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June 2010 Archives

June 1, 2010

Jaguar F-Type Gets the Green Light

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Jaguar has finally given the F-Type roadster the green light. The concept XK180 was our first preview of the F-Type back in 1998, but the model was never produced due to Jaguar's financial troubles. But now that Jaguar is now owned by Tata the project is back on.

"We have a new momentum. There is so much potential," said Jaguar Land Rover chairman Ralf Speth. "A new sports car is coming."

Right now the model is in the clay model stage, but according to the latest reports it will look like a smaller XK with design elements from the rest of the Jaguar range. It's not yet known what will power the F-Type, which will go head to head with the Porsche Boxster.

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Lotus is Working on V6 Versions of the Elise and Exige

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Spy photographers recently caught a Lotus Exige prototype that had widened wheel arches, increased cooling and an engine that sounded like that of the Evora. According to sources the prototype was being powered by the same Toyota 3.6L V6 that also powers the Evora.

A V6 in the Exige would add a lot of bulk, but it would also bring more power than the current four-cylinder. But is it the right move, since the 3.5L in the Evora produces 276-hp compared to the four-cylinder engine in the Exige S that puts out 257-hp? not a huge difference considering the added weight gain of the V6.

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More than Half of Nissan Leaf Hand-Raisers are Former Prius Owners

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Last week Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn stated that the 2011 Nissan leaf electric car is sold out since it has already received 13,000 orders for the car, which is its entire allotment for the US in 2011. Now according to Nissan Division Vice President Al Castignetti, more than half of the 130,000 hand-raisers who have expressed interest in the Leaf have been previous Toyota Prius owners.

"That's a pretty significant signal to us," Castignetti said. "It tells us that there is a segment of eco-friendly consumers who are interested in going to the next level. They own a hybrid vehicle. But if the next step is available, they want to take it."

The Leaf is powered by a 107-hp electric motor. When it is fully charged the Leaf has a range of 100 miles. The Leaf starts at $32,780, but after federal tax credits the price can be as low as $25,280.

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June 2, 2010

2011 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Starts at $179,995

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Aston Martin has finally announced the pricing for the V12 Vantage that will be going on sale in the US later this year. If you're one of the lucky ones expect to pay at least $179,995.

The V12 Vantage is powered by a 6.0L V12 that puts out 510-hp and 420 lb-ft. of torque. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph.

If you want even more the V12 Vantage Carbon Black model starts at $194,995.

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2011 VW Polo Sedan Unveiled in Russia

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VW has taken the wraps off the 2011 Polo sedan in Moscow. This is the first time that VW has ever created a model specifically for the Russian market.

The 2011 Polo sedan is powered by a 1.6L engine with 103-hp that can be mated to either a five-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Polo sedan is expected to make its debut in the US within the next year.

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Ford to Announce the Death of Mercury Today

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According to the Detroit News, Ford is going to hold a press conference at 3 PM EST in which the automaker is going to announce the official death of the Mercury brand.

Stay tuned....

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Ford Officially Kills Mercury to Expand Lincoln

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As was predicted, Ford has officially killed the Mercury brand. Ford released a press release earlier today in which the automaker has announced the demise of the Mercury brand and the further expansion of the Lincoln lineup.

Ford is going to end production of the Mercury brand in the fourth quarter of this year. With sales dropping significantly over the past ten years and a lack of new models it was only expected that Ford was going to kill off the brand.

Although Mercury is now officially dead, the news isn't all that bad since Ford has announced plans to expand the Lincoln lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed models within the next four years.

"We have made tremendous progress on profitably growing the Ford brand during the past few years. Now, it is time to do the same for Lincoln," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "The new Lincoln vehicles will transform luxury for North American premium customers through an unexpected blend of responsive driving enjoyment and warm, inviting comfort. We will also offer our customers a world-class retail experience through a vibrant retail network."

Ford is going to expand the Lincoln lineup with its first ever C-segment vehicle as well as the 2011 MKZ Hybrid and 2011 MKX.

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June 3, 2010

2012 Ford Explorer Revealed?

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Here's a single image of what looks to be the 2012 Ford Explorer. Based on previous teasers and spy photos this image seems to be real.

What do you think?

The next Explorer will arrive early next year and will ride on the same unibody platform as the Taurus, which means it will be available with either front or all-wheel-drive.

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2011 Chevy Cruze to Start at $16,995

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GM has officially announced the pricing of the 2011 Chevy Cruze that will go on sale in the US this September. The 2011 Chevy Cruze will have a starting price of $16,995.

"We believe the Cruze can redefine the expectations for compact-car owners and shoppers who are new to the segment," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Chevrolet Marketing. "For the price of a compact car, Cruze offers the styling, safety features, roominess, amenities, and refinement of a much more expensive car."

For $16,995 you can get the Cruze LS which is powered by the 1.8L Ecotec engine and comes standard with power everything. The Cruze LT starts at $18,895 and is powered by the turbocharged 1.4L Ecotec. The top model is the Cruze LTZ that starts at $22,695.

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June 7, 2010

2011 VW Passat Photo Leaked Ahead of Paris Debut

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The all-new 2011 VW Passat is set to have its official debut at the Paris Motor Show, but here is the first leaked photo of the new sedan from a German brocure..

The 2011 Passat is going to borrow styling cues from the rest of the updated VW lineup, like the new Golf and Polo.

The new Passat is expected to be powered by the same range of diesel and gas engines when it debuts in October.

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June 9, 2010

VW Releases More Photos of the 2011 Phaeton

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VW has released a new set of photos of the 2011 Phaeton.

The new Phaeton gets a new face that is similar to that of the rest of the new VW lineup. The front end now has standard bi-xenon headlights with LED cornering lights. It's offered with two wheelbases and two different rear seat options (three seat bench or two individual seats).

A new optional front camera actually reads traffic and speed limit signs and displays them in the instrument cluster. The Phaeton will be available with V6, V8 and W12 engines when it becomes available in Europe in June and China in August.

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Mini is Reportedly Working on a 7-Seater Countryman

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According to the latest rumors, Mini is working on an even bigger crossover than the upcoming Countryman.

Auto Express, Mini is working on a seven-seater version of the Countryman that will be aimed to steal sales from the Nissan Qashqai in Europe.

Dr. Wolfgang Armbrecht, global head of MINI brand management, recently stated, "We could take the wheelbase from 2.60m to around 2.70m."

The Mini Beachcomber Concept that was shown in Detroit early this year has also reportedly been given the green light.

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June 15, 2010

2011 VW Jetta Officially Unveiled and Will Start Around $16K

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VW has officially unveiled the new 2011 Jetta, which will start around $16,000 when it goes on sale this October in the US.

The new 2011 Jetta gets new styling that brings it more inline with the rest of the new VW lineup. It features a longer wheelbaase and overall length to give it class leading legroom. in The US the Jetta will be available with four engines, which includes the 2.0L turbodiesel. The additional engines will be the 2.0, 2.5 R5, and as of 2011, the 2.0 TSI.

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June 17, 2010

Production Version of the Toyota FT-86 to be Called FR-S?

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We're still waiting for Toyota to release the production version of the rear-wheel-drive FT-86 Concept, but according to the latest buzz, the production version may be called the FR-S.

Toyota recently filed a trademark fro the "FR-S" name in both the US and Canada.

At this point do we really care what it's called? Just hurry up and release it!

Continue reading "Production Version of the Toyota FT-86 to be Called FR-S?" »

2011 Honda Odyssey Officially Unveiled

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Honda has officially unveiled the all-new 2011 Odyssey minivan. As expected the production version of the fourth-generation Odyssey stays true to the concept that was unveiled earlier this year.

The 2011 Odyssey is 1.6 inches lower than the 2010 model and also features a wider track. The new lower body is now sleeker and more stylish (for a minivan) than the last generation. The new Odyssey will continue to be powered by Honda's 3.5L V6, although final specs have not been released. According to Honda the Odyssey will get 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Stay tuned for more details.

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June 18, 2010

2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe Unveiled and Starts at $77,600

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BMW has unveiled the 2011 Frozen Gray M3 Coupe, which features matte-gray metallic paint, which is a silk matte clear coat that has been applied over the Space Gray Metallic base coat. The special model is still powered by the same 414-hp 4.0L V8. When the engine is mated to the M Double Clutch Transmission it reaches 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but if you prefer to switch the gears yourself, the 6-speed manual takes 4.7 seconds.

The available Competition Package adds 19' wheels and a reduced ride height of 10mm.

The Frozen Gray M3 starts at $77,600.

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June 19, 2010

Honda is Reportedly Working on a New Roadster

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The Honda S2000 was recently killed and Honda hasn't officially announced any replacements for the roadster. According to Motor Trend Honda is working on a new model that would fuse the S2000 and the 1991 Beat minicar into a new compact roadster.

According to the latest sources, Honda working on a new project that would produce a mid-engined roadster that uses a modified Fit platform. It's not known if the mid-engined setup will feature a hybrid, fully electric or fuel cell powertrain.

If the sources are correct don't expect to see the roadster on the street until 2014.

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Lincoln to Offer Free Scheduled Maintenance on Vehicles Purchased this Summer

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Lincoln has announced a new promo for the summer that will offer free scheduled maintenance for three years or 45K miles on all new vehicles that are purchased by September 7th.

The promotion comes on the heels of Ford's announcement to officially kill the Mercury brand and to expand the Lincoln lineup.

"Our commitment is to further grow the Lincoln brand and offer our luxury customers the premium experience they deserve and expect," said Ken Czubay, Ford Motor Company's vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "Our free scheduled maintenance offer marks only the first step in our plans to further upgrade the Lincoln experience."

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June 21, 2010

Next Saab 9-3 to Debut in 2012

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Saab is said to be hard at work on a replacement for the aged 9-3. According to Autocar the next 9-3 will launch in 2012 as the Saab 93 and will mark the reintroduction of a hatchback version like the original 900.

The next Saab 93 is expected to rival the Audi A3 and will come in sedan, hatchback, convertible and wagon variants. The 93 will borrow some styling cues from the new 9-5 as well. It's not known what will power the new 93, but it's likely that they will not be GM sourced engines. According to sources Saab may have already signed a contract with BMW to supply diesel and gas engines that are going to also be used in the upcoming Mini Countryman.

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June 23, 2010

2011 Honda CR-Z Starts at $19,200 and Gets up to 39 MPG

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Honda has announced the pricing for its newest hybrid, the CR-Z. The 2011 CR-Z will begin showing up in showrooms in August with a starting price of $19,200 plus $750 for the destination and handling charge. The CR-Z EX starts at $20,760 and if you want the EX with navigation and the CVT it will start at $23,210.

The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5L four-cyl mated to Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. The total output of the system is 122 horsepower and 128 lb-ft. of torque. The CR-Z is available with either a six-speed manual or CVT. When equipped with the CVT, the CR-Z gets 35 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

Some of the standard features on the CR-Z are an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry, and cruise control. The CR-Z EX adds a 360-watt audio system, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

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June 24, 2010

2011 Honda Accord Gets a Facelift and Improved Fuel Economy Numbers

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Honda has unveiled the changes to the 2011 Accord sedan and coupe.

The bulk of the changes include new front fascias that are more aerodynamic and improvements to the powertrain to improve the Accord's fuel economy numbers.

"For 2011, the Accord evolves again with sharpened styling inside and out, fuel economy gains and a broader application of popular features," said Erik Berkman, vice president of Corporate Planning and Logistics for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Accord is designed to deliver a consistently rewarding ownership experience in the areas that matter most to sedan and coupe drivers."

The Accord 4-cylinder now gets an improvement of 2 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway (23/34) over the 2010 model. The V6 equipped Accord sedan gets a bump of 1 mpg on the highway bringing it to 19 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The revised 2011 Accord will be in showrooms this August.

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June 28, 2010

2011 Aston Martin DB9 Gets a Very Minor Refresh

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Aston Martin has unveiled a refreshed DB9 for the 2011 model year. Although its been around for seven years now, it hardly looks its age. The front of the DB9 gets a new front bumper with a re-shaped lower intake and a new bright finish grille. Other changes include 20-spoke alloy wheels, clear rear taillights and inside there is an optional Double Apex alloy finish.

Under the hood the DB9 is still powered by the same 470-hp 6.0L V12 engine that can be mated to either a six-speed 'Touchtronic' paddle-shift automatic or a six-speed H-pattern manual transmission. It has a top speed of 190 mph and reaches 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. A new adaptive damping system is now standard as well.

Production of the revised 2011 Aston Martin DB9 has already started and deliveries are expected to start next month.

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Mini Refreshes the 2011 Cooper Lineup

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The current Mini models are in their second generation and although they've only been on the market for a few years, Mini has decided to give the family a refresh. Out front the Mini, Mini Clubman and Mini Convertible get a new front bumper for the 2011 model year. The new front bumper also meets increasingly stringent pedestrian protection requirement. Out back the family gets LED lights.

Under the hood the Mini lineup gets new gas and diesel engines. The base gas engine now puts out 122-hp and the turbo now puts out 180-hp. There are two versions of the 1.6L either a 90-hp or 112-hp version.

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2011 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 to Put out 480-HP?

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According to the guys over at Allpar, Chrysler has quite a few things in store for the 2011 Dodge Challenger. Overall the styling of the 2011 Challenger will look almost identical to the current model with the exception of a revised lower opening in the front bumper, new door handles and the deletion of the Ram emblem.

Under the hood the Challenger will get an electric power steering system and rumors also claim that the floor plan of the Challenger has been modified to make it easier to build Challengers alongside Chargers and Chrysler 300s. The V6 powered Chargers are expected to get a much needed bump in horsepower due to the upcoming Pentastar V6. Output will likely be somewhere around 290-hp. The output numbers for the V8 powered Challenger R/T are expected to remain the same, but according to Allpar, the SRT-8 is going to get a 55-hp increase to a final output of 480-hp and 460 lb-ft. of torque.

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June 29, 2010

Tesla Raises More than $226 Million from IPO with Shares at $17

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Tesla Motors will begin offering shares to the public for the first time ever today. Although the company has lost $260.7 million since its birth, investors remain optimistic about electric car company.

Tesla Motors will start trading today on Nasdaq under the symbol TSLA with shares priced at $17 bucks, which is more than the initial $14 to $16 range. This has allowed Tesla to raise more than $226 million.

Tesla has sold more than 1,000 roadsters, but much of the excitement surrounds the upcoming introduction of the Model S sedan that is slated to go on sale in 2012. Until the Model S is released it is expected that Tesla will continue to lose money.

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June 30, 2010

Next-Gen Corvette to Get 440-Hp 5.5L Small-Block V8

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According to sources inside General Motors, the next generation C7 Corvette is going to be powered by GM's next-gen small-block V8. GM has announced plans to invest $890 million to develop and produce the new V8.

GM has stated that the new small-block V8s will feature aluminum blocks and heads and direct-injection. Sources are claiming that the engine in the Corvette will be a 5.5L with an output around 440 horsepower.

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The Last Chrysler PT Cruiser will be Produced on July 9

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The once popular, but now forgotten Chrysler PT Cruiser is set to officially end production next month. According to the Detroit Free Press, after 10 years of production, the final PT Cruisers will roll off the line on July 9th.

In 10 years, Chrysler sold more than 1.3 million PT Cruisers and initially it was the best-selling Chrysler-brand vehicle, but Chrysler has been criticized for not following up the initial success of the car. The PT Cruiser remained largely unchanged throughout its lifetime. The PT Cruiser was initially given a death sentence a year ago, but with only 5,400 sales this year, it's finally dead.

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2011 BMW 5-Series Sedan M-Sport Package Photos Leaked

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While we wait patiently for the introduction of the BMW M5, BMW is going to release the M-Sport version of the new 5-Series and here are the first official photos thanks to 5post.

The M-Sport package adds an M-Sport front bumper, rear diffuser, sideskirts, dark chrome tail pipes and the choice between 18" double spoke 350M wheels or the 19" double spoke 351M wheels. Inside the M-Sport package comes with sport seats, an M steering wheel and anthracite roof liner.

The 5-Series M-Sport package will be available in October.

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