Sunday, August 31, 2008

2010 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 Overview

2010 Chevrolet Camaro V-6

For this early drive, Chevy served up only the base, V-6 version of its new ponycar (V-8 drives will follow in about two months), but that quickly proved no disappointment. The headline news: The "base" engine is the same DOHC, 24-valve 3.6L V-6 that serves in the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Cadillac CTS. Outfitted with variable valve timing and direct injection, this high-tech beauty will romp with more than 300 hp (final output is still TBD) and should deliver EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of least 18/26 mpg - though Chevy is aiming for 19/27 mpg.

Yes, two six-speeds will be offered with the V-6 (and, by the way, the V-8): an Aisin manual and a HydroMatic automatic with wheel-mounted manual shift buttons (the V-8 manual will be a Tremec unit). All base Camaros will be equipped with an FE2 suspension package, though chief engineer Doug Houlihan says Chevy is "considering" adding, as an option, the uprated FE3 suspension that'll be standard on V-8 cars. Base tires are 245/55R18 M+S BFGoodrich Traction T/As on 18-in. alloys; optional rubber will include 19- and 20-in. Pirellis (the latter available in summer or snow versions) plus an available 21-in. wheel-and-tire upgrade (summer only). Brakes are single-piston calipers all around, with cast-iron rotors (12.6 in.) up front and aluminum discs (12.4 in.) in back. (All Camaro V-8s will sport bigger, four-piston Brembo binders and a larger master cylinder for improved brake feel.) An optional RS package will include the 20-in. rims plus HID headlamps, a rear spoiler, and door-sill trim, among other upgrades.

Inside, the 2010 Camaro recalls the flavor of the '67 model that inspired it -- squarish primary instruments plus a rectangular four-pack of secondary gauges in the center console -- but it's far too stylish and modern to appear "retro." A thick, deep-dish steering wheel is unique to the new Camaro, another reminder of project cash well-dispensed. Seats will be trimmed in cloth or optional leather; one gripe, as on the Pontiac G8, is the lack of a power backrest adjustment (on the Camaro it's a manual ratchet). The wheel is a tilt-telescoping model, which in combo with the smartly placed pedals helps deliver a near-ideal driving position.

Buckle up, because the new Camaro runs like a cheetah escaping the zoo. The engine twirls for the 7000-rpm redline as if were born to live there, but at cruise it withdraws, like a fine personal valet, almost into invisibility. The high-pitched exhaust note is decidedly non-musclecar; it almost says "Asian tuner car." Houlihan admits that engineers are still tweaking the sound, though. The production car will likely emit a more baritone growl. Or not. Prepare to be surprised.

Chevy is currently recording 0-to-60-mph sprints of about 6.1 sec or so, but the goal is to break the six-second barrier. Give us a car, guys. We'll get you the 5.9-sec run you're after. Top speed, by the way, is an electronically limited 155 mph. Yes, with the V-6. Both transmissions are superb, the automatic responding quickly to shift-button commands and the manual smooth and slick (pedals are well-placed for heel-and-toe downshifts).

When outfitted with 18-in. wheels and tires and the V-6, the Camaro may wear a "base car" label, but you'd never know it by the drive. The hydraulic power steering delivers excellent feel, with deft off-center response and plenty of mid-corner feedback. The chassis, boasting a Mustang-crushing independent rear, powers through bends with a level of grip that simply obliterates any "base car" notions. Even pushed as hard as you'd dare on public roads, the Goodriches rarely protest or slip, instead digging in and doing their best to pry your eyeballs from your skull. Stability control steps in only mildly, catching minor missteps (ooohh, that corner was just a bit tighter than expected) without quashing useful dabs of oversteer. Body rigidity is exemplary, too. The Mustang can only dream of delivering handling at this level of performance and sophistication.

With moves like this in the entry Camaro - base price in the mid-to-low $20s - it's drool-inspiring to imagine what the car will do with, say, the optional 20-in. summer rubber (not to mention the mega-output V-8s with FE3 chassis tuning). What's more, even in "stripped" form the Camaro feels distinctly upmarket. Wind noise is almost nonexistent. The ride polishes off road imperfections while remaining poised to spring, catlike, to quick steering inputs. Brakes are sturdy and bite hard early into the pedal's travel. Mustang? Nah. The new Camaro feels more akin to an American Infiniti G37. And remember: Thus far, our driving has been limited to the base V-6 version.

In an era when "mega-ultra-hyped blockbuster" often means "I wasted my money on that?" the new Chevy Camaro pushes back against unfulfilled expectations. It delivers. The look is there. The performance is there. The value is there.

Source: motortrend

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Chevrolet will pay for every new ZR1 owner to attend a high-performance driving school, probably at Bob Bondurant in Phoenix or Spring Mountain in Pahrump, Nevada, both of which feature Corvettes (and may end up getting the preproduction ZR1s we're driving today). A lapping session with ace development engineer Jim Mero at the helm is equally instructive and credits the Brembo brakes and Pilot Sports as the underappreciated heroes of this package. Mero initiates braking where mortal drivers accustomed to ordinary performance cars would be trailing off the brakes. Their power and fade-resistance seems infinite, and they're said to have glowed red while still providing confident retardation during 24-hour racing durability tests. He points out that with 638 horses on tap and a torque curve as wide as Montana, you can upshift early at convenient locations on the track without losing time.

Mero also carries way more speed through the turns than seems possible on a run-flat tire good for 20,000 miles of tread life and boasting reasonable rain performance. An asymmetric tread design with cornering rubber on the shoulders and rain channels inside, a special tread compound, and unique internal architecture conspire to deliver maybe 80 percent of a Pilot Sport Cup racing tire's peak grip with real-world liveability and more forgiving limits. (They're so grippy it took an hour for a ZR1-team driver to nail our smokin' sideways shots.) Our next ZR1 encounter will include testing, but here are some more Chevy-supplied numbers to chew on in the meantime: 1.01 g steady-state lateral acceleration, more than 1.2 g braking grip, and a 0-to-100-to-0 mph time of under 11.0 seconds, besting the Dodge Viper and Shelby Cobra benchmarks by at least a second or two. Oh, and let's not forget Mero's production-car Nurburgring lap record time of 7 minutes 26.4 seconds.

Having witnessed the true power of this chassis, speeds build quickly with increasing confidence during the next lapping session. The low hood affords a perfect view of every corner apex and accurate, nicely weighted steering helps keep a laser lock on the driver's intended line, but with 52 percent of the car's reasonably light 3350 pounds pressing down on 285/30R19 tires in front, the steering feel will never be confused with that of a mid- or rear-engine car, and exceptional care must be used when exercising the loud pedal if the various safety nets are all disabled (it's very forgiving in full nanny mode). Many of the same tech tricks that Porsche uses to make its rear-heavy 911s handle safely and neutrally have been employed just as effectively by the ZR1 team to tame this front-heavy ultra-powerful rear-driver.

Pit again to let the adrenaline subside, and then let's take a spin on some bumpy public roads to sample the suspension's Tour setting and assess the car's general commuting demeanor. A bit of supercharger whine can be heard before the exhaust opens, but aside from that the ZR1's as demure and docile as any other Corvette. The short sidewalls exact a ride-harshness penalty that's beyond what the magnetic shocks can entirely smother, but it's not punishing, and it's considerably less flinty than the Sport setting. Variable-ratio steering (now on all Vettes) makes low-speed parking maneuvers easier while ensuring sneeze-proof high-speed stability.

Okay, so we're shocked (and more than a little proud) that America's sports car established a lap-record at the Nurburgring. We're awed by its high handling limits and overall tractability. And 15 or 20 hot laps of a circuit like the Lutzring could probably convince any skeptic that $30K worth of hardware value has been added to the already impressive Z06. But will the Corvette faithful take our word for it without benefit of that track time and plunk down $105,000 for a base ZR1-let alone $10K more for the package that makes the car feel expensive (hand-stitched leather, full-power/memory seating, and Bose Nav/audio system)? Let's hope so, because it'll be way tougher convincing the Ferraristi or Lambophiles that they'll be happier in this better performing, more fuel-efficient, probably more reliable but-let's face it-less exotic looking and feeling Chevy. Maybe the ZR1 driving school needs to happen before the sale...

The difference between the 7.0-liter Z06's basso rumble and the ZR1's baritone roar is striking. Sure there are bigger lungs on the Z06, but the difference has more to do with what happens in the tunnel. Both use two big pipes with a crossover, but the Z06 has an H-configuration with a short connector pipe that simply allows the reverberations to bounce between pipes. The ZR1 uses an X connection that comingles the actual exhaust. The H-pipe setup tends to preserve a slightly rougher second-order sound in each pipe, while the X (or any single-exhaust system) results in a higher fourth-order sound. Both variants use an exhaust valve in the muffler, but the Z06's opens at 3500 rpm and still includes some sound-attenuating perforations, while the ZR1's opens more of a straight shot at 3000 rpm.

Hot-lapping the ZR1 makes it hard to imagine owners feeling the need to add power to this setup, but you know it will happen. And it won't be hard. Hack the engine-control chip to run more boost with slightly higher engine or supercharger revs and the power will come. But the team cautions that any additional power will drive temperatures up dramatically resulting in spark retardation unless a larger cooling circuit is installed, along with a taller intercooler poking through the hood and blocking the clean sight lines. Durability is also likely to suffer. As it is, to keep from blowing the heads off the team switched to four-layer gaskets, strengthened the heads, and fitted larger bolts torqued for 25 percent higher clamping loads.

Source: motortrend

Thursday, August 21, 2008

new Volvo XC60

new Volvo XC60

Used value guides EurotaxGlass’s and CAP have announced strong residual value predictions for the new Volvo XC60 crossover, a testament to its appealing style, innovation and attractive packaging and equipment. Based on a three year/20,000 mile per annum profile CAP estimates that both the Volvo XC60 163bhp 2.4D and 185bhp D5 SE models will achieve a trade value of 45% of their original cost new price. This equates to £11,675 and £12,100 respectively.

EurotaxGlass’s also predicts the Volvo XC60 2.4D SE will retain 46% of its cost new price over a three year/60,000 mile period and estimates a 47% residual value for the D5 SE, at £12,450.

This means the new Volvo XC60 goes in to the top range of the sector, beating the best selling Land Rover Freelander and matching or exceeding the popular BMW X3.

“This impressive residual value is critical in the highly competitive fleet market as the more the car is worth in three or four years’ time, the lower the monthly contract hire costs, whether business or personal leasing. This also spells good news for retail buyers who are purchasing the car on Personal Contract Purchases (PCP),” comments John Wallace, Volvo Corporate Sales and Leasing Manager.

“The Volvo XC90 has returned very good residual values since its launch and we feel the XC60 will continue in this same vein,” comments Jason King, Head of Market Intelligence at EurotaxGlass’s. “The 4×4 market has been under pressure from used prices falling for a while, but the XC60 is a premium product with very modern styling and a good level of standard specification and we are confident of its success as a used car.”

Volvo’s new crossover vehicle combines a strong athletic body, capable XC muscles, high ground clearance and large wheels with the flowing lines and charisma of a sporty coupe. The Volvo XC60 is available to order in the UK now and will be launched in dealer showrooms on 15/16 November. Prices start at £24,750 on the road for the 2.4D S model, offering standard features such as low speed autobrake City Safety technology, versatile 40/20/40 split folding rear seats as well as sub 200g/km CO2 engine options.

Source: 4wheelsblog

Mercedes BLK

Mercedes BLK

Mercedes-Benz is planning a new small soft-roader, provisionally called BLK, for launch in late 2011 as part of the new A and B-Class ranges.

Mercedes BLK will slot into the line-up below the bigger GLK and compete with the likes of the forthcoming BMW X1 and Land Rover LRX in a new market segment for small, premium SUVs.

The BLK will get four-wheel drive and there is also the possibility of a front-wheel-drive ‘eco’ version of the car. A range of four-cylinder direct-injection petrol and diesel engines are being lined up, sized between 1.6 litres and 2.2 litres.

While the next A-class hatchback will spawn a compact coupe, the bigger next-generation B-class MPV (it gains nearly 10cm in length, making it nearly as big as Ford’s C-Max) will form the basis of Mercedes-Benz BLK.

After talks with Fiat and BMW, Mercedes has taken the expensive decision to go it alone on the development of its new front-wheel drive platform, which will come in two wheelbases. But there is still a chance that Mercedes could co-develop engines with BMW – talks between the two are scheduled to conclude in November.

The current A and B-class are based on Mercedes’ highly innovative ‘sandwich’ chassis, which was developed for the original A-class back in 1998.

However, the substantial cost of manufacturing the unique powertrain this platform requires has convinced Mercedes to shift to a conventional front-drive layout for the next generation of models.

The move also opens the way for Mercedes to plan a much wider range of models than is possible with the current A-class chassis.

Up to three spin-off models could be launched on the A-class and B-class platforms. So far, a three-door coupe based on the shorter A-class hatch has already been given the go-ahead and recent reports from Germany suggest that an electrically powered model is also likely to be part of the line-up.

Source: autocar

Monday, August 18, 2008

Audi S3 Sportback

Audi S3 Sportback

Munich is wet. Proper wet. Cue gags from our hosts about the British bringing the weather with them. Ha, ha. It’s not only the weak jokes that have brought smiles to the Audi faces that surround us, though – it’s the knowledge that the company’s latest model, the ‘new generation’ S3, should shine in conditions that are best described as ‘nice for ducks’.

Let’s deal with the ‘new generation’ tag first, though. It’s a term that’s creeping into automotive launch parlance with increasing frequency. It suggests new-from-the-ground-up, when in fact it’s vague enough to be new-headlights-but-not-much-else. The S3 leans towards the latter, but there are a couple of significant updates. First and foremost is the fact that Audi S3 is now available in five-door ‘Sportback’ form. Costing £27,720 (£500 more than if you shun the back doors), the Sportback adds 72mm to the car’s overall length but just 40kg to its weight – little enough to allow Audi to claim the same 33.2mpg combined economy figure as the three-door and a 0-62mph time just 0.1sec slower at 5.8sec.

Software updates mean the 2-litre turbo engine now puts out almost 10 per cent less CO2 (199g/km for the three-door, 201g/km for the Sportback), but disappointingly there’s no more power. Why disappointing? Because the new TTS (Driven, evo 119) has 268bhp thanks to its freer flowing intake and exhaust.

Other new bits on the S3 include a quicker-reacting hydraulic centre clutch for the quattro system and, for the first time, the options of Magnetic Ride and a six-speed S-tronic (dual-clutch) transmission, while outside there are a few subtle styling tweaks – including new xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights – to freshen things up a little.

Does any of this make a fundamental difference to the driving experience? No, not a jot. Safe ’n’ sturdy still sums it up. Despite the conditions, the S3 is gripping hard and finding good traction, so speed across country is not in doubt. That’s backed up by the engine, which now seems to deliver its power in a more progressive, less explosive fashion. However, it’s still the car’s nose that dictates cornering attitude and there’s little you can do with the throttle or steering to upset the 4wd system’s desire to understeer. The S3 is predictable and, although its ride is a touch abrupt, very forgiving, but it doesn’t have a genuine hot hatch’s hunger and sensitivity. From what we can tell on these smooth German roads, Magnetic Ride doesn’t make as much difference here as on the lighter TT, either.

So the new generation S3 is a very adaptable, mature fast hatch that’s nice to be in and good to own, but it lacks an extrovert edge. Business as usual, then.

Source: evo

Hyundai city car for India

Hyundai i10

Since last October, Hyundai has been selling the i10 minicar in 70 countries throughout the world. The diminutive sedan is just over 140 inches long (about 20 inches shorter than the Honda Fit), powered by an 80 hp, 1.2-liter four that returns up to 56 mpg and retails for between $7,800 and $11,200 in India. Those specs could be enticing for American consumers looking for a simple runabout that's smaller than the Fit/Yaris and larger than the smart fortwo, so Hyundai is seriously considering bringing it to the States.

According to a Hyundai source speaking with Automotive News, the i10 would retain its name and could be badged either a Hyundai or a Kia. Output would be increased, and its curb weight would grow by around 400 pounds in order to meet U.S. safety standards. But with features like keyless entry, ABS, dual airbags and fog lamps, the i10 could be a serious consideration for consumers looking for a cheap commuter with the amenities they've grown to expect.

Source: autoblog

Friday, August 8, 2008

2009 Toyota Yaris US Pricing

2009 Toyota Yaris

Last week, Toyota USA announced the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2009 Toyota Yaris. The subcompact car from the Japanese producer will be available in three body styles: sedan, three-door Liftback, and an all-new five-door liftback, each in Base and Sporty “S” grades. Estimated EPA fuel economy ratings are 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway/31 mpg combined for all three body styles with an automatic transmission and 29/36/32 mpg for the manual transmission models.

All Yaris grades will now feature a number of standard safety features, including anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags. New exterior colors for the 2009 Yaris include Zephyr Blue Metallic and Blue Streak Metallic on Sedan and Yellow Jolt and Carmine Red Metallic on Liftback.

Prices for the Yaris three-door Liftback models range from $12,205 for the Base grade with four cylinder engine and manual five-speed transmission to $14,825 for the S grade with four cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission.

The all-new five-door Liftback model prices range from $13,305 for the Base grade with four cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission to $15,125 for the S grade with four cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission.

Yaris Sedan model pricing ranges from $12,965 for the Base grade with four cylinder engine and manual five-speed transmission to $15,880 for the S grade with four cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission.

Source: autounleashed

New 2009 Toyota RAV4

2009 Toyota RAV4

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 will start at $21,500 for the base FWD model, an increase of just 0.9% from the 2008 model, and will range up to $27,810 for a Limited equipped with the 3.5-liter, 269 HP V6 and 4WD. Toyota also plans to offer several Extra Value Packages with a variety of options bundled together for, you know, extra value. Press release follows the jump.

August 5, 2008 - Torrance, CA - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the 2009 RAV4 compact sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Equipped with numerous enhancements for 2009, the average MSRP for the RAV4 will increase by $224, or 0.9 percent. The 2009 RAV4 will begin arriving at Toyota dealerships in early September.

The 2009 RAV4 is offered in three distinct grades - Base, performance-oriented Sport and top-of-the-line Limited - and with a choice between an all-new four-cylinder and powerful V6 engines with either front-wheel drive or electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive.

The base MSRP for the 2009 RAV4 ranges from $21,500 for the Base grade front-wheel-drive with a four-cylinder engine to $27,810 for the Limited grade four-wheel-drive with a V6 engine. Prices for all Base grade models remain unchanged from 2008, reflecting RAV4's excellent value.

All models will also offer Extra Value Packages containing many of RAV4's most popular stand alone option features at substantial savings. Savings on Extra Value Packages for all three grades range from $570 on Base, $1,000 on the Sport, and $2,000 on Limited.

For 2009, RAV4 adds an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is more powerful and more fuel efficient than the previous 2.4-liter engine. In addition, all RAV4 models feature numerous interior upgrades and a stylish new Sport Appearance Package is available for the 4WD V6 model.

All RAV4 models provide enhanced safety and security with the addition of standard front seat active headrests and an engine immobilizer. Comfort, convenience and user technology are also significantly enhanced in 2009 RAV4 models. The Limited grade adds a new standard Smart Entry system that allows the driver to open the vehicle by simply carrying the key fob and grasping the door handle. The Sport and Limited grades offer an available integrated backup camera linked to an electrochromic mirror. Integrated XM satellite radio is a new feature for 2009, and the Sport and Limited grades offer a new low-cost navigation system. All RAV4 models have new standard seat fabric, and the Sport grade exclusively offers a new, unique Charcoal leather option.

Externally, the design of the 2009 RAV4 is freshened with new front and rear styling with a revised grille and front bumper, improved fog light trims and redesigned tail lamps. All models, except the 4WD V6 with the new Sport Appearance Package, include a redesigned rear step bumper with a black protector molding while the Sport Appearance Package receives a clear rear bumper protector. The Base and Limited grades feature new 17-inch alloy wheel designs, and the Limited also adds overfenders, new color-keyed power heated turn signal side mirrors and a unique grille design with chrome accents. The Sport grade adds a unique redesigned rear spoiler.

The Sport Appearance Package available for the 4WD V6 RAV4 model includes an exclusive look with a redesigned rear door featuring chrome accents and no spare tire. The package equips the RAV4 with run-flat tires. Other external cues include color-keyed power heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a stainless steel exhaust tip, unique badging, and the choice of an exclusive exterior color, Elusive Blue Metallic. Inside, the Sport Appearance Package adds a chrome accented shift knob with leather insert, chrome interior door handles, parking brake and vent trim, unique sport grade doorsills and available sport floor mats.

The Sport Appearance Package includes an AM/FM six-disc CD changer with six speakers, MP3/WMA playback capability and integrated XM® Satellite Radio with a one-year extended complementary service subscription.

The RAV4's standard all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is a low-friction design optimized for performance and fuel efficiency. It produces 179 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, along with 172 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 RPM (versus 166 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of peak torque of the previous 2.4-liter engine). The 2.5-liter engine employs Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts (compared to the intake-only previous 2.4-liter engine).

The redesigned four-cylinder engine is partnered with a new four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that is more compact, lightweight and efficient than the previous four-speed transmission. The new transmission is not only smoother in operation than the previous one, but more responsive as well. Fuel efficiency is excellent for its class and improved over the 2008 model with EPA mpg estimates of 22 city/28 highway on 4×2 models and 21 city/27 highway on 4×4 models.

The available 3.5-liter V6 is the powerhouse of its segment, generating a class-leading 269 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 246 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700 RPM. The V6 is also equipped with dual independent VVT-i to maximize performance and efficiency while reducing emissions. Equipped exclusively with a five-speed automatic transmission, the V6 RAV4 models offer greater fuel efficiency compared to less powerful competitors. The V6 RAV4 can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in under seven seconds, yet has estimated EPA fuel economy mpg ratings of 19 city/27 highway for 4×2 models and 19 city/26 highway for 4×4 models. All RAV4 models meet Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II) certification.

Source: jalopnik

2009 Volkswagen Golf

2009 Volkswagen Golf

For more than 30 years, the Golf has been Volkswagen's core, its foundation, its cash cow. You don't mess with success, which perhaps is why the Golf Mk6 - yes, the sixth generation - follows a familiar formula. Mostly.

The big changes are all visual. If you think the new Golf looks a lot like the just-released Scirocco coupe, you're right - it follows the mandate set last year by Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn that VW cars needed to move away from the fussy, pretentious look of cars, like the current Passat and Eos, and return to a simpler style that could be translated across models.

The Scirocco and the Mk6 Golf showcase VW's new look, which was developed by the VW design team working under the direction of Walter da Silva. Critical elements are a horizontal grille, punctuated by the VW badge, with trapezoidal headlights on either side.

Because of the shakeup at VW design, the Golf Mk6 has been designed, developed, and put into production in a record 18 months. It's no surprise, then, to learn the Mk6 utilizes the current car's architecture, but with completely revised cladding, inside and out. The resulting interior dimensions remain the same, as do the track and wheelbase. The front overhang has been reduced by 20 mm (0.78 in.) - a feat in itself considering the necessary cooling and safety performance standards. Recycling the Mk5's structure will also keep production costs to a minimum.

Along the sides of the car is a design crease that fades in and out above the trademark Volkswagen wheelarches. A lower overall look is achieved as a result of the line and the concave surface created above it. Less wedgy styling is achieved via sculpted side sills as well as the deletion of side-impact strips. Rear treatments include new rear lights with four lit circles. Lower black panels emphasize the width of the rear end, too. Overhang out back has been increased by 10 mm (0.39 in.), but in conjunction with a shorter front end, the car sports a smaller length than its predecessor.

Within the cabin are all-new, soft-feel surfaces. Ergonomics are said to be improved due to the revised driver-oriented positioning of air-conditioning and stereo controls. Adding to the new cockpit arrangement is a subtle styling crease on the top surface of the dash running over the driver's instruments and center stack. Eos-like metal trimmings around the air vents also find their way into the car.

Since the Golf Mk6 will employ existing architecture, power is expected to be derived from current engine offerings. Four-cylinder engines will likely be the outgoing car's 1.4L TSI and 1.8L TFSI units, while the bigger 2.0L TFSI V-6 will top off the gasoline lineup. BlueMotion diesel technology in either a 1.9L or 2.0L variety is speculated be initially available to European customers. A hybrid version is expected to make its debut later in the car's production run.

Topping off the range will be the sportier GTI version employing what's thought to be a 230-hp, 2.0L turbo four-cylinder. Of course, added to the next-generation GTI mix will be an aggressive-styled exterior inspired by last year's Golf GTI W12 concept. Like the concept, two performance-themed red lines, one at the top and the other at the bottom, have been affixed on the new horizontal grille. At either end of the grille are upgraded headlights featuring LED running lights. A lower front splitter rounds off the front-end modifications. To the rear of the car, LED clad taillight housings and a prominent black diffuser further distinguish the GTI. Optional 19-in.-diameter wheels (18-in. on standard models) fill the bold arches quite well.

Our latest intel suggests Volkswagen will introduce its sixth-generation Golf at this year's Paris motor show in October. European customers will likely receive the first run of 2009 Golfs by late next year, but don't expect the hot hatch to hit our shores anytime soon. Much like the product scheduling of the current Golf Mk5, U.S. customers will unfortunately have to wait until around 2012 to get their hands on the latest compact from Wolfsburg. In the meantime, a revised fifth-gen will hit North American streets soon after the Golf Mk6's European introduction next year.

Source: motortrend

Friday, August 1, 2008

Audi Q7 Hybrid is Coming

Audi Q7 Hybrid

Audi’s plan to offer the Q7 with hybrid drive from the end of the year has been placed on indefinite hold.

According to the German manufacturer’s head of research and development, Michael Dick, the company has diverted engineering resources into developing its lithium ion battery technology.

In an exclusive interview with Autocar, Dick confirmed that Audi has abandoned an earlier strategy that would have seen the Q7 offered with a petrol-electric hybrid system based around a nickel-metal hydride battery system – but that development work on a hybrid version of the new Q5 is pushing ahead.

“We have decided to make lithium ion a priority,” says Dick. “It’s clear this technology will become increasingly important in coming years and we want to make sure we are at the forefront when it comes to market.”

The decision by Audi comes despite Volkswagen and Porsche holding firm to plans to push ahead with petrol electric hybrid versions of the Touareg and Cayenne, with which the Q7 shares most of its mechanical package.

Although Audi no longer plans selling the Q7 in hybrid form, Dick says it still be produced in small volume to be run internally for evaluation purposes. “There are plans to build the Q7 Hybrid but only in very limited numbers,” he confirms, “ it won’t be offered or sold to customers in the traditional sense.”

Priority has now been switched to ensuring plans for a Q5 hybrid are realised.

“We are looking to make the Q5 our first true hybrid model, and the plan is to have it ready for lithium ion technology,” says Dick.

Although there’s no official timeframe for the introduction of the Q5 Hybrid, we know that it will use a 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine in combination with a pair of electric motors housed within the gearbox - and a lithium ion battery pack. Audi insiders hint it could appear as soon as next year’s Frankfurt motor show, with production versions likely to go on sale during the first half of 2010.

Source: autocar

Audi RS6 Sedan for Paris Motor Show

new Audi RS6 Sedan

So the 507-hp Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the 500-hp BMW M5 aren’t cutting it for you but you don’t want to even look at the Audi RS6 Avant because it really kills the coolness-factor. Who really wants to be seen as father of three driving around in a high-performance station wagon?

Worry not because the Audi RS6 Sedan is on the way and will arrive in October making its world premiere at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Power comes from the same V10 twin-turbo FSI direct-injection engine producing 580-hp.

Of course, the rear-end will sport slightly different styled tail-lamps but other than that the sedan is pretty much the same. We’re sure MTM will offer 702-hp upgrades for the Audi RS6 Sedan as well.

Source: egmcartech

Waiting for New BMW X5 and X6 M-models


Over the years we have heard BMW officials strongly deny M sport variants of the X5 and X6 time and time again simply because they can’t offer the same dynamics as the M saloon, roadster and coupes. And now, after a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport, BMW M GmbH’s boss, Ludwig Willisch, has performed an about-face in perfect military style.

According to Willisch, ‘M’ prototypes of the X5 and X6 are both in existence and are currently undergoing testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. He continued that BMW M GmbH plans to complete both models by the end of 2009 and have them on the roads shortly after.

Therefore, if BMW is compromising its M philosophy, then why not add a diesel? When asked if this was a consideration, Willisch responded, ”in medium term, there is no such intention.”

Find BMW X5 Wheels at

Source: worldcarfans

Mini Cooper is on Sellings Top

Mini Cooper

The original Mini Cooper has been voted top of the list of favourite classic used cars of all time.
Mini Cooper's British model took over 53% of votes on MSN auto site.

It is placed ahead of the German-made VW Golf MK2 (41%) in second place, whilst the Italian Fiat Punto (3%) was voted as the classic starter vehicle we'd buy above all others.

Jeremy Clarkson's encyclopaedic knowledge and opinionated manner make him the companion Brits would most want to accompany them when buying a used car with 48% of the votes.

The Top Gear motor mouth was followed by 5th Gear's Tiff Needell (23%), James May (17%) and Lewis Hamilton (4%).

And if we could buy a classic used vehicle from the world of film and TV, the UK wins again with Bond's Aston Martin DBS top of our list at 56%.

Knight Rider's 80s classic K.I.T.T garnered 18% of the vote, with Batman's Batmobile and Del Boy's battered Robin Reliant a few laps behind with 11% and 4% of the votes respectively.

Unfortunately some of us are still put off buying a second hand car due to the legacy of untrustworthy salesmen, with 37% fearing we'll be ripped off by disreputable dealers.

This image of used car salesman isn't helped by car experts portrayed on British soaps with 88% saying they would never trust EastEnders' legendary car dealer Frank Butcher or Corrie cab mechanic, Kevin Webster for used car advice.

Source: newcarnet

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