Sunday, 30 November 2008

Citroën confirms RHD Nemo Multispace and 7 seat Berlingo (UK)

Citroën is to bring a right-hand drive version of its Nemo Multispace mini-MPV to the UK next year. This tiny utilitarian vehicle is a passenger-carrying version of the Nemo van, and a sister model to the Fiat Fiorino Qubo , which also goes on sale here in Spring 2009. The Nemo and Fiorino (plus Peugeot's Bipper) are all built in the same factory in Tofas, Turkey, in a joint venture between Fiat and Peugeot-Citroën.

Both the van and the passenger models, with sliding rear doors on both sides and full-length windows, have been developed on the Fiat Panda's underpinnings, so they should be car-like to drive and reasonably refined. And for outdoorsy types, there'll even be a camper van version: Romahome of the Isle of Wight is to offer a single-bed conversion, similar in spirit to the popular C15 van-based model it built in the 1990s.

Engines for the Nemo Multispace will be taken from Fiat - 73bhp, 1.4 litre petrol and a 75bhp, 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel, with the diesel model able to achieve 63mpg combined and the petrol for over 40mpg combined.

Citroën promises that the Nemo Multispace will be competitively-priced - expect a starting price of under £10,000 - to draw distance between it and the larger C3 Picasso, which will also go on sale in February.

Citroën's third new people-carrier, also on sale in February, is a seven-seat version of the popular Berlingo Multispace. To accommodate the extra pair of rear seats - which slot into the boot - the 2nd row seats have been raised a little and moved further forwards. All five rear seats fold down on their bases, though not completely flat, and tumble forwards. They can also be removed altogether, to create a large load-bay.

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MINI axes jobs at Oxford plant (UK)

290 workers are to lose their jobs at the MINI plant in Oxford.

A statement from the company said that almost 300 agency workers would lose their jobs as a result of a decision to cut its Friday late shift from January.

MINI says the move is a temporary measure to balance production with the current downturn in demand for new cars. MINI announced earlier this month that it was to reduce production at its Oxford and Swindon plants and extend the Christmas break by 2 weeks.

New Car: 2009 Mini Cabriolet (UK & U.S pricing)

After months of spy photos, MINI has revealed the Cooper Cabriolet. The latest version of the best-selling soft-top will go on sale in March 2009.

The new Cabriolet shares the hatchback’s front end, but gets a raised shoulder line to accommodate the folding fabric roof.

At launch there will be two models, the Mini Cooper and the turbocharged Mini Cooper S. It’s likely that an ultra-efficient diesel version will be launched later next year. The 1.6 litre engine from the standard Mini is retained for both petrol Coopers, offering more power but lower emissions than the old Convertible. Both the Cooper and Cooper S will be equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard with optional six-speed automatic transmission.

BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology has also been introduced to the Cabriolet. Systems like stop-start and brake energy regeneration help both MINI Cabriolet models to reduce CO2 emissions, putting them two road-tax bands below the outgoing models. Structural strength and body stiffness have been improved, which should aid handling, reduce scuttle shake and boost safety. Despite the improved rigidity, the Mini’s weight has also been reduced by 10kg/22lb.

Other safety enhancements include a new single-piece roll bar behind the rear seats that can extend milliseconds before a crash to protect occupants should the car roll onto its roof. It takes 15 seconds for the fully automatic fabric roof to open or close, and it can do so at speeds of up to 20mph. The roof can also partially retract by 40cm to create the effect of a sunroof.

Luggage capacity is 170 litres with the roof down (up from the old model’s 165 litres). With the rear seats folded down and the roof up, the Mini Cabriolet offers 660 litres of space (55 litres more than the old car).

A new accessory is Mini’s ‘Openometer’, a fun add-on that records how much the car has been driven with its roof down. Expect more generous equipment levels than before - air conditioning will come as standard.

The new Convertible will also be offered in two new colours (Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue) and it gets all-new contrasting roof colours and accessory options to set it apart from the outgoing model.

Prices for the MINI Cabriolet will start at £15,995 for the standard Cooper and £18,995 for the Cooper S. Orders for the MINI Cabriolet in the U.S are being taken now with the price for the MINI Cooper Cabriolet starting at $24,550 and for the MINI Cooper S Cabriolet at $27,450, including the $650 destination and handling charge. Delivery of the first MINI Cabrio's in the U.S will begin on the 28th March 2009.

Press Release:

Consistently Open: The New MINI Cabrio

With its design improved in an evolutionary process and with an even wider range of practical functions, the new MINI Cabrio is unmistakably MINI. Equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated suspension technology, even more powerful and efficient engines, and with optimised safety technology, the new version of the open-air four-seater MINI consistently raises its strengths and qualities to an even higher level. And all of this whilst maintaining superior agility and go-kart handling, typical of MINI.

There are 12 highly attractive colour variants as well as new equipment features that add an additional touch of style and class. Automatic air conditioning with Cabrio mode is available for the first time that serves to provide a consistent set temperature under the influence of wind when the roof is opened. Also available is the seamless integration of external music players, a USB port and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, suitably compatible with the Apple iPhone. And last but certainly not least the MINI Cabrio combines a supreme blend of quality materials and finishes to enhance the unique position of the MINI Cabrio.

The occupants are safely protected from wind and weather in the new MINI Cabrio by the high-quality soft top with its integrated sliding roof function. Even while driving at a speed of up to 30 km/h, the soft top folds back fully automatically in a complete process within just 15 seconds, giving the new MINI Cabrio its true purpose and quality: This is a car simply begging for driving in the open air at any time of the year, symbolising this challenge to the driver through the optionally available, absolutely unique Always-Open Timer next to the rev counter.

This unprecedented instrument shows the driver and passengers the time they have spent driving with the roof down - motivating the driver to really enjoy the thrill of open-air motoring as frequently as possible.

The new MINI Cabrio offers outstanding everyday driving qualities through the Easy-Load Function, the rear-seat backrest folding down individually on either side, as well as the unusually large through-loading between the luggage and passenger compartment. Luggage compartment capacity has increased to 125 litres (+5 litres) with the roof open, 170 litres (+5 litres) with the roof closed, and 660 litres (+55 litres) with the rear-seat backrest folded down.

This variability, quite unique in the Cabrio segment, is made possible by the innovative design and construction of the rollbar: The new MINI Cabrio comes with a single-piece rollbar behind the rear seats extending across the entire interior width of the car, not obstructing the driver's line of visibility in any way when looking to the rear, and moving up automatically in just 150 milliseconds, in the event this safety feature is required.

The new MINI Cabrio will enter the market during the second quarter of 2009 with two engine variants. The MINI Cooper Cabrio offers sporting qualities right from the start with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 88 kW at 6,000 rpm.

The MINI Cooper S Cabrio is even more dynamic and performance-oriented, its 1.6-litre four-cylinder with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection delivering 128 kW at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm and thus providing a particularly refreshing feeling of power and dynamic performance.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the new MINI Cabrio are reduced by up to 19 per cent compared with the cars' respective predecessors.

From the start the MINI Cooper S Cabrio and the MINI Cooper Cabrio are available with a six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard or optional six-speed automatic transmission. At the same time the new MINI Cabrio owes its fascinating handling to suspension technology significantly enhanced and upgraded over the former model. Indeed, thanks to sophisticated wheel suspension, extremely precise electromechanical power steering, the powerful brake system and DSC Dynamic Stability Control featured as standard, the open-air MINI combines supreme agility with equally exemplary safety all round.

MINI Cooper S Cabrio:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.

Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 128 kW/175bhp at 5,500 rpm.

Max torque: 240 Nm from 1,600-5,000 rpm (260 Nm with Overboost).

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.4 sec, Top speed: 222 km/h.

Average fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 171 g/km.

MINI Cooper Cabrio:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology.

Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 88 kW/120bhp at 6,000 rpm.

Max torque: 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm.

Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.8 sec, Top speed: 198 km/h.

Average fuel consumption: 6.1 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 145 g/km.

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Thursday, 27 November 2008

Škoda Octavia pricing announced (UK)

Škoda's updated Octavia range goes on sale in January and will get a little more expensive. An average £473 price increase will apply for the hatch and £478 more for the estate. The Volkswagen Group's 1.4 TSI engine (122bhp) replaces the current 1.6 FSI, and the Octavia vRS gains the 200bhp 2.0 TFSI with DSG sequential-shift transmission.

Prices for the Octavia range from £11,580 for the 80bhp 1.4 litre 16v hatchabck to £21,200 for the 170bhp 2.0 litre TDI vRS Estate with the dual-clutch DSG transmission.

Changes include redesigned headlights and front fog lights, folding door mirrors and body-coloured bumpers and side mouldings, new steering wheel designs, a new stereo and new upholstery. Trim levels are now labelled S, SE and Elegance, as with the Superb; there are also new alloy wheel designs and new green and blue metallic paint shades.

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New Car: 2010 Mazda3

Mazda has issued five photographs of its new 3 hatchback ahead of its debut at next week's Bologna motor show. The 5 door, follows hot on the heels of the Mazda3 four-door saloon unveiled at last week's 2008 Los Angeles motor show.

Few firm details have been released, but Mazda claims the engines will be more efficient, the kerbweight lighter and 'the world's first catalyst to be constructed using single nanotechnology. Apparently, this cat uses significantly fewer rare materials such as platinum and palladium than regular filters.

The new 3 will have a new range-topping 2.2 litre turbodiesel, developing 183bhp or 148bhp. Both are EU5 compliant and are cleaner and more powerful than the current 2.0 diesel. UK sales will start in Spring 2009, with this 5 door hatchback and the 4 door saloon both UK bound.

In related news, the Mazda3 reaches its 2 millionth milestone this week. Mazda began production of the 3 in June 2003 at its Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi prefecture in Western Japan. Since then, the small family car, which is available in two body types, 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback, has been sold in more than 101 countries.

Press Release:

World Debut for All-New Mazda3 Five-Door Hatchback at the 2008 Bologna Motor Show

Mazda Motor Corporation will hold the world premiere of the new-generation Mazda3 five-door hatchback at the Bologna Motor Show on December 3, 2008.

The second generation Mazda3 five-door hatchback follows on the heels of the four-door sedan revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

The new-generation Mazda3 five-door hatchback adopts the same characteristics as its sedan counterpart, offering sporty driving and a dynamic design, together with top class environmental and safety performance.

Environmental-friendly qualities were top of mind during development, including efficient powertrains, Mazda typical lightweight engineering and amongst the best-in-class aerodynamics.

All petrol engine versions of the new-generation Mazda3 will offer even further advanced environmental performance, including the world's first vehicle catalyst to be constructed with single nanotechnology. This new development enables Mazda to reduce its use of scarce resources such as platinum and palladium.

The new engine lineup has been tailored for European customers and now includes the newly developed 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, just launched in the Mazda6. The new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine is a high-performance clean diesel powerplant with top class output, fuel economy and refinement.

This new-generation diesel engine has outstanding emissions performance and complies with Euro Stage5 regulations. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are also greatly improved compared to the current 2.0-litre version.

The all-new Mazda3 five-door hatchback will be revealed during Mazda's press conference at 09:00am on December 3, 2008 (local time).

Mercedes GLK pricing announced (U.S)

The new Mercedes-Benz GLK has been available for sale in Europe for some time now but in the U.S, the compact SUV will be arriving at the firm's dealerships in January 2009. Available exclusively with Mercedes' 268bbhp, 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine, the 5 seaters GLK350, with standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, will be priced at $35, 900, plus an $875 destination fee.

Comparatively, the BMW X3 xDrive30i with 260bhp and a 3.0 litre V6 engine starts at $39,400 MSRP. Mercedes will also offer an entry-level GLK350 with rear-wheel-drive from April 2009, priced at $33,900 with an additional $875 delivery fee.

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New Car: 2009 Porsche Panamera

The Panamera is a four door coupe which is the fourth model line for Porsche, following 911, Boxster, Cayman, and Cayenne. It has clear Porsche DNA in its design, with a typical 911 landscape upfront, wide striking wheel arches, a slanting roofline with a Grand Tourer silhouette and new strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille.

Engines will be V-shaped, with 6 and 8 cylinders pushing a minimum of 300bhp to 500bhp, driving either the rear wheels or all four. Naturally aspirated and aspirated (turbo) petrol engines will be used, while a hybrid model should add a different dimension to the range. PDK, the new 7-speed double-clutch gearbox, will feature as an option to those who prefer it over 6-speed manual.

The Panamera measures at 4.97m/16.3ft/195.7 inches long, 1.9m/6.3ft/76 inches wide and 1.4m/4.66ft/55.8 inches tall. The wheelbase is quantified at 2.9m/9.6ft long. Kerb weight approaches nearly 2 tonnes.

The Panamera's interior is made for sporting comfort, where the dash is driver-oriented in design. Passengers are also included in the fun since rear seating is more cinema-like, and the passengers are able to observe most of the going on's from their own comfort. The rear seats accommodate only two, making the Panamera a 2+2 four-door coupe. More info on engines, transmissions etc, will trickle through in the coming months. It will be built at Porsche's Leipzig plant for a showroom appearance of around August 2009. International Motor Shows will be showing the car going forward.

An estimated 20,000 units are planned for sale at the start, with production going on to 50,000 per year depending on demand. Sales of Panamera begin in the U.S, Europe and Asia in 2009.

Press Release:

Porsche Presents First Photos of Four-Door Panamera Gran Turismo

Stuttgart. Roughly nine months before the actual market launch, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has released the first official photos of the Panamera in its final look. In its design, profile and silhouette, Porsche's unique four-seater stands out clearly as a new member of the Porsche family. Conceived and designed as a four-door grand touring sports car, the Panamera combines numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a generous and variable interior, and the supreme driving comfort of a Gran Turismo. Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the sporty SUV Cayenne, the Panamera is Porsche's fourth model series.

The designers of the Panamera have succeeded in positioning this unique car as a brand-new and truly different model while nevertheless retaining the looks of a typical Porsche. Through its proportions alone, the Panamera stands out clearly in its market segment: measuring 1931 millimetres or 76.0 inches in width, the Panamera is wider, and measuring 1418 millimetres or 55.8 inches in height, lower than comparable four-door models. The unmistakable, sleek GT silhouette is created by the car's overall length of 4970 millimetres or 195.7 inches and short, sporting overhangs front and rear. In its styling and details, the Panamera follows the design philosophy refined over decades on the 911 and successfully implemented also on the Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.

Through its design language alone, the Panamera will establish a new segment versus the competition. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupé, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche its truly unmistakable appearance. As an example, the Panamera comes with highly individual, strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheel arches and the long and sleek engine compartment lid create that typical 911 "landscape" at the front end of the car the Porsche customer has appreciated for no less than 45 years, with the distinctly contoured wings as flanks bordering on the flat front lid. The V-shaped seams along the engine compartment lid and the rear window tapering out like an arrow to the rear convey the features characteristic of a sports car to the new, highly individual Panamera class.

The striking, muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the dynamic sweep of the coupé-like roofline, and the visible tailpipes again bear out all the DNA so typical of a thoroughbred Porsche. The elegant roof arch extends stylishly over the generous interior, simply begging the beholder to get inside. Like all Porsche models, the Panamera is oriented in every respect to the needs and wishes of the driver. But now, thanks to the new concept of space and the sporting architecture of the interior, the car's occupants are also able to experience this special "pilot feeling" on all four seats. All four occupants enjoy supreme ergonomic comfort on both the front seats and the two firmly contoured single seats at the rear. The luggage compartment easily takes up all the passengers' luggage. The variable space concept with its folding rear seat backrests enables the driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space individually to their personal requirements. And last but not least, the coupé tailgate in the sporting rear end combines superior suitability for daily use with stylish elegance.

Porsche has developed superior and up-to-date power units for the Panamera again reflecting all the qualities typical of the brand - the V-engines within the engine compartment come with six and eight cylinders and range in power from 300 to 500 bhp. Some of the engines use turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection making them both fuel-efficient and powerful all in one. The flow of power to the wheels goes either through a manual six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK).In addition to sporting rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, which is also available for the other versions as an option. As a further highlight, Porsche is preparing a particularly fuel-efficient version of the Panamera with hybrid drive. Further details on the engines, transmissions, performance, prices and equipment will be disclosed next spring.

The Porsche Panamera will be built at Porsche's Leipzig Plant, where a production hall measuring some 22,000 square metres or almost 237,000 square feet and a logistics centre are currently under construction. While the engines featured in the Panamera are built at Porsche's Main Plant in Zuffenhausen, the painted bodyshells will be supplied by the Volkswagen Plant in Hanover. The Leipzig Plant will then assemble the Panamera for final delivery, with an annual sales target of some 20,000 units. Porsche is once again cooperating largely with German suppliers in the production of the Panamera, with some 70% of the car's overall value being created domestically. Hence, the Panamera is most definitely a car "Made in Germany". The Panamera will be making its world debut in spring 2009 and the first models will be at dealers worldwide in late summer of next year.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Toyota Avensis pricing announced (UK)

Toyota UK has released pricing on it's popular flagship passenger car - the Avensis. The all-new Avensis will start at £15,315 for the 1.8 litre T2 sedan. The Tourer will start at £17,095. Both are mated to a 6 speed manual transmission and pumped out 147bhp. CO2 emissions are at 154g/km for the sedan and 155g/km for the Tourer. The entry level 2.0 D-4D will start at £16,895 for the 4dr T2 grade. Options will include navigation systems, metallic paint and panoramic glass sunroof.


CO2 VED Tax Band VED £

Basic £


Retail £

On Road £

T2 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 V-matic 147 DINbhp 6MT 154g/km Tax Band D £145 £13,034.04




T2 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 V-matic 147 DINbhp 6MT 155g/km Tax Band D £145 £13,885.10




T2 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 135g/km Tax Band C £120





T2 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 136g/km Tax Band C £120 £14,587.24




TR 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 V-matic 147 DINbhp 6MT 154g/km Tax Band D £145 £14,523.41




TR 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 V-matic 147 DINbhp M-driveS 157g/km Tax Band D £145 £15,374.47




TR 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 V-matic 147 DINbhp 6MT 155g/km Tax Band D £145 £15,374.47




TR 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 V-matic 152 DINbhp M-driveS 165g/km Tax Band D £145





TR 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 134g/km Tax Band C £120 £15,225.53




TR 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 136g/km Tax Band C £120 £16,076.59




TR 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DIN hp 6MT 147g/km Tax Band C £120 £15,948.93




TR 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DINbhp 6MT 150g/km Tax Band C £120

T4 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 V-matic 152 DINbhp 6MT 163g/km Tax Band D £145 £16,225.53




T4 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 V-matic 152 DINbhp M-driveS 164g/km Tax Band D £145 £17,076.59




T4 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 V-matic 152 DINbhp 6MT 164g/km Tax Band D £145 £17,076.59




T4 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 V-matic 152 DINbhp M-driveS 165g/km Tax Band D £145





T4 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 135g/km Tax Band C £120 £16,502.13




T4 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0 D-4D 126 DINbhp 6MT 136g/km Tax Band C £120 £17,353.19




T4 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DINbhp 6MT 147g/km Tax Band C £120 £17,225.53




T4 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DINbhp 6MT 150g/km Tax band C £120





T4 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 180 177 DINbhp 6MT 157g/km Tax Band D £145 £17,629.79




T4 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 180 177 DINbhp 6MT 160g/km Tax Band D £145





T-Spirit 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DINbhp 6MT 149g/km Tax Band C £120 £18,927.66




T-Spirit 5dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 150 150 DINbhp 6MT 152g/km Tax Band D £145





T-Spirit 4dr Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 180 177 DINbhp 6MT 159g/km Tax Band D £145 £19,331.92




T Spirit 5 dr Tourer Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2 D-4D 180 177 DINbhp 6MT 163g/km Tax Band D £145





Please note: Provisional CO2 figures subject to final confirmation 6MT – 6-speed manual M-Drive S – Multi-drive S transmission





T Spirit

Exc VAT £


Inc VAT £

Navigation – • – – £851.06 £148.94 £1,000.00

Premium Navigation (high spec audio, music hard drive & rear camera) – – • – £1,276.00 £223.40 £1,500.00

Premium Navigation (music hard drive & rear camera) – – – • £851.06 £148.94 £1,000.00

Panoramic roof – – • • £510.64 £89.36 £600.00

Protection Pack (4dr): Rear parking sensors, boot and rear bumper protectors – • • – £382.98 £67.02 £450.00

Protection Pack (Tourer): Rear parking sensors, boot and rear bumper protectors, cargo manager – • • – £468.09 £81.91 £550.00

Metallic paint • • • • £297.87 £52.13 £350.00

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Sunday, 23 November 2008

Honda set to close down Swindon plant (UK)

After Honda reached its 2 millionth vehicle earlier this year, the Swindon factory will close for two months in 2009, the company has announced.

The move will leave the Wiltshire plant silent during February and March next year. Workers will still receive basic pay, but will lose overtime. There are no plans for redundancies. The shutdown will also mean a cut of around 21,000 vehicles from the factory’s production next year.

The news is the latest in a series of blows to the UK’s car manufacturing sector, as companies struggle to reduce capacity in the face of slowing demand.

Bentley’s factory in Crewe has already moved to a three-day week, while the Solihull Land Rover plant has moved to a four-day week and Toyota has cut the night shift at its Burnaston plant.

However, Honda’s announcement is the biggest production cut yet by a mainstream manufacturer in the UK, and demonstrates the scale of the global crisis facing the motor industry.

The Swindon plant is particularly vulnerable to the downturn, building CR-V models for export to the USA alongside European Civics. Honda also announced plans to cut production at its factories in Ohio and Alabama.

New Car: 2009 Porsche Cayenne diesel

Porsche has released official details about the new Cayenne diesel, the first oil-burning car from the famous sports car manufacturer after several years of rumors.

It’s powered by a 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel powerplant, borrowed from stablemate brand Audi and will be going on sale in February next year. The 3.0 TDI engine offers 240bhp and returns a combined 30mpg in the Cayenne, according to Porsche’s official figures. That equates to CO2 emissions of 244g/km.

A Porsche statement said the decision to offer a diesel Cayenne was “taken in response to changed legal regulations, especially in European markets, resulting in tax incentives for vehicles with diesel engines… Porsche’s stake in the Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of modern diesel engines for passenger cars, has opened up new opportunities to utilise diesel technology.”

The statement also acknowledged that Porsche is working on a hybrid version of the Cayenne, which it claims will offer fuel consumption ‘in excess of 30mpg’. It’s all part of an effort to boost the Cayenne’s dwindling sales as the economic crisis takes hold.

The diesel model will be offered with the Tiptronic-S automatic gearbox as standard. It'll cost cost £40,250 when it reaches British showrooms in February 2009. European pricing will start at €47,250.

Press Release:

Sporty compression-ignition engine from Zuffenhausen - reaction to changed boundary parameters

Premiere at Porsche: Cayenne with diesel engine

The Executive Board at Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has given the go-ahead: from February 2009, the sports car manufacturer will offer a Cayenne with a diesel engine and thus extend its range of drives for the sporty all-terrain vehicle further, once again. This decision was taken in response to changed legal regulations especially in European markets, resulting in tax incentives for vehicles with diesel engines. Furthermore, Porsche's stake in the Volkswagen Group, the world's largest manufacturer of modern diesel engines for passenger cars, has opened up new opportunities to utilise diesel technology.

Porsche will equip the Cayenne with a 3.0 V6 turbo diesel engine with 240bhp (176 kW) supplied by Audi AG, a subsidiary of the VW Group. The average consumption of the Cayenne Diesel is 9.3 litres per 100km, with CO2 at 244g per km. The spontaneous throttle response and the high torque characteristics of this diesel engine deliver the required performance levels for a sporty all-terrain vehicle such as the Cayenne. The substantial torque of a maximum of 550 Newton metres complements the sporty chassis dynamics and provides a high degree of control to offer driving enjoyment that is typical of Porsche.

In response to customer demand, the new Cayenne model will initially be offered in Europe. Preparations for market introduction in other countries are underway.

The Porsche Executive Board is confident that it will maintain the long term market success of the Cayenne series in the long term with the low-consumption V6 turbo diesel. In the last financial year 2007/08, 45,478 units of this series (which currently incorporates five different models) were sold - more than ever before in a financial year.

With the introduction of the Cayenne Diesel, Porsche is consistently continuing its commitment to reduce fuel consumption. As early as Spring 2007, the sports car manufacturer had equipped the new generation of the Cayenne series with engines with petrol direct injection that consume up to 15% less fuel in real-world driving conditions. Since the summer of 2008, Porsche has also offered the most recent generation of the 911 series with direct-injection petrol engines. The sports car manufacturer is also working on another Cayenne variant with hybrid drive that will consume less than 9 litres of fuel per 100km and will be launched onto the market at the end of the decade.

The new Cayenne with diesel drive will be available from dealers from February 2009 onwards. Equipped with the proven Tiptronic-S automatic gearbox as standard, the Euro base price will be €47,250. In Germany, the Cayenne with diesel engine including 19% VAT and country-specific equipment costs €56,436.

Related links:

Toyota begins Avensis production (UK)

Friday 21st November, two new Avensis models rolled off the line at Toyota's Burnaston Plant in Derbyshire, marking the official start of production of the firm's new European flagship model.

The Burnaston Plant will produce the Avensis in body types, sedan and wagon, to support an annual European sales target of 115,000 vehicles. Designed, engineered and built in Europe, the all-new Avensis will also be launched in Africa, Central & South America, as well as in Oceania. Sales of both shapes of the Avensis will begin across Europe from January 2009.

The Avensis' 1.6 and 1.8 litre petrol engines will be produced by Toyota's plant in Deeside, North Wales, while the 2.0 litre Valvematic will be built in Japan. The Japanese firm's plants in Poland (TMIP and TMMP) will manufacture the 2.0 and 2.2 litre D-4D diesel engines and the new 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0 litre D4-D engine is expected to be the biggest seller in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the celebrations, Tadashi Arashima, CEO and President of Toyota Motor Europe, said: "The UK has proved to be a valuable economic and business partner. Building on more than 15 years of production history, TMUK's team members continue to deliver the quality, efficiency and flexibility needed to meet the exacting standards of our customers in Europe and around the world."
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