Sunday, 31 July 2011

Teaser: 2011 Infiniti JX concept

Infiniti has dropped the fifth external teaser image of the JX concept. The new SUV is designed to charm active families with its conspicuous radiator grille, deep-set headlights, and lots of external chrome highlights.

Infiniti added the JX concept will have "a stunning interior" with "exceptional seating flexibility, easy access to the roomy third row, plus the latest in-vehicle technology - including next-generation telematics."

Bugatti Galibier confirmed for production

Bugatti President, Wolfgang Dürheimer has confirmed in a recent interview that the all-wheel-drive Galibier uber-luxury vehicle will head for production in late 2012 and will feature an 8.0 litre 16-cylinder petrol engine that will develop from 789bhp (800PS/588kW) to 986bhp (1,000PS/735kW).

Crafted to become the "undisputed" leader in the luxury market and more practical than the Veyron, Bugatti is looking to sell around 1,000 – 1,500 units over the models life cycle.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Toyota Prius Coupé to arrive in 2014

According to a recent report, Toyota is set to launch a Prius coupé by 2014. In a twist to the story, the Prius coupé will apparently underpin the forthcoming Lexus GS, which for one, seems like an odd candidate as the upcoming FT-86 sports car can support a hybrid powertrain, or Toyota could shorten the regular Prius hatchback.

Whatever the basis, the car is rumoured to have plug-in technology, lithium-ion battery pack, and a manual transmission. Toyota will be rapidly expanding the Prius line-up with a MPV called Prius+, a sub-compact variant for the U.S market called 'Prius C', and a possible SUV.

First Audi TT-RS delivered to veteran racing driver (U.S)

Audi's RS line-up has made a comeback to the North American market as experienced race driver, Don Istook took delivery of the first 2012 TT-RS Coupé.

Istook was one of the first people in the U.S to race in a Audi Quattro vehicle. Istook said in a statement; "I like my street car to give me some of that thrill. With my new Audi TT-RS, I not only get that thrill but I also get that 'race car' sound."

Teaser: 2012 Honda Civic (EU)

Honda has teased the ninth generation European designed and engineered Civic hatchback in a recent video. According to Honda, the new Civic – due to bow at the Frankfurt motor show – will offer “stand-out looks, class-leading space for passengers and luggage, and low running costs,”.

The current European Civic – launched in 2006 – was slammed for having a meagre ride quality. While newer competitors utilise fully independent, advanced multi-link systems for the rear suspension, Honda has maintained the torsion beam rear suspension set-up for the new model to maximise interior space. This time round, chief development engineer, Mitsuru Kariya has confirmed the Civic will use an advanced fluid-filled compliance bushing that improves ride and handling.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Hyundai to test every new model on British roads (UK)

Hyundai's managing director, Tony Whitehorn has confirmed that every new Hyundai model will undergo thorough chassis testing before hitting the British market.

The ix20 supermini MPV was the first ever Hyundai vehicle to have its chassis tweaked for British roads, to ensure a supple ride.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Audi R8 facelift due in Summer 2012

According to CAR, Audi will use the Summer of 2012 to launch its facelifted R8 supercar. While visual updates remain minor, mechanicals updates will be substantial.

The 5.2 litre V10 unit will be revised to punch-out 533bhp (540PS/397kW), up from the current 518bhp (525PS/386kW), with the entry-level V8 now set to produce 444bhp (450PS/331kW). The former will be married to a newly-developed 7-speed dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox, replacing the jerky robotised R-tronic automatic.

Maserati to rely on Chrysler for three new models

Although Chrysler and Maserati's relationship hasn't be as strong as Sergio Marchionne had hoped, the Chrysler CEO is positive that blending to the brands together will help Maserati sales tenfold.

Maserati sales blossom around the year 2000, before the global financial meltdown took hold. Sale have yet to be recovered with the Italian firm posting a mere 5,675 sales last year. Still, Marchionne thinks a Maserati-Chrysler alliance would see sales soar to 50,000 units per annum.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé information leaked

Details of the upcoming BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé have been leaked. The large executive coupé will premier at an forthcoming motor show later this year.

According to reports out of the U.S, the 6-Series Gran Coupé will share the same wheelbase as the 5-Series at 2,967mm (117”) but will be shorter by 89mm (3.5”) and wider at 1,902mm (74.9”). Like the regular 6-Series Coupé and cabriolet, the Gran Coupé will sport a squat stance. This is help further by a 5,006mm (197.1”) bodyshell, making it 51mm (2”) longer than the Mercedes CLS coupé.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Mercedes scheduling M-Class Coupé

Mercedes is officially scheduling a coupé variant of the M-Class large SUV, dubbed the MLC. The idea of the MLC comes from rival brand, BMW, whose X6 four-door coupé sold 46,404 units across the world in 2010.

Known internally as C166, the newcomer will be produced in the marque's Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant, where the GL, R-Class, and sister-car M-Class is built, and will reach production in 2015.

Video: Bored 11 year old boy does doughnuts in Audi R8

Here's a video of an 11-year old boy messing around in a Audi R8 coupé. Actually driving it, not sitting statically. Anyway, while that may sound a little far-fetched, the minor does a few doughnuts in the four-wheel-drive supercar on wet grass, in a calm, controlled manner.

That worst thing is that the child doesn't seem to be enjoying the ride. He doesn't even smile for the camera....what the hell is wrong with him!? Give me an R8 and access to private land and I'll be smiling from ear-to-ear. Kids these days....

Porsche confirms entry-level model

2009 Volkswagen BlueSport sketch
Porsche has announced that it will produce an entry-level model that will be a ‘modern-day’ adaptation of the 550 Spyder. Rumours of a low-priced Porsche model started circulating immediately after Volkswagen debuted the BlueSport at the Detroit motor show in 2009.

Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller said to a German publication “I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well-received by our customers.” Unlike recent incarnations of classic models, he concluded by saying the vehicle will not be retro-styled.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

2012 Lexus GS spied testing at the Nürburgring

Spies have captured the next-generation Lexus GS undergoing high-speed testing at the Nürburgring racetrack. Despite the heavy camouflage, the GS will mimic the LF-Gh concept car, itself using Lexus' L-Finesse design philosophy. Lexus added the 2012 GS will be "more defined and [feature] emotional design", unlike the current model.

The dashboard will feature an edgier design, while the cabin will be draped in premium leather and chrome. The biggest surprise will be the infotainment system, which utilises a 12.3” screen – using a haptic mouse - above the centre stack. For the first time, Lexus will offer a variety of colours for the interior including red, beige, black, grey, and cream.

Chevrolet confirms diesel powered Cruze (U.S)

Chevrolet has confirmed that a diesel-powered Cruze will go on sale for the 2013 model year. The plan would make Chevrolet the first non-German car manufacture to offer a diesel engine in a compact car. Other notable diesel cars on sale in the U.S include the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg, Ford F-350, and Mercedes S350 CDI.

While Chevrolet gave very little in the way of information, the marque said “the diesel will bolster the already fuel-efficient Cruze line-up.” Power would come from a 2.0 VCDi that would produce 148bhp (150PS/110kW) and 320Nm (236lb-ft) of torque.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Range Rover may be scheduling Evoque convertible

According to reports from the Netherlands, Range Rover may develop a drop-top variant of the compact Evoque. Unlike Nissan with the Murano CrossCabriolet, the Evoque convertible wouldn't be an image building model.

The rumour comes as Range Rover is looking to expand the Evoque line-up, with one possibility being a convertible variant. Other variants include a 7-seat model and a hybrid.

Magyar Suzuki celebrates as it produces 2m cars

Suzuki's Hungarian subsidiary, Magyar Suzuki has manufactured its 2mth car at the marque's Esztergom factory. The milestone car was a Swift supermini and was driven off the production line by vice president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Zsolt Gyulay.

CEO of Magyar Suzuki Hisashi Takeuchi said, "I feel privileged being the head of Magyar Suzuki when this unprecedented achievement is realised, something that we can all be really proud of".

New Car: 2012 Hyundai Sonata facelift (KR)

Hyundai has quietly announced the facelifted Sonata sedan for the South Korean market.

The alterations are very minor but the 2012 Sonata features a restyled front grille, door mirrors, and LED rear lights. Inside, revised interior highlights, cooled glovebox, and improved materials feature. New 18” alloy wheels will also be offered.

Fiat reworks Panda city-car for 2012 (UK)

Fiat has recently introduced new Euro5 compliant engines to the Panda line-up. The new 1.2 litre petrol unit replaces the previous 1.1 engine and returns 57.6mpg (4.9l/100km), while emitting 113g/km.

The 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine has also been revised to allow the car to return 67.3mpg (4.1l/100km) and expel 109g/km. Base Active models now feature body-coloured bumpers as standard, while MyLife grades feature alloy wheels and a 12v power outlet. Range-topping Dynamic trim comes with air-conditioning, roof rails, front fog lights, and an MP3 player.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Infiniti enters Latin American market

As the Latino country of Panama saw sales of luxury cars spike by 15.8% in 2010, Japanese car marque has chosen the country as its point of entry into the Latin American market.

Infiniti vehicles will be sold in Panama through Grupo FASA, a large Panamanian auto association consisting of distributors for Nissan, BMW and Mini. The first outlet, located in Panama City, will be a 2,040 square metre building with service centre facilities.

Fiat Panda reaches second all-important milestone

The Fiat Panda city-car reached a new landmark recently, when the 2,000,000th model rolled-off the production line in Tychy, Poland.

The milestone car was a Pasodoble Red Panda Cross with a 75bhp 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine that will be delivered to an anonymous customer somewhere in Europe.

Video: Porsche catapults into car park

Captured on a CCTV camera was this white Porsche that amazingly catapulted over a wall and landed on its wheels, straight into a car park.

Miraculously, no one appears to have been injured, as we see the driver alighting the vehicle to check out the damage.

Video: Sewer geyser lifts Ford Focus sedan

Heavy rain in downtown Montreal, Canada, caused a flash flood after the city's sewer system was unable to cope with the volume of rain. As a result, some of the water eventually burst through a manhole cover, thus elevating a silver Ford Focus sedan parked above.

After a few minor eruptions, a major eruption occurred, sending the Focus sedan a few feet into the air and damaging its rear bumper, exhaust, and light clusters as it lands partially on a tree and the Toyota RAV4 behind.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Video: Criminal gets car-jacked by farmer

A savvy Norwegian farmer managed to stop a would-be thief from escaping after he broke into the farmer's home.

Nissan revises Leaf for 2012 model year (U.S)

Nissan has revised the Leaf EV for the 2012 model year. Firstly, the DC fast charge port is now standard on the SL trim-level. This allows the car be charged at 480v that enables a insufficient battery to have an 80% charge within 30mins.

In addition, all models obtain a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and a battery warmer, for colder climates.

Ferrari 458 Spider may feature folding metal top

According to a recent report, Ferrari is developing a 458 Spider that will boast a folding hard-top. The Italian marque has apparently figure out issues regarding a folding hard top, maybe because its own California comes with a folding metal roof whereas the F430 Spider arrived with a fabric hood.

Unlike the current 458, the Spider variant would have its clear engine cover removed, although its engine remains the same. Whether the folding-top will be made from metal, glass, or polycarbonate and its configuration remains a mystery.

The Saab 9-6X concept that never was

The first ever pictures of the Saab 9-6X concept have reach the web, almost six years after the model was canned. The photos were taken recently after the Swedish firm uncovered the vehicle at its museum in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The model underpinned the facelift Subaru Tribeca – which itself was launched in 2008 – and was expected to launch after the Impreza-based 9-2X. GM aborted the the 9-6X after it sold a small stake in Fuji Heavy Industries in 2005, thus the 9-6X concept never saw light again, until recently.

Dodge may revive Magnum

Dodge offered the Magnum in four trim-levels, including
a range-topping SRT8
The Dodge Magnum wasn't the most successful Chrysler product, selling in very low volumes but successor may be in the pipeline.

CEO of the SRT division, Ralph Gilles said at a new press event the Magnum was originally aborted by a former Chrysler executive. He continued "Alot of people in the company still like that vehicle [the Magnum]" and "great things are coming."

Toyota RAV4 EV won't go on sale to public (U.S)


Toyota has confirmed that the RAV4 EV will available to the American public, however, when it brings the Scion iQ EV to the market, only this will be offered to fleet and car-sharing scheme customers.

According to recent reports, the Toyota RAV4 EV won't be available to the American masses.

Despite a scheduled 2012 U.S sale date, the RAV4 electric vehicle will be exclusively offered to car sharing schemes and fleets only. Tesla provided the same electric drivetrain, you would find in it's vehicle line-up, in the RAV4 EV.

Volkswagen wants to attract men with muscular new 2012 Beetle

Volkswagen of America wants to abandon its feminine stereotype regarding the Beetle with the all-new 2012 Beetle, which according to the German marque, is more masculine that its successor. The new 21st Century Beetle underpins the same platform as the outgoing Golf GTI.

Currently, 65% of Beetle customers are women but Volkswagen hope the new shape Beetle will even that down to 50:50, between the two sexes.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

2013 Honda CR-V spied in the U.S

The next Honda CR-V is currently in the late stages of development, as spy photographers capture the compact SUV undergoing hot-weather testing in Death Valley, California.

Both test cars feature extensive vinyl camouflage on the fascias and rear-quarter window, which indicate dramatic alterations to the bumpers and light clusters. The rear-quarter windows will also be longer than the current model's and the roofline seems to slope from the B-pillar backwards. The rear overhang has been extended to either provide a larger loadspace or to accommodate an extra pair of seats.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Next-generation Subaru WRX to be a coupé

According to a recent report, when Subaru launches the next WRX in 2014, the model will be isolated from the rest of the Impreza line-up.

The reason for this is the WRX will transform into a sports coupé and will feature its own design that's different from the regular Impreza. The WRX will still centre on the Impreza but will feature a shorter wheelbase for improved handling.

2013 Jaguar XE caught in Death Valley

As car manufactures descend to Death Valley, spies have scoured the desert to bring you these spy photos of the forthcoming Jaguar XE compact sports car.

The XE test mules underpin a shortened XK platform and sport extended wheelarches, repositioned fuel cap, and fake body panels. This particular mule, unlike others, boast a pair of centrally-mounted twin exhausts with faux pipes on each end of the lower rear bumper.

Video: Chrysler employees caught smoking and drinking during break, again

No, this isn't a free-loving hippy but a
Chrysler employee
High ho, off to the car we go!

Chrysler's employees have been caught smoking drugs and drinking alcohol beverages close by the marque's Trenton engine factory in Trenton, Michigan. This isn't the first time Chrysler workers have been caught blind drunk and high. September 2010 saw a group of workers smoking and drinking on the job by a FOX news team at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Majority of them were fired.

Volkswagen Passat CC facelift spied in California

These are the first spy images of Volkswagen's upcoming Passat CC facelift undergoing extreme hot-weather testing on the West Coast.

If the current Passat and Jetta are anything to go by, the facelift will see the current Passat CC's sleek, stylish bodywork phased out to bring the car up-to-date with the current Volkswagen line-up, which entails smoother, rounded front and rear fascias.

Scion iQ pricing announced (U.S)

Toyota's youthful division, Scion has announced pricing of the ultra-compact iQ city-car, which goes on sale later this year.

Starting at a lofty $15,995, the iQ is more expensive than the Smart ForTwo and supermini's, but on par with compact family cars. Although specifications have yet to be announced, Scion believes the city-orientated iQ will be popular amongst fashionistas.

Man used 11 year old boy as clutch

A South African man has been given a driving ban after he was captured with his 11 year old son sitting adjacent in the driver's seat.

The 39 year old driver had his left leg removed in 1996 following a gunshot wound, thus unable to use the clutch pedal. Merle Lourens, chief traffic inspector, said to proceed with driving, the man sat his son close by, telling him when to press the clutch.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Fisker Karma obtains 3,000 pre-orders

With Fisker expected to deliver the first Karma later this month, the marque claimed that it has received 3,000 pre-orders for the wild sports cars. Movie star Leonardo Di Caprio will take delivery of the first production model with other high-profilers like Colin Powell and Al Gore expected to follow suit.

"Our sales are split 50:50 between early-adopting car enthusiasts and total non-car enthusiasts who just like that we are bringing something totally new to market," said Fisker. "They recognise the infrastructure isn't there for electric cars, and see we offer a stylish, stress-free alternative with no range compromises."

Photo Gallery: 2012 Toyota Yaris

Toyota has announced prices of the new Yaris supermini, ahead of first deliveries in mid-September. The entry-level Yaris T2 starts from £11,170, a price increase of £640 over the current model, before topping-out at £15,385 for the top-of-the-line Yaris T-Spirit 1.33 Dual VVT.

The third-generation Yaris is longer, lighter, and lower than its successor. The revised exterior design boasts a more angled look, with a prominent lower grille and chunkier bumpers, while huge emphasis has been placed on interior quality. The longer wheelbase now provides better passenger and luggage space, with 35mm more legroom (than its predecessor) and a 347 litre luggage compartment.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

VAG loses EU court-case regarding TDI trademark

According to a report from Germany, a court in Luxembourg has rejected Volkswagen and Audi's attempt to trademark the abbreviation “TDI” for sole use on their diesel engines.

The judges involved in the case said the abbreviation is not unique within the EU. They ruled that since the term has previously been used elsewhere, there wasn't enough evidence to rule that "TDI" should be possessed by Audi.

Toyota expecting Prius sales to exceed 2010 figures

Toyota has made an astonishing announcement that the marque anticipates to surpass 2010 sales figures of the Prius hatchback.

The news took back analysts because at the moment, Toyota dealerships in the U.S hardly have one-day supply of Prius models on the forecourt. The restricted inventory is due to delivery delays and production shutdowns.

Lotus may premier facelifted Evora at Frankfurt

A recent report suggest Lotus will launch a restyled Evora at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Although details are scares, CEO Dany Bahar mentioned the model will be given 147 alterations and "the priority is to improve the quality." That means we expect a new transmission, exhaust, and a revised better-quality interior.

Next-generation Hyundai Elantra Touring to ditch wagon bodystyle

Hyundai CEO, John Krafcik has confirmed that the next-generation Elantra Touring will launch in late 2012 as a 2013 model. Krafcik added the recent Elantra sedan was designed with the American market in mind, while the current Elantra Touring (i30 CW in Europe and Australia) was penned primarily for the European market.

"We launched the Elantra touring a couple of years after we launched the Elantra and we're going to have the same model cycle for Elantra Touring here," Krafcik said. "We're going to get the next-generation i30 here in the U.S. market in a couple of years."

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Chrysler Grand Voyager pricing announced (UK)

Jeep-Chrysler UK has announced prices for the 2012 Grand Voyager large MPV. The entry-level LX starts at £27,995 when paired with a 6-speed automatic and a 2.8 litre CRD diesel engine, which still develops 161bhp (159PS/120kW) and 347Nm (265lb-ft) of torque.

Externally, the 2012 model year Grand Voyager adopts a restyled fascia for a more “premium look,”, a new rear bumper, boot lid and LED tail lights. Inside, a revised dashboard features, alongside the marque's ‘Stow ‘n Go’ seating, which now offers larger seats and one-touch operation. The diesel engine has been tweaked to offer improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Lotus revelations revealed, Evora replacement due in 2017

The Lotus Evora has been given an extra five-years of life after Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar confirmed that the next Elan has been delayed until 2017. The British marque will also produce its own 4.8 litre V8 petrol unit that'll produce 570bhp (562PS/425kW) and will find its way under the new Esprit in 2013.

The R&D department said that potential Lotus customer's are reluctant to purchase a £100,000 vehicle powered by a V8 Toyota engine. The new bespoke V8 engine will be developed by its 700-strong Engineering division and will weight in at 170kg (375lbs) (80kg (176lbs) lighter than before). Chief engineer, Wolf Zimmerman added the engine is also “40% smaller” than the Toyota's, thus saving space.

German car sales surge, French and Spanish sales sink

The German auto importers association, VDIK has announced that car sales in June have risen 10% year-on-year, with growth anticipated in the second half of 2011 to 3.1m units. The month of June saw 288,383 vehicles sold. Furthermore, in the first half of this year, car sales soared 10.5% year-on-year to 1.62m units.

"The positive overall economic development is clearly having an effect. The car industry's order backlog has reached an excellent level," the lobby group's president Volker Lange said.

Dacia Popster MPV spied in Southern Europe

Photographers in Southern Spain have caught the first photos of Dacia's upcoming compact MPV - in prototype form - dubbed Popster. Codenamed J92, the 7 or 8-seater MPV will underpin the Nissan NV200 and is likely to underpin the next Renault Kangoo.

Even though Dacia is a budget car brand, the marque wants the MPV to compete with the Citroën C4 Picasso/Berlingo, Peugeot Partner Tepee, Fiat Doblò, Nissan NV200, Volkswagen Caddy Life, Vauxhall/Opel Zafira/Combo Kombi, Renault Scénic/Kangoo, and Ford C-Max/Transit Connect Tourneo.

Health officials offer Tata Nano's for sterilisations (IN)

With India's population set to overtake China's by 2030, the Government is looking for ways to trim the country's birth rate.

As such, authorities in Rajasthan created an outlandish competition that gives neutered patients a chance to win a Tata Nano city-car, food blender's, televisions, and more.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Jaguar confirms XF station wagon

An estate variant of the XF has been rumoured for many, many years. Now, thanks to Andrew Whyman, the XF's Chief Engineer – its been confirmed the vehicle is in development.

While no release date was noted, the marque's Design Director, Ian Callum said Jaguar “will do something different with this. It will be slightly different, with character and panache.” He also confirmed a performance R variant of the wagon, which will see prices soar to £65,000.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Range Rover Evoque production starts

The first Range Rover Evoque has rolled off the production line at the firm's Halewood factory in Liverpool. The first Evoque is a five-door Dynamic model, finished in pearl white and will be donated to the Heritage Motor Centre Museum in Gaydon, as is every new Jaguar-Land Rover product.

The manpower at Halewood has more than double as 1,500 additional staff were employed to manufacture the Evoque. In addition, Land Rover will provide the UK economy with £2bn as 40 contracts were handed out to local supply companies. Globally, two-thirds of Evoque sales will go towards the five-door variant, however, Land Rover expects a clean 50/50 split between the bodystyles.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Chevrolet Camaro and Volt pricing announced (UK)

Chevrolet's long-awaited Camaro muscle car will start from £34,995 when it hits retailers in Spring 2012, alongside the Volt.

That entry price buys you a European-approved left-hand-drive Camaro coupé, while the hard-top convertible starts from £39,995. Power comes from a 426bhp (432PS/318kW) 6.2 litre V8 petrol engine that is linked to a 6 speed manual, while an automatic gearbox is available for an additional £1,500.

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