Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Hyundai Avante/Elantra exceeds 5,000 orders (KR)

Hyundai Motor Company has announced that it has received over 5,000 pre-orders for the all-new, Avante/Elantra compact sedan in South Korea.

Hyundai began taking orders on the 21st June and has since gained remarkable popularity for the newest addition to its line-up. The new Avante made its public debut at the Busan International Motor Show in April.

ESC to get cheaper (UK)

Bosch has designed and developed a new steering-wheel sensor that should make fitting stability control cheaper and more widely available in small cars. The system uses technology to establish the angle of the steering wheel, something that is increasingly used in stability control systems.

It's cheaper than previous systems, which, Bosh says, makes it particularly suitable for small cars where standard fitment of stability control is less common.

Two Princes fight over a Bentley Brooklands (MY)

Two Malaysian princes have finally achieved an out-of-court settlement, finishing a row over who had the right to use the Bentley owned by their father.

The dispute between the sons of Sultan Tengku Ismail Petra has humiliated the royal household of Malaysia's eastern Kelantan state and wound up a recent power struggle among palace figures while the sultan was stricken by a heart-related illness.

Renault offers electric driving lessons

Renault is preparing to set up unique training courses to help buyers of its electric vehicles get the most from them.

While the all electric cars will produce no tail-pipe emissions, Renault believes it is important to teach eco-driving methods to owners so that they can cover as many miles as possible on a single charge.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Lamborghini Gallardo milestone reached

Lamborghini has announced that the 10,000th Gallardo has rolled off the assembly line in Sant'Agata Bolognese.

The car, in Midas yellow LP 560-4, will be delivered to its Chinese owner.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Honda CR-Z pricing announced (U.S)

Honda has announced prices and specification information for the 2011 CR-Z sport coupe.

The CR-Z goes on sale 24th August and the hybrid coupe will be priced from $19,200 (excluding destination and handling charge of $750). The entry-level model is equipped with an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system, automatic climate control, electric front windows, remote central locking w/keyless entry, steering-wheel paddle shifters (CVT only) and cruise control.

All-new 2010 BMW 5 Series sold out

For individuals looking to purchase a 2010 BMW 5 Series will have to wait longer than expected. The 5 Series sedan has been a huge success for BMW, who now reports that the model is sold out.

Customers who are ordering the new mid-sized executive car will have to wait an additional three - four months for delivery. The car is expected to make up as much as 17% of BMW sales in the United States.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

2011 BMW M3 Frozen Grey Coupe sold out in 12 minutes (U.S)

BMW has announced that the limited edition M3 Frozen Gray Coupe was sold out in 12 minutes.

The FGC (Frozen Gray Coupe) was built to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the M3. It features exclusive Frozen Gray matte paint, Competition Package (19” alloy wheels and lowered ride height), Electronic Damping Control, and an M Double Clutch Transmission, Fox Red/Black Novillo leather interior, "carbon leather" trim, heated front seats, premium sound system, satellite navigation, Comfort Access, and a one-day enrolment at the BMW Performance Driving School in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ex Mazda worker storms plant (JP)

A previous Mazda employee supposedly murdered one and injured ten others after crashing his car into a group of people at Mazda's Hiroshima factory yesterday, according to reports. The 42 year old suspect, Toshiaki Hikiji, fled the scene, but was arrested an hour after the offence.

A 39 year old man, Hiroshi Hamada was pronounced dead at the scene. Another male employee is still in critical condition. The crash took place at the Mazda-owned Ujina plant near the Hiroshima port in south-western Japan.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Speed camera funding scrapped (UK)

Fixed speed cameras will no longer be funded by the Government.

Junior transport minister, Mike Penning announced that councils will have to use their own cash to install new cameras from now on. He added that local authorities will be encouraged to consider alternative safety measures before investing in new cameras.

Toyota strike over (CN)

Toyota Gosei's Tianjin plant in China has reopened after three days of strikes.

Unconfirmed sources suggest that the company - an official supplier to Toyota - has offered employees a pay rise if they meet performance targets.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Dacia Duster may be sold as a Nissan

The Dacia Duster might become a Nissan as well as a Renault - as long as the market conditions don't put the rebadged cars up against each other.

The Duster, a compact 4x4 may retail from £11,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in 2012 - has already been lined up to become a Renault in several markets. But a Renault-Nissan insider has confirmed that if the conditions were right, the Romanian-built SUV could also be badged as a Nissan.

Brilliance to re-enter Europe (EU)

Chinese manufacturer, Brilliance will return to Europe after setting up its own new distributor.

It was revealed that the firm would end exports of its BS4 and BS6 saloons to certain European markets after the cars were met with a tepid reception, while the firm also supposedly struggled to meet ever-changing European emissions regulations.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

2011 Mercedes R-Class finally goes on sale (EU)

Mercedes has begun selling its revise R-Class crossover in Europe, with the first U.S deliveries schedule to begin in July. The new model goes into regular production this week in Alabama.

Revealed earlier this year at the 2010 New York motorshow, the updated R-Class gets a reworked fascia that heavily borrows from the company's recent sedans. For the U.S market, the 2011 model will offer a choice of two previous engine choices: a 268bhp 3.5 litre V6 and a 210bhp 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.

Volkswagen Touareg pricing announced (UK)

Volkswagen's new Touareg 4x4 will cost from £38,255 to £56,530 when it goes on sale. The new Touareg is more than 200kg lighter than the outgoing model, despite an increase in length of 20mm. VW also claims the range is now 20% more efficient.

The entry-level SE model gets leather interior, 18” alloy wheels, touch-screen satellite-navigation w/ DAB digital radio, dual-zone climate control, burr walnut trim and 6 airbags as standard. It comes with a 237bhp 3.0 TDI V6 diesel, which has a combined fuel economy of 38.2mpg and emits 195g/km of CO2. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 135mph. The 237bhp 3.0 TDI has a commendable 550Nm of torque and is available at 2,000prm. All models in the range use an 8 speed automatic gearbox.

Volkswagen considering Passat CC wagon

Volkswagen's range expansion could include an estate version of its Passat CC, according to sources in Germany.

Since the next-generation Passat will not be sold in the U.S and its replacement, the New Midsize Sedan, will not offer a station wagon variant - a CC wagon would fill a useful niche in a region where it’s selling well.

KIA Picanto & Cee'd recalled (UK)

Kia UK is recalling 486 Cee'd models for checks on the brakes, along with 6,585 Picanto city-cars because of a potential fuel leak.

The manufacturer says the brakes on the Cee'd fitted with stability control (ESP) might suffer from insufficient braking effort from the master cylinder. Cars built between 1st April 2008 – 30th March 2009 are under investigation.

Range Rover pushing for Sport hybrid

JLR are pushing for a hybrid RR Sport. Jaguar Land Rover is making good progress on the technology, with more than 100 engineers devoted to development.

“Hybrid is an expensive [engineering] investment and an expensive piece cost, so the focus has to be on larger vehicles,” said Land Rover boss Phil Popham.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Vauxhall introduces Insignia 4x4 diesel (UK)

The Vauxhall Insignia estate is now available as a 4WD diesel for the first time. The Insignia Estate 4x4 will go on sale in September, combining the company’s adaptive 4x4 system (previously available with the 2.0 and 2.8 litre petrol engines) with the 2.0 CDTi 160 engine.

As well as automatically dispensing power between the front and rear axles to maximise traction, the 4x4 system also comes with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. This controls the distribution of torque between the rear wheels, transferring it to the wheel that has the most grip and allowing the car to keep moving even when just one wheel has traction.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Next generation Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to be diesel-hybrid

Mitsubishi is planning a drastic overhaul of its Lancer Evolution by changing the next model into a diesel hybrid. The switch of drivetrain is designed to save the Evo from strict economy and emissions regulations while saving its trademark mid-range punch.

2012 León essential to SEAT's future

Seat will use its next-generation Leon to launch its first hybrid and electric cars from 2012 as part of its new 5 year plan, even though there are still no plans for the firm to enter into new market segments.

The Spanish manufacturer is currently testing a plug-in hybrid version of the Leon, known as Twin Drive, and this is expected to be part of the next Leon range that’s planned to arrive in late 2012.

An all-electric version of the Leon is also likely after Volkswagen announced plans to build an all-electric version of the Golf (the car on which the Leon is based) from 2013. The Golf blue-e-motion drivetrain is likely to come from the IBE concept from Geneva, although there are no plans to put the IBE itself into production.

Electric cars need steel bodies

The next generation of electric cars will need specifically designed steel bodies to exploit their green potential, according to the world’s biggest steel makers.

A new research project, the Future Steel Vehicle (FSV), is testing redesigned structural parts in an electric car’s bodywork, including the sills, front crash structure, roof and battery carrier, to cut weight and save energy.

Mazda working on new rotary engine for RX-8 heir

Mazda is working on a new rotary engine for the RX-7 descendant that can run on either petrol or diesel, and offer improved fuel economy compared to the recently terminated RX-8 coupe.

The two-stroke 16X engine is designed to correct the shortcomings of Mazda’s most recent rotary engine, including its high oil consumption and lack of torque in the mid-range. Sources in Japan say the new unit has achieved considerable improvements in fuel efficiency.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

2011 Volkswagen Jetta spied nearly undisguised

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta has been spied partially undisguised – hinting that the Jetta will be unveiled soon. The pre-production cars were caught undergoing final shake-down tests in Detroit, Michigan.

The newcomer is baring strong similarity at the New Compact Coupe (NCC) Concept, which was exposed at this year’s Detroit motorshow. Up front, the car's front bumper, headlights and bonnet contours follow the NCC closely, while at the back, the tail-lights are virtually unchanged from the NCC.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Second generation Chevy Volt could get rotary engine

Chevrolet hasn’t even begun selling the 2011 Volt yet, but already GM is thinking about more efficient ways of making the next-generation model. Sources spoke to GM's new vice president of global vehicle engineering, Karl Stracke, who shared some insights into the new GM thought process.

According to Stracke, the Volt's current propulsion system is too expensive and has to be cut down if the car is to compete effectively with the Toyota Prius. Its battery pack costs $10,000 and GM is keen to halve that figure for the next-generation.

Lotus set to kill-off Europa

Lotus will be killing off the Europa sports coupe. According to reports, Lotus dealers in Europe have stopped selling the car, which could mean production of the Europa will end by autumn.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Mercedes appoints new MD (UK)

Mercedes UK has appointed Gary Savage as its new managing director - hardly a year after he left Audi to head up Citroen's UK operations. Savage replaces Dermot Kelly, who will retire at the end of June 2010.

Wilfried Steffen, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK, commented; “Gary Savage has consistently delivered significant business results in all his previous roles and firmly established his professional reputation within our sector."

Saab UK sold to Spyker (UK)

The sale of Saab UK to Dutch car firm, Spyker Cars was agreed today by GM UK. The company, which distributes Saabs in the UK, now becomes part of the Spyker Cars organisation, which purchased Saab at the beginning of the year. In this case, Spyker is ready to expand into Saab dealerships to double its [Spyker] showrooms by the end of the year.

In an interview, Saab and Spyker boss Victor Muller said Spyker’s dealer network would expand from 35 to 60 this year and should reach 90 by the end of 2011.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Toyota extends warranty (UK)

Starting from today, Toyota UK will be extending their standard warranty from 3 years to 5 years. The longer deal was introduced back in March as Toyota tried to redirect negative publicity over its vehicle recalls. Buyers could choose between 3 years free servicing or a 5 year warranty.

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