August 2007 Archives –

Because the candidates for European “Car of the Year” were officially announced, we invite you, AutoUnleashed readers, to vote the car you think it should win this award. To spice it up, we also decided to give away some prizes: three diecast cars and a lot of T-shirts for our luckiest readers.

All you have to do is vote for your favorite car from the list and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and drop a comment. Please don’t forget to drop the comment, or else we won’t be able to contact you for your prize if you win (do not panic if you don’t see the comment right away, because we have to moderate it first, to prevent spam).


Post tags: Tags: car-of-the-year, Competitions, european-car-of-the-year

British audio company Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) announced that they designed their first premium car sound system which will make its debut on the new Jaguar XF. The system features 14 specially designed speakers and the advanced Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 system to deliver the best sound quality. This is only the beginning, because B&W will design more sound systems for future Jaguar cars, from the current Jaguar model range the XKR offering the choice of a B&W sound system.

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Mercedes announced the introduction of the new Mercedes C Class Estate. Based on the current generation C Class, the wagon also has the same engines as the sedan: diesel engines C200 CDI (developing 136 hp), C200 CDI (170 hp) and C320 CDI (224 hp) and petrol units C 180 Kompressor (156 hp), C 200 Kompressor (184 hp), C 230 (204 hp), C 280 (231 hp) and C 350 (272 hp).

The car will come in three versions, Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde (the last one, being the sportier, carries its Mercedes star in the middle of the grill, the distinctive mark of a sport models). The cargo space is 485 liters of cargo with the rear seats up and 1500 liters with the rear seats down.

The new Mercedes C-Class Estate comes with the Agility Control package. This allows the driver to choose between a comfortable ride or a sporty one, by switching between two suspension setups. And of course, an AMG sports package is available , package that adds sports suspension, 17 inch alloy wheels and the car is lowered by 15mm.

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In a press release made today, BMW announced that it will be the only automobile manufacturer to offer the Google local search in the car. BMW drivers will be able to use this search function to Google for local information everywhere in Germany. When you find what you searched for, the details are transferred to the navigation system and car phone. The system identifies the location and destination of the vehicle automatically and displays the results in the vicinity with details of address, phone number and distance. For example, you can look for Yellow Pages information like names and addresses of restaurants and hotels and locate service stations, banks, supermarkets, cinemas and public bodies.

This comes after Google and BMW have been offering the function “Send to Car” for transferring search results from the Google Maps website directly to the car for some time as part of BMW’s “ConnectedDrive” which combines all individual online, assistance and service systems in the car.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, BMW, car, cars, connected-drive, google

Road distraction and tiredness are responsible for a large number of accidents each year. Volvo is aware of that, so they came up with Driver Alert Control (DAC), a new system that, unlike Nissan’s Anti Drunk Driving Technology, for example, Volvo’s system doesn’t monitor the driver, but it analyzes the car’s behavior. Using a small camera mounted on the windscreena and motion-detecting sensors, the system detects if the car is being driven in a controlled, consistent manner and when risks show up it alerts the driver via an audible signal, while a text message and coffee cup symbol appear in the car’s information display advising the driver to take a break.

Another system Volvo wants to implement is Lane Departure Warning (LDW), that uses the same cameras monitoring the car’s position between the road markings. If the car crosses one of the road markings without reason such as if the indicator hasn’t been used, it gives out a warning sound. Both systems are activated when the car reaches 40mph and they will stay active as long as the speed exceeds 37mph.

Both systems will be available as options on the new V70, XC70 and S80 models at the end of the year, and will be on display at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. View more pics of how the systems work after the jump.

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Toyota will have some really interesting premieres at the Frankfurt Motor Show which will start on September 13th. Besides a small car concept and a special version of the Yaris, they’ll also introduce the Toyota RAV4 Cross Sport. This RAV4 sport edition will feature new 17-inch alloy wheels, protective plates under the bumpers, LED tail-lamps, new audio and DVD navigation system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, parking assistance and anthracite colored seats.

Nothing offcial yet, but rumors say the Toyota RAV4 Cross Sport will be available for European customers immediately after Frankfurt with two engine options, an 152 hp 2,0 liter petrol unit and an 136 hp 2,2 liter diesel unit. View more pics after the jump.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, car, cars, cross-sport, crossover, rav4, special-edition, suv, Toyota

Latest Euro NCAP tests had some pretty interesting results. First of all, it’s the first time Kia achieves a 5-star rating, the Cee’d having an overall score of 34 points. Second of all, Peugeot’ proves once again that it makes some of the safest cars on the streets, with the new 308 joining Peugeot’s 1007, 207 and 407 5-stars rating. In the child protection tests both models were awarded with 4 out 5 stars while in pedestrian protection, the Cee’d got a mediocre 2-star rating (out of 4) and the Peugeot a 3 star rating.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, car, cars, crash-test, euro-ncap, kia-ceed, peugeot-308, safety

Because the Nissan Quashqai had such a success in Europe, with almost 60,000 units sold since the February launch, the Japanese producer decided to increase the production capacity at the Nissan Kyushu plant in Japan. This decision was made to meet the increasing local demand (the Quashqai is named Dualis in Japan) and to free up capacity at the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Launched in Japan in May 2007, the Quashqai/Dualis was sold in 9,466 units. With production at the Kyushu plant scheduled to start in early 2008, Nissan expects to sell 24,000 units. This decision comes after Nissan’s announcement in June, that £2.4 million ($5 million) were invested into the Sunderland plant to increase Qashqai production, so we can definitely say that the Quashqai was a big success for Nissan.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, car, cars, demand, dualis, increase, nissa, production, quashqai

I bet most of us won’t imagine life without one our best little friends, the car remote control that opens the car for us. I can’t remebmer last time I used the key to unlock my car’s door the old fashioned style. But a recent study made by some researchers from Israel and Belgium showed that the technology used for keyless door locking, called KeeLoq is not safe at all. One of the reasons is that the KeeLoq technology used for the system, though it was improved in time, was developed 1980.

Each device has a unique key that takes 18 billion billion values. With 100 computers, it would take several decades to find such a key. Therefore KeeLoq was widely believed to be secure. In our research we have found a method to identify the key in less than a day. The attack requires access for about 1 hour to the remote control (for example, while it is stored in your pocket). Once we have found the key, we can deactivate the alarm and drive away with your car.


Post tags: Tags: alarm, auto, automobile, car, cars, keyless, remote, safety

Brabus presented a power upgrade kit for the Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI, the BRABUS D3 S POWER XTRA. The electronic engine control unit has an integrated injector drive that increases C220′s power output from standard 170hp to more impressive 217 hp and torque from 400 Nm to 480 Nm. With this kit, the C200 CDI goes from 0 to 62 mph (100km/h) in 7.8 seconds and to a top speed of 239 km/h (148 mph).

The BRABUS D3 S POWER XTRA complies with Euro IV emission limits, may be installed by any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer and is backed by Brabus Tuning Warranty valid for three years. And of course, Brabus couldn’t settle with just a power upgarde, they also made available an aerodynamic kit, suspension modifications, performance brakes and different interior enhancements.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, c-class, car, cars, cdi, dieseil, kit, mercedes, power, Tuning

Here is the official list of the cars which will compete for the 2008 European “Car of the Year” award. The jury, which features 58 journalists from 22 countries across Europe will announce the winner on November 19th with the trophy presentation planned to take place in Hamburg in January. There’s some tough competition there, but our money goes on the new Ford Mondeo, which is a brilliant car and would deserve the award.

Click ‘Read More’ to see the candidates. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, award, best-car, car, cars, europe, european-car-of-the-year

German tuner Novitec Rosso will bring a modified version of the Ferrari 599 GTB at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With sales scheduled to start immediately after the Show, the tuning package consists of a subtle styling kit plus some power and handling upgrades.

Exterior kit features a new front lip, side skirts with larger air intake openings, side flaps, a new rear wing and bumper with an integrated diffuser, plus new 20in wheels at the front with larger 21in alloys at the rear. Under the hood there’s an 25 hp boost (645 hp is the new engine power) which increased the top speed with 5 km/h (3 mph). Novitec Rosso promised a more powerful engine upgrade will be available sometime next year. More images after the jump.

Post tags: Tags: 599-gtb, auto, automobile, car, cars, Ferrari, novitec-rosso, sport, Tuning

Fascinated by the new Audi A4? I know I sure am. Here’s the official website of the car, with more goodies, like a cool photo gallery and a car configurator. Click HERE to go there.

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Mercedes’ factory tuner AMG released a special version of the SLK, the Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG Back Edition. Powered by a modified 5.5-liter V8 engine that delivers 400 hp, the roadster also has modified air intake, reduced-resistance sports air filters, new high-performance headers and a new valve-timing scheme. Fitted with an AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic with manual drive program the car goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4.5 seconds.

The car also features a non-retractable carbon-fiber roof, wider front fenders made of reinforced plastic and ultralight carbon-fiber composite, carbon fiber side outlets and 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The tires are 235/35ZR19 in front and 265/30ZR19 in the rear.

The car is already available in Germany, at a starting price of $145,600, including VAT.

Post tags: Tags: 55-amg, amg, auto, automobile, cabrio, car, cars, Mercedes-Benz, roadster, slk, Tuning

Now why would you do that to your Porsche? The only good reason I find is that the owner is a woman, because nothing else makes sense. This Porsche was spotted on Moscow streets, in Russia.

Post tags: Tags: auto, automobile, car, cars, decorated, flower, Porsche, wheels