According to Carscoop, Land Rover has prepared a suprise for the New York Auto Show, where three of their models, the Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will get a facelift and will be unveiled for the first time. This will be a mid-life facelift and the car will also get new more powerful and more fuel efficient engines. Rumors say that all cars will get a new dual turbocharged 3.0 liter diesel that delivers 275 hp and 600 Nm of torque, while the Range Rovers will also get a new gasoline V8 which will deliver 385 hp and 525 Nm of torque (naturally aspirated) and 510 hp and 625 Nm for the supercharged version. We’ll come back with more about the premium SUVs after they debut on April 10 at the New York event.
You might remember the Pininfarina Hyperion, the ultra-luxurious custom-built car created by the famous Italian studio for Rolland Hall, a very rich collector. The car is based on the Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe and its design is inspired by ’30s cars. The car’s backseats have been removed which means 400 mm more space for the driver and the passenger, a new hood which folds under the seats has also been designed. The car combines classic elements like solid wood compartments with ultra-modern ones, like recessed Bi-xenon headlights or LED daytime running lights. One other ultra exlclusive element of the Hyperion is the specially designed Girard-Perregaux watch, which can be removed from the dash and attached to a bracelet to be worn on the wrist. Sounds fancy, huh? Well, the price is even fancier: 4.5 million Euros (around $6 million). What do you think, is it too much for a car like this? I say it’s a little exaggerated.
Photo Gallery: Pininfarina Hyperion
US car fans have long been waiting for an official announcement about whether Volkswagen will sell the Scirocco in the US or not. Not to mention that last year we published a few photos with the Scirocco in Arizona, so everyone was really excited about US getting the car. However, now the wait is over, but we’ve got some bad news. Tom Wegehaupt, Volkswagen’ of America’s public relations coordinator, recently told Autoblog that a decision has been made and the German carmaker decided not to bring the hatchback in the States. Apparently, VW took this decision due to the enhealthy current US economy and because they’re already planning a hot hatch for America, the Golf GTI.
Being a car fan and with the movie smashing the box office this weekend ($72.5 million) I really wanted to see the new Fast and Furious. And the fact that the movie got back the two actors which made it famous, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker made me even more anxious to see it. Trying not to give any spoilers, I’m just gonna tell you that Dom (Diesel) gets back to Los Angeles after finding out Letty was killed. Here, Brian (Walker) who has been released from prison, is now with the FBI, trying to catch a very important drug lord, Braga, who apparently has something to do with Letty’s murder. So Dom and Brian team up once again to give some hot action. Though there are lots of awesome cars and high-speed chases, I would’ve loved to see a little more car action, because basically that’s what the movie’s all about. Still, the new Fast and Furious is pretty good, so if you like cars, hot chicks and car action, you should check it out.
After a lot of spy shots previewing the two ‘brothers’ from BMW, the German carmaker finally announced the X6 M and X5 M, two cars which really take the SUV to another level. Both car have a more aggressive bodykit, like all other M models, which besides looking better, also help with the cars’ aerodynamics. But the real interesting stuff happened under the hood, where BMW developed a 4.4 liter V8 which delivers 555 hp (408 kW) from 5,750-6,000 rpm and peak torque of 680 Nm (501 lb.-ft.) available between 1,500 and 5,650 rpm. The M TwinPower Turbo features a common exhaust emission manifold which joins both rows of cylinders and also BMW’s Twin Scroll Twin Turbo Technology. Unfortunately, BMW hasn’t released any details on the cars’ acceleration and top speed, but rumors say that the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint is done in around 4.5 seconds and the top speed will probably be electronically limited at 250 km/h (155 mph).
BMW has also worked hard on improving the engine’s efficiency, so the new M ‘brothers’ feature the EfficienDynamics techonology, High Precision Injection, Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand control of the electrical fuel pump, detachable A/C compressor and volume flow-controlled supply of hydraulic fluid to the anti-roll system. All these make the X6 M and X5 M comply with the Euro 5 and LEV II emission standards.
There’s no point in listing all the safety and confort features, you can imagine the new M SUVs are full of those, so we’re just gonna mention a few: crash-activated front headrests, adaptive brake lights, new 20-inch alloy wheels, BMW’s Head-Up Display, High-Beam Assistant, Park Distance Control and a high quality interior with M leather steering wheel and M footrests, Merino leather covering additional surfaces and trim features, M entry trim, interior trim bars in brushed Aluminium Shadow instrument cluster with variable pre-warning field in the rev counter and of course, BMW’s latest generation of iDrive control.
All in one, the X6 M and the X5 M were two very anticipated cars and we bet driving one of these will be a blast (we test drove the X6 a couple of weeks ago – review coming – and it was splendid). And here are some photo of the two cars, and after the jump there’s also a really nice video. Enjoy!
Photo Gallery: BMW X5 M
Photo Gallery: BMW X6 M
Last week, the Tesla Model S was officially introduced and, as we expected, the car received some incredible feedback. And that’s not all, it seems that people are already lining up for the all-electric family sedan, because in press release made today Tesla has announced there are already 520 reservations made for the car and that the company is planning on opening showrooms in Chicago, London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC and Munich this year.
“Frankly the number of cars reserved in the first week has exceeded our optimistic internal projections,” said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. “Enthusiasm surrounding the Model S is proof that there’s pent-up demand for more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles – including those made in America.”
With the Model S to be one of the world’s first mass-produced when production begins in late 2011, Tesla has big plans for the car and they’ve applied for a $350 million loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which would be used to build the Model S assembly plant in California.
Way to go Tesla!
Photo Gallery: Tesla Model S
On March 16, the production of the new Chevrolet Camaro officially started. Only four days later, the first crash was recorded on Dundee Road in North Oakville (at least it’s the first crash we’re aware of). We know that everytime a great car is launched these things will happen, it’s just that we weren’t expecting it so soon. It was only a minor crash, not anything terrifying, but the car’s gonna need a new nose, that’s for sure. Well, life goes on, let’s hope it’s gonna be some time before we see any other Camaro crashes.
German tuner Hamann turned its attention to one of the most ‘tuned’ cars around, the Bentley Continental GT Speed. The package, called Hamann Imperator, consists of a new body kit, performance upgrades and set of exclusive modifications for the interior.
The body kit features a completely redesigned front fascia with larger air inlets and LED daytime running lights, large extensions at the front and rear wings (makes the car 70 mm wider), new Hamann side skirts and at the rear we have a spoiler and an integrated diffuser rear skirt. The car’s aggressive look is completed by new Anniversary Race Anodized with high-gloss polished rim flange and black anodized rim star, available in 22- and 21-inch sizes.
Under the hood, by modifying the ECU and by adding a sports end muffler with oval stainless steel end pipes, Hamann managed to squeeze 40 hp and 90 Nm more from the 600 hp W12 engine, which translates into a top speed increased by 5 km/h. The interior features a newly designed 3-spoke sport steering wheel, new Hamann upholestry with carbon fiber inserts and personalised floor mat.
Photo Gallery: Bentley Continental GT Speed tuning by Hamann
On Sunday, at the White House’s request, Rick Wagoner announced his decision to step down from his position as GM’s chief executive. If you feel or felt sorry for him, don’t be! Because, according to GM’s financial filings, Wagoner is entitled to a $20.2 million retirement package. That’s a lot of money and I’m sure everyone would be happy to get fired under these circumstances. According to ABC News, althought the Treasury Department halted all payments to GM’s senior executives, Wagoner’s retirement package is legal and can’t be stopped.
“I think it’s another perfect example of why there’s so much frustration among working people,” said Tiffany Ten Eyck of Labor Notes, a Detroit-based independent publication covering unions. “I wouldn’t mind retiring out of an industry in crisis with a $20 million package.”
However, there’s one thing that could cause Wagoner to lose a huge amount of that money and that’s if GM files for bankruptcy. Accrding to Dave Schimdt, executive compensation analyst with James F. Reda and Associates, only less than $1 million of the total $20.2 million is guaranteed in case GM goes into bankruptcy. However, Julie M. Gibson, spokeswoman for GM, said that Wagoner’s compensation is still being reviewed and he might have to negotiate with the company’s board to access the money.
According to this video’s description on StreetFire, this guy broke the world record by holding back a Lamborghini for seven seconds. Actually, there were two Lambos because one broke down. I don’t know why, but I don’t really believe this is for real. Anyway, if it is, congrats to the dude, he did a great job. Enjoy!
Honda has released a few teaser photos of the upcoming Acura ZDX luxury four-door sport coupe which will make its debut on Aprol 8 at the New York International Auto Show. Though there aren’t many details available, it looks like the ZDX, which will hit showrooms this fall, will be a BMW X6 competitor, which will be pretty interesting, because it’ll be the German SAV’s first rival.
“The ZDX prototype is unlike anything you have ever seen before from Acura,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president, Acura sales. “The prototype showcases a new level of luxury, style and refinement for Acura and speaks volumes towards our commitment to advancing the brand.”
Photo Gallery: Acura ZDX Teaser Photos
Remember the Range Rover Sport Coupe by LSE Design? It’s one of the most beautiful cars we’ve seen and we remember falling in love with that the second we saw it. Well, now we’ve got something even more interesting. Created by New York based jewelry designers Tiret and LSE Design, the Tiret Coupe features new exterior body styling with flared wheel arches, twin chromed LSE tailpipes, LED daytime running lights, 22 inch LSE alloy wheels and a full glass panoramic sunroof. The interior is very luxurious, with Tiret diamond dials, unique ‘Tiret clock’ Nappa leather seats and fine wood inserts. According to its makers, the Tiret Coupe comes with a three year warranty, while service and warranty can be carried out at every Land Rover dealer. Wondering if that warrany also covers the diamonds?
So, what do you think about the car? Do you like or do you think it’s too much? We think it’s simply awesome!
Photo Gallery: Range Rover Sport based Tiret Coupe
The new Tesla Model S electric sports sedan was officially unveiled last week in Hawthorne, California and here are some video showing the car running on the street. The videos were taken just before the official press launch from last week.
Check out the rest of the videos after the jump. Read More: “First driving footage of the new Tesla Model S”
This weekend, at the Seoul Motor Show, Kia will unveil their latest vehicle, the KND-5 Concept, which previews the Korean company’s upcoming luxury sedan, so far only known with the codename “VG”. The car will be a direct competitor to near-luxury sedans such as the VW Passat CC and will share its FWD platform with the next generation Hyundai Azera (will debut in Korea in September). According to Kia World, the concept will measure 4945 mm in length, 1850 mm in width and 1475 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2845 mm. Other than that, the KND-5 concept features headlamps and taillights with LED technology, 20 inch wheels and a huge panoramic glass roof. More details about this concept soon, after its official unveiling on April 3.
Yesterday, GM’s chief executive Rick Wagoner has announced that he will resign his position at the company, at the White House’s request. But that’s not all, because the Obama administration has also announced that GM and Chrysler won’t be getting any more bailout money and told them to come up with new plans or risk insolvency.
Wagoner, which has been GM’s top executive since 2000, said: “On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I ‘step aside’ as CEO of GM, and so I have.” His position will be taken by Fritz Henderson, 50, which has been with GM since 1984, and held the positions of head of GM Europe and then the company’s chief financial officer until today. And that’s not the only change at the top, because it looks like a lot more executive are scheduled to be replaced from their positions in the future.
According to Financial Times, this decision most likely means that GM would file for bankruptcy protection sometime in the next few weeks. And that’s not all, because, as we said before, the White House refused to give more money to GM, who already received $13.4 billion in government aid. And because the company failed to meet targets on cutting debt and reducing the cost of benefits paid to workers, today it was given 60 days to reach agreement with debtholders and unions, with new tougher targets for cost cutting, or they would lose their last chance for a government bailout, almost certainly sending them into bankruptcy.