Saturday 30 June 2007

Facelifted Sonata feels the heat

Spy photographers captured a restyled Hyundai Sonata during hot-weather testing in Death Valley earlier this week. Engineers got up nice and early to catch the test vehicle. While this prototype maintains the current Sonata's styling between the A- and C-pillars, the front and rear fascias have been modified.
Redesigned headlights flank a new grille with horizontal chrome bars, and the front bumper has a larger, trapezoidal-shaped lower intake that widens at the bottom for a more stout expression. The new grille brings the styling more in line with the upcoming Genesis luxury car.Heavily camouflaged, changes to the Sonata's rear are less obvious, but it appears that restyled tail lamps with prominent white strips are part of the plan. Judging from the quick drive-by shot of the interior, the Sonata will receive a revised center console and redesigned stereo akin to the Hyundai Veracruz.

New Lexus mid-sized SUV rumours

We have reports that the Toyota owned Lexus is planning a new mid-sized SUV dubbed as "JX". At the moment its not clear whether this will replace the RX Series but it is scheduled for a 2009 release. There are no pictures yet but a gasoline powered V8 is expected.

Thursday 28 June 2007

Lancia Musa Caught Undisguised!

Well nearly except from the cardboard which is covering the radiator grille and the few pieces of tape around the back otherwise its an undisguised prototype.
Because the mini-MPV is shedding the thick black disguise it could mean the Fiat Idea's sister could be unveiled soon. Numerous prototypes have been sighted in Turin and Torino in Italy.
Lancia is set to return to the UK later on this year or next year with the new Delta but Lancia says that they don't want the Delta to be the only car in the UK line-up which is why we could be getting the Musa, Ylipson and possibly the Phedra. Lancia is a well established premium brand in mainland Europe which is why the Delta could be rivalling with the Audi A3, Alfa Romeo 148, Lexus "BS", BMW 1 Series etc.

2008 Volvo V50 Sighted

Here we have in flesh is the new Volvo V50. It sedan brother has also been facelifted but that has yet to be sighted.
Obvious changes to the rear of the wagon are rectangular reversing/indictor lights and light reflectors which are on the lower part of the rear bumper. On the front the bloated cheeks is the main front feature.
These photos were taken in Spain in a car park.

New Car: 2008 BMW 6 Series Facelift

BMW is finally making a diesel-powered 6-series and, as you’d expect, it’s no 618d but a 282bhp, 155mph 635d.

The 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder diesel engine will be available in both the cabrio and coupe, where it promises 0-62mph in 6.3sec and 40.9mpg.

It’ll come with a six-speed auto ’box as standard, with steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual changes.

The 635d isn’t the only way to get a more fuel-efficient 6-series, either; the entire range is getting a makeover, with more equipment and more technology, including regenerative brake technology and, in the 630i, a more efficient engine.

BMW says that fuel economy is improved by 15 per cent in the 630i, and by five per cent in the 4.8-litre 650i.

The 6-series can also now be specified with even more electronic gizmos. Along with iDrive there’s the option of radar cruise control, a night vision camera and adaptive headlights. The latter can even automatically switch between high and low beam lights for you.
If radar cruise control isn’t enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, you can get a lane departure warning system that vibrates the steering wheel as you veer across white lines. Assuming you’re actually still holding the wheel at that point, of course, and not deep within a sub-menu in the iDrive system.

You see, you might be distracted by BMW Online’s Convertible Weather Service (we’re not making this up, honest), which lets you know weather or not it looks like rain. Never let it be said that the Germans don’t have a sense of humour.

Petrol engines will stay the same.

More Hyundai Genesis/BH

This is a fresh spy photo of the new Hyundai flagship. According to sources there will be two models; one for North America (pictured here) and another for South Korea but which one will Europe get?

Its still not clear whether it will come to Europe but if it does its likely to be badged as i80 but sources claim that the new Hyundai will be making a world debut at this years Frankfurt Motorshow in September.

The car has been sighted all over North America, South Korea and Northern Scandinavia.

Fabia Estate on the way...

Skoda is currently working on their Fabia estate. The mini load-lugger will rival against the Peugeot 207 SW.

Engines will be taken from the Fabia hatchback and prices could be the same as the hatchback.

Don't be fooled by the large tail lamps on the bootlid they are fake and its suppose to confuse car enthusiasts.

The vehicle should be launched next year along side with the Fabia sedan and maybe the cabriolet too.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

Mini Clubman Caught Naked

Thats right, a spy photographer caught up with the new Clubman during a commercial shoot and caught it in full production trim. The C-pillars are the same colour as the roof but that seemed to surprise car fanatics.
There is a backwards opening door (suicide door) on the passengers side but this will affect British drivers as the steering wheel is on the right hand side. Apparently Mini wanted to lower costs of producing this vehicle.
The car should be revealed in a few weeks time.

Ford Flexes Some Muscle...

One of our spy photographers spotted a Ford Flex driving on public roads - with a license plate! Seen last a few months ago at the New York International Auto Show - as a concept - the production debut of the Flex is still some time away.

But from look of it, the production Flex will look very much like the New York concept. In fact, we're hard pressed to spot any changes, save for some minor badge relocating. This particular car doesn't have the show car's projector-beam headlights, body-colored bumpers or chrome trim, but the wheels match those seen on the show car, as do the body panels and trim pieces.

With the test mule seen in these pictures virtually undisguised and looking production-ready, chances are that what you see here is what will show up in Ford showrooms early next year when the Flex goes on sale as a 2009 model.

Honda Accord Exposed (US)

As the all-new 2008 Honda Accord nears its official launch as spy photographers stumble upon a group of 2008 Honda Accords in the middle of a brochure photo shoot in the forest of Canada.
As we've seen before, the Accord coupe gets a honeycomb grille, while the sedan's face is trimmed with horizontal bars. Based on the alloy wheels and dual exhaust pipes, both the coupe and sedan pictured are V6 models. Honda has publicly talked about increased horsepower, improved fuel economy, cylinder deactivation and lower emissions for the V6-powered Accord. Although official specifications have not yet been released, a 3.5-liter V6 with approximately 270 horsepower is expected, as well as the base 180-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Tuesday 26 June 2007

Subaru Outbacking the Impreza?

This seems to be the first ever spy shot of what looks like the 2008 Subaru Impreza Outback "Sport". The current model didn't receive an Outback model in the Impreza line-up but the first generation did.

For the first time it looks like it will be available in a hatchback rather than the conventional station wagon.

Not much is actually known about this at the moment but the engines will be shared with the Subaru Impreza hatchback.

More Mercedes C63 AMG Sedan...

This will rival aganist the Lexus IS-F, Audi RS4 and BMW M3 sedan.

UK sedan prices could start from around £53,000.

Its now undergoing final shakedown testing on the Nurburgring in Germany.

Monday 25 June 2007

Even More Hyundai Genesis....

No new information just yet but there will be 2 models; a regular sedan and a sporty version of the sedan. If the new Genesis comes to Europe its most likely to be called the i80.

More Renault Koleos

Its still unknown what this prototype is but spy photographers say the steering wheel had a Renault badge on it but the badge on the front radiator belongs to Samsung (Korean Renault's). We definitely know it will rival with the Nissan Qashqai (which sold 60,000 units since its launch in December 2006). These pictures were taken a day after the first batch were published onto the internet.
Whilst the UK is under water, South Europe has experienced a heatwave and thats why Renault are in South Spain testing the new hatchback cum SUV. For the first time we can see clearly there will be a split opening tailgate as this engineer reveals.
We published an article earlier on this month so check it out.

GT-R in the UK

Nissan is currently testing the new Skyline GT-R in the UK. The GT-R has been turning heads ever since its first sighting at a gas station in New Mexico and now it has made a sneak appearance in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speedwhich took place last saturday.

The test car is still wearing a bra and is expected to have a world debut at the Tokyo Motorshow in October.

Maserati Quattroporte Facelift Spied....

Maserati appears to be working on a facelift for the Quattroporte. The car has been on the market since 2004 and we spied this prototype in Germany as it tested on, and around the Nürburgring race circuit.

The changes appear to be focused on the front fascia with a small alteration to the rear bumper. The camouflage suggests that in addition to changes to the front bumper air-intakes, Maserati stylists may have made some changes to the Maserati’s overall grille shape, and to the headlights. The rear end will stay the same. The changes amount to the normal mid-cycle facelift, which should go public late this year, perhaps at either the LA or Detroit auto shows.

BMW Offers More "Six" Appeal

A new front bumper, revised taillights and a tiny spoiler lip at the rear edge of the boot lid – that’s what distances the facelifted BMW 6-series from today’s model. We gather that the interior will be refined, too!

Engines, on the other hand, will not change, and so customers will still have the choice between the 258-bhp 630i, the 367-bhp 4.8-litre V8 called 650i and the M6. We expect the facelifted model to debut at the Frankfurt Show later this year

The new 6 Series should be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motorshow in September.

New Car: 2008 Chevrolet Matiz Facelift

The Chevrolet Matiz has been among the most attractive and best-selling city cars on the European car market since its introduction in 2005. The exterior changes for MY 2008 will give the Matiz a fresh, sporty and more modern look. All modifications will be available for the SX and SE models.

The exterior changes are most noticeable at the front end. The new two-tone bumper (black and body color) integrates the air intake in a sporty, more aggressive fashion, compared to the current design. The upper part of the bumper, which is noticeably larger, includes the Chevrolet logo. The lower part features a honeycomb design and extends into the black area where the number plate is mounted.

The theme is continued by black rails that run across the doors and the entire side of the vehicle. The sharp edges of the rear bumper take up the design and the lower black portion of the bumper complements the sporty character of the new Matiz.

The three-tone interior will be available for all Matiz models. The small Chevrolet can now also be ordered with orange, green and blue interior trims. While the current trim is only available in grey with colored patterns, the new interior offers colorful fabrics with grey patterns, giving the car a fresh and young look.

Saturday 23 June 2007

Next Generation Mercedes E-Class Spied

The next Mercedes E-Class is already underway with numerous prototypes been sighted all over Mainland & Northern Europe.

This is the latest spy photo of the new mid-sized sedan. The most obvious thing is the vehicle will grow in size. Its considerably wider and longer than the current model.

Despite the heavy disguise the next model caught feature twin headlamps on each side just like the current car but CGI's suggest they will be more boxier.

Just like the current generation there will be only 2 body styles; sedan and station wagon.

The new E-Class will be launched in 2009 along with the BMw 5 Series and Audi A6.

Engines are still unknown but diesel engines are expected to be cleaner and more fuel efficient.

Honda Ridgeline Facelift or Hybrid?

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Honda's Ridgeline pickup truck is due for an update, and spy photos prove that an overhaul is on the way. A new front-end design consists of a new grille and a revised front bumper, which looks similar to an early prototype of the next-generation Honda Pilot.

No major modifications are revealed yet for the Ridgeline's rear end, but that could change closer to production.

Technical details have not yet been released. Hybrid power was rumored as a possibility in 2009, but it's unlikely before the second-generation Ridgeline debuts in 2011.

What this means to you: The truck business is highly competitive, and Honda knows it needs to keep the Ridgeline fresh in order to play with the big boys.
Extracted from Edmunds Insideline

Friday 22 June 2007

Driving Without A License

An 84-year-old Dutch driver astonished police this week when he admitted during a random check that not only was his car uninsured but he had been driving without a license for 67 years.
Dutch media said Wednesday the man had escaped detection because he had never got a speeding ticket or been involved in a crash.

The man promised police he would ditch his car, which had also never been put through a vehicle safety test, reports added

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Citroen C-Crosser snapped in the wild

Who would have thought that car parks would be so interesting. Usually when people go into a car park, you're there to park your car and it can be boring but not for one person who captured the 2007 Citroen C-Crosser SUV in a public car park in France.

This is be the firms first SUV but there are more on the way.  The C-Crosser is built in Japan along with the Mitsubishi Outlander and Peugeot 4007 and is based of the Outlander.

Sales will start across Europe in Summer. Prices have been announced for the UK market ranging from £22,000 to £25,000.

The C-Crosser averages around 40mpg but a diesel-hybrid will be offered across Europe sometime in the near future and when it goes on sale and it will use 2WD to reduce emissions.

Monday 18 June 2007

Getting Up Close & Personal...

With the new BMW M3 Coupe....well nearly. The car will go on sale in the UK in September with a price tag of £50,000 around $100,000 dollars. At the moment only the coupe has been revealed but there will be a M3 convertible, wagon and 4 door sedan/saloon.
Under the hood is a 5.0 litre V8 developing around 500bhp.
Production cars are going round in Germany but its not official if the sports car is only sale in Germany yet.

Even More Fiat 500

This time it was shot during a commercial shoot somewhere in Italy. Photos seem to come in every week of this car....
More pictures can be found at our forums:

Sunday 17 June 2007

2008 Mercedes A-Class Facelift & 2011 Mercedes A & B-Class?

The current Mercedes A-Class has been on the market since 2005 but German car magazine, Autobild said a facelift model could be planned for 2008 with a smiley face. The next model should arrive onto the European market by 2011 or 2012 this time round the A-Class will be less MPV like and more coupe like as it will rival with the upcoming Audi A1. Both 3 door and 5 door are likely. The magazine also reported a diesel-hybrid co-developed with Citroen & Peugeot PSA or Honda. This should give the upcoming A-Class excellent fuel economy and ultra low emissions.

Sources say the next A-Class could underpin the next Dodge Caliber. Despite the B-Class being based on a extended platform of the A-Class this could also be based on the next Cailber. Mercedes is currently test mules now but they are related to Chrysler.

The following things are considered by DamilerChrysler:

This project may be cancelled because Chrysler's technique is not highly sophisticated enough for Mercedes and developed with a low budget- At a volume of 600,000 cars per year (current: lower than 300,000), a 3 and 5-door A-class, a 5-door B-class and a B-class Sportcoupé (replacing the C-class Sportcoupé) is being considered.

Mercedes and Chrysler have quite different ideas about the engines to be built in, which is one reason Mercedes is looking for a different Partner.

There are three possible partners: PSA, Honda and VW- PSA would profit from lower costs, a higher volume, access to Mercedese's quality managment, all-wheel drive and double-clutch gear.

Honda could be interesting because of their far developed hybrid technology.

A partnership with VW could be difficult since Porsche took over a big part of VW.

A second facelift (model year 2012) is possible to gain more time until a suitable partner has been found.

Mercedes C-Class Wagon Spied

Mercedes is starting to shed some disguise on the new C-Class station wagon. Don't be fooled by the fake light clusters implanted on the bootlid, they are there to confuse spy photographers and car enthusiasts. Recent prototypes have been caught in Germany wearing wafer thin disguise over the side rear window, tail lamps, bootlid and rear windscreen. Engines will be taken from the recently launched C-Class sedan.
Mercedes is even planning a C63 AMG station wagon to rival with the upcoming BMW M3 wagon but UK prices are likely to start around £55,000 or $110,000 US dollars.
The new C-Class wagon will be revealed at this year's Frankfurt Motorshow in September with sales starting in early 2008.
The first photo shows a C-Class wagon wearing AMG alloys wheels, please note that this is NOT a C63 AMG but just the regular C-Class wagon.

Friday 15 June 2007

2008 Citroen C5 Undisguised

This is the first photo showing what the next C5 will look like. A French magazine got their spy photographer into Citroen's plant where the next C5 will be made.

The photographer took 5 photos showing most angles. French car manufactures have been well known for the poor security.

The diesel engines will be kept but there will be new petrol ones. Hopefully Citroen will unveil the new C5 at this years Frankfurt Motorshow in September.

Prices are expected to be competitive in the European market. A price tag of £15,000 should be ideal for the basic model. Production is starting late 2007 and sales should start in early 2008 across Europe.

The new C5 will go up aganist the recently launched Ford Mondeo, Toyota Avensis, Volkswagen Passat, Renault Laguna, Peugeot 407, Honda Accord, Mazda6, Vauxhall/Opel Vectra, Seat Toledo, Skoda Superb, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring, Chevrolet Epica etc.

The car shown here is a hatchback.
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