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Beijing Auto Show: HongQi SUV Concept

HongQi (Chinese for Red Flag) is the premiere division of Chines car maker FAW Groups and at the Beijing Auto Show presented this quite interesting concept, the HongQi SUV Concept. It’s quite surprising for a Chinese producer to come up with such a great looking concept, however, considering that the production version won’t be available until at least 2010, we’ll have to wait and see that before we make any other remarks.

The concept’s front fascia features an evolved version of Red Flag’s signature grille with the addition of large vents and the car will be powered by FAW’s advanced V12 engine, which will also equip the HQE limousine. FAW is very proud of this engine, which features an advanced combustion system, full aluminum light weight design, optimized fuel economic efficiency and lower emissions. This engine will also lay the foundations for a V6 and a V8 engine to follow.

Check out more photos of the HongQi/Red Flag SUV Concept after the jump.

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Buick Invicta Concept debuts at Beijing

Besides the new Audi Q5, the Beijing Auto Show marked another world premiere, the Buick Invicta Concept. The four-door midsize sedan previews Buick’s design direction for world’s biggest markets, the US and China.

Based on the Riviera concept, the Invicta features modern and sleek proportions and the exterior lines “flow uninterrupted around the vehicle. For example, Invicta’s cat-eye headlamps transition into the Buick heritage-inspired sweepspear design cue, which flows seamlessly along the body sides and merges into the taillamps. Similarly, one can trace the top of the headlamp casing to the roofline and the rear of the vehicle without interruptions.”

Invicta’s wheelbase and high belt line give the vehicle more substantial proportions while visually reinforcing its premium appearance. Invicta’s 20-inch polished aluminum wheels feature a milled Buick tri-shield in the center cap.

The Buick Invicta Concept is powered by Buick’s first direct injection turbocharged engine, a four-cylinder powerplant that produces 250 hp (186 kW) and 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission for maximum fuel efficiency.

Check out more photos and the full press release after the jump.

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Audi Q5 makes world debut

Last weekend, at the Bejing Auto Show, the new Audi Q5 made its world debut. The new crossover from Audi will have a tough competition, in a market where Mercedes Benz also presented the new GLK and the BMW already has the X3. However, Audi made the Q5 sportier than the competition, the car measuring 4.63 meters (15.19 feet) in length, 1.88 meters (6.17 feet) in width and 1.65 meters (5.41 feet) in height.

With its sporty elegance and artfully sculpted forms, the design of the Q5 is perfectly in tune with the character of Audi as a brand. The front end is dominated by expressive headlights on both sides of the large single-frame grille; on request, they can be outfitted with bi-xenon lamps and LED daytime running lights. Viewed from the side, the large wheels and rising edges are especially prominent features.

The sporty look is completed by the large front single-frame grille, the bi-xenon lamps and the LED daytime running lights and, at the rear, the aluminum wraparound tailgate and the taillights which are also available in LED technology. Audi offers three different options for the external trim of the Q5 – black (standard), contrasting color or full paint finish in the color of the car, and two body packages are available as well: the S line exterior package and the alternative off-road style package with underbody protection in the front and back and 19-inch wheels.

Audi Q5 will be available with three engine choices, one petrol and two diesel engines, all turbocharged. The four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI has been entirely redesigned and develops 155 kw (211 hp) and peak torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft). Fitted with this engine, the Q5 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph), while having a fuel consumption of 8.5 liters per 100 km (27.67 mpg).

The first diesel option is the 2.0 TDI, which produces 125 kW (170 hp) and peak torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) and takes the Audi Q5 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.5 seconds, peaking at a top speed of 204 km/h (126.76 mph) and having a fuel consumption of 6.7 liters per 100 km (35.11 mpg).

The top of the line is the 3.0 TDI V6 engine, which develops 176 kW (240 hp), with 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm and it takes the Audi Q5 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.5 seconds, accelerating to a top speed of 225 km/h (139.81 mph). On average, the three-liter engine consumes 7.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (30.55 mpg).

More details on the new Audi Q5 and a full photo gallery, after the jump.

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Funny BMW M5 ad

We’re sure you all know the BMW M5 is one of the world’s most powerful sedans and one of the most interesting cars out there. But we’re definitely sure you didn’t expect this! So, all you M5 owners out there, you’d better watch your dogs carefully!

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Auto Unleashed back from the break

It’s been a few days since our last post, and we’d like to apologize for the break, but we had some personal problems over here and couldn’t keep up with all that’s happened in the auto industry. But now we’re back and we’ll try to present you everything we missed in the last days, because there were some really interesting news lately. So, stay tuned!

The Auto Unleashed Team

2009 Honda Pilot officially announced

In a press release made today, Honda announced their new SUV, the 2009 Honda Pilot, after a few days ago we showed you photos of the car caught in Detroit without any camo. The new SUV from Honda is powered by Honda’s 3.5 liter V6 engine which develops 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque and features the latest generation of fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM) technology that can operate the engine with all six cylinders for power or just four or three cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This improves the fuel economy of the 2009 Pilot to 17/23 (mpg city/mpg highway) at 2WD versions and 16/22 for 4WD. The engine is mated to a standard five-speed automatic and VTM-4 four-wheel-drive remains an option.

Besides the enhanced powertrain the new Pilot also has a new list of available features which include Bluetooth, Hill Start Assist, Power Tailgate, and a Tailgate with a lift-up glass hatch and will be available in four versions, LX, EX, EX-L and a new Touring model.

Check out a complete photo gallery, the full press release and a video of the 2009 Honda Pilot after the jump.
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Bentley GT Speed tuning by ASI

Founded last year, the Japanese tuning company ASI is new to the market and started various tuning programs for Bentley cars. ASI stands for Accuracy, Spirit, Imagination and the company got good reviews after their 2007 SEMA debut.

One of their first products is this Bentley GT Speed, which, besides the company’s standard GT body kit, also features a dry carbon bonnet and trunk plus rear wing, along with original 3-piece forged ASI wheel.

Check out more photos after the jump.

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Opel Insignia leaked photos

Opel tried to tease us by releasing these teaser photos of the upcoming Opel Insignia, which will make it’s debut on July 2nd, at the London Motor Show. However, Opel’s car won’t be such a big surprise, because the Dutch website AutoWeek broke the embargo and published yesterday a set of official photos of the Insignia.

The Opel Insignia will be the Vectra’s successor and it will also mark the debut of the new Vauxhall logo. Placed in the D segment, the car will compete with the new Ford Mondeo, the Mazda 6, the Renault Laguna or the Volkswagen Passat. Though no official details on the Insignia were made available, once the embrago has been broken, we suspect Opel will soon come with an official announcement.

More leaked photos after the jump.

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Corvette Z06 Black Edition program by Geigercars

There are many Corvette fans out there and we’re sure that this will be great news to them, because the German tuner Geigercars has prepared a special program for the American muscle car. Priced at 89,900 Euros, the Corvette Z06 Black Edition is powered by a modified version of Chevrolet’s LS7 7.0-liter V8 engine, which delivers an astonishing power of 592 hp. The car looks great, all painted in black, including the 18 or 19 inch wheels available.

Check out more photos after the jump.

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Tesla Motors to sue Fisker

Yesterday, at the San Mateo Superior Court in California, Tesla Motors filed suit against Fisker Automotive. Henrik Fisker, the creator of the Fisker Karma, was hired last year by Tesla to design its upcoming electric sedan, called WhiteStar. According to Tesla, the reason Fisker accepted this job was “to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle”.

After the Tesla Roadster was successfully launched, the company announced that next year or in 2010 they’ll also introduce an all-electric passenger sedan, priced somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000. Apparently, after Tesla found out that Fisker is about to create a competitor for the WhiteStar, they’ve fired him, decided to dump his original design and started working on another one.

So far, no official reaction from Fisker, but stay tuned because we’ll keep you informed in this interesting case.

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Two new cool Volkswagen Scirocco videos

Today, GermanCarBlog posted two new cool videos for the upcoming Volkswagen Scirocoo. Also, you can find out more about the Scirocco from the official Volkswagen microsite, here.

The VW Scirocco debut this year at the Geneva Motor Show, 34 years after the original Scirocco was unveiled at the same Swiss show and VW plans to make the Scirocco an affordable sports car (in Germany pricing will start at 21,750 Euros), which can also be used in day-by-day activities.

Enjoy!

Click ‘Read More’ to see the other video.
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2009 Acura TSX pricing announced

Yesterday, Acura announced the princing for the new 2009 Acura TSX. The car, which will go on sale in the US starting April 24th will be available in two versions: the generously appointed TSX and the fully-featured TSX with Technology Package and MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) pricing starts at $28,960 and tops at $32,060, while destination and handling fees remain at $715. The 2009 TSX is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic for no additional charge.

Dick Colliver, Executive Vice President of Acura Sales said: “The all-new TSX is loaded with more technology, better performance, additional comfort and enhanced safety to make it one of the most desirable sedans in its class [...] We expect the dramatically improved 2009 model to set even more sales records than its predecessor.” And he’s right, because the new TSX comes with Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, Zagat® restaurant information, and rearview camera; AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System; AcuraLink® Real-time traffic with an all-new Traffic Rerouting™ function; AcuraLink® weather with current and future weather information; a 10-speaker Acura/ELS® Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc DVD-Audio changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Satellite Radio, Note function for XM® Radio, and Dolby Pro Logic II; and a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate control system.

Check out the full press release after the jump.
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BMW M3 tuning by Hamann

The German tuner Hamann presented their tuning program for the E92 BMW M3. The first tuning level increases the V8′s performances by 15 kW/20 hp, so the engine now delivers 324 kW/440 hp and also 425 Nm on the crank shaft. The increased power and torque output is achieved by an optimised engine map and the top speed was also increased to 300 km/h.

The second performance kit is called Sportkit HM/M +35 and the power output was increased by 35 hp/26 kw and the torque by 48 Nm. Equipped with this kit, the car reaches a top speed of 320 km/h.

Besides the performance upgrades, Hamann also offers an aerodynamic kit, for 2400 Euros. The kit includes a front spoiler, rear skirt plus side skirts, boot and roof spoilers.

Check out more photos after the jump.

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Video: Cadillac CTS Coupe spied

The Cadillac CTS Coupe debuted at Detroit, we saw it live at Geneva and we were really impressed with it. So here is a spy video by Inside Line, which shows the car being tested at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. Though the CTS Coupe is pretty well camouflaged, we can see that the production version will hold many of the Concept’s characteristics.

Check out the Cadillac CTS Coupe photo gallery after the jump.
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Audi Q5 and Mercedes Benz GLK to debut at Auto China

With global sales starting to decline, China is becoming a more and more important market for car makers and a proof of that is the attention China gets from them. The upcoming Auto China Show in Beijing will mark the debut of the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes Benz GLK crossovers.

This move is very important to Audi, because, with an increase of 24.8 percent last year, China has become Audi’s second largest market behind Germany. And Mercedes is also aware of the potential this market has and wants to push more models to China.

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