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2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Facelift Announced

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

On Monday we’ve talked about the 9-3 Independence Edition and aside from this announcement, the Swedish automaker said that they will be bringing a mild facelift to the 2012 9-3 Griffin model, which will be the last edition before a new generation takes over next year.

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

With this facelift, the 9-3 (all versions) get a refreshed exterior and interior look, along with the introduction of a new gasoline direct injection on the 2.0-liter engines. These changes will apply to all of the models (Sport Sedan, SportCombi, Convertible and 9-3X) and include new front bumpers, headlights with a new “ice block” finish and the “Griffin” badge on the front fenders. Inside the cabin, the decor, seat upholstery and the dashboard will receive a new look. The Saab 9-3 Griffin models will be available in two specs, standard and Aero.

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

As far as the technical updates are concerned, the Swedish engineers have added to the 2.0-liter gasoline engines a direct injection technology; twin scroll turbocharging and variable valve timing. The engine will be offered with 163 or 220 hp, and can be combined with the proprietary XWD all-wheel-drive system.

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

The 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin can also be equipped with a 1.9-liter turbo diesel that can output 130, 160 or 180 hp. As standard, the engines are mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

According to the automaker, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will drop by 4% across the entire range.

Mazda3 Facelift Revealed

2012 Mazda3

The 2012 Mazda3 has been revealed ahead of its public debut which will occur this year at the Canadian International Show. This mild facelift brings modified bumpers, an updated grille as well as new headlights. Customers will have to choose from a brand new set of 16- or 17-inch wheels.

2012 Mazda3

Most likely, the facelift version will have the same engines as the outgoing model. However, the Japanese automaker plans to offer a high-efficiency variant that will feature a SKYACTIV-G petrol engine, mated to a SKIACTIV-Drive automatic transmission. Although no specifications were revealed, the new 4-cylinder engine promises to deliver “higher torque at low- and mid-range”, in order to offer “better drivability with less fuel consumption.”

The 2012 Mazda3 will be launched sometime this fall.


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Facelifted Kia Soul Spied

Kia Soul Facelift

Frankly, I never liked the Kia Soul because of its rather peculiar design. It seems that the Koreans are working on a facelifted version of this model which will most likely be just as odd as before. AutoBlog’s photographers spied the Soul in Germany, covering a mild updated exterior look.

Kia Soul Facelift

The new Soul will feature the now mandatory (in Europe) daytime LED running lights along with turn-signal indicators in the mirrors (a feature that I for one don’t like very much).

Kia Soul Facelift

Both the front and rear bumpers will be revised and according to AutoBlog’s sources, the mouth of the new Soul will resemble to the one on the recently launched Picanto model. The rear bumper cap will most likely see the fog lights pushed further to the outside edges for the European-spec model.

Source: AutoBlog

Lotus Evora Facelift In The Works

2012 Lotus Evora

One of my favorite automakers ever, Lotus, is currently working on the facelift version of their very beautiful Evora model. The reason behind this decision was taken due to the rather sluggish sales while at the same time bridging the styling gap between the current car and the new wave of Lotus models that will go into production starting with 2013.

It seems that the revised model will feature a more aggressive radiator “mouth” which looks quite similar to the design ideas we’ve seen on the upcoming Lotus models, drawn by Donato Coco, Ex-Ferrari design chief.

He said that the “mouth” of the current Evora is “too weak” for such a modern performance car. He also said that this upcoming new treatment has a long heritage, appearing for the first time on the Lotus 18 single-seater, back in the early 60s.

In addition, the upcoming revised Evora will get a revised cabin with a higher level of standard equipment and a greater accent on quality (the car’s weak points).

The base price for the Lotus Evora is 51,030 pounds for the two-seat version fitted with a 276 hp engine. At first, sales were very bad but took a turn for the better last year when the British launched the Evora S, that comes with a Toyota-derived V6 engine that outputs 276 hp. The starting price for this model is 60,000 pounds.

The bosses over at Lotus seem to be on the point of deciding whether they can afford to make a range of own-design V6 / V8 modular power units for upcoming models, following somewhat uncertain reactions to the proposed use of Toyota-sourced engines in up-market Lotus models.

If I were to guess, I think that Lotus will sell more cars if they start making their own engines. It simply doesn’t feel right to put a Toyota engine in a Lotus (or an Aston Martin). Don’t you agree?

Source: AutoCar.co.uk

Volkswagen Launches Tiguan Facelift Ahead Of Geneva

Volkswagen Tiguan Facelift

Ahead of its global debut in March at the Geneva Auto Show, Volkswagen decided to unveil the facelift for their Tiguan model. This smaller SUV will be available with a 1.4 TSI engine (122 PS / 90 kW) along with other TSI and TDI engines that will be announced soon.

It seems that VW has decided to offer two versions of the car: one for the road, and another model that is more off-road oriented. The facelift model brings redesigned headlights that have integrated LEDs, new fog lights, a refreshed front bumper and grille along with new side skirts. In the back, the SUV was slightly modified, featuring LED taillights and a new bumper.

Volkswagen Tiguan Facelift

As far as the off-road version that we mentioned before is concerned, it will come with a higher nose in order to be able to tackle steeper slopes as well as a new metal protective underguard.

Volkswagen Tiguan Facelift

Inside the cabin, the VW Tiguan will boost a redesigned center console along with new navigation and various other elements.

The base price for this SUV will start from 24,175 Euros, for the 1.4 TSI Trend & Fun version.

2011 Toyota Corolla Revealed

2011 Toyota Corolla

One of the models exhibited at the Los Angeles Auto Show by Toyota is the 2011 facelift of the popular Toyota Corolla which will go on sale this December in the United States. The most important exterior changes made to the car in comparison with the old version include the fully redesigned front bumper, front lower grille, radiator grille, headlamps, rear bumper, reflex reflector and the rear combination lamp.

The engine that will power the 2011 version is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder DOHC engine with Dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) that will be able to produce 132 bhp (99 kW) and a 128 lb-ft (173 Nm) torque. The gearbox will be either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The car will have a mileage rating of 28 mpg city (8.4 liters / 100 km) and 35 (6.72 liters / 100 km) highway using the manual transmission. Using the 4-speed automatic gearbox, the care will consume 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

2011 Toyota Corolla

The facelift version will be available in two trim levels – LE and S. The car will benefit from the Star Safety System with stability and traction control. The S version will feature 16-inch wheels in comparison to the LE model which will have standard 15-inch rims.


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Renault Laguna refresh leaked before Paris debut?

Renault is preparing quite a few surprises for the upcoming Paris Motor Show, including its brand new flagship model, the Latitude.

Alongside it, according to a recent report, will be the refreshed version of the Renault Laguna. As you can see above and below, the new model has already been leaked onto the web.

First off, the front fascia of the Laguna has been restyled, with the headlights received new elements. The new look is more aggressive than the outgoing Laguna, and will no doubt position the model as a sportier alternative to the more entry-level Fluence.

The wagon model has also been tweaked, and we might expect new wheels and exterior customization options to be available.

The engine lineup is expected to stay the same, but the frugal 1.5-liter diesel will see its CO2 emissions lowered to around 120 g/km.

Expect more details as soon as the Paris show opens its doors at the end of the month.


2011 Nissan Murano gets refreshed looks and new options

After it was already revealed for Europe, the 2011 Nissan Murano has now been confirmed to arrive on US shores.

The new mid-size crossover packs a brand new grille, as well as a few other tricks with the 2011 model year edition.

First off, as you can see above, the old razor-like grille is gone, replaced with something bit more … peculiar, so to speak. The front bumper has also been tweaked and is a bit on the bloated side. Still, you will be able to order a brand new trim line, the SV, in both front- and all-wheel drive versions.

2011 Nissan Murano gets refreshed looks and new options

New options ranging from 20-inch wheels to a dual-panel moonroof or new colors can also be ordered for the Japanese crossover. You’ll still get just one engine though, the 3.5-liter VQ V6, capable of 260 HP and 240 lb-ft of torque.

Expect the 2011 Nissan Murano to reach dealerships in October.


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European Ford Fiesta set to get refreshed looks in 2012

European Ford Fiesta set to get refreshed looks in 2012

Even though the 2011 Ford Fiesta is reaching US dealerships as we speak, the Blue Oval is already looking to the future, and is reportedly ready to implement a refresh to the European Fiesta as early as 2012.

According to the rumors, the Fiesta, which is available only as a hatchback in the Old Continent, will get a restyled front fascia, complete with LED lights. The front spoiler will be redrawn, while the interior of the compact hatch will get new options.

Most importantly though are the new engines, all wearing the EcoBoost name. The Fiesta will get a 90 HP turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder enginie, like the one on the Ford Start concept, while the performance Fiesta ST will receive a 180 HP 1.6-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine.

Expect the facelifted Ford Fiesta to appear in Europe at the end of 2012, and might reach US shores in 2013.


2011 Saab 9-3 to be refreshed, will get new options

2011 Saab 9-3 to be refreshed, will get new options

Even though it is quite busy launching the brand new 2011 Saab 9-5 all over the world, as well as setting up plans for the next few years, Saab isn’t neglecting its entry-level offer, the 9-3.

According to insiders, the 2011 Saab 9-3 will be treated to a mild refresh, consisting of revised looks as well as new options for both the exterior and the interior.

It seems that the model will be getting two new colors, Javabrown and Diamond Silver, as well as the turbine wheels we saw on the 2011 9-5. Two new versions, Vector Griffin and Griffin Aero will be introduced, each sporting tweaked front fascias. The inside will be host to a few more trim options, and new materials, for the 2011 model year.

In terms of engines, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with direct injection, will be available. It will output 163 in naturally aspirated form, and 220 HP, thanks to a turbocharger. In specific markets, a diesel engine will also be available, in three flavors: 130, 160 or 180 HP.

While this isn’t official just yet, Saab will certainly implement some changes if it wants the 9-3 to remain competitive until the next generation sedan arrives.


2011 Nissan Rogue refresh revealed

The 2011 Nissan Rogue crossover has finally been refreshed, boasting an upgraded look, as well as enhanced features and, most importantly, a slightly better fuel average.

As you can see above and below, the new Rogue has gotten the same type of front grille as the Murano, but also new fog lamps and revised spoilers for both the front and the rear. While two versions will be available, S and SV, custom accessories can be ordered, and two special editions, SL and S Kr?m, are also present in the range.

Eco-friendly customers are going to approve of the new low rolling resistance tires, available with the 17-inch chromed wheels, as well as a new underbody tray, which reduces the aerodynamic drag. These enhancements have made the Rogue more efficient by 1 mpg. The FWD 2011 Nissan Rogue achieves 22/28 mpg, while the AWD version gets 22/26 mpg.

Expect the 2011 Nissan Rogue to appear in showrooms in mid-August.


2010 Smart ForTwo gets refreshed with new looks and options

The Smart ForTwo hasn’t exactly been the city car sales phenomenon Mercedes-Benz had been hoping for.

Still, the company is confident in the compact model, and has revealed the 2010 refresh to the ForTwo range.

As you can see above, the outside hasn’t seen any dramatic changes, with the new, optional LED daytime running lights being the biggest addition. A set of 15-inch alloy wheels can also be ordered, alongside an even wider array of colors, that can decorate anything from the body to specific components of the car. Also, for the open top version of the ForTwo, customers will be able to order either a red or blue cloth top.

The interior of the 2010 Smart ForTwo has seen some much needed improvements though. The instrument panel has been redesigned, while an optional three-spoke leather steering wheel can be ordered. Another new addition is a touchscreen infotainment system, letting drivers control the navigation, bluetooth connectivity or the audio system.

In terms of engines, the units haven’t changed, but their CO2 emissions have been lowered. The top-of-the-range Brabus version is now capable of emitting just 119 g/km of CO2. The most frugal in the range is still a CDI diesel unit, which puts out just 86 g/km of CO2.

Expect the 2010 Smart ForTwo to debut in dealerships this fall, across the world.


Tesla presents the new Roadster 2.5 refresh

Tesla presents the new Roadster 2.5 refresh

Tesla is definitely in a much better place these days, as after its IPO, a lot of money has been added to the accounts of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

In order to celebrate this, the company has just revealed the 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 refresh, which improves the looks of the electric sportscar, but also adds new options to the range.

The biggest change is at the front, where a new grille has been added, in the vein of the Model S concept we saw some time ago. The rear bumper has also received a new diffuser, but not a lot is known about its impact on the aerodynamics of the EV.

On the inside, the seats have been redesigned, in order to offer a better comfort to the driver and passengers. They will also be able to enjoy a 7-inch touchscreen display, which can be wired to a backup camera system.

No pricing has been revealed as of yet, but you can’t expect any huge changes here.


2011 Aston Martin DB9 refresh revealed

After a very successful seven year life cycle, Aston Martin has finally decided to refresh its DB9 model.

The 2011 Aston Martin DB9 features just a few changes, with new styling cues used on the front fascia and the addition of the same Active Damper System used in the DBS and in the Rapide.

Aston Martin’s grand tourer has seen a new finish on the radiator grille, while the lower front air intake has been reshaped and also received bright hexagonal mesh. Other styling changes include silver brake calipers, 20-spoke diamond-turned wheels and new, clear taillights.

From a mechanical standpoint, the DB9 has seen the introduction of the Active Damper System, which has improved the handling of the 2011 model that the Sport package has been erased from the options list. A new tire pressure monitoring system, a revised bluetooth connectivity pack plus the option of a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system were also added.

Besides that, the 2011 Aston Martin DB9, both in Coupe and Volante (Convertible) form, still packs the massive 6.0-liter V12, capable of 470 HP and 442 lb-ft of torque. Production is already underway, and deliveries will arrive shortly.

Until your own 2011 DB9 gets delivered, feel free to check out the refreshed British sportscar in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Aston Martin DB9



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2011 Mini range gets refreshed, new features and a new engine

It was a long time coming, but the 2011 Mini range has finally been revealed. The new city car lineup showcases slightly refreshed looks, new technologies and a new diesel engine.

First off, don’t expect any huge changes to the design, as only a few touches have been modified. The front is largely unchanged, but is now much more friendly to pedestrians in case of a crash. The rear taillights have now received LED technology.

The inside houses little changes as well, with new controls for the air conditioning and audio systems being added. More options are now available for the interior, as well as the Mini Connected system. Besides offering navigation and being the command center for the rest of the systems, it will also allow you to connect your iPhone and you can check out videos on the display of the car.

Customization will continue to play an important role for Mini. Even more interesting are the three new ‘design worlds’: Classic, Scene and Rally (hmmm), which are basically configurations of materials and finishes for things like the roof or the upholstery. Of course you can opt for your own customization options, like the Chili Red contrast color, now available for the John Cooper Works performance versions.

The biggest change in the 2011 Mini range is the introduction of a new diesel engine, courtesy of BMW. The four-cylinder is available in two flavors, a 90 HP unit, in the Mini One D, and a 112 HP one in the Cooper D. The claimed fuel average is a mighty impressive 61 mpg (US) or 3.8 liters/100 km, and just 99 g/km of CO2 emissions. For the first time, the Mini Cooper D will also be available in Convertible form.

The 2011 Mini range will make its debut on September 18. Until then, check out the photo gallery below with the new models, from the One, to the Cooper, the Clubman or the John Cooper Works.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Mini


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