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Showing posts from May, 2007


Nissan Announces Pricing on New 2008 Nissan Pathfinder

Major Revision Includes Available V8 Engine for the First Time in 22-year History

2008 Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan North America, Inc. announced pricing on the 2008 Pathfinder, which goes on sale today at Nissan dealers nationwide. For the first time ever, the Nissan Pathfinder is available with a 5.6-iter V8 engine, offering an additional 44 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque over the standard 4.0-liter V6 for greater towing capacity. Other major enhancements for 2008 include a restyled exterior and interior, and a range of available technology features such as RearView Monitor, Intelligent Key and BluetoothÒ hands-free phone system.

The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder is offered in six trim levels, each equipped with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25,700 for the Nissan Pathfinder 4x2 S V6 and $27,700 for the Pathfinder 4x4 S V6. Pricing for the new V8 models starts at $30,600 for the Nissan Pathfinder 4x2 SE V8 and $3…

2008 Subaru Tribeca Awarded Double 5-Star Safety Rating from NHTSA

Subaru Tribeca given highest possible safety rating from NHTSA in both the frontal and side-impact NCAP crash tests

The 2008 Subaru Tribeca was awarded a double 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. (PRNewsFoto/Subaru of America, Inc., Greg Jarem)
Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the restyled and more powerful 2008 Subaru Tribeca received the highest rating in the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests. The 2008 Subaru Tribeca received 5-stars in both the frontal and side- impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions.

"Safety is a true hallmark of the Subaru brand and the 2008 Subaru Tribeca offers our customers the peace of mind of a comprehensive, proven safety package," said Tom Doll, executive vice president, Subaru of America, Inc. "Innovative structural design, plus advanced active safety technologies, combined with Subaru Symmetr…

New German-Sourced Lincoln Crossover Reportedly Not Coming to U.S.

Plans have been killed for Lincoln to get a small German-sourced crossover vehicle from Ford in Germany, Automotive News is reporting, and the company is blaming the unfavorable currency exchange rate for the change.

The new small CUV will still be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show this fall and will hit the European market next year, badged as a Ford. It is reportedly based on Ford's 2006 Paris show concept called the Iosis X.

Importing the small crossover utility vehicle that would have been sourced from Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany was reportedly a pet project of new Ford chief Alan Mulally. However, it had not been formally given the green light, according to the publication's report.

Ford Motor Company Receives "EUBIA" Award for Its European Bio-Ethanol Vehicle Pioneership

Ford Focus Flexifuel
The European Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA) has granted Ford its "2007 EUBIA" award, as a recognition of Ford's European pioneer ship in the area of bio-ethanol powered flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).

The award ceremony last Friday marked the end of EUBIA's 15th biomass conference in Berlin. During one week, approximately 1,400 experts from more than 80 countries had debated the future potential and challenges of bio-energy use.

"We are proud to receive this award", said Jan Brentebraten, director, flexifuel and alternative fuel vehicles strategy, Ford of Europe. "Flexifuel technology is already available today and it's affordable, not only for the environment, but also for the customer.

"We're committed to pursuing a portfolio of technologies with the ultimate goal of reducing CO2, and we see Flexifuel as one of the most affordable options, provided a sustainable bio-ethanol fuel infrastructure continues to grow.&quo…

Nissan Releases Revised Nissan Lafesta Minivan in Japan

Nissan Lafesta 20G (2WD) minivan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the nationwide sales release of the new Nissan Lafesta minivan in Japan. The Nissan Lafesta, originally introduced in 2004, receives a number of significant refinements, including new grille, bumper and light designs; revised seat shape, seat fabric and gauge designs; and availability of an advanced HDD-based CARWINGS navigation system.

The Nissan Lafesta model lineup has also been revised. The Highway Star model again provides customers with a more sporty derivative, while the Playful model has been discontinued.

Easy to drive

The new Nissan Lafesta continues to offer an easy-to-drive combination of agile maneuverability and superior outward visibility, as well as excellent acceleration, quietness and fuel economy.

For those spending time in the city, the Nissan Lafesta offers a class-leading 5.1-meter minimum turning radius and large windows that provide outstanding visibility to all corners of the vehicle.

Also contr…

2008 Ford Taurus, 2008 Mercury Sable Earn Top Safety Picks

- 2008 Ford Taurus, 2008 Mercury Sable earn “Top Safety Pick” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for achieving the highest ratings in frontal offset, side and rear impact crash protection.
- Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are the world's only large family cars to earn both the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating and the U.S. government's highest available five-star ratings in all crash test categories.
- Ford and Volvo engineers worked together to create this innovative vehicle structure featuring crush zones so that energy is transferred around the passenger compartment.
- Class-leading affordability and safety combine to make Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable two of the best choices for safety-conscious consumers looking for full-size family cars.

2008 Ford Taurus
The 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable will arrive in showrooms this summer bearing Top Safety Pick ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the government’s highest available fiv…

New Saab 9-3 Range

Sharper Looks Showcase Enhanced Performance

New Saab 9-3 Range: Sharper Looks Showcase Enhanced Performance
The new Saab 9-3 range will feature bold styling, inspired by the award-winning Saab Aero X concept car, backed by cutting edge technology for greater driving appeal. .

With all-new front bodywork, ‘signature’ lighting, new door panels and rear styling features, the latest generation 9-3 acquires a more focused, assertive stance, reflecting the introduction of technical advances aimed at delivering an even more rewarding experience behind the wheel.

Most noticeable is the sharper frontal styling, which adopts grille and hood themes first seen on the Saab Aero X concept, together with a return of Saab’s classic ‘clamshell’ design. This new ‘face’ is reinforced by other exterior changes that all combine to give the range a clearer, more distinctive Saab identity.

“We are introducing significant developments across three key areas: design, performance and handling,” says Jan Åke Jonsson…

Holden Releases Special Edition Holden Commodore SVZ Ute and Holden Commodore SVZ Wagon

Special Edition Holden Commodore SVZ Ute
Holden has released special edition Holden Commodore SVZ Ute and Holden Commodore SVZ Wagon models offering key extra features and outstanding value for money.

Available now, Holden SVZ Ute offers a six-speed manual transmission from $29,990 and a five-speed automatic from $30,990.

Holden SVZ Ute is powered by the High Output Alloytec V6 engine which produces peak power of 190kW at 6500rpm (automatic transmission) and peak power of 187kW at 6000rpm (manual transmission) and 335Nm of peak torque at 3200rpm.*

Also available now, Holden Commodore SVZ Wagon is priced from $32,490 and powered by the 172kW 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 engine with four-speed automatic transmission.*

Both offers are limited to private buyers only.

Holden Commodore SVZ Ute Specification

Additional content over SV6 Ute:

* 18-inch alloy wheels with full size alloy spare (CV8-R)
* Performance brake package with red painted brake callipers (Holden logo on front brakes)
* Onyx leather …

Opel’s new Agila ready to hit the road

The theme with carmakers across Europe seams to be ‘going small’, with the minicar segment seriously heating up with new entrants due from most of the major labels. Pictured here is the new Opel/Vauxhall Agila five door hatch that’s due to hit showrooms by spring next year. Its versatile design allows users to fold down the back seats to accommodate a class-leading 1150L of storage space.The next-gen Agila will offer three new engines and an automatic gearbox option will be available for the first time but only for 1.2L versions. The most popular will be the two petrol units, a 1.0L three-cylinder with 65hp and a 1.2L four-cylinder with 86hp. Diesel fans will get an updated 1.3L CDTi, as seen in the Corsa, with 75hp on tap.The vehicle’s safety package comprises of comprising four airbags as well as an optional Electronic Stability Program. New Agila will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September with final pricing expected to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch i…

2007 Grabercars La Bala

The car is for sale in both turnkey-minus and self-assembly format. Pricing for the self-assembly model starts at $25,000 and is a complete package minus drivetrain and paint.

The key features of this car are its light weight (for a full-bodied car) of only 1,500Lbs, and the capability for the purchaser to utilize virtually any FWD drivetrain they desire. This is due to the modular construction of the engine bay. Of course the lighter the engine package the better balanced the car becomes, and with a turbocharged 1.6L Toyota powerplant (in the current car) making 170Hp, the car does 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and has a F/R weight bias of 35/65. This is a street legal track car that is similar in size to a Lotus Elise. The photos I am sending show the car in full track trim. Length 124", wheelbase 98", track 57", width 67".

Grabercars is based out of Phoenix, Arizona and is only moments from Sky Harbor International Airport. We welcome prospective customers.

2007 ASMA Design Eagle II Widebody based on Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The new Project becomes through our amazing performance kit a never seen experience on the roads of Germany. This amazing model is crowned with the name “Eagle II“.

The powerful wings of an eagle which are symbolized by the typical ASMA Design Air Intakes in the front fenders of the car, the perfect body kit with the typical ASMA Design elements and the bi-colour painting are creating this dominating presence.

Promises are promises and we keep our promises because we put another accent on the rear which makes you scared like the dominating front and the exhaust system.

Its body control is just stunning, its combination of comfort and structural integrity masterful. The ASMA Design wheels on the front axle in 9,5 x 21 inch and on the back axle in 11 x 21 are completing the excellent design of the car. The wheels are on the front axle vast 255/30/21 and on the back axle 295/25/21.

Tesla Electric Vehicles Won't Go to Franchisers

Tesla Motors, maker of the hot and hotly anticipated $92,000 electric Roadster, will sell its products through factory-owned stores, not traditional dealerships. The company will put the first cars on sale in Santa Monica, California, in November, then move to major cities including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and eventually Denver, Boston and other major markets.

Automotive News quoted Tesla Marketing Vice President Darryl Siry as saying, "We can't hand over the car to an independent franchiser" who would "spend his time apologizing for the car's shortcomings." Therefore the company plans to run its own sales outlets, which he said would be more like an Apple computer store than a traditional vehicle dealership.

Bloomberg reports 400 orders have already been placed for the first model, the two-seat Tesla Roadster, with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor George Clooney on the list.

A second model, the WhiteStar sedan is due in 2010. Whet…

Mercedes-Benz AMG 40th Anniversary

40 Years of AMG: From a two-man start-up to a global business

Stuttgart, May 08, 2007 From its beginnings 40 years ago as a specialist motorsport and tuning firm, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has grown into a supplier of exclusive high-performance cars with some 750 employees, an extensive model range comprising 18 different AMG cars, customers across the world and a brand name which has gained a high level of recognition.

The company was founded on June 1, 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Erhard Melcher (M); the third letter in the company name (G) came from Aufrecht's birthplace, GroЯaspach. The two men officially described themselves as "Engineering, construction and testing specialists in the development of racing engines". The firm was based in an old mill in Burgstall (near Affalterbach).

Breakthrough in 1971 with second place at the 24 Hours of Spa

In the early years of the company, its founders concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 …

2007 Mercedes-Benz AMG DTM C-Class

Like the road car, the 2007 AMG-Mercedes C-Class also represents the third generation of this model. With 54 victories out of 106 races in which it has been entered until the end of 2006 (in 1994 and 1995 and since 2004 in the DTM and also in the 1996 ITC which had been derived from the DTM), the C-Class is not only the most successful Mercedes-Benz in the championship, but the most successful car in the history of the DTM.

Development, design and construction began in March 2006 when the technicians and engineers headed by Gerhard Ungar, technical director of HWA, received the CAD data for the new model. About ten months later – on January 24, 2007 – the new C-Class for the DTM made its debut on the race track. At the roll-out and initial testing in Estoril, Portugal, Bernd Schneider and Bruno Spengler took turns behind the wheel; the two drivers who had finished the 2006 championship in first and second positions respectively.

Ungar and his colleagues started with a 1:2 scale wind tun…

Honda displayed its FCX concept

Honda says it will put its FCX hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle on the market in small quantities as early as next year. Japanese and U.S. buyers will be the first to be able to lease the car. The company also says it will produce a mass-market hybrid vehicle within two years, promising that it will cost less than $25,000 and be big enough to use as a family transport.

Honda displayed its FCX concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, saying then that it was the concept form of a vehicle "currently under development for release in 2008."

The automaker showed off two prototypes in the capital on Thursday on a test track. Honda said the fuel-cell vehicles get about 68 mpg and can hit a 100-mph top speed. Driving range is 270 miles, which is a 60-mile improvement over the existing Honda FCX model.

There are currently 20 Honda fuel-cell prototypes on the roads in the United States, mainly being used by government fleets. The automaker says it is working …

2007 Porsche Cayenne Emergency Vehicle

One of the fastest emergency vehicles, fully suited for rough terrain as well, has been developed in Zuffenhausen. With laborious hand work, 15 trainees of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart have converted the sport utility vehicle Cayenne S into a very modern deployment vehicle for rescue workers. The prototype will be employed by Health and Safety Services.

The interior of the original production vehicle from the first Cayenne generation was completely modified. The rear seat and passenger seat had to give way to an aluminum frame construction, onto which the stretcher can be slid through the tailgate of the vehicle. A seat for the emergency doctor was set up adjacent to the stretcher. The modified Cayenne S provides the doctor with highly modern medical equipment for administering first aid to the patient. Among other equipment, an EKG with a defibrillator an electroshock device for treating patients with ventricular fibrillation , an electrical suction pump, an emergency backpa…

Honda confirms hydrogen fuel-cell sedan for 2008

Honda has announced that it will launch a hydrogen fuel-cell sedan next year as well as a new high volume hybrid vehicle priced under its $25,000 Civic hybrid in 09. The announcement was made at yesterday’s demonstration of Honda’s FCX fuel-cell prototype in Washington, a four-door concept with a range of 270 miles and a top speed of 100mph. “We’re calling this the ‘FCX Concept’ but I can assure you it is not just some far out, pie-in-the-sky exercise in what may or may not come to fruition some day in the distant future,” said Honda fuel-cell marketing manager Steve Ellis in an interview with reporters from The Detroit News. Ellis explained that the new vehicle is key to attracting more green-conscious customers and that it will be initially launched in Japan and the US only. A major problem holding back the introduction of more hydrogen powered vehicles is the lack of hydrogen fueling stations. One solution Honda is considering is launching an experimental home energy station that u…

Tesla launching factory-owned stores for new roadster

Tesla will be selling its upcoming electric roadster through factory-owned stores rather than franchised dealerships with the aim to create the atmosphere of a trendy Apple Store instead of the staid image of a regular dealer. Automotive News reports that the first store will be opened on Santa Monica Boulevard in LA by November, with other stores to open soon after in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Miami.The news comes from Tesla’s vice president of marketing Darryl Siry, who also mentioned that after the initial group of stores are opened, even more will be opened across the US in places such as San Diego, Seattle, Denver and Boston. Tesla is expecting to sell up to 1,200 units per year of the UK-built roadster.Siry explains that the $92,000 Tesla roadster cannot be sold in a conventional manner. “A traditional dealer would spend his time apologizing for the car’s shortcomings rather than talking up the benefits”, he said. “We are going to design our own sales experience from …

2010 Hyundai Tiburon Captured

Spy photos of the 2010 Hyundai Tiburon have been leaked onto the Internet and are finding their way into Hyundai chat rooms. Sharing a rear-wheel-drive platform with Hyundai's new Genesis sedan that was unveiled in April as a concept at the New York auto show, the Tiburon is expected to go on sale in Korea in late 2008 and early-to-mid-2009 in North America.

Slightly bigger than the current Tiburon, this redesigned coupe takes many of its styling cues from the HCD-8 concept shown several years ago. Likely to share powertrains with the Genesis sedan, at least the DOHC V6 engine, Hyundai is focusing on the Infiniti G37 coupe as a chief competitor. The spy photos also reveal another engine possibility: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Pricing is expected to start in the high $20,000s.

First Drive: 2008 Audi Q7 4.2 TDI


We’re not getting this V-8 diesel here, but we can tell you that the current Q7 flagship lacks soul, and that Audi’s B&O doesn’t stink.

At the tail end of our first drive experience of Audi’s mouth-watering A5 and S5 coupes, we were thrust into the driver’s seat of something entirely different in pretty much every conceivable way: the newly minted Q7 4.2 TDI. Some of us rolled our eyes at this, since this particular oil-burner, positioned as the current flagship of the Q7 line (until the V-12 TDI launches) in Europe, won’t be making it Stateside any time soon. Furthermore, Audi didn’t bring any 3.0 TDIs—which we will get late next year as an ’09 model—for comparison. But we set out to learn a thing or two anyway, as the Q7 4.2 TDI represents the interesting combination of a diesel SUV with a performance bent, and where better to explore the limits of this torquiest of all Audis than on the German autobahn? And so we did.

No surprises

Driving the big diesel Q7 offered absolute…

Mercedes R-Class

Is it an MPV? An SUV? An over-inflated estate? No one's quite sure what the MercedesR-Class really is, and the latest makeover on the biggest car in Merc's lineup won't do anything to clear up the confusion.

First, the R-Class is now being offered with rear-wheel drive. Previously a four-wheel-drive car only, we reckon that moves the R-Class nearer to MPV rather than SUV territory. Maybe.

But wait. Merc has rejigged the seating in the R-Class too. Whereas it was once strictly a six-seater - three rows of captain's chairs - you can now specify your family crossover-type-thing in five- or seven-seat guise.

That's a middle row of three seats plus an additional pair in the back, which can be removed to make way for Christmas trees or Jacuzzis or whatever it is people put in the back of an R-Class. Which might make it more of an estate. But we're not sure.

The R-Class has also been given a quick facelift, with new circular fog lamps and fresh body styling at the front a…

First Drive: 2007 BMW M6 Convertible


Too much equals not enough? The pricey, portly M6 ragtop trades speed for sex appeal.

BMW hasn’t had it too easy from us recently. The Bavarian masters of driving arts once had an easy ticket to a first-place finish in virtually every comparo they entered. But then came iDrive, then active steering, and then everyone’s favorite “whipping tech,” the sequential manual gearbox. You could argue that those technologies, in many cases, created as many problems as they solved, at least from the purist’s point of view.

A brighter spot came in the form of the 2006 BMW M6 coupe, a 6-series coupe made even more salivating with zoomier styling, a sexy carbon-fiber roof, and one of the most delicious engines on God’s green earth: a race-bred, heart-pounding, high-revving 5.0-liter V-10 producing an incredible 500 horsepower at 7750 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 6100 rpm. So prolific is the engine that not even the entire alphabet’s worth of techno-acronyms could keep the fun away. Then…