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Mercedes’ CL replacement, the S-Class Coupe spied

Mercedes Benz S Class Coupe Spy

It looks like Mercedes will continue changing it’s coupe lineup, because after the CLK was replaced with the E Class Coupe, now we have a fresh set of spy photos of the upcoming S Class Coupe, which will replace the current CL. The car was spied during testing in Germany and even though there is some camouflage covering it, we can get a pretty good idea of what the new S Coupe will be like. It doesn’t look like there will be some major changes like in the E Coupe, but we do see a redesigned front part with restyled bumper, updated grille and LED daytime running lights. The redesign is even less obvious at the rear, where the only thing we notice is a slightly restyled rear bumper. As for the mechanical part, there’s not much known about the car, but rumor has it that the engine lineup of the CL will be kept, the only new possible addition being an S Coupe 400 Hybrid, powered by a hybrid powertrain with a 279 hp 3.5-liter V6 and a 20 hp electric motor.

Stay tuned because we’ll definitely keep you updated on this. Meanwhile, you can check out more spy photos on Worldcarfans.

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Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen opens

Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen

Yesterday I got invited by LG to a special premiere for bloggers of the new Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen movie. Though I wasn’t expecting it, the first movie was surprisingly entertaining so I had quite high expectations from this one too. And though the overall impression was that the movie could’ve been better (maybe because of the problems they faced), I really liked it. I mean we have cool cars (my heart started beating faster every time I saw the Camaro, it’s just an amazing car), we have Megan Fox, we have robots beating the s**t out of each other and we have some great special effects. What more can you ask from a movie. It’s not Oscar material, but it’s really, really entertaining.

Comparing it to the first one, the movie’s producers brought in several new funny robots, like the AutoboTwins Skids (Chevrolet Beat) and Mudflap (Chevrolet Trax) or Wheelie (a really funny toy car). Also, at the beginning of the movie there’s a Decepticon (for those of you who don’t know, these are the bad guys) which is an Audi R8 which is being cut in half by one of the Autobots. Like someone in the theatre said, it’s pretty ironic that the GMs always wins, but the company’s bankrupt.

Anyway, the conclusion is that if you feel like going to a movie that has some cool cars, great special effects and the smokin’ hot Megan Fox, you might really enjoy Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. If you haven’t seen it, you have the trailer after the jump. (more…)

Two seater Opel Astra convertible coming soon

Opel Astra Roadster

According to Auto Express, Opel is currently working on a convertible version of the recently introduced Opel/Vauxhall Astra. However, unlike the current Astra TwinTop, the new cabrio will be more than an Astra without a roof. Actually less, because the car will have only two seats and Opel wants it to compete cars like the upcoming VW BlueSport or the Scirocco CC and also to be a cheaper alternative for the Mercedes Benz SLK or the Audi TT Roadster.

And judging by what we see in these photos, Opel has all the chances of achieving that. Because the car is simply beautiful, having a more aggressive look than the regular Astra with a more muscular silhouette, lowered side skirts, twin chrome exhaust pipes and a large brake light at the rear. The Astra roadster will have a folding metal roof and the interior will basically be a more sporty version of the Astra’s interior, including sports seats and a sporty steering wheel.

Under the hood, Opel will offer the roadster with a 150 hp 1.4-liter petrol engine, a 170 hp 2.0-liter CDTI turbodiesel, while the top of the range will be the turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol unit delivering 270 hp (0-60 in 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph). We have no idea what will be Astra roadster’s starting price tag, but we’ll probably find out closer to its debut, which is rumored to take place in 2011.

Check out one more photo after the jump. (more…)

Audi A5 Sportback scooped without camo during photo shoot in California

Audi A5 Sportback Spy

And the mistery’s over. Audi has been trying to hide the new Audi A5 Sportback from everyone’s eyes for some time. But in our days that’s proving to be a really, really difficult task for carmakers to hide their upcoming cars from us. Because here’s the Audi A5 Sportback, photographed by a student from the University of California, San Diego, where the car was brought by the folks from Audi for a photo shoot. The car’s completely undisguised and from what we can see, it’s one amazing vehicle. The silhouette, which kinda reminds me of the Jaguar XF, shows that the A4 and A5′s offspring turned out to be a great car.

Check out one more photo after the jump. (more…)

Ford Kuga Coupe in the works?

Ford Kuga Coupe

If these rumors are true, I think we’re looking at one of the coolest cars ever to leave a production line. I’ve already said several times in the past that the Ford Kuga is definitely one of the best looking small SUVs out there and if a coupe version that looks like this will ever go into production, I think I’ll be their first customer. According to Auto Express, Ford is currently considering the Kuga coupe, especially after the BMW X6 showed that a combination between an SUV and a coupe is a great recipe for success. However, the Kuga won’t go anywhere near the X6 in what concerns its pricing or running costs and that’s what makes me almost sure it will be a big hit.

Auto Express also reports that the car will probably not get four wheel drive, in order to achieve better fuel economy and emissions figures and under the bonnet we’ll get the same range of EcoBoost petrol engines from the upcoming Focus and a range of diesel powerplants, including a range-topping 197 hp 2.0 liter unit.

So, when will we see this car making its debut. Well, it seems that after Ford will launch the new Focus and C-MAX next year, there’s a high probability the Kuga Coupe will be unveiled sometime in 2011.

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Luca di Montezemolo’s Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano up for auction

Ferrari 500 GTB Fiorano Auction Luca di Montezemolo

Ferrari’s Chairman, Luca di Montezemolo, is putting his own 599 GTB Fiorano up for auction, in order to try and raise additional funds to sponsor young researchers working on projects dedicated to technological innovation. Not sure what exactly does that mean, but just because we see “sponsor young researchers” we respect Ferrari and its chairman very much. Also, this is the first time Ferrari organizes an official online auction for one of its vehicles.

The car is powered by the 6.0 liter V12 and features red Rosso Monza paint finish, carbon-ceramic brake system with aluminium calipers, 20 inch monolithic wheels and it only has 5,776 km on the odometer. The car has a charcoal leather interior trim with dark grey carpeting and stitching, carbon-fiber inserts in the driver area and the door panels. The auction’s winner will be handed the car in Maranello, together with a certificate of authenticity engraved with di Montezemolo’s signature.

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Top Gear is back with Season 13 and The Stig is finally “unveiled”!

Top Gear Season 13 Episode 1

After we’ve waited for so long, our favorite TV show is finally back with Season 13 and Jeremy, James and Richard have prepared quite a thrilling season from what we saw in the trailer and in the first episode. The show started with Jeremy reading a letter from a fan, which asked them what would Top Gear have been like if they were making it 60 years ago. And the answer was pretty simple. Exactly the same. So, the guys started their regular challenge, this time racing in the best transportation 1949 had to offer. After a short draw, Richard got the Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle (the fastest motorcycle at that time), James got the Jaguar XK120 (the fastest car in production at that time) and Jeremy got…a steam locomotive. So, who won the 400 miles race? We’re not gonna spoil it so we’re gonna let you find out for yourselves.

After that, we had the news, where the guys barely talked about cars but they were pretty funny. After the news, we say Jeremy taking the Lotus Evora out for a spin on the Top Gear track and he was really impressed with it. And then we had the highlight of last night’s episode and that was the unveiling of The Stig. A question which has haunted millions of people finally got its answer:

I’m really curious to see the next episodes because this part has definitely put more mistery around The Stig than cleared it. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there (including me) who don’t buy this Michael Schumacher=The Stig thing. It looked staged (very well, but still staged) and it makes no sense in Top Gear unveiling the secret that has been one of the show’s greatest parts throughout the years. Who knows, maybe there’ll be one Stig unveiled per episode from now on, just to play with us. On the other hand, there’s also the option of Top Gear knowing no one will believe Schumi’s the Stig, which will make him the perfect Stig. Who knows…what do you think?

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Spied: Volkswagen Phaeton facelift

Volkswagen Phaeton Facelift Spy

I’m really excited to see VW is really trying hard with the Phaeton, because I think it’s a great car, but on the other hand I don’t understand why they keep making it, when the group has the Audi A8 to fight the other luxury limousines like the Mercedes Benz S Class, the BMW 7 Series or the Lexus LS. I mean, ever since it was introduced back in 2002, the Phaeton was seen as a great car, but with small odds against its rivals, especially because of its lacking “brand cachet”. And that’s exactly what happened, poor sales forcing VW to drop it from its US range at the end of 2006.

Though the car received a facelift in 2007 which managed to boost sales a little bit, nothing really changed, the Phaeton still being seen as one of VW’s failures. But this brand new set of spy photographs shows that the German carmaker is determined to not leave the Phaeton ‘go silently into the night’ and is preparing another facelift. VW has confirmed in the past that it plans on bringing back the car to the US and even though people kinda doubted that, it looks like their plans are pretty serious.

There are no official details on the facelift so far, but rumor has it that we might see a few new engines available for the Phaeton, including Audi’s V12 TDI and quite possibly a hybrid. We’ll let you know more once we have it and meanwhile you can check more spy shots on Worldcarfans.

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Ford and GM tease each other on Twitter

Ford GM Twitter

This morning I was trying to catch up with what some of the stuff I missed last week on Twitter and I came across this pretty funny repliy exchange between GM’s official Twitter stream (@gmblogs), GM’s director of social media (@cbarger) and Ford’s head of social media (@ScottMonty). It all started when GM announced CEO Fritz Henderson’s live Twitter session last Tuesday. (more…)

700 hp Ford Mustang GT by Randall Reed Ford

New Ford Mustang Tuning Randall Reed

Randall Reed Ford is a network of Ford dealerships based in Texas and even though the offer of tuning programs for the new Ford Mustang is not small, they’ve decided to work on their own special edition of the Mustang. Developed in cooperation with Artisan Performance, the car we’re talking about is called the Reed Speed SSE and its highlight is definitely the power output, which goes up to 700 hp.

Upgrades include a modified engnie with forged rods, new pistons, Total Seal rings and a twin turbo pack, plus new 20-inch wheels, a better looking two-tone painted body kit which also widens the track by 1.5 inches up front and 3 inches at the rear and 14-inch brake rotors with six-piston calibers. The Reed Speed SSE will be offered with a manual gearbox and will be available through Randall Reed stores and select dealerships across the country. No word exactly when will this happen or what will be the car’s pricing, but they definitely got us excited about this, so stay tuned for updates.

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Is Michael Schumacher The Stig?

Top Gear Stig Michael Schumacher

Season 13 of Top Gear is almost here and the rumors about who The Stig real is once again start to show up. According to one of the lucky dudes to be in the audience at the first episode of the season said that Michael Schumacher was revealed as the real Stig and he showed up driving a Ferrari FXX.

I was at the top gear recording earlier on today for the first episode of the new series, and the Stig was revealed to be… Michael Schumacher!! this was very unexpected, but totally believable in the end. His full unmasking will be shown on BBC 1 on saturday at 9pm in the UK! attached are a few shots of his FXX which he was putting around the track. The rest of the episode is a interview with schumacher, a hot lap in the lliana and a race between a steam engine, a bike and a 1940′s jaguar.

I hope this is useful!

Hmm, I don’t know what to say about this, but it doesn’t really look like something Top Gear would do. I mean, they keep The Stig’s identity a secret for 12 seasons and now they decide to reveal him? Not to mention that this secret has been one of the show’s attraction since its debut and knowing who he is would really spoil it. But who knows, maybe this is some other meme the guys are playing on us and on all the rumors about The Stig’s identity. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, here’s the funny trailer for the Season 13 of our favourite TV show, released earlier this month.

Update: One of our readers who also attended the show, confirmed this:

The a above is true, I was at the filming on wednesday also, michael comes into the studio dressed as the stig and takes the helmet off , still not sure how long he has been the stig , or if was a one off ? But for this new episode in the new series he is unvailed. Waited 4 years for tickets to top gear!

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Video: Amazing battle between Rossi and Lorenzo at the MotoGP race in Catalunya

I’ve been a big fan of MotoGP ever since Mick Doohan rulled the competition and this has definitely gotta be one of the most amazing battles I’ve ever seen. These are the last 3 laps from last weekend’s MotoGP in Catalunya, Spain and we have Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo offering an incredible show, even though they’re team mates, riding for Fiat Yamaha Team. Amazing! You have to watch this!

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Audi releases teaser photo, video and details on the upcoming A5 Sportback four-door coupe

Audi A5 Sportback Teaser

Audi has just released the first official details on their upcoming A5 Sportback, together with a teaser photo showing a part of the car’s rear and a video. The new four-door coupe from the Ingolstadt carmaker will hit showrooms later this year, in September and it will be available for ordering with an entry price of 36,050 Euros for the 2.0 TDI version. According to Audi, the BMW 5 Series GT competitior will also get a version with an even more attractive price in the middle of 2010.

The other engines which will be available at launch will be two more diesels and two gasoline engines. The diesels are the 2.7 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), and the three-liter V6 TDI with 176 kW (240 hp) plus an enormous 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of maximum torque and quattro all-wheel drive, while the petrol units are the 2.0 TFSI quattro with an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque and the 3.2-liter V6 quattro generating 195 kW (265 hp), both equipped with the Audi valvelift system.

Other features the new Audi A5 Sportback will boast are the newly developed ESP control with electronic differential lock on the front axle and the Audi drive select dynamic driving system that allows the driver to choose between three different modes which influences the throttle response characteristics, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic or multitronic transmissions, and supports the servotronic steering (if the vehicle is equipped with the MMI operating system, a fourth, freely programmable level is also available).

Also, after the jump, there’s a cool video released by Audi, showing Wolfgang Egger, Head of Audi group design, sketching the A5 Sportback concept. Enjoy! (more…)

Three ways to save on auto insurance

There are many calculations that are used in determining what someone’s insurance rate premium will be. What insurance companies usually do is take those key factors, plug them into their system, and see what rate category those variables put the person into. There are many ways you can save on car insurance premiums. Three of them, including your age, what type of car your driving, and your zip code, have the most impact.

Your age plays one of the most important roles in determining factors in your auto insurance rates. There are two age categories that concern the insurance companies the most, the elderly and the youngest drivers on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenage drivers represent one of the biggest hazards. They state that a combination of immaturity, speeding ticket fines and lack of driving experience makes them dangerous, leading to a much higher tendency for crashes. And for that, young drivers are charged a much higher premium. Your age is a key variable, but it is also one you can’t control. Many drivers see rates decline when they reach 25, providing they have maintained a safe and ticket-free driving record.

The second factor is what you are insuring. The type of vehicle you drive may make a big difference. It costs much more to repair or replace an Escalade SUV, for example, than it does an old pick-up truck. Some vehicles are also more likely to be stolen than others. Certain models, such as the Honda Civic, Accord and Toyota Camry routinely make the list of the top stolen vehicles. Additionally, vehicles with high horsepower may be seen as riskier, because you may drive faster. This can lead to crashes; therefore the insurance may be higher. Driving a full-size sedan that is a few years old may provide the best rates.

Your zip code also impacts your auto insurance rate premium. Where you live can be the difference of thousands per year. This is because some zip codes are more prone to having a high auto theft rate. It may also impact the amount of driving you. It could make you have a longer commute to school or work, and the more you drive, the more your rate will be. An ideal solution is to try to live in a zip code that doesn’t have such a high theft rate and try to live closer to where you work, go to school, and do some of your shopping.

These factors are important in helping to determine what rate you will be paying. Knowing what contributes to the rates is helpful in taking steps to reduce them.

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