Monday, February 28, 2011

Geneva Preshow: New Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 [Updated Gallery]

After nearly a decade of running amok in the land of hypercars, Lamborghini's Murcielago is being retired. In its place will be the Aventador, a 700-hp devil providing a whole new generation with automotive wall art and high-speed screams.

The Aventador LP 700-4, Lambo's newest top dog, hopes to build on the glorious excess of its predecessor. Fusing design cues found in the Revent�n and Sesto Elemento, the Lamborghini Aventador has much in common with past Lamborghini flagships: it is named after a famous bull, packs a V12 warp drive, allows entry through a pair of scissor doors, and makes no sense as a daily driver.

It has also picked up the Murcielago's electronic air intakes due to their functionality and downright awesomeness. Broad details, however, are where the similarities stop.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Concept: First Real Life Photos Surface Online

We've already seen teaser sketches of Audi's new A3 Sedan Concept, but tonight, the first real life photos of the design study started circulating around the web ahead of its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Salon . While Audi prefers to call the concept the A3 Sedan, the RS3 Sedan moniker sounds more appropriate given the RS3 Sportback-sourced 2.5-liter turbocharged five-pot with 408 ponies lurking under the bonnet.

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Geneva Preshow: Rolls-Royce 102EX EV Study Might Just have the Largest Passenger Car the World

Rolls-Royce has pulled the wraps off the next vehicle in its EX concept series, the 102EX (AKA Phantom Experimental Electric). The 102EX is meant to gauge reactions and opinions from the firm's clientele, shareholders, and the general public in regards to a Roller with a non-traditional drive train. As the 102EX is strictly a concept, Rolls-Royce hopes to resolve any issues that people might have with an all-electric - or any non-traditionally powered - Rolls.

Going back to the RR playbook, customers are the most important people to the Spirit of Ecstasy. Therefore, the manufacturer wants to be sure that expectations are met, not too much extra effort has to be put into ownership ("acceptable range...without frequent recharging"), and a proper Rolls-Royce ownership experience is provided.

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Hamann Gives the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG the Hawk Treatment

Mansory won�t be the only tuning firm to unveil its interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, as Hamann Motorsport has prepared its own version of the gull-winged supercar called the �Hawk�.

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Saab's Geneva Motor Show Surprise is Sports Car Concept Called the Phoenix

When Saab first revealed its plans to debut a new concept model at the Geneva Salon a couple of weeks ago, the Swedish company did not release any details whatsoever about the study. And while Saab is still keeping its cards close to its chest, we managed to find out that the study is called the Phoenix and that it's a sports car concept equipped with a turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. The Phoenix is the work of Saab's new design boss of former Bertone fame, Jason Castriota, and its main purpose is to preview the brand's next styling direction.

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Skoda Reveals VisionD Design Study and Brand New Logo

Making its world premiere at the 81st Geneva International Motor Show is the Skoda VisionD, a concept model that previews the brand's new design direction and is the first vehicle to wear Skoda's new logo.

The VisionD concept car takes the form of a sharp-looking five-door hatchback. Skoda claims the long wheelbase and short overhangs allow for above-average interior space, while the dynamic roof line offers the car a �high degree of visual majesty�. The fluent integration of the tailgate into the car's overall line and the absence of a third latteral glass give the hatchback a dynamic appearance.

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Bentley Celebrates Ice Speed Record with New Special Edition Supersports Convertible

To celebrate the 205.5mph (330.7km/h) world ice-speed record that was set two weeks ago by Finland�s four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen in a Continental Supersports convertible, Bentley has unveiled a new special edition version of its drop-top model that will be built in a limited run of 100 units.

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Volkswagen Reinvents the Microbus with Bulli EV Concept Study

Volkswagen will show a new concept model in Geneva called the Bulli, which is a development of the Microbus study from 2001. However, at 3.99 meters long, 1.75 meters wide and 1.70 meters tall, with a wheelbase of 2.62 meters, the six-seater compact is more compact than the its predecessor. Volkswagen claims that the interior is spacious enough for six passengers, with three seating up front and three at the back.

The boot volume is 370 liters, but it can be extended to 1,600 liters when the rear bench is folded. The Bulli can also be turned into a camper van, since the seat system can be transformed into a large reclining surface.

The minivan is fitted with a removable iPad in the center console that serves as an infotainment touchscreen, controlling functions such as Bluetooth hands-free telephone, navigation system and media center.

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Mansory Adds Carbon Fiber Body and 89 Ponies to Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Swiss aftermarket specialist Mansory has unveiled its take on the the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar and the result of their work is very different from what they began with. For starters, the tuners replaced the Gullwing-door model's aluminium bodyshell with a carbon fiber one, shaving 90 kg of the car's weight in the process.

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Geneva Preshow: Seat IBX Small Crossover Study Hints at Production Model

This is the new Seat IBX, a concept study for a three-door small crossover that will be officially unwrapped at the Geneva Motor Show this week. The IBX appears to be a follow up on Seat's 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show Tribu concept, which never managed to reach production. This time, however, the Spanish subsidiary of the VW Group says the IBX demonstrates "a possible expansion of the SEAT product portfolio".

Like the Tribu, the IBX has also been penned by Seat's Chief Designer of former Lamborghini fame, Luc Donckerwolke. �The IBX was created from the gene pool of our next vehicle generation. This design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models,� said Donckerwolke. �And, with this urban sports utility vehicle, we are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.�

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850HP Dacia Duster to Go Hill Climbing at Pikes Peak

After successfully competing in the Andros Trophy ice-racing championship with F1 star Alain Prost behind the wheel, the guys at Renault Sport Technologies want the Dacia Duster to perform in a whole different league. In particular, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which will be held on June 26 this year.

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Ford to Debut BTCC Focus Race Car at Geneva Motor Show

The first ever touring race car version of the all-new Ford Focus will make its world premiere at this week's 2011 Geneva Motor Show, ahead of it is scheduled track debut in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch towards the end of March.

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Geneva Preshow: Ford Reveals B-MAX Small MPV Study Based on the Fiesta

Scheduled to make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show this week is Ford's brand-new B-MAX concept that previews the firm's upcoming small MPV, designed to replace the current European Fusion and rival the Opel Meriva. Based on the
Fiesta platform, the almost production-ready minivan has some striking features, the most obvious being the new door concept. It has no B-pillar and the twin doors have a conventional opening system in the front and a sliding system in the back.

By eliminating the traditional B-pillar, Ford promises best-in-class access to the cabin without compromising safety. With both front and rear doors open, the aperture measures 1.5 metres, around twice the width offered by competitors, according to Ford.

�With its unique door format and dynamic design, the B-MAX sends a strong message that customers looking for a compact, stylish and versatile vehicle will soon have an exciting new choice,� said Stephen Odell, CEO of Ford Europe. Another highlight is the lack of door handles, with the opening system being remote-controlled.

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Lexus LFA Nurburgring

A Lexus criou um modelo ainda mais exclusivo o Lexus LFA Nurburgring. Que � uma vers�o especial alusiva � participa��o do super-esportivo nas �ltimas edi��es das 24 Horas de Nurburgring.

Ele � limitado em 50 exemplares com o pacote esportivo e � diferenciado por novos elementos aerodin�micos que visam garantir que o LFA ficar� colodo no ch�o, o pacote traz um defletor traseiro fixo e defletores laterais frontais. A suspens�o foi ajustada para ficar mais r�gida e tem pneus s�o de competi��o.

A transmiss�o foi ajustada para reduzir o tempo na troca de velocidade deduzindo de 0,20 segundos para 0,15 segundos. O Lexus LFA Nurburgring faz dos 0 aos 100 km/h em 3,7 segundos chegando a velocidade m�xima chega aos 325 km/h.

VIDEO: AC Schnitzer's Diesel-Powered BMW Z4 and 540HP 5-Series

The new BMW Z4-based 99d roadster and the BMW 550i-based ACS5 sports saloon will hog the limelight on AC Schnitzer's stand at this week's 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Both models were developed to offer performance without compromising on fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. The Z4 99d comes with a 190HP 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine, while the ACS5 features a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 gasoline unit pumping out 540-ponies. Scope out the first promotional videos of AC Schnitzer's newest tunes right after the break.

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Geneva Preshow: New Koenigsegg Agera R gets 1,115 HP and...a Roof Box

Koenigsegg, the Swedish maker of exotic sports cars will bring its newest creation, the Agera R hypercar, along with the final production version of the Agera to this week's Geneva Salon. Building on the design of the 15-year-old CC, the Agera looks unmistakably "Koenigsegg".

The paint scheme of the car that will be displayed in Geneva is inspired by the legendary Speed Racer theme, as specified by the owner of the car. But as impressive as it might be, the design pales in comparison with the technology present beneath the car's carbon fiber skin.

The monocoque chassis weighs only 70 kg and the dry weight of the car is 1,330 kg, which makes it the lightest fully homologated hypercar in production, according to Koenigsegg. That's all the more remarkable given the fact that the 5.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine is capable of 1,115 horsepower and 1,200 Nm when running on E85 ethanol biofuel (940 hp and 1,100 Nm on regular 95 octane gasoline).

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Nissan Qashqai Surpasses 1 Million Sales Milestone

Nissan's well-received Qashqai model has just passed the 1,000,000 sales mark after four years in production. The compact crossover model, which is also known as the Dualis in Japan and Australia and other markets, was designed and engineered in Britain. Introduced in 2007, Nissan expanded the crossover's range with the presentation of the seven-seater, long-wheelbase version called the Qashqai+2 in 2008, while the entire series received an update in March 2010 with a refreshed design and powertrain refinements.

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Holden Unveils Aussie-Built Cruze Series II with New 2.0L Diesel and 1.4L Turbo Petrol

Holden, General Motors' Australian division, introduced an updated version of its Cruze sedan bearing the Series II moniker today. The facelift brings powertrain, chassis and some styling changes, but most importantly, it marks the switch to local production starting from March, 2011. Up until now, the Holden Cruze sedan was imported to Australia from Korea. The first locally built compact model in the country in more than a decade will be manufactured at Holden's plant in Elizabeth, South Australia.

The styling updates on the Cruze Series II are kept to a minimum and concern the new trapezoidal grille, subtly redesigned front bumper, new headlamp bezels and a different rear fascia treatment.

The facelift brings two new engines, a 2.0-liter turbo diesel and a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline unit, while the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine carries over with some minor revisions from the Series 1 model.

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Ford Brings SYNC Technology to Europe Starting with the New Focus

Ford will offer the infotainment and connectivity system to its European models starting from 2012, the company announced today. The all-new Focus will be the first vehicle in Europe to feature the SYNC technology, with other models to follow. Ford said it wants to have 2 million SYNC-equipped cars on European roads by 2015.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series Rendered

It's only a matter of time before Mercedes-Benz unleashes an AMG version of its new C-Class Coupe to rival BMW's two-door M3, but autocarsp reader Luis Silva from Portugal decided to craft a quick chop of the C63 AMG Coupe for our viewing pleasure.

The actual C63 AMG Coupe could be revealed as early as this year's edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Given that the two-door model is based on the current C-Class series, it's almost certain that the two-door variant will keep the 2012 C63 AMG Sedan's 6.2-liter V8, which produces 457HP and 600Nm / 442 lb-ft of torque in standard trim and 487HP with the optional AMG Performance package.

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VIDEO: This is how Muammar Gaddafi Rolls

When Muammar al-Gaddafi isn't taking "care" of his people [...], the Libyan dictator garners the media attention for his excessive behaviors. Take for instance the way Gaddafi chose to cruise the streets of Rome when he visited Italy last year: a motorcade of no less than 36 cars was necessary for the overly eccentric leader. And that's not even close to extreme by Gaddafi's standards. Read more �

U SPY...from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

We're less than 48 hours away from the automotive extravaganza known as the 81st Geneva Motor Show and automakers are scrambling to get their booths ready for the grand opening on Tuesday. We'll be covering all the news from the press days of course, but thanks to a autocarsp reader, we can now give you an exclusive look at the cars being loaded off the trucks in front of the Palexpo Center in Geneva as well as a sneak peak at some of the automakers stands inside. Check out the gallery right after the break.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lancia Could Sell the Ypsilon and Delta in the U.S., Has No Plans to Revive HF Integrale or Fulvia

When announcing the new Ypsilon�s key role in Lancia�s turnaround strategy at a press event autocarsp attended in Turin, Italy, earlier this week, company officials told us that the small car could be sold in the States under the Chrysler brand if American buyers will show enough interest towards the recently launched U.S.-spec Fiat 500. Furthermore, the same could happen with the Delta.

On the other hand, Lancia's people told us the company has no plans to revive famous nameplates such as the HF Integrale and Fulvia, simply stating that there�s no market for Lancia sports cars.

Although in its current state, the new Ypsilon doesn�t comply with U.S. standards, Lancia Product Manager Claudio Nervi told us that it could be �easily federalized� and that logistically �it's not a problem, as the Ypsilon could be produced at the [Fiat Group�s] Mexican plant�. However, Nervi also pointed out the decision depends �on the performance of the Fiat 500 in the US�.

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MTM Geneva Show Display Includes Fastest Audi R8 with 777HP and TT RS with 472HP

Among the many tuning firms making their way to the Geneva Motor Show is VW Group specialist MTM. The German company will display two heavily modified Audi models, based on the R8 V10 and the TT RS. The most impressive proposal is the one-off MTM R8 Biturbo that comes with a polished chrome body that took over 700 working hours to complete. A large fixed spoiler at the back along with 20-inch forged rims and carbon fiber parts round off the exterior changes.

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Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4: Live Shots from Geneva

There's no doubt that the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is the worst kept secret of the 81st Geneva International Motor Show. In addition to a bevy of studio shots that were leaked online in the past few days, we now have live shots of the Murcielago's replacement from Geneva, courtesy of the folks over at Autogespot.

"We have just received from a friend a few exclusive photos of the new LP700-4. It is the Grigio Estoque colorded Aventador that will be shown on the press day on the 1st of March," Emil from Autogespot told us. And well, there you have it: the new Aventador. We'll have all the juicy details in a couple of days when Lamborghini officially debuts its new flagship model at the Geneva show, but scroll down for the condensed version.

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Honda Civic CVCC, 1975

Honda Civic CVCC, 1975

The Honda Civic is an automobile manufactured by Honda. It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a 3-door hatchback version that September. With the transverse engine placement of its 1169 cc engine and front wheel drive, like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions.

Early models of the Civic were typically outfitted with a basic AM radio, rudimentary heater, foam cushioned plastic trim, two-speed wipers, and painted steel rims with a chromed wheel nut cap. The current Civic has become much more luxurious with satellite-linked navigation, a six-speed manual, power locks and power windows available. Still, many regard the Civic as representing a good value for the money, combining good performance, reliability and economy, as well as a very low rate of depreciation.

The Civic evolved from having a 1170 cc engine (1973) to having engines with larger capacities and more creature comforts (air conditioning, power windows, etc.) through the 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s.

First generation (1973-1979)
The original 1973 Civic had a wheelbase under 87 inches and an overall length of 140 inches

Initially the Civic was sold with either a four-speed manual or a two speed "HondaMatic" model. Later models went to a five-speed manual and a full four-speed automatic transmission. Like the Mini, the transaxle was integrated with the engine unit.

Second generation (1979-1983)
The second generation Civic had a new, sleeker body and increased wheelbase to 88.6 inches for the hatchback and 91.3 inches for the wagon. The two-door sedan was no longer produced. All engines was now of the CVCC design ranging from 1335 cc giving 55 hp to 1488 cc giving 67 hp. The transmission was either a four-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a two-speed automatic. In 1981 a four door sedan was introduced and the two-speed automatic gearbox was replaced by a three speed. In 1982 it was slightly restyled with rectangular headlamps and black bumpers. In 1983 the sportier Civic S replaced the 1500GL.

Third generation (1983-1987)
For the third generation the wheelbase was increased by 5 inches to 96.5 inches. A new 12 valve (three valves per cylinder) 76 hp 1500 cc engine was introduced. The base hatchback still used the 1300 cc engine giving 60 hp. Supension was updated to independent rear suspension. The CRX was a Civic with a slightly different body. In 1985 the CRX Si was introduced. It came with a fuel-injected version of the 1500 cc engine giving 91 horsepower. In 1986 the Civic got flush-mounted headlights. Other news for the year was a four-speed automatic and an Si version of the Civic hatchback.

Fourth generation (1987-1991)
Again the wheelbase was increased to 98.4 inches. The body was designed with lower hood line and more glass giving less drag. The Civics also got a new family of engines. A 1500 cc 16-valve engine giving 92 hp was used in the DX hatchback/sedan, new LX sedan and the wagon. The base hatchback had a 70 hp version of the same engine. All engines were fuel injected. All wheels had double-wishbone suspension. In 1990 the EX trim was introduced.

Fifth generation (1991-1995)
The fifth generation had a more wedge shaped body and the wheelbase was increased to 101.3 inches for the two-door hatchback and 103.2 inches for the four-door sedan. The wagon was also dropped.

Sixth generation (1996-2000)
Beginning in 1997, Honda produced the first iteration of Civic to receive the "Type-R" appellation (applied first to the Integra Type-R), with the EK9 chassis Civic Type-R. The EK9-generation Civic Type-R had a maximum output in the range of 180 PS JIS (177 hp/132 kW), increased over the more common 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW) B16A engine in the SiR/VTi models, and included various alterations to the chassis to improve handling and reduce weight (such as better welding of the frame, and removal of the radio and noise-suppressing materials).

Seventh generation (2001-2005)
In 2001, Honda announced the release of the Civic Type-R for the EP chassis, a more sporty variant of the most recent model of Civic and successor to the EK9 Civic Type-R. Unlike the EK9 version, which was produced solely in Japan, the EP Civic Type-R is produced in the United Kingdom and exported to Japan. The EP Civic Type-R has a specific output of 200 PS (197 hp/147 kW) at 8000 rpm, a six-speed manual transmission, a reworked exterior with a bullet-like hatchback design, aeroform bumpers, spoiler, and 17 in wheels. The interior of the Type-R includes Recaro seats and a Momo steering wheel, and the model also includes Type-R-specific badging, a helical limited-slip differential, and has been reported to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds (6.4 in facelifted model).

The hybrid version became available in 2003, which uses both a small (1.3 L) main gasoline engine and auxiliary electric motors. The electric motors are powered by a battery array which is charged by regenerative braking during deceleration, which reduces exhaust emissions and extends fuel mileage.

The new Sport Hatchback model with futuristic styling was unveiled in August 2005 for the European market only. This model featured from launch a 1.4 L I-DSI and a 1.8 L i-VTEC rated at 83 PS (81 hp/61 kW) and 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) respectively, with 177 and 207 km/h (110 and 129 mph) top speeds and 14.2 and 8.6 sec 0-100 km/h sprint. The Sport Hatchback is also available with a 2.2 L I-CTDI Diesel engine from the Accord, Edix/FR-V and CR-V, rated at 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) and is capable of 205 km/h (127 mph) and accelerating from 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds.

Honda N600, 1967

Honda N600, 1967


The N600 was introduced in 1969. It was technologically advanced for its time, with an all alloy engine which could achieve 9000 rpm. Engine output was 36�45 hp (27�34 kW) and the N600 was capable of 81 mph (130 km/h). It delivered surprisingly peppy performance because of its light weight (around 550 kg/1100 pounds), due to compact dimensions and some plastic parts (like the boot lid). The first brakes were very weak. Rear suspension was a torsion bar and leaf springs. Production was stopped in 1972, after the sportier Honda Z600 (or Z-Act, depending on country) was introduced.

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