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Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione gets tuned

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

Alfa Romeo planned the 8C Competizione model to make forays in the upmarket automobile section. The car was designed to provide an exotic design to consumers alongside the beautiful designs of Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

The car has a beautiful design and the body is constructed from carbon fibre on steel spaceframe chassis. The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione review indicates that the car comes with a powerful 4.7 litre V8 petrol engine. This engine can deliver power of 441 bhp at 7000 rpm along with peak torque of 480 Nm at 4750 rpm.

The length of the car is 4381mm and its width is 1894mm while its height is 1341mm. The car can seat 2 individuals. The car enjoys perfect weight distribution as the gearbox and the differential are mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The car has double wishbone all round suspension and Brembo disk brakes. The car also comes with a 6-speed manual transmission system.

The car has top speed of 292 km/hr and can reach 0 to 100 km/hr in just 4.30 seconds. The brake system of the car is extremely responsive and this ensures that the car slows down easily even as it is cruising at high speeds.

The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione review indicates that the car has extremely stylish interiors and the cabin employs top class materials used for the interiors. The steering wheel of the car feels slightly heavy. The interiors of the car are tastefully done. The car has comfortable carbon fiber seats that are ergonomically designed. The car has automatic climate control feature and the driver’s seat can be electrically adjusted. The car also has top class audio system.

The safety features in the car include airbags, fog lamp and parking sensors. The car also has traction control, antilock brake system, electronic brake force distribution feature and electronic stability program.

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Alfa Romeo 8C spider

2013 Subaru Outback Review

2013 Subaru Outback

Subaru automobile corporation is long acknowledge among the big name in car producer and also has long historical background of producing a top quality car that has Subaru characteristic, that’s why many feels that their brand new line of 2013 Subaru Outback might also be as wonderful as it old collections. The mixture of brand new range of modern technology formulate by Subaru and their expertise and deep working experience from their designers make this 2013 Subaru Outback become a tough competitor to other brand new auto in the same classification from other auto challengers.

This 2013 Subaru Outback is a fresh new car which will become obtainable on wide-range of diverse trims; that are the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i, the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium and the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited; all having four cylinder engine. The subsequent version should be the 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R, the 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium, and the 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited; all having six cylinder engine. In this case, the Premium and Limited version would be the utmost expensive mainly because it will provide freight coverage, leather wrapper steering wheel, rear end privacy glass together with power drivers seat.

Currently the Subaru has already made the decision to placed their personalized CVT auto transmission platform as the selectable for the 2013 Subaru Outback, where the basic transmitting designed for the 2013 Subaru Outback will be the six speeds manual transmitting platform. With regards to the engine, there would be basically two type offered, the 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine for the 2.5i editions; producing for as much as 170 hp and 170 pound feet of torque, while the second engine would be the 3.6 liter 6 cylinder engine designed for the 3.6R versions; having 256 horsepower as well as around 247 ft of torque.

The price for all the 2013 Subaru Outback would be the following; the Standard 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i will likely be listed for around $24,55K intended for manual transmitting and $25,35K for the CVT auto transmitting, while the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium will be posted for about $25,85K in manual transmission in addition to $26,85K for the CVT automated transmitting plus the last 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited is going to be listed at $$29,85K. Moreover, the particular 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R is going to be quoted for around $29,35K designed for the Standard version, $30,6K to the Premium version along with the last is going to be $32,95K for Limited type.

Today’s tough opposition among auto makers across the world where brand-new vehicles brought directly into public day after day bring a very good condition for the consumer as they now enjoy a handful of options to pick out but in counter it will be a giant mission for Subaru as well as their brand new 2013 Subaru Outback to steal the attention and awareness from their clients and then win the race. As a retrofit variant different from the previous type, the 2013 Subaru Outback expected to deliver a new and different riding atmosphere that’s turned into reality by adding new additional features and functions to overpass the outdated edition. Subaru definitely optimist for the success of their fresh new 2013 Subaru Outback prior to implementing loads of brand new facilities and stuffs as per customers desire.

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Mercedes-Benz May Be Planning C300 and E300 with 248-hp V-6

Mercedes-Benz E300

If you’re shopping for an E Class Mercedes sedan in the U.S., your least expensive option is the E350, which carries a starting price of $51,365 before you check off a single option box.

If you’ve got your mind made up to buy a new Mercedes, the price is what the price is. If you’re cross-shopping rival German brands, there are variants of the BMW 5-Series and Audi A6 that offer similar amenities for thousands of dollars less.

In other words, Mercedes-Benz is potentially giving up sales to rival German automakers. Now comes word from Car and Driver that Mercedes may launch a new E300 sedan, priced noticeably below the current E350.

The E300 would be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6, likely the same engine used to power the Canadian E300 4Matic launched in February. It’s also the same powerplant used in the current E350, but de-tuned to produce 248 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque instead of the E350’s 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Launching an E300 would also allow Mercedes-Benz to increase the standard content on the existing E350, taking it further up the luxury ladder with a price increase to match.

Documents filed with the NHTSA show that Mercedes may introduce the E300 in both rear drive and in all-wheel-drive 4Matic form, and may even launch a revised C300 4Matic with the same engine.

We say may, because filing vehicle listings with the NHTSA doesn’t always mean a model will come to market. It’s a necessary first step, and the launch of the E300 in Canada makes expansion to the U.S. likely, but Mercedes-Benz doesn’t comment on future models.

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2012 Peugeot 408 Launched

2012 Peugeot 408

Peugeot may have described the 408 with words like harmony, elegance and dynamism. But it does not take a keen eye to notice the slightly awkward proportions resulting from thick C-pillars. That said, the 308-based 408 sedan has a more flowing profile compared with the 206-based 207 Sedan. Measuring 4680 mm in length, 1815 mm in width and 1525 mm in height, the 408 is about the largest C-segment sedan there is, boasting the longest wheelbase of 2710 mm and the largest boot space of 562 litres, which can be expanded by 40/60 split-fold rear seatbacks if the 33 litres of cabin storage space proves insufficient.

Sharing a dash layout with the 308 hatchback, the 408 is a mode of clarity inside and comes well-appointed with premium leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an instrument panel LCD, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, four one-touch power windows with anti-pinch function, automatic dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 playback capability coupled with USB/Bluetooth connectivity.

Needless to say, the equipment list is much lengthier than the above-mentioned. Both variants are fitted with sensor-activated headlights and wipers, “Follow Me Home” headlight function, cruise control with speed limiter, and automatic retractable side mirrors. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard fare, but with notable differences: the 408 2.0 wears five-spoke Rinjani alloys and 215/50 tyres; while the 408 Turbo wears eight-spoke Melbourne rims wrapped in wider 225/45 tyres. A choice of six colours is offered: Alpine White, Velvet Silver, Metropolis Bronze, Aster Grey, Bourrasque Blue and Premium Black.

The list goes on, covering the crucial safety aspect. Features available for both 408 variants are dual front airbags, the full suite of braking controls (ABS, EBD & BA), front seatbelt pretensioners, and two Isofix locations. The 408 Turbo is set apart with additional items including two side and two curtain airbags, anti-skid regulation (ASR) and dynamic stability control (DSC). What’s more, the 408 Turbo’s suspension is tuned with a bias for sportiness, so expect a firmer ride.

The 408 2.0 is driven by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, capable of generating a maximum of 147 HP at 6000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4000 rpm. Fitted with a rather dated four-speed auto adaptive gearbox with Tiptronic and a sport mode, the 408 2.0 expectedly does the 0-100 km/h sprint in a leisurely 12.5 seconds, and tops out at 195 km/h. That is a good deal slower than the 408 Turbo, which completes the same sprint in 9.2 seconds and hits 215 km/h.

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New Peugeot 408

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Peugeot 408 2011

BMW Zagato Coupe Concept

BMW Zagato Coupe

Zagato returns to this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este bringing a new car. This time they’ve teamed up with the Bavarians at BMW to make a one-off, road-legal, BMW Coupe. Pretty it isn’t, but then artistic things rarely are. BMW Zagato is quite special though. It looks like the illegitimate lovechild of the current BMW Z4 and Zagato’s Alfa Romeo Corsa.

The car has a three-dimensional, sort of sculpted design, especially at the front. In Zagato’s interpretation of the BMW’s headlights and kidney grilles, they are caricatured a bit, which is fair enough what with the car being a one-off and all. But they have not resulted in a completely desirable sight. We do like the sloping lines of the front wings though, and we also like the side vents.

From the sides all you notice is the car’s chunky rear wings. Looks like its heaps could use a breather. That lead us to the rear-end of the Zagato Coupe, which is the car’s party piece. There you can clearly see signs of the Italian designer’s hand with the transparent panel in its upper section familiar from other Zagato creations. Divided visually into three sections, the generous glass surfaces open up a line of sight to the lights and into the interior. Their dark tint gives the BMW Zagato Coupe an even sportier look. The double-bubble roof is another sign.

Other highlights include the 19-inch light-alloy wheels in classically sporty five-spoke design, and the special Rosso Vivace – an expressive shade of red – paint job.

The exterior might not appeal to everyone, but the revised interior can’t be faulted. Based on the Z4 s cabin, Zagato has revamped it with exquisite materials and high-quality details, such as leather and Alcantara upholstery and amazing red stitching all across the seats, door panels and dash. The seats also have a big ‘Z’ embroidered into the headrests. Two exclusive accessories – a hat bag and a travel bag – set the seal on Zagato’s colour and materials upgrade.

BMW Zagato Coupe is a one-off for now, but they made the Aston Martin Zagato, so we could expect to see this in limited production as well. Not sure we want to though!

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New BMW Zagato Coupe

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2013 BMW Zagato Coupe

2013 GMC Acadia unveiled

2013 GMC Acadia design

One of the most popular vehicle models that bowed at the 2012 Chicago auto show is the 2013 GMC Acadia. Upon its first introduction into the market, this model was able to establish itself as one of the best in its class. As a result, General Motors has decided to upgrade this model and this eventually led to the production of the 2013 GMC Acadia.

When the 2013 GMC Acadia was unveiled at the 2012 Chicago auto show, a lot of car experts have noticed that the latest version of the iconic crossover model has received a major facelift from General Motors. This simply means that most of the dominant features of the previous year’s version were changed and these changes allowed the new Acadia to have an image of its own.

When viewed in front, the 2013 GMC Acadia has a muscular stance. Due to this, the latest version looks more capable and intimidating. Thanks to its new upright design and the three-bar grille that was installed on the vehicle’s front fascia. In addition to this, the vehicle is now fitted with a pair of LED running lights and these are offered as a standard feature of the vehicle.

Aside from the upgrades that were implemented in front, the Acadia’s rear was also subjected to a few changes. The current model is now equipped with a wraparound rear glass and a new rear spoiler. The vehicle’s rear bumper was redesigned and the primary purpose of this was to make the Acadia’s front and rear portion quite coordinated.

General Motors has also revised the interior layout. But instead of using hard plastics and other cheap components, the company’s designers decided to use more soft-touch materials inside the vehicle’s cabin. Aside from that, the stitching that was used to fasten the soft-touch materials in place was also remarkable. On top of these, the ambient lighting that was installed inside the Acadia makes the vehicle’s cabin look more elegant and upscale most especially at night.

In terms of performance, the 2013 GMC Acadia is still capable of towing a maximum load of up to 5,000 pounds. Its 3.6-liter direct injection V-6 engine allows the Acadia to generate a maximum power output of 288 horsepower. The engine is mated to an improved 6-speed automatic transmission that provides a better shifting response and drivability. Given this engine and transmission, the 2013 GMC Acadia with a front-wheel drive system obtains the fuel economy ratings of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

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2013 GMC Acadia

New GMC Acadia

2013 Fiat Viaggio Revealed

New Fiat Viaggio

Auto Europe Car.Fiat italian car maker has announced new car with called 2013 Fiat Viaggio.Designed by Fiat Group’s Style Centre in Turin, the Fiat Viaggio has a timeless, clean-surfaced expressive exterior design that blends fluid and curvaceous forms with strong proportions.The Fiat Viaggio is tastefully designed inside and out with discernible Italian style. Fiat designed the Viaggio to be a world compact sedan unlike any others in its segment. Equipped with the overall dimensions which are “lower, wider, and longer” inherited from the architecture and platform upon which it is based, the Fiat Viaggio affords a dynamic appeal tuned to bring class-leading ride and handling.

The new four-dour, five-seater 2013 Fiat Viaggio sedan is based on the CUSW (Compact US Wide) architecture. It is the most advanced within the Fiat Group, and it is also the basis of the new Dodge Dart, presented at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2012. The CUSW architecture is, in turn, derived from the Compact architecture originally developed for the best-selling Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a framework that enables the Italians and the Americans to share technologies and components and most of all best practices for engineering and design capabilities.

2013 Fiat Viaggio will be the only car in its segment to offer exclusively sophisticated Turbo engines (1.4L T-Jet 120 HP and 150 HP) on the Chinese market, securing performances that anybody would expect from bigger displacement engines without compromising on fuel economy and maintenance costs. Teamed with the T-Jet Turbo engine is Fiat’s latest generation 6 speed dual dry clutch transmission, and alternatively the well-tested 5-gear manual transmission.

As the first Fiat-Chrysler joint project, the Fiat Viaggio will be produced in the new GAC Fiat production plant in Changsha, in the Hunan province.Enjoyed this post 2013 Fiat Viaggio Review with click image to image gallery of 2013 Fiat Viaggio.

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2013 Fiat Viaggio

GM released 2012 Chevrolet Orlando LTZ

New Chevrolet Orlando LTZ

With an MSRP of $19,995, the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando is the least expensive seven-passenger vehicle you can buy in Canada; the Mazda5 has six seats, the North American C-MAX will get only five, and the Rondo EX with the optional third-row bench costs $23,795.

Now, don’t start planning a road trip to Vegas with six of your buddies just yet. The rearmost bench in the Orlando is best suited for kids; remember, this is a compact-sized vehicle. In addition, occupying all rows of seats leaves no room for cargo. You either haul stuff or a max load of passengers, not both. Same thing with the Mazda and the Kia.

Yet, with two or three kids, the Orlando makes a lot of sense. Flip down that third row and you get 739 litres of space, enough for carrying your family’s belongings. Fold down the second row as well, and you get about 1,600 litres of volume; only the Rondo is bigger inside.

One advantage I think the Mazda has over the Chevy concerns its sliding side doors. Kids can carelessly open their door in a shopping centre parking lot and dent the car beside; not so with sliding doors. The Orlando also has rather wide B-pillars, which create blind spots when you’re trying to merge into traffic or change lanes.

The Chevrolet Orlando benefits from supportive seats up front and a good driving position. The switchgear layout is also well thought-out, while the sound system includes a USB port in our tester, concealed in a storage compartment behind the button interface; unfortunately, bigger USB keys will prevent you from closing the lid. And navigating through MP3 file folders is a little fussy.

Every Orlando is equipped with a 2.4L inline-4, which develops 174 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual is available, but we think 95% of buyers will choose the 6-speed automatic instead. The 0-100 km/h sprint takes 10.4 seconds with the automatic, while fuel economy ratings are 10.6/6.9 L/100km city/highway.

Unfortunately, our average of 12L/100km isn’t nearly as impressive. We’re driving conservatively, we’re easing away from stoplights very smoothly, and at 100 km/h, the engine spins at only 1,900 rpm; heck, we’re eco-driving the Orlando, and it’s still consuming more than expected. Ironically, the bigger and heavier Equinox crossover boasts better fuel economy ratings.

Fuel issues aside, the 2.4L engine is up to the task of getting the Orlando up to speed swiftly, while the ride is comfortable for everyone including rear-seat passengers. However, the on-center feel of the electric-assist steering isn’t very precise. Overall, Chevy’s multipurpose vehicle may not be as fun to drive as the sportier Mazda5, but it isn’t a chore either.

The base Orlando LS includes keyless entry, power windows, six airbags, a 6-speaker stereo as well as traction and electronic stability control systems, while A/C is optional. The 1LT gains a telescopic steering column, power heated mirrors, body-coloured door handles and cruise control. Adding goodies such as alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and heated seats brings us up to the 2LT, which starts at $23,595.

Our tester is the top-shelf LTZ trim, however, with the optional leather seating package and power sunroof. Total price before taxes, freight and delivery charges: $30,505.

In comparison, a loaded Mazda5 GT costs $28,430, while a Kia Rondo EX V6 Luxury costs $27,195.

The Chevrolet Orlando is a competent multipurpose vehicle that can hold its own against its rivals, and so far this year, it’s selling slightly better than both the 5 and the Rondo. The LTZ trim is too expensive, but a 2LT is a reasonable deal for what’s included with it.

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2012 Chevrolet Orlando LTZ

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ hatchback

The 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Announced

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

A rear-wheel-drive four-door hatchback with staggered wheels and a mere 2,579 pounds distributed 45/55. From the folks who gave us the Evo. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (conversationally referred to as either the “i” OR the “meev”) isn’t that sort of car. Its focus is just as narrow as the Evo’s but could hardly be more different: the cheapest, most energy-efficient electric car you can buy in the United States. How cheap? The i-MiEV’s low-20s price (after a $7,500 tax credit) isn’t much higher than that of a Toyota Prius c, the cheapest, most energy-efficient hybrid.

The Prius succeeded in part because it looked like nothing else. Even the most car-ignorant person can readily identify one. The i-MiEV similarly won’t be confused with any other car. Even the wipers are radically different (the one on the right was bent upwards by engineers, not hooligans). But will Americans identify this ultra-compact egg-on-wheels as a car at all? The Prius c is nearly 20 inches less lengthy than the regular Prius. The i-MiEV (despite sharing a 100.4-inch wheelbase) is another foot shorter still (144.7 vs. 157.3 inches). The Mitsubishi is also over four inches narrower (62.4 vs. 66.7 inches) but nearly seven inches taller (63.6 vs. 56.9 inches). This is after being widened a couple of inches for North America. Road-legal cars with four doors don’t get any smaller in North America. Even SUVs are generally wider than they are tall.

Given the price range, it should come as no surprise that nearly every interior surface save the seats is hard plastic in both cars. The i-MiEV’s interior nevertheless manages to seem much more spartan than the Prius c’s.

The EPA (which tends to be conservative on this metric) says it’ll go 62 miles on a charge while getting the gas equivalent of 126 miles-per-gallon city, 99 highway, and 112 combined. Only the upcoming Honda Fit EV does better, 118 combined, and it will be lease-only. The upcoming Focus EV checks in at 105, and the LEAF at 99. At the average electricity price of 12 cents per kWh, the i-MiEV costs about two dollars to recharge. In my driving the Prius c, with EPA ratings of 53 city, 46 highway, and 50 combined, averaged about 62 miles-per-gallon (additional details and photos here). It might be the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car, but in terms of fuel cost per mile it’s still about double the i-MiEV.

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New Mitsubishi i-MiEV

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2014 Honda Odyssey arrives for New York auto show

2014 Honda Odyssey

While minivans may be one of the most polarizing kinds of vehicles on the market-with some style-conscious parents still thinking they might as well be driving a diaper bag on wheels-another generation (and a different kind of style-conscious parent, really) sees their superiority and thinks that minivans stand out from all the identikit crossovers. Through all of this, Honda has been holding out, and refining its van, and the 2014 Honda Odyssey stands as one of the best ever-a not-so-mini van that open-minded families won’t be able to resist.

With all the latest infotainment features, lots of tech savvy, and even a little design savvy, the latest Odyssey is fully with the times-even with respect to design. Honda managed to add a little pizazz to this box on wheels with a “lightninig bolt” hump along the rear window. The cue also aids visibility a bit. For 2014, the Odyssey gets refined “more sophisticated” styling that includes a more deeply sculpted hood, a bolder grille, darker-finish headlamp housings, and a new lower front fascia with chrome-trimmed fog lamps. At the back there are LED taillight bars. Inside, the ’14 Odyssey gets a new center-stack design as well as new finishes throughout.

The 3.5-liter V-6 that’s under the hood hasn’t changed; it makes 247 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque throughout the model line; and depending on the trim level, it’s hooked up to a five- or six-speed automatic transmission. In short, the Odyssey performs like a car, with confident acceleration and passing, and even enough power to take on mountain roads with a full load. And even though it’s a taller vehicle, it handles more like the Accord sedan than the Pilot crossover.

The current generation of the Odyssey is loaded with thoughtful touches, and the second and third tows have a layout that serves a dual purpose-either helping to maximize the number of positions (up to eight) for smaller kids, or allowing a comfortable place for adults (up to six). And there’s definitely space (and anchors) for multiple child seats. It’s a standout in that it offers a a class-leading six child-seat tether locations and five LATCH locations (the official clips).

Inside, the Odyssey is surprisingly quiet and refined space, with a smooth ride. Active noise cancellation and active engine mounts both quell any vibrations from fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, as well as excess road noise.

For safety, you won’t be able to do much better than the Odyssey. In previous model years, it’s been one of the few large vehicles to achieve top ratings from both U.S. safety agencies; although we can’t yet say with certainty that will extend to 2014, as Honda has introduced a new aluminum hood and fenders to the model. But it has all the safety-feature bases covered, with a standard rearview camera system on all models, and the top Touring Elite getting an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, a blind-spot warning system, Forward Collision Warning, and Lane Departure Warning.

New for 2014 on the top-of-the-line Touring Elite model that adds a new HondaVAC system-that’s a powerful integrated vacuum cleaner, with nozzle accessories and a dedicated space on the driver’s side of the rear cargo area. The system was developed with Sho-Vac, and it never needs to be charged or plugged in, as it runs as a normal vehicle accessory, capable of running for up to eight minutes with the vehicle turned off.

Base LX models include Bluetooth hands-free calling, the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID), and an 8-inch TFT screen, in addition to 2 gigabytes of audio storage, and a USB audio port; but many of the most desirable features remains the exclusive domain of top 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring and Touring Elite models.

For 2014, the rather pricey Touring Elite gets some of the infotainment features that just made their debut in the 2013 Accord-including HondaLink, allowing owners to use a smartphone app to access Aha Internet-based entertainment, or hear Facebook and Twitter updates via text-to-speech. Touring Elite models also get a 650-watt sound system with hard-disk storage, the ultra-wide-screen system, theater surround sound, and HID headlamps. A standout option is the new 16.2-inch wide-screen system, which provides entertainment and can even split the screen in half for two separate inputs (including HDMI), while the navigation system includes Zagat listings and live traffic info.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo images

The Hyundai Veloster was new for 2012 and immediately drew attention with its unique three-door design. The new 2013 turbocharged version makes the car much faster and lots more fun.

Rivals for the turbocharged front-wheel-drive Veloster include the Volkswagen GTI, Civic Si, Mini Cooper/Clubman S, Beetle Turbo and Fiat 500 Abarth. Hyundai notes the Veloster, with such things as its three doors, is “purposefully differentiated from other core vehicles in Hyundai’s lineup, with unique style and function and advanced technologies.”

Hyundai hasn’t become a major sales success without taking chances.

The turbocharger is the big news for the latest version of the Veloster. This turbo has a twin-scroll design for quicker response and more low-end torque. The engine also has dual continuously variable valve timing and an intercooler for better performance and fuel economy.

While the standard Veloster is fast enough for many folks, addition of a turbocharger significantly increases horsepower of the car’s regular 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It jumps from 138 to 201 horsepower. Torque also increases to 195 pound-feet from 123 pound-feet.

The added punch give the Veloster Turbo a sharp new personality, I found during a media preview of the car in La Jolla, Calif. The increased power and torque allow faster acceleration and much less shifting with the standard, slick six-speed manual transmission. The responsive six-speed automatic has a manual-shift mode.

Serious bumps and potholes cause jolts, but the sport suspension is generally supple. There’s also sport speed-tuned steering. Handling is sharp, and the anti-lock all-disc braking system with electronic brake-force distribution inspires confidence. The brake pedal has a progressive action for smooth stops.

Helping keep the car on the road during difficult situations are electronic stability and traction controls.

The small engine has lots of punch for its size, but keep in mind the rigidly built Veloster only weighs approximately 2,800 pounds.

Estimated fuel economy is 26 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on highways-and only regular grade fuel is needed.

The Veloster with the six-speed manual transmission lists at $21,950 and at $22,950 with the automatic-without a $775 freight charge.

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2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

New Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo design

2014 Ford Mustang Pricing and Details

2014 Ford Mustang

With its 50th anniversary and the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang just a year away, Ford’s got minor changes in store for the 2014 Mustang. The 2014 Mustang’s changes include new colors and appearance packages, which just launched on Ford’s consumer site in an updated configurator. The base price for the 2014 Mustang V-6 coupe and convertible are unchanged from the 2013 model year, at $22,995 and $27,995, respectively (including destination).

Since 2014 is the last model year for the S197 Mustang before a new global model debuts with an independent rear suspension and a turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, changes are minor. The biggest update is the discontinuation of the beloved Mustang Boss 302. With the death of the Boss comes the departure of School Bus Yellow from the Mustang’s color palette; other color changes include Oxford White replacing High Performance White, and Red Candy Metallic being dropped in favor of Ruby Red Metallic. New instrument cluster graphics for the tach and speedo are also in the cards for 2014.

The other change for the 2014 Mustang is the deletion of the Exterior Appearance Package on V-6 models, and the addition of the FP6 Appearance Package on base Mustang V6s and FP8 Appearance Package on base Mustang GTs. The new FP6 package retails for $795, and includes black-painted mirror caps, a black decklid spoiler, body color quarter window louvers, and 18-inch black multi-spoke aluminum wheels. The FP8 package costs $995, and includes all the FP6 goodies, save for the wheels, which get replaced by 19-inch machined-aluminum wheels with black accents.

Most 2014 Mustang models cost just as much as they did last year. Base V-6 coupe and convertible models still start at $22,995 and $27,995, while a base Mustang GT still sets you back $31,545. The 2014 Shelby GT500 coupes and convertibles get a $450 price increase to $55,445 and $60,445, respectively.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric Preliminary Specifications

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric

A source inside Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it will be offering an electric-version of its new B-Class in the United States in 2014. The B-Class electric will be based on a new front-wheel-drive platform with an electric-motor and components from Tesla Motors.

Daimler already sells the Smart ForTwo EV in the United States but wants to bring another electric-vehicles to the market.

The insider, who spoke with Automotive News, said that Mercedes-Benz’s original plans to offer a B-Class plug-in hybrid in 2014 have been postponed.

“Zero-emission vehicles receive more favorable classifications and higher incentives than vehicles with a range extender,” the source said. “This is especially an issue in the U.S.”

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New Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class images

Mercedes-Benz B-Class design

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

New Chevrolet Sonic

The word is out: General Motors is no longer producing subpar small cars. Instead, they’re making very good ones. The new Chevrolet Sonic, which was introduced this past year (as a somewhat smaller complement to the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, and a replacement for the merely competent Aveo), ranks as one of the top better bets for either cost- and style-conscious commuters or even safety-conscious families who need a small second car.

The 2013 Sonic lands right in the heart of the small-car market, between the likes of the Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta, and Toyota Yaris. And like several of these models, the Aveo is in effect two different models: a sporty-looking five-door hatchback, or a somewhat longer four-door sedan. In either, the front half of the vehicle is largely the same-as is the wheelbase. One other key design difference: while the rear doors in the hatchback are ‘hidden’ (located up high at the back), those in the sedan are of a more conventional design and location. Inside, you’ll find a more cockpit-like design than in other small cars, and outside of up-close materials and detailing, it’s impressively upscale.

Powertrains for the Chevy Sonic are pretty much the same as in the larger Cruze sedan; there’s a normally aspirated 1.8-liter four, or a turbocharged 1.4-liter four. Both can be had with either a manual gearbox or an all-new six-speed automatic. Between the two, the 1.4T is by far the better choice, as it’s stronger and more flexible, as well as more refined and fuel-efficient–and it makes the Sonic feel like a premium-brand vehicle, almost. Unfortunately, you do need to step above the base LS to get that engine. Otherwise the Sonic is surprisingly enjoyable to drive for an affordable, economical car, with nicely weighted steering.

Later this fall, a new hatchback-only Sonic RS model will join the lineup. While the RS doesn’t have any more power, it does include long list of appearance enhancements inside and out–like a flat-bottom steering wheel, sport seats, and aluminum pedals, plus a different wheel design, different front fascia insert, and retuned exhaust.

From a passenger or cargo perspective, there’s also mostly good news. Seating is adult-sized in front enough, while back seats have enough space for adults in a pinch; flip the rear seatbacks forward and you get wagon-like versatility in hatchback models, or space for longer items in sedans. The hatch isn’t quite as space-efficient as the reigning cargo king, the Honda Fit, but there aren’t any serious flaws with either package, and the cabin is better-insulated from road and engine noise than most other small models.

Compared to the Aveo that the Sonic replaces–as well as to most other small cars–the Sonic is a safety standout, and we have no hesitation in calling it out as the safest subcompact pick on the market. Its structure feels vaultlike next to some other small-car designs, and its safety ratings have been top-notch so far, with IIHS Top Safety pick status this past year plus five-star federal ratings and ten standard airbags. All models get blind-spot mirrors this year, too.

New for 2013 is the Chevrolet MyLink system, which includes a seven-inch color touch screen, voice recognition, and connectivity for hands-free calling, streaming audio, and apps for streaming audio (Pandora or Stitcher). MyLink is standard on LTZ and RS models, and available on the Sonic LS and LT. Otherwise, even at the base LS level you get alloy wheels, plus remote keyless entry and air conditioning. Chevy has also revised the Sonic’s feature set for 2013 so that Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls are included even on the base LS, and LT models with the automatic transmission include remote start. Also a new Connectivity & Cruise package brings cruise control and a USB port to the LT, and an official navigation app will be offered later in the year.

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2013 Chevrolet Sonic

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2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid First Drive

New Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

It’s the quietest Porsche sports car I’ve ever driven, but that doesn’t mean it’s the slowest.

Unplug any thought you may have that hybrid vehicles are painfully slow and uninspiring to drive; the 2012 Panamera S Hybrid will short-circuit that notion.

The gas/electric four-door Porsche is a highly sophisticated machine that won’t let performance enthusiasts down. Heck, it’s capable of 0-100 km/h in 6.0 seconds and 80-120 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. These specs are cited by Porsche, along with a top speed of 270 km/h.

When one considers the size of the Panamera and its four-door architecture, the performance numbers are impressive, especially considering that the core powerplant is a supercharged 3.0L V6 gas engine. Perhaps more impressive is the vehicle’s ability to conserve the black gold in its tank.

The Panamera S Hybrid is rated at 8.6L/100km and 6.8L/100km, city and highway driving respectively. While fuel economy ratings are often artificial and near impossible to achieve by the average driver, such wasn’t my experience with this week’s tester.

So let’s not kid ourselves about ability to pay. Folks buying a $127,395 (as tested) Porsche aren’t likely bereft of funds to fuel it. For them, the motivation to go hybrid may be more altruistic than economic. Regardless of reason, it’s a good thing.

I was quite surprised at how effectively I could maximize the potential of the Panamera’s hybrid technology. After a dose of seat time to get accustomed to the system’s operational characteristics, I learned when to lay off the throttle and allow electrical propulsion to take over. And it wasn’t necessary to slow to a crawl to maintain the spark.

The Panamera S Hybrid can move along at low highway speeds for short durations on purely electric power. The driver can also select E-Power, which aids in the exclusive use of electrical propulsion. I found this a great way to drive cost-free the six or so blocks of side streets that lead to my home.

While my average economy was all over the map due to pushing the hybrid Panamera for performance purposes and alternately babying it for economy testing, I was still capable of matching the posted city consumption rating of 8.6L/100km.

Part of the push in economy belongs to the vehicle’s 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. The vast selection of gearing enables the Panamera S Hybrid to match the most efficient gear to the immediate needs, whether gentle cruising or full-on track duty.

The track isn’t where one expects a hybrid-powered vehicle to excel, yet I can verify the competency of Porsche’s hybrid in such an octane-doused setting. Its combined output of 380 hp is notable, but what really delivers the goods post apex is the car’s massive 428 lb-ft of combined torque.

A few months back, I wrote this comment following my track day with the Panamera S Hybrid: “I’m sure more than a few drivers were surprised to see the big four-door hybrid sled filling their rear-views”. Yes, there were a lot of exotic machines on Mission Raceway’s road course that day – including an Italian tour de force – yet the electric/gas four-door from Germany more than held its own.

Activating the Panamera’s Sport and Sport Plus modes keeps the gas engine more in the game, ensuring that it constantly contributes to motivation rather than shutting down when it normally would. For everyday driving, though, the gas/electric combo functions fairly seamlessly.

Allied with its dual power sources, the Panamera S Hybrid exhibits two distinct personalities; one oriented toward power and performance, while the other favours luxury and comfort.

The car rides with a pleasing degree of decorum. The driver can opt to firm up the damping, but there seems to be little reason to do so; the Panamera corners with exceptional accuracy and control without engaging the Sport or Sport Plus modes.

Still, the performance purists will appreciate the ability to alter the big car’s persona at the touch of a button, especially when taking it to the stallions at the track.

One aspect of the Panamera S Hybrid that does require a little more finessing to perfect than with the conventional version is brake function. As with all regenerative brake setups, the Panamera’s can be slightly more difficult to operate smoothly and modulate intuitively.

The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is every bit a Porsche despite the absence of a howling Porsche exhaust note. This Stuttgart-derived ride is more grown-up than its pure-octane siblings yet highly capable by every measure, and surprisingly effectual when the yardstick is measuring fuel economy, and by extension, CO2 emissions.

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2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid sedan

2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder

2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder design

After months and months of spy shots, and a very special teaser, McLaren Automotive has finally unveiled the MP4-12C Spider and boy, was it worth the wait!

Featuring all of the updates recently found on the updated MP4-12C coupe, the Spider promises to take the fight to the Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder and help reinvigorate life into the high-performance sports car market.

As you would expect, the MP4-12C Spider is essentially identical to its coupe sibling, meaning it’s also made good use out of the advanced carbon fiber monocoque, tipping the scales at just 165 lbs. Despite the added weight of the electronic systems required to open and close the hardtop, the Spider has only gained 40kg/88 lbs over the coupe, meaning no modifications to the monocoque were needed.

The new MP4-12C Spider is offered with the same engine as the updated version of the MP4-12C Coupe: a 616 HP 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo engine combined with a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission. The Spider version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and will hit a top speed of 204 mph (3 mph less than the coupe).

One of the most innovative features of the new 12C Spider is its unique RHT (Retractable Hard Top) folding roof system that may be operated while on the move at speed of up to 19 mph.

Confirmed back in 2009, the new MP4-12C Spyder will be available for sale in 22 countries worldwide.

On the British market, it is priced at 195,500, about $300K at the current exchange rates. On the US market, it will be priced at $268,250, which is about $37,250 more than its coupe sibling priced at $231,000.

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2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder

2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spyder images

New McLaren MP4-12C Spyder

The 2012 Hyundai Azera

New Hyundai Azera sedan

The Azera represents the Korean automaker’s effort to draw buyers from a competitive, if overlooked, field that includes the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Hyundai hopes the Azera can improve upon its unpopular predecessor, which hasn’t broken 15,000 annual sales since 2007. That’s a fraction of the 70,000-plus Chargers that Dodge shoppers took home last year. It will have its work cut out for it: All four competitors have been redesigned or significantly updated in the past 19 months.

Varela, based in Denver, praised the Azera’s drivetrain and value but took issue with some controls and the seating position. Other editors, myself included, had a chance to drive an Azera tester at’s Chicago offices.
“It’s a lovely car,” Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder said. “Ride quality is definitely not as good as it could, and arguably should, be, but I don’t think it will turn off the masses.” Editor Jennifer Geiger noted the lack of composure, saying the Azera “feels sloppy in certain situations. It seems to float and bound over rough stuff.” I concurred: The Charger and 300 filter out pavement divots that jolt the Azera’s cabin. It’s not terrible, but a full-size car should ride better. The only caveat? Our tester had 19-inch wheels and lower-profile tires. With its base 18-inch wheels, the Azera might ride better.

Another recurring gripe? Steering.

“Steering is an issue,” Wiesenfelder wrote. “It has a typical lack of torque buildup and general feedback, and it feels like it needs a front-end alignment.” Hanley agreed: “The biggest issue with it seems to be at slow speeds and close to on-center, where the wheel kind of sticks to its spot, and you have to move it back to where you want it. The tuning feels pretty artificial and removed from the wheels.”

Slow speeds weren’t the only concern. “There is something not right about the steering, especially at 30 to 45 mph. It feels jittery,” Managing Editor David Thomas said. I agreed: On the highway, you’re correcting all the time. It’s just too touchy and it doesn’t settle in. It always needs to be managed, but it still feels numb overall. It’s fatiguing on road trips.

Fortunately, the Azera found redemption in cabin quality and roominess.

“Materials look and feel top-notch,” Geiger said. “There’s plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and rear seats for a 6-foot passenger and me.” Said Thomas: “The materials are worlds better than our Ford Taurus tester – plus it delivers a ton of interior and trunk room without being as big a boat.” I noted the comfortable seats, with effective cooled seats – often a gimmick – and soft cushions. Hanley found our car’s leather upholstery subpar: “It kind of felt like fine-grit sandpaper.”

Thomas liked our test car’s Infinity stereo, which is part of a $4,000 Technology Package. Wiesenfelder went further: “It’s a stereo of note,” he said. “Good tonal qualities, with notably controlled bass. … It’s good to see Infinity finally figuring cars out.”

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2012 Volkswagen Passat Video

2012 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen has taken a different approach with its redesigned 2012 Passat family sedan that, so far, has the approval of our editors. The family sedan is now larger and more affordable, and it maintains the elegant, quality craftsmanship that Volkswagens are known for in the States, according to editor Mike Hanley.

Designed in Germany and made in America, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat was developed as a larger vehicle with premium features and handling characteristics that will perfectly match it with the tastes and lifestyles of Americans. It will be built in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the world’s newest, most advanced and environmentally responsible auto assembly plant.

The new 2012 Volkswagen Passat, the largest ever, is the only midsize sedan that offers superior German engineering at an accessible price. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI – the only clean diesel option in the segment – is expected to deliver 43 miles per gallon on the highway, with a range of approximately 800 miles.

The all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat offers three drivetrain options: a responsive 2.5L gasoline engine, a remarkably eco-friendly 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel and a powerful 3.6L VR6.

The 2.5L five cylinder engine (170 hp/177 lb.-ft.), which is being offered in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat for the first time, will be mated to a standard 5 speed manual transmission. As an alternative, the 2.5 multi port injection engine may be paired with a 6-speed automatic.

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Nissan Qashqai

In line with its Pure Drive strategy, Nissan continues to innovate to improve CO2 and fuel economy performance to deliver no compromise, real benefits for consumers. As part of this strategy Nissan is introducing a new Pure Drive version of the top selling Nissan Qashqai equipped with a new state-of-the-art 1.6 dCi engine.
This new engine is the perfect example of Nissan’s Pure Drive strategy, replacing the previous 2.0 dCi with a more efficient engine that not only delivers lower emissions and considerably improved levels of fuel economy but which offers the same level of performance as the bigger engine.
Best of all, when coupled with Nissan’s Stop / Start system CO2 emissions tumble to just 119 g/km.
At the same time, innovative new options become available on the Nissan Qashqai range, including a new CVT gearbox and, for the first time on a C-segment car, Around View Monitor. AVM uses a series of small cameras located on the exterior of the vehicle to make parking and manoeuvering as safe as possible by giving the driver a real-time helicopter view of the environment around the car.

The moves will underline Nissan’s leadership of the booming Crossover market and keep Nissan Qashqai one, or even two, steps ahead of its opposition.
“When Qashqai was launched in 2007 it quickly re-wrote the C-segment rule book, offering innovation and character in a previously conservative market. Its combination of SUV looks and toughness with dynamic handling, strong performance and plenty of interior space captured the imagination of the car-buying public.”

“After a little more than four and a half years, we’ve built more than one million Qashqai and seven-seat Qashqai+2 models at our Sunderland factory where we have three shifts working 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. On average we build 1,200 examples every day, with more than 80 per cent of production exported from the UK,” said Trevor Mann, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, Nissan Europe.
“The new Pure Drive 1.6 dCi Nissan Qashqai, especially with innovative features like Stop / Start System and the Around View Monitor, will cement our leadership of the Crossover segment,” he added.
The new engine and Stop / Start System has been a joint development between Europe and Japan with Alliance Partner Renault concentrating on the engine and Nissan perfecting the automatic cut off system. It had been originally hoped to introduce the two elements at the same time.
Unfortunately the tragic earthquake which affected Japan so badly at the start of the year has led to a short delay in the manufacture of the Stop / Start System’s electronic components. As a result, Nissan Qashqai models built between now and December and powered by the new engine will not have Stop / Start. But even without the system, CO2 emissions are a still impressive 129g/km. From January production, however, Stop / Start System will become a standard feature.

“The new Alliance 1.6 dCi engine is such a significant development that we decided not to wait for the Stop / Start System before launching the car. Lowering emissions is a priority at Nissan and it was felt better to reap the benefits of the dCi engine as soon as we could,” said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Europe.
The Pure Drive designation is given to every Nissan product that emits 130g/km of CO2 or less. On its introduction the ‘cut off’ point was 140g, but as part of the Nissan Green Programme membership of this exclusive club gets tougher all the time. The programme will instigate a further drop to 120g in 2013.
Nissan’s Pure Drive champion is, naturally, the zero emission 100% electric Nissan LEAF but the recently introduced Nissan Micra DIG-S heads the conventionally-powered cars. Its technically advanced three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine uses direct injection and a supercharger to deliver brisk performance but with excellent fuel economy and CO2 emissions of just 95 g/km.
The Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi
Available on both Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai +2 models, the new dCi engine has been jointly developed with Alliance partner Renault.
Its arrival in Qashqai is in line with Nissan’s policy of ‘penalty-free’ engine downsizing: the 1.6-litre direct injection diesel engine gives the fuel economy and emissions expected from an engine of its size, but with power and torque figures anticipated from a 2.0-litre engine.
Notably compact, the engine, which displaces 1598cc, is a state-of-the-art unit with more than 30 patents registered representing an investment of 230 million.
Thanks to its 130PS, it is the most powerful of its size in the world while its peak torque figure – an exceptional 320Nm: exactly the same as the 2.0-litre dCi it is replacing – is developed at only 1,750rpm with some 80 per cent available from a mere 1,500 rpm. The resulting dynamic performance lifts the latest Nissan Qashqai well above the 1.6-litre class norm: top speed is 190 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking 10.3 secs.
But this performance gain is not at the expense of the environment. Its combined cycle fuel consumption (NEDC) is 24 per cent better than the 2.0 dCi – 4.5 l/100km as against 5.9 l/100km – while it produces much lower CO2 emissions – 119 g/km rather than 155 g/km.

These figures refer to the 2wd manual version of Nissan Qashqai: the equivalent Qashqai+2 with Stop / Start System produces 123g/km, while figures for 4wd versions are 135g and 139g respectively.
High Technology Inspiration
The starting point for the engineering team was ‘square’ architecture, allowing large-diameter valves to be housed in the cylinder head for more efficient filling of the combustion chambers. It’s a technique inspired by motor racing and seldom seen in modern diesel road car engines.
Reducing the weight of the cylinder block, cutting mechanical losses and reducing dynamic forces have resulted in the best balance between fuel consumption and performance.
Stop / Start System
The 1.6 dCi features Stop / Start System. Reducing CO2 on a mass-market car to 119g/km brings real economic as well as environmental benefits for many consumers.
Smart Energy Management
Stop / Start System is combined with alternator regeneration, using deceleration energy to charge the battery. The regenerative braking system alone is responsible for a 3% reduction in CO2
Cold-Loop, Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
This dCi engine is the first to have been developed in Europe using cold-loop, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation. By recycling the exhaust gas at a lower temperature, emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2 are reduced.
Thermo Management
The system uses a valve located in the cooling circuit upstream of the cylinder head and cylinder block. When the engine starts from cold, the valve is closed and prevents water from circulating around the combustion chambers. This allows the engine to reach its ideal working temperature more quickly, optimizing combustion efficiency.
Internal friction is also reduced thanks to the quicker warm-up of the oil. The result? More power, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions.
Variable Displacement Oil Pump
Unlike a conventional oil pump which has a fixed capacity, the Variable flow pump delivers only the right amount of oil to avoid unnecessary energy loss. The power needed to drive the oil pump is minimized and varies with engine speed.
Variable Swirl Technology
‘Swirl’ describes the phenomenon of air rotating inside the cylinder, much like a cyclone. As a result the air-fuel mix is optimised for engine speed conditions reducing fuel consumption, while also minimising the emission of CO2 and other pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulates.
Among many other refinements, considerable attention was paid to the new engine’s acoustic performance thanks to advanced work on combustion in order to deal with noise generation at source. Customers get a smooth, quality, refined ride experience.
“This is a remarkable engine, best in class in so many respects. It provides the dynamic driving performance expected of a 2.0-litre diesel yet produces fuel consumption and emission figures better than the 1.5-litre dCi unit,” said Jerry Hardcastle, Vice President, Vehicle Design and Development, Nissan Europe. “Its refinement levels are a match for anything you’ll find in the D-segment and with Stop / Start System its environmental credentials are all the more impressive. All in all, it’s a perfect example of engine downsizing – and the philosophy behind Pure Drive – at work.”
Around View Monitor
Qashqai will be available with Nissan’s Around View Monitor: it’s the first time such an innovative feature has been available on a C-segment car.
In fact, Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce Around View Monitor anywhere in the world – made available in Japan on the Nissan Elgrand in 2007. In Europe the system has most recently been seen on the Infiniti EX and iconic FX
Combining the feeds from small cameras mounted on the front grille, tailgate and both door mirrors, the system projects an overhead 360 ‘helicopter view’ of the area around the vehicle onto the Nissan Connect satellite navigation and infotainment screen.
A natural progression from the rear facing parking camera pioneered by Nissan – its first application was on the 2002 Nissan Primera – Around View Monitor makes parking or slow speed manoeuvres simple and safe. The 360 helicopter view gives the driver a clear indication of obstacles around the car. The system switches on automatically when the car is placed in reverse or, while driving up to 10 km/h, by pressing the “camera” button on dashboard; then it switches off once the car has reached a set speed.
If preferred the feed from each camera can be displayed individually and the system can operate as a simple reversing camera which incorporates course lines on the screen to guide the driver to the correct path into the chosen parking spot.
Around View Monitor will make it first appearance on equipment laden special versions of Nissan Qashqai and Qashqai+2 due early 2012. As well as Nissan Connect and AVM – the two systems are interlinked – the special versions will also feature a full-length panoramic glass roof and smart dual tone black and silver 18inch alloy wheels. AVM will also be optionally available on Acenta and Tekna versions (depending on markets).
New CVT gearbox
The latest generation of Nissan developed continuously variable transmission will be introduced on 117PS 1.6-litre petrol-powered Nissan Qashqai models early 2012. The CVT version will increase Qashqai’s market coverage.
The Nissan Qashqai range
Since its launch in March 2007, the Nissan Qashqai has redefined Europe’s mid-size hatchback market. Designed and built in Europe, Qashqai – the original Crossover – adopted a genuinely fresh approach to a traditional, conservative sector of the market… and Nissan’s bold stance has been a resounding success.
In under five years, European sales of Nissan Qashqai and its seven-seat sister Qashqai+2 have exceeded 1,000,000 units, with more than 80 per cent of sales going to first time Nissan buyers. The longer Qashqai+2 arrived in the autumn of 2008 to expand the appeal of the range still further.
March 2010 saw the first major change to Nissan Qashqai as a refreshed model was introduced to help it maintain its class-leading sales performance, a move that surprised many competitors who, at the time, were still playing catch up and had yet to bring their own crossovers to market.
There were visual changes including a new bonnet, grille, wings and new headlamps at the front and new rear lights and a re-profiled tailgate at the rear. The changes were set off by fresh designs of alloy wheel. Discreet aerodynamic improvements, including the adoption of full-length underbody panels, saw the CD figure fall to 0.33. As well as smoothing the airflow under the car, the panels helped reduce noise intrusion into the cabin.
Inside there were easier to read instruments and a great emphasis on quality with new materials, new colours and other subtle touches for a feeling of increased sophistication. Mechanically a number of small changes enhanced the vehicle’s dynamics still further. Dampers were retuned for improved body control, reduced noise and better bump-thump absorption while the steering feel was also improved.
The basic mechanical layout remained unchanged with front- or ALL MODE four-wheel drive and fully independent suspension by sub-frame mounted struts at the front and a multi-link rear.
With the arrival of the new 1.6 dCi engine, the range line-up now encompasses two petrol and three diesel offerings. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol develops 117PS while the 2.0-litre petrol produces 140PS. The entry-level diesel is the 110PS 1.5 dCi, while the 150PS 2.0-litre dCi unit remains to power the automatic 4WD version only. As before, the range runs through Visia, Acenta and Tekna specifications with the special version featuring a high level of equipment as well as reinforced exterior Crossover design.

2012 Fiat 500c Video

2012 Fiat 500c

The 2012 Fiat 500c is the Italian carmaker’s novel way to give an open-air driving experience without building a full convertible. The canvas roof folds upon itself and gathers near the rear spoiler. It sounds neat, and it certainly adds even more eccentricity to this cute mini car, but there are many small problems, according to Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder. In fact, all those small issues lead to one very big annoyance that this small car can’t shake.

Just in time for spring, the new Fiat 500 Cabrio introduced for customers in the United States to open the thrill of driving a nice Italian style, functionality, durable, high-performance design and innovative technology.

Since the modern solution for the canvas roof of the original famous New Cinquecento (500), 2012, the new 500C is equipped with a motorized two-story fabric on which award is designed to provide all-season driving pleasure, with the top up or down. Just press the button, the electric retractable cloth top rear spoiler 500C at a rate up to 60 mph.

Fiat 500C offers comfort for four occupants, three soft-top exterior colors, 14 exterior colors, 12 colors and unique chairs, and two choices of material combinations of interiors, customers can customize their “own” the 500C.

2012 Fiat 500C Convertible is powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 101 hp and 97 lb-ft of torque. A small four-cylinder single in Dundee, Michigan, and when equipped with a manual transmission. It is bolted to the same five-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission, it uses variable valve timing and lift to get the best of the city on 29 and 38 mpg highway. The 500C is expected to return 30/38 mpg with the manual and 27/32 with automatic.

The new 500C cross around 50 pounds to be placed on the mark of 2500 pounds on our scale. Retractable roof has advantages for the rear passengers, who not only wind in your hair was pulled back, but the extra 1.2 inches in height with it in place. internal and external mixture of Fiat is the value of this car that can make this car a dream car.

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2011 SEMA: 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Pacecar

Kia has unveiled a specially modified Optima Hybrid at the SEMA Show, called the Optima Hybrid Pacecar.

Built by GoGoGear, the Optima Hybrid Pacecar features a free-flow air intake system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance tires. There’s also a striking combo of black and lime-green, a racing exhaust made by Magnaflow, a coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, a 2,400-watt audio and video system with dual seven-inch monitors in the front-seat headrests.

Kia says that the Optima Hybrid Safety Car will officially appearance the track at the USTCC in March 2012.

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Pacecar

2011 Nissan Pivo 3 Concept coming to Tokyo Motor Show

Nissan has announced plans to introduced the Pivo 3 concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Showin December.

The Japanese automaker says that the concept has a seating for 3 in a 1+2 arrangement with the driver sitting in the middle, side-view cameras linked to monitors and a shape similar to that of the Renault Twizy.

However, Nissan didn’t announce any details about the power of the Pivo 3 concept.

The Vencer Sarthe Holland new Supercar

Vencer Sarthe

Following in the trail blazed by the likes of the Savage Rivale GTS and the Spyker C12 Zagato comes another super car bearing the proud colors of the Oranje.

This new piece of four-wheeled exoticness goes by the name of Vencer Sarthe, a hand-built model by the fine folks of Vencer, who apparently want to break into the growing super car market of the European country.

Despite looking a little bland for a super car – the rear end looks like a boring mess of blah – the Sarthe boasts of the finest materials that are “supercar worthy.” For example, the entire body is made out of carbon fiber – always a good thing – while also carrying a space frame chassis that’s been built of steel and chrome-moly tubing. It rides on a new set of either 19 or 20 alloy wheels. Again, that’s cool to know.

More than that, the Sarthe’s calling card – as with any other exotic for that matter – is its power train. Packing a mid-mounted V8 engine, the Dutch super car is capable of producing 503 horsepower and 480 lb/ft of torque while mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Those figures translate to a 0-62 mph time of just 3.8 seconds with an impressive top speed of 202 mph.

As with most niche super car models, don’t expect a mass produced Sarthe anytime soon. Vencer has already said that production will be very limited and we’re not about to start questioning that decision.

After all, for a company that’s still looking to break into an extremely competitive industry, testing out the waters sounds like a pretty good idea.

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2012 BMW 328i Sedan

2012 BMW 328i

Automotive history is littered with small cars that packed on the inches and pounds until they were no longer small. In a sense, it’s already happened with the 3-Series BMW, or else we wouldn’t have had a 1-Series going on five years now.

So further enlargement of the 3 in its latest generation might not seem like such a good thing on paper. But this is not The Ultimate Reading Machine. So we drive.

BMW is very, very good at building cars. Sure, the four doesn’t quite have the zing of the best sixes in the world (which is what BMW built)…but it doesn’t feel like anybody else’s four, either. It’s 2.0 liters, 16 valves, dual overhead cam, an aluminum block, Twin-Power Turbo and variable valve timing. And the upside (a big part of why BMW is switching to fours) is fuel economy…an EPA estimated 23 city/34 highway. In a week of some seriously awful stop-and-go rush hour commutes, we averaged 27.6, which is better than what we’ve seen in some lesser economy cars.

Handling? It’s darn near a cliche, but it’s true, so here goes: The car is like an extension of your brain. Think “I want to go……there”, turn the wheel just so and….you’re there. Zero delay, a slop factor of nil. Simple, precise response.

In a world of $27,000 uplevel Accords and Camrys, $34,900 for this kind of precision and quality is by no means out of line. And it comes with Driving Dynamics Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, tire pressure monitoring, halogen high and low beam headlights and halogen free-form front foglights, a three-spoke, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, iDrive with a 6 and a half inch color display, automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, an AM/FM/CD/mp3 audio system with HD Radio, iPod and USB adapter, 17 inch light alloy wheels with run-flat all season tires and a full complement of active and passive safety features.

Options? You can get ‘em, and our test vehicle had ‘em. Including the Dakota Coral Red/Black leather interior you see above ($1,450). Then there’s the Sport Line Package…Sports leather steering wheel, an upgrade to 18 inch light alloy wheels, door mirror caps in black, sport seats, brushed aluminum trim, high-gloss black trim highlights and an anthracite headliner ($2,500). The Adaptive M Suspension is $900.

There’s also a moonroof ($1,050), split fold-down rear seat ($475), heated front seats ($500), satellite radio with a one-year subscription ($350) and BMW Assist with enhanced Bluetooth and USB ($650).
Add on the $895 destination charge and you’re at $43,670.

More Pictures of 2012 BMW 328i

2012 BMW 328i design

New BMW 328i

2012 BMW 328i images