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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI car configurator now online

Subaru fans were treated to a mighty impressive surprise this spring, when the Japanese company officially revealed the new and improved 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI performance models, in both five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions.

Now, after seeing an awesome ad campaign starring professional rally driver Dave Mirra and regular people going for a ride in a WRX STI, the online car configurator is finally available.

The website, located at this address, allows you to configure either the 265 HP WRX or the 305 HP WRX STI. Prices start at $25,495 for the WRX, while the STI versions starts at $33,995 for the four-door and $35,995 for the hatchback.

You can add in all the types of extras you want, but prices will increase quite fast. Sadly, gold wheels or yellow decals aren’t included.


Video: Nissan Leaf EV gets promoted with a polar bear

Nissan is really betting big on its Leaf all-electric vehicle, and has decided to release a brand new commercial, designed to tug on the heart strings of every eco-friendly person out there.

In the new ad called simply ‘Polar Bear’, Nissan shows just how a melting ice cap forces a polar bear to change its natural habitat, and reach a lovely suburban setting where an owner of a new Leaf resides.

The ad is very well done and definitely worth a watch. Check it out after the jump.

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Caterham Roadsport 125 Monaco revealed

After seeing the special Ariel Atom 500 V8 yesterday, lightweight car fans can now enjoy another road-legal race car, in the form of the Caterham Roadsport 125 Monaco.

This special model, as its name suggests, is dedicated to the small European country, and proudly displays its white and red flag on the sides of the car. This is in contrast with the brushed aluminum finish and the black nose and fenders.

On the inside, red and black mix together to commemorate the many roulette tables from Monte Carlo’s casinos. Not much else is present though, as the Caterham stays true to the lighter is faster saying.

The Roadsport 125 Monaco uses a 125 HP 1.6-liter Ford engine, paired up with a five-speed manual gearbox. Given its extremely low weight, expect the Caterham to blaze past other cars in Monaco.

The car costs £20,995 (around $33,000), but the first 20 models have a discount of £1,000 ($2,000), so act fast.


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Performance Subaru Forester coming soon

Performance Subaru Forester coming soon

It seems that Subaru wants to further expand its presence in the crossover market, and might launch a more powerful version of its popular Forester entry-level model.

According to a report coming from Australia, of all places, the Japanese company might deliver a power boost to the Forester in order to appeal those who want improved performance, and to one-up rivals like the Toyota RAV4 or the Mazda CX-7.

This model will be destined for the global market, unlike the special 322 HP Forester STI that has been selling in Japan for the last five years. More details will be known in the following weeks, but a more powerful entry-level crossover sounds pretty good.


Shelby considering new Ford Mustang models like a V6 GTS or a 1,000 HP twin-turbo GT500

Traditional Ford Mustang tuner Shelby has begun polling customers about what other types of tuned and upgraded models they might like to see in the future.

Among the options listed we see a monster Shelby GT500 (pictured above), based on the last generation performance model (2007-2009). This ugpraded muscle car would get a special variable twin-turbo system on the 5.4-liter V8 which will take output as high as 1,000 HP, all sent to the rear wheels. As you can imagine, upgraded suspension, a new wide body kit and plenty of other upgrades are also included. Sadly, the estimated price of $100,000, without the cost of a stock Shelby GT500, is a bit of a downer.

Luckily, Shelby is also considering a tuned version of the Mustang V6, presumably badged as a GTS model. The main upgrades will be made to the insides, including a revised suspension, braking system and a new exhaust. The exterior will also be treated with a special body kit. Pricing for the Shelby Mustang V6 GTS package is a bit more plausible, ranging from $9,000 to $12,000.

There are also two other concepts, based on the 2011 Mustang GT, which include most of the upgrades already revealed for the GTS. Still, those that want extra power from their GT can already choose from superchargers made by Ford Racing or Roush Performance.


Video: 2011 Bentley Continental GT gets showcased in a new video

The 2011 Bentley Continental GT was finally revealed yesterday, and even though the high res photos were extremely pleasant, the British luxury carmaker decided to showcase a video with its brand new performance coupe.

The footage shows just how the new model took shape, from sketching to the actual manufacturing by hand at its Crewe headquarters. Check out the video of the 2011 Continental GT after the jump.

BMW starts mysterious Dontblogaboutthis site, teases new hybrid/electric model

It seems that slow teasers that reveal parts of new cars are so 2009, as for the upcoming Paris Motor Show, BMW has taken viral marketing to a whole new level.

The German company recently launched a new website called DontBlogAboutThis, in which a special type of BMW 6 Series is showcased with stickers on it.

While the website only shows brief part of the car, there’s also a video showing the 6 Series in motion, but the distinct sound of an internal combustion engine is apparently absent. Also, as you can see below, it is equipped with special wheels as seen on hybrid or electric models.

Another photo was revealed afterwards, showcasing that we may be dealing with a very special type of BMW. While from the back it looks like a regular 6 Series, the front, as you can see above in a brightened version, appears to be that of the Vision EfficientDynamics hybrid show car.

Frankly, our guess is as good as yours. All will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show though. Hit the jump to see the two videos of this mysterious BMW in action.

New Chevrolet Aveo compact showcased before Paris reveal

Chevrolet is continuing its long strain of reveals before the start of the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month. After showcasing the new Orlando MPV and the Cruze hatchback, the new 2011 Chevrolet Aveo has finally been revealed.

As you can see, the new compact hatchback is quite a looker, even though its design was leaked in a few renders and patent sketches. The new generation Aveo promises to start clean and, thanks to a new and enlarged platform, will provide adequate space for anyone in the market for a small hatchback.

The new model will also be pretty potent, considering the engine lineup it will get for the European market. The smallest is a 70 HP 1.2-liter gasoline, and the largest is a 115 HP 1.6-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine. Diesel fans will also be able to enjoy two versions of a 1.3-liter unit, capable of 75 and 95 HP, both equipped with Stop/Start systems. Manual five- and six-speed gearboxes are available, while the 1.6-liter gets a six-speed automatic as an option.

The Chevrolet Aveo set to be revealed in Paris will be a show car, as modifications will be made for each market the tiny compact will be sold in. Expect it to debut on the US one around the end of next year, in both hatchback and sedan form, in order to rival the Ford Fiesta.


Ariel Atom celebrates 10th anniversary with Atom 500 V8 model

It might be hard to believe, but everybody’s favorite track day race car, the Ariel Atom, was nothing but a pipe dream 10 years ago.

At that time, student Nik Smart decided that a road-legal race car with the weight of a bike and the engine of a real car might become quite popular. He wasn’t wrong, as the Atom is now three generations in and is still loved by enthusiasts all over the world.

Now, for the 10th anniversary of the Ariel Atom, the company decided to gather some of the most loyal owners and showcased the very special Ariel Atom 500 V8. What’s more, as a testament to the build quality, engineers started crafting the 500 V8 at 10:15 AM, and finished it at 3:30 PM, complete with working fluids and the rest of the tweaks.

The Ariel Atom 500 V8 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 500 HP 3.0-liter V8 engine, but its performance specs have yet to be revealed. Considering a regular Atom 3 manages 0 to 62 mph in under 3 seconds, the 500 V8 will definitely offer an even greater performance.

The company is also planning a powerful motorcycle in the near future, but the Ariel Atom 500 V8 is currently the main priority. Only 25 models will be made, but each will retail for around $200,000.


Videos: Mazda Shinari and Kodo-styled Mazda3 get showcased

Mazda definitely impressed a lot of people last week when it showcased its newest concept, the Shinari. Set to pave the way for a new, more aggressive and angular design language, Kodo, the concept is set to be displayed at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month.

Until then though, the Japanese company decided to present the Mazda Shinari in a new video, showcasing a virtual concept driving around city streets and other locations.

While seeing the Shinari in motion is quite a treat, another video has also been revealed, showcasing how the new Kodo design language might look on a compact hatchback like the Mazda3 or Mazda2. Needless to say, the result is very attractive.

Hit the jump to see the two videos revealed by Mazda.

Nissan Leaf EV starts US tour on October 1st, you can schedule test drives now

Nissan is really pushing the Leaf electric vehicle with all its got. The company has already started promoting it through special reservations some time ago, and has even detailed the warranty plan and rollout schedule of the all-electric model.

Now, the Japanese company has announced that it will be taking the Nissan Leaf on a US tour, starting on October 1st. The Drive Electric Tour will begin at the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, CA next month, and then go on tour all over the USA, ending up in Nashville, TN, at the end of March, 2011.

Those who are interesting in having a go in the new Nissan Leaf will be able to schedule test drives at the dedicated website launched by Nissan.


GM reportedly upgrading OnStar, might add Facebook, texting and Trapster capabilities

GM reportedly upgrading OnStar, might add Facebook, texting and Trapster capabilities

The newest battle zone for General Motors and Ford is in terms of infotainment services, with GM boasting OnStar and Ford having the SYNC system.

Seeing as how Sync is still top dog, especially in its newest form, the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch versions, GM is planning a healthy upgrade to its OnStar service in order to expand its capabilities.

According to the latest batch of rumors, things might get pretty interesting for OnStar customers. It seems that the service will get Facebook capability, as well as the ability to respond to SMS messages with your own voice and even built-in functionality for the Trapster app.

First off, it seems that OnStar will use its voice recognition software to allow you to publish audio updates to your own Facebook page. While this idea sounds a bit weird, it might really help those that can’t get enough of the social network.

Secondly, when you receive text messages, OnStar will read them out for you and then let you reply to them by choosing four pre-determined messages through the voice command system. Not exactly what some might have in mind, but if it helps reduce distracted driving, we’re all for it.

The last rumor is a bit of stretch, but it might happen. Trapster, a popular mobile phone app which lets you know where police radars or traps are located, might be incorporated into OnStar. This is reinforced by the fact that a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe with manufacturer plates has recently been spotted around the Trapster HQ and will be used by the company in the 11-99 Foundation Car Drive.

The new and improved OnStar is set to be revealed next week, so until then, we can only guess what new features will be added.


Suzuki recalls SX4, Grand Vitara and Equator over Garmin navigation fire risk

Last week, we revealed that GPS device manufacturer Garmin will recall some of its popular models due to a faulty battery which can overheat and even lead to a fire.

Some of those models were used as in-car navigation for certain Suzuki vehicles. At that time, the Japanese company said it will talk with Garmin and see which cars need to be recalled.

Now, a decision has been made. Owners of 2008-2010 SX4, 2010 Grand Vitara and 2009-2010 Equator will need to take their model back to the dealership so that a new battery may be installed in the Garmin GPS navigation device. In total, 20,692 vehicles will be called back to dealerships in the following weeks.


Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three Part 2 to debut on September 14

After the pretty disappointing Gymkhana Three Part 1: The Music Video, Ken Block promised that the real drifting craziness which is the Gymkhana will return with a proper Part 2.

Now, thanks to the guys at Jalopnik, we have a date to circle in our calendar, plus a few new details about the upcoming video.

It seems that the Gymkhana Three Part 2 will be making its Internet debut on September 14. Also, the new video was shot on location in France, as Block is seemingly bored with drifting in the USA.

Still, expect plenty of tire shredding stunts and that same Gymkhana madness that made Block such a popular driver all over the world. He’s gonna have to work extra hard though, in order to erase the memory of the recent music video.


2011 Bentley Continental GT officially revealed

After a bit of teasing and a lot of waiting, the 2011 Bentley Continental GT has finally been revealed by the British luxury carmaker.

Even though its looks may not seem all that changed, as opposed to the outgoing model, the new Continental GT is a very different beast. It boasts special tweaks to the exterior, a revised interior with new options and features, as well as the option of a V8 engine, for those that don’t want the big W12 unit up front.

First off, the exterior has been slightly retouched. The front gets a new grille finish, while the headlights have built-in LED daytime running tech. The lower intake has also been reshaped, while the rear borrows heavily from the new Mulsanne.

On the inside, Bentley has fitted new systems to the Continental GT. You can now have an 8-inch touchscreen, a new navigation system with Google Maps capability, new seats and increased space in the back.

Without a doubt the biggest changes for the 2011 Bentley Continental GT is the upgraded 6.0-liter W12 engine. It now outputs 567 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque, enough to send the luxury model from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and up to 198 mph. A new six-speed Quickshift transmission is present, sending power through the all-wheel drive system in a 40/60 rear bias.

Those that want to save the planet can opt for a more efficient 4.0-liter V8 engine, though its performance or efficiency figures have yet to be revealed. This option will be available starting with the end of 2011.

Expect the 2011 Bentley Continental GT to be revealed to the public at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Until then, have a gander at the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Bentley Continental GT


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