November 2008 Archives –

German tuner Zwickenpflug (Jesus, remember this name if you can!) decided that the BMW M3 is not exclusive enough, so they came up with this, the BMW M3 Leather Edition. Basically, what they did was take out all the M3 standard interior and replace it with a more luxurious leather interior, with Alcantara leather inserts on the door panels, steering wheel, dashboard and the sport seats. But that’s not all, because Zwick-whatever also made some performace upgrades and by tweaking the ECU they managed to squeeze 25 hp more from the 4.0 liter V8, which now delivers 445 hp. They’ve also played with the electronic speed limiter (actually, they removed it), so the M3 Leather Interior now goes up to a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). Completed by the 19-inch BBS alloy wheels, that’s a pretty decent tuning program (nothing impressive, but decent).

Photo Gallery: BMW M3 Leather Interior by Zwickenpflug


Post tags: Tags: BMW, bmw-m3, leather, luxury, Tuning, zwickenpflug

When you first look at this picture, you might believe it was taken on the set of a new Taxi movie, with producers deciding to replace the Peugeot with a Ferrari Enzo. But that would be completely wrong, because the photo was taken in Muscat, Oman (Middle East). That’s the part of the world where money’s not an issue. But of course, that doesn’t mean we’re not curios how much a ride in that costs, considering the car is currently worth at least $1,000,000.


Post tags: Tags: cab, Ferrari, ferrari enzo, middle east, oman, taxi

With the facelift for the new BMW 3 Series, it was just a matter of time before tuning companies started presenting tuning programs for the car, and it seems that the Germans from AC Schnitzer are among the first. The upgrade is available for both sedan and Touring versions and it includes a body kit with new front spoiler elements, new contours of the bonnet, AC Schnitzer side skirts, sports mirrors, spoiler insert with diffuser look, rear roof spoiler and a set of Type IV BiColor 18 or 19 inch alloy wheels. Mechanical upgrades include new AC Schnitzer suspension, extra sports antiroll bar and strut brace kit front and rear, plus a new AC Schnitzer Twin Sports Rear Silencer with interlinked chrome rings. Under the hood, the 3.0 liter six-cylinder diesel engine was upgraded from 245 hp (180 kW) and 520 Nm of torque to 284 hp (209 kW) and 570 Nm.

Photo Gallery: BMW 3 Series facelift tuning by AC Schnitzer


Post tags: Tags: ac-schnitzer, BMW, bmw 3 series, bmw 3 series facelift, facelift, Tuning

If you’re lucky enough to own a Bentley (doesn’t really matter what model), we’ve got some more good news for you. The British carmaker is preparing a special event, called “Power on ice”, which will take place in Finland, in February and March next year. So, what’s this? It’s an event where you’ll get the chance to drive 560-610 hp cars from the Continental series across a frozen lake in the centre of Finland. Before that, Bentley will offer a training program, under the supervision of a team led by Finnish rally star Juha Kankkunen, who set a new world speed record for driving on ice in 2007, driving a Bentley Continental GT on a frozen bay off the coast of Finland.

All these will take place around the small town on Ruka, approx. 800 km north of Helsinki, where Bentley is creating its own private holiday village consisting of a small boutique hotel and a number of exclusive chalets. The all-inclusive packageis priced between 7,590 and 8,990 euros, with moreinfo available on the event’s website. Unfortunately, though we’re one of the best blogs around here (ahem, just being modest, you know), we don’t really afford it yet, so maybe someone over at Bentley will see this and drop in a special invitation, we wouldn’t mind at all.


Post tags: Tags: Bentley, power on ice

It’s been only a few days since the highly expected Panamera was officially announced and already there’s a lot of controversy around Porsche’s four-door coupe, some like it, while for other it’s a big disspointment. For the moment, we’re not very sure about our feelings for the car, we’re going to wait until we get the chance to see it in the flesh, next spring, probably at the Geneva Motor Show. Just as a reminder, the Panamera will come with a range of V6 and V8 engines, delivering between 300 and 500 hp and Porsche will offer a range of V6 and V8 engines, developing between 300 and 500 hp and will also get Porsche’s new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox (PDK – Porsche Doppelkupplung). Check out the updated photo gallery and a presentation video after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: Porsche, porsche panamera

After the five-door sedan was unveiled in L.A., the Japanese carmaker recently announced that the five-door hatchback version of the new Mazda3 will make its world debut on December 3, during the Bologna Motor Show in Italy. The new hatchback has the same styling and mechanic characteristics of its sedan brother, while the engine range was specially targeted at the more demanding European customers, including Mazda’s new 2.2 liter turbodiesel, which is compliant with Euro 5 standards and which, according to the manufacturer, offers improved fuel economy and lowered CO2 emissions. More details about the car will be made available at the press conference from Bologna, so stay tuned as we’ll let you know once we get more info.

Photo Gallery: The new Mazda3 hatchback


Post tags: Tags: bologna motor show, Mazda, mazda3, mazda3 hatchback

We’re convinced the new Volkswagen Scirocco will be a success and it looks like the German company is currently working on a more powerful version of the car, to please those wanting more power, not just good looks. The model will most likely weat the “R20T” name tag, coming from the 2.0 liter turbo engine which will power the car, the same engine that is currently offered for the Audi S3. The engine delivers 245 hp and will take the car from stand to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 6 seconds, while the top speed will be electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). Rumors say that the Scirocco R20T will be inspired by the GT24 race car and the car is expected to debut early in 2010, with UK pricing starting at around £25,000 ($38,500).

Photo Gallery: Volkswagen Scirocco GT24


Post tags: Tags: Tuning, Volkswagen, volkswagen scirocco r20t, volkswagen-scirocco

The Audi A5/S5, one of the best looking cars ever and one of our favorite cars, keeps getting better. After some time ago the Ingolstadt company announced that the S5 will get a new 3.0 liter supercharged engine that will deliver 333 hp (half evil?), a couple of days ago they said that all S5 models that will be built starting with December will get a new displacement for the tail lights, including LED lights (somehow similar to the ones on the A6 facelift), plus an optional third generation MMI system. The MMI III infotainment system features faster graphics, a large hard disk drive for storage of music files etc, and a topographical or 3D representation of images. The new MMI III will also be available for the A8, Q5 and facelifted A6. The ‘regular’ A5 will also have the system as an option, but the new LED lights are only available for the S5.


Post tags: Tags: Audi, audi-a5, audi-s5, led lights

Usain Bolt, the 22 years old Jamaican who blew the 100 metres world record (running the distance in 9,69 seconds) at this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games, had the chance to do a special test drive of the 420 hp BMW M3, at the BMW Vehicle Test Facility in Aschheim near Munich. He described the experience as being “fascinating” and we believe him, especially with him getting almost three hours of BMW Driver Training and than doing some laps under the professional guidance of a BMW driving instructor.

Bolt also said that he’s been in love with BMW’s ever since he was a kid, his uncle owning a BMW and taking little Usain for a ride every now and then. And his experience in Munich is not just a marketing move, a black M3 being ordered for the athlete by his sponsor, Puma, M3 which is scheduled to arrive in Kingston, Jamaica and to be handed over to Usain before Christmas.


Post tags: Tags: BMW, bmw-m3, olympic games, usain bolt

Well, it looks like the new Ford Ka is off to an awful start. As you can see from the image, a truck carrying about a dozen cars (at least that’s how many we counted) burst into flames yesterday afternoon, on a road in Poland, near the Tychy plant, where the little fellow from Ford is built, alongside another small car, the Fiat 500. The cause of the accident is not known, but considering that almost all of the cars were completely destroyed, something definitely went very bad. More photos after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: crash, fire, Ford, ford ka, poland

Things start to look really bad for the upcoming Detroit Motor Show. After last week Ferrari, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Suzuki and then Mitsubishi announced they won’t bring any cars to the show, today Nissan and Inifiniti also announced their decision to pull out of the motor show. The Japanese carmaker said that they’ve unveiled the 370Z and the new Cube at the LA Show and a presence in Detroit is not necessary at the moment, due to the “depressed economy”. They’ve also cancelled their appearance at the Chicago Motor Show, in February. So, more bad news for Detroit organizers and, considering there’s more than a month left until the show, we’re wondering if Nissan will be the last company to pull out of the show.


Post tags: Tags: detroit motor show, Infiniti, Nissan

Selling your car can sometimes be a stressful, time-consuming chore, and at times like this selling on your car can be even more challenging. But with these 10 killer tips, you can be better prepared, making a quick smooth sale, and not regretting it later.

1. Be realistic with your pricing: You’ve got to price your car realistically in the first place to both attract buyers and ensure that you make a quick sale, saving yourself time and money on adverts. Check the adverts before you decide to sell to see how much similar models are going for and price accordingly.

2. Tell the truth: Making false claims is only likely to waste your time and lead to disputes in the long run. Be honest and be careful in the wording of your advert if you want to make a quick sale.

3. Be specific when advertising: When advertising the car, if you decide to use newspapers or advertise it online, make sure you mention all the basics. Ensure that the make, the model and the style of the car is listed first. This’ll help get the attention of those skimming through the adverts. The car’s colour, its engine size, and the number of miles on the clock are also crucial information for the advert. If there is space ensure to mention any extras, though these can be seen by potential buyers later to seal a deal, so focus on the essentials, the sort of thing you looking for when buying a car.

4. Sell the sizzle, not the sausage: When advertising, or talking to potential sellers, emphasise the car’s best features rather than barraging them with information. How low the mileage is, and how reliable or economical the car is, are very effective ways of selling the car. Mentioning what drew you to the car intially, and why you are getting rid of the car, may help sell the car quickly, and with as much profit as possible.

5. Determine the car’s condition: The condition of the car is crucial. If the car should only be bought for spare parts, or if it requires substantial repairs then be sure to say so: people parting with their money will be sure to check these things either before they buy, or they will raise these issues after you’ve sold the car. Ensure that you state the condition of the car on any contract or receipt you give to the buyer to help avoid subsequent disputes.

6. Be safe when test driving: The buyer, if he is sensible, will want to test drive the car. Ensure that he has car insurance, or that your policy covers someone else test driving the car. Never allow them to test-drive it alone; apart from being able to explain how smooth the ride it, and further explain why the car is so great, you don’t want to ever hand a stranger the keys to the car. If you change seats during the test drive, ensure to take the keys: never leave a potential buyer in the car alone!

7. Be prepared to haggle on price: A buyer will want to haggle. Build in a margin for haggling. The buyer will want to haggle and cut the price down as much as possible. Knowing that you want a sale, the buyer will try to cut the price down. Expect this to happen, and be aware of how much you are prepared to haggle, what your lowest possible price is.

8. Agree on payment terms: When the price has been agreed on, make sure you have the money either in your hand, or in the bank before you hand over the keys. Avoid payment by cheque, or at least wait until it has cleared by handing the keys over.

9. Depersonalize the car: Remove any customization from the car to ensure a blank canvas. Buyers want to think the car is as new as possible, any sort of personalization should be stripped out to help avoid alienating potential buyers.

10. Spit and polish really matters: Make sure the car looks pristine. Give it an expensive or thorough wash, vacuum, polish, wax inside and out. This car needs to look as new as possible, and a clean car will be much more appealing to a potential buyer, especially as the first impression of the car is such an important one. If you haven’t driven the car recently, give it a quick drive around the block once in a while to ensure that when someone does come to test drive it, everything is working.

This guest post was written by Tom Becker who is a personal finance adviser and money management specialist at Money Compare. Photo credits: Flickr.

Post tags: Tags: car sale, Sales, second hand, tips

At the Detroit Motor Show, next January, Volvo will unveiled the S60 Concept, a car which previews the next generation S60, which is scheduled to debut in 2010. After about month ago they released a teaser photo showing the car’s unique Orrefors crystal interior, today we have the first photo of the car’s coupe-like exterior styling.

“The concept car’s design gives a visual promise of enthusiastic driving characteristics and I can assure you that the all-new S60 will deliver a sporty drive like no Volvo before,” says Stephen Odell, President and CEO at Volvo Cars.

“The inspiration comes from the Swedish coastline’s cliffs and seas. An exciting blend of drama and sensuality,” explains Volvo Cars’ design director, Steve Mattin. “This concept car takes our design DNA to the next level. We’re talking about a ‘Dramatic New Approach’, meaning that we gradually turn up our cars’ visual volume. The concept car’s exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we’ve been even more daring – there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective.”


Post tags: Tags: concept-car, detroit motor show, teaser, Volvo, volvo s60, volvo s60 concept

Probably one of the most spied cars in history, the Porsche Panamera has been officially introduced today. After this weekend a set of official photos were leaked on the web, today Porsche released the first officials details on its upcoming four-doors coupe. Basically, with the Panamera, Porsche joins a new market, still at its beginning, where it will compete cars like the upcoming Lamborghini Estoque or the Aston Martin Rapide. Under the hood, Porsche will offer a range of V6 and V8 engines, developing between 300 and 500 hp, some of those benefiting from turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection, and will be mated either to a manual six-speed gearbox or a new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox (PDK – Porsche Doppelkupplung). Also available will be all-wheel-drive (standard on top versions) and Porsche has also announced that they’re working on a hybrid version of the Panamera.

Complete details will be available closer to the car’s debut, in spring 2009, probably at next year’s Geneva Motor Show. The first deliveries are expected next summer, with the car being built at Porsche’s plant in Leipzig.

Photo Gallery: Porsche Panamera


Post tags: Tags: Porsche, porsche panamera, porsche panamera hybrid

Confirmed back in August, today Porsche has officially announced that the Cayenne diesel got a green light and it will be available starting with February 2009. This comes as a response to market demands and to the changing regulations, especially in Europe, which will be the main market for the model. The diesel Cayenne will be powered by a 3.0 liter V6 turbo diesel engine, supplied by Audi, which will deliver 240 hp (176 kW) and max torque of 550 Nm. The fuel consumption will be 9.3 liters/100 km (25 US mpg) in the combined cycle and 244 g/km CO2 emissions.

Porsche has also announced that they’re currently working on a hybrid powertrain for the Cayenne, which will achieve a fuel economy of less than 9 liters/100 km (24 US mpg) and is scheduled to go on sale in 2009 or 2010.

As for the diesel Cayenne, like we said, it will be available starting with next February, and, equipped with the Tiptronic-S automatic gearbox will have a strating price of 47,250 Euros (almost $60,000) without taxes, in Germany.

More photos after the jump. (more…)

Post tags: Tags: diesel, Porsche, porsche cayenne diesel, porsche-cayenne