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Porsche announces new lightweight Cayman R

The 2010 LA Auto Show will mark the debut of the new Porsche Cayman R, a lighter version of the Cayman. Featuring several improvements over the current top of the range Cayman S, the new Cayman R will be the best performing car in the Cayman range. The most important part Porsche worked on was weight reduction, the company’s engineers managing to drop 55 kg (121 lb), achieved by using lightweight materials for some of the components, one of the examples being the lighter 19 inch wheels which all four weigh less than 40 kg.

The engine was also modified, the 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine now delivering 330 hp (243 kW), which means a 10 hp power increase compared to the Cayman S. Mated to the six-speed manual transmission, the engine takes the Cayman R from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.0 seconds, the acceleration dropping to 4.9 seconds when the seven-speed PDK automatic gearbox is used, while top speed is 282 km/h (175 mph) with manual and 280 km/h (174 mph) with the PDS gearbox.

After its official debut at the LA Show, the new Porsche Cayman R is scheduled to go on sale in February 2011, at a starting price of 69,830 Euros (taxes included).

Porsche also released a video of their new car and you can watch it after the jump. (more…)

Cadillac to debut Urban Luxury Concept at the 2010 LA Auto Show

It looks like the small luxury cars market is becoming more and more attractive to carmakers, because after Aston Martin confirmed production of its controversial Cygnet, Cadillac announced that the 2010 LA Auto Show will mark the debut of their Urban Luxury Concept.

“While small in size, this concept is an exploration of what Cadillac could be in the future, as the brand continues to focus on redefining industry standards for advanced vehicle design and integrated technology,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing.

Measuring 151 inches (3,8 meters) in length and with a 97.1 inch (2,4 meters) wheelbase, Cadillac is trying to prove, just like Aston Martin, that if a car’s small it doesn’t mean it can’t be spacious and luxurious. Designed in Los Angeles, the Urban Luxury Concept follows Cadillac’s current design philosophy, with bold angles and vertical front and rear lights, plus scissor-type doors. Under the bonnet, the car is powered by a prototype hybrid system that includes a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, engine start-stop function and brake energy regeneration, all contributing to a fuel economy of 56 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway.

“It may not look like Cadillacs on the road today, but it shares the comfortable and high-tech elements that owners have come to associate with larger, traditional luxury sedans,” said Frank Saucedo, the car’s lead designer. “As more customers demand premium features even in smaller vehicles, a vehicle like the Urban Luxury Concept could be a solution.”


Nissan releases first official photo of the Murano CrossCabriolet

After a lot of rumors showed up about a possible convertible Murano, Nissan finally released an official photo of the car, which will be called the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. There were no further details released about the car, like engines and pricing, only the obvious (no top and only two doors) and the release date, which will be early 2011. But considering the topless Murano will make its debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we’ll probably know all about the car then.

With the photo, Nissan also added: “The world’s first all-wheel drive crossover convertible, delivers the open-air exhilaration of a convertible while extending the versatility of the Murano in exciting new ways. With room for four adults, space for golf bags or luggage (even with the top down), and a premium level interior, the Murano CrossCabriolet represents a breakthrough in concept and design. Set to go on sale in early 2011.”



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Saab 9-4X officially announced

After last winter Saab was extremely close to be completely shut down by GM, now under Spyker leadership the company is trying to come back into the game and to start counting again in the car industry. And we’re really happy to report that another new car was officially announced and that is the Saab 9-4X crossover.

Scheduled to make its official debut at next month Los Angeles Auto Show, the car looks pretty good with its Aero X concept inspired design, but the interior disappoints a little, being kinda dull. But Saab’s target market won’t probably be bothered by this, because it’s the same interior design theme Saab has been using for years. Still, the interior features high quality Bose system with 5.1 surround sound, option 8-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Under the bonnet, the Saab 9-4X will be available with two V6 engines, a 265 hp (195 kW) 3.0-liter that takes the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.0 seconds, while the top-of the-line Aero versions will get a turbocharged 2.8-liter engine that delivers 300 hp (221kW) and 400 Nm of torque, which means 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is made in 8.3 seconds. Both engines will be available with a six-speed automatic transmission and Saab’s XWD all-wheel-drive technology. There are no fuel consumption figures available so far.

Like we said, the official debut will take place in Los Angeles, with sales scheduled to start in May 2011 in the United States, and in August in Europe and other markets. Prices are currently unknown and will be revealed closer to launch.


Toyota RAV4 EV to debut in LA this year, Prius PHEV arrives in 2012

Toyota RAV4 EV to debut in LA this year, Prius PHEV arrives in 2012

Toyota and Tesla announced a few months ago that they are planning to launch an all-electric vehicle, based on the popular RAV4 crossover.

The Toyota RAV4 EV has now been detailed by the Japanese company, which revealed that it will have a working prototype present at this year’s LA Auto Show. According to Toyota, this means that the electric crossover is still on track for a 2012 launch on the US market.

The company also decided to detail another one of its electric efforts, the Prius plug-in hybrid. According to Toyota, the car may also arrive on US shores in 2012. More specifically, people will get to see it in the second quarter, meaning late spring.

Toyota wants to sell over 20,000 Prius PHEVs in North America when it will launch the model, and will rival other cars like the Nissan Leaf EV or the Chevrolet Volt.


2012 Infiniti M35 hybrid to debut at the LA Auto Show

Infiniti is set to expand its hybrid efforts onto US soil, and has just announced that it will debut the 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid at the 2010 LA Auto Show at the end of the year.

The M35 Hybrid is basically just a rebadged Nissan Fuga hybrid, which is set to be launched in the following weeks on the Japanese market.

The new model is set to use a retuned version of the 3.5-liter VQ V6, running on the Atkinson cycle, combined with a 50 kW electric motor, running off a lithium ion battery pack. The motor will sit between the engine and the six-speed automatic gearbox.

The 2012 Infiniti M35 hybrid claims that it will offer V8 power with four-cylinder efficiency, so we’ll just have to wait until the 2010 LA Auto Show to find out if it can deliver.


Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible to appear at the LA Auto Show

After the launch of the refreshed 2011 Nissan Murano, the Japanese company decided that the crossover needed something a bit more strange added to the lineup.

As such, it has now confirmed that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible will be added to the crossover range.

The new model is billed as the world’s first four-seat, all-wheel drive convertible crossover. It will have two doors, with a folding cloth top, judging from initial rumors.

No other details are known as of yet, but we will get to see the open-top convertible at the upcoming 2010 LA Auto Show, taking place at the end of the year in California.


2012 Saab 9-4X to debut at the LA Auto Show this November

It seems that new cars are being confirmed in the unlikeliest of places these days, as the LA Auto Show’s Twitter account has revealed that the 2012 Saab 9-4X crossover will be debuting at the convention this November.

The Saab 9-4X has been a long time coming, with a concept (pictured above) previewing the production model for quite some time. It will share the higher riding Theta platform with the Cadillac SRX, and target the American market.

Rumors are saying that engines from the 2011 9-5 will be appearing under the hood of the 9-4X. This means a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the a beefier 2.8-liter turbocharged six-cylinder will be available. As its name suggests, all-wheel drive will be present, with power coming through a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Those are the details, but expect more to be revealed as we approach the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.


Next generation Chevrolet Aveo hatchback and sedan leaked through patent photos

After yesterday’s big leak of the Volkswagen Jetta Coupe, a new set of patent photos showcase another future model, the next generation Chevrolet Aveo.

As you can see above and below, GM has trademarked both the hatchback and the sedan versions of the 2012 Aveo with the US Patent Office.

Basically the two versions retain much of what we saw on the Aveo RS concept in Detroit and on the official photo of the sedan, afterwards.

The design is much more aggressive, in the vein of the upcoming Cruze sedan. The new Aveo will compete with the likes of the Fiesta, and pack a wide array of upgrades over the current generation, which, suffice to say, isn’t winning any awards.

We can expect the new Chevrolet Aveo to be showcased at the Paris Motor Show this fall, or at the LA Auto Show at the end of the year.


LA Auto Show: Nissan wins best design award for its Youthmobile 2030 concept

Besides hosting many new cars and concepts which betray upcoming models, the 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show also hosted its prestigious design contest, in which many popular carmakers compete to reveal the best design reflecting the theme of the competition.

This year that theme was YouthMobile 2030, and designers needed to reveal a youth-oriented model for the year 2030. We’ve previewed the great looking concepts from Audi, but it seems that Nissan had the best entry, dubbed V2G, according to the jury, which gave it the best design award.

Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles contest, said, “The scope of this year’s concepts and designs – from the initial sketches to the final presentations – was very impressive. In the end, it came down to which team had the most inventive and solution-oriented design. Nissan’s designers showed passion and were able to create the ultimate Youthmobile for 2030 with their V2G design.”

It definitely looks quite bold, but considering the fast pace the auto industry is moving these days, we might get to see it become a reality, either in 2030, or much sooner. What do you believe? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.


LA Auto Show: Audi A3 TDI is the 2010 Green Car of the Year

The 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show wasn’t just about new concepts, new cars or interesting technologies, as it was also the place where the Green Car Journal awarded the Audi A3 TDI model the 2010 Green Car of the Year title.

This marks the second year in a row for a TDI model to win the prestigious award, as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI managed to win the 2009 edition of the competition. The Audi faced stiff competition as the other four finalists were the Toyota Prius, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Honda Insight and Volkswagen Golf TDI.

Considering it manage to win last year, and had two finalists in this year’s event, the TDI engine is showing that you don’t need a hybrid to be green. Who knows what the future will hold for the oil-burner which just celebrated 20 years of existence.


LA Auto Show: Hyundai presents the attractive new Tucson crossover

For the 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show, South Korean carmaker Hyundai prepared two new and attractive surprises for its US market, the new Sonata, which we revealed last week, and the new Tucson (or ix35 as it is known in Europe now), which both offer a new design plus great fuel economy, cementing Hyundai’s place as the most economic car brand in the USA.

Sporting a design born at the company’s Frankfurt studio, the new Tucson definitely looks out of this world, and besides retaining almost the exact dimensions, both inside and outside, you can’t really say it has anything to do with the last generation.

It will first be available with the 2.4-liter Theta II four-cylinder engine, which develops 176 HP and 168 lb-ft of torque, with a fuel average of 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, in front-wheel drive, in case you want all four-wheels to power the Tucson, you’ll get numbers around 21 and 28 mpg. Those of you with a hunger for more power might see a GDI (Gasoline Direct-Injection) unit next year, and those who want even better fuel averages might see a lighter 2.0-liter engine in a Tucson “Blue” edition. All these engines will be offered with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.

While on the outside the new design will certainly turn some heads, on the inside things are even more interesting, with passengers benefiting from increased space, as well as a few more storage spaces and an enlarged trunk. For that extra effect, you can order a panoramic sunroof as an option.

Expect the new Tucson to be available in showrooms in a few weeks, but with such great qualities, it won’t stay there for long. Enjoy the photo gallery below!

Photo Gallery: 2010 Hyundai Tucson


Video: Cadillac CTS Coupe shown off at LA Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show’s 2009 edition was eagerly awaited by many car enthusiasts, but with the recent announcement that Cadillac will debut its new CTS Coupe at that convention, even more people got excited.

In order to satisfy those who couldn’t make it and admire the newest coupe from the Cadillac line, the company revealed a new video with its General Manager, Bryan Nesbitt, which walks around the car and reveals its many features.

Hit the jump to see the video presentation of the Cadillac CTS Coupe!


Video presentation of the Volkswagen Up! Lite hybrid diesel revealed

While the 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show wasn’t as filled with concepts as other years, one which really managed to capture the attention of everyone was Volkswagen’s Up! Lite hybrid diesel project.

Offering a great fuel efficiency, boasting four seats and with technologies that might arrive in the near future on other Volkswagen products, the Up! Lite has generated plenty of media buzz.

Now, the company revealed a new presentation video, showcasing the many elements of the concept which make it so fuel efficient and practical in the world of tomorrow. Hit the jump to see the video of the VW Up! Lite concept.


LA Auto Show: Kia presents its all-American 2011 Sorento

Kia is definitely pulling the heart strings of its US fans, as it has just presented the 2011 Sorento model at the Los Angeles Auto Show, going on these days in California. I’m saying this because the new Sorento is the first vehicle the South Korean company has designed and built in the USA, at its West Point, Georgia manufacturing plant.

Moving on to specific details, the new Sorento aims at being a full pledged crossover model, meaning that it will seat five adults, but has the capacity for seven full-size persons “occasionally” according to Kia. Powered by a V6 engine outputtin 276 HP and coupled to a six-speed automatic, the Sorento promises to offer some interesting cheap thrills, but not in a bad way, as the prices start from under $20,000.

Also, expect the Sorento to be everywhere you look, as parent company Hyundai is buying ad spaces left and right, signing sponsorship deals and even running ads in cinemas across the USA. Hopefully the new 2011 Sorento will make good on its word and provide a great ride for potential customers.


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