No, this isn’t a new special edition Mercedes. Though the German car maker has been a partner for all sorts of fashion events like the Berlin Fashion Week or London Fashion Week, the car you see here is more likely the result of some lady’s love for the famous French luxury brand (if this belongs to a man, we feel really, really sorry for him). The Merc was spotted in Charlotte, North Carolina by one of Jalopnik‘s readers and we’re not sure if this is stylish (yeah, right!) or just another kitsch. What do you think, you like it?
Last month, at the Geneva Motor Show, Bugatti introduced a special edition of the Veyron, called Bleu Centenaire, a one-off model that was created to mark the company’s 100th anniversary. But it seems that not all Bugatti planned for the celebration, because Motorpasion reports that at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este which starts tomorrow, the French company will unveil four more anniversary special edition Veyrons, each one paying homage to Bugatti’s pre-World War II Grand Prix drivers Jean-Pierre Wimille, Achille Varzi, Malcom Campbell and Hermann Zu Leiningen. Like all previous special editions, there are no performance upgrades, the cars featuring a special paint job combined with polished aluminium front fenders and doors and some other styling upgrades. No mention on the pricing, but we’re sure the four models will be sold out almost immediately.
It looks like Renault is working hard preparing for the future, especially in the small car class, where the competition is incredibly taugh. Because here are leaked designs of the next generation Renault Clio, which is most likely to debut in 2011 or 2012, we don’t know yet for sure, since Renault hasn’t even confirmed the model. However, since we didn’t see any spy shots of this car undergoing tests, it’s safe to assume it will be some time before we see it on display at a motor show and what we probably have here are some early design proposals, but we like it so far. What do you think?
My God, have you ever seen something more terrifying? And I’m not sure if it’s in a good or a bad way. I mean, imagine cruising down the highway and spotting this thing in your mirrors. Must be pretty scary. Call me crazy, but I absolutely love this, the Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS. Based on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the car features an impressive and extremely aggressive body kit, with a front apron extended by 60 mm with integrated aero lip, extensive air inlets, a completely new bonnet which opens forward, body extensions mounted all the way from the front to the rear, new side skirts, rear skirt extended by 40 mm, race diffuser and new rear spoiler with carbon flanks, the exterior package being completed by huge 22-inch GT SPORT forged rims. All the body parts are made of carbon fiber, which means the whole car is 250 kg lighter than the serial Cayenne, which of course means performance figures go through the roof.
The main upgrade which was made to the V8 engine is the increase of its displacement, up to 5 liters. By using fortified forged pistons, special connecting rods, racing turbochargers, larger air intercooler and new engine electronics maps, the Gemballa engineers managed to squeeze 750 hp (552 kW) at 6,400 rpm and a max torque of 1,050 Nm at 3,200 rpm. This means the Tornado sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds and its top speed goes over 300 km/h (186 mph).
There’s no point in describing the interior, you have to look at the photos to see what they did there. So, what do you think about the car? Is it hot or it makes you feel sick? Oh, and before you answer that, we forgot to tell you there will only be 50 units made and each one’s price starts from 400,000 Euros ($522,000).
Some time ago we told you that, thanks to Mercedes, we had the pleasure of driving the all new Mercedes Benz E Class. I finally managed to finish the review and I can tell you that we weren’t dissapointed at all with the new luxury sedan, on the contrary, we think Mercedes has done a really good job with it and there are hard times ahead for the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series. But enough talking, click through for the 2010 Mercedes Benz E Class review, on our Test Drive section. Enjoy!
Last week, speaking at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show, Jaguar’s Managing Director Mike O’Driscoll released the first details about their upcoming Jaguar XJ, which is set to be unveiled this summer in London, on July 9th. According to Mr. O’Driscoll, the new XJ will feature the next generation of Jaguar’s aerospace-inspired aluminium body architecture, together with a range of new ultra-efficient Gen III petrol and diesel powerplants, including the 510 hp supercharged V8 engine. Also, the new XK will be available in standard or long wheelbase. More details will be unveiled closer to debut, but Jaguar promises the new XJ will feature the “highest standards of personal luxury and specification”. For those interested in the new model, Jaguar has also put up a special microsite for the new XJ (click here).
There’s not a lot of news going around about Seat’s new car, the Exeo, who received some pretty negative feedback at its debut, last year in Paris. But here’s a tuning program, one of the first, I think, coming from the German tuner JE Design. There were no important mechanical changes (except a 35 mm ride height lowering kit) or engine upgrades mention, so we assume it’s only a styling package, with new sport radiator grille without the SEAT logo, new front spoiler, new side skirts, diffuser panel with carbon look, new exhaust with sport end muffler and four stainless steel pipes and JE Design light allow Multispoke wheels available in 18- and 19-inch dimensions (shadow silver or graphite silver matt finish). All equipments are available for separate purchase, with prices ranging from 199 Euros ($260) for the radiator grille up to 899 Euros ($1,190) for the exhaust.
If we want to be a little mean to Seat, we’d probably say the reason there aren’t many tuning programs for the car would be that any package available for the previous generation Audi A4 would probably fit perfectly the new Exeo too. But we’re not going to be mean and we’re gonna say the JE Design package is a decent addition to the Exeo sedan.
It’s only been a couple of weeks since the latest Fast and Furious movie, the fourth part, debuted in cinemas and there are already plans for the fifth installment of the series. Paul Walker confirmed this on Friday, in an interview for a radio station, and he also revealed that the fifth Fast and Furious’ action will take place in Brazil. “This was supposed to be it — but without question, Vin and I will be coming back, we’re making the fifth one and we’re going to Brazil,” Walker said. “I didn’t do the third one and guys would come up to me on the street and be like, ‘Hey, why weren’t you in the third one?’ It’s like, you better have a good reason as to why you didn’t come back. So this [was] the opportunity to come back and make the first true sequel.”
Probably Vin and Paul decided to take part in another Fast and Furious movie after the latest one, which opened in April 4, smashed box office charts with a $72.5 million debut weekend. However, we’re glad there’s gonna be another one, but we hope they’ll work harder and make it a little better than the fourth.
Opel/Vauxhall has finally unveiled the high performance OPC/VXR version of the Insignia sedan, which will make its world debut next month, at the Barcelona Motor Show. The highlight of this car is represented by the 2.8 liter V6 Turbo ECOTEC engine which features micro-alloy forged steel crank and die-cast allow oil slump, delivering 325 hp. This means the Insignia VXR/OPC accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Other mechanical changes include a ‘HiPerStrut’ (High Performance Strut) front suspension system, Adaptive 4×4 with electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD), Brembo brakes and a ride height lowered by 10 mm compared to the Insignia SRi.
The Insignia VXR/OPC also features a new, more aggressive bodykit with a deeper front bumper incorporating bold, twin mesh grilles, rear spoiler and bespoke rear bumper with dual matt chrome exhausts integrated. The car’s sporty look is completed by the 19-inch alloy wheels (with 20-inch lightweight forged alloys coming as option). On the interior, the car features Recaro front sport seats, new VXR steering wheel, VXR gearknob, different instrument graphics and VXR sill plates.
The Vauxhall/Opel Insignia VXR/OPC will be available in hatch, saloon and Sports Tourer body styles and, after its Barcelona debut, will go on sale this fall. Now enjoy the photos and check out a video too, after the jump.
Launched back in 2006, the Audi Q7 quickly managed to become one of the taughest competitors in the luxury SUV market, where it has rivals like the Mercedes Benz ML or the BMW X5. And today, the German car maker announced a mid-life facelift for their SUV, which will go on sale later this year, as a 2010 model. The car, beside having new styling, also comes with more fuel efficient engines, including the 3.0 TDI engine, “the world’s cleanest diesel”.
Exterior changes include a restyled front end with new large single-frame radiator grille featuring vertical chrome bars contrasting the black high-gloss finish, restyled bumpers, newly integrated underbody protection with a distinctive ribbed design, new adaptive-light system with U-shaped LED daytime running lights (LED technology is also used for the front blinkers). The rear end features new two-tone finish bumper, the S-shaped aluminium tailgate now has a new 3D shape and LED tail lights. Beside the tailgate, aluminium is also used for the engine hood and the fenders, while Audi also offers an optional aluminium package which features chrome bars in the bumpers and door molding, the lower part of the bumpers painted in the body color and the center part of the front apron and the diffuser painted in a contrasting shade.
The interior features a set of improvements such as the redesigned instrument cluster with large instruments encircled by metallic frames, interior lights have been fitted in the door linings, plus chrome used to highlight some of the control elements. Another new features is represented by the seatbacks in the second row, which now are divided into three fold-down sections to provide a level cargo floor.
Under the hood, the Audi Q7 facelift comes with a selection of six engines, two gasoline and four diesels. The smallest engine is a 3.0 TDI, “the world’s cleanest diesel”, which delivers 240 hp (176 kW) and 55 Nm of torque, while returning a fuel consumption of only 9.1 liters/100 km (25.85 US mpg). The top of the range powerplant is the V12 TDI unit with delivers 500 hp (368 kW) and 1,000 Nm of torque and take the massive SUV from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.5 seconds, up to a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and achieves an average fuel consumption of 11.3 liters/100 km (20.82 US mpg).
Overall, a good mid-life upgrade for the successful Q7, which will probably manage to remain on top until the next generation will be rolled out.
This year’s Moscow Tuning Show featured a special car, a ’70s Chevrolet Camaro modified by a team of students from Russian MHPI design school to look like a car from last year’s movie Death Race (a remake of the 1975 Death Race 2000 movie). The movie’s action takes place in the future, and Jason Statham plays a former race driver who is forced to race armored cars against criminals with life sentences. The movie has a lot of cool car action and it also features super hot Natalie Martinez, as Jason’s co-pilot.
Anyway, back to our car, as you can see from the photos, the Russian students used matte-grey paint for the Camaro and fitted it with armor plates and weapons, making it look like it came right out of Hollywood movie sets. Good job, dudes!
In what came as quite a surprise, Auto Express published what seem to be the first official photos of the next generation Opel/Vauxhall Astra. Looking at the teaser photo, the sketches and the spy shots we published in the past, there’s no doubt this is the real thing. With the third generation Ford Focus scheduled to be released next year and with the Golf VI already available in showrooms, the new Astra will be facing some tough competition, but judging by what we can see from these photos, Opel did a really great job and the car’s probably going to be a success.
Based on GM’s Delta platform, the new Astra’s design is heavily inspired by the new Insignia, especially the front part of the car. The new Astra will be 100 mm longer and wider than the current generation, which means passenger space has increased and Opel says safety is also better. And speaking of the interior, we can see it’s also heavily influenced by the Insigna, the dashboard being almost identical.
Under the hood, the new generation Astra will be available with several new small fuel efficient gasoline and diesel engines, some of the Ecoflex models emitting less than 120 g/km of CO2. At the other end, the top of the line VXR/OPC will be powered by a 270 hp version of the 2.0 liter turbo engine.
The new Opel/Vauxhall Astra is scheduled to go on sale before the end of the year, but with Opel’s uncertain future (bankruptcy knocks on GM’s door) we hope we ain’t gonna have unpleasant surprises. For more photos of the car, head over to Auto Express.
Though you probably wouldn’t connect the two, it looks like the big mess GM is in is also affecting Hollywood, especially big budget productions. According to LA Times, GM, which is very close to bankruptcy decided to withdraw a large amount of the money which were suppose to go the Transformers sequel, ‘Transformers 2: The Revenge of the Fallen’. The decision came as quite a big hit for Paramount Pictures, because the Detroit carmaker was one of the key promotional partners of the movie. With a lot of hot movies coming this summer and without GM’s money, Paramount will definitely have to rethink the strategy for the advertising campaign to the Transformers 2, which hits cinemas on June 24.
“There’s so much competition out there for the entertainment dollar that studios and filmmakers really can’t open big, $100-million movies without the assistance of partner alliances that can help generate awareness and sell movie tickets,” said Norm Marshall, chief executive of NMA Entertainment, a brand marketing firm that’s been involved in movie “tie-in” campaigns for “Mama Mia!,” “Iron Man” and “Matrix Reloaded.”
Like we said yesterday, at the New York Auto Show Land Rover has prepared facelifts for three of its models and one of them is the 2010 Land Rover Discovery also known as the LR4. The highlights of this mid-life upgrade are a new engine, improved dynamics and a restyled design. The engine, a new 5.0 liter V8, features a new type of variable camshaft timing system (VCT), delivers 375 hp and peak torque of 375 lb.-ft. and meets the American ULEV2 regulations. Power is transferred to the wheels via a revised 6-speed automatic transmission which improves the engine’s efficiency and lowers the CO2 emissions.
Other changes include updates to Land Rover’s Terrain ResponseTM system, Gradient Release Control, Tow Assist, available Automatic High Beam Assist, new exterior design with smoother new front end and revised lights, including LEDs, while the interior has also been revised and, beside the high-quality Land Rover got us used to, we have new features like Surround Camera system, Keyless Entry and Push Button start.
Here are the official photos released by Land Rover and after the jump there are also 4 videos that show the new Discovery in action. Enjoy!
We don’t know if this is how GM really sees the future of personal transportation or of their really despearate to get some attention, but am I the only one who think we won’t see anything like this going into mainstream for the next, I don’t know, 50 years? Called the PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), this thing you see here is a result of GM and Segway partnership and it’s a two-wheeled electrically powered, two-seat prototype vehicle. According to the two companies, the ‘car’ could allow people to travel around cities more quickly, safely, quietly, cleanly – and at a lower total cost. And they think this could also be a solution for traffic congestion and pollution, which affect thousands of cities around the world. The project P.U.M.A. combines several technologies developed by GM and Segway, including electric drive and batteries, dynamic stabilization (two-wheel balancing), all-electronic acceleration, steering and braking, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and autonomous driving and parking.