Jumat, 27 September 2013

New Car: 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Never one to rest on its laurels, Ford is updating its Super Duty line. The 2015 Ford Super Duty pickup line includes a heavily reworked 2015 F-450, an updated F-Series Super Duty King Ranch model, and most importantly, extensive revisions to Ford’s 6.7-liter Powerstroke turbodiesel V-8, designed to make it both more powerful and more reliable.

The big news for most 2015 Ford Super Duty buyers is the second generation of the Blue Oval’s Powerstroke V-8. For 2015, Ford set out to make its big turbodiesel V-8 both more powerful and more reliable than before.  Ford’s Super Duty engineers were able to accomplish both tasks with one relatively simple change: slapping on a bigger turbocharger. The new turbocharger is 8.5 millimeters larger in diameter than before, which allows Ford to tune the Powerstroke to make more usable power, using less boost than before. That, in turn, meant Ford was able to eliminate the wastegate and its associated controls from the Powerstroke, making it simpler and more reliable. Ford has yet to announce power output for the second-generation Powerstroke V-8, noting only that it’ll make more than the current Powerstroke’s 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.
 In addition to the new power output and improved reliability, Ford boasts that high-altitude performance is also improved, as is engine exhaust braking, thanks to the larger turbocharger. Other changes Ford made to the second-generation Powerstroke include a new high-pressure fuel pump and fuel injectors, reduced friction on the engine’s internals, and a new torque converter for the six-speed automatic that allows it to handle the extra power.

The rest of the 2015 Ford Super Duty lineup gets some changes too. The range-topping 2015 Super Duty King Ranch, for example, moves more upmarket with a more luxurious interior. The cabin now features higher-quality and visually lighter Mesa leather on the seats, center console lid, arm rests, and steering wheel. The “Running W” logo—the same logo that the real life King Ranch uses to brand its cattle—is more prominent than before, with it stitched into the seats and center console lid to make it appear as if the Super Duty itself were branded.
 The F-Series Super Duty King Ranch’s exterior gets a few updates as well, with its bumpers, lower body and wheel lip moldings now painted in metallic-brown “Caribou” paint, and the Running W on the wheel caps.

The 2015 Ford F-450 was also extensively updated, increasing its towing and hauling capability. The 2015 F-450′s highlights include a strengthened frame, heavy duty rear leaf springs, and stronger shocks and stabilizer bars.  “Commercial-grade” 19.5-inch wheels and tires also make an appearance on the 2015 F-450. Ford has also fit the 2015 F-450 with the F-450 chassis cab’s stronger brakes, and re-calibrated its anti-lock braking system. The F-450′s 6.7-liter Powerstroke (its only available engine) also gets unique engine calibration.

The 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty is being introduced today (rather appropriately, we might add) at the Texas State Fair, and likely go on sale early next year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2004-2005 & 2007-2009 Toyota Sienna

The Problem: In affected Siennas, if the shift lock solenoid is damaged, the shift lever could be moved out of the Park position without the driver depressing the brake pedal. That could, of course, lead to the vehicle unintentionally rolling away. The current-generation Toyota Sienna was new for the 2011 model year; affected models are from the last-generation vehicle.

The Fix: Toyota will contact owners of affected Siennas, replacing installed shift lock solenoids with new ones. For more information, owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 615,000 Toyota Sienna minivans from the 2004-2005 and 2007-2009 model years.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD

In the pipe-laying competition otherwise known as the full-size, heavy-duty pickup-truck segment, manufacturers are constantly trying to out-do one another’s tow ratings. Sometimes, this takes the form of actual mechanical improvements, other times truck-makers simply get more savvy about how to define their towing capabilities as “class-leading.” Chevrolet moves the bar forward in both regards with its updated 2015 Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD models. 

The bow-tie brand boasts “best-in-class payload and conventional towing” for the new HD, which sounds mighty until you consider that the Silverado’s all-out towing with a fifth-wheel isn’t class-leading. Still, you can carry more weight in the Chevy’s bed and lug more behind its trailer hitch than you can with Ford’s Super Duty or Ram’s fifth-wheel-towing king, the 3500 HD. Lest we get mired too deeply in towing, the Silverado HD also follows the 2014 Silverado 1500’s lead and wears updated styling and packs new safety and convenience features. 

If you like the way the Silverado 1500 looks, well, you’ll really like the 2015 2500 and 3500. That’s because the heavy-duty trucks look pretty much identical to the 1500, albeit with a slightly more bluff-like face. Because when talking HD trucks, almost everything comes back to towing, Chevrolet says it put a significant amount of work into the Silverado to enhance engine cooling through aerodynamically optimized ducts and better front-end sealing. Chevy also claims careful attention was paid to smoothing atmospheric flow over the tailgate and roof spoilers, proving that aerodynamic efficiency has a place even on vehicles shaped like houses. 

The HDs also inherit the 1500’s cab improvements, including its stiffer construction, triple-sealed doors that are inset into the body for reduced noise, and classy interior. A bevy of USB, SD card, and power ports are available, and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system is standard on all models save for the base work-truck HD variant. Just as the 1500 gained some interior room and switched to forward-hinged doors on extended-cab models, so do the 2500 and the 3500. Feel that? The topic of towing is pulling us again—this time concerning the dashboard, which was designed to put towing-specific controls close at hand. The optional trailer brake controller is positioned to the left of the steering wheel, the tow/haul button (which also operates the Auto Grade Braking transmission shift map) is fitted to the end of the shifter, and on models equipped with the Duramax diesel engine, the exhaust brake can be activated via a dash button. 

In contrast to the reworked body and interior, the 2015 Silverado HD models’ two available powertrains carry over unchanged. A gas-fed, 6.0-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic brings 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque to the towing party, although it makes 322 ponies in 3500 models. A bi-fuel option for the V-8 facilitates a compressed-natural-gas conversion with hardened valves and valve seats. Both 2500 and 3500 Silverados keep GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine on their option sheets; the burly mill makes 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of twist. The diesel again comes paired with a six-speed Allison 1000 automatic transmission. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

What It Is: The high-performance variation of the next-generation Ford Mustang, which we believe will keep its Shelby GT500 moniker. In light of the expected return of the Shelby GT350, we hear those in Dearborn are wary of two Shelby-branded offerings in the lineup diluting the badge’s equity, and are looking into changing the more powerful car’s name to SVT Cobra. Although we don’t expect this name change to happen, anything goes with the new Stang, which has yet to be officially revealed in any form. If you’re wondering whether this is a GT350, well, that model isn’t expected to arrive until a few years after the 2015 Mustang debuts, so it’s safe to assume this is a GT500 mule. 

Why It Matters: Traditionally, in the pony-car wars, horsepower is firepower—and the more you have, the better to thump your competition. The current GT500 comes packing heat in the form of a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 pumping out a brutal 662 ponies and 631 lb-ft of torque. Code-named “Trinity,” the blown V-8 is a double-barreled shotgun to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s magnum pistol—an 82-hp and 75-lb-ft advantage that cannot be ignored. The Camaro’s not going anywhere, and neither is the long-running muscle-car rivalry between Chevy and Ford, so the next GT500 will need to maintain the current car’s edge. 

Platform: The upcoming Mustang will ride on a new rear-drive platform code-named “S550” that’s expected to be slightly smaller than the current Mustang’s architecture. A big change is in store for the pony car’s rear suspension, which for the first time—outside of the limited-production 1999–2004 SVT Cobra—will feature an independent layout. Our guess is that this is where the majority of the development work on the GT500 is centered; the engineers must tune the suspension to handle the Trinity motor’s mighty thrust and unique weight balance. As for the car’s body, it is clear from the test car in these photos that the GT500 will again wear more-muscular and aerodynamically optimized sheetmetal than regular Mustangs. Check out those beefy rocker panels, pumped-out fenders, and fender vents just aft of the front wheel openings. None of this gear was present on the most recent 2015 Mustang prototypes we spotted.  

Powertrain: We expect the Shelby GT500 will again utilize the 5.8-liter Trinity V-8, and while a power bump is possible, it’s not at all necessary. The GT500 today struggles to lay down the power and is plenty quick—with the next-gen Mustang’s expected weight reduction, more power would seem superfluous. Once again, the GT500 should get just a single transmission option: a six-speed manual. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Kamis, 26 September 2013

Spied: 2015 Jeep Baby SUV

Jeep will release a new baby SUV in 2014.

The company promises that its baby SUV will be the “most capable off-road vehicle in the segment” when it arrives in the middle of next year.

As these spy photos show, chassis development is under way for the new vehicle, which is based on the underpinnings of the Fiat 500L.

Jeep has high sales expectations for its new rival to the Vauxhall Mokka, Nissan Juke and Ford EcoSport. Although the vehicle, codenamed B-SUV, is intended to broaden the brand’s appeal and boost its sales in North America and Europe, company chiefs are adamant that this will not happen at the cost of Jeep’s ‘trail-rated’ identity.

It will have rugged looks inspired by Jeep’s latest Wrangler off-roader and could feature four-wheel drive as standard to give it clear differentiation from its rivals.

“We feel there’s a position for a real Jeep offering which will be the true SUV in that growing segment,” said Chris Ellis, head of Jeep for Europe. “It will be identifiable as a Jeep from its styling and it will be the best and most capable off-road vehicle in that segment. It will be a Jeep through and through.

“What we’re not trying to do is generalise the brand in order to appeal to a larger group. We believe the core values of Jeep — freedom, authenticity and adventure — are relevant to a large enough population for us to get the market growth that we need.”

It seems likely that the baby Jeep will be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, during what will be a busy year for the brand. The latest Cherokee will reach Europe in the second quarter of 2014, and Ellis said that “it is going to put us near the top of the class in terms of fuel economy” while “still doing all the things that a Jeep should do”.

A big seven-seat SUV is still under consideration. Ellis could not confirm if it would reach production, but he felt it would enhance Jeep’s range. “I would love it,” he said. “It would fulfil our line-up to have everything from a B-SUV up to something in the seven-seat segment.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Rumors: Mazda to Launch Nissan Juke Rival

Mazda is set to launch five all-new SkyActiv models between now and 2015  – including a Nissan Juke rival called the CX-3 SUV, shown in our exclusive image.

The new Mazda 3, launched at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, goes on sale here in January, while a new 2 supermini is also expected next year, and is likely to be powered by 1.3 and 1.5-litre SkyActiv engines.

Mazda has already confirmed that it’s working with Alfa Romeo to develop the next MX-5 with a new Spider.

Mazda Europe boss Jeff Guyton said: “Both cars will use a very similar platform, but will have their own unique ‘top-hat’ [exterior and interior design] and powertrains – although Mazda will build both cars at its Hiroshima plant [in Japan].”

Beyond that, Mazda is expected to replace its slow-selling 5 people carrier with a new seven-seat CX-7 crossover. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe

The “concept” may have just made its auto show debut, but we have every indication that Mercedes-Benz is moving ahead with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe. Our latest evidence comes via these new images of the high-performance Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe.

As expected, the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe prototype sports the flared wheel arches, muscular hood, and quad-tipped exhaust pipes that have become AMG signatures over the years. Compared to the new S-Class Coupe concept, the S63 AMG coupe has a more aggressive blacked-out grille, and much larger air intakes. Though the camo initially tricks the eye into thinking the front end of the new S-Class AMG coupe is square, it actually appears sculpted to resemble the intake of the new 2014 S63 AMG sedan we recently drove. Other unique touches to the S63 AMG coupe include sportier wheels, massive brakes, and a rear diffuser sitting between the exhaust outlets.
 Like its sedan sibling, the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe will be powered by AMG’s hand-built 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8. We’re expecting it to make the same 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque as the four-door. The S63 AMG coupe’s mill will likely be paired with a seven-speed automatic. Given AMG’s newfound focus on all-wheel drive, it may be standard on the S63 AMG Coupe.

The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe is likely to debut late next year as a 2015 model. When it does go on sale, it will replace the CL-Class in Mercedes’ lineup.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 25 September 2013

Hot News: Citroen to Launch Peugeot 2008 Rival

Citroën is planning to launching a B-segment SUV into Europe, according to the firm’s C Line Chief Pierre Monferrini.

The company's partner, Peugeot, competes in the fast-growing segment in Europe with the Peugeot 2008 and Monferrini said it was a segment Citroën was looking at entering.“The B-SUV is of course a good question for us,” he said. “We have something in there with the C3 Picasso for the moment, but we will see what we do.”

He also confirmed that the DS Wild Rubis SUV concept revealed at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year would make it into production in 2014, but a decision on whether or not it would be sold in Europe had yet to be taken.

Monferrini also confirmed the C6 would not be replaced, as that car “should now be a DS”. A large DS saloon-come-hatchback was being evaluated , inspired by the Numero 9 concept from last year. “We said Numero 9 was the face of a future Citroën DS, but the body is still being evaluated further,” he said.

Monferrini was more optimistic on the C5, the model being set to be replaced, despite underwhelming sales in its current generation. It’s likely any future C5 replacement would be part of Citroen’s Cactus line-up.

The C1 has also now been confirmed for another generation, although “no Cactus will make it into the car” according to Monferrini as it’s been developed with a partner, Toyota.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Citroen C4 Cactus Gets Green Light

Citroën will unveil the production version of its C4 Cactus on February 5 2014. The date marks five years since it launched its DS line, and 136 years since the birth of company founder Andre Citroën.

The production version of the Cactus concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show will stay largely true to the concept version, Citroën C Line boss Pierre Monferrini confirmed to Autocar on the launch of the new C4 Grand Picasso.

Monferrini said reaction to the concept had been “very positive” and it was a “very important step for us as the concept is a very difficult one to explain without a concept car”. Cactus will become a name used for Citroëns that aim to offer buyers a simple, but not budget experience, offering them cars with well executed features of what they need and no frivolous extras.

Monferrini suggested the model would not be based on Citroën's new corporate EMP2 platform seen beneath the new C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso models, as well as the Peugeot 308. The model is instead set to get tried and trusted mechanicals from elsewhere in PSA.

“The question is not about platform,” said Monferrini, “the question is about what will it weigh, and what will the CO2 be. The customer only wants to know what it will cost them. From there, you will be pleasantly surprised. That’s the meaning of the Cactus.

“We’ve several platforms available to us; the EMP2 of course but also the platform for the C-Elysee [a budget saloon sold in China], the C4, the C4 Aircross. The customer wants to know CO2 and weight, these are important for the costs, not weight.”

Monferrini said the design of the Cactus concept was set to change little from concept to production. “It will of course get windows and classic doors, but other things stay like the sofas inside and the Air Bump on the doors, they’ll stay. The floating C-pillar stays also.”

The sofa-style interior for the front seats would remain for automatic versions of the C4 Cactus. There would be two individual seats up front for front passengers that look as though they’re joined.
The engine range is likely to be simple, with lower-powered units and simple transmission options.
“You won’t find the 155 horsepower THP engine [a 1.6 turbo petrol] in the Cactus,” said Monferrini. “If we did it, we’d need bigger brakes, a bigger, wider structure that makes it more expensive. We’ve got the DS3 for that.”

Monferrini said it was still being decided whether the C4 Cactus would be marketed as a hatchback rather than a crossover in the C4 line-up. The concept was more a crossover in style, with the hatchback spied more of raised hatchback. “We’ve not yet decided on hatchback or crossover. It could be a cross-hatch, why not?”

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Skoda Plans to Launch More SUV

Skoda is thinking big with its SUV plans. Spurred on by the runaway success of the Yeti – which has proven more popular every year since it launched in 2009 – the brand has two more models in the pipeline, catering for very different types of buyer.

Top of Skoda’s list of priorities is a much larger, seven-seater SUV, previewed by our exclusive main image, that will be revealed at 2015’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

“A seven-seater is the most logical route from our customers’ point of view,” said Skoda head of development Dr Frank Welsch. “If we do SUVs, they should be typical Skodas, with lots of space. In this respect a 5+2 layout works perfectly.”

The company currently has a four per cent slice of the market in Europe, and it believes a model like this would help increase that share. But this car would also work in crucial markets like China – and help Skoda boost annual sales there from around 235,000 to its target of 500,000.

The big Skoda is likely to be the sister car to the production version of the VW CrossBlue concept, and is set to be based on the largest possible version of the MQB platform. That means it’ll benefit from the latest fuel-efficient four-cylinder VW Group engines and electrical systems. It will also have a boot as big as the VW Golf’s (around 380 litres) with all seven seats in place.

We bounced a few ideas for names off Dr Welsch, including Snowman, Big Foot and Sasquatch. He laughed and noted them all down – so if any are used, you heard it here first.

With its larger dimensions, extra weight and higher price, the big SUV would be the perfect candidate for the latest VW Group plug-in hybrid technology – but Welsch isn’t so sure. “We are in a good position as we have smaller cars with efficient engines, so we are good for meeting emissions regulations,” he explained. “Other brands in the group need to start with EVs and hybrids now, but not us. One day we will do it.”

Sitting below the seven-seater will be the new Yeti. Four years after it was originally launched, the car has just been revised, and it debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. There are now two versions: a rugged Outdoor with plastic cladding, and the sleeker City model, with body-coloured exterior trim. An all-new Yeti, based on the MQB platform, is expected in 2016.

Completing the new Skoda SUV range will be a rebadged version of the production VW Taigun. Based on the VW up!, this car debuted in concept form at last year’s Sao Paulo Motor Show, and Skoda will offer its own, subtly different version, taking styling cues from the Citigo. This could be called the Skoda CitySUV, and will be front-wheel drive only.

“For now we need roomy cars first, so we are focusing on this bigger Yeti,” said Welsch. “That doesn’t mean there’s less room for a small SUV, though. We are a member of the VW Group and can take it, but let’s wait and see." For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 BMW X6 M Design Edition

The segment-busting BMW X6 debuted in 2008, but before the current-generation SAC (sports activity coupe, in BMW-speak) retires, an X6 M Design Edition has been announced. As an attempt to remind people of the X6′s existence, the special — and optional — stripes of the limited-editon X6 M shown here isn’t a bad place to start.

Featuring the three-colored M stripes, the BMW X6 M Design Edition is limited to just 100 units. Aside from the 21-inch wheels and paint accents front and rear, the X6 M also gets bold Mugello Red interior accents in the form of stitching on the leather-covered dash and seats, as well as a big red stripe across the top of the dash. Of course, the special-edition model wouldn’t be complete without a plaque on the piano-black dash noting where in the 100-unit production run your car falls.
 Carbon fiber accents cover the X6 M’s front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler. The BMW X6 M is powered by a 555-hp turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with 500 lb-ft of torque and uses a six-speed automatic. While the 2014 BMW X6 M carries a starting price just under $95,000, we’re guessing very few X6 M’s with a sub-$100,000 price tag exist.

When we tested a 2011 BMW X6 M, the 5181-pound all-wheel-drive SUV accelerated from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds. Before long, we’ll find out whether the X6′s SAC formula works better on the smaller X4.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 24 September 2013

Sneak Peek: 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Now that the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2015 GMC Yukon have been revealed, it’s the 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s turn. Cadillac has announced that the 2015 Escalade will be officially uncovered on October 7 with indie rock photographer and director Autumn de Wilde.

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s volume powertrain will be a version of the 6.2-liter V-8 that in the 2015 Yukon produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s mated to a six-speed automatic in the Yukon, at some point we expect a different transmission to take the six-speed’s place in the Cadillac and possibly in the GMC as well.

GM says the 2015 Cadillac Escalade images de Wilde has taken are a bit different from traditional automotive photography. What we can tell based on the teaser image is that the Escalade will again offer LED headlights, with an LED accent light pipe stretching the length of the headlight, up onto the edge of the hood. It appears the 2015 Escalade’s headlight may be a bit slimmer and longer than that of the 2015 Yukon, to better differentiate the two high-priced SUVs.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sabtu, 21 September 2013

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Datsun Go

The reborn Datsun range has two members, starting with the GO hatchback, and now the GO+ MPV that was unveiled in Indonesia a few days ago. Here they are again in the flesh, as pictured from the on-going IIMS in Jakarta.

Seen side-by-side, the cost-cutting measures between the two related models are very obvious. They are identical from the nose right up to the C-pillar. The MPV even shares the same rear doors with the smaller hatchback. Now, the GO’s oddly upright rear doors make more sense.

They are also built on the same exact platform, which is sourced from the existing Nissan March/Micra. As such, the seven-seat MPV has a very short wheelbase that measures at just 2,450 mm. The similar-natured Honda Mobilio, for instance, has a 2,650 mm-long wheelbase.

It won’t be the roomiest MPV around then, that’s for sure. Fortunately, it will have price on its side – the GO+ will go on sale next year in Indonesia at a starting price of below 100 million rupiah (RM29,000), while the Mobilio will cost at least 50% more. That’s a huge price advantage.

In Indonesia, however, the two models may have to undergo (pardon the pun) name changes, as models under the Low Cost and Green Car (LCGC) programme are required to have a specific Indonesian name. That’s why the LCGC-conforming Honda Brio has a Satya suffix, and the Suzuki Karimun is named after one of the country’s many islands.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Datsun Go+

The reborn Datsun range has two members, starting with the GO hatchback, and now the GO+ MPV that was unveiled in Indonesia a few days ago. Here they are again in the flesh, as pictured from the on-going IIMS in Jakarta.

Seen side-by-side, the cost-cutting measures between the two related models are very obvious. They are identical from the nose right up to the C-pillar. The MPV even shares the same rear doors with the smaller hatchback. Now, the GO’s oddly upright rear doors make more sense.

They are also built on the same exact platform, which is sourced from the existing Nissan March/Micra. As such, the seven-seat MPV has a very short wheelbase that measures at just 2,450 mm. The similar-natured Honda Mobilio, for instance, has a 2,650 mm-long wheelbase.

It won’t be the roomiest MPV around then, that’s for sure. Fortunately, it will have price on its side – the GO+ will go on sale next year in Indonesia at a starting price of below 100 million rupiah (RM29,000), while the Mobilio will cost at least 50% more. That’s a huge price advantage.

In Indonesia, however, the two models may have to undergo (pardon the pun) name changes, as models under the Low Cost and Green Car (LCGC) programme are required to have a specific Indonesian name. That’s why the LCGC-conforming Honda Brio has a Satya suffix, and the Suzuki Karimun is named after one of the country’s many islands.

Read about the Datsun GO+ MPV and GO hatchback in more detail – you’ll find official interior pictures as well videos of the two models there.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Honda Brio Satya

Honda may have officially launched its revised Brio lineup in Indonesia last week, but what better avenue to showcase the new offerings than at IIMS?

The Brio made its Indonesian debut in August last year, arriving as a 100 PS and 127 Nm 1.3 litre i-VTEC-equipped model. For 2013, the scope has been broadened with the introduction of the 88 PS and 109 Nm 1.2 litre SOHC lump that was first seen on the Brio for the Thai market – the engine equips the new Brio 1.2 and Brio Satya variants that Honda has introduced for the Indonesian market.

The 1.3 continues on, powering the Brio Sports, which is available in a single Type-E grade. The Brio 1.2 is available in S and E model grades and with an auto transmission, while the Brio Satya 1.2, which is Honda’s entry for the country’s Low Cost and Green Car (LCGC) programme, comes in three model grades, these being A, S, and E. In keeping things in line with the low-cost factor, the Satya is only available with a manual transmission.

The Brio Satya is produced in Indonesia with 85% local content, and is the automaker’s cheapest model in that market – the Type-A version holds that honour, rolling in at 106 million Rupiah (RM30,100). All the Brio Satyas variants are equipped with dual airbags, though of course the range-topping Type-E gets the most kit – on the list are fog lamps, rear wiper, 14-inch alloys and a double-DIN CD/MP3 player with USB/iPod connectivity.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: Daihatsu NC-Z Concept

Here are two more debutants at the Indonesian International Motor Show, the Daihatsu NC-Y and NC-Z concept cars. Both are simple design studies that preview the direction the company might take for its next generation of small and affordable cars. The NC in their names simply stand for New Car – option Y and Z.

Oddly enough, they both look production ready, save for the extravagant light treatments. Size-wise, they both appear to be smaller than the Indonesian-market Daihatsu Sirion (a rebadged Perodua Myvi), but larger than the Ayla city car. Guesses on what they will be, if they ever reach production, anyone?

The NC-Y Concept is the more interesting of the two, with a much more sculpted outlook compared to the NC-Z’s simplistic design. It has a square-cut, chiselled outlook and rugged features, all rolled into one tiny machine. There’s even a hint of the Volkswagen up! in its side profile.

In contrast, the NC-Z Concept takes a more traditional route of small car design, using more rounded elements rather than aggressive lines. The upswept headlamps and large black grille are less radical than those on the NC-Y, and the rest of its features are taken straight from the small car design guidebook.

Nevertheless, both are quite attractive, aren’t they? After the bare-bones simplicity of the Ayla, these two inject a welcome dose of sophistication into Daihatsu’s small car family.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: Daihatsu NC-Y Concept

Here are two more debutants at the Indonesian International Motor Show, the Daihatsu NC-Y and NC-Z concept cars. Both are simple design studies that preview the direction the company might take for its next generation of small and affordable cars. The NC in their names simply stand for New Car – option Y and Z.

Oddly enough, they both look production ready, save for the extravagant light treatments. Size-wise, they both appear to be smaller than the Indonesian-market Daihatsu Sirion (a rebadged Perodua Myvi), but larger than the Ayla city car. Guesses on what they will be, if they ever reach production, anyone?

The NC-Y Concept is the more interesting of the two, with a much more sculpted outlook compared to the NC-Z’s simplistic design. It has a square-cut, chiselled outlook and rugged features, all rolled into one tiny machine. There’s even a hint of the Volkswagen up! in its side profile.

In contrast, the NC-Z Concept takes a more traditional route of small car design, using more rounded elements rather than aggressive lines. The upswept headlamps and large black grille are less radical than those on the NC-Y, and the rest of its features are taken straight from the small car design guidebook.

Nevertheless, both are quite attractive, aren’t they? After the bare-bones simplicity of the Ayla, these two inject a welcome dose of sophistication into Daihatsu’s small car family.

Thanks to: Paultan

Jumat, 20 September 2013

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Toyota Kijang Innova

All of the fuss and attention has undoubtedly been on the fresh faces at the Indonesian International Motor Show 2013, but more familiar faces are also to be seen, and this one isn’t that old – well, not if you take into account that it arrived wearing a new face just a month back.

Yes, it’s the Toyota Innova facelift, which was launched in Indonesia in August – our man Hafriz spotted the new Kijang Innova, as it’s known as there, at the Toyota booth whilst on his rounds and duly snapped some shots of the updated MPV.

Previously revised in 2011, the changes to the 2013 Toyota Innova facelift are centred on the exterior, with a rather loud-looking front grille – and face – heading the list. Some minor revisions at the rear and additional garnishing complete the picture, by and large. The show examples of course go the song and dance route, dressed up with sportier alloys and, in the case of the white Type V example, side panel stripe accents.

Two engine choices are available for the Innova in the Indonesian market, a 136 PS and 182 Nm 2.0 litre petrol and a 103 PS and 200 Nm 2.5 litre diesel, with transmission options being the familiar five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes.

Thanks to: Paultan

Kamis, 19 September 2013

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: Daihatsu UFC-2 Concept

The second of Daihatsu’s eight world premieres in Jakarta is this blue machine, called the UFC-2 Concept. Daihatsu isn’t planning a new mixed martial arts competition, as the name stands for Ultra Function Compact (the press release actually says Function Ultra Concept, but let’s let that slide, shall we?).

The Daihatsu UFC-2 Concept – which evolves from the UFC Concept from last year’s show – is claimed to be a sporty compact car for seven passengers. Our take is, it’s a small seven-seater that looks more like a family vehicle than a boxy van, which is always pleasant. There’s lots of chrome and LED detailing around it to make it stand out from a crowd of boring people carriers.

Based on its size, proportions and window line, the UFC-2 Concept looks to be a design study to preview a new Daihatsu Boon Luminas and its Toyota twin, the Passo Sette. The names sound familiar to you? Well, that’s because the current Perodua Alza is based on the seven-seat MPV pair.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Honda Mobilio

We now have fresh and full details of the new Honda Mobilio, along with live photos of the vehicle from its world debut earlier today at the Indonesian International Motor Show 2013. The budget seven-seat MPV is an interesting vehicle indeed, especially since it’s aiming to be the cheapest of its kind in Indonesia.

Still labelled as a prototype, the budget MPV will not go into production exactly as it’s seen here, but the changes will be minimal, according to Honda. It looks completely production ready though, so perhaps it won’t be very long before the Mobilia completes its development programme.

It looks rather good in the flesh; much better than most pictures suggest. Its ‘Dual Solid Motion’ design concept is distinctive, if not exactly unique. The character line that runs across the side of the vehicle draws attention away from the thick proportion as well as help improve all-round visibility. Honda calls it the ‘lightning-bolt’ belt line.

While the front is heavily based on the Brio hatchback it’s derived from, the rear end is all new. The lights have a BMW-like notched design, and the D-pillar is partly covered by the rear quarter panel – another move to break up the visual mass. The prototype sits on 15-inch aluminium wheels.

No pictures of the interior yet, as we weren’t allowed in (this is a prototype, after all). Honda claims to have a class-leading “sensation and comfortable” cabin, without saying it’ll be the roomiest small MPV around. It goes on to say that the rear-most seats will have limited space, but makes up for it by having a “comfortable and relaxed atmosphere” back there.

Practicality should be a high point in the Mobilio. The third row seats can be folded 50/50, while the centre row can tumble down in a 60/40 configuration. A necessary feature in all MPVs, the small Honda MPV will feature a double-blower air-conditioning system, with a dedicated multi-vent panel behind the front seats.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Suzuki Karimun Wagon R

Suzuki has unveiled its entry for the Indonesian Low Cost and Green Car (LCGC) brigade, a small and boxy ‘tallboy’ hatchback named the Karimun Wagon R. Kei car aficionados will already be familiar with it, as it’s based on the Japanese-market fourth-generation Suzuki Wagon R (which has been replaced by a newer model in 2012).

In looks, it has more in common with the current Indian-market Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, with large headlamps and a long double opening grille dominating the front end. It sits upright to maximise interior space, which is at a premium, since it sits on such a small Kei car platform. Overall length is 3,599 mm, and it’s less than 1.5 metres wide.

Also shown at the Indonesian International Motor Show 2013 is a Stingray version of the same model. It sports various styling variations, including a completely unique front end. The rear features clear lamps and a large chrome panel with ‘Stingray Wagon R’ lettering.

Under the hood is a three-cylinder 1.0 litre engine that makes 68 PS and 90 Nm of torque. With a low kerb weight of under 900 kg and a new electric power steering system, the new Karimun Wagon R should have a decent range even with its small 35 litre fuel tank.

In the Indonesian market, it succeeds the previous-generation Suzuki Karimun Estilo (a rebadged first-gen MR Wagon) that had been discontinued a year ago. The company had planned to introduce the new model earlier, but a late finalisation of the LCGC programme forced a costly year-long gap in Suzuki’s small car range, which struggled with the more expensive Splash.

With its LCGC status (the standard Karimun Wagon R at least, not the more premium Stingray), it will go up against the Toyota Agya and Daihatsu Ayla pair, the Honda Brio Satya, as well as the new Datsun GO.

Thanks to: Paultan

Indonesia Show 2013 Highlights: Daihatsu DR-Estate Concept

We are reporting live from the Indonesian International Motor Show 2013, where quite a number of world debuts await. Eight of them are shown by Japanese small car specialist Daihatsu, three of which are concept variations of the Ayla city car which first appeared in last year’s show. This sweet little car though, the Daihatsu DR-Estate, is all new.

The company isn’t releasing any info on the low-slung three-door, other than that it’s “a car to support your lifestyle,” so what you see is what you get. It looks like a Honda CR-Z-sized shooting brake with a tall roof, allowing for a big usable space in the back. It supports your lifestyle, see?
Take your eyes off the model for a second, and draw your attention to the intricate details on the yellow concept. Lots of LEDs are in place, and there’s a clever use of contrasting colours to highlight the more interesting design features.

Notice the metal-effect windshield frame which, paired to the black roof, makes it appear like a roadster. The front grille surrounds are also silver, and the theme continues round the back with a similarly-shaped rear garnish. The twin exhaust slots in the middle sure looks great.

Rendering wiz Theophilus Chin adds the observation that it “looks like Daihatsu is following Audi’s footsteps by previewing a Copen successor with a shooting brake, much like how Audi previewed its Mk2 TT with a shooting brake in 2005.”

In any case, more pictures of the DR-Estate Concept coming up, as well as the rest of the Daihatsu concepts. A pretty good start to the show, don’t you think?

Thanks to: Paultan

Rabu, 18 September 2013

Spied: 2015 Chrysler 200

The next-gen 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan has been caught for the first time wearing its own sheetmetal, and it appears the automaker is working hard to shed the stodgy rental-car image of the current Chrysler 200.

Spotted outside of one of Chrysler’s Michigan test tracks, the Dodge Dart-based 200 looks to be hopping on the coupe-like four-door  bandwagon, likely targeting entry-lux vehicles like the Volkswagen CC and new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. Riding on what appears to be a wheelbase identical to the Dart – but with stretched front  and rear overhangs – the new 2015 Chrysler 200 should be sleeker and more stylish than before. Up front, the new 200 four-door has a small grille opening, with what may be the main air intake built into the lower front fascia. Though effectively camouflaged, the 2015 Chrysler 200 prototype looks like it’ll have an attractively sculpted hood, and LED running lights.
 The most distinctive trait of the new 200′s profile is its roofline that flows back into a small trunk, ending with a subtle lip spoiler. There also looks to be a sculpted line flowing from the front wheel arches, through the length of the car, ending at the taillights. In back, the next-gen Chrysler 200 has sculpted exhaust tips, and may be hiding full-width taillights – stealing a styling trait from its Dodge stablemate.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan will likely use the Dodge Dart’s 2.4-liter 184-hp I-4 as its base engine, and the new 271-hp 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 from the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Also courtesy of the new Cherokee will be the 2015 200′s nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive will be standard, and all-wheel drive may be optional.
 We’re expecting the 2015 Chrysler 200 to debut in January at the Detroit auto show. As for the Chrysler 200′s Dodge Avenger cousin, it’s not clear whether that car will live to see another generation.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2006-2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara & SX4

The Problem: Certain 2006-2011 Suzuki Grand Vitaras and 2007-2011 SX4s may have a passenger seat occupant sensor that wears out prematurely. The sensor mat installed in the front passenger seat may fail due to normal wear and tear from use of the seat. During a crash necessitating airbag deployment, the sensor may cause the airbag to deploy even if the front seat occupant is a child, increasing risk of injury to the child.

The Fix:  Suzuki will notify owners of affected vehicles and replace the front passenger seat cushion assembly. Because Suzuki has withdrawn from the U.S., it will first notify owners of the recall in October, and then again when parts are available to have their SX4s or Grand Vitaras repaired.

Owners may contact Suzuki at 1-800-934-0934 with questions, using recall campaign code “VD.”
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: About 193,936 2007-2011 Suzuki SX4s and 2006-2011 Suzuki Grand Vitaras are affected by this recall.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 17 September 2013

New Car: 2014 Datsun Go+

The Datsun Go+ has been revealed, and will go on sale in Indonesian markets from next year.

Essentially an MPV version of the Go hatchback which relaunched the Japanese marque earlier this year, the Go+ will be powered by the same 1.2-litre petrol engine as the hatchback. Also crossing over from the hatch is the five-speed manual gearbox, which sends power to the front axle.

The MPV also shares the same wheelbase as its smaller sibling, although its overall length has increased by 210mm to provide room for two additional passengers.

Inside, the Go+ follows the design of the Go hatchback almost exactly, also doing without a traditional AM/FM radio in favour of dedicated smartphone integration.

"With the return of the Datsun brand, we are changing mobility," said Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn "And we're ensuring greater access to the pride, independence and opportunities that car ownership provides."

The company has yet to announce official pricing for the model, but it is expected to command a premium over the 400,000 Indian rupees (£4400) asked for the hatchback. By comparison, a Tata Nano costs £1700.

The move to relaunch Datsun is believed to be part of Nissan's plans to cater for the budget end of the car market, in much the same vein as Renault is doing with its Dacia models.

Nissan says it hopes that the Datsun brand will account for half of its total sales in Indonesia by 2016, but has stated that there are no plans for the brand to come to Europe.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2015 Range Rover Sport RS

What's believed to be a higher-performance Range Rover Sport RS has been spied leaving the Nurburgring track in Germany. Our first sighting of the Range Rover Sport RS was back in April, but now the prototype has lost some of its camouflage, allowing us to take a closer look at the more aggressive exterior.

Larger air intakes and a restyled front bumper immediately mark this RS version out against the standard model. The ride height also appears lower suggesting firmer, tuned suspension. Round the back, protruding quad-exhaust pipes indicate there's something special under the bonnet, too.

Power is expected to come from a tuned 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with the same 542bhp and 680Nm of torque as the Jaguar XKR-S. With power sent to all four wheels, 0-62mph should be dispatched in around 4.8 seconds with a top speed of around 165mph.

To manage the power hike, larger Brembo carbon ceramic brakes are likely to be fitted, along with a more lenient traction control system, and more aggressive settings for the gearbox and steering.
Expect prices to start from close to £100,000 when it's launched in 2014, putting it in direct opposition with the BMW X5M and Mercedes ML63 AMG. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Lincoln Navigator

Cadillac will reveal its redesigned 2015 Escalade next month, and the 2015 Lincoln Navigator will be refreshed as well, with Lincoln’s split grille and, we expect, new powertrains to better compete in the full-size luxury SUV segment. A 2015 Lincoln Navigator prototype was recently caught testing, revealing hints about the big SUV’s new look.

This prototype suggests that the 2015 Lincoln Navigator will continue to ride on the same Ford F-150-based platform, rather than transitioning to the new F-150 platform that should debut sometime next year. Overall, the profile of the SUV appears to change little, with the biggest change coming to the front fascia. The current Navigator has been around mostly unchanged since 2007, and the new model will feature Lincoln’s split grille design for a more modern, sweeping look up front.
From what can be seen through the disguise, the rear end of the Navigator should feature a new taillight design.

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator will continue to offer two wheelbase lengths, the standard Navigator and the extended Navigator L. On the inside, expect the Navigator to adopt Lincoln’s controversial MyLincoln Touch infotainment interface with touch-capacitive controls and a larger touch screen on the console.

Mechanically, the 2015 Lincoln Navigator might gain a version of Ford’s EcoBoost engine, most likely the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 found in the Ford F-150. This could hopefully increase fuel economy as well as power compared with the current Navigator’s 5.4-liter V-8, which achieves 13/18 mpg city/highway with four-wheel-drive.

Look for the 2015 Lincoln Navigator to make its debut sometime next year along with the 2015 Ford Expedition. Our spy shots indicate the Expedition will also receive a face lift for 2015, although it may offer both its current V-8 engine and the aforementioned EcoBoost V-6.

 Thanks to: Motor Trend

Senin, 16 September 2013

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse

This is the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse, which its makers say is the fastest ever version of the Lamborghini Gallardo. It has been formally unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show.

The Squadra Corse takes its name from Lamborghini's recently created race division and inspiration for its performance capabilities and styling comes from the Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo race car. The Squadra Corse is road legal.

It is powered by the same 562bhp V10 as the race car. That means full power is delivered at 8000rpm via a robotised six-speed gearbox that is operated by steering wheel mounted paddles. It hits 0-62mph in 3.4sec and 0-124mph in 10.4sec. Top speed is 199mph. Braking is via a carbon ceramic system.

The carbonfibre rear wing also comes straight from the race car, and is said to create up to three times as much downforce as the standard Gallardo LP 560-4. Likewise, the carbonfibre bonnet is removable via race-derived quick release catches.

Thanks to the extensive use of carbonfibre and other weight-saving measures, the Squadra Corse has a dry weight of 1340kg - 70 less than the standard Gallardo.

Other styling nods to the car's race-bred qualities include the green, red and white strip along its flank. Customers can order the car in yellow, white, grey or red.

The interior is dominated by carbonfibre detailing and extensive use of Alcantara. The race seats, handbrake frame and centre console are also made of carbonfibre. Buyers can specify what Lamborghini calls 'comfort seats' instead of the race versions. No prices have been announced.

The all-new Lamborghini Gallardo is expected to be revealed in 2014, sharing key components, including a lightweight carbonfibre and aluminium spaceframe structure, with the replacement for today’s Audi R8, due in 2015.

Thanks to: Autocar

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: Infiniti Q30 Concept

A concept version of the new Infiniti Q30, a crossover hatchback planned to spearhead a significant sales breakthrough in the UK market, has been unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show today.

Based on Mercedes' new front-drive A-class platform, the Q30 features a slightly raised ride height, sweeping roofline and confident styling, all aimed at younger buyers who are predicted to make-up 80 per cent of global luxury car-buyers by 2020.

Global production will be concentrated at Sunderland with a volume of 50k per year from 2015, with exports to China and North America included in the volume, giving Britain’s resurgent car-making industry a further boost.

The Q30 will become Infiniti’s second-biggest seller behind the new Q50, currently built in a volume of around 65k per year.

Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti president, said "The shape of the Infiniti Q30 concept deliberately challenges categorisation. It is not a coupe, not a hatch and not a crossover so that it will appeal to younger customers who desire to disrupt convention."

Infiniti's Q30 concept is described as 95 per cent faithful to the 2015 production version on both exterior and interior styling.

The styling is the work of a team led by Infiniti’s head of design Alfonso Albaisa, who once headed Nissan’s European studio in Paddington where the smash hit Juke and Qashqai were designed.

Albaisa describes the Q30 as having 'contours sculpted with fluidity' and the side profile as having 'artistry and ambition.'

Externally, the Q30 has a rising beltline and sheet metal decorated with sharp-edged styling features. Infiniti’s designers say these ambitious shapes can be pressed in production sheet metal and that manufacturing engineers in Japan are working flat out to make them a reality.

"The aim was to sculpt the panel surfaces as if they were hand-formed by craftsmen in an Italian coachbuilding workshop," added Albaisa.

Thanks to: Autocar

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept

Ford wants to deliver an “upscale product and ownership experience” with its upcoming Vignale sub-brand, seen here in concept form on a Mondeo shown at the Frankfurt motor show.

The Vignale mixes a more upmarket appearance inside and out with a much-enhanced dealership experience for the buyer, including a dedicated contact at the local dealer and a number of exclusive concierge-style services.

Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s sales boss, said Vignale cars will be aimed at “time-poor, independent thinkers who want to be made to feel special”.

Due to be launched as part of the all-new Mondeo range in early 2015, the Vignale version will be the first in a series of upmarket trims on such models as the new S-Max and upcoming Edge SUV.

Vignale will sit at the top of the Ford range above Titanium X, for the “10-15 per cent of potential buyers who want an even higher specification”.

Martin Smith, Ford’s European design director, said the Vignale line is a “more upmarket version of Ford DNA” using “modern industrial design and architecture as an inspiration”.

Up front, the Vignale gets a new chrome-finish grille, a redesigned front bumper featuring substantial brightwork and LED foglights, unique 20in alloys, chrome door handles and mirror caps and ‘Vignale’ badging. The car does not wear ‘Mondeo’ script.

Inside, the concept gets extravagantly quilted leather seats, a pattern repeated on the door trims.
Leather is also used on the instrument panel, centre console, door tops and steering wheel. There’s a slim, Vignale-badged storage drawer in the boot, too, and in-car Wi-Fi is featured.

Selected Ford dealerships will have separate Vignale lounges and a personalised dealer, and owners’ cars will be car washed and vacuumed for free for the lifetime of the vehicle. Eventually, say sources, ST-brand Fords could also be given a similar treatment, with a dedicated area in Ford dealerships.

The strategy could start with the facelifted Focus ST, which was seen testing last week.

Thanks to: Autocar

Minggu, 15 September 2013

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Renault Megane

The facelifted Renault Megane has been revealed at the Frankfurt motor show.

Hatchback, coupe and estate models of the car now all sport the new family front-end bumper from Renault, a style which was first seen on the new Clio.

There are very few other cosmetic changes. However, Renault has confirmed that a new 128bhp 1.2-litre 130 TCe petrol engine will be added to the range for the facelift, which will be mated to Renault's EDC dual-clutch gearbox.

Inside customers get minor trim and equipment tweaks, while Renault's R-Link infotainment system has also been added.

The car will be shown alongside other Renault models, including a new concept car teased last week.

Thanks to: Autocar

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: Ford S-Max Concept

The new Ford S-Max concept has been revealed at the Frankfurt motor show today giving a hefty clue to the production version of the svelte-looking MPV that will replace the currently seven-year-old Ford S-Max next year.

Most recent Ford concepts have used variations on the Iosis naming theme, or latterly the Evos name. This latest concept uses a production car tag - suggesting the design is close to the final version, even though the concept is constructed from composites and individually scanned prototype parts.

The S-Max has always been what Ford design director Martin Smith describes as a “white space” car, one which occupies a previously unidentified market sector. “We invented the sporty MPV,” he says, “and it brought new customers to Ford – the sort of people who won't drive a Galaxy or an estate car. Customers have described the current S-Max as sporting and dynamic, with a ‘dart-like’ profile, so we've set about building more of that into the next generation.

“We want to tell the world we've understood the market. It retains the distinctive shape of the rear window glass, but it has the new face of Ford and more pronounced rear shoulders.”

The S-Max has captured buyers from premium brands, with up to 70 per cent of buyers opting for the expensive Titanium trim. The new concept exploits this with a theme of 'modern luxury'.

Taking inspiration from themes at the last Milan Furniture Fair, it uses warm, dark, brown colours, metal finishes which change from matt to polished in the same components, and “remarkably expensive” silk carpeting.

The S-Max Concept majors on four sumptuous seats, with a fifth, centre-rear seat folding flat into the floor to create a walk-through cabin. It also features a Ford Sync system able to monitor the occupants' health via heart-rate and glucose sensors in the seats.

Power would come from a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, part of a new family developed from the 1.0-litre triple.

Thanks to: Autocar

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale

This is the Ferrari 458 Speciale, an extreme version of the Ferrari 458 Italia that also points the way to several technical innovations which will be found on all future Ferrari road cars.

The 458 Speciale - which has been unveiled at today's Frankfurt motor show - is described by Ferrari as being “a completely new, uncompromising, streamlined sports car concept.”

Modifications focus on its powertrain, dynamic capabilities and aerodynamics. In particular, the active aerodynamic technology is said to have been developed for use on all future Ferrari road cars.
Power comes from a modified version of the 458’s V8, with 597bhp and 398lb ft of torque it is the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever built by the company. It has a specific output of 133bhp per litre, which Ferrari says is the highest ever achieved by a naturally-aspirated road-going engine. Maximum power is achieved at 9000rpm; maximum torque at 6000rpm.

With a dry weight of 1290kg, the Speciale has an official 0-62mph time of 3.0sec and a 0-124mph time of 9.1sec. Ferrari says it has also lapped its Fiorano test track in 1m 23.5sec – 1.5sec faster than the standard Ferrari 458 Italia and just half a second slower than a Ferrari F12. It has a power-to-weight ratio of 1bhp per 2.13kg. Emissions are rated at 275g/km.

Styling was largely dictated by aerodynamic requirements, according to Ferrari, although Pininfarina was involved in the Speciale’s final look. The most significant changes over the stock car are the moveable aerodynamic flaps on the front and rear, which adapt to balance downforce and reduce drag as required.

Thanks to: Autocar

Frankfurt Show 2013 Highlights: Lexus LF-NX Concept

Lexus has revealed its answer to the Range Rover Evoque at the Frankfurt motor show in the shape of an athletic, avant-garde compact SUV concept called the Lexus LF-NX.

This five-door premium soft-roader is part of an exercise intended to gauge the reaction of European show-goers to a bolder and more aggressive design than they’re used to - in a class where the Evoque is an exception rather than the rule, and where the dominant powers are such conservative cars as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. “We want this to be a very influential car — one to make its rivals look boring,” says design project manager Nobuyuki Tomatsu.

The design of the production car is still to be decided. “This isn’t one of those show cars that is 95 per cent representative of something finished,” Tomatsu says. “We have taken a risk, and we hope the reaction will be positive. If it is, there is no reason why our production car couldn’t look like this.”

Power comes from an adaptation of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system from the American market’s Lexus ES300h saloon. That means the front wheels will be driven by a combination of a 156bhp 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, serving up 200bhp in total. “We haven’t ruled out four-wheel drive for the finished car,” says Tomatsu. “The powertrain is just a starting point for us.”

The LF-NX’s exterior styling is a sounding board for several individual developments of features of the Lexus L-Finesse design language. Its spindle grille is larger than it is on Lexus’s current production crop, and features a diamond-shaped mesh conveying a more vivid sense of density and strength.

At the rear, that spindle shape is echoed in the sheet metal around the lights. And both of the character lines along the car’s flanks — the boomerang shoulderline and kinked lower feature line — have been exaggerated to create added dynamism.

The cabin of the LF-NX is designed to make an equally strong impact. It contrasts dark grey with ‘sunrise yellow’ leather. An axe-themed centre console, topped by satin chrome, creates a feeling of strength for both front and back-row occupants, while switchgear has been kept to a minimum.

At the head of that console, Lexus’s familiar, mouse-like Remote Touch Interface controller has been replaced by a simpler Audi-style fingertip touchpad.

Thanks to: Autocar
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