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Next gen 2012 Dodge Viper reportedly shown by Chrysler to dealers

Chrysler held a special dealer meeting behind closed doors a few days ago, where it revealed a lot of new models and refreshed existing ones. We’ve already seen the 2011 Town & Country, the 2011 Jeep Patriot as well as been teased with the promise of a 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan that will wipe the Sebring from existence.

But according to an inside sources, cited by the Wall Street Journal, dealers were also showcased one very special model, the 2012 Dodge Viper.

As you all know, the existing supercar has been axed from production, and will return at the end of next year as an all-new model.

According to the WSJ report, the car shown was a radical departure from the current Viper design, going for a more upmarket look. It will retain some of its flamboyance, as it was reportedly painted in 25 layers of red to make it stand out.

Other specific details aren’t known just yet, but expect it to retain the formula that made its predecessor such a huge success.


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


Subaru to launch next generation Boxer engine

Subaru is well known for quite a lot of things, going from the symmetrical all-wheel drive to the rally-ready Impreza WRX STI. But true petrol heads recognize the Subaru brand through its signature Boxer engine, currently available in two versions, a 2.0- and a 2.5-liter.

The old engine has been around for quite some time, so it seems that Subaru is finally preparing to upgrade the technology in order to make it more efficient and capable of meeting strict new emissions standards all around the world.

A new report suggests that the next generation Boxer engine might arrive as early as the end of the year, on the Forrester crossover. It would then expand to models like the Outback, Legacy or Impreza, as well as other models which are sold around the world.

The engine is expected to keep its 2.0 and 2.5-liter versions, and it might be offered with a choice of transmissions, including a CVT one.


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Current Ford Focus ST set to be axed, next generation model to debut in Paris

The harsh Euro 5 emissions regulations have struck once more, as the Ford Focus ST hot hatch is set to be discontinued by Ford of Europe in the near future.

The model will join other powerful cars like the Mazda RX-8 or the Honda Civic Type R, as its turbocharged 2.5-liter engine can no longer meet the new emissions regulations currently being adopted in the Old Continent.

Fear not though, as Ford has confirmed that a new performance car will be revealed at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, and it’s a safe bet that it will be the ST version of the already unveiled 2012 Ford Focus. Most likely it will pack the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, already revealed for the 2011 Ford Explorer, capable of sending over 200 HP to the front wheels.

Stay tuned for more details on the next generation Ford Focus ST around the start of the Paris show in October.


Volkswagen says the next generation Beetle will boast ‘radical design’

Volkswagen is starting to slowly hype up its next generation Beetle model, and has revealed that the new car will boast a ‘radical design’.

According to Autocar, the next generation Volkswagen Beetle, set to be revealed at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, has been thoroughly upgraded by the German engineers.

Besides the new design, which might borrow cues from the older VW Ragster concept (pictured above), the new Beetle will benefit from the same front-wheel drive platform as the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sedan. This means that the next car will grow in size but handle much better.

A wide array of engines are expected in Europe and other territories, while the USA will get a 170 HP 2.5-liter engine. Expect a hybrid assembly, like the one we saw in the New Compact Coupe concept, to appear. Specifically, a 1.4-liter twin-charged gasoline engine coupled with a 27 HP electric motor.

Expect the next generation Volkswagen Beetle to appear on the global market at the beginning of next year, with a convertible model set to arrive in 2012.


Videos: 2011 Ford Explorer shows off its high tech systems

As we’re sure most of you know by now, the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV has been officially revealed by the Blue Oval at the beginning of the week.

The onslaught of information continued yesterday with the unveil of the online car configurator for the next generation SUV, and now we’re treated with a healthy batch of videos. These showcase all of the new technologies and systems that are available in the 2011 Ford Explorer.

From the Terrain Management System we saw before, to the Blind Spot Information System or the Trailer Control system, all of them are thoroughly explained. Also, don’t forget that we already saw the impressive Curve Control system in action a while back.

Hit the jump to watch these three videos.

BMW to produce the Gran Coupe concept in 2012 as part of the 6 Series

The four-door coupe market is expanding by leaps and bounds these days, as not only were we treated with spy shots of the second generation Mercedes-Benz CLS, as well as with the first photos of the 2011 Audi A7 Sportback, but BMW is reported to have cleared the stunning Gran Coupe concept for production.

It seems that the gorgeous concept we saw in Beijing will be produced by the German company, and will be incorporated in the next generation 6 Series lineup. The rumored arrival date is 2012, putting it one year after the planned release of the next 6 Series.

Still, we’re pretty sure it will be worth the wait, as the Gran Coupe garnered a lot of rave reviews from both the media and the general public. Expect plenty of styling cues to make it to production, while an array of gasoline and diesel engines will no doubt be found under the bonnet. An ActiveHybrid version might also appear, further down the line.


2011 Ford Explorer configurator now online, prices start at $28,190

The 2011 Ford Explorer is the one of the Blue Oval’s biggest bets this year, and as such, it has been promoted through a lot of new ways.

We’ve already seen the official launch yesterday, and now the online car configurator is already available, albeit in a not-so-complete way.

Customers are able to configure their own V6-equipped Explorer, as the 2.0-liter EcoBoost version isn’t available for configuration just yet. Still, prices for the base Explorer, with the 3.5-liter V6 and front-wheel drive start at $28,190.

Afterwards, things increase to as much as $39,190 for the top-of-the-range Limited trim line, with the same engine and four-wheel drive. That doesn’t even include any extra options you might want, nor the $805 destination charge.

Still, if you want something to do until the 2011 Ford Explorer hits dealerships this winter, the configurator will keep you busy.


Next Ford Focus RS to combine EcoBoost with electric motor in an all-wheel drive system

After hearing last week about a hotter version of the future 2012 Ford Focus, the ST that will reportedly appear at the Paris Motor Show, new rumors have been revealed about the future Ford Focus RS hot hatch.

According to Autocar, the Blue Oval’s global performance division is looking into several technologies to power the next generation Focus RS.

Among them, it seems that the team will combine an upgraded version of the new EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct injected inline-four cylinder engine, located on and powering the front wheels, with an electric motor, sitting in the back and powering the rear wheels.

This setup would allow for a better handling, as the increased amount of power won’t be fed just to the front wheels, like in the current Focus RS. Also, depending on the capacity of the motor and the size of the batteries powering it, short burst of all-electric drive may be possible.

If the plan goes through, the next generation Ford Focus RS would definitely one-up the existing hot hatch, and will attract both the regular European customers, but also American fans that want both performance and increased efficiency.


2011 Ford Explorer finally revealed in first official photos

It’s been an extra long time coming, but the Blue Oval finally decided to pull the curtain off its newest model: the 2011 Ford Explorer.

As you can see above and below, the new SUV is thoroughly overhauled, borrowing cues from the new Taurus, as well as the Flex or the Fusion. According to Ford, the next generation Explorer will offer “best-in-class fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and terrain management system – all wrapped in a modern, weight-saving design.”

In terms of engines, the new Explorer will be offered with a 3.5-liter V6 option, expected to output 290 HP with 255 lb-ft of torque, and be 20% more efficient. The new SUV can also be equipped with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four cylinder unit, capable of 237 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque, while at the same time being 30% more efficient than the outgoing V6. These two engines will be mated with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which feeds power to all four wheels.

Safety plays an important role for the new Explorer, as it boasts a more rigid unibody structure, as well as an array of safety features, including the innovative inflatable seat belts Ford premiered at the beginning of the year. Stability systems like the Curve Control we saw a few weeks ago, as well as a terrain management system are also included.

The next generation SUV will come in three trim lines, Base, XLT and Limited, each boasting various equipment. Among them we have the SYNC infotainment system, with the Limited getting the new MyFord Touch iteration.

The 2011 Ford Explorer SUV will be premiered in the following week all over the USA, with production set to start later this year. Expect it to hit dealerships before the end of winter. Until then, hit the jump to check out the high res photo gallery.


Next gen Mercedes-Benz A Class to get AMG performance edition

After hearing at the beginning of the week that the next generation Mercedes-Benz A Class will borrow design cues from concepts like the F800 Style or the Concept Fascination, new details have now been revealed.

According to the rumor mongers from Autocar, the future A Class will also get the performance treatment from Mercedes’ AMG division.

It seems that the German company is so bent on rivaling the BMW 1 Series, a hot hatch version of the A Class has received the green light. Also, in order to rival the 1 Series Coupe, a similar version will also be offered for the A Class AMG.

Both models will benefit from a supercharged four-cylinder engine, complete with direct injection. According to the British magazine, its output will be around 270 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque, more than enough to rival hot hatches like the Volkswagen Golf R or the Ford Focus RS.

Still, don’t expect this performance A Class anytime soon, as the next generation is expect around 2012, so the AMG version will arrive a year later.


Next generation Mercedes-Benz A Class to borrow cues from Concept Fascination and F800 Style concepts

Next generation Mercedes-Benz A Class to borrow cues from Concept Fascination and F800 style concepts

Mercedes-Benz‘s compact offerings, the A and B Classes, haven’t exactly proven to be best sellers. As such, for the next generation models, the German company is preparing something a bit more special.

After hearing that the B Class will evolve and tackle BMW’s 1 Series, as well as see new versions, fresh rumors are now being revealed about the next generation A Class.

According The Detroit Bureau, the new models in the range are set to borrow cues from two very well-received concepts from the last few years: the Concept Fascination and the F800 Style.

As you may remember, the Concept Fascination shooting break showcar was revealed in Paris a couple of years ago, and previewed the current E Class. The F800 Style is a bit newer, appearing onto the scene at the Detroit Auto Show this year. As we saw at the beginning of the week, it has previewed the future 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Even if the next generation A Class will borrow just styling cues, we’re pretty excited that they will come from such attractive concepts. What do you think? Share your thoughts in a comment below.


2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS spied during its official photo shoot

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class has been in the works for quite some time, and was already previewed by two concepts, the F800 Style and the Shooting Break.

Now, we can finally look at the production version of the new Mercedes four-door coupe model, thanks to an eagle-eyed visitor to the MB museum in Stuttgart.

It seems that the German company was actually preparing for the first official photo shoot of the 2011 CLS in front of the establishment, but forgot that, you know, visitors actually come to the Mercedes museum. As such, thanks to Brazil’s NoticiasAutomotivas, we can examine the new CLS.

As you can see above and below, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class is pretty changed, but the differences aren’t so severe as we first expected. The front fascia has been thoroughly overhauled, with LED technology, chrome inserts and a more upright grille.

The rear end has also seen work, with new taillights, while the overall shape has been elongated and doesn’t bear the same bubble look as the current CLS.

The official announcement of the next generation 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS is set to be made in the near future, ahead of the car’s official debut at the Paris Motor Show, this fall.


Next generation Chevrolet Corvette to get 440 HP 5.5-liter V8?

After hearing some speculation about the 2011 Dodge Challenger yesterday, the guys at MotorTrend have now revealed some rumors about the next generation Chevrolet Corvette.

According to the magazine, GM plans to really downsize the engines, as the 6.2 and 7.0-liter units the Corvette C6 models use are just too harmful to the environment and don’t provide adequate amounts of power, when compared to their size.

Instead of those big units, the C7 Corvette is scheduled, according to the report, to benefit from a 5.5-liter small-block V8 engine, capable of a respectable 440 HP, as opposed to the current generation’s 430 HP.

Even though it will decrease in displacement, the C7′s engine will benefit from all the new technologies GM will implement in its new small-block family. These include direct injection, E85 flex-fuel capability, a new combustion system plus the older overhead valve design, which guarantees smaller size and lower manufacturing cost.

You’ll have to wait for this improved Chevrolet Corvette C7 though, as reports peg it appearing around 2012, if we’re lucky. Besides the new and improved engine, a new Corvette design was also rumored to appear with the next generation.


Next Subaru Impreza WRX STI to use diesel engine alongside gasoline unit?

The rumor mill has started spinning once more, this time powered by the guys at Autocar, which have revealed that the next generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI sportscar might see, alongside a traditional gasoline-powered version, a diesel option.

It seems that stricter emissions and fuel average regulations are forcing the Japanese company to consider a diesel option for their hot model. This oil burner is set to be based on the current 2.0-liter turbodiesel unit, found on stock Impreza models, and might be good for around 200 HP and over 300 lb-ft of torque.

The changes don’t stop here, as the next Impreza WRX STI might see the gasoline version decrease its displacement. According to the inside voices, the 1.5-liter flat-four engine also found on stock Impreza models might be used for the next generation performance sportscar.

As you can imagine, Subaru hasn’t commented on the rumors, but considering the changing times and new regulations, a diesel and a smaller gasoline engine aren’t that far fetched.


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