Saturday 24 June 2006

New Car: 2007 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupé

Mazda Motor Corporation will use the 2006 British International Motor Show for its global reveal of the new Mazda MX-5, now equipped with a power retractable hard top roof ** - and the regional debut of the Mazda BT-50 one-ton pickup truck.

The British International Motor Show will be held in London from Tuesday, July 18, through Sunday, July 30, 2006.

Featuring a new, unique power retractable hard top roof, this is an all-new addition to the third-generation Mazda MX-5 which has been celebrated globally since 2005. This new Mazda MX-5 model provides a unified sense of driving exhilaration, ready to spread the fun of lightweight sports cars in diverse and distinct new ways.

“Jinba Ittai”—or ’rider and horse as one’ is the essence of Mazda MX-5, the expression reflecting the emotional connection between a horse and rider.

Mazda will also reveal its new one-ton truck, the Mazda BT-50, equipped with a powerful new 2.5- litre Direct Injection Turbo Diesel engine. The British International Motor Show marks the European premiere of this diesel engine, which made its world debut at the Bangkok Motor Show last March.

Along with these models, the Mazda Sassou and Mazda Kabura concept vehicles will also be exhibited.

Mazda will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 11:45 a.m. (British Summer Time).

**Mazda MX-5 with a power retractable hard top roof will be known by different names around the world:

Europe and Australia: Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe
Japan: Mazda Roadster Power Retractable Hard Top
North America: Mazda MX-5 (Miata) Power Retractable Hard Top

New Car: 2007 Land Rover Freelander

Land Rover today revealed the all- new LR2 that enters the compact premium SUV market with outstanding breadth of capability and Land Rover's signature technologies.

The fourth new model from Land Rover in just four years, LR2 joins the impressive line-up of Range Rover (2002), Land Rover LR3 (2004) and Range Rover Sport (2005) that together have seen record-breaking sales performance around the world.

New from the ground up, LR2 delivers outstanding on-road performance as well as the class-leading off-road ability of a Land Rover. A dynamic design, purposeful stance, smart and spacious interior, and an abundance of advanced technologies complete the LR2 package.

"LR2 combines the advantages of a premium sedan -- such as polished ride, accomplished performance, an attractive cabin and ease-of-use -- with the attributes of a robust SUV, including go-anywhere ability, toughness, stadium seating, cabin versatility and spaciousness," says Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director. "We believe that no other compact SUV gets closer to blending these best-of-both-worlds abilities."

Technical highlights of the LR2 include a brand-new 230bhp* transversely mounted 3.2-liter inline-six engine featuring advanced technologies to deliver an outstanding combination of performance and economy.

The engine is matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission, with Land Rover's CommandShift(TM) offering manual sequential gear changes when required. There is also a driver-selectable sport mode for livelier performance.

The exterior and interior design of LR2 is completely fresh, integrating the company's unique design language with a form that is instantly recognizable as the latest Land Rover.

"We purposely kept strong Land Rover design cues, such as the clamshell bonnet, stepped roof and the basic form," says Land Rover design director Geoff Upex. "The overall look is new and contemporary. The design is chiseled, geometric and simple -- it looks like it's hewn from the solid. We have kept a close design relationship with the LR3 and Range Rover Sport, but interpreted the design language to suit the requirements of customers for a more compact SUV."

The body is a five-door monocoque structure, with a high level of torsional rigidity which benefits refinement, comfort and handling on-road as well as ensuring the vehicle is fit for serious off-road use. The suspension is fully independent and uses the most modern stability control systems, including Roll Stability Control (RSC(R)), a sophisticated technology that helps mitigate the risk of roll-over even in extreme conditions.

LR2 is packed with new technologies to improve both on-road and off-road performance. Land Rover's unique Terrain Response(TM) is standard, making off-road use easier. Other interesting technologies include a new intelligent permanent all-wheel-drive system for superior traction and better on-road fuel economy, and the patented Gradient Release Control, which improves driver confidence and control when releasing the brakes on steep and slippery slopes.

Designed and engineered by Land Rover at Gaydon, near Warwick, England, LR2 is built at the Halewood plant in Liverpool, where outstanding build quality has been acknowledged with a JD Power European Plant Quality Gold Award in 2005.

New Car: 2007 Chrysler Pacifica Facelift

Just received a few subtle changes to its face and interior and it will be axed in 2008

Sunday 18 June 2006

2007 Mercedes CL-Class Ready For Launch

These pictures show 2 different Mercedes CL undergoing testing in Germany. The cars were caught in light tape disguising. The large coupé will duebt at the Paris Motorshow in September . Similar styling to the 4 door Mercedes S-Class luxury car.

For the first time there is a curvy rear windscreen but the traditional rectangular rear windscreen will be ditched.

2007 Honda CR-V USA Specification

Honda is currently undergoing hot-weather testing in South-West America. This isn't a European model but a U.S model. As far as we know the follwing equipment will be included:

Telescopic Steering Wheel, Bi-Level Digital Readout Instrument Panel, Center Console with: Floor Shifter, Extra Large Storage Compartment and Cupholders, Variable Intermitent Windshield Wipers, Automatic Climate Control System on EX and EX-L and Daytime Running Lights.

Sunday 11 June 2006

'07 BMW X5 - clearest photo yet!

The upcoming BMW X5 will be unveiled at the Paris motorshow in October. The SUV will come with 7 seats for the first time, however, in the UK market, the 3rd row seats will be optional meaning 5 seats will be standard.

The newcomer will be much larger than the outgoing model to accommodate the 3rd row seats and cleaner. To confused onlookers, fake rear lights can be seen on the bootlid. Orange taping on the wing mirror indicate, that there could be a indicator light on the wing mirror like the Mercedes S-Class sedan.

The X5 will go on sale in the UK during Spring 2007.

2007 Peugeot 207 Coupé-Cabriolet Undisguised!

Peugeot has recently launched the new 207 in the UK both in 3 and 5 door form. This image shows how the 2007 207 CC could look like. The car hasn't yet been finished as you see. Autoexpress had the first ever glimpse of the production model 207 CC finished and undisguised. Renault could come along and take away Peugeot's crown if they decide to build a Clio coupé-Cabriolet

2007 Renault Kangoo spy pictures leaked!

These are the very first pictures of the next Renault Kangoo.

Snapped on the streets of France undisguised, the new Kangoo is due to reach showrooms sometime in 2007. The newcomer was caught on a photoshoot but oddly, the drivers side door mirror is missing...?.

Under the hood, a 1.5 dCi diesel engine will be offered with power ranging from 65bhp to 90bhp. A petrol engine will also be offered. Both engines get a 5 speed manual gearbox as standard, however, an automatic will be available.

Saturday 10 June 2006

2008 Chevrolet Malibu Underway To Production

A new, never-before-seen prototype has just broken cover on GM's testing circuit, providing what appears to be our first glimpse of the 2008 Chevy Impala (or a 2008 Malibu - see the note below). We snapped this minimally disguised prototype traversing a distant road deep within one of GM's U.S. Proving Grounds. The great distance between car and camera has made the checkerboard camouflage tape a little more effective, obscuring some of this prototype's more minute details.

Therefore, there is admittedly some degree of speculation involved in calling this the next-generation Impala, but we are confident this is a Chevrolet. The prototype's grille is divided by a Chevy-like crossbar, in the center of which lies a taped-over badge that looks suspiciously like the size and shape of the Chevrolet bow tie.

Searching GM's recent design exercises for similar styling cues brought us to the 2003 Chevrolet SS concept. Although there isn't much synergy between that voluptuous show car sedan and this real-world prototype, it's immediately apparent that the shape of their grilles are nearly identical - suggesting that Chevrolet designers may have been looking to their recent past for detail inspiration. The prototype also appears to have round taillamps - a key design trait of Impalas from 2001-05 and the classic Impalas of the late '50s and early '60s. The rest of the car looks clean and modern, with sharp creases and a strong stance aided by its long wheelbase and relatively short front and rear overhangs.

Since early this year, GM has been finalizing its plans on the next Impala, struggling with a key decision between front- and rear-wheel drive. The leading proposal would have GM utilizing its Global RWD Architecture (formerly known as Zeta), which will spawn its first model later this year as the replacement for the Australian Holden Commodore. According to an article by Rick Kranz in the February 6,
2006 issue of Automotive News: "Within four or five months, GM will determine which U.S. brands will be tagged for RWD and which RWD model or models those brands will receive. The first car is expected to go on sale in late 2007 or early 2008....As for the Impala, GM's design studio is prepared for the decision - both RWD and FWD versions of the next-generation Impala have been finalized. All that remains is the decision."

Well, it's four months later and a this prototype has appeared, its proportions looking very close to a prototype for the Zeta-based Holden Commodore we shot in this same GM test track last November. It's not iron-clad proof, but it looks to us that the next Impala may have gone rear-wheel drive to gain some performance-car credibility, and to do battle with Chrysler's popular 300C.

UPDATE: Several sources have written to TheCarConnection, reporting that this vehicle is the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. There remains some disagreement over whether the Impala will be replaced in 2008 or 2010; stay tuned for more information as we uncover more about this new GM vehicle.
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