Tuesday 30 November 2010

NHTSA investigate '06 CR-V compact SUV (U.S)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened up an examination into reports of fires in the doors of the ‘06 Honda CR-V. The investigation involves approximately 150,000 vehicles.

The probe was driven by three reports "alleging a fire occurred in the driver's door related to the driver's master power window switch," said.

Jeep Compass replacement to be produce in Italy (IT)

Chrysler and Fiat will be investing more than $1.3bn into Fiat’s dated Mirafiori plant as part of a joint venture.

The factory will be assembling future Jeep and Alfa Romeo models – including replacements for the Compass & Patriot compact SUVs — for international distribution, starting in late 2012.

Volvo recalls 6,046 S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 models (U.S)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volvo is calling back 6,046 2011 S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 vehicles because of unexpected engine stalling.

"The software calibration for the fuel cutoff functionality in the engine control module is too sensitive," said NHTSA. "Sudden engine stall could occur, increasing the risk of a crash."

Sunday 28 November 2010

Vauxhall/Opel comfirms revival of Calibra sports car

GM has officially confirmed the revival of the Calibra sports coupe.

CEO of GM Europe, Nick Reilly said “I believe we should have one, so we will have one”.

Jaguar recalls XJ due to faulty windscreen wipers (U.S)

According to the feds, Jaguar will be calling back 6,475 2010 – 2011 XJ sedans due to defective windscreen wipers, which could detach from the car.

"The front wiper arms to spindle fixings were not torqued to specification during manufacturing," said NHTSA. "As a result, the securing nuts could fail to perform as intended, resulting in a loss of wiper arm synchronization and a clash of the wiper arms. If the wiper arms lose synchronization and clash, they could detach from the vehicle, reducing driver visibility and increasing the risk of a crash."

Friday 26 November 2010

Saab to offer free iPad with 9-4X deposits, denies 9-4X of diesel engine

Saab is looking too built up excitement by offering 9-4X customers a free iPad if they place an order before the end of February 2011.

The customer is required to put down a $500 non-refundable deposit in order to get hold of the iPad. If buyers decide to cancel their order, they will effectively be buying a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad for same price Apple charges, however, Saab predicts that most reservations will end in vehicle deliveries.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Pontiac G8 may return with a Chevrolet badge

GM is apparently reviving the G8 sedan using Chevrolet. Like the previous G8, the rear-wheel drive sedan will be created by Holden.

Rumours of a new G8 sedan under the Chevrolet brand have been spinning the Internet rumour, but a GM executive supposedly confirmed the survival of a project at the 2010 LA motor show.

Mercedes and BMW shorten Christmas break to cope with demand

The end of the year is normally a slow phase for international car companies, but not for Mercedes and BMW. The German brands are facing growing demand and has forced the brands to postpone their holiday shutdowns.

Last year saw Mercedes and BMW shut up shop for three weeks, however, that won’t happen this year. The executive car market has bounced back drastically, leaving ample orders to fill.

Honda may recall '05 Accord & Civic Hybrid over faulty brakes

Honda may recall 16,826 ’05 Accord Hybrids and 25,864 Civic Hybrids after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation linking the Honda Accord Hybrid over unplanned acceleration claims.

The NHTSA announced that it has launched an initial investigation over the Accord Hybrid after receiving a complaint related to a crash that happened in 2005.

Oprah gives free 2012 Beetles to audience (U.S)

As part of Oprah's Ultimate Favourite Things giveaway, the multi-millionaire is giving every member of her audience a forthcoming 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, including taxes. The last time Oprah gave away car – she gave her audience Pontiac G6's – some had complexity accepting the gift because of the taxes they owed.

This promotion is sees Oprah giving her audience members lavish and pricey surprise gifts of all kinds of things.

Jeep Patriot obtains new diesel engine (UK)

Jeep has reworked the Patriot compact SUV for 2011.

The 2011 Patriot receives modified trim levels and a new diesel engine. The 2.2 CRD diesel engine is taken from Mercedes, replacing the previous Volkswagen-sourced 2.0 TDI 138bhp. The new 2.2 CRD has a 23bhp increase.

Volkswagen revises Scirocco and Passat CC for 2011 (UK)

Volkswagen has added ‘Bluemotion Technology’ adjustments to the Scirocco and Passat CC 2.0 TDI to improve fuel economy and lower emissions for the 2011 MY.

The Scirocco now achieves 62.8mpg, up from 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions drop to 118g/km, from 134g/km.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

New Car: 2011 Audi RS3

Audi has taken the wraps off what will be the UK’s most powerful production hot-hatch, the RS3.

The RS3 will be powered by a 5-cylinder, 2.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine, developing 335bhp (340PS) and 450Nm (332lb-ft) of torque from a diesel-like 1,600rpm. For those who are seeking driving engagement will be disappointed, since the RS3 is only available with a 7 speed S-tronic dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission, although the RS3 will be fitted with a Quattro 4WD system.

Facelifted Jeep Compass spied undisguised

This is the first ever time Jeep’s compact SUV, the Compass facelift has been spied completely undisguised.

While it loses its anonymous front fascia of the outgoing model, the 2012 Compass will make use of the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Maserati guns Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Audi Q7 competitor

Maserati is looking to take on the Porsche Cayenne with a new large SUV, Fiat and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed. It would be a performance orientated SUV that may use Ferrari-produced V8 engines.

Harald Wester, Maserati’s chief executive, said Alfa Romeo will borrow the Jeep Grand Cherokee underpinnings as the foundation for an upscale SUV, rivalling the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Mercedes M-Class/GL-Class, and the Volvo XC90. The SUV would join an inexpensive compact SUV and the 159’s descendant in 2013.

Forthcoming Citroën C1 city-car to grow

These seem to be the first ever spy photos of the next Citroën C1. The prototype in these grainy images is thought to have been snapped on a mobile phone in a customer clinic.

Citroën is currently experimenting with the C1’s design, but judging by these pictures the next C1, it will be more daring and bold, compared to the current model. This is most obvious when the c-pillar blends into the roof-mounted rear spoiler.

Saab to axe 200 employees

Swedish car maker, Saab, is set to trim 200 of its temporary employees (1/8th of its current staff), according to a union official.

Hakan Skott, union spokesperson at Saab, said that the action was likely after Saab’s new owner, Dutch supercar maker Spyker, cut its sales target from 60,000 units in February, to 45,000 in summer and ultimately to just 30,000 cars at end of October.

Mazda to match Volkswagen quality

Top of Mazda’s agenda is interior quality. According to Peter Birtwhistle, chief designer at Mazda’s R&D centre, the Japanese car company would like to change the perceived quality of their car interiors as the recently launched Mazda2 was slated for its interior appearance.

“If you sit in a Volkswagen Polo you get a really good sense of quality,” he said.

Monday 22 November 2010

Photo Gallery: 2011 KIA Optima

Kia Motors Corporation held the world premiere of its all-new Optima Hybrid sedan at the Los Angeles motor show. Created primarily with the U.S market in mind, the latest model in Kia’s design-led transformation employs a truly innovative Kia-developed powertrain that promises to deliver exceptional hybrid performance and 48mpg for class-leading fuel economy.

Arriving in U.S Kia dealer showrooms early next year, the Optima Hybrid is the brand’s first-ever hybrid for North America and uses a ‘full parallel hybrid system’ to deliver a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 62mph in 9.2 seconds, top speed 121mph – and economy, achieving a 40.7% mpg improvement compared with a regular Optima.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Next Ford F-150 to sport partial unibody platform

Thanks to CAFE obligations with their ever- stringent emissions and fuel economy legislation's, Ford has a problem trying to reach the 30mpg by 2016 with its F-150 pick-up.

In a bid to improve fuel economy, Ford is brain-storming ideas as to what materials should be used in/on the next F-150. This includes a partial unibody structure, aluminium and magnesium. With all these combined, Ford has the potential of achieving 20% better highway mpg than Ford’s all-new 2011 engine line-up.

2013 Audi A3 sedan to descend Audi 80

Rupert Stadler, Audio CEO, has given the green light to an A3 new saloon. The car is described by Ingolstadt sources as a sacred descendant to the Audi 80.

In addition to the current shapes available (3dr hatchback, 5dr Sportback and 2dr cabriolet), the 4dr saloon will go on sale in 2013 when it arrives in the UK.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta

In the USA it is the most successful car of any European producer: the Volkswagen Jetta. Between the East and West coasts of America, up to 110,000 vehicles of this model series are sold annually. Americans value the VW Jetta as a highly safe and sporty saloon with "German Engineering."

In June, Volkswagen unveiled - in an event receiving international attention with stars like Katy Perry at the centre of New York's Times Square - a completely new generation of the world bestseller with over 9.6 million units built so far. Now, the most impressive Volkswagen Jetta ever is also launching in Europe. This heralds a new era for this model series between Helsinki and Rome, Istanbul and Lisbon. The latest version of "the" saloon of the compact class is expected to carry over its US success to Europe.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Thugs cause Ford truck sales to nose-dive (MX)

First they cause problems for car manufactures that manage factories on the U.S/Mexico border, but now Ford is facing another huge problem, which is out of its control or any logical control when you think about it. Who are we talking about? Mexico’s drug cartels.

Sales of the F-150, Lobo in Meheeco, have plummeted because of the image connected with drug cartels. Cartel hitmen like the F-150 above any other pick-up truck, however, Mexico’s pick-up market is suffering as a whole.

Jeep recalls Liberty compact SUV for faulty windscreen wipers (U.S)

Jeep is recalling 16,229 ‘08 Liberty’s as they could have malfunctioning windscreen wipers.

"The vehicles are equipped with windshield wiper motors that contain excessive adhesive that may allow for water intrusion, which could result in intermittent and eventually inoperative windshield wiper operation".

Friday 19 November 2010

2011 Hyundai Grandeur/Azera teased in sketches

Hyundai has released some sketches of its forthcoming Grandeur mid-sized sedan.

The Grandeur (Azera in some markets like the U.S), is designed using Hyundai’s latest design language, ‘fluidic sculpture’ philosophy. It shares the same underpinnings as the Kia Cadenza.

2010, '11 Nissan Sentra recalled due to defective engine (U.S)

Nissan is going to recall 13,737 2010-'11 Sentra compact sedans since the engine may stop running while the vehicle is in action.

NHTSA believe the Sentras were built from 22nd May to 8th July 2010. It’s understood they have a "machining irregularity".

Kia Optima pricing announced (U.S)

Kia has announced prices of the brand new Optima mid-sized sedan. The entry-level LX starts from $19,690* with a 2.4 litre, 200bhp 4-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a 6 speed manual.

Three trim-levels, LX, EX & SX, will be available, alongside two transmissions and two petrol engines; 2.4 litre with 200bhp and a 2.0T GDI with 274bhp. The latter will be able to do 34mpg on the highway.

New Car: 2011 Hyundai Elantra

This is the U.S spec Hyundai Elantra which debuted at the LA motor show this week. Unlike the KDM Avante, the American variant is powered by a Nu, 4-cylinder 1.8 litre petrol engine, replacing the 2.0 litre Beta.

The 1.8 kicks out 148bhp and produces 186Nm (138ft-lbs) of torque. The engine is mated to either a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic and returns 40mpg on the motorway. In the city, 29mpg is achievable. In some states, the Elantra will have 145bhp and 176Nm (130 lb-ft) of torque, earning the classified PZEVs (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) badge.

GM recalls 2010 - '11 Cadillac DTS & Buick Lucerne for faulty steering (U.S)

GM is going to recall 13,780 2010, 2011 Buick Lucernes and Cadillac DTS’ with V8 engines due to leaking power steering fluid, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The starter or alternator cable is in contact with the power steering return line," noted NHTSA. "If either the starter or alternator cable is contacting the power steering return line, the cable could wear through the line, causing a power steering fluid leak. A power steering leak could result in a loss of power steering, increasing the risk of a crash and/or the leak onto hot engine parts could cause an engine compartment fire."

Thursday 18 November 2010

Peugeot launches special edition 107 ENVY (UK)

To celebrate the 107’s milestone of selling in excess of 500,000 units, Peugeot is releasing a special edition 107 called ENVY, which goes on sale this month.

The 107 uses an updated Euro5, 3-cylinder 1.0 litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that emits 103g/km.

Fiat planning sports roadster for 2012

Fiat is working hard on bring a sports coupe to the market by 2012. The sports car, dubbed Primo is being co-developed with Fiat’s sporty sibling, Abarth and will compete against the Mazda MX-5/Miata.

While the sports car will be all-new, its size and transverse, mid-engined design will be similar to the Lotus Elise. The interior is also thought to use the same outline as the Elise; a fixed rear window with a simple, lift-out roof panel.

Citroën C4 pricing announced (UK)

Citroën's new C4 hatchback will start from £15,595 when it goes on sale in January 2011. That sticker price will get you a 1.4 litre VTi 95bhp VTR, which emits 140g/km. The range-topping Exclusive 2.0 HDi 150bhp starts at £21,495.

Unlike the previous model, the new C4 is only available in 5dr and comes with a choice of seven engines; three petrol’s and four diesel engines.

Honda to kill-off Civic in its home market (JP)

2009 USDM Honda Civic Sedan
Honda is reportedly axing the Civic sedan as soon as current stock runs out in Japan. The decision is supposedly based upon Japanese demand for MPV’s and smaller cars, however, the Civic will continue for international markets.

Honda only sold a measly 452 Civic’s last month, showing the Civic can’t stay afloat sales-wise in Japan.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Mazda3 obtains revised diesel engine (EU)

Mazda has modified its 1.6 litre diesel engine, which is offered in the 3 compact family car. The engine is now Euro5 compliant offers better fuel economy and lower emissions and is more powerful than the outgoing unit. The 1.6D now has 115bhp, compared to 109bhp over the previous engine.

The revised 3 will now cover 64.2mpg (4.4l/100km) and emit just 117g/km. Torque is increased by 30Nm (22lb-ft), to 270Nm (199lb-ft). For the first time, a 6 speed manual transmission is available.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Chrysler 200

Chrysler has announced prices on the Sebring-replacement. The entry-level LX will start from $19,995 including $750 destination fee, rising to $24,495 for the range-topping 200 Limited. Later on, an ‘S’ trim-level will be added.

Essentially a facelifted Sebring, the 200 gets reworked front and rear fascias, interior and prices. Inside the 200, owners will be treated to soft-touch materials, instead of the hard, unwanted plastics of the Sebring.

Aston Martin Cygnet receives a Harrods department store launch (UK)

Aston Martin has decided to launch its premium city-car in a premium department store, Harrods.

The Cygnet is on display in Harrods department store on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge and is the first time the production model of the Cygnet has been on show in public.

SsangYong plans 3 new models

SsangYong’s recently launched Korando compact SUV will be the forefront for three new models from the South Korean car manufacture.

Within the next 12 months, SsangYong will release a mid-sized SUV to compete with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Skoda launches Fabia S2000

Skoda will launch 200 special editions Fabia’s to commemorate its Intercontinental Rally Challenge victory in 2010.

The vRS S2000 is based on the regular vRS, and features a rally inspired paint job and decals with green with white roof and 17” alloy wheels.

GM prepares two sub-compact cars

Vauxhall/Opel is creating two sub-compact cars that will join the forthcoming Corsa by 2015.

The first supermini is pitched as a Mini rival and within is considered ‘fun and fashion’. This will sit above the Corsa but below the Astra in the European line-up. The second car is a budget vehicle based on an entirely different platform. This may effectively replace the current Agila in Vauxhall/Opel’s Euro line-up.

Monday 15 November 2010

No 2-cylinder engines for VAG

Volkswagen has rejected the idea of utilising 2-cylinder engines in its forthcoming city-car.

Volkswagen has been the head of down-sizing engines with its 3-cylinder petrol and diesel units. Ulrich Hackenberg, R&D chief executive, thinks downsizing is now on the verge of its limits, despite Fiat’s new 2-cylinder TwinAir engine.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Opel Ampera pricing announced (EU)

Opel has released prices for the Ampera plug-in EV, which starts at €42,900 (£36,000/$51,000) when it goes on sale in Winter 2011. That’s considerably more than the Chevrolet Volt which starts from $41,000 in the U.S.

While that certainly sounds expensive, German prices start at €36,050, which indicates overall prices will be bespoke to each European country. Though, Vauxhall persist that it would "announce its own price" for the Ampera before the end of this year, a sign that British buyers could pay less, even before the UK Government's £5,000 eco-vehicle grant is taken into consideration.

Stefan Jacoby said “too early” for Volvo flagship

Volvo CEO, Stefan Jacoby, has responded to Geely’s CEO, Li Shufu for wanting a large executive sedan in the Volvo line-up, saying it is “too early” for Volvo to be designing a BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class rival.

Shufu obtained Volvo from Ford earlier this year. Shufu would like to see Volvo create more “high-level cars that compete with the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series”.

Aston Martin Cygnet to be iconic

According to Aston Martin’s CEO, Ulrich Bez, the Cygnet city-car has the potential to become an “icon”.

Bez said the Cygnet had characteristics that made it "advanced, iconic and iconoclastic". Bez compared its potential to the Aston Martin DB5, used in James Bond movies in the 1960s.

2012 Mazda MX-5 to use principles from RX-8 sports car

The forthcoming Mazda MX-5 will take up the RX-8’s values in order to cut the current MX-5's kerb weight and balance, according to sources within Mazda.

The ’12 MX-5 will emerge at the 2011 Tokyo motor show and will use ideas previewed by the Ibuki concept, which was exposed in 2003.

Friday 12 November 2010

Nissan Micra 'V' platform to underpin Proton supermini

Proton is gazing at Nissan’s all-new ‘V’ platform, which provides the base of the 2011 Micra supermini, as a way to gain a foothold in India’s competitive small car market.

Nissan may license its ‘V’ platform to Proton. Built for emerging markets, the ‘V’ platform can reduce the weight of a car and cut the number of parts needed by 18%.

Škoda Yeti demand outstrips supply (UK)

The  Škoda Yeti compact SUV has sold out in the UK. Demand has soared since the model was launched in September 2009.

Škoda dealers have said order books have swollen, with more than 3,700 sales this year, and 4,300 since the car launched in September 2009.

PSA eyes Chinese market (CN)

PSA CEO Gregoire Olivier said Peugeot-Citroen is getting ready to release a series of upscale cars in China.

Olivier said the joint venture between PSA and Changan Automobile Group is planning to rival German firms in the luxury car market.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Mini to revive Moke, working on Canyon coupé

BMW Mini is looking to put the Mini Beachcomber concept in production, which was first revealed last December.

Insiders suggest two variants of the Beachcomber are on the drawing board at the Mini design studios in Munich.

Transport Minister loses driving license (CZ)

Transport Minister Vit Barta, has been banned from driving for 6 months after his Maserati GranTurismo wore fake number plates. He also faces a Kč5,000 (£171/€203).

Mr Barta told police officers that he had lost his original number plate whilst driving on a dirt road and he was using the fake numberplate till he could get a replacement.

Re-badged Suzukis for India (IN)

Under the Volkswagen-Suzuki tie-up last year, rebadged Suzuki Altos and Wagon Rs could be sold as VW’s and Skoda’s in India.

According to sources, Volkswagen and Suzuki are conversing about rebadging the current Alto as a Volkswagen and the Wagon R as a Skoda, starting in 2012.

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