Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

New Car: 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

This is the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the fastest and most powerful road car in the prancing horse’s illustrious history. Set for a world debut at next week’s Geneva motor show, the 730bhp 6.3-litre V12-powered Ferrari 599 replacement ushers in a new generation of V12 engines that will include an all-new Enzo by the end of the year.

The F12 Berlinetta can crack 0-62mph in just 3.1sec and 0-124mph in just 8.5sec. Its total torque output is 509lb ft, 80 per cent of which is available from 2500rpm. The normally aspirated V12 revs all the way 8700rpm.

It was originally thought to be called the Ferrari 620GT, but the official name references classic Ferraris including the 250 GT Berlinetta.

Ferrari also claims the new car has lapped its Fiorano test track in 1m23s, which makes it the fastest Ferrari road car ever to have lapped the circuit. Its maximum speed is claimed to be “over 211mph”.

The engine, which has a specific output of 116bhp/litre in the F12, is based on the same 6262cc 65 degree V12 found in the Ferrari FF. But the F12 produces 80bhp and 5lb ft more than the FF, and its power and torque outputs also eclipse those of the 612bhp, 448lb ft 6.0-litre V12 found in the 599.

While the power has increased dramatically in the F12 over the 599, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have decreased at a similar rate. Fuel economy is claimed to have been improved over the 599’s 15.8mpg combined figure to 18.8mpg, and CO2 emissions have dropped from 415g/km to 350g/km. Both these figures are with the optional stop-start system fitted.

Ferrari has extensively repackaged the rear-drive F12 over the 599 to cope with the extra performance. At 4618mm long, 1942mm wide and 1273mm high, the F12 is 47mm shorter, 20mm narrower and 63mm lower than the 599. The wheelbase is also shorter than the 599’s 2750mm, although Ferrari hasn’t mentioned an exact figure.

Most of the changes have occurred at the rear, where the transaxle F1-style dual-clutch gearbox and rear suspension are repackaged to reduce the volume at the rear. The engine, seats and dashboard are also lower, with the centre of gravity lower and further back than in the 599. The F12’s weight distribution is now an “ideal’ 46/54 front/rear, compared to 47/53 in the 599.

The F12 uses an all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis and bodyshell, which boasts 12 different kinds of alloys. The result, claims Ferrari, is a 20 per cent greater structural increase over the 599 and a dry weight of 1525kg, some 70kg less than the 599.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake has been revealed ahead of its debut at next week's Geneva motor show. Jaguar will launch the rear-drive XF Sportbrake with volume-selling diesel engines for UK sale starting in November.

The Sportbrake is entirely new from the B-pillars back and is said to be just as torsionally stiff as the XF saloon, despite the tailgate opening. Jaguar’s distinctive and sometimes controversial black C-pillar detail has been carried over from the Jaguar XJ saloon. A new roof design and modified rear door frames and windows release an extra 48mm of headroom for rear-seat passengers. The rear seats are a new design, featuring a 60/40 split and an integral ski hatch. Levers in the load bay allow the seat backs to be dropped while accessing the luggage area through the tailgate opening.

With the seats up, boot volume is a roomy 550 litres, although its main rivals all possess more load space. The Audi A6 Avant and 5-series Touring each offer 560 litres and the Mercedes E-class estate has a 696-litre hold. With the seats down, the Sportbrake boasts 1675 litres of load space. That’s slightly bigger than both the A6 and the 5-series, which both have a 1670-litre capacity. However, the E-class still tops the class for all-out load-carrying ability, with 1765 litres.

Seats down, the XF Sportbrake also scores with a 1.97m long and 1.06m wide load bay — sufficient for bags of golf clubs to be stored sideways, Jaguar claims.

The central section of the boot floor is hinged into three sections and can be used as a divider to stop smaller items of luggage from rolling around. There’s also storage space under the floor and two full-length aluminium floor rails to which nets and retaining bars can be attached. Jaguar says the load area is trimmed in the same high-specification carpet as the front of the cabin. If the detachable towbar is specified, there is a dedicated space under the boot floor in which to store it.

The tailgate is made partly from SMC (sheet moulded composite) to save weight and it has a soft-close action. It can also be specified with power-operated opening and closing. Self-levelling rear air suspension is standard on all versions of the Sportbrake, replacing the standard-issue coil springs of the saloon. This, says Jaguar, ensures that the car’s handling characteristics remain unchanged even when the car is laden. Using the towbar activates Jaguar’s Trailer Sway Mitigation system, which uses the anti-lock braking and stability control systems to “reduce the risk” of a trailer snaking.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2013 Audi Q5

This is the facelifted Audi Q5, which our spy photographers have spotted cold weather testing.

From these pictures it appears that the updated Q5 will have only minor changes over the current car, with a new grille and headlights taking cues from the recently updated A5. At the rear, there appears to be hardly any change - even the lower part of the rear bumper remains the same as the current Q5.

However, the badging on this test car states it's a ‘3.0T’, which is an engine that's not available in the current range. Small alloy wheels and a lack of quad exhaust pipes suggest that this could be a red herring, but it's believed that Audi is keen to add a high-performance Q5S version to the range.

The updated Audi Q5 will go on sale in the summer, with prices similar to the current car, starting from around £28,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: GM & PSA Peugeot-Citroen Share Platform Alliance

General Motors is buying 7 percent of PSA Peugeot Citroen stock to become its second-largest shareholder, and the two will develop a parts and components purchasing alliance that will save $2 billion per year combined within five years. They will share b-car (subcompact), d-car (midsize) platforms, SUV, and crossover platforms. PSA won’t jeopardize its diesel-engine joint-venture production with Ford, which currently produces turbodiesels for Jaguar and Land Rover as well as the French brands.

PSA will raise 1 billion euro (US$1 billion) capital through preferential subscription rights and an investment by Peugeot Family Group, the automaker’s largest shareholder.

“Just to be clear, this is an alliance, not a merger,” GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a phone conference with analysts and press Wednesday. It’s not connected to GM Europe’s reorganization efforts, which continues separately under the auspices of GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.

Akerson cited “huge economies of scale” between GM and PSA. It’s nothing like GM’s alliance with Fiat a decade ago, because it doesn’t include a “put” option that would require GM to buy any more than the initial 7 percent of the French automaker.

The alliance doesn’t affect production in any specific factory. Europe, like North America before the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, has vast excess capacity and German labor costs are higher than French labor costs.

“Capacity has to be dealt with in the alliance by each partner,” PSA Chairman Phillippe Varin said, in the phone conference.

What does it mean for enthusiasts and consumers? GM and PSA say the first products from their alliance efforts will appear no earlier than the 2016 calendar year. Small GM cars using PSA platforms, and midsize Citroens and Peugeots on the next version of GM’s Epsilon II platform, and crossover Citroens and Peugeots on GM’s next-generation Theta platform would be a good guess.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Fiat Strada Lumberjack

Fiat is launching a new version of its Strada compact pickup truck in Europe, named for shoe and outdoor apparel maker Lumberjack. The Strada by Lumberjack gains unique visual and equipment upgrades to make it more appealing to buyers.

In this instance, Lumberjack refers not to a harvester of trees, but a brand of outdoor clothing and equipment. This new Strada special edition is based on the Strada Aventure model, and is reportedly perfect for “people who are investing in the green economy, who are rooted in their land,” like farmers, vineyard owners, and those who live in rural mountain communities.

Lumberjack-specific upgrades begin with a unique “Lumberjack red” paint, unique badges, power mirrors, a roof rack, and 15-inch alloy wheels.The bed gains a special scratch-resistance coating and tie-down hooks.Inside, the Strada receives leather seats, floor mats with Lumberjack logos, and new instruments with a compass and inclinometer. Standard equipment includes ABS, climate control, fog lights, and an “E-Locker” differential that can switch the Strada from rear- to four-wheel drive.

The Fiat compact pickup truck uses a turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four diesel engine with 95 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a five-speed manual transmission. The Strada weighs between 2750 and 2827 pounds, depending on if you opt for the long cab or crew cab body style. Fiat says Stradas can carry a payload of up to 1463 pounds and tow up to 2200 pounds.

The Fiat Strada by Lumberjack will be revealed next week at the Micam Shoevent footwear show in Milan, Italy, and should reach European dealers in March. Prices start at €16,700 for the Strada Long Cab, and €17,850 for the Strada Crew Cab — equivalent to $22,300 and $23,900 respectively.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTi Cabriolet

VW’s beloved Mk1 Golf Cabriolet combined GTI power and suspension tuning with top-down motoring, and now Volkswagen is at it again—in Europe anyway—as it debuts the Golf GTI Cabriolet. Buzz around such a model started building last year when the company showed its Golf R Cabriolet and GTI Cabriolet concepts to rabid VW addicts at the annual Wörthersee GTI meet in Austria. Although the GTI’s engine has been offered in the Golf Cabriolet for some time, a full GTI-spec version hasn’t previously been available.

The Golf Cabriolet not only gets the 207-hp, turbocharged 2.0 liter direct-injected four from the GTI hatchback, but also its interior and exterior styling tweaks as well. That means the red-accented honeycomb grille and the iconic GTI badge, as well as honeycomb treatment for portions of the lower fascia. The GTI’s familiar 17-inch “Denver” style aluminum wheels shod with 225/45 tires are standard; 18-inch machine-polished “Detroit” rollers with 225/40 tires are optional. Dual chrome exhaust pipes bracket a new diffuser-style piece at the rear, while smoked LED taillights and license-plate illumination follow precedents set by the hardtop GTI.

As with the hatchback, buyers will have their choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. Volkswagen is claiming a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.3 seconds, but neglects to mention which transmission would produce this number. (Figure on it being the DSG with its launch-control function.) We say VW’s acceleration estimate is likely conservative by the better part of a second. The 2.0-liter produces a maximum of 207 lb-ft of torque, staying on task until 5300 rpm. Each GTI Cabriolet is equipped with the electronic XDS brake-based “torque-vectoring” program as standard.

Aside from a windshield with slightly more rake and a Cabriolet-specific rear seat, the interior is pure GTI. Red accent stitching adorns the flat-bottom leather steering wheel, parking brake, and shifter. The front seats feature VW’s trademark tartan-plaid “Jacky” fabric in the basic car; leather is optional.

The electric-hydraulic fabric top of the regular Golf Cabriolet carries over to the GTI unchanged, still taking just 9.5 seconds to open and 11 seconds to close. It can be operated at speeds up to 19 mph.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

Hot News: Triumph to Make a Return?

BMW has quietly applied for a European trademark for the Triumph badge that was last used on the Acclaim saloon in 1984. The application was filed by BMW on 27 October last year and published on 21 December.

The application is classed as ‘Community Trade Mark E10374627’ and is for BMW to use the laurel wreath badge on a wide range of goods. Aside from vehicles, the application covers jewellery, watches, books, leather goods, luggage, cleaning materials, textiles and even Christmas tree decorations.

When BMW bought the Rover Group from British Aerospace in 1994, it inherited a number of ‘heritage brands’, including Austin, Morris, Wolesley, Riley and Triumph. After BMW broke up and sold off Rover in 2000, it retained Riley and Triumph. The other defunct auto badges remained in the Rover portfolio.

There were strong rumours around the turn of this century that either the Triumph or Austin-Healey brand was due to be revived, initially as a cheaper, four-cylinder version of the Z4 roadster. Autocar can confirm that such a car was indeed engineered.

In the middle of the previous decade, there was another flurry of rumours that BMW’s California-based Designworks studios had proposed that the future Roadster version of the Mini should be styled and sold as a Triumph roadster. This proposal was said to have been vetoed by Mini dealers, who didn’t want to have to deal with another revived brand name.

Be that as it may, Triumph’s TR-series of cars sold in the US market in bigger numbers than MG, and BMW bosses are said to have had more confidence in Triumph as a global brand than they did in MG.

This new trademark application shows that the idea of a Triumph brand revival — including the production of a full suite of branded accessories — has not been ruled out by BMW. A range of Mini-based roadsters still seems to be the most likely outcome of any Triumph revival in the medium term.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Citroen C4 Aircross

The new Citroen C4 Aircross will get its first public airing at next week’s Geneva motor show, ahead of the compact SUV’s market launch in the autumn.

The new C4 Aircross takes some styling cues from Citroën’s Hypnos concept car first seen in 2008, particularly the design of the 18-inch wheels and rear lights.

The five-seat C4 Aircross is 4340mm long, 1800mm wide and 1630mm high. Key features include a panoramic glass sunroof that is illuminated by integrated LED lights at night and a boot volume of 442 litres.

The range will feature 2WD-only 1.6i, 114bhp petrol engine, plus 1.6, 110bhp and 1.8, 150bhp diesels. The diesels – the French marque’s 110Hdi and 150Hdi units – will be mated to a manual six-speed gearbox, while the petrol car will get a five-speed ‘box. A two-litre petrol variant will not be made available in European markets. The 110Hdi will be offered as a two or four-wheel drive car.

The Citroën C4 Aircross boasts vertically integrated LEDs at the front, indicator repeaters in the door mirrors, light guides in the rear light clusters and an integrated rearview reversing camera. Equipment includes GPS navigation with touch-screen, reversing camera and USB or Bluetooth connection for portable audio players.

On display at Geneva is an exclusive version of C4 Aircross with all-new Vapor Gray frosted-texture paint. The roof bars, door mirrors and door handles are all chrome-finished to match the new colour, while the two-tone diamond-effect wheel rims sport the same Vapor Gray tone as the interior. Citroen UK has yet to decide which versions will be offered for sale here.

The C4 Aircross will be the main attraction of a packed Citroën display that also includes the newly restyled C1 and Berlingo Multispace and a production version of the C3 Red Block. Also on show will be the complete DS line, including the DS4 Racing concept and new special editions – DS4 and DS5 Paris Rendez-Vous and DS3 Racing S. Loeb.

Thanks to: Autocar

First Sketch: Magna Steyr MILA Coupic Concept

Automotive supply company Magna Steyr will unveil a new versatile concept study, the Mila Coupic, at next week’s Geneva motor show.

The new study, which has been created to showcase Magna Steyr’s product design and engineering capabilities, aims to bring together three different vehicle concepts into one, and can be a SUV coupé, pick-up or convertible.

Guenther Apfalter, president of Magna Steyr, said: “Our customers expect suppliers like Magna to bring them innovative solutions to help them meet the increasingly demanding challenges of this industry. The MILA Coupic multifunctional concept showcases vehicle functionality through flexible seating systems, roof modules and materials.”

The Coupic can accommodate five people. In its closed state, the vehicle features SUV-style characteristics and has a soft-top roof that gives it a coupé-like silhouette. The front and rear roof sections can be opened independently of each other due to two separate electronically operated roof modules.

The front roof system above the front seats can be opened from the front to the rear, and offering the driver and front-seat passenger an open-air experience. The rear roof system above the rear seats and the loading area allows for two opening directions.

The Coupic is the sixth concept car in the MILA family, following Mila 1 (an ecofriendly modular sports car), Mila 2 (a two-seat derivative of the first concept), Lounge (a hybrid ‘yacht on wheels’), Alpin (a compact off-roader) and Aerolight (a four-seat CNG-powered compact vehicle).

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Kia K9

Kia has revealed the first official photographs of its all-new flagship sedan to be launched this year in the Korean market. Referred to by its codename ‘KH’ until now, the company also confirmed that the Korean market name will be the Kia K9 as predicted, although the rear-drive saloon looks likely to take on a different name for overseas launch timings.

The Kia K9 – the first rear-drive saloon from the company – is similar in size and proportions to the BMW 7-series and Mercedes S-class. No engine details have been revealed, but the K9 is tipped to use a larger capacity V8 petrol unit.

The model completes Kia’s domestic market ‘K’ series range of passenger cars, whose members also include the front-wheel drive K5 (Optima in overseas markets) and K7 (also known as the Cadenza, but not available in Europe).

The K9 is the latest continuation of Kia’s evolving design DNA, carrying its family-look ‘tiger-nose’ radiator grille and LED headlamps. At the rear, the car sports LED combination lamps, chrome brightwork and a bumper-integrated exhaust muffler.

There are no plans to offer the car in Europe, although it will be rolled out across other markets later this year and into 2013.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Mini Countryman JCW

MINI has given its Countryman crossover the John Cooper Works treatment, and it breaks new ground in a number of ways.

It’s the most powerful MINI in the current line-up, the first JCW model to have four-wheel drive and the only one to be offered with an automatic gearbox.

The 1.6-litre turbo has been tuned to produce 215bhp – that’s 4bhp more than the JCW hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster. The car does 0-62mph in seven seconds, returns 39.2mpg and emits 167g/km of CO2.

A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard, but a tweaked version of MINI’s six-speed auto can also be ordered. The latter gives an identical 0-62mph time, but drops economy to 35.2mpg and increases CO2 to 187g/km.

MINI’s ALL4 system splits the power evenly between the axles most of the time, but can shift up to 100 per cent to the rear.

The suspension is stiffer and lowered by 10mm, while larger brakes sit behind new 18-inch alloys (19s are optional). Other additions include a sports exhaust, bodykit and optional Chili Red highlights.

The MINI JCW Countryman goes on sale in the autumn, and will cost £27,800. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Volvo V40

Calling the new Volvo V40 an open secret isn’t far from the truth, thanks to a barrage of leaked information that poured onto the Web late last week. Regardless, Volvo waited until now to officially publish the full array of V40 photography and specifications.

According to the automaker, the Volvo V40 will be offered with a number of diesel and gasoline engines. The base engine offering in Europe is Volvo’s 1.6-liter turbo-diesel I-4, which produces 115 hp, 199 lb-ft of torque, and 94 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. The top-spec engine in the V40 range is the familiar T5, a turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 that now produces 254 hp. Volvo says that extra bit of power allows a V40 T5 to sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds.

Autocar reports there will be four additional engine offerings, including a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 in both 150- and 180-hp forms, and a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-5 in 155- and 177-hp guises. Regardless of the engine or transmission selected, the new Volvo V40 will be equipped with brake energy regeneration and an engine start/stop system.

As one would expect from a Volvo, the V40 is equipped with the company’s City Safety system, along with its Pedestrian Safety function with full automatic braking. Volvo claims the system is now capable of operating at speeds up to 31 mph, which is 12 mph faster than before. The V40 is also equipped with a pedestrian airbag, reportedly a world first, that promises to reduce pedestrian injuries should the car not stop in time.

As we’ve previously reported, the new Volvo V40 will not be sold in the United States, focusing instead on sport utility vehicles like the XC60 and XC90. For Europeans, however, the V40 is well on its way: production of the car starts in Belgium this May, which means the new car should hit European showrooms this summer, in time for it to wade into battle against established competition from Audi’s A3 and BMW’s 1 Series.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2011 - 2012 Infiniti & Nissan Vehicles

Last week, Nissan issued a recall for several global models of the 2011-2012 Nissan Juke, Infiniti M, and Infiniti QX for problems with the fuel system. However, the number of affected U.S.-bound vehicles was unknown, but the NHTSA is now reporting 79,275 U.S. models are affected by this recall.

2011-2012 Nissan Juke, Infiniti M, Infiniti QX

The Problem: Fuel pressure sensors in certain 2011-2012 Nissan Juke, Infiniti M, and Infiniti QX models may not have been tightened correctly and can become loose with heat and vibration. This can lead to a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Owners will start receiving notification on March 19, and if necessary, Nissan will replace the fuel pressure sensor for free. Nissan can also be contacted at 615-725-1000

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: There are 79,275 2011 and 2012 model year Nissan Juke, Infiniti M, and Infiniti QX vehicles affected by this recall.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Senin, 27 Februari 2012

Spied: 2013 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

This isn't a regular Lamborghini Aventador. Heavily masked and wearing a false roofline, the black Aventador in this convoy is the new Aventador Roadster.

Look closely, and you’ll see the haphazard join in the roof where the folding top meets the false roof, revealed most obviously in the side-on close-up.

The folding roof will be more substantial than that seen on the Murcielago Roadster, while the Aventador Roadster will have a smoother rear end than the coupe, in order for its top to fold neatly out of sight. As with the coupe, the Roadster uses a 690bhp V12, seven-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive, and extensive use of carbon fibre in its construction should mean it handles as well as the hard-top model.

The Roadster is expected to be heavier than the coupe, but only by about 50kg, so a three-second 0-60mph time, a tenth slower than the coupe’s is on the cards. That puts it firmly ahead of the 562bhp Ferrari 458 Spider, which takes 3.4sec from 0-62mph.

The Lambo will be more expensive than the Ferrari, too, with a list price of around £260,000. We'll have full details when the Roadster is revealed at the Geneva Motor Show. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Nissan Hi-Cross Concept

This is the first picture of the new Nissan X-Trail, which will debut in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

It’s called the Hi-Cross, and Nissan has only revealed this teaser for the moment, but it’s easy to see that the new X-Trail will be far sleeker than the old model.

It gets larger wheelarches, a pronounced swoop to the front wings and narrower windows with a distinctive angular C-pillar.

Learning lessons from the smaller Qashqai, the new X-Trail will put much greater focus on car-like driving dynamics and ride comfort. However, it will still be able to cut it in the rough stuff thanks to full-time four-wheel drive.

Engines will include a 1.6-litre turbo petrol as well as new small- capacity diesels with stop-start.

A production version of the Hi-Cross will be revealed early next year, with sales set to start in autumn 2013. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: Infiniti Emerg-E Concept

Though it wasn’t supposed to be revealed until the rapidly approaching 2012 Geneva Motor Show, leaked photos have revealed the design of the Infiniti Emerg-E concept. We previously got a peek at the Infiniti all-electric sports car when renderings (shown in the gallery below) were also recently leaked.

The Emerg-E leaked photos show a low and wide sports car that bears a resemblance to supercars like the new McLaren MP4-12C and the Acura NSX concept. The front fascia wears the same polygonal grille that graces other new Infiniti products, the rear has a subtle spoiler and a large lower diffuser, while the roof has a large panoramic glass sunroof. Interior photos reveal a driver-focused cabin with a tall center console and sporty three-spoke steering wheel.

The crux of the Infiniti Emerg-E concept will be a mid-mounted, extended-range electric drivetrain. As in cars like the Chevrolet Volt, drivers will use electric power until the battery is depleted, then a gasoline engine kicks in to help provide extra juice so the Emerg-E can drive farther. We believe the electric drivetrain will be cribbed from the Nissan Leaf, comprising a lithium-ion battery pack and an 80-kW electric motor. The range extender will likely be a 1.2-liter gas engine, and is mid-mounted so the Infiniti Emerg-E is balanced for better handling.

In the past, Nissan executives have called the Emerg-E concept, “our vision for a totally new kind of inspired premium performance car… The natural next step was to push the boundaries where performance and the environment intersect.” If the eco-friendly sports car is green-lit for production, it probably won’t debut until 2014 at the earliest.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: Pininfarina Cambiano Concept

Had enough of Pininfarina’s endless teaser photos? You’re in luck: a few overzealous publications published complete photos and information on the new Pininfarina Cambiano concept, which won’t debut until the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.

According to the design firm, the Cambiano — named for its native city — is an “elegant and refined sport sedan,” yet its smooth form, arched fenders, and long hood recall classic gran turismos of yesteryear. Pininfarina claims inspiration came from the Flaminia-based Lancia Florida II of the late 1950s, but the Cambiano’s chiseled, upswept nose and narrow grille opening are vaguely reminiscent of Pininfarina’s one-off 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine.

Despite the fanciful, glass-intensive roofline and the unusual three-door configuration with pillarless, rear-hinged rear door on the passenger’s side, the Pininfarina Cambiano isn’t an incredibly fanciful design. Its lack of intricate detailing and ornamentation is deliberate, as it forces bystanders to focus instead on its clean, crisp lines and fluidic surface development.

Fabio Filippini, Pininfarina’s chief creative officer, told Automotive News his team tried “to create a pure form with a strong impact, which is Pininfarina’s DNA. I wanted to create a strong visual impact into the concept car using as few lines as possible, while avoiding any decoration.”

Pininfarina’s press materials claim it paid “great attention to the environment” when selecting powertrain for the concept car. Much like a similar vehicle crafted by Fisker Automotive, the Cambiano concept car is a plug-in hybrid — although its specifications are a bit unique.

On the Cambiano, each wheel is driven by an individual 60-kW electric motor, giving it all-wheel drive traction if so needed. A battery pack of undisclosed specification reportedly provides 127 miles of range on a single charge. Once the battery pack is depleted of charge, a small, diesel-fueled gas turbine engine powers a generator to both recharge the battery and power the drive motors.

According to the manufacturer, the Pininfarina Cambiano offers nearly 497 miles of range in total, can hit a top cruising speed of 155 mph, although it can briefly sprint up to 171 mph. Accelerating from 0-62 mph allegedly takes only 4.2 seconds, and Pininfarina says the concept car emits only 45 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer traveled, thanks in large part to the efficient, clean-burning turbine.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

British automotive magazine Autocar has come across what appear to be brochure scans or photos of the upcoming Jaguar XF Sportbrake. However, Jaguar itself has been playing a bit of cat and mouse itself (no pun intended) with the Sportbrake via its Twitter page. Even Santa got in on the action this past December.

Although it’s unclear whether or not this rakish upscale wagon will come stateside, it’s a critical part of Jaguar’s European sales strategy, where the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series wagon are strong sellers. The engine lineup is expected to include a four-cylinder and V-6 diesel, as well as Jaguar’s available 5.0-liter direct-injection V-8. No word on a supercharged “R” variant yet.

Standing on this side of the Atlantic, we sincerely hope that Jaguar doesn’t go the conventional SUV route, or even worse, a “four-door coupe” on stilts along the lines of the BMW X6. We think the XF Sportbrake would fill the bill nicely for a more practical offering in its lineup. Seeing as most Jaguar dealers in the U.S. are also paired with a Land Rover franchise, the XF could be a unique offering for those that appreciate the dynamics of a performance sedan, with the periodic practicality of a small SUV.

But, alas, we know automakers’ ultimate goal is to sell cars and make money, and as much as we’d love to see it here, we know the market for it would be small. Here’s hoping it’s big enough to be justified.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Minggu, 26 Februari 2012

Hot News: 2014 Nissan Qashqai/Rogue

Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover that went on sale in North American including Mexico since 2007.The car is a north American version of Qashqai (in Europe and the Dualis in Japan and Australia).The Rogue mostly have same design as the just mention cars but it different in some of details such as front bumper,headlight and grille but mostly mechanical details is very similar to the Qashqai and Dualis.

The confirmed information is, Nissan to gather X-trail and Qashqai/Qashqai+2Dualis/Rogue to the same car to reduce cost of development that just like the same trend that we see in the next generation RAV4.We know that the X-trial is not selling well but the Qashqai is very popular in Europe (Most selling Nissan in Europe and in top ten european top selling car list)While Rogue can sell around 10,000 unit in United State which consider a large number there.

The car styling will be done by Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington, London and engineer by Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire,then build in Sunderland manufacturing facility for export to others European contries.While the car for North american, Nissan is claimed that will move factory from Kyushu, Japan to factory in Smyrna, Tenn.

The car is reaching final stage of development,The hollywood extra have rendering of the car.Seem like the car is not have many change if compare to current car.In European’s version,Some petrol engine will be carry on from current car,The HR16DE 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter MR20DE is what we talking.

The new car is claim to have good styling,great performance,and attractive price like they did with current car.

Carspied.com report that the Rogue will arrive dealer at september 2013.While the Qashqai arrive European and Asian in 2014.

Thanks to: Autoten

Recall Up Date: Honda & Nissan Vehicles

Both Honda and Nissan have issued fuel system related recalls this week. Honda’s recall affects Honda Pilot and Acura MDX SUV models in the U.S. Nissan’s recall affects several global models, although it is unclear how many U.S.-bound vehicles are included.

Honda is recalling certain 2012 Honda Pilot and Acura MDX models because the Vent Shut Float (VSF) valve case located in the fuel tank assembly does not meet Honda’s design specs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Problem: The vent shut float valve case may leak fuel from the tank which could increase the risk of fire on certain 2012 Honda Pilot and 2012 Acura MDX models. Increased fire risk could lead to injury or death.

The Fix: Honda will begin notifying owners of 2012 Honda Pilot and 2012 Acura MDX models as well as dealers around the March 13, 2012. Dealers will inspect the VSF assembly and replace the fuel tank assembly for free if necessary. Concerned owners can also contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: Honda says as many as 8709 2012 Honda Pilot and 2012 Acura MDX models may be affected. No reported deaths or injuries have been linked to the recall.

Nissan is recalling certain global models including Juke crossovers built in Britain; Serena minvans, Infiniti M and QX models built in Japan; March/Micra hatchbacks built in India; and Tiida subcompacts built in China for a fuel system fix.

The Problem: Fuel rails in direct-injection engines could have a “mechanical glitch” which in extreme cases could cause a fuel leak, according to Reuters. On certain models, an insufficiently tightened fuel rail pressure sensor could gradually loosen contributing to the fuel leak. A fuel leak could lead to an increased fire risk possibly resulting in injury or death.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: Nissan says as many as 250,000 Juke crossovers, Serena minivans, Infiniti M sedans, Infiniti QX SUVs, March/Micra hatchbacks, and Tiida subcompacts between August 2009 and January 2012 may be affected. Approximately 93,000 vehicles affected by the recall are in Japan. No reported deaths or injuries have been linked to the recall, a Nissan spokesman told Reuters.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Kia Sorento

The current-generation Kia Sorento has only been with us for two model years, but the overachieving Korean automaker feels now would be a good time to give its midsize crossover a bit of a nip/tuck.

That’s not to say the current iteration isn’t handsome. Kia’s “tiger-nose” grille is nicely executed on the Sorrento and the overall shape is solid and simple, if not a bit staid. These photos show an extensive use of camouflage, suggesting that almost every body panel has been worked over. The front fascia, for example, appears to have new headlights with LED daytime running lamps, which aren’t available on the current Sorento. LEDs are offered on most Kia models including the pint-sized Rio and the Sportage cute-ute.

If Kia makes any power train tweaks, it will likely focus on the optional V-6 engine (currently 3.5-liter, 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque), since it just released a new 2.4-liter, direct-injection four-banger for the 2012 model year. That engine is rated at 191 hp and 181 lb-ft. The current base engine is a non-DI 2.4-liter, inline-four rated at 175 hp and 169 lb-ft.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Ferrari F620 GT

As Ferrari’s Leap Day reveal of the 2012 Ferrari 599 replacement nears more details keep trickling in. Auto rag GTspirit has gotten a hold of a couple pics of the new car.

One of the pics is a matte-silver, full-size wooden model. Dubbed the Ferrari F620GT, the 599 replacement appears to meld current 599 styling with design elements from the California, FF, and 458 Italia.

Earlier, according to a report from Automobile magazine we heard the F620GT would be powered by a 700-horsepower 7.3-liter V-12 backed by Ferrari’s rear-mounted, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. According to GTspirit the new car will be powered by a smaller 6.3-liter V-12 packing 740 horsepower. More power from a smaller engine seems to be a good thing.

We will have more details at the cars official unveiling ahead of the Geneva Motor Show on February 29, 2012. So stay tuned for more details as they become available. Be sure to click over to GTspirit for more pics of the new Ferrari F620GT.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: Porsche Cayenne, Nissan Murano. & Rogue

Over 20,000 2011 and 2012 Porsche Cayenne SUVs will be recalled effective immediately, due to a design flaw in the headlights that can cause them to come loose and detach from the vehicle’s fender. Nissan is also recalling the 2012 Murano and 2012 Rogue due to the Tire Pressure Monitoring System not being activated at the factory.

Porsche Cayenne Headlight Recall

The Problem: Certain 2011 and 2012 model year Porsche Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid, and Cayenne Turbo models are being recalled due headlights that may come loose and detach from the fender. According to Porsche, its in-house quality investigations discovered that in rare cases an incorrectly locked headlight module can become detached, causing loss of visibility.

The Fix: Porsche will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles immediately, and will replace the headlamp locking assembly free of charge. Porsche will also be reworking around 100,000 Cayennes on the production line to prevent this issue from reoccurring. Porsche expects the fix to take around 45 minutes at the dealer. Owners can contact Porsche at 1-800-767-7243 if they have any questions.

Number of Vehicles Affected: 20,278 Porsche Cayennes are affected including the Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid, and Cayenne Turbo. These vehicles were built between March 8, 2010 and January 31, 2012.

Nissan Murano and Rogue TPMS Recall

The Problem: Certain 2012 model year Nissan Murano and Rogue models were manufactured without the activation of their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This results in a failure to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards because a non-active TPMS cannot warn a driver about an underinflated tire. This could potentially lead to a blowout (not the Jersey Shore kind), and a crash.

The Fix: All affected vehicles are currently in dealer inventory. Nissan dealers will re-flash the Murano and Rogue ECUs, activating the Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Number of Vehicles Affected: There are 2983 Nissan Muranos and Rogues built between November 23, 2011 and January 11, 2012 affected by this recall.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept

Many people thought the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet was a fluke, but it could actually signal the beginning of a crossover convertible trend. Land Rover is using the Geneva auto show to roll out a droptop Evoque concept. Rendered in a charcoal hue with 21-inch wheels and a two-tone, ivory-and-gray four-seat interior, the right-hand-drive Range Rover concept can be seen as the masculine yang to Nissan’s feminine yin.

The Evoque convertible concept is based on the Evoque coupe (i.e., the three-door version) and features a fabric top, a drop-down tailgate, pop-up rollover protection, and, of course, Land Rover’s Terrain Response system. The concept also includes an eight-inch touch screen in the center stack, a Meridian audio system, and surround-view cameras.

Land Rover claims that the roof-ectomy was achieved with “minimal changes to weight and torsional rigidity,” both big challenges for chop jobs like this. Most companies wouldn’t make those points about something they didn’t plan to actually produce. Indeed, close inspection of the car reveals details that suggest this is less a concept car than a production-intent prototype, including flaps ahead of the tonneau cover to accommodate the top structure, front-seatbelt anchor points, and even the split-folding rear seatback. Certainly, it is further developed than the DC100 concepts that Land Rover has been floating around recently.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

New Car: 2013 Peugeot 4008

Peugeot's compact SUV offering has been reworked and restyled. The new 4008 softroader will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva motor show and is scheduled here in June. Australia is one of the first markets to receive the 4008 after the Geneva unveiling.

Last year Peugeot sold just over 30 4007 models, up against the likes of Nissan X-TRAIL with 1048, Mazda CX-7 on 1167 and current segment leader Toyota RAV4 with 1292. Spokesperson for the brand Jaedene Hudson told motoring.com.au that the French brand expects to increase segment sales in Australia by 20 per cent with the release of the 4008.

The new 4008 range will start under $30,000, according to Peugeot Australia, putting it up against fellow Euro softroader Volkswagen Tiguan.

And unlike the outgoing 4007 model, the 4008 will be available in two-wheel or four-wheel drive. Stop-start technology is also offered, for both the petrol and diesel models of which two each are available overseas. Peugeot Australia will confirm local specification closer to launch, which is scheduled for May.

The 4008 will be sold here with a choice of six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Now based on the Mitsubishi ASX platform, the 4008 replaces the Outlander-based 4007 compact softroader but is 300mm shorter. The Peugeot softroader's high-packaging standard has also been met again with the 4008 model.

The 4008's body is all-but completely Peugeot, with in-house commissioned styling and the brand's "family face" at the front end. Only the rear doors (and windows) are the same as the ASX.

Ms Hudson admitted the new 4008 is an important model for the brand, which is expecting a busy year. The much-anticipated 208 GTI is also on its way this year. Her boss, Peugeot Automobiles Australia General Manager, Ken Thomas said: "The 4008 allows Peugeot access to the ever expanding compact SUV segment with a product that's perfectly suited to today's active consumer.

"Available in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions, the 4008 caters to all buyers in the market."

Thanks to: Car Point

Unofficial Picture Up Date: 2013 Volvo V40

Images of the Volvo V40 have been leaked on to the Internet, ahead of its scheduled debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Pitched as a seperate model to the C30 hatch, the V40 will give Volvo a direct rival to the five-door VW Golf, Ford Focus and premium rivals like the BMW 1 Series and new Audi A3 (which has also been leaked today).

As you can see from these low-res studio shots, the front end is inspired by the S60 saloon, but the wedgy profile is unique to this model. Most notable is the quirky shoulder line, which kinks underneath the rear window. Also visible is a full-length glass roof that flows seamlessly into the windscreen.

The links with the S60 continue under the skin - the V40 uses a modified version of the S60's underpinnings, so it's longer and roomier than the three-door C30.

There's no news on the engine range yet, but a sub-100g/km DRIVe version is a certainty, while a plug-in hybrid using the same mechanicals as the forthcoming V60 plug-in is a possibility. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Ford Tourneo

The Ford Tourneo Custom Concept previews the look of the next Ford Transit.

It uses Ford’s kinetic design language, following in the footsteps of the Fiesta and Focus, with the same trapezoidal grille on its nose, while the headlamps taper upwards with a distinctive kick in the rear side windows and windscreen. LED lighting and 18-inch alloy wheels give it an upmarket look.

Visibility will still be good, thanks to a large glass area, but a reversing camera covers blind spots at the rear. The tailgate stretches from the floor to the roof, allowing for an almost uninterrupted rear loading area, and sliding side doors also appear. As with the current Transit, both short and long-wheelbase variants will be produced, and an eight-seat version will be offered as Ford chases both commercial and leisure markets.

Ford has confirmed that the Tourneo will be powered by the 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel with 98, 123 and 153bhp power outputs. All will be front-wheel drive and come with a six-speed manual gearbox. Stop-start and regenerative braking will be standard.

Inside, the fully trimmed cabin offers features such as driver and passenger side and curtain airbags, an Emergency Assistance system to locate the vehicle in a major accident, Lane Departure Warning and Driver Alert anti-fatigue systems, as well as voice control for audio and phone connectivity.

The Ford Tourneo will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and is expected on sale in 2013. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Lexus ES250

Is this déjà vu? If you’re thinking this particular spy shot soiree is reminiscent of last year’s pre-Pebble Beach debut of the 2013 Lexus GS, then you’re absolutely correct. Except this time the star car that was spotted somewhere in China is the new Lexus ES250, and the speculated debut show of choice is April’s Beijing Auto Show.

As you can tell, the forthcoming Lexus ES gets the family’s all-new hourglass face. The six-sided grille sports a chrome border that adds some luxurious flair. Of course, there are also new HID headlights with LED daytime running light strips, as well as a redesigned rear that thankfully takes from the Lexus LS style guide and not the Toyota Camry’s (the car on which it is largely based).

Naturally, the interior underwent significant surgery too and has now adopted much of the same themes as seen on the latest GS and CT models. It’s simple, clean, and functional inside, with less buttons to push and more modern design accents to enjoy (check out that mini-hourglass grille surrounding the climate/stereo knobs). A multi-tiered, horizontally-oriented dash replaces the vertically-aligned configuration of yesteryears. New accoutrements include the Lexus Remote Touch mouse, analog clock, and refreshed three-spoke wheel.

As for what’s powering the ES250, the rumormill says it will receive a version of the Camry’s 178-horse 2.5-liter I-4 engine that’s mated to a six-speed automatic. Don’t be surprised to see a hybrid version that could be based on the upcoming (and gas-sipping) Camry/Avalon powertrain.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

We predicted the Volkswagen E-Bugster concept, shown earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, was a teaser for the upcoming Beetle convertible and we were right. Our spy photographer just caught the Volkswagen Beetle convertible testing in the snow, which is far away from its ideal home in sun-soaked beach towns.

Volkswagen did an admirable job with the camouflage on this tester by tacking on last-gen Beetle bumpers, headlights, and taillights. Nice try, Wolfsburg. A closer inspection reveals body parts that are indeed from the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle and not from its predecessor, including the flatter hood and more upright windshield. The high beltline and flat soft-top roof look similar to the E-Bugster concept.

No word if the Beetle convertible will be sold with the full range of power trains currently offered with its hardtop sibling, but the 2.5-liter, inline-five rated at 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque should serve as the base engine. We can’t see why VW wouldn’t offer the 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four and the upcoming 2.0-liter, four cylinder turbo diesel. The 2012 Beetle convertible will likely go on sale sometime next year and there’s a good chance it won’t be the last member to join the Beetle family. There’s still that E-Bugster concept and the go-fast Volkswagen Beetle R concept we first saw at last year’s Frankfurt show.

Are you excited at the prospect of a drop-top version of the new, more aggressive Beetle?

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: ItalDesign Concept

Design studio Italdesign Giugaro has released teaser photos and a brief video to preview its new concept car, which will bow at the Geneva Motor Show. Unusually, the company has not revealed the name of the concept car. “What’s the name? Try and guess,” suggests Italdesign Giugaro on Twitter and YouTube.

It’s tough to tell what the teaser images are showing, but we’d posit they preview the air intakes and fender strakes of Italdesign’s new concept car. A third teaser photo is promised to emerge by the end of this week. As for the video, it shows the letters B and R — while we might be tempted to guess the concept will be called BRZ, Subaru has already co-opted that moniker for its new sports coupe.

You can check out the brief, cryptic teaser video below. Italdesign Giugaro will unveil its newest concept at the Geneva show on March 6. Make sure to stay with Motor Trend for all the coverage from the show floor.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Audi A3

For those who just couldn’t wait a few more weeks until the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, official shots of Audi’s next-gen 2013 Audi A3 have hit the web a little ahead of schedule.

We already knew that the new Audi A3 was slated to make its official debut at the Geneva show and had gotten a glimpse at the car’s interior, but now we have the full monty. Thanks to Russian news site ZR.RU, images and details of Audi’s new compact hatch have leaked online. Previewed by the A3 Concept at last year’s Geneva show, the all-new A3 maintains the Four Rings’ corporate six-sided grille and front and rear LED running lights. The interior is decked out in black leather with contrasting bright orange stitching and bolsters. Dressing up the A3′s design are wheels that mimic the five-spoke grey alloy wheels, which are also found across Audi’s RS lineup.

Unlike the concept, the leaked pictures show the three-door hatchback; a five-door hatch and a new four-door sedan are also in the works. Expect the sedan to be the first A3 that we see in the U.S., as it has been supposedly designed specifically for the American and Chinese markets.

What’s beneath the skin? European-spec A3s are expected to launch with two forms of the ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, although a turbo-diesel 1.6-liter TDI I-4 is also supposedly in the cards. At launch, all A3s will be front-wheel-drive, and sport either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Down the road, Quattro all-wheel drive, a hybrid driveline, and hotter S3 and RS3 models are expected to join the lineup.

The new Audi A3 is also the first car to ride on Volkswagen Group’s new modular MQB platform that will underpin the majority of future VW models, ranging from the subcompact Polo up to the midsize Passat.

Audi already previewed the 2013 A3′s cabin at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The styling buck showed off the car’s dashboard and front seats to highlight the brand’s latest MMI infotainment system, which debuts in the A3. The new system includes an upgraded processor and user interface, revised graphics, and a larger console-mounted dial with an integrated touchpad.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: Honda Odyssey, Nissan Altima & Versa

Certain Honda Odyssey minivans are being recalled over an issue with the liftgate, while the 2012 Nissan Altima and 2012 Nissan Versa are being recalled for problems with the side airbags –the same flaw that prompted the Subaru Outback and Legacy recall a week ago.

2008-2009 Honda Odyssey

The Problem: The gas-filled struts that raise and support the liftgate in certain Honda Odyssey minivans could fail and lead to unexpected closure, increasing the chance of injury. Due to a manufacturing flaw, the pressurized gas in the struts can leak, leading to diminished holding strength.

The Fix: If necessary, Honda will replace both liftgate gas struts at no cost to the owner. Beginning March 13, affected owners will be notified, and Honda can also be contacted at 1-800-999-1009.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 45, 747 units of 2008 and 2009 model year Honda Odyssey minivans.

2012 Nissan Altima, 2012 Nissan Versa

The Problem: In the event of an accident, the side airbags in certain Nissan Altimas and Nissan Versas may not deploy because an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator can keep the airbags from inflating properly.

The Fix: Nissan will replace affected side curtain airbags for free, and affected owners will begin receiving notification February 27. Nissan can also be contacted at 615-725-1000.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 976 Nissan Altimas and Versas.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: Toyota FT-BH Concept

These official photos don’t show all that much of the new Toyota FT-Bh concept, but they do provide a little more information of the concept — which will debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March — than previous teaser sketches did.

A B-segment hybrid Toyota isn’t a new idea (in fact, Toyota recently announced a Yaris Hybrid for Europe), but the automaker claims the FT-Bh (Future Toyota B-segment hybrid) does push the envelope in a few areas. Toyota says the concept still offers the space of a five-door subcompact, yet its curb weight should ring in at less than 1760 pounds – allegedly without the use of “exotic materials or expensive techniques.” The same goes for the powertrain, which Toyota claims is merely a downsized version of its standard gas/electric hybrid system.

It appears as if the FT-Bh will look a bit exotic, at least in comparison to other subcompact designs. Toyota’s teaser shots show a narrow LED headlamp perched atop a razor-thin surface that extends from the front fascia and fender. In back, the FT-Bh’s vertical rear window – apparently cribbed from the defunct Renault Avantime – is flanked by thin taillamps, which are shaped like steps.

Expect more details – and complete photography – on the Toyota FT-Bh concept to emerge on March 6th, when the supersmall hybrid design makes its public debut in Geneva.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Mercedes SL63 AMG

Attention, landed gentry and Hollywood elite: The previous-gen SL63 sitting in your pea-gravel driveway is outdated and should be disposed of immediately. Mercedes-Benz and AMG have now birthed its successor, a new SL63 created by marrying the SL-class chassis with AMG’s fire-breathing, twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8.

Like many current AMG models, the new SL63 hardtop convertible can be had in two strengths, but even the "base" version leaves little to be desired: It makes 530 hp at 5500 rpm and produces a maximum of 590 lb-ft from 2000 to 4500 rpm. There is an optional Performance package, which raises power to 557 hp and maximum torque to 664 lb-ft (available from 2250 to 3750 rpm). The engine is internally coded M157 and is an all-aluminum piece with direct injection and variable valve timing. As with the previous SL63, output is transmitted to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission that uses planetary gearsets per usual autobox practice, but skips a torque converter in favor of a wet clutch pack.

Acceleration should be strong: 60 mph is claimed to arrive in just 4.2 seconds, and top speed is governed at 155 mph. The numbers change to 4.1 seconds and 186 mph with the Performance pack. Helping performance—and likely agility—is the fact that this SL63 is said to weigh some 275 pounds less than its predecessor. The weight loss was achieved through widespread use of lightweight materials throughout the car, including aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber, with a little high-strength steel thrown in, too. The front steering knuckles and suspension arms, as well as virtually the entire rear multilink suspension, are made from aluminum. If Mercedes’ weight-loss number holds up, we figure the new car will come in at 4200 pounds or so.

The standard 19-inch rollers wear 255/35 rubber up front and 285/30s at the back; staggered-diameter wheels are an option, with 19-inchers up front and 20s fitted to the rear. Other options beyond the aforementioned Performance pack (which also brings a new steering wheel, a limited-slip diff, and red-painted brake calipers) include keyless start, a bundle of nanny tech (lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, brake assist, and radar cruise control), an uprated Bang & Olufsen audio system, heated and ventilated seats, and Mercedes’ trick Airscarf neck warmers.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2012 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse

Bugatti announced the impending arrival of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse in a bravado-laced statement, calling it the culmination of engineers’ efforts to “transfer all the achievements of the Super Sport over to the Grand Sport.” The resultant open-top missile packs 1200 hp, nearly 20 percent more than the Grand Sport convertible’s paltry sum of 1001; torque increases from 922 lb-ft to 1106 lb-ft, so towing the old Bayliner down to the lake for the weekend should be a breeze for this new droptop.

As is the case with the Super Sport, the power bump comes primarily from increasing the size of the 16-cylinder engine’s quad turbochargers as well as its intercoolers. The chassis has been tweaked as well, but to what extent is not immediately clear, Bugatti simply stating, “The chassis has been modified to support the power increase.” Bugatti strengthens the Super Sport’s carbon-fiber tub, reinforces its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and revises its suspension, tweaks we expect were made here, too.

Given its lack of a smoothed-over fixed roof, however, the Vitesse likely won’t be able to reach the same 268 mph as the Super Sport (the extra-fast coupe is limited to 258 mph in production trim). Instead of creating a droptop Super Sport, Bugatti is leaning on the hot-rodder’s “more power, more better” mantra. That said, chances are that in addition to being the most powerful roadster in the world, ever, of all time, it will be the fastest as well.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Sabtu, 18 Februari 2012

New Concept Car: Peugeot 208 XY

The Peugeot 208 GTi will be joined at the Geneva motor show by a luxurious version of the French firm’s new supermini called the Peugeot 208 XY Concept. The XY Concept is Peugeot’s answer to sister firm Citroën’s DS3, promising a high-class exterior look and a plush interior with materials not normally associated with a car of its size.

Adding a highly customisable premium exterior and interior skin to ordinary mechanical underpinnings provides potentially lucrative margins, as typified with the DS3. Officially, the XY is a concept but it confirms Peugeot’s intentions to adopt a similar strategy with the 208.

Peugeot claims the 208 XY is aimed at “city dwellers that love distinction and refinement”. Its most distinguishing exterior feature is its special ‘Pulsion’ paintwork, which appears to change colour depending on the angle it is viewed at. The concept has received 16 coats of paints and lacquer to aid the effect.

Other exterior features include special chrome-effect 18in alloys, chrome trim for panoramic glass roof, lower window line and three-bar front grille and its surround, and the flared wheelarches and wider side sills from the GTi. The XY’s exterior makeover is finished off with striking LED front headlights that are surrounded by the indicators to give the appearance of the pupil of an eye.

Inside, crimson stitched leather is used to trim the dashboard, panoramic roof, steering wheel, gear lever, floor mats and stripes for the grey leather pleated seats. There’s also white ambiance lighting and ‘gunmetal’-coloured trim for the doors, steering wheel buttons and air vent surrounds.

Power for the XY Concept comes from an 115bhp version of Peugeot’s 1.6-litre e-HDI engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. No dynamic changes have been outlined by Peugeot, but the 208 XY is expected to ride on the same chassis settings as the base 208 supermini, which also makes its motor show debut at Geneva.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Peugeot 208 GTi

Peugeot will start preparing for its imminent return to the hot hatch arena with this 208 GTi Concept, which will be a star of next month’s Geneva motor show and will preview a forthcoming production version of the GTi.

The 208 GTi Concept is proof that, as predicted by Autocar last October, Peugeot is serious about augmenting its hatchback range with a range-topping performance model that harks back to the classic 205 GTi from the 1980s.

Based on the three-door version of Peugeot’s new hatchback, the 208 GTi Concept is powered by the four-cylinder, 1.6-litre twin-cam turbocharged engine from the RCZ THP 200, which is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

In Peugeot’s coupé, the unit produces 197bhp and 203lb ft and, although the manufacturer hasn’t released any official performance figures for the 208 GTi Concept, a sub-7.0sec 0-60mph time and top speed of 140mph can be expected.

By comparison, the most powerful variant in the UK range of the standard 208 is equipped with a 156bhp, 192lb ft version of the 1.6-litre THP petrol engine.

The 208 GTi Concept – which will take on rivals such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Citroën DS3 and new-for-2012 Renaultsport Clio – has a 36mm wider track at the front and rear compared to the standard 208, putting the front at 1506mm and the rear at 1503mm.

It rides on 18in wheels and five-spoke alloy wheels, and has a rear roof spoiler that provides some aerodynamic benefit. Other cosmetic tweaks include double-chromed exhaust tailpipes that emerge from the right-hand side of the car, lower bodywork spoilers and lower sill skirt extensions. The concept also has uprated brakes, with 302mm diameter discs at the front, 249mm at the rear and red-painted brake calipers.

In a salute to the classic Peugeot 205 GTi – the concept’s spiritual antecedent – a GTi Concept logo is situated in the rear quarter panel, as well as on the front grille.

The Peugeot features chequered flag motifs on the metal mesh of the grille, while the lower grille bar displays either the French ‘Tricolour’ flag or the Union Jack, an indication of two of the most important car markets that the production 208 GTi will be aimed at.

The 208 GTi Concept features a driver-focused interior, with a small, flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, a part-leather gear lever, aluminium pedals and Nappa leather-trimmed sports seats. The instrument panel features dials with a brushed aluminium background and LED backlighting. Like the standard 208, most of the GTi Concept’s major functions – including internet connectivity – are grouped on a touchscreen in the centre of the console.

Sales of the mainstream 208 range will begin in the UK in June. Peugeot hasn’t yet officially confirmed a production version of the 208 GTi Concept, but the car is expected to be formally rubber-stamped by company chiefs and go on sale before the end of 2012.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition

Mazda has just announced a limited run, special edition of its legendary MX-5 sportscar, called the ‘Venture Edition’.

Just in time for spring, the new model is available as a 1.8 litre, 5-speed manual soft-top, or as a 2.0 litre, 6-speed manual with a folding metal roof. Both cars receive an upgraded luxury spec including heated Havana Brown leather seats, cruise control and a 5.8-inch touch screen Sat Nav – a first for the MX-5. On the outside, the special editions get two new colour schemes, a chrome grille and special 17-inch gunmetal alloys.

Just 250 examples of the soft top and 550 of the retractable hard-top will come to the UK - priced from £18,995 and £22,285 respectively. Both models are available now on 0% finance over 3 years. A very appealing deal for a car we’ve named ‘Best Roadster’ six years in a row. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Jaguar XK Artisan Special Edition

The Jaguar XK coupe and convertible will receive a new limited-edition trim package in Europe, this time called the XK Artisan Special Edition. The new model bundles multiple appearance upgrades that are designed to make the Jaguar XK and XKR even more stylish and luxurious.

The updates begin outside, where Jaguar will allow the XK to be painted in three Artisan-exclusive colors: Celestial Black, Polaris White, or Rhodium Silver. The XK also wears unique, polished, Orono-style 20-inch wheels. Inside, textured “scraffito-style” leather adorns the front seats, dashboard, and door panels, while the headliner is covered with Poltrona Frau high-end Italian leather.

Buyers can opt for either Shadow Walnut or Dark Figured Aluminum interior trims. Power bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, stainless-steel pedals, unique door-sill plates, and a 525-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system are all standard. Convertible models can be equipped with fabric tops in black, blue, gray, or brown.

The Jaguar XK Artisan SE commands a price premium of about £12,000 over regular models in the U.K., or about $19,000. Unfortunately for leaping-cat fans on our shores, the Jaguar XK Artisan will not be sold in the U.S. market.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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