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Showing posts from March, 2007


First Drive: 2007 Honda Civic GX


Greenie spendthrifts wanted: A heavier, slower Civic with a smaller trunk. Oh, yeah, and it costs 50 percent more.

Never mind that we in Michigan are just emerging from our igloos after a long cold winter. The world is heating up, the ice caps are melting, and when that melt is complete, we’ll all be living high in the mountains in houses on stilts to stay dry. Forty days and 40 nights the waters will rage, and when the ice caps refreeze, we’ll all be fighting over who called first dibs on those last two pigs for our celebratory barbecues, since the unicorns were already eaten by sharks.

There are people who would argue that that sinister little creation, the automobile, is responsible for it all. We blame Al Gore, China, sweatshops, and greenie celebrities who flit about in private jets. Those who want to make a difference drive hybrids, while those who researched their decision drive diesels. Those who are truly enlightened and want to make a difference, however, seek somethin…

First Drive: 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited


A Lexus-like seven-seat SUV that should continue to convert Hyundai skeptics.

Plop down into the driver’s seat of the Hyundai Veracruz, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a quiet, comfortable, content-rich revelation. With a smooth, competent powertrain and luxury touches everywhere you look, it’s not hard to convince yourself that you’re behind the wheel of a Lexus. That’s hardly a shock, of course, given that Hyundai chose the Lexus RX350 as the benchmark for its seven-passenger Veracruz, which is now the largest SUV in Hyundai’s lineup.

A Smokin’ Deal

We tested an upscale front-wheel-drive Limited model, but all-wheel drive is available on any trim level for a $1700 premium. Ours was $33,120, with the only extra a set of floor mats for $125. Those luxury touches we mentioned? Mood lighting, heated leather seats, a six-CD Infinity stereo, a power liftgate, a sunroof, and auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors are all standard. Granted, many of those items are optional on…

Nissan unveils 2007 NISMO 350Z


2007 Nissan NISMO 350Z Continues Tradition of Performance, With GT Racing Machine Style and Features

The new 2007 Nissan NISMO 350Z, which makes its North American debut at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, features an extensively developed list of unique equipment – including a special body package and improved handling equipment. This new model, the fifth in the 2007 350Z Coupe lineup, goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in July 2007. NISMO is the premier supplier of high-performance aftermarket parts and accessories for Nissan vehicles worldwide.

The most striking visual feature of this special vehicle is the NISMO aerodynamics package with an aggressive front fascia with chin spoiler, side skirts, a larger rear fascia with functional air diffuser and rear wing. The NISMO 350Z also features the use of special mass dampers between the left- and right-side frame members. Additional performance enhancements include a specially tuned independent multi-link …

2008 Hummer H2


All-new interior features refined, premium appointments, all-new instrument panel and all-new, more comfortable seats with a full third row

New standard safety features include new electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, panic brake assist and roof rail head curtain side air bags with rollover sensing system

All-new 6.2L V-8 and six-speed automatic combination delivers more power and efficiency

Towing capacity increased to 8,000 pounds (3,629 kg)

NEW YORK – HUMMER announced the 2008 H2, with a completely redesigned, more refined interior that combines luxury with HUMMER’s legendary ruggedness; enhanced safety features and a more powerful engine that is coupled with a new, six-speed automatic transmission. The new powertrain combination improves efficiency when compared with previous models.

“The 2008 HUMMER H2 represents a major step in the evolu…

Volkswagen has just built its 25 millionth Golf !

Volkswagen has just built its 25 millionth Golf, surpassing sales of even the company's perennial favourite, the Beetle.

The Golf has easily exceeded the 21 million Beetles sold and it's done it in a mere 33 years, compared to the Beetle's five decades in production.

With these figures in mind, it won't be long before the vehicle passes the Ford F-150 pick-up in the sales charts. The Ford has found 26 million customers, but sales are slowing.

The 25 millionth Golf was a 1.4 TSi model fitted with a DSG gearbox.

However, the VW still has some way to go to catch the world's best-selling car, the Toyota Corolla, which has a tally of more than 35 million over its 40-year lifespan.

source: topgear

Toyota Increases 2007 Tundra Incentives to $3,000

TORRANCE, Calif. — Toyota Motor Corp., which has traditionally been sparing with its incentives, has added a nationwide $1,000 trade-in incentive through April 30 for buyers of its 2007 Tundra pickup. The offer comes on top of other discounts worth as much as $2,000 per Tundra, depending on the model.

The Tundra CrewMax model has no incentives, however.

The latest Tundra incentive is aimed squarely at buyers who owe more on their existing vehicle loans than their car or truck is worth. The new incentive can only be applied to help a buyer with a vehicle trade-in allowance. In addition, dealers have the discretion to use the incentive as they see fit. They do not have to use the entire amount.

Toyota is pulling out all the stops to win American buyers to the Tundra as competitors offer discounts as high as $5,000 per truck.

The 2007 Toyota Tundra ranges in price from $22,935 for a base 4x2 regular-cab model with a 236-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 to $42,495 for a CrewMax model with a 381-hp 5.7…

Chevrolet Trax

DETROIT — Next week at the New York auto show, Chevrolet will pull the wraps off three new Korea-designed minicar concepts — and will ask Web viewers to vote for their favorite.

To be officially unveiled April 4 at the auto show are three design concepts based on General Motors' global minicar platform, including a tiny crossover called Chevrolet Trax. The minicar platform was engineered in Korea by GM Daewoo, and all three minicar concepts were created at the automaker's design studio in Incheon.

Chevy says the concepts are intended to appeal to "young car buyers in urban markets." After April 4, Web users can vote for their favorite at The division says it will use the results to help it determine U.S. market interest in the minicar segment, as well as to learn which design appeals the most to potential buyers in the States.

The four-door Trax is powered by a 1.0-liter engine, with an orange exterior paint scheme.

source: insideline

2007 Land Rover Defender

GAYDON, England — Land Rover has updated its long-lived Defender for its 60th birthday, but there are still no plans to bring the iconic off-roader back to the U.S. market.

The 2007 Defender, which gets numerous enhancements inside and out, goes on sale in mid-April in the U.K., priced from $36,667 for the basic Defender 90 pickup. The range-topping Defender 130 will reach British dealers in July, priced from $44,475.

Among the highlights for 2007 are a new 2.4-liter common-rail diesel engine, a six-speed gearbox, a fully integrated front fascia, new seating and improved heating and air-conditioning.

Land Rover says it still sells 6,000 Defenders a year in Britain, its largest market. U.K. dealers already have taken 800 orders for the new model, which can be ordered in one of 14 different body styles, including pickup, soft top, crew cab and station wagon.

source: insideline

Chrysler Announces Pricing on 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

With a starting U.S. Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of $26,145 (including $675 destination), the all-new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible is priced $645 below the comparable outgoing model with $2,965 more standard contentChrysler Sebring Convertible delivers open-air freedom with elegant coupe styling and functionality of a year-round carDesigned and engineered to deliver all-season driving comfortModel line-up offers a broad range of powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain and feature combinationsChrysler is raising the roof on the convertible segment, introducing the all-new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible. With a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $26,145 (including $675 destination), the Chrysler Sebring Convertible is priced $645 below the comparable outgoing model with $2,965 more content, including standard side seat-mounted air bags for head and thorax protection, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, tire-pressure monitoring system, automatic latc…

Winner to be named at New York International Auto Show on April 5

The countdown continues! From an initial entry list of twenty-eight (28) new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of ten finalists, the top three contenders for the third annual World Car of the Year awards were announced today by the international accounting firm KPMG. The winners of the 2007 WCOTY will be unveiled during Press Preview at the upcoming New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) on Thursday, April 5.

The 2007 World Car of the Year top three finalists are, in alphabetical order:
Audi TTLexus LS460MINITo be eligible for a World Car award, the contender had to be in production, and sold, in at least five countries on two continents during 2006.

Vehicles are selected and voted on by an international jury panel comprised of 44 top-level automotive journalists from 22 countries around the world. Collectively, their opinions reach many millions of potential vehicle purchasers. Each juror has been appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of his or h…

Audi announces 2008 R8 U.S. pricing

Audi announced today pricing for the all-new 2008 R8 sports car. The R8 with a six-speed manual transmission will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $109,000 when it launches this fall in the United States. Models equipped with the six-speed R tronic automatic gearbox will start at $118,000.

The Audi R8 is the first mid-engine sports car Audi has ever produced. With a 420 hp V8 4.2L FSI engine and rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive system, the R8 has the performance capabilities unlike any Audi before it. With a zero to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph, the Audi R8 is the fastest Audi ever produced. The lightweight aluminum frame and body and 44:56 front-to-rear weight distribution give the R8 tremendous handling capabilities, with the balance expected of a mid-engine sports car.

Standard luxury features include Audi magnetic ride, automatic bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and LED engine compartment lighting. 19-inch…

Audi A6 and A6 Avant: Attractive equipment packages

There are two new packages available for the Audi A6 and A6 Avant luxury-class models offering particularly popular equipment at attractive prices.

The business package and the business package plus each provide savings of up to 28 percent on the price of ordering the items they contain individually.

Safety and comfort are provided in equal measure by the business package: powerful xenon plus headlights, cruise control, the Audi parking system, the four-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, front centre armrest, heated front seats and the lighting package are all included in the total price of €1,380 (for the 4.2 FSI quattro) or €1,950 (for four-cylinder and six-cylinder models).

The business package plus, costing €1,940 (4.2 FSI quattro) or €2,250 (four-cylinder and six-cylinder models) combines particularly exclusive equipment: in this package, A6 customers receive the navigation system with MMI basic plus, the driver information system with colour display, the Bluetooth mobile p…

Ferrari at the Techno-Classica 2007

Ferrari will be represented at the Techno-Classica 2007 by a stand dedicated entirely to Ferrari Classiche, a specialist division set up in Maranello to provide owners of historic Prancing Horse cars with restoration, maintenance, and assistance services. The Ferrari Classiche division also issues Authenticity Certificates.

Based in the original old factory building, Ferrari Classiche opened its doors in the summer of 2006 and has since become a major player in the protection of the unique Ferrari heritage. In fact, it has already received 496 certification requests (308 of which have already been issued) and has restored a total of 84 at its workshop (this included 12 complete restorations).

Ferrari Classiche’s plans for the future include a wider presence across the world, starting with Europe and North America. In fact, the intention is to have a total of 17 Ferrari Classic Certification Centres opened by the end of the year.

Since Ferrari’s earliest days, its cars have enjoyed cult s…

Accubuilt Introducing New Chrysler Interior at New York City Event

Accubuilt, Inc. will host an event on April 5th to introduce the new Dark Slate Gray interior now available in its W.P. Chrysler Executive Series 300 long-wheelbase Chrysler model. The new interior also features premium leather Seat trim as well as genuine California Walnut wood accents throughout. All livery operators in the Metro NYC-NJ-CT area will be formally invited but the event is open to all livery operators, regardless of location.

The event will take place at the Marriott LaGuardia Airport and will be held from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 1:00 p.m. “We'll have 300s available to ride and drive and will be offering heavy snacks and refreshments (including adult beverages from 11:00 a.m. on) to all attendees. Attendees can come anytime in that time span and stay as long or as little as they want,” Accubuilt says. Accubuilt will also pay attendee's parking charges at the Marriott.

Accubuilt President Don Cuzzocrea will personally host the event and Chrysler fleet sales …

Hyundai Tucson Xenith Limited Edition

As spring approaches Hyundai has added a new luxury special edition to its highly successful Tucson SUV range. The Tucson CDX already features a high level of standard equipment, such as; full leather interior, heated front seats, ABS with EBD, remote locking with alarm and air conditioning with climate control, to name a few. The Hyundai Tucson Xenith is available in black or silver and is a 6-speed, 2.0 CRTD (Common rail turbo diesel) 4WD manual. The Tucson Xenith includes all the specification of the best-selling Tucson CDX model plus more than £3000 of added specification upgrades. The New Hyundai Tucson Xenith includes: Colour coded side mouldings and bumpersRear privacy glassTwo tone leather and Alcantara upholstery Alcantara covered instrument cluster surround, gear gaiter, steering wheel, handbrake, armrest, door pull linings and door insertsBirds eye black maple wood effect trim on dashboard, console and door pullsLeather and alloy sports gear knobLuxury stainless steel embos…

Toyota Avensis refreshed for spring 2007

Toyota is introducing some feature changes for the Avensis range this spring, most notably upgrading the standard satellite navigation on T3-S, T4, T Spirit and T180 grades from a turn-by-turn to a full-map, touch-screen system.

Planning and following your route is made easier than ever thanks to enhanced graphics displayed on a 6.5-inch LCD monitor with 32,000-colour fine resolution map. Landmark buildings are shown in 3D effect and a city and motorway lane guidance function helps ensure you move to the right lane at the right time at complex intersections.

Programming is made simpler, too, with touch-screen controls and a voice recognition function for address searches.

Thanks to Traffic Message Channel (TMC) monitoring and Dynamic Route Guidance (DRG), the system obtains early alerts to any delays on a programmed route and will automatically offer the driver an alternative, if desired. It also provides an anticipated arrival time at your destination.

The more sophisticated navigation p…

Chinese Flybo Electric Car Coming to America

EASTON, Pa. — Wuzheng North America, which recently made headlines by bringing in China-made pickup trucks, has made a deal with another Chinese company, to sell electric vehicles here.

The Jinan Flybo Motor Company's flagship is called the XFD-6000ZK. The name is almost longer than the vehicle, which measures 102.3 inches long on a 71-inch wheelbase and looks similar to the Smart from certain angles. Top speed is 45 mph (with the 25-mph limiter removed), and it has a range of 70 miles on a charge. Classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), the XFD-6000ZK is "100 percent legal for on-road use," the company says. It and two lower-end electric cars — yes, there are lower-end models — are powered by a 48V electric motor. MSRP on the XFD-6000ZK is $12,950. Complete details are available at the Flybo Web site.

Jinan Flybo Motor is a subsidiary of Shandong Pioneer of the China Qingqi Group, the oldest and biggest motorcycle manufacturer in China. Qingqi was the first l…

2007 Callaway C16 Cabrio based on Chevrolet Corvette


World-Class Supercar Performance, Now Available as Convertible

Callaway Cars today announced it will unveil the C16 Cabrio, the company’s convertible variant of the limited production C16supercar, at the New York International Auto Show.

Callaway engineers integrated powertrain, brakes and suspension enhancements into the current Chevrolet Corvette platform, giving driving enthusiasts the opportunity to experience ultra-high performance levels in a convertible body style. Six-speed manual or paddle-shift automatic transmissions are available with either standard 560 or optional 616 horsepower engines.

The C16Cabrio, like the C16 Coupe, was drawn and modeled by designer Paul Deutschman who has a twenty-year portfolio of Callaway designs. Architect of the “Callaway Look” – from its 254 mph Sledgehammer and Le Mans race cars to the current C16 models – Paul has created a stunning new design wh…

IL Insider: Chevy Mulls Reviving "Nomad" Name for New Crossover Vehicle

DETROIT — Industry sources tell Inside Line that a Lambda-based Chevrolet crossover vehicle in the works for the 2009 model year may be called "Nomad," reviving a storied nameplate that dates back to the 1950s.

The Nomad name would be resurrected and used on a new crossover that would be a sibling to the 2007 GMC Acadia. The upcoming Chevrolet crossover will be a seven-seater with unibody construction that will replace the slow-selling Chevrolet Uplander. Sources say Chevrolet is convinced that returning to retro names — although not to retro styling — is the way to win consumers. It's similar to a trend that is in vogue with other domestic manufacturers, including Ford, which recently revived the Taurus name.

Nomad originally was used on a Chevrolet station wagon, most notably in its two-door form that was on the market from 1955-'57. That landmark Chevrolet Nomad was styled more like a hardtop than a station wagon and could arguably be described as a kind of primitiv…

2007 Callaway C16 based on Chevrolet Corvette


First Look at Callaway Cars’ Newest Statement of “Powerfully Engineered Automobiles”

Callaway Cars today unveiled its Callaway C16 – the 16th in an impressive lineup of exclusive, built-to-order Callaway automobiles. Based on the current Chevrolet Corvette platform, the C16 takes performance and style to the next level, with 616 supercharged bhp and 582 lb-ft of torque. The new sports car incorporates Callaway’s race-proven technologies, superlative craftsmanship and arresting style.

“The C16 says exactly what we want to say about the capabilities at Callaway Cars: It’s gorgeous, it has class-leading performance—and it’s a true daily driver based on one of the best sports car platforms ever made,” says company founder Reeves Callaway.

The C16 was drawn and modeled by designer Paul Deutschman, who has a twenty-year portfolio of Callaway designs. “He is the architect of the Calla…

Production Version of Ford Fairlane To Be Christened "Flex"

DEARBORN, Mich. — The Ford Motor Company will take the wraps off the boxy full-size crossover vehicle called Flex that it plans to launch next year at the upcoming New York auto show. The Flex is the production version of Ford's 2005 Fairlane concept.

The Flex is due to hit showrooms in late summer of 2008 as a 2009 model, although industry sources tell Inside Line that the company may try to get the vehicle to market sooner. The Flex will be built in Oakville, Ontario, and will range in price from $27,995 for a base model to about $40,000 for a top-of-the-line model. The Flex will use Ford's all-purpose 3.5-liter V6. Horsepower is expected to be around 265. The Flex is larger than the Ford Edge and shares a platform with the Five Hundred sedan.

A Lincoln version of the new crossover, with a 3.7-liter V6, is also in the works. It will differ from the Flex in terms of styling, with a much curvier exterior than its boxy counterpart. It also will be build in Oakville. Sources tell…

Opel Tigra TwinTop Now Wears Mango Fashion

Opel and the Spanish fashion brand Mango have signed an agreement to launch a joint advertising campaign across Europe from this spring. The cooperation between the two firms promotes the two-seat Tigra TwinTop cabrio and the current Mango collection. “Every street is a catwalk, and that goes for people and their clothes as well as for cars,” says Olivier Danan, Director Marketing Communication for Opel, explaining the concept behind the cooperation. “Today more than ever before, cars are also considered chic accessories that have to fit an overall stylish look.”

Ever since its launch two and a half years ago, the Opel Tigra TwinTop has been mainly aimed towards stylish, trend-conscience young women. “Our target groups are the same as Mango’s, so it made good sense to jointly promote our products’ attractiveness,” said Olivier Danan.

The campaign includes different actions in each market, like contests, catwalk during a motor show with special ladies day, special day shopping in Paris o…

Mazda Ryuga Concept at the 2007 Shanghai International Motor Show

Mazda will showcase the Asian premiere of the Mazda Ryuga, the second concept car to arise from the "Nagare" (flow) design theme at the 2007 Shanghai International Motor Show to be held from Friday, April 20 through Saturday, April 28 2007.

Also on show will be the new generation Mazda2 (European spec) which made its world debut to great acclaim at the Geneva International Motor Show in early March 2007; the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE equipped with Mazda's unique hydrogen rotary engine; the Mazda5 (known as the Mazda Premacy in Japan); and the Mazda CX-7. Including these reference exhibits, a total of 14 vehicles comprising 11 different models will be displayed to help spread Mazda's Zoom-Zoom brand message.

Officially titled Auto Shanghai 2007, the press days are April 20 and 21, and the public days are April 22 through 28.

Vehicles to be displayed
Concept vehicleMazda Ryuga Reference vehiclesMazda2Mazda5Mazda CX-7Mazda3 MPSMazda RX-8 Hydrogen RETechnical exhibitsMZR 2.3L …

The Dangerous Ten

Jeremy Clarkson selected the ten most exciting/fastest cars he has ever thrown around a track...

10: Noble M12 GT0-3R 170mph

"In a world obsessed with image, you can’t beat a Porsche. But in a world obsessed with time, a Porsche is a library. A TVR is the internet. And the Noble is broadband"

9: Aston Martin V8 Vantage 175mph. £51,500.

"Thanks to heavy steering, heavy brakes and a heavy six-speed manual gearbox, they’ve made the syllabub-light body feel like a meat pie. The 911 is for nancy boy racing drivers. The Aston’s for gentleman thugs"

8: Chevrolet Corvette C6 180mph. £52,595.

"This car has a head-up display, just like you get in an F-16 fighter. It’s fantastic. Whole bus queues are hidden behind the digital speed read-out, which is going to make for some wonderful insurance claims"

7: Vauxhall Monaro VXR 185mph. £36,995.

"Think of it as an Aussie from the outback. Maybe he can’t quote Shakespeare. Maybe he’s never heard of Terence Conran. But…

The BRABUS Sport Program for the New C-Clas

The BRABUS Sport Program for the New C-Class

Concurrent with the market introduction of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class BRABUS presents an exclusive sport program for the new sedan.

Highlights of the product lineup are the BRABUS 4.0 displacement engine with 332 hp / 244 kW for the V6 gasoline models, an elegant aerodynamic-enhancement program, light-alloy wheels with 20-inch diameter and corresponding suspensions, plus numerous individual interior options.

BRABUS is world-renowned for its powerful yet clean-burning displacement engines,
lubricated exclusively with ARAL motor oil. All tuning components and conversions are backed by the one-of-a-kind BRABUS Tuning Warranty? of three years up to 100,000 kilometers (see BRABUS warranty conditions as of June 2003).

For the new C 280 and C 350 models BRABUS offers its BRABUS 4.0 engine. By installing a special crankshaft and larger pistons displacement is increased to 4.0 liters. Additionally the four-valve cylinder heads are opti…

Citroen's code cracker: C2 Code special edition

Citroën has taken its lively 125bhp C2 1.6i 16V VTS supermini and enhanced it with a luxurious full leather interior, sporty exterior styling touches and an exclusive paint job to create the new, high performance C2 Code special edition – all for a cracking £10,545.

Sporting a unique athletic look, complete with a full-length roof stripe, a chrome exhaust pipe and Smart 16” alloys, Citroën’s C2 Code stands out from the crowd whether dressed in the striking new iron grey pearlescent paint work or a dynamic black look. What is more, the cost of these colours is included in the price.

On the inside the C2 Code really sets itself apart from other small hot hatches – the sports-style, bolstered seats and door panels are coated with a rich new leather trim, while the front occupants benefit from the added luxury of heated seats. A sparkling aluminum gear knob hints at the performance credentials of this hot hatch, whilst added practicality is provided by the independently sliding and folding…

All-new Infiniti G37 coupe debuts at New York Auto Show

The all-new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe, which makes its world debut at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, combines the exhilarating performance, stunning styling and modern, sporty interior of the original Infiniti G Coupe and accelerates each to new levels. Among the key enhancements to the new second-generation G Coupe are a larger, more powerful 3.7-litre V6 engine, available advanced 4-Wheel Active Steer system, a dramatic new exterior design and a refined interior with intuitive, integrated technology. The Infiniti G37 Coupe joins the recently introduced, all-new 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan in Infiniti showrooms nationwide in August.

“The new Infiniti G35 Sedan, which has been named to both Car and Driver’s ‘10 Best Cars’ and
Automobile magazine’s ‘All-Stars’ list, has set the stage for the introduction of the new Infiniti G37 Coupe,” said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. “The new Coupe builds on the styling, performance and interior enhancements…