March 2007 Archives
Audi is planning on going head to head with the Mercedes E63 AMG and the BMW M5 with the new RS6. Dubspeed Driven has posted spy photos of the new car being tested in Germany.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, which will be displayed at the New York Auto Show next month. The supercar is going to be powered by a 6.0L V12 biturbo engine that is also in the S65 AMG and SJ 65 AMG. The engine produces 612 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. It is capable of reaching 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is exceptional considering how heavy the car is.
It's the same old story, it seems like every automaker is trying to attract younger buyers that will continue to buy from the brand for years to come. As an automaker's age demographic increases they run the risk of eventually running out of buyers. It's a simple argument when we are younger we have many more years to buy cars as we age those "years" decrease. If your average buyer is 65 or above the chance of them returning to buy another car is a lot smaller than if they are in their 30s.
There have been numerous rumors about the fate of the next Volvo S40 and S60. One rumor suggested that the next S40 would be positioned as a 3-Series Fighter. Now comes another rumor that the S40 and S60 lines will be fused into one mid-size model. These new renderings from Auto Motor & Sport Sweden show the new mid-size sedan that takes cues from the XC60 SUV Concept and the new S80.
Infiniti is going to release the new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe at the New York Auto Show next month. This will be the second generation of the coupe and with that comes a slightly different name. The coupe is going to be the first application of the the new VQ37VHR WEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) 3.7L V6 with an estimated 330 horsepower and 270 lb ft. of torque.
According to an article posted on The Recorder Online by Chris Demorro, the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid is not actually that efficient. "Their ultimate 'green car' is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer."
VW has created a website that features animations, driving scenes and exclusive download features for their new SUV the Tiguan. At www.volkswagen.de/tiguan, users can see the development of the Tiguan from show car to production car. The website will continue to be updated with new information and features as actual reveal date approaches. In June, three months before the SUV is released a the Frankfurt Motor Show, the production model will be released to users of this site.
DaimlerChrysler has begun taking reservations for the its Smart ForTwo car that will be available in the U.S. in 2008. Buyers can reserve either the hardtop or convertible for $99. The company has set up a reservation page were people can enter their personal information and select the car that they would like. The $99 fee does not guarantee a car. Instead it is meant to help the company figure out where to distribute the car. The money will be applied to the cost of the car if you do actually buy one, if not it is refunded.
The NHTSA has just released the crash test results of the new 2007 Toyota Tundra and they are not as good as expected. Both the regular cab and crew cab versions of the truck only received four stars. Every other full-size truck has received five stars, including the recently released Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. This means that the likelihood of being injured in a frontal crash could be up to 10% higher in the Tundra than its domestic rivals. The main issue is that the Tundra does not ride on a full boxed frame like its competition. Instead it is a three part system with only the front part being fully boxed.
This news comes right after Toyota has announced incentives on the Tundra. This news only gives the other truck makers another claim that their product is better.
Spy photographers have caught the 2009 BMW 1 Series coupe in the American southwest. There have been numerous rumors about this car making it to the U.S.
The 2007 New York Auto Show will host the world premiere of the all-new 2008 Lexus LX 570 SUV. According to Lexus " The third-generation LX 570 will reach new heights in performance via a new V8 engine while achieving elevated levels of comfort, style and safety." The name change from LX 470 to LX 570 suggests that the SUV will use the new 5.7L V-8 from the recently introduced Toyota Tundra. The Tundra has 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Lexus hasn't released actual specifications of the new SUV.
It has just been reported by Reuters that Chrysler is going to issue a recall of 489,000 vehicles. The recall is for three different models. 328,424 Dodge Durangos (2004-2006) are being recalled because of electrical problems, 149,605 Jeep Liberty SUVs (2006-2007) are being recalled because the blower motor could fail and 10,994 Dodge Avenger sedans (2008) are being recalled due to latch problems. There was also a recall last month of 51,000 vehicles that had brake issues.
According to the Wall Street Journal Toyota is offering a $1500 rebate on the base Tundra. The rebate is going to last the entire month of March. This shows that most Tundra buyers are not interested in the base model, since the rebate is not offered on the higher end Tundras. I would think that they would need to have some sort of incentive to compete with the domestic brands. All of their full size trucks always have rebates. Toyota also revealed that they may fall short of their goal of selling 200,000 Tundras this year. If that is the case they may start to offer a small rebate on the rest of the models, just to keep them moving off the lots.
GM has set 2010 as their goal for the release of a production version of the Chevrolet Volt electric concept car. The concept car has a range of 640 miles on a single tank of gas. The main difference between this car and the Toyota Prius or Honda Civic hybrids is that the gas motor in the Volt does not directly drive the wheels. Instead, the gas motor simply powers the electric motors. GM's main goal is to make the car run for 40 miles on pure electric power. This means that most commuters can go a whole day without using a single gallon of gas. The car also has plug in capabilities, so the batteries can be charged at night. A running prototype of the car is expected by the end of this year.
2008 BMW M3 Concept
BMW has unveiled the new M3 Concept. The car features a 420+HP V8 derived from the V-10 in the M5, that will have either a six-speed manual or a new twin-clutch auto tranny. The concept also features a carbon fiber roof, wide wheel arches, hood bulge, 19 inch rims and different front and rear fascias. The production version is expected to be very close to this version when it arrives later this year, with a convertible version coming out sometime in 2008.
The car looks great. It just needs better rims and a hood without the bulge.
Toyota Hybrid X Concept
Toyota is using the auto show to unveil their new Hybrid X Concept. The car is meant to showcase the future styling and technology of Hybrid models from the automaker. This concept may also give us a glimpse of what the next Prius will look like when it debuts sometime in 2009. The concept is a four door, four seater with similar dimensions of a conventional family car. in terms of technology: The car is supposed to be moving closer to zero emissions.
The concept looks much better than the current Prius. It's interesting how Toyota's new design language calls for really thick C or D pillars, which create huge blind spots!
Honda Small Hybrid Sports Concept
The death of the Insight has lead Honda to create an all new concept that employs the same themes as the old car. The Small Hybrid Sports Concept was designed by Honda R&D team in Germany and it uses an IMA 4-cylinder/ electirc hybrid system. The car is FWD witha CVT transmission. The car lacks rear view mirrors (uses rear view cameras) and 165/60 tires in order to increase gas mileage.
The car is much sportier than the Insight, but what is with the lack of headlights?
Mazda Hakaze Concept
This is the latest concept in a long line of recent concepts from the automaker. This is Mazda's take at a crossover concept with a roadster feel. Mazda has stated that out of all three of the concepts that have been shown so far this year, the Hakaze Concept has the best chance of being produced.
Opel GTC Concept
Opel is showing off their newest concept car, the Gran Turismo Concept. This is a great looking car, even though it isn't revolutionary. What's important is the fact that this car could one day come to the U.S. as a Saturn product. Since all of the new Saturns are actually Opels.
2008 Bentley Brooklands Coupe
Bentley has unveiled the new 2008 Brooklands Coupe. The company describes the car as "the world's most elusive coupe". The car will feature the company's most powerful V8 ever, a 6.75L twin turbocharged engine producing 530hp. They plan on only producing 550 of cars. The styling of the car was inspired by the 1920s era.
I like the Continental R coupe much better.
2008 Jaguar XKR Portfolio
Jaguar has unveiled a new edition of its popular XKR, the 2008 XKR Portfolio. The car features a revised front bumper, hood vents, new aluminum side vents and special alloy wheels. The car also has an Engine-Spun Alloy interior option and upgraded brakes. The engine remains unchanged. The car is supposed to be on sale by the end of the month.
Hyundai QarmaQ Concept
The QarmaQ is a joint venture between General Electric Plastics and Hyundai. The crossover features "perfomance composites and thermoplastics" that replace the areas where most common cars would have metal and glass. Apparently this car is also supposed to provide a hint of what the next Tucson will look like. The side windows are shaped like a "C" to give the occupants helicopter-like visibility.
Volvo has released the first official pics of the new 2008 Volvo XC70 a few days of its official release at the Geneva Auto Show. Based on the new 2008 V70, the XC70 is the offroad version. The car will be powered by the new 3.2L inline 6- cylinder (238 hp) or a 2.4L inline 5-cylinder diesel (185 hp).
German magazine AutoZeitung has published illustrations of what the next 2009 Volvo S40 could look like. There have been rumors that Volvo may kill the S60 model. If that happens the S40 could move slightly upmarket to fill the void left by the S60. This means the car could grow a few inches also. If this happens, the car could switch platforms from the current Ford Focus to the new Ford Mondeo platform.
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