Sunday 29 April 2007

Kia Sorento Facelift Recall (UK)

Kia is recalling all UK right-hand drive facelifted Sorentos, after a mix-up with the airbag wiring.
Because the wiring has simply been transposed, an impact on the left of the car would result in the airbags on the right-hand side of the vehicle going off, and vice versa.

Only vehicles built between 4 May 2006 and 28 March 2007 are affected; a total of 1561 cars.

Mercedes Goes Bluetec With GL And ML

2008 Mercedes GL 420 CDi Bluetec:
First one out will be the Bluetec version of the GL 420. Revealed as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes is now testing the real car in cold weather conditions. The production GL 420 Bluetec will keep the same big grille as on the concept, but the wider fender flares and the 21 inch wheels are not planned for the production.

With the GL 420 Bluetec Mercedes shows that even large high-performance SUVs can offer economical fuel consumption and extremely low emissions.

With its powerful V8 diesel delivering 290 bhp and 700 Nm of torque, the GL 420s anticipated fuel efficiency is just 9.8 litres per 100 km ( 24 mpg ). Seen here on these spy photos from Sweden, the bigger grille is disguised with some duct tape.

2009 Mercedes ML-Class Bluetec:

The model will combine advanced hybrid techno­logy with the brand's low-emission Bluetec diesel know-how. Likely to hit dealers in 2009, the 4x4 should emit less than 200g/km of CO2 and return 40mpg.

That puts it on a par with the latest C320 CDI.While there's no official confirma­tion yet, a senior source admitted: "It's a safe bet that our first move into hybrids will come with the M-Class, using a 3.2-litre V6 Bluetec diesel."By linking the two-mode hybrid system, developed with BMW and General Motors, Mercedes believes it can eclipse Lexus's trend-setting hybrid SUV, the RX400h.
The set-up uses an electric motor in the transmission to reduce weight, improve efficiency and absorb less power. BMW's M5 is also likely to get the green technology, while the Chevrolet Captiva and Vauxhall Antara are two of GM's candidates for the set-up.

Saturday 28 April 2007

Four new V10's coming to Europe

German car manufactures are planning 4 new V10's for Europe. Porsche with the V10 Panamera which will be launched in 2008, BMW X6 V10 and two V10's belonging to the Audi RS8 and Audi RS6.

2008 Porsche Panamera V10:

Porsche is already undergoing high speed tests at the Nurburgring in Germany and undergoing cold-weather testing in Northern Sweden. The could be shown at the Frankfurt Motorshow later on this year. Prices are expected to start from £55,000 going to £84,000 for the range topping V10

2008 BMW X6 V10:

Theses test mules are sighted around the Nurburgring in Germany with huge roof spoilers. The test mules themselves are regular BMW X6's with a few modifications. The entry model will cost £40,000 with the V10 reaching around £70,000. Engines could possibly be a 6.0 litre petrol developing around 450bhp or so

2008 Audi RS8:

Prototype have been sighed at the Nurburgring only and a few have been burnt up on there. On the exterior parts of the prototypes are extended side air intakes, large front air intakes and the internal V10 which can't be seen

2008 Audi RS6:

Theses have been disguised in a checkerboard camouflage and are the the Nurburgring in Germany. These test mules tend to be 5 door hatchbacks with 4 tailpipes, twin exhaust pipes on each side. Expect a price tag of £55,000 to compete with the BMW M5

All prototype have 4 exhausts pipes with 2 on each side.

Saturday 21 April 2007

Photoshoot For The Peugeot 308

New pictures arise on the web of the 2008 Peugeot 308 Hatchback caught undisguised in South Africa on a photoshoot.
This specific photo was taken through an office window. The Peugeot team were all over South Africa taking pictures of their Ford Focus fighter.
Although there are only photos of the front end undisguised, in France, Peugeot had a production ready 308 in their HQ undisguised and we all know what Peugeot/Citroen and Renault's security is like....rubbish the rear end was uncovered for the first time.
Peugeot will officially reveal the new 308 in autumn at the Frankfurt Motorshow with sales expected to start in 2008. Also in the pipeline will be a 308 SW, 308 Coupe-Cabriolet, 308 SW based SUV and a 308 based MPV with sales beginning in 2009.

Saturday 14 April 2007

Dodge Challenger's The World

Like we say you don't have to be a member of the Barry Newman fan club to see that it's a dead ringer for the 1970 Challenger R/T.
From the dual headlights to the kicked-up shoulders in back, the Challenger concept is a heritage design from top to bottom. Not everything is early-'70s vintage. Take a good look at that grille. Dodge designers managed to cram the Dodge crosshairs in there without making it look quite as obvious, or as hard to swallow, as the same treatment on the Charger. There's more 21st-century hardware under the lightweight hood in the form of a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 hooked to a six-speed manual transmission. And yes, it does have a pistol-grip shifter.

Built on a shortened version of the rear-wheel-drive LX platform used for the Charger sedan and Magnum wagon, the Challenger concept is more than just a one-off design study. Dodge officials told us that if there's enough positive reaction to this coupe on the auto show circuit we could see production versions as early as the 2008 model year. We can't imagine a poor reaction to this modern-day Kowalski cruiser, so as far as we're concerned the Challenger is a done deal.
With production of the 2009 Dodge Challenger slated for next spring, it was only a matter of time before prototypes started showing up. What we have here isn't quite a full-blown prototype just yet, but our newest spy photos show what appears to be the front clip of a Challenger grafted onto the body of a Charger R/T. This is a common practice when engineers want to test airflow to the engine of a car that has a radically different grille design compared to existing models. Despite the heavy camouflage, it's clear the Challenger's front end will look almost identical to the prototype which should come as no surprise given that Dodge officials have already promised minimal styling changes for the production Challenger.

With an official unveiling scheduled for the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, we expect this will be the first of many Challenger spy photos to come.

Honda Runs About With The Next Accord

Honda unveiled the Accord Coupe Concept at the Detroit Autoshow couple of months ago and now a sharp eyed member of public captures 2 tset mules on the run abouts in America. The photos may not look clear because they were taken with a cellphone/mobile phone.
As you see the coupe is on test now and the testing of the sedan for the US market will being in late 2007.

Saturday 7 April 2007

Audi Charges Around The Nurburgring With The RS8

So, you think the R8 is all you need? Well think again, if you want to keep up with your neighbours Porsche Turbo you will need some more power. And for that case Audi is developing the R8 into a RS8. Let the R8 join the Carreras and Astons Vantage, but if you want to play with the big boys you will need something else.
The RS8 is your answer, the V10 comes from the Lamborghini Gallardo but probably detuned to 490-500 bhp but the speed and sound are there. The main visible difference to the R8 are the bigger air intakes on the sides and newly designed side skirts. Also the front brakes appear to be bigger.
Looking at it, driving high-speed test at the Nürburgring it really shows how well balanced the RS8 is. Smooth in and out through every curve, and very quick on the long straight. The RS8 is developed by Audi’s sport division, Quattro GmbH who also develop the RS6. Will it beat the Porsche Turbo? Well it got the looks and it got the speed, so I guess we just have to wait for the first duell between those two.

Ford Mondeo Caught Again!

This month seems to be the Ford Mondeo month for us as I posted about the production then I posted about the Mondeo caught in London and now we have even more photos of the Mondeo in Germany, Nurburgring to be exact.
This is set to be the most popular car this year due to its eye catching design, size and striking features like the alloys, front lights and lower grille and S-Max/Galaxy shaped rear lights.
Going on sale in the UK 17th May.

2007 Fiat Linea At The Nurburgring

The Fiat Linea is the new segment C three-box saloon designed by Fiat Style Center, which presents an elegant , dynamic external line . The same style stylistic attention has been payed to the interior , the lines of which are armonious and well balanced with interior to create a bright and friendly environment capable of guaranteeing extraordinary interior roominess and superior comfort in terms of ergonomics and space available to the driver and passenger.

This impression is confirmed by the generous dimension which set it at very top of its segment = 4,56 m. long ; 1,73 m. wide ; 1,5m tall with a wheelbase of 2,6m in addition to have a luggage compartment boasting an impressive 500 litres.

An elegant functional car, with a strong Italian imprint, the Fiat Linea will be market in different equipment levels and equipped with features more usually found in higher segment vehicles.
The Fiat Linea’s generous equipment is dedicated to the protection of driver and passengers and the customer can choose from a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines that combine excellent performance, low fuel consumption and absolute respect for the environment, coupled to both manual and automatic transmissions.
Manufactured at the Tofa Factory in Bursa for export to European and Extraeuropean markets, the Fiat Linea is on sale now across mainland Europe and Turkey but there is no word if the sedan will be on sale in the UK or Northern Europe.
Fiat is still testing the small sedan as these photos show a production car entering the Nurburgring racetrack.

Maserati GranTurismo Coupe Caught

Maserati is still testing its new coupe which will be racing its way into our showrooms in late 2007 and early 2008. Numerous photos have been taken of a production model with black alloys and wearing silver tape which is plastered over the rear lgiths, bootlid and front bumper testing in Germany, Nurburgring and Italy.

This photo as you can see was taken at the Nurburgring by our spy photographer.

The new Maserati GranTurismo, styled by Pininfarina, made its worldwide debut at the Geneva Motorshow. The Maserati GranTurismo is a muscular and sporty car, that can be enjoyed every day and at the same time is engaging for the driver. Its excellent handling and sportiveness make it a point of reference in its category. The Maserati GranTurismo is built with particular attention to comfort, choice of materials and details and with enough room for four people, as only Maserati can do.

The new Maserati GranTurismo is a high-performance sports car, exciting to drive with a 4.2 litre V8 engine, delivering 405 HP, and a weight distribution of 49% at the front and 51% at the rear. It is fitted with an automatic gearbox and equipped with an adaptive control system which adjusts the gear-shifting mode to the driving style and the driving conditions.Maserati’s tradition of the Gran Turismo concept dates back to 1947 when the Trident Company, following its clients’ demand, unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow its first Gran Turismo, the A6, designed by the great Pinin Farina.

It was the first Maserati road car and was produced in 58 units. The car was acclaimed by the automotive press for its advanced technical content and for its avant-garde style solutions.The new model name – Maserati GranTurismo – is not incidental. Once again, the partnership between Maserati and Pininfarina gives birth to a car that is able to generate emotions and sets itself apart from competitors, due to the technique with which it is built and its unique style.The new Maserati GranTurismo represents a further step towards the completion of the Trident product range, following the worldwide launch of the Quattroporte Automatic at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Production Renault Twingo caught out and about

A few people caught a production model of the new Renault Twingo undergoing final shake-down testing in France. The car was snapped on a transporter and was being returned to Renault's HQ.

The official production model was unveiled in Geneva last month.

For the first time, Renault will bring the Twingo over into the UK in right hand drive form in 2008. The current model has enjoyed huge success across Europe ever since its launch back the 1993. The vehicle then recieved a facelift in 1998. More than 1.5 million units were sold with some being imported into the UK.

Power will come from three 1.2 litre petrol engines; 60bhp naturally-aspirated, 75bhp 16v naturally-aspirated and a 100bhp turbocharged model and one 1.5 dCi diesel engine with 65bhp. The latter should achieve 65mpg and emit 113g/km of CO2, howeveer, it will not come to the UK. All engine will be linked to a 5 speed manual gearbox and no automatic will be offered. A more powerful 1.6 litre petrol with 133bhp is set to be in the pipeline.

The Twingo will take on the Ford Ka, Fiat 500, Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 in the European market. Prices have yet to be announced but the basic model will start around £7,000 rising to £12,500 for the top of the range model.

2007 Mercedes C-Class Out In The Wild

Here we have are one of the first real life pictures of the 2007 Mercedes C-Class up close. The vehicle is already on sale in some European markets and sales are beginning now in the UK.
Mercedes hopes that the new C-Class will eat the Audi A4 & BMW 3 Series alive. Pricing is yet to be announced in the UK but basic European models starts from €34.212,50. Also the car has received an award for being the most environmentally friendly in its class.
The black Mercedes C 220 CDI was snapped in Stuttgart by a member of public walking past. Numerous road tests were done with the C-Classes competitors like the BMW 3 Series and turns out that the 3 Series came out on top but the C-Class wasn't slated because of its rear legroom.
Expect UK prices to start around £23,000 for the basic model with the AMG going upto £60,000

Skoda Fabia II pricing announced (UK)

Prices for the all-new Skoda Fabia supermini will start at a shade under £8000 when it goes on sale on 17 May.

The bottom-of-the-range 1.2-litre 6v car will cost £7990, only £420 more than the same version of the old car, but with more kit. At the other end of the range prices have risen much more, but so have specifications.

Where the old Fabia came in Mercedes-like Classic, Ambience, Elegance and Sport trims, the new one comes as either the 1, 2 or 3.

All models get standard front and side airbags (the latter was previously an option), a height and reach adjustable wheel, central locking, electric front windows, a passenger airbag deactivation switch and a CD radio with four speakers and a socket for MP3 players.

Move up to the Fabia 2, and you get 15-inch alloys instead of steel wheels, remote central locking, air-con, halogen lights, electric door mirrors and an extra four speakers, all for £1000 over the cost of the 1.

For an extra £1160 over the 2, the Fabia 3 gets the kind of kit normally found only on bigger cars, including 16-inch alloys, climate control, curtain airbags, cruise control, front fog lights and rear parking sensors.

With that kind of kit, the range-topping 1.9-litre 103bhp TDi Fabia 3 costs £13,015; more than the old 128bhp vRS. The new vRS won’t arrive until 2008. It’s likely to offer come as both a turbodiesel and also a 1.4-litre petrol, using VW’s turbocharged and supercharged TSI engine. The old Fabia estate soldiers on until a new version arrives in 2008.

New Car: 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Chrysler Group is kicking off its presence at the 2007 New York Auto Show by unveiling the new 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee a little early. The new GC features a revised exterior that's difficult to detect at first glance. We'll hit the high points for you. First off, the front end features a grille that dips down a bit lower, and the bottom of the headlights have been rounded off to enhance their Jeepishness. One can also order a set of HID auto-leveling headlamps. The fog lamps have also been lowered to improve their effectiveness. Hardcore off-roaders will be pleased to know, however, that the new fascia is compised of two-pieces, the lower of which can be removed when trail-rating your new Grand Cherokee. The taillights out back are also revised.
Underhood the new GC now features no less than five engine options, one of which is an all-new 4.7L V8 that slots in below the 5.7L HEMI V8. The new 4.7L V8 produces 291 horsepower and 322 ft-lbs. of torque. That's more power and torque than the old 4.7L V8, plus it's more fuel efficient (though Jeep doesn't indicate by how much) and flex-fuel capable. Also available is the 3.0L common-rail Diesel V6, 3.7L V6, 5.7L HEMI V8 and 6.1L HEMI V8 in the SRT-8 model.

The Grand Cherokee's interior also gets the once over, though unfortunately Jeep hasn't provided any pics showing the inside of the SUV yet. We can tell you, however, that both the MyGIG entertainment system with a 20 GB hard drive and the new SIRIUS Back Seat TV are both available on the new 2008 model.
All-new Engine, Refreshed Interior and Exterior and More Premium Amenities for 2008 Jeep® Grand Cherokee
• All-new 4.7-liter V-8 engine delivers increased horsepower and torque, improved fuel economy
• Refreshed exterior and interior design stays true to its authentic Jeep® character with signature seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel openings and attention to rich details and craftsmanship
• Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with all-new SIRIUS Backseat TV™
•Even more innovative, premium amenities are available, including MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System, HID auto-leveling headlamps and heated first- and second-row seats
New York City, April 4, 2007 – The Jeep® brand unveiled today the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee that features an all-new 4.7-liter V-8 engine that delivers a 24 percent increase in horsepower, a 6 percent increase in torque and improved fuel economy compared with the engine it replaces. The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee also offers a refreshed interior and exterior design and a host of innovative premium amenities, including one not found on other full-size sport-utility vehicles (SUV) on the road today -- SIRIUS Backseat TV™. The vehicle will arrive at Jeep dealerships starting this fall.
"With a choice of five engines, three four-wheel-drive systems and more premium amenities than ever before, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee sets the benchmark for full-size SUVs just as it did when it debuted in 1992," said John Plecha, Director -- Jeep Brand Marketing and Global Communications. "Now available with SIRIUS Backseat TV, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee just made road trips or short trips with kids even more enjoyable."

Only Full-Size SUV with Five Engine OfferingsThe 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the only vehicle with a choice of five engine offerings:

• Award-winning 3.0-liter common rail diesel V-6 engine – Now available on Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and Overland
• 3.7-liter V-6 engine – Standard on Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
• All-new 4.7-liter V-8 engine – Standard on Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

• 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI® engine – Available on Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, standard on Overland

• 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine – Standard on Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

All-new for 2008 is the 4.7-liter V-8 engine that offers better fuel economy, power and torque than the previous 4.7-liter engine, while at the same time delivering improvements in refinement.

The new 4.7-liter V-8 incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder (the only Chrysler Group engine to do so, other than the 5.7-liter HEMI), increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow and a new combustion system. The result is 291 horsepower (217kW), a 24 percent increase, and 322 lb.-ft. of torque (437 N•m), a 6 percent increase over the previous 4.7-liter V-8 engine. And, like the engine it replaces, the new 4.7-liter V-8 engine is flex-fuel capable, which gives customers the ability to use up to an 85 percent concentration of ethanol (E85) to fuel their vehicles.

Improvements in the new 4.7-liter V-8 result from significant revisions to the induction system, a lightweight piston/rod assembly and reduced accessory drive noise through lower accessory drive speed. Engine smoothness at idle is enhanced with a new cam design, two spark plugs per cylinder and a valve-lash adjuster system. The new 4.7-liter V-8 also is equipped with electronic throttle control.

First to Offer All-new SIRIUS Backseat TV:
The Chrysler Group will be the first and only auto manufacturer to offer SIRIUS Backseat TV in its 2008 model year vehicle lineup, including the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

SIRIUS Backseat TV features three channels of respected children's TV featuring many of the most well-known kids' programming, including Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Rear-seat passengers will be able to watch shows such as Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants," Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" and Cartoon Network's "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

" SIRIUS Backseat TV operates via an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two small roof-mounted antennas. Programming is displayed on the vehicle's second-row (except minivan: second- and/or third-row) video screen, and channel name, program title and rating will be broadcast and displayed on the screen. For added flexibility, rear-seat passengers can enjoy SIRIUS Backseat TV while front-seat occupants listen to SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The system can be operated from either the rear-seat entertainment unit or the radio head unit. In addition, when the vehicle is in park, programming can be displayed on the MyGIG screen for front-seat viewing.

Innovative Premium Amenities:

Along with SIRIUS Backseat TV, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes a variety of premium amenities that are new for 2008, including the new MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System that has a built-in navigation, audio, entertainment and communication system. MyGIG enables customers to use touch-screen or voice commands to control all of the features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. There's space reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs; that's over 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature. MyGIG supports real-time traffic information, available through SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and can provide an alternate drive route based on current traffic.

Also new on the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee are high-intensity discharge (HID) auto-leveling headlamps. HID auto-leveling headlamps provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved nighttime illumination. The auto-leveling feature automatically adjusts the headlamps to the vehicle pitch depending on the load and number of passengers in the vehicle. This feature also benefits oncoming traffic as the system prevents drivers from being distracted by glare from the headlamps. The auto-leveling feature is only available with HID headlamps.
ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera (with or without navigation), ParkSense® Rear Back-up System, SmartBeam® headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, memory seats and mirrors, iPod connectivity and 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels also are part of the vehicle's available features and options.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee also features three new safety and security technologies for 2008: Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control.

Hill Descent Control (HDC) is standard on Grand Cherokee 4x4 models. Operational in the "4WD Low" position, HDC provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed. By means of electronic brake control, HDC supplements the gear reduction and engine braking that a traditional mechanical low-range transfer case provides. For ease of operation, Grand Cherokee's HDC is activated and deactivated automatically, after the HDC button is engaged, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is in forward or reverse.

The available Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows the driver time to transition from brake to throttle to achieve a smooth launch on a grade. The system will hold brake pressure for two seconds upon the driver's release of the brake pedal. The ABS system decreases wheel pressure in response to increasing throttle to provide a smooth launch.
Trailer Sway Control is optional on all Grand Cherokee models. This system reduces trailer sway and provides improved trailer stability and increased towing safety.
Refreshed Exterior and Interior:
With its upright and substantial posture, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's design offers an athletic and contemporary appearance. The grille has been lengthened, and the headlamps are more circular for a more dominant and expressive front view. A new HID headlamp, optional on Limited and standard on Overland, includes an internal optic lens for the park/turn function. Fog lamps also have also been lowered for enhanced performance. Off-road enthusiasts will be pleased with the new two-piece front fascia, allowing for the entire lower piece to be removed before hitting the off-road trails.
On the inside, the vehicle's two-tone instrument panel features a new level of refinement with bright accents, a soft-touch surface and updated styling. A new tilt and telescoping steering column is standard, with a new steering wheel that includes bright accent bezels, which house the electronic vehicle information center's switches. The Limited model's steering wheel adds two-tone leather and bright chrome accent rings, and the Overland features a real wood rim for added luxury. Also new is the updated line of instrument clusters that feature new brighter LED illumination, with the Limited and Overland models receiving a modern and elegant treatment where, when the vehicle is started, the dark-tinted lens fades to reveal chrome-ringed black gauges that are surrounded by a bright silver accent field. The new floor console has improved cup holders and a new leather-wrapped and chrome-accented parking brake handle. The door panels have new armrests for improved ergonomics and comfort. New for the Overland model are the new saddle perforated leather seats that feature accent piping for an even more upscale look.
Jeep Brand:
The Jeep brand has seven models in the 2007 model year, the most available to retail consumers at one time in its 65-year-plus history.

The expansion of the Jeep brand has taken place in just two years. At the start of 2004, the brand's trio of tough, capable, rugged SUVs included the venerable Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty (Cherokee outside North America) and the icon of the brand, the Jeep Wrangler.
In 2005, the Jeep Commander was introduced. In 2006, the redesigned Jeep Wrangler was unveiled. Also debuting in 2006 were three more all-new Jeep vehicles: Jeep Patriot, Jeep Compass and the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
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