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Vauxhall Astra VXR en route for Geneva debut

Opel Astra OPC

The British automaker Vauxhall has published a few days ago new pictures with the upcoming Astra VXR that will be making its public debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The most powerful Astra ever made will come with a sporty lower air intake and 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels that offer the car an aggressive look.

Opel Astra OPC

Inside the cabin you will be able to find high-back seats that will be trimmed in leather with contrasting stitching, along with a VXR-badged sporty steering wheel. The Astra VXR will feature a General Motors / SAAB HiPer strut suspension on the front in order to retain steering finesse while the most part of the torque will be sent to the wheels in the front. We should mention that it will be an adaptation of a regular front-strut that will feature a separate knuckle joint which promises to stop the torque steer that FWD cars with a lot of power usually suffer from.

Opel Astra OPC

Another feature of the new Vauxhall Astra VXR is going to be the mechanical limited slip differential that will cut wheel spin while at the same time improve traction out of corners and also from a standing start. Much like the previous generation of the hot Astra, the cockpit of the new model will come with a VXR switch for adjusting the FlexRide adaptive dampers. Vauxhall has also replaced the standard brakes in favor of competition-derived Brembo brakes that will be able to provide more stopping power.

Opel Astra OPC

As a reminder, at the heart of the new Astra VXR will be a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter Family II engine that is capable of producing 276 hp and a peak torque of 295 lb.-ft.

Opel Astra OPC

No word at the moment about the car’s price tag but most likely it will start from 26,000 pounds. The Vauxhall Astra VXR is expected to reach dealerships this spring after its Geneva debut in March.

Source: Vauxhall via What Car

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Chicago Auto Show – 2013 Nissan 370Z

2013 Nissan 370Z

The 2013 Nissan 370Z has been introduced at this year’s edition of the Chicago Auto Show before going on sale this June. The new version of the car comes with several design updates and also a bunch of technical improvements that should make it more appealing to those who are on the look for a sporty coupe.

2013 Nissan 370Z

The car’s front fascia now features LED daytime running lights, while the front bumper has been redesigned. At the back of the 370Z we notice the red deflector that replaces the previous black one. The Japanese automaker also offers new designs for 18- and 19-inch rims, two new exterior colors and red brake calipers. Not much has changed inside the cabin except for the fuel gauge which now has a darker finish.

2013 Nissan 370Z

Nissan has fitted the same V6 3.7-liter DOHC engine which is able to pump out 332 hp. The engine can be linked to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Those who order the 370Z with the Sport Package will benefit from Euro-tuned shock absorbers that promise to improve the car’s handling while at the same time increasing the speed during cornering.

2013 Nissan 370Z

As for the 2013 NISMO 370Z, this version of the coupe now features a Bose Premium Audio Package that consists of two new speakers and two subwoofers. It rides on 19-inch rims that have a gun metallic finish and also has performance brake fluid and high rigidity brake hoses. As you would expect, the NISMO version of the 2013 Nissan 370Z is more powerful than the standard model thanks to the inclusion of an H-configured exhaust system and the Engine Computer Module (ECM) control that increases the output of the engine to 350 hp and a maximum torque of 276 lb.-ft. We should mention that this engine is mated exclusively to a 6-speed SynchroRev match manual gearbox.

2013 Nissan 370Z

No word at the moment about the price of the 2013 NISMO 370Z.

Source: Nissan via ZerCustoms

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Aston Martin V12 Zagato goes official

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

The British automaker Aston Martin has released the first official photos of the upcoming V12 Zagato which will be making its public debut this week at the Kuwait Concours d’Elegance. AM describes this model as being the “pinnacle of the Vantage range” and as you most know is based on the V12 Vantage model. With the launch of this car, Aston Martin is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the epic DB4GT Zagato.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Building an Aston Martin V12 Zagato takes about 2,000 man-hours and the vehicle features aluminum doors, roof and hood, while the door sills, boot lid and the fenders are manufactured from carbon fiber.

Moving inside the cabin we find a carbon fiber trim, semi-aniline leather seats and piano black accents. Also on board is a hand-stitched weave pattern on the doors, seats and the headliner. Obviously, the cabin also sports Zagato badging.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

We don’t know the specifications of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato for sure but if we were to believe the car’s brochure, it is powered by a massive V12 6.0-liter engine that is capable of producing 510 hp (517 PS / 380 kW) and a peak torque of 420 lb.-ft (570 Nm). The power unit is linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox and is capable of accelerating the 3,704 lb (1,680 kg) car to 62 mph from start in only 4.2 seconds, en route to a maximum speed of 190 mph (305 km/h).

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is already on sale and it can be yours if you are willing to pay at least 330,000 pounds. You’d better hurry because AM will make only 150 cars.

Source: Aston Martin via WCF

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Fiat Panda priced from 8,900 pounds in UK

Fiat Panda

The new generation of the Fiat Panda will be going on sale in the United Kingdom towards the end of this month. The Italian automaker said that the cheapest model will be the 1.2-liter gasoline Pop that has a base price of 8,900 pounds. This price tag goes all the way up to 12,250 pounds for the 1.3-liter Multijet diesel in Lounge trim.

Clients will be able to choose from one of the following three engines: a 1.2-liter gasoline unit that offers 69 hp, a 0.9-liter TwinAir that generates 85 hp and a 1.3 Multijet 2 turbo diesel engine that pumps out 75 hp.

The Pop versions of the new Panda come nicely equipped with central locking, electric windows, four airbags and body colored bumpers. For more money you could get a black pastel paint, roof rails and ESP.

The more expensive Easy trim adds air conditioning, remote central locking, upgraded stereo system and roof rails. The top-spec Lounge version of the Panda comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, heated electric mirrors, side skirts and body colored door handles and mirrors.

For the first time in the Fiat Panda, a low-speed collision mitigation system is available and it can automatically brake the vehicle at speeds of up to 18.6 mph whenever it detects an imminent collision. It can detect this via the lasers that are incorporated in the vehicle’s windscreen.

Source: Fiat via Autocar

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2013 BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible launched

2013 BMW M6

BMW has unveiled the 2013 M6 Coupe and Convertible models before their first public appearance which is scheduled for next month at the Geneva Motor Show, before going to the New York Auto Show in April.

2013 BMW M6

Under the hood of both versions is the same V8 4.4-liter power unit with two twin-scroll turbochargers that can also be found in the latest generation of the M5 which came out several months ago. This 8-cylinder engine is capable of generating 560 hp (412 kW) available between 5,750 and 7,000 rpm, and a maximum torque of 502 lb.-ft (680 Nm) reached between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. The German automaker said that the rev limiter will kick in at 7,200 rpm.

2013 BMW M6

Those ponies are sent to the road via the standard seven-speed M-Double Clutch Transmission and the company’s Active M Differential that is able to optimize the power transfer between the wheels at the back. The M6 might be also getting a six-speed manual transmission in the U.S., just like the M5 did.

2013 BMW M6

Performance-wise, the 2013 BMW M6 Coupe needs only 4.2 seconds to hit 62 mph from start, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). BMW also offers an optional M Driver’s package that increases the maximum speed to 189 mph (305 km/h). The Coupe can reach 124 mph (200 km/h) in 12.6 seconds while the Convertible will do it in 13.1 seconds.

2013 BMW M6

Even though this new model is 10% more powerful and has 30% more torque than the previous V10 models, the German company has said that these new V8-powered M6s drink approximately 30% less fuel, managing to return 23.8 mpg (9.9 liters / 100 km or 28.5 mpg UK) for the Coupe model, while the Convertible does 22.8 mpg (10.3 liters / 100 km or 27.4 mpg UK).

2013 BMW M6

In order to compensate the larger dimensions of the new M6, BMW has implemented a bunch of weight saving measures, like the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof, aluminum hood and doors and thermoplastic front side panels. A glass-fiber composite material was used for the boot lid and the roof cover of the Convertible model. However, don’t expect that the cars are light as the Coupe has a curb weight of 4,078 lbs (1,850 kg) while the Convertible is even heavier, standing at 4,365 pounds (1,980 kg).

2013 BMW M6

A novelty for the 6-Series is the optional M Carbon-Ceramic brakes that can be ordered exclusively with the 20-inch alloys. These brakes are 42.8 lb (19.4 kg) lighter than the regular ones. As standard, the 2013 BMW M6 rides on 19-inch M lightweight alloy wheels wrapped around in 265/40 R19 “ultra-high performance” summer tires for the front while at the back there are 295/35 R19 tires.

2013 BMW M6

As far as the design is concerned, the new M6 is wearing an aero package that includes front + rear bumpers, rear diffuser that houses four chromed tailpipes, side skirts. Aside from this, the front of the car features a new design for the M kidney grille that houses the M6 badge. Inside the car you get the usual M-specific sport seats, instrument panel gauges, steering wheel, trim and gearbox lever.

2013 BMW M6

The 2013 BMW M6 Convertible will be arriving in the U.S. dealerships this June, while several months later BMW will bring its Coupe sibling.

2013 BMW M6

Source: BMW

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Audi TT RS Plus announced

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

After several months of rumors about the Audi TT RS Plus, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has finally revealed the hottest version of the TT which will make its debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show, before going on sale in April.

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

It is available in both Coupe and Roadster versions and it is distinguished from the regular TT RS by the single-frame radiator grille in polished anthracite and also by the TT-RS Plus badge. In addition, the grille surrounding trim frame features a matt aluminum finish while carbon fiber-reinforced polymer was used for the side mirrors.

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

At the back of the Audi TT RS Plus you’ll notice the oval dual exhaust pipe tips while another novelty would have to be the valve controlled exhaust which regulates the engine sound volume. Speaking of the engine, we should mention that in this Plus version it gets carbon fiber trim covers. Other than that, inside the cabin the gear lever is trimmed with an aluminum-look ring and also adopts a TT RS Plus badge. It rides on 19-inch TT-RS wheels which now feature a black paint with a contrasting red accent on the rim flanges which we frankly don’t like.

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

The highlight of this Plus version would have to be the additional 20 hp (15 kW) of power and 11 lb.-ft (15 Nm) of torque, for an impressive grand total of 360 hp (265 kW) and a peak torque of 343 lb.-ft (465 Nm). Mated to an S tronic transmission, the Audi TT RS Plus is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.1 seconds, while with the manual gearbox it needs 4.3 seconds to perform the sprint. These figures are available for the Coupe, while the Roadster does the spring in 4.2 seconds with the S tronic or 4.4 seconds with the manual. Both models are able to hit an electronically limited top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h).

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

The Coupe version is able to return 27.7 mpg (8.5 liters / 100 km), while the Roadster can do 27.4 mpg (8.6 liters / 100 km).

In Germany, the starting price for the Audi TT RS Plus Coupe fitted with the manual gearbox is 60,650 Euros, while the same version with the 7-speed S tronic costs 62,800 Euros. As for the Roadster mode, this has a base price of 63,500 Euros with the manual or 65,650 Euros with the S tronic transmission.

2012 Audi TT RS Plus

Source: Audi

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Chicago Auto Show – 2013 Acura RDX

2013 Acura RDX

Honda’s Acura sub-brand has introduced earlier this week the 2013 RDX crossover in its production version at the Chicago Auto Show, after unveiled a pre-production prototype in January at the Detroit Motor Show.

2013 Acura RDX

The new model is powered by a naturally aspirated V6 3.5-liter engine which replaces the old 4-cylinder turbocharged 2.3-liter that equips the outgoing model. The new power unit produces 273 hp (277 PS / 203 kW), making it 33 hp more powerful than its predecessor. The engine is now mated to an all-new six-speed automatic gearbox that has a lock-up torque converter. The 2013 Acura RDX is going to be available in both FWD and AWD versions.

2013 Acura RDX

Acura says that the body of the RDX has been aerodynamically enhanced in comparison to the previous model. The crossover now rides on a new set of 18-inch, 5-spoke alloys as standard and benefits from a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear configuration.

Acura plans on producing the new 2013 RDX at its East Liberty factory located in Ohio.

Source: Acura via WCF

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KIA unveils Track’ster concept

Kia Track'ster

A very interesting concept revealed by Kia the other day is the Track’ster which even though it is based on the funky (and boxy) Soul model, the idea behind this concept is to provide performance. And so it does thanks to its 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 250 hp (253 PS / 186 kW).

Kia Track'ster

The entire horsepower generated by the power unit is sent to all wheels trough an electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system and a 6-speed manual gearbox that has a tubby spherical shift lever. The car rides on 19-inch high performance wheels and features a lowered suspension kit which Kia says that it has been tuned for improving track performance.

Kia Track'ster

The bad news is that the Korean automaker has no plans of putting the Track’ster into production. Too bad.

Kia Track'ster

Source: KIA

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2013 Mitsubishi Outlander heading to Geneva

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

The Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi has published the first official photo of the upcoming 2013 Outlander which will be launched in March at the Geneva Motor Show. The one that will be sold in Europe is going to be available with two engines and both 2WD and 4WD configurations. These engines are a 2.0-liter gasoline MIVEC unit and a 2.2-liter MIVEC Clean Diesel. Both of them will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and will benefit from the Auto Stop & Go technology.

At first, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander will be available in Russia and shortly after that it will be launched in the rest of Europe by the end of this summer. Later on, the new model will be reaching North America, Japan, China and Oceania.

Those who live in Europe will also be able to get the new Outlander with an EV-based plug-in hybrid powertrain which will be available starting with next year and will offer a range of up to 800 km, while CO2 emissions should be somewhere around 50 g/km.

Source: Mitsubishi

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Mercedes-Benz B-Class by Brabus

Mercedes-Benz B-Class by Brabus

The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been launched in the Europe a few weeks ago and the German tuner Brabus has already developed an upgrade program for the small MPV. The outside of the vehicle features a new aero kit that includes a front spoiler which can be attached directly to the standard front bumper, along with a rear apron that houses a diffuser and quad tail pipes.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class by Brabus

Clients are able to choose from one of the five available alloy wheel designs that measure 19 inches and are wrapped around in 225/35 R 19 tires in the front and 255/30 R 19 rubbers at the back. The B-Class is brought 30mm closer to the ground thanks to the installation of a suspension lowering kit that has sports springs which should improve the handling of the car.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class by Brabus

Inside the cabin Brabus offers a bunch of upgrades, like aluminum door lock pins, bi-color stainless steel scuff plates, multimedia systems and custom leather upholstery.

Source: Brabus

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2012 Seat Exeo launched in UK

2012 Seat Exeo

The 2012 Seat Exeo made its debut last year during the Frankfurt Motor Show and now it has arrived in the United Kingdom. This facelift is available for both the sedan and the ST versions of the previous gen Audi A4-based model and can now be ordered in the UK.

2012 Seat Exeo

The starting price for the entry-level sedan is 19,480 pounds (recommended price on the road) which is offered with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces 118 hp (120 PS). Clients can also get the Exeo with two 2.0-liter TDIs with 141 hp (143 PS) or 168 hp (170 PS), along with a more powerful 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged gasoline engine that offers 208 hp (211 PS). All of these engines have been revised and now offer better fuel efficiency and fewer CO2 emissions.

2012 Seat Exeo

The Spanish automaker has stated that later on this year they will introduce a cleaner and more frugal Ecomotive version of the Exeo which will feature the stop/start technology and will have CO2 emissions of less than 120 g/km.

2012 Seat Exeo

On the design department, we notice an updated fascia that now has bi-xenon headlights and LED DRLs which are standard for the Sport variants and extra for the SE spec. Aside from this, we should mention the new design for the alloy wheels, revised upholstery options and a new look for the steering wheel.

Source: Seat

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Chicago Auto Show – 2013 Acura ILX

2013 Acura ILX

Scheduled to go on sale this spring, the 2013 Acura ILX made its official debut this week at the Chicago Auto Show. The Japanese automaker promises that the car is fully capable of combining performance, luxury and efficiency with affordability while at the same time not forgetting about the environment.

2013 Acura ILX

Under the hood of the ILX is the company’s first gas-electric hybrid powertrain that utilizes a 1.5-liter inline engine and also an Integrated Motor Assist electric motor. Thanks to the CVT (continuously variable transmission), the vehicle is able to return up to 35 mpg in the city and up to 38 mpg on the highway. The electric motor generates 20 hp and gets its necessary juice from the lithium-ion battery pack. The 2013 Acura ILX is capable of offering a total output of 111 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 127 lb.-ft between 1,000 and 3,000 rpm.

2013 Acura ILX

The car is also available with a traditional 4-cylinder 2.0-liter power unit that outputs 150 hp at 6,500 rpm and a peak torque of 140 lb.-ft available at 4,300 rpm. Mated to a 5-speed automatic Sequential SportShift transmission, the car can return 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway.

2013 Acura ILX

For those who need more performance, the new ILX can be ordered with a beefier 2.4-liter engine that delivers 201 hp at 7,000 rpm and 170 lb.-ft of torque reached at 4,300 rpm. This engine is linked to a 6-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox and allows the vehicle to return 20 mpg city / 29 mpg highway.

2013 Acura ILX

We should also mention that the 2013 Acura ILX features a MacPherson strut front suspension while at the back it adopts a multi-link configuration. Other than that, the car comes with four-channel anti-lock brakes, VSA – Vehicle Stability Assist and Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering.

Source: Acura

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Chicago Auto Show – 2013 GMC Acadia

2013 GMC Acadia

This week at the Chicago Auto Show, GMC introduced the 2013 Acadia that comes with a new design for the front and a more premium interior cabin. Under its hood there’s a V6 3.6-liter VVT DI engine that pumps out 288 hp (215 kW) @ 6,300 rpm and a peak torque of 270 lb.-ft (366 Nm) reached at 3,400 rpm. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5000 lb (2268 kg), while the engine is linked to a 6-speed Hydra-Matic 6T70 automatic gearbox.

2013 GMC Acadia

Design-wise, the front fascia of the 2013 GMC Acadia features new HID headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, a new design for the fog lamps and also a restyled front grille. At the back we notice a new look for the taillights, along with a bunch of other minor modifications. Inside the cabin we find red ambient lightning, higher quality materials, a Color Touch navigation system and a bunch of aluminum accents.

2013 GMC Acadia

We should also mention that this is the first car to feature the front center airbag system developed by General Motors, and it also comes with other safety systems like the Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert.

Source: GMC

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2012 Porsche 911 priced in U.S. from $82,100

2012 Porsche 911

The seventh generation of the Porsche 911 has finally arrived in the United States, after more than six months since it was introduced. Clients will be able to choose for the moment from the Carrera and Carrera S versions which are longer, wider and lower than their predecessors, as well as 100 lbs. lighter.

2012 Porsche 911

The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera is motivated by a 3.4-liter boxer engine that generates 350 hp and is mated to a double clutch PDK transmission which allows the vehicle to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.4 seconds, on its way to a maximum speed of 179 mph.

2012 Porsche 911

The Carrera S is equipped with a bigger 3.8-liter boxer engine that pumps out 400 hp and does the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.1 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 188 mph.

The basic Carrera costs $82,100 while the Carrera S will set you back at least $96,400.

Source: Porsche

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Chevrolet Cruze Estate heading to Geneva Motor Show

Chevrolet Cruze Estate

Earlier this week, Chevrolet published the first official photo with the Estate version of the Cruze which will make its public debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Scheduled to go on sale shortly after that, the Cruze Estate is 4,675 mm long which means that it is 165 mm longer than the hatchback version and 78 mm longer than the sedan.

It will be able to offer a cargo capacity of 500 liters when the seats are up while folding them down will increase the cargo room to 1,500 liters. The car is going to be available with a choice of three gasoline engines (1.6-liter, 1.8-liter and a 1.4-liter turbo) and two diesels (1.7-liter and 2.0-liter).

As standard, the Chevrolet Cruze Estate fitted with the 1.4-liter turbo, 1.7-liter or the 2.0-liter will benefit from the stop/start technology that promises to increase the fuel efficiency. Some of the goodies offered with the car include a 7-inch color high-res touchscreen, button start, keyless entry, MyLink onboard infotainment system and smartphone connectivity.

Source: Chevrolet via ZerCustoms

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