Saturday 31 July 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer

After weeks of Ford’s infuriating teasers regarding the all-new Explorer, the SUV will start from $28,995 – $1,000 less than the outgoing model. The new Explorer marks a major departure from the outgoing model as the 7 seater model by switching from a BOF (body-on-frame) to a uni-body structure with independent front and rear suspension – shared with the Ford Taurus sedan and Flex. Ford said despite adding more features on the all-new Explorer, engineers were able to reduce gross vehicle weight by around 45kg (100lbs) through the use of lighter materials such as an aluminium bonnet.

Out goes the previous V8 petrol engine for a new base 3.5 litre Ti-VCT V6 engine that produces 290bhp (294PS) and 345Nm (255lb-ft) of torque. This means the 2011 Explorer is 20% more fuel efficient. However, with the towing package, the V6 can haul up to 2,268kg (5,000lbs).

Friday 30 July 2010

2011 Chevrolet Volt requires premium fuel (U.S)

General Motors have said that the 1.4 litre petrol engine in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will require premium fuel.

The Volt hybrid uses an 111kW electric motor as its primary driving force. When the lithium-ion battery pack is used up after 40 miles (65km), the 80bhp petrol engine comes to life to recharge the motor and battery pack, extending the vehicle's range to 300 (547km) miles plus. Combined engine and electric power comes to 150bhp and 370Nm (273lb-ft) of torque.

Buick pondering over station wagon, coupe and convertible (U.S)

In a live web chat aired on GM's official blog, Buick Product Marketing Director, Roger McCormack answered questions from the general public. He said that Buick is looking into increase the brand's line-up in the U.S with new models.

Apart from a small crossover that has been confirmed, McCormack said Buick is considering numerous alternatives including a coupe, convertible with either a soft-top or a hard-top and a station wagon.

BMW to recall 5 Series GT (U.S)

BMW USA is to recall in excess of 6,000 2010 and 2011 5 Series GT built between 12th January – 1st July, due to a faulty fuel gauge. BMW owners are being cautioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the problem.

According to NHSTA, the 5 Series GT’s level sensor within the fuel tank can become wedged against the tank. If this happens, the fuel gauge in the instrument cluster will display a larger amount of fuel than what's in the actual tank.

New Car: 2011 Mazda Verisa (JP)

Mazda has subtly revised the Verisa crossover (MPV & SUV) for the Japanese market for the 2011 MY. Some may recognise the Verisa, that's because it underpins the 2002 Ford Fiesta/Fusion. The Verisa will still be sold alongside it’s younger sibling, the Demio (Mazda2 in overseas market).

The minor changes consist of new colours for both the fabric and leather seats, revised instrument panel that includes a fuel consumption gauge and an "eco-lamp" to support economical driving, restyled steel wheels and improved standard equipment on some model grades. Sales have already begun.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

2011 Hyundai Equus specification announced (U.S)

Hyundai have revealed extra information regarding engines and specifications for the all-new 2011 Equus. The Equus will be offered in just two trim-levels, Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate.

The Equus Signature features a 4.6 litre 385bhpTau® V8 petrol engine w/ 6 speed automatic, 608w Lexicon® sound system w/17 speakers, electronically controlled air suspension with continuous damping control, Vehicle Stability Management with pre-collision warning, Smart Cruise Control, bi-xenon headlamps w/ LED day-time running ligths, front and rear parking sensors w/rear-view camera, premium leather seating, Alcantara suede headliner, heated and cooled front seats w/ drivers massage function, heated wood and leather steering wheel, and other lavish luxuries.

Infiniti M37 pricing announced (UK)

Infiniti has confirmed prices of the M37. The M37 will be available in five different trim-levels, priced from £35,150. The M30d will arrive in October and the M35 hybrid in Spring 2011, with prices and specifications for these variants to be announced at a later date.

The M37 is powered by a 3.7 litre V6 petrol, kicking out 316bhp (320PS) that thrusts the four-door saloon from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Combined fuel economy is 27.7mpg, while it pumps out CO2 emissions of 235g/km.

BMW Gran Coupe concept green-lighted for production

BMW will inveterate that the Gran Coupe Concept will reach production. The design of the Audi A7-rival will be shared with the forthcoming 6 Series Coupe.

Speaking at an event in Munich, Klaus Draeger, an associate of BMW's Board of Management, said that the GCC will become a 6-Series "four-door coupe". He implied the car would launch in late 2012.

Buick LaCrosse reaches 100,000th milestone (CN)

GM has no problem making a racket about Buicks success in China. Now, the American carmakers Chinese division has another reason to rejoice as sales of the all-new Buick LaCrosse sedan has reached 100,000 units in less than a year after its launch.

According to GM, the LaCrosse is "the quickest-growing member of China's premium upper-medium sedan segment” – whatever that’s suppose to mean, with the 3.0 litre SIDI petrol model accounting for nearly 80% of the segment in the first six months of 2010.

Mercedes CLS production comes to a finish

Mercedes has ended the production of a car which effectively started an industry-wide trend of "four door coupes", the CLS coupe. The last ever model of the current generation – a black CLS550 w/ bi-xenon headlamps and AMG body-kit is destined for a U.S customer – rolled off the production line today.

However, CLS enthusiasts needn’t worry as the second generation of the coupe is on its way, and is expected to premiere at the Paris motorshow in early October.

Photo Gallery: 2011 BMW X3

The all-new 2011 BMW X3 will be among the most economical and fuel-efficient mid-sized SUV’s when it arrives in the UK in late November. The entry-level 2.0 litre 181bhp manual X3 xDrive20d will offer combined fuel economy figure of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km, 147g/km with automatic transmission. The X3 eclipses the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170 by 4.8mpg and 14g/km.

The new SUV is bigger than the outgoing model. The 2011 X3 is now measuring at 4,648mm, more than 75mm longer, width decreases by 4mm at 1,855mm and height rises by 14mm at 1,675mm. The wheelbase is also bigger by 15mm to 2,810mm, enough to increase by boot by 70 litres, to 550 litres.

Monday 26 July 2010

Youngest female Everest climber backs the Juke; orders flooding in too (EU)

The youngest woman ever to climb Everest is backing the British built Juke crossover. Selected by Nissan to take part in the new Juke launch due to her astonishing personal achievements and natural sense of adventure, 22 year old Bonita displays the qualities respected by Nissan and that typify the new Juke.

Exchanging the mountains for an urban location for the Nissan Juke photoshoot, Bonita Norris said: “I’m delighted to back the launch of Nissan Juke because I believe in backing anything British and anything that creates jobs and pride for this country has my support. Juke defies the stereotypes and breaks the mould, I can relate to that. I’m unconventional and I’ve got a spirit of adventure that drives me to do different things and this is what Juke represents.”

Saturday 24 July 2010

No 4.4 TDV8 for America (U.S)

According to insiders at Range Rover, the all-new 4.4 litre V8 diesel will not be sold in the U.S.

The new engine, originally designed with Ford and built in Mexico, offers substantially better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared to the previous 3.6 litre V8 unit, but the engine is still not clean enough to strict U.S emission regulations. The current U.S emission laws are equivalent to Euro6 standards, which come into power in 2014. The 4.4 TDV8 is engineered to meet Euro5 standards.

Volkswagen to resurrect Lupo name-plate

Volkswagen’s new city car, internally known as ‘Up’, will be sold as the Lupo. The Lupo city-car will also be available as an Audi, Seat and Skoda, by 2015 as part of Volkswagens go-getting target to take global market leadership by 2018.

With the Brazilian-built Fox to be withdrawn, the newcomer will be the entry-level car in Volkswagens line-up when it reaches the UK in 2012. It will be manufactured in Slovakia and is the first model in an extended range of modern small cars, which Volkswagen officials call the New Small Family (NSF).

Thursday 22 July 2010

Peugeot BB1 concept nearing to production

The Peugeot BB1 concept EV is nearing closer to production after Peugeot confirmed it had moved from concept car status to project status. That means the vehicle may launch in 2012/2013 and Peugeot design director, Gilles Vidal said he hopes the production BB1 will very much look like the concept car.

The vehicle's official categorisation is being mooted. The BB1 has handle bars and a twist-grip accelerator and passengers sit pillion style behind the driver. Although, homologation for a quadricyle is complicated because different countries have different definitions of what a quadricyle is. For example, in France a quadricyle is not allowed on the motorway and the UK has two classes of quadricyle, depending on the vehicle's weight and power.

Men frightened of women's driving (UK)

The men in the UK are left trembling in the front passenger seat when their partner drives, according to a new poll.

A study by market research firm has exposed that 10% of men have been forced to grasp the steering wheel because their partner had lost concentration and drive towards the central reservation.

Kia Picanto voted the most reliable car (UK)

A car reliability survey carried out by consumer magazine Which? have acknowledged that the Kia Picanto is the most reliable new car on sale.

Although being one of the cheapest new cars on sales at £7,195, the petite Kia beat every other car to the top spot with a customer satisfaction score of 98.1%. Only 1.9% of people experienced problems and found the 7 year warranty offered something to fall back on. But, Which? doesn’t vouch for the Picanto thanks to its lack of safety features and poor Euro NCAP crash test rating. So in its place, the 2nd placed Mazda3 received the Which? Best Buy gong.

Driving age should be raised (UK)

According to Admiral Survey of British Motorists 2010, almost 1 in 5 Brits wish for the legal driving age to be increased to 21. The bulk of the 2,100 motorists surveyed think the legal driving age should be raised from 17, with 19% saying the new limit should be 21.

Furthermore, the survey found the number of motorists who want all residential speed limits lowered to 20mph has increased to 38%, from 30% in 2009. On the motorway, 6 in 10 believe that the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph, but a mere 16% want more speed cameras fitted.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Kia Sportage pricing announced (UK)

Kia UK has disclosed prices for the 2011 Sportage First Edition. The SUV will cost £20,777 when it goes on sale 1st August. The first 800 cars will be available in limited 'First Edition' trim. These are powered by a 134bhp 2.0 CRDi engine that is linked to a 6 speed manual gearbox, and come with four wheel drive as standard. The 2.0 CRDi churns out 320Nm (236lb/ft) of torque at 1,800rpm.

The 6 speed manual combines 47.1mpg (6.0l/100km) with CO2 emissions of 156g/km. The 6 speed auto takes its toll on fuel economy with 40.4mpg (7.0l/100km) combined and CO2 emissions of 183g/km.

News in brief

Alfa Romeo Giulietta coupe coming?:

According to sources, Alfa Romeo might produce a coupe variant of the Giulietta family car. The coupe would be named ‘Sprint’, because the first-generation Giulietta, dating back to 1954 also had a coupe model called the Sprint.

If given the green-light, it would replace the aging 147-based GT coupe.

BMW X6 as a proper SUV-coupe:

Russian car tuner, ArmorTech has turned a regular BMW X6 coupe into a genuine 3dr SUV-coupe. Modifying the X6 was no easy task; the B-pillar was pushed backwards, 250mm were added to the front doors, and the rear window was moved forward by 200mm. ArmorTech also installed bespoke front seats which tilt and slide forward to allow passengers easy access to the rear seat.

Engine, suspension, braking and exhaust upgrades are available, alongside a host of accessories. ArmorTech says the vehicle will be available worldwide.

Monday 19 July 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Nissan March (JP)

Nissan has introduced the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) edition of the all-new March supermini, which went on sale this week.

Unlike its ancestors, the fourth-generation March is produced in Thailand, to lower manufacturing costs. Although, Nissan has set up a unique inspection process at its Oppama plant in Japan – that produced the previous generation model – to make additional quality checks on the Thai-made variant.

Sunday 18 July 2010

2012 Ford Ranger gets hot & sweaty

Ford is still working very hard on the next generation Ranger pick-up truck. Engineers took two RHD diesel prototypes and descended to Death Valley, CA and Colorado to put the newcomer under some hot-weather testing.

Ford engineers are among the most erratic bunch of people within the automotive industry. Our spy photographer said that once engineers saw her, they tried mowing her down! Thankfully, she’s still standing on her own two feet, grabbing us some great photos of the forthcoming Ranger.

Despite still wearing heavy camouflage, both mules are double-cab variants – something that isn’t currently offered in the U.S and are wearing Michigan plates. The 2012 Ranger will be built on a global platform called the T6 that is presently being designed in Australia – compared to the current Ranger pick-ups which only share the same name. The newcomer will be bigger in all dimensions too.

Internally, a less utilitarian interior with a multi-function steering wheel backed up by stylish new dials similar to those in the Fiesta and new Focus will feature.

Toyota Prius reaches a milestone (EU)

Toyota is rejoicing in selling its 200,000th Prius hybrid in Europe. The sedan hit the European market back in 2000, with sales reaching 100,000 in 2008. However, with the arrival of the Prius III, and a shift in buying trends towards cars which are apparently as greener, Toyota has sold a further 100,000 units in the last two years. In the U.S, the Prius hybrid has sold in excess of 680,000 units since its launch in 1997.

Over the Prius’ 10 years on sale, many enhancements to its Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain saw fuel consumption drop by more than 23% and CO2 emissions plummet by around 26%. This has been achieved despite power increasing by 30%.

Suzuki Alto SZ-L special edition launched (UK)

Suzuki UK has revealed a special edition for the Alto city-car. Featuring a variety of external and equipment upgrades, the SZ-L model is available in limited numbers; 500 units to be exact, each priced at £8,170.

Available in either Superior White or Bright Red solid paint colours, the Alto SZ-L is based upon the SZ3 grade and comes with air conditioning w/pollen filter, x4 airbags (twin front & side), 14" steel wheels w/unique hub caps, black fog lamp surrounds, black 'B' pillar trims, SZ-L embossed tailgate trim, black side mouldings, carpet mats w/ SZ-L logo, silver trimmed gearshift knob, ventilation louvers and door openers, and body-coloured surrounds for the heater controls, gear lever and door handles.

Peugeot to revive Talbot

Peugeot looking to resurrect Talbot as a sub-brand for a variety of entry-level cars, according to French & Spanish media.

La Voz de Galicia claims Peugeot is developing two new Talbot-badged models loosely based on models within its current range, which would be produced at Citroen’s facility in Vigo from 2012. The cars will replace the Peugeot 206 and first generation Citroen C3, which are presently sold as budget offerings in some countries. The brand will be primarily aimed at the Middle Eastern, Asian and African markets.

Saturday 17 July 2010

2011 Nissan Murano pricing announced (UK)

If you cast your mind back to March this year, Nissan had announced plans to introduce a much needed diesel engine for the European Murano, which comes out in September. The redesigned front end is needed for additional cooling airflow to the radiators for the diesel engine. The reworked fascia sports a new grille and a reshaped bumper with larger air intakes and altered front fog lamps.

The Murano diesel utilises a modified version of Nissan's 2.5 litre 4 cylinder engine, kicking out 190bhp and 450Nm (332lb-ft) of torque. This is linked to a 6 speed automatic transmission. The revised Murano 2.5dCi has a combined fuel economy of 35.3mpg (8.0lt/100km) and 210g/km CO2 emissions.

Friday 16 July 2010

Price hike for 2011 Chrysler Grand Voyager (UK)

The 2011 Chrysler Grand Voyager has been revised so that CO2 emissions have been cut and fuel economy improved for diesel variants, which makes them cheaper to run, while all models will gain extra safety equipment and a reworked fascia.

Diesel models now have a combined fuel economy of 33.6mpg (8.4l/100km), improved by 10%, while CO2 emissions fall by 10%, down to 222g/km. This means the Grand Voyager has a lower VED band, from band L to K, saving customers £200 in the first year.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Fiat Linea production allocated to Russia

One of Russia's biggest car companies, Sollers, plans to start production on the Fiat Linea sedan in August/September at its plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, CEO Vadim Shvetsov has declared. The car will on sale during September.

Localization of production will reach 35%. Sollers has no plans to boost this figure since it wants to launch a new car line in 2015-'16. This is the second go by Sollers at producing the Linea sedan. Back in 2008, Sollers announced plans to build the car in the Alabuga economic area of Tartarstan but abandoned the idea.

Jeep revises 2010 Grand Cherokee with new special edition (UK)

In order to increase sales before the 2011 Grand Cherokee is launched, customers have been treated to a spiced up 2010 Grand Cherokee, which comes with SRT-inspired interior and exterior features and is called the "S-Limited".

Production of the new special edition is limited to 250 units, which are powered by a 3.0 CRD V6 diesel engine producing 215bhp and 509Nm (376lb/ft) of torque.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Citroën GT concept still under assessment

Citroën has denied previous reports alleging it no longer has any plans to put its wild GT by Citroën supercar into restricted production.

Citroën was likely to build 6 cars costing around £1.1m each, but French media claimed Citroën had scrapped plans after it decided the engineering and development costs needed to get the GT production ready would not be worth the returns on the car; each unit would be sold at a significant loss. However, Citroën has now verified that the GT by Citroën is still "under evaluation" for production and no choice on whether or not the supercar will make production has been decided.

Monday 12 July 2010

Audi prevents mis-fuelling for A4, A5 and Q5 models (UK)

Taking a leaf out of Fords book, Audi has now utilised a new fuel filler cap to stop owners unintentionally filling their diesel cars with petrol. The Audi A4, A5 and Q5 TDI models for the 2011 model year will be the first to gain from the new system.

The fuel filler neck has been redesign reshape to include contact points that open an internal fuel flap only when the larger diesel pump nozzle applies pressure on them. The smaller diameter petrol nozzles do not make contact, ensuring that the filler flap stays shut to prevent access to the reservoir.

2011 Mercedes C-Class Coupe spied

These are the very first spy pictures of the forthcoming Mercedes C-Class coupe, returning to the R&D centre after doing some hot-weather testing in Germany. The C-Class coupe will replace the aging CLC in Mercedes range in 2011. The CLC will be axed once the C-Class coupe goes on sale.

Mercedes approved the C-Class coupe in March while outlining their plans to increase production at the Bremen plant, which will assemble the C-Class saloon, estate, coupe and GLK SUV from 2011.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Fiat Punto to acquire newly built 4-cylinder engine (BR)

Fiat Group's plant in Brazil, formally belonging to Chrysler, will produce engines for the new Fiat Punto. Since the late ‘90s, Tritec Motors, built 1m 4 cylinder 1.6 litre engines for Minis and the Chrysler Neon and PT Cruiser. Since March 2008, the plant has belonged to Fiat Group.

The 538,000 sq/ft facility, located on 321 acres near Curituba, had previously been the focus of media reports, which a Chinese manufacturer wanted to dismantle the factory and take it back to China. Instead, through Fiats investment into Chrysler, the factory has been renovated to the tune of $250m. On three shifts, the plant is aiming to make 40,000 engines by 2014, 40% of which will be exported.

Rolls-Royce proclaims record production-levels

Prosperous customers are seemingly opening up their wallets. Rolls-Royce has said that all of its models are sold out "until at least September" and that production here is "at record levels."

"The company is currently assembling 15 cars a day, with more than 300 cars built in June — both record numbers since the company launched in January 2003," Rolls-Royce said in a statement. "All models are sold out until at least September, with Phantom saloons sold out until October."

Friday 9 July 2010

Kia launches special edition Picanto, Rio & Soul (UK)

Kia has introduced special editions of the Picanto city-car, Rio supermini and Soul crossover.

The Kia Soul Echo is united by the Picanto Domino and Rio Domino, all of which can be ordered in white or black metallic paint.

Digital radio switchover due by 2015 (UK)

The Government is likely to go ahead with plans to replace analogue with digital radio from 2015, but has agreed on the date, if consumer uptake fails to rise.

The switch-over could make approximately 20m car stereos outmoded. Just 1% of cars on UK roads currently have the capability to receive digital signals. Nevertheless, the Government said that it wouldn’t switch off FM transmissions at the same time.

News in brief

Chevy Camaro arrives in the UK Spring 2011:

Chevrolet UK has revealed that the Camaro will go on sale Spring 2011. UK Camaro’s will be powered by a 426bhp 6.2 litre V8 that has 569Nm (420ft/lb) of torque. It can get from 0-60mph in less than 5.0 seconds and has a top speed limited to 155mph. Active Fuel Management won’t be obtainable, which shuts down 4 of its 8 cylinders when cruising to conserve fuel.

Full UK specification will be released nearer to the car's on sale date, but Chevrolet has confirmed the car will come with a full UK warranty. The Camaro muscle car has sold in excess of 200,000 units in the U.S since its launch in 2009. Grey imports start from £28,000 for the 3.6 litre V6, but the depreciation is likely to hit heavily on the £33k price-tag.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 MINI facelift

MINI has revealed the facelifted Cooper Hatch, Cooper Convertible, and Clubman. The updated MINIs feature new bumpers, a revised air intake, and modified fog lights, new headlights, LED taillights, restyled wheels, and an updated exterior colour palette.

Inside, the cars get revised controls for the audio systems and air conditioning, new colours for seat upholstery and trim elements, and a revised stereo for all cars that offers MP3 compatibility and an aux-in connection.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Mercedes S350 CDI BlueTEC pricing announced (DE)

Mercedes has announced that the S350 CDI BlueTEC is now on sale in Germany for €76,279.

Under the hood, a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine with 255bhp (258PS) and 620Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque. It enables the S350 to accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds, before topping out at 155 mph.

Despite being more potent than its predecessor, the engine is 11% more economical thanks to AdBlue aqueous urea injection. This allows the car to have an average fuel consumption of 41.5mpg (6.8l/100km) combined and CO2 emissions of 177g/km (down from 37.1mpg (7.6l/100km) and 199g/km).

New Car: 2011 Mercedes Viano & Vito facelift

Mercedes has revealed the revised Viano and Vito models. The Viano is an executive MPV with loads of space and creature comforts for passengers. It features LED reading lamps and fibre optic units for interior ambient lighting. Options such as a Rear Seat Entertainment system can be specified.

All engines contain BlueEFFICIENCY technology to make them efficient without forfeiting power. Things like start/stop, low-resistance tyres and a new 6 speed transmission with long gear ratios all contribute to improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. A range of 4 and 6 cylinder Euro5 petrol & diesel engines, ranging from 134bhp (136PS) to 255bhp (258PS) are available.

Rolls-Royce rebrands itself

Rolls-Royce is seeking to employ an external PR agency to help rebrand the luxury car maker as ‘cool’.

Rolls-Royce has allegedly never worked with external PR agencies before and is said to be in negotiations with numerous agencies to help market its new Ghost saloon to young, wealthy consumers.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

2011 KIA Sportage to arrive early (UK)

Kia’s all-new Sportage SUV is scheduled to go on sale 1st August.

At first, the Sportage will be offered with the 2.0 litre CRDi engine; each of the first all wheel drive Sportages in the UK will be badged First Edition. The 2.0 CRDi will average 47.1mpg and emit 156g/km of CO2. The First Edition models will feature leather interior w/ heated front seats, dual zone climate control, automatic wipers & headlamps, 18” alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights. Upto 5 exterior colours will be available, along with a choice of an automatic or manual transmission.

Alfa Romeo introduces all-new twin-clutch gearbox

Alfa Romeo will launch a new twin-clutch TCT auto gearbox in the MiTo this year and the Giulietta in Spring 2011.

The 6 speed design, developed internally by Fiat, employs dry clutches and has a torque capacity of 254Nm (188lb/ft), just enough to cope with the Giulietta Cloverleaf's 239Nm (177lb/ft) 1.7 litre turbo on Overboost.

Mazda to present a new concept car

Mazda design chief, Ikuo Maeda is nearly ready to show the next chapter of the firm's styling progress, according to sources.

Maeda, who took over from Laurens van den Acker last year, is likely to reveal his vision on a concept that will be launched in Milan in September.

Sunday 4 July 2010

FIAT 500C Abarth & Punto Evo Abarth pricing announced (UK)

Fiat UK has announced that the Fiat 500C Abarth will start from £17,500 and the Punto Evo Abarth from £16,500. Both models will make their UK public debuts at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS), before going on sale on Saturday 17th July.

The 500C Abarth is moved by a 1.4 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, which provides 140bhp and a top speed of 127mph. The 500C Abarth can complete a 0-62mph time in 8.1 seconds, while returning 43mpg on the combined cycle.

New Car: 2011 Range Rover Evoque

This is the 2011 Range Rover Evoque, which was unveiled following an exclusive preview in London for 300 guests attending a 40th birthday celebration of Range Rover held in partnership with Vogue magazine. The guests included model Erin O'Connor and television presenter Gabby Logan, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Zara Phillips.

The Evoque will go on sale next Summer once it has bowed at the Paris motorshow on the 30th October. While Land Rover had remained tight-lipped about more details, we know the Range Rover will come in 2WD & 4WD and is the lightest, smallest and most frugal SUV in the firm’s line-up. The greenest Evoque will emit no more than 130g/km of CO2. 'The two-wheel-drive option will give customers the chance to benefit from lower entry-level pricing, plus CO2 and fuel-economy efficiencies,' said Popham. However, Land Rover has ditched its plans for a hybrid variant of the Evoque. Land Rover is working on hybrid systems and its first model to receive the system will be the next Range Rover in 2013.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Touran

New for 2011 is the facelifted Touran compact MPV. The Touran made its public debut at the Leipzig motor show back in April. After selling more than 1.13m units across the world and dominating nearly 50% market share (in its segment) in Germany, the Touran ranks among the top five in its class in Europe.

The facelift consists of a restyled grill, bigger front body-coloured bumper and a set of new headlights, all of which echo the Golf Mk6. At the rear, the Touran now gets LED tail-lights as well as a new spoiler for better aerodynamics.

Transport expenditure cuts may cost lives (UK)

Road safety organisation, Brake has advised that the Chancellor's 25% slash in transport expenditure and safety funding could produce more road casualties and cost extra money.

The charity says that axing 25% of Government spending by 2014, along with instant cuts of nearly £40m in safety grants, is a 'concern for the future of life-saving road safety measures'.

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