Mar 25

Video: The Audi presents the spunky RS Q3 in Geneva

Posted in Audi

Audi showcased the first RS variant for the popular Q-lineup in the form of the Q3 during the recent auto show in Geneva. The carmaker was able to blend functionality with great driving performance. The RS Q3 can blast from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in a matter of 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 250 km/h limited.

The car is equipped with a 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo that generates 310 horsepower and has a torque of 309.7 lb-ft. It has an average fuel mileage of 8.8 liters for every 100 kilometers. The efficiency of the engine is attributed to some technologies in place including a start-stop system and an oil pump that only releases lubricant when needed. This engine has been given the International Engine of the Year Award for 3 consecutive years. You can see this same powerful engine in the engine bay of the RS 3 Sportback and the TT RS.

The engine is coupled with an S Tronic gearbox with seven speeds. It uses a three-shaft setup while its 7th gear has a long ratio to help save fuel. Buyers can choose between S and D modes on automatic gear shifting mode or they can also shift manually using the paddles near the steering wheel. The Audi RS Q3 also features a Launch Control that helps it gain optimal traction upon acceleration.

The RS Q3′s permanent AWD configuration is the multiple-plate clutch on the car’s rear axle that is operated using hydraulics. This clutch system makes sure that there is proper distribution of torque on all corners.

The sporty vehicle will not disappoint if you are looking for a ride that has great handling and ride comfort. The sports suspension system of the RS Q3 can lower the SUV by as much as 25mm. The battery of the vehicle is placed in the compartment for better distribution of weight.

The vehicle will be rolled out to the German market sporting a set of 19-inch alloy rims. There will also be several options for 20-inch rims.

The RS Q3 also sports design details that further enhance the compact and confident look of the ride. The exterior features a glossy black honeycomb grille, aluminum roof rails, special trim strips on the doors, and other body accents. Inside, the vehicle features a cool cacophony of well designed instrument cluster, driver information screen, black headlining, and standard finish in piano black.

The first deliveries will happen this fall with prices in Germany starting at 54,600 euros.

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Jan 8

Carbon fiber technology of Lexus LFA to be used for future models

Posted in Lexus

When Japanese carmaker Lexus kicked off with the development of the LFA, they poured in a lot of money and talent to make good use of carbon fiber to keep the weight of the car down. The supercar may no longer be in production but Lexus engineers are trying to find ways to make good use of their Lexus LFA expertise particularly a multi million dollar carbon fiber plant.

Toyota, Lexus’ mother company, plans to use the technology with their other vehicles. The carbon fiber factory went online back in October of 2010 to make lightweight yet super strong components for the LFA. Around 65% of the sports car’s body was crafted from carbon fiber.

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The Lexus LFA was a money-losing project but it was an endeavor to show the world that Lexus can keep up with other supercar manufacturers. In the middle of development, the chief engineer for the project decided to drop the aluminum body in favor of carbon-fiber body.

Lexus plans to use its carbon fiber technology for its other vehicles but there are no announcements yet from the automotive giant on what vehicles will benefit from this plan. For sure the sports car that is being develop in cooperation with BMW will make use of carbon fiber as well as the LF-LC Concept of the brand.

Unfortunately, Lexus fans will not see a successor of the LFA. This is just to impossible because of the high value of yen and the overall climate of the economy around the globe.

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Nov 30

Report: Bitter of Germany planning a Corvette-based vehicle

Posted in Bitter

bitter-veroA lot of people might no be familiar with Bitter. It is a small company in Germany that specializes in sporty and luxury cars. They have been in business for more than forty years. A former race driver, Erich Bitter, established the firm in 1971. The business started as a tuning company then later on ventured to manufacturing cars.

Bitter has market presence in different countries but still remain to be known as a niche carmaker. This may be the case because it only sells several hundreds of its vehicles and most of its models are based on other vehicle brands. Most of the time, Bitter uses Opel and then spruces up its interior and exterior.

Bitter also tries other brands of cars. The current Vero that it offers is based on a Holden Caprice. It also has a version of the Insignia by Opel.

Recent reports say that Bitter is planning to roll out a new model that will be based on the Chevy Corvette. During a recent interview, the 79 year old founder revealed his plans to launch a special edition that will build on from the Corvette.

Bitter did not mention which version of the car will be used but since the C6 has ended its production, most likely the new Corvette that will be out come January . He also mentioned that the new Bitter model will feature carbon fiber elements.

Years ago, Bitter also planned to use the Corvette to produce a sports car similar to the Porsche Panamera but the project did not push thru. It is better not to expect too much if you love their products since the company also planned to make a roadster back in 2009 but they also dropped the plan.

If ever the plans to build something from the Corvette pushes through, then it will bring back memories of the CD sports car that it built back in the 1970s that was based on an Opel and powered by a 5.4L Chevrolet V-8 engine.

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Sep 3

Mercedes-Benz offers revised engine and trim structure for C-Class in UK

Posted in Mercedes-Benz

The C Class Saloon, Coupe, and Estated models of the C-Class by Mercedes-Benz will be getting a revised lineup of engine and trim structure for the 2013 model year. The C-Class will be offered as the Executive SE, the AMG Sport, and the AMG Sport Plus.

mercedes-benz-c-class-saloonThe entry level Executive SE will be the lower option for the saloon and the estate models of the C220 CDI , C200 CDI, and C180 CDI BlueEFficiency. This will feature 16-inch alloy rims, sports grille, LED daytime lights, and Artico upholstery. This is priced just 35 quids more than the old SE grade.

The Executive SE gives consumers an enhanced set of equipment and offers a Luxury Package instead of the old Elegance option. This comes with a three-louver grille and star mounted on the bonnet, 17-inch rims, rear view mirror with automatic dim, folding side mirrors, chrome trim for the lines on the rear, side, and shoulder, and a wood trim for a storage package. This revised structure of the trim has a tag price of 2000 quids.

The former Sport trim is now represented as the AMG Sport and the AMG Sport Plus.

The Sport Plus will be about 1000 quids more expensive than the AMG Sport. It will feature 18—inch rims with two-color finish, bi-Xenon head lamps, sports seats, premium upholstery, floor mats by AMG, gear shift paddles in silver finish, and red seat belts.

The Coupe version can also have a Handling Package that improves the steering, transmission, and engine response, plus some styling touches.

The new C-Class also gets a revised engine lineup. The C 180 1.6 liter turbocharged powerplant has been tweaked to give out 152 horses and a torque of 184 lb-ft. Using this engine, the saloon has a fuel mileage of 47.9 miles per gallon on UK standards, the Estate registers the same number whlie the coupe gets a fuel mileage of 44.1 mpg.

The V-6 petrol option has also been dropped for the UK market in the Estate and Saloon offerings but is retained for the Coupe. The C 63 AMG variants will not be affected by these revisions.

The 2013 C-Class has a starting price of £25,915 if you plan to get the Saloon, the Estate goes for £27,115, while the Coupe sells for £30,090.

May 24

Aston Martin News : Rare DB4 GT Zagato goes for $1.9 million in auction block

Posted in Aston Martin

1991-aston-martin-db4gt-zagato-sanction-ii-coupeBidding for a very rare care surely is a tough one. And this is how it went for Aston Martin fanatics going for a rare 1991 DB4 GT Zagato. This is a Sanction II Coupe version with only four units in existence.

No one at the auction though expected the bidding for the DB4 GT Zagato to hit the marks of almost $2 million. Over the weekend the rare Aston Martin was sold for $1.9 million during a Bonhams auctions in the United Kingdom.

The chance to get hold of this car, the last of the four DB4 GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe is very rare and to a lot of collectors who know its real value, it went for a bargain.

In the 100 years of existence of the Aston Martin brand and thru the history of the six-cylinder BD series, the DB4 GT Zagato is the most loved and respected of all. The car is a product of the collaboration between Zagato and Aston Martin and is part of the team up which produce 19 vehicles between 1961 thru 1963. The original plan was to build more with 23 chassis produced during the production run.

After three decades, a project was initiated in 1987 by Peter Livanos and Victor Gauntlett who commissioned Richard Williams to make good use of the remaining four chassis from the iconic project.

The chassis were transported to the facilities of Zagato in Milan which built the beautiful body to the exact specifications of the original batch. The four Sanction II DB4 GT Zagato looked as if they were part of the original production, and according to Williams no one can really tell the difference.

The car that just went thru the auction block has the chassis number DB4GT/0198. The other three had the chassis numbers DB4GT/0197, DB40GT/0196, and DB4GT/0192. These numbers were part of the original number allocated for the 1960 production which were never used.

The Sanction II Aston Martin-Zagato has a 4.2-liter engine under the hood while the original followed a 3.7-liter engine configuration. The engine is linked to a David Brown gearbox. Other features include independent suspension for the front and live axle suspension for the rear.

The maximum engine output is 352 horses against the 302 horsepower of the original batch while 0 to 60 mph takes 5.5 seconds. The top speed is pegged at 153 mph.

Feb 27

Lamborgini confirms SUV concept to debut in Beijing by April

Posted in Lamborghini

Lamborghini reaffirms earlier released information that its SUV concept will be unwrapped in the upcoming auto show in Beijing this April. The Italian car manufacturer explained that they will be showcasing the SUV in accordance with the preference of their market in China.

According to the general manager of the company for the Asia Pacific, the buyers in China prefer bigger rides. The executive also noted that the other brands with presence in China is also giving in to the specific needs of the market. This fact was recognized by other car marques like Bentley. Volkswagen will also be launching their SUV concept in Geneva next month and plans to launch this in 2014, a year ahead of Lamborghini’s roll out of the LM 002 successor.

The luxury car buyers in China will most likely accept the daring, new products from the European car manufacturers given their limited history with these brands. The strategy worked well for German brand Porsche which fielded the Cayenne which became the bestseller of the company, and makes up half of the sales of Porsche in China.

Experts forecast the jump in sales of SUVs in China by as much as 49% come 2015. This translates to around 265,200 vehicles. This projection is about thrice the expected global growth in the sales of SUVs.

SUVs are pretty popular in booming economies given the still developing network of roads. It is also a great opportunity for the carmaker to rake in some profits because of the higher sticker price. The best motivators for luxury car brands like Lamborghini, Maserati, and Bentley are profit and sales giving them the green light to do the once unthinkable SUV roll out for their respective brands. The consumers in China though are also waiting if the price is right.

Nov 21

Anderson Germany dresses up Ferrari 458 Italia with Carbon

Posted in Ferrari

It might be a very difficult job when you worry about improving beautiful things like a car with a prancing horse on its hood. The guys though at the tuning firm Anderson Germany handles this daunting task and comes up with a Carbon Edition of the 458 Italia.

Of course the highlight of the tweak is the carbon fiber that they fit the special version of the Ferrari. They used the lightweight material on the bumper flaps in front, lip spoiler on both front and rear, intake grille near the rear window, air outlets of the engine, and ventilation grille on the front bumper.

That one paragraph is not good enough to tell you how much carbon fiber Anderson Germany put on this Ferrari 458 Italia. They also used carbon on the car’s hood, roof, mirrors, trunk lid, door handles, trims of the tail light, and rear diffuser. Do not forget the alloy rim spokes, too.

The tuning firm also improved the engine’s performance by reprogramming the V8′s software and connecting a sportier exhaust system. These boosted the engine output to 623 horsepower.

Other hardware upgrades include a new suspension kit which further lowers the ride of the 458 Italia and 21 inch alloy rims hugged by 255/30 tires in front and 355/25 for the rear.

The stock 458 Italia boasts of 52 horsepower and goes from 0 to 62 mph in a matter of 3.4 seconds. We are pretty sure these numbers were improved a bit. After the tuning firm’s work on the Ferrari 458 Italia.

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Oct 24

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette

Posted in Chevrolet

First of all let me say the only Corvette I’ve ever driven is the 2010 Corvette ZHZ Convertible – but this one really does look like a winner. Check out the video below!

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Aug 15

The 2011 Mustang vs the 2010 Camaro

Posted in Chevrolet, Ford

A great video from Car&Driver putting up the 2011 Ford Mustang against the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. Check it out:

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Jul 1

Honda grabs loyalty crown in the US from Toyota, recalls to blame

Posted in Honda, Toyota

The recalls of the Japanese carmaker Toyota really hurt the brand allowing Honda to grab the crown for customer loyalty in the United States. Ford was also able to overtake it according to Consumer Reports.

Based on a survey last April, 57% of Toyota owners will most likely purchase another car from Toyota. The figure is significantly down as it was in the 70% mark back in December 2009.

Most likely Toyota will have to spend some money or extend costly incentives to win most of their US customers back and stop the slippage of their market share. They’re finding a hard time making any money, and that’s not usually the case with the sturdy Japanese…

Customers chose “overall reputation” of the car brand as their primary factor for choosing their new vehicle.

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