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TechArt 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

TechArt 2011 Porsche Cayenne

I never understood why tuners like releasing performance upgrades for the Porsche Cayenne as it is an awful-looking car. In my opinion, it looks like a 911 on steroids. I never thought that Porsche will release an SUV, but if there is a potential market, why not? TechArt has decided to roll out a performance package for this German SUV and they will be bringing it to Geneva next month.

The car will have the same engine as the standard version, but instead of outputting 500 hp (368 kW) and 700 Nm, it will produce 560 hp (412 kW) and 780 Nm. With these extra muscles under the bonnet, the Cayenne will be able to sprint to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and to 200 km/h in only 15.8 second, onto a top speed of 287 km/h. This increase in power was obtained by simply upgrading the car’s ECU.

TechArt will be bringing five cars at the 81st International Geneva Motorshow next month so if you want to find out more about their tuning programs, stay tuned as we will offer a full coverage of the upcoming auto show.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II Revealed

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

GM’s Holden division has two Captiva models in its lineup: the Captiva 5 which is a re-badged Opel Antara and the Captiva 7 – the Euro-spec Chevrolet Captiva. Taking into consideration the fact that Opel has confirmed its descent to the land of the Down Under next year, there are strong chances that Holden will stop making the Captiva 5 in the future.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

Until this moment will come, Holden will continue to roll out the Captiva 5 and they’ve recently launched the refreshed model, that features just about the same changes that we saw on the 2011MY Opel Antara. Dubbed Series II, the new Captiva features an updated front grille with mesh detailing, a brand new set of alloy rims and a single-touch electronic park brake on the inside.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

As far as the engines are concerned, the model can be fitted with a new 4-cylinder 2.2-liter diesel power unit that produces 181 hp (135 kW) and 400 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, providing a fuel consumption of 8.5 liters / 100 km.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

The 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine has been updated and now offers 165 hp (123 kW) and 230 Nm of torque, 19% more in comparison to its predecessor. With this engine, the Holden Captiva 5 Series II has an average fuel economy of 9.1 liters / 100 km.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

The model fitted with the new TDI engine is equipped with an electronically controlled active AWD while the 2.4-liter gas-powered version offers customers the possibility to buy the car in a 2WD configuration and a manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Holden Captiva 5 Series II

According to Holden, the new Captiva 5 Series II benefits from a quieter and smoother ride as well as improved handling capabilities.

Why I Don’t Like The Honda Element

2011 Honda Element

Although SUVs are not my cup of tea, a compact crossover is somewhat more desirable in my opinion, but definitely not the Honda Element. Based on the CR-V platform, Honda rolled out in 2002 this hideous-looking car. It has to be one of the ugliest cars of the last decade.

2011 Honda Element

That boxy design is horrible and I wouldn’t be caught dead driving this car. I was really surprised to find out that in 2003 they managed to sell about 67,000 units in the United States, more than the company expected. I really don’t understand the reasons behind choosing this model when there are dozens of alternatives in the crossover segment.

2011 Honda Element

Last December, Honda decided to discontinue the car as they managed to sell only 14,000 units in 2010. I really don’t understand why they launched the car when the CR-V was pretty good at doing the exact same thing and it looks ten times better than the Element.

2011 Honda Element

I haven’t driven one, I bet it is as reliable as other Hondas but when buying a car, you don’t think only about how reliable it is, you also want it to look good, and the Element definitely isn’t a car worth admiring for its aesthetics.

Piecha Mercedes ML Launched

Piecha Mercedes ML

I never was a huge fan of SUVs but if I had to buy one it would have to be the ML. The tuners from Piecha Design decided to roll out their upgrade program for the latest generation of this German SUV which can also be installed on the GL-Class X164 due to the fact that these two models are very similar.

Piecha Mercedes ML

The Mercedes ML now rolls on some imposing wheels, measuring 10×22-inch in the front and 11.5×22-inch out in the back. This set of wheels will set you back 6,000 Euros. Other changes include an H&R coilover suspension, which lowers the ML by 35 mm in the front and 50 mm at the rear axle – its price tag is 385 Euros.

Piecha Mercedes ML

As far as the performance of the car is concerned, the engineers installed a Power Converter Intermedia RC (357 Euros) which improves the acceleration as well as the reaction time of the accelerator pedal at low speeds.

GM Releases Vauxhall Antara Pricing

Vauxhall Antara

General Motors has revealed today the price list for the Vauxhall Antara, which will be available for purchase soon in the UK. The SUV will be offered with one engine that has two power levels. In other words, the 2.2 CDTI will output either 163 PS and 350 Nm or 184 PS and 400 Nm of torque. This engine will be mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or an automatic transmission. The Antara will be offered in both FWD and AWD versions.

Vauxhall Antara

A very interesting thing about the Antara is its ITCC – Intelligent Torque Controlled Coupling system that is available for the AWD version. This system is capable of offering a fast response to changing road conditions, while being lightweight, compact and maintenance-free.

With the 184 PS engine, the Vauxhall Antara does the 0-62 mph sprint in 9, 6 seconds, onto a top speed of 124 mph. Fuel consumption is 42.8 mpg combined while the CO2 emissions level is 175 g/km.

Vauxhall Antara

The Vauxhall Antara fitted with the 163 PS engine has a base price of 19,995 GBP for the front-wheel-drive model while the AWD model with automatic transmission costs from 25,855 GBP. For the more powerful model, the car has a base price of 25,455 GBP. This power unit is offered only with the all-wheel drive system.

MANSORY Reveales 2011 Porsche Cayenne Tuning Program

MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne

MANSORY is known for launching some extravagant tuning programs but for this 2011 Cayenne I think that they really did a nice job. They took the model fitted with the 4.8-liter engine and increased its power from 500 hp (368 kW) to 690 hp (507 kW).

MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne

The 800 Nm of torque is available at 4,800 rpm. It is quite a powerful tuning program as the engine offers 190 more ponies, allowing the SUV to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 4, 4 seconds, onto a top speed of 300 km/h.

MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne

This significant increase in power is available thanks to the larger turbos, the re-mapped ECU and the new stainless steel sports exhaust. The car also packs some aerodynamics updates, including the new front & rear aprons, the updated side skirts as well as the wheel arch extensions that look really cool, making the Cayenne 60 mm wider in the front and 80 mm in the back.

MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne

In addition, the MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne also features LED daytime running lights, large air intakes, a carbon fiber bonnet and massive 21, 22 or even 23-inch wheels. The height of this German SUV can be reduced by up to 45 mm thanks to the air suspension.

MANSORY 2011 Porsche Cayenne

Subaru Forester S-Edition, Available In Australia

Subaru Forester S-Edition

Revealed back in October 2010 at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, the Subaru Forester S-Edition is now available for sale in Australia, together with the revised lineup of this SUV. This model is equipped with a 2.5-liter boxer engine that outputs 259 hp (193 kW) and 256 lb.-ft (347 Nm) of torque – making it the most powerful Forester model ever made.

Subaru Forester S-Edition

According to Nick Senior, who is Subaru’s Managing Director in Australia: “we have had increasing customer interest in a more powerful Forester and are delighted to be the first export market for S-Edition, which made its worldwide debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last October.” He added that this model combines two of the best formulas launched by the Japanese automaker – WRX and Forester, the latter is the most popular compact SUV in the country.

Subaru Forester S-Edition

This 259 hp engine is mated to a 5-speed paddle-shift automatic gearbox that is capable of sending all that power with the help of the proprietary Variable Torque Distribution AWD system. In order to improve the handling of this S-Edition, the engineers over at Subaru fitted the car with a sport suspension and 17-inch alloys, dubbed Subaru Tecnica International (STi) that are covered by 22/55 R17 Yokohama tires.

Subaru Forester S-Edition

The car offers plenty of torque even in the low rpm area  and constant between 2,800 rpm – 4,800 rpm. This S-Edition of the Forester can do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 6.5 seconds, onto a respectable top speed of 142 mph. These performances come at a price because the fuel consumption is not that good, standing at 22.4 mpg in a combined cycle.

Subaru Forester S-Edition

Other modifications over the regular model include the World Rally Blue color option (available for a limited period), silver roof rails; various chrome accents and a black grille.

Inside this Forester you will find (if you live in Australia) sports seats clad in a combination of leather and Alcantara, “S-Edition” seat embroidery that is complemented by the blue stitching, special gear shifter and a sporty instrument display.

The starting price for the Subaru Forester S-Edition is AUD $50,900 (about US $51,301).

The revised regular models now feature a 2.5-liter power unit that produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 174 lb.-ft (235 Nm) of torque. In addition, the new Forester benefits from a redesigned front grille and a dashboard that sports a darker finish with matching metallic accents. As standard, the SUV comes with seats clad in a more water-resistant color trim, USB support and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, the XS models and above benefit from reversing cameras as a standard feature.

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.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line Announced

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Yesterday, the German automaker Volkswagen announced the 2012 Touareg R-Line which will be first available for the German market. The car will feature both interior and exterior updates. However, the Touareg R-Line will not benefit from any performance mods, at least not at the beginning.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

As far as the exterior changes are concerned, the R-Line of this SUV will offer a redesigned rear bumper that will feature an integrated matt diffuser along with new oval tailpipes, a new R-Design front spoiler lip and side skirts. The car will roll on new 20-inch light alloy rims and according to VW; the car will have a sportier chassis setting.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Inside the cabin, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line will come with stainless steel still pedals and plates, new front sport seats finished in a two-tone color combination with electric 12-way adjustment, aluminum and leather gear knob and a leather multifunctional steering wheel.

The R-Line package will be available with all the engines of the Touareg, except for the TSI V6 Hybrid.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Here is the price list for the package: V8 TDI 1.840, – € (V6 2.200, – €), the “R-Line package in the eight-cylinder 2935, – € (V6 3670, – €) and the R Line “Plus” package in the V8 TDI 3540, – € (V6 8330, – €).

Source: ZerCustoms.com

BMW Launches X1 xDrive28i TwinPower Turbo

BMW X1 xDrive28i TwinPower Turbo

This week, BMW presented their new generation of 2.0-liter petrol power units by launching the X1 xDrive28i TwinPower Turbo that is equipped with a 4-cylinder engine that outputs 245 hp (180 kW) and 350 Nm of torque. With this hardware configuration, the X1 does the 0-60 mph sprint in 6.1 seconds with the help of the manual transmission and 6.5 second with the automatic gearbox. BMW said that this new model does 35.7 mpg combined and a CO2 emissions level of 183 g/km.

This new generation of the engine is fitted with an all-aluminum crankcase, a high Precision Injection direct petrol injection system that has solenoid injectors, a high-performance twin-scroll turbocharging system as well as the proprietary VALVETRONIC variable valve control system. The X1 xDrive28i TwinPower Turbo is offered with BMW’s xDrive AWD system and will also be available with the M sports package. In addition, this X1 version comes as standard with DSC – Dynamic Stability Control which reduces the risks of under- and oversteering.

BMW X1 xDrive28i TwinPower Turbo

As standard, the X1 is fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission and for extra money; the X1 can be equipped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This BMW can be purchased with a sports leather steering wheel or an M-badge steering wheel, both of them being available with shift paddles for manually switching the gears.

Banned Dacia Duster Ad

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjFO52cF1_0[/youtube]

The list of banned car ads just got bigger with the addition of this one for the Dacia Duster SUV, the most affordable sport utility vehicle in the world.  Sources say that the ad wasn’t made by Dacia. According to a comment made on AutoBlog, the team behind this ad is the following:

Production company: Artcore
Director: Berend Boorsma
Producer: Stefany Rietkerk
Production Manager: Christine Anderton
1st AD: Roel Boorsma
D.O.P.: Philip van Volsum
1st ASS Camera: Alex Hollay
Gaffer: Erno Das
Grip: Frans Leiwakabessy
Sound Recordist: Peter Westbroek
Art Director: Nedda Nagel
Make-up: Eugenie Abrahams
Styling: Nicole de Werk
Location Management: Mike Kuijper
Script Continuity: Maaike Boorsma
VTR: Rio Kierkels
Catering: Quiscene
Edit: Vava Tungsten
Sound: Studio de Keuken

In addition, Dacia denied any link with this ad.

While some people may find it a little bit vulgar, others will definitely like it.  I for one enjoyed seeing it but it is indeed a little bit too vulgar. What do you think?

2011 Jeep Compass 70th Anniversary Edition

2011 Jeep Compass 70th Anniversary Edition

This year Jeep is celebrating its 70th anniversary and for this occasion it will roll out special editions of each of their sport utility vehicles: Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot and for the Wrangler. All of these special editions will be available at dealerships by the first quarter of 2011 and will be available in three different exterior colors: Black, Bright Silver and Bronze Star.

The upgrades for these special editions will include only interior changes so these cars will not have increased power outputs or special exterior changes, except for a new set of wheels and a couple of anniversary badges to differentiate them from the standard versions.

The 2011 Jeep Compass 70th Anniversary Edition will come with a new set of 18-inch rims, a 70th anniversary edition badge as well as Dark Slate seats that will have perforated leather inserts embossed with the “Jeep” logo along with the Chestnut accent stitching and piping. Other changes include the unique dark green overlay, another logo on the radio screen and the cargo area with the Chestnut binding.

As mentioned before, no performance upgrades have been made to the Compass which means that the SUV will be available with the same powerplant as the standard version. We are talking about a 2.0-liter World Engine unit that is capable of outputting 158 hp and 141 lb.-ft of torque. The engine is linked to the CVT2 – continuously variable transmission. Another engine available for the Compass is the more powerful 2.4-liter that produces 172 hp and 165 lb.-ft of torque. This unit is fitted with the VVT – dual Variable Valve Timing on both the exhaust and intake camshafts.

The price of the 2011 Jeep Compass 70th Anniversary Edition is $24,970 for the base model.

Among its most important rivals, we include the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota RAV4.

Dodge Ram Trim-To-Fit SUV Rear Runner Mat

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Porsche Considering A Smaller And Affordable SUV

Porsche Panamera

Yesterday in Berlin, the supervisory board of Porsche Automobil Holding signed off on creating a smaller and more affordable sport utility vehicle which will most likely target young drivers that are not able to afford the more expensive Cayenne model, which is at the moment the best-selling car manufactured by Porsche, especially in China.

Bernhard Maier, the head of sales & marketing for Porsche, said at the beginning of this month that the options are to create the Cajun in-house, use a partner or share a platform with another VW Group brand. He did not mentioned if the new smaller SUV will begin production in 2013 nor that it will have the same platform and some components with the Audi Q5. He said that by developing this new car it will be a solid way for Porsche to increase annual revenues and “follow the growth plan of the company.”

The CEO of the VW Group, Martin Winterkom, hopes that the Porsche sales will double to about 150,000 units in the next three years and further increase the cooperation between Volkswagen and Porsche. He said on Monday that Porsche will start making future platforms for the VW Group luxury sedans and sports cars. Juergen Pieper, who is an analyst for Bankhaus Metzler stated that “Porsche has its ambitious agenda clearly cut out. Access to VW’s vast technology may help them pursue their growth goals.”

Last week, Porsche announced that it will be investing $197 million (150 million euros) in order to upgrade its research center located near Stuttgart so that the company will offer in the near future 38 models across four vehicle lines. Porsche sold last year 81,850 units, including the Panamera sedan (priced at 75,900 euros) and the Cayenne ($72,635), which is 8.8% more than 2008.

Porsche Panamera

On Monday, Porsche reported a net income of 155 million euros for the first-quarter, in comparison to the similar period of last year when they lost 431 million euros. Porsche is in the process of merging with Volkswagen, who is Europe’s largest automaker. VW acquired 49.9% of Porsche AG; after the sports car manufacturer failed in an attempt of a hostile overtake of VW.

Today, Porsche will inquire shareholders to accept a capital increase of approximately 5 billion euros in the first half of 2011, with the automaker’s controlling shareholders and the Porsche & Piech families, contributing about 2.5 billion euros.

Hamann Rolls Out The Flash Evo M

Hamann Flash Evo M

Based on the BMW X5 M, the Hamann Flash EVO M features an aggressive body kit that matches with the extra muscles of this powerful SUV. In the front we have a spoiler that sports LED daytime running lights and generous air intakes that allow a more efficient cooling of the brakes and power unit. The standard bonnet of the X5 M was replaced with a carbon fiber one and the car also got side sill bars, carbon fiber mirror heads, a rear spoiler, side wings for the wheel arches, roof spoiler and fender extensions. In addition to all of these upgrades, the Flash Evo M is equipped with a sport exhaust system that features center-mounted double-pipes which are integrated into the new diffuser.

The most important upgrade over the original model can be found in the engine compartment. The hardware modifications brought by Hamann allow the engine to output 449 kW (610 PS) and an incredible torque of 780 Nm. The standard BMW X5 M has “only” 408 kW (555 PS) and a 680 Nm torque. If this engine upgrade is not enough for most customers, Hamann can fit the SUV with a HM 670 sports kit that offers 493 kW (670 PS) and a 950 Nm torque.

Hamann Flash Evo M

The car now is 30 mm lower thanks to the progressively wound suspension that allows the driver to handle the car better at speeds that can reach 300 km/h. The car will be riding on big 22 or 23-inch light alloy rims. For stopping this fast SUV, Hamann developed a very efficient braking system by using massive 405 mm diameter brake discs for the front wheels and 340 mm diameter brake discs for the wheels in the back. The 6-pot calipers provide the needed delay at the front axle and the 4-pot calipers do the same job on the rear axle. In order to prevent and avoid fading during high stress, the Flash Evo M features flex brake lines.

Moving on in the inside, we find the carbon & stainless-steel sill with the “Hamman” illuminated logo. In addition, you get a nice quilted leather interior stitching and Alcantara. The car comes with “Hamman” floor mats as well as a trunk mat that round up the luxurious interior look.


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