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Showing posts from December, 2007


Spied 2010 Cadillac BRX

Although Cadillac was one of the first brands to realize the notion of the luxury SUV with its tank-sized Escalade, the brand has been notably late in further populating the luxury utility market it helped popularize.Cadillac’s first compact SUV, the BRX, will be no less tardy, set as it is to appear in 2009. It will compete in a segment that includes the Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Land Rover LR2—all of which will have enjoyed between two and five years of market traction by then. By the time the BRX goes on sale, the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLK and Audi Q5 will be vying for attention.

It adds up to the fact this Caddy needs to be better than good. The BRX will be built atop a stretched version of GM’s new front- and all-wheel-drive TE platform, the same architecture used by the 2008 Saturn Vue, which is the North American version of Europe’s Opel Antara.The TE platform is a combo of the original Theta architecture found underneath the Chevy Equinox and Pontiac Torrent and the Epsilon mid-si…

Spied 2009 Audi R8-RS

Audi’s R8 is already being celebrated as one of the most savory, slippery, sexalicious supercars ever to roam our roads. And, to our delight, the luxury automaker is acting more like such sports-car makers as Ferrari or Porsche by continuing to evolve the flagship sports model.

In addition to the simplified grillwork front and back and that military-grade flat gray paint job, modifications to this particular R8 mule include widened sail panels—implying the need for more air into the mid-mounted engine than satisfies the standard 4.2-liter V-8 in the regular R8—and a high-performance parts-bin braking system, complete with what appear to be Gallardo-sourced carbon-ceramic rotors coupled with large S-line calipers.

Our spy’s guess is that this is the rumored V-10 model, which makes sense, given how much the R8 shares structurally with the V-10–powered Lamborghini Gallardo.

We think there’s an equal chance, however, that this car might be powered by a high-performance diesel V-8 like that f…

Minitest 2008 Lotus 2-Eleven

VEHICLE TYPE: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 0-door roadster
BASE PRICE (U.K.): $68,532
ENGINE TYPE: supercharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 90.6 in Length: 150.5–152.4 in Width: 67.3 in Height: 43.8 in
Curb weight: 1650 lb

We are amazed and mostly delighted by the way Lotus has played so many tunes on the theme of the Elise. Lightweight cars are the thing today, so it is a surprise to learn that this thoroughly modern British sports car dates back 10 years—although it only came to the U.S. officially for 2005.

Milestones in Elise development were the introductions of the Exige coupe, the 2-Eleven-style 340R, and a redesigned roadster, and the replacement of the original Rover engine with the 1.8-liter Toyota VVTL-i (for the U.S. launch) and supercharging that engine for the Exige S. Along the way, the same chassis, made with bonded aluminum extrusions, has been adapted to…

First Look 2009 Subaru Forester

Tall wagon. Small crossover. Sleeper rocket. Lesbo-chic whisk-about. The Subaru Forester has been called a lot of things, but one thing it’s never been called is good-looking. That all may change for 2009, when the Forester undergoes its first ground-up redo, featuring a three-inch-longer wheelbase, three inches of additional length, and gratefully, all-new, more macho styling.

What won’t change is its tall wagon, raised-suspension program, but the ’09 model’s off-roading capability should be heightened—literally—thanks to no less than 8.9 inches of ground clearance. Helping on-road demeanor is its stiffer, all-new platform, which utilizes a new double-wishbone rear suspension for improved cornering prowess.

As with the current model, the ’09 Forester will be powered by a choice of four-cylinder boxer motors, each displacing 2.5 liters and available in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms. Better news still is that it will continue to be offered with a manual transmission, no…

2008 Volkswagen R32 - Short Take Road Tests

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 3-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $35,430 (base price: $33,630)
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, iron block and aluminum head, port fuel injection
Displacement: 195 cu in, 3189cc
Power (SAE net): 250 bhp @ 6300 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 236 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch
DIMENSIONS: Wheelbase: 101.5 in Length: 167.2 in Width: 69.2 in Height: 57.7 in
Curb weight: 3521 lb
FUEL ECONOMY : EPA city/highway driving: 18/23 mpg

Basically, the Volkswagen R32 is a three-door GTI—already one of our favorite small cars, with a comparison-test crown and a 10Best trophy to its name—with more: a 250-hp narrow-angle V-6, all-wheel drive, a full complement of luxury features, and weight. VW manages the R32’s weight gain without losing the GTI’s playful tossability by cinching the car’s suspenders a bit tighter. Spring rates, increased just so all around, mask the additional 332 pounds quite well, leaving the GTI…

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport - Comparison Tests

What we noticed first inside the Mercedes-Benz C300 while running through the canyons near Ojai, California, is that the road felt as if it were coated with Crisco. Or as one staffer noted snarkily, “I’ve never hydroplaned on a dry road before, until now.” While the other sedans gripped, pounced, and powered through the corners, the Benz, wearing all-season tires that are a part of the Sport model, slid and protested its way through the Highway 33 jaunt. Mercedes does offer an 18-inch wheel upgrade for $1000 that adds dedicated performance tires, but our $37,410 example didn’t have the option and likely suffered for it as the rest of the sedans in the test benefited from having more serious performance rubber.

Step the C300 away from the performance precipice, and the Benz seemingly finds itself and connects with the driver. A comfortable ride, a nearly silent engine, a solid structure, and the low-set multifunction turn-signal stalk will have Benz owners and luxury seekers feeling ri…

Nissan Serena Highway Star

The Nissan Serena Highway Star is destined for the Japanese market. The Nissan Serena Highway Star has a very versatile interior with seats that are adjustable to 11 different positions and third-row seats that utilize assist springs. The Nissan Serena Highway Star price range is between 2,131,500 yen to 2,709,000 yen.

Nissan Releases New Serena Minivan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Some days ago announced the release of the new Serena minivan, which goes on sale at Nissan dealers throughout Japan. The new Serena, which has been highly acclaimed by customers for its class-leading interior roominess, excellent outward visibility, flexible seating configurations and driving ease, features revised exterior and interior styling, leading technology features and a new model lineup.

New Exterior Styling
Serena’s exterior styling has been enhanced with a more distinctive and modern front end design, including a new grille, new headlights, front bumper and fenders. The Highway Star model also features mo…

Mazda Demio Chiara

This special edition model with a brilliant custom body color and distinctive seat covers
commemorates MazdaDemio's RJC Car of the Year win

The Chiara, which means brilliant or bright in Italian, is based on the 13C-V grade Demio (the front-wheel drive (FWD) model which is powered by a 1.3-liter Miller cycle engine and a continuously variable transmission [CVT]) or the electronically controlled four-wheel drive (e-4WD) 13C grade model.

The Chiara special edition features the exclusive Golden Red Mica -- a vivid shade of red sprinkled with gold flakes – as an exterior color choice. The interior includes custom seat covers featuring a multistripe pattern, which enhances the special edition model’s distinctive style. Special equipment for the Chiara provides improved convenience through an advanced keyless entry and starter system, an auto light system, water-repellent coating for glass surfaces and rain sensing front wipers, which were all originally set as factory-installed options fo…

2009 Toyota Corolla Road Test

Base price: $15,000 (est.)
Engine: 1.8-liter four, 132 hp/128 lb-ft; XRS: 2.4-liter four, 158 hp/162 lb-ft
Transmission: Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic (base models); five-speed manual or five-speed automatic (XRS); front-wheel drive
Length x width x height: 178.7 x 69.3 x 57.7 in
Wheelbase: 102.4 in
Curb weight: 2,723-2,965 lb
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 27/35 mpg (1.8-liter); 22/29 mpg (manual 2.4-liter), 22/30 mpg (automatic 2.4-liter)
Safety features: Dual front, side and curtain airbags anti-lock brakes; stability control standard on XRS Major standard features: Air conditioning; power steering; tilt/telescopic steering wheel; 60/40 split folding rear seat; AM/FM/CD (XM satellite ready) radio; outside temperature gauge; two 12-volt power outlets; driver vertical seat height adjuster
Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles

For starters, we think this new Corolla is far better looking than the near-invisible car it replaces early next year. And it steps up in power and torque to a 15…

2008 Nissan Fuga

The 2008 Nissan Fuga features two new engines: the VQ35HR and VQ25HR. The 2008 Nissan Fuga is also the first vehicle to be equipped with Nissan's Distance Control Assist (Intelligent Pedal) System. The 2008 Nissan Fuga price ranges from 3,969,000 yen to 6,279,000 yen.

The new Fuga features a revised model lineup, a redesigned exterior and interior, Nissan's new VQ35HR and VQ25HR engines and the world's first*1 Distance Control Assist (Intelligent Pedal) System*2, among other refinements, the combination of which further advances the car's all-around qualities as a premium sports sedan.
Living up to its marketing tagline of “SHIFT_luxury,” Fuga transforms the traditional notion of a luxury car. Fuga is available in three grades (GT, GT Type S and GT Type P) for three engine variations (V6 2.5-liter, V6 3.6-liter and V8 4.5-liter). 4WD version is available for 350GT.

A Responsive Driveline
Fuga showcases the latest in Nissan engine technology with its choice of 3.5-liter VQ3…

Volkswagen Polo Match

The Volkswagen Polo model range is receiving a new version - the Volkswagen Polo Match. The Volkswagen Polo Match replaces the S level in the line-up. The Volkswagen Polo Match is equipped with 15-inch 'Charade' alloy wheels, body-colored bumper strips, door strips, door handles and wing mirrors inset into which are integrated indicators. The Volkswagen Polo Match also has a set of foglamps that are set into the twin airdams.

The new Polo Match is distinguished by a set of 15-inch ‘Charade’ alloy wheels and body-coloured bumper strips, door strips, door handles and wing mirrors inset into which are integrated indicators. At the front a pair of foglamps are set into the twin airdams.

The revisions continue to the Polo’s interior. A leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake grip are joined by the option of either a six-disc CD autochanger or an iPod connection to allow access to your digital music library on the move. Practical additions include electric front windows…

Mazda MX 5 Niseko

The Mazda MX-5 Niseko comes in two version: a 1.8i powered version and a 2.0i. The Mazda MX-5 Niseko soft-top is powered by a 1.8 liter engine and will be available in UK in 240 units at a starting price of 17,995 pounds. The Mazda MX-5 Niseko roadster coupe is powered by a 2.0 liter engine and will be available in 560 units at a price of pounds.

The latest Mazda MX-5 can truly be described as an all-weather, all-year sports car with its enhanced heating and air-conditioning systems.
Now, to celebrate its continuing status as ‘Britain’s favourite sports car brand’ this winter, Mazda is introducing a pair of special edition ‘Niseko’ models, named after Japan’s most prestigious skiing resort.

As the latest edition of the world’s best selling roadster, the rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5 Niseko boasts unrivalled handling and driving dynamics, and represents extremely competitive value for money. Available from £17,995 on-the-road, the Niseko offers up to £2,000 worth of additional or exclusive …

2002 Peugeot H2O Concept

H2O is not just a futurist fire prevention vehicle produced by the creative people at Peugeot. H2O produces electricity and water using fuel cell battery technology. Hidden underneath the playful and dynamic appearance of a fire engine lies a very innovative propulsion method. H2O, built on a Partner Electric base, uses the fuel cell battery as a source of on-board energy and features a major innovation for this technology: the hydrogen is produced in real time, based on the system's needs, which means it can overcome the problems associated with storing pressurized hydrogen.

With its generously proportioned air intake, feline-shaped lights and plunging muzzle-like bonnet, the front of the vehicle is strongly identified with the Lion. The rear is reserved for the tank and a telescopic ladder. At the bottom of the rear end panel, instead of the exhaust (no longer needed) there are two connections for the water feed or the branch pipe. Naturally, the colour is "fire engine red&q…

2008 Lancia Delta

According to various websites the new generation of the Lanci Delta will be shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The 2008 Lancia Delta is scheduled to be launched in June next year.

The 2008 Lancia Delta will be based on the Lancia Delta HPE that you can see in the pictures. The Lancia Delta HPE was presented for the first time at the Paris Motor Show last year.

The Lancia Delta model range is most famous for the success it had in the World Rally Championship with the Lancia Delta Integrale.

© Source: zercustoms

Euro NCAP: five stars for New Renault Laguna

Laguna II was the first vehicle to ever achieve a five-star rating in the passive safety assessment tests carried out by the independent body, Euro NCAP. It was a result that took the car into a new era. Today, it’s the turn of New Laguna to achieve the same maximum five-star rating. With a total of 36 points from a possible 37, one of the highest scores ever recorded in the tests, the newcomer even outperformed its predecessor to once again highlight Renault's expertise in the realm of passive safety. In addition to its Euro NCAP credentials, New Laguna delivers reassuring handling thanks to its precise, responsive chassis, while at the same time ensuring a level of braking and technology that puts it at the top end of its category in real-life motoring conditions. Systematic work into optimising the protection of all occupants
As Laguna II was the first vehicle to achieve a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety assessment tests, it was only natural that New Laguna should striv…

2009 Corvette ZR1 Powered By The Most Powerful Production Engine Ever From GM

When it arrives next summer, the 2009 ChevroletCorvette ZR1 will be the most powerful and fastest production car ever produced by General Motors, with performance enabled by a new, supercharged 6.2L LS9 small-block V-8 engine. Incorporating the engineering experience already found in the Corvette Z06’a LS7 engine and the new-for-2008 6.2L LS3 of the Corvette, GM Powertain is targeting 100 horsepower per liter for the LS9, or 620 horsepower (462 kW), and approximately 595 lb.-ft. of torque (807 Nm); final SAE-certified power levels will be available in early March 2008. It is, indeed, the ultimate small-block engine for the ultimate Corvette. “When you experience the LS9 in the Corvette ZR1, the terms performance and refinement take on a new meaning,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president for GM Powertrain and Quality. “The LS9 demonstrates an outstanding performance range, with smooth driveability at low speeds, and surprisingly fierce performance when the customer wants more powe…

Holden VE Ute Crowned The Reader's Favourite

Carsguide announced GM Holden's VE Ute SV6 has won their inaugural Reader's Choice award, one of three cars awarded in the 2007 carsguide Car of the Year awards.The VE Ute SV6 received almost 20 per cent of the entries registered through the website to pick up the award.All 11 of the carsguide's Car of the Year finalists were in the running, however the VE Ute SV6 took the honours and was described by the Courier Mail's motoring editor, Mark Hinchliffe, as "simply the best-riding ute Australia has produced." Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Chris Gubbey, said it was an award the whole of GM Holden should be proud to boast."To be recognised by car enthusiasts and consumers is a great honour. After all, this is who we build cars for," Mr Gubbey said."And because the VE Ute is a vehicle that's conceived, designed, engineered and built from the ground up by employees here in Australia, it makes it even more special.&quo…

Swedish luxury - reconstructing luxury

Quiet beauty, rather than flashy bling. That is the essence of Swedish luxury. Designer entrepreneur and trend analyst Mathilda Tham jumps in a Volvo S80 Executive to go looking for the roots of Swedish style - and ends up in nature and tranquillity.Luxury, throughout history, has stood for that which is rare and precious. In Western affluent society, with its abundance of consumer goods, it follows that commodities without a price tag, such as the experience of simplicity, silence, time, care and trust have become the new luxury. With the Volvo S80 Executive, Volvo Car Corporation enters the luxury segment. But the company doesn't forget its core values: Safety and modern design.These values are firmly rooted in the Swedish heritage - the quiet beauty of the landscape, the care about the environment and the attention to functional detail. Swedish luxury is quiet, simple, with a fine eye for exquisite details and intelligent functionality, following the ethos that ‘true beauty co…

Nissan Arctix Sport Adventure X-Trail

Nissan will launch a special version of the 150PS 2.0dCi X-Trail known as ‘Arctix Sports Adventure’ providing additional specifications and automatic transmission for a price close to the standard manual version.ARCTIX 150PS 2.0dCi automatic £21,995 (OTR) – eXtreme roof rails and lamps with snowstorm side stepsARCTIX eXpedition 150PS 2.0dCi automatic or 173 manual £22,995 (OTR) - eXtreme roof rails and lamps with snowstorm side steps, satellite navigation and colour rear view cameraOn sale now with deliveries expected early January With the winter ski season just about upon us, Nissan is providing the perfect travel partner in the form of a Nissan X-Trail Arctix. Powered by a fuel efficient 150PS 2.0dCi engine through a 6 speed automatic gearbox the vehicle is the ideal long distance traveller. Should the weather conditions deteriorate the all-mode-i 4x4 drive system is designed to keep you sure footed to the road. If visibility is poor switch on the front fog lamps and eXtreme roo…

2008 Lexus LX 570 Features Mark Levinson Reference Surround

The introduction of the 2008 Lexus LX 570 all-new luxury utility vehicle, afforded Lexus' exclusive entertainment system partner, Mark Levinson, the opportunity to implement a discrete 5.1 surround sound system equal in both luxury and performance to the vehicle in which it will be housed. The result was Mark Levinson Reference Surround, a 19-speaker, 450-watt audio system initially designed for and launched on the 2007 LS 460 and now available for the first time in the all-new 2008 LX 570.
2008 Lexus LX 570What Constitutes "Reference Surround?"Mark Levinson Reference Surround was conceived and designed specifically for Lexus' flagship LS sedan. Building on the foundation of Mark Levinson's "next generation" Premium Surround Systems that have been firmly established in the marketplace by the new Lexus GS, IS and ES, the designers and engineers from Mark Levinson identified the differentiating performance objectives necessary to legitimately earn the &qu…

2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Garners Five Stars in Euro-NCAP Test

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has passed the European NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) crash tests with flying colours. The Saloon has therefore been awarded five stars and, according to the Euro-NCAP organisation, is one of the safest cars available on the market. 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Euro NCAP TestingThis result is confirmation that the C-Class safety concept, optimised based on the analysis of real-life accidents, also performs extremely well in standardised rating crash tests. With seven airbags, seat-belt tensioners, belt-force limiters and NECK PRO crash-responsive head restraints fitted as standard, the Saloon offers its occupants an extremely high level of protection should an accident occur. The body structure has been designed to ensure that, in the event of a frontal collision, the impact forces are distributed over a wide area and on four independently acting impact levels, meaning that the passenger cell remains largely unscathed.2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Euro N…

2008 Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR 722 GT

After repeated requests by enthusiastic SLR.Club members, Mercedes-Benz agreed to develop a track version of the SLR McLaren super-sportscar - the SLR McLaren 722 GT.

Developed by the British motor racing specialists at RML, the 722 GT has been comprehensively re-engineered for track use with more than 400 new or redesigned components. The 722's unique specification addresses the chassis, suspension, brake, and aerodynamic systems of the already capable SLR.Each of the 21 SLR McLaren 722 GTs offered for public sale produce 680 hp from their 5.5 liter kompressor V8 engines, and weigh in at 1390 kg (some 600 lbs. less than series production models).

ENGINE: The 5.5 liter kompressor engine in the 722 GT has been tuned to produce 680 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque, making the 722 GT capable of 0-60 sprints in under 3.3 seconds.

SUSPENSION: RML gave the 722 GT new uprights front and rear, strengthening the suspension and delivering improved kinematics with better adjustability, allowing the t…

First Drive 2008 Renault Twingo

Beloved in France, the Renault Twingo that arrived in 1993 was undoubtedly one revolutionary little car. Small, but with a roomy (for its size) interior, the Twingo’s big round headlights and squat stance earned it the nickname of la grenouille (“the frog”). Roughly 2.4 million copies were sold during its life span, but after 14 years on the market and a couple of mild face lifts—plus countless special editions—the original frog had finally croaked its last. The new, more refined and mature Twingo arrived in France this past summer and officially bid adieu to the wide-eyed headlights and egg-shaped body of the original.

Unlike its equally new big brother, the Laguna, the tiny Twingo manages a smidgen of cuteness. Its tall greenhouse, very short front and rear overhangs, and upright silhouette have a jaunty charm. Far from being as adorable as the new Fiat 500, the Twingo is at least as visually appealing as the similarly sized Toyota Aygo or Volkswagen Fox. The Twingo’s 141.7-inch leng…

Lexus Announces Pricing for 2008 Lexus LX 570 Luxury Utility Vehicle

Lexus today announced the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the all-new 2008 LX 570 luxury utility vehicle. The third-generation LX offers significantly increased performance and new safety features over the LX 470 model it replaces with a number of technological advancements and a new high-strength chassis.
2008 Lexus LX 570The 2008 LX 570, with several new technology features, enhanced safety, performance and comfort, will carry a base MSRP of $73,800.The LX 570 features a new 383-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission built to handle demanding tasks with smoothness and refinement. The powertrain advancements make the 2008 LX 570 engaging to drive while providing an increased towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. An electro-hydraulic system with four-wheel Active Height Control (AHC) and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) reacts more quickly and allows for a greater range of adjustment than the system it replaces.Wi…

Honda Announces an All-New 2008 Honda Inspire for Japan

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the release of the all-new Honda Inspire. The appeal of the new model has been dramatically strengthened with performance and comfort enhancements, yet the price range remains ¥3,300,000 to ¥3,900,000—very close to that of the previous model. The new Inspire will debut on Friday, December 21 at Honda dealers throughout Japan.
2008 Honda InspireIn keeping with its status as a luxury sedan, the new, 5th-generation Inspire has inherited the sporty performance and quality feel of its predecessor, adding significant improvements to all essential elements of sedan performance—driving, cornering, and braking. The new Inspire is infused with dynamism and intelligence in all aspects of design, interior space, driving, and functionality.The V6 3.5-liter i-VTEC engine, available for the first time in Japan, features an advanced Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system that switches between six-, four-, and three-cylinder combustion depending on the driving condit…