Thursday, November 29, 2007

BMW M6 Review


I’ve had a thing for the BMW 6-Series ever since “Spenser: for Hire” shared the airways with Mötley Crüe. While Robert Urich had a cool Mustang, Avery Brooks had a vehicle worthy of his icy-cold demeanor: a white BMW 635CSi. Could there ever be a better vehicle in which a man could do the right thing by any means necessary? There is now. The BMW M6 has tons of M-tuned street cred and many of the right moves. Many, but not all.

The M6’ silhouette screams greatness without saying a word. The generous space between the front wheels and firewall, its swoopy lines and perfect proportions make for a killer profile. The model's lowered stance and wikkid 19” rims add animus aplenty. Unfortunately, viewed from any other angle, Bimmer's streetwise badass looks like a short-bus dumbass. Bangled lumps and bumps and disjointed details do nothing to help the model's G-force gravitas, and much to remove it.

The M6’ love-hate theme continues within. The cockpit has the perfect amount of flair for a top-dollar German coupe. Occupants are surrounded by decadent materials, from aromatic leather to slick burled wood to brushed aluminum accents. A sumptuous pair of endlessly supportive bucket seats coddle the most demanding derriere. The M-series steering wheel is the stuff of legend; its beefy rim, intuitive buttonage and fancy trimmings are a hand magnet for the sporting pistonhead. When it comes to sybaritic helms, no other carmaker comes close.

And that's it. At a robust $104k asking price, why isn’t the dash wrapped in leather, the headliner in Alcantara and the seats cooled by fans? While we’re at it, give the carbon fiber roof its walking papers and put a power moonroof in its place; the 3900 pound M6 should be as concerned with its grand touring weight as McDonald’s is about their clientele’s clogged arteries.

From here its best to forge on with the usual complaint about iDrive; a stern taskmaster who neither listens to your voice commands nor has the kindness to let you watch the road while adjusting the stereo or HVAC. No matter how BMW spins their collective propellers over this feature, technology was never meant to enslave, especially on a high performance grand touring coupe. Mein kingdom for a rheostat!

Wishes run deep in the M6, deepest of all within the SMG trans-mishap. Farago mightily proclaimed the latest SMG to be the world’s worst transmission. Be it in grandma mode or full-tilt boy racer tuning, every torturous upshift sends the driveline thudding, clunking and wincing in pain. SMG combines the spastic behavior of a beat up automatic transmission with the teeth chattering smoothness of a fried clutch. It is, quite literally, the worst of both worlds.

One bit of Bavarian technology works as intended: the Corvette-esque heads up display puts relevant information in an honest-to-God user-friendly format. So good, in fact, it helps the driver make sense out of the SMG’s nonsensical behavior. And when you find the right stretch of tarmac, you’ll find something wonderful in this sea of darkness.

The M6 takes to curves like a teenager to MySpace. The stiff chassis, sticky rubber, poised suspension and 500hp V-10's colossal twist turns the BMW M6 into a tenacious corner carver ready to consume your soul without missing a beat. Words cannot do justice to the handling perfection that is the M6. When you push its limits, the M6 encourages you to dig deeper, surrendering yourself to the siren song of its flat cornering and near limitless torque curve, a powerband that extends all the way to a mind-numbing 8200rpm.

This is where the M6 gets a new lease on life, where the cohesive sum becomes greater than its disjointed parts. Even the SMG makes sense, putting the power down with mad F1 downshifting skills. The precisely weighted steering speaks to you like your four-wheeled soul mate. Excitement uber alles baby!

But this whip is still down for a low stress interstate jaunt. the ride quality is respectable even with rubber band thin sidewalls. Extensive sound insulation keeps the stellar thirteen speaker audio system in the forefront, Even the bustled trunk is large enough for a relaxing week in wine country. Combined with the sporty ambiance of its 2+2 coupe configuration, the BMW M6 leaves its luxo-sport competition in the weeds.

But BMW’s M6 is still a machine in dire need of an exorcist. With its attention to detail comes the devil of belabored styling and infuriating technology. Such fine road manners come at the expense of a bi-polar transmission and an engine with a lusty appetite for gas (12/18) and even oil (begging for more after 3000 miles). Even with the demons in situ, the BMW M6 is one of the finest sporting coupes on the road. Can you imagine its potential if BMW ever deigned to learn from its mistakes? carries all the BMW Wheels you need.
Source: thetruthaboutcars

Wednesday, November 28, 2007



The BMW E70 automobile platform will be the basis for the future X5 SUV. It will replace the BMW E53. It is expected that it will be released some time during 2007 and will be considerably bigger than the current E53 model, since it will be able to accommodate two extra passengers. The increase in size is due to the uncomfortably close sizes of the current generation X5 and smaller X3 model. The new E70 BMW X5 may give some information on, if possibly built, the BMW X1.

BMW has taken a conservative approach to the styling of its second-generation X5 by maintaining the basic appearance of its seven-year-old predecessor in a larger bodyshell supported by an all-new platform with some of the most advanced underpinnings the four wheel drive class has to offer. Underneath the familiar-looking sheet metal, however, the luxury SUV boasts several changes the German carmaker is convinced will help cement its reputation as the benchmark for roadholding, while providing greater levels of versatility through a new seven-seat interior layout. Inside Line sources who have driven early prototypes say the new X5 steers and handles with all the precision of the critically acclaimed first-generation X5 and despite now being fitted with run-flat tires as standard manages to improve on ride quality, too. "It's not the most comfortable in the class, but we're confident the handling is as good as, or better than, the outgoing model," says one BMW executive. The front suspension is BMW's first use of a double wishbone suspension combined with a multi-link rear suspension, with upmarket models getting rear air springs to smooth out the ride. The advantage to switching to the double wishbone front suspension allows for a stiffer suspension with the use of run-flat tires (RFT, RSC, or EMT), without adversely affecting ride comfort as well as dampening road-feel. However, BMW hasn't held back on equipping its new SUV with the kind of chassis technology used on its 5 and 7 Series cars. Among the options are the company's Adaptive Drive and Active Steering systems, the former using hydraulic stabilizer bars to suppress body roll and the latter employing an electric motor to alter the steering ratio depending upon speed, getting progressively direct at low speeds.

The majority of the X5's electronics are based on E65, with a few new innovations. Additionally, a new electronics network-system has been developed, named "Flex-Ray," which is currently only used for the Electronic Dampening Control (EDC) system. Among the engine choices at launch is a pair of 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder units developing 260 horsepower in gasoline guise and 231 hp in common-rail diesel form. Topping the range is a 355-hp 4.8-liter V8 that is claimed to propel the new BMW to 62 mph from standstill in an impressive 6.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 150 mph{fact}. Other power plants will be added to the new X5 lineup in time, including a mild hybrid using a base 3.0-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine in combination with an electric motor. Also under consideration as a rival to the newly launched Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and Porsche Cayenne Turbo is a high-performance version of the new BMW X5 running a secret new turbocharged V8 set to make its debut on the new 7 Series due out in 2008. Power is channeled permanently to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, which is claimed to reduce shift speed by up to 50 percent through the incorporation of a new torque converter and revised software. It is operated via a new joystick-like shift lever that, like the new electronic parking brake mechanism, has been designed to take up less room on the center console than the current setup.

Hoping to build on the 580,000 first-generation X5 sales to date, BMW has made only conservative changes to the SAV's appearance. The exterior styling, in particular, draws heavily on the first-generation model, retaining the same basic proportions with subtly altered detailing more in keeping with modern BMW styling. The rear continues with a split tailgate and separately opening rear window. Its appearance may be familiar but the new X5 has grown considerably, putting on 7.5 inches in length and 2.4 inches in width. BMW sources contend that the use of lightweight materials, including a greater percentage of aluminum within the suspension, has helped keep weight down. The new base model weighs no more than the outgoing model when its increased equipment count is taken into consideration. The added length liberates space for an optional third row of seats, extending the X5's seat count to seven in a move that will see it more closely challenge the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 for outright versatility. Luggage capacity is reduced from 21.9 cubic feet to just 7.1 cubic feet when the third seat row is in use.

Find BMW X5 Wheels at
Source: wikipedia

Volkswagen Tiguan R Line

Volkswagen Tiguan R Line

After last year at the Essen Motor Show Volkswagen revealed its R Line range for Golf, Passat, Touran and Touareg this year the German automaker will reveal the R Line for its newest model, the Tiguan. The R Line allows VW customers to equip their cars with a sporty interior and exterior this being independanly from what engine the car has. More informations will soon be available after the Essen Motor Show will start this Friday.
Source: 4wheelsblog

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bugatti Veyron Sales

Bugatti Veyron

In terms of sheer speed, power and history-making levels of engineering excess, the Bugatti Veyron is a success. Bugatti's parent, Volkswagen, set out to build the fastest production car in the world, and it did. There is a photograph of it right there in the 2007 edition of "The Guinness Book of World Records," under the heading of Fastest Production Car.

But here is the problem with setting out to conquer a superlative: There is always someone lurking around the corner, drawing a target on your back. And once the bar is moved, you're a historical footnote. (Sure enough, on Oct. 9, Shelby SuperCars posted on its Web site that Guinness had certified its Ultimate Aero as the new titleholder.)

That might be why, despite a total run of only 300 cars, half of the Bugatti Veyrons scheduled for production are still unsold.

Price might be a factor, too. The Veyron retails for about $1.4 million, although sometimes the price is quoted at $1.3 million or $1.5 million, depending on the exchange rate.

As bad as this may make you feel about your own financial situation, the world has plenty of big-money car nuts with $1 million-plus to spend on a Veyron. But so far, despite fawning reviews, the market has given the car a lukewarm reception.

The problem could be that the world's most expensive car comes from the people's car company, and that the Veyron is ultimately the VW Phaeton of the supercar stage: Its engineering is beyond reproach, but its origins do not satisfy the brand snobs who have the money to buy one.

Bugatti, along with Maybach and Spyker, seems to believe that there is no statute of limitations on the brand appeal of automakers that had their glory days before World War II. Hoping that buyers will embrace a supercar because it wears a once-glorious badge is like hoping people will assume your son is a great tennis player because you named him Rod Laver.

One wonders why, since VW already owns Bentley, the Veyron does not simply wear the Flying B. What would be so wrong if the world's fastest car were a Bentley - and might it have sold better that way?

Time will tell whether the Bugatti Veyron is as successful with collectors as it is at decimating speed records. What is undebatable right now is that the select few who own (or lease) a Veyron hold the keys to the world's greatest automotive thrill ride.

Depending on your prior exposure to big-horsepower cars, the initial second of acceleration might not seem out of the ordinary - even with all-wheel-drive, a car has only so much traction off the line, and a Porsche 911 Turbo can spin all four tires out of the gate, too.

But quickly, almost too quickly for the brain to process, the Veyron speeds straight out of your frame of reference. Once the Veyron is hooked up and putting its 1,001 horsepower to the ground, there's no comparison that will help you understand it, unless you're a fighter pilot or a circus clown with extensive cannon experience.

When you floor the throttle of the Veyron on the highway, the sensation is as if every other driver slammed on the brakes. Except they didn't. They are still cruising at highway speed, but you are blurring the space between the guardrails like an antiproton in a particle collider.

In most cars, you expect a reduction in acceleration as you move up through the gears - longer gear ratios and aerodynamic drag eventually trump horsepower. But the Veyron is different. First gear is quick and violent. Second gear takes slightly longer but seems equally violent. By third gear, you're worried about your driver's license and your life, and the thrust shows no sign of relenting.

Mission control, something is wrong. The booster rockets don't seem to be dropping off.

So you hit the brakes and discover that they're excellent, but they are of the realm of mortal cars, unlike the motor. Thanks to active aerodynamics and the wonders of downforce, at higher speeds the Veyron's stopping and cornering power begin to approach the standard set by its go-power.

But by higher speeds, I definitely mean faster than I cared to drive in suburban Connecticut. For example, if you hit the brakes and look in the rearview mirror to see the spoiler extended high and angled down in air-brake mode, you had better hope there are no police officers nearby, because that trick does not come out of the bag unless you are going at least 130 miles, or 210 kilometers, an hour - just over half of top speed.

I was informed of this by none other than Pierre-Henri Raphanel, a Bugatti test driver, who was riding shotgun at the time. Raphanel, a former race-car driver, knows as much about this car as just about anyone; he also knows what a monumental headache it was to make the Veyron a reality.

The Michelin tires had to be developed specifically for this car. Engineers faced endless setbacks in dissipating the volcanic heat of the motor, which sits naked behind the passenger compartment, a W16 al fresco. The optics of the windshield require such perfection that for every 100 windshields produced, only 5 are usable.

The gist of Raphanel's spiel is that cranking out 1,001 horsepower is just the first of many challenges in building an automobile with a top speed of 253 miles an hour. In fact, even attempting such a thing is ambitious bordering on crazy.

"Ferrari would never build a car like this," he said. "They simply don't need to. They could give a car 700 horsepower and sell out a production run of 400. So why bother going to all the trouble to make it 1,000 horsepower?

"Nobody else will ever make a car like this again. This will be the high point for cars powered by an internal combustion engine."

Maybe so, but you know that at some car company, somewhere, there is a chalkboard emblazoned with a new target: 254 miles an hour. Already, you can walk into Exotic Cars at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and put your money down on a Koenigsegg CCX, which has a claimed top speed of 245-plus miles an hour. Then there is the Aero.

Bugatti has sold 150 Veyrons because the car held the record for the world's fastest production automobile. And it has not sold the other 150 because records are made to be broken.
Source: iht

Sporty VW Beetle

Sporty VW Beetle

Volkswagen is planning the next generation of the New Beetle including a Roadster version in 2012 despite recent reports that it is planning to end production of the model, Germany's Auto-motor-sport magazine reports.

The New Beetle, a retro-style version of the original Beetle "people's car" that was last produced in Germany in 1978, has been criticised as too expensive and lacking appeal.

A roadster version of the New Beetle would replace the closed Volkswagen Beetle version and convertible in 2012, the magazine reports quoting company sources.

A Volkswagen spokesperson however described the report as "speculation".

The new model is based on the two-seater "Ragster" concept VW presented at the Detroit Motor Show in 2005, displaying a lowered roofline, 19-inch wheels and a canvas top that can be lowered at the press of a button, auto-motor-sport said.

The roadster would be powered by a 3.2-litre V6 engine with an output of 206kW. It would be fitted with start-stop automatic and brake-regeneration technology to conserve fuel, according to the report.

The magazine also reports that VW in turn was mulling plans to end production of the Eos convertible that is fitted with a foldable steel roof. A VW spokesperson refused to comment.
Source: wheels24

Audi A5 Road Test

Audi A5

It's one of those classic pub conversations for car bores: if you could make one car from all your favourite bits of the best models, what would it have? Well, in a sense, the A5 is Audi's answer to that question.

Naturally, the best car in the world would have Audi build quality - a given with the A5, of course - but wouldn't you also like something that combined the looks of the TT with the practicality of the Audi A4? In other words, a car which had the looks of a coupe, space for four and a decent boot. As far as Audi are concerned, the result of just such a wishlist is the Audi A5: a bigger coupe than the 2+2 TT, but one which has some degree of practicality. The trouble is, does this combination lead to a car that's a jack of all trades and a master of none?

Well, starting with the positives, the A5 is every bit as classy as any other Audi. Step inside, and you can't help noticing the distinct whiff of high class - this is a car that feels genuinely expensive to the touch. However, for all that class, there's not a great deal of space. Anyone much over six feet tall will find their head brushing the roof in the front and, with the front seats pushed back (as they have to be with a couple of adults in them), there's precious little room in the back: legroom is tight and those eye-catching lines mean that headroom is far from great. In other words, although the huge boot does go some way to justifying the claims of practicality, despite Audi's claims, this is not really a full four-seater.

It's also not exactly a sports car. If you've come to an A5 looking for something with the same genes as a TT, then you'll be disappointed. The A5 is designed as a high-speed long-distance cruiser - a modern GT, if you like - and doesn't really hit the spot as a driver's car. There's just not enough feedback though the controls or any great sense of agility through the bends. That said, if you favour a more laid-back driving style, then the A5 could well be your kind of car. First, it's tremendously comfortable for the driver, with plenty of adjustment in the driving position, a layout that makes you feel immediately at home, and tremendous refinement. And, secondly, there's no shortage of performance from any of the engines, and no lack of grip from the tyres. On the contrary, you can cross country at serious speed in an A5 in complete safety. The drawback is that it probably won't set your heart racing. Overall, the A5 is very much a classic Audi: beautifully built and sensibly priced against its German rivals - in this case, the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Mercedes CLK - but not the most exciting to drive. If you like Audis, you'll like the A5, but if you're more of a BMW fan, this will do nothing to change your allegiance.
Source: reuters

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mazda 2 Sedan

Mazda 2Mazda 2

Mazda Motor Corporation today revealed the all-new Mazda2 (known as Mazda Demio in Japan) sedan at the 2007 Guangzhou Motor Show. This version of Mazda’s latest model has a dynamic and elegant form that was designed to capture new customers in the rapidly growing Chinese B-car segment. The all-new Mazda2 sedan is produced by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. at its Nanjing plant, and will go on sale in the first half of 2008 through the Changan Mazda Motor Sales Company’s network.

Noriaki Yamada, President and COO of Mazda Motor (China) Co., Ltd. said, “By introducing the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback to the B-car segment in China, we will have completed our product launches in the B, C and CD segments, which represent the three major Chinese vehicle classes. The new models will greatly strengthen Mazda’s product lineup in China.”

Mazda’s Senior Managing Executive Officer, Kiyoshi Ozaki, spoke about Mazda’s global growth and China business at the press conference. “In fiscal year 2007, we expect to achieve our seventh consecutive year of profit growth and fourth straight year of record profit. Going forward, we will aspire to maintain our current growth by raising our brand value and enhancing our business efficiencies under our new mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan and our long-term vision for technology development, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom. Achieving our mid-term target for China of ‘300,000 units of production and sales in 2010’ will be a key factor in our plans,” he said.

This year, Mazda completed the consolidation of its production, sales and product foundations, which it has been building in order to achieve its mid-term objectives.

President and CEO of Mazda Motor (China) Co., Ltd., Satoshi Tachikake: “We have set up a production structure that comprises three facilities: the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Nanjing plant, which was completed in September and features Mazda’s latest production and machining technologies, the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile plant in Chongqing, and FAW Car Company in Changchun.”

Mazda is also updating its sales network in order to achieve its mid-term target. In addition to the existing FAW Mazda Motor Sales Co., Ltd. (FMSC), Changan Mazda Motor Sales Co., Ltd. (CMSC) has been newly established, and sales will commence through the two channels from January 2008.

Noriaki Yamada, who is in charge of China sales, added, “The newly established Mazda Motor (China) Beijing Office will function as the representative of Mazda Motor Corporation. It will establish a reliable sales network by developing a unified brand strategy for the two sales channels and policies that will always benefit the customer. Mazda’s core products will be progressively introduced through the two sales channels to strengthen our product lineup. We intend to continue expanding our sales network, from the current 104 dealerships to a total of 160 for both channels by January 2008, and establish over 300 dealers by 2010.”

At the 2007 Guangzhou Motor Show, Mazda will promote the Zoom-Zoom brand promise by displaying twelve vehicles from five model lines, which represent Mazda’s core products that are scheduled for launch.

The display will include the Mazda5 and Mazda3 5-door hatchback, which are due to be introduced through FMSC. The Mazda5 is a stylish global minivan that will go on sale in China from December 2007. The Mazda3 5-door hatchback is one of Mazda’s core models and supports global sales mainly in Europe, Japan and Asia. It is due to commence sales in China during the first half of 2008.

The all-new Mazda2 five-door hatchback and sedan models that will be launched through the new CMSC channel will also be showcased. The all-new Mazda2 five-door hatchback is the first of Mazda’s evolved Zoom-Zoom new generation products. It has received excellent reviews, including the prestigious 2008 RJC Car of the Year award in Japan, since its global rollout commenced this summer. Production began at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile’s Nanjing plant at the end of October, with sales to follow in January 2008.

Officially titled The 5th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition, the press day is November 19, and public days are November 20 - 26.
Source: mazda

Saturday, November 17, 2007

2006 Lexus IS350 Review

2006 Lexus IS350

Lexus has fully understood the concept of luxury as applied to an automobile since its inception. But "sport'' has seemingly been just out of its grasp. To be sure, there have been very sporty Lexuses, especially in the form of the GS sedans, but they have always been more luxury-sport than sport-luxury. The IS300 attempted to provide more sport than luxury when it debuted here six years ago, but, while it did well enough, it never quite measured up to the competition from Munich. Lexus is nothing if not competitive, and doesn't like second place. And so the IS300 has been replaced.

The 2006 IS lineup shares virtually nothing with the IS300 besides the IS model designation. Although still basically of a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, it's built on a completely different chassis platform, derived from that of the larger GS. The IS is now a multi-model lineup, comprised of the IS250, all-wheel drive IS250 AWD, and IS350. Gone is the IS300's inline six-cylinder engine; all new IS models have a V6, of 2.5 liters capacity with 204 horsepower - close to the IS300's 215 - for the IS250 models, or 3.5 liters and 306 horsepower for the IS350. Transmissions are all six-speeds, with a manual standard in the IS250 and the automatic available there standard in the others.

The new IS is larger than the old, especially in width and cabin space. Its muscular looks establish an immediate kinship with the GS. Although its lines, and the tuning of its fully-independent suspension, proclaim its sports-sedan mission, it is a Lexus, and the luxury level available, especially for the top-line IS350, is limited only by budget.

I first drove an IS350 when it was introduced to the press in the mountains north of Napa, California, last summer. I'd had its benchmark German competitor as my weekly test car the previous week, so it was fresh in mind when I spent most of the day in an IS350 equipped with the optional sport suspension. I was expecting the new IS to be closer to its competition than the old model, but was surprised by how close it was. There was parity between the two, really, for use in enthusiastic everyday driving, with the choice as to which was better being strictly personal preference.

This was reinforced last week, when I had an IS350 for a week at home. Unlike the sport-equipped introduction example, this one had the standard suspension and almost all of the available luxury options. But its sport-sedan nature was undiminished by all of those comforts and conveniences. The 2006 Lexus IS350 is a true sports-luxury sedan, and can hold its own against any competitor in the compact sports-luxury class.

APPEARANCE: In overall shape, the IS is remarkably similar to its larger GS relative. But subtle differences in proportion and style give it a lighter, sportier look. Its width is accentuated by muscular wheel arches filled with high-performance, low-profile rubber. In profile a decisive wedge shape to the body, with the tail the highest point, and a near-fastback roofline give it the look of a performance coupe, not a sedan. At the front, a sculpted, bulging hood, cat-eye headlights, and flat front fascia proclaim power, while the high, squared-off tail show refinement and hints at practical storage space.
COMFORT: Despite its emphasis on sport, there is no shortage of luxury comfort and convenience in a new Lexus IS. It wouldn't be a Lexus without that, after all. All IS models use the keyless "Smart Entry'' system, which uses a transponder to allow the driver to open or lock doors and start the engine. The old IS's gimmicky chronometer-like gauge cluster has been replaced by a brightly-lit Optitron cluster, and the instrument panel styling is pure Lexus, with no attempt to copy anyone else. The front buckets offer good comfort and support; rear space is reasonable for two medium-sized adults but a high central tunnel and the cushion's contours make three less likely. Trunk space is reasonable, although the opening is a bit small. Leather is standard in the IS350, as is a power moonroof and 13-speaker premium audio system with MP3CD capability and an auxiliary jack for an external music player. But that's just a start. My test car was outfitted with most available options, which brought it up to the luxury level of a well-equipped mid-size luxury sedan. Notable items in the various packages included but were not limited to (wait! there's more!) heated and cooled front seats with perforated leather (very pleasant), adaptive (turning) HID headlights, the Lexus Pre-Collision system with radar cruise control, an excellent Mark Levinson audio system, and a very good, easy-to-use navigation system. With the nav/audio package, interior systems are controlled through the touch screen mounted at the top of the center stack, a much simpler and more intuitive system than the obscure joysticks dear to the Germans.
SAFETY: The Lexus IS350 offers a comprehensive array of passive and active safety equipment. Traction control, antilock brakes with brake assist, and the Vehicle Stability Control system not only work in their intended manners, they are tied together in the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system for further refinement of vehicle control. The carefully-designed passenger compartment and front and rear crumple zones protect occupants, as do dual front, dual front knee, front seat-mounted side, and front and rear side-curtain air bags. The available Pre-Collision system preemptively tightens safety belts and gives extra power to the Brake Assist system if sensors deem a collision unavoidable.

RIDE AND HANDLING: Even with the stock suspension setup, the IS350 exhibits crisp, responsive handling with minimal body lean in corners. The suspension calibration is firm, for good control, but not so firm as to decrease comfort, and, with staggered-size tires (225/45 17 in front, 245/45 17 rear) it works very well on a challenging road while also providing civilized comfort around town. Use of high-strength steel and aluminum parts for its double-wishbone front, multilink rear suspension reduces unsprung weight to improve the behavior of the wheels over bumps. Technology aids the driver in the form of the VDIM system, which uses sensors to gather input about steering angle, yaw rate, deceleration, brake activation, and ties the various electronic control systems of the car together to help the car react more quickly in high-speed or emergency maneuvers. It's a next-generation stability-control system, and is transparent in operation except right at the car's limits.

PERFORMANCE: With 306 horsepower (at 6400 rpm) and 277 lb-ft of torque (at 4800 rpm) from its namesake 3.5-liter V6, the IS350 is one of the most powerful cars in its class. Architecture for both the 2.5- and 3.5-liter engines is the same, with aluminum alloy block and heads, dual overhead cams with 24 valves engine, and VVT-i variable cam phasing. Both have direct fuel injection for high power output and a low ULEV II emissions rating. Auxiliary port injection, in the 3.5-liter engine only, improves cold starting, while the direct injection allows a higher compression ratio (12:1 for the 2.5, 11.8:1 for the 3.5), benefitting efficiency. Power is strong at all engine speeds, and the engine is very flexible, able to cruise at low speeds in high gears for good gas mileage. Yet it will happily rev to redline, and if power seemed strong at 2500 rpm, well, there's plenty more up higher. The control logic for the six-speed automatic is impressive. Upshifting in automatic is quick and positive, and delayed with wider throttle openings for improved acceleration when desired. It also downshifts automatically, to provide the correct gear for a given speed, and, unlike many automatics rarely shifts in a corner (thank you VDIM!). It can be shifted manually by means of twin paddles behind the steering wheel, or by putting the shift lever in the auxiliary manual gate, but seems slower to shift in manual mode. The engine's torque spread is broad enough, and the transmission good enough, that automatic is the way to go except in extreme high-performance driving.
CONCLUSIONS: Lexus launches a major attack on Bavaria with its new IS sports sedans.

2006 Lexus IS350

Base Price $ 35,440
Price As Tested $ 46,593
Engine Type dual overhead cam, 24-valve aluminum
alloy V6
with VVT-i variable cam phasing
Engine Size 3.5 liters / 210 cu. in.
Horsepower 306 @ 6400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 277 @ 4800 rpm
Transmission 6-speed electronically-controlled
Wheelbase / Length 107.5 in. / 180.1 in.
Curb Weight 3,527 lbs.
Pounds Per Horsepower 11.5
Fuel Capacity 17.1 gal.
Fuel Requirement 91 octane unleaded premium gasoline
Tires 225/45 front, 245/45 VR 17 rear
Dunlop Sport SP
Brakes, front/rear vented disc / vented disc, ABS, EBD,
brake assist standard
Suspension, front/rear independent double wishbone
Drivetrain independent multilink

EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon
city / highway / observed 21 / 28 / 22
0 to 60 mph 5.6 sec

Headlamp washers $ 100
Luxury Package - includes:
HID & adaptive front lighting system,
heated & ventilated front seats, perforated
leather seat upgrade, wood interior trim,
power tilt & telescope steering wheel,
driver & passenger memory seats,
illuminated scuff plates, power rear sunshade,
rain-sensing wipers $ 3,495
Lexus Pre-Collision system(PCS) with
dynamic radar cruise control $ 2,850
Navigation system with Mark Levinson
premium audio package $ 3,990
Cargo net $ 59
Trunk mat $ 69
Destination charge $ 590
Source: theautochannel

Lexus IS Test Drive

Lexus IS 350


The completely new Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 models are so full of technology that it might be easy to overlook how well they function as fun-to-drive sports sedans.

Lexus is eager to bust out of its role as a maker of luxurious but conservative automobiles. They want to make performance and style as much a part of the marque's appeal as finely tailored cabins and cutting-edge amenities. Therefore, the target for the new IS models is no less than the BMW 3 Series. Of course, BMW is a proclaimed target for many car makers, but Lexus and parent company Toyota are not given to idle boasts or hopeless goals, and now they want to become known as the best driving machines from anywhere, not just Asia.

With that in mind, Lexus has introduced two all-new models, the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350, featuring a choice of V6 engines and available all-wheel drive.

The new IS 250 and IS 350 are considerably larger than last year's IS 300 models and they're stuffed with creature comforts. They look sporty, with bulging muscles and a purposeful stance. Their looks are backed up with genuine sports sedan attributes: rear-wheel drive and handling and performance aspirations tuned more for driving than, say, the softer, front-drive Lexus ES 330. For the most part, the new IS models deliver on the promise. We enjoyed driving them, particularly the more powerful IS 350. It's fast, it sticks in corners and it stops with authority. The IS 350's VDIM electronic stability control steps in very early to keep the driver out of trouble. The IS 250 AWD model's all-wheel drive makes it a good sports sedan for the Snow Belt.

Model Lineup

Three models are available for 2006. The Lexus IS 250 ($29,990) is powered by a new 2.5-liter V6, which sends 204 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The rear-drive IS 250 is also available with a newly developed, Formula 1-inspired six-speed automatic ($31,160). The all-wheel-drive IS 250 AWD ($34,285) comes standard with the six-speed automatic. At the top of the range is the IS 350 ($35,440) with a new 3.5-liter 306-horsepower V6 coupled to the paddle-shifted automatic.

Leather is now standard on the IS 250 and IS 350; and the IS 250 AWD comes with perforated leather-trim with Bird's eye maple accents. All models come loaded with standard features: dual-zone climate control, SmartAccess keyless entry with pushbutton engine start, and a 194-watt 13-speaker stereo with a six-disc in-dash CD changer; the audio system features digital signal processing, an electronic crossover network and built-in theft deterrence. It's satellite-ready and includes a new audio input jack in the center console that accepts any external audio source (iPod, Walkman, etc.) to the AUX input.

Safety features that come standard include driver and front-passenger knee airbags. The brakes are large and effective four-wheel discs, vented at the front and clamped by aluminum four-piston calipers. Augmenting the big brakes are ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability Control and traction control (TRAC) comes with every IS 250, while the IS 350 gets TRAC as well as the more sophisticated Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).

Standard exterior items are fog lamps, projector beam headlamps, puddle lamps on the underside of the outside rearview mirrors (which are also heated), dual polished stainless steel exhaust pipes, infrared and ultraviolet reducing glass on all the windows, and a color-coordinated front airdam.

The standard running gear is 17-inch aluminum five-spoke wheels fitted with low-profile high-performance radials. The IS 250 AWD comes with 225/45R17s at all four corners. The IS 250 and IS 350 come standard with 225/45R17 tires in front and wider 245/45R17s in the rear, a staggered setup to increase grip under acceleration. Optional 18-inch wheels are available for the IS 250 and IS 350, fitted with 225/40R18 tires in front and 255/40R18s in the rear.

Options include a sports suspension, two different styles of 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, high-intensity discharge headlamps with AFS (that automatically swivel to light up corners when the steering wheel is turned), rain-sensing wipers, sport pedals, metal scuff plates, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with memory, 10-way power seats, heated/ventilated seats, driver and front-passenger seat memory, leather console, rear armrest storage, wood interior trim, perforated leather trim, an auto-dimming memory reverse tilt-down mirror, and other features. The Mark Levinson audio/navigation system adds an additional speaker, advanced discrete amplifier technology with 300 watts and 7.1 channel speaker architecture. Other options include the navigation system, which features voice activation, a rear backup camera (a great safety feature); Bluetooth; Park Assist; Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar cruise control; headlamp washers; power moonroof. Accessories include a high-performance exhaust system and a body kit and rear spoiler.

Interior Features

Lush with creature comfort, trimmed with upscale materials, and crackling with electronic wizardry, the interior environment of the new IS models is pure Lexus. Nothing escaped notice in the totally new environment. Even the front sunvisors were redesigned to help absorb noise.

The new keyless entry and pushbutton ignition is so handy we wish this system were standard on every car. It also removes a potential safety hazard, a dangling set of keys, from the steering column and eliminates one of the most abused components from any future repair orders.

A bit roomier than the outgoing model, the cabin is still more sports car than family sedan. A prominent central console clearly establishes the driver and front-passenger zones. The controls wrap around the driver with every gauge and switch within easy scrutiny or close reach. The new Optitron gauges are larger and easier to read than the previous cluster, and their light-saber indicator needles, "ignition on" meter movement and dynamic redline indication are cool modern.

Leather upholstery comes standard on the IS 250 and IS 350 with metallic accents appropriately placed around the cabin. The IS 250 AWD comes with perforated leather trim and beautifully crafted bird's-eye maple accents. Each piece is hewn from a single chunk of wood to ensure a perfect match from panel to panel.

The heated and ventilated front seats are a must have. They come standard on IS 250 AWD and are available on the other models. Like keyless entry, once you've tried these seats, there's no going back.

The new, more efficient climate control system features a sophisticated temperature calculation system called Neural-Net, a new humidity sensor, a micro dust and pollen filler and, in IS 350 models, a smog sensor that detects excessive hydrocarbons and automatically reverts to a special recirculation mode until the atmosphere clears.

Still, for all its quality materials and refinement, the interior left this writer a little cold. It wasn't a case of inferior design or materials, but the cockpit seemed to lack a signature element, such as Volvo's floating center console, that could have made the IS cockpit as distinctive to sit in as it is to watch race off into the distance.

Driving Impressions

Once underway, there's little to criticize. The new Lexus IS, in both rear- and all-wheel-drive forms, can do everything the safe and sane driver might ask of it. It's fast, pulls enough g's in the corners to make a seasoned sailor carsick, and stops with authority.

The IS 250 AWD is the best choice if winter weather invades your neck of the woods, when the all-wheel-drive system's increased grip is most welcome. The AWD model is heavier than the IS 350, but it hauled us over the San Gabriel Mountains on fabled Angeles Crest Highway without exposing any dire penalties due to its weight.

On a racing circuit, the IS 350 is the way to go. At Willow Springs International Raceway, the "fastest racetrack in the West," the IS 350's muscular torque and free-revving engine pulled the car around the hilly course with almost lackadaisical ease.

We drove several examples of the IS models at competition speeds relentlessly in temperatures that rose above 110 degrees and not one of them stumbled or misfired. Because of the hot, slippery track surface, the tires constantly fought for grip, but the advanced chassis electronics kept everyone on the pavement. The car's inherent balance made it easy to push it to the limit, causing the electronic aids to step in and dampen the thrill.

We prefer the automatic over the manual. Though our traditional side still likes clutch pedals and manual shift levers, the new generation of manual automatics is so responsive that it takes a really good manual gearbox to draw us away from the auto-shifter. The IS 250's manual six-speed doesn't quite fit that description and isn't quite good enough to make us opt for it in lieu of the optional automatic. The paddle-shifted automatic is mostly wonderful, though driver control is never complete to help protect it against damaging shifts.


The all-new Lexus IS models are a quantum leap forward for the Lexus brand in terms of cutting-edge style and higher levels of performance. But BMW still has an edge when it comes to claiming itself the ultimate driving machine.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Greg N. Brown filed this report from Southern California.
Source: nctd

Friday, November 16, 2007

2007 BMW M6

2007 BMW M6

If you're one of those people thinking about buying a BMW M6 and want a nice, fluffy article telling you how wonderful it is, then look away now. There are plenty of other places on the Web where critics will tell you what an astonishing car the M6 is and more power to them. But I really, really, REALLY, didn't care for the 2007 BMW M6 at all and while I might very much be in the minority here, I knows what I likes and this ain't it.

For a start, I think the 6-Series on which the M6 is based is a travesty. Forget the subjective matter of its looks for a moment and consider just how massively pointless it is as a means of transport. It has no rear seat worth speaking of and yet it's actually longer than the 5-Series with which it shares most of its hardware. The wheelbase is almost four inches shorter and it sits almost four inches lower - all of which comes directly out of the cabin, all of which we could have forgiven if it was even vaguely good-looking.

Then there's the interior, a more cramped version of the cockpit found in the 5-Series, although now with less visibility and still saddled with iDrive and all its dangerously unfathomable menus. The doors are so long it's impossible to get out of in tight parking spaces and you can more or less give up hope of ever getting anyone jammed into the rear seat out again. There's no denying the front seats are extraordinarily comfortable and the build quality is first-rate, but beyond than that there's not much to recommend the 6's cabin.

While the M5 is a stealthy and svelte super-sedan, the look-at-me M6 howls its M-ness from the rooftops. The wheels are glitzy 19-inch items that poke out from bulging fenders that combine with the aggressive new front fascia to draw more attention to a car that wasn't exactly a wilting wallflower to begin with. The view from the rear, with its M-spec bumper, rear diffuser, and enormous rear tires, is even more cartoonish than the standard 6-Series, while other M-spec add-ons like the exposed carbon fiber on the roof simply smacks of gimmick to me. The interior benefits from a nice M-spec steering and sportier seats, but otherwise it's fairly stock in there, which means you get the same fine entertainment system you can't operate and the same forest of stalks and paddles around the steering wheel. Sigh.

All that ceases to matter once you fire up its astonishing 5.0-liter, 40-valve, quad-cam, V-10 engine. Essentially the same unit as found in the M5, it generates its staggering 500 hp output by using race-derived technology like individual throttle bodies for each cylinder and dry-sump lubrication. Its redline is pegged at a stratospheric 8250 rpm and maximum power isn't achieved until 7750 rpm, so while it does demand a lot of revs to get the most from it, it's got so much power in reserve you actually don't need to rev the nuts off it to achieve big velocities.

f you do decide to thrash it, the performance is mind-boggling with 60 mph arriving in just 4.5 seconds from rest and a top speed well beyond the governed 155 mph. Thanks to the variable cam timing and individual throttles, it generates a more-than-adequate 383 lb-ft of torque at 6100 rpm and with seven paddle-selected gears to choose, it's unlikely you'll ever be caught out wanting for power. The transmission is also carried directly over from the M5, so you get the same superb high-speed changes but the same cumbersome low-speed operation and annoying tendency to roll back at idle.

Thankfully, there's a six-speed manual in the works for the M5 and M6, so I won't dwell on the transmission too long. Like the M5, for those dreary commutes in stop-go traffic you can take it out of "M-Drive" mode and amble around with a piddling 400 hp, which, in anything other than ideal conditions, is more than enough I think.

The M6 also borrows the M5's active-ride suspension system, which is pleasantly firm in normal mode though calling the softest setting Comfort is a bit of a stretch. In Sport mode it stiffens up considerably, more so than in the M5 it seems, and while I appreciate that the M6 is supposed to more hardcore than the M5, I do think they've made it a bit too stiff for anywhere other than the racetrack. The phenomenal brakes also come right out of the BMW M5, with 14.7-inch front and 14.6-inch rear cross-drilled rotors constructed from fade-free, compound materials and clamped by massive dual-piston calipers all around.

Hit the steering-mounted M-Drive button, and in addition to the extra horsepower and sport suspension, you get a sharper throttle, meatier steering and faster gear-shifts, the overall effect of which is to turn the M6 into a super-focused uber-coupe. It grips like a racecar and turns in with staggering ferocity; but because it's such a big, heavy car with a slightly mute steering, it doesn't have enough intimacy to have quite that level of performance.

Whereas the BMW M5 is engaging, the M6 scares the bejesus out of me and because it's lost almost four inches of wheelbase and yet only weighs about 100 pounds less, it's less forgiving of mistakes and feels more twitchy and nervous by comparison. The driving instructors at the Road America racetrack loved it, and I'm sure if I had their level of skill and a racetrack to play on every day I'd enjoy it too, but out there in the real world the M6 is a scary proposition.

I drove it for a while without the stability control in the rain and the car was all but undrivable, snapping this way and that without me really asking or expecting it to hang its back end out. And it's not like I'm inexperienced with cars of this power and performance, having piloted Vipers and Ford GTs in the past without complaint.

There's a dark side to the 2007 BMW M6 that makes me very uncomfortable behind the wheel, which makes it disturbingly different in character to the amazing competence of the M5 or even the relative delicacy of a 911 Turbo. Quite why it costs fifteen grand more than the M5 I cannot fathom, especially when you consider that it's no faster, not anything as good to look at, has almost no versatility and it isn't nearly as much fun to drive. carries all the BMW Wheels you need.
Source: thecarconnection

The most female cars of 2007 are named

In what for the lady the main similarity of the car and the man? The answer is obvious: women choose both especially carefully and captiously. Besides it is necessary to recognise, that unlike men, the car - the companion obedient, and in its fidelity it is possible to be 100 % assured on all. And if on a question "What men are loved by women?" For all history of mankind so anybody precisely also has not answered to tell, what cars are preferred by the most magnificent women of the world, quite really.

To learn, at last, what iron horses instead of the presents white live in hearts and garages of the modern women, known consulting company J.D.Power has carried out research in which course has found out, what cars were bought by women more often in 2007. Simultaneously by employees of the company it has been found out, what cars became the most popular this year at men, but it at present not so is important. We will tell only, that arguing on a distinction theme between floors, keep in mind, that if the "most man's" car had appeared Audi RS4 "most female" is Volvo S40.

The most female cars of 2007 are named. Research, naturally, passed in territory of the USA, however by its results it is possible to judge the general tendency safely. For anybody not a secret, that men choose to themselves the car heart, and women a head. In top-10 female cars which was made by Americans from J.D.Power and Associates, any has not got sport penalties. Instead of them there there were the sensitive, manageable automobile and small jeeps placing emphasis on safety, quality, reliability and the price.

The most female cars of 2007 are named. Certainly, it is impossible to assert, that all women are afraid of fast driving, however what love, the exception of a rule is faster. But reliable Swedish machines Volvo as it was found out, excite imagination not one million modern women. Except S40, taken of an in the lead position with an indicator of 53 % on quantity of acquisitions by women, versatile person V50 and sedan S60 have got on 7 and 9 places accordingly. Thus, Volvo became the most popular luxury-brand at women.

The most female cars of 2007 are named. The second luxury-brand became Japanese Lexus. If Volvo associates with safety Lexus is a synonym of quality and reliability. Two models of this mark have got on 3 place (IS 250 has got 47,7 % of women) and 6 (RX has liked 46,9 %). Lexus 7th year admits the most sold luxury-brand America successively. At women of model RX it is possible to explain popularity convenience of the car to family using.

Silver in top-10 took Jaguar X-Type, the big half of sold which cars has got to women (51,2 %). To the list also have got Mersedes-Benz a class "C" (47,2 %) and BMW X3 (44,6 %). 4 and 8 positions in a rating have occupied cars of mark Acura (North American division of concern Honda), but in Russia officially they are not on sale.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Modern Design: Audi TT

Audi TT

But despite its evolutionary style, this is a ground-up redesign built upon the VW Golf (Rabbit)/Audi A3 chassis. Significant structural enhancements went into the topless two-seat Roadster to make it as fun to drive as the 2+2 hardtop Coupe. Extensive use of aluminum and steel throughout the Roadster chassis banished any dreaded convertible cowl-a mighty feat, given that Audi engineers managed to do this while reducing weight by 300 pounds versus the original Roadster and retaining the same cargo volume as the Coupe.

That's not all the trick stuff, either. The power convertible top (in V-6 models) folds down in a brisk 12 seconds, or roughly twice as long as it takes the sportiest TT to get to 60 mph.

Along with a 200-horsepower direct-injection turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 250-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6, the TT gets Audi's revolutionary S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro AWD system-though not in all configurations (yet). At the corners, Audi spices up a traditional MacPherson-strut front/multilink rear suspension setup with will plenty of lightweight aluminum and their optional Magnetic Ride Adaptive Damping system.

The new Audi TT is bigger, faster, and more technologically advanced than the groundbreaking icon it replaces. Is this enough to make it Motor Trend's 2007 Car of the Year? Check back here later or pick up our January 2008 issue when it hits newsstands December 4.
Source: motortrend

2009 Volkswagen Scirocco Preview

2009 Volkswagen Scirocco

When VW first lifted the covers off the Iroc concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show our first thoughts was here is a car that would look stunning just the way it was. Unfortunately VW’s new CEO Martin Winterkorn didn’t agree and he subsequently sent designers back to the drawing boards to revise the final styling, which also had the unwanted effect of pushing the new Scirocco’s release date into the second half of next year.

As this latest rendering suggests, the new car loses the aggressive front end styling of the concept and instead sports a divided grille with a single bar at the top and larger intakes beneath. The overall proportions remain much the same but the production version loses the sculpted flanks and picks up shaper lines around the glasshouse.

Production will start at VW’s Portugal plant early next year alongside its cousin, the Eos convertible. Since both cars share the same basic underpinnings it’s thought VW may add a drop-top version of the Scirocco complete with a folding metal roof.

The engine lineup will kick off with VW’s brilliant 1.4L twin-charger and top out with the Golf R32’s torquey 3.2L V6 engine. Both FWD and AWD models will be on offer, including a new GTI version with VW’s latest 2.0L turbo engine and FSI technology. This new engine, which will also be appearing in the Mark VI Golf GTI, will develop around 230hp and will be available with the six-speed DSG gearbox.
Source: motorauthority

Another VW Touareg Tuning

VW Touareg Tuning

VW's Touareg impressed the heck out of hardcore trail rats who appreciated its rock-crawling abilities and off-road skills. German tuning house JE Design has shown off their new treatment for the most-recent facelifted T-reg and, well, let's just say its not Lion's Back friendly. Expect the car to pop-up in person at the Essen Motor Show for the aftermarket in Germany later this month.

VW tuning specialists JE DESIGN from Germany now offer the facelifted VW Touareg in their "Wide-Body" version. In addition to the distinctive exterior appearance that the tuners enhances through new rims and LED illumination, JE DESIGN customizes the interior as well using every trick in the book. By customer special request, the German specialists turn the Touareg into a singular piece of work!

The Touareg V10 5.0 TDI experiences an optimisation providing this brawny VW SUV with 259 kW / 352 hp which means a power increase of 29 kW / 39 hp. The maximum torque increases from 750 Nm to 855 Nm. Because of the top speed of 234 km/h most limousine drivers will work up a sweat (standard: 225 km/h). In just 7.4 seconds this giant storms from 0 to 100 km/h (standard: 7.8). For the 3.0 V6 TDI JE DESIGN coaxes out 210 kW/ 285 hp and 550 Nm (standard: 165 kW / 225 hp; 500 Nm). The Touareg sprints then in just 8.9 seconds from 0 to 100 (standard: 9.9 sec) and keeps on accelerating till 210 km/h (an additional 9 km/h compared to stock version). The power enhanced engines naturally comply with emissions regulations and come with WV parts certification.

The sporty JE DESIGN styling package for the "Wide Body" conversion is comprised of several components of highest quality and exact accurate fit, giving the Touareg an even more powerful appearance. The front spoiler for the front bumper features a number of cooling vents that are primarily to protect power upgraded engines from dying of heatstroke. Combined to this is a set of side sills with visual air vents, rear skirt attachment for vehicles with PDC plus a tailgate attachment for the lower tailgate area. The complete body kit also includes special wheel arch extensions providing the ultimate "Wide Body" look. The standard produced headlights JE DESIGN replaces with its own double headlight module including fog lights and high beams which provides the Touareg a pair of more attractive "eyes". In efforts to achieve a homogeneous look, JE DESIGN finishes the original door mouldings by customer preference in matching vehicle colour.

To make the JE DESIGNed Touareg "Wide Body" an eye-catcher at night, they offer a special illumination lighting system for the vehicle entry. Blue LEDs (5 on each side), completely mounted to the bottom of the side sills illuminate the area underneath the doors and provide an unquestionable special effect and also represent a contribution to safety. In the rear, sixfold LED lighting assures a shining effect. Both lighting systems come with TUV approval.

To make the JE DESIGNed Touareg "Wide Body" an eye-catcher at night, they offer a special illumination lighting system for the vehicle entry. Blue LEDs (5 on each side), completely mounted to the bottom of the side sills illuminate the area underneath the doors and provide an unquestionable special effect and also represent a contribution to safety. In the rear, sixfold LED lighting assures a shining effect. Both lighting systems come with TUV approval.

JE DESIGN adds on the 10-Star-wheel in the form of a complete wheel set in size 10 x 22" ET55 in outstanding matt black finish with matt silver front and tires 295/30 R 22 Y. Logically, the not exactly undersized wheels of the "Wide Body" Touareg would not come to light without JE DESIGN's alteration to the track. The German auto tuners widen the front track by 60 mm and the rear track by 80 mm with aluminium spacers. In conjunction with the wider track and the "Wide Body" kit, JE DESIGN additionally offers a steering lock limiter for the front axle.

The Touareg experiences a distinguishable enhancement of the interior through a complete carbon treatment. JE DESIGN covers the door panels, shifting gate, lower portion of centre console as well as the upper instrument screen with a carbon-coating. Next to the classical carbon grey-black colour customers can choose other tints such as blue, orange, silver, brown etc. without additional cost.

Of course JE DESIGN will satisfy customer special requests including for example an addition of a multimedia package that has 7" headrest monitors, DVD changer complete with remote control and infrared headphones or a variety of gaming consoles as well. What's more, JE DESIGN customizes the interior with highest quality leather and alcantra suede in a pallet of colour possibilities. For their Touareg, each customer can receive the JE DESIGN sensational modified dream of luxury!
Source: motivemag

Friday, November 9, 2007

2008 Fiat Nuovo Croma Review

2008 Fiat Nuovo Croma

The Nuova Croma makes its debut, the Station Wagon as Fiat sees it, a car full of innovation and substance, with new styling and a more rational range. It can boast both second generation Multijet engines and a lavish array of comfort, safety and infotainment equipment.

The Nuova Croma is a benchmark for its segment, with an amazingly roomy interior, and an excellent level of ‘well-being on board’ however long your journey is, thanks to equipment worthy of a flagship that is now the standard outfit, and above all for the original ‘styling’ formula inherited from the previous model – the ‘Comfort Wagon’ concept – that makes it, once more, the roomiest car in its segment.

With its even more dynamic look, the Nuova Croma immediately communicates a new approach to the car. It was designed to meet the needs of European society, where there is a growing trend among ‘new families’ (young families with children) to pay more attention to substance, and to demand safety and reliability from the family car: all at an accessible price. Which is why the new model is ideal for people who need space, practicality and low running costs during the week for professional reasons, and demand a good-looking, comfortable, safe station wagon for their free time, to that they can travel with the whole family in complete peace of mind.

Revamped dynamic exterior styling

With its elegant, distinctive styling, the Nuova Croma is even more dynamic thanks to a number of styling changes introduced by the Fiat Style Centre. To start with, consistent with the Fiat ‘family feeling’ introduced with the Grande Punto and reiterated on the Bravo, the front of the Nuova Croma features original drop-shaped headlights with distinctive Italian styling, highlighted by a stylish burnished finish; the design of the front air inlet and the grille with its wide links and Crome Shadow painting, is also new.

There is a new rear bumper, very similar to an air extractor, which gives the car a sportier look, and the same dynamism conveyed in the side view by the new light clusters, together with the wings, rear spoiler and new sideskirts. Last but not least, the model’s elegant look is underlined by the combination of polished black pillars with new chrome detailing on the window frames and rubbing strips.

The interior of the car has also received a number of styling changes that underline the typically Italian refinement (new cloth or leather upholstery for the seats and an original Wenghe-effect treatment of the mouldings) as well as a new steering wheel and a richer, more elegant instrument panel.

Class-beating access and roominess

The Nuova Croma is available with one bodywork version, which is one of the roomiest in its class; 478 centimetres long, 177 wide, 160 tall, and with a wheelbase of 270 cm, measurements that translate into an extraordinary amount of space inside.

The model’s distinguishing features are the generous amount of headroom for passengers, and the space between the seats (the best in its category), while the raised driving position guarantees excellent control over the road and better exterior visibility, even for rear passengers.
Thanks to the flat floor and the raised front and rear H points, it is extremely easy to get in and out of the car. What is more, the new model has one of the largest glazed areas in its market bracket (3.254 m2), and guarantees excellent acoustic and vibrational comfort, thanks to painstaking analysis of the passenger compartment and specific suspension calibration.

Another strong point of the Nuova Croma is the modular luggage compartment with its loading volume of 500 litres that becomes 1,610 litres up to the roof with the rear seats folded down. The luggage compartment is fitted with a practical Cargo box system that exploits all the available space: a removable shelf the same size as the luggage compartment that creates a continuous floor, level with the bumper ledge, to simplify loading and unloading. It also acts as a cover for a lower storage area 16 centimetres high, where fragile or valuable items can be stowed away from prying eyes. The lid of the cargo box can also be stored on the bottom of the well to increase loading capacity.

Original outside, spacious and quiet inside. The Nuova Croma is the Station Wagon from Fiat, designed for people with very different needs, taste and life styles, but who all share one thing: they want their car to be comfortable. And for people who also want exciting performance, the Croma offers the powerful 200 bhp 2.4 Multijet engine (combined with a 6-speed automatic sequential gearbox), which tops its class for specific power: 83 bhp/litre.

The Nuova Croma comes with two sparkling petrol engines (140 bhp 1.8 16v and 147 bhp 2.2 16v, the latter not available in Italy) and three Multijet turbodiesels (120 or 150 bhp 1.9 and 200 bhp 2.4) which reiterate Fiat Group Automobiles’ superiority in the field of diesel engines. All the engines meet EU Stage 4 emission standards, and the diesel units are fitted with particulate filters. They are offered with 5 different gearboxes that exploit the engine performance in full; all the petrol engines are combined with 5-speed transmissions, with the option of sequential automatic transmission on the 2.2 16v, and all the diesel engines have 6-speed gearboxes (the sequential automatic unit is offered as an alternative on the 150 bhp 1.9 Multijet, and as the standard unit on the powerful 200 bhp 2.4 Multijet 20v).

Class-beating safety

The Nuova Croma was designed and built to achieve the highest safety standards, and has been awarded the prestigious five-star NCAP rating that puts it at the top of its class, thanks to an array of sophisticated devices that are standard equipment on the model, starting from passive safety features such as: 2 ‘dual stage’ frontal airbags, 2 side airbags at the front, 2 curtain-bags and a knee-bag for the driver (rear sidebags are available on request).

The new Fiat Station Wagon behaves predictably at all times, thanks to the sophisticated electronic devices it incorporates to control dynamic behaviour: from braking to drive. They include ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and, above all, ESP (Electronic Stability Program) which is standard throughout the range.

The Nuova Croma is a car of substance that comes in an extremely comprehensive range. Different solutions are offered on different markets, but they all offer the same value for money. In Italy, for example, the range includes a choice of 4 engines (the 2.2 petrol engine is not available), 5 outfits (Classic, Active, Dynamic, Emotion and Must), 10 bodywork colours, and 4 interior environments, available in a choice of cloth, Castiglio and two types of leather.

We must not forget that the Nuova Croma range offers every customer, no matter how demanding, a choice between different options and accessories which may underline the model’s practicality and versatility, or cater for the customer’s practical and emotional demands. The Nuova Croma is perfect not only for the modern family, but also for businesses and professionals. And as a result, Fiat Automobiles Financial Services proposes a range of purchasing solutions and use formulae aimed specifically at these customers.
Source: fiat

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Using Rinspeed components, the Russian tuner GTR-Auto decided to modify the Porsche Cayenne Turbo in a “”greener way”. GTR-Auto did quite a good job transforming the ordinary Cayenne Turbo in an special car. At the exterior the Porsche received a stylish sport pack with 4 exhaust pipes and some 20″ wheels while at the interior everything is so colorfull…The Russian tuner made a risky job by inserting colorfull pannels at the interior but at the end everything looks perfect next to the sport seats that have inserted the cannabis emblem.
Source: 4wheelsblog

Monday, November 5, 2007

BMW M6 Rebirth

2007 BMW M6

It has been 15 years since the 2007 BMW M6 last graced these shores. With the new M6, which is based on the new 6 Series, the engineers from BMW M GmbH have created a truly awe inspiring sports coupe.

The new BMW M6 shares its drivetrain with the M5. The new V10 produces 500 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. This new engine is mated to a seven-speed SMG transmission. In the tradition of BMW M, the chassis has been engineered to keep up with the power while the exterior treatment is subtle, yet distinctive. In the interest of improved responsiveness, the M6 takes the lightweight technology of the 645Ci to an even higher level.

Together with the outstanding, uncompromising suspension designed and built exclusively for sporting performance, this supreme power unit gives the BMW M6 all the qualities of a thoroughbred supersports. But unlike its competitors usually offering only two seats, the 2007 BMW M6 comes with all the space and comfort of a typical 2+2-seater, plus the luxurious features of a typical luxury performance BMW.

True BMW M Power in a Discreet Package

The BMW M6 sets a new standard in the segment of high-performance 2+2-seater luxury sports cars. Creating this unique model, the engineers at BMW M GmbH have focused not only on the sheer power of the engine, but also on the weight of the body and, as a result, the mass to be accelerated as quickly as possible on the road. Reducing weight to a sensible minimum, the M6 comes with all the driving dynamics required for the race track, while in terms of motoring comfort and equipment it is simply ideal for all roads the world over. Not least, the body design of the BMW M6 modified only discreetly versus the elegant look of the BMW Coupe comes with all the understatement so characteristic of all M Models as their elementary feature.

Interacting with the seven-speed SMG transmission, the magnificent chassis and suspension, the elegant body in innovative lightweight technology, as well as the wide range of luxury equipment, the ten-cylinder high-speed engine gives the customer a brand-new dimension in motoring performance.

V10 Power Unit Running at Racing Speeds

Sharing BMW's V10 power unit, the M5 and M6 come with one of the rare high-speed engines in regular saloon and coupe production. Within the entire BMW family, the V10 is indeed the most demanding engine in technical terms and, without doubt, the top performer in every respect.

Power and performance, however, are not everything. Rather, what really counts is a car's acceleration and driving dynamics on the road. And this depends, first, on the weight of a car and, second, on the thrust and power which actually goes to the drive wheels - which, in turn, is a result of engine torque and the overall transmission ratio. BMW's high-speed engine concept allows an optimum gearbox and final drive transmission ratio in all cases, thus guaranteeing impressive thrust and momentum on the road at all times.

The Interior

Inside, the new M6 comes with fully adjustable M sports seats that include lumbar support and an adjustable backrest width as standard. They are covered in extended Merino leather, with the owner able to choose between Black, Silverstone or Sepang.

The new car also features BMW M’s version of the new Head-up Display system. Unlike the standard Head-up Display available on 5 and 6 Series models that offers navigation instructions and cruise control information, the system on the M6 projects driver-focussed information such as engine speed, gear selected and road speed directly into the driver’s view, obviating the need for the driver to take his or her eyes off the road ahead.
Source: rsportscars

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