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Archive for March, 2013

Chevrolet SS teased before tomorrow’s launch

 Chevrolet SS teased before tomorrows launch

2013 Chevrolet SS teaser photo

At 13:05 EST

The Chevrolet SS will be unveiled tomorrow at 13:05 PM EST at Daytona International Speedway.

Last week’s rumor turned out to be true as Chevrolet has officially confirmed plans of revealing the SS on Saturday. It will be the firm’s first rear-wheel drive V8 performance sedan since 1996 when the Impala SS came out.

Described as a “limited production derivative” of the Holden VF Commodore SS V, the 2014 SS should be offered with a V8 6.2-liter LS3 engine producing 426 hp (318 kW) and 569 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque. The vehicle is scheduled to go on sale towards the end of the year, while the NASCAR Sprint Cup racer will make its debut at Daytona 500.

Check back tomorrow for full details about the 2014 Chevrolet SS.


Volkswagen Transporter Edition revealed

 Volkswagen Transporter Edition revealed

Volkswagen Transporter special edition

From 26,846 EUR

Volkswagen has introduced the Transporter Edition in Europe which can be ordered right away.

After launching the BlueMotion variant towards the end of last year, Volkswagen is back with the Edition model available from 26,846 EUR. What makes this model special are the black design elements like the 17- or 18-inch matte black wheels, matte black roof and “edition” logo.

It also comes with power windows, electrically-adjustable and heated mirrors, central locking and body-colored bumpers. Inside it gets leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake lever and gear knob, along with “Tasamo” fabric seats. Optionally available are bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

Available exclusively with a flat floor and short wheelbase, the Volkswagen Transport Edition can be fitted with one of the three gasoline or three diesel engines available, with output ranging from 102 HP (75 kW) to 204 HP (150 kW).


Dongfeng Motor Corp looking to takeover Fisker – report

  Dongfeng Motor Corp looking to takeover Fisker - report

2012 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid – 22.3.2011

Company wants an 85 percent stake in the automaker

Bloomberg is reporting the Dongfeng Motor Corp has offered Fisker $350 (€261) million for an 85 percent stake in the company. A source went on to say if Dongfeng’s offer is accepted, they could move Karma production from Finland to China.

Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher declined to confirm the report, but acknowledged the firm has “received detailed proposals from multiple parties in different continents, which are now being evaluated by the company and its advisers.”

While Dongfeng is one potential bidder, another could be the Wanxiang Group which recently bought A123 Systems which makes the battery that powers the Karma. In a previous interview, Wanxiang President Pin Ni said he is open to a strategic alliance and “It’s in our interest if we can help Fisker.”

As we have previously reported, the bankruptcy of A123 Systems has halted Karma production for over six months. This has put a serious strain on the company’s cash flow which is expected to run out by mid-year unless a sale or investment can be arranged.


6×6 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG V8 Biturbo spotted

 6x6 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG V8 Biturbo spotted

Three-axle Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG V8 Biturbo / AutoBild.de

AMG behemoth

AutoBild’s has posted official photographs of a three-axle Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG V8 Biturbo.

The Australian military already has a three-axle version of the G-Class which will also be a part of the Swedish military in the near future. What we see here is a 6×6 G63 AMG V8 Biturbo which looks to be a civilian version. The vehicle was spotted not surprisingly en route to the Middle East where such a car could be a huge hit.

It rides on Hutchinson rims with chunky off-road tires and comes with Öhlins dampers and a tire pressure control system. As the “G63” moniker indicates, the pick-up is powered by a twin-turbo V8 5.5-liter engine producing 544 HP (400 kW) and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm) of torque which is probably connected to a 7G-TRONIC.

Visit the source link below for more photos.


New Toyota GT 86 Sports Coupe

2013 Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT86, without a shadow of doubt, is one of the most important cars of 2012. The car is still making headlines, so forgive us for talking so much about it. Toyota just released a bunch of new videos detailing the car’s technical stuff. We know the GT86 feels pretty awesome to drive, now let’s find out what exactly makes it so good. The 86 is one of those car whose mechanical bits are actually more beautiful than the way it looks!

The horizontally-opposed 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine in this car is one of the things contributing to its greatness. But it’s also one of its major flaws. You see, it’s very low-slung, which brings the center of gravity for the whole car down, making it better to drive. But it’s also weak at only 200 hp. Hopefully a more powerful version in near future would cure that.

More Pictures of Toyota GT 86

New Toyota GT 86

320-hp Toyota GT 86 by Gazoo

Toyota GT 86 design


2013 Fiat 500L

Fiat 500 L images

According to Brazilian enthusiast site bestcars.com.br, Fiat will start selling the 500 L in Europe this month. Deliveries will begin in October. The good news is that the minivan will be available in 100 countries, including the good old USA. Fiat took the opportunity to supply more info on the first stem off its iconic Cinquecento that will spawn a slew of cars including the 500 X. Read on to find out the details.

The minivan will be available with three engines. The smallest is a turbo twin cylinder with MultiAir technology that displaces just 900 cm and is good for an astonishing 105 hp and 14.7 m.kgf (3.01 pounds per in ) of torque. Fiat will also offer a more traditional 1.4L 16v gasoline engine producing 95 hp and 12.7 m.kgf (2.6 pounds per in ) of torque. The diesel will be a turbo 1.3L MultiJet with just 85 hp, but 20.4 m.kgf (4.18 pounds per in ). They will be mated to 5 and 6-speed manuals. At least initially. Of course, once in America, an auto will be available.

On the safety side the car comes with frontal and side curtain bags. Knee bags and side torso bags will be optional. Stability control, air conditioning et al are all included. As far as I know, in a first for Fiat, the 500 L will feature a gizmo called City Brake Control. It consists of auto brakes which will brake the car independently of the driver’s reaction at low speeds.

In terms of decoration, the 500 L will follow the 500 s lead and offer two-tone body paint (black or white roof), 3 color combos for the wheels and a variety of internal colors. The minivan will come with Fiat’s UConnect system that lets the drives navigate, control the audio, Bluetooth among other functions via its 5 in. touchscreen display. The back seat can be adjusted in 12 different positions.

Size-wise, Americans will be forgiven if they think of this minivan as a microvan. It stretches out 4.14 m (4.53 yd.), it is 1.78 m (1.95 yd.) wide and 1.66 m (5.45 ft.) tall. It seats 5 and the trunk is largish and holds 400 L (14.13 ft. ) of bags.

So, what do you say, on paper at least, does this car have what it takes to make it in America’s big, open, flat spaces, or will it be forever condemned to eke out a living in America’s congested, coastal, urban centers?

To my Brazilian readers, the word is no, we can’t have it! Fiat prefers to force-feed us the Idea that is produced locally. The 500 X however, might make it to our shores. If this holds true, it lends credence to the production and eventual sale of the 500 X in America and Canada as it will likely be produced in Mexico.

More Pictures of Fiat 500L

2013 Fiat 500 L

Fiat 500 L interior

New Fiat 500 L


Pontiac Solstice Performance

pontiac solstice wallpaper

Owning a car can have many benefits. You can get a great amount of use out of a car as it provides an excellent way to transport items and other people. However, finding the right kind of car and brand to trust can be rather difficult. There are so many options when it comes to choosing a car to fit your needs that it can seem very overwhelming. Luckily, there are many brands that have stood the test of time and have proven to be extremely trustworthy for those that are looking for reliable transportation.

Pontiac, a Trusted Name in The Automobile Industry

When looking for cars, many people take several factors into account in order to make an informed decision. One of these aspects is dependability. Pontiac is a company that has been making cars for over 80 years and is known to produce high-quality, dependable automobiles for the average person. Pontiac is also a company that is known for being very versatile in the type of cars that they produce. Known for producing stylish and affordable cars, Pontiac has continually shown itself to be the manufacturer to turn to when you need something different from the generic car types that are flooding the market.

The Pontiac Solstice, Interior and Exterior

The Pontiac Solstice is a car designed by the Pontiac company to look fashionable and function well on the road. This is a car that is designed to be flashy but also have muscle. The exterior of the car is extremely sleek, presents a sophisticated image and is one of the many reasons that people turn to the Pontiac Solstice. The Interior of the car, however, is quite cramped. The Solstice’s main issue is its lack of quality materials and zero compartment space inside. Another downfall when it comes to the design of the Solstice is the fact that the trunk reverse-opens. What this means is that on top of providing very little space inside, actually getting the trunk open is a hassle and a bad move on Pontiac’s part. Many concerns with the Solstice’s interior design can be attributed to cheap materials and lack of overall detail. The bottom line is that it looks sleek and stylish on the outside, but the inside of the car is rather cheap looking and does not appear to have had much thought put into it. This car features standard seating for two, however, many have trouble actually getting into the seats as they are very low to the floor. There is more than enough legroom and headroom, but the quarters themselves are very short on space due to the wide transmission tunnel of the car. However, this should not be a concern for those who are primarily more focused on the performance and speed of the car.

Performance

The Pontiac Solstice comes in two different trims, turbocharged GXP and base. Many drivers have responded positively to the turbocharged GXP mainly due to the amount of sheer power that is put out by the system. This car is recorded going 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. The turbocharged GXP features stronger power that follows after the initial wait for turbo lag. Many people also turn to the Solstice for safety. This car has performed extremely well in federal government crash tests. The Pontiac Solstice is also incredibly dependable, offering powertrain warranty and three-year, 360,000 mile warranty.

More Pictures of Pontiac Solstice

pontiac solstice coupe

Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe Racing

red pontiac solstice


New 2012 VW Amarok auto diesel 4WD

2012 Volkswagen Amarok TDI420

The Amarok range has just been bookended with a single-cab version to attract the tradies, and an eight-speed auto – the first in a ute here — for the weekend warriors (and tradie bosses).

So badge snobbery comes to the building site, and cashed-up contractors can get a European vehicle to broadcast how well they’re doing.

PRICE AND MODELS

There’s a dizzying list of 24 different models by the time you choose from the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, bodies and spec: Trendline, Highline and Ultimate.

The single-cab chassis models start from $24,490 for the 118kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol (with a six-speed manual driving the rear wheels) and move to $27,490 for the 90kW/340Nm turbodiesel version, while the 4WD 120kW/400Nm turbodiesel will ask from $35,490 (with ute bodies adding an extra $1500 across the range).

Dual-cab chassis versions kick off with the rear-drive six-speed manual 90kW/340Nm TDI from $30,490, followed by the 118kW/300Nm TSI from $31,090, and the intercooled twin-turbo 120kW/400Nm TDI at $32,490, with the last of those getting 4WD for $41,490.

The eight-speed ZF conventional auto – VW’s dual-clutch boxes slip too much for offroading — arrives only with the 4WD 132kW/420Nm dual-cabs, starting from $44,490 and topping out at the $61,490 Ultimate spec. A couple of price tags down is the one we tested at $53,990 in mid-spec Highline — $3000 more than the manual version, but partly because VW has carved $2000 off the latter’s price.

At this level you get a decent six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth streaming and dual-zone climate control on the goodies list. Our test ute had VW’s ‘4Motion’ full-time AWD with a Torsen centre diff that normally runs 40:60 front/rear, but varies on demand to deliver outputs to the wheels with best traction.

The ZF usually starts off in second gear on bitumen, because it has an ultra-low first ratio for general offroading – plus a selectable offroad mode for serious clambering that adjusts the stability, traction, brake and electronic diff lock responses.

Our test ute bounced around on the standard heavy-duty leaf-spring suspension, begging for a load in the tray. There’s a no-cost comfort suspension option for those who don’t have a heavy toolbox to calm things down, but it drops the payload by 220kg (to 740 on ours).

DESIGN

It’s high, wide and handsome. Squared off lines give the body a tough and purposeful look, set off in our Highline with stainless steel rear bumper, side-steps and sports bar – but undermined by looking a bit undershod with 17-in alloy wheels nowhere near filling the cavernous flared wheel arches. Legroom and shoulder room is great front and back, so there’ll be no bromance taunts.

The interior is clean and hardy, but still manages to add a slight touch of premium in the trim and equipment, with intuitive controls from big chunky buttons. No flimsy hipster switchgear here, mate. The clip-on cupholder looks like it won’t last 10 minutes sticking out of the dash, and the glove box is ludicrous, with barely space for a notebook unless you remove the owner’s manual.

But there are plenty of storage spaces around the cabin, including underseat bins and massive door pockets. There’s also enough space between shifter and centre console bin to look at mounting a small laptop. You have to applaud three 12v outlets in cabin and another in the tray, plus a light back there – no more fumbling around in the dark.

SAFETY

The Amarok led the ute world with a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and gets dual front and front-side airbags – although it misses out on curtains — anti-lock brakes with electronic assistants, stability and traction controls, plus trailer sway control.

DRIVING

The ZF gearbox is slick and refined, and comes into its own at both ends of the scale, with first giving decently low crawling ability, and eighth offering economical highway running around a relaxed 1700rpm. But the auto is keen to make the best of any economy opportunity by heading up towards eighth gear, and when you kick, it often goes down two cogs.

Slipping into manual mode gets clearer response for overtaking, but a whole lot more noise from under the bonnet, and most of the time it’s well-sorted enough to work out what it needs to do in auto. It’s hard to believe the torquey engine is just two litres, with its ability – and sometimes its noise – punching well above that size.

A glance at the fuel economy is the compensation, with it happily averaging mid 9s over a mixture of low-gear dirt crawling, highway cruising and suburban frustration. Apart from the empty tray making for some bouncing over uneven surfaces, it’s surefooted and well-behaved, and ride comfort is exceptional for a big ute. And big it certainly is. Impressive on the street, but even with the cabin’s good visibility, the rear parking acts are a blessing to wedge the beefy tail into place.

VERDICT

You might scoff about badge snobbery – or cog-upmanship – hitting the building sites. But overall this is a solid blend of hardy workhorse and some creature comforts that make working life a bit more bearable.

More Pictures of 2012 VW Amarok auto diesel 4WD

2012 Volkswagen Amarok pictures

New Volkswagen Amarok

2012 Volkswagen Amarok Interior


Modified Nissan GT-R 2012 Pictures

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Hennessey Chevrolet Camaro HPE600 Supercharged 2010 Pictures

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Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercars racer breaks cover

 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercars racer breaks cover

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercars racer / Erebus Motorsport

By Erebus Motorsport

Erebus Motorsport has unveiled its Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercars racer.

After we saw the Holden VF Commodore and Nissan Altima contenders for the V8 Supercars championship, now it’s time to have a look at what Erebus Motorsport has to offer. Based on the facelifted E63 AMG, the car is built in Australia by Erebus and represents the first AMG race car produced outside Germany.

Erebus represents an AMG customer team and will race three of these cars in the V8 Supercars 2013 season. “Car of the Future” regulations require engines with a displacement of no more than 5.0 liters and an rpm limit between 7,000 and 7,500. In addition, the engine’s output has to be limited to approximately 650 hp (485 kW).

Clipsal 500 Adelaide will be the inaugural race of the 2013 V8 Supercars series and will be organized between February 28 and March 3, following a pre-season testing session set for this weekend.


Ford hints at a Ranger replacement

 Ford hints at a Ranger replacement

2010 Ford Ranger (US-spec) 14.2.2013

Might not be body-on-frame

Ford hasn’t offered a compact pickup in the United States since the Ranger went out of production in 2011, but that doesn’t mean the company has given up on the segment.

Ford trucks marketing manager, Doug Scott, has revealed there is a demand for a “true compact truck” that balances “size, price, and fuel economy.”  In order to achieve the right mix, Scott says the model wouldn’t have to be a body-on-frame truck as “consumers really don’t care” as long as the vehicle is durable and can haul what they need.

Ford considered bringing the international version of the Ranger to the United States, but nixed those plans because the model would have too much overlap with the F-150.  This puts the automaker in a bind as developing an all-new model would cost more than a billion dollars which would be hard to recoup because the vehicle would be sold in limited numbers and have a low sticker price.

Despite the challenges Scott says “We’re still working on it.”


Opel Adam R2 Test Car 2013 Pictures

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KIA Optima Superman 2013 Pictures

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Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG technical details released [video added]

360 HP and 450 Nm

Mercedes-Benz has revealed complete technical info about the A45 AMG ahead of its Geneva arrival next month.

The figures we posted yesterday were spot on as the 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine has been confirmed to deliver 360 HP (265 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm. This enables Mercedes’ smallest AMG model ever to perform the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in only 4.6 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

The entire horsepower is sent to all four wheels through an AMG SPEED SHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with three driving programs, double-declutching function and Race Start. There’s also a three-stage ESP, while the suspension consists of a three-link front setup and a four-link rear axle arrangement.

The AMG braking system has perforated and ventilated discs on all four corners, with 350×32 mm discs at the front and 330 x 22 mm discs for the rear axle. The A45 AMG rides on 18-inch twin-spoke lightweight alloy wheels with 235/40 R18 tires but optionally available are two sets 19-inch wheels with 235/35 rubbers.

Various AMG individualization options will be available for the hot hatch, including (but not limited to) red-painted calipers, rear aerofoil, Exclusive Package, carbon fiber exterior mirror housing, Aerodynamics Package, Night Package and AMG Performance exhaust and suspension systems.

Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s market launch set for July.

Full details are available in the attached press release.


Mitsubishi teases CA-MiEV and GR-HEV concepts for Geneva

 Mitsubishi teases CA-MiEV and GR-HEV concepts for Geneva

Mitsubishi GR-HEV concept teaser photo

Showcasing ‘next-generation advanced technologies’

Mitsubishi has released teaser photos for two new concepts which will be unveiled in Geneva.

The CA-MiEV is envisioned as a next-gen EV featuring high-energy density batteries and high-efficiency system. The car boasts a wireless charging system, regenerative braking and new motor and inverter. Together with the aerodynamic and lightweight body, the CA-MiEV is able to provide a maximum range of up to 300 km (186 miles).

As for the GR-HEV, this represents a concept for a sport utility truck (SUT) using a diesel-hybrid system. The engine is mounted at the front and sends power to a next-gen 4WD system featuring the Super Select 4WD found in the Pajero, as well as the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) built-in control systems for providing the best traction on all road conditions. Mitsubishi says the GR-HEV has CO2 emissions of less than 149 g/km.

More details will be revealed next month at the Geneva Motor Show.


Rolls-Royce continues teasing Wraith

 Rolls-Royce continues teasing Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith teaser photo

March 5 reveal

Rolls-Royce has revealed a teaser photo and video with Wraith (Ghost Coupe) which will be unveiled in Geneva on March 5.

Although a new teaser was planned for next week, Rolls-Royce has released today a photo with the front grille and also a short clip announcing the arrival of the Wraith on March 5 when “the world will stand still”. We already saw a bit of the car’s design in previous teasers and spy shots, but we’ll have to wait about three weeks for the full reveal.

The 2013 Rolls-Royce Wraith is expected to have a V12 6.6-liter, twin-turbo engine tweaked to output approximately 608 HP (447 kW), making it about 38 HP (28 kW) more powerful than the Ghost sedan. With an estimated weight of 2,300 kg (5,070 lbs), RR’s most powerful model ever will need less than 4.7 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h).

Watch the video at the source link below.


Euro-spec Chevrolet Spark EV confirmed for Geneva debut

 Euro-spec Chevrolet Spark EV confirmed for Geneva debut

2013 Euro-spec Chevrolet Spark EV

0-100 km/h in under 8.5s

Chevrolet will introduce the European version of the Spark EV in March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

The U.S.-spec Spark EV was launched by Chevrolet back in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show and now we have learned its European brother is scheduled to make an appearance next month in Geneva.

As you would expect, it will retain the same electric motor generating 130 hp (100 kW) and 542 Nm (400 lb-ft) of torque, enough for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in less than eight seconds. Fast-charging the 20 kWh lithium-ion battery to an 80 percent level takes about 20 minutes, while using a regular 230V outlet requires between six and eight hours for a full charge.

There will be two full color seven-inch LCD screens inside the cabin, a rear view camera, as well as Chevrolet’s MyLink. The latter will provide support for an array of applications, while those who own an iPhone 4S or 5 with iOS6 will be able to use SIRI.


Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG full confirmed technical details

 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG full confirmed technical details

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG 12.02.2013

360 HP and 450 Nm

Mercedes-Benz has revealed complete technical info about the A45 AMG ahead of its Geneva arrival next month.

The figures we posted yesterday were spot on as the 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine has been confirmed to deliver 360 HP (265 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm. This enables Mercedes’ smallest AMG model ever to perform the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in only 4.6 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

The entire horsepower is sent to all four wheels through an AMG SPEED SHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with three driving programs, double-declutching function and Race Start. There’s also a three-stage ESP, while the suspension consists of a three-link front setup and a four-link rear axle arrangement.

The AMG braking system has perforated and ventilated discs on all four corners, with 350×32 mm discs at the front and 330 x 22 mm discs for the rear axle. The A45 AMG rides on 18-inch twin-spoke lightweight alloy wheels with 235/40 R18 tires but optionally available are two sets 19-inch wheels with 235/35 rubbers.

Various AMG individualization options will be available for the hot hatch, including (but not limited to) red-painted calipers, rear aerofoil, Exclusive Package, carbon fiber exterior mirror housing, Aerodynamics Package, Night Package and AMG Performance exhaust and suspension systems.

Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s market launch set for July.

Full details are available in the attached press release.


2013 Audi S3 Sportback announced [video]

0-62 mph in five seconds

Audi has revealed the 2013 S3 Sportback which will be showcased in March at the Geneva Motor Show.

Following the launch of the three-door version last September, Ingolstadt-based automaker Audi is now showing the five-door Sportback model. Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter TFSI, direct-injection turbo engine producing 300 HP (221 kW) at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm.

Connected to the optional 6-speed S Tronic, the new S3 Sportback will do the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in five seconds, while with the 6-speed manual it needs 5.5 seconds. Regardless of the gearbox choice, the top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).

With the S Tronic, the S3 Sportback returns 34.09 mpg US (40.8 mpg UK or 6.9 liters / 100 km) while with the manual it will do 33.6 mpg US (40.3 mpg UK or 7 liters / 100 km).

The 2013 Audi S3 Sportback has a curb weight of 1,445 kg (3,185 lbs), making it 70 kg (154 lbs) lighter than its predecessor. It comes with 18-inch wheels covered by low-rolling resistance tires measuring 225/40. Power is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, while the S sport suspension lowers the ride height by 25 mm. The black front calipers measure 340 mm and can be optionally painted in red.

Complete details are available in the press release section.


2013 Seat Leon SC revealed [VIDEO ADDED]

With 35 mm shorter wheelbase

Seat has officially unveiled the three-door Leon SC which will make its debut in March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

Following yesterday’s teaser photo, Spanish automaker Seat has published the first photos with the three-door version of the new Leon. Compared to the stock model, the SC variant has a 35 mm shorter wheelbase measuring 2600 mm and a 4.23-meter overall length. The more sharply raked roofline has been lowered to give the car a sportier appearance. This new design language is inspired by Seat’s IBE, IBL and IBX concepts.

Engines are taken from the five-door model, ranging from 1.2- to 2.0-liter units with output varying from 105 HP (77 kW) to 184 HP (135 kW). The suspension is also taken from the standard model so it has MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam at the rear for the versions with less than 150 HP (110 kW) while those with more have a multi-link layout.

The Leon lineup will grow later this year with an ST estate model, while in 2014 Seat will introduce the more potent Cupra versions for all three body styles.

More details are available in the press release section.


Chevrolet Corvette Stingray features lightweight ‘smart material’ [video]

99 pounds lighter than C6

The 2014 Corvette is GM’s first vehicle to feature lightweight shape memory alloy wire.

This new technology replaces the heavier motorized actuator for opening and closing the hatch vent which releases air from the trunk. As a result of this implementation, the trunk lid is closed more easily compared to C7’s predecessors where due to the trapped air the lid was harder to close.

General Motors is aiming at more weight saving measures with this technique in the future since they say there are approximately 200 motorized movable parts which can be replaced by “smart materials” which are lighter.

One example would be shape memory alloys which are able to modify their shape, stiffness or strength when activated by heat, magnetic field, stress or electrical voltage. The memory alloys are able to “remember” their initial shape and go back to it when deactivated.

Shape memory also removes extra mass as the Stingray’s wire actuator is about 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs) lighter compared to a traditional motorized system.

Visit the press release section for additional information.


Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG revealed

 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG revealed

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG 12.02.2013

To arrive in Geneva next month

Mercedes-Benz has released the first official images with the A45 AMG ahead of Geneva debut.

Last November we saw a lightly camouflaged prototype of the A45 AMG and now we have a look at the production-ready model which is slated to be available on order this April.

There is no official press release available at the moment, but the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is expected to deliver 360 HP (265 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque between 2,250 – 5,000 rpm. Power is transferred to all four wheels through a dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission with Race Start function.

It should complete the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in 4.6 seconds en route to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is expected to have an average fuel consumption of 6.9 – 7.1 liters / 100 km and CO2 emissions between 161 – 165 g/km.

Exact technical details should be available very soon.


Porsche 911 Carrera 4S modified by TechArt

 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S modified by TechArt

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S by TechArt

Heading to Geneva next month

TechArt has developed an aftermarket program for the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S which will premier next month in Geneva.

The car will wear an Emerald Green paint and feature several custom parts created by the German tuner. On the list will be the proprietary Noselift System which provides an additional 2.36 inches (60 mm) of ground clearance at the front. In addition, the Carrera 4S will feature a new exhaust system with valve control and centrally-mounted double tailpipes.

The custom body kit will include new side skirts, two-piece front lip spoiler, rear wing and a rear diffuser. There will also be different trims for the side mirrors and headlights, as well as several lighter 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels. Changes inside the cabin will also be available, such as green decorative stitching, three-spoke steering wheel and new door sills.

More details are provided in the attached press release.