Kamis, 27 Desember 2012

New Car: 2014 Toyota Crown

Christmas may be a time of rest for many, but not Toyota. The automaker, set to regain the top spot in 2012, took the festive occasion to introduce its all-new Crown luxury sedan for the Japanese domestic market.

The Crown name has been around since 1955, and moves into 2013 in its 14th-generation form. The S210 replaces the S200, which had a four-year run, and is available in both Crown Royal and Crown Athlete versions. The former is aimed at corporate users, while the Athlete targets individuals looking for some flair.

Ah yes, flair. The new Crown has been given an updated design – replete with larger front grille – and lower prices, things the company is hoping to attract younger buyers with; the current Crown user base has an average age hovering around the late-50s mark, and Toyota is hoping that the new car will appeal to those in their 40s.

Both the Royal and Athlete variants are available in rear-wheel 2WD and i-Four 4WD form, and the hybrid versions now incorporate a 2.5 litre engine instead of the 3.5 litre found previously. The 2.5 L 2AR-FSE is good for 178 PS at 6,000 rpm and 221 Nm at 4,200 to 4,800 rpm, and the paired electric motor has 143 PS and 300 Nm for numbers – combined system output is 220 PS.

The gasoline lumps are a V6 2.5L 4GR-FSE, with 203 PS at 6,400 rpm and 243 Nm at 4,800 rpm, available on both Royal and Athlete versions, and a V6 3.5L 2GR-FSE offering 315 PS at 6,400 rpm and 377 Nm at 4,800 rpm, which is only found on the Athlete.

Transmission-wise, the hybrid is equipped with an E-CVT unit, while the rest of the range features a six-speed Super ECT automatic, and in the case of the 3.5 litre-equipped Athlete, an eight-speed Super ECT box.

Thanks to: Paultan

New Car: 2014 Qoros GQ3

China’s newest car company, Qoros, has revealed its first model three months ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show. The Qoros GQ3 is a C-segment saloon to rival the Volkswagen Jetta and will be sold in Europe as well as China.

The GQ3 is the first in a series of models from Qoros, which will be unveiled at six month intervals. The Chinese company describes the GQ3 as having a “unique style matched by high quality materials and finish”, with a “spacious interior with high-spec infotainment as standard”.

The car has been engineered to achieve a five-star rating from Euro NCAP for safety, and a similar performance in the Chinese equivalent.

Former Mini chief designer, Gert Hilderbrand, heads the Qoros design team that is split between Munich and Shanghai.

The GQ3’s low and wide stance is highlighted by its long wheelbase, a sloping roofline that blends into the C-pillars, and a width of 1839mm, one of the widest in the class. Alloy wheels of up to 19inches in diameter can be fitted to the GQ3.

The GQ3’s front face will be rolled out across the rest of the Qoros line-up to create a family look. The triple eight-spoke standard alloys will be another Qoros hallmark.

Qoros said the interior was comparable in quality and equipment to its European rivals. Much of the interior’s functions are controlled via the standard 8in touchscreen in the centre console, reducing the need for buttons and switches. This screen is also the portal to the car’s in-car internet connectivity, and offers full smartphone integration alongside a state-of-the-art navigation system.

The Qoros brand will be targeted at younger buyers, according to deputy chairman Volker Steinwascher.
“During the development of the Qoros GQ3, we directed all our efforts towards the needs and expectations of today’s young, aspirational customers,” said the former Volkswagen North America man.

“They are very sensitive about design and quality, are highly sophisticated users of technology, and insist on the very best safety standards.  As an entirely new brand, we have the advantage of being able to focus our efforts, without compromise or distraction, on meeting the demands of these customers.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Mercedes CLA

These leaked images reportedly show the final production version of the new Mercedes CLA ahead of its likely unveiling at next month's Detroit motor show.

The five images reveal that the exterior of the heavily stylised CLA will stay true to the acclaimed Concept Style Coupé that made its debut at the Beijing motor show in April. The images, the authenticity of which remains unconfirmed, also reveal the cabin will share its basic design with the A-class and B-class models, featuring heavily sculpted airvents and an iPad-like screen.

In contrast to the CSC concept, the CLA adopts less-flamboyant bumpers, altered headlamp graphics (the CSC’s headlamps glow red in standby mode), more conventional exterior mirrors, the same pull-out door handles as on the A-class and smaller wheels and tyres than the 21-inch items that adorned the show car.
The CLA will sit below the Mercedes C-class saloon on price and features in the marque’s line-up. However, the new entry-level saloon will be 47mm longer, 121mm wider and 47mm lower than the C-class saloon.

These official measurements also make it 345mm longer, the same width and 35mm lower than the new Mercedes A-class – a car with which the CLA shares its platform, chassis and driveline architecture.The CLA will be sold with the choice of standard front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. Gearboxes will include a standard six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch unit as an option.

The 208bhp engine showcased in the CSC is set to feature in the CLA250. The junior saloon is also set to offer three turbo four-pot petrol units: a 120bhp 1.6 in the CLA180, a 154bhp 2.0 in the CLA200 and a 208bhp in the CLA250.

Three turbodiesel engines are also planned: two 1.8-litre units with 108bhp in the CLA180 CDI and 134bhp in the CLA200 CDI, and a 168bhp 2.2 in the CLA220 CDI. The highlight of the line-up will be a four-wheel-drive AMG model running an uprated 2.0-litre turbo engine with up to 340bhp.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The final countdown until the official reveal of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is upon us. Despite there being just mere weeks until we see the car, more information continues to leak out – like these patent renderings of the C7 Corvette that give is a good look at the final car.

We’ve already spied the C7 Corvette out testing with varying amounts of camouflage. The 2014 Corvette’s design will be mostly evolutionary, while pulling cues from the 2009 Corvette Centennial Concept. As we’ve already seen, the C7 Corvette will maintain the concepts flared fenders, aggressive rear vents, and central-mounted quad tailpipes. The overall shape of the 2014 Corvette is reminiscent of past models with the long, bulging nose and rounded greenhouse. From these renderings, it looks like the C7 will gain more conventional C-pillars in place of the rounded glass hatch on the C6 Corvette. The most dramatic change for the Corvette is around back: gone are the four, round taillights – in their place are four squared-off, deep-set clusters that clearly recall the lights on the Camaro.

These renderings also give us a good look at some of the advanced technology that the 2014 Corvette will offer. The heavily-upgraded interior will offer niceties such as heated and cooled seats, a cluster with traditional gauges and a digital screen (similar to that on the 2013 SRT Viper), and track-specific IP overlay. That track overlay looks to include things like steering angle, transmission gear, lap time, speed, G-forces, RPM, stability control setting, and even an GPS tracking map.

Powering the 2014 C7 Corvette will be General Motors’ new LT1 6.2-liter V-8 engine. GM says the LT1 will make at least 450 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque while returning 26 mpg on the highway in the C7 Corvette. The new V-8 will be paired with a seven-speed manual in the 2014 Corvette. Compared to the current C6 Corvette’s 6.2-liter V-8, the C7 will be up at least 20 hp and 26 lb-ft, and maintain the current car’s highway fuel economy.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible. No, there is no further information on it at present, and yes, we do expect it to be available in colors other than Purple People Eater. 

Although the information on the droptop GT Speed is nonexistent, we don’t expect many deviations from the recipe used in creating its stationary-roof counterpart. That means the GT Speed convertible should get the same twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 motor producing 616 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque as is fitted in the standard GT Speed. Bentley estimates that car is capable of a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 4.0 seconds, and the loss of a roof shouldn’t alter that time by too much. Our recent first drive of the GT Speed confirmed that it is, indeed, the speediest of Bentley’s ever-speedier lineup. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Sabtu, 22 Desember 2012

New Car: 2013 Lotus Evora Sport Racer

There’s a new way for European customer to order their Lotus Evora sports car, the new Sports Race package. Lotus describes the Sports Racer as “fully loaded” because almost every possible option is fitted as standard.

The Sports Racer treatment is available for both versions of the Lotus Evora: the normal model, which uses a 3.5-liter V-6 with 376 hp, as well as the Evora S, which has a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 with 345 hp. There are, however, restrictions on color choices: only white, gray, blue, or red are available on the Sports Racer.

The long list of upgrades begins with the fitting of the 2+2 small rear seats as standard, gloss-black wheels, and red- or black-painted brake calipers. To add more contrast, the front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, mirrors, and roof are also painted black. Inside, the black leather seats feature red stitching, while the doors and dashboard wear gray suede materials with red stitching.

Lotus cars are typically lightweight, stripped-out models designed for performance rather than comfort, but the Evora Sports Racer turns that idea on its head. The Tech package is included as standard, with a seven-inch touchscreen and DVD player, USB and Bluetooth connections, cruise control, and parking sensors. The Sports package adds a higher rev limiter, a more aggressive rear diffuser, and cross-drilled brakes. Power-folding mirrors and a backup camera are also standard.
 The Lotus Evora Sports Racer will be sold only in Europe. In its home country of the U.K., the Sports Racer costs £57,900 (about $93,900) with the naturally aspirated engine and £65,900 ($107,000) with the supercharged engine. That’s not cheap, but Lotus says those prices represent package discounts of £6450 and £7150, respectively, compared to selecting all the cars’ equipment individually.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: 2015 BMW M2

What It Is: The M version of the upcoming BMW 2-series coupe and thus the successor of the immensely good 1-series M coupe. Unlike its predecessor—which was rushed through development in record time, known internally as Project Pyrat—the 2015 M2 will undergo a longer gestation, allowing BMW to come up with a more polished package. Look for aggressive restyling, strongly differentiated from the M135i that’s available in overseas markets. The M2 will feature a unique front-end treatment, large air intakes, a wider track and wider rear fenders, as well as a rear spoiler and four exhaust finishers. The expected change in nomenclature from 1-series coupe to 2-series would fall in line with the rest of BMW’s offerings, recently adopted by the separation of the 3-series sedan and the 4-series coupe. Moreover, it allows BMW to give it a traditional M name. With the history of the M1 mid-engined supercar, the previous-gen 1-series M received a rather clunky title; M2 would work quite nicely. The M2 will be available only in coupe form; there are no plans for another body style.

Why It Matters: As a powerful rear-wheel-drive compact coupe with a manual transmission, the M2 is set to hit all the right buttons. Not only will it be the successor to the much-loved 1-series M, it would be the spiritual heir to the 2002 Turbo of so many years ago. That lineage proved fruitful for BMW, with the Bavarians selling more than 6300 1-series Ms in its single-model-year run. Expect BMW to take advantage of the market’s demand for this sort of vehicle, with volume double that of the 1M’s—so long as the M2’s pricing isn’t absurd, that is. "This car excites everyone around here," we hear from a source at M GmbH.

Powertrains: Power likely will come from an upgraded version of BMW's twin-turbo N54 3.0-liter straight-six; an extra-powerful single-turbo N55 3.0-liter straight-six also is a possibility. Figure on output of around 360 hp, rivaling the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG. Whichever six-cylinder BMW decides on, it will be mated to a six-speed manual, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as a possible option. Top speed will be governed at 155 mph, but theoretical top speed will be around 180 mph. The 0-to-60 sprint, we’re told, should take around 4.5 seconds.

Thanka to: Car and Driver

Jumat, 21 Desember 2012

New Car: 2013 Daihatsu Move

Daihatsu has introduced its facelifted fifth-generation Move in Japan, and though there aren’t any major changes to the car – which was introduced two years ago – a simple crash-avoidance system is now being offered, a first for the kei car segment.

Reports indicate that the system employs a laser to detect obstacles in front of the car, and applies the brake automatically to avoid a collision.

The facelift features four grade variants, these being the L, L”SA” as well as the X and X”SA,” in both 2WD and 4WD forms. The 3.39 metre-long vehicle continues on with the KF-VE 660 cc normally-aspirated mill offering 52 PS at 6,800 rpm and 60 Nm at 5,200 rpm, which is paired to a CVT gearbox.

The reports add that the new car is good for 29 km per litre in terms of fuel efficiency, up two kilometres from the pre-facelift. The Move will be more familiar to us as the Perodua Kenari, but this one is very far removed from the second-gen one we know.

Thanks to: Paultan

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Renault Captur

Renault’s forthcoming small crossover will abandon the dramatic styling of its concept car namesake for a more conventional, Clio-based design. The Captur, as it will be badged and seen here in these leaked Renault line drawings, adopts the look of a tall mini-MPV.

However, there is the possibility of a second small crossover, with three doors and coupé styling, and Renault insiders have hinted at the potential for this model to be built. Both cars are part of Renault's solution for its lack of success in the SUV and crossover market - its only recent offering, the Korean-built Koleos, has not been a hit in Europe.

The car in the drawings is based Renault Nissan’s B platform, so overall length is just over four metres, similar to the Nissan Juke which is also based on the B platform.

The Captur will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, and will go on sale in the summer.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Infiniti Plans to Launch Sport Saloon with 550 HP Engine

Infiniti is planning a high-performance version of its BMW 5 Series-rivalling saloon that uses a “potent charged induction V6” producing upwards of 550bhp.

The new CEO of Infiniti, ex-Audi America boss Johan de Nysschen, revealed the plans in a letter addressed to “Dear Infiniti fans” on Facebook, which aimed to address criticism of Infiniti’s decision to change the way its cars are named.

De Nysschen said: “It would be a bit odd to have a powerful, luxurious and refined V8-powered Infiniti M56, then position a new high-tech 550+ horsepower performance flagship for the Infiniti M range above it, using a potent charged induction V6, but then call it Infiniti M30, which we would be obliged to do, following our current naming logic.” 

The Infiniti CEO then went on to hint at more performance models in the pipeline, as the firm prepares for “the introduction of several fascinating new models, above and below the current line up, a wider range of powertrains, including some truly stunning performance cars in our future.”

Infiniti stopped short of confirming what the new performance saloon powerplant would be, although the 542bhp 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 from the Nissan GT-R could be a front-runner.

The new naming strategy for Infiniti means that the firm’s BMW M5 rival won’t be badged M, as it is now. When it arrives, the sports saloon will be the top of range Infiniti Q70, likely to carry the Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) branding to denote its extra sporting credentials. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2010-2012 Chevrolet Colorado & GMC Canyon

The Problem: 2010-2012 Chevrolet Colorados and 2010-2012 GMC Canyons made from November 9, 2009 through August 28, 2012 may have a hood that’s missing the secondary hood latch. If the primary hood latch is not engaged and there is no secondary latch, the hood could open unexpectedly, potentially leading to a crash if the driver’s visibility is reduced.

The Fix: GM will instruct owners to inspect their trucks to see if they have a secondary hood latch. Those not comfortable with the inspection can contact a dealer to check. If the latch is missing, dealers will replace the hood — the recall is scheduled to begin on January 17, 2013. Chevrolet owners can call 1-800-630-2438 and GMC owners 1-866-996-9463 for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 118,800 trucks in the U.S., 15,264 in Canada, 7492 in Mexico, and about 4000 in other countries.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Special Edition

Given Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” tagline, we’re surprised this didn’t happen sooner — but, since “Motown: The Musical” is about to launch on Broadway, now apparently is the time to launch the new 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition.

While it’s arguable that the SRT Viper or Jeep Grand Cherokee would be better models to spawn Motown-themed special editions  (both are actually built in Detroit; the 300 is assembled in Ontario), the 300 does serve as a large and luxurious canvas for a series of interior and exterior tweaks.

The Motown 300 starts with a stock 300, with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 (292 hp) mated to Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The car is available in four colors — bright white, gloss black, deep cherry red, and a new hue, jazz blue — and sits atop four 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. The gleaming wheels match the grille, with its seven horizontal chrome blades, and other chrome trim pieces on the front and rear fascias, rear-view mirror caps, exterior window trim, and door handles. The front quarter panels are emblazoned with Motown badges, lest anyone forget which edition 300 you’re driving.

Inside, the Motown 300 shows off a white and black color scheme: the interior is primarily trimmed in black, but highlighted with black olive ash wood trim, black soft touch material on the dashboard and doors, and piano black accents on the center stack and steering wheel. The seats, on the other hand, are upholstered in pearl white Nappa leather, and feature black piping and stripes.
 A music-themed special edition car would be nothing without a little music, so Chrysler product planners gave the Motown 300 the Beats Audio sound system — complete with 10 speakers and two subwoofers — and included an SD card pre-loaded with 100 popular Motown songs on it. The whole system is controlled, of course, by Chrysler’s Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display.

The Motown 300 goes on sale next spring at a starting price of $33,990 (including destination charges). Chrysler will also launch a new advertising campaign for the Motown 300 featuring — who else? –Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. Motown: the Musical, in the meantime, begins previews at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 11, 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: Toyota Furia Concept

Toyota has released a video previewing a new four-door sedan concept car that’ll be debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Dubbed the Toyota Furia Concept, the four-door may very well be our first official preview of the next-gen 2014 Corolla.

The short teaser video gives us snippets of what we can expect to see when Toyota pulls the wraps off the Furia Concept next month in Detroit. For starters, the Furia (not to be confused with Mazda’s Furai concept of 2007) will be very, very orange. Aside from the paint, the Furia will be trimmed in carbon fiber, sport four doors, LED lights, a sporty beltline, and what looks to be scoops of some-sort. Other touches look to be a new take on Toyota’s corporate grille, and large alloy wheels.
 Though Toyota doesn’t provide much information regarding the Furia Concept, its design could hint at that of the 2014 Toyota Corolla, which should go on sale late next year. Not much is known about the 2014 Corolla’s powertrain, but given the automaker’s latest trend on recycling engines and transmissions, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 1.8-liter I-4 carry over with a pair of new transmissions.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 20 Desember 2012

Recall Up Date: 2012 Hyundai Veloster

The Problem: The assembly of panoramic sunroofs on 2012 Hyundai Velosters produced from November 1, 2011 through April 17, 2012 may have been weakened during installation at the factory. A weakened panoramic sunroof could break while the car is in motion, potentially leading to injuries or a crash. On the 2013 Hyundai Veloster, the panoramic sunroof is available as part of a $2000 package that also includes upgraded interior trim, 18-inch wheels, and fog lights.

The Fix: Starting in January 2013, Hyundai will notify owners and inspect the condition of the sunroofs and, if necessary, replace the glass assembly. Hyundai can be contacted at 1-800-633-5151.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 13,500 2012 Hyundai Velosters; 13,000 in the U.S. and about 500 vehicles in Puerto Rico.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 19 Desember 2012

Spied: 2014 Maserati Ghibli

Maserati’s upcoming midsize sedan has been spotted cold-weather testing bundled up beneath a layer of camouflage. The Ghibli has been confirmed as the name of the new premium midsize sedan, which will compete against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Jaguar XF as a slightly more volume-oriented four-door compared to the newly enlarged Quattroporte sedan.

Previous Ghibli test mules were disguised as Quattroporte sedans, but these images show a smaller car most noticeable by the shorter rear doors. Up front, it’s too early to tell much about the Ghibli, but we expect the car’s front styling to closely resemble that of the  2013 Quattroporte sedan. Fake camouflage panels over the rear roofline give it a fastback look.

Rumors suggest the Ghibli will utilize a modified version of the current Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger chassis, which is an evolution of the first-generation architecture derived from the 2003-2009 W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The Ghibli may be powered by a turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, or a detuned version of the new Quattroporte’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, making between 350-375 hp. Whatever sits under the hood, an all-wheel-drive variant is all but a given if Maserati is serious about its long-term sales goals.
 While official Ghibli powertrain options are still speculative, don’t expect the volume sedan to offer more power than the 2013 Quattroporte, which features a twin-turbo, direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6 making 404 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque and an optional twin-turbo, direct-injected 523-hp 3.8-liter V-8 with 479 lb-ft of torque (with as much as 524 lb-ft with an overboost feature).

The Ghibli is one part of Maserati’s plan to increase global sales volume from 7500 to 50,000 units. The other is a Jeep Grand Cherokee-based SUV called the Levante, which is expected to be powered by a Ferrari-derived V-8.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2014 Cadillac ELR

We’ve spied the 2014 Cadillac ELR testing several times, and now we have an official date for its debut. The Chevrolet-Volt-based electric luxury coupe will appear on January 15 at the Detroit auto show. It’s scheduled to begin production at the same factory as the Volt in late 2013.

Cadillac first previewed the 2014 ELR with the 2009 Converj concept, and confirmed in fall 2011 that the car would go into production. This fall, Cadillac revealed that the 2014 ELR will be built at the General Motors plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, that also assembles the Chevrolet Volt and its European derivative, the Opel Ampera.

The reason for the common assembly plant is simple — the 2014 ELR is heavily based on the Volt. The Cadillac will also use a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor to provide electric-only propulsion, while a small four-cylinder gasoline engine serves as backup for longer journeys. The main difference between the two is styling: despite similar front and rear shapes, the ELR diverges from the Volt with a chopped roofline and two-door design.
 Our spy photos reveal that the 2014 ELR will have the same face as other Cadillacs, with a broad three-bar grille, giant circular badge, and LED running lights. There’s a large rear windshield on the sloping roof, leading into a small decklid with an integrated spoiler. The turbine-style seven-spoke wheels from the Converj concept also appear on the production car. Inside, the center stack adopts the CUE touch-sensitive controls and touchscreen that debuted in the Cadillac XTS sedan. An LCD instrument cluster has a large center speedometer flanked by gauges measuring driving range, battery charge, and other information.

“The ELR will be in a class by itself,” said GM North America president Mark Reuss in October. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.” When the 2014 Cadillac ELR makes its debut at the Detroit show next month, we’ll find out whether it has any mechanical changes compared to the Chevrolet Volt. Earlier reports suggested the new model may ditch the Chevrolet’s 1.4-liter inline-four range-extending engine in favor of a new 2.0-liter unit.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Jumat, 14 Desember 2012

Spied Up Date: 2014 BMW 4-Series Coupe

This is the production version of BMW’s 4-series Coupé, stripped of most of the disguise that has until now hidden the shape of the finished vehicle. Recently previewed as a concept at the Los Angeles motor show, the 4-series will go on sale late next year, replacing the 3-series Coupé.

It’s clear from these images that some of the show car’s bolder styling details will not make it into production. The treatment of the lower rear bumper is much more conventional, without the concept’s full-width mesh insert and integrated tailpipes.

At the front the concept’s distinctive lower bumper is retained, along with the large air intakes below the headlamps. All of the concept’s razor sharp crease lines along the bodyside are clearly evident, although the door handle has moved above the strong line that runs from the front wing to the rear three-quarter panel.

The presence of a separate piece of disguise tape behind the front wheelarch suggests the presence of some sort of air intake-style opening in the wing, as per the show car.

The 4-series range will be launched with the coupé, followed by a convertible in 2014. Later that year the much-discussed M4 will finally appear, with a cabrio version in 2015. And BMW will add a four-door 4-series GranCoupé, with the distinct possibility of an M4 GranCoupé to complete the line-up.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Skoda Octavia vRS

The first grainy pictures of the next Skoda Octavia vRS have emerged on a Czech car forum. The vRS images appear to be screen grabs from a configurator or similar website, and show what looks like a virtual rendering of the next performance flagship Octavia.

The images reveal that the new Octavia vRS will feature a similar approach to the existing car, with subtle styling additions that include more aggressive bumpers with LED daytime running lights at the front, and trapezoidal twin exhausts at the rear.

Propeller-style five-spoke alloys are also shown, covering brakes which now feature red-painted calipers, while there is a small wing on the boot lid.

Under the bonnet is expected to be the latest EA888 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that will also be fitted to the VW Golf GTI, which produces 217bhp – up from the 197bhp in the current Octavia vRS.

A 2.0-litre diesel version is also expected, along with a choice of saloon and estate bodystyles, and a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearboxes.

The standard Skoda Octavia hatch is due to arrive in the UK in March, the estate follows in May, while the first vRS cars are due to arrive in the UK in July, priced from around £22,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Ferrari F70

Teasers of the Ferrari F70’s front and rear fascia have leaked online, giving us a sneak peek at one of the most highly anticipated new supercars in years.

While we’ve seen everything from Ferrari F70 test mules to its carbon fiber body shell, these images are our best glimpse yet at what the Ferrari F70 might actually look like. Said to be taken from the official Ferrari magazine, the front-view teaser shows a low and wide front end with angular headlights similar to those found on the Ferrari FF and F12 Berlinetta. The car also has a wide, gaping grille area that may be filled with the down-force-enhancing aerodynamic winglets like those found on the Ferrari 458 Italia. Other distinguishing traits include a hood scoop, and a frunk with lines reminiscent of the Ferrari Enzo – the F70′s predecessor.

Around back, we can see that the F70 will have some fantastic curves. The mid-engine supercar will have sleek, aerodynamic body work with big fender haunches. The F70 will follow Ferrari’s modern design language with round LED taillights, with what looks to be a retractable spoiler linking the two lights together. The only questionable styling decision we can see in these teaser images is the F70′s rear foglight, which looks tacked-on, much like the F12 Berlinetta’s.
 The Ferrari F70 will likely be powered by a mid-mounted 6.3-liter V-12 and a Formula 1-style HY-KERS electric motor. Total power output is rumored to be more than 800 hp, which should provide plenty of motivation for the car that’s rumored to weigh less than 2500 pounds. The Ferrari F70 is expected to debut early next year and go on sale by the end of 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012 Lamborghini Aventador

The Problem: Certain 2012 Lamborghini Aventadors may have headlights that can be aimed horizontally but not vertically. Improperly aimed headlights could reduce driver visibility or blind oncoming traffic, which may increase risk of crash.

The Fix: Lamborghini will notify owners beginning December 17 to bring vehicles to dealers to correct the headlight aiming issue. Owners may contact Lamborghini at 1-866-681-6276.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 144 2012 Aventador vehicles manufactured July 15, 2011, through April 20, 2012.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2010 Porsche 911 GT3

The Problem: Rear wheel hubs on certain 911 GT3 models could fail under certain driving conditions, which may lead to loss of control and increase of crash. The automaker’s suggested maintenance intervals for the wheel hubs may need to be revised to prevent failure.

The Fix: Porsche will notify owners beginning this month to bring into dealers to replace the rear wheel hubs. The owner notification letter will also include revised service interval information. Owners may contact Porsche at 1-800-767-7243.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 455 2010 911 GT3 vehicles manufactured May 15, 2009, through February 11, 2010.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2013 Dodge Durango

The Problem: Certain 2013 Dodge Durango models may have incorrect seating capacity information labels that overstate seating capacity.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners beginning in February and provide replacement labels, or owners can bring into dealers to install the label. Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 734 2013 Durango vehicles manufactured April 27, 2012, through September 14, 2012.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2011-2012 Mercedes S400, S550, S63 AMG, C300, E350, GLK350, CL550, & CL63 AMG

The Problem: The fuel filter flange may crack and leak fuel when operated in high temperatures due to an irregularity stemming from the molding process of the fuel filter flange. Fuel leaked from the crack flange may lead to a fire if an external ignition source is present.

The Fix: Mercedes-Benz will notify owners beginning in January to bring into dealers, which will replace the fuel filter. Owners may contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 5800 Mercedes-Benz models including 2011-2012 S400, S550, S550 4Matic, S63 AMG, C300, C300 4Matic, E350, GLK350, GLK350 4Matic, CL550 4Matic, and CL63 AMG vehicles manufactured from April 18, 2011, through July 12, 2011.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes-Benz has revealed its significantly updated E-class. The mid-life makeover includes revised styling, updated engines, a higher level of standard equipment, new safety features and high-tech options. The changes are described as the most comprehensive in Mercedes’ history and happen in the face of executive opposition that is stiffer than ever.

The heavily revised E-class is set to get its first public outing at the Detroit motor show in January, with the first UK deliveries slated for March. Pricing has yet to be announced but Mercedes suggests that they won’t change much. The base E200 CDI is likely to cost close to the £29,125 of today’s model.

The major thrust of Mercedes’ efforts to lift the appeal of the E-class centres around its styling, which has been altered more significantly than is usual for a mid-life facelift, most notably at the front. The quad headlamp treatment, which had been a key design feature of the E-class since 1995, is gone, to be replaced by a more conventional appearance, with more prominent single-assembly headlights that feature LED daytime running lights as standard.

Further changes have been made to the grille, where there are now two options, one sporty and the other more traditional. The front bumper and bonnet are also revised.

The heavily structured rear wheelarches have been smoothed to give the car a more cohesive appearance. A new crease line runs from the rear door through to the tail lights, which retain the same shape but receive new LED-imbued graphics, whose horizontal emphasis is meant to widen the car visually. There is also a re-profiled rear bumper.

The standard E-class range will be offered with just one petrol engine in two states of tune. The turbocharged 2.0-litre unit is available with 181bhp in the E200 and 208bhp in the E250. A third petrol option will be offered in the yet to be revealed E63 AMG, which is tipped to offer an incremental increase over the 518bhp of the current twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8.

Two carried-over diesels are planned: a 2.1-litre four-cylinder with 134bhp in the E200 CDI, 168bhp in the E220 CDI and 201bhp in the E250 CDI, and a 3.0-litre V6 with 248bhp in the E350.

The economy champion is the E220 CDI. Its claimed 60.1mpg is 2.4mpg better than the outgoing model in seven-speed automatic guise, giving a 4g/km reduction in CO2 emissions at 125g/km. The UK line-up will also include the E300 BlueTec diesel-electric hybrid.

Among the new safety systems incorporated on the revised E-class is Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based collision warning system with the ability to brake the car in order to reduce the severity of an impact.

The range of new and/or improved optional systems includes Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, which helps to keep the car centred in a chosen lane and tracks traffic in tailbacks, and Brake Assist Plus with Junction Assist, which is able to detect cross traffic and pedestrians and can boost the braking power if the brakes are insufficiently applied by the driver to avoid an impact.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Land Rover Freelander Black & White Edition

A special-edition version of the Land Rover Freelander 2 has been revealed.

Starting from £22,495, the Black and White Limited Edition is £1,205 cheaper than the model it’s based on. It takes the S variant – whichcomes with a start button and an eight-speaker stereo with DAB as standard – and adds LED running lights and a gloss black grille, side vents and door handles.

There’s also  set of 17-inch alloys and privacy glass to match the Santorini Black or Fuji White paint colours that give the limited-edition model its name. On the inside, it gets black leather trim as standard and Bluetooth connectivity.

Buyers can choose between the front-wheel-drive 148bhp 2.2-litre eD4 diesel with a six-speed manual, which returns 47.1mpg and 158g/km of CO2, or the four-wheel drive TD4 that's also powered by a 148bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel. The latter can also be fitted with an automatic gearbox, but returns its best of 45.6mpg and 165g/km of CO2 with the six-speed manual. All models are equipped with stop-start as standard.

Just 600 of the Freelander 2 Black and White Limited Edition will be built, with the eD4 starting at £22,295 with the TD4 priced from £23,495. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express 

Hot News: Audi is Preparing on New RS Models for 2013

A teaser image of four new Audi RS models has appeared online today. It shows the 2013 RS5 Cabriolet and three other models hidden beneath sheets – we know one of them is the 2014 RS6 Avant, but could the other two be the upcoming RS7 and RS Q3?

The picture was posted by Car, and thanks to the loosely draped sheets, it’s not difficult to make out the silhouettes of the new models. Audi already pulled the wraps off of the RS6 Avant last week, so it’s clear that the traditional-wagon-shaped vehicle is that 552-hp monster mommy-mobile. Given that the automaker has already created the RS6, it makes sense that an RS7 will follow, since the A6 and A7 share all of the same mechanicals. Expect the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 to power the RS7, and the sinewy hatchback to gain more aggressive bodywork and larger grilles and intakes. Right now, the top-spec version is currently the S7 that produces 420 hp from a detuned version of the same 4.0-liter found in the RS6.

So then what is that final model? It’s clearly a crossover of some sort, so choices are between the Q3, Q5, or Q7. It’s most likely an RS Q3, given that Audi showed off such a concept at the Beijing Motor Show last spring. The RS Q3 concept uses the same 2.5-liter I-5 from the TT RS that is good for 360 hp. Like the RS5 and RS6, the RS Q3 concept utilized a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission to send power to all four wheels.

All Audi has said is that we’ll see “Four new RS models” in 2013, though it remains to be seen how many of these Audi RS cars will appear in the U.S. The RS7 may debut at the Detroit, Geneva, or New York shows in the next three months; don’t be surprised to see the production-spec RS Q3 at the next Beijing show in the spring.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 GMC Sierra 1500

This past year has seen Ford and Ram redesign or extensively update their full-size F-150 and 1500 pickup trucks, and now comes along an all-new iteration of the GMC Sierra for 2014 to take on the new domestic competition. The Sierra is one of two pickups in GM’s arsenal—the other is the Chevrolet Silverado, a truck with which GMC’s latest Sierra 1500 again shares nearly all of its DNA. Fittingly, the two GM rigs made their debuts alongside one another, but the Sierra now boasts the longest list of standard features ever for a full-size GMC truck, as well as the Chevy’s updated chassis, all-new engines, and freshened styling.

Speaking of looks, even though the 2014 model might not mark a huge stylistic break from the outgoing truck, it’s darn attractive and further differentiated from the Silverado than Sierras past. Okay, so the Sierra’s flanks and tail still are nearly identical to the Silverado’s, but the front-end look is markedly different. The GMC’s headlights and grille are more cleanly designed than the Chevy’s, and the overall styling appears to have been pulled straight off of the butch Sierra All-Terrain HD concept from a few years ago. Every Sierra comes standard with a chrome grille surround and projector-beam headlights. 

Like the Silverado, the new Sierra gets an aluminum hood (saving 17 pounds versus its predecessor), doors that are inset into the body sides instead of wrapping onto the roof, and aerodynamics-aiding underbody cladding and rear-wheel spats. The chassis is again fully boxed with a hydroformed front section, but it supports a front suspension that incorporates aluminum for some of its components. GMC swapped the old Sierra’s hydraulically assisted steering rack for a new electrically boosted setup, a move the company says saves fuel and improves drivability. 

The Sierra’s interior is massively improved, with butch new aesthetics (shared with the Silverado, go figure) and more soft-touch materials than before. Buyers can specify an aluminum-trimmed cabin, the latest version of GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system, optional heated cloth or leather seats, an eight-inch central touch screen, and a 4.2-inch driver information display in the gauge cluster. On the safety front, the Sierra is now available with camera-based forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems; the driver aids are paired with a vibrating Driver Alert Seat cribbed from Cadillac. The seat can alert the driver of impending collisions via vibrations, but it can be turned off, leaving traditional audible alerts to signal danger. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The latest iteration of Chevrolet’s big-selling Silverado is here, and—surprise!—it looks pretty much like the last one. But don’t be fooled by the exterior’s minor evolutionary changes; Chevy’s marketing may Run Deep, but its engineering squad dug deep with this new full-size pickup, implementing a host of improvements where buyers will have a hard time seeing them. Three all-new engines join the all-new body and chassis, and are designed to provide equal parts toughness and better fuel economy. Customers may not be able to spot the changes, but Chevy is hoping they’ll be able to feel them. 

You may need to closely study photos of the 2014 Silverado and the 2013 model it replaces in order to identify specific cosmetic differences between the two, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The outgoing model is fairly handsome, and recent updates to the Silverado’s key domestic competitors—the 2013 Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150—haven’t delivered radical stylistic changes, either. The new truck’s appearance hews closely to the old one’s, but things have been softened slightly in the name of aerodynamics, especially up front. Chevy also beefed up the new Silverado’s fender flares, added more-intricate detailing to the grille, made projector-beam headlights available, and rendered the hood in lightweight aluminum. 

Inside, the new Silverado has received a total overhaul that brings both a more modern look and more-modern equipment. The dashboard is more upright and blocky than before, but looks classier than the outgoing truck’s bland, plasticky unit. Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is available, as is an eight-inch touch screen as well as a 4.2-inch color display in the gauge cluster. Like in the upcoming 2014 Impala sedan, the Silverado’s MyLink setup allows for natural-language voice commands and can link up to 10 devices. The ride should be more pleasant thanks to new doors that now are inset into the body sides instead of wrapping around to meet the roof, reducing road and wind noise. Triple door seals further boost the Silverado’s quietness quotient, as do new front-hinged rear doors on extended-cab models.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Kamis, 13 Desember 2012

Spied: 2014 BMW 1-Series GT

BMW appears to have redesigned the forthcoming 1-series GT since the last test cars were seen on the streets of Munich earlier this year. These pictures of the car show a vehicle with a new glasshouse, incorporating a front quarterlight missing from the original vehicles, and a more steeply rising waistline.

The changes are consistent with the design of the Active Hybrid Tourer concept seen at the Paris show in September. It closely previewed the production 1-series GT, which is due to go on sale in 2014 as the first of BMW’s front-wheel-drive cars. 

It will give BMW a rival for cars such as Mercedes’ B-class, with its high roof line and spacious interior, although it is slightly smaller than a B-class, and has a shorter wheelbase.

The car will use BMW’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, currently undergoing prototyping, and recently tested by Autocar in a 1-series. To be launched next year in the new Mini, the three-cylinder will also appear in the i8 sports car.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Mini Paceman John Cooper Works

The Mini Paceman coupé has been given a potent 140mph John Cooper Works range-topper. The Paceman JCW promises to be one of the most focused Mini models yet thanks to its all-wheel drive sports chassis and turbocharged 215bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine.

The Paceman JCW uses the same engine as the Countryman JCW on which it is based. The highly-tuned 215bhp 1.6 produces 207lb ft of torque across a wide rev-band from as low as 1900rpm and up to 5800rpm. A further 14lb ft is available for short periods between 2100-4500rpm for short periods using an overboost function.

These are sufficient reserves to propel the Paceman JCW from 0-62mph in 6.9sec (regardless of whichever of the beefed-up six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmissions are fitted) and onto a 140mph top speed for the manual, 139mph for the auto’. The manual-equipped Paceman JCW’s top speed matches the Countryman JCW’s, but 0.1sec is shaved off the 0-62mph time.

A sports chassis is fitted to the Paceman JCW, making it sit 10mm lower than standard Pacemans. Larger anti-roll bars and optimised spring and damper rates are among the suspension upgrades.

A Sport button features on the centre console of the JCW-fettled cabin. When engaged, this sharpens the throttle response, alters the exhaust note, and stiffens up the steering. On JCWs equipped with the automatic gearbox, shift times are also made quicker.

The all-wheel drive system sends 50 per cent of power to the rear wheels in normal driving conditions through an electromagnetic centre differential, and up to 100 per cent in extreme conditions.

The look of the Paceman has also been overhauled for the JCW version with new 18in alloys (19in alloys are optional) and an aggressively styled aerodynamic bodykit.

The new Paceman JCW will make its debut at the Detroit motor show next month, before reaching UK showrooms in mid-March priced from £29,535.

Thanks to: Autocar

Recall Up Date: 2003-2004 Honda Pilot & Odyssey, 2003-2006 Acura MDX

The Problem: Due to a malfunction with the ignition interlock on some Odyssey, Pilot, and MDX vehicles may not function properly. The interlock could wear down from use over time and lead the ability to remove the key when the vehicle is not in park. If the car is shut off while not parked and the parking brake is not set, the car could potentially roll away and crash.

The Fix: Honda and Acura will begin notifying owners in February 2013, but has yet to announce how it will resolve the problem. Not all recalled vehicles will require a repair, but owners can go onto recalls.honda.com or recalls.acura.com and enter their vehicle’s VIN to find out their cars will need to be repaired.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 807,000 Honda and Acura vehicles total – 318,000 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey minivans, 259,000 2003-2004 Honda Pilot SUVs, and 230,000 2003-2006 Acura MDX SUVs.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2014 Acura MDX

This artsy rendering is our first look at the 2014 Acura MDX concept, which will make its debut next month at the Detroit auto show. This teaser hints at the styling of the concept car, although it’s worth noting that Acura “concept” vehicles tend to be almost identical to the eventual production models.

Even though this line drawing doesn’t show much, we already have a good idea what the 2014 Acura MDX looks like thanks to spy shots. As was the case with the redesigned Acura RDX crossover, the new MDX will probably adopt a tamer front “beak” grille and more pronounced creases in the body-side sheetmetal. Spy shots have revealed LED taillights and the same “Jewel Eye” LED headlights that will debut on the 2014 Acura RLX sedan.

Acura says the 2014 MDX uses “Aero Sculpture” design language that is supposed to be both attractive and functional. Translation: the new crossover is far more aerodynamic, helping improve highway fuel economy. The company also promises its new model “will feature alluring proportions with smooth, arching body lines.” Spy shots of the 2014 MDX are shown at right and below.
 Under the hood, reports suggest the new MDX will employ the same direct-injected, 310-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine as the RLX. Yet while the RLX will have a traditional six-speed automatic, we’ve previously reported that the MDX could introduce a new nine-speed automatic to the Acura range. The ZF-sourced transmission is reportedly suited to two- and four-wheel-drive configurations, making it ideal for a crossover like the MDX.

The flagship model could employ a hybrid all-wheel-drive system, similar to the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD drivetrain available in the 2014 RLX. It combines a V-6 engine with an integrated motor/generator, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and an electric motor at each rear wheel. It not only improves acceleration and fuel economy, but also allows for torque vectoring during cornering.

When the 2014 Acura MDX concept debuts at the Detroit show, expect it to look almost exactly like a production car. As noted, Honda and Acura tend to only change minor details like lights or wheels from the concept stage to real on-sale cars. The 2014 Acura MDX will go on sale by fall 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe

In a logical extension of its portfolio, BMW has launched the M6 Gran Coupe. Identified by the automaker as "perhaps the perfect combination" of the M5 and the M6, it is a stretched M6 that sits on the exact wheelbase of the M5. Created essentially from the parts bin, the M6 Gran Coupe's hardware was pre-determined from the start. And that’s a good thing. 

Under the hood of this rear-driver sits the 560-hp, 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8; BMW's imprecise TwinPower moniker actually refers to a twin-turbo here. Maximum torque is 500 lb-ft, available at 1500 rpm, and all 560 horses are served when the tach spins to at 5750 before arriving at a 7200-rpm redline. BMW claims that the sprint from zero to 60 mph takes a mere 4.1 seconds. That's as quick as the M6 coupe and a somewhat-inexplicable 0.3 second quicker than BMW says the lighter M5 requires. Top speed is a governed 155 mph, which is reached "in only a few seconds more," as the press release optimistically states. Top speed can be raised to 190 mph with the addition of the M Driver’s package. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. There’s no word yet on the availability of a six-speed manual for the M6 Gran Coupe—nor the coupe or convertible, for that matter—which would not only provide a genuine shifting experience but also shave 33 pounds from the four-door’s weight, as it does when fitted in the M5.

The M6 Gran Coupe is equipped with an extremely capable chassis, which includes an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, electronically controlled shock absorbers, and a rear subframe bolted to the body. This car still uses hydraulic power steering, electronically adjustable and rather superior to the electromechanical power steering found in lesser versions of the 5- and 6-series. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional, and they will lower weight by a remarkable 43 pounds. The 20-inch aluminum wheels displayed on this car are specific to the M6 Gran Coupe. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 11 Desember 2012

New Car: 2013 BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition

BMW Motorsport returned to the DTM this year with a bang, after almost 20 years away from the series. Canadian driver Bruno Spengler won the drivers’ title, BMW Team Schnitzer topped the team standings, and BMW claimed the manufacturers’ honours. And to celebrate the stylish comeback, BMW M GmbH is unveiling this M3 DTM Champion Edition.

Mimicking the looks of Spengler’s race car, this special-edition model is available exclusively in Frozen Black metallic, while the carbon flaps and gurney, various dark chrome elements, matte black wheels and sections of the race car’s livery also hint at the BMW M3 DTM.

The theme is continued by the M stripe design over the CFRP roof and boot lid, M logo to the rear of the front wheel arches and decals on the rear side windows.

Inside, the door sill strips replicate Spengler’s helmet design and the carbon-fibre interior trim strip bears the newly crowned champ’s signature and the car’s serial number. The DTM Champion Edition also gets goodies like an Alcantara steering wheel, handbrake lever embroidered with “M Power” lettering, and extended black Novillo leather trim with features in contrasting Palladium Silver.

As the ultimate M3, it also comes with the division’s Competition package, M Drive, M DCT Drivelogic and the M Driver’s Package.

There’s more. The car’s 54 lucky owners will have the chance to attend the BMW M Fascination Nordschleife driver training course under the watchful eye of Bruno Spengler himself! Held on the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife track, it’s one of the most coveted elements of the BMW Driving Experience programme.

German pricing for the BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition starts from €99,000 (RM393,393) including VAT.

Thanks to: Paultan

New Car: 2013 MG 6 BTCC

MG is celebrating its 2012 BTCC season - where its driver Jason Plato finished third overal with six race wins - with a special-edition version of the MG6 hatch.

The MG6 GT BTCC Edition starts from £16,995 and gets a matte black roof and 18-inch alloys, with a black gloss finish for the side sills, door mirrors, front and rear lower bumpers and rear spoiler. A BTCC badge on the front grille, bonnet decals in team colours and 'BTCC Edition' graphics on the door sills and dashboard finish off the makeover.

Standard equipment includes sat-nav, front sports seats, electric mirrors and rear parking sensors, while two exterior colours are available - Arctic White or Union Blue.

Power comes from a 158bhp 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine, capable of sending it from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 120mph.

As an extra incentive, anyone who buys the BTCC Edition before the end of the year will receive a pair of VIP hospitaility tickets to a race in 2013, which includes a grid walk, pit lane experience and a MG KX Momentum team jacket and hat. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Mercedes E-Class

The first pictures of the 2013 Mercedes E-Class saloon and Estate have been leaked online, ahead of the car’s official unveiling later this week.

Specific details are scarce, but the pictures clearly show a smoother front end, more rounded grille and new single-piece headlights. The rear gets a more subtle update, with a set of revised light clusters.

The Estate car gets a similar overhaul, with both cars retaining the existing model’s renowned practicality. This means the Estate should remain best in class in terms of outright bootspace.

We’ll bring you full details of the revised Mercedes E-Class as soon as they’re announced. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Audi is Preparing for Diesel-Electric Supercar

The boss of the high-performance Audi quattro gmbh division, Franciscus Van Meel, has broken his silence on bthe subject of a new supercar to sit above the Audi R8 in the range.

At the end of November, we brought you the news that Audi’s new boss of technical development, Wolfgang Durheimer, is plotting an ultra high-performance diesel-electric supercar, to help transfer his company's Le Mans winning race technology to the road. But this is the first time the man who will be responsible for building it has added his thoughts.

"If we make this car it will be the absolute best supercar, and completely different in concept to the R8," Van Meel told us. "It will be very Vorsprung Durch Technik, very innovative." When we asked him whether it will be better than the forthcoming McLaren P1 he simply replied, "yes."

It's not the first time Audi has dipped its toe in the water of high-performance diesel cars that have been inspired by the race track. The Audi R8 TDI Le Mans Concept (pictured) previewed a V12 TDI-powered version of the R8, inspired by the R10 race car, although the idea was axed back in 2009.

This new diesel hybrid will be in a different performance bracket entirely, though, with enough fire power to take on the petrol-powered Porsche 918, Ferrari Enzo successor and McLaren P1.

Details on the powertrain are yet to be finalised, but expect a combined power output in the region of 700bhp and at least 1,000Nm of torque. That would mean 0-62mph in around 3.0 seconds and a top speed of more than 200mph. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Skoda Octavia

Skoda has revealed its first official pictures of the all-new Octavia – a car it calls the ‘heart of the brand’.
Based on the same MQB platform as the new VW Golf, Audi A3 and SEAT Leon, the third-generation Octavia is bigger and more efficient, but maintains the same value-for-money proposition that’s made Skoda such a hit. Prices are likely to start from around £14,000 when it goes on sale in March.

Compared to its predecessor, the car is 90mm longer, 45mm wider and the wheelbase has been stretched by 108mm, making the interior even more spacious than before.

Skoda claims no other car in this segment offers more rear knee and headroom, while the familiar saloon bodyshape with a hatchback tailgate allows a 590-litre boot – also top of the class. By comparison, the new VW Golf can muster only 380 litres with the seats in place.

Skoda’s design team likes to keep things simple, and the new Octavia’s clean-cut lines demonstrate this philosophy perfectly. Smaller headlights and a wider, lower grille add more aggression to the nose, while the longer wheelbase and shorter front and rear overhangs give a sportier profile. A pronounced flick at the rear of the window line – a ‘Hoffmeister kink’ – adds further character to the chiselled looks.

The interior continues the tidy and uncluttered design, with a much larger central touchscreen and higher-quality switchgear from the MQB parts bin. As with other cars in the family, Skoda has managed to strip the car’s kerbweight – by up to 102kg.

As a result, the engine range breaks new ground in terms of efficiency. Although the full line-up is yet to be revealed, the cleanest car will be the Greenline version of the 110bhp 1.6 TDI. This adds stop-start and brake energy recuperation, returning a superb 83.1mpg and producing only 89g/km of CO2 – identical figures to the forthcoming 104bhp Ford Focus ECOnetic. A 2.0 TDI engine will also be offered, in a variety of outputs.

A range of four TSI petrol turbos is planned, including a 1.2 TSI with 84bhp and 104bhp, a 120bhp 1.4 TSI and a 179bhp 1.8 TSI. Skoda also confirmed that four-wheel-drive models are in the pipeline, and a sporty RS trim level will be offered. A more powerful vRS variant is expected to join the range in 2014. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2014 Range Rover Evoque LWB

The Range Rover Evoque range is expanding, quite literally. These are the very first spy pictures of an extended-wheelbase Evoque, which was spotted fully camouflaged on the road near the company’s HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

As you can just about make out in the pictures, the new car is identical to the existing five-door model from the rear door handles forward. The changes come right at the back, where a longer rear overhang and extended roof line will help to free-up more boot space and rear legroom. A seven-seater layout is not expected to be an option.

Based on a stretched version of the Evoque’s platform - which is itself a development of the Freelander’s underpinnings - the Evoque LWB is expected to go on sale before the end of 2013, costing a few thousand pounds more than the five-door Evoque. But it’s just the beginning for Land Rover’s plans for the Evoque badge, and its model range as a whole.

As previewed by a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in March, an Evoque Cabriolet is under development and is expected to arrive in 2014. Land Rover has hinted that further down the line, a smaller, even more car-like Range Rover wearing the Evoque badge is also being considered.

Land Rover predicts the global SUV market will be worth 20 million units by 2020, and it's ready to execute a bold expansion plan to take an even larger slice than it has at the moment. It plans to grow its range to around 16 separate models over the next eight years, including three Range Rover models, three Evoques, two Discoverys, three Freelanders and as many as five versions of the new Defender, which is due in 2015. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express
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