Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

Honda Remix and Step Bus Target Gen Y

LOS ANGELES — Honda Motor Company isn't known for flights of fancy.
But two Honda vehicles making their debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, described by the Japanese automaker as "purely design concepts," push the boundaries of conventional thinking in the auto industry.

honda remixhonda step busDesigned at Honda R&D Americas' advanced studio in Southern California, the potato-shaped Remix is a small, lightweight two-seat sports car that is intended for use as a daily driver. It boasts a wraparound canopy and an ample rear cargo bay, and sits on a front-wheel-drive platform with a front-mounted four-cylinder engine and six-speed gearbox.

The Step Bus was created in Japan at Honda R&D's Wako design center. The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive concept seats five and features a tall roof and a reconfigurable cabin to adapt to different lifestyles. It comes with sliding front doors and offers probably the most cavernous possible interior in the smallest possible exterior package.

Among the highlights of the modular cockpit are tracks in the door that can hold mobile phones, soda cans and more. A storage tray is mounted in the ceiling.

© Source: original article on insideline

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2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup

(from Lotus Press Release) Lotus Cars USA, the subsidiary of Lotus Cars in North America, today unveiled the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup. Unveiled at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, the 252 hp, supercharged and intercooled sportscar is a completely out-of-the-box track car with a specification designed to prepare the budding driver for the grid at some of the finest and most challenging circuits in North America.

2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup 22007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup 32007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup 4 Weight has been kept to an ultra low 1800 pounds and the phenomenal power to weight ratio has been further enhanced by increasing the power output from 243 hp to 252 hp. Weight saving (or adding lightness!) has been achieved through the effective use of lightweight materials and through the eradication of all non-essential components such roof trim, carpets, front mudflaps, central locking and bulkhead trim. Of course just having fantastic power to weight doesn’t make a car a high performer on the track, so the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a list of standard equipment that includes track only slick tires, uprated 4-piston front brakes, adjustable dampers and adjustable anti-sway bar, the latest SCCA-compliant roll cage, FIA approved Lotus Sport branded driver’s seat with six-point driver harness (there is no passenger seat) and a lightweight rear screen (instead of glass). The options are even more race focused with a FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell, air-jack system and level two stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe, a plate type limited slip differential and Star Shield.

The Lotus Sport Exige Cup is one of the quickest cars around a circuit. Key to this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which produces over 90 pounds of downforce at 100 mph increasing grip and ultimately safety at higher speeds.

With a top speed of close to 160 mph and a zero to 100 mph slingshot in just less than 9.8 seconds (the 60 mph sprint takes just under 3.9 seconds), the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup is the perfect partner to a serious track day enthusiast. Even the most exotic supercars would struggle to keep up! At a MSRP of just $84,990, plus options, delivery and taxes, customer will have to queue on a first ordered, first delivered basis.

Further details about the Lotus Sport Exige Cup:


The supercharged and intercooled engine in the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a maximum power output of 252 hp at 8000 rpm and a torque figure of approximately 179 lb-ft, at 7000 rpm. This vast amount of extra power and torque now available means that the cam change between the low-speed cam and the high-speed cam is variable to ensure that there is a smooth and linear surge of power from low engine speeds all the way to the maximum 8000 rpm. The Roots-type Eaton M62 supercharger (with a sealed-for-life internal mechanism meaning that it does not require the use of the engine’s oil) is run from the crankshaft and has an integral bypass valve for part load operation. Charge air (air under pressure from the supercharger) is cooled through an air-to-air intercooler (the cooling air enters via the roof scoop) before being fed into the engine itself. All charge air ducting has been kept as short as possible with large diameter pipes making sure that the bends in these ducts are not too tight, to the benefit of throttle response and efficiency. Four high capacity injectors add additional fuel under hard acceleration or high speed driving.

A sports-type clutch plate and heavy duty clutch cover transfers the engine power and torque to the lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminum casing) – with the same perfectly spaced ratios as the Exige S. A plate type limited slip differential is fitted as an option as is the Lotus switchable traction control system (LTCS). The LTCS system works through the engine, reducing power to maintain traction, is active above 5 mph and operates much more quickly than many brake-based systems.

An Accusump (engine oil accumulator unit) is included in the whole package as an oil reservoir backup for extreme track use ensuring that, under these conditions, the engine oil pressure remains constant.

Twin oil coolers complete the powertrain package.

Wheels and Tires

5-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels in silver are shod with Lotus specific Yokohama slick tires to maximise grip and achieve the ride and handling targets set by Lotus.


The brake system includes large diameter 308 mm 2-piece aluminum belled cross drilled and
ventilated front discs and 282 mm cross-drilled and ventilated discs at the rear, upgraded Pagid RS14 sports brake pads set into the brake calipers (AP Racing two piece radially mounted, 4 piston at the front and Brembo sliding at the rear), high grade silicone brake fluid, stainless steel braided brake hoses all linked to the proven Lotus track tuned servo-assisted four-channel ABS system that enhances braking performance and minimising stopping distance without taking over from the skill of the driver.

Safety Equipment

The Lotus Sport Exige Cup cars have the safety equipment that is expected for a track car with 6-point seat belt harness on the driver’s side (with an FIA approved Recaro / Lotus Sport seat) – there is no passenger seat. The full roll cage is SCCA compliant and completing the additional safety equipment is a mechanical ignition kill switch with cockpit and external activation and a plumbed electrical fire suppression system, again with cockpit and external activation.

Exhaust System

A “Level One” stainless steel sports exhaust is fitted with the bifurcated exhaust pipes exiting from the centre of the anodized-finished 3-piece rear diffuser. A “Level Two” stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe is a no cost option.

Option costs:

FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell – $3095
Lotus Sport limited slip differential (plate type) – $1595
Lotus Traction Control System – $495
Air jack system (special conditions apply) – $5495
Air-conditioning – $2495
Metallic paint – $590
Lifestyle Paint – $1200
Star Shield protection – $995.

© Source: original article on

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Cadillac DTS-L Adds a Few Inches

LOS ANGELES — Weary late-night travelers arriving at the airport after hours should appreciate Cadillac's new DTS-L, a long-wheelbase version of the front-wheel-drive DTS sedan that arrives in early 2007.

Cadillac DTS-LThe DTS-L adds 8 inches of cabin space, most of it in the rear, plus VIP-level accommodations for rear passengers.

Among the rear-seat amenities are heated outboard seats with four-way power lumbar controls and adjustable headrests, as well as a DVD entertainment system.

Power is supplied by a 275-horsepower 4.6-liter Northstar V8.

© Source: original article on insideline

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VW Tiguan Concept Makes Debut

LOS ANGELES — Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off a new concept car that previews its upcoming Tiguan SUV. Set to go on sale in North America in 2008, the new five-seater is aimed directly at the popular Toyota RAV4.

VW Tiguan ConceptVW Tiguan Concept 2VW Tiguan Concept 3This one is less radical than the earlier, coupelike Concept A from the Geneva Motor Show last March, which announced Volkswagen's plans to enter the burgeoning compact-SUV market. The Tiguan sports a more conventional two-box silhouette similar to that of its larger four-wheel drive sibling, the Touareg.

The car on display in L.A. this week provides a good glimpse of what the production version of the Tiguan will look like when it reaches North American showrooms in just over a year. However, Volkswagen insiders say its appearance will be toned down further by then.

The Tiguan is slightly shorter, narrower and lower than the Touareg, which is set to grow in size to accommodate a third row of seats when a planned second-generation model arrives in 2009.

Inside, the Tiguan borrows heavily from Volkswagen's Europe-only Golf Plus. The two share the same dashboard structure, instrument pack and switchgear, although the concept car on display in L.A. has been heavily upgraded with leather, a sport steering wheel and upmarket materials. The production Tiguan is set to have more cost-effective soft plastic surfaces along with a variety of optional trims, including wood and aluminum, in line with the larger Touareg.

The Tiguan is underpinned by a lightly modified version of Volkswagen's versatile PQ35 platform structure, as used by the Golf, with a front MacPherson-strut and rear multilink suspension. The ride height on production versions likely won't be quite as extreme as that of the concept on display in L.A., although Volkswagen says the newcomer's optional Haldex-style four-wheel-drive system gives the Tiguan the ability to head off-road.

VW is tight-lipped about the power source behind its latest concept, except to say it is a new diesel engine planned for production in 2008. Inside Line can confirm, however, that it is a transversely mounted 16-valve 2.0-liter four-cylinder common-rail unit. The engine uses the latest Bluetec technology — its special catalytic converter is periodically injected with urea to reduce nitrogen oxide levels by up to 90 percent over the existing pump injector engine offered throughout Europe.
Other engines planned for North America include the 200-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder direct-injection unit now used in the Golf GTI. The new power plant will be in the North American lineup; it is planned to make its debut in early 2008 under the name Clean TDI.
© Source: original article on insideline

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2008 Saturn Vue Uncovered

LOS ANGELES — Saturn formally introduced its redesigned Vue crossover vehicle, a model that had been unveiled previously in Europe as the Opel Antara.

2008 Saturn VueThe Saturn variant will be assembled in Mexico and will go on sale in early summer 2007.

Saturn also said it will market Green Line hybrid and Red Line performance editions of the new Vue during the 2008 model year.

The base 2008 Vue will feature a 164-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Uplevel engine choices include a 215-hp 3.5-liter V6 and, on the Red Line version, a 250-hp DOHC 3.6-liter V6. Six-cylinder models will get a six-speed automatic and will be available with optional all-wheel drive.

Standard safety features include front side airbags and air curtains.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Cadillac Adds Platinum Series

LOS ANGELES — Cadillac continues to focus on elegant, hand-crafted cabins with its new Platinum Series collection, which includes limited editions of the STS, XLR and DTS.

cadillac sts platinum

Cadillac STS Platinum

cadillac xlr platinum

Cadillac XLR Platinum

General Motors' luxury brand introduced the Platinum concept in 2004 on a high-end version of the Escalade ESV. The latest Platinum Series cars get more chrome, real wood and hand-sewn upholstery.

The XLR Platinum features 18-inch tires on 15-spoke alloy wheels, olive ash burl-wood trim and Alcantara suede headliner and pillars. The car is painted liquid amethyst, with a cashmere interior. It goes on sale in early 2007.

The STS Platinum has 18-inch chrome-finish wheels, Tuscany leather upholstery, chrome interior accents, a heated leather steering wheel, olive ash burl-wood inserts and premium floor mats. It is painted Glacier Gold; interior schemes include ebony or cocoa over cashmere. The car goes on sale in early 2007.

The DTS Platinum adds bright chrome exterior accents, 18-inch wheels, olive ash burl-wood interior trim, Tuscany leather upholstery and a suede headliner. The car is painted ebony, with a light linen over cocoa interior. It goes on sale in August 2007.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Hyundai Rolls Out 2+2 Hellion Concept

LOS ANGELES — Korean automaker Hyundai rolled out its quirky Hellion concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, describing the compact three-door crossover as a vehicle that brings "a new attitude to the Hyundai family."

Hyundai 2+2 Hellion ConceptHyundai 2+2 Hellion Concept 2Hyundai 2+2 Hellion Concept 3 The company said the Hellion's architecture was inspired by a "tough, hard-shell backpack that uses ribs to provide structural and visual strength."

These ribs connect to a suspended "surfboard-shaped spine." The vehicle is powered by a 236-horsepower 3.0-liter common-rail diesel engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Features include a removable canvas sliding soft top and a tilt front hood. The all-wheel-drive crossover is outfitted in a Dakar Gold paint scheme and has a "black desert night" cabin with glossy white accents and matte aluminum details.

Other unique touches include seat-mounted gear packs that transform into fully functional backpacks via push-button releases. The bucket seats have a "hydration system" that includes a removable, refillable reservoir inside each seat to replace the "common" cupholder.

The fluids are accessed by a pump-assisted flow tube attached to each seat, providing passengers with "hands-free" hydration. Someone must have been inspired by those corny beer hats with elaborate tubing that you can buy at football games.

© Source: original article on insideline

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2006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept

(from Ford Press Release) The 2005 Ford Mustang captured the hearts and minds of millions of fans and future owners when the all-new model debuted. But the proportions and design of Ford’s first purpose-built muscle car in 30-plus years caught the eyes and sparked the imaginations of a pair of the world’s leading coachbuilders in Italy as well.

2006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept
2006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept 22006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept 32006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept 42006 Ford Mustang Giugiaro Concept 5“When we saw the new Mustang, we knew two things: It was the best we’d seen since the original, and we had to get our hands on one,” said Fabrizio Giugiaro, styling director of Italdesign – Giugiaro S.P.A. “We still believe it’s important to show the automotive world pure exercises in style that interpret key models reflecting the history and image of important brands.”

So in early 2005, Giugiaro pitched J Mays, Ford Motor Company’s group vice president, Design and chief creative officer, on his idea to do an Italian job on the beloved Mustang. The result: Mustang by Giugiaro – a one-of-a-kind concept powered by Ford Racing technologies, marking the Italian coachbuilder’s first reveal at the inaugural November Los Angeles Auto Show.

“It seemed only fitting,” said Mays. “This design study reinforces the global appeal of Mustang, yet it’s right at home in L.A. – America’s most enthusiastic performance and muscle car market. Plus, design icon Giorgetto Giugairo’s offer to work his magic on Mustang alongside his son underscores the timelessness allure of Ford’s most iconic car.”

Design aficionados will remember that the senior Giugiaro – who last year celebrated his 50th anniversary in the business by designing a custom-made Ferrari, the GG50 – created the 1965 Bertone Mustang. The car, which was unmistakably Italian in its interpretation, became the first European-styled car to make its international debut in America following the end of World War II.

The senior Giugiaro’s portfolio includes concept and production designs for nearly every automaker in the world – from Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen to Mazda, Lotus and Bugatti. Since joining ItalDesign, the family firm, in 1990, Fabrizio Giugiaro has helped deliver key global designs as well, but American automotive icons have long captured his attention.

He designed the Chevrolet Corvette Moray, unveiled in early 2003, and was eager to expand the collection of Giugiaro-interpreted American metal.

Fabrizio Giugiaro led the 2-D design process on the Mustang by Giugiaro concept, allowing him to deliver a complete exterior model from the family’s Turin, Italy, studios in just four months.

Visually, the Mustang by Giugiaro appears more compact than the production car, thanks to a reduction of the rear overhang and a signature Giugiaro “trick” of tapering the angles on the car to the limit of its mechanical outlines.

Still, the Italian version of America’s most popular muscle car hasn’t lost any of its swagger.

The vibrant orange concept is wider than the production version. The Giugiaros added 30 millimeters to the front, gradually expanding the width by a full 80 millimeters toward the rear, which is typical in Italian design.

With its longer hood and the trunk barely visible, the car looks more of a fastback in side view. But details throughout reinforce the freedom and rebellion synonymous with Mustang. Fabrizio Giugiaro’s favorites include:

The interior – featuring a dramatic instrument panel that sweeps the width of the car; circular gauges that project from behind the steering wheel; dark brown horsehide-covered headrests with horse logo accents; and seat cushions and backrests elaborately upholstered in dark brown mottled horse hides.
The single curved glass panel that bridges the windshield and rear window, serving as the concept’s roof. Produced by Solutia of Detroit, the panel is made from a special type of crystal that filters out 100 percent of UVA rays while providing unfettered vista views.

Its dramatic doors, which are hinged at the base of the upright A-pillar and open vertically at the touch of a button.

Bespoke taillights, which are three separate elements as found on the 1964 Mustang – but reinterpreted into a more dramatic arrow shape that links to the louver panels that replace the rear side windows.

The visible curl that sweeps into the crest of the concept’s carbon fiber fenders, hinting at tail fins that defined American cars of the ‘50s.

The sporting-but-elegant unique 20-inch rims, fitted with 275/40 tires on the front and larger 315/35 tires on the rear.

As its wheels and tires suggest, the Mustang by Giugiaro is more than just a tribute to Mustang design. It also is an exclamation of the car’s heritage of performance.

The concept features a powertrain and chassis enhanced in conjunction with Ford Racing – which is responsible for Ford Motor Company motorsports development and operations.

Ford Racing’s efforts include the development and sale of a race-prepared version of the Mustang, called the FR500C, for the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series. In its first season alone, the FR500C scored five wins in the 2005 GS Class, including the manufacturers’ championship, in which Mustang bested other production-based sports cars, including the BMW M3 and Porsche 911.

This Mustang, a turn-key race car sold to privateers, provided the inspiration for the Mustang by Giugiaro concept’s performance and handling attributes.

Ford Racing improved on the already-robust 300 horsepower all-aluminum 4.6-liter 3-valve V-8 engine in the production Mustang GT by adding an intercooled twin-screw supercharger for the new concept. Additional improvements include fuel injectors from the Ford GT and a unique engine calibration. Engine air intake is increased with a larger 95 mm mass air meter and a conical air filter. Exhaust performance is enhanced with new Ford Racing mufflers and an X-pipe.

The powertrain upgrades deliver an estimated 500 horsepower, complete with a boost level of 11 psi from the Ford Racing supercharger. A high-efficiency Ford Racing aluminum radiator provides increased cooling capability to accompany the extra 200 horsepower provided under hood.

Under the car, the FR500C-inspired chassis tuning is accomplished with a tailored Ford Racing Handling Pack. This package, available through Ford Racing for the Mustang GT, adds new Dynamic-tuned dampers, lowering springs and anti-sway bars. The changes give the car a lower stance while sharpening handling response. The car rides approximately 1.5 inches lower than the production Mustang GT.

“The Mustang by Giugiaro drives as good as it looks,” said Fabrizio Giugiaro. “After taking it to the limits on streets outside of Turin, I can honestly say this car was well worth the 30,000 hours of blood, sweat and tears that we invested to create a modern performance classic.”

© Source: original article on

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Chrysler Sebring

Forget litres, cubic centimetres, gills or barrels. The de facto measurement of volume in the car world is... the golf bag.
Chrysler has announced that the convertible version of its new Sebring will hit the UK next summer with the proud boast that its D-segment drop-top passes the 'two golf bag test'.
Yes, it's true. Even with the roof down, you'll be able to fit two sets of woods, irons and putters in the boot of the Sebring convertible.

Chrysler SebringChrysler Sebring 2Chrysler Sebring 3 Is there some sort of conversion scale for this sort of measurement? Do two golf bags equate to 16 vanity cases? 24 bags of shopping?

Apart from its club-storing capabilities, the Sebring is a fairly conservative addition to the convertible market.

US customers will get the choice of a vinyl, cloth or steel roof, but us poor Brits will have to make do with the folding hard-top alone. Bah.

The Sebring doesn't break much new ground in the styling department, but it's definitely got an old-school American touch to it.

A couple of inches bigger in every direction than its fixed-roof cousin, it's not the most sporty-looking creature, but the dual chrome exhausts on the top-of-the-range 3.5-litre V6 engine lend it a more aggressive air.

In addition to that 235bhp V6, US buyers will also be able to request their Sebring with a 2.7-litre V6 developing 189bhp, or a more frugal 2.4-litre four-pot. It's still not much of a fuel-sipper though, returning well under 30mph on the combined cycle.

In the UK we'll have the choice of the smaller V6 or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel mated to a six-speed manual, which will develop 140bhp and 229lb ft of torque.

Although Chrysler boasts that the Sebring convertible is twice as stiff as its chop-top predecessor thanks to fatter sills, we're not holding out much hope of it being a finely fettled road racer. But we do like the sound of the in-car entertainment system, which includes a 20GB hard disk drive and integrated movie screen.

God bless those Americans and their television addiction.

There's no firm word on prices yet, but Chrysler reckons that the Sebring will weigh in cheaper than the Saab 9-3 and Audi A4 convertibles, which would put it in the £20,000 ballpark.

The Sebring convertible should reach the UK in the second half of next year, which gives you plenty of time to save up for a second set of golf clubs. In case you get a hole in one.

© Source: original article on topgear

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2007 Ford Boss 302 Mustang To Make Public Debut

VAN NUYS, Calif. — The 2007 Ford Boss 302 Mustang by Galpin Auto Sports will get its first public showing on December 1 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

2007 Ford Boss 302 Mustang2007 Ford Boss 302 Mustang 22007 Ford Boss 302 Mustang 3The car made its debut earlier this fall at the SEMA trade show. Galpin uses the 390-horsepower 5.0-liter Boss 302 engine as the centerpiece of its customization package. This Mustang is the first to feature the new Ford Racing Performance Parts Boss 302 engine.

The performance upgrades include what the customizer describes as a "brand-new vintage" 1970 original Boss Holley carburetor, a Tremec TKO 600 transmission, T-handle Hurst shifter, McLeod bell housing and clutch, a custom aluminum driveshaft, MSD ignition distributor, coil and plug wires, and Ford Racing Performance 456 rear-end gears and axle girdle.

The exterior is outfitted with an original vintage Boss 302 rear wing and a Galpin Auto Sports custom shaker hood. The cabin has custom black basket-weave seats with Grabber Blue stitching, a Grant custom retro wood steering wheel, and a GAS custom roll cage. Tech features include an MTX five-channel amplifier, Bluetooth and iPod interfaces, Pioneer AVIC-Z1 head units for the DVD and nav systems, Q Logic kick panels, Streetwires audio accessories and Optima batteries.

"Our goal was to revive one of the most revered muscle cars in automotive history, and at the same time, ensure that we retain the spirit and passion of the original 1970s version," said Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Auto Sports and consulting producer for MTV's popular car make-over show Pimp My Ride.

© Source: original article on insideline

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2008 Buick Enclave Ready for Production

LOS ANGELES — After its initial concept debut last January in Detroit, the 2008 Buick Enclave will be shown in final production trim this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

2008 Buick Enclave2008 Buick Enclave 22008 Buick Enclave 32008 Buick Enclave 4 The Enclave, which goes on sale next summer, must cover a lot of turf for Buick. The full-size, eight-passenger crossover ultimately will replace not one but three vehicles: the Terraza minivan, the Rendezvous crossover and the Rainier sport-utility vehicle.

General Manager Steve Shannon describes the Enclave as "the new face of Buick" and says the vehicle's emphasis on luxury, technology, comfort and craftsmanship are "hallmark traits of future Buicks."

A companion to the new GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, the '08 Enclave will be offered in CX and CXL trim levels, in front- and all-wheel drive. The only powertrain team harnesses a 275-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Among the features are a power liftgate, sliding second-row seats, a DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system, ultrasonic rear park assist and a rear backup camera.

Safety equipment includes ABS, stability control, traction control and six standard airbags.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Jaguar XF Sedan

COVENTRY, England — Without releasing any images, Jaguar said on Tuesday that it will replace the S-Type with a new midsize sport sedan to be named the XF.

Jaguar XF Sedan The luxury automaker released little information about the move except its timing. The XF will make its debut next fall, most likely at the 2007 Frankfurt or Tokyo auto show, with an on-sale date slated for spring 2008.

The new Jaguar XF will be built at Jaguar's Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, U.K., the company said in a statement. It is being designed and developed at Jaguar's Product Development Centre at Whitley in Coventry.

"We are now moving on to the next stage of Jaguar's exciting new design era," said Bibiana Boerio, managing director of Jaguar Cars. "If you like the new XK, just wait until you see the new Jaguar XF."

The Jaguar S-Type made its public debut in 1998 before going on sale in 1999. Since the launch, 270,000 S-Types have been sold around the world. The S-Type shared its platform with the now-defunct Lincoln LS. The new car is not expected to be based on a revised version of the LS.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster

As the Los Angeles Auto Show opens today, we know which stand we'll be rushing to first.
Lamborghini has chosen the West Coast extravaganza to unveil its Murcielago LP640 Roadster - and it's going to be difficult to miss.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 2Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 3Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 4 Essentially the chop-top version of Lambo's outrageous LP640 Coupe, the Roadster is as subtle as a bull in dark glasses... and every bit as intimidating.

The 640, of course, refers to the horsepower produced by the Roadster's 6.5-litre V12, while LP stands for 'longitudinale posteriore', which means the engine is mounted lengthways behind the cockpit.

All of which allows the Roadster to spin up to 8,000rpm and develop a meaty 486lb ft of torque - enough to propel it to 62mph in a mere 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of almost 200mph.

Yes, that's a fraction slower than the coupe version. But without a roof to provide at least a little protection from the deafening growl of the V12, we're betting that the driving experience will be even more intense.

Removing the roof has required Lamborghini to make some serious structural adjustments to stop the LP640 from splitting in half as it hits warp speed.

A newly designed frame structure made of steel and carbon fibre keeps the Roadster rigid, with particular reinforcement given to the engine area. Lambo will even sculpt these reinforcements out of carbon fibre if you ask nicely.

Lamborghini also reluctantly offers a canvas roof, but warns that it is only for temporary use at speeds of under 100mph. Better drive fast enough to beat the rainstorms, then.

Devotees of the raging bull will notice a few other touches unique to the Roadster. The chop-top gets a new rear diffuser, with the exhaust system integrated within a tailpipe, as well as fresh windscreen wipers, a revised rear-light cluster and the option of new Hermera alloy wheels.

Otherwise the Roadster stays true to its Coupe roots. The monster 335/30 rear tyres remain, with Pirelli Corsa tyres an option for those who want to test out the Roadster on the track.

If you're brave or stupid enough to fancy charging the Murcielago on near-slicks, the LP640 Roadster arrives in the UK in spring 2007.

The price tag? Lambo is staying coy, but we reckon it'll cost you at least £200,000 to feel the wind in your hair and 640 horses behind your back.

© Source: original article on topgear

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Reasonably Priced Diesel: Chevrolet Lacetti

Chevrolet's first diesel engine for the UK market will be a 2.0-litre unit with 119bhp and 207lb ft of torque.

It'll haul the Lacetti from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds and on to 117mph, or you can drive a little more conservatively to return 58.8mpg in the five-door hatch model, or 52.3mpg in the estate.

Prices and specs will be announced closer to the Lacetti TCDi's launch in the spring of 2007. You can guarantee it'll be lapping our track soon after that.

© Source: original article on topgear

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Samba spirit: Lobini H1

Brazil is justly famous for many things: football, mardi gras and some unusual hair cuts.

Sports cars don't feature high on the country's list of famous exports, even if you include the curious Volkswagen Puma of the 1970s.

Lobini of Sao Paulo is out to change that. Its lightweight H1 sports car is about the size of a Lotus Elise and shares the Brit's lightweight philosophy.

Lobini H1Lobini H1 2

The simple chassis and fibreglass bodywork keep the weight down, while a 1.8-litre 20-valve turbocharged engine from VW and six-speed gearbox sit just behind the cockpit.

Lobini reckons its car will crack 0-62mph in six seconds and carry on to 150mph, and the firm also says the handling is up to Elise standards.

The H1 is on sale in the US with a price tag around $47,000 and there are plans to bring it to the UK at a cost of £31,995 from the beginning of 2007.

© Source: original article on topgear

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Ford To Show 350-MPG Explorer Ute

LOS ANGELES — Ford Motor Co. will unveil a fuel-cell Explorer this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show that it claims can travel more miles on a single hydrogen fill-up than any fuel-cell vehicle on the road.

ford explorer 350-MPG Explorer Ute fuel cellford explorer 350-MPG Explorer Ute fuel cell 2The Explorer has the hydrogen fuel tank mounted in the center of the vehicle so the tank can be larger and deliver more miles — 350 — on a single fill-up than other fuel-cell vehicles, Ford claims. In addition, the location of the tank allows for the six-passenger seating and same cargo capacity as on today's Explorer. It is also equipped with an advanced electric all-wheel-drive system.

In the past year, the Explorer has been driven 17,000 miles at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan, test facility. Ford says the fuel-cell Explorer also set a new record for the most miles traveled in a 24-hour period in a fuel-cell vehicle — 1,556.

The fuel-cell Explorer is the first of a series of prototype vehicles to be built for the U.S. Department of Energy to determine if hydrogen propulsion is feasible. The fuel-cell Explorer is one of several vehicles with green technology that Ford will have at the show. Others will be the new 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, the PZEV emissions compliant Ford Fusion and Ford Focus and the 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty with Ford Clean Diesel Technology.

Ford's Explorer won't be the only vehicle at the show that runs on hydrogen. BMW will show the Hydrogen 7, a hydrogen-powered version of the 7 Series.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Skoda Roomster Scout Debuts

MLADA BOLESLAV, Czech Republic — Skoda, the Czech affiliate of the Volkswagen Group, continues to pursue its own course in design and product development.

Skoda Roomster ScoutSkoda Roomster Scout 2Frequently accused of simply mimicking many of the parent's vehicles, Skoda finally is beginning to display some fresh thinking, particularly with its Roomster series.

The latest addition to this Czech soft-roader is the front-wheel-drive Roomster Scout, which is a bit larger than the basic model, with some unique styling elements. It follows on the heels of the Octavia Scout sedan that was launched in September at the Paris show.

The Roomster Scout is making its world debut at the Essen Motor Show and goes on sale next March in Europe. The Roomster adds sporty 16-inch wheels and tires, as well as other exterior and interior trim modifications intended to give it more of a sporting look.

A choice of gas and diesel engines is available. The top power plant is a DOHC 1.6-liter gasoline four-cylinder that makes 103 horsepower and can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed Tiptronic transmission

© Source: original article on insideline

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End of an Nisssan Alm-era

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and good riddance to the Nissan Almera.
After six years of skirting the Valley of Death, Nissan's Grim Reapers have finally done the decent thing and killed off the Almera.

nissan almeraNot a moment too soon either for this bland hatch that, yea, lived in the shadow of the Ford Focus.

Amazingly, Nissan managed to churn out 639,000 Almeras from its Sunderland plant, so at least it kept British workers going.

But now the scythe of time has taken the Almera's head, and gone too is the Primera, which dies a whimpering death in the UK even though Nissan's Sunderland factory still makes them for foreign markets.

Still, new life is being breathed into Nissan's northeast factory with production of the Note and Qashqai.

© Source: original article on topgear

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2007 Porsche 911 Targa Debuts in States

The car's official on-sale date follows in early December after the auto show reveal.

2007 Porsche 911 TargaAs with the previous 911 Targa model, the signature feature of the sports car is a large sliding-glass roof and glass rear hatch. The roof panel can be retracted in 7 seconds.
The 911 Targa 4 is powered by a flat-6 boxer engine delivering 325 horsepower from 3.6 liters. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph.
The 911 Targa 4S variant has a 3.8-liter engine producing 355 hp. This model sprints from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 179 mph.

Pricing for the new models is $85,700 for the 911 Targa 4 and $95,900 for the 911 Targa 4S.

© Source: original article on insideline

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Spy Pics Show BMW X6 in Development

MUNICH, Germany — BMW appears to be working on a spin-off of its new X5 that could be called the X6.

BMW X6 spy picsBMW X6 spy pics 2BMW X6 spy pics 3 Spy photographers snapped the accompanying images of a crossover vehicle that seems to ape the looks and style of the Range Rover Sport and the Mercedes CLS coupe rather than the more traditional boxy styling of SUVs.

Despite the camouflage, spy photographers saw a sloped roof, a steeply raked windshield and a slim, sleek-looking profile. From the look of it, they say, it's not the V5 that BMW is rumored to be working on; that model is expected to be more of a Mercedes R-Class type that places more of a premium on space efficiency than sportiness.

Even though it was out being tested, sources say not to expect a BMW X6 in the local dealership for two years at this point.

© Source: original article on insideline

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2007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe

(from AC Schnitzer Press Release) For both the BMW M Roadster and M Coupe, an aerodynamic package has been created which sets even more sporting accents through its styling language and the use of carbon.
The package consists of carbon front spoiler elements that optionally can be joined to the front spoiler with chromed aluminium supports. In addition, the new AC Schnitzer chrome front grille gives the vehicles a trendy retro look and at the same time meets the high air flow demand of the 3.2 litre high revving engine.

2007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe2007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe 22007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe 32007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe 42007 AC Schnitzer BMW Z4 M Coupe 5The vehicle rear is enhanced with a fully integrated carbon rear diffuser. This diffuser is available with two different versions of the special rear skirt edge frame which, depending on which exhaust is fitted, give the "Finishing Touch" to the chromed tailpipes of the Sports Trim or Racing Design and the standard system.
For the coupe versions, a three-piece rear wing is available.

© Source: original article on

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