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The new Nissan 370Z Roadster makes New York debut

The New York International Auto Show, which opened its doors for press today, marks the debut of the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster, the topless sibling of the 370Z Coupe launched last year. Besides the obvious, the new 370Z Roadster comes with a lot of cool features like Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, the first-ever Z Roadster heating and cooling ventilated net seats, 6 CD Bose audio system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, satellite radio and advanced Nissan Navigation System.

The standard black cloth convertible top features a fabric inner liner which reduces noise in the cabin, plus a glass rear window with integrated rear window defroster. The top, which closes and opens in 20 seconds, is controlled either by a console-mounted switch or by a button located on the doors. To make room for the top and increase safety, several adjustments had to be made, such as the shortened windshield and the aerodynamically rounded rear deck.

Under the hood, the new Nissan 370Z Roadster will come with a 3.7 liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL), which delivers 332 hp at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm. Nissan offers two transmissions for their new cabrio, a close-ratio 6 speed manual with SynchroRev Match (controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the exact speed of the next gear position) and a 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC). According to the Japanese carmaker, the 370Z roadster achieves a fuel economy of 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster is scheduled to hit US showrooms this summer, with prices to be announced closer to release date.

Photo Gallery: The new Nissan 370Z Roadster


Alfa Romeo MiTo limited RIAR edition launched

2009 marks Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo’s (RIAR) 46th anniversary and to celebrate it, they’ve announced a 46 units limited edition of the Alfa Romeo MiTo which will be sold to members of the international club and which is available for order starting yesterday. And I have to say, the little fellow looks amazing! It features a full black paint finish with matching headlights and tail-lamps surroundings, roof spoiler, restyled rear bumper and a set of dark 17-inch alloy wheels, while power comes from a 155 hp 1.4 liter turbo engine. The Alfa Romeo RIAR also features a full leather interior with carbon-fiber look inserts on the dashboard and ‘RIAR’ badges with the car’s production number. The car is priced at 20,000 Euros (around $26,700) which isn’t that much for this beauty.

Photo Gallery: Alfa Romeo MiTo RIAR limited edition


The first ever SC 427 Cobra for sale on eBay

The first SC 427 Cobra ever built, one of only two existing gold Cobra’s, is now for sale on eBay. According to the eBay ad, the car is completely original, except for one repaint. The car was recently bought, in January and the new owner wants to sell it due to some upcoming investing opportunities. The new owner will get the original one owner title, original payment book and dealer purchase order. The car is very rare, so the price ain’t pretty, $3,750,000. For more details and photos, check out the eBay auction page here.


Renault Laguna Coupe Black Edition unveiled

After the Laguna Hatch and Estate, Renault adds another model to the Black Edition series, the Laguna Coupe. The limited edition coupe, beside the distinctive look also features 4,250 Euros (~$5,600) worth of additional equipment with includes metallic paint (Pearlescent Black, Cassiopée Grey and Platine Grey), twin chrome exhaust tailpipes, 17-inch Talisman aluminium alloy wheels, bi-Xenon adaptive lighting, automatic dual-zone climate control with air quality sensor, 140W Arkamys sound system, cruise control with speed limiter, six airbags and rear parking proximity sensor. Under the bonnet there’s the dCi 150 engine which delivers 110 hp (which means it will be quite boring) and achieves an average fuel consumption of 6.0 liters/100 km (39 US mpg) and 157 g/km of CO2 emissions.

Though it looks pretty good, we doubt this special edition will be a thrilling car, especially with the small engine available.

Photo Gallery: Renault Laguna Coupe Black Edition


Why the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe didn’t show up in Fast and Furious 4

Yesterday I went to see the new Fast and Furious and the movie features a lot of interesting cars. However, a recent report from Inside Line shows that another new hot car was suppose to make an appearance in the movie, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. It looks like Universal Studios requested a car for the movie but several month later announced Hyundai that the car has been dropped from the list. Of course, Hyundai are not very happy with this situation, first because the car would’ve received a lot of attention and second because the vehicle they reserved for the movie was held from other activities. There was no confirmation from Universal but Hyundai suspects another car manufacturer blocked them.

“We had the car ready to go,” says Miles Johnson, spokesman for the Korean carmaker “and I think at the end of the day, another manufacturer blocked us.” According to Johnson, the Genesis Coupe was suppose to make an appearance in the opening scene, where Vin Diesel’s character hijacks a gasoline tanker (see trailer below).

So, who do you think might have blocked Hyundai? Subaru? Ford? Nissan? Our bet would be Subaru, because if there’s one car from the movie that would be a competitor for the Genesis Coupe, that’s the Impreza WRX driven by Paul Walker’s character.


Mercedes Benz SLK test car encounters some problems on the Ring

The new Mercedes Benz SLK is scheduled to roll out in 2012 and the German car maker is working car to make sure the car will be perfect. Unfortunately, it looks like they still have some hard work to do because a spy photographer, who was following the car on the track, shot these photos where we can see the SLK pulled over and facing some mechanical problems. According to the report, the testing was going as usual but after only a lap smoke started coming out of the engine so the driver had to pull over and use the fire extinguisher to put out the smoke. Recent rumors said that Mercedes is preparing a whole new range of engines for the SLK (including the first turbo diesel ever on the SLK and a 476 hp 3.5 liter for the AMG model) and this incident could prove that, showing the engines are not perfect yet.

Source: WorldCarFans


Facelifted Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport to debut in New York

According to Carscoop, Land Rover has prepared a suprise for the New York Auto Show, where three of their models, the Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will get a facelift and will be unveiled for the first time. This will be a mid-life facelift and the car will also get new more powerful and more fuel efficient engines. Rumors say that all cars will get a new dual turbocharged 3.0 liter diesel that delivers 275 hp and 600 Nm of torque, while the Range Rovers will also get a new gasoline V8 which will deliver 385 hp and 525 Nm of torque (naturally aspirated) and 510 hp and 625 Nm for the supercharged version. We’ll come back with more about the premium SUVs after they debut on April 10 at the New York event.


The custom-built Pininfarina Hyperion for sale

You might remember the Pininfarina Hyperion, the ultra-luxurious custom-built car created by the famous Italian studio for Rolland Hall, a very rich collector. The car is based on the Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe and its design is inspired by ’30s cars. The car’s backseats have been removed which means 400 mm more space for the driver and the passenger, a new hood which folds under the seats has also been designed. The car combines classic elements like solid wood compartments with ultra-modern ones, like recessed Bi-xenon headlights or LED daytime running lights. One other ultra exlclusive element of the Hyperion is the specially designed Girard-Perregaux watch, which can be removed from the dash and attached to a bracelet to be worn on the wrist. Sounds fancy, huh? Well, the price is even fancier: 4.5 million Euros (around $6 million). What do you think, is it too much for a car like this? I say it’s a little exaggerated.

Photo Gallery: Pininfarina Hyperion


Volkswagen Scirocco not coming to the United States

US car fans have long been waiting for an official announcement about whether Volkswagen will sell the Scirocco in the US or not. Not to mention that last year we published a few photos with the Scirocco in Arizona, so everyone was really excited about US getting the car. However, now the wait is over, but we’ve got some bad news. Tom Wegehaupt, Volkswagen’ of America’s public relations coordinator, recently told Autoblog that a decision has been made and the German carmaker decided not to bring the hatchback in the States. Apparently, VW took this decision due to the enhealthy current US economy and because they’re already planning a hot hatch for America, the Golf GTI.


Just got back from Fast and Furious 4

Being a car fan and with the movie smashing the box office this weekend ($72.5 million) I really wanted to see the new Fast and Furious. And the fact that the movie got back the two actors which made it famous, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker made me even more anxious to see it. Trying not to give any spoilers, I’m just gonna tell you that Dom (Diesel) gets back to Los Angeles after finding out Letty was killed. Here, Brian (Walker) who has been released from prison, is now with the FBI, trying to catch a very important drug lord, Braga, who apparently has something to do with Letty’s murder. So Dom and Brian team up once again to give some hot action. Though there are lots of awesome cars and high-speed chases, I would’ve loved to see a little more car action, because basically that’s what the movie’s all about. Still, the new Fast and Furious is pretty good, so if you like cars, hot chicks and car action, you should check it out.


BMW X6 M and X5 M officially unleashed

After a lot of spy shots previewing the two ‘brothers’ from BMW, the German carmaker finally announced the X6 M and X5 M, two cars which really take the SUV to another level. Both car have a more aggressive bodykit, like all other M models, which besides looking better, also help with the cars’ aerodynamics. But the real interesting stuff happened under the hood, where BMW developed a 4.4 liter V8 which delivers 555 hp (408 kW) from 5,750-6,000 rpm and peak torque of 680 Nm (501 lb.-ft.) available between 1,500 and 5,650 rpm. The M TwinPower Turbo features a common exhaust emission manifold which joins both rows of cylinders and also BMW’s Twin Scroll Twin Turbo Technology. Unfortunately, BMW hasn’t released any details on the cars’ acceleration and top speed, but rumors say that the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint is done in around 4.5 seconds and the top speed will probably be electronically limited at 250 km/h (155 mph).

BMW has also worked hard on improving the engine’s efficiency, so the new M ‘brothers’ feature the EfficienDynamics techonology, High Precision Injection, Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand control of the electrical fuel pump, detachable A/C compressor and volume flow-controlled supply of hydraulic fluid to the anti-roll system. All these make the X6 M and X5 M comply with the Euro 5 and LEV II emission standards.

There’s no point in listing all the safety and confort features, you can imagine the new M SUVs are full of those, so we’re just gonna mention a few: crash-activated front headrests, adaptive brake lights, new 20-inch alloy wheels, BMW’s Head-Up Display, High-Beam Assistant, Park Distance Control and a high quality interior with M leather steering wheel and M footrests, Merino leather covering additional surfaces and trim features, M entry trim, interior trim bars in brushed Aluminium Shadow instrument cluster with variable pre-warning field in the rev counter and of course, BMW’s latest generation of iDrive control.

All in one, the X6 M and the X5 M were two very anticipated cars and we bet driving one of these will be a blast (we test drove the X6 a couple of weeks ago – review coming – and it was splendid). And here are some photo of the two cars, and after the jump there’s also a really nice video. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: BMW X5 M

Photo Gallery: BMW X6 M


520 reservations already made for the Tesla Model S

Last week, the Tesla Model S was officially introduced and, as we expected, the car received some incredible feedback. And that’s not all, it seems that people are already lining up for the all-electric family sedan, because in press release made today Tesla has announced there are already 520 reservations made for the car and that the company is planning on opening showrooms in Chicago, London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC and Munich this year.

“Frankly the number of cars reserved in the first week has exceeded our optimistic internal projections,” said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. “Enthusiasm surrounding the Model S is proof that there’s pent-up demand for more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles – including those made in America.”

With the Model S to be one of the world’s first mass-produced when production begins in late 2011, Tesla has big plans for the car and they’ve applied for a $350 million loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which would be used to build the Model S assembly plant in California.

Way to go Tesla!

Photo Gallery: Tesla Model S


The first new Chevrolet Camaro that gets crashed

On March 16, the production of the new Chevrolet Camaro officially started. Only four days later, the first crash was recorded on Dundee Road in North Oakville (at least it’s the first crash we’re aware of). We know that everytime a great car is launched these things will happen, it’s just that we weren’t expecting it so soon. It was only a minor crash, not anything terrifying, but the car’s gonna need a new nose, that’s for sure. Well, life goes on, let’s hope it’s gonna be some time before we see any other Camaro crashes.


Hamann Imperator based on the Bentley Continental GT Speed

German tuner Hamann turned its attention to one of the most ‘tuned’ cars around, the Bentley Continental GT Speed. The package, called Hamann Imperator, consists of a new body kit, performance upgrades and set of exclusive modifications for the interior.

The body kit features a completely redesigned front fascia with larger air inlets and LED daytime running lights, large extensions at the front and rear wings (makes the car 70 mm wider), new Hamann side skirts and at the rear we have a spoiler and an integrated diffuser rear skirt. The car’s aggressive look is completed by new Anniversary Race Anodized with high-gloss polished rim flange and black anodized rim star, available in 22- and 21-inch sizes.

Under the hood, by modifying the ECU and by adding a sports end muffler with oval stainless steel end pipes, Hamann managed to squeeze 40 hp and 90 Nm more from the 600 hp W12 engine, which translates into a top speed increased by 5 km/h. The interior features a newly designed 3-spoke sport steering wheel, new Hamann upholestry with carbon fiber inserts and personalised floor mat.

Photo Gallery: Bentley Continental GT Speed tuning by Hamann


Rick Wagoner leaves GM with $20.2 million retirement package

On Sunday, at the White House’s request, Rick Wagoner announced his decision to step down from his position as GM’s chief executive. If you feel or felt sorry for him, don’t be! Because, according to GM’s financial filings, Wagoner is entitled to a $20.2 million retirement package. That’s a lot of money and I’m sure everyone would be happy to get fired under these circumstances. According to ABC News, althought the Treasury Department halted all payments to GM’s senior executives, Wagoner’s retirement package is legal and can’t be stopped.

“I think it’s another perfect example of why there’s so much frustration among working people,” said Tiffany Ten Eyck of Labor Notes, a Detroit-based independent publication covering unions. “I wouldn’t mind retiring out of an industry in crisis with a $20 million package.”

However, there’s one thing that could cause Wagoner to lose a huge amount of that money and that’s if GM files for bankruptcy. Accrding to Dave Schimdt, executive compensation analyst with James F. Reda and Associates, only less than $1 million of the total $20.2 million is guaranteed in case GM goes into bankruptcy. However, Julie M. Gibson, spokeswoman for GM, said that Wagoner’s compensation is still being reviewed and he might have to negotiate with the company’s board to access the money.


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