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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Heading To Frankfurt Motor Show

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

September is going to be an important month for Toyota as they’ll bring to the Frankfurt Motor Show the highly anticipated Prius Plug-in Hybrid, a car that they’ve described as being the “next major milestone”. It will come with a compact lithium-ion battery pack and fuel consumption is expected to be 106.9 mpg (128.4 mpg UK or 2.2 liters / 100 km), while CO2 emissions will be of only 49 g/km.

No more information have been revealed except for the fact that it will be able to run for 12.5 miles at speeds of up to 62 mph only on electric mode.

Source: Toyota via WCF

Tesla Model S Still Scheduled For 2012 Release

Tesla Model S

Tesla said recently that the Model S is on course to reach the European market in late 2012 and they also mentioned the fact that already they have 4600 deposits for their sexy electric sedan. We don’t have to tell you how important the car is for Tesla because the chances are that if it’s going to be a flop, the company will face some serious issues, just like SAAB is experiencing at the moment.

Tesla Model S

Tesla in its 8-year of history has never posted a profit and just a week ago they’ve posted a second quarter loss of $58.9 million after a serious cash infusion in R&D for the Model S. The total revenue for the 2nd quarter was $58.2 million, which is a record for the company and this is mostly due to the rise in demand for their Roadster model.

Tesla Model S

As you probably know this by know, Tesla has and still is being financially supported by huge companies like Toyota, Panasonic as well as Blackstar, which is Daimler’s private equity arm. Starting with 2013, the automaker plans on selling 20,000 units per year and those 4600 deposits we’ve mentioned will cover the car’s first year of production which will commence in the summer of next year. About 50% of the demands for the Model S come from sunny California.

The Tesla Model S features a lightweight, high-strength aluminum architecture and upon launch is going to be available with three battery configurations. The entry-level model will be capable of a driving range of up to 160 miles; the mid-range will do 230 miles while the top-spec model is expected to offer a driving range of up to 300 miles until the batteries die. The first 1000 units Tesla is going to roll will be special “Signature Series” that will feature extra goodies and the biggest battery pack, the one that provides a 300-mile range.

In related news, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, confirmed that after the launch of the sedan, Tesla will soon launch an SUV version based on the Model S which will be called Model X. They expect that from 2014 they’ll be able to sell 15,000 cars per year. Both of the cars are going to be built in Fremont, California, a facility formerly owned by General Motors.

Let’s hope that everything will go according to plan and next year we’ll see the sleek Model S on the streets and after that the green SUV.

Source: Tesla via Autocar

Bentley’s CEO Confirms 2014 SUV

Bentley SUV (rendering)

Bentley’s CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, has confirmed this week that the company is working hard on a sport utility vehicle which if it will be green-lighted by parent company VW, it will probably go into production sometime in 2014. Durheimer told Top Gear and Car publications that Bentley is developing its own derivative of the next-gen VW Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.

According to Top Gear magazine, this all-new SUV from Bentley might be powered by a massive V12 6.0-liter TDI engine borrowed from the Audi Q7. Car mentioned that this Bentley model could get the all-new V8 4.0-liter twin-turbo gasoline engine that will make its first appearance in the upcoming 2012 Continental GT. In addition, Car said that chances are that we’ll see this SUV also with a plug-in hybrid powertrain linked to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Reports say that the SUV will share the modular MLB architecture that will be used for the next-gen Touareg, Q7 and Cayenne, and all of them will benefit from a lightweight aluminum spaceframe. Car added that this 2014 Bentley SUV will be more expensive than the Range Rover as well as the Porsche Cayenne.

Source: Land Rover via Inside Line| Photo: WCF

2012 Chevrolet Orlando, Priced From CA$19,995

2012 Chevrolet Orlando

General Motors announced this week that its 2012 Chevrolet Orlando will be reaching the Canadian borders starting with this October. Unfortunately, GM didn’t say anything about the minivan’s availability in the United States so you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

2012 Chevrolet Orlando

Built in South Korea, the car is already available in Europe as it was launched in the beginning of this year and when it will hit the Canadian market it is going to be available in three trim levels. The LS model will be the entry-level model and it will carry a price tag of CA$19,995 (US$20,260); the mid-range LT will set you back at least CA$22,295 (US$22,591) while the top-spec LTZ will cost you from CA$29,735 (US$30,130).

2012 Chevrolet Orlando

Regardless of the variant you choose, there’s only one engine available, in the form of a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter Ecotec that benefits from direct injection and it will fire 174 hp. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the 2012 Chevrolet Orlando has a fuel consumption of 35.1 mpg (6.7 liters / 100 km) on the highway and 23.3 mpg (10.1 liters / 100 km) in the city. Opting for the 6-speed automatic transmission, the minivan will return 34 mpg (6.9 liters / 100 km) on the highway and 22.2 mpg (10.6 liters / 100 km) in the city.

Source: General Motors via Carscoop


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2012 Toyota Camry Leaked

2012 Toyota Camry

After a series of teaser images with the upcoming 2012 Camry, Toyota’s preparations to launch the model have been spoiled by a French-Canadian magazine who published all the juicy details about the car. What we can learn from these leaked photos is that the Camry isn’t going to be an all-new car, but more of an upgrade of the outgoing model as it will come with an improved interior cabin and a slightly revised design. In addition, it will also pack a prominent infotainment system.

2012 Toyota Camry

Upon launch, the car is going to be available with a choice of three engines. The entry-level one will be a 4-cylinder 2.5-liter unit which will produce 169 hp (171 PS / 126 kW) and a peak torque of 167 lb.-ft (226 Nm), which should be enough for a 0-62 mph sprint in 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).

2012 Toyota Camry

The second one will be a hybridized 4-cylinder 2.4-liter with a combined output of 187 hp (190 PS / 139 kW) and a maximum torque of 199 lb.-ft (270 Nm). With this configuration, the 2012 Toyota Camry will hit 62 mph from start in 8.9 seconds, on its way to a maximum speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).

The most powerful engine will be a V6 3.5-liter unit with 268 hp (272 PS / 200 kW) and 248 lb.-ft (335 Nm) of torque, allowing the car to sprint to 62 mph in just 7.2 seconds, en route to a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h).

Source: Autoblog

NHTSA Blocks Pagani Huayra Release In U.S.

Pagani Huayra

Those of you in the U.S. of A. who were waiting for the Pagani Huayra will have to wait a little bit longer as the car hasn’t been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) due to some issues with the airbags. When they heard the bad news, the officials of the automaker applied for exemption from the NHTSA’s requirements due to the reason that this would cause them “substantial economic hardship.”

This requirement for advanced airbags has forced Pagani to delay the release in the US of the Huyara from 2012 to 2013. These “advanced airbags” have been developed in order to protect kids by sensing when a minor is in the vehicle and applying a suitable airbag in the unfortunate event of an accident.

At first, the supercar maker said that they will bring five cars to the United States in its first year while for the second one they forecasted up to 10 units. As a reminder, the car comes with a massive V12 6.0-liter bi-turbo engine that unleashes 700 hp and has a peak torque of 664 lb.-ft. Featuring a lightweight carbon-titanium body, the Huayra is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 3.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 230 mph.

Source: NHTSA, Pagani via Autocar

New Engine For 2012 Land Rover Defender

2012 Land Rover Defender

The British automaker Land Rover has announced this week that the 2012 Defender will come with several updates, the most important one being the all-new 2.2-liter diesel engine that is Euro 5 compliant. The engine produces 120 hp (122 PS / 90 kW) and has a peak torque of 265 lb.-ft (360 Nm) and it is going to replace the old 2.4-liter unit.

2012 Land Rover Defender

With this engine the 2012 Land Rover Defender will be able to reach a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h) while CO2 emissions will be of 266 g/km for the Defender 90 and 295 g/km for the Defender 110 / 130.

2012 Land Rover Defender

Aside from the implementation of a new power unit, the Defender will be available with a choice of two new packages. The first one is priced at 1650 pounds carrying the Comfort Pack name and it comes with power windows / locks, CD player and air conditioning. The other one, dubbed Off-Road Pack, will set you back 1500 pounds and for this money you’ll get a ball hitch, underbody protection, off-road tires and anti-lock brakes.

The 2012 Defender will be available for sale starting with November and the base price in United Kingdom starts from 20,995 pounds.

Source: Land Rover via WCF

For Sale: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Sang Noir

As you probably already know, Bugatti has stopped making the Veyron Super Sport so your chances of buying a brand new one are zero. However, if you really want the car and you can afford to pay an insane amount of money for it, you should know that a British luxury car dealer by the name of Tom Hartley has one for sale right now.

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Sang Noir

The dealer has the bespoke model that was exhibited at this year’s edition of the Geneva Motor Show and comes with tangerine seats and a gorgeous matte black paint. The car has been barely driven as the odometer reads 864 miles (1,390 km).

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Sang Noir

As a reminder, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is powered by a huge 16-cylinder 8.0-liter engine that fires 1183 hp (1,200 PS / 882 kW) and has a peak torque of 1106 lb.-ft (1,500 Nm). With such power available, the SS can hit a limited top speed of 258 mph (415 km/h).

We almost forgot about the asking price – $3.4 million (2.4 million Euro / 2.1 million pounds)!

Source: Tom Hartley via eGMcartech via WCF

Honda Working On Greener 2.2 Diesel Engine

2012 Honda Civic

The Japanese automaker Honda is working hard on a more eco-friendly variant of its 2.2-liter engine as a response to the criticism that its power unit is not as clean and frugal as it should be. This new engine will have CO2 emissions of only 110 g/km and will be available at first for the all-new Honda Civic, a car that will make its official debut in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show and it will hit the dealerships next year.

This new generation of the i-DTEC power unit generates 148 hp which is the same as the more polluting one fitted to the Accord and 10 hp more than the current 2.2 CDTi that is available for the outgoing Civic. Compared to the older one, this new engine emits 29 g/km less and they managed to do this by implementing a stop/start system as well as a whole bunch of other internal tweaks that were not going to bother you with.

Honda stated that 5 g/km of the saving is from the stop/start system while the rest of the 24 g/km is thanks to the revised oil channels in order to reduce friction as well as a few aerodynamic refinements to the body.

By launching this new i-DTEC engine, the Civic will become a more worthy adversary for the VW Golf and the Ford Focus but we’re not sure if it stands a chance against these two cars, especially in Europe.

Source: Honda via Autocar

Audi Urban Concept Revealed

Audi Urban Concept

What we have here is an interesting concept coming from the Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer Audi. This week they’ve released the first sketches with this cool-looking Urban Concept which has a seating configuration of 1+1. This would have to be an extremely light concept car developed mostly for large congested cities and Audi said that they’ve built it from zero, without getting their inspiration from other cars. Their main objective with the Urban Concept was to create a small, efficient and lightweight vehicle.

Audi Urban Concept

The concept features free-standing wheels that have surrounding protective plates which incorporate LED light strips. The two passengers of the vehicle sit very low and the cabin offers a sporty position. In addition, the driver of the Urban Concept has the possibility to adjust not only the steering wheel but also the pedals.

Audi Urban Concept

Audi created a roof for this car that slides to the rear when opened for allowing access inside the cabin. What this means is that the passenger enters the vehicle through its tailgate. As far as the cockpit is concerned, the German engineers decided to use carbon fiber-reinforced polymer in order to keep the weight down to a minimum.

Audi Urban Concept

This very interesting concept from Audi is powered by an electric motor and a pack of lithium-ion batteries, but they didn’t mention any other juicy details.

Source: Audi via ZerCustoms

Daihatsu Copen Revival In The Works

2011 Daihatsu Copen

To be honest I’m not what you’d call a fan of the Daihatsu brand but I’ve always had a soft spot for its cute Copen convertible. Those of you who like this car will be glad to hear that according to insiders within the company, a new generation of the model is under development and it seems that it will be powered by an engine from its parent company, which if you didn’t know is Toyota.

The previous generation of the Copen was discontinued this year and had a small 660cc turbo engine which was replaced by a more frugal 1.3-liter power unit in order to meet the stricter emissions rules.

The new one which Daihatsu is working on will go back to its roots and sources say that it will be powered by a 2-cylinder, 0.9-liter gasoline engine that will use roughly the same technology of the TwinAir engine found in the funky Fiat 500. This new car promises to return 90 mpg UK while CO2 emissions will be below the 80 g/km mark.

Most likely, the all-new Daihatsu Copen is going to be wider and longer than the discontinued model due to the reason that the automaker’s bosses definitely want the car to comply with the latest safety regulations. The same sources say that it will probably still have the folding hard top of the original model.

Rumors say that Daihatsu will launch the new generation of the Copen sometime in 2013 and if we learned one thing from this automaker is that the car will probably be very cheap.

Source: Auto Express

Spy Shots – Next Generation BMW M3

2014 BMW M3 (prototype)

Our friends from Auto Express have taken a couple of spy shots with the upcoming new generation of the BMW M3 which will be turbocharged for the first time in its prolific history. You have to know that the regular 3-Series hasn’t been launched yet but the Germans have already begun the development of the hot M3 version.

2014 BMW M3 (prototype)

From these spy shots we notice a very aggressive front bumper, muscular wheel arches, a bigger rear apron as well as the company’s impressive quad exhaust pipes configuration. They took the rims from the current M3 but most likely when the production version will be launched the car will ride on another set of alloys.

The all-new BMW M3 will employ a whole bunch of hi-tech materials like carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum in order to reduce the weight of the car as much as they can while at the same time improve its performances and handling.

2014 BMW M3 (prototype)

Rumors say that the car will be powered by a 6-cylinder 3.3-liter tri-turbo engine that will develop 450 hp, which is considerably more than the current V8 4.0-liter in the M3 we have now that churns “only” 414 hp. Two of the turbochargers will be driven by exhaust while the other one by electricity.

Auto Express says that the new M3 will be launched sometime in 2014 and will come with a starting price of approximately 60,000 pounds.

Until then, we are eager to see the new generation of the 3-Series to find out what the Germans have been up to. Let’s hope that its styling will be totally different from the new 1-Series which isn’t one of their prettiest cars, to say the least.

Stay tuned for more information about both the new 3-Series and the impressive M3.

Source: Auto Express

SsangYong Korando Arrives In UK

SsangYong Korando

Next month SsangYong will come back in the United Kingdom market with the all-new Korando crossover, a car that has nothing in common with the older generation that it replaces. The automaker is owned by the Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra and with this new crossover they plan on stealing customers away from the funky (and my personal favorite) Nissan Qashqai, the Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage and Hyundai’s ix35 model. They hope to do that with the attractive starting price of only 16,995 pounds.

SsangYong Korando

The new generation of the Korando is based on the C200 Aero Concept that we saw back in 2009, a concept created by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s ItalDesign. Under the hood it will come with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces 175 hp and has a maximum torque of 360 Nm. CO2 emissions will stand at 157 grams of CO2 / km and the car will be available for order in FWD or AWD configurations, along with a 6-speed manual gearbox or an automatic transmission.

SsangYong Korando

Those who are interested in this model will be able to get it in one of the three trim levels available: S and ES which will come with a manual gearbox and the top-spec EX that features an automatic transmission.  The AWD version is going to be available only on the aforementioned EX trim level.

SsangYong Korando

Some of the standard goodies that come with this SsangYong Korando include the reverse parking sensors, cruise control, Hill Start Assist and ESP.

Source: SsangYong via Carscoop


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Classic Recreations Announces Shelby G.T.350CR

Shelby G.T.350CR

If you have $119,000 standing around in your bank account and you are a huge fan of the old Mustang, the guys from Classic Recreations have just the right car for you. They start with an original ’55 or ’56 Mustang and install a bunch of modern goodies like a coilover suspension, high performance brakes and a pinion steering system. Aside from these, they also throw in a sport exhaust system a Tremec manual gearbox and a limited slip differential.

Now to the really good part, as under the hood they’ll fit in a massive V8 7.0-liter engine that fires 545 hp (553 PS / 406 kW). Not enough? Well, they’ll also offer a more powerful supercharged version that produces 645 hp 645 hp (655 PS / 481 kW), along with an impressive twin-turbo variant that can unleash more than 1,000 hp (1014 PS / 746 kW).

Source: Classic Recreations via Mustangs Daily via WCF

Up For Auction – 1964 Lincoln Continental (Popemobile)

1964 Lincoln Continental Popemobile

A truly unique car will be auctioned on August 19th at the Bohams’ Quail Lodge sale in California.  The organizers hope to get between $250,000 and $350,000 for this 1964 Lincoln Continental Parade Limousine that was developed for Pope Paul VI.

This excellent stretched Continental was commissioned by the Vatican for Pope Paul’s historic New York visit in 1965 to address the UN on world peace. The car was used in 1968 during the pope’s visit to Bogota, Colombia with the occasion of the 39th Eucharistic Congress.

The car was retired in the beginning of the 1970s but before that it was used by President Lyndon B. Johnson in Detroit, but also in Chicago where it was used in order to convey astronauts from the crews of the Apollo 8, 11, 13 and 15.

The wheelbase of this ’64 Continental was stretched to 160 inches so the car has an overall length of almost 21 ft. Lehmann-Peterson, the coachbuilder, executed other changes to the limo, installing exterior step plates as well as handrails for the pope’s Swiss Guards. In addition, he fitted the Continental with more seats, additional interior lightning, a raised seat for the pope and auxiliary power that comes from a seven battery pack. It also comes with a removable roof section, a roof-mounted auxiliary windshield and a transparent rear landaulet roof.

This won’t be the first time when the car is going to be auctioned as the last time it happened was in 2006 when it fetched $319,000.

Source: Inside Line

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