Sabtu, 31 Agustus 2013

Spied: 2016 Mercedes GLK-Class

The next-generation Mercedes GLK has been spotted testing, and this time it'll be coming to UK shores. The previous model couldn't be engineered in right-hand drive so missed out on some crucial sales.

In order to make room in the Mercedes range for the recently introduced GLA, the new GLK will be slightly larger than the model it replaces. Looking at the images you can see front axle of the GLK has been moved forward slightly and the bonnet stretched to accommodate the larger wheelbase.
Much of the new design remains hidden beneath the swathes of black and white tape, but the GLK is expected to take several design cues such as the bold two-bar grille from the upcoming Mercedes C-Class on which its based. The sloping roofline also gives it a more sporting appearance as opposed to the boxy stance of its predecessor.

Mechanically, engine options are likely to be the same as you’ll find in the redesigned C-Class due one year before the GLK, in 2014. A new entry-level turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine could be available with the turbocharged 2.1-litre four-pot diesel likely to be carried over into the new GLK 250 BlueTEC. A 3.0-litre V6 diesel motor should remain in the GLK 350.
Expected to launch late 2015, prices are likely to start at around £30,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013

New Car: 2014 Toyota Sai

The Toyota what? Yes, that’s what they call the Lexus HS 250h-based sedan in Japan. Pictures of the updated Lexus emerged late last year; now it’s time for the Toyota-badged version to show us its new face.

Looking a little subtler than the Lexus, the facelifted Toyota Sai gains slim, angry-looking LED headlamps, a reworked grille and a new V-shaped front bumper incorporating bigger fog lamp housings.

A chrome strip runs along the side, and round the back, you’ll find new LED tail lamps that run across the width of the V-shaped boot lid, plus a new rear bumper. Wheels are 16-inch aluminium jobs.

The biggest change inside is a new centre stack that holds reshaped air vents and new switchgear, amongst others. Materials and trim have been enhanced in places, creating a more upscale atmosphere. A new 10-speaker SD Navigation system with microSD, Blu-ray and USB compatibility can be specified.

Nothing’s changed under the bonnet – there’s the same 150 hp/187 Nm 2.4 litre 2AZ-FXE Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and the same 143 hp/270 Nm electric motor. Combined output is 190 hp, and fuel economy on the JC08 cycle is rated at 4.4 litres per 100 km. The Camry Hybrid has a similar setup.

Thanks to: Paultan

Spied: 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco

The Volkswagen Scirocco is being prepared for its first facelift since the model was launched back in 2008, and we've spied the updated model undergoing warm weather testing in Arizona.

This mid-life facelift is likely to be a final hurrah for the Scirocco before a completely redesigned version, based on the Golf’s MQB platform is introduced in 2015.

From the images, changes are likely to be minimal, focusing mainly on cosmetic upgrades rather than significant mechanical changes. Underneath the heavy disguise at the front, the Scirocco is expected to get a new nose in the style of the current Passat CC, bringing it more in line with the rest of the VW range.
 The headlights will also be tweaked slightly and are likely to be an LED setup. Inside a revised centre console with 8-inch touchscreen is possible.

Like the exterior, changes under the bonnet will minor in order to keep prices down. Expect the same engines currently found in the Scirocco range to power the facelifted model, including the base 120bhp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and range-topping 263bhp 2.0-litre petrol motor found in the R-line models. Volkswagen could also introduce the new 296bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine found in the new VW Golf R to the Scirocco range.

The facelifted Scirocco could make its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, before going on sale later that year. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia OPC/VXR SuperSport

Vauxhall has been tinkering with the Insignia VXR SuperSport, giving it some minor cosmetic and engineering tweaks in-line with the revised Insignia range due to arrive here in October. The 170mph super saloon will be unveiled alongside the Vauxhall Monza concept at the Frankfurt Motor show next month.

Available as either a hatchback or Sports Tourer, notable changes include a revised grill and headlights, while the distinctive VXR saber-tooth-like chrome air intakes in the bumper remain unchanged. Round the back, re-styled lights with chrome inserts complete the exterior changes, while the VXR tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper are left untouched.

Inside, new dials and redesigned centre console all feature. Bluetooth, Internet connectivity, and an eight-inch touchscreen with 3D navigation have been added.

While the cosmetic changes are limited, engineers have been busy modifying the adaptive all-wheel drive chassis. Around 60 per cent of the VXR’s rear suspension has been updated, with Vauxhall claiming a significant handling improvement.

Modifications to the ESP are claimed to dial out understeer, while upgrades to the damping are intended to give a more refined and comfortable ride.

The powertrain and gearboxes remain the same, with a 320bhp 2.8-litre V6 turbo engine, and either a six-speed automatic or manual gearbox, being your only option. Performance is brisk, with 0-60mph taking a claimed 5.9 seconds in the hatchback, or two-tenths later in the Sports Tourer, at 6.1 seconds.
Vauxhall adds that the VXR SuperSport remains the fastest production car you can buy in Britain for under £30,000, and is almost £9,000 cheaper than its closest rival, the Audi S4.

Orders books for the Insignia VXR SuperSport are now open, with prices starting at £29,749 for the hatch and £31,049 for the Sports Tourer. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: 2015 Volvo XC90

These teaser pictures give us our first glimpse of the design of the all-new Volvo XC90. The seven-seater SUV will be launched at the Paris Motor Show in September 2014, and will go on sale in the UK in early 2015, priced from just under £40,000.

The look of the new SUV is inspired by the Volvo Concept Coupe, which will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

These images are taken from the press briefing we attended, where Volvo’s new Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, introduced the Concept, and showed how its looks will influence the brand’s new production cars.

The nose of the XC90 is dominated by Volvo’s new floating grille. It’s much bigger than the Concept, and sports an enlarged version of the trademark Volvo logo and iron mark.

Each side of the grille the XC90 will get new headlights that feature T-shaped LED daytime running lights. What’s harder to make out is the new bonnet design. This is very simple and features a broad flat surface with scalloped areas on either side, intended to show how solid the front of the car looks.
The final front-end feature shared with the Concept is the pair of upkicked strakes in the bumper.
These are inspired by the cow horn bumper of the original sixties P1800 coupe.

At the rear, the Concept has C-shaped LED tail-lights. But for the XC90, which has vertical lamp units, this has been reinterpreted to give a sort of tattoo-like effect.

Inside, Ingelnath confirmed that the XC90 will feature the iPad-sized central touchscreen in the middle of the dash. This replaces the need for many of the buttons in the cabin.

However, he added that as there are few buttons left there’s more budget to allow the ones shown in the image to be made from a posh, glossy glass finish.

Aside from the design, Volvo also confirmed that the XC90 will feature the option of its highest-power version of the firm’s new in-house powertrain.

It’s the same as the one in the Concept, so features an all-new alloy 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Its lower revs are boosted by a supercharger, while a large turbo kicks in at 2,300rpm, giving a 302bhp power output. This is boosted by an electric motor on the back axle, giving a total output of around 400bhp and 600Nm.

Volvo has also confirmed that it is working on 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engines, which will be used in the Volvo V40 later in its life. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Kia Niro

If you’ve ever wondered how a Kia would look like with butterfly doors, here’s your answer. Set to debut at this year’s Frankfurt auto show is the Kia Niro concept, a B-segment vehicle that the automaker says will “take on the urban environment with style and tenacity.”

In terms of style, the Niro showcases crossover-like proportions and familiar Kia design cues. Up front there’s the automaker’s signature Tiger Nose grille, while the rear end combines hints of the Rio hatchback and Sportage crossover. The two-tone paint job is mostly black with the upper half finished in silver metallic. Neon green accents are used in areas like the center hub caps, and a stripe running along the tire tread.
 The interior is relatively simple and utilitarian. The front seats and center console appear to be molded from one piece of metallic-looking material, and a mostly-black dashboard features a large infotainment display. Other elements include neon green accents and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
Kia says the Niro concept, which was designed at the automaker’s design studio in Frankfurt, will be “used to gauge potential customer response.” No powertrain details were provided, but the Niro’s B-segment designation means it could possibly ride on the Rio’s platform and be powered by a version of its 1.6-liter I-4.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Next Nissan GT-R to be Introduced at 2015

At the Nissan 360 global press event held last week in Southern California, a Nissan representative confirmed that we will see a new Nissan GT-R supercar as a 2016 model.

The current R35 Nissan GT-R has been on sale in the U.S. since the 2009 model year, seeing constant improvements. At first, the 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged beast produced 485 hp, but that was later bumped to 530 hp, and again to 545 hp, receiving drivetrain and suspension upgrades as well. Nissan has managed to keep its status as a giant killer despite the GT-R’s aging design and technology and ever-increasing price, and the new one should offer plenty more to keep it ahead of the pack. Just last week, the Nissan GT-R placed first in the third-annual Motor Trend World’s Greatest Drag Race.
 A hybrid powertrain has been rumored to be part of the next-gen GT-R’s package, keeping pace with the technology coming to the rival Acura NSX. Before the next-gen GT-R arrives, however, Nissan has one last swan song left in the R35′s list of tricks by way of an upcoming Nismo version that should be lighter, more powerful, and far more track-focused. We expect it to land as a 2015 model sometime around the end of this year or early next, as Nissan has had a tendency to release GT-R models well ahead of a normal schedule in the U.S.

We asked our source if the next-generation GT-R would be a 2016 or 2017 model; we were told directly that it would be the former. Expect to see it land well before the end of 2015 if Nissan keeps to its product cadence from the current-generation car.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 29 Agustus 2013

New Car: 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

The supposedly leaked pics of the facelifted 150-series Toyota Land Cruiser Prado we showed you last week has turned out to be legit all right – a treasure trove of info and images of the updated baby Land Cruiser has come to light, so here are the details.

Besides a bigger grille and new teardrop-shaped headlamps with LED DRLs, the refreshed Toyota Land Cruiser Prado gets new fog lamps, revised tail lamps, new 17- and 18-inch wheel designs and a new number plate surround with larger chrome trim. Inside, the instrument cluster gets Optitron gauges and a 4.2-inch colour TFT display, while a new centre stack gets updated audio controls.

Cabin ambience has been taken up a notch by enhanced trim (including piano black, aluminium and wood grain finishes), new seat designs and fabrics for the second and third rows, as well as new colour schemes.

A 4.2-inch screen displays a new angle gauge, traction control operation at each wheel and differential lock operation screens amongst others, while a new dial controls the five-mode Multi-terrain Select and five-step Crawl Control systems.

Both the standard suspension and optional electronically-controlled Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) have been tweaked to offer better stability and comfort on-road. A Rear Cross Traffic Alert system joins the extensive suite of safety kit that includes Pre-Crash Safety, Blind Spot Monitor, Multi-terrain ABS and Active Traction Control.

The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado facelift can be had in three- and five-door versions. The five-door is powered by either a 282 hp/385 Nm 4.0 litre petrol V6 (five-speed auto only) or a 190 hp/420 Nm turbocharged 3.0 litre diesel four-cylinder engine (six-speed manual or five-speed auto), while the three-door only comes with the latter. You can shop for the pre-facelift Prado on
The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado’s Stateside sister – the Lexus GX – has also received a facelift. This one hides a huge V8 behind its new spindle grille.

Thanks to: Paultan

New Concept Car: Volvo Coupe

This is the Volvo Concept Coupe, which will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s the first concept to be designed by Volvo’s new Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, and is the first of three concepts that introduce the firm’s new design language.

The concepts reflect the three new pillars of Volvo design – Scandinavian Authority, Creativity and Activity – with the Coupe intended to represent the first.

The concepts point towards the look of all new Volvos, with the first being the all-new XC90. The seven-seat SUV is due to debut at the Paris Motor Show next year, and go on sale here in early 2015.

The Concept Coupe is billed by Volvo as the next-generation P1800 – the firm’s stylish two-door from the sixties. Ingenlath tells us that he and his team selected a coupe as the first design concept as it’s a type that premium cars buyers easily understand.

It’s also a bodystyle that Volvo has a long history with – P1800 included – whose influence on the new concept is clear. The long bonnet, curve to the tail and glazed area pushed back towards the car’s rear are all inspired by the old model.

The Concept Coupe also gives us clues as to the look of some next generation Volvos. The large, flat shape of the bonnet is set to become a brand hallmark, as is the floating grille with its enlarged iron mark logo. Those neat T-shaped LED daytime running lights will make production, as will the upkicked bars in each of the front bumper’s air vents.

The C-shaped LED tail-lights and the BMW-style Hofmeister kink will feature on the next S80 – likely to be called the S90 – while the Audi A5-style crease along the shoulder is also set to feature on Volvo’s next saloons – Ingenlath joined Volvo having spent over 20 years working for VW after all.

The Concept Coupe’s interior is dominated by a central touchscreen and features a minimalist, button-free design. The portrait touchscreen is identical in size to the current iPad and replaces buttons and controls for infotainment, climate control and more.

This will feature on the firm’s new cars, too. But while an iPad needs a fingertip to operate it, the Volvo touchscreen can be used with gloves on.

There is also a heightened focus on the quality of the buttons and controls that are left behind, including the hand-made crystal gear lever. And, while that’s unlikely to make the cut for production, the mix of materials used – aged wood, machined metal and tasteful leather – are all likely to feature on production cars.

Although a coupe isn’t high up on Volvo’s list of priorities, the Concept Coupe is built on the firm’s new in-house Scaleable Product Architecture (SPA) so could be considered in the future.

This flexible platform allows for rakish coupes to be built on similar underpinnings to the new XC90, which will be the first to use the SPA in production form.

The concept also uses the highest power version of Volvo’s new powertrain. This matches a 302bhp supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to an electric motor, giving around 400bhp and 600Nm of torque, but returning around 50g/km of CO2. This set-up will be offered in the S90 and XC90.

Volvo has invested hugely in developing its own platform, its own engines and now has a design language that it hopes will see its 421,951 global sales in 2012 almost double to 800,000 units by the end of the decade. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Dacia Duster

An updated version of the Dacia Duster has been revealed, but it won’t be on sale in the UK until 2016.

Due to be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new-look Duster is for European left hand drive markets only. The plant in Chennai that produces right-hand drive Dusters isn’t due to start producing facelifted models for a couple of years.

We’re not missing out completely, though, because the car that’s on sale here already gets some of the interior updates applied to the updated car in our pictures.

The changes include new headlights with daytime running lights, a fresh grille design and more chrome used on the rear, including a new exhaust pipe. The alloy wheels are new, too, and come fitted with Mud and Snow tyres.

“We built on the appeal of the original model and its proportions. Identity components such as the grille have been modernised. We have also strengthened the 4x4 cues of the vehicle, while keeping all its useful features. New Duster gets an even stronger character while retaining its initial DNA,” said David Durand, Head of Styling.

The Duster is currently the cheapest crossover on sale in the UK, with prices starting from £8,995. The Romanian brand also sells the UK’s cheapest car, in the £5,995 Sandero. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z07

What It Is: A heavily camouflaged seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette that we believe to be the next generation of Z06 high-performance models, which will be called Z07. The Corvette has used such an RPO three times in the past—first as an off-road suspension and brake package from 1973–1975; then in 1991–1995 to designate an adjustable-suspension package; and again from 2011–2013 as a package that included magnetic selective ride control, stickier rubber, lighter wheels, aero updates, beefed up cooling, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes—and, considering the publicity the seventh generation of Corvette has going for it, the “Z07” moniker would make some sense. It’s also the next Vette in the hopper, after the convertible and targa models start rolling off production lines. 

Why It Matters: The new Stingray is already back ordered and the Bowling Green assembly plant has yet to begin producing saleable models. While the order bank is currently full, this is a boutique sports car and keeping enthusiasm on the boil requires regular testosterone injections. Toward that end, Chevy is working on a more powerful and capable replacement for its Z06. Further emphasizing the importance of this model, we believe that there will be no C7-generation ZR1—at least not until late in this generation’s product cycle. 

Platform: The Stingray has all the structural integrity required to support extension models with additional power, speed, and prowess. To take advantage of the added impetus, Chevrolet will fit the Z07 with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and larger Michelin tires. 

Powertrain: The GM small-block V-8 has demonstrated convincing signs of immortality. Even though pushrods still open just two valves per cylinder, the addition of direct injection, variable cam timing, and new combustion chambers gives this stalwart one more lease on life in the General’s fast lane. Expect this tenet of GM performance to continue as the basis for the Z07. 

Cadillac’s enthusiastic shift from supercharging to single- or twin turbos for its performance cars convinces us that Chevrolet will follow the same course for the Corvette. In light of GM’s ever-more-stringent fuel-economy obligations, we’re expecting the Z07 to produce 600 horsepower from significantly less than 6.2 liters of displacement. It may be no coincidence that Cadillac touted a 500-hp, 4.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 in its recently unveiled Elmiraj concept coupe. Air-to-liquid heat exchangers will handle cooling duties for the compressed intake air. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 28 Agustus 2013

New Car: 2014 Peugeot 5008

These are the first official pictures of the facelifted Peugeot 5008, which is expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next month and go on sale in the UK early next year.

Peugeot has released few details of the facelifted car, beyond highlighting its interior space, quality and practicality, all facets which buyers in the large MPV sector typically value.

However, the images reveal a midly tweaked exterior, with subtle changes to the front-end styling designed to show off a sleeker look, says Peugeot. In particular, new chrome trim around the front fog lights emphasises Peugeot's C-shape design language.

A subtle interior re-style is also expected, but Peugeot has already said that its Heads Up Display for drivers will remain on the new model.

More information, including pricing and a UK on sale date, is expected to be released at the Frankfurt motor show next month, alongside the 208 FE Hybrid and the 308 R concepts.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2014 Peugeot 3008

These are the first images of the facelifted Peugeot 3008, which is expected to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

Peugeot has so far released very few details about the facelifted 3008, although it is clear the car does benefit from the same front-end redesign seen on the facelifted 5008 MPV. Most notable are new chrome linings around the front fog lights.

Minor interior changes are expected, while engine choices are expected to mirror those of the 5008. That means a range of 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol and diesel units. A Hybrid4 version, utlising a 2.0-litre diesel engine in conjunction with an electric motor, will also be available.

The car will be shown alongside the 208 Hybrid FE, the 308 R and the facelifted 5008 next month.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Ford S-Max

The Ford S-MAX Concept has been revealed with this barely disguised glimpse at the seven-seater MPV, due to arrive in early 2015.

The head-on view shows a bold chrome grille and a set of headlights that runs back almost as far as the A-pillars. Lower air intakes either side of the bumper also appear to run around on to the edges of the S-MAX, helping draw attention downwards and outwards. The result is a car that looks immediately more sporty and aggressive than the outgoing model. There’s also a strong resemblance to the latest Fiesta and the Fiesta-based B-MAX compact MPV.

The bold crease along the sides of the car and narrow glass area help make the S-MAX look lower and longer. Ford has also retained a few design cues from the original, such as the raked windscreen, the windowline and wraparound tail-lights.

Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s design boss, said: “Our mission was to exceed buyers’ expectations in every area while respecting the core of what they love about the S-MAX.” For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Peugeot 208 FE Hybrid

This is the Peugeot 208 FE Hybrid, which is designed to showcase efficient hybrid technology and will star alongside the Peugeot 308 R at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

The carbon-bodied 208 Hybrid FE uses the three-cylinder petrol engine from the standard 1.0-litre VTi 208, but thanks to a raft of new upgrades emits just 49g/km of CO2. Better still, it can cover the 0-62mph sprint in just eight seconds and can be driven in pure electric ‘ZEV’ mode for up to 12 miles at a time.

Developed alongside fuel company Total, the 208 FE uses the same electric motor and batteries as the defunct 908 Le Mans racing car but dialed down to produce 40bhp and 30Nm of torque. The aerodynamic styling and narrow 19-inch wheels cut the amount of drag by exactly 25 per cent and it’s also 200kgs lighter than the standard 208, too. Perhaps the most unique innovation though is the suspension – with a fiberglass ‘blade’ acting as springs, dampers and anti-roll bar combined.

However Peugeot has also had to make sacrifices to extract those impressive headline figures, and the 208 Hybrid FE has to do without air-conditioning, power steering or assisted braking, and the fuel tank has been halved to leave a 20-litre capacity. Appearing on the show stand in September alongside the 308 R this concept is part of a three-pronged push to increase hybrid technology across the range.

Peugeot has already sold nearly 30,000 of its HYbrid4 diesel-electric models and is also pushing to get the 2008 HYbrid Air – which uses compressed air instead of engine power at low speeds – into a form that could be seen in some of its mainstream production models. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: Peugeot 308 R

The Peugeot 308 R concept will take aim at the VW Golf GTI when the powerful new hot hatch is revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The 308 R reveals the brand’s bold vision for a high-performance version of its latest hatch, featuring a 266bhp 1.6-litre turbo. The engine is taken from the RCZ R coupé, and in that car it delivers a 5.9-second 0-62mph time – half-a-second quicker than the Performance Pack version of the Golf GTI.

Power goes to the front wheels through a six-speed manual box, and to help the tyres cope with 330Nm of torque, there’s a Torsen front diff, similar to the one in the Renaultsport Mégane 265.

However, while the powertrain is rooted in the real world, the aggressive styling is pure concept car. Extensive use of carbon fibre for the doors, front wings, bonnet and sills cuts the overall weight.
Three huge intakes in the front bumper give a more menacing look, and the 30mm-wider track boosts stability and cornering. The ride height has been lowered by 26mm and the concept sits on 19-inch alloys with ‘R’ branding.

Despite its potent performance, the 308 R claims CO2 emissions of only 145g/km, as well as 45mpg fuel economy.

Peugeot is refusing to comment on the 308 R’s chances of making in showrooms. Even so, it opens up the prospect of the famous GTi badge being revived for the new 308. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Lexus GX460

The Lexus GX460, which sits between the RX crossover and the LX570 full-size SUV in Lexus’ lineup, is refreshed for 2014 with the latest implementation of Lexus’ spindle grille design.

The 2014 Lexus GX460 also receives a price cut of $4710 to $49,995 despite gaining new standard features. On the outside, the GX460’s new aggressive front end features LED headlamps and DRLs, and new clear taillight finish. The biggest interior addition is a new eight-inch touchscreen that controls infotainment and the optional navigation system, and a new espresso wood and black trim package is available as well.
A Premium Package, which Lexus says will have the same $54,705 price as the base 2013 GX460, includes navigation, park assist, three-zone climate control, and heated rear seats, and a $61,625 GX460 Luxury model adds an adaptable air suspension, blind spot monitor and cross traffic alert technologies, and different graphite-finish wheels.

Under the skin, the seven-seat GX460 continues on mostly unchanged from its introduction in 2010, as it is still based on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado platform. The 2014 Lexus GX460 offers only one powertrain option: a 301 hp, 4.6-liter V-8 paired with a six-speed automatic and standard full-time four-wheel-drive.

With its surprising off-road chops and low-range four-wheel-drive, the GX460’s closest competitor is the 2013 Land Rover LR4, which starts at the exact same price of $49,995. Other competitors include the 2013 Audi Q7, 2014 Infiniti QX60, and 2014 Acura MDX, all of which are priced lower than the 2014 GX460 but are crossovers that offer much less go-anywhere capability.

The 2014 Lexus GX460 goes on sale in September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Infiniti Q30

The first image of the Infiniti Q30 concept has been revealed ahead of the concept’s Frankfurt auto show debut. While not as radical as the sketch shown earlier this month, Infiniti says Q30 concept is the latest evolution of the brand’s design language and fuses coupe, hatchback, and crossover body styles.

Up front, the Q30 concept features slim headlights that connect with the front grille. Along the side, the deep upper and lower bodylines remain, though; those may be toned down for the production model. The Q30 concept also retains the sheetmetal kink behind the rear doors similar to that on the production three-row JX35/QX60 crossover.
 Infiniti says the Q30 concept merges the “dynamic design and sportiness of a coupe, the roominess of a hatch, and the higher stance of crossover.” Though, with the Q prefix, the Q30 will be marketed as an entry level hatchback below the Q50 sedan rather than a small crossover/SUV, which get the QX prefix. With the Q30, Infiniti hopes to attract younger buyers shopping in the entry level premium market.

Although no powertrain details have been revealed, the proportions suggest a front-drive layout, though all-wheel-drive is a possibility. The Q30 could be powered by a 208-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 from the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover, which is among its competitive set. Other potential competitors include the Lexus CT 200h hatch,BMW X1, and Audi A3.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Volkswagen e-up!

The Volkswagen e-Golf and e-up! (yes, that’s the car’s name) are debuting at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Though both fully electric four-door hatchbacks are geared toward European buyers, we should eventually get the electric Golf in the U.S.

As for the little e-up!, that four-door has an 80-hp electric motor with 155 lb-ft, and a manufacturer-estimated 0-62 mph time of 12.4 seconds. Top speed — for all those subcompact electric car speed demons out there — is said to be 81 mph. The overall driving range is about 99 miles.

In the U.S., electric and plug-in hybrid car makers have engaged in an incentives war, with better offers on everything from a 2014 Chevrolet Volt to the 2014 Honda Fit EV and updated Nissan Leaf. A low-volume Volkswagen e-Golf would likely face these same conditions in the U.S.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf and e-up! (yes, that’s the car’s name) are debuting at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Though both fully electric four-door hatchbacks are geared toward European buyers, we should eventually get the electric Golf in the U.S.

The front-drive Volkswagen e-Golf has a 114-hp electric motor with 199 lb-ft of torque available from 0 rpm. Top speed is limited to 87 mph, while overall driving range at more reasonable speeds is limited to 118 miles, and Volkswagen says the claimed figures are “driving ranges that make sense.” Both cars have two driving modes — Eco and Eco+,while there are four levels of regenerative braking sensitivity. Volkswagen says the motors, gearboxes, and lithium-ion batteries were developed in-house and built in the company’s German plants.

On the Volkswagen e-Golf, Acceleration from 0-62 mph comes in a slow but respectable 10.4 seconds. As with other new electric cars, the e-Golf and e-up! can gain back 80 percent of its capacity with a 30-minute charge. We’ve known about Volkswagen’s plans to build an electric Golf for years; the debut of the e-Golf suggests the car is well on its way to arriving in dealer showrooms around the world. The e-Golf is also the first Golf to use full LED headlights — potentially a feature we may see on future high-end Golfs in the U.S. Visually, the e-Golf is marked by blue trim in the grille that extends through the headlights. The wheels have an aerodynamically optimized five-spoke design.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sabtu, 24 Agustus 2013

Spied: 2015 Jaguar F-Type R

The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, set to go on sale in 2014, has been spotted testing.

This test mule, caught at the Nürburgring, is understood to be one of the first F-type R coupé test cars. The F-type R is expected to be the initial flagship model in the new F-type coupé range, which is expected to be revealed before the end of the year.

Power for the F-type R is reported to come from the latest 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine that has been fitted to a number of recent performance Jaguars. Carbon-ceramic brakes also look set to be at least on the options list, given the fact that they’re fitted to this test car.

We've known for some time that a hot version of the F-type was on the development list at Jaguar, and that the car would attempt to invoke the spirit of the XKR-S GT. Engineers first experimented with the high-output V8 engines marked for use in the F-Type coupé when developing that car.

A standard version of the F-Type coupé was also recently caught testing, with our first images revealing the car to be almost identical to the original C-X16 concept shown by Jaguar.

Thanks to: Autocar

Future Car: 2015 Skoda Fabia

The all-new Skoda Fabia is still more than 12 months away, but it’s already hit the road – disguised as a current VW Polo. And we’ve used insider information to produce exclusive images of how the showroom supermini could look.

Skoda’s latest design language – established by the Vision D at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show – is minimalist and conservative, as seen on the new Octavia and Rapid. However Chief Designer Jozef Kaban told Auto Express on a recent event that the new Fabia will be the most extrovert model yet, with a wide front grille, angular headlights and LED tail-lamps.

However, it’s set to retain a version of the current model’s chunky, upswept C-pillar, and Skoda is likely to offer contrasting colours for the roof, wheels and door mirror caps following the huge popularity of its Monte Carlo special editions.

Kaban also suggested that the whole brand was excited to make a car that could be a recognisable part of the range but also more expressive than sensible family cars like the Rapid Spaceback and Octvia.

The existing Fabia sits on VW’s PQ24 platform – the generation before the PQ25 used by today’s Polo, plus the SEAT Ibiza and Audi A1. But the Fabia – due in 2014 – will lead a shift for the entire VW Group small car family to a shorter version of the new Golf’s MQB underpinnings.

The test mule seems to have a slightly longer wheelbase than the Polo’s, which will help improve rear legroom and stability in the new SkodaThe sticker on the bootlid means ‘brake test’ in German, but the wheel-speed sensors attached to the hubs give the game away – they carry tiny Skoda stickers on each wheel.

However although it was popular in the UK, Skoda struggled to sell many vRS Fabias in the rest of Europe so the sporty flagship is likely to be dropped for the new generation. Instead a new range of petrol and diesel engines is being developed - all of which should meet the stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations which come into force in 2015.

The test car is packed with weights, which is why it sits lower than usual, to give the drivetrain and brakes a real workout. The current Fabia, launched in 2007, was the first of the latest generation of VW Group superminis to go on sale, so it makes sense that it would be the first to be replaced.

When the new version lands in showrooms, it’ll probably cost slightly more than the current Fabia, which starts at £9,945. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Future Car: 2015 Audi Q7

What It Is: The second generation of the Audi Q7 full-size crossover. With three-row seating and a large cargo area, it’s a full-size SUV by every standard except North America's. The next Q7's angular, metallic grille is directly inspired by the Crosslane concept the brand debuted at last year’s Paris auto show. The A8-inspired rectangular headlights will be offered in LED and Matrix LED forms, although the latter—as is the case with the A8—won’t be available in the U.S. A pronounced shoulder line gives the Q7 an especially wide and muscular stance, its bold and powerful appearance only heightened by wheel options measuring from 18- to 21 inches in diameter. 

Why It Matters: The new Q7 is overdue. Today’s model was previewed by the Pikes Peak Quattro concept at the Detroit auto show in 2003, and it came to market in 2006. Unlike its brothers, the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg, the Audi has never received a significant update. Sure to be polarizing, the styling is of great importance to the brand; Audi’s chief designer, Wolfgang Egger, insisted the design be changed after he took office, causing further delays in the crossover’s development. 

Platform: We’re told by an Audi source that the Q7 will drop a whopping 700 pounds versus the existing model (although we’ll wait until we weigh one to get really excited). The most recent V-6–powered model we tested tipped the scales at 5350 pounds. Much of the weight savings can be attributed to the switch from the crossover’s current off-road-oriented platform to Audi’s car-based MLB modular-longitudinal architecture. The current Q7 was never offered with a low-range transfer case, and thus its off-road capabilities were always limited. As such, there won’t be any disadvantages in the switch to the MLB structure; in fact, it will allow Audi to offer a plethora of comfort and assistance systems previously unavailable in the vehicle. 

Powertrains: The engine selection has not been finalized, but we can confirm that all Q7 models will come with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive. We expect to see a continuation of the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 as well as the 3.0-liter V-6 TDI, and the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 found in a number of VW Group offerings should be available, too. We understand Audi will offer two plug-in hybrid variants with “e-tron” badging: one pairing an electric motor with the supercharged V-6 and another pairing the electric powerplant with the V-6 TDI. The U.S. market will only receive the gasoline-drinking e-tron. 

Competition: BMW X5, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Mercedes-Benz M-class, Porsche Cayenne. 

Estimated Arrival and Price: The next-generation Audi Q7 will be unveiled next year and come to market as a 2015 model. We expect that base prices will nudge slightly northward from the current model’s $47,695 sticker.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Jumat, 23 Agustus 2013

Spied: 2015 Audi S1

The 220bhp Audi S1, set to rival the Renault Clio RS, has been spotted undergoing testing.

The car is expected to launch in 2014 following a debut at the Geneva motor show next year. Audi's new entry-level hot hatch will get quattro all-wheel drive, so expect a 0-62mph time of about 6.5sec.

Alongside the launch of the S1 Audi will introduce a facelift for the standard A1. This S1 test mule reveals that the A1’s revised look is inspired by the larger A3. Changes will include new front and rear bumpers, an A3-inspired front headlight design and a new front grille.

The Renault Clio RS-rivalling S1 is expected to run a new turbocharged 2.0-litre version of Audi’s in-house-developed EA888 engine.

Audi's four-cylinder unit, complete with the German car maker’s patented valve-lift system for continuously variable valve control, is set to provide the hottest A1 model with around 220bhp.
That’s 38bhp more than the turbocharged, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder-powered Audi A1 1.4 TFSI, but 32bhp less than the limited-run A1 quattro model, all 333 of which have been built in left-hand drive.

Channelling the S1 engine’s reserves will be either a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with a Haldex-style multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system. The car has previously been spotted testing at the Nurburgring.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: 2014 Nissan Rogue

Nissan has just released a teaser shot of the redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue compact crossover. Officially debuting September 10, this front end shot of the all new model shows a headlight design similar to the larger Nissan Pathfinder crossover.

The headlight looks to feature LED daytime running lights like the 2014 Nissan Sentra, which should lend the 2014 Nissan Rogue a slightly more upscale look, and the chrome grille bar has a similar shape to the Pathfinder’s grille inserts. The hood appears sculpted, with creases rising from the grille and headlights

Previous spy shots of the Rogue suggest that the crossover will closely follow the look of the Nissan Hi-Cross concept from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, with a swooping character line, thick D-pillars, and a sloping rear hatch.

The 2014 Rogue is not only important for Nissan as the brand’s second best-selling model (behind the Altima), but also because it competes in the hotly contested compact crossover segment, which has seen numerous redesigns in the past year of the top-selling models like the 2013 Toyota RAV4, the 2013 Honda CR-V, and the 2013 Ford Escape. We expect the 2014 Nissan Rogue to be powered by a four-cylinder and CVT powertrain combination. With Nissan’s recent focus on fuel economy, the 2014 Rogue should provide a significant jump over the current model’s 23/28 mpg EPA city/highway ratings to challenge the class leaders.

The Rogue will be the last of Nissan’s “five new models in 15 months” campaign, following the 2013 Nissan Altima, the 2013 Nissan Sentra, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, and the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.
The 2014 Nissan Rogue’s release date coincides with the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and a Nissan representative said a version of this vehicle would be shown at Frankfurt. We wouldn’t be surprised if this means the Rogue and its European counterpart, the Nissan Qashquai, are merging into one global model with the redesigned crossover. The Nissan Rogue is currently sold only in the U.S. and Canada, whereas the Qashquai is sold globally.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rumors: Porsche Considers to Launch 2+2 918 Spyder

The Porsche 911 has just earned its second consecutive victory at our Best Driver’s Car competition, proving yet again that the automaker knows how to build a solid and fun-to-drive sports car. Now, it appears Porsche wants to delve further into the supercar world with no fewer than two new exotics, including a 2+2 model based on the upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder.

An Automobile report suggests that the 2+2 supercar, dubbed the 984, would ride on a stretched version of the 918′s carbon fiber body, allowing the addition of rear doors and seats. The 984 would ditch the 918′s hybrid component, which means power will come solely from a mid-mounted V-8, though it could be tuned to churn out around 700 hp to the rear wheels (via a seven-speed PDK). Should the limited-production 984 get the official green light, production will likely begin no earlier than 2017.
 That said, the Porsche 960 is still on the table, with the goal of competing with Italian exotics (the 960 is codenamed “FeFi” for “Ferrari Fighter”). The 960 will also get a new 5.0-liter eight-cylinder, twin-turbo boxer engine expect to produce around 650 hp. With all-wheel drive grip and a low curb weight of about 3100 pounds, the Porsche 960 could acceleration from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Not surprisingly, Porsche is hard at work producing 911 variants, including the GT3 RS and the all-new Targa model. The third-generation Cayenne SUV is already in development, as well as the Pajun, which is essentially a smaller version of the Panamera. As we’ve stated many times before, these unconventional Porsches are vital money makers for the automaker, providing the capital needed for the aforementioned supercars. In fact, Automobile reports that Porsche’s current net profit per vehicle is $22,191, easily the highest among all automakers.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Update: 2014 Kia Sorento

The Problem: The NHTSA has recalled 9345 model year 2014 Kia Sorento crossovers equipped with the front-drive, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine powertrain. These vehicles may have a faulty passenger-side front axle shaft that could fracture, resulting in a loss of power to the wheels. Additionally, affect vehicles could roll away if the parking brake is not applied, even if the transmission is in the Park position.

The Fix: The recall (number SC099) begins in September 2013. Kia will notify owners and replace the front axle shaft free of charge. Owners can contact the automaker at 800-333-4542 for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 9345 model year 2014 Kia Sorento front-drive crossovers powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 22 Agustus 2013

Spied: 2014 Mercedes A45 AMG Black Series

A Mercedes A45 AMG Black series has been spied by our photographers udnergoing testing at the demanding Nurburgring circuit.

While at first glance this may appear to be a completely undisguised standard Mercedes A45 AMG, there are a few tell tale signs that this is in fact the extreme Black Series version.

From the images, only the larger wheel arches seem to separate this car from the standard A45 AMG. However, the biggest changes to the Black Series will take place under the bonnet. If you look closely at the rear of the car you’ll notice the rather unsightly protruding tail pipes. This is an indication that the car has been undergoing emissions testing, meaning only one thing - an increase in power output.

The standard A45 AMG produces 355bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, making it the most powerful 2.0-litre engine in any production car. The Black Series is expected to squeeze around 400bhp out of the same motor twinned with the same AMG seven-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive transmission, meaning the standard 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds will be dramatically cut down.

The production version of the A45 AMG Black Series is also likely to be fitted with a much beefier body kit than the mule in these pictures, larger brake discs, and more aerodynamic additions to the front end. However if Mercedes did produce a Black Series version of the A45 it would mean a reversal of their previous policy for only giving its two-door models the full-fat Black Series treatment. It would also likely cost over £50,000 - and produced in very limited numbers. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Concept Car: BMW X5 eDrive

The BMW X5 eDrive concept is set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and is another model to add to BMW's growing electric car portfolio. The concept X5 eDrive is a plug-inhybrid version of the new X5 capable of travelling 19 miles in electric-only mode, returning 74.3mpg and producing less than 90g/km of CO2.

Unlike the Concept Active Tourer (the only other eDrive model to date), which combined a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, the X5 eDrive pairs up an unspecific four-cylinder petrol engine (likely to be the 245bhp 2.0 turbo from the 328i) with a 95bhp electric motor. Power is sent through BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system, so it should have all the grip and stability of a standard X5.

There are three driving modes to choose from. Intelligent hybrid drive senses your driving style and strikes a balance between sportiness and efficiency, pure electric mode disengages the engine and works up to speeds of 75mph, and safe battery mode puts greater load on the engine to maintain the current battery charge. With the engine a motor working together 0-62mph in less than seven seconds is possible.

Although it doesn’t have the ultra lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminium construction of the i3 hatchback or i8 sports car, there are some styling nods towards the new ‘i’ family. The slats in the grille, a stripe along the lower air intake and an inlay in the rear bumper are all finished in the same blue colour developed specifically for the ‘i’ sub-brand.

Other changes to the regular X5 include new roof rails, unique 21-inch alloys with a new aerodynamic design and the eDrive branded charging socket above the front wheelarch. Despite the lithium-ion battery pack stored underneath the boot floor, the eDrive’s boot space is only slightly reduced compared to the standard X5.

BMW is calling the X5 eDrive “the next logical step towards landmark efficiency in the SAV segment,” suggesting it’s not a question of if this technology will make production, but when. Expect production cars with this four-wheel drive plug-in set up on UK roads by 2015. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

When Chevrolet debuted the refreshed-for-2014 Camaro coupe at the New York auto show earlier this year, the updated convertible version was nowhere to be found. Chevy, of course, was just waiting to reveal that model at a different auto show. Interestingly, that venue is the 2013 Frankfurt show, a move that has to do with the timing of the car’s launch both in Europe and here in the States—not to mention being just about the last opportunity for the car to get some press before the new Mustang breaks cover. 

The 2014 Camaro convertible wears the same updated sheetmetal as the latest coupe, with squintier headlights and a slimmer grille and taillights. As on the coupe, the styling tweaks help reduce some of the Camaro’s visual chunkiness. The droptop’s three trim levels—LT, SS, and ZL1—carry over, and the spec sheet mirrors the coupe’s, with a standard 323-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 and choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Buyers can step up to a 426-hp—400 horsepower when shifting duties are handled by the automatic transmission—6.2-liter V-8 in the SS model, or to a 580-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 in the burly ZL1. (The ZL1 does not get the same front fascia as the rest of the 2014 Camaro lineup due to the high level of effort required to adapt it for the car’s aerodynamic and cooling needs.) 

Besides inheriting the coupe’s cosmetic upgrades, the convertible only gets one of that model’s two new optional extras: a color head-up display and Recaro sport seats. Unfortunately, the Recaro sport seats—which are optional on SS coupes—didn’t make the convertible’s options sheet, likely because the seatbelts in the topless Camaro are seat-mounted. A new seven-inch MyLink touch-screen infotainment system is now available, and a backup camera mercifully remains standard. The SS coupe’s available high-performance 1LE package is still unavailable on the convertible, and we’ve been told not to hold our breath for a roofless Z/28

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro convertible is headed for dealerships as you read this, and pricing edges upward slightly relative to the 2013 model. A base 1LT increases by $390 to $31,950, the $39,950 SS starts $365 higher than last year, and the ZL1’s price swells by a modest $705 to $62,450.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 21 Agustus 2013

New Concept Car: Opel/Vauxhall Monza

The Vauxhall Monza will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

The Monza is said to preview future Vauxhall design language, while the model also includes a super-efficient new range-extender drivetrain and a revolutionary interior multimedia system.
“The Monza concept is nothing less than our vision of the automotive future,” according to Vauxhall-Opel chief Karl-Thomas Neumann.

The 4690mm-long coupé was penned by Vauxhall’s British chief of design, Mark Adams. Its look is the next step from Vauxhall’s current design language, introduced with the Insignia in 2008. It will refine the look of the marque’s range, adding in more flowing surfaces, more precise lines, more prominent side sills and wheel arches and more sweeping contours.

Dramatic gullwing doors give access to an airy four-seat cabin, with entry and exit aided by the absence of B-pillars. Despite its sporty silhouette and low 1310mm height, boot capacity is rated at 500 litres — and there is plenty of headroom for passengers, since the whole cabin sits around 150mm lower than in a comparably sized production model.

Power comes from a development of the Ampera’s range-extender drivetrain. Vauxhall hasn’t released any performance or economy figures yet, confirming only that the role of the generator in the drivetrain is played by its new three-cylinder 1.0-litre SIDI turbo engine, converted to run on natural gas.

The Monza is said to do without a conventional dashboard, centre console, instruments and multimedia screens. Instead, it has one continuous, sweeping display from door to door. This uses LED projection technology, which is the same as that used at events such as the Queen’s jubilee, when a special show was projected on to Buckingham Palace.

The technology uses 18 LED projectors to display all the typical functions of the interior; the driver operates this via voice control or steering wheel buttons.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2014 Audi A8

The facelifted Audi A8 has been revealed, with more powerful engines and new LED headlight technology among the changes.

The revised A8, offered in two wheelbase lengths and with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month ahead of its UK launch next January.

The optional new LED technology is called MatrixBeam. It features 25 individual LEDs that can be switched on or off or dimmed individually, depending on the road conditions. The lights also adapt around corners, feature indicators with sequential lighting and, when linked with an optional navigation and MMI infotainment system, use the sat-nav to adapt to corners, hills and road classifications.

Other exterior changes include new designs for the front and rear bumpers, bonnet, front grille and LED rear lights. A new boot layout is also offered to improve loading, and added insulation in the dampers reduces interior noise levels. New trims, colours and connectivity and technology options feature inside.

The petrol engine line-up includes a 306bhp 3.0-litre V6, 429bhp 4.0-litre V8, 493bhp 6.3-litre W12 and 513bhp 4.0-litre V8 (for the S8). The diesels are a 254bhp 3.0-litre TDI and a 380bhp 4.2-litre TDI. A hybrid version mixes a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor for combined figures of 242bhp, 44.8mpg and 147g/km.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: Lexus Concept

A new Lexus concept is coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, and we’ve just seen our first glimpse of the car.

The concept appears to have aggressive LED headlights and Lexus’ LED accent lights, cut in half by a piece of sheetmetal that carries down the front edge of the car. The bold spindle grille looks more eye-catching — for better or for worse — and a slim side-view mirror is perched on the side of the front door. 
We’re guessing the Lexus concept may show a newer version of the RC coupe — you can view our rendering of an RC F below. A concept version of the upcoming NX compact crossover is a possibility, too, as is a newer version of the LF-CC.

At the Lexus stand in Frankfurt, the mystery concept will be joined by the first European appearance of the GS 300h hybrid. We’re more interested in the concept, which Lexus will continue to tease before the show.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Volkswagen Golf R

We’re still without the MkVII Golf in the U.S., much less the comparo-winning GTI, and Volkswagen now twists the knife a little more. Today, the company unveiled the ultimate Golf: the all-wheel-drive, 296-hp Golf R. 

Unlike the front-wheel-drive GTI, the Golf R is sold exclusively with a Haldex all-wheel-drive system. The car also gets a cross differential lock at each axel, which VW calls XDS+, that provides brake-based torque vectoring. Power comes from a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which produces 296 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque from 1800 to 5500 rpm—notice that maximum torque is sustained until the engine reaches its peak power. Compared to the GTI’s version of the powerplant, the Golf R’s is fitted with a unique cylinder head, new exhaust-valve hardware, new pistons, and a larger turbocharger that operates with a boost pressure of up to 17.4 psi. The exhaust system is of the two-stage variety for optimum aural pleasure under heavy loads, and, as is the case with the Focus-ST, intake noise is piped into the car’s cabin. 

In European specification, there is a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Volkswagen says that the sprint from 0 to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds with the manual and just 4.9 seconds with the automatic—we recorded a 0–60 time of 5.9 seconds in our last test of a Golf R. Specifying the automatic adds a launch-control feature while the manual features shorter throws and a shorter shifter than do workaday Golfs. Top speed is governed at 155 mph, and VW R development chief Guido Sever says that 168 mph would be possible without the electronic limiter. "We are considering that option," he adds. 

The manual-equipped Golf R is rated for 33 mpg and the automatic receives a mark of 34, although that’s on the optimistic European cycle. VW claims a fuel-economy improvement of 20 percent over the previous-gen Golf R—available only with a six-speed manual in the U.S., and rated for 19 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway—largely due to efficiency gains in the switch from the EA113 mill to the new EA888, as well as the car’s weight loss of some 100 pounds. (That drop in weight is inherent to the Golf MkVII and its MQB architecture; there are no specific lightweight components on the Golf R.) 

Compared to the standard Golf, the chassis of the R is lowered by nearly 0.8 inch—still some 0.2 inch lower than the GTI—and features an adaptive setup with choices of Comfort, Sport, and Race modes, each offering differentiated rebound and compression rates within each individual damper. (These Dynamic Chassis Control settings work in conjunction with VW’s Driving Profile Selector, which alter transmission and throttle settings according to which mode is selected: Eco, Normal, Individual, Comfort, and Race.) The GTI's variable-ratio steering system is used in the Golf R, and, for the first time, the stability-control system can be switched off entirely. 

This ultimate Golf is a "street fighter" and "ready for the racetrack," according to the brand. To illustrate that, we’re told that Nürburgring lap times are 15 seconds quicker compared to the MkVI Golf R, and 11 seconds better than the best time set by the new MkVII GTI. But the Golf R isn’t an uncompromising racer, "It is still a Golf." That's a good thing, considering that the European customer base for the dearest Golf is comprised mainly of affluent men between the ages of 40 and 60. These people like to brag about lap times, but they’re not interested in frequent visits to the chiropractor. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 20 Agustus 2013

New Car: 2014 Toyota Kijang Innova

This one is not very easy on the eyes – you have been warned. The Toyota Innova facelift has been launched in Indonesia, and it comes with a shocking new face. There’s a massive Hilux-inspired grille up front, with a reworked rear end sporting highly dressed up garnishes.

First introduced in 2005, the Toyota Innova replaced the SUV-shaped Unser MPV, and was then given a light refresh in 2008 consisting of a new front grille and bumpers. 2011 saw a more thorough update, with the model receiving an all new front end that mimicked the then-current Toyota Camry XV40, plus a revised interior.

Updated again in 2013, the new Kijang Innova as it is called in Indonesia – a long-standing name in our neighbouring country; used since the ‘70s for the Indonesian-designed pickup/MPV – only introduces aesthetic upgrades to the ageing people carrier, with everything under the sheet metal staying the same.

What it does get, is dual-airbags across the entire range. The base Type J variant now has two airbags, compared to just one before. Curiously, the entry-level model does without the visual upgrades you see here, sporting the same looks as the current Innova. Malaysian models already have dual-airbags as a standard feature.

Mechanically it’s the same as before, with one petrol variant (2.0 litre with 136 PS and 182Nm) and an Indonesia-only diesel option (2.5 litre with 103 PS and 200 Nm). No changes to the choice of transmissions either, as the same five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes soldier on. Classic Toyota, then.

In Indonesia the new Toyota Innova facelift is priced at Rp208 juta (RM65k) for the base manual Type J, up to Rp 310 juta (RM97k) for the range-topping petrol automatic Type V Luxury model. Our local Innova should be getting this latest update soon, so if you don’t like the way it looks, better get yours now while you still can.

Thanks to: Paultan

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