Friday, July 27, 2007

Mazda MX-5 tops reliability poll

Mazda MX5

The Mazda MX-5 has topped a poll to find the most reliable top-down cars, it emerged today.

Although UK drivers may not have found many opportunities this year to bask in the sunshine, those thinking of buying a convertible might be interested to hear of the MX-5’s success.

The MX-5 was found to be the most dependable by Warranty Direct’s reliability index, which calculates a rating by considering the average cost of repair and the average number of visits the car makes to the garage.

Using this method, the Mazda MX-5 came out on top with an index of 7.29, ahead of the Honda S2000, the Peugeot 206CC and the BMW Z3 among others.

Although Mazda may be well known for the MX-5, it also offers a number of other models which could be suitable for new and existing car owners alike.

It is currently gearing up for the release of the CX-7.
Source: vcars

Aston Martin Vantage N24 is ready to go

Aston Martin Vantage N24

After almost a year that the initial gossip started spreading throughout the automotive sites, Aston Martin has finally completed the preparations needed to bring to the British market its much revered Vantage N24 street-legal racing vehicle.
The hand-built coupe has received its "N24" index in commemoration of Vantage's last-year successful completion of famous 24 Hours of Nurburgring race when the car was the 24th to cross the finish line.
Citing Pistonheads, Inside Line expects the Aston Martin Vantage N24 to come at price of some $198,000. For the money, one will receive a car almost identical to the original racer (local transport authorities have insisted that the vehicle was equipped with a hand brake, license plate lights, a tamed exhaust system, a standard steering column lock and this sort of stuff).

Weighing no more than 2,930 lbs (about 1330 kg), the N24 will be equipped with a 410 hp engine, which is 30 hp more powerful than the heart of the "ordinary" Vantage V8, adjustable sports suspension, sports wheels, and, of course, the real roll cage.
Source: autoreview

Hummer H2 to receive a green diesel engine

Hummer H2Hummer H2

General Motors has confessed that it's being silently developing a new Duramax V8 oil-burner to power its charismatic Hummer H2 SUV as well as the pair of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. Scheduled to go on the assembly line by the end of year 2009, the diesel will have a displacement of 4.5 liters. Maybe, not so impressive for the local customer, but bear in mind that the engine will be 25 per cent more fuel efficient than its gasoline counterpart of comparable displacement.
Inside Line is reporting that the upcoming Duramax V8 will produce a maximum of 310 hp and generous 520 lb-ft of torque. For example, current gasoline-drinking Vortec 6000 6.0-liter V8 engine delivers only 15 hp more power but peaks at a meager 365 lb-ft of torque.
General Motors says that the engine will be quieter than previous generations of oil-burners "with noise and vibration performance approaching gasoline V8 levels."
Source: autoreview

Ford previews new Ranger

new Ford Ranger

The new 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine Ranger, due in showrooms this month, will be priced from £19,972, according to Ford.

In details released today, the manufacturer states the added engine power will give the 4×4 an "added competitive advantage", with the top spec model coming in at £20,872 on the road.

Other features on Ranger include leather seats, electric windows and air-conditioning. Drivers will also have choice between the Double Cab Thunder automatic or the manual Wildtrak models.

Those who opt for the Wildtrak 4×4 will also be able to take advantage of an "ergonomically-proven driving position".

Ford adds that the Wildtrack limited edition is "visually distinguished by the unique optional limited-edition chilli orange or passion red, combined with titanium grey on the lower part of the body … the Wildtrak adopts a sporting focus to the pickup theme".

In related Ford news, yesterday saw the manufacturer highlight that the Auto Express magazine had named the Mondeo as its car of the year.

Fiat Abarth 500 may be marketed in the U.S.

Fiat Abarth 500

Fiat is reportedly considering supplying its new Abarth 500 mini car to the United States, trying to position it as the Mini Cooper's direct competition in the niche of The-Cars-That-Came-Back.
The Fiat 500 Abarth is to the standard Fiat 500 as the Mini Cooper S to the ordinary Mini Cooper. While the standard cars will be equipped with not so impressive diesel and gasoline engines ranging from 69 to 75 to 100 bhp, the sporty version of the new Cinquecento will be motivated by a 135 bhp motor making itself a sort of real little crazy piece of a beast.
The Fiat 500 Abarth will presumably be available in the United States "by the end of the decade", Automotive News is reporting. In Europe the model will be available for hefty price of €15,000.
Source: autoreview

Maserati GranTurismo: more photos

Maserati GranTurismoMaserati GranTurismo
Yet another set of Maserati GranTurismo's pictures has been unveiled yesterday. Designed by Pininfarina and sporting an impressive 4.2-liter 399 hp V8 derived from Maserati Quattroporte, the upcoming coupe bearing the famous Trident logo on its front grille looks absolutely beautiful.
Before you begin enjoying the pics though, let me remind you that Maserati GranTurismo is based on the current Quattroporte, being slightly shorter but featuring the same rear-wheel drive, front-mid-engine chassis.
The 2+2 coupe is set to replace the long-retired Maserati 3200 GT but will move its crosshairs from the sporty Porsche 911 to more luxurious cars like Mercedes-Benz CL, BMW M6 and Bentley Continental GT.

Source: autoreview

Hybrid version of Porsche Panamera will also be available

Porsche Panamera hybrid

Looks like Porsche continues the “green” projects. After the announce that Porsche Cayenne will be available in 2009 in the hybrid version, now the German automaker says that also the new Panamera will have a hybrid version.

The hybrid version will have a 50 bhp electric engine beside the V6 petrol engine (280 bhp) .The hybrid system will use the electric or the petrol engine but also both of them when running.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

2008 VW Tiguan first official pictures

2008 Volkswagen Tiguan2008 Volkswagen Tiguan

First photos of the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan are finally revealed. Scheduled to be officially presented to the public this autumn at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Tiguan (sorry, but it looks more like an overgrown Golf than a shrunken Touareg) will try to offer both the compactness of a hatchback and some off-road capabilities of mid-size SUVs.
The compact crossover will be equipped with a choice of highly fuel-efficient turbocharged direct injection engines, including 140 and 170 hp Euro V oil-burners and 150, 170 and 200 hp gasoline motors.
The VW Tiguan, which is sharing its platform with the Golf/Rabbit hatchback, will have to compete against such mid-size crossovers as new Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-trail.

Ferrari F430 Scuderia tries to break the speed of light barrier

Ferrari F430 Scuderia

Capitalizing on its success in the Formula 1 racings, the Italian company has created its new Ferrari F430 Scuderia street-legal race car. The new coupe is not just fast -- it's built around a set of F1 technologies including a new super-fast gearbox with a gearchange ratio of only 60 milliseconds.
The new Ferrari F430 Scuderia is said to be equipped with a more powerful 4.3-liter V8 engine producing up to 510 hp @ 8500 rpm, which is 27 hp more than F430's original motivator can make. And with its dry weight of only 1250 kg (which is about 100 kg less than the standard Ferrari F430) the new F430 Scuderia features stunning 1/2.45 power to weight ratio.
The company plans to officially unveil its Ferrari F430 Scuderia on September 11, 2007 at the upcoming IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt with Michael Schumacher running the show.
Source: autoreview

Renault explains excellence plan

Renault Symbol

French vehicle manufacturer Renault has explained the aims of its "excellence plan", which was introduced last summer as part of an ongoing initiative to improve the brand’s quality.

Detailing the E4 part of the Renault Excellence Plan, the company said this included five objectives which are applied throughout the group to ensure quality on an international scale.

The first is to design robust vehicles, while second is the goal to manufacture completely compliant models throughout its range.

E4 also aims to increase Renault vehicles’ reliability in all types of use and maintain both sales and after-sales quality.

Finally, the company constantly strives to instil a "culture of quality" throughout its product line, which may be encouraging for people thinking of buying a Renault.

"Today, quality of service is one of the elements of competition; in the future, this will be the main element of competition," remarked Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer and president of the group.

Vehicles currently manufactured in the firm’s range include the Kangoo and Clio.
Source: vcars

Fiat Panda ‘great for city motoring’

Fiat Panda

The Fiat Panda supermini has picked up an award this week and been described as the "best bet" for driving around the city.

Also saying that the Panda is easy to manoeuvre, Auto Express named the model its city car of 2007 in this year’s New Car Honours.

Light steering and straightforward controls both contribute to the car’s accessibility - and with prices starting at £6,995 it could be an ideal first car for young and new drivers alike.

"It stands out from the crowd and it’s equally special inside," Auto Express stated. "But perhaps the panda’s greatest quality is its sense of fun."

The first-generation Panda ceased production in 2003, while the second-generation model is available with up to a 1.4-litre engine.

It is often seen on the streets of European cities, where the supermini is considered by some to be a preferable method of transport.

Source: vcars

Frankfurt Preview: Kia production

Kia on Frankfurt motor show

Last September, Kia took the wraps off of the Pro_cee'd concept at the Paris Motor Show. The Pro_cee'd concept was yet another variant of the brand's popular cee'd model, this time as a three-door hatch. Come this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia will unveil the production version of the Pro_cee'd that's scheduled to go on sale in Europe in early 2008.

The Pro_cee'd is a low and wide three-door hatch with very agreeable proportions. In fact, the car is longer, lower and wider than the standard five-door cee'd, which must mean it shares few body panels despite its similar appearance. We could do with out the character lines and deep indent that mucks up the side panel, but overall it looks sportier than what we've come to expect from Kia. In Europe, we would expect the standard cee'd engines including a 1.4L and 1.6L gas motor, as well as a 1.6L diesel, to be offered in the Pro_cee'd.

Frankly, we're more than a little bewildered why Kia hasn't yet considered selling the cee'd in the U.S. market, and this three-door model only compounds our confusion. We're guessing the base car itself wasn't developed to meet U.S. safety standards and to reengineer it would tank the business case for its transatlantic voyage. There's always hope for the next-gen model, though.
Source: autoblog

Audi A1: First official sketches popped up

Audi A1 first look

UK's Car Magazine is claiming to have some official sketches of the Audi A1. Is it just us or do they show some similarities in design from our yesterday's post about the Audi Max4 Concept? Have a look and judge by yourself.

"We always knew that CAR's Georg Kacher is one of the best connected motoring journalists in the world. But even we were surprised when he rang the office with news that he'd 'obtained' official design sketches of Audi's new Mini, the A1. Forget the artist's impressions you'll find elsewhere, CAR Online has three sketches smuggled out of Ingolstadt's design HQ that show exactly how Audi's baby will look.

Audi plans four different A1 versions: a chunky three-door hatch (revealed here in our exclusive sketches), a roomier five-door hatch, a two-door coupe and an open-top model. Will it be a four-seater cabriolet or a two-seater roadster? We don't know yet. It may be something else altogether, like an evolution of the interesting A2 Open Air concept we saw at the 1999 Frankfurt show."

2007 Audi S5 by H&R

Audi S5

From now on, the Audi A5 and S5, the new powerful and elegant coupes, can even be made more dynamic by H&R’s attractive suspension packages. The H&R spring kit not only further enhances the sporty look, but the lowering by 35 millimeters also results in improved driving dynamics.
A spring kit is available for the S-line packages as well. Here, the ground clearance is reduced by about 25 millimeters as compared to the standard model.
Hence, the 18 and 19 inch rims perfectly fill out the wheel arches and complete the elegant side view. The chassis nevertheless does not become uncomfortable, but rather ensures excellent road contact.
For still more agile handling, the suspension specialists from Lennestadt have developed a monotube coil over which can be equipped with H&R’s upgraded sports stabilizers. Therewith, the A5 becomes even more dynamic and feels like a smallersized sports car.
The A5 now makes winding roads seem straight – a fact that will nearly take your breath away.
In addition to this, H&R’s TRAK+ aluminium wheel spacers reduce over- and understeering tendencies and give great optics. A weight saving of up to 70 percent as compared to conventional steel wheel spacers helps to keep down the unsprung mass.
H&R thus offers the perfect supplements to Audi’s new chassis concept and enhances the look of the sporty, elegant A5.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ford Mondeo named Car of the Year by Auto Express

Ford Mondeo

We believe it's that time of year again when every automotive media outlet and its sister (publication) begin giving out its Car of the Year (COTY) award. Auto Express in the U.K. is kicking things off by awards its respective COTY statue to the new Ford Mondeo, as well as the honor for best family car and estate car. The editor's don't mince words when they say the Mondeo is "Ford's finest ever car". We'd like to agree, except we probably won't ever get a chance to drive the new Mondeo, at least not this generation of the car. Hopefully, Ford CEO Alan Mulally will have his way and the next-gen Mondeo will merge with our Fusion sold in the U.S. Perhaps then we can corroborate the opinion of Auto Express that the Mondeo is a COTY caliber sedan. Until then, however, we'll just congratulate the car from afar.

Small changes for big Range Rover in 2008

Range Rover 2008

It's had a lot of challengers, and to stay at the top, Land Rover has been rolling out consistent updates to its flagship Range Rover model. Last year it was the upgraded engines: the 305-hp 4.4-liter V8 and the supercharged 400-hp 4.2-liter V8. For this year, the Range Rover gets upgrades to the interior and to its traction systems.

Inside, the Range Rover's luxurious cabin has been updated with a new instrument panel, air-con unit, new airbags and new trim, switchgear and storage compartments. The front seats have been outfitted with new head restraints designed to minimize whiplash, as well as an in-seat air-cooling system (optional on HSE and standard on Supercharged models). Underneath, the Land Rover's Terrain Response system has been fitted as standard equipment, as well as an electronic rear differential (which, like the seat cooling system, is optional on HSE and standard on Supercharged models) to supplement the center e-diff. There's also a new electronic parking brake that automatically disengages when you start driving.

The new changes might not amount to much, as Land Rover draws up plans for the Range Rover's all-aluminum replacement, but with heavy competition from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Land Rover can't afford to rest on its name alone.
Source: autoblog

Honda CR-V Now Most Popular SUV

Honda CR-V

The Wall Street Journal has written a story about how the Honda CR-V recently passed the Ford Explorer as the most popular SUV in America. That’s true; there have been 104,179 CR-Vs sold through June of this year, versus 74,704 Explorers. The redesigned CR-V is seeing brisk sales, but Ford isn’t necessarily losing the SUV game. It’s Escape compact SUV, including a hybrid version, has sold 92,205 vehicles in the same time frame — up from last year — and is one of the company’s best-sellers. It’s also direct competition for the CR-V. Ford has also sold 58,783 of its new Edge crossovers, which it hopes will replace the Explorer as the family transport of the future.

Is Ford in bad shape because the CR-V has taken over the top spot? Not necessarily, but being No. 1 doesn’t hurt.

Changes: 2008 Audi A4 and A6

2008 Audi A4 A6
Audi has three significant new models coming out for 2008: the A5/S5 Coupe, the TT and the R8 sports car. Those three will certainly overshadow the rest of the 2008 lineup, which gets just minor tweaks. The two biggest changes in the current lineup impact the bread-and-butter A4 and A6 sedans and Avant wagons.

Both models will add the optional S-Line trim as standard equipment. These body modifications add beefier front and rear bumpers, more-menacing grilles, integrated rear spoilers and 18-inch wheels on the A6. For 2007, the S-Line option packages were quite expensive — $3,400 on the A4 — but also included features like a sunroof. Still, we see the changes as pretty significant ones that will provide a nice bonus to A4 buyers, since the line will get a redesign for 2009. There is still no word on a redesign of the A6 line.

The A6 also adds standard headlight washers, Sirius Satellite Radio and seat-back storage for 2008. A 2007 Audi A6 with S-Line trim is shown above.

The 2008 A4 and A6 will go on sale in August. Prices have not been announced. The 2007 Audi A4 and A6 currently have financing offers available for shoppers not interested in the 2008 changes.


Toyota Announces Prices for 2008 Camry and Camry Hybrid

2008 Camry

Toyota announced pricing on its 2008 Camry and Camry Hybrid today. Both go on sale next month, with no significant changes from the 2007 versions of the bestseller. (New option packages are available.)

Each trim level of the regular Camry (the one that burns only gasoline) is up $100. The base model, with a four-cylinder engine and a manual shifter, will be $18,570. The nicest XLE version, with a V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission, will be $28,120.
Camry Hybrid's base MSRP begins at $25,200, a decrease of $1,000 or -3.8 percent versus the 2007 model.

The price reduction is aimed at offsetting dwindling U.S. tax credits for buyers of Toyota hybrids. In 2006, Toyota exceeded a 60,000-vehicle limit for the credits, which were intended to promote hybrid sales. The Camry Hybrid tax credit, once as much as $2,600, is now $650; by Oct. 1, the car won't qualify for any portion of the tax incentive, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Web site.

U.S. hybrid sales rose 60 percent in the first half of 2007, to 187,533 cars and sport-utility vehicles, boosted by average retail gasoline prices that peaked at $3.23 a gallon in late May.

Sales were led by Toyota's Prius and Camry Hybrid . Through June, Toyota sold 28,070 Camry Hybrids, nearly four times as many as a year earlier.
The 2008 Camry Hybrid is a better value than ever as its price point has been lowered significantly, making Camry and Hybrid Synergy Drive technology available to more people. The Camry Hybrid is equipped with an array of standard features including a Smart Key system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Plasmacluster(TM) ionizer, sixteen-inch steel wheels, and AM/FM/single CD audio system with six speakers.

Two new upgrade packages are available to those seeking more amenities. The upgrade packages are available with or without navigation. Both packages offer sixteen-inch alloy wheels, JBL audio, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, electrochromic rearview mirror with compass, and HomeLink(R).

Stand-alone options include power tilt/slide moonroof, leather-trimmed interior, driver and front passenger heated seats and heated outside mirrors.

Both the 2008 Camry and Camry Hybrid will begin arriving in dealerships later this month.
Source: puregreencars

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nissan sets date for X-Trail premiere

Nissan X-Trail

A preview of the latest model from Nissan is to take place at the forthcoming CLA Game Fair.

The new 4X4 will be on display from July 27th to 29th at the country sport exhibition, enabling potential buyers to check out the vehicle in more detail before it hits showrooms in September.

Nissan also intends to showcase its full range at the event, where visitors can join in activities such as game fishing and horse displays.

Details of the new X-Trail emerged earlier this month, with the car being completely restyled and available with automatic transmission in all variations of the model.

Prices are set to start at £18,795 for the 2.0-litre Trek option, while the 2.5-litre Sport and Aventura options will cost £20,695 and £22,695 respectively.

A number of extras are also available, such as the "eXtreme upgrade" - which includes roof rails and integrated lamps for another £425.

Source: vcars

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2008 Honda Civic MUGEN Si Sedan will debut in mid-October

Honda Civic Mugen

A factory-prepared 2008 Honda Civic MUGEN Si Sedan will debut in mid-October, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

The Civic MUGEN Si Sedan is equipped with a high-performance suspension, forged aluminum wheels, aerodynamic body styling and a sport-tuned exhaust system.

Honda enthusiasts have long been asking for factory-installed MUGEN performance products similar to what the company offers in Japan,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. “We’re enthusiasts, too, and the ultra-premium Civic MUGEN Si Sedan offers exclusive style and elevated handling performance with legendary Honda refinement.”
The track-tuned suspension, tested at the Twin Ring Motegi racing circuit in Japan, lowers the vehicle by 0.6 inches with aggressive spring and damper tuning for enhanced handling performance while still maintaining a high level of ride comfort. Compared to the conventional Civic Si Sedan, front and rear damping force (both bump and rebound) was increased between 8- and 24-percent. Lightweight 16.98-pound 18×7.5-inch forged aluminum wheels (27 percent lighter than the stock 17×7 alloy wheel) and high-grip BFGoodrich® g-Force KDW 215/40ZR18 summer tires help to create MUGEN’s unique, rewarding and well-balanced handling performance character. The full-vehicle aero-package adds a front spoiler with a sports grille, side spoilers, a rear bumper diffuser and a rear wing.
The sport exhaust system reduces back pressure from the catalytic converter back. The Civic MUGEN Si Sedan will be available exclusively in Fiji Blue Pearl and include front and rear MUGEN emblems. Inside, a MUGEN Limited Edition placard is located on the center console along with a spherical 50 mm MUGEN aluminum shift knob.

The name MUGEN symbolizes Honda performance throughout Asia and around the globe. MUGEN, under license by M-TEC Co., Ltd., of Japan, has been closely associated with Honda for more than three decades in the design and manufacture of racing and premium aftermarket performance products.
The limited-production vehicle (maximum of 1,000 units for the 2008 model year) will have a retail price of less than $30,000 when it goes on sale and include a full factory warranty. A prototype of the Honda Civic MUGEN Si was shown at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in fall 2006.
Source: 4wheelsblog
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Honda NSX delayed…again

New Mazda to launch in September

Mazda CX7

The first deliveries of the Mazda CX-7 sports crossover car have been scheduled for September and the model is aimed at creating a "niche within a niche" for customers, according to the manufacturer.

Although there are many sports utility vehicles (SUVs) currently on the market, Mazda said the CX-7 was designed to provide the benefits of such a car but with traditional sports model dynamics and styling.

Providing "ample" space for up to five people to travel in the vehicle, the CX-7 is ideal for people who regularly undertake a range of activities, the maker continued.

Interior features are set to include leather seats and air-conditioning, while rear-seat functionality could provide versatile and roomy storage options.

"British motorists are presented with a huge range of SUV-type vehicles to choose from so we need to offer something different and the CX-7 fits the bill," remarked Mazda UK marketing director Mark Cameron.

Mazda is headquartered in the Japanese region of Hiroshima.

Source: vcars

Hamann tunes BMW 335i E92 Convertible

BMW 335i E92

German tuner Hamann has unveiled its freshest tuning program for the recently presented BMW E92 3-Series convertibles. The program consists of a body kit, new set of wheels and different suspension as well as offers a minor power boost for the 320i, 325i, 330i, 330d and 335i models.
Talking about power upgrade, the BMW 320i gets its maximum power and torque increased by 10 hp and 10 Nm, whole the six-bangers 325i and 330i feature an increase of 13 hp and 17 hp respectively. The top of the line BMW 335i gets the most significant power boost of 37 hp featuring as much as 279 km/h of top speed with the electronic Vmax delimiter deactivated.
All six-cylinder Bimmers are also equipped with sport air filters and four-pipe sport mufflers.
The body kit comes with new Hamann front and rear spoilers, new side sills, new rear center molding and mirror caps fitted with black Carbon-Kevlar.
The new set of wheels is offered in three sizes ranging from 18 to 20 inches and available in either 'silver' or black finish.
Source: autoreview
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Mercedes: We’ll get greener and get ahead


After seeing BMW and Audi making headlines as the two announced their plans to get greener, Mercedes-Benz is finally fighting back. “We will catch up and get ahead,” Thomas Weber, head of R&D at Mercedes parent DaimlerChrysler, told Automotive News.

To clear things up, we’re not talking about hybrid systems that Mercedes is already working on with BMW. However, Mercedes-Benz will be launching its own version of the start-stop technology. Mercedes will offer the fuel-saving technology across its entire lineup starting with the A and B-class cars in September.

Of course by now you know how the start-stop technology works. Sources are saying that Mercedes will be looking to Valeo to supply its belt-driven stop-start system.

Mercedes said that it will use a different solution for its larger, rear-wheel-drive models. So-called the ISG system, it will function as both a starter and a generator. The system is also capable of reducing engine vibration and smoother out gearshifts.
Source: Automotive News

Monday, July 23, 2007

2007 Lucchese Edition Toyota Tundra

2007 Toyota Tundra

No, you can’t buy one at Allens Boots, but the 2007 Lucchese Edition Toyota Tundra is one hot looking truck! There’s so much great Lucchese Leather, you’d think you’re walking down an aisle at Allens Boots while you’re sittin’ behind the wheel. Better known for their Lucchese Boots, Lucchese is a leather products manufacturer who makes everything from leather purses and belts to complete truck interiors. So if you love Lucchese leather, head over to your local Toyota dealer and check out this truck!

Features of The 2007 Lucchese Edition Toyota Tundra include:

* Lucchese Limited Edition Embossed Headrest
* Lucchese Limited Edition Leather and Wood grain Steering Wheel
* Lucchese Limited Edition Custom Carpeted Floor mats with Door Sill Protection
* Lucchese Limited Edition Two-Tone Leather with Ostrich Leather Accent Featuring Liquicell Comfort Technology
Source: allensboots

Honda NSX delayed…again

Honda NSX

Honda’s CEO, Mr. Takeo Fukui made the announcement that the Honda NSX won’t be launched at the Tokyo Auto Show in October. He did not say when the new NSX will be launched.

The main cause of the delay might be related to the announcement that Honda made few days ago, that the Acura launch in Japan will now not happen until 2010. The Japanese automaker plans to launch the NSX at the Tokyo Auto Show, but this might be a problem, because the show is once every two years and 2009 is too early.So it is possible that we will see the new NSX in October 2011.

In our opinion Honda might hury the things because if we look at the competition, things don’t look good: Lexus is planning the launch of its super, the LF-A and Nissan will launch the new generation of the Skyline, the GTR .
Source: autocar

Deja vu all over again: Euro-infused Fords are coming, new Focus by 2011

Ford Focus 2011

We've known that after Mulally was appointed Grand Poo-bah of FoMoCo, one of the first items on his to-do list was to commonize the automaker's lineup in Europe and America in an effort to cut production costs. The cry from those of us in the States, deriding Ford's execs for depriving us of the automaker's European offerings has been far and wide, and according to Automotive News, the movement is underfoot. Let the breath holding begin.

The auto-industry pub cites suppliers and "industry sources" as saying that Ford will be importing the C1 platform to the U.S. in the form of the new Focus and Escape, along with the C-Max and a Lincoln crossover. Expect the new Focus and C-Max to make it to our shores by 2011, while the Escape replacement and Lincoln's crossover – likely to be inspired by the European Kuga – to come by 2012.

Even better for N.A. autoworkers, Ford plans to build these newest offerings in the Wayne, Michigan and Kansas City plant, with a possibility of also employing the Cuautitlan, Mexico line.

Although we've heard these rumblings before, and have been left with such disappointments as the '08 Focus, we're feeling a bit more confident about this latest report. The timeframe seems entirely plausible, but until it happens we'll be looking cautiously into the future.

Friday, July 20, 2007

BMW K3.2S by Kelleners


German tuner Kelleners has unveiled the novelty - BMW K3.2s with a 306-hp engine.

The tuner has taken BMW 330i with 258 hp as the base. The first thing done was the increase of the capacity of the engine - to 3.2 liters. After that the electronics has been reprogrammed and the exhaust system developed.

The result - 306 hp enabling the max speed of 280 k.p.h.

As for the more powerful variant (based on BMW 335i), it has been in works, The car is expected to possess 400 hp and accelerate to 300 k.p.h.

To enliven the appearance of the car the designers applied a small body-kit consisting from a front spoiler, channels, rear-end bumper with a run-out and a roof spoiler. Besides the car is equipped with 19-inch “Vegas 2″ rims (the variants: Black Matt, Black Sheen, Gunmetal Sheen и Silver Sheen) with front 235/35 and rear 265/30 tires.

As for the dynamics of the car, the designers decided to do everything themselves: they offer a sport chassis of their own design. As an alternative come sport springs.

It should be mentioned that there is little if any newness in the car. Such a simple development program is being widely used by Hartge, Hamann and AC Schnitzer. Moreover the above mentioned tuners do it at a higher level of power. The only thing we can expect is the release of the tuned 335i and hope for some unique tuning decision.
Source: lemonlawvehicle

Nothelle Audi TT Roadster and Cabrio: Get Thunderstruck

Audi TT Roadster

commemorate the 40th anniversary the tuning manufacture Nothelle has designed the exclusive tuning-kit for Audi TT roadster, which makes the cabrio even more attractive.

In order to make the body look more individual Nothelle engineers installed a sport body-kit which includes 3-part front bumper, channel, rear bumper and 3-part interceptor. Moreover you can order a unique roof interceptor for the coupe variant. The cost of the whole kit starts from euro 3 160, and the ones who want the front part only it will make euro 450.

The next tuned part of the car is the chassis. The tuner offers a sport spring kit (from euro 240), that reduces the clearance by 25 mm. Now the most peculiar part - the power!

For the 2.0 TFSI with 200 hp the studio offers 4 power development variants. The simplest is the chip-tuning, that offers 40 hp and 75 Nm increase. The more complicated variant is the tuning with all the required tools and gadgets. The power is increased by 130 hp and 120 Nm.

The top variant is the development of V6 3.2 liter. The power is increased to 520 hp and 635 Nm of torque. The max speed is 308 kmph. The cost of the car starts from euro 29 500 (the kit includes modificated suspension and brakes system).

The last but not the least development is 20-inch “NOVEDRA IX” rims with 255/30 tires (the tires by the company’s partners Hankook, Continental).
Source: lemonlawvehicle

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren RoadsterMercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

The new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster combines high-tech from motor racing and the power of a top high-performance sports car with the long-distance attributes and sophisticated atmosphere of a classic Gran Tourismo car.

In common with Formula 1 vehicles of today, it too is made of carbon fibre, a material that endows the vehicle with a very high degree of safety as well as extreme torsional stiffness at the same high level as the coupé. In combination with the racing-type chassis this gives rise to outstanding ride characteristics.

The maximum speed of the new high-performance sports car, which is powered by an AMG V8 compressor engine delivering 460 kW/626 hp, is 332 km/h and therefore at the same high level as the Coupé. Although the Roadster offers undiluted open-top driving pleasure in the highest performance class thanks to its fully retractable top, the occupants in no way lose out in terms of comfort or the vehicle’s suitability for everyday use.

Consequently, the new Roadster opens up a new dimension in refinement for open-top super sports cars.

Like the coupé version, the new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster once again unites the legend of the successful SLR racing models from the 1950s with the innovative technology of modern Formula 1 vehicles from the Vodafone-McLaren-Mercedes team. Typical stylistic elements, such as the arrow-shaped tip of the Formula 1 Silver Arrow, establish a visual link with the racing cars. The SLR legend of the 50s lives on stylistically in the distinctive lateral louvers, side pipes behind the front wheels and the wide-opening gullwing doors.

The new Roadster benefits technically from the many years of experience of Mercedes-Benz and its Formula 1 partner McLaren. Apart from two aluminium engine frames, its body is made entirely of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials, making the vehicle an exception among high-performance sports cars. Especially for the Roadster, complex carbon-fibre technology has been intelligently further developed for the monocoque chassis. The result is low weight, exemplary energy absorption and, therefore, extremely high occupant safety as well as a degree of torsional stiffness hitherto unattained in open-top vehicles. This leads to outstanding ride characteristics of the kind otherwise found only in closed-top super sports cars.
Source: daimler

Ford starts testing the Hydrogen Fusion 999

Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999

Finished off in gray primer, the Ford Hydrogen Fusion 999 rolled out of the garage at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio this weekend. The team checked out all the systems on the vehicle, started up the fuel cell in the vehicle for the first time and then started some un-powered runs to check out the brakes and steering. A series of runs with a push start up to 60mph from a truck confirmed that details like the ability to stop in a timely manner did indeed function. Once they confirmed it would stop, it was time to see if it would go. For the full story on the development and testing of the hydrogen Fusion head over to AutoblogGreen. There's also a video after the jump.

Vehicles keep piling on the pounds

fuel for vehicles

With fuel prices ever creeping northwards you'd think the automakers would start slowing down on upping the size of their new models. Unfortunately, the notion of 'less is more' isn't the case when it comes to building and selling new cars. The belief in the auto industry is that consumers view bigger as better, a problem that's increasingly being associated with vehicles not normally regarded as being large.

According to data compiled by Edmunds, SUVs have grown on average ten inches in length and gained 474 pounds over the past decade, a trend that's reflected in almost all other segments. The Honda Accord and Civic models are a prime example of the practice that's occurring right across the industry. For example, the current '07 Civic sedan (pictured) has nearly the same legroom as a 1990 Accord and they're only around 100 pounds apart.

The major problem lies in fact that more weight requires more horsepower, which usually requires higher fuel consumption, a vicious cycle that automakers are now being forced to change.

There are still some carmakers using innovative packaging and better technology to make new models lighter. Mazda lopped off a massive 100kg from its already super-small Mazda2 model, and the new Audi TT is lighter than the outgoing car thanks to an aluminum spaceframe construction.
Source: USAtoday
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Ford Edge

Ford EdgeFord Edge

Combining sport utility capability with the driving dynamics of a sports car, H&R Sport Springs lower the Edge 2 for improved handling and superb ride. H&R Trak+ Wheel Spacers provide a precision fit H&R stance and dynamic side profile while H&R Triple C Camber Adjustment Bolts keep everything in spec.

Big 22 X 10 OZ Giotti 3 - 3 piece wheels and Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 295/30R22 tires give the H&R Edge a powerful, muscular stance and athletic maneuverability that is perfect for both the hairpin turns of the Pacific Coast Highway or the busy streets of New York City.

The Gemballa bright orange exterior is eye-catching whether bathed in sunshine or silhouetted in moonlight and the subtle Pearl-Ghost world graphics add a hint of mysterious elegance. The exclusive panoramic Vista Roof lets the sun shine in with an expansive view that spans nearly 40% of the total roof area. The H&R Edge also features a blacked-out race-like hood, a Camtec custom composite front bumper light pod with an integrated wind-splitter and Hella Celis LED lamps that give a high-tech night effect for cool city cruising.

When you’re on an extended road trip, great sounding music keeps you on track and entertained. The H&R Edge showcases the Ford factory premium stereo system which features an AM/FM stereo, 6-disc CD changer, 4 speakers, MP3, Sirius Satellite Radio and a touch-screen DVD-Based Navigation System.

To look good you must feel good, and the Waimea Cliffstone leather interior coddles you in relaxing splendor. Combined with Mauna Loa Ash Mica accents that enrich your comfort therapy, you’ll want to drive forever.

Freedom of mobility with ease spotlights the Edge as a capable, more practical SUV. The H&R Edge is the ultimate road cruiser that can take you where you want to go… from high-altitude to high society. The Edge is the car to do things and be seen doing. Drive to the edge of your world!

H&R 2007 FORD EDGE - ” Edge of the World ” specifications

• Special Gemballa orange paint with Pearl Ghost world graphics.
• Blacked-out race-look hood.
• Camtec Custom composite front bumper light pod with integrated wind-splitter.
• Hella CELIS lamps - with CELIS LED halo-effect.
• Panoramic VISTA ROOF

Wheels & Tires:
• 22 X 10 OZ Giotti 3 three-piece wheels
• Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 295/30WR22 tires

• H&R Sport Springs
• H&R Trak+ Wheel Spacers
• H&R Triple C Camber Adjustment Bolts

• Custom interior with perforated and non-Perforated Waimea Cliffstone leather tastefully utilized on door panels, seats and head-rests.
• Interior accents painted in Mauna Loa Ash Mica.
• Custom matching floor mats.
• Ford factory premium stereo system with MP3, Sirius Satellite Radio and touch-screen DVD-Based Navigation System.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nissan Altima Problems and Complaints

Nissan should re-evaluate the way they deal with customer complaints regarding the Nissan Altima. Regardless of a warranty, there are certain things a product should not do. Cars are personal and building a car that rusts even for an owner that baby's his car is unacceptable. My Nissan Altima only 14,000 miles in 3 years.

I called the dealer who told me that since it is 2 months past my 3 year warranty, and even though the rust obviously occurred during the warranty period, the only thing they could do would apply for a goodwill repair, but I would have to take the car to the dealer to be inspected. I took time off from work, drove to my dealer, and without even inspecting the car (which tells me that this is a common problem), the paperwork was completed. The next day I got a call telling me that it was turned down, but I can appeal via the Nissan 800#.

Nissan Customer support informed me that the wheels have protective covers (formerly known as hubcaps) and that they should not rust. Since I park at a train station filled with 2004 Nissan Altima's (for some reason Altima is the third best selling car on Long Island), I noticed that the "protective covers" do not protect the wheels on anyones car. I calmly explained that each "cover" is not solid, but has triangular cut outs where the rust forms.

They told me that a regional manager will call. No one called.

The car business is competitive and up to now I was so thrilled with Nissan that I was going to buy a Nissan Murano in December and a Nissan Sentra for my son.

The marketing lesson. According to the book "Ultimate Question", every customer in the bottom 2 boxes on a 10 point user satisfaction scale will result in 7 lost sales. All I can say about Nissan and the complaints I've made against the Nissan Altima is that I hope they sell 7 less 2007 Nissan Altima's this year.
Source: roguemarketer

Monday, July 16, 2007

Porsche 911 GT2: More info from TopGear

Porsche 911 GT2Porsche 911 GT2

TopGear has more information for you about the Porsche 911 GT2, including the UK retail price.
The biggest news is the mighty horsepower of the 911's turbocharged 3.6-litre boxer six. Over 500 horses is a stunning figure - 72bhp more than the 911 Turbo, with torque of 505lb ft from just 2,200rpm - and it's been produced, says Porsche, by concentrating on efficiency.
The GT2 will also be the first road Porsche to top 200mph in production guise. At 204mph (only on a track, as Porsche is keen to point out), you'll probably be glad for the strengthened bodyshell and six airbags on board. Actually, at 204mph you'll probably be glad if you can see straight.
Porsche was even kind enough to tell us how much the 911 GT2 will set us back when it reaches British shores in November. A curiously precise £131,070 will secure your spec'd GT2, as well as Porsche's Vehicle Tracking System and Driving Experience course.

Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet: Wallpapers of the 9ff Porsche Turbo TRC 91

Porsche 911 Turbo CabrioletPorsche 911 Turbo CabrioletPorsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

By popular demand we are presenting you some great wallpapers of the fastest convertible on earth, the 9ff Porsche Turbo TRC 91. Enjoy!
What is it? It has 910 hp and 910 Nm, takes only 3.10 seconds from 0 to 100km/h and offers a top speed of 392km/h made possible by the modified double-clutch gearbox that goes with it. In the form of a convertible, with unbelievable 780hp resulting in 381km/h, it holds the absolute world record since October 2006. A supercar polished up Right, it must be a Porsche. But not just an ordinary one, no, it is the new Porsche 911 Turbo TRC 91 created by Nardo God 9ff. The artists from Dortmund turned the already extremely sporty bolide into one of the fastest and most powerful street-legal sports cars around the globe. The supercar 3.6 litre biturbo engine was modified in great detail. Not only two special turbochargers increase the performance, but also the sport air filter, larger injectors, modified cylinder heads and a stainless steel exhaust system with special manifolds as well as high-performance catalysts, and, finally, an extensive increase in engine displacement resulting in 4.0 litres. All modifications are perfectly harmonised by means of the reprogrammed engine control unit.
Source: germancarblog

Hybrid Toyota Supra

Hybrid Toyota Supra

Toyota Team SARD's specially-prepared Supra HV-R hybrid GT racer has won the Tokachi 24-hour endurance race in Japan. The converted Super GT-spec racing car did so convincingly, too. As the only GT-class car in the field, the Denso SARD Supra HV-R maintained a steady lead of several laps throughout the course of the race, and in the later hours, it essentially dialed things up a notch and ran away from the rest of the field. After starting from the pole position, the Supra completed 616 laps in the ensuing 24 hours -- 19 more than the second-place finisher. The victory marks the first of its type for a hybrid-powered vehicle. The Supra HV-R began life as a retired 480-horsepower Super GT racing car, which then had regenerative braking technology and a trio of hybrid motors added to it for this event. What bearing, if any, the success of the Supra HV-R has on Toyota's plans for production sports hybrid vehicles is unknown. With reports that the FT-HS concept is on its way to production, however, we'll likely be seeing how well a production-spec hybrid sports car fares soon enough.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Hydrogen-Powered Land Speed Record from Ford

new hydrogen-powered Ford

Ford Motor Company will take its 10 years of hydrogen research expertise to the Bonneville Salt Flats in August in an attempt to set the world land speed record in a hydrogen fuel cell powered Ford Fusion.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 fuel cell car - a collaboratively engineered racer with Ballard, Roush and Ohio State University - is one of two vehicles Ford's fuel cell research team is helping prepare to set world land speed records. Ford researchers also are working with Ohio State University student engineers on its Buckeye Bullet 2, a fuel cell-powered racer that will compete for a similar world record in the unlimited class category.

"Racing is part of Ford Motor Company's DNA so it seemed only natural for us to build a fuel cell race car that runs on hydrogen, a fuel that could someday play a key role in meeting the energy needs of the transportation sector," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering for Ford Motor Company. "Our goal in attempting this record is to further expand our technological horizons with fuel cell powered vehicles. The collaboration with Ohio State University also affords us an opportunity to work closely with a prestigious university, which provides out-of-the-box thinking from student engineers and helps us recruit talented young people to work at Ford Motor Company."

The land speed record attempt will take place during Bonneville Speed Week from Aug. 10-17. The attempt will be sanctioned by the Southern California Timing Association®.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 land speed record vehicle was designed by Ford engineers and fabricated and built by Roush in Allen Park, Michigan. Ohio State students are providing the design of the 770 hp electric motor, while Ballard is supplying the hydrogen fuel cells. Ford retiree Rick Byrnes, a veteran Bonneville racer, will pilot the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 car on its record attempt.

Ohio State students have designed their unlimited class vehicle, dubbed Buckeye Bullet 2, from the ground up. Ballard donated the hydrogen fuel cells for Ohio State's car, Roush its engineering services and Ford has provided overall project coordination and expertise in fuel cell drivetrains.

In 2004, Ohio State students set the unlimited land speed record for an electric vehicle by running 315 mph in the first Buckeye Bullet, dubbed BB1.

Hydrogen Part of a Broader Effort

Ford's strategy for alternative fuels is built around multiple technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells. This flexible approach allows the company to meet goals for customer needs, environmental impact and shareholder interests. The strategy does not focus on one catch-all solution but includes a flexible array of options, including hybrids, E85 ethanol, clean diesels, bio-diesels, advanced engine and transmission technologies and hydrogen fuel cells.

The company already has a fleet of 30 hydrogen powered Focus fuel cell vehicles on the road as part of a worldwide, seven-city program to conduct real world testing of fuel cell technology. The 30-car fleet has accumulated more than 540,000 miles since its inception in 2005.

Ford also is conducting tests with the world's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive. The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive uses a series electric drivetrain with an onboard hydrogen fuel cell generator to give the vehicle a range of 225 miles with zero emissions.

Currently, Ford offers gasoline-electric hybrids including the Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The company will also offer hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan in 2008.


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Hydrogen as fuel for our vehicles
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Little interest shown in Jaguar, Land Rover

Jaguar - Land Rover

When Aston Martin was up for bid a few months ago, billionaires that nobody has ever heard of were coming out of the woodwork to bid on the ultra-luxury lineup. Now Ford is trying to recapture the magic with the sale of its other two premium British Marquees, Jaguar and Land Rover. The problem is, Jaguar is a cash whore and Land Rover doesn't have nearly the cachet of Aston (big surprise). We've heard differing accounts as to the worth of Ford's unwanted PAG members, but Merrill Lynch pegs the number at between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion. That certainly isn't chump change, but it's only marginally better than the $900 million that was paid for smallish Aston. Many of the "small-time" billionaires aren't bothering with this sale, even at lower financials, because they couldn't afford one of Jaguar's big-time losses, and stalwarts like Blackstone are rumored to be out, too. Hyundai and Nissan/Renault don't seem to be interested either.

Ford already brunted a lot of the financial pain for Jaguar when it closed a plant and bought out a lot of workers, and the forthcoming XF should help the bottom line immensely. Land Rover is profitable and has plenty of newer models to keep sales strong for the foreseeable future. We'd be surprised if there weren't a lot of sand-baggers that show up soon looking to get something for next to nothing.


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Jaguar C-XF wins Production Preview concept award
Ford plans to increase production in Australia

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