Monday 28 February 2011

Nissan Qashqai surpasses 1 millionth sales milestone

Nissan has exceeded 1 million sales of the popular Qashqai crossover, four years after its launch back in 2007. Designed, engineered, and built in Britain, the Qashqai is sold locally in Japan and Australia as the Dualis.

The year 2008 saw Nissan introduce a long-wheelbase, 7 seat Qashqai+2, while in March 2010, Nissan released the revised Qashqai.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Hyundai begins building assembly plant (BR)

The 2009 Hyundai ix-Metro Concept is expected to go into
production in 2012
Hyundai will begin building a new production plant in Brazil, after confirming plans in late 2008. Hyundai sees the new plant as a “gateway to Central and South American markets.”

Hyundai initially wanted the factory opened this year, but due to the economic slowdown, it delayed plans. Production of the new sub-compact car will commence in November 2012 once the plant has been finished in Piracicaba, Brazil.

Next-generation Nissan Z may arrive with three powertrains options

Photobucket The forthcoming Nissan Z-Series sport cars may be available with three new powertrains; a petrol, petrol-hybrid, and a diesel. The latter would be pinched from Mercedes, giving European customers flexibility. The petrol unit would appeal to the U.S, Japanese, and Australian market, with the hybrid appealing to the U.S market too. Undoubtedly, the diesel would be the European customer's choice.

The three engine options will place fuel economy as the top priority and be would be state-of-the-art. We can safely expect three transmissions to be offered aswell; a manual, CVT, and a Mercedes sourced automatic.

Euro NCAP slams Renault over Dacia Duster safety rating

Photobucket Euro NCAP has slammed Renault over the Dacia Duster's safety rating, after it scored a mere three stars.

Being one of seven vehicles tested, the examiners were nitpicking over the Duster's pedestrian protection and safety assist, in which it scored 28% and 29%.

Saturday 26 February 2011

New Car: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Photobucket Chevrolet will launch the 5dr Cruze Hatchback next week in Switzerland next week. A concept previewed a near-production model at the 2010 Paris motor show.

If you didn't know, the architecture of the Cruze underpins that of the Vauxhall/Opel Astra, which also provides a platform for other models. The Cruze Hatchback is an essential car for Europe, as the sedan outsold its original sales target in countries like Spain, Denmark, Portugal, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

Friday 25 February 2011

2012 Dodge compact sedan caught cold

When Fiat bought into Chrysler LLC, it was obvious that some forthcoming Chrysler models will underpin Fiat platforms. Spy photographers have caught what may be the first Fiat-based Dodge compact sedan undergoing winter testing in Michigan, using the firm's C-Evo platform.

At first, this Alfa Romeo Giulietta may appear to be a normal car but a closer inspection reveals this is an early development mule that has been lengthen and widened. The car seems to be widened by a few inches judging the strip of metalwork added by the centre of the grille backwards. The mule also seems to be extended by 4” when you look closer at the rear doors.

Volkswagen Amarok pricing announced (UK)

Volkswagen has announced prices on the firm's new large Amarok pick-up truck. The entry-level Startline is priced from £21,333, rising to £26,829 for the range-topping Highline.

Initially, the Amarok will be available as a double cab, with a single cab due for 2012. Three trim-levels will be offered; Startline, Trendline, and Highline, in addition to two diesel engines; an entry-level 2.0 TDI with 122bhp (120PS/91kW) and a more powerful 2.0 BiTDI with 163bhp (161PS/122kW).

GM announces Astra convertible for 2013

GM has made official that it will released a convertible variant of the Astra in 2013, alongside a city car at the same time. With the VW Golf Cabriolet in its sights, we expect Vauxhall/Opel to ditch the retractable hardtop in favour for a soft-top.

The newcomer will share the same platform as the outgoing Astra and will be produced in Gliwice, Poland.

Concept Car: Vauxhall/Opel Zafira Tourer Concept

Following the first image of the Zafira Tourer Concept that appeared from an iPad, GM has published fresh images of the Zafira Tourer Concept.

The concept is apparently a show car and will strongly hint at the production Zafira. It'll move upscale to rival the Ford Galaxy, which will leave the current Zafira, in facelifted form, to proceed.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E pricing announced (UK)

Renault has unleashed prices for the Kangoo Maxi Z.E commercial vehicle. Two variants will be available with the two-seater starting at £17,990 (excl. VAT), while the five-seater crew van starts at £18,690.

The two-seat model allows carrying capacity of up to 4.6m3 with a load bay of 2,900mm. The crew van comes with a 60/40-split folding rear seats. This can be configured into one of four layouts, depending on the number of passengers. The rear seats hide away into the floor to produce a completely flat loadspace and free up almost 3.4m3 of carrying space.

New Car: 2012 Saab 9-5 SportWagon/SportCombi

Saab has unveiled the long-awaited 9-5 SportWagon, before its world premier at the Geneva motor show next week, in which order books will open.

The 9-5 SportWagon is expected to outsell its sedan sibling in markets such as the UK and Germany, as the previous incarnation accounted for 50% of sales. It uses the same bodyshell as the 9-5 sedan up until the rear doors. From there, the new design is bespoke to the 9-5 SportWagon.

New Car: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Volkswagen has taken the covers off the new Golf Cabriolet, ahead of its debut in Geneva. Using an electro-hydraulically folding fabric roof, it takes 10 seconds to either fold or drop the roof.

Measuring 4,215 mm in length, 1,424 mm in height and 1,779 mm in width, the Golf Cabriolet is smaller than the Eos. Yet despite being 208mm shorter than the Eos, the cars share a 2,578 mm wheelbase, resulting in maximum interior space for all four passengers.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

New Car: 2012 Saab 9-3 facelift

Saab is revising its ageing 9-3 compact model for the second time in its nine-year life. The facelift includes front and rear bumpers, headlights, and new interior trim and fabric.

Two new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol engines join the range, developing 163bhp (161PS/122kW) and 320Nm (236lb-ft) of torque, and 220bhp (217PS/164kW), which pumps out 350Nm (258lb-ft) of torque. The new engine offers better fuel economy, lower emissions, and more power.

Concept Car: Mini Rocketman

This is the Mini Rocketman concept, a vehicle that takes inspiration from the original 1959 Mini. The concept will debut at next week's Geneva motor show and will measure at a mere 3,419mm long, 1,907mm wide and 1,398mm tall.

The Rocketman will preview Mini's new design language, as the brand is facing stiff competition from more capable rivals.

Monday 21 February 2011

Photo Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Captiva facelift

Chevrolet’s revised Captiva compact SUV will start from £21,995 when it goes on sale in May. The reworks include a new diesel engine, altered front and rear fascias, and some chassis tweaks, in addition to front-wheel-drive.

Powering the SUV will be a single 2.2 litre VCDi diesel engine, replacing the previous 2.0 VCDi that will either produce 161bhp or 181bhp (163PS/120kW or 184PS/135kW). The lower powered unit emits 170g/km while returning 44.1mpg (6.4l/100km). A 6-speed manual will be standard, while the more potent unit can be had with the optional 6 speed automatic.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Seat launches 4WD Alhambra

Seat will present a permanent four-wheel-drive Alhambra large MPV at next week's Geneva motor show.

The new model benefits from the latest-generation of VAG's 4x4 system, electronically controlled and set up for improved driving dynamics and stability in poor weather conditions.

Paris Hilton receives Lexus LFA supercar for 30th birthday

Paris Hilton has been gifted with a $375,000 lemon yellow Lexus LFA supercar by her boyfriend, Cy Waits.

Hilton tweeted: "My boyfriend got me the most incredible birthday gift! I love it! He's so generous and sweet! Amazing!"

Friday 18 February 2011

Concept Car: Jaguar B99 Concept

Jaguar future sedan has been mapped out by a concept from Italian design firm, Bertone. The B99 – short for Bertone 99 – is a 4,500mm long, 1,950mm wide, and 1,350mm high compact executive sedan that is a smidge smaller than the ill-fated X-Type model and may preview Jaguar’s forthcoming design language.

Jaguar is preparing to launch a compact executive sedan for 2014 and the Bertone concept summarises the retro, graceful proportions, slender greenhouse, short overhangs, and a sporty, imposing, dynamic stance with suicide rear doors.

Thursday 17 February 2011

New Car: 2012 Hyundai i40

Hyundai has lifted the cloak off the all-new i40 that will debut in Geneva soon. The i40 features a design based around the fluidic sculpture; the trademark split hexagonal grille, wraparound headlights w/LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and bonnet ceases. A narrow silhouette and elongated roofline will complete the look.

Inside, owners will be treated to premium, soft-touch plastics throughout with class-leading head, leg, and shoulder room. Luggage space is rated at 553 litres, but flip-down the rear seats and you’ll find 1,790 litres of load capacity.

Renault R-Space concept spied ahead of Geneva premier

AutoBild has managed to capture the first spy photos of the Renault R-Space Concept, a vehicle that will hint at the forthcoming Espace replacement. Spied ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show, the concept was caught on a photoshoot in Portugal.

Unlike the Espace MPV, the R-Space Concept is crossed between a sporty coupe and a MPV. Up front, thin LED headlights sit on each corner of the fascia, while small silver grilles rest below. The Renault diamond is proudly placed in-between the headlights.

Land Rover to debut Range_e at Geneva

Land Rover will debut the Range_e prototype at the Geneva motor show. The diesel-electric plug-in hybrid is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses a 3.0 TDV6 engine that is mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

A small electric motor and plug-in technology works alongside the 3.0 TDV6 diesel engine. In electric mode, the prototype can travel upto 20 miles (32km) before the diesel engine kicks in to increase the range to an additional 671 miles (1,080km). With top speed limited to 120mph (193km/h), the vehicle emits a supermini-like 89g/km of CO2 emissions.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid pricing announced (UK)

Porsche has announced prices of the new Panamera S Hybrid, ahead of its on-sale date in June.

Priced at £86,146, the Panamera S Hybrid boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any large executive sedan. With carbon emissions of 159g/km combined, the hybrid large executive sports car undercuts the BMW 730d by 25g/km and Jaguar XJ 3.0D by 19g/km. Combined fuel economy stands at 41.5mpg (6.8l/100km).

Audi launches A8 L Security

Audi has unveiled an all-new A8 L variant, called Security that has been designed to meet the strictest guidelines in force for civilian vehicles.

At 5,270mm (207”/17.29ft), the A8 L Security was deliberately styled to look like a regular A8 L and possesses polycarbonate-coated multilayer glass, hot-formed armoured steel, reinforced side sills, and loads of aramide fabric. Combined, the interior armouring weighs around 720kg (1,587lbs), while the door and window alterations add a further 660kg (1,455lbs). Optional electromechanical window openers operate the side windows, allowing them to be lowered nearly all the way. The excess weight of the windows amounts to just over 300kg (661.39lbs).

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Renault Espace replacement to be lower and sportier

Renault will replace the large Espace MPV in 2014 with an all-new model that will be wider, lower, and maybe longer than the outgoing model.

Renault’s executive of show cars & concept cars, Axel Breun said the dashboard will be tilting more towards the driver with typical instrumentation placed in front of the driver, rather than a centre-dash display of the current model.

Monday 14 February 2011

New Car: 2012 Lancia Delta facelift

Lancia has facelifted its Delta hatchback by adding a new grille and revising trim-levels. The same engines will remain, however, a new 1.6 JTD producing 105bhp (106PS/78kW) and 300Nm (221lb-ft) of torque.

With a top speed of 116mph (186km/h), the compact car can reach 62mph (100km/h) in 10.7 seconds, while emitting 120g/km of carbon dioxide.

New Car: 2012 Lancia Ypsilon

Lancia has unveiled its very popular Ypsilon supermini, ahead of its world debut in Geneva. Since launch, 1.5m Ypsilon superminis have been sold.

Underpinning an extended Fiat 500 platform, the Ypsilon is 300mm longer than the popular city-car at 3,840mm. All that extra space goes to the rear cabin to massively improve legroom and general comfort. The 5dr hatchback will also boast Fiat’s ‘thin seat’ technology.

No green-light for Volkswagen Polo R

Following much speculation, the launch of a range-topping Polo R seems doubtful, despite Audi working out a way of developing an all-wheel drive variant of its PQ25 platform, which underpins the A1 Quattro.

Initially, the PQ25 platform wasn’t intended to accommodate an all-wheel drive system, but Audi’s craving for a Quattro A1 saw the firm rework the platform, which led to rumour suggesting Volkswagen would follow suit.

Concept Car: Infiniti Etherea

This concept car is the Infiniti Etherea, and is the firms answer to BMW’s 1 Series and Audi’s A3. The front-wheel drive, coupĂ© hatchback will go into production in 2014 and borrows styling hints off the Essence concept.

The new design language will preview all forthcoming Infiniti models, with the first being the G-Series. The concept car introduces a new form of luxury to young buyers, according to Infiniti.

Lancia announces Thema, Flavia, Flavia Cabriolet, and Grand Voyager

Lancia has revealed two production car and two concept cars, ahead of there world debut in Geneva. The first car is a slightly modified Chrysler 300, called the Thema. It features reworked exterior and an interior that houses Poltrona Frau leather dashboard, wood trim, and blue ambient lighting.

Three engines will be available; a 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 developing 292bhp (296PS/218kW), and a 3.0 CRD V6 with 190bhp (193PS/142kW) or 224bhp (227PS/167kW). The petrol unit is matched to an 8 speed automatic while the diesel sports a 5 speed auto.

Sunday 13 February 2011

GM sub-compact SUV spied in Germany

GM has been testing their all-new sub-compact SUV since 2008, and this is the first time we’ve seen a genuine prototype. Previous mules were based upon jacked-up Corsa’s and modified Meriva’s.

Predictably, the newcomer will sit beneath the compact Antara SUV when it goes on sale in 2012. Working with Vauxhall/Opel is Chevrolet, so the vehicle is being co-developed with GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co (GM DAT) in South Korea.

GM and Chrysler employees likely to obtain large bonuses (U.S)

According to a report, GM and Chrysler are arranging to reward paid managers with bonuses that could equate to 50% of their basic pay.

On GM’s side, the bonuses would equate to 15% - 20% of a regular employee’s annual pay, whereas around 1% will gain handouts of nearly 50% of their income. Non-managers will be paid 5%.

Mini Roadster and Coupe pre-production vehicles caught

Spies have caught the Mini Roadster and Coupe undergoing final shakedown testing in Germany. Although the vehicles in the images are pre-production, they give an excellent indication as to how final production models will look.

While very little has changed from the concepts, however, both models gain a speed-sensitive rear spoiler, which deploys at high speeds.

GM's new budget city-car spied

Spy photographers have spied GM's all-new budget city-car undergoing warm weather testing in Southern Spain.

The early development mule, allegedly called Allegra, is sitting upon a Corsa platform, which has been shortened from the front door backwards.

Friday 11 February 2011

New Car: 2012 Kia Rio

Kia has taken the wraps of its all-new, important Rio supermini, ahead of its world premier at the Geneva motorshow. The 2012 Rio will arrive in three bodystyles; a 3dr hatchback, 4dr sedan, and 5dr hatchback. No estate/station wagon has been confirmed, however, we can expect a quasi-SUV in the future.

According to Kia, the Rio "combines European finesse with Korean spice to create a form language that communicates Latin flair", whatever that means. The Rio now features a racier fascia, futuristic headlights with LED daytime running lights, a recognised C-pillar, and a dynamic stance.

Thursday 10 February 2011

New Car: 2011 Ford Territory (AU)

This is Ford’s ‘new’ Territory compact SUV for the Australian market. According to Ford, this is the second generation Territory, despite the doors, mirrors, tailgate and various trims carried over from the outgoing model.

The new model features extensive external redesigning on the front and rear fascias, quarter panels, bonnet, and wheelarches. The interior has also been redesigned and features an 8” touch-screen, which controls the climate control, audio system, and telephone.

Vauxhall/Opel tease Zafira Concept

GM is teasing the new Zafira Tourer Concept. Vauxhall/Opel’s design executive Mark Adams is holding an iPad that the Zafira hologram is projected out of. The concept will premier at next month’s Geneva motorshow.

The image reveals the fascia will be inspired by the Ampera range-extending vehicle, as well as the trademark ‘blade’ appearing on the flanks.

Monday 7 February 2011

Honda to reduce CR-V imports from Japan (U.S)

Honda has said that the ever-stronger Japanese Yen is forcing the firm to cut CR-V exports to the U.S. However, Honda is looking to spike North American production.

Yoichi Hojo, Honda CFO said: “Our profit structure has improved mainly thanks to robust overseas operations, and the toughest area remains exports from Japan. With a little investment, we would be able to increase production of the CR-V in the United States, so that’s the most probable course of action.”

Cadillac to updated SRX with new V6 petrol engine

We all knew that Cadillac was planning to drop its turbocharged 2.8 litre V6, but what we didn’t know was what engine was going to replace it. Now, it appears to have come out of the closet.

Cadillac will launch an all-new 3.6 litre V6 which will develop around 320bhp (316PS/239kW) – 330bhp (326PS/246kW) in rear-wheel drive models. The new ‘LFX 3.6L SIDI, DOHC, VVT, E85 MAX’ engine is centred on the LF family of engines.

Chrysler to limit haggling over Fiat 500 (U.S)

Chrysler is looking to execute a ‘no-haggle’ policy when the Fiat 500 city-car hits retailers in March. Chrysler LLC believes the 500 will attract a young audience, but youthful customers avoid haggling for the best deal.

For that reason, Chrysler will attempt to eradicate haggling generally to make the showroom a comfortable place.

Volkswagen readying super-economical Up city-car

Volkswagen is apparently preparing a supremely economical variant of the upcoming Up city-car, which will return a minimum of 95mpg (2.9l/100km/79.1mpg U.S).

The economical Up will carry the nameplate of ‘Up Blue e-motion’ and will be powered by a 0.8 litre TDI that develops 47bhp (46PS/35kW). This will be ‘assisted’ by a 26bhp (26PS/19kW) electric motor and will be linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, otherwise known as a DSG gearbox.

Friday 4 February 2011

British car sales slump 11.5% (UK)

Car sales in the UK have tumbled by 11.5% to 128,811units, according to the latest figures. The fall in demand is now in its seventh consecutive month following the retraction of the scrappage incentive scheme (SIS).

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said: “Consumer confidence is low and it is important that government uses the March Budget to help relieve some of the financial pressure on motorists by freezing fuel duty, while providing stability and certainty on motoring taxes. Despite the challenging conditions, the demand for low CO2 emitting and highly fuel efficient cars continues to grow.”

Mazda MX-5 reaches another major milestone

The Mazda MX-5 (Miata in other markets) will hit a new record this week, with the 900,000th model set to roll off the production line.

It took Mazda 21 years and 10 months to reach this landmark, after the first model rolled off the production line in April 1989. The UK accounts for over 10% of global sales and 40% of European sales.

Volkswagen Tiguan facelift leaked

Volkswagen has leaked its facelifted Tiguan on the firm’s German homepage. Whether this was accidentally done or intentional, a sharp eyed reader who was on the site took a screenshot. Since then, Volkswagen has removed the content.

Changes have affected the exterior, interior, and mechanical's. On the outside, reworked grille, front and rear bumpers, headlights with LED daytime running lights, restyled tail-lights, and revised alloy wheels will feature.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Toyota Corolla outsells Holden Commodore (AU)

Toyota’s Corolla has ended 2010 and started 2011 by becoming the best-selling car in Australia for the third successive month, beating the Holden Commodore.

In January, 4,045 Corolla hatchbacks and sedans were sold. Just in case you were wondering, Holden sold 2,645 Commodore’s.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

New Bentley V8 petrol engine

Bentley has said its all-new forthcoming 4.0 litre V8 direct-injection petrol engine will arrive in two guises.

Internal sources claim the new V8 will develop 415bhp, and a turbocharged or twin-turbocharged variant will pump out 555bhp, as part of Bentley’s specific power output aims of over 100bhp per litre.

Jaguar wants BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class rival

According to Jaguar’s global director, Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar is currently considering a compact executive sedan to rival the Audi A4, Volvo S60, and BMW 3 Series in order to boost sales and lower the entry-level price.

The platform would be shared with a small sports car, sitting below the XF sedan and will underpin many other variants like a sedan, and station wagon.

Mercedes, GM, and BMW shut down plants (EG)

Numerous car manufactures, like Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes are closing down their assembly plants in Egypt due to the political crisis gripping the country.

According to a spokesman, Volkswagen was required to stop vehicle deliveries as it was unsure the cars would reach their destination.

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