arrive in spring 2012. Expect it to carry a premium over top-end C5s, with prices starting from between £25k and £30k.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Land Rover DC100


The Land Rover DC100 concept will star at the Frankfurt motor show next month – and the dramatic design proposal could form the basis of the replacement for the iconic 4x4 Defender model.

The company has confirmed that its next-generation Defender will go into production in 2015, 67 years after the original was unveiled.

Land Rover says the DC100 is just a pointer to future. The concept, it says, “builds upon essential elements of the Defender’s character and allows us to open the debate and inspire people to dream about Defenders of the future”.

Gerry McGovern, director of design for Land Rover, said: “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. The DC100 isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”

John Edwards, global brand director, said: “We are determined the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of an all-new global market. We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle.”

Edwards earlier this year noted that the company’s ‘brand vision’ was to be the “gold standard of the SUV market… our core DNA is design, capability and versatility”.

Edwards and his team believe that the global SUV market can be divided into three main segments: Luxury, Leisure and Utility.

Luxury, exemplified by the Range Rover, should reach two million units per year globally across the segment by 2017; Leisure, where the Freelander resides, should hit eight million vehicles, while Utility, in which today’s Defender competes, should achieve 3.3 million units.

However, the Defender shifted just 18,500 units in 2010, a figure that shows just how far the core Land Rover brand has fallen behind utility vehicles produced by Toyota and Mitsubishi. Part of the reason is the loss of markets such as Africa and Australia because of the poor reliability record of the Defender’s predecessors, especially in the face of competition from the seemingly bullet-proof Toyota Land Cruiser models.

Thanks to: Autocar


New Car: 2013 Audi S8


Audi will expand its performance car line-up by introducing four new four-wheel-drive S models by early spring 2012. All will use the company’s latest twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, developed in partnership with Bentley.

The rapid new models are the S8, S6 saloon, S6 Avant and the eagerly anticipated S7. They are scheduled to get their first public airing at the Frankfurt motor show in mid-September.

Leading the charge on both pure performance and price is the plush S8. Due on sale in the UK next spring at a price of around £90,000, it eschews the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 of its predecessor for the most powerful version of Audi’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. Power is up by 69bhp to 513bhp, with torque rising by 80lb ft to 479lb ft on a band of revs stretching from 1700rpm to 5500rpm.

The increased reserves are channelled to all four wheels through a specially adapted eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which supports auto stop-start and brake energy recuperation, and a Torsen torque-sensing all-wheel drive system.

The 1975kg luxury saloon has a claimed 0-62mph time of just 4.2sec — down significantly from the 5.1sec of its predecessor. Top speed, like that of all of Audi’s new S models, is limited to 155mph. In spite of the increase in performance, Audi claims its new flagship saloon provides a 6.3mpg improvement in combined cycle consumption, at 27.7mpg. That’s due in part to a new cylinder-on-demand function that deactivates four of the engine’s eight cylinders on part-throttle loads.

Further technological highlights on the S8 include a new active noise cancellation (ANC) system that is used to suppress engine and wind noise. ANC consists of four microphones integrated into the headlining that constantly record the noise within the cabin. It is then analysed for what Audi describes as “intrusive elements” and, when required, an anti-phase sound is played through the speakers to cancel it out.

Thanks to: Autocar


Spied: 2013 Lotus Exige


Here are the clearest shots yet of the all-new Lotus Exige.

Unlike previous pictures we get a clear look at the 2012 model, which appears to be almost entirely new from the B-pillars back. At the front, a revised Evora-inspired face is evident, while at the rear is a new wing and tailight arrangement.

From these shots we can also see that the new Exige appears to have an altered roofline, slightly wider track with a longer back than the current model.

As for the power it’s believed a new V6 engine will be chief amongst the changes, adopting the same engine found in the larger Evora. That would mean a 3.5-litre V6 producing 280bhp in standard form, with 350bhp in the S version.

The Exiqe hasn't been produced for the European market since December 2010 when its 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine fell foul of emissions regulations.

Its likely all Lotus models – Exige, Elise and Evora – will benefit from these styling changes for 2012, with attention also focused on interior quality improvements.

The new model is likely to debut in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, going on sale shortly after. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2011 Citroen DS3 Ultra Prestige


Citroen will launch a Ultra Prestige edition of its DS3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The special-edition model celebrates the supermini's success, with more than 100,000 orders placed in 18 months.

The Ultra Prestige model features a range of premium materials not currently offered in the DS lineup. Exterior changes include exclusive 17-inch charcoal-grey design wheels and a dark chrome finish on the wing mirrors, door strips and front grille.

On the inside, the roof lining gets DS badging, a white leather dash and leather sports seats, which gradually blending from white to black.

No details on pricing have been released, but buyers can expect the model to arrive later this year at a small premium over the standard lineup. The same petrol and diesel engine lineup is likely to feature.

The DS3 is now also available with a Pink roof and matching pink door mirrors, wheel centre caps, and interior finishes. A new Flower roof design will also be shown at Frankfurt. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2012 Honda Civic (European Version)


This is the first official image of the new Honda Civic, which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in a few weeks' time.

Although this is the only picture the Japanese firm has chosen to release, it does reveal that the the Ford Focus rival gets a dramatic new rear-light bar.

Designers have moved the tailights higher up on the body and incorporated a single bar which continues to split the rear window and runs all the way across the screen. The lights themselves appear to be made up of LEDs too.

The rest of the rear end appears to be influenced by models such as the Insight, losing the angular slashes of the current Civic. Honda promises that the new compact family car will be very aerodynamic – Honda has called on the expertise of its ex-Formula One engineers – while it says it has significantly improved the car's ride and refinement.For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Alfa Romeo 4C


Alfa Romeo has stopped releasing vague teaser shots ahead of next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show and has opted instead to show us photos of exactly what it’s bringing. Though we’d hoped for an updated version of the 4C concept, it seems Alfa is just repainting the sexy show car, and bringing it to Germany for enthusiasts to drool over yet again.

The 4C concept originally debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but the car destined for Frankfurt now wears what Alfa calls “liquid metal” paint. The gunmetal-like hue is a stark contrast to the red used for the Geneva debut, but it looks sensuous on the shapely 4C.

The color shift changes absolutely nothing beneath the 4C’s skin. Despite looking and sounding a bit like the exotic 8C Competizione, the 4C has half the cylinder count. The turbocharged 1.75-liter I-4, borrowed from the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde, sends somewhere between 235 and 250 hp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. Extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber allow the 4C to remain supermodel thin, and keep its curb weight below 1900 pounds. With that sort of power-to-weight ratio, the car could sprint from 0-60 mph in about 5 seconds.

Little — if any — of the 4C concept seems too pie-in-the-sky, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the final production-spec version — which is due to arrive sometime in 2012 — is almost a carbon copy of the show car. The model has also been theoretically confirmed for the U.S. market, provided Alfa’s rebirth in the new world isn’t delayed yet again. In any event, the car should sell for close to $57,000, and Alfa hopes to sell about 5000 copies annually.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Abarth Plans to Introduce 3 Hot Fiats


Fiat’s scorpion-stamped hatches will be making a big sting at this year’s Frankfurt show, as three new Abarth specials prepare to bow at the upcoming show. But these special go-fast editions represent more than just fun – each one symbolizes each of the brand’s core values.

First up: The 500 Cabrio Italia Sport projects sportiness and Italian style, and only 150 examples are being made to pay special tribute to the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. The vehicle sports a bold blue paint job and black top that folds back, with 17-inch wheels offset by yellow Brembo brake calipers. At the heart of it all is a 160-hp 1.4-liter turbo four, capable of going 0-60 in 7.4 seconds with a top speed of about 131 mph. Rounding out the pint-sized performer’s specs is an overboost function, with a 5-speed manual standard.

Fiat’s heritage is represented through a two-toned Punto SuperSport. Matte black stripes appear on the hood and on the roof, and red Brembo brake calipers add some flair to the 18-inch wheels, resembling the designs offered in the Abarth “esseesse” kit. Suspension modifications include specially-tuned Koni shock absorbers, and the performance exhaust is finished off with an oversized tip. A 180-hp version of the 1.4-liter Multiair engine cranks out pushes the super-sporty Punto to a top speed of 132 mph.

Last, is what Abarth says is its first “street legal” racing car. The 695 Competizione keeps true to the performance brand’s racing spirit. Designed for the road and track alike, the 695 Competizione is packaged similarly to the 695 Tributo Ferrari, with a matching body, wheel design, and the high-output 180-hp 1.4-liter 16-valve turbo I-4. The electro-mechanical five-speed transmission has operating modes for street and track, and its interior is equipped with two seats, with roll bar replacing the rear seats.

The 695 Tributo Ferrari debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt show and is the fastest 500 yet.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Ford Evos


At the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, Ford’s stunning Iosis concept car debuted the company’s “Kinetic” design language, which shortly thereafter debuted on non-U.S. models like the Mondeo, European Focus, C-Max, and Kuga. Our first taste of Kinetic design came more recently with the 2011 Fiesta and 2012 Focus models. But now Ford’s look is evolving, with another Frankfurt concept—the 2011 show’s gorgeous and aptly named Evos—previewing the next evolution (get it?) of Blue Oval design.

Sadly, the company won’t go so far as to adapt the Evos’s quad butterfly doors for production. But this fastback four-seater, which is shorter than a Focus sedan but wider than a Porsche Panamera, does embody a half dozen newly defined pillars of Ford global design—which will drop the Kinetic moniker. The Evos will provide the template for future Fords, and so we took a virtual tour of the car with Ford design chief J Mays, who explained those design pillars.

The first two pillars of Ford’s new design language are “silhouette innovation” and “perceived efficiency.” The former, according to Mays, represents a profile “that defines your automobile and looks different than most of the other cars in a particular class on the road,” while the latter equates to visual lightness and sleekness. “We’d like to have lightweight pillars [and] a teardrop cabin [where] the lines on the side disappear at a vanishing point somewhere around 100 yards behind the car.” The gist? Think less ‘traditional three-box sedan’ and more ‘four-door coupe.’

“Refined surface language” refers to a smoothing out of Kinetically sculpted body surfaces, among them the architectural fenders, creased door skins, and sculpted hoods. This directive also appears to be a reaction to other manufacturers that Mays claims have “annexed” and subsequently exaggerated Ford’s Kinetic motifs. Ford is going in “exactly the opposite direction” now, he said, keeping what he called the “excitement” of Kinetic design but rendered in “beautiful shapes you’d love to run your hands over.”

An emphasis on the fourth pillar, “technical graphics,” basically refers to the lamps and lower body addenda. “Headlamps seem to be growing to absurd proportions,” said Mays. “They’ve become less about technology and more about design flourish and style. And we think that’s reached its complete evolution. So we’re going to the minimal height for the headlamps and the taillamps and we’re going to let the technology speak for the graphics rather than overt style.” The headlamps on the Evos are rendered in LEDs “designed in such a way that you probably haven’t seen before.” Will every future Ford model get “razor-cut” headlamps such as these? Yes, and Mays told us that he is committed to LED headlamps on every new Ford, although we’ll have to see if those make it past the accountants.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Senin, 29 Agustus 2011

New Concept Car: Peugeot HX1


This is the Peugeot HX1 Concept – a stunning six-seater that previews a novel take on the MPV. And it’s set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The newcomer is longer and wider than a BMW X5, but lower than a 1 Series, and follows the DS5’s lead by distilling people carrier proportions into a sportier shape. With its short overhangs and stubby bonnet, the HX1 aims to blend a spacious interior and a sleek profile. And Peugeot tells us it doesn’t only showcase future styling from the brand; it previews a luxurious production MPV.

The exterior has been styled with aerodynamics in mind as much as aesthetics – it has an impressively low drag coefficient of 0.28. At the front, the floating grille seen on the SR1 and HR1 show models is reinterpreted, and flanked by narrow raked LED headlights and aggressive lower air intakes. But there’s more to the HX1 than meets the eye – all four doors open upwards and outwards in a dramatic scissor style, creating one huge opening for easy access to the interior.

Peugeot has adopted active aerodynamics, so fans extend from the spokes of the alloys at higher speeds to create a smooth surface. A roof spoiler also deploys above 62mph.

As you’d expect with an MPV, designers have paid just as much attention to the interior – and it uses the finest materials. Natural oak with inlaid optic fibres trims the floor, while there’s brushed metal and swathes of leather. Hi-tech features include a head-up display, a digital instrument panel and a central touchscreen.

But what marks out the HX1 is its unique seating layout. It owes more to a London black cab than a conventional MPV, with two permanent seats in the front, two more in the rear and a further pair that fold out from the front seatbacks. Passengers in the back are well catered for, with a minibar and coffee machine integrated into the white marble centre console.

Providing the power is the same HYbrid4 system as already found in the 3008 and RXH. This uses a 204bhp 2.2-litre HDi diesel to propel the front wheels and a 95bhp electric motor to turn the rears; when the two work together, the car has all the benefits of four-wheel drive.

What’s more, the set-up allows the car to go 18.6 miles on electric power only, with the batteries feeding the motor rechargeable via a household socket. As a result, the HX1 claims 88.2mpg fuel economy and 83g/km CO2 emissions.

Further details about the pioneering MPV will be revealed on the stands at Frankfurt. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Infiniti FX Vettel Edition


A teaser video from Infiniti told us that Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel was helping style a new concept vehicle for the Frankfurt Motor Show. Infiniti today released the first real photo of the modified “performance concept,” which is based off the 2012 FX Crossover.

Changes applied to the car apparently consist of carbon-fiber mirrors, new wheels, a large rear wing, a new front lip, new side skirts, and a tweaked front fascia with LED running lights. There’s also, of course, a chrome Vettel badge on the crossover’s front fender.

An earlier teaser video also promised a matte-gray interior and a steering wheel that was less “normal.” That may mean the Infiniti’s wheel will score an array of buttons and flashing lights like the expensive steering wheels in Formula 1 cars.

There’s still no word as to whether this modified Infiniti is a prelude to a new production model, or whether there are any performance upgrades in store for the car. We’ll find out more on September 13 in Frankfurt.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition


Want to order a manual transmission on a new Acura TSX? For 2012, to do so requires springing for the 2012 TSX Special Edition model shown here.

Allegedly inspired by “fun-to-drive four-cylinder Acuras of the past,” the new 2012 Special Edition includes a few cosmetic touches that set it apart from the remainder of the TSX lineup. Outside, Special Edition models receive a new front spoiler, a bespoke rear bumper fascia, new side sill trim, and unique badging. The twisted-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels used are similar to those available on other TSX trims, but SE cars receive gray painted accents. Inside, Special Edition cars boast unique seating surfaces, which incorporate perforated suede inserts paired with bright red backing. A matching red hue is used for contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob, and for footwell, gauge, and mood lighting.

Given the inspiration for the Special Edition, we’re not shocked to hear the model is offered only with the TSX’s 201-hp, 2.4-liter DOHC I-4. We are, however, a little surprised to hear that availability of the 6-speed manual transmission – previously a no-cost option on all four-cylinder TSX sedans – will be restricted to the SE. That said, Acura officials don’t anticipate relegating the stick to the sport-inspired Special Edition will impact volumes of the manual-equipped TSX. For those who don’t enjoy rowing their own gears, a 5-speed automatic remains available on all 2012 TSX models, including the Special Edition.

Acura isn’t releasing specifics on pricing just yet, but we’re told the entire package should start just under $31,000. Buyers interested in adding navigation to the mix should note Acura’s Technology Package — which includes navigation — is not available on the Special Edition. Presently, there’s no word on if the Special Edition package – or the manual transmission option itself – will carry on beyond the 2012 model year. If you’re interested in picking one up while you can, head to your dealer shortly; cars should be arriving in showrooms by the end of September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

First Sketch Up Date: Audi Urban Concept


With the Frankfurt Motor Show only mere weeks away, Audi is getting ready to show off its Urban Concept Sportback and Spyder concepts in the metal. Until then, we will have to make do with the slew of photos the automaker has released of the two electric concepts.

As we’ve already reported, the Urban Concept will come in two almost-identical Sportback and Spyder flavors – the primary difference being the missing roof on the Spyder variant. Both of the concepts wear aggressive, wedge-shaped bodywork and thin LED lights. Audi’s corporate grille dominates the front end of both cars, and an R8-eque red sideblade and center crease grace the profile. Both cars end with a boat-tail rear end that includes a thinstrip of LEDs for taillights.

Audi has, however, released a few technical specifications for the cars. Weight is kept below 1100 pounds, thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymers and a minimalist interior. Power will come from a variant of Audi’s e-tronsystem, with two electric motors drawing juice from a lithium-ion battery pack. Audi says that both cars will “accelerate powerfully,” with a 0-38 mph time of 6.5 seconds, a top speed of 62 mph, and a range of 30-40 miles.

Expect full details to emerge as we draw closer to the Urban Concept Sportback and Syder’s premieres next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied Up Date: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe


It hasn’t even been two weeks since we spied the nip-tucked 2013 Genesis Coupe, and while it remained shy and kept its more important parts covered-up for our spy photographer, a Gen Coupe forum member got up-close and personal with what could be the future model.

Spotted in the buff in what seems to be a Korean parking garage, the facelifted coupe looks to be all smiles, and we can’t understand why. It seems to have lost a bit of its identity, and taken on characteristics similar to Hyundai’s down-market models.

While the Genesis coupe is supposed to be part of Hyundai’s upscale and more unique models, it seems as though it was styled to look more like the Elantra and Accent compacts. The grille is considerably wider than the current Genesis coupe, and like we predicted in our spy shots, the LED light pipes from the refreshed 2012 Genesis sedan underline the headlights. It also seems to have taken on a more bubbly shape in the front, and its taller hood sports air vents, which we hope will allow for a beefier engine, such as the direct-injected 5.0-liter V-8 out of the Genesis R-Spec sedan, to breathe.

But that might idea may just be wishful thinking. The turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is expected to carryover, possibly with direct-injection, with the 3.8-liter V-6 getting the same GDI treatment as on the new Genesis sedan, raising output from 306 hp to 333 hp.

The biggest change to the rear appears to be the taillights, in which the LEDs form a different shape compared to the current model’s lights. Most other details appear to be carryover from the current model.

Whether or not this is the 2013 Genesis Coupe, it is expected to officially bare all when it makes its debut at the 2012 Detroit show in January.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Jumat, 26 Agustus 2011

Spied: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Aero Package


Mercedes-Benz already spilled most of the details regarding its C63 AMG Coupe Black Series last month. The German automaker mentioned an available Aerodynamics package for the Black Series in the car’s initial press release, but these shots from our spy photographer are the first we’ve seen of those additional aero bits. Making the car look even more track-capable than the already racy Black Series C-coupe, this package looks like it shifts the C63’s gentle balance between street car and DTM racer.

In the front, we can see the aero package places canards along the sides of the front valance. Mercedes says these canards, or “winglets,” as the manufacturer calls them, help to increase downforce and aerodynamic balance. Whether functional or not, this addition, combined with the existing front splitter, really completes the DTM look of the front end. In back, the deck lid receives a fixed rear wing, which Mercedes says features an adjustable aerofoil. If the Black Series didn’t look boy-racerish before, the new rear spoiler certainly does the trick. Not that we’re complaining.

Beneath the rear bumper, the diffuser remains unaltered from the standard Black Series. However, this car could also be testing AMG’s Track package, meaning there could be a cooling system for the rear differential hiding underneath all that delicious carbon fiber. Even if it’s mostly for show, the new package has gotten us all hot and bothered for the upcoming muscle Benz.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Isuzu D-Max LE III


Isuzu Ute Australia is marking three years of local sales with the release of a limited edition version of its 4x4 one tonne ute.

Available in two colours only: Starry Black mica or pearlescent Silky white, the Isuzu D-MAX LE III
follows the earlier release of D-MAX Pearler and D-MAX LE II limited edition models, which marked one and two year milestones respectively for the specialist ute distributor.

The LE III is based on Isuzu’s top-spec LS-U 4x4 crew ute; the most popular variant in the Thai-built, 10-model range available locally, which also includes single and space cab as well as 4x2 variants.

Giving it a sporty look from the front is a new, chrome-look, egg-crate grille and matching bonnet protector strip, together with silver and chrome front bumper over-rider and fog lights with frosted chrome bezels.

There’s also ‘Limited Edition III” decals and custom striping along the body, slim-line side steps with brushed alloy step inserts, and 16 x 7 inch alloy wheels with machine-faced spokes and rim and gunmetal inner detail, shod with all-terrain tyres.

At the rear the LE III is distinguished by a stylish single-hoop chrome sports bar with integrated brake light, black tub liner with accessible tie-down hooks, taillights with chrome ‘guards’ and a rear camera.

Unique touches inside include a six-speaker Kenwood touchscreen multimedia unit with sat nav, reversing camera view, DVD, as well as USB, iPod, iPhone and Bluetooth connectivity.

The standard seats are trimmed in charcoal leather with ‘DMAX’ embossing on the front backrests, and there’s custom carpet mats.

As with other 4x4 D-MAX LS-U crew cab variants, the LE III comes equipped with air-con, ABS with EBD, dual airbags, power windows and side mirrors, cruise control, remote entry, chrome rear step bumper, and alloy spare wheel.

Available with manual or automatic transmission, the special edition ute also comes standard with rear LSD, three tonne towing capacity, 225mm ground clearance, and push buttons controls for 2WD/4WD/low range selection.

The D-MAX LS-U crew cab ute normally starts at $42,500 (manual), so the LE III model priced at $45,500 and fitted “with around $8000 retail fitted value worth of unique features and accessories” represents a saving of up to $5000.

“With its sporty flair and cool kit, LE III will extend D-MAX’s appeal beyond its established popularity among tradies, farmers, caravanners and fleets to a younger, more urbane set of drivers,” Isuzu Ute Australia’s general manager of sales, Paul Vuko, said.

Thanks to: Car Point

New Car: 2012 Toyota Camry (European Version)


Two days ago, we posted on the new seventh-generation Toyota Camry that made its debut in USA. However, we all know that there are various versions of Toyota’s popular D-segment sedan, and what we may be getting is likely to different from the North American car.

Now, here are some official shots of another version of the new Camry, released by Toyota Ukraine. We can see that the front and rear design of this car is totally different from the US version. This set of pics reveal a Camry with a “baby Lexus LS” front end, which features a grille with more slats and more chrome, which is what buyers from our region (plus China and Russia) generally prefer.

And while the side profile is similar to what we’ve seen from the US, the rear end is once again completely different. While the US car has those distinctive “boomerang” lamp clusters, this one is more “full” in shape, and both sides are connected with a fat chrome strip. Even the rims look familiar.

Inside, there’s lots of wood with glossy finish and metallic accents. They go on to a dark grey cabin, and the overall look is quite classy in a traditional way. We have a feeling that this Camry we see here will be the one ASEAN is getting.

Thanks to: Paultan

New Car: 2012 Mercedes SLK 250 CDI


These are the first official pictures of the all-new diesel Mercedes SLK Roadster. Available for the first time as an oil-burner, the new SLK 250 CDI gets a 2.2-litre, 204bhp four-cylinder engine with a healthy 500Nm of torque - making it the most powerful diesel in its class.

Official performance figures of 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 150mph are impressive, as is fuel consumption of 57mpg with CO2 emissions of 128g/km. The SLK also features stop-start as standard.

Externally the SLK is the same as the petrol variants, and retains the twin-exhaust system. The model is available with a ‘Magic sky control’ vario-roof, which allows the glass to be changed from dark to transparent at the touch of a button.

Fitted with the standard 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission as standard, while a six-speed manual will follow in the second quarter of 2012. There are also three suspension versions available: a conventional steel set up, a sports suspension with stiffer springs and dampers or a suspension with an electronically controlled, fully automatic damping system.

The Mercedes SLK 250 CDI goes on sale in September and although prices haven't been confirmed yet, buyers should expect to pay around £37,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2013 Lexus GS 450h


Following the unveiling of its all-new Lexus GS at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, the firm has released teaser images of the 2012 GS F Sport and 450h.

Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 450h will be mostly unchanged from the current model, meaning around 300bhp from a combination of a 3.5-litre V6 engine and electric motor. There doesn't appear to be any major styling changes from the standard car that appeared at Pebble Beach, but the model will be distinguished by revised logos with blue accents, detailed in the grille badge.

Aiming for a sportier stance, the F Sport has a new front fascia, which is clearly visible in the teaser. It’s likely that 19-inch alloys will feature alongside a honeycomb grille in an attempt to rival sporty trim levels from its rivals – such as M Sport from BMW and S line from Audi.

On the inside, both cars will use the 12.3-inch split-screen monitor that controls all the car's functions, with a mouse-like joystick navigating the menus. No pricing details have been released, but expect a small premium over the current model, which starts at £45,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 SEAT Exeo


A new look SEAT Exeo has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The refreshed Exeo features new bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. The styling enhancements also include new alloy wheel designs, with upgrades to interior materials aimed at creating a more premium feel.

Technical improvements have been made to the 2.0 TDI common rail powerplant, available with 118bhp to 168bhp, slashing emissions to as little as 129 g/km.

Economy is similarly improved, with the Exeo saloon now capable of as much as 57.6 mpg on a combined cycle. Stop-start technology will also feature on the Ecomotive model from 2012, cutting CO2 emissions to less than 120 g/km – enhancing its appeal to both environmentally conscious private buyers and UK fleet managers alike.

Despite the upgrades, prices will stay the same – starting at £19,285. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Cars: 2011 Renault Pzaz & I-Music Edition


Renault has launched two limited editions in the form of the value based Pzaz and technology focused I-Music.

The entry-level Pzaz kicks off with a 1.2-litre Renault Twingo for £6,795, thanks to a £1,000 customer saving at participating dealers. It comes fitted with a CD player, electric windows, sports front bumpers and remote central locking. Three years’ servicing is available for £199.

Moving up in size the Clio Pzaz is available in three or five-door form with prices starting at £7,995 for a three-door 1.2-litre model. Equipment levels includes AUX input, side airbags and white interior touches.

Lastly the Megane Pzaz is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol and features 15-inch wheel trims, air conditioning and ESC for £9,995. Offering a customer saving of £1,600.

Renault is also reintroducing its I-Music range. The mid-range model features air conditioning, alloy wheels, front fog lights, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity across several models.

The 1.2-litre Clio I-Music is priced at just £159 per month on Renault Selections, with a £159 deposit. Prices start at £11,405 for the three-door 1.2 16V, rising to £13,800 for the five-door 1.5 dCi.

The 1.6-litre Megane I-Music costs £16,010, adds 17-inch alloys with hands-free keycard and is available at £229 per month with a £229 deposit, based on 44 months. The range has also been extended to the Scenic, which starts at £17,115. Equipment includes 17-inch alloys, tinted windows with a monthly payment of £289 and a £289 deposit. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Mercedes B-Class


We have already gotten a good look at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class thanks to a number of spy shots of the car and a handful of leaked photos in the past months. Now, Mercedes has dropped the full-monty on the B and its new look, powertrains, and platform before its Frankfurt Motor Show debut.

As has long been reported, the B-Class it is the first production model to use the automaker’s new MFA (Mercedes Front Architecture) front-wheel drive platform. The MFA replaces the previous sandwich-floor platform that the current A- and B-Class hatchbacks use, and is a modular architecture that can be enlarged, adapted for all-wheel-drive, and compatible with many different body styles and powertrain options. Other vehicles to come from the MFA are the next A-Class (previewed by the Concept A-Class shown earlier this year at the New York auto show), a small crossover to do battle with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, and a CLS-inspired four-door coupe.

Aesthetically, the 2012 B-Class blends cues cribbed from the Concept A-Class and the previous B-Class. It maintains an upright greenhouse and short nose, along with large headlights and a prominent grille. Around back, the flat hatch bears similar taillights to the outgoing model, although they are LED-powered and a little more artistic than before. Inside, the cabin sports large, circular air vents, a infotainment screen placed high in the dash, and horizontal, flowing lines to convey a feeling of openness and luxury.

The 2012 B-Class will be available for the first time with Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission, though an all-new six-speed manual will also be offered. Either of the transmissions can be mated to the buyer’s choice of gasoline and diesel inline-four-cylinder offerings. Gas-powered offerings include two forms of the direct-injection 1.6-liter I-4, and are rated at 122 hp and 156 hp. Diesel options include two variants of Mercedes’ 1.8-liter common-rail diesel, rated at 109 and 136 hp, respectively.

As promised, the B-Class is packed full of advanced features typically found in larger vehicles. Standard equipment includes a radar-based collision avoidance system; Attention Assist which detects a drowsy driver; and Benz’s Pre-Safe system, which closes windows, tightens belts, and adjusts front seats to prepare occupants for a collision. Two versions of the Comand infotainment system will be offered, both of which are available with Internet connectivity. According to Mercedes, passengers will be able to surf while parked or use voice commands to search Google and Google Maps while in motion..

The 2012 B-Class will make its debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will go on sale in Europe this coming November. Whether or not the car will come to the U.S. remains to be seen, but rest assured several variants of the MFA platform are heading our way.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Aston Martin V12 Zagato


After surviving 24 hours of racing around Germany’s famed Nürburgring, the 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato is now ready to roll into private driveways all over the world. Though Aston had previously talked about offering a street-legal version of its Zagato-bodied racer, the company announced today it will show such a vehicle at 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Mechanically, the new car is essentially identical to the existing V12 Vantage, but the big news lies with the skin itself. Zagato has both penned and crafted a taut, lithe body from both carbon fiber and aluminum, helping the Vantage shed some weight yet gain some sex appeal. Aston’s 510-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 continues to provide power, which will likely continue to be channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed automated manual transaxle.

Aston has long promised production of the Zagato will be “strictly limited,” but that seems to extend even to the prototypes. Two cars — nicknamed Zig and Zag — were raced at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring enduro earlier this year, but the company has converted Zag back into road-going form for its Frankfurt show display. Aston says the car is “indicative” of the finished product, which is previewed with these new renderings. From what we can tell, the street-legal machine looks almost identical to the racer, apart from the hood (two fewer scoops), side windows (now fully functional), and front diffuser.

According the company, only 150 examples of the V12 Zagato will be built. Buyers have their choice of four colors, but not body styles — each and every example will be a hardtop coupe. Want one? Aston’s taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis, and pricing is expected to start between $525,000-540,000.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Nissan Altima


Among the recent whirlwind of mid-size sedan updates—including the 2012 Toyota Camry and the forthcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu—you might have forgotten about one of the group’s elders, the Nissan Altima. Right on cue, then, arrives this heavily camo’d prototype of the next-generation model, which should go on sale for the 2013 model year.

It’s hard to determine much about sheetmetal from these pictures, but some details do reveal themselves. The Altima’s new front end looks like a less-ugly version of the 2012 Nissan Versa's, while the rear shows a hunchback trunklid like that of the current Maxima. The taillights should offer a slightly different take on the splat-shaped pods of models like the Juke and the 370Z. It also seems like the Altima might end up being the closest thing to a fastback that the segment offers, with a C-pillar that stretches far beyond the rear wheels. We’ve been promised big surprises for this next Altima, and it’s easy to picture the 2010 Nissan Ellure Concept influencing whatever’s hiding under the camo. It’s certainly worth noting that this Altima will be all-new, and won’t be an update of the current platform.

At the same time, we know that the car’s powertrain basics won’t change dramatically. A continuously variable automatic transmission will return, and the Altima also will stick to a base-four-cylinder, optional-V-6 strategy. Some rumors suggest a 2.0-liter turbo will emerge as the step-up option, but we have reliable sources that say that’s not the case. Expect the powertrains to benefit from new fuel-saving technologies to keep the Altima up with the efficiency Joneses, which seem to be moving to the mid-30s for highway numbers. With Hyundai, Kia, Chevrolet, and Toyota all showing their hands recently, Nissan has very clear targets to aim for over the next year or so.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 24 Agustus 2011

Spied: 2013 Mercedes A-Class AMG


The new Mercedes A-Class AMG is taking shape. These are the latest spy shots of the new flagship, caught testing under heavy camouflage in Germany. The prototype – likely to be dubbed the A25 AMG – is being benchmarked against the Volkswagen Golf R, with performance taking a serious priority.

Looking very similar to previous A-Class prototypes testing in Germany, the AMG variant is distinguished by bigger air intakes at the front, high-performance brakes, huge AMG alloy wheels and a sporty dual exhaust system.

While the concept A-Class was in sleek three-door form, our spy shots clearly show a more practical five-door version, suggesting that both bodystyles will be offered. The aggressive front end features headlights that feature LED running lights, and a deep front grille. In profile, a truncated rear, long bonnet and roof spoiler give it a dynamic stance and a look reminiscent of its biggest rival, the BMW 1-Series.

In standard trim, the new A-Class will sport a turbocharged and direct injected 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with about 154bhp on tap, and an efficient 1.8-litre diesel available in two different states of tune. The AMG variant is expected to feature a highly tuned 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol that should develop around 350bhp to be a true BMW 1-Series M Coupe and Audi RS3 rival.

With the standard A-Class likely to make its world debut at next months Frankfurt Motor Show, expect the AMG variant to follow early next year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Audi A8 Hybrid


The hybrid Audi A8 saloo has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The A8 Hybrid employs a four-cylinder 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with a powerful lithium-ion battery. Fitted for the first time in an Audi model at this level, the A8 produces 207bhp and 350 NM of torque from the petrol motor.

Along with the 40kw battery, total output on the hybrid A8 comes in at 241bhp with 427Nm of torque, which is delivered to the front wheels through a fast-shifting hybrid transmission.

Three drive modes are available: ‘EV’ gives priority to electric power, ‘D-mode’ is a combination of electric and petrol powered driving, while ‘S’ provides a livelier combination of both powertrains for increased performance.

It's exactly the same drivetrain used the Audi A6 Hybrid concept we drove this month.

The Audi A8 hybrid can drive at up to 62mph purely on electric power, and is capable of reaching 62mph in 7.7 seconds with CO2 emissions of 148g/km. Combined fuel economy is in excess of 44mpg, so still someway behind the firm's diesel offerings.

Visually, the hybrid A8 is almost identical to the standard car, with only subtle details such as its 18-inch or optional 19-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels, small hybrid badges and an exclusive Arctic Silver paint finish setting it apart.

Given the green light for series production beginning in 2012, and reaching the UK late next year, the A8 is one of the lightest saloons in its category thanks to its lightweight aluminium space frame chassis, but the added cost of the batteries and extra fuel-saving technology is likely to make it one of the more expensive models in the line-up. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet


Now that the next-gen Porsche 911’s design has been officially revealed in photos, variants of the 991 are all we have to look forward to in our spy shots inbox. We’ve seen the 911 in Turbo trim on numerous occasions, and we’ve also seen a 911 with a droptop before. But we haven’t seen those two qualities together on one car yet. Enter the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, which our spy photographer has captured testing on the streets of Germany.

Like the other genuine Turbos we’ve spotted, this car features a real set of intake strakes on the rear fenders. This car also wears the fixed rear wing and some of the other bodywork of the possible Turbo S model we spotted last month. As we’ve seen in previous spy shots and even in the photos released by Porsche, the dimensions don’t appear much different from the current model. However, we know from our in-depth first drive of the 991 prototype that the car adds nearly four inches to the wheelbase and two inches in overall length.

Though we got juicy details earlier this week on the 911 Carrera and Carrera S, which will get 3.4-liter and 3.8-liter engines, respectively, not many hard facts have surfaced about the 911 Turbo’s drivetrain. Since the Carrera S model keeps its 3.8-liter displacement from the previous model, we might see that engine with forced induction and other tweaks in the next Turbo model. All-wheel drive is also expected to return, likely a necessity when transmitting its anticipated 550-plus horsepower to the ground.

Even after showing us what the next-gen 911 will look like, Porsche still manages to keep our attention with prototypes like this. Hopefully, come September, when the 991 is unveiled at Frankfurt, we’ll know a little more about the next 911 Turbo.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 23 Agustus 2011

Hot News: Is Toyota Preparing a 4-Door Coupe?


After autoten browse website,We found a rendering from Mag-x that report to be Toyota 4 doors coupe that focus on luxury and sportyness.The source is said that the car will be a successor to the popular Carina ED/Corona Exiv. If this project is greenlight,The car will be first Japanese sedan coupe in 21th century.

As we know,In the near future we will see a 4 doors coupe from the car makers,From luxury brand like Mercedes CLA/CLB to Volkswagen new compact coupe that still in work.

This project is headding to the carscoop report that Toyota are working on a four-door coupe variant of the rear-wheel drive FT-86!!.A 2+2 door version and 2+2 seat is expect.But autoten not sure these two car is the same project.

So,Wait for more information.

Thanks to: Autoten


Spied: 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

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Mercedes B-Class


The wraps are off the new Mercedesw B-Class – and as these official pictures reveal, the compact MPV is aiming for the top.

It looks much sleeker than the model it replaces, thanks to the curvy design language introduced on the latest CLS four-door coupe.

The sharp crease and ‘tick’ on the flanks are recognisable Mercedes traits, as is the bold three-bar grille. A more steeply raked roofline gives the B-Class a sportier stance than before.

Inside, the sweeping dash incorporates big SLS-style metal air vents, and can be finished in a choice of classy wood or metal trim. A large display sitting above the centre console has been shaped to mimic an Apple iPad. Driver and passengers can use this to navigate the brand’s COMAND media interface. The colour screen is available in 15cm or 17cm sizes, and gives passengers Internet access via a 3G phone connection.

The luxury feel is worthy of far more expensive models, thanks to an extensive list of gadgets taken from the rest of Mercedes’ range. This includes DISTRONIC radar-guided cruise control and fatigue sensors. Plus, the advanced braking system helps perform emergency stops if it senses an imminent collision. High-spec models get heated leather seats as standard.

Under the skin, engineers have concentrated on improving refinement and agility, so the new model’s centre of gravity is 30mm lower than in the original B-Class. This has been made possible by ditching the old car’s ‘sandwich’ architecture in favour of a more traditional construction. There’s also a clever multi-link rear suspension set-up that will help improve handling and ride comfort. In addition, buyers can specify a Sport package, which will lower the suspension and quicken up the steering for a more engaging drive.

The engines promise to be among the most efficient in the class, with Mercedes claiming that the standard diesels will “offer the same fuel economy as a VW Golf BlueMotion”. The firm is most likely referring to the 1.8-litre CDI, which is available with 107bhp or 134bhp. This should deliver sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and return fuel economy of around 70mpg.

A 2.1-litre diesel – currently offered in the C and E-Class – will also be available, with 168bhp or 201bhp. And an all-new 1.6-litre petrol turbo with 123bhp or 154bhp is on the cards, too.

Mercedes has engineered an ‘Energy Space’ beneath the passenger compartment. This can be used to store batteries or even a fuel cell for future all-electric or hydrogen-powered cars, expected to debut in 2014. On top of that, the next B-Class’s chassis will form the basis for a range of new models, including a four-door coupé and a small SUV.

The newcomer will debut in the flesh at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. But it won’t go on sale here until next spring, when it will aim to trump rivals such as the Ford C-MAX. While that model starts from around £15,000, the more luxurious Mercedes will cost nearer to £20,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Ford Kuga


Here are the pictures that prove the new Ford Kuga will soon to arrive in showrooms – we've caught the new VW Tiguan rival out testing.

Replacing the current Kuga SUV, the shots reveal the prototype sticks closely to the design of the Vertrek concept car, which debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in January. And the new model is set to keep the Vertrek name too.

Through the camouflage we can see the concept's front end has made it to production. The upper grille opening looks very slim, while the rear maintains the concept's angular-looking taillights. Elaborate camouflage tries to hide the true sloping lines of the rear hatch.

Inside the Vertrek will stick closely to the overall theme of the concept, with the instrument panel resembling that of the Focus. While the concept featured a four-seat configuration, the production model will be a more practical five-seater.

Growing 100mm in length, 50mm in width and 100mm in the wheelbase, the Vertrek should go some way to resolve buyer's main criticism of the Kuga – its relative lack of legroom in the rear and overall luggage capacity. Ford says it offers up to 20 per cent extra space.

The car will be stacked with Ford's latest kit, including the SYNC package – an infotainment system featuring a music hard drive and Internet access via any mobile device such as a smartphone. There will also be active parking, a blind spot alert and traffic sign recognition.

Launching in early 2012, the Vertrek will follow the latest Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX, in being a global car. Not only will it replace the current Kuga, but also the Escape in America, while reaching markets as far afield as China too.

Under the bonnet, the Vertrek will be powered by the latest 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol turbo, with stop-start. Smart regenerative braking will feature alongside a raft of TDCi diesel units. The Vertrek is tipped to get the same part-time 4WD as the current car. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Subaru's FT-86 to be Called BRZ Coupe


Subaru has confirmed that a 'technology concept' of its 2+2 coupe – co-developed with the Toyota FT-86 – will debut at Frankfurt. And the firm has revealed that the production car will be called BRZ.

The letters BRZ stand for Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive and Zenith - which confirms serveral facts. Firstly that, just like the Toyota FT-86, it will be rear-wheel drive not four-wheel drive and secondly it will feature a Boxer engine under the bonnet.

There are no precise engine details at the moment, but it's expected to use the same 200bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder powerplant as the Toyota FT-86, which shoud mean a 0-62mph time of around seven seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Higher performance versions are expected further down the line.

The technology concept in Frankfurt will be called the Subaru BRZ Prologue - Boxer Sports Car Architecture II. The II refers to the fact that a wire frame model and the image shown here were already revealed at the Geneva show earlier this year.

Subaru claims production is sheduled to begin in Spring 2012, just a few months after its Toyota stablemate is slated to hit showrooms. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider


This is the Ferrari 458 Spider, a convertible version of the 458 Italia coupe with a folding aluminum hardtop. The Ferrari 458 Spider is mechanically identical to the Italia coupe, although its occupants will need to bring along more sunscreen.

As is the case with its closed-top sibling, the 458 Spider is powered by a 4.5-liter V-8 with 570 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Power is transmitted through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels. Ferrari says the 458 Spider can hit 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and attain a top speed of over 198 mph.

The roof is made from aluminum and the overall setup reportedly weighs 55 pounds less than a comparable fabric top. It folds into a space in front of the engine in just 14 seconds (check out the video below to see the roof in action). The roof doesn’t actually fold, instead rotating into the decklid just like the convertible roof on the old Ferrari 575M Superamerica.

The 458’s basic shape isn’t really compromised by removing its top, as the car’s profile, nose, and tail are all pretty much identical to that of the Italia. With the top down, however, the Spider has two sloped buttresses that extend from the top of the headrests to the rear spoiler.

Redesigned air intakes above the engine bay help route cool air to the intakes and oil coolers. A shelf behind the front seats provides a small amount of luggage space. An electrically operated wind blocker is said to keep the cabin so quiet and so turbulence-free that “normal conversation” is possible at speeds of up to 124 mph with the roof down, according to Ferrari.

Removing the 458’s roof apparently won’t compromise its driving dynamics. Ferrari says the convertible is just as structurally rigid as the coupe. At 3153 pounds, the 458 Spider is only 111 pounds heavier than its Italia sibling. The company has even retuned the 458 Spider’s exhaust note to ensure “absolute driving pleasure with the top down.”

Ferrari hasn’t revealed when the 458 Spider goes on sale or how much it will cost. Look for it to make its public debut at an upcoming European auto show — most likely next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2011 Maserati GranCabrio Fendi


Don’t you just love it when car companies and fashion houses team up to create special edition cars? Not to be outdone by the Fiat 500’s Gucci special edition, Maserati has teamed up with Italian fashion house Fendi to create the GranCabrio Fendi, set to debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

This special edition GranCabrio is being marketed as some-sort of bespoke, made in Italy, fashion piece, when in all reality, it’s just a run-of-the-mill (if you can call it that) GranCabrio with some special bits grafted on. The GranCabrio Fendi gets a unique paint job, dubbed “Grigio Fiamma Fendi,” which Maserati says is, “A special dark grey with an iridescent golden finish on the surface.” The GranCabrio Fendi also gets Fendi’s “F” Logo on its 20-inch wheels, and along the rocker panel.

Inside the GranCabrio Fendi gets a unique wood trim and embroidery in “Fendi Yellow.” Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the GranCabrio Fendi’s interior is its unique leather. Taken from Fendi’s “Selleria” line, the brown leather is distinctive for its maze-like design. The unique leather continues throughout the cabin, and onto the included luggage set. Rounding out the cabin is a silver oval plaque engraved with Maserati’s Trident and Fendi’s F, and a five-digit series number

Performance from the Ferrari-derived 4.7-liter V-8 remains unchanged.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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