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Auto Trend

Updated: 2018-03-06T06:03:30.653-08:00


Style BMW M6


(image) Style BMW M6

Audi S5 Sportback


(image) Audi S5 Sportback

New Aston Martin DBS


(image) New Aston Martin DBS

Fresh Photos of New Chrysler 200 Sporting Brand's New Grille


Now that Chrysler Group has announced its new European Jeep lineup and revealed the next-gen Dodge Durango and Charger, the most important cars to expect soon are the 200 and 300 sedans. Chrysler has put out some new photos of its redesigned and renamed Sebring replacement, and we finally get a better look at the car's nose plus a peek at the leather interior with contrasting stitching.You already know the car will get a the 2.4-liter I4 World Gas Engine and the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 with 283 horsepower. For the rest of all the released info, head over to our previous post. Right now we're here to check out the latest teasers from Chrysler.With a full, if dim, view of the front end, it looks like the new Chrysler grille will get some styling cues from -wait for the shocker- Hyundai's latest proposals. Hopefully we'll be getting some proper pictures soon that will put any fears to rest.Remember, this is just meant to be a stop-gap solution using the 200C concept's style on an old Sebring chassis; the next all-new 200 should be significantly less Sebring and more its own model in-line dimensionally with the concept it's based on.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Malignant Rumors: Jaguar Considering 2,000 Units a Year of Turbine-Powered C-X75 Halo Car


As Porsche begins development on the hybrid 918 Spyder, Jaguar is reportedly taking the idea of a limited-run production version of its Paris Motor Show C-X75 concept into consideration. Autoweek reports that the British luxury marque is discussing the possibility of building up to 2,000 units annually of its XJ220 successor. If you're thinking about getting the checkbook out anytime soon, though, hold it right there.First, due to production methods and costs, a firm number has to be decided on in regards to the C-X75's volume. Then, over the next five to seven years, Jaguar will try to prove its futuristic micro gas turbines - which are actually cheaper to develop than an internal combustion engine - are feasible for a consumer vehicle.Tony Harper, head of advanced powertrain development for Jaguar, says, "We're talking two to three years for implementation of the gas-turbine technology, then another three to four years to integrate into a vehicle."Should this timeline be believed and the bookkeepers give Jag a green light, we could begin seeing mules of the futuristic turbine-powered supercar as early as 2012 or 2013. Don't worry; by 2017 the Matt Beaven-penned C-X75 should still be looking fresh.By Phil AlexSource: Autoweek_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Dodge Teases 2011 Charger's Interior


We've already showed you exterior photos of the 2011 Charger, but now Dodge has released the first official [for the scoop, click here] image of the redesigned sedan's interior. As you can see, there's a newly styled, three-spoke steering wheel with the revised Dodge emblem adorning the center, while the door panels and the dashboard are also new. Fresh design aside, Dodge also promises higher quality materials plus improved fit and finish.

You can check out the full gallery and read more about the 2011 Dodge Charger, which should hit dealer lots by the end of this year, in our previous article.


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How Not to Customize Redux: 1996 Ford Taurus “Space Ship”


Do you want a car that, "look deferent and feel deferent [sic]"? If so, this Australian tuner - whose skill at vehicle modification is in line with his comprehension of the English language - has the car for you...The third generation Ford Taurus was not a very pretty car to begin with. Its ovoid shape, which extended to the taillights, rear window and even the dashboard was not especially attractive and made the car look like it was slowly melting.This enterprising owner has attempted to fix that by adding an ill-fitting body kit, hood and roof scoops and a generous amount of black and gold paint (which makes the car look like a tin of Lyle's Golden Syrup). The result is...well, you can see for yourself.Underneath that hideous façade the Taurus appears pretty stock with a 3.0 L V6, automatic transmission and 164,321 km (102,104 miles) on the clock. It looks like it even has the stock wheels and tires.For the enterprising buyer in Blacktown, NSW, this...thing could be yours for a little over AU$1,500 - or at least that's the highest bid currently on eBay.By Tristan HankinsLink: eBay 1 & 2 , Via: Jalopnik_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

2011 Camaro Accessorized with Phantom Hidden Headlight Grille Set


There seems to be no end to the variety of styling accessories for GM's reborn Chevrolet Camaro muscle car. This here styling set from "DJ Grilles" is called the "Phantom Hidden Headlight Grille" and it comprises a very Lincoln-like upper grille with the option of fixed or removable headlamp bezels and a matching piece for the lower air vent. Check out the pics and videos of the Camaro fitted with the aftermarket grilles after the jump, and tell us what you think about it in the comments section.Via: Dubdaily , Link: DJ Grilles_______________________________GALLERY__________________________________________________________________________________________________[...]

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Online Test Drive is GTA IV with Only One Car and No Crime


Clearly taking its inspiration from those throwaway iPhone / iPod games loved so much by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, the North American arm of Mitsubishi Motors will let a select few test drive the new Outlander Sport compact [called ASX in Europe] remotely through "Mitsubishi Live Drive".In a world first, customers will be able to take the compact crossover around a closed circuit course, controlling the actually vehicle through an "interactive remote control" from the comfort of their own internet-connected PCs. I wonder what a "non-interactive remote control" would be...When developing the Live Drive experience, Mitsubishi consulted robotics expert, Dr. James Brighton who was instrumental in constructing the online test drive programThe 5-seat CUV was rigged with multiple video cameras, servo motors that move the pedals and steering wheel and electronic receivers that pick up on the driver's control inputs.Mitsubishi boasts that, "participants will enjoy the feeling of literally being in the driver's seat." You know, without G-force or inertia or any other feeling you might get from actually driving a car.Those who use the Live Drive program will also have the opportunity to collect "feature pods"; you know, like the coins Mario picks up. Only these ones tell you about the features on the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Riveting!Oh well, it sounds more interesting than listening to a dealer drone on and on about this and that at the dealership for hours on end, though I'd still rather take a shot at controlling one of the vehicles in the DARPA Urban Challenge though.If you are 18 years old, live in the United States and have a valid driver's license you can sign up on the car's microsite from the 15th of October. The Live Drive days will be held between the 1st and 10th of November, coinciding with campaigns in other media including television and print.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________VIDEO_______________________________[...]

VIDEO: 2012 Lamborghini Jota / Murcielago Spied Screaming Around the Nurburgring


Earlier this week, we showed you a batch of spy photos of next year's Lamborghini Murcielago replacement that may or may not be called Jota, as some sources suggest. Today, we bring you one of the first videos of a prototype model being driven on and around the hallowed Nordschleife race track - and yes, that's a Porsche 911 taking a shot at it from behind.

You can read the full story and check out the scoop gallery in our previous post here, but as a refresher, Sant'Agata's new range-topper is said to benefit from a more powerful V12 engine as well as a lightweight composite construction. The Italian supercar is expected to make its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Salon next March.

Via: es.Autoblog


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US Trying to Perfect its Safety Rating System; Can't we Just Meet EU Standards and Call it a Day?


US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced a new and improved 5-star safety rating system for 2011 vehicles. If you're interested about your new car, scroll on down for some of the vehicles tested. As of now, the BMW 5-Series (RWD) and Hyundai Sonata are the only vehicles to be top-rated (33 of the 55 models to be tested have been graded thus far).

(image) The NHTSA says the new protocols will also test "side-pole" accidents and crash-prevention systems, as well as using new dummies (hopefully these will be set up properly). One new addition will be the use of a smaller "female" dummy to gauge accidents involving women. Also, new "injury criteria" will be implemented, as well as the use of an Overall Vehicle Score.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland says, "We want consumers to embrace these new safety technologies as a way to make vehicles safer. We believe electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning offer significant safety benefits and consumers should consider them when buying a new car." Well, yeah.

By Phil Alex


Honda Launches Refreshed Fit and New Fit Hybrid in Japan, Receives 10,000 Orders for Gas-Electric Model


Honda on Friday introduced the Japanese domestic market version of its new Fit (Jazz in Europe) Hybrid alongside the regular Fit model, which benefits from a minor cosmetic refresh and equipment upgrades for the 2011 model year.The company's head of domestic sales, Hiroshi Kobayashi said Honda has already received 10,000 orders for the Fit Hybrid, which was given its world premiere at last week's Paris Motor Show.The newly-added Fit Hybrid will be offered locally at the starting price of 1.59 million yen (about US$19,300 at today's exchange rates), making it the most affordable gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle in Japan.Honda said the JDM version of the hybrid model has a fuel economy of 30km/liter [equal to 3.3 lt/100km or 70.6 mpg US] under the Japanese highway test system.The car, which makes use of the same IMA system with a 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine as the Insight Hybrid, will go on sale in certain European markets from early 2011 as the Jazz Hybrid. According to the Japanese automaker, the Jazz Hybrid's fuel economy is estimated at 4.4 lt/100km [53.5 mpg US] in the combined European cycle. Honda has not yet said if and when it will offer a Fit Hybrid for the North American market.The new Fit Hybrid is joined in Japan by a subtly refreshed version of the regular gasoline-powered Fit with a 1.3-liter engine. The modest facelift is limited to new grille and bumper (front and rear) designs which are said to help improve the car's aerodynamic efficiency, plus revised tail lamps and updated interior trims._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Chevy Spark to Debut as Holden Barina Spark at Sydney Motor Show


GM is gearing up for the Australian launch of the new Chevrolet Spark, which has been on sale in Asia and Europe for some months now. The first step towards its local launch is an appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney next week, before it goes on sale locally as the Holden Barina Spark in late 2010.

Oddly enough, Holden sells the first-gen Chevrolet Aveo as the Holden Barina with a range consisting of three- and five-door hatchbacks and a four-door sedan. The Barina Spark will most likely be slotted in as an affordable entry level model.

The Barina Spark is equipped with a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine and a 5-speed manual transmission, with fuel economy said to be around the 5.6lt / 100 km (42 US mpg) mark. Standard equipment will include alloy wheels, fog lamps, six airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

John Elsworth, Director of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Holden has great confidence in the Barina Spark:

"This is a very style-conscious market and with Barina Spark we have a really fresh and energetic design that breaks the 'cute car' mould. It's fun, fuel efficient and offers class-leading safety features and value for money in the best Holden tradition."

Pricing and detailed specifications will be released at the Sydney Show, which runs from the 15th to the 24th ofOctober. The U.S. launch of the Chevrolet Spark is set for 2012.

By Tristan Hankins

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TechArt Teases New 2011 Porsche Cayenne Magnum


Having sold more than 1,000 units of its first-generation Porsche Cayenne Magnum models, it's only natural for German tuning house TechArt to develop a successor based on the freshly launched second-generation Cayenne. Teased here for the first time, TechArt's new Magnum program for the 2011 Cayenne will be given its world premiere at the Auto Zurich Car Show in Switzerland, which runs from November 11 to 14.

The tuning program will include a full body kit with a new front bumper that includes LED daytime running lights and additional xenon units, a carbon fiber hood, rear apron, side skirts, wider fenders and a roof spoiler. The sport exhaust tail pipes and newly designed alloy wheels in sizes between 20- and 23-inches will complete the exterior package.

For the interior, TechArt will offer customers a variety of options ranging from bespoke leather upholstery and unique three-spoke steering wheels to roof-mounted entertainment kit.

The aftermarket tuner is also preparing a host of performance enhancements with engine kits plus suspension and braking system upgrades. Specific details will be released after the presentation of TechArt's Magnum program at the Swiss auto show.


2012 Chevrolet Camaro Caught Wearing LED Tails and Fatty-Bo-Batty Side Mirrors


We've already shown you video of the 2012 Camaro Z/28 doing its thing on the Nürburgring, and now there are more spy pictures of the facelifted model it could be based on. Other than the appropriately modern-looking LED taillights [voice your thoughts below], the updated version of Chevy's own pony car is believed to also benefit significantly from a yet unseen refreshed interior.Besides the rear lights and diffuser-mounted reflectors, the major update is a pair of the most obtuse, minivan-ish side mirrors ever (EVER). Hopefully those are just for testing / Euro market purposes, but that's probably not the case.Other improvements for the 2012 model year should include engine/suspension tweaks as well as more special editions (this competes with the Mustang, after all).As soon as we know a little more, we'll let you know. Until then, how about we get some brainstorming going on regarding the interior? I'll go first: less cheap plastic.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Alfa Romeo Vittorio Jano Sport Wagon by Marco Procaccini


A few months back we showed you Marco Procaccini's Vittorio Jano design study for an Alfa Romeo 159 replacement (see here). The slinky fastback notably featured an aggressive front end treatment and a C-Column / rear glasshouse design somewhat reminiscent of the Lotus Evora.Now Marco is back with a more practical Sport Wagon variant of the Vittorio Jano which -in theory- is 50 mm longer and 10 mm taller than its saloon sibling.The Sport Wagon features a face lifted front bumper with LED running lights a la the HSV E2 series and a rear end profile possibly inspired by the Peugeot 308 SW wagon.You can see more pictures and video of the Vittorio Jano Sport Wagon below.By Tristan HankinsSource: Marco Procaccini_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

VW Offers Chattanooga Police Jetta SportWagen TDIs to Keep Residents / Speedsters Safe


Now we've officially seen it all; a body-kitted German station-wagon running on a [relatively] small displacement four-cylinder diesel engine as a Sheriff's Department patrol car. And all thanks to VW's decision to donate two custom-made Jetta SportWagen TDI vehicles to the law enforcement departments of the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County.The donation was made as part of Volkswagen's ongoing efforts to reach out to the community of Chattanooga, where the German automaker is building a $1 billion plant that will produce among other cars, the New Midsize Sedan (NMS) starting from next year.Volkswagen said its engineers and designers overhauled the white Jetta SportWagen to incorporate special features including custom-built enclosures and mounts that hold all the communications and emergency lighting gear in place.The car gets a body kit with front and rear aprons, and side skirts as well as 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 18" Goodyear Eagle GT All Season tires.Under the hood, the Jetta SportWagen features VW's 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel four-cylinder engine with 236 ft.-lbs. of torque, that returns up to 42 miles per gallon on the highway.Official Statements:"Volkswagen is thrilled to be able to provide technologically advanced Jetta SportWagen vehicles to both the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County police departments to help keep the area safe while driving in a reliable, versatile and stylish vehicle," said Frank Fischer, Chairman and CEO of Volkwagen's Chattanooga"This generous gift is much appreciated and will be a welcomed addition to our expanding Chattanooga Police Department," said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. "We applaud Volkswagen for their continued investment in our community." "Since Volkswagen announced their billion dollar investment in Hamilton County they have demonstrated numerous times their willingness to be a good corporate neighbor," said Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. "Today's gift of two law enforcement vehicles is further proof of Volkswagen's commitment to Hamilton County and we thank them for their generosity."_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

GM Teases 2012 Buick Verano [aka the Opel Astra Sedan], Will be Built in Michigan


General Motors today released a new teaser photo of its upcoming 2012 Buick Verano compact sedan together with the news that the vehicle will be built alongside Chevrolet's new small car [we assume GM means the Aveo] at the Orion Assembly Center in Michigan. The Detroit automaker said it plans to invest $145 million to upgrade the factory for this reason."[The] Verano will bring premium styling, performance and content to Buick buyers wanting a smaller car than Regal," said GM North American President Mark Reuss. "The investment in Orion Assembly also extends GM's local small car footprint, again increasing the number of U.S.-made small vehicles available in showrooms."Although the company did not get into any specific details on the new Verano, the cropped picture confirms our previous reports that it will be the same car sold in China as the 2011 Buick Excelle GT, which in turn is essentially the sedan version of the latest generation Opel Astra.The small Buick is built on the same platform and shares basic engine architecture with the Chevrolet Cruze.GM said the Orion Assembly is currently in the process of retooling the plant for the Verano and the small Chevy, with the improvements expected to be finished by summer 2011, which should allow for Buick to launch the car into the U.S. market before the end of the same year._______________________________________________________________________________________2010 BUICK EXCELLE GT [CHINA]___________________[...]

New Fiesta to Take Center Stage at Ford's SEMA Show Booth with 350HP Turbo Concept and Tuner Project Cars


Hot on the heels of the Euro-designed subcompact's U.S. market launch, Ford is planning to bring a gaggle of tuner Fiestas to this year's edition of the SEMA Show, which takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the first week of November."SEMA represents a special opportunity, because we can show off unique designs that other companies have created," said Sam De La Garza, Fiesta brand manager. "It's not just Ford coming to the table. It's other companies interpreting what Fiesta is, and bringing their own style to the Fiesta launch."Aside from the independent tuner project vehicles that you can read more about below, Ford's in-house Racing Performance Parts division will display a concept Fiesta fitted with a production-based 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine, enlarged to 2.3 liters to pump out 350 horsepower."The goal of our 350-horsepower Fiesta is really twofold – first to reinforce Fiesta's fun-to-drive nature with an extreme version that captures the attention of the influential enthusiast, and second, to introduce the Ford Racing/EcoBoost connection in a way that's unexpected and outrageous," said Mickey Matus, Ford Racing Performance group marketing manager.The sported-up Fiesta will also get Brembo brakes, Ohlins dual-flow valve dampers, a short-throw shifter, a Ford Racing exhaust system, and 17-inch cast-aluminum alloy wheels.Ford said the concept model, which will hit the show floor in a blue color, will be painted by an as of yet unnamed artist during the show with the intention of auctioning the car in the near future to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF).__________________________________________________________________________________PRESS RELEASE: SEMA SHOW FORD FIESTAS_____________2011 Ford Fiesta by Ford Vehicle PersonalizationThe Ford Vehicle Personalization Fiesta uses green accent colors on the wheels and grille to set off the unique car, which is equipped with a four-piece body kit. A new interior package debuts, featuring white-and-black seating surfaces, door trim inserts, steering wheel and interior components. It also comes with a newly developed side graphic – an evolution of the tattoo graphic that is currently available.2011 Ford Fiesta by Universal Technical InstituteThis unique Fiesta from Universal Technical Institute offers a custom DuPont paint job and an Air Lift full digital suspension. A custom roll cage and Status racing seats make it track-ready, while Baer brakes and 18-inch wheels and tires provide upgraded performance.2011 Ford Fiesta by 3dCarbon3dCarbon's Euro Series Fiesta makes a bold statement with race-inspired styling, which includes 3dCarbon racing stripes, window films and rear roof spoiler. A four-piece body kit consists of an aggressively sculpted front air dam, aerodynamic side skirts and a rear lower skirt accented with black trim. 2011 Ford Fiesta by L&G EnterprisesL&G Enterprises has created the digital Fiesta, which shows off circuit board-inspired graphics on the exterior. Complete with a lowered and more aggressive stance, the Fiesta also has a new exhaust and air intake. Inside are carbon fiber accents, highlighting a sleek black interior with integrated iPad command center.2011 Ford Fiesta by H&R SpringsThis Fiesta by H&R Springs makes a style statement and demonstrates the versatility of Fiesta with several interior and exterior modifications. A color-matched body kit and large rear wing, along with European hood vents offer style and functional benefits. A graphics wrap around the car shows off a high-tech look, playing on [...]

Fiat Panda and Lancia Ypsilon Replacements Pushed Back for 2012


Following CEO Sergio Marchionne's comments at the 2010 Paris Motor Show (see here), Autonews Europe has uncovered new information regarding the Fiat Group's future product launches.One of Fiat's most important models in Europe, the third generation Panda, was originally due in summer 2010 but its launch had already been pushed back to September 2011. Now, sources inside the company told the news site that the introduction of the small five-door hatchback will be further delayed until January 2012.The third generation Lancia Ypsilon supermini has also been delayed more than two years, as have the replacements for the Fiat Idea / Lancia Musa small MPV twins and the Fiat Multipla 3+3 seater people carrier, which has been in production since 1998. The latter two launches were scheduled for December 2011 but have now been postponed until the second half of 2012.Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne froze his company's spending in 2008 as the financial crisis hit Europe. Spending was set to return to normal this year, but has now been postponed indefinitely in light of what Marchionne perceives as an unimproved European new car market.He now predicts a weaker Q1 2011 than Q1 2010, due to the ending of scrappage schemes in many European countries. The rest of 2011 is expected to be no better sale wise for Fiat, Marchionne predicts.Analysts are predicting that Fiat's new car sales are likely to continue to decline without any new products; sales in Europe fell 13.9% to 723,356 vehicles in the first eight months of 2011 in a market that declined only 3.5%, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).Stuart Pearson, an auto analyst at Morgan Stanley in London, says: "Fiat is playing a dangerous game and by delaying key models risks missing any European Union recovery if they are wrong on the timing. Customers are only paying for brand new metal."The report did not mention any plans on future Alfa Romeo cars.By Tristan HankinsSource: ANE [sub.req]______________GALLERY - CURRENT GENERATION MODELS______________ [...]

2011 Scion xD RS 3.0: New Limited Edition Priced from $17,765


Toyota's Scion division has revealed its first [of many more to come] limited edition vehicle for the 2011 model year, the xD Release Series 3.0, which will begin arriving in showrooms later this month.Offered in a new brownish color named xPRESSO, which is not currently available on any other Scion model, the new xD RS 3.0 features a four-piece body kit with front and rear lower lips along with side skirts, plus carbon-fiber trimmed B-pillar appliqués with the RS logo. And well, that's about it.Scion said it will only build 1,500 units of the xD RS 3.0, with each car featuring a unique, individually numbered stainless-steel badge.Pricing for the special edition of the xD hatch is set at $16,905 when combined with a manual gearbox, and $17,705 when the engine is hooked up to an automatic transmission. Bear in mind that neither figure includes the mandatory $720 delivery, processing and handling fee._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

VIDEO: Chevy brings 2012 Camaro Z/28 to the 'Ring


Now that the Z/28 program is back on track, GM has begun to test its Shelby-killer super Camaro at the Nürburgring. You can check out the vid below; it shows the car scooting around the track and rolling around on unsuspecting German roads.

Unlike Ford's new Mustang Boss 302, which is more in-line with its original iteration, the new Z/28 shrugs off its Trans-Am heritage for range-topping excess that's high power out-putting with better stopping and handling than the current SS.

When the car comes out next year as a 2012 model, there should be a version of the CTS-V's LSA supercharged V8 under the hood. Whether or not the engine will be re-tuned is anyone's guess at the moment, but if it were to strictly carry over I'm pretty sure no one would complain. After all, it's still got 556 horsepower, 551 lb-ft of twist, and a six-speed driving the rear wheels.

Pricing is still up in the air, but if this is meant to go up against Ford's Shelby GT500 we should be seeing it in the mid- to high-40k's before options. More info as it becomes available.

By Phil Alex

Via: Camaro5


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Cadillac Recalling 2010MY SRX Crossover to Fix Power Steering Line


General Motors said on Thursday it is issuing a voluntary safety recall of 3,996 Cadillac SRX crossovers from the 2010 model year due to a possible damage to the power steering line. According to the company, if the line is damaged, power steering fluid could leak and make its way onto hot engine parts resulting in a fire. GM said it is aware of one such fire in an unattended SRX related to this condition.

"Based on GM analysis, the issue is believed to exist in only two or three of the recalled vehicles," the company said in a statement.

The affected vehicles were built in December 2009, with 3,460 of those sold in the United States, while 341 were exported to China.

The Detroit automaker said it will notify owners of the recalled SRX models and schedule an appointment for inspection with any necessary repairs to be performed free of charge.


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Fenice Milano Blings-Out the Fiat 500C to create "La Dolce Vita"


After seeing Fenice Milano's Rolls-Royce Diva, would you expect them to do any less to a car like the Fiat 500? No, of course not, which is why you see all the gold trim covering the Italian company's 500C-based "La Dolce Vita".The rag-top La Dolce Vita is powered by a 1.4-liter engine from Fiat that puts out 101 ponies and is connected to an automatic transmission. Other than the excessive gold inserts, teak paneling will be crafted by Fenice Milano for the interior in order to better harmonize the city car with Fenice Milano's other offerings.Within the potentially attractive interior is teak, gold, and leather, as well as a redesigned dashboard (check it out for yourself below and let us know if you like the Mini-esque central info pod).As with the Diva, FM's 500C will be offered with the usual round of optional performance upgrades in the form of an ECU/intake/exhaust tune-up and suspension tweaks. Available colors will be a "chromium" Deep Red on the Sportiva model, or a more "sober and refined" (...) white golden pearlescent on the Classica.Personally, I kinda-sorta like the "La Dolce Vita" when compared to the slightly tacky Ghost. Now, I'm no baller and have no need for the 24k gold treatment, but if some of that gold were removed the car could make an interesting competitor to the Aston Martin Cygnet.By Phil Alex _______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

First Interior Photos of 2011 Dodge Durango SUV


About a month ago, Dodge released pictures and initial details on its all-new 2011 Durango SUV model. Now that we have had some time to digest the crossover's exterior, the automaker has dropped the first photos of the 7-seater model's interior.Being that the new Durango is heavily based on the 2011 Grand Cherokee, it comes to no surprise that -for the most part- the cockpit design is almost identical to that of Jeep's flagship model.There are changes to the color schemes and trim, new steering wheel hub and instrument panel gauge designs, while certain switchgear such as the rotatable knob for the headlamps are unique to the Durango. However, the most important difference is that unlike the Jeep's five-passenger arrangement, the Durango offers room for seven people in three rows of seatsDodge says that it has used high quality materials that are refined and soft to the touch throughout the interior.The new Durango will go on sale in the United States before the end of the year with customers having the option between the Chrysler Group's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter HEMI engine a Multi-displacement system (MDS) four-cylinder mode._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Subaru UK Presents 2011 WRX STI, Drops Impreza Name from Halo Model, Introduces Sedan Version


Subaru's UK arm has decided to make the WRX STI its own standalone model for 2011, dropping the "Impreza" reference from the road-going rally car's name. As in other markets, the UK's STI will again be available in sedan and five-door hatch variants and pack a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine making 300 horsepower and 407 Nm / 300 lb ft of torque.For 2011, the UK's STI will get Subaru's "spec. C" suspension setup featuring a lower ride and wider tires wrapped around lighter wheels. Other than that, the car hits 100 km/h [62 mph] from standstill in 5.2 seconds, has a top speed of 158 mph [254 km/h] in sedan form, and meets Euro 5 emissions standards. In Britain, the 2011 WRX STI will begin adding options at £32,995 for either the 4- or 5-door version. We're not sure yet if the "Impreza" name will be dropped from Subaru's halo car in other markets, but it could be a possibility as Fuji Heavy Industries' all-wheel drive automaker tries to revise its lineup.An STI as a pronounced representative of the Subaru brand would be a bold move for a brand that has gone from unique and interesting to boring and non-competitive [WRX / STI models aside, of course] over the past few years.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Aston Martin Recalling over 1,000 U.S. Vehicles Over Safety Concerns


British sportscar maker Aston Martin has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety recall 1,090 DB9, V8 Vantage and DBS vehicles built between 2007 and 2008.In a letter sent by Aston Martin to the NHTSA, the British carmaker reported that the camber bolt that holds the front bottom suspension arm was not made to specification and "could crank along its shank" (shaft).According to the company, this would allow the lower control arm to move freely, affecting the driver's ability to steer, and thus increasing the risk of a crash. The letter went on to say that drivers may hear a metallic rattling sound if the lower control arm had loosened in such a fashion.An Aston Martin spokesperson told Bloomberg news that the defect was detected through company testing, not through any customer complaints. He went on to say that the driver would still be able to steer, but may notice 'looser handling'.To rectify the defect, dealers will replace the affected camber bolts free of charge. Aston Martin has notified the NHTSA that the safety recall will begin on or before October 18th of this year.By Tristan HankinsSource: NHTSA / Bloomberg_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

2011 Volkswagen Eos Facelift Unveiled ahead of LA Show Debut


Four years after it hit the market, Volkswagen is giving the Eos coupe-cabriolet its first cosmetic makeover. The facelifted model, which will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late November before going on sale in January 2011, receives an updated design and a host of new features.The exterior restyling brings the Eos in line with VW's latest models such as the new Touareg, Passat B7 and Jetta. At the front, there's a new, and less prominent, upper grille which is now completely separated from the lower. Also new are the headlamps that incorporate horse-shoe shaped LED running lights, the bumper design and the more chiseled side mirrors.Out back, the changes include a revised bumper housing a diffuser and new, rectangular-shaped tail lamps with LED technology.Inside the cabin, the changes are really rather difficult to spot, being limited to some fresh colors, new controls for the air conditioning system and additional features such as the keyless locking and starting system, a new multi-function color display and the remote control for the retractable hardtop.Aside from the use of BlueMotion technology with a start-stop system and regenerative braking on the 140HP 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine that reduces fuel consumption by 0.7 lt/100 km, bringing it down to 4.8 lt/100 km [49 mpg US], there aren't any other changes under the hood.More details on the 2011 VW Eos will be released at the car's LA Sow premiere in November.______________________2011 VW EOS FACELIFT______________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________2010 VW EOS_____________________________[...]

Galatea's Hyundai Tiburon / Coupe brings Italy and Korea together, Results Questionable


"Long live the GK Tiburon!" has got to be the rallying cry of Galatea Automobiles, the company that's responsible for the creation of the Revision. Beneath the newly styled body - they're calling it a "kit car" - is a typical, everyday, underpowered second-gen Hyundai Tiburon coupe with leather, a V6 powerplant, and a sunroof.The Revision is Galatea's masterpiece, showcasing its achievement of "designing a car that is both exclusive and beautiful, without the associated expenses of owning an exotic car."The Revision was penned by Robert Fechtmann with the intent of emulating Italian style for a steal: $5,180. For the five g's, owners will get the new lights, hood, fenders, bumpers, and installation guide.All told, it should cost around $16,000 to build; in my opinion, that's about $16,000 too much to invest in an old Hyundai.Regarding the car's hit-and-miss looks, Galatea says, "[The Revision] is more likely to be mistaken as an elegant and expensive factory car instead of being recognized as an inexpensive modified car."So, how do we vote: fugly Hyundai or bottom-dollar exotic?By Phil AlexLink: Galatea_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

MG to Build First All-New Model in 15 Years at its UK Plant


MG Rover's old Longbridge car plant is set to comeback in a big way when SAIC / MG begins building its first all new car in 15 years at the end of the year. The plant will start producing the MG6 mid-size model from knocked-down kits imported from China, preceding the UK relaunch of MG as a "value brand" in 2011.The all new car will be available initially as a five-door fastback, with a four-door saloon to follow later on. The automaker optimistically told the Financial Times that customer clinics have compared the MG6 with the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Skoda Octavia and even with small BMWs. Prices in the UK are said to range between £16,000 to £20,000 (US$25,425 to US$31,780).Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) bought the intellectual property rights to some of MG's cars and engines after the collapse of parent company MG Rover in 2005. Meanwhile, Nanjing Automobile bought much of the production equipment back in 2007.The latter's 2007 estimate of selling 50,000 cars a year appears to have been rather optimistic, with actual sales being more of the order of, "hundreds, not thousands". The two companies are now merged under the SAIC name.MG's Birmingham office employs some 300 engineers and 30 design staff, who provide design and engineering services to parent SAIC. MG Birmingham has previously contributed its extensive knowhow to the development of the Roewe 550 and 350 sedans and the MG Zero concept car that was shown at the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year.Chinese automakers have had no success exporting cars to Western Europe and the United States in the past. MG Birmingham's input is especially important for SAIC, with the Chinese still struggling to make large cars that are competitive with the Europeans. David Lindley, Head of SAIC's Technical Centre explains:"There's still a lack of capability in Shanghai, and probably will be for years, to design a new vehicle from a clean sheet of paper."The success of the MG6 is essential for the future of Longbridge and for MG's European operations. At present, Longbridge only builds small numbers of the outdated MG TF roadster.Only time will tell if MG can buck the trend and recapture the hearts and minds of British consumers. The MG6 will hopefully be the first step in this difficult process.By Tristan HankinsSource: FT (sub. req.) , Kudos to Aikiv for the tip!______________________CHINA-SPEC MG6 GALLERY______________________[...]

BMW Sends Draped 1 Series M Coupe for a Photo Shoot in Paris


Welcome to another round of insignificant teaser pictures of BMW's upcoming 1 Series M Coupe. This time, the Bavarians took a pre-production version of the high-performance compact coupe over to the Arc de Triomphe, just off the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris, for a quick photo shoot. Once again, the car was fully wrapped so nothing really new to see here. And before you ask, we don't know anything about the man or the young woman posing with the car.BMW hasn't really given out any specific details about the car, but we do know it will be powered by a turbocharged straight six producing somewhere around 350-ponies with the Germans also hinting that it's meant to be a spiritual successor to the original E30 M3 of the late 1980s / early 1990s.The newest member of BMW's 'M' model family is scheduled to be launched into the market sometime next year._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Desert Drifting a Sonata: Knowing When to Stop is a Sign of Wisdom...


What happens when you live in / near the desert and have a bunch of money to waste? Cars get destroyed, that's what. Here's a small clip of somebody taking their Hyundai Sonata out for a little slideways action and utterly shredding the rear passenger side. I'd venture to say it's totaled, considering the rear wheels aren't meant to be pushed up into the wheel well like that.

Also, how fast do you have to be going to launch the spare tire out of the trunk? If anyone knows what event this was or what specifically was going on (other than putting that poor white Sonata into a mound of dirt), give us a shout.

By Phil Alex


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2011 Camaro SS Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition, Now on Video


Following on from Tuesday's presentation of the special edition version of the forthcoming 2011 Camaro SS Convertible that will be offered in this year's Nieman Marcus Christmas catalog, Chevrolet released the first videos of the car with GM's people talking us around the design details.The Nieman Marcus edition of GM's drop-top muscle car will be produced in a limited run of 100 units, each powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine with pricing set at $75,000 a piece. The regular Camaro Convertible will be given its public premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Click through for the videos, or check out our previous post for all the details on this special edition (but obviously overpriced) model._______________________________VIDEOS_______________________________[...]

General Motors's Opel to take on Fiat and its 500 with New Mini Car


Last month, we told you that General Motors' European Opel / Vauxhall division announced the development of a new small car below the Corsa. Now, Autonews is reporting the car, which is codenamed "Junior", will be a funky upscale proposal designed to compete with Fiat's 500 mini in one of the smallest - literally - segments of them all.Opel/Vauxhall's sales and marketing head Alain Visser hinted that the car will be an "iPod on wheels" and aimed squarely at young consumers with their high-tech needs. The "Junior", which begins production in Germany in 2013, will also be offered in an electric flavor.Opel CEO Nick Reilly says. "It will have the latest infotainment systems and good fuel economy to make it environmentally friendly. For that, buyers will pay a little more."In addition to being willing to pay more,potential buyers will be green, cool, and all the other bla-bla everyone's pushing these days. Regardless of the marketing gibberish, Opel's recent offerings have been attractive enough to indicate a promising 500-fighter.By Phil AlexSource: AutonewsNote: All photos are of the 2004 Opel Trixx Concept Model and NOT of the new mini GM is readying[...]

Smart Teases New Four-Door Model for USA, and yes, it's a Nissan Micra in Disguise...


In what could be seen as a rather desperate move to keep the troubled Smart brand alive and kicking in the United States, parent company Mercedes-Benz has announced that it has teamed up with Nissan to launch a Toyota Yaris-sized five-door hatchback on the market in the fourth quarter of 2011."The new vehicle will expand smart USA's product lineup, offering five-seat capacity while maintaining the core principles of efficiency and conservation," said Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak.The company said the B-segment car is to be sold solely in the United States and will be based on vehicle architecture from Nissan, without getting into any more details. However, the maker of the tiny Fortwo released two teaser sketches of the car, clearly depicting Nissan's latest Micra supermini with a Smart-like fascia, headlights, tail lamps and detailing.The sketches are rather crudely done (for official material), and not to mention a tad deceiving as the Micra has been squashed down to create the illusion of a sportier shaped model. You can see what the Micra looks like in our gallery below.Roger Penske, Chairman of the Penske Automotive Group, which is the brand's exclusive distributor in the States said: "We are faced with continuing customer demand for a smart car with more seating capacity. Sales and service of the five seater will be carried out exclusively by our approximately 75 smart dealerships in the United States. Together with Nissan, we will bring to market a fully equipped small car for our customers and dealers in the USA. It will fit in well with the smart brand."The new Nissan-based Smart model is part of a broader strategic cooperation between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Group that was revealed in April. Under the agreement, the two groups also plan to co-develop a new platform that will be used on the successors to the Smart Fortwo and the Renault Twingo. You can read more about the deal in our previous post here. __________________________________________________________________________________________NISSAN MICRA GALLERY_______________________[...]

Ford Reportedly Considering New Lincoln Continental Model, but a Compact Makes so Much More Sense


Reports indicate that Ford has been meeting with dealer representatives to discuss the brand's options, including batting the Continental name around. Sadly, that's not likely because of the silly alphabetical naming system Ford's luxury brand has been using (I liked Zephyr to begin with) and the fact that Lincoln needs to be made young, not even more inaccessible.As part of the renovation, Lincoln hopes to reveal up to seven new models in the next couple years. After the 2011 MKX, expect the rest of the lineup to get significant refreshes; that means new marketing and styling for the MKZ, MKS, Navigator, and MKT (with new limousine and extended-legroom models once the Town Car has moved on).That leaves room for one new model, which could either be the aforementioned flagship or possibly even a compact entry-level model to make up for the loss of Mercury.The compact seems more likely in the short term, as Ford is trying to convince Lincoln dealers it can make the brand youthful and yuppie to drive sales (versus its current aged, stagnant, and scattered state).If that's the case, there's no need to rule out the flagship down the line. Once Lincoln can pull in some sales, money could then be aimed at the top-tier S-Class and LS segment. If Lincoln can get that far, it may very well be considered "ok". However, as it stands, Ford is looking shut down more than 200 dealers due to slumping sales.Jesse Toprak, an analyst at TrueCar, says, "The biggest problem is [Lincoln's] brand identity itself. A lot of people have the image of the car that your grandpa owned." If you'll recall, that was Cadillac's major problem about ten years ago and now they're putting out M5-hunters, power-wagons, and good-looking crossovers. Should Lincoln be able to pull off the type of renaissance that Cadillac did, CEO Alan Mulally is even willing to get Lincoln its passport and go international with the brand.By Phil AlexSource: Autonews (Sub. Req.)*Opening Photo: 2002 Lincoln Continental Concept Study________LINCOLN CONTINENTAL PRODUCTION & CONCEPT MODEL GALLERY________[...]

Anderson Germany Introduces its Take on the Bentley Continental GT Supersports


Tuning house Anderson Germany has the solution to anyone looking to upgrade their... dreadfully plain Bentley GT Supersports. Starting with the performance enhancements, the chief modification to the Bentley's inner works is the application of a tuning kit, which fits a reprogrammed ECU, sports air filters and a lighter valve controlled sports exhaust system with free-flow catalysts.The additions are good enough for an extra 65-ponies lifting the twin-turbocharged W12 engine's total output from 630HP to 695-horsepower.Anderson Germany also developed a more aggressive looking body kit that includes, new front and rear aprons, side skirts, a boot lid spoiler and a rear diffuser. Production of the body kit is limited to 300 units. The kit is complemented by a new set of 22-inch alloy wheels coated in black and 285/30-22 high performance tires.Interior touches include a mix of Alcantara and leather upholstery for the seats, door panels and steering wheel, plus heaps of decorative carbon fiber trim._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

NY Concours d’Elegance to Celebrate Coachbuilders of the 20th Century


Americana Manhasset, a high-end shopping center located in Manhasset, New York, is hosting the 6th annual Concours d'Elegance on Sunday, October 10. Organizers said they expect around 200 privately owned vehicles to make their way to the show and compete for the 'Best in Show' and 'Best in Class' titles.This year's theme is, "Salute to Classic Coachbuilders of the 20th Century". To reflect that, Americana Manhasset has invited Tom Tjaarda, an automotive designer who has worked for such design luminaries as Pininfarina and GhiaAmong the cars to go on show is the 1971 Momo Mirage, an Italian bodied American GT car owned by its co-creator Peter Kalikow.There are only two of these cars in existence, due to the venture going legs up during the '70s energy crisis. A wooden prototype will also be on display, though it's unclear whether this will be 1:1 scale or not.Showgoers will also get the chance to see the Baja Boot that Steve McQueen famous drove in the 1968 Stardust 7-11 and 1969 Baja 1000 off-road events, as well as a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Boano Coupe, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, a 1973 Alfa Romeo Zagato 1600 and a 1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica.Carscoop will hopefully have pictures from the event next week, so stay tuned.By Tristan HankinsLink: Americana Manhasset Concours d'Elegance[...]

Revamped 2011 VW Phaeton Prices Announced in the UK


Volkswagen UK has dropped pricing details and specification for its facelifted 2011 Phaeton, which is available to order this week. British buyers have two engine options, a 3.0-liter V6 TDI diesel unit with 240-horsepower and a range-topping 6.0-liter W12 petrol unit churning out 450-horsepower.The diesel model is available with both a standard wheelbase and a long wheelbase (LWB) which gives an additional 120 mm of legroom to rear passengers, while the W12 variant is offered exclusively with the LWB body style. On-the-road prices range from £46,195 to £78,685.Revealed to the public for the first time at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show in China this past April, the 2011 Phaeton features a refreshed exterior with a new front end design and interior updates that include new trim finishes, a different multifunction steering wheel design and changes to the instrument cluster.For a more in depth view of VW's flagship model, check out our previous post (click here)._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Carscoop Interviews Yana Briggs, Designer of the 2022 Alfa Romeo Mode Concept Study


Though we'd all like to think we're pretty unbiased when it comes to gender roles in the workplace, there are still a few that manage to surprise us.Take for example automotive designers. The list of male personas in the industry is almost endless: Harley Earl, Raymond Loewy, Ian Callum, Chris Bangle, Giorgetto Giugiaro... Now try and think of female car designers and you're unlikely to come up with even one name without Googling it.While doing background research on a sleek design study called the 2022 Alfa Romeo Mode, Carscoop was surprised to discover that the designer behind the project was a woman. As a great number of ladies we speak to roll their eyes at the slightest mention of cars, we were determined to investigate.What we discovered was designer Yana Briggs, who was kind enough to agree to do an interview with us. We ask Yana about herself, the challenges of working in a male dominated industry and her Alfa Romeo design study. Intrigued? Then follow the jump for the interview.By Tristan HankinsLink: Yana Briggs______________________Interview with Yana Briggs ______________________Key: CS = Carscoop, YB = Yana BriggsCS: Hello Yana. Tell us a little about yourself.YB: My name is Yana Briggs, and I was born in Lithuania. My family immigrated to the United States when I was seven years old. I worked as a sales associate for Mazda before starting my studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.I am now in my fifth term, and soon will begin working on sponsored projects for a variety of companies. Internships such as these are a must for any design student. I am currently showcasing my portfolio to industry professionals in the hopes of securing such an internship.CS: What attracted you to car design?YB: I always had a passion for art and drawing, this on top of my love for cars made the transition into a natural one. Having the opportunity to create not only on 2D, but 3D was another goal of mine. In car design, one must be able to communicate a good concept and follow its transition into a physical object, which later performs a task. This sounds easy to many onlookers, but I know and enjoy the challenges involved.CS: Car design is often perceived as male dominated industry. Have you faced any challenges yet or do you expect to?YB: I expected this question. I will be honest, it's a number one priority for girls in my field to make sure and challenge the typical stereotype of this male dominated industry. The biggest challenge is trying to stay female with female notions and perceptions while surrounded by testosterone.I try to bring the essence of a female touch to everything I design. I work and do my best to fulfil the designer shoes. At the end of the day, design is not gender relevant, all that matters is whether it is a good design or bad design.CS: What do you think a "female perspective" brings to design, or is gender irrelevant these days?YB: This is philosophical question. From my short experience, with new generation of designers arising[...]

Transformers 3 Filming Moves to Washington D.C., Check out the Street Locations and Dates


The third installment of Michael Bay's Transformers franchise will move production to Washington, D.C. next week. DCist reports that the film will be shooting between October 11th and 15th on the Mall, apparently to satiate Bay's fantasy of blowing up historical monuments (no idea if that's legit).If anyone's out and about and can find their way around that part of town next week - check the schedule below for the best times - get yourself out of the office and onto the streets. And if you happen to snag any cool pics and vids, well, you all know where to send them -hint; our email address is located just under the Carscoop logo. Extra points if you dress up like a Transformer. By Phil AlexSource: DCist [Opening photo from Chicago filming - see here]_________________________D.C. DATES & LOCATIONS_________________________[...]

Jeep Launches Mopar Accessories for New Grand Cherokee


The Chrysler Group's Mopar division has released a host of accessories for the recently launched 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Buyers can upgrade and customize Jeep's flagship SUV model with heaps of parts and accessories ranging from a mobile TV and WiFi tech that turns the vehicle into a wireless hot spot, to tubular side steps and a camper trailer. For the complete list of available parts and pricing, follow the jump for Mopar's detailed press release.Mopar Press ReleaseExterior Wheels: Mopar offers five accessory wheels in a variety of sizes ranging from 17 inches to 20 inches. "Rugged" style aluminum wheels are available in polished silver and painted black and are treated in a durable clear-coat finish. Wheels meet strict strength, corrosion and balance standards and requirements. A stamped-steel wheel for the snow-tire market will also be available. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): Starting at $90Chromed Parts: A variety of chromed parts give the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee a unique, customized appearance. Parts include side-mirror covers, exhaust tips, and fog-lamp bezels for the front bumper. MSRP for side-mirror covers: $89, part number 82212218. MSRP for exhaust tips: $77.30, part number 82212400. MSRP for fog bezels: $81.40, part number 82212341.Molded Splash Guards: Deluxe and flexible front and rear splash guards are molded to the Jeep Grand Cherokee's contours for a custom fit and provide excellent lower body protection. MSRP for front splash guards: $35.10, part number 82210219AB. MSRP for rear splash guards: $35.10, part number 82212020ABSkid Plates: Available for fuel tank, transfer case and engine, Mopar skid plates are made of heavy-gauge steel and painted with a high-quality black finish in order to provide protection to vital components when traveling off-road. MSRP for fuel tank skid plate: $264, part number 82211999. MSRP for front-axle skid plate: $92.75, part number 82211995. MSRP for transfer-case skid plate: $92.75, part number 82211994Sport-utility Bars: Mount to original-equipment side rails in order to allow other rooftop carriers to be installed with ease. Lockable bars are made of aluminum and help protect against corrosion, while T-slots allow for quick carrier installation. MSRP: $244, part number 82212072ABRoof Cargo Basket, Soft-side Roof Cargo Carrier and Bike and Ski Carriers: Mount to sport-utility bars on vehicle roof and allow for two-tier loading. MSRP: starting at $121Trailer Hitch and Trailer Wiring: A variety of towing products are available. MSRP for trailer hitch: $233, part number 82212180. MSRP for seven-way round wiring connector: $67, part number 82212196ABTubular Side Steps: Constructed of light-weight, anodized aluminum and available in black or chrome, tubular side steps provide wide skid-resistant stepping surfaces for easy entry and exit. MSRP for chrome: $516, part number 82212129. MSRP for black: $309, part number 82212130Vehicle Covers: A front-end cover p[...]

A Tale of Two Hyundais Fighting Over a Third Hyundai...


Bear with us, as this could get very confusing. The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Hyundai that manufactures cars [aka the Hyundai Motor Group] and the Hyundai that builds ships and makes elevators [aka the Hyundai Group] are competing for a US$3 billion stake in the Hyundai that constructs buildings [aka the Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co.]We warned you this could get confusing...So here's the short version: Hyundai Motor Co and Hyundai Engineering & Construction used to be part of the Hyundai Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate. In the wake of the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis, the two companies split from the conglomerate and went their separate ways.Hyundai Motor Co spun-off to become part of the Hyundai Motor Group and in 2001 Hyundai Engineering fell under creditor control after a multitrillion won bailout and a 2.9 trillion won ($2.54 billion) debt-for-equity swap. Now these creditors, which include the Korean Exchange Bank, are selling up their share 34.88% share in Hyundai Engineering.Still with us? Good.So the only links between these three companies now are familial: Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo is the second son of Hyundai Engineering founder Chung Ju-yung, and Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun is Chung Ju-Yung's daughter-in-law (that's her pictured on the right).Hyundai Engineering also owns a 8.3% stake in Hyundai Merchant Marine, which is part of the Hyundai Group. This stake makes it an especially juicy proposition for both the Hyundai Group and Hyundai Motor Group.Insiders have said that so far Hyundai Group and Hyundai Motor Group are the only ones to send in letters of interest. Analysts believe that Hyundai Motor Group has the best chance of winning the stake, as subsidiary Hyundai Motor Co alone has available capital to the tune of 7.28 trillion won (US$6.5 billion). This is over six times what the Hyundai Group has, forcing it to make a joint bid with German engineering firm M+W Group.Formal bids for Hyundai Engineering are due by the 12th of November, with a preferred bidder set to be chosen in December.By Tristan HankinsSource: WSJ[...]

2012 BMW M6 Rendering Based on Paris Show Concept Car


BMW fan-boy and talented photoshop artist Gerald Alvarez (aka Bimmerpost forum member Alpine325ci), continues his series of future BMW renderings, this time with a new 'chop of the next generation M6 sports coupe. Alvarez used the freshly revealed at last week's Paris Motor Show, Concept 6-Series Coupe, as the base car to create the M6 rendering adding typical 'M' model styling traits such as the bumper, side skirt and alloy wheel designs.

The actual 2012 M6 should make its appearance either alongside or shortly after next year's presentation of the production F12 6-Series Coupe and Convertible models.

As we've repeatedly mentioned, the new M6 says 'bye-bye' to the previous model's naturally-aspirated 507HP 5.0-liter V10, and 'hallo' to a downsized, twin-turbocharged V8 sourced from the X5 M and X6 M crossovers, with power being delivered to the rear axle through the Bavarian firm's seven-speed twin-clutch transmission.

We don't have any numbers (yet), but it is believed that in the M6, the re-tuned V8 will deliver more than the 555HP and 680Nm or 501-lbs/ft of peak torque it does on the X5 M and X6 M models.

Via: E90Post , Photo: Gerald Alvarez / Alpince325ci


Fiat Explains Under-The-Radar Paris Appearance, will Debut New Models in Late 2011


Fiat has addressed a question at least a few people were asking this year in Paris, explaining its lack of significant presence at this year's Paris Motor Show. According to CEO Sergio Marchionne, Fiat has been building up steam, waiting to release new product until late next year in order to better balance the brand's many companies' funds.

(image) "We have saved ammunition awaiting for the recovery," Sergio Marchionne told journalists on the sidelines of the Paris Auto Show. "New models will arrive at the end of 2011, early 2012. Launching new products in a market that is so structurally weak has no sense," Marchionne added.

Hopefully between now and then we'll at least get a few hints at what Fiat will offer in the form of some sexy new concepts.

Other than waiting for that to happen, expect the super-sized Italian automaker to be concentrating on the Chrysler/Lancia revamp as well as trying to acquaint people in the States with the 500 mini and, hopefully, a new type of Fiat.

Expect more news on Fiat's product plans as it becomes available.

By Phil Alex

Source: Reuters

What were they Thinking? Mercury’s ‘Wrist-Twist’ from the 1960s


Styling trends come and go, but if there's one thing that has remained relatively unchanged in the past 105 years of personal motoring: the steering wheel.Although plastics have replaced iron and wood and airbags (1970s) and radio controls (1990s) have been added, the basic design remains the same: a circular ring with spokes connected to a central hub.Some cars had horns in a ring circling the hub (Mercedes-Benz 300SL), others had oblong steering wheels (Austin Allegro) and a few had only one spoke (Citroen DS). At the end of the day though, they all had some sort of steering wheel... except this car.At Mercury, engineer Bob Rumm produced this one-off 1965 Mercury Park Lane convertible with so-called "wrist-twist" steering controls. The standard steering wheel has been replaced by two 5-inch, wrist-operated dials, that the promo claims frees up knee room, improves visibility and makes parking easier. Now take a moment to consider why Mr. Rumm is an "ex-"missile engineer at the height of the Cold War.The promo also cheerfully informs us that the wrist-twist can be used by, "a driver who promises to be about as non-technical as they come," by which they mean a woman. Carscoop is reliably informed they can vote now [...].I suppose we should be thankful that a lot of these concepts, including the wrist-twist, never left Ford's Dearborn proving grounds.It's the sort of thing that could only have been made in the 1960s, the decade that gave us the laser, manned spaceflight and Astroturf. Like everything else, cars were becoming more futuristic, and by futuristic we mean daft. And by daft we mean Modern Mechanix of the 1930s daft.It's also the sort of thing the Ford Motor Company was coming up at the time. Just for fun, type 'Ford Nucleon' into Google, and see what other disastrous innovations motorists of the 1960s were spared.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________VIDEO_______________________________[...]

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible gets Special Edition for Neiman Marcus' Christmas Book


After the auction of the first publicly available production model of the 2011 Camaro Convertible that sold for $205,000, and the release of a single official press image last week, Chevrolet continues to drum up interest for its new topless Camaro with the announcement of a new special edition version that will be showcased in the annual Neiman Marcus "Christmas Book".The General plans to build only 100 examples of the Camaro Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition, each priced $75,000, with first deliveries set to take place in the spring of 2011.All Neiman Marcus Editions are based on the Camaro Convertible SS model and come equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 426HP and 420 lb-ft of torque when paired to a six-speed manual gearbox, and 400HP and 410 lb-ft, when combined to a 6-speed automatic.The cars are finished in an exclusive Deep Bordeaux exterior color, accented by subtle, "ghosted" rally stripes. The body paint is complimented by a color-matched fabric top, windshield frame finished in matte silver, and a set of 21-inch, polished aluminum wheels with red detailing, wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires both, all of which are exclusive to the Neiman Marcus edition.The interior of the special edition model receives exclusive leather interior appointments, including amber-colored leather seating surfaces offset by black leather side panels and red stitching.Red accents are also found on the center console, steering wheel and shift knob, while the Deep Bordeaux color from the exterior appears on the dash and door panels.Other features worth mentioning including the standard Brembo disc brakes, LED halo-ring headlamps, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking assist, and a 245-watt, Boston Acoustics sound system."Neiman Marcus provides a great platform to showcase the new Camaro Convertible," said Tom Peters, Chevrolet Design director. "And, it enabled us to create a special edition car that combines the powerful design and performance of the new Camaro with an element of exclusivity, craftsmanship and customized luxury."For those of you interested in buying us a Christmas gift, reservations will be accepted from October 19, 2010. To place a reservation, all you have to do is call 1.877.662.6276._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

New South Park Episode Takes on NASCAR - With Teaser Video


Being avid fans of South Park here at Carscoop, we couldn't pass up the chance to show you a preview video of tomorrow's [October, 6] mid-season premiere episode of the animated series titled "Poor and Stupid" that takes a humorous stab at the world of NASCAR.

In the teaser after the jump you can watch bad-boy Eric Cartman getting ready to take on the pros at NASCAR with the help of Leopold "Butters" Stotch as his crew chief. "Don't worry, Butters," says Cartman, "I've learned everything I can about being poor and stupid. I'm ready for NASCAR." Ouch...

Via: Jalopnik , Source: South Park


Fenice Milano Previews Ghost-based Diva, Rolls-Royce Fans Cringe In Horror


In an apparent homage to Mansory, creator of such elegant eyesores as a gold-and-blue Rolls-Royce Ghost and a pink Continental GT, Italian firm Fenice Milano has created a handful of garish photoshops as a warning to car fans everywhere. Guys, if you need some fresh ideas, just ask (I'm here all week).The car seen here is Fenice Milano's "Diva" and, for all intents and purposes, it's the kind of Ghost the "Opulence" commercial guy would drive with his 'wimmens' and giraffe in the back.This is not the kind of "Italian elegance and style" I have come to expect from the boot-shaped Mediterranean country known for beautiful women, beautiful suits, beautiful cars, and beautiful food.For those brave enough to consider the Diva, the car will be available in three colors: navy, bronze, and white (with 24k gold flakes); all three colors and a variety of color schemes can be seen below.Inside, the car gets biscuit leather and 24k gold throughout, optional Alcantara inserts for the more ergonomically-designed seats, and wood trim that is supposedly limited to teak or grey oak.Performance boosts of some sort are also mentioned, though with something called the Diva there's no telling what the ECU/intake/exhaust mods will do for it. On a more positive note, at least their website has some nice music to listen to.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Dodge Uncloaks Redesigned 2011 Charger, gets New 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar


In what could be one of the less exciting reveals of the year after all those scoop and police car pictures / videos hit the web these past few months, the Chrysler Group today officially unleashed the civilian version of its 2011 Dodge Charger. However, the revelation is still not over as we'll have to wait for the interior shots and the complete details on the mechanical upgrades.For 2011, the redesigned Charger moves a little bit closer design-wise to the Detroit firm's 1999 concept model of the same name - though, not near enough to get us keyed up. At the front end, Dodge modernized the Charger with its new "split crosshair" grille, a restyled bumper and new headlamps. The aluminum hood design is also new and now features dual "scallops", while the windshield is laid at a "faster" angle.Moving on to the car's profile, we see that the firm's designers took a good look at the 1999 Concept during the restyling phase adding similar body-side scallops. The big news, however, is at the rear as the 2011 Charger adopts a full-width tail lamp design that incorporates no less than 164 illuminating LEDs and is inspired by the late 60's Charger.As we said before, there are no official photos of the interior yet, however, we have seen the inner works of a police model in previous spy shots. According to Dodge, the new interior design is matched with "premium materials throughout", a thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel and added features such as a new navigation system.Under the hood, the press release makes word of Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine that will be offered on the base Charger SE and Rallye models, plus an a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine for the R/T. The latter will be available with rear-wheel drive or optionally, an all-wheel drive system that allows the driver to disconnect the front axle to improve fuel economy by up to 5 percent, and of course, to have some RWD fun.Dodge says the new Charger's unibody packages material and structural design improvements, while engineers have also re-tuned the car's suspension.The new Charger will be fully revealed within the next few weeks before going on sale in the USA later this year._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Cadillac Releases Pricing for 556HP CTS-V Wagon


General Motors has revealed pricing for its new Cadillac CTS-V 'super' Wagon, a car that like or not, is destined to be a classic for future collectors. Scheduled to go on sale in limited numbers at Cadillac dealers later this year, the CTS-V Wagon is priced at $62,990, including destination, meaning it carries the same exact MSRP as the sedan model."The Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is a limited production offering for connoisseurs who are interested in the unique combination of V-Series performance with wagon style and capability," said Don Butler, vice president, Cadillac marketing.Beneath the more practical bodywork of the CTS-V Wagons beats the same heart found on CTS-V sedan and Coupe models, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine pumping out 556 horsepower and 551 lb.-ft of torque.All those ponies are delivered to the rear wheels through either a standard six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic transmission, with Cadillac claiming the CTS-V Wagon completes the 0 to 60mph (96 km/h) sprint in 4.0 seconds.Aside from the new drivetrain, Cadillac's super fast wagon also gets Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires.Standard features include heated, leather-appointed seats, in-dash navigation system with 40-gigabyte hard drive and Xenon HID headlamps. Available options include the $3,400 Recaro heated and ventilated, driver and front-passenger bucket seats, $800 19-inch, polished aluminum wheels, a $600 midnight Sapele Wood trim package and $300 Suede steering wheel and shifter._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Xenatec Officially Introduces Maybach 57S Coupe, Priced Close to $1 Million


Remember Xenatec, the German coachbuilders who took the overblown Maybach 57 S and massaged it into a svelte looking two door coupe? We now have some pictures of the production model, including a first look at the interior.Just 100 units of the Xenatec Coupe will be built, with the high asking price of €675,000 (US$923,198) before taxes. And that's even before you add taxes or options. It was designed by Fredrik Burchhardt, who created Maybach's retro-modern Excelero concept back in 2005.Though the drivetrain remains the same with the four-door Maybach, the bodywork has been significantly reworked. New doors and side panels have been crafted, along with a lowered roofline with more steeply raked front and rear glass. The fenders and bumpers are also new. Another change is the rear track, which has been extended by 20 mm.The cars will be hand built in Weinsberg, Germany by Karosserie Manufaktur Weinsberg to individual customer specifications. Xenatec enlisted the expertise of armored limousine builders ThyssenKrupp Drauz Nothelfer during the design and engineering stages of the Coupe's development, and worked closely with Maybach also (who no doubt provide the base cars).The personalization options for the Xenatec Coupe are described as "endless". Most of the options available on the 57 S will be available to Coupe customers, including the full length panoramic glass roof. 21-inch wheels are also available, replacing the standard 21-inchers.The only question now is, "Will people buy it?" Considering how buyers have clamored over other specialist cars, such as the Ferrari SA Aperta, the answer can only be, "Yes".By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0-liter Turbo with 274HP Priced from $24,865


The newest member of the 2011 Sonata family, the 2.0 Turbo model, will soon be hitting dealer lots across the States so Hyundai released pricing, which starts at $24,865 MSRP for the Sonata SE 2.0T and $27,765 for the Sonata Limited 2.0T, including a destination charge of $720.The new 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit combines direct-injection tech with a twin-scroll turbocharger for a maximum output of 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1750-4500 rpm with regular fuel, while delivering 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The force-fed four-banger is hooked up to a standard 6-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.The base Sonata SE 2.0T comes equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, a sportier tuned suspension and steering system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, fog lights CD/MP3 audio system with iPod/USB and Aux input jacks, traction control and automatic air conditioning as standard.The Limited model deletes the sportier tuned suspension and steering system but adds several features including power tilt and slide sunroof, leather seats, and heated front seats with heated rear seat bottom cushions. More details on the equipment grades in the list below.[From Hyundai press release]:Sonata SE 2.0T2.0L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine6-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters18-inch Hyper Silver alloy wheels with performance tiresSport-tuned suspension and steeringDark chrome front grilleChrome exterior door handlesProximity entry with push button startSE leather bolster/cloth insert sport seatsLeather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knobFront fog lights / dual exhaustDual automatic temperature controlESC/TCS/ABS/TPMSFront active head restraintsFront, front seat side and curtain airbagsChrome window belt-line moldingsTilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controlsMetalgrain interior accentsAM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 with iPod/USB and Aux input jacksRemote keyless entry and alarmImmobilizerPower windows, locks, heated mirrorsAdvanced trip computer with custom settingsActive ECO SystemIntegrated Bluetooth with phonebook transferDaytime Running Lights (DRL)Solar control glassNavigation and Sunroof PackagePower tilt and slide sunroofNavigation system with high-resolution touch-screen displayDimension premium speakers, subwoofer/external amplifierSonata Limited 2.0TReplaces/Adds/Deletes SE 2.0T equipment:Power tilt and slide sunroofSide mirror turn signal indicatorsLeather seating surfacesHeated front seats with heated rear seat bottom cushionsFloor console mounted rear ventsPremium door sill plates / "Limited" badgeIn-dash 6-disc CD-changerHD Radio technology w[...]

Pick your Parisian Poison: What were your Favorite Concept and Production Debuts at this year's Paris Show?


With the 2010 Paris Motor Show officially finished from the car fan's perspective, it's time to see what debuts people thought were the real winners and losers. From VW's less-than-lackluster Passat to the revelation of the entire new Lotus lineup, there were some very conversation-inspiring appearances this year.Many manufacturers showed they could compete in Paris with attractive concepts, while others, who pride themselves on style, brought a dollop of bland with beige peppered on top. Segments were re-entered, recreated, and started, all in Paris.So, car people, the question to ponder is this: what was your favorite concept and what was your favorite production car? Feel free to express which ones you were disappointed in, too.By Phil Alex2010 Mondial de L'Automobile Premieres Alfa Romeo Giulietta Audi Quattro Concept Audi Quattro Concept Rally Audi A7 Sportback Audi A1 1.4TFSI 185HP Audi e-Tron Spyder Bentley Continental GT BMW 5-Series Updates BMW 6-Series Concept BMW X3 BMW X3 Updates Chevrolet Aveo Hatch Chevrolet Captiva F/L Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Chevrolet Orlando MPV Citroen DS3 WRC Citroen C5 Updates Citroen C4 Citroen DS4 Citroen Lacoste Concept Citroen Picasso + Grand F/L Exagon Motors Furtive e-GT Ferrari California HELE Ferrari SA Aperta Fiat Abarth 500C Esseesse Fiat Abarth Punto Esseesse Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Focus ST Concept Honda Civic Updates Honda Fit / Jazz Hybrid Hyundai i10 F/L Hyundai i20 Sport Hyundai ix20 MPV Infiniti IPL G Cabrio Concept Jaguar C-X75 Supercar Concept Jeep's Euro Lineup Kia Sportage Mild Hybrid Kia Optima Sedan Kia Pop Concept Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept Lamborghini Gallardo Blancpain Edition Land Rover Freelander 2 F/L Lexus IS-F Lotus Eterne Sports Saloon Lotus Elise Concept Lotus Concept Sports Cars Lotus Elan Concept Lotus Esprit Concept Lotus Elite GT Lotus Evora S Lotus Evora IPS Maserati GT MC Stradale Mazda2 Facelift Mercedes A-Class E-Cell Mercedes CL-Class F/L Mercedes CL63 AMG Mercedes CLS Mercedes S63 AMG MINI Countryman WRC MINI EV Scooters Nissan GT-R Facelift Nissan Murano F/L Nissan Townpod EV Nissan X-Trail F/L Opel Astra Sports Tourer Opel GTC Paris Peugeot HR1 Crossover Concept Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 Diesel Peugeot 508 Peuget EX1 Concept Porsche 911 GTS Porsche 911 Speedster Range Rover Evoque Renault Zoe Preview Concept [...]

Lamborghini's Geneva-bound Murcielago Successor Spied


Here are some spy pics of the Murcielago's lighter successor getting ready to do some track time at the Nürburgring. Whether or not it'll be called the Jota is yet to be properly established, but it won't be long before we find out as the new majority-composite Lambo flagship is pegged to make its world debut at next year's Geneva Salon.Could the Murcielago/Jota seen here be powered by something other than a mid-mounted V12? Not likely. Instead, we should see direct injection involved to improve efficiency and create upwards of the Murcielago SV's 670 horsepower.The front will maintain the edgy lines found on all the most recent Lamborghinis, while the rear will get wide, black mesh intakes and a wide-mouth center exhaust tip."Razorback" glass slats above the engine are possible, and for now the doors are still a mystery. While the V12 is guaranteed, there have been rumors that Lamborghini may kill the scissor doors for more conventional units. If they do, they had better form a bull's horns when opened like the Miura's units.CEO Stephan Winkelmann knows Lamborghinis can occasionally be impulse buys, so keeping mum on future model info could hurt sales to those consumers who need to have the first of everything. In an interview with Car magazine earlier this year, Winkelmann said: "We never talk about the future. The point is, we sell emotions. If we talk about what might happen, they might wait. And that's not good."By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Subaru Revealed Behind 2011 Mediocrity Marketing Hoax; What do you Say Kia?


As some of you pointed out, Subaru was the culprit hiding behind the week-long 2011 Mediocrity campaign, which showed a beige-cladded first-generation Kia Optima in a scoop-like series of photos. Upon looking at the first set of images that arrived in our mailbox (read here), we knew that this was some sort of devious viral marketing campaign.It is true that these type of campaigns can be rather cheap and yet extremely effective. However, they can also backfire. And in our opinion, that's the case with Subaru's effort to promote / convince us that the latest Legacy is the opposite of the so-called 'beige' mid-size sedans.We assume the creators of the campaign believed no one would figure out that the car buried under all that beige makeup was an older Kia Optima.Mark this down as a big mistake, because once we found out, we were bound to make a comparison between the Legacy and the forthcoming 2011 Kia Optima (and not of course, its decade-old predecessor...).And in our book, at least, in what concerns the looks department, the new Optima makes the Legacy seem beiger than Japan's beigest beige...Now, wouldn't it be interesting if Kia responded with a 'beige' answer / commercial to Subaru's campaign?Link: 2011 Mediocrity Sedan______________________2011 MEDIOCRITY SEDAN________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2011 SUBARU LEGACY_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2011 KIA OPTIMA__________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________2004 KIA OPTIMA__________________________[...]

How not to Customize: '95 Ford Thunderbird Meets '50s Ford Kit Parts


Like everything in life, there's a right away and a wrong way to customize. The right way could be fitting a modern motor and transmission to a classic car body. That way you get the economy and reliability you want in a daily driver with the looks of a classic.The wrong way is bolting an Easy Rods '50s Ford lookalike kit to a 1995 Ford Thunderbird. It's the sort of kit you buy when you have a) money for spending and b) no taste.We found this fire engine red example up for sale by a dealer located in Charlotte, North Carolina. You still get everything that made the tenth generation Thunderbird...uh..."great", including its 205 hp 4.6-liter V8 with 265 lb ft (359 Nm) of torque. You also get a 4spd automatic transmission and independent suspension, air conditioning, cruise control and power everything.How much, you ask? It's a "steal" at just.... US$19,995.There's even a video, accompanied by Angels & Airwaves' 2006 hit, "The War". We can think of some other songs we might have used, such as Daphne & Celeste's "Ugly" and Melanie Safka's "What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?"Let us know what you think in the comments.By Tristan HankinsLink: Streetsideclassics_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

GM's South Korean Plant First to Produce New Chevy Aveo


General Motor's South Korean Daewoo unit announced today that it will handle initial production of the new Chevrolet Aveo at its local Bupyeong plant in Incheon. The new Aveo will make its debut under the Daewoo brandname in the South Korean market in the first half of 2011 before a global rollout as a Chevrolet."GM Daewoo is proud to be the first member of the GM family to produce and sell GM's next-generation global small car," said GM Daewoo President and CEO Mike Arcamone. "With demand for small cars on the rise worldwide, this is great news not only for GM Daewoo and our suppliers, but for Korean consumers as well."The Detroit automaker has previously stated the North American market Aveo will be built at its Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich., in 2011, a move that is said to restore around 1,200 jobs to Southeast Michigan.The production version of the new Aveo hatchback was given its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show last week.In European guise, Chevrolet will offer the Aveo with four petrol engines, including two 1.2-liter units delivering 70HP and 86HP, a 100HP 1.4-liter and a 115HP 1.6-liter powerplant, plus a 1.3-liter turbo diesel engine featuring Start/Stop technology that will be available with either 75HP or 90HP.Chevrolet is also planning to introduce a four-door sedan version of the Aveo, which will most likely make its debut either in LA this November or in Detroit in early January 2011._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

ROUSH 5XR Mustang GT with 525HP Supercharged 5.0 L V8


Michigan based Ford tuner ROUSH has taken on the new Mustang GT, resulting in the 2011 ROUSH 5XR Mustang. The 5XR will be limited to just 150 units and is available in either coupe or convertible body style, albeit only with a 6-speed manual transmission.Utilizing ROUSH's R2300 ROUSHcharger (supercharger), the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8 will be good for 525-hp and 465 lb. ft. (630 Nm) of torque. All ROUSH components and the powertrain come with a 3 year, 36,000 mile (58,000 km) warranty.Jack Roush, ROUSH chairman said:"I'm always excited to get an opportunity to work on a new engine, and the Ford 5.0-liter is a great platform. It has 412 horsepower [307 kw] to begin with, but our group was able to coax out another 113 horsepower [84 kw] with the ROUSHcharger. The 2011 ROUSH 5XR runs fast, sounds great, and is another amazing addition to the ROUSH Mustang heritage."ROUSH has upgraded the Mustang's suspension with new front struts, rear shocks and springs and front and rear stabiliser bars.The exterior gets a square tipped exhaust, full bodykit, new front fascia with driving lamps and upper billet grille, a front chin splitter, side rocker splitters, rear valance and a three-piece boot spoiler. The whole thing sits on 20' chrome rims wearing Cooper RS3 rubber.The 5XR also gets body stickers, unique 5XR badging inside and out and a lettery of authenticity signed by Jack Roush himself. Options include color-matched sports leather and four-piston brakes with slotted rotors.The ROUSH 5XR Mustang will only be sold as a post-title vehicle (you have to buy a Mustang before you can get order the ROUSH modifications) and is not available in California. The recommend retail price will be US$15,390, on top of the price of the Mustang base car.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Ford UK Launches New Focus Sport Special Edition


Far more often than not, when a mainstream carmaker like Ford uses the 'Sport' nametag on a special or limited edition of one of its series production models, chances are that some marketing team found another way to abuse the term. And sure enough, that's the case with Ford UK's limited edition Focus Sport.The only remotely sporty addition to the [current-generation] standard Focus are the ST-style (but not -sized), 16-inch alloy wheels. Other than that, the Focus Sport gets standard satellite navigation with European mapping, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, voice control, parking distance sensors, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and self-dimming rear-view mirror plus the Titanium model's "New York Ebony" seat fabrics.Further proving our point, the Focus Sport special will available exclusively in the five-door bodystyle with a choice of Ford's oh-so sporty engines, the 100HP 1.6-liter petrol with a manual gearbox and the 109HP 1.6-litre TDCi diesel, again with a stick shift.On-the-road prices for the Focus Sport are £16,545 for the 1.6-liter petrol and £17,845 for the 1.6-liter TDCi._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________ [...]

VAETH Builds Barnstorming V35 Out Of Mercedes-Benz E350 Diesel


Here are the first pictures and details of VAETH's Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI-based V35 sports saloon. The German tuning house starts by tweaking the engine management software and as a result, power is lifted to 267HP and torque is boosted to an impressive 595 Nm (438 lb. ft.). Optioning the aluminum intercooler pushes those figures up to 285HP and a whopping 650 Nm (479 lb. ft.).Buyers can further adorn their V35 with quad stainless steel tailpipes and an aerodynamics package consisting of a carbon fibre front apron, rear diffuser, badge-less radiator grille and bootlid spoiler.The V35 rides on 9 x 20 inch front and 10.5 x 20 inch rear light alloy rims, wrapped in 245/30 ZR20 and 285/25 ZR20 Hancock rubber respectively. Coilover suspension that is adjustable for both height and ride quality is also available.The entire pack will set you back €18,306 (US$25,222), on top of the cost for the E350 CDI base car. The German tuning firm did not say if the V35 package will be available outside of Europe.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Fresh Videos of New Lancia Stratos Shot During Final Testing


The developers of the New Stratos have released some new video footage of their Ferrari F430 Scuderia-based supercar. The first clip shows WTTC and former Formula-1-Pilot Tiago Monteiro fine-tuning the chassis of the New Stratos at Balooco test track, Italy, while the second video is from the final wind tunnel test that took place on September 13th at Pininfarina's plant in Turin.

We're still waiting for the full technical specs and performance numbers but for now, head over the jump to watch the two aforementioned videos plus one more with the owner of the one-off supercar, Michael Stoschek, tackling the Arosa hillclimb in his classic Lancia Stratos Group 4.


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Tesla Recalls 439 Roadsters Over Potential Fire Hazard


Tesla Motors has initiated a voluntary safety recall on its battery-electric Roadster 2.0 and 2.5 models following the discovery of a potential fire hazard involving an auxiliary power cable.The California-based automaker said it became aware of the problem after a single incident where an auxiliary cable "chafed against the edge of a carbon fiber panel in the vehicle causing a short, smoke and possible fire behind the right front headlamp of the vehicle."The affected 12 volt auxiliary cable is located in the passenger wheel well behind the right headlight. It is part of a backup system that provides power to systems including the front and rear lights, turn signals and airbags in the event the primary 12 volt power system fails or drops below a certain threshold.Tesla said it has assured owners of the 439 affected Roadsters that it is merely a precautionary measure and does not affect the main battery pack or power systems in any way. It also does not affect Roadster 1.5 models (vehicles with a VIN ending in 500 or before), as these vehicles do not have the 12 volt auxiliary cable installed.Owners of the affected models are being notified by email and post, and can make an appointment for Tesla service staff to inspect the cable and install a protective sleeve to prevent any further incidents. This can be done at the owner's home or place of work and takes approximately one hour. The appropriate regulatory agencies have also been notified.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Mazda Teases Interior of All-New BT-50 Compact Pickup Truck


In anticipation of the all-new BT-50's launch that will take place at next week's 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, Mazda has released a second teaser drawing of its compact pickup truck. This time, it's the BT-50's interior design that we get a peek at.At least from the sketch, the cockpit looks very passenger-car-like featuring a modern design with a wrap-around dashboard layout and a relatively sporty instrument panel with two prominent and deeply set gauges.Here's what Mazda had to say about the BT-50's cabin: "The interior of the All-New Mazda BT-50 has been designed to complement its athletic and refined exterior design and offers a comfortable and sporty environment to rival Mazda's current passenger car standard."The Japanese automaker is pitching the new BT-50 not only for what it is - a compact pickup truck, but also as an "active lifestyle vehicle" and a "realistic alternative to the family wagon and 4x4 SUV."The BT-50 will be joined in Sydney by its Ford sibling, the all-new 2011 Ranger. Both compact trucks are scheduled to go on sale globally (but not in the U.S.) in the second quarter of 2011._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

VW Passat BlueMotion Drives Over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) on a Single Tank


A Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion driven by Sunday Times journo Gavin Conway has been awarded a Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by an unmodified production car on a single tank of fuel.The three-day trip began in Maidstone, England, where the Passat's tank was drained and filled with 77.25 liters (20.41 US gallons) of diesel. The journey finally ended close to Calais after 1,526.63 miles (2,456.87 km), the equivalent of driving halfway from New York to Los Angeles.Conway was accompanied by a navigator and video crew. The attempt was witnessed by two Automobile Association (AA) patrolman, who followed the Passat in a van. The Passat averaged 45 mph [72 km/h] and 89.93 UK mpg (74.88 US mpg or 3.14 lt / 100 km), beating its official combined average of 64.2 UK mpg (53.46 US mpg or 4.40 lt / 100 km).The Passat BlueMotion model is powered by a 1.6-liter common-rail turbodiesel good for 105-horsepwoer. Like all of Volkswagen's BlueMotion models, the Passat BlueMotion features a raft of efficiency improving modifications including an aerodynamic package, lowered ride height, stop/start system, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tires.The Passat used was one of the outgoing B6 models, not the newer B7 shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.By Tristan Hankins[...]

Honda Shows New Accessories for European CR-Z 2+2 in Paris


The new Jazz (called Fit in the U.S. and other markets) Hybrid -see here- may have been the star attraction Honda's Paris Motor Show booth, but the Japanese automaker also premiered a new lineup of accessories for its European-spec CR-Z 2+2 hybrid. The range is split into four packages / themes with parts for the exterior and interior of the CR-Z.First up is the Carbon theme that includes floor carpets and door-step garnishes, interior panels, body skirts and groovier-looking 17-inch alloy wheels.Next is the Metallic theme that adds a front sports grille, door mirror covers, air-intake garnishes, pillar decorations and speaker rings, while the Illumination theme gives a blue luminescence to the interior of the CR-Z. Finally, the Coloured theme offers tailgate garnishes and body styling graphics.Prices and availability have yet to be announced._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

BMW Announces Performance Accessories for North American X6 Models


Starting from late October, BMW will begin offering to North American buyers a suite of parts from its 'Performance Accessories' division for the X6 crossover. The range includes a power kit, styling package, unique alloys and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.The power kit will be available for xDrive35i and xDrive50i models built between 2008 and 2010. New engine software is claimed to increase engine output and responsiveness without increasing fuel consumption or exhaust emissions.On the xDrive35i, output is bumped up from 300-hp to 320-hp, and on the on the xDrive50i, from 400-hp to 440 hp. Torque is likewise improved, from 300 to 332 lb. ft. (407 to 450 Nm) on the xDrive 35i, and from 450 to 480 lb. ft. (610 to 651 Nm) on the xDrive50i.Both models are 0.2 seconds faster to 60 mph (96 km/h); 6.3 seconds for the six-cylinder xDrive35i and 5.0 seconds for the V8 xDrive50i. Overtaking acceleration (50 to 75 mph / 80 km/h to 120 km/h) has also been improved by half a second.BMW is has also prepared a performance aero kit consisting of redesigned front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear bumper insert and the additional option of rear fins and a rear deck spoiler (which sits beneath the rear windshield).Unique 21 inch alloys will also be offered: 10" x 21" wheels clad in 285/35/R21 rubber at the front and 11.5" x 21" wearing 325/30/R21s at the rear.A racing-style, flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel covered in hand-stitched Alcantara will also be available.The performance aero kit and 21-inch alloys are available on all models except the X6 M and ActiveHybrid X6, whilst the multifunction steering wheel is unavailable on the X6 M and X6s equipped with the Lane Departure Warning system.A high performance exhaust for the V8 and inline-six X6 models is also in development and is expected to be available this winter.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Dodge debuts V10 Viper-powered Challenger for the strip


Dodge is ready to keep fighting the Mustang Cobra Jet a quarter mile at a time. With its latest Drag Pack, available on the 2011 Challenger, Dodge has decided to ditch the 6.1-liter V8 and drop in the Viper's 8.4-liter V10 backed by a two-speed automatic racing transmission.The new Dodge will make its debut at the Viper Owner's Invitational taking place in Salt Lake City, followed by a stop at SEMA in November on its way to Orlando.Mopar CEO and President Pietro Gorlier says, "With the introduction of our new 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, Mopar will be the only place to get a factory-built V10-powered race-ready drag car. Mopar's new Challenger Drag Pak is a race rocket that will appeal to racers, collectors, dealers, and Dodge Viper owners."The Drag Pack-equipped Challenger will be available in either Stock Eliminator or Super Stock form. It rides on comp tires and comp wheels attached to a solid rear axle; the car also gets a comp fuel system and fuel cell. Options include a $7,950 competition package (which adds an 8-point cage, 6-spoint harness, and a mesh window net), a $6,800 paint option (instead of the bright white), and a $950 body wrap.All this V10 drag strip Challenger goodness comes at a price though: an MSRP of $85,512 for each of the 70 examples Mopar will build. That's good for the race teams, but how about give it a street-able powertrain and turn this into a special edition production version of 2009's Challenger SRT10. That was one of the sweetest modern Challengers I've ever seen.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Les Dames of the 2010 Paris Motor Show


If there's one thing our readership enjoys more than cars, it's booth models. And the 2010 Paris Motor Show has more booth beauties than you can poke a stick shift at. What better way of passing the time between new product launches than gazing at these gorgeous ladies?These female professionals have a very important job: attracting people to their particular manufacturer's booth. And most people (well, men) are only too happy to oblige. Check below the fold for our comprehensive gallery on the "other" models on display at this year's edition of the Paris motorshow.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________ [...]

Paris Motor Show Poll: Kia Optima vs Peugeot 508 vs VW Passat


At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, we saw three new mid-size sedans making their way to the halls of the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles. Two of them, the all-new Peugeot 508 and the redesigned VW Passat B7, received their world premiere, while the Kia Optima was presented for the first time in Europe.Now, we all know you can't and you shouldn't buy a car based upon looks or preliminary specs alone. It's the whole package that counts. However, in this case, we simply want to find out which one of these new family sedans captured your attention for the right reasons.Place your vote in the poll after the jump and be sure to have your say in the comments section.Which mid-size sedan do you like more? allowtransparency="true" name="poll-widget-447042433052220727" src="" style="border: 1px solid rgb(214, 214, 214); background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(242, 242, 242); width: 58%;" frameborder="0" height="180">___________________________PEUGEOT 508_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________KIA OPTIMA________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________VW PASSAT B7_________________________ [...]

BMW’s Concept 6 Series Coupe Live from Paris: What do You Think? [Updated]


*Post has now been updated with a video of the car from the Paris Show floor featuring BMW's Design Director Adrian Van HooydonkHere are the first live pictures of BMW's Concept 6 Series Coupe at the Paris Motor Show. As previously reported, this is nothing more than a thinly disguised 2011 6 Series Coupe, which is set to arrive in showrooms next year with straight-six and V8 engine options.Here's the skinny: Bangle is out, Van Hooydonk is in (as the Bavarian firm's design boss, as Van Hooydonk was responsible for the exterior of the previous 6er). Phil has already given you his 'Two Dents' on the concept based on the pre-show photos. Now here's my take on the live pictures:The front there-quarters remind me of an aging actress who has recently had a facelift: her lips have been pulled long and thin, her eyes bulge out of the sockets and her ears are drawn back. The rear three-quarter, on the other hand, is a little too much like the current 3-series coupe.Many of our readers were very vocal with their opinions on our last post. So our question is this: what do you think of BMW's Concept 6 Series Coupe now that you've seen the live pictures? Is it better, or worse? Tell us in the comments section below.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

2010 Paris Auto Show: New Model and Concept Car A to Z Guide


[Updated Daily] Those fortunate enough to be able to attend this year's Paris Auto Show are in for quite a treat as no less than 100 new vehicles, concept cars and updated models are making their world premiere at the salon, which will be open for the public from Saturday 2 to Sunday 17 October at the Paris-Porte de Versailles exhibition center.Follow the jump to check out all the new cars and concept studies in our A-to-Z guide or click here for our constantly updated and dedicated Paris Motor Show page.By Matthias Kriegel______________________________________________________________________________2010 Mondial de L'Automobile World Premieres Alfa Romeo Giulietta Audi Quattro Concept Audi Quattro Concept Rally Audi A7 Sportback Audi A1 1.4TFSI 185HP Audi e-Tron Spyder Bentley Continental GT BMW 5-Series Updates BMW 6-Series Concept BMW X3 BMW X3 Updates Chevrolet Aveo Hatch Chevrolet Captiva F/L Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Chevrolet Orlando MPV Citroen DS3 WRC Citroen C5 Updates Citroen C4 Citroen DS4 Citroen Lacoste Concept Citroen Picasso + Grand F/L Exagon Motors Furtive e-GT Ferrari California HELE Ferrari SA Aperta Fiat Abarth 500C Esseesse Fiat Abarth Punto Esseesse Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Focus ST Concept Honda Civic Updates Honda Fit / Jazz Hybrid Hyundai i10 F/L Hyundai i20 Sport Hyundai ix20 MPV Infiniti IPL G Cabrio Concept Jaguar C-X75 Supercar Concept Jeep's Euro Lineup Kia Sportage Mild Hybrid Kia Optima Sedan Kia Pop Concept Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept Lamborghini Gallardo Blancpain Edition Land Rover Freelander 2 F/L Lexus IS-F Lotus Eterne Sports Saloon Lotus Elise Concept Lotus Concept Sports Cars Lotus Elan Concept Lotus Esprit Concept Lotus Elite GT Lotus Evora S Lotus Evora IPS Maserati GT MC Stradale Mazda2 Facelift Mercedes A-Class E-Cell Mercedes CL-Class F/L Mercedes CL63 AMG Mercedes CLS Mercedes S63 AMG MINI Countryman WRC MINI EV Scooters [...]

Opel's Hot GTC Paris Concept: Live Photos and New Video Trailer


Meet the star of Opel's Paris Motor Show stand and probably one of the best looking concepts of this year's show, the GTC Paris Concept that will spawn next year's three-door Astra model.Even though the mainstream variants of the production Astra GTC will lose the muscular bumpers, LEDs and tall 21-inch wheels of the design study, it's safe to say that what you see here is more or less what you'll get when the car arrives in Opel and Vauxhall showrooms across Europe in 2011.For those wanting something closer in looks to the concept, there's good news as the flagship OPC model is expected to keep most of the styling features including the chunky bumpers.The same goes for the GTC Paris Concept's direct injection and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 290-horsepower that strongly hints at the specifications of the Golf R / Scirocco R-rivaling Astra GTC OPC model, which is also due in late 2011.For full details on Opel's Paris Show attention-grabber, hop over to our previous story here._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

New Peugeot 508: Photos from the Paris Motor Show Floor


Peugeot has decided to take a more elegant approach with the design of its top-of-the-line 508 model, ditching the old and odd Peugeot nose in favor of a more attractive new design language. Competing with Volkswagen's B7 Passat and Kia's Optima, which we showed you earlier, the 508 is the first attractive Peugeot saloon in a while.For consumers in Europe, the new 508 will be available next spring. Its eight engine choices are decidedly diesel-heavy; there are five diesel units and three gasoline options, while in 2012, Peugeot will launch a diesel-electric hybrid version using the same technology found on the 3008 Hybrid4 crossover. For the powertrain and performance info, check out our previous story here.As far as body styles go, there will be a sedan and a station wagon. The new 508 has to be one of the nicest-looking cars in the mid-size segment; it's a real shame we don't get something like this in the States.By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Seat IBE Coupe Concept 2 in the Flesh from the Paris Motor Show


Following on from our preview of Seat's latest IBE Concept model, we now have live pictures of the compact sports coupe from the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Improvements over the first IBE Concept, which was shown in Geneva earlier this year, include refinements to the design and technology, while the Paris Show car now also sports an interior.Measuring in at just 3.83 meters (12.5 ft) in length, the IBE Paris is smaller than Volkswagen's Scirocco. Utilizing a 75 kw (102 hp) electric drive system, the concept is good for 130 km (81 miles) on a single charge. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) can be achieved in 9.7 seconds"The IBE shows SEAT's vision for a car of the future that is as emotional as it is ecologically responsible and affordable," said Seat's design boss of former Lamborghini fame, Luc Donckerwolke."The IBE is a concentrated version of our design DNA. Both exterior and interior are characterised by their focus on key elements, by a clear and precise architecture, by modern technology and by materials that are as high-quality as they are ecological."By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Kia Goes Green in Paris with Sportage Diesel-Hybrid Concept


At this week's Paris Motor Show, Kia displayed the Sportage Mild Hybrid eco concept. Based on the latest generation of the South Korean firm's compact SUV model, the concept hooks up Kia's 1.7-liter turbo diesel engine, which produces 115-horsepower and 260Nm of peak torque, to a 5 kW electric motor with a double layer capacitor.Kia also made small changes to the Sportage's body to reduce aerodynamic drag and added low-rolling resistance tires. According to the company, the Sportage Mild Hybrid emits just 117 g/km of CO2. Kia did not release fuel economy estimates._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Paris Show: 2011 Honda Civic gets Minor Updates


Honda presented the 2011 model year version of its UK-built, European-market Civic hatch in Paris this week. The Japanese automaker's Golf rival benefits from some minor updates, mostly limited to the grille, interior fabrics and alloy wheel designs on some models.More specifically, the Perspex grille is gone on the 5-door hatchback and it has been replaced with the same mesh grille used on the three-door Civics. A new color has also been introduced to the range: Ionized Bronze.Inside, the base Civic gets seats trimmed in a combination of cloth and alcantara, while the special edition GT gets half leather and Alcantara as standard. The GT model also gets unique 17-inch alloy wheels, further differentiating it from the standard models.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Paris Show: Chevrolet Aveo 5-door, Sedan Coming Soon [With Live Pics]


The Aveo is finally here and in the metal, and Chevy says it's aimed at younger buyers interested in a hot-hatch "looking every bit as good as the Aveo RS show car concept". Points for trying, guys, but not really...Set to hit Europe in the summer of 2011, the Aveo 5-door will be powered by a variety of small-displacement gasoline and diesel engines (ranging from 70 to 115 horsepower) and even be available with a 6-speed stick. For all the specs on available engines and the like, check out our previous post.The sea of black plastic has seeped out from the interior and found itself all over the exterior of the car, as evidenced by the front and rear light housings and former rear quarter window. Also, whatever was once attractive from the rear 3/4 view (like the C-pillar kink and rear end treatment) seems to have been watered down a notch.And if the hatchback doesn't do it for you, Chevrolet should be presenting a sedan version of the car either in LA in November or in Detroit in January 2011. Anyone interested in a 180-horsepower SS version?By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

September Sales USA: Chrysler up 61%, Hyundai +44%, Ford +40% and GM +11%


The numbers are in for the month of September, and for the most part, they're looking good as industry wide deliveries were up 28% over a year ago according to a report from Autonews. Chrysler Group exec should be feeling extra happy as sales soared 61 percent over the same month a year ago, rising from 62,197 to 100,077 units.Ford Motor Co, which includes the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brands, recorded a 40 percent gain in September with sales of 160,375 units, whilst deliveries at GM climbed a far less impressive 11 percent from a year earlier to 173,031 units.The Hyundai Group (Hyundai and Kia) had yet another solid month posting sales of 76,627 vehicles, which represents a 44 percent increase over last year.With a few exceptions such as Suzuki, which saw its sales slide 12 percent to an embarrassing 1,641 units (even Porsche sold more cars - 1,971 units recording a 25 percent increase), and Volvo, which reported sales of 4,152 units, a 12 percent decrease from last year, most automakers posted gains:Toyota Group (+17% - however, Lexus was down 8,9%), Honda (+26%), Mitsubishi (+5%), BMW Group (+20.5%), Mercedes-Benz Group (+15%), VW/Audi (+14%) and Nissan/Infiniti (+34%).Source: Autonews (sub. req)[...]

New Kia Optima Shows Up in Paris to show VW how to Design a Mid-Size Sedan


The Kia Optima, which made its original debut in New York, has crossed the pond to give the Europeans a little bit of that Korean flava (or is that German?) and rub the 2011 VW Passat B7's newly styled nose in the ground. Riding on the same platform as the "fluidic" Hyundai Sonata, the Optima brings Kia's "tiger" style to the mid-size saloon segment.The results speak for themselves; anyone with an iota of style would walk straight past the humdrum Passat and get in this.With a pretty face, a driver-centric cockpit, and some efficient engines - a 170-horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline unit and a 136-horsepower 1.7-liter turbo diesel - here's hoping this will continue to push the Koreans into Europe and light a fire under the designers of the usually-conservative mid-size German players.For the essential specs on the European Kia Optima, check out our previous post. European readers out there, it's time for you to weight in: is the Kia Optima possibly worth your Euros, or will you still be buying European?By Phil Alex_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Ferrari's Already Sold Out SA Aperta Roadster Stops by Paris Show


The 'greener' California HELE wasn't the only new car on display at Ferrari's Paris Show stand. The 670-horsepower SA Aperta, which we reported on last week, also made its debut. All 80 examples of the limited edition, open-top 599s have been spoken for well before the car made its way to Paris.Co-designed with Ferrari Centro Stile to celebrate 80 years of Italian design firm Pininfarina, the car was built partly as homage to Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina, the son and grandson respectively of company founder Battista Farina (latter Battista Pininfarina).Like the Bugatti Veyron roadster, the SA Aperta features an emergency soft top [read: umbrella] and the same structural rigidity of the hardtop without adding any additional weightPricing is irrelevant as you can't buy one, at least not new. There is, however, an online configurator, which doesn't make any sense but anyways...By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Paris Show: Abarth 500C Esseesse with 160 Ponies


If you feel the regular Abarth 500C could benefit from a few more ponies under the hood, Fiat's performance division has the answer in the form of the Esseesse edition. The tuning package bumps output of the standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine from 140HP and 206Nm to 160HP and 230Nm, respectively.As a result, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) drops 0.6 seconds to 7.5 seconds, while top speed increases from 205km/h to 209km/h (130mph).The scorpion-branded version of Fiat's 500 rag-top convertible that was shown in Paris featured a two-tone paint job with a white chromatic line separating the two colors, and came fitted with a Record Monza exhaust silencer and unique 17-inch alloys with 5 diamond shaped spokes._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

SEMA: Hyundai Teases Tricked Out 2011 Sonata Turbo, Says it's Inspired by Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche


Hoping to build some hype around the new 2011 Sonata 2.0-liter Turbo before it arrives in showrooms later this year, Hyundai has teamed up with RIDES and 0-60 magazines to trick out the 274-horsepower-strong saloon for the SEMA show, which will take place in Las Vegas this November.The South Korean firm has no problem admitting that the car's tune-up is inspired by Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche models.In particular, Hyundai says the SEMA Show Sonata's exterior modifications will be "modest and tasteful, using influences from the four-door Brabus Mercedes CLS Rocket sport coupe", adding that the interior design has been inspired by the Ferrari F430 "with strategically placed stitched leather throughout and carbon fiber trim accents." No word where Porsche fits in the tune.Other upgrades will include 20-inch concave monobloc wheels, a matte pearl white paint and a slew of carbon fiber components including the roof, grill, interior trim, side mirrors and rear diffuser, plus turbo and intake enhancements, and a quad tip dual exhaust.Expect more teaser shots to be released within the next few weeks.[...]

Paris Show: Lotus wants to Take on Aston Martin Rapide with New Eterne Sports Saloon


In an attempt to enter the 4-door coupe market, Lotus brought a sedan - you read that right - to the Paris Motor Show. The Eterne is the new Lotus 4-door (other Loti saloons include the 377HP twin-turbocharged Lotus Carlton / Omega of the early 1990s, and they sure are cool); it uses a Lotus-tuned new bad boy engine borrowed from Lexus.This means that sitting under the hood is a high-output forced-induction 5.0-liter V8. As with the Esprit and Elite, the Eterne will offer optional hybrid power and KERS.An added bonus is available AWD. The Eterne provides seating for four passengers in an 1,800-kilo package that will cost approximately £120,000 [~ US$190,500 at today's exchange rates] before options.Clearly Lotus sees a market for a prestigious high-performance 4-door with hybrid power, because Dany Bahar plainly states, "We truly believe that there is a market for the Eterne. There is nothing else like it out there both in terms of design, capacity and performance. The biggest difference between the Eterne and it's class competitors is that it's not an evolution of an existing two-door model, it's a deliberate and considered stand-alone creation. It's the ultimate four door sports car."Hey, who am I to argue with capitalism? For that money, though, I'd just buy a Fisker Karma and go on a nasty vacation.By Phil Alex_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________[...]

Paris Show: Citroën Unleashes DS3 WRC Contender


Joining the world premieres of the MINI Countryman WRC and Ford Fiesta RS WRC at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, is Citroën's all-new contender for the 2011 World Rally Championship, the DS3 WRC in full racing livery.The French firm's replacement for the multi-championship winning C4 WRC fully complies with the new FIA regulations with power coming from a 300hp 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged engine. The car also gets a four-wheel-drive system that incorporates a six-gear sequential gearbox and front and rear mechanical differentials."The DS3 WRC is designed to limit the budgets required to compete in the WRC", said Citroën in a statement. "The new FIA rules ban costly materials such as titanium and carbon-fibre, and standardise certain parts like the turbocharger and limit the changes that can be made to the vehicle during its lifetime. Rally nevertheless remains a great testing ground for driving new advances in vehicle technology."The new DS3 WRC will make racing debut at the Rally Sweden in February 2011. The French firm has already confirmed two teams of the next racing season, Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena and Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia._______________________________GALLERY_______________________________ [...]

New Chevrolet Orlando MPV Shows up in Paris (With Live Pictures)


Finally, we've got live pics of the new Chevy Orlando. Essentially the General's answer to the European mid-size MPV question, the small, Cruze-based 7-seater had a bunch of promise back when it originally debuted as a concept.Somewhere between there and this year's Paris Motor Show, all the old, Judge Whitey executives in the General's back pocket found a way to crush any chance of it being cool by turning the stocky little MPV into an ass-in-the-air high-ish-riding mini-minivan...unless there's an air suspension system I don't know about.You can see that the interior keeps the decent styling inherited from its platform-mate and appears to actually be sourced from the original concept. Too bad the same can't be said for the rest.When this little box goes on sale in early 2011, methinks the best things about the whole package are the trick dashboard cubby and its two available diesel torque-makers.As for the rest, attractive European MPV it ain't. For the full info and specs, check out our previous post, and to see how the Orlando stacks up against the concept, head on over to our Concept to Reality comparo.By Phil Alex_____________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

Paris Show: Ferrari California HELE gets Stop- Start Tech, Emits 23% Less CO2


Visitors to the 2010 Paris Motor Show may have noticed a rather innocuous looking, black-topped Ferrari California on display at the automaker's stand. This is the Ferrari California HELE, which stands for High Emotion Low Emissions. Think of it as a Ferrari for the environmentally conscious.Featuring a host of technological jiggery including intelligent fan and fuel pump control, adaptive gear shift and "electronically controlled variable displacement"...air conditioning, the California HELE is said to reduce CO2 emissions by 23% over its non-HELE sibling.That's 270 g / km down from 299 g /km. The California HELE also features a stop / start system that can restart the car's engine in an impressive sounding 230 milliseconds.Ferrari is also introducing some new two-tone finishes - no doubt for the 599 GTO wannabes - and water-resistant leather for its California range. There's no word on pricing or launch dates, or in what markets the California HELE will be sold. No doubt buyers will pay a premium over the non-HELE base model.By Tristan Hankins_______________________________GALLERY_______________________________[...]

2015 Lotus Elise Appears in Paris - With Live Pictures and Video


The new Lotus Elise jumps into entirely new styling territory, not so much evolving from the current model but fully reinventing itself as a baby Esprit. The only similarities are the mid-engine layout driving the rear wheels and 2-seats around corners.Below, Lotus has been kind enough to provide a nicely-designed chart for your convenience instead of spreading all the car's stats across a 15,000-word press release.The new baby Lotus will get a standard 6-speed manual (with an optional 7-speed DCT) and be powered by a Toyota 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine putting out 320-horsepower. If the Elise is putting out that kind of go for a £35,000 [around US$55,500] base price, this is looking to be a bargain basement killer. To make that 320 ponies extra green, it will also offer mild hybrid tech and an optional start/stop system when it comes out in Spring 2015.By Phil Alex__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________[...]

Nissan Shows 2012 GT-R Facelift in Paris but won't Release Details Until October 18th


Tucked away in a glassed corner of Nissan's Paris Motor Show booth was the 2012 GT-R facelift. So, did the updated GT-R make its world premiere in Paris or not? Yes and no. See, while the car made its first public appearance in Paris, oddly enough, Nissan said it wouldn't release any information until mid October.Here's the official statement from the Japanese automaker: "The GT-R engineering team are currently at the Nordschliefe, the legendary circuit in Germany, where they are in the process of signing-off the final updates on the forthcoming enhanced GT-R. Full details of the enhanced GT-R will be announced on 18th October 2010,"From what we can see, the 2012 model year version of the Godzilla boasts a new front bumper with LED running lights, a revised rear diffuser and new alloy wheels.According to documents leaked back in August, the changes are said to help drop the GT-R's drag coefficient from 0.272 to 0.268 while also improving rear downforce by 10%. The car is also expected to benefit from chassis and engine modifications.We'll update this story as soon as Nissan comes out with all the juicy details._____________________________GALLERY________________________________[...]

Hyundai i20 Sport Edition Bows in at Paris Show


The Paris Motor Show isn't all concept cars and new model launches; some manufacturers use the event to showcase limited edition models to pique the public's interest. One such limited run model is the i20 Sport Edition, co-developed by Hyundai's European R&D team and aftermarket tuners Car Research and Development (CRD) in Germany.The exterior of the i20 Sport Edition gets body-colored front skirts and wheelarch flares, glossy mesh grille insert and B-pillar, black bezel headlights, daytime running lights, smoked side and rear glass, dark red tinted taillights and 17-inch Brabus alloys wrapped in Yokohama rubber.On the inside, there is orange leather wrapped Recaros, a chrome shift knob and 7-inch touch screen sat nav. The centre console, door panels and gearshift cover also get the leather treatment.The i20 Sport Edition goes into limited production in the first half of 2011, whereupon Hyundai will announce engine and transmission specs. Available as either 3dr or 5dr model, it will be manufactured in Hyundai's existing i20 plants in either India or Turkey, depending on the market.By Tristan Hankins [...]

Paris Show: 2011 VW Passat Sedan and Estate B7 or more like B6.75... [Updated]


[Fresh pics added] What can we expect from the crisp, facelifted B6 Passat? Well, for one thing, it's actually labeled a seventh-generation model even though it's clearly B6-derived. In its defense, VW says "every body panel apart from the roof is new".Said new panels extend the car by 4 millimeters (4,769 mm for sedan, 4,771 mm Estate), while the width and height remain the same at 1,820 mm and 1,474 mm, respectively.Up front, the nose gets a more attractive grille / headlight treatment and is more in-line with VW's current styling. On the outer edges of the new, chromey grille reside LED running lights. At the rear, the tail lights get chrome accents and blend nicely with the sharper lines of VW's family saloon.Passengers get heated/cooled seats that can also provide massages if consumers are willing to go lux. In order to make the Passat more of a flagship along the lines of the Phaeton VW has added a few new touches: inside the revised dash there are new dials, trim and even an analogue clock (you stay classy, V-Dub). Other than that, the rest of the interior gets the usual minor updates.At the bottom of the diesel engine pack is a BlueMotion 1.6-liter TDI which makes 105 horses; it also gets greener (or bluer) thanks to battery regeneration and a start/stop system. If equipped with this engine, the Passat can return up to 68.8 mpg ("a theoretical range of over 1,000 miles on a single tank") while emitting 109 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Above the 1.6 there are two 2.0-liter units making 140 and 170 horsepower.The gasoline engine lineup includes a 1.4-liter TSI (122 hp), a 1.8-liter TSI (160 hp), a 2.0-lit[...]

Paris: Lotus Shows off New Elan, Begs the Question: What will Happen to the Evora?


Next up on our Lotus debut circus is the Elan, a small 2-seater (with an optional 2+2 layout) sitting somewhere between the Evora and the Esprit. Looking very similar to the Esprit (and in the rest of the new Lotus coupes), the Elan gets its power from a high-output Toyota-sourced V6 and, also like its new big brother, optional KERS and hybrid systems. Scroll on down for all the Lotus-certified facts.The big question here is what the Elan's task truly is. Could it be here to be a slightly different, higher-end Evora, or is it simply meant to replace it?With that mid-mounted V6 and optional 2+2 layout it easily could be a replacement, but the 450 horsepower and £75,000 [equal to about US$119,000] starting price indicate the car is more of an addition to the lineup.Though, by the time it comes out in the Fall of 2012, Lotus may have decided to ace the Evora in favor of attracting wealthier 2+2 buyers. We shall see.Lotus CEO is extremely proud of the Elan, saying "The Elan will convert people to Lotus. I would challenge people not to become addicted to driving it. It will also go a long way towards dispelling the old misconceptions about this class, that in order to have high performance you must sacrifice usability – those days are gone." Sound like them's fighin' words. Porsche? Response (other than another 911)?By Phil Alex_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________[...]

Paris Show: New Lotus Esprit Flagship with 620HP Lexus V8 in the Flesh and on Video


[Updated gallery] Lotus pounced on Paris like a rabid hyena, debuting no less than 6 all-new models. With the new Esprit, a car everyone has been waiting for, Lotus answered some important questions regarding its future mid-engined 2-seat monster. Scroll on down for video, pics, and all the basic info necessary to make a very important decision: to buy an Esprit or not to buy an Esprit?Using the same supercharged 620-horsepower 5.0-liter Lexus V8 found in the Elite GT we recently showed you, and coming in at 1,450 kg, the Esprit is going to be a bit on the fast side (even in optional hybrid form).If you're interested in picking up the new Lotus performance flagship, the price of entry will start at a cool £110,000 (about US$175,00 at today's exchange rates) come spring 2013.Lotus CEO Danny Bahar says, "One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There's a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we've managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."By Phil Alex________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________[...]

Paris Show: Maserati's 300+ km/h GranTurismo MC Stradale


As we told you in our previous post, the GranTurismo MC Stradale is a racier, sportier version of Maser's big coupe (think the GT3, but from Maserati). According to the Italian sports / luxury carmaker, the MC Stradale didn't budge an inch when it came to comprises in return for performance; it handles better without losing ride quality (that has yet to be tested), it's more powerful without sacrificing fuel economy, and it plants itself harder without adding any drag.Under the hood is a Ferrari-sourced 4.7-liter V8 that develops 450 horsepower and 510 Nm / 376 lb ft of torque. The GT racer was also put on a diet, shedding 110 kilograms in the process (it now weigh 1,770 kg and keeps its 48/52 weight distribution).According to the Italians, the MC Stradale is the first normal-production, road-going Maserati to break the 300km/h [186 mph] barrier.The car routs power through an "electro-actuated" transmission that shifts in a scant 60 milliseconds; launched optimally, the car should hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds.Inside, the car gets a "simplified" dash layout, loses the rear seats, and picks up some racing buckets (as well as an optional roll cage and 4-point harnesses). Also, besides having an "Auto" and "Sport" mode, there's the first-ever "Race" mode found in a road-going Maserati.Back on the outside, there are a bunch of new little add-ons for performance, weight reduction, and just plain good looks. All-new parts included in the exterior modifications are: a new front splitter, front and rear bumpers, front guard panels,[...]

Paris Show: Toyota Targets Honda Jazz / Fit with New Verso-S MPV


Toyota is re-entering the European small MPV segment with a new model called the Verso-S, which made its debut at the Paris Motor Show today. Set to go on sale across Europe from February 2011, the Verso-S is a spiritual successor to the Yaris Verso and targets cars like the Honda Jazz / Fit and Kia Venga.The five-seater Verso-S is less than 4 meters long (3,990 mm). However, it compensates with a relatively long, 2,550 mm wheelbase. In addition, Toyota claims that careful attention to detail has maximized spaciousness and as a result, the Verso-S offers "front seat headroom, rear seat roominess and luggage capacity to rival that of C-segment cars."In the practicality category, the Verso-S gets numerous cup holders and pockets as well as a three-level, dashboard storage compartment and 60:40 split rear seats featuring a center armrest and a one-touch, fold-flat mechanism.The 760 mm long boot floor incorporates a lightweight, two-stage cargo deck board that can be positioned either at bumper level for a 336 liter cargo volume, or lowered to increase the loadspace depth by 95 mm and the cargo volume to 393 liters. With the rear seats folded flat, the total load-space volume increases to a maximum of 1,388 litres.Another highlight of the interior is a new, 6.1 inch, full color, Touch Screen Multimedia system incorporating an AM/FM radio, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, a USB port for the connection of portable music players and the facility to display iPod album cover art, and a rear p[...]

Paris Show: Renault ZOE Preview Teases 2012 Production EV and Hints at Next Clio


One or two sizes up from the quirky little Twizy is where Renault's ZOE Preview sits. Following in the vein of last year's ZOE Z.E. coupe, the ZOE Preview is a more realistic look at the production version that will be available in 2012 wearing Renault's newest face. Not only that, but it may just be previewing (ZING!) the next Clio as well.Similar in size to the Clio, this little electric econobox gets some high-end passenger comfort tech that may or may not show up in the production model (Renault claims 90% of what you see here is what you'll get). To get occupants comfortable, the ZOE has a humidity-regulating climate control system with an integrated toxicity sensor and scent diffuser.Oh, there's more, don't worry. It also provides "light therapy", which is being co-developed with Philips (apparently a "world-renowned light therapy specialist").The concept seen here is 4.1 meters long and rides on 19-inch wheels. For production, dimensions are going to be similar, but those wheels? Probably not showing up. Power comes from an 80-horsepower / 60 kW electric motor that makes 222 Nm / 164 lb-ft of torque.A charge will take from 6 to 8 hours and can be done (primarily) two different ways: either with a Wall Box that you connect to your home's outlet, or by optional EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). Renault recommends going with the wall box for the sake of convenience. Also possible, should an infrastructure appear sometime soon, is what the company calls a "Fast Char[...]

Paris Show: BMW Confirms Smaller than 1-Series FWD Model for the USA


*Opening Photo: 1993 BMW Z13 ConceptMotor shows aren't only about new car and concept model presentations as many carmakers take the opportunity to either announce or detail future projects. And while we already know about BMW's plans to develop a smaller than 1-Series front-wheel drive model, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, told reporters on the sidelines of the Paris Show today that the car will be sold in the United States.BMW's people are currently calling the new model series, "UKL", which is said to be a German abbreviation for lower compact class cars. ."It will be a relatively big segment because we have several body styles," said Robertson.While Robertson didn't go into specific details about the available body styles, he did say the small front-wheel drive bimmer will be offered in the States with a four-cylinder engine, with sales set to start before the 2013 launch of the Bavarian firm's megacity electric car.That means we could see the new (or shall we say 0-) Series making its market debut as early as 2012.The BMW AG board member added the company expects to sell as much as 100,000 examples of the car worldwide a year and that he is convinced BMW can continue to command premium pricing even though it's a front-wheel drive model."No one has said to me the Mini isn't great to drive," Robertson said referring to the front-wheel drive cars of the BMW-group brand.Expect to see a concept version of the new FWD smal[...]

Paris Show: Ford Previews New Fiesta RS WRC Prior to 2011 Race Debut


Not one to let Mini's announcement of the new Countryman WRC to go unanswered, Ford has revealed its new soon-to-be-airborne Fiesta RS rally car. Co-developed by Ford of Europe and M-Sport (with a little help from the French Pipo Moteur), the Fiesta RS gets a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine which, like the Mini, has direct injection.Testing of the Focus RS WRC replacement, which was initially done in Britain and France using the outgoing Fiesta's engine and a prototype of the new one, will continue next week in Spain using Ford WRC drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala (as well as their co-drivers Jarmo Lehtinen and Miikka Anttila). That means we should have some videos soon.Ford of Europe's Motorsport manager Mike Norton says, "The introduction of Ford's latest engine technology to its rally programme reinforces further our commitment to motorsport. It also demonstrates our continued support for affordable competition by using an off-the-shelf production engine on which to base our WRC power plant."We'll have a chance to see it live and hopefully bringing the damage in Round 1 of the World Rally Championship in Sweden next year.By Phil Alex[...]

Paris Show: Citroën Updates C5 with LEDs and New Engines


Citroën chose the Paris Motor Show today to roll out its updated C5 sedan and estate (Tourer) models. The French firm's VW Passat rival has been refreshed for the 2011 model year with some modest styling changes and technology upgrades.Since the C5 has only been out since early 2008, the cosmetic updates were kept to a minimum and concern the front headlamps that gain a strip of LEDs and the revised tail lamps that receive a new "Dark Crystal" treatment with clear glass in the central section.There are more important changes under the hood with the introduction of a new e-HDi engine and a new generation 2.2-liter turbo diesel unit.The e-HDi marries a 110HP four-cylinder diesel to Citroën's 'micro hybrid technology' featuring a stop-start system and a smart alternator able to recover energy during braking. This model also gets an EGS6 electronic gearbox system with steering-wheel paddles and low rolling resistance tires. According to the French automaker, the C5 e-HDi returns a combined fuel economy figure of 4.6 lt/100km (51.2 mpg US) and emits 120 g/km of CO2.The second new engine in the range is a 2.2-liter turbo diesel producing 200-horsepower and a maximum torque of 450 Nm. Mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, this engine offers the C5 a top speed of 230 km/h (225 km/h for the Tourer), a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.3 seconds (Tourer: 8.6) and a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.9 lt/100[...]

Paris Show: Audi e-tron Spyder Concept puts Porsche's Boxster on Notice


In order to keep its e-high rolling, Audi has created yet another pretty and efficient vehicle for Paris: the e-tron Spyder. Audi's latest plug-in no-top is powered by a 300-horse 3.0-liter V6 TDI outfitted with two turbochargers and two 88-horsepower / 64 kW electric motors; the results are impressive, to say the least.The e-tron system in this car will help it hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds on its way to a limited 250 km/h (155 mph), provide an all-electric range of 31 miles, return a combined 128.4 mpg, and only pollute your air with 59 g of CO2 per kilometer. Total range is 621 miles for the 1,450-kg car.Underneath, Audi has installed an "e-quattro" torque-vectoring system that helps put its 1,002 Nm (650 Nm from the TDI and 352 Nm from the motors, aka 739 lb ft) to the ground properly should you give it the beans.Dimensions for the little electric torque monster are 4.06 meters long, 1.81 m wide, and 1.11 m tall, all with a wheelbase of 2.43 meters. Like other Audi concepts, all the lights are LED and likely will be should a production version of this ever appear.Audi says the four rings on the nose "disappear beneath the front hatch" to reveal a charging plug and a display showing the vehicle's charge. Inside, there'a bunch of technical wizardry feeding the display in the driver-centric layout, but nothing really worth writing home about.Check out the pics b[...]