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September 2010 Archives

September 1, 2010

GM's Next-Gen Midsize Sedans to Only Feature 4-Cyl Engines

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According to GMInsideNews, GM's mid-size sedans are eventually only going to be offered with four-cylinder engines. GM is making an effort to downsize its engine lineup in preparation for the 2015 CAFE standards.

This means that the next generation Chevy Malibu that is expected to arrive late next year will no longer be offered with a V6. It will likely be powered by the same 2.4L four-cyl that powers the 2011 Buick Regal. Speaking of the Regal you will notice that it's only available with either a 182-hp 2.4L or a turbocharged 220-hp 2.0L 4-cyl engine.

Other larger sedans like the Chevy Impala will continue to have V6 engines.

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Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility Unveiled

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Following the introduction of the Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan, Ford has now unveiled the Police Interceptor Utility, which is based off the 2011 Explorer. The Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility are going to replace the aged Crown Victoria Police Interceptor next year.

The Police Interceptor Utility is powered by a 3.5L V6 that puts out at least 280 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both front and all-wheel-drive drivetrain options will be available.

"We understand today's police departments require adaptability," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Ford is committed to remaining the nation's largest provider of police vehicles, and we're offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs."

Production of the Police Interceptor Utility isn't expected to start until late 2011.

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September 2, 2010

2011 Dodge Durango Officially Unveiled

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Chrysler has officially unveiled the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango.

The Durango rides on an all-new unibody structure and has three rows of seats. There will be two engine options, the 3.6L Pentastart V6 or a 5.7L HEMI V8. The interior of the Durango was designed by the same studio that created the interior in the Ram trucks and new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Durango will start showing up in dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Ford Unveils 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew with Standard 6.2L V8

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The popular Ford F-150 Raptor is getting a few changes for the 2011 model year. A new four-door SuperCrew option is now available in addition to a more powerful standard engine.

"When we launched the F-150 SVT Raptor, consumers were blown away with the capability of the vehicle," said Jost Capito, director of global performance vehicles and motorsports business development. "By adding the SuperCrew, we have expanded the versatility of Raptor, and now even more enthusiasts will be able to experience the no-compromise off-road performance that only Raptor delivers."

The F-150 SVT Raptor is seven inches wider than a base F-150 and it features internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox, unique cast-aluminum front control arms and VT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. The SuperCrew version has a 12-inch longer wheelbase than the standard version.

For 2011 the 5.4L V8 has been dropped and the previously optional 6.2L V8 is now standard. It puts out 411-hp and 434 lb-ft. of torque. The standard 6.2L V8 makes the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor, the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market.

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September 3, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: GM Unveils Chevy Cruze Hatchback for Europe

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GM is going to expand the Chevy Cruze lineup in Europe with a five-door hatchback version. The automaker has released a few preview photos of the new hatchback that will most likely not be coming to the US.

The Chevy Cruze hatchback will debut at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks.

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September 7, 2010

Mitsubishi May Drop the Galant and Eclipse by 2012

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Mitsubishi barely registers on many car buyer's shopping lists. So Mitsubishi is planning on fixing that by focusing on new small cars that will be sold worldwide, but at the expense of its current lineup.

The future of the Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor is not clear since Mitsubishi's current top priority is a new global small car that will on sale by the end of 2012. Until the new small car debuts Mitsubishi has no other model changes or introductions planned. The only two models on the horizon are the Outlander Sport that will debut this fall and the i-MiEV electric vehicle that will be released in late 2011.

The Lancer is Mitsubishi's best-selling model in the US, so obviously that model is safe. But the slow selling Galant is expected to be replaced or dropped by the end of 2012. The Eclipse also shares the same platform as the Galant and it may also be dead in a few years. The Endeavor is Mitsubishi's largest crossover, but sales have been slow, so expect that model to be dead as well.

The Galant, Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder and Endeavor are all produced at Mitsubishi's plant in Normal, Ill. Mitsubishi is currently deciding what will be built at the plant in the future.

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September 8, 2010

Toyota is Reportedly Working on a TRD Version of the Scion tC

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The Scion tC is completely new for 2011 and now comes word that Toyota is working on a more potent TRD version of the coupe. 7Tune recently spoke to Toyota's Chief Engineer, Masayuki Nagai, where the engineer confirmed that Toyota is indeed working on a TRD version.

The TRD version of the tC will receive revised bodywork, suspension, exhaust and handling characteristics. The good news is that the base TRD version will come in at just over $18,000.

There is no word on when we can expect the TRD tC to be released, but the 2011 tC will be available in October.

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BMW Launches "Don't Blog About This" Site

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BMW has just launched a new site named "Don't Blog About This." The ironic thing is that of course we are going to...

The site currently has two videos and two photos of a matte black BMW 6 Series with really skinny tires. The words "this is not a spy shot" at the bottom of one of the photos definitely sparks our interest. One of the other photos states, "Obviously, this is more than a 6 Series. But the car is not yet in its final stage."

Stay tuned...

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GM Unveils All-New Chevy Aveo Ahead of Paris Premiere

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GM has officially unveiled the next-generation Chevy Aveo ahead of its premiere at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

The all-new Aveo is longer and wider than the current model. The overall styling stays true to the Aveo RS show car that was shown off at the Detroit and Geneva motor shows earlier this year. It's also reminiscent of the Spark in Europe and features exposed twin-headlamps and Chevy's signature dual port grille.

In Europe the Aveo will be powered by gasoline and diesel engines. The gasoline engine lineup will consist of two 1.2L versions (70-hp and 86-hp), a 1.4L with 100-hp and a 1.6L with 115-hp. The diesel options are both 1.3L with either 75-hp or 95-hp. The 1.4L and 1.6L gasoline engines will be available with a six-speed automatic.

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September 9, 2010

Production of the 2011 Chevy Cruze Starts in Ohio

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GM has officially started production of the 2011 Chevy Cruze at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The automaker celebrated the kick off with red, white and blue models "symbolically declaring that a world-class small car can be assembled in America by a domestic company."

"We have been working hard toward this goal for the past two years," said UAW Local 1112 President Jim Graham. "We have a premium small car that we are proud to build and eager to get into the dealerships."

The Chevy Cruze has a starting price of $16,995 and comes standard with 10 air bags, stability and traction control, ABS and GM;s OnStar system.

The first models will start hitting dealerships later this month.

Continue reading "Production of the 2011 Chevy Cruze Starts in Ohio" »

2011 Ford F-150 to Reportedly Get Electric Power Steering

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Automakers are continuously trying to find ways to squeeze more gas mileage out of their models and electric power steering is one method that is becoming more popular. According to PickupTrucks the 2011 Ford F-150 pickup is going to be the first full-size pickup truck to come standard with electric power steering.

Electric power steering (EPS) can improve fuel efficiency by up to four percent compared to a conventional hydraulic pump. The system also eliminates hydraulic steering fluid and hoses.

The EPS system is going to be standard on the F-150 models equipped with the 3.7L V6, 5.0L V8 and 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engines. The models equipped with the 6.2L V8 will still feature the conventional hydraulic system.

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September 11, 2010

Toyota Upgrades the Tundra's Base Engine for 2011

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Toyota has announced the changes to the full size 2011 Tundra pickup truck. In an effort to keep the Tundra competitive with the trucks from the Big 3, Toyota has made some upgrades. For starters the base V6 engine now puts out 270-hp. The 310-hp 4.6-liter and 381-hp 5.7-liter V8's are still available. Trailer Sway Control is now standard on all models.

The 2011 Tundra is offered in two grades (Tundra and Tundra Limited), three cab styles (Regular, Double Cab and Crew Max), three wheelbase lengths and three bed lengths.

Continue reading "Toyota Upgrades the Tundra's Base Engine for 2011" »

Ford Begins Offering Graphics on the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor

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The 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is one awesome truck and Ford has just announced an an optional hood graphic reminiscent of the matte black hoods from racing Ford Broncos of the 1970s.

Continue reading "Ford Begins Offering Graphics on the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor" »

September 13, 2010

More BMW 1 Series M Coupe Details Leaked

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We're still waiting for BMW to release the first official photos and all the specs for the upcoming M version of the 1 Series coupe. The 1 Series M Coupe will be hitting dealers in the spring of 2011. More details have hit the internet, so we now know that production is only going to be limited to 2,700 units, with most of them headed to the US. It will only be available in three colors, Alpine White, Jet Black and Valencia Orange. The M version will also only come with a manual transmission.

Continue reading "More BMW 1 Series M Coupe Details Leaked" »

Audi S4 Named "Esquire Car of the Year"

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Esquire magazine announced today that the 2010 Audi S4 has been named the "Esquire Car of the Year." Esquire editors spent six months driving lots of cars to find the recipient of the award.

"Over several months and many miles, we drove cars -- cars that are the most powerful, most attractive and most thrilling that the auto industry has to offer," says Esquire Editor-in-Chief David Granger. "While a number of the cars we tested were terrific, the Audi S4 truly deserved top honors. Its rare combination of speed, force, design, and price makes the end result a triumph."

In addition to the Esquire Car of the Year award, the magazine also gives out awards for Domestic Car of the Year, Hybrid of the Year, Most Awe-Inspiring Car Built This Year, Compact Car of the Year, Most Beautiful Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, Diesel Car of the Year, Best Foreign Comeback, Best Domestic Comeback and Best Expression of Automotive Passion.

Check out the full list after the jump...

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September 14, 2010

Audi S7 Sportback to be Unveiled in Paris?

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The Paris Motor Show is almost here and rumors are circulating about what we can expect to see at the show. One of the new rumors is that Audi is going to debut the sportier S7 version of the new A7 Sportback.

The S7 is expected to be powered by a twin-turbo 4.0L V8. It's also expected that the S7 will borrow its exterior from the S-line version of the A7. Although the S7 is a more powerful step up from the A7, there is still a possibility that Audi will also eventually release an RS7, which is rumored to put out more than 600 horsepower from a twin-turbo 5.0L V10.

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Ford Mustang Boss 302 Production Limited to 8,000 Units

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Ford hasn't released the official production numbers for the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, but it looks like the information has leaked. A new book, titled, Boss Mustang: The Return of the Baddest Mustang of all Time is set to be released next April. Currently Borders has the listing for the book on their website and in the books description are details about the Boss 302.

According to the new book, the 2012 model year will be the first of two years that the model will be produced. Each year only 4,000 units will be produced, with 3,500 being street cars and the other 500 being "R" race cars.

The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is powered by a 5.0L V8 that puts out 440 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

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Chrysler Teases the 2011 Chrysler 200...Goodbye Sebring

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The current generation Chrysler Sebring has been a huge disappointment and reflects what went wrong before Fiat came along. Hoping to finally move on, Chrysler has released the first teaser photos of the 2011 Chrysler 200, which will effectively replace the Sebring.

According to Chrysler, the 200 gets new front and rear fascias and fenders grille featuring the new Chrysler brand winged badge, hood, rear decklid and exterior mirrors, new projector headlamps and fog lamps, new LED taillamps and a LED center high-mounted stop light.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 will be powered by either a 2.4L four-cylinder that is mated to either a four or six-speed automatic transmission or the new Pentastar V6 that puts out 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. The V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic.

The 200 will arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year. Stay tuned for more details soon...

Continue reading "Chrysler Teases the 2011 Chrysler 200...Goodbye Sebring" »

Audi TT RS Officially Headed to the US Thanks to Facebook

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Thanks to a successful petition on Facebook, Audi has decided to bring the 360-hp TT RS to the US in 2011.

According to Audi the decision to officially bring the TT RS to the US market had been under consideration for months and to gauge the market, Audi launched the petition on its Facebook page. After 11,500+ signatures in one month, Audi finally made the decision to bring the TT RS to the US market.

"With performance and agility rooted in Audi motorsports success, the TT RS is truly an emotional sports car," explained Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "That emotion became abundantly clear as we explored interest across the country."

Only the coupe version of the TT RS will be offered in the US when it goes on sale in the third quarter of 2011. The TT RS is powered by a 2.5L TFSI five-cylinder engine that puts out 360 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

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Chrysler Unveils the 2011 Fiat 500 Sport that's Headed to the US

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The Fiat 500 is expected to hit the US later this year and today Chrysler unveiled the 2011 Fiat 500 Sport, Pop and Lounge models. The convertible version (500C) will be released in the spring of 2011.

The Fiat 500 Sport is powered by Fiat's 1.4L turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder engine. Official performance numbers haven't been released. The Fiat 500 Sport features more athletic front and rear fascias with a larger grille. 16-inch aluminum wheels and body-side sill cladding add to the sportier appearance.

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2011 Chrysler Town & Country Gets 283-HP Pentastar V6

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Chrysler held its 2010 Dealer Announcement in Orlando and at the meeting Chrysler showed up the updates to many of its models, including the 2011 Town & Country minivan.

The 2011 Town & Country gets a new engine under the hood. Chrysler's Pentastar V6 puts out 283-hp and 260 lb-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It gets 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Inside the Town & Country gets a new instrument panel, instrument cluster and steering wheel. There are also upgraded cloth and leather seating materials.

The 2011 Town & Country will hit dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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2011 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Puts Out Up to 800-HP

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Shelby American has announced a new Super Snake package for the 2011 Ford SHelby GT500 that gets new styling and an optional 800 horsepower engine.

"We've only offered black stripes and chrome wheels on the Super Snake since we introduced the package a couple of years ago," added Davis. "With the serious advancements made to the 2011 model year, it was time to differentiate it from the previous generation car. So we added an 800 horsepower tune, optional wheel, side scoop and stripes to make it easy to spot the new Shelby Super Snake."

The Super Snake package starts at $30,245.

Continue reading "2011 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Puts Out Up to 800-HP" »

September 15, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: 2012 Ford Focus ST Unveiled with 247-HP and Headed to the US

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Ford has stuck to its promise of offering a performance version of the next-gen Ford Focus. Today the automaker has released the first official photos and stats for the 2012 Focus ST that will be offered globally.

The 2012 Focus ST is powered by a turbocharged EcoBoost 2.0L that puts 247 horsepower. According to Ford it will offer an "intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling accompanied by an addictive sound."

The Focus ST will be released in early 2012 following the introduction of the all-new Focus in early 2011.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: 2012 Ford Focus ST Unveiled with 247-HP and Headed to the US" »

Paris 10' Preview: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Unveiled

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Looking for a little more power than what the 911 Carrera S offers? Well Porsche has announced the 2011 911 Carrera GTS that puts out 23 more horsepower than the 911 Carrera S and narrows the gap between the Carrera S and the 435-hp 911 GT3.

The POrsche 911 Carrera GTS combines the 44 millimeter wider Carrera 4 body of the AWD models , which includes a wider rear track and wheels, with rear wheel drive. The GTS also features 19-inch RS Spyder wheels that are painted black, a SportDesign front apron with black spoiler edge, special sideskirts and a the Carrera GTS logo on the doors and rear decklid.

The rear mounted 3.8L flat-six puts out 408-hp and 310 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, but the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) is available.

The 2011 911 Carrera GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will be available beginning in early 2011 with a starting price of $103,100 and $112,900.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Unveiled" »

September 17, 2010

Chrysler Gives Dealers Until the End of Feb to Prepare for the Fiat 500

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Earlier this week Chrysler unveiled the US-spec Fiat 500. The automaker also informed dealers that those that want to sell the Fiat 500 have until the end of February to get their showrooms ready for the small car.

Chrysler spokesman, Ralph Kisiel stated that dealers will need time to train their staff and need to have a separate showroom in place. Dealers have until Sept. 22 to submit their Fiat franchise proposals to Chrysler. The Fiat 500 is expected to go on sale late this year in the US.

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Ford to Export the 2011 Edge to China

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Ford is set to start exporting the 2011 Edge crossover to China. Ford sells other key vehicles like the Fiesta and Mondeo in China, but those vehicles are built in China. The edge is Ford's only export to China from North America.

Ford expects to sell about 4,000 to 5,000 units a year, but SUVs are the fastest growing segment in China, up 120 percent through July. Ford is currently looking at what other niche vehicles it could start exporting to China.

According to J.D. Power and Associates Ford will double its sales in China over the next seven years. Currently Ford has a 2.6 percent share and ranks 11th in the country.

Continue reading "Ford to Export the 2011 Edge to China" »

September 19, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: BMW 6 Series Coupe Concept Unveiled

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BMW has unveiled the 6 Series Coupe Concept that is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show. Although it's being labeled as a concept, this is pretty much what you can expect for the next-gen 6 Series.

The 2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe is based on the same platform as the 5 Series and also takes many styling points from the Gran Coupe concept.

BMW has yet to release any specifics about the next 6 Series, but expect it to be powered by the same engines as the 5 Series when it is released early next year.

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September 20, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: Lotus Elite Concept Previews New GT

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The Paris Motor Show is almost here, which means more and more previews. Lotus has just released the first photos of the Elite concept that it plans on officially unveiling at the show.

The Elite previews a new GT that will be released in spring 2014. The 2+2 features a shark like exterior that is powered by a 5.0L V8 with 611 horsepower that reaches 0-62 mph in about 3.7 seconds. The concept also shows off a retractable hardtop.

Stay tuned...

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: Lotus Elite Concept Previews New GT" »

Paris 10' Preview: Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Puts out 185-HP, but It's not an S1

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Audi released the details today of the 2011 Audi A1 1.4 TFSI, which is going to be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The A1 1.4 TFSI is powered by a twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged)1.4L four-cylinder engine that puts out 185-hp and reaches 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds.

Many have already asked why Audi chose to not call this new model an S1, but according to Audi, this version of the A1 did not get the S1 badge because it lacks all-wheel-drive.

Oh well it doesn't really matter since we aren't getting this small hatch in the US.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Puts out 185-HP, but It's not an S1" »

September 21, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster Evokes the Original

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In addition to the 2011 911 Carrera GTS, Porsche is going to debut the 2011 911 Speedster at the Paris Motor Show.

The 2011 911 Speedster recreates the spirit of the Porsche 356 Speedster and to commemorate the 356 Speedster, Porsche is only going to produce 356 units. The 911 Speedster features a 60mm lower windshield and a restyled tail that has a "double-bubble" hardcover for the manual soft top. The wide-body stance of the Carrera 4 and new GTS is also found on the Speedster.

The 911 Speedster is powered by a 3.8L flat-six that puts out 408-hp, which is 23 more than the 911 Carrera S. The engine is mated to a standard seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission.

Since Porsche is only going to produce 356 examples, it's not yet known if the US will get the 2-seater 911 Speedster.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster Evokes the Original" »

September 22, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: 2012 Range Rover Evoque Unveiled with 2.0L Turbo

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Range Rover has unveiled its smallest model yet, the upcoming 2012 Evoque. The Evoque is 17 inches shorter and 7 inches lower than the Range Rover Sport. It is powered by a 2.0L Ford EcoBoost engine, that of course isn't called EcoBoost. Instead it is called the Si4 and puts out 240-hp. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. In Europe the Evoque will be also be available with a 2.2L turbodiesel.

Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover said, "The groundbreaking all-new Range Rover Evoque takes the brand into exciting new territory. Highly relevant and contemporary, the Range Rover Evoque will appeal to a whole new group of customers who may not have considered a Range Rover before."

Sales of the 2012 Evoque will start in Fall 2011 and it will be available in 160 countries worldwide.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: 2012 Range Rover Evoque Unveiled with 2.0L Turbo" »

2011 Kia Optima to Arrive in Early Fall with the Hybrid Coming in 2011

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The old boring Kia Optima is out and is being replaced by a new Optima that is far more stylish than any Kia midsize sedan before it. Based on the equally new Hyundai Sonata, the 2011 Optima will be available with three different powertrains including a 2.4L GDI four-cylinder and a 2.0 GDI turbo four-cyl. The base 2.4L four-cyl puts out 200-hp, while the 2.0L turbo makes 274-hp.

Kia has also confirmed that the Optima will be offered with a hybrid powertrain in early 2011. The Optima hybrid is expected to make its debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

Continue reading "2011 Kia Optima to Arrive in Early Fall with the Hybrid Coming in 2011" »

September 23, 2010

Nissan Cancels Plans for a 240SX Revival, but Sentra Coupe is Possible

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Before the economic collapse in 2008, Nissan had been pondering the idea of a 240SX successor, but now it appears that Nissan has canceled those plans and is instead pondering the idea of a Sentra coupe.

Larry Dominique, chief product planner told Ward's that the 240SX model would have been a front-wheel-drive, low-cost coupe, but estimated annual volume of only 30,000 units wasn't enough. Rather than introduce an entirely new nameplate, Dominique would rather create something like a Sentra coupe. Let's hope the next Sentra becomes more exciting. Nissan does have the 200-hp Sentra SE-R that could be turned into a fun, hopefully small and light coupe.

Continue reading "Nissan Cancels Plans for a 240SX Revival, but Sentra Coupe is Possible" »

Paris 10' Preview: Mini Scooter E Concept, Fun in an Even Smaller Package

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Love the Mini brand, but want something even smaller? Well Mini has just unveiled the Mini Scooter E Concept that is going to debut at the Paris Motor Show.

The Mini Scooter E Concept is powered by an electric motor that is integrated into the rear wheel. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged at any conventional power socket using its on-board charging cable.

There's no word yet if Mini plans to produce the electric scooter.

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2011 GMC Acadia Denali Officially Starts at $43,220

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GM has announced the pricing for the 2011 GMC Acadia Denali, which is headed to dealerships now. For a mere $43,220 the Denali version of the Acadia is differentiated from the other Acadia models with a chrome honeycomb grille and monochromatic exterior, 20-inch two-tone chrome wheels, HID headlights, head-up display and heated and cooled driver and passenger seats.

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September 24, 2010

2011 Toyota Highlander Gets a Facelift and Starts at $27,390

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Our first glimpse at the restyled Toyota Highlander was at the Moscow Motor Show back in August. But now Toyota has announced the changes that we will see here, which includes a restyled front end.

The 2011 Highlander gets a new front fascia, hood and fenders and the taillights have also been redesigned. Inside the Highlander now comes standard with a 50/50 split third row seat and manual rear climate control.

The 2011 Highlander is available with three different powertrain options. The base 2.7L four-cylinder puts out 187-hp, while the 3.5L V6 produces 270-hp and 248-lb-ft. of torque. The Highlander Hybrid gets a new more powerful 3.5L V6 that replaces last year's 3.3L. The system now puts out a total 280-hp and gets 28 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

The base Highlander starts at $27,390.

Continue reading "2011 Toyota Highlander Gets a Facelift and Starts at $27,390" »

September 25, 2010

Paris 10' Preview: Infiniti IPL G Convertible Concept Unveiled

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Last month Infiniti announced its new Performance Line (IPL) at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in which the 2011 Infiniti G37 Coupe IPL was unveiled. Now just in time for the Paris Motor Show, Infiniti has unveiled the IPL G Convertible Concept.

The IPL G Convertible Concept is based on the G37 Convertible and features many of the same elements as the IPL G37 Coupe. The concept is painted in Malbec Black paint, which is a black paint with subtle red hints. It also features a blacked out grille, 19-inch graphite-finished alloy wheels, sporty side sills and a rear diffuser.

Under the hood is the familiar 3.7L V6, which puts out 348 horsepower, 18 more than the regular G37.

There's no word yet if the IPL G Convertible Concept will be produced, but it is highly likely.

Continue reading "Paris 10' Preview: Infiniti IPL G Convertible Concept Unveiled" »

Infiniti EV Sketch Released, Expected to Launch in 2013

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Infiniti has released a single teaser sketch of its upcoming luxury electric vehicle, which is expected to go on sale in 2013.

The new Infiniti electric vehicle will share its platform with the 2012 Nissan Leaf, but it will obviously be more stylish and performance oriented than the Leaf.

"This future EV will play a major part of Infiniti's 'eco performance' strategy that will see a greater focus on hybrid and EV technology," said Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore. "We are committed to applying the world's best technologies to reduce emissions without sacrificing driving excitement or engagement - a pledge that will become more evident soon with the upcoming introduction of our new Infiniti M Hybrid."

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September 28, 2010

Lexus is Working on a LFA Roadster and Possible Seven-Seat CUV

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In order to keep up with its German competition Lexus is planning on launching several new models one of which is a roadster version of the LFA that launched this year. The LFA roadster isn't expected until after Lexus produces the current production goal of 500 coupes.

Lexus also has plans to redesign its current lineup such as a new IS for the 2013 model year that will share its platform with the new GS that is expected next spring. Lexus currently lacks a seven-seater car based crossover in its lineup, so that model is a possibility. A competitor to the BMW X6 is also being studied that would be based on the same platform as the new GS/ IS.

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September 29, 2010

Spy Shots: Saab 9-4X Shows up Before Debut in LA

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The Saab 9-4X crossover is slated to debut at the LA Auto Show in November, but thanks to Saabs United we have the first shots of a pre-production 9-4X. The Saab 9-4X was originally developed when Saab was still under GM's ownership, which explains why it is based on the same platform as the Chevy Equinox and Cadillac SRX.

Expect more details from the show.

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Honda Jazz/ Fit Hybrid To Debut at Paris Motor Show

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Honda has released the first official images of the Jazz Hybrid that is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show. Honda has yet to release the full specs for its newest hybrid, but a few details have been made public. Like the fact that the hybrid system is the same IMA mild hybrid system that is currently used in the Insight and CR-Z. The Jazz/ Fit hybrid also uses the same 1.3L gasoline engine.

The battery pack and other hybrid hardware are under the trunk floor so that the interior space/ trunk space have not been compromised.

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Saab and BMW Reach Agreement to Supply BMW Engines to Saab

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Saab and BMW have announced a new agreement for the supply of BMW engines that will be used in next-gen Saab models. Under the new agreement, BMW is going to supply Saab with 4-cyl 1.6L turbocharged engines from 2012 on.

BMW currently uses 1.6L turbo engines in its Mini models. No details were released about which Saab models will use the BMW engine.

Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: "It gives me great pleasure to confirm this exciting new relationship. BMW's engines and their fuel savings innovations are widely regarded as a benchmark in the premium segment. We look forward to integrating this technology into our next-generation vehicles in a true Saab way."

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September 30, 2010

Paris 10': 2011 VW Passat Officially Unveiled

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VW has chosen the Paris Motor Show for the unveiling of the seventh-generation 2011 Passat.

The 2011 Passat gets a new look that is similar to that of the new Jetta and Phaeton. The front of the Passat is dominated by a new grille with prominent horizontal chrome fins and new headlights with LED running lights. According to VW every body panel besides the roof is new.

The new Passat will be offered with a range of diesel and gasoline powered engines. The gasoline line-up ranges from a 120-hp 1.4L TSI engine, a 158-hp 1.8L TSI, 207-hp 2.0L TSI and a range-topping 296-hp 3.6L V6. The diesel options range from a 103-hp 1.6L and a 2.0L that puts out either 138-hp or 168-hp.

European sales of the new Passat kick off in January.

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Paris 10': Jaguar C-X75 Concept Provides a Glimpse of the Future

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Jaguar is celebrating its 75th anniversary with the new C-X75 concept that is being unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. According to Jaguar the concept hints at a evolution of Jaguar's design language while paying homage to Jaguar's past.

"The C-X75 is everything a Jaguar should be. It possesses remarkable poise and grace yet at the same time has the excitement and potency of a true supercar. You could argue this is as close to a pure art form as a concept car can get and we believe it is a worthy homage to 75 years of iconic Jaguar design." - Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars

The C-X75 concept is four-wheel drive and is powered by four 195-hp electric motors, one for each wheel bringing the total to 780 horsepower. The concept is capable of running purely on electricity for up to 68 miles on a six-hour plug-in charge. Lightweight micro gas-turbines are also capable of recharging the lithium-ion batteries. The Jaguar C-X75 reaches 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds.

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Paris 10': Audi Quattro Concept Celebrates 30 Years of the Quattro

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30 years ago Audi unveiled the quattro and to celebrate those 30 years, Audi has unveiled the Quattro Concept at the Paris Motor Show.

The Quattro Concept is based on the Audi RS5 and brings up memories of the 1984 Sport quattro. It's powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder engine that puts out 408 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque and is mated a six-speed manual transmission.

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Paris 10': Audi e-tron Spyder Gets Plug-In Hybrid System

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As expected, Audi has unveiled a drop-top version of the e-tron concept that debuted earlier this year in Detroit. The Audi e-tron Spyder is powered by two electric motors that are mated to a 300-hp twin-turbocharged TDI V6. According to Audi the e-tron Spyder reaches 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.

The e-tron Spyder weighs 3,197 lbs and can drive solely on electric power for up to 31 miles with a top speed of 37 mph.

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2011 Chevy Camaro Convertible to Start at $30K and Arrives in Feb 2011

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GM has announced that the much anticipated 2011 Chevy Camaro Convertible will debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

The 2011 Chevy Convertible will start at $30,000 when it arrives in showrooms in February 2011.

"The Convertible will make the all-new Camaro, already a smash-hit, even more desirable to a greater range of drivers," says Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.

The Camaro Convertible will be available with a standard 312-hp V6 or the 426-hp 6.2L V8.

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Paris 10': Lotus Eterne Concept Hints at a Future Lotus Sedan

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Lotus has unveiled the Eterne Concept which is a strong hint at a future Lotus four-door sedan. The Eterne is powered by a 620-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8. There is an optional hybrid system that uses a KERS, Formula 1 style energy regeneration system. The sedan will be offered in either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive. The sedan is expected to reach 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds.

Although the sedan here is purely a concept, a production version of the Eterne is expected in 2015 with a price around $190,000.

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