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Honda Exhibits Civic Sedan And Coupe Concepts

Honda Civic Coupe Concept

Although advertised as concepts, the production versions of both the coupe and the sedan will look very similar to these if we were to judge the company’s history with concepts. This means that the upcoming Civic Coupe will have an Accord Coupe-inspired styling which should make it very appealing in our opinion, considerably better than the outgoing generation. If you are interested in the sedan version, it will look just about the same as the 2011 Civic. Although in the front it will look a little bit angrier in comparison to what you were accustomed to, the headlights along with the carried-over grille are very familiar to most of us as Honda decided to stick to what they know, and they know well.

Honda Civic Coupe Concept

According to what Honda said, for the first time in history, the natural-gas Civic will be available in all 50 states in comparison to previous generations when the cars were available only in selected areas. According to the press release, the i-VTEC (“intelligent” variable valve timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology will be more efficient for the upcoming 2012 models. The soon-to-be-released Hybrid version of the Civic will feature the latest generation of the IMA – Integrated Motor Assist gasoline-electric hybrid system and will have the very first application of a lithium-ion battery pack in a hybrid made by Honda.

Honda Civic Sedan Concept

Most of the upcoming Civic models will get the Eco Assist technology that is already available in the Insight and CR-Z hybrids. The 2012 Civic will be the first Honda model delivered in the United States that will benefit from the Eco Assist technology in a gas-only powered car. As we mentioned before, Honda will be working on expanding the availability of the gas-powered model (GX) which is at the moment the only OEM-built, dedicated CNG passenger vehicle that is assembled in the United States.

Honda Civic Sedan Concept

As far as safety is concerned, all of the 2012 Honda models will be fitted as standard with VSA – Vehicle Stability Assist. In addition, the upcoming 9th generation of the popular Civic will have the company’s proprietary ACE – Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure for managing the front collision energy.

Merdad Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Merdad Porsche Cayenne Coupe

First announced back in June 2010, the Merdad Porsche Cayenne Coupe was finally revealed by the company with a couple of live pictures of this interesting 2-door configuration of the Porsche Cayenne SUV. Besides the new body styling, the car has received some engine upgrades as well, very important in our opinion. The coupe conversion package is offered with an impressive 50% increase over the standard engine that produces 493 hp (500 PS / 367 kW) which means that the 4.8-liter V8 engine is now capable of outputting 740 hp (750 PS /  552 kW).

Inside the car, the Merdad Porsche Cayenne Coupe is offered with a red and black theme, Alcantara, leather, lots of suede, a new instrument panel and carbon fiber, basically all the goodies available at the moment in the automotive world. The body kit includes a new front and rear look which in our opinion suit the power increase, side skirts as well as massive and imposing 22-inch rims. According to Merdad, the car is capable of doing the 0-60 mph sprint in just 4, 4 seconds.

Merdad Porsche Cayenne Coupe

This car will be most likely popular among people interested in the Cajun project, which will be a baby Porsche Cayenne. However this model is definitely not a “baby” when we look at the performance of the engine or the aggressive looks. If you are looking for a two-door sport utility vehicle from Porsche, this is the solution for your needs, until something official is launched.

2012 BMW 1 Series Coupe And Convertible Announced

2012 BMW 1 Series Coupe And Convertible

After the launch of the 1-Series M Coupe, BMW will add two new models to its least expensive range of cars. The two models are the coupe and convertible versions of the 128i and 135i which will receive mild styling updates and a brand new powertrain (only for the 135i). As an optional feature, the 128i can be fitted with Xenon headlamps which come as standard on the 135i, and for the 2012 model, they feature a horizontal LE eyebrow that complements the corona running lamps. In the back of the car, BMW equipped both models with LED running lamps that are similar to the rest of the lamps found on the other BMW cars. Standard on the 135i and optional on the 128i is the tweaked M Sport package which consists of an aero kit, an increased top speed limiter and more sporting suspension geometry. As an optional feature, the car can be equipped with M-branded interior trim components and sport seats.

Similar to its bigger brother, the 3-Series, the 135i from BMW is equipped with the N55 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger that is capable of outputting 300 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. As standard, the engine is linked to a manual 6-speed gearbox, but can be fitted to a 7-speed DCT gearbox that was first available on the beautiful Z4 roadster. With this transmission, the car needs 5.1 seconds for the 0-100 km/h sprint and with the standard gearbox, it will reach 100 km/h from start in 5.4 seconds.

The cheaper 128i will be fitted with the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter power unit that equips the outgoing generation. This engine produces 230 hp and a 200 lb-ft and can be linked with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or with a Steptronic transmission.

Both of the cars benefit from a complex suspension system that features aluminum double-pivot suspension in the front and a 5-link fully independent rear suspension made out of lightweight steel. Both cars are equipped with the proprietary DSC technology – Dynamic Stability Control, which includes DTC – Dynamic Traction Control, a function that provides electronic intervention in order to avoid loss of automobile control, but at a higher threshold before activation. The driver has the possibility to disable both systems if he wants to take full control of the car. As an optional feature only on the 135i Coupe, is the Active Steering which is a variable ratio steering system. The electronic rear brake management simulates a differential lock for allowing a stronger acceleration in low-traction conditions and in turns.

The rear differential of the 128i and the 135i is from a new generation of final drives that were designed and optimized in order improve fuel efficiency and smoothness of the ride. For the first time, the differential sports double-helical ball bearings which allow it to run at lower temperatures which are reached more quickly due to the reduction of the fluid required in the differential. The front suspension of the car features a double-pivot spring and strut front suspension that has an anti-roll bar, made out of aluminum, and is capable of offering the perfect balance between low weight and stiffness. In order to improve the dynamics of the 1-Series, the German engineers at BMW updated the stable stack control arms and thrust rods, along with an almost perfect wheel positioning.

The pricing for the 2012 BMW 1-Series will be published at the beginning of 2011, closer to the launch of the cars. The outgoing model has a basic price of $29,450 (for the 128i model) and $36,350 (for the 135i model). Our guess is that these two prices will not be very different for the 2012 model.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe set to arrive in 2011

The rumor mill has started spinning once more, this time with help from the guys at Autocar, who cite inside sources claiming that a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe is set to arrive at the end of 2011.

According to the them, the impending launch of the C Class Coupe model will also extend to the performance version, the C63 AMG.

The car is set to use the same naturally aspirated 450 HP 6.2-liter V8 engine, but it might offer the AMG Performance package, which will improve its output to around 480 HP.

As you can clearly guess, the C63 AMG Coupe will rival other performance coupes like the BMW M3 or the Audi RS5.

No other details were given, but you can expect pretty much the same things the current sedan and estate versions of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG offer.


BMW X4 gets new details rumored

Even though BMW has yet to acknowledge whether or not it will actually manufacture the X4 crossover, it seems that rumors about the new model are spreading like wildfire.

After hearing that it might receive an X4 M performance version, the lads from AutoExpress have revealed that it will also sport a highly frugal 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, in order to balance out the thirstier M-badged crossover.

Besides that, the new BMW X4 will borrow design cues heavily from the current X6 Sports Activity Coupe, but combine them with some systems found on the 5 Series Gran Turismo. Most importantly, the two-stage hatchback will be present on the X4, for that extra dose of practicality.

Not much else was revealed, but you shouldn’t start saving up for this new coupe/crossover model until BMW actually confirms the new model.



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2011 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG officially revealed

Hot off the heels of the leaked photos and details, Mercedes-Benz has officially revealed the two performance versions of the new 2011 CL Class.

The 2011 CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG both feature a more aggressive take on the new CL design, adding a new body kit, as well as the trademark AMG wheels. While the exterior is much more sports-oriented, the interior of the powerful CL models is pure luxury, boasting an impressive two-tone finish.

Most importantly with these new models are the changes made to the engines. As we suspected, the CL63 AMG swaps out its old naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with a brand new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8. The decrease in displacement is more than made up for by the increase in power, with the new unit developing 536 HP and 590 lb-ft of torque in standard form, and 563 HP and 664 lb-ft, when equipped with the AMG Performance Package. This means a 0 to 62 time of 4.4 seconds (4.3 when upgraded).

The CL65 AMG keeps the massive 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, but also features an upgraded output of 621 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 in achieved in an even faster 4.2 seconds.

As with the regular 2011 CL Class, Mercedes-Benz has equipped the new performance models with every high tech safety feature it currently develops, in order to make sure that the driver is always protected and informed about his powerful coupe.

Expect both the 2011 CL63 and CL65 AMG models to be made available later this year.


Nissan planning 200SX revival to compete with other fast coupes

It seems that more and more automakers are keen on reviving long forgotten models that still have a loyal fan base. After the rumors about a new Mazda RX-7 or the spiritual successor to the Celica, the Toyota FT-86, and seeing actual revivals like the Volkswagen Scirocco, Nissan is speculated to follow this trend.

According to the blokes from Autocar, Nissan is keen on reviving the 200SX coupe model, in order to rival all of the new three-door cars that are currently taking over entry-level market segments.

The new 200SX will boast a rear-wheel drive configuration, and will slot in below the current 370Z sportscar. No other details are known as of yet, not even what platform it will use, but we’re pretty sure Nissan will think long and hard before it will slap on the 200SX badge on a new car.

For those that don’t remember, the old model was in production for a long time, under quite a few names, including the iconic Silvia. It quickly gained a cult following, especially with drifting enthusiasts for its balanced rear-wheel drive platform.


Mini Canyon to be three-door Countryman, will rival Range Rover Evoque

Hot off the heels of a new report stating that BMW is planning a more compact coupe crossover, the X4, which will be inspired by the X6 and target the future Range Rover Evoque, a new report has now appeared, concerning BMW’s Mini brand.

It seems that because the five-door Countryman will soon hit markets around the world, there’s a big possibility that a three-door version will also appear, in the following years.

According to AutoExpress, the Range Rover Evoque has definitely kickstarted this new crossover niche, and BMW is keen to exploit it through as many models as it can. As such, besides the possible X4, the Mini Canyon is also on the drawing board.

No other details were revealed by the British magazine, so we should take this report with a grain of salt. Don’t forget that Mini is also rumored to be preparing a larger, 7-seat Countryman, as well as a revived Mini Moke off-roader. Considering all these new models, Mini won’t be so tiny anymore.


BMW still considering X4 crossover, X4 M also a possibility

BMW shocked the automotive industry when it revealed the X6 ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ crossover, creating a whole new niche all for itself.

Now, seeing as how the X6 is surpassing sales estimates and already saw 80,000 units sold this year, the Bavarian company is setting its eyes on the smaller crossover/coupe segment, as highlighted by the recent Range Rover Evoque.

According to Autocar, not only is a regular X4 on the drawing board, but also a performance version of the future model, presumably the X4 M.

The smaller crossover would pack the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine that is currently being prepared for the 1 Series M Coupe.

No word yet on when we might see the BMW X4, but if X6 sales will continue to soar, then you can be sure that BMW will put the development pedal to the metal.


Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint coupe version might appear

Alfa Romeo‘s new model, the Giulietta hatchback, has already impressed a lot of people with its sleek design and promise of a fast, reliable and stylish means of transportation.

Now, according to a new report from Italy, Alfa might be preparing a coupe version of the Giulietta, which might resurrect the Sprint badge from the automaker’s past.

For those of you that don’t remember, in the 1950s, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint was introduced, with a coupe notchback design, similar to what you see in the unofficial illustration above. The Sprint badge then designated a more conventional three-door coupe in the 1980s.

For today’s market though, we’re pretty confident that Alfa Romeo will keep the hatchback design, and just remove two extra doors from the existing Giulietta, in order to turn it into a Sprint version.

Still, all of this is just speculation, so until your hear it straight from Alfa or Fiat, the five-door hatch is still the best (and only) choice.


BMW X6 gets turned into a real two-door coupe thanks to ArmorTech

The BMW X6 has been marketed as a Sports Activity Coupe, even thought the German model had four actual doors and a rear hatch.

Now, for those that really want the X6 to be a regular coupe model, ArmorTech has revealed a brand new customization package, which turns the X6 from a five-door to just a three-door model.

For a price, a large one of course, the Russian engineers from ArmorTech will modify the X6 to make it a true coupe, with just two front doors. This is done by pushing back the B-pillar, making the front doors longer and bringing the rear window closer to the front of the car. The seats are also modified, to allow easy access in the back.

Besides the two-door kit, ArmorTech also offers performance and aerodynamic upgrades, but it’s safe to say that quite a few rich people with questionable taste will flock to get their X6 in an even more impractical version. Those people shouldn’t forget about this Porsche Cayenne Coupe project, which was revealed some time ago.

What do you think? Is the X6 better off without two extra doors? Share your thoughts below.


Mercedes-Benz might be planning GLC crossover

A rather strange rumor appeared recently on the web, concerning Mercedes-Benz and its crossover plans.

It seems that besides the existing ML, GL, GLK (pictured above) and G Class models, all of which being quite popular all over the world, the German company is preparing a GLC model.

This is where things get interesting, as GLC stands for Geländecoupé. As such, some voices have claimed that this will be a direct rival for the BMW X6, a Sports Activity Coupe, while others say that it will attack the compact crossover segment, currently represented by the BMW X1.

We’re on the fence about the actual purpose of the GLC, but considering the impressive sales the X6 has achieved around the globe, we wouldn’t blame Mercedes for trying to get a piece of the pie.

Until then though, if you want a Mercedes-Benz SUV or crossover, you still have plenty to choose from.


Fiat’s Abarth brand to create dedicated sportscar

Among Fiat’s biggest bets from the last few years was the resurrection of its performance division, Abarth. Luckily for the Italian company, it proved a worthy investment, as Abarth-tuned 500 or Punto versions are selling like hot cakes.

Now, seeing as how the division has proven itself, it seems that a dedicated sportscar might appear in the near future. According to the head of sales and marketing, Antonino Labate, this new model, which will act as a halo car for the rest of the range, will be built completely in house.

This goes against previous rumors about the performance Abarth model, which hinted at a possible collaboration between the Italian company and Lotus, with the British brand lending its Elise chassis. These rumors led to the sketch above, showcasing the Abarth SS Concept by IDE.

Still, the future Abarth sports coupe will follow the same philosophy as the Elise, with a rumored output of 240 HP and a curb weight of around 2,000 pounds (900 kg). Expect the car to arrive in the next couple of years, according to Labate.


Mercedes-Benz CLC hatchback to end production?

With the last Mercedes-Benz C Class generation, the company tried to attack the sports hatchback market by releasing the C Class Sports Coupe. Its results weren’t that impressive, but the German company continued that effort with the current generation, by launching the CLC hatchback.

That has failed too. As such, rumors are now saying that MB will soon end the production of the niche model due to low sales and because the C Class is soon set to get another coupe model, this time with a boot.

The rumors are based on the fact that the Juiz de Fora plant Mercedes owns in Brazil will soon receive new equipment, in order to manufacture the Actros commercial truck. As such, it seems that there will be no place left to produce the CLC hatch.

The report has yet to be confirmed by Mercedes-Benz, but we wouldn’t be too shocked if it turns out to be true. Will you miss the CLC? Share your thoughts below.


Coupe Porsche Cayenne Turbo revealed by Merdad

A lot of Porsche purists disapproved of the Cayenne SUV when it was first revealed, largely because it went against everything the Stuttgart company stood for. From its SUV status to the front-mounted engine or the big number of doors (as opposed to the 911 which has just two doors).

Now, British tuning company Merdad wants to fix one of those problems, and has released a special customization program for the last and current generation Porsche Cayenne Turbo model. Don’t go thinking this is an ordinary tuning kit with a slight power increase, as Merdad offers to turn the big SUV into a coupe.

For a price, the company will chop off two doors, and add a body kit in order to complement the new coupe status of the SUV. A power increase was also made, as the twin-turbo 4.8-liter engine is now capable of 740 HP, from the stock 493 HP.

No performance or pricing details were given, but still, you have to admire the imagination of this tuning company.


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