Sunday 31 October 2010

Citroen revamps C3 Picasso for 2011 (UK)

Citroën has revised its C3 Picasso sub-compact MPV for 2011. Revisions are strictly limited to engines and pricing.

In addition to the new Euro5 engines, Citroen will also launch a special-edition called ‘Blackcherry’.

Lexus CT200h pricing announced (UK)

The Lexus CT200h compact hybrid car will start from £23,485 when it goes on sale in Spring 2011.

The CT200h is available in three trim-levels; SE-I, SE-L and SE-L Premier.

Great Wall to produce cars in Bulgaria (BG)

Chinese car manufacture, Great Wall Motors is going to commence production of its passenger cars in early 2011 at its Lovech factory.

Great Wall is looking to build two sedans, an SUV and a truck for the European community. The plant has a production capacity of 50,000 cars per annum. The first 1,000 cars are expected to be produced in February 2011.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Large SUV sales remain strong (U.S)

Despite the White House’s attempt to sway consumers away from large SUV’s, customers seem to be rebelling.
Sales of big SUV’s have risen in recent months, namely the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe, and sales are reaching their 1000’s this year. GM’s sales of big utes are up 11%, with Ford reporting a 28% increase.

Ford launches special-edition Transit SportsVan (UK)

Guest post by Ant Bradshaw:

Ford is releasing 100 special edition Transit SportVan models to mark their 45th year as Britain’s best-selling van.

Back in 2006, Ford ousted the ‘white van’ trend when they released the Transit SportVan for the first time.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Hyundai ix20

Hyundai UK has announced prices for the new sub-compact ix20 MPV. The entry-level 1.4 litre petrol Classic will start from £11,595, rising to £15,095 for the 1.6 litre petrol automatic Style range-topper.

Diesel models will typically add £1,400 on top of petrol equivalent. Three trim-levels are offered; Classic, Active and Style, and are unique to the UK and have been carefully created to reflect the demands and high expectations of British buyers.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Chevrolet preparing Aveo RS, crossover, and sedan

Chevrolet is working on three forthcoming Aveo supermini variants.

The first is a sporty variant of the Aveo, dubbed Aveo RS. This was shown in concept form at the Detroit motor show and is yet to be confirmed for production. However, there is strong demand for it from America and Europe.

Toyota reveals special-edition Prius 10th Anniversary hybrid (UK)

Toyota has launched a special-edition version of the popular Prius hatchback, to celebrate 10 years of sales in the UK.

The Prius 10th Anniversary edition will cost £26,150, an eye-watering £3,190 more than the flagship T-Spirit trim-level on which it’s based upon.

Monday 25 October 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Citroen C5

Citroen has subtly revised the well-liked C5 mid-sized family car.

Upgrades include reworked front and rear light clusters, improved engines and eTouch Emergency & Assistance System. Up front, LED day-time running-lights sit underneath the headlights and at the rear, the light clusters have been darkened.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Equus

When Hyundai’s flagship sedan, the Equus, goes on sale in the U.S in December, it’ll start from as little as $58,900, rising to $64,900.

Prices include a $900 destination fee, free upkeep for 5 years/60,000 miles, complimentary valet service which includes a sales-person picking up and delivering the car for maintenance, and an iPad instead of an owner’s manual.

Saab to offer 'factory cam' for customers; watch your Saab being built online

Premium car firm, Saab will allow customers to watch their chosen car being produced via webcam, in the comfort of their own home...or office...or even in the park!

In addition, Saab will even let customers pick their car up from the company’s Trollhattan factory in Sweden, starting from next year.

Friday 22 October 2010

Global Toyota Prius sales exceed 2m units

The Toyota Prius has reached another milestone, with global sales exceeding 2m since the original Prius was launched back in 1997.

Across three generations, approximately 2,012,000 units have been sold in more than 70 countries and regions, up to the end of September this year. UK sales during the same period were 38,600 units.

Peugeot upgrades 3008 crossover for 2011 (UK)

Peugeot has improved its popular 3008 crossover with additional equipment and launching a new diesel engine. Since it launched back in November 2009, over 10,000 3008’s have found homes in the UK.

The Sport trim-level now features Peugeot Connect USB w/Bluetooth, flat-folding front passenger seat and rain/light-sensing wipers/headlights. Flagship Exclusive now packs, in addition to Sport, electric folding door mirrors w/puddle lights and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Nissan Micra

Nissan's all-new Micra (March in Japan) will be priced from £8,995, rising to £12,095 for the range-topping Tekna grade. Priced very competitively, the new Micra undercuts rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Swift, Peugeot 207 and Renault Clio.

The Micra uses the new ‘V’ platform, which means it’s lighter and stronger than the outgoing car. Using a pair of new 3-cylinder, 1.2 litre petrol engines, the naturally-aspirated 80PS engine will return 56.5mpg and emit 115g/km. In CVT, the combined fuel economy figure drops to 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions increase to 125g/km. This is the only engine currently available and produces 110Nm of torque. Spring 2011 will see a turbo-charged 1.2, producing 98PS and emitting 95g/km go on sale, making it congestion charge free. This will kick out a mere 142Nm of torque.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Passat

The 2011 VW Passat will start from £18,470, rising to £26,955 for the range-topping Passat Sport 2.0 TDI 170PS DSG Bluemotion. Unlike mainland Europe, the UK won’t receive 4MOTION models due to lack of demand.

With 15m sold since 1973, VW sold on average 1,106 Passats daily, excluding Chinese-built Passat. The new 7th-generation Passat will be sold in 100 markets, across the world.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Mazda2 and 5 pricing announced (UK)

Mazda UK has announced pricing on the revised 2 supermini and 5 compact MPV. Let’s start with the 2 supermini; it receives a remodelled front bumper, reworked interior, Euro5 engines, the addition of an automatic transmission and lower CO2 emissions for the 1.3 litre petrol.

The entry-level TS starts at £9,995. This 3dr model gets air conditioning, 15” steel wheels, electric power steering, electric front windows, x2 airbags, electrically adjustable door mirrors, AM/FM radio/CD, MP3 capability, AUX jack and 2 speakers and remote central locking.

Monday 18 October 2010

Motorshow: 2010 Paris Motor Show

This years Paris Motor Show saw the debuts of numerous all-new cars like the 2011 Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai ix20, Peugeot 508, Toyota Verso S, Honda Jazz Hybrid, Mercedes CLS, Renault Laguna facelift, Lexus CT200h, Hyundai i10 facelift and more.

Lotus showed six new concepts; a city-car, Elan, Elite, Esprit, Eterne and Elise. Check out the pictures after the jump.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Ford Start concept due for production in 2014

Ford is looking to replace its immensely popular Ka city-car in 2014 with an all-new model. Ford is set to take the all-new Ka back to its roots, with added charm and a sportier drive. The production model of the quirky Start concept, which debuted at this year’s Beijing motor show, will replace the long-lived Ka in international markets.

The Start’s 1.0 litre 3-cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine will also head for production. It features turbocharging, direct injection and stop/start technology. The engine will produce between 80bhp - 120bhp, with sub-100g/km and more than 61mpg combined.

News in brief

JLR saving third plant:

Jaguar-Land Rover is abandoning plans to close one of its UK plants after obtaining "a landmark pay and conditions deal" with the unions.

Tata announced last year that it planned to close-down one of two plants in the West Midlands. Jaguar-Land Rover signed a contract with the unions that will allow it to keep all three plants in action, but also gain an extra 2,000 staff.

2011 Hyundai Accent given as ransom to pastor who didn't burn the Qur'an (U.S)

A Hyundai dealership from New Jersey said they will promise to give a 2011 Accent supermini to pastor Terry Jones for not burning the Qur'an.

The pastor, from Gainesville, FL had warned that he would burn the holy Islamic book to object to plans to build a mosque and community centre near the New York City site of the 11th September 2001 terrorist attack.

Saturday 16 October 2010

New Car: 2011 Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50

Ford and Mazda have debuted their 2011 Ranger and BT-50 pick-up trucks at the Australian International Motor Show.

The 2011 Ranger is bigger than before and features a three-bar grille, distinctive front bumper and numerous chrome accents (on mid-spec to range-topping models).

Kia POP EV may hint at forthcoming models

Peter Schreyer, head of automotive design at Kia said the POP EV concept could offer design cues for forthcoming models.

While the city-car wasn’t produced to preview any future models, Schreyer believes that some of its design may evolve for Kia’s production cars.

Friday 15 October 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 Peugeot iOn/Citroen C-Zero

This is the all-new 2011 Peugeot iOn EV. In essence, a rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the iOn features an 88-cell lithium-ion battery pack which sends power an electric motor 63bhp (64PS), which produces 180Nm (133lb-ft) of torque. This allows the car to accelerate from 0-60mph in 15.9 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 81 mph.

Peugeot claims the iOn can travel 93 miles (150km), which is 6 miles (10km) less than the i-MiEV, before it needs recharging. Peugeot believe that 90% of daily trips are less than 37 miles (60km).

Thursday 14 October 2010

Volvo V60 pricing announced (UK)

Volvo UK has announced prices for the all-new V60 sports wagon. Starting from £23,145 for the entry-level ES 1.6 litre T3 150PS with stop/start, rising to an eye-watering £37,895 for the flagship 3.0 litre 304PS T6 AWD SE Lux Geartronic Premium.

The V60 is available in four trim-levels (ES, SE, SE Lux and R-Design) and six engines (four diesels, two petrols). Deliveries start in December.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Volvo V60

The Volvo V60 makes its entry onto the car market with its sights firmly set on giving the all-new S60 sedan model a tough match over the title of "The Most Dynamic Volvo Model Ever".

"Many of the customers who had an advance look at the new V60 during the development process feel that its attitude is at least as sporty as that of the all-new S60," says Volvo Cars Design Director Peter Horbury.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

New Car: 2011 Chrysler 200

Chrysler has taken the wraps off their new compact executive sedan; the 200. The 200 replaces the unloved Sebring and will be offered with two petrol engines; a 173bhp (175PS) 2.4 litre 4-cylinder, linked to either a 4 speed or 6 speed automatic transmission, and a 283bhp (287PS) 3.6 litre V6 with the 6 speed automatic.

The 200 debuts Chrysler's new fascia, which is conquered by a large, multi-slat chrome grille. A reworked chassis over the Sebring means a softer ride and improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).

Fiat launches revised Fiat Panda & Fiorino for 2011 (EU)

Fiat has altered the engines in the 2011 Panda and Fiorino to meet forthcoming Euro5 emissions regulations.

The Panda now comes with revised engines and new exterior & interior colours. All engines have been improved, with the 1.3 litre Multijet 16v 75bhp now available with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard. Mated to a 5 speed manual transmission, combined fuel economy now stands at 67.2mpg (4.2l/100km) with CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

BSM dumps its Fiat 500 fleet (UK)

The UK’s biggest driving school, BSM (U.S equivalent would be Drivers Ed), has terminated its four-year contract with Fiat after 80% of instructors wanting the Corsa supermini back.

The main reason the Corsa will make a come-back is because instructors complained the 500 was “too small” for them.

Monday 11 October 2010

BYD M6 launched in China (CN)

BYD has launched it M6 large MPV in China. The M6 will rival the popular Honda Odyssey and Buick GL8.

The rebadged Toyota Previa M6, which has been extensively criticised in the Chinese media for looking like a Toyota Previa/Estima, will undercut its rivals. The BYD M6 will start at CNY ¥146,071 (£13,791), rising to CNY ¥240,118 (£22,671).

Honda revises 2011 Civic range (UK)

Honda UK has reworked the Civic range for 2011 with a series of subtle cosmetic styling changes, with the most obvious change of the Type R’s front grille fitted to the rest of the range.

With the radiator grille aside, new alloy wheel designs come as standard, including 16” alloy wheels for entry-level 1.4 Type S models. Body-coloured side skirts are also standard. The 1.8 i-VTEC Si 5dr wears 17” alloy wheels.

Ford Transit production safe (UK)

Ford has claimed the production of the Transit commercial van in Southampton is “unaffected” by new investment in Ford’s manufacturing plant in Turkey, where the Transit is also built.

Ford announced that it is investing $630m (£400m) in its factory at Kocaeli, where the long-wheelbase Transit and Transit Connect are produced. It says the investment is designed “to support future manufacturing initiatives for the Ford Transit”.

Fiat Panda postponed until 2012

The overdue Fiat Panda city-car will not be launched until 2012, following CEO Sergio Marchionne's latest investment stop. The new Panda will now not be launched until 2012.

Initially, the third-generation Panda would have arrived this Summer, after been delayed twice. It was first put back to September 2011 after Marchionne kicked off a 15 month expenditure freeze.

Saturday 9 October 2010

No more Lexus CT200h variants

Lexus isn’t planning additional CT200h variants, according to Lexus insiders.

The all-new compact hybrid model will not be sold in adequate numbers to validate a coupé or estate model, according to Toyota Europe chairman Didier Leroy.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Toyota verifies four new eco-models

Toyota has confirmed four new eco-models within the next three years, one plug-in hybrid, one hybrid and two EVs. The models in question are the advanced 'plug-in' Prius, hybrid version of the forthcoming Yaris supermini, iQ city-car and RAV4 compact SUV EVs.

The plug-in Prius will be Toyota's initial lithium-ion powered hybrid, landing in 2012. Toyota said it will drink petrol at the rate of 2.6l/100km and emit a mere 59g/km of CO2 per kilometre.

Monday 4 October 2010

Next-generation Maserati Quattroporte sedan won't get any bigger

The forthcoming Maserati Quattroporte sedan bigger, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, - head of Fiat design – said.

“Even though our rivals – such as the new Audi A8 – are getting longer, we have to keep it as a sporty alternative,” he said.

Dodge brand pulls out of British market (UK)

The Dodge brand has been axed in the UK.

Insider within Dodge have said no more models will be sold after the slow-selling Journey mid-sized MPV was silently removed from price lists.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Nissan considering LEAF facelift (UK)

Nissan might give the LEAF EV a minor facelift or some simple upgrades when it goes into production in the UK in 2013.

The upgrades will allow Nissan to rework the LEAF following customer feedback. Alterations would include the body and interior being retooled for European build. The motor and control systems will come from Japan.

Volkswagen Phaeton facelift pricing announced (UK)

Following its debut at the Beijing motor show earlier this year, Volkswagen has announced pricing and specification for the revised Phaeton large luxury saloon, which is available to order from dealerships this week.

Prices for the revised model start at £46,195 for the 3.0 litre V6 TDI 240PS engine, while the 6.0 litre W12 450PS model costs £78,685. The 3.0 litre V6 TDI is available in short wheelbase (5,060mm) and both models are available with a long wheelbase (5,180mm), giving an additional 120mm of legroom to rear passengers.

Nissan playing around with next-generation Tiida (EU)

Nissan Europe is playing with the idea of altering the forthcoming Tiida compact family car for European sales. If given the green light, the Tiida will go on sale alongside the Qashqai. Originally, the Qashqai was intended to replace the slow-selling Almera until Nissan introduced the Tiida into certain European markets like Spain, Portugal, Russia, Germany and Ireland. The Tiida has been popular in the UK via grey-imports from Ireland.

The problem is to give the new model sufficient distinct character to rival the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Golf and Mitsubishi Lancer, while allowing Nissan to make profit. Additionally, not pinching sales from the Qashqai is another requirement, an insider said.

Saturday 2 October 2010

Renault say it's too early to launch sub-premium brand

Chief designer, Laurens van der Acker said Renault isn’t ready to launch a premium sub-brand like Citroen has done with the DS range.

Van Der Acker who has been at Renault for just over a year now, said Renault needs time to build up the design of its key line-up of cars.

Skoda developing another C-segment model

Skoda Auto will introduce an all-new compact family car in 2012.

Internal sources have established that the car will be developed completely by Skoda engineers, using the modular platform technology that underlines all passenger cars within VAG.

Friday 1 October 2010

Fiat aborts Topolino premium city-car for cheaper model

Well placed internal sources suggest Fiat is working hard on an all-new cost effective city-car, while the upmarket Topolino will be axed.

The car will replace the cheap and aging Seicento, which is still available in some European markets like Italy, where it’s known as the ‘600’. The forthcoming model will have comparable proportions to the Toyota iQ.

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