Sabtu, 28 Desember 2013

New Car: 2014 Mazda Flair Crossover

Rebadging may be a bit of a sensitive issue in Malaysia, but there’s no denying that it’s a common practice among other carmakers. Latest to take up such a route is this, the 2014 Mazda Flair, which is identical to the Suzuki Hustler (shown in Tokyo 2013 as a concept), save for the badges.

The new Flair is a mini crossover that replaces the old Mazda Spiano Kei car, itself based on the Suzuki Lapin. It’s not uncommon for the two brands to work with each other. There’s the Mazda Flairwagon tallboy, which is a rebadged Suzuki Palette. Hop over to Indonesia and the Avanza-sized Suzuki Ertiga is also sold as the Mazda VX-1.

Back to the mini SUV-like 2014 Flair, it gets a choice of either a naturally-aspirated or turbocharged 660 cc engine, paired to a CVT transmission. You can also choose between front- or all-wheel drive layouts, with the most efficient variant of all promising up to 29.2 km per litre.

It is unlikely to be taken off-road, but Mazda adds that the Flair has a ground clearance of 180 mm and a 28° approach angle. The AWD version has a hill descent control system too.

Thanks to: Paultan

Sneak Peek: 2015 Citroen C4 Cactus

The production Citroën C4 Cactus has been previewed in a number of new images.

The new C4 Cactus is due to be revealed early next year, and will stay "largely true" to the initial Cactus concept seen at the Frankfurt motor show earlier this year.

Citroën has said it intends to reveal the Cactus on February 5, five years since the brand launched its DS line and 136 years since the birth of Andre Citroën, founder of the company.

Having been reportedly well received during its initial debut, the C4 Cactus has since been spotted testing in the run up to its launch. If sales of the C4 Cactus are deemed to be a success, the model could spawn more Cactus-badged cars which could eventually replace Citroën's more mainstream offerings.

While several elements from the concept are expected to change for the production model, like the addition of side windows, other features will stay. Among those features is the 'Air Bump' on the doors, designed to offer protection to the door panels in car parks and tight spaces. The sofa-style interior of the concept will also remain.

Official engine specifications for the C4 Cactus have not yet been revealed, but the range is likely to be built up mainly with lower-powered options and simple transmissions. Company bosses have already confirmed more higher-powered engines, like its 1.6-litre turbocharged unit, will not feature.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: 2015 Qoros New Car

Chinese manufacturer Qoros is planning to unveil its second production model at the 2014 Geneva motor show.

The new car, which is due to go on sale in China in 2014, is reputed to retain the "elegant design and high specification of the Qoros 3 Saloon", and is based on the same platform.

Qoros says that the new car is designed to appeal to the "young, modern, always connected' metropolitan customer". Few technical details have been confirmed, but the new car is stated to feature LED rear lamp clusters, a cloud-based infotainment system and an eight-inch touchscreen.

The manufacturer had previously confirmed plans to launch estate and crossover models of the Qoros 3, one of which may transpire to be the next production model, judging by the teaser sketches and older concept models.

A large saloon and a large SUV are also in the initial design stages, according to reports, and the manufacturer intends to expand its line-up to ultimately offer a "comprehensive range of models in all major vehicle segments."

Qoros has also announced its intentions to launch new models every six to twelve months; this new car will follow on from the Qoros 3 Saloon.

The Qoros 3 Saloon, which is cheaper than the MG 6 in China, recently attained a full five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing.

Thanks to: Autocar

Future Cars: 2016 Fiat 500 5-Door

A five-door Fiat 500 is under development, Auto Express has learned. The new Ford Fiesta rival will replace the Fiat Punto from 2015 and our exclusive image shows how the new car will look.

Instead of simply fitting an extra two doors to the standard 500 and stretching the wheelbase, Fiat will base it on a modified version of the Punto platform – like the larger 500L.

But classic styling cues will be carried over from the 500, such as the two-part headlights, short bonnet and steeply raked pillars, to keep the car in line with the rest of the family. When when the car arrives, it will take the expanded 500 range to eight separate models.

Head of Fiat Group design Lorenzo Ramaciotti told us: “There are some rumours in the press about the five-door 500, but what we know for sure is that next year we’ll have the 500X. We already have the 500L so we won’t stop there; it’s reasonable that there’ll be further additions.”

Since the revival of the 500 name in 2007, Fiat has followed up the standard 500 city car with the soft-top 500C and a sizzling Abarth 500, plus practical 500L, 500L Trekking and seven-seat 500L MPW models.

Next year, the SUV-inspired 500X will arrive, too. Responding to the suggestion of a possible five-door 500 being introduced shortly after the 500X in 2014, Ramaciotti said: “It’ll be about 2015, as we cannot launch too many cars altogether.”

While Fiat has yet to make an official announcement, the five-door is expected to share engines with other 500s. That means four-cylinder diesels and petrols, plus a sub-100g/km 875cc TwinAir.

Fiat plans to base its future strategy around the 500 and Panda brands. In March, we reported that a larger, Nissan Qashqai rival Panda model is under consideration for 2015.

Ramaciotti said: “The brand’s future will be running on these two rails. The 500 is for more emotional and exclusive models; the Panda is for more practical and easy-to-use cars.” For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Senin, 23 Desember 2013

Extreme Jeep Adventure Contest!

Hey, readers! Are you a Jeep fan? Do you want to join an epic adventure in 3 of the most amazing off-road tracks on earth? And then you’re reading the right article. Because Extreme Terrain is throwing EXTREME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST. One lucky winner and a friend will travel to Rubicon Trail, California; Moab, Utah; and Ouray, Colorado on 3 weekends. A Jeep Wrangler is ready to be your partner during these amazing trips. All airfare, hotel, and Jeep rentals are paid by Extreme Terrain!

Interestingly, EXTREME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST is free-for-all! You don’t need to own a Jeep to join this contest. It doesn't matter if you have Audi, GMC, Volkswagen, or others in your garage. So, what are you waiting for? Go to Extreme Terrain Contest page for more information and fill in the entry form to participate. The registration is already open on October 14th, 2013 at 10.00.00 AM E.T until January 21st, 2014 at 06.00.59 PM E.T.

Unofficial Sketch: 2017 Holden Commodore


You’ve probably seen Holden’s attempt to assure Australian customers it will continue to sell cars here following the closure of its local factories in 2017.

In fact, Holden’s 10-day advertising campaign, dubbed “We’re here to stay”, has attracted widespread criticism since it went live on TV, radio, outdoor, print and digital platforms on December 20.

Even on Holden’s own YouTube channel, ‘misleading’ is one of the most polite accusations levelled at the risky media strategy, which is designed to remind Australians that GM’s Holden brand will continue to sell imported vehicles when it becomes “a full-line importer and national sales company from the end of 2017”.

Holden has also come under fire for claiming the celebrities who appeared in the TVC all volunteered their time, when in fact most of them are already on the payroll or receive a free car as Holden ‘ambassadors’.

But what you might not have noticed is the image of a mysterious Holden-badged car that appears on the computer screen in front of a Holden designer in the final part of the TVC.

As we’ve reported, Holden now appears likely to replace the last Australian-made Commodore with a front-wheel drive four-cylinder model that will be designed here but imported from China.

In what would constitute a very early ‘tease’ of a vehicle that’s four years away from showrooms, that model could well be the car in the TVC, which reveals an array of other styling sketches and renderings.

Among them appear to be front-end images of the same car (to the right of the screen), which appears to be a hatchback rather than a sedan, as well as a sleek coupe (below the screen).

Holden has confirmed it is already working on a replacement for the VF Commodore and that, unlike Ford's doomed Falcon, it will continue to wear a nameplate exclusive to Australia.

Apart from an imported replacement for the Commodore post-2017, Holden could also offer new rear-drive and perhaps V8-powered models, built on a new Alpha platform and imported from the US – but only if they are produced in right-hand drive.

Thanks to: Car Point

Spied: 2015 SEAT Leon ST Cupra

We’ve known for some time that SEAT was planning a hot SEAT Leon ST Cupra estate, but these pictures are our first look at it in the flesh. Designed to sit alongside five and three-door version of the Leon Cupra hatchback, the Leon Cupra ST will be a direct rival for the Ford Focus ST estate.

Clearly marking this prototype out as a Cupra are its large alloy wheels, red brake callipers, twin exhausts and deep front bumper front end. The ride height has also been lowered, with stiffer damper and spring rates for the suspension.

Under the bonnet, the 268bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Leon Cupra will be adopted - that makes it the most powerful estate in its class, with 20bhp and 50bhp more than the Ford Focus ST estate and Skoda Octavia vRS estate respectively.

Power will be sent via a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed DSG gearbox to the front wheels. All Cupra models will also be offered with a limited-slip differential for the first time, taken from the VW Golf GTI Performance Pack.

A more powerful four-wheel drive Cupra R model is also under development, with power expected to be around 298bhp. It’s unknown if the Leon ST will adorn the Cupra R moniker.

The spy images indicate an almost showroom ready model, so we can expect the Leon ST Cupra to be launched alongside the Leon Cupra hatchback in the middle of 2014. A debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March has also been rumoured with prices expected to start at around £25,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015/2016 BMW X5 eDrive Plug-in

The BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid is on its way to production, as revealed by these spy shots of a near-standard looking X5. It’s only when you look closer that you can see the charging port flap mounted on the left-hand front wing.

BMW has already previewed this model with a concept – revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September – but many of that car’s styling details aren’t on this prototype. That could change for production, though, where the blue-tinted BMW badges, bespoke front-end styling and unique alloy wheel designs of the concept could re-emerge.

Expect to see the same powertrain found in the concept and the same economy figures, too. That means it’ll be fitted with a four-cylinder petrol engine and a 95bhp electric motor, delivered through a four-wheel-drive system. Capable of travelling around 20 miles on electric power, the X5 eDrive should boast figures of 74.3mpg and less than 90g/km of CO2. Despite the impressive economy, expect a 0-62mph time of around seven seconds.

There’s still a lot of work to be done tweaking the eDrive powertrain until BMW will be happy to put the car on sale, so despite the advanced look of these prototypes we’re still expecting an on-sale date during 2015. After all, BMW will want to give its i3 and i8 electric/hybrid models a chance to thrive.

When it does arrive it will likely have competition from a plug-in hybrid version of the Audi Q7.
While not exactly a competitor, Mitusbishi will begin selling a plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander SUV in 2014, boasting fuel economy of 144mpg. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 20 Desember 2013

Spied: 2015 Mercedes CLS63 AMG

This is the first spy shots of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG facelift testing.

The heavy disguise worn by this test mule around its front and rear bumpers suggests that is where the biggest styling changes will be seen. It is believed the model will take some styling direction from the new E-class. A new grille design is also expected, along with subtle exterior changes and an upgraded interior.

In keeping with the company's design direction, standard models in the Mercedes range will get more pseudo-AMG styling, while AMG models themselves will get an even stockier, sportier look.

The facelifted car will likely use the same engine as the E63 AMG. That means a 5.5-litre V8 engine with 557bhp and around 530lb ft of torque. The current car has been on sale since 2011.


The new CLS63 AMG will go on sale in 2014.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2015 Lamborghini Huracan


This is the Lamborghini Huracan, the replacement for the Gallardo supercar. After numerous spy shots and leaked images Lamborghini has taken the wraps off its baby supercar, which is set for a public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March before arriving in the UK in the autumn.

Initial reports suggested the car would be called the Cabrera but Lamborghini has opted instead for Huracan LP 610-4. Like the Gallardo before it, the Huracan name derives from the world of bullfighting, with this particular breed known for its courage and sense of attack.

The Huracan follows Lamborghini tradition with an audacious design full of sharp edges and defined creases. It adopts several Aventador styling cues such as the narrow triangular headlights and short bonnet. Viewed in profile, the Huracan is unmistakably Lamborghini, with the rear quarter getting similar upper and lower vents around the engine bay as the Murcielago.

Based on an all-new aluminium chassis with structural carbon-fibre elements, the Huracan weighs 1,422kg and will share its platform with the second-generation Audi R8, due in 2015. Nestling behind the driver is an updated version of the 5.2-litre V10 engine delivering 601bhp at 8,250rpm, up from 552bhp in the Gallardo.

The engine features new “Iniezione Diretta Stratificata” (IDS), direct and indirect gasoline injections which are smartly combined resulting in more power and torque with lower fuel consumption and emissions compared with the Gallardo V10 engine.

From a standstill the Huracan will hit 62mph in 3.2 seconds, 125mph in 9.9 seconds and top out at above 202mph. It will stop as well as it goes, too, thanks to carbon ceramic brakes fitted as standard. Despite the substantial increase in performance, economy has also improved from 19.2mpg to 22.6mpg while emissions are down from 351g/km to 290g/km.

Replacing the clunky old automated manual gearbox is a new seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box delivering power to all four wheels. Three different driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa - can be selected from a steering wheel mounted selector – much like the Ferrari 458 Italia’s Manettino switch. Each mode alters the throttle response, traction control and ferocity of the gear changes.

The Huracán will be produced at Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese on an entirely newly-equipped production line. First deliveries are planned for spring 2014, with prices expected to start from around £175,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2015 Citroen DS 5LS

Citroen has taken the covers off its latest ‘DS’ model at an event in Paris. The new Citroen DS 5LS saloon is based on the DS5 and will be built and sold exclusively in China.

The ‘LS’ in the name stands for ‘Luxury Saloon’ and it will be the second DS model to be built at the new plant in Shenzhen after the DS5, as the brand gambles heavily on a sales boom in the rapidly expanding Chinese market.

Featuring a design clearly inspired by the Wild Rubis concept shown at the Shanghai Motor Show this year, the DS 5LS has a stylish exterior with chrome ‘wings’ at the front that circle the grille and extend into the headlights.

This feature is destined to be the new face of the successful DS sub-brand, and it will appear on all future DS-branded models including the new Citroen DS3 and a China-only SUV that is also due to arrive later on in 2014.

The three-box design has more in common with the C5 saloon than the DS5, but it shares the smart alloy wheels and twin exhausts with its premium sibling. At 4.7 metres long with a 2.7-metre wheelbase, Citroen claims the DS 5LS will offer best-in-class legroom, to help attract those buyers who wish to be chauffeured. That's 0.2 metres longer than the DS5 it's based on, and the extra room means the boot is 466 litres - one litre bigger than the DS5.

Inside, it has the same flat-bottomed steering wheel and a mixture of wood, leather and soft-touch plastics designed to give a luxurious feel. The centre console is titled towards the driver, and gadgets like massaging seats, an air purifier, reversing camera and DVD player are all included on top-spec cars.

Three petrol engine variants will be offered: a 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine with 158 or 197bhp and a 132bhp VTi engine. The 1.6 engine will power the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox with a conventional torque converter, though there's no word on the VTi yet.

Citroen sees its main European rivals in China as the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3 Saloon, which are also about to be produced locally to avoid the heavy state taxes on imported vehicles. The Citroen 'C' range of cars is sold in Chinda under partnership with Dongfeng, but this new DS venture will be compeltely seperate from that.

Production is due to start in March, and the DS 5LS is due to appear at the Beijing Motor Show in April for its official home market unveiling. As well as an SUV, a larger executive saloon based on the DS9 concept will also arrive in 2015. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

First Sktech: Subaru Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Subaru has released a teaser image of its Vision GranTurismo concept car, available for gamers to take for a virtual spin on the Vision Gran Turismo event on Gran Turismo 6 for the PlayStation 3.

The silhouette of Subaru’s futuristic vision resembles to that of the BRZ coupe, albeit with wildly exaggerated proportions. The bonnet and bulging wheel arches are pure BRZ, but the rest of concept adopts more of a shooting brake body style. The chiseled flanks, aggressive body kit and huge rear wing also give it the appearance of a touring car.

The Japanese manufacturer joins the likes of Mercedes and Formula 1 team Red Bull in launching concept cars for GT6. Mercedes went one step further and brought it’s concept car to life with a scale model showcased at the LA Motor Show earlier this year.

Those who own a PlayStation 3 will be able to download all of the concepts car in a free special content package early next year, created to celebrate the game’s 15th anniversary. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: 2015 Acura TLX to Replace TL & TSX

The Acura TLX we've been hearing about for quite some time now is not just a figment of our imagination, as the Japanese automaker has confirmed the 2015 TLX prototype will debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show next month.

Although the TLX is a completely new model, it won't be too unfamiliar, since, as its name suggests, it's a combination of the TSX and TL. The TLX is an amalgamation of the best from both models, which means it'll get the TSX's athletic performance and sport sedan proportions. Acura even says that the TLX will have more aggressive styling than the TSX (pictured above). With the TL genes in its DNA, the TLX will get the midsize sedan's capacious and technology-laden cabin, and available all-wheel drive. We can also expect the TLX to follow Acura's latest design language, which means it'll probably get the "Jewel Eye" headlights. Underneath the hood will be a completely new setup with two new direct-injection powertrains that are paired to an "advanced" transmission. Acura says the powerplants boast more athletic performance while also being highly fuel-efficient.  
 
To make room for the TLX, which will launch during the second half of 2014, Acura is discontinuing the TSX for 2014. It's unclear if the TL will also be discontinued next year or if there’ll be some overlap with the 2015 TLX, but we'll find out more about the TLX prototype when the car shows its face at Cobo Hall in Detroit next month.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Edition 30

It's been 30 years since the Volkswagen Jetta GLI was introduced to the world, and to celebrate the car's birthday, the German automaker has announced the sporty Jetta variant will only be sold as the Edition 30 special model starting early next year.  

The Edition 30 differentiates itself from the current 2014 GLI with specially designed 18-inch alloy wheels, red trim on the front grille and inside the bi-xenon headlights (navigation-equipped Edition 30s only), a spoiler on the trunklid, and Edition 30 badges. Red accents are also featured inside the cabin with two-tone upholstery and contrast stitching on the steering wheel, shifter, brake lever, armrests, and floormats. Only four exterior paint colors will be offered on the Edition 30: Deep Metallic Black, Pure White, Tornado Red, and Reflex Silver Metallic. Standard equipment includes fog lights, LED taillights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, touchscreen audio system, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Edition 30 with navigation further adds hands-free keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, and adaptive bi-xenon headlights. 

No changes have been made underneath the hood, which means the Edition 30 will be powered by the regular GLI's 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that can be matched to a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission. It also gets the usual sport suspension, bigger wheels and tires, upgraded brakes, and aggressive styling.  

Volkswagen describes the GLI that debuted 30 years ago as Jetta sheetmetal wrapped around GTI running gear, which means it was motivated by a 90-hp 1.8-liter engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. The GLI stood apart from the Jetta with body side moldings, three extra gauges in the center console, and sport seats. Certain styling elements on the Edition 30 are a throwback to the first GLI, including the rear spoiler and distinctive interior. Expect the Edition 30 to start appearing in showrooms early next year, when pricing information should also be revealed.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek Up Date: Lexus F Coupe Concept

A teaser photo of what will likely be the 2015 Lexus RC F coupe has just been released by the automaker. This is the second teaser shot of what Lexus is referring to only as a new F model coupe. The tagline “Half the Doors, Twice the Roar” accompanies the teaser, which is an overhead, close-up shot of a hood that appears to feature a functional air scoop.  

It’s still unknown what engine that air scoop will be cooling, but it will obviously be more potent than the 3.5-liter V-6 powering the RC350 coupe unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. That said, the 2015 RC F could get an updated version of the outgoing IS F coupe's 5.0-liter V-8, or possibly a turbocharged six-cylinder like the upcoming 2015 BMW M4. The BMW will make 425 hp, and there’s a good chance the Lexus will be in the same neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Lexus released a teaser photo of the new coupe’s front fender, revealing a vent behind the front tire, an “F” badge, and large rims. With the new F coupe’s global debut slated for next month’s Detroit auto show, we wouldn’t be surprised if Lexus released at least one more photo to further rouse our curiosity.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 19 Desember 2013

Hot News: Skoda Large SUV Gets Green Light

Skoda plans to launch a large new SUV in 2016, company chief Winfried Vahland has confirmed to Autocar.

The new model is based on the largest version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform and is set to be a version of VW’s own CrossBlue SUV, due to be launched in 2015.

The as-yet-unnamed Skoda SUV will be a class up from the VW Tiguan, and insiders suggest it will measure around 4.6m in length. It will be offered with five-seat and seven-seat configurations, and with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

It is understood to be positioned as a more refined rival to the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. Skoda technical chief Frank Welsch described the new SUV as “the right concept for Skoda; it works perfectly with our brand values”.

The new SUV currently exists as a full-size clay model in Skoda’s design studio and early engineering work is now under way. Welsch said engine capacity is likely to be capped at 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units, with diesel-electric hybrid technology set to be offered. A 1.6-litre turbodiesel will be the base unit.

Skoda design chief Josef Kaban said: “Larger Skodas like this will employ bolder, more provocative styling - slightly different from the mainstream.”

Skoda is also plotting a third SUV which will be a similar size to the Skoda Yeti. The new model, which is expected to form part of the Yeti family, will adopt a more traditional SUV appearance.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: Kia Sport 2+2 Concept

With the rear-drive, full-size Kia K900 sedan about to finally arrive in the U.S., the Korean automaker has just released a teaser image hinting at a new sports car concept coming to the 2014 Detroit auto show.

While Kia hasn’t revealed much about the new concept, we know it will be a 2+2 sports car that the automaker says will not only turn heads, but also deliver “superb driving enjoyment” on the street and track. The concept, designed at Kia’s Southern California design studio, may share its underpinning with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Kia isn’t new to rear-drive sports car concepts: the Kia Kee coupe concept was shown in 2007, while the Kia GT four-door coupe concept shown at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show sported a sleek profile and rear-hinged hind doors.  
 
The upcoming Kia 2+2 sports car concept could just as easily be based on the front-drive Hyundai Veloster three-door hatchback or even an updated version of the Kia Provo concept shown at the 2012 Chicago auto show. While that model appeared to be influenced by the Kia Soul, it was only slightly larger than the Mini Cooper Coupe. However, the car's proportions seem to hint at a genuine sports car in this top-view teaser shot.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 18 Desember 2013

Extreme Jeep Adventure Contest!

Hey, readers! Are you a Jeep fan? Do you want to join an epic adventure in 3 of the most amazing off-road tracks on earth? And then you’re reading the right article. Because Extreme Terrain is throwing EXTREME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST. One lucky winner and a friend will travel to Rubicon Trail, California; Moab, Utah; and Ouray, Colorado on 3 weekends. A Jeep Wrangler is ready to be your partner during these amazing trips. All airfare, hotel, and Jeep rentals are paid by Extreme Terrain!

Interestingly, EXTREME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST is free-for-all! You don’t need to own a Jeep to join this contest. It doesn't matter if you have Audi, GMC, Volkswagen, or others in your garage. So, what are you waiting for? Go to Extreme Terrain Contest page for more information and fill in the entry form to participate. The registration is already open on October 14th, 2013 at 10.00.00 AM E.T until January 21st, 2014 at 06.00.59 PM E.T.

New Car: 2014 Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid

The Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid has just been launched in South Korea, making it the company’s third hybrid model in its local market. It slots neatly above the electric motor-assisted Sonata and Elantra models, and is the largest hybrid-powered Korean car yet.

Called the Azera in other markets (Malaysia has seen both nameplates before – the third-generation Grandeur XG and fourth-generation Azera TG), the new variant uses the same in-house-developed parallel electric hybrid drivetrain already in use in the Sonata Hybrid.

Here, a 159 hp 2.4 litre MPI works alongside a 35 kW electric motor to develop a combined output of 204 hp. Fuel economy jumps to 16.0 km/L, a healthy gain over the standard Grandeur 2.4’s 11.3 km/L claim. In Korea, the hybrid model is covered by a 10-year or 200,000 km warranty, including a 30-day vehicle exchange programme.

Size wise, it fits between the Sonata and Genesis within Hyundai’s Korean/American model range. Think the Toyota Avalon, the Lexus ES’ platform donor. If the Grandeur/Azera Hybrid were to be introduced here in Malaysia, do you reckon there would be a market for it? As a cut-price alternative to the RM 353,000 Lexus ES 300h, perhaps?

Thanks to: Paultan

New Car: 2014 Opel Adam by Valentino Rossi


Moto GP star Valentino Rossi has designed a special one-off Opel Adam, with the funds raised from its sale at auction being donated to charity. The supermini features exclusive styling and decals visioned by Rossi along with the help of designer Aldo Drudi.

Opel brand ambassador Valentino Rossi added his own personal touch with his racing number 46 pasted across the side of the car, as well as his signature being written across the bonnet. Inside, the seats have been finished in Dainese leather, mimicking a motorcycle suit.

All the money raised from the cars auction on eBay will be donated to the Meyer Children’s Hospital Foundation – Meyer O.N.L.U.S. in Florence. The current bid stands at just over €14,000, with seven days of bidding remaining. The Meyer O.N.L.U.S children’s hospital plans to use the money raised by the auction to build a games room for the children.

Opel has also announced it is to team up with Canadian singer Bryan Adams to create a special edition dubbed ‘ADAM by Bryan Adams’. Only ten models will be produced all featuring a special dark camouflage paint job. All the proceeds will be donated to the Bryan Adams Foundation, which aims to help improve people’s financial situation around the world. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2014 Acura RLX

The Problem: Acura says it is possible that one or more of the eight rear suspension bolts on the RLX sedan may not have been tightened properly during assembly. If not properly fastened, the bolt(s) could come loose over time and fall out, which could allow the rear suspension to move out of alignment. An improperly aligned rear suspension could increase the risk of a crash.

The Fix: In January 2014, Acura will begin to notify owners of affected vehicles to bring their 2014 Acura RLX models to an authorized Acura dealer to have the rear suspension bolts replaced. Owners can also check www.recalls.acura.com or by calling the automaker at (800) 382-2238, and selecting option 4 to see if their vehicle is affected.  

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 7387 Acura RLX sedans from the 2014 model year are affected. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the issue.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mini John Cooper Works

With the next-gen 2015 Mini Cooper introduced to us at last month's Los Angeles auto show, it was only a matter of time before we'd meet its racier counterpart. And that time is now, because the quirky automaker has just released photos of the John Cooper Works concept ahead of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Although it's based on the new Mini hatchback that's grown longer, wider, and taller, the JCW treatment remains the same. Exclusive gray exterior paint is offset by the red roof and racing stripes, while red brake calipers peek out from underneath new 18-inch alloy wheels. A blacked out front fascia with larger air intakes, LED lights, and side skirts make the Mini look meaner, and around back, it's no surprise to see the twin tailpipes and roof-mounted spoiler.  
 
Mini has not yet revealed what will power the new JCW, which could get a new engine or a carry over mill. The current John Cooper Works lineup is powered by a 208-hp, 1.6-liter turbo-four that Mini recently tweaked to improve the engine’s powerband and efficiency. 
 
Mini could also opt for a new powerplant to widen the performance gap between the JCW and lower models. As a refresher, the base 2014 Mini Cooper gets a 134-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder powerplant that can be matched with a new six-speed automatic or manual transmission, while Mini Cooper S models get 189 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The new Mini is also said to be more comfortable and agile than before, but we won't find out more about closer to the car's reveal at the 2014 Detroit auto show next month.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Nissan Murano

We got our first glimpse of the Nissan Murano with the Resonance concept that debuted earlier this year in Detroit. Now, we can see that Nissan has applied many of the concept's curves to a road-going prototype, captured in these spy shots.

The crossover bears the same basic shape of the concept, wearing what looks to be a similar C- and D-pillar design. The rear window also appears to be similarly slanted, topped by what could be the Resonance's roof trim pieces. The biggest detail that's transferred over appears to be the headlights, which sweep back about as far as the concept's, but feature a smaller V-shaped notch. Within the housing, the headlight looks more conventional and production-ready compared to the concept's more futuristic units. The grille looks predictably like that of the Nissan Rogue, while the rest of the front end looks like a toned-down version of the concept. It's difficult to tell if the Resonance's boomerang-like taillights made it to production, but the lamps look very similar from the side.
 
Our spy photographer also got a peek inside the crossover, revealing a large central touchscreen flanked by aluminum trim. One of the prototypes could be a plug-in hybrid variant, as our shooter noticed what looked like a circular door on the front fender hidden behind the camouflage. The Resonance concept was powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 and electric motor supplemented by a lithium-ion battery, so a production version of that drivetrain wouldn't be that far-fetched. And with the current Murano powered by a 260-hp 3.5-liter V-6, there’s a good chance the next-gen model will continue to offer a six-cylinder engine.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rumors: 2015 Jeep Jeepster to Debut at Geneva Show 2014

The pint-sized 2015 Jeep Jeepster is reportedly headed to the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2014. The new Fiat-based Jeep Jeepster will replace both the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot in Jeep's lineup, and serve as the storied brand's new entry-level model. 

Despite early spyshots showing the Jeep Jeepster bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Fiat 500X on which it's based, Drive.com.au reports that the Jeepster will have a design linking it to the iconic Willys MB Jeep. Like the Compass and Patriot that the Jeepster is designed to replace, the compact crossover will come in both front- and all-wheel drive, and should ride on Fiat’s “Flexible Small Wide” platform. A "Trail Rated" version similar to the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is almost guaranteed.  

While the Jeepster will be available globally with both gas and diesel engines, the latter will likely not make it to the U.S. Power could come courtesy of either the Jeep Cherokee's 2.4-liter 184-hp I-4, or the Fiat 500L's 160-hp 1.4-liter turbo-4.  

The 2015 Jeep Jeepster is expected to go into production late next year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Future Cars: 2015 Audi A4

What It Is: Our well-informed artist’s interpretation as to what the next generation of the Audi A4 will look like. It’s to be edgier and more angular, and it will brim with technology, including full-LED lighting, a head-up display, and autonomous-driving functions. 

The car’s aggressive styling will serve as something of a barometer for the future of the brand’s aesthetics after former head of design Wolfgang Egger was relieved of his duties and reassigned to Italdesign Giugiaro. Audi will continue to offer a four-door sedan and the Avant station wagon. Well, the latter will be sold in Europe, anyway; Americans will have to continue to settle for the jacked-up, plastic-clad Allroad

Why It Matters: While the market for small and compact crossovers still shows considerable potential for growth globally, and the Q5 has actually become Audi’s bestseller in the U.S., the A4 will continue to serve as the backbone of Ingolstadt’s product program. With Mercedes increasing the luxury quotient in its new-for-2015 C-class, BMW’s 3-series continuing to pile up 10Best Cars awards, and serious challengers emerging in the Lexus IS and the Cadillac ATS, the segment is as hotly contested as ever. Making a highly desirable A4 that can stand up to this competition will be crucial to maintaining Audi’s upward trajectory. 

Platform: The next A4 will be among the first vehicles to make use of the second-generation, Audi-developed MLB (Modular Longitudinal) architecture. This platform will underpin a large number of vehicles, including future generations of the A6, the A8, the A5, and the Volkswagen Phaeton. Thanks to a clever mix of structural materials, MLB II will cut about 200 pounds from the outgoing platform, and it will also accommodate front- or all-wheel drive as well as plug-in hybrid componentry. 

Powertrains: The next A4’s engine arsenal will include 1.4-, 1.8-, and 2.0-liter four-cylinders; a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 in the S4; four- and six-cylinder diesels; and very likely another V-8 in the next RS4. The U.S. should expect to receive a very similar lineup to what we see today: the 2.0-liter turbo four, the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, and maybe a twin-turbo V-8 should Audi decide to resurrect the RS4 on our shores. (That high-performance model was last sold here as a sedan and a cabriolet for 2007 and 2008, but is currently only built as an Avant wagon for overseas markets.) We also expect a diesel model to be available here. A six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will fill out the transmission roster. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 17 Desember 2013

Hot News: Citroen to Produce DS3 Cabrio Racing Concept

The Citroën DS3 Cabrio Racing will go into production and is likely to go on sale early in 2014.
Citroën officials confirmed to Autocar that the Racing cabriolet will cost in the region of £30,000 when it goes on sale.

The announcement was made at a media event run by the Citroën Racing team in France.
A concept version of the DS3 Cabrio Racing was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.

The car will be powered by the same 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine as the DS3 Racing hatchback, putting out 207bhp. Just one trim level will be available, while the cabriolet will share almost all of its underpinnings with the hatchback model, too. Only the bodywork will be altered to accomodate the cabriolet roof.

Several of the features seen on the original concept, such as the use of watchstrap leather on the seats and the inclusion of a DS-styled child's seat are not expected to feature on the production version.

Citroën has not yet confirmed how many units of the DS3 Racing cabriolet are likely to be sold in the UK, but officials have previously confirmed that any allocation is likely to be less than the 200 units of the DS3 Racing hatchback that were assigned to the UK. Potentially, that means that as few as 100 examples of the DS3 Cabrio Racing will be available in the UK.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2015 BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

The new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has been spied totally undisguised, finally revealing the first BMW to be built on the front-wheel-drive UKL1 platform used by the latest MINI.

This is our first confirmation that the new, practical model will be part of the 2 Series line-up, with this car seen to be wearing a 225i badge. We’re expecting the 2AT to use engines from the MINI line-up, so this 225i could be powered by the 2.0-litre turbo from the Cooper S. Expect to see the 1.5-litre turbo petrol and diesel three-cylinders used lower in the range, too.

The styling hasn’t veered too much away from the original CAT and CAT Outdoor concepts that both previewed this model, but it does look a little higher and longer. The chrome grille and extravagant wing mirrors have both been toned down.

We’re expecting to see the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer unveiled at the Geneva Show in March, and it should be on sale in the UK during the second half of 2014. That’ll be the standard five-seater but BMW is expected to launch a seven-seater version in 2015.

The standard car will go head-to-head with models like the Mercedes B-Class, which itself is going to be updated in 2014. Prices should start from around £22,000 for both cars. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Lamborghini Gallardo Replacement to be Called Huracan

The replacement for the Lamborghini Gallardo will be called Huracan, Auto Express has learned. The name, which means hurricane in Spanish, will adorn the new V10-powered supercar due to be unveiled later this month.

Lamborghini was tipped to call the Gallardo successor the Cabrera, but a source has confirmed to Auto Express that the car will instead be called Huracan.

Lamborghini trademarked then name on April 19, 2012. The word was Mayan for the god of fire, wind and storms, and was then adopted by the Spanish to mean hurricane.

The name was trademarked at the same time as Urus – the name for the firm’s SUV concept shown at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2012. The firm also registered Deimos, which hasn’t yet appeared on a car or concept, but could be used for the production version of the SUV, due in 2017.

The Huracan is tipped to be powered by an updated version of the current naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox. The engine will develop around 600bhp.

It’ll be built on a new aluminium spaceframe platform that will also underpin the next Audi R8 in 2015, albeit with different dimensions. Originally, both the Audi and Lamborghini were to use an updated version of the current R8’s platform. However, an insider told us that having driven the latest 991-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi and Lamborghini engineers decided that a more radical solution would be required to reach the Porsche’s high level of dynamics.

The Lamborghini’s design will be inspired by the Sesto Elemento, which debuted in 2010, while the starter button shown on the Huracan teaser website has a similar jet fighter-style flip-up starter button as the Aventador.

The Huracan will go into production in the new year, and be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It has big shoes to fill – more examples of the Gallardo have been sold than any other Lamborghini, with 14,022 finding homes in its 10-year production run, which has just come to an end. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Tesla Model X is Almost Ready

Consumers have just warmed up to the Tesla Model S, but the automaker is prepping its next wave of T-badged electric cars, including the Model X crossover, and the entry-level Model E.

It's been a while since we first previewed and rode in the Model X at an event early last year, but fast forward to present day, and Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen told German car magazine, Auto Bild, that the Model X is nearly ready. According to the report, all that's left to do is to put subtle finishing touches on the crossover. Production of the Model X expected to start in late 2014, almost a year longer than originally planned. As previously reported, Tesla delayed Model X production to focus on and keep up with the influx of Model S orders.  
 
The prototype we checked out last year featured plenty of details that'll undoubtedly change, such as the side mirror-replacing video cameras and perhaps the falcon-wing doors. However, we expect to see several Model S cues such as its magnificent 17-inch hi-res, multi-touch display. Also from the Model S will be the under-floor battery packs (60 or 85 kW-hrs). The Model S is one of the quickest American four-doors ever built, as proven by the sport-tuned Model S with the 85 kW-hrs battery that accelerated from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds in MT testing.  
 
After the Model X will be the Model E, which slots underneath the Model S in terms of size and price. Reports have suggested the Model E will be the entry-level Tesla starting around $40,000 and sell at much higher volumes than the Model S. The Model E is slated to debut at the 2015 Detroit auto show. And it doesn't end there for the California-based carmaker, either. A roadster, a truck, and a city car are also in the books, though it's still too early to speculate anything.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2010-2013 Michelin LTX M/S Series (2010-2013 Ford E-Series)

Michelin announced a recall involving 1.3 million tires that may have issues with the tread coming apart. About 1.2 million of those tires were sold in the U.S. and some were used as original equipment on model year 2010 to 2013 Ford E-Series vans.  

The recall focuses on Michelin LTX M/S tires (size LT225/75R16 115/112R LRE) that were produced from January 10, 2010 to June 23, 2013 at the company’s Canadian plant in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Michelin submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating that the affected tires exhibited signs of “tread/belt endurance issues” resulting in “ride vibrations, irregular wear, tread loss, or rapid air loss.”  

So far, Michelin says fewer than 200 tires have exhibited issues and none have resulted in injuries, though 20 consumers claim that the faulty tires caused damage to their vehicles and are seeking reimbursement from the tire-maker. Michelin will start notifying customers and dealers next month and will replace the tires free of charge. The tires are used on commercial light trucks, full-sized heavy duty vans, small RVs, and large pickup trucks.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News Up Date: Holden Still Lives On

GM officially announced last week that it would cease all manufacturing in Australia by 2017, leaving a big question mark regarding the future of the Holden brand. Now, Automotive News reports that the brand will live on, importing models to Australia and New Zealand from other countries.

As we previously reported, GM's Australian wing will shift from a manufacturer to a sales and distribution company. That means vehicles will be built outside of Australia to skirt the country's labor costs and strong currency, and branded as Holdens. In addition to handling sales, the new company will oversee parts distribution and repairs.  
 
With Holden's Elizabeth plant closing, the future of the Holden Commodore (and the Chevrolet SS with which it shares most of its mechanicals) is still unknown. A report from Australian site carsguide.com.au, however, suggests that the next Commodore will be a rebadged Buick built in China. Speaking to a Holden insider, carsguide.com.au learned that the new car was born from a deal that left Holden in charge of designing a Buick model exclusively for the Chinese market. The plan was for the model to be built in both Australia and China, but with manufacturing ending down under, the car will reportedly be built solely in China and exported to Australia as the next-gen Commodore.  
 
The car will be front-wheel-drive, and will be the first Commodore sold with a four-cylinder engine since the early 1980s. Holden is reportedly fighting to get a V-6 option for the next-gen model, which insiders say will be nearly 197 inches long and almost as wide as the outgoing Commodore, though a lower roofline and swoopier European styling will help the car look smaller.  
 
If reports of the Commodore going front-drive prove true, it could spell the end for the Chevy SS and fleet-only Caprice.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

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