Saturday 25 September 2010

News in brief

2011 Ford Ranger preview
No 2011 Ford Ranger for America (U.S):

FoMoCo (Ford Motor Company) has recently confirmed that the ‘compact’ (large) Ranger pick-up won’t be heading Stateside, following several off-on changes. Ford said the decision comes from the fact the compact pick-up truck market in the U.S is shrinking fast and other rivals offer better vehicles.

Ford is likely to be shutting down its St. Paul, Minnesota assembly plant. The Ranger will be sold in 180 markets across the world with unveiling beginning on 15th October in Sydney, Australia. The Ranger will go on sale in the UK Autumn 2011.

KDM 2011 Hyundai Avante
Hyundai to built ’11 Elantra along with Sonata sedan (U.S):

Hyundai will be producing the 2011 Elantra compact sedan in Montgomery, Alabama, alongside the popular Sonata.

Production will start soon with a public debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November. Sales will follow in early 2011.

"Hyundai’s philosophy is to build our vehicles where we sell them, and with the addition of the Elantra to our U.S. production mix we now manufacture our three most popular models right here in the U.S," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America.

Rolls-Royce penning new Ghost variants:

According to CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Rolls-Royce is preparing a few Ghost variants.

“I’m quite confident that we’re going to see a Ghost derivative to come.” He added that there is still “a lot of potential in the market” for a more entry-level Rolls-Royce. We are just taking a measure of our customers' needs at the moment. Inevitably with a model like the Ghost there is plenty of potential for it to be developed. In terms of seeing a production model in 2011, 2012, 2013, it is unlikely," he added. "There are no firm plans as yet."

Rolls-Royce announced in February of this year that it would be experimenting with a sequence of Ghost concept cars. A coupé and cabriolet were tipped to be joining the new Ghost saloon and the concept versions would be produced in order to "gauge customer demand".

While the car won’t use the Ghost nameplate, such names as Corniche and Carmargue should soft-top and coupé variants see production are likely to be used. A long-wheel base Ghost is under consideration, while a hybrid is in the pipeline.

Subaru revises 4-cylinder Boxer engines:
Subaru has revealed its third-generation 4 cylinder petrol Boxer engines, in both 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre guises. It’s the first revision in 21 years and Subaru has invigorated the engines from top-to-toe.
The result? 10% better fuel economy, better smoothness and enhanced power band. The bore and stroke have been modified to allow for a more compact combustion chamber, as well as a longer stroke.

The 2.5 litre engine still has 170bhp with 230Nm (174lb-ft) of torque. The engine was designed to stay in a way that is as forward thinking as the original whilst still allowing engineers to alter the engine without a major redesign.

The 2.0 litre will find its way under the forthcoming FT-86 and is expected to produce 197bhp coupled to either a 6 speed manual or CVT gearbox.

Porsche working on 'Cajun' SUV:

According to VAG chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, Porsche is looking to produce a smaller SUV than the Cayenne after ruling it out.

Winterkorn said that Porsche would launch “a new SUV, a smaller brother to the Cayenne which might be named Cajun.”

Volkswagen wants to double Porsche sales in the medium term to 150,000 units and the new baby SUV, likely to be based on the Audi Q5 and be introduced by 2015, will play a important role.

Nissan X-Trail facelift pricing announced (UK):

The revised Nissan X-Trail compact SUV will start from £23,995 when it goes on sale this month.

The entry-level X-Trail Acenta, includes body coloured electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors, privacy glass, automatic headlamps and wipers, front fog lamps and 17” alloy wheels w/low-resisting tyres.

Flagship Tekna model starts at £27,495. Additional features above Acenta trim include electrically folding door mirrors, xenon headlamps, panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable leather heated front seats, Connect Premium HDD satellite navigation system w/music server and USB port, rear view camera and a 9 speaker BOSE sound system.

Significant updates to the 2.0 dCi diesel engine result in Euro5 compliance. The manual gearbox has revised ratios for improved performance and better fuel economy, while the automatic has been modified to reduce friction. A gear change indicator is also added to help the driver optimise fuel economy.

Andy Connell, 4x4 Marketing Manager commented: “These changes make the X-TRAIL one of the most competitive compact SUVs available today. In terms of performance versus emissions, it could be considered the class leader. Our extensive upgrades will help maintain its position in the SUV segment as one of the few truly versatile and agile four-wheel drive vehicles on sale in the UK.”

Toyota updates iQ city-car:

Toyota has revised the iQ for 2011. The revisions are limited to the interior and engines.

The 1.0 litre VVT-i and 1.33 litre VVT-i have been improved to meet forthcoming Euro5 emissions standards.

Whereas engine performance and fuel economy hasn’t changed, the iQ 1.0 litre VVT-i still emits 99g/km of CO2 and combines 64.2mpg, while the 1.33 litre with stop/start returns 57.6mpg combined and emits 113g/km.

The interior changes have been to “raise the quality factor and give customers more choice”.

They include the introduction of a new grey interior with contrasting black upper trims on the doors and toning fabric upholstery. Kuru black leather upholstery is available as an option. This new cabin finish is available with Eclipse Black, Pearl White, Island Blue and Tyrol Silver exterior paint.

New soft-touch materials have been introduced and the “manta ray” motif panels on the door and centre console adopt a new black finish.

The 2011 iQ is already on sale in the UK, priced from £10,158.

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