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Ssangyong releases C200 Aero Concept teaser photo

The Korean car maker released a teaser picture of the upcoming Ssangyong C200 Aero Concept which will make its debut in April, at the Seoul Motor Show. Based on the C200 Concept which made its debut last year at the Paris Motor Show, the Aero is a more aggressive model which features several new styling elements like a new front fascia, larger alloy wheels and a roof spoiler.

Considering the C200 was introduced with a 175 hp 2.0 liter turbo diesel, we expect the Aero to be equipped at least with the same engine, if not a more powerful powerplant. According to Ssangyong, the C200 Aero project is in an advanced state, with a production version being scheduled to be released later this year.

Photo Gallery: Ssangyong C200 Concept at the Paris Motor Show

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The IKEA car, you’ve got to be kidding me!

And yeah, they’re probably kidding us. Because the LEKO project will be unveiled on April 1, just in time for…April Fools. We never had any A’s in French classes, but that guy talking in the video says this is the car of tomorrow and it will be environmentally friendly (with low CO2 emissions) and wait for it…it’s going to be a coupe/cabrio. So IKEA does not only enter the auto market, but it does it in style, with a convertible. Yeah, right! So, either the Swedish company has lost its mind or, most likely (there’s no mention on the IKEA website) we have a really cool prank set for April Fools. Check out the project’s websitehere.

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Lamborghini Murcielago bespoke package by Prindiville Prestige

Prindiville Prestige is a British company specialised in creating one of a kind bespoke cars accroding to individual client’s specs. And their latest product is a styling package for the Lamborghini Murcielago which features a bolder and more assertive front fascia, redesigned side sills, a more dynamic rear part with exclusive titanium sports exhaust system, no handles doors with remote electric opening and restyled engine bay with transparent cooling louvres. Only the front compartment lid remained from the production Murcielago and all the body panels have carbon fibre finish.

On the interior, the car features rich leather and hand-finished aluminium accents and other small details like specially engineered aluminium air vents. Of course, rich customers have the option of choosing whatever they wish for the interior.

Photo Gallery: Lamborghini Murcielago tuning by Prindiville Prestige

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The Tata Nano officially unleashed today

Yeah, I know, the title’s a little too agressive, but still, today is a very important day because the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano, was officially launched in India. After facing big social and political problems, the ambitious Tata project is finally up and running and today the company has started taking orders for the Nano. The car will be on display in showrooms all across India on April 1 (no, it’s not a joke) and the first customers will start getting their vehicles in July.

With a starting price just below $2,000, the Tata Nano will come in three trim levels, Standard, CX (with heating and air-conditioning, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes) and LX (fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, mobile charger point and rear spoiler). Under the hood, the Nano will be powered by a 35 hp 2-cylinder engine which will have a top speed of 105 km/h (65 mph), will allow a fuel economy of 4.2 liters/100 km (56 USmpg) and will release 101 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

The Nano is currently built at the Tata plant in Pantnagar but a new plant which will have a capacity of 350,000 vehicles per year is scheduled to be opened in 2010 in Sanand.

Like I said, I think the Tata Nano project is one incredible project. To be able to build a car and sell it for only $2,000, that’s amazing. Now of course, I wouldn’t buy one of these and I’m sure it’s not the most thrilling car one could ever drive nor the most reliable, but I also think there’s a huge market for this car and it’s only up to Tata to make it happen. Any thoughts on this, Shrawan?

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Google Street View car stuck in mud in Australia

If you click here, you won’t see the typical images we’re used to see on Google’s Street View. Instead, we see the Google-mobile stuck in the mud and dragged out by a four-wheel-drive truck which was happening to pass by. Now, beside the obvious hilarious situation, we can’t help wondering, what the hell was the Street View car doing in the middle of nowhere? The images were taken somewhere close to Tilpa, New South Wales.

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2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG teaser photo

Ain’t that a beauty? This teaser photo of the new Mercedes Benz E63 AMG has been published by the German magazine Sport Auto, who will offer one of these beasts to one lucky reader as part of the sweepstakes for their annual reader’s choice awards. From the photo we get to have a good lock at the front part and we can see the redesigned front bumper or the big split-spoke AMG wheels. There are not many details available about the car, but we do know that it’ll be powered by a 6.3 liter V8 delivering 525 hp and 630 Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. We’ll get more about the E63 AMG after it’s official launch, most likely to take place next month at the New York Auto Show.

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Video: The solution for crowded parking lots

To be honest, I never thought of that before. What do you do when you’re going round and round looking for a parking space and in the only avaliable ones you couldn’t get your car not even if it was a Smart. It’s easy, you install a fifth wheel between the rear wheels and tadaaa! At least that’s what this guy did and it looks like it’s working pretty good for him.

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Toyota Celica to make its comeback in 2010

Quite some time ago we wrote about Toyota deciding to bring back the Celica this year. The post received a lot of comments and everyone was thrilled hearing that, because the Celica, though it was discontinued for slow sales, made a lot of fans among the car enthusiasts. And now we’ve got some more good news. After a year and half with no word from Toyota about a new Celica, French magazine L’Automobile received confirmation from Thierry Dombreval, Toyota Europe’s VP of Sales and Marketing, who said the Celica will make its comeback next year, as a result of the partnership between Toyota and Subaru.

This comes after reports pointed that the two Japanese car makers are working on a jointly developed rear-wheel-drive sports car and apparently the car will wear the Celica badge for Toyota, while we don’t have any details about Subaru’s version. We hope this time Toyota won’t change its mind again, because there are a lot of people out here (including us) dreaming of a new generation Celica.

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InsideLine compares the Camaro, Challenger and the Mustang

Ever since the three cars were announced, a couple of years ago, we were wondering, which is gonna be the best, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Dodge Challenger or the new Ford Mustang? And InsideLine had the chance to bring all these three cars together and compare them. I personally have been in love with the Camaro ever since I’ve seen the first photos of the concept, which looked incredibly. I had the chance, last autumn, to see the Camaro and the Challenger in the flesh, at the Paris Motor Show and I still kept my opinion that the Camaro looks better. I didn’t see the new Mustang live, but I don’t see major changes to the car so, to me, the winner of the “muscle wars” was the Camaro. But only judging by the looks, because I have no idea how each one feels like behind the steering wheel. And here’s where InsideLine comes to the rescue and this are their final opinions.

If you want something that plucks your heartstrings like no other car, the Challenger is it. Racers will probably gravitate toward the spry and established Mustang.

But there can only be one winner, and the Camaro SS is clearly that. No longer does it have to apologize for its performance with a bang-for-the-buck cop-out — though it handily snatches that crown, too. It packs a talented chassis, performance and, yes, attitude at a price within the reach of working-class stiffs.

There’s little more to be said than the Camaro is back. In a big way. And SS once again truly means Super Sport.

Now all I can do is dream that one day I’ll have the chance to drive this beauty…Hello, GM, anyone there? :) And if you like any of these three, you really need to check the InsideLine test, they’ve also got a video (click here).

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Lamborghini postpones the Estoque

Last Autumn, at the Paris Motor Show, the Lamborghini Estoque four-door coupe made its world debut and everyone, including us, was really thrilled with the car. However, we got some bad news from Autocar, who reports about the Italian car maker deciding to postpone the project. We don’t know if this means the Estoque was actually cancelled, because all Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s head of R&D said was that “The timing and market conditions are just not right for an additional model line.”

That’s a shame, because the Estoque was definitely a beautiful car and with the permanent four-wheel-drive and whatever would’ve chosen to put under the hood (V10, turbocharged V8, etc.) I’m sure the car would also have been a blast to drive. On the other hand, I’m sure Lamborghini are knowing what they’re doing and who knows, maybe this really wouldn’t have been the time for a new addition to their range, especially with the crisis.

Photo Gallery: Lamborghini Estoque at the Paris Motor Show


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Video: The 2009 BMW Z4 in Spain

This video was recently released by BMW and shows exterior, interior and driving footage, probably taken during the recent test drive days that took place in Alicante, Spain. The video’s 10 minutes long and unfortunately there’s no music (except for the engine “symphony”) so some of you might find it dull. Still, we liked it and we hope you do too. Enjoy!

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Daimler to sell 9.1% stake for $2.7 billion to Abu Dhabi investment group

Major change of strategy for Daimler. After last year, on June 17, it announced plans of buying back 6 billion Euros of its own stock, now Bloomberg reports that Daimler AG, the world’s second largest luxury car maker (after BMW) will sell a 9.1% stake to Aabar Investments PJSC, an investment group from Abu Dhabi. The Middle Eastern group will buy 96.4 million shares for 20.27 Euros each ($27.44), the whole transaction is worth around 1.95 billion Euros (around $2.7 billion). Daimler decided to sell this stake after the financial crisis caused the car and truck demand to take a deep plunge. According to last year’s financial statements, the German company lost 1.53 billion Euros ($2.07 billion) only in the quarter, especially due to slow sales and expenses with former US arm Chrysler.

“We are delighted to welcome Aabar as a new major shareholder that is supportive of our corporate strategy [..] We look forward to working together to pursue joint strategic initiatives” said Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s CEO.

“Daimler is an iconic brand and a financially strong company,” said Aabar Chairman Khadem al-Qubaisi. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to make this investment and are excited by the commercial potential of our partnership.”

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Lexus IS 250C to go on sale this summer

Last year, at the Paris Motor Show, the Lexus IS 250C made its world debut, announcing hard times ahead for rivals like the BMW 3 Series Convertible or the Mercedes Benz CLK. And last week, Toyota announced that the car will hit showrooms this summer, in July, with a strating price set at around £30,000 (around $43,500).

While the car is based on sedan version, it received a major redesign and except for the bonnet, headlamps, door handles and mirros, everything is new, in order to make room for the folding metal roof, which opens and closes in 20 seconds (the best time in its class). The car’s nose is 15 mm longer than the sedan’s, the doors are 30 cm longer to allow easier access to the back seats (the front seats also have a ‘one-touch walk-in button’ which folds the front seats and slides them forward).

Under the hood, there will be the same 204 hp 2.5 liter V6 mated to a six speed automatic transmission which will allow the car to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in nine seconds and to go up to a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h).

Photo Gallery: Lexus IS 250C at the Paris Motor Show


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Video: Deadly crash between a Chrysler Crossfire and a truck

We don’t have any certain details about this crash, because the news report’s in Russian, but from the images caught by a security cam in Russia a Chrysler Crossfire was going pretty fast, ran the red light and crashed into a truck. Like we said, we have no idea what that police officer is saying but reading through the comments from Carscoop it seems that the two dead people we see in the news report are the Crossfire’s driver and passenger, while the truck driver was thrown through the window and survived the violent accident. We’re warning you, the video ain’t pretty and it could definitely serve as an example of what wreckless driving can do.

Update: Thanks to our reader uranium, who has translated the news report, we know the crash took place at around 4 in the morning and the 23 year old Chrysler driver had a history of over 20 law violation. Police estimates he was doing around 200 km/h (125 mph) when he hit the truck. Unbelievable! The other passenger was 20 years old and they both died on impact. The truck driver was really lucky and survived the crash with a head concussion and few small injuries.

You can see the news report with images from after the crash, after the jump. (more…)

Toyota Land Cruiser V8 tuning package by Wald International

Rappers all around the world rejoice! We usually like the tuning programs from Japanese tuner Wald International but auch, this one makes our eyes hurt. The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 is one big beast, we know that because we had the chance to test drive it last year, and giving at a sporty and aggressive is just…wrong! The Black Bison package features new, huge front bumper, side skirts, rear apron with integrated diffuser, roof wing and new alloy wheels. Unless you’ve got an exaggerated ego and really like to get noticed, we don’t see any reason why anyone would buy this package.

Photo Gallery: Toyota Land Cruiser V8 tuning by Wald International

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