Rabu, 31 Juli 2013

Sneak Peek: Suzuki iV-4 Concept

Suzuki will unveil the iV-4 compact crossover concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, previewing a new Juke-rivalling SUV model planned for release in 2015.

Suzuki says the iV-4 gets “certain design features of the Suzuki SUVs, such as the clam shell shaped hood and the front grille divided into five.” A quick look at the teaser shots reveals a look that clearly takes inspiration from the Jimny and Grand Vitara SUVs.

A second profile shot, meanwhile, shows the iV-4’s boasts a similar shape to the big-selling Range Rover Evoque featuring a rising waistline and a steeply raked rear windscreen.

The new model will rival the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, and is expected to be based on a shorter version of the platform used on the newest SX4 S-Cross. That means two and four-wheel-drive versions will be available, along with the SX4’s 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines.

The Japanese manufacturer is also working on a replacement for the Splash and Alto models for summer 2014, as well as a small MPV for 2016. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2015 Audi S8

The refreshed 2015 Audi A8 and S8 sedans will debut on August 21, but before the flagship four-doors are revealed, the automaker has shared a video teaser. The 35-second video teaser — featured below — shows two cars hidden underneath the sheets, and we’d guess the automaker is preparing the face-lifted A8 and higher-performance S8.

The sheets are pulled off one of the cars just enough so we can make out ceramic brakes and a wheel design that appears identical to the one offered on the 2013 S8 (pictured at right), leading us to believe the debut will be the updated A8 and S8.
 Currently, the 2014 Audi A8 lineup is offered in five variants: a 333-hp supercharged V-6, 420-hp turbocharged V-8, the S8′s 520-hp twin-turbo V-8, a turbodiesel V-6 with 406 lb-ft of torque, and a 500-hp W-12. For the first six months of 2013, A8 sales are actually up 21.6 percent, with 3099 cars sold. For comparison, the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class had sales of just about double the A8′s total in the same period.

The 2015 refresh could help the Audi A8 get a few more sales from the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, and in some markets, fancy Matrix LED headlights will help. Audi has already confirmed that the A8 will debut with the lights, which are composed of individual diodes that can turn on and off depending on where light is needed. As we’ve previously reported, the lights can, with help from navigation-system data, predict where to project light if you’re traveling on a dark, rural, curving road. The 2015 A8 will also have a more luxurious and technologically advanced interior if it wants to compete head-on with the 2014 S-Class.
 In May, we asked readers in a poll what the next-generation A8 needed to succeed, and while the Frankfurt debut is likely just a refreshed A8 and S8, the most-popular answer was a redone exterior. We’ll soon find out what Audi has planned for its Frankfurt debut.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 30 Juli 2013

Spied: 2014/2015 Lexus GS F

Rumors about the Lexus GS F have surfaced a few times in the past, hinting that the automaker is ready to take on the BMW M5 and 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Now, recent photos of a possible 2015 Lexus GS F prototype suggest that a high performance version of the Lexus midsizer could be right around the corner.

Caught mostly uncovered in a garage, the prototype features one obvious Lexus F car trademark — diagonally stacked quad exhaust tips similar to the IS F. Other items that hint at the sedan’s sporty nature include a rear diffuser and a rear spoiler. The photographer also points out that the prototype’s wheels are similar to the Lexus IS F coupe testers that were caught just a few weeks ago. There are no photos of the sedan’s nose, but expect an aggressive front bumper with large air dams and LFA-like styling.
 The GS F prototype’s hood is open, but unfortunately the photographer couldn’t get past the Lexus engineers to snap what was in the engine bay. With the IS F expected to make around 450 hp from an eight-cylinder engine, rumors suggest that the 2015 Lexus GS F could get a modified and detuned version of the LFA’s 552-hp 4.8-liter V-10 (hopefully mated to a dual-clutch transmission). If that doesn’t work out, the GS F could get a turbocharged V-8 much like its German rivals.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 BMW i3

After more than two years of speculation and piecemeal details, the fully electric BMW i3 has arrived (although, we’ve already had a go behind the wheel of a prototype). It’s a polarizing vehicle, to put it mildly. Optimists, such as BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson, believe that the launch of the i3 "heralds the dawn of a new era for individual mobility.” Skeptics fear it will be a blunder on par with (or even surpassing) the company's still-not-forgotten C1 debacle. 

Designed from the ground up as a fully electric vehicle, the i3 is the direct result of a strategic decision taken by the company's board at the height of optimism about electric vehicles. Emboldened by political encouragement and the anticipation of a race toward e-mobility between premium automakers, BMW forged ahead with arguably the boldest electric-vehicle strategy of any major manufacturer on the planet. Thus, the i brand was conceived—the i3 is just the beginning, the i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe will follow. 

Unlike many EV efforts, the i3 was designed to be an electric from the ground up. This approach liberated BMW from the packaging restraints posed by a conventional powertrain. Moreover, no expense was spared to take weight out of the vehicle in an effort to offset the hefty 450-pound, 22-kWh battery pack. That spare-no-expense strategy yielded considerable usage of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber, as well as a respectable curb weight of 2700 pounds, according to BMW. 

The i3 is propelled by a 170-hp electric motor that churns out 184 lb-ft of torque driving the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission. That’s sufficient to hurl the tall-roof vehicle from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, BMW says. Smiles fade soon thereafter, as top speed is limited to 93 mph. This makes the i3 the slowest series-production Bimmer since the venerable BMW 700, a two-cylinder compact, went out of production in 1965. 

BMW says that the "usable range" for the i3 is 80 to 100 miles in the car’s standard Comfort setting, and promises figures will be improved by selecting the Eco or Eco Plus modes. Sport and Sport Plus modes, as found in conventionally powered BMWs, are conspicuously absent. Once the battery pack—which may be considerably lower depending on driving profile and HVAC use—is depleted, charging takes three hours with a 220-volt outlet. Needless to say, plugging it into a 110-volt household charger will take a lot longer. 

It is reassuring that BMW offers an optional range-extender engine: a 34-hp, 650-cc two-cylinder that adds 330 pounds—and a whopping $3850 to the i3's $41,350 base sticker—of heft. Customers thus have a choice to go purely electric, Tesla-like, or enjoy the added flexibility and range of an internal-combustion engine, as in a Cadillac ELR or a Chevrolet Volt.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Jumat, 26 Juli 2013

Recall Up Date: 2005-2013 Chevrolet Tavera

General Motors India (GMI) has announced the recall of the Chevrolet Tavera BS III, 2.5-litre variant as well as the BS IV 2.0-litre variant from model years 2005-2013. The recall is to address emissions and specification issues.

The company said that 1,14,000 vehicles are affected and the rectification will be provided free of charge at the company’s 280 dealerships.
The Tavera sells between 1,500 and 2,000 units every month, an overwhelming number being BS III compliant.
A surprise check by ARAI authorities in early July had found that BS III Tavera diesels rolling off the assembly lines were not meeting emission norms. The Tavera rolls out of GM India’s Halol plant in Gujarat.
Production and sale of the Tavera BS III was stopped on June 4 and that of the Tavera BS IV on July 2. The issues are not safety-related, the company has clarified.
GM India says it has identified a solution to the issues and performed the required engineering validation. It is awaiting regulatory approvals. After the proposed solution receives approval, Tavera production and sale will resume.
The Tavera is largely used by the taxi and tour operator market. Just over 20,000 units were sold in 2012-13.
Thanks to: Autocar India

Hot News: Aston Martin Announces Partnership with AMG

Aston Martin confirmed today plans for a technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG GmbH, allowing the British company to access a new range of V-8 engines built by AMG. The agreement will also result in AMG taking a stake of up to five percent in Aston Martin, and may eventually lead to a new Aston SUV that shares a Mercedes-Benz platform.

Our colleagues at Automobile magazine previously reported that Aston Martin was considering a small partnership with AMG, which would give the company its own unique engines. Now the two companies have confirmed that AMG will build a range of “bespoke V-8 powertrains” for Aston Martin, as well as providing the company with the “electric/electronic” architecture for future models. A statement says the partnership will result in, “a new generation of models that will incorporate cutting edge technology and newly-developed bespoke V-8 powertrains.”

“Aston Martin sources cutting edge technology from key suppliers around the globe and the opportunity to include content from Mercedes-AMG GmbH in our next generation sports cars is, clearly, good news,” company product development director Ian Minards said in a statement. AMG will have a non-voting stake in Aston Martin; large shares of the British company are also held by Investment DAR, Adeem Investment, and Investindustrial.

In addition to next-generation sports cars — likely including updated versions of the Virage, Vantage, Vanquish, and Rapide — Aston Martin is expected to tap Mercedes-AMG for a new seven-passenger crossover. The idea for such a model was first teased with the Aston Martin Lagonda concept (pictured) shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show; reports indicate that a production Lagonda would be paired with the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, due in 2016.

Because AMG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG, it’s also possible Aston Martin could access other Mercedes car architectures and engines going forward. Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez previously told reporters, “Four- or even three-cylinders are possible. If the spirit of the times demands six-cylinders, then it has to be looked at,” perhaps indicating the British marque could pinch downsized engines from Mercedes at some point in the future.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mini Vision

Officially, it’s called the Mini Vision. Unofficially it’s a sneak preview of the next generation of the chic little front-drive British-built hatchback. It wasn’t that long ago we were able to show you spy photos of the 2014 Mini, and, unsurprisingly, the Vision looks a lot like that. 

That hexagonal grille and its inset bumper feature prominently on both spied prototype and this concept, although the driving lights move inboard on the Vision, which ditches the lower grille seen on the test car. That gray cladding looping over the wheel arches and along the sills looks to stay, although perhaps not as prominently and perhaps minus the strip reaching to the base of the A-pillar. (It’s a treatment similar to the Countryman’s, though, so it may stay, too.) The profile view reveals a continuation of the floating-roof design, which now is canted slightly rearward, not unlike the Paceman, and more-scalloped door panels versus the current model. Another nod to the Paceman—and, of course, the Countryman—are the Vision’s enlarged taillamps. 

While the basics of the interior will be awfully familiar to those who have owned current or previous-gen Minis, the detailing is rather different. The large central display remains, now used for functions controlled via a knob aft of the shift lever as in today’s Mini. But ahead of the driver sit not one, but two gauges that contain the speedo, the tach, and the fuel gauge. The center stack floats in the dash, tied top-to-bottom by a vertical component that houses the pushbutton ignition. It’s this section that was notoriously congested with toggle switches in the past, but there’s not one to be seen here. One neat trick we hope carries over to production is the Driving Experience Control switch, which changes interior illumination colors from a relaxing blue in normal operation to an energetic red in Sport mode. This switch also controls the Mini Disco footwell lighting. Elastic door-panel straps serve as, what Mini calls, a flexible retaining device—designed to hold magazines, mobile phones, water bottles, or what have you. What’s very neat about the flexible retaining device is that its straps are arranged to mimic the Union Jack—this, we’re afraid, won’t see production.

This new-generation Mini hatchback will share a great deal with the upcoming front-drive BMWs—previewed by the Bavarians’ Concept Active Tourer. The next Mini and next-gen 1-series will share architecture, although not exact wheelbase or track measurements. The British marque will make use of BMW’s B38 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, and we expect a 2.0-liter turbo four to carry on in the lineup in some form. A diesel option for the U.S. market shortly after the car’s launch is a distinct possibility, but there’s no talk of any hybrid variants. Mini says that 35 percent of its hatchbacks sold in the U.S. roll off dealer lots with a manual transmission, so a row-your-own ’box will continue for 2014, as well as the option of a six-speed automatic. 

Contrary to some reports, the new Mini hatchback will not be sprung at the Frankfurt auto show, but will make its in-the-metal debut in November in the city where it’s made—Oxford, England. It just so happens that the L.A. auto show kicks off 48 hours later, and it’s there that the new Mini will have its North American debut.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 24 Juli 2013

New Car: 2013 Renault Megane Knight

Renault has revealed a new limited edition of its Mégane, dubbed the Knight.

The special edition adds 16-inch chrome alloy wheels, new 'GT' bumpers at the front and rear, a chromed rear diffuser and extra tinted rear windows and tailgate.

The Mégane Knight is available with a choice of two engines - either the 1.6-litre petrol or dCi 110 diesel with stop-start and CO2 emissions of 90g/km. The diesel produces 192lb/ft of torque and can achieve 80.7mpg. The car is available in white, red, blue or black metallic paint.

Prices start from £17,095 for the hatch, rising to £17,595 for the Coupe and £17,895 for the Sport Tourer - which also includes 1600 litres of storage space.

The car will be sold from today until autumn this year.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2014 BMW i3

The images show the i3 in full production form. Previously we have only seen the i3 with camouflague, most recently around the front light clusters. Earlier this week we learnt that the i3 will cost from £25,680 for the full electric version when it goes on sale at the end of this month. That price includes the governent's £5000 electric vehicle grant.

Buyers can also lease an i3 with a deposit of £2995 and 36 monthly payments of £369. Autocar has already driven a late prototype of the car.

The electric i3 is powered by a synchronous electric motor producing 168bhp. It has a top speed of 93mph. Carbonfibre-reinforced plastic has been used for most of the body structure, which rides on a chassis made of almost pure aluminium. The car is based around BMW's 'Life Module' concept.
No prices have yet been announced for the more powerful range-exender version of the car - although it is expected to command a significant premium.

The first deliveries of the i3 are expected to be completed by the end of the year, while the other car in BMW's i-range, the i8, is also nearing completion.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Bugatti Veyron Legend

Bugatti has revealed the first of six 'Legend' editions it plans to launch over the next 12 months. The Bugatti Legend "Jean-Pierre Wimille", to give it its full name, will make its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 18.

Named after one of Bugatti's most famous factory drivers - Jean-Pierre Wimmile, who won the Le Mans 24hr in 1937 and 1939 - the special edition takes inspiration from his 1937 winning car, the 57G Tank, which wore a racing blue paint finish for the historic race.

The blue colour scheme is echoed on the Veyron with a combination of blue clear-coated carbon-fibre and a light 'Willmille Bleu' paintwork finish. The blue colour scheme continues on the leather and dash.

Only three units of the Jean-Pierre Wilmille car will be built, while all six special editions will be based on the roofless Veyron Vitesse - the world fastest open-top car with a record-setting top speed of 254mph. There are no mechanical changes to the 1183bhp 8.0-litre W16 engine, so it's still capable of 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds.

Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti said: “This brand has been in large part defined by outstanding personalities and historically resonant moments. We want to tell the story of the brand through these Bugatti legends, and at the same time create a link between its past and presence.”
There's no word on prices yet, but if you're interested don't expect change from £2 million. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2014 McLaren 12C

McLaren has been keeping busy at the Nurburgring lately, as spy photographers caught a refreshed 12C one week after catching a special P1 hybrid supercar prototype.

Black camouflage conceals the 12C supercar’s front end, which suggests that the car could get a new bumper and headlights. Expect changes to be subtle though, as we can see through the camouflage that the 12C won’t get entirely new headlights like the P1′s boomerang-style units. No visible changes appear at the rear, but in McLaren’s quest to outdo Ferrari, don’t be surprised to see another minor power bump or a stripped-out special-edition 12C. The P1 is motivated by an upgraded version of the 12C’s engine that cranks out 727 hp and 531 lb-ft, so there may not be much room for 12C power boosts just yet.
 When the original MP4-12C debuted, the car cranked out 592 hp. Just one model year later, the automaker introduced a convertible and a more powerful model. When we tested the 2012 model at our 2012 Best Driver’s Car Competition, we were impressed but there was definitely room for improvement — we look forward to driving around Mazda Raceway a revised 12C.
We may see a face-lifted 12C or new special-edition model as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Jaguar XFR-S Wagon

The 2014 Jaguar XFR-S is the fastest sedan the automaker has ever made, which means the prototype spied in the images below will be the fastest wagon ever. Spy photographers have spotted the XFR-S wagon out for the first time during testing at the Nurburgring.

Wearing minimal camouflage on its front end, the XFR-S looks just like the sedan, but with extra junk in the trunk. The body kit from the XFR-S sedan transfers over to the wagon, except for the massive rear wing, of course. All the mechanics will transfer over as well, which means the wagon will be motivated by a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with 550 hp mated to a ZF eight-speed transmission. Jaguar says the sedan will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, though the wagon’s extra weight may cost it extra time. Either way, the XFR-S wagon will be one fast family hauler in Europe; don’t expect any XF wagon to ever sell in the U.S.
 While cars such as the XFR-S sedan and wagon serve as halo vehicles, Jaguar is preparing to introduce an arsenal of new entry-level variants including a new wagon, crossover, and sedan. If the XFR-S shooting brake were to make its way here, it could challenge the Mercedes-Benz E63 wagon and Cadillac CTS-V wagon. Unless Jaguar decides to bring the hot wagon here (when pigs fly), we’ll likely see the XFR-S variant again when it bows at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Bentley SUV Gets Green Light

The Range Rover Autobiography is about to have some seriously upscale SUV competition. Bentley has officially confirmed development of an SUV model that will be built in Crewe and go on sale in 2016. A report from Automobile magazine suggests the SUV may be called the Bentley Falcon. UPDATE: A Bentley spokeswoman tells us that Falcon will not, in fact, be the SUV’s name.

The announcement ends years of “will they or won’t they” speculation and, judging by the wild success of the Porsche Cayenne, should help Bentley’s bottom line. More than 1000 jobs will be created, the automaker says, and at least £800 million (about $1.2 billion U.S.) invested in the Crewe headquarters. The Bentley EXP 9 F concept is shown below along with an official Bentley SUV sketch.
 Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful,” said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen Group CEO.

That, of course, is the question: Will Bentley fans accept the upcoming SUV as an authentic Bentley? Based on the upcoming Audi Q7, the Bentley could use the Continental GT’s 500-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with an eight-speed automatic, and the 6.0-liter W-12 may survive for use under the hood of the long-wheelbase SUV, too. We hear that a plug-in hybrid variant may have been put on the back burner, for now. Considering the Bentley Continental GT lineup starts just under $200,000, expect the Bentley’s base price to be at least that much, given how much of a premium many are willing to pay for SUVs.

Bentley is not likely to be the only luxury automaker in the super-luxury SUV segment: we’ve heard Land Rover is preparing a special, high-end Range Rover while Automobile reports Mercedes-Benz remains interested in a more premium variant of the GL-Class SUV. And, of course, Lamborghini will soon join the SUV party, as well.
 What do you think about the idea of Bentley making an SUV? Despite the profit potential of a super-luxury SUV, should Bentley stick to making coupes, sedans, and convertibles? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 23 Juli 2013

New Car: 2014 SEAT Leon ST

The new SEAT Leon ST estate has been revealed, ahead of its official unveil at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

This will be the first time the Leon has been offered with a choice of three body styles, with the regular five-door Leon hatchback and three-door SC models already on sale.

The Leon ST has 207 litres more boot space than the regular Leon hatchback, with 587 litres when the rear seats are in place. But that trails the Skoda Octavia Estate (610 litres) and VW Golf Estate (605 litres), and the Leon ST can’t match its rivals when the back seats are folded, either, with its maximum capacity extending to 1,470 litres. SEAT has achieved the increase over the hatch by stretching the car by 27cm (although the wheelbase remains the same). Yet the ST is only 45kg heavier and uses the same suspension settings.

New multi-spoke alloy wheels and slender sliver roof rails also set it apart from the five-door but it looks more like a stretched version of the standard car than a fully standalone model. The engine range is carried over, too, including an efficient 1.6-litre TDI Ecomotive, which emits 88g/km of CO2 and returns 85.6mpg. The FR tops the range, powered by either a 178bhp 1.8 TSI engine or a 181bhp 2.0 TDI. Six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions will reportedly be offered with four-wheel drive on the more powerful engine variants.

As well as its Skoda and VW cousins, the Leon ST is up against the Ford Focus Estate and Honda Civic Tourer.

Prices haven’t yet been revealed, but we expect the ST to cost around £750 more than the five-door hatch. The range should kick off at around £16,400.

The Leon ST is due to make its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September and SEAT has hinted that it may offer the estate as a hot 'Cupra' model as well - making it a direct rival to the Ford Focus ST estate. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra

The Problem: Certain Chevrolet and GMC Sierra pickups may be equipped with an airbag that may not fully inflate in the event of a crash.

The Fix: Less than 1 percent of affected airbags may experience this issue, however, GM is calling each of the affected customers to arrange for repairs.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 843 Silverado and Sierra pickups (all crew cab variants), with very few that have been sold to customers. Affected vehicles at dealerships will be repaired before being delivered to customers.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2013 Honda Accord

The Problem: The fuel tank in certain Honda Accords with the Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) II rating may leak fuel and increase the risk of a fire. The fuel tank neck may not have been assembled correctly, causing the fuel pump to not properly seal to the fuel tank.

The Fix: Honda will replace the fuel tank, nut, and O-ring gasket for free. Notifications will be sent out to affected owners beginning August 1, and Honda can be reached at 1-310-783-2000. The recall number is JA9.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 1659 Accords manufactured between January 15, 2013 and April 5, 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Mercedes S-Class LWB

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class range is growing. Earlier this summer we drove the all-new 2014 S550, and earlier this week we spotted the 2014 S63 AMG sports sedan. Now, our spy photographers have given us another look at the extra-long-wheelbase S-Class.

Mercedes’ strategy for the 2014 S-Class is to pick up the slack where Maybach had attempted to leave off. That means that along with the short-wheelbase S-Class (codenamed W222) and the long-wheelbase S-Class (V222, the car we get here in the States), there will also be an extra-long-wheelbase S-Class (X222), a six-door S-Class Pullman, a CL-Class replacement in both coupe and convertible guises, and a full-size four-door coupe to sit above the CLS-Class. The car here is the X222 extra-long-wheelbase version that will bridge the gap between the normal S-Class models and the Rolls-Royce- and Bentley-rivaling range toppers.

The biggest difference, of course, between the X222 and the W/V222 is the length. We expect the extra-long-wheelbase S-Class to have a stretch of 13.78 inches versus the short-wheelbase car; keep in mind that the long-wheelbase V222 is 7.08 inches longer than the standard-wheelbase S-Class. Other than the massive rear doors, the only difference we are able to spot is a revised rear fascia that has higher reflectors. Given that the wheels on this car match those found on the old S600, our guess is that the new rear apron will be a signifier for V-12-powered S-Classes.

It’s expected that there will be an optional V-12 available for the 2014 S-Class good for a ridiculous 680 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque. Chances are that the 510-hp, 612-lb-ft, 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine from the 2013 S600 will probably also carry over. Expect the cornucopia of advanced technology that debuted on the 2014 S550 to all be available – if not standard – on the extra-long-wheelbase S-Class, too.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Aston Martin-Zagato DB9 Volante

Italian design firm Zagato Milano has created two unique vehicles in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin. Both of the cars are one-off models headed to private buyers. One is based on the Aston Martin DBS coupe, while the other is based on the Aston Martin DB9 Volante.

The other one-off model is called the Aston Martin DB9 Spyder Centennial, and was commissioned by American collector Peter Read. Based on the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, the car receives the same awkward wide-mouth front grille, flat tail, and strong character lines as the DBS. Because it lacks a solid roof, Zagato’s signature double bubble design is absent, and the decklid is flat. 
“The DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial perfectly merges Aston Martin and Zagato’s DNA by combining the elegance of design, typical of Zagato, with the soul, power and prestige of Aston Martin,” chief designer Harado said in a statement.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Aston Martin-Zagato DBS Coupe

Italian design firm Zagato Milano has created two unique vehicles in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin. Both of the cars are one-off models headed to private buyers. One is based on the Aston Martin DBS coupe, while the other is based on the Aston Martin DB9 Volante.

The Aston Martin DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial was crafted for an anonymous Japanese entrepreneur. The car is supposed to pay tribute to classic Zagato car designs from the 1950s, starting with the company’s famous “double bubble” roof. Aston Martin’s normal grille has been expanded to fill the entire width of the flat nose, new hood strakes lead into bold character lines on either side of the car, and the bubble roof leads into a curving rear windshield and concave decklid. The car’s wide, flat tail features unusually shaped taillights and ends with a pair of exhaust tips peeking out from either side of a black plastic diffuser.

“Redesigning the DBS was a difficult job,” Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada said in a statement. “Our challenge was to bring sporty styling together with a more Mediterranean luxury GT feel, all with typical Zagato quality.”

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Jumat, 19 Juli 2013

New Car: 2014 Honda Fit/Jazz

Lo and behold, everyone, this is the hotly awaited third-generation 2014 Honda Jazz (or Fit in Japan and the US). It heralds a brand new design direction for the Japanese automaker, and is the Jazz’s biggest stylistic departure yet since the original model debuted in 2001. There are huge gains in efficiency too, as first details of the Jazz Hybrid are revealed.

The first-generation Jazz was a masterclass in interior packaging (it debuted the ingenious UltraSeats), but it did so at the expense of exterior design harmony. The egg-shaped design was carried over in a more refined form for the second-generation Jazz, which is now Honda Malaysia’s biggest-selling model in Jazz 1.5 Petrol and Jazz Hybrid forms.

This all-new model eschews much of its predecessors’ styling traits to debut Honda’s new design language dubbed Exciting H Design. The basic shape remains but it has taken a much more aggressive approach, both at the front and rear. The sides too possess dramatic lines and deep creases to appear more sophisticated than ever before.

There’s a stark departure on the inside too. Simplification is the chosen direction here, with most dashboard buttons replaced by touch-based controls. There’s a large touchscreen panel that sits flush on the dashboard where the audio controls used to be, with an intuitive smartphone-like interface. The air-con controls are all new too, now using touch pads.

The dashboard layout follows much of what was shown in the Honda Urban SUV Concept earlier this year, which previews a new Jazz-based crossover that will take on the Nissan Juke and Ford EcoSport, as well as the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun. Production of the future SUV will follow that of the new Jazz, slated to be towards the end of this year or early 2014.

Changes are abound on the hardware front as well, as we now have details of the new Jazz Hybrid model. Headlining figure is its claimed fuel consumption figure of 36.4 km per litre, a 35% improvement over the current model and the best of all hybrid vehicles in Japan (not counting plug-in hybrids – the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid does 70.4 km/L).

Thanks to: Paultan

First Sketch: 2014 Honda Brio MPV

Honda has released an official sketch of the new Honda Brio MPV that will be making its world debut at the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS 2013) in September. The sketch is of the Honda LMPV Concept, and the name of the production car hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it is based on the Brio family, which consists of the original hatchback and the Brio Amaze sedan that appeared late last year in Bangkok.

The Brio MPV was developed for the Asian market by Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co Ltd in Thailand and PT Honda R&D Indonesia. This model will mark Honda’s entry into Indonesia’s entry level MPV (low MPV) arena, which is the country’s biggest auto segment. Rivals that are waiting include the Toyota Avanza and Daihatsu Xenia twins, Suzuki Ertiga and the Chevrolet Spin, among others.

The MPV will be the first product of Honda’s new RM1.05 billion second plant in Karawang Industrial Park, scheduled to begin operation in early 2014. It will come with seven seats in a three-row configuration, the segment norm.

The Brio hatchback uses a 1.3 litre engine in Indonesia, but the MPV will be powered by a 1.5L unit, likely to be the same one in the City and Jazz. This unit “provides both sporty performance and good fuel efficiency.”

Thanks to: Paultan

Kamis, 18 Juli 2013

Spied Up Date: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

It was only a matter of time before the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo’s drop-top twin was spotted out and about, and now spy photographers have caught a  911 Turbo Cabriolet prototype while lapping the Nürburgring in the nude.

Then again, the Turbo Cabriolet doesn’t have much to hide, considering it will largely take after its fixed-roof counterpart. That means the convertible’s mechanical bits will be identical to the coupe, with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six at the rear axle. The twin-turbo in the coupe is good for 520 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque, which is up by 20 horses and 7 lb-ft compared to the previous Turbo model. 
Meanwhile, the Turbo S got a 30-hp bump to 560 from the 997′s 530, with torque unchanged at 516 lb-ft. We expect those numbers will also apply to the convertible variants. Like the coupe, the convertible will also get Porsche’s seven-speed PDK twin-clutch automatic sending power to all four wheels. The drop-top’s curb weight will also crest the two-door’s 3500-plus pounds, meaning it may take slightly longer to reach 60 mph compared to the Turbo coupe’s estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds.
 Expect convertible versions to also be fitted with the same active aerodynamics, bigger brakes, rear-wheel steering, and the new Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system found on the coupe. Having the option to have the wind blow through your hair may also cost north of the 911 Turbo’s $149,250 price tag.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Want more proof that Cadillac is gunning straight for the BMW 3 Series and new 2014 4 Series?  Then look no further than the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe. The upcoming two-door ATS has been caught testing yet again, but joining in on the action is an updated version of the ATS sedan.

Unfortunately, this ATS Coupe prototype doesn’t reveal much more than the last mule we caught, but at least the pictures are of higher quality. Identically camouflaged to the last ATS Coupe we caught out and about in Michigan, the ATS Coupe promises to be just as striking – if not as edgy – as the CTS Coupe. The 2015 ATS Coupe’s front end looks much the same as the sedan, but it sports longer doors, and a sharp-looking fastback roof that leads into an integrated V-shaped spoiler at the edge of the trunk.
 As we previously reported, the Cadillac ATS Coupe will likely be powered by the 2.0-liter 272-hp turbo-4, with the 321-hp 3.6-liter V-6 available as an option. There will almost certainly also be a high-powered ATS-V Coupe version as well.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 17 Juli 2013

New Car: 2013 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Anniversary Edition

Mitsubishi Motors has launched a special first anniversary edition of the Pajero Sport SUV.

The anniversary edition Pajero Sport comes with additional features such as a touch-screen multimedia system with GPS and reverse camera. Exterior add-ons include full body coloured bumpers and mud guards and a special anniversary edition decal. The Pajero Sport is assembled at the Hindustan Motors’ Tiruvallur plant near Chennai HM will also start assembly of Isuzu MU-7 and D-Max at the same plant by the end of this year.

Power comes from the 2.5-litre diesel engine which is good for 175bhp mated to a 5-speed manual gear box.  It also comes with Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4WD system which allows the driver to select 4WD and 2WD.

The Pajero Sport anniversary edition is priced at Rs 23.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). 

Thanks to: Autocar India

Spied: 2014 Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover's facelifted Discovery has been spotted testing in the Alps alongside the current model.

We already know the Land Rover Discovery 4 is in-line for a light nip and tuck for the 2014 model year, with the facelifted model going on sale in September.

Obvious changes on the car include a new front light cluster - possible echoing that of the new Range Rover's LED unit - and a larger, more prominent front grille. New indicator stalks and side mirrors can also be seen.

Other revisions are expected to be minor, with new alloy wheel designs, trim level revisions, and economy and CO2 tweaks.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2015 Ford Ka

The new Ford Ka has been spotted on the road near Ford’s engineering centre in Cologne, Germany. Rumours had been circulating that the Ka was being axed from the line-up but that's clearly not the case, although it will take a fresh approach.

Rather than a fashion-focused three-door like the first two versions, the next Ford Ka will be five-door only and promises to focus on value for money and space.

Unlike the existing model, which shares its platform with the Fiat 500, the new Ka will be sold globally. It will also be based on the Figo – a budget hatch sold in developing countries that shares its underpinnings with the previous-generation Fiesta.

An inside source told us: “One Ford [the company’s global product strategy] gives us a chance to draw on what’s going on around the world – and for our next city car we won’t be reinventing the wheel.”

In order to justify its place in the Ford line-up, and take on the likes of the VW up!, the new Ka will need to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the Fiesta. Speaking exclusively to
Auto Express, Andrew Fraser, Ford’s head of petrol engine development, explained: “The old Fiesta platform will need remodelling. By shortening it and using thinner-gauge steels where possible, we should be able to make it much lighter.”

As you can see from the spy shots (right), the bodywork has been redesigned, so as not to resemble the bug-eyed Figo (below left), or the old Fiesta. Our spy photographer also spotted a new Fiesta following this test prototype, and it appeared much larger than the disguised Ka.

In terms of engines, a diesel model is unlikely, to keep costs down and give the car global appeal. So the most obvious candidate is Ford’s new three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, which even in non-turbocharged form can produce up to 79bhp. A two-cylinder petrol engine has already been ruled out.

“We thought about using Fiat’s TwinAir engine,” Fraser told us, “but we were already deep into development with the EcoBoost.” The new car is scheduled to debut in around eight months, which points to a reveal at the Geneva Motor Show next March. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Nissan GT-R Special Edition

Constant evolution allows the Nissan GT-R to continue running with the supercar pack, but not every new model can take Godzilla’s already impressive performance to new heights. The 2014 Nissan GT-R Special Edition doesn’t bring any such enhancements, but does offer an exclusive Midnight Opal exterior color and gold-plated engine plaque.

The 2013 Nissan GT-R Special Edition features a hand-painted Midnight Opal exterior, a set of lightweight forged RAYS wheels with a hyper-titanium coating, a dry carbon fiber rear spoiler (similar to the Black and Track editions), and a gold-plated serial number authenticity plaque. Nissan says the highly reflective Midnight Opal paint changes from a deep purple to a deep blue depending on the angle ambient light hits the car. The 2014 Nissan GT-R Special Edition will start at $106,590 (including $1000 destination) when it goes on sale this fall. That’s $6000 more than the base GT-R Premium, but $3740 less than the GT-R Black Edition and $10,120 less than the GT-R Track Edition
Under the hood is the same 545-hp twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 with 463 lb-ft of torque as other GT-R models that sends power to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. GT-R Special Edition production is limited to 100 units worldwide with just 50 examples coming to the U.S. The Nissan GT-R Special Edition is expected to arrive at dealers in September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Ferrari 458 Scuderia to Debut at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

Now that the Spider and Challenge variants of the 458 Italia are on sale, the hardcore track version of the Italian sports car is expected to debut at the Frankfurt auto show this year as the 458 Scuderia, Auto Express reports. Whether the high-performance model keeps the storied Scuderia name (Italian for “stable,” and a word commonly applied to Italian racing teams), remains to be seen.

Like its F430 Scuderia predecessor, performance increases for the 458 Scuderia are expected to come from reduced weight, increased power, and more aggressive aerodynamics. The report suggests horsepower could climb from 557 hp to more than 600 hp – a greater bump in power than the F430 Scuderia‘s 25-hp increase. Additional power is expected to come from revised air intakes, remapped ECU, and higher-flowing exhaust.
 Like the F430 Scuderia, the 458 Scuderia is expected to lose at least 220 pounds; likely from the loss of sound deadening and more carbon fiber body panels. Those new body panels are also expected to improve aerodynamics and feed more air into the engine.

While Ferrari hasn’t released an official announcement concerning the 458 Scuderia, the automaker unveiled the previous F430 Scuderia at Frankfurt in 2007, the 458 Italia in 2009, and the 458 Spyder in 2011. The Ferrari 458 Scuderia will go head-to-head with the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Mercedes S63 AMG

Ask Audi why there’s no RS8, or BMW why there’s no M7, and the answers inevitably will include: There’s not enough of a market for such a car, or, This is not a priority for us, or even, Those customers care about comfort, not performance. Thankfully, there is one automaker that continues to think otherwise: Mercedes-Benz. For the better part of the past decade, the S-class lineup has been crowned by not one, but two high-performance AMG derivatives. We’re told that three to five percent of S-class sales are S63s and one to two percent are S65s, which tells us that there is enough of a business case to satiate Mercedes. And when you consider that competition in the luxury segment, more than anywhere else, is still about bigger and better, Benz aficionados will take pleasure in the fact that the 2014 S63 AMG is the most powerful vehicle in its class—at least until the sheets come off the S65. 

The new S63 keeps its M157 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, but it gets a significant power boost. Output is up 49 horses over its predecessor to 585, served up at 5500 rpm, and torque jumps up 74 lb-ft for a total of 664, available from 2250 rpm. Thrust is fed exclusively through all four wheels—other markets have the option of rear-wheel drive—via a seven-speed automatic. Despite the addition of 4MATIC, AMG says weight is down versus the outgoing model, and improved aerodynamics further enhance performance and efficiency. 

The result is a sprint from standstill to 62 mph that, Benz says, takes an even four seconds—a number we feel is plenty conservative considering the last S63 we tested required just 4.1 seconds to accomplish the feat. Top speed is governed at 155 mph, although raising that number to 186 can be achieved via a factory-specified upgrade. The exhaust note should leave little to be desired, as Mercedes’ "logic-controlled" exhaust flaps ensure a minimum of compliance with regulations. The automaker says that the new S63 achieves 22.8 mpg in the ever-optimistic European cycle, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the brand frequently comes close to replicating its official figures in real-world consumption.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 16 Juli 2013

New Car: 2014 Skoda Rapid Spaceback

This is the Skoda Rapid Spaceback, a more conventional hatchback version of the Rapid that’s set to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The Spaceback features the same design as the existing Rapid from the car’s front to the B-pillars, and features the same 2,602mm wheelbase.

Despite its name, which originally made us think the car would be a larger, estate version of the Rapid, the new model has a shorter tail and more conventional hatchback. This cuts bootspace down from 550 litres to 415 litres with the rear seats up, and from 1,490 litres to 1,380 litres with the rear seats folded.

Talking about the new car, Skoda CEO, Winfried Vahland, said: “The Spaceback is a milestone for Skoda: it means that we are entering the strategically important segment of compact hatchback models.

The Rapid Spaceback has a fresh, dynamic and individual appearance. It is a compact car with a sporty chic, spacious and practical, ideal for young people and families.”

The car’s standout design feature is the optional panoramic glass roof which stretches almost the entire length and width of the roof. Buyers will also be able to opt for a ‘prolong’ rear window, which extends the rear windscreen glass 100mm further down the bootlid (both shown on the red car, pictured).

The new addition to the Rapid range will go on sale in October, and will use the same engine and gearbox line-up as the current Rapid.

The Spaceback is part of Skoda’s ‘Growth Strategy 2018,’ where the firm will launch a new or re-engineered model every six months as it bids to sell 1.5-million cars per year by 2018. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Datsun Go

Datsun, the resurrected Nissan brand, has revealed its first new car that will launch in India next year. The Datsun Go is a simple, affordable four-door hatchback that will also be sold in Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa.

Nissan announced last March that it would resurrect the Datsun name for a line of low-cost cars for emerging markets. The new Datsun Go measures 149.0 inches long and 64.4 inches wide, putting it close in size to a Mazda2 hatchback. A 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission route power to the front wheels. There is no built-in radio, but Datsun says the new car features a smartphone dock for playing music. The Go will cost the equivalent of $6700.
 “This is an historic day for Nissan Motor Company and for our customers,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement. “It’s also an exciting moment for many women and men here in India who — today — come one step closer to realizing the dream of purchasing a car.”

Although Datsun pitches the Go as a first car for many families, the company promises the Go is not a stripped-down car. It is said to be, “high-quality, stylish and modern, delivering an engaging driving experience.” Datsun will build the Go in Chennai, India, and also plans to launch a range of other new low-cost cars next year. Much of the engineering work for the car was also completed in India, although the styling was done by Nissan’s designers in Japan.

Nissan has no plans to sell Datsun cars in the U.S. or Europe. The company’s goal is to have a totally separate brand for selling low cost cars in emerging markets, so as not to tarnish the reputation of other Nissan and Infiniti cars.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Lexus RC F

What It Is: A coupe companion to the recently launched IS that may be badged as the RC. Lexus holds trademarks on both “RC350” and “RC F,” and such a change to the two-door IS’s moniker would make sense considering the trend in this direction—the coupe version of Audi’s A4 being called A5, and BMW recently opting to launch the latest 3-series coupe as the 4-series. This particular example is a step up from the 306-hp IS350 F Sport not just in performance, but in attitude. That’s evident in the flared fenders hiding under that cute curlicue camo, the functional hood scoop, an abundance of oversized intakes and vents, and the lip spoiler. 

Why It Matters: Lexus’s vice president of international operations, Mark Templin, told Automotive News, “The coupe market is . . . not an enormous market, but it's an important segment in terms of what it does for image. I think a coupe could change perceptions of our brand." He’s right. And taking the fight to AMG, M, and Quattro is a fine place to start. 

Platform: The RC F will make use of the same humble architecture as does the IS350 F Sport and the standard IS, which is a truncated version of the GS’s underpinnings. The IS’s double-A-arm front suspension and multilink rear setup will have spent a substantial amount of time at the Nürburgring being optimized in order to match the times of the RC F’s German competition. 

Powertrain: The 5.0-liter V-8 that motivated the IS F likely won’t live to see Lexus’s new-gen F offerings. With the eight-pot unlikely to meet Euro 6 emissions standards, we expect a switch to a forced-induction version of the 3.5-liter V-6 used in a number of “350”-badged Lexuses. This engine features a unique twin-injection setup—that’s direct and port—and was previously supercharged for Toyota’s Japanese-market Mark X +M Supercharger model. In that application, the mill produced 360 horsepower but expect Lexus to get output nearer 450 horses. There is some question, however, as to whether the brand will continue development with the supercharger or if a switch to turbocharging is in the works. 

Don’t expect anything other than an automatic—Lexus previously told us it estimated it sold just one manual-equipped IS in all of 2012—and a return of the eight-speed in the current IS F wouldn’t be surprising. It’s possible that Lexus will turn to all-wheel drive, although we believe that with such an emphasis being placed on this car’s emotional component, rear-wheel drive will be the only way to go. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Sabtu, 13 Juli 2013

New Car: 2014 Suzuki Swift

We’ve already seen the latest Suzuki Swift facelift from a set of leaked photos a few weeks ago. What we haven’t found out since, however, are the mechanical or detail changes apart from the updated looks. Turns out, what we’ve already seen is all there is to know, as the Swift facelift is purely a cosmetic refresher.

The minor styling revision doesn’t extend any further than the new reprofiled front bumper, which is now more defined and features distinctive L-shaped LED daytime running lights on the foglamp housings. Elsewhere, fresh 16-inch wheels, LED-type high level brake lamp and new seat fabric design are all there is to it in this facelift.

No changes in the engine department, as the 94 hp/118 Nm 1.2 litre petrol is carried over untouched with either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto ‘box. The Europe-only 1.3 litre DDiS diesel model is said to have 7% improved efficiency, while its 75 hp/190 Nm output figures remain. In the UK the new Swift 4×4 and five-door Swift Sport join the updated range.

Thanks to: Paultan

Hot News: New Mazda 3 to Get Hotter

A new Mazda 3 MPS is on its way. And, with its return, Mazda will revive the naturally aspirated hot hatch by dropping the turbos.

Turbochargers now dominate the hot hatch class after the Clio Renaultsport 200 disappeared early this year and the Honda Civic Type-R ceased production in 2010.

Both were killed by emission regulations, saddening fans of high-revving performance petrol engines, but Mazda has revived the high-power naturally aspirated unit thanks to clever Skyactiv tech that improves fuel consumption by reducing heat loss in the combustion cycle.

A senior engineer, who didn’t wish to be identified, told us on the launch of the impressive new 3, due in December, that the MPS is likely to return “but not as you would expect”. He then said that the 3’s 163bhp 2.0-litre engine could be turned up to 200bhp and made to rev to 7000rpm.

That should drop the 0-62mph figure from 8.2 seconds to below 7 secs – not as fast as the old 2.3-litre turbocharged MPS, but enough to create a spiritual successor to the 198bhp Civic Type-R.

Mazda is also tipped to follow VW with its Golf GT range and also create a hot diesel. The 148bhp 2.2D will already be the fastest accelerating standard 3 with 62mph arriving in 8.1 seconds, but European boss Jeff Guyton hinted at the 3’s reveal in June that it could wear a performance badge in time, comparing the diesel’s acceleration favorably with the old MPS. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 12 Juli 2013

New Car: 2014 Mazda 3 Fastback/Sedan

Mazda has revealed its all-new Mazda 3 Fastback, a saloon version of its upcoming hatchback.
The Fastback will be offered with a choice of one of three naturally aspirated petrol engines or one turbocharged diesel engine, all of which are fitted as standard with a start-stop system.

The entry-level engine, a 99bhp 1.5-litre petrol, is a brand-new unit that's claimed to be capable of averaging 56.4mpg when specified with a six-speed manual gearbox. Its emissions are rated at 118g/km of CO2, ensuring relatively low road tax.

More powerful 2.0-litre 118bhp and 162bhp petrol engines will also be available. The 118bhp engine averages 55.3mpg, and emits 119g/km of CO2, in conjunction with a manual transmission; the 162bhp unit is rated at 48.7mpg and 135g/km of CO2.

Those seeking maximum economy will no doubt be tempted by the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel, which Mazda claims to be capable of 72.4mpg. Its emissions are stated to be an equally thrifty 104g/km of CO2.

Automatic versions will be available, but selecting this transmission will result in a reduction in fuel economy and a hike in emissions. For example, an automatic diesel Mazda 3 Fastback will average 58.8mpg and emit 127g/km of CO2, a reduction of 13.6mpg and a rise of 23g/km of CO2 compared to the manual derivative.

Both bodystyles are wider and lower than the current model, with the saloon being further differentiated from the hatchback thanks to a restyled roof, rear window, rear wings and boot lid.

Mazda's saloon is also 120mm longer than the hatchback, at 4580mm compared to 4460mm, contributing to an increase in boot space of 69 litres compared to the hatchback. it does, however, share the same 2700mm wheelbase as the hatch.

To further improve practicality the saloon gets a wider boot opening, allowing luggage to be loaded and unloaded more easily. It also retains the same folding rear seat arrangement as its five-door sibling, allowing for more storage space when needed.

Like the hatchback, the Fastback benefits from Mazda's SkyActiv range of technologies, which aim to reduce weight and improve efficiency. Kerb weights for the Fastback are claimed to start at as little as 1196kg, while the hatchback weighs in at 1200kg.

Aerodynamic efficiency is impressive too, with the saloon having a drag coefficient of 0.258, which is lower than that of the sleek Chevrolet Volt.

Pricing for the new Mazda 3 Fastback will be announced in September, along with more technical details and trim levels, and the model is expected to go on sale in the UK towards the end of the year.

Thanks to: Autocar

Kamis, 11 Juli 2013

Recall Up Date: 2013 Ford EcoSport Diesel

The diesel EcoSport has been recalled by Ford to relocate the glow plug module in the car. 
The company has released a statement which says, “As a part of routine checks, we discovered a potential concern with EcoSport diesel variants related to the glow plug module which requires relocating the module. We are contacting customers to take their vehicle to their Ford dealership to have the work carried out.”
The EcoSport was launched a little over two weeks back with the diesel variants starting at Rs 6.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). According to reports, the car has gotten 20,000 bookings already.

Thanks to: Autocar India
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