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Showing posts from November, 2007


What else is new Lexus struggling to develop LF-A supercar

Toyota's showing in Tokyo was rife with disappointments, none more so than what was over at the Lexus booth. Beyond its LF-Xh hybrid crossover, rumor had it that a revised version of the LF-Asupercar would make an appearance. No such luck. Instead, the same show car we've seen over the last year stood alone, longing for refinement.

According to Winding Road's Japan correspondent, the reason for the dismal showing was a shakeup on the engineering side of Lexus' new halo. A number of "key engineers" have apparently been yanked off the project to work on other programs within Toyota, and that, partnered with problems providing power from both a V10 and a gas-electric hybrid V8, along with reaching the 218 MPH targeted top speed, has caused delays in development.

The business plan for the LF-A includes building 26 units per month, and sources suggest that sales are likely to begin in 2009 – the same year Acura will bring its own supercar to market.

© Source: autoblo…

2008 Dodge Caliber Review

What's New for 2008
The enthusiast-oriented Dodge Caliber SRT4 makes its debut this year, bringing with it a turbocharged 285-horsepower engine. The rest of the 2008 lineup is pretty much unchanged. Caliber SXT and R/T models have some additional standard equipment this year, and all Calibers get new chrome accents within their cabins.

The 2008 Dodge Caliber shines in certain respects. Those who favor styling with an aggressive edge will enjoy its looks. Huge headlights, a crosshair grille and testosterone-laden fenders call to mind the Dodge Ram, and available 18- and 19-inch wheels only add to the Caliber's swagger. Inside, you'll find a versatile interior that's a good fit for passengers and cargo; there's seating for five, along with available 60/40-split fold-flat rear seats. The Caliber also boasts distinctive features like liftgate speakers that flip down for tailgate party entertainment, a chilled glovebox for beverages and a handy center armrest-…

2008 Acura MDX Review

What's New for 2008
After a full redesign last year, the Acura MDX heads into 2008 with no significant changes.

The term "performance SUV" comes very close to being an oxymoron. Really, if your number-one goal is performance, a big and boxy sport-utility is usually a poor choice to go about getting it. But for consumers who really like to drive, yet have certain constraints in their life that require an SUV (read: a family), such a vehicle can make a certain amount of sense. Enter the 2008 Acura MDX.

Acura's midsize luxury SUV was redesigned last year. As with the first-generation MDX, it's a car-based crossover SUV with V6 power and seating for seven. But the new model is considerably sportier. It's powered by the largest and most powerful V6 ever to grace an Acura (yes, including the NSX), giving it unparalleled juice and athleticism. With it, Acura promises V8-like performance while still maintaining respectable fuel economy.

Powertrains and Perfor…

2010 Porsche Panamera

Porsche’s much-anticipated 2010 Panamera “four-door coupe” does not go on sale until the fall of 2009, but we caught the four-passenger car doing hot laps at the Nürburgring, revealing a number of 911-esque styling cues, especially in the headlights.

We credit the Carrera for the turn signals and, unfortunately, the Cayenne for the greenhouse. We don't know where else to point the finger for the droopy, bloated rear end. Additionally, we see nothing to get excited about on the side panels, and the profile is—dare we say?—a trite conventional. All in all, the car certainly is no raving beauty, and the use of 17-inch 996 wheels doesn't help. We have to hope these are for the entry-level Panamera, with at least 18-inchers on tap for most models.

Meanwhile, we’ve been working to sort out the pedigree and powertrain for this Mercedes-Benz CLS fighter that Porsche officials tell us is a joint venture with the VW Group—contrary to original statements by Porsche chief Wendelin Wiedeking…

2009 Lincoln MKS

If you’ve been waiting for the all-new 2009 MKS with quiet patience, then the new Lincoln flagship is for you. This is a car all about refined luxury for the responsible types who want a little pampering and a little power—but it must be guilt-free.Ford will start building the full-size luxury sedan at its Chicago plant next summer.

Volume should be in the 40,000 range annually, with a starting price below $38,000.
On the style spectrum, the MKS lands between the Lincoln MKZ (formerly Zephyr) and the sexy MKR concept that kept bringing us back to the Lincoln stand at the Detroit show in January to double-check that it was really wearing a Lincoln badge.

The MKS will launch with a new 3.7-liter V-6 that won’t be shared with Ford or Mercury brand vehicles, says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president responsible for global product development. It produces 270 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, which is up 20 lb-ft over Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 upon which it is derived. It is similar to the 3.7-liter engi…

2009 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

This gorgeous two-seat coupe turns out to be the latest chapter in the on-again/off-again thriller that centers on the chances that Alfa Romeo will one day soon be reunited with U.S. buyers. The 450-hp 8C Competizione is, we’ve been assured repeatedly, a certainty to reach our shores. We might even say we’re confident that by the end of 2007 Americans will be able to drive away from the local Maserati dealership in an Alfa.

The production 8C, which will meet federal regulations here, is remarkably close to the concept. At a cost of about $175,000, 500 will be built for European consumption and will have to be ordered directly from Alfa’s home office in Italy. Stateside, Maserati will sell a production run of 99 of these cars for about $200,000 apiece. A special facility at Maserati’s headquarters in Modena has been set up to build the 8C. Production is set to start next September. Alfa expects to build 600 of these cars over 18 months and then cease production.

The engine under the long…