Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 191

At the Detroit Motor Show, Volkswagen presented the Touareg Lux Limited, a special edition aimed at the US market. Under the hood, customers will be able to choose from VW’s recently introduced 225 hp (165 kW) V6 TDI Clean Diesel, a 280 hp (106 kW) V6 FSI and a 350 hp (257 kW) V8 FSI.

As you’d expect in a special edition, the car boasts a set of exclusive features, such as 20-inch alloy wheels, styling package with special side skirts and customized front and rear aprons and customized color lineup (Biscay Blue, Black magic pearl effect, Campanella white and Galapagos gray). The interio was also modified, faeturing two-tone leather combined with special interior accents, door panel inserts trimmed in “St. Tropez white” and 12-way power seats for the driver and the front passenger.

More photos of the Volkswagen Touareg Lux Limited after the jump. Read More: “Volkswagen Touareg “Lux Limited” edition for the US”

The Tokyo Motor Show is one of the most important motor shows in the calendar, especially with Japan being the home land of some of the biggest carmakers, like Toyota, Subaru or Mitsubishi. And even though there are nine months left until the show starts (on October 23), Automotive News reports that the three Detroit carmakers, GM, Ford and Chrysler announced that they’ve decided to pull out of the show. The reason? Not hard to guess…to cut costs.

“At this time, participating in the show just isn’t a strategic priority,” Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake said. “Given everything else we have to balance in that region and in that market, that’s not where we’ve chosen to prioritize our time and our resources.”

“We won’t be participating,” said Rick Brown, president of GM Asia Pacific. “If you really look at the business conditions that we are in right now, where we really have to make a bang out of every buck we spend, it’s simply a business decision.” Two years ago, in 2007, exhibiting in Tokyo cost GM a whopping $2 million.

“Chrysler decided, under the current challenges and market situation the company faces, to pull out of TMS in 2009 in order to secure limited resources invested efficiently on activities necessary to sustain our business,” Kaori Beppu, spokesperson for Chrysler Japan, said in a written statement yesterday.

It looks like it’s gonna be a really strange year for motor shows, some of them being cancelled while others will be left without some major carmaker. A perfect example for this is the Detroit Motor Show, which is taking place these days, which had to start without Ferrari, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Infiniti.

Read More: “GM, Ford and Chrysler won’t be at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show”

With Inauguration Day less than a week away, GM released the official details on the new Cadillac presidential limousine. Unlike past models, which were modified existing vehicles, Barack Obama’s new limo has a completely new design, which is actually a combination of parts from Cadillac’s current range: the dual-textured grille from the CTS and the Escalade, side and rear profiles from the DTS and STS, while the interior is very similar to the CTS’ one. An embroidered presidential seal is positioned in the center of the rear seat back panel, as well as on each rear door trim panel. Presidential seals are also affixed to the exterior rear doors. The U.S. flag is placed on the right front fender, and the presidential standard is located on the left front fender when the president travels in the vehicle. High-tech LED spotlights illuminate the flags at night.

Of course, the real cool part about this car, it’s high tech safety features, remained confidential, all Cadillac said was that “the car was designed, developed and tested by specialists who adhered to an extensive set of specifications. It was subjected to an extreme testing regimen to ensure performance that achieves precise functional requirements.”

Read More: “Cadillac presents the new presidential limousine”

Today, the French carmaker announced the latest addition to their range, the Peugeot 3008 crossover, a car which they say is something between an SUV, an MPV and a hatchback. The first impression is that the car looks really good and it might have a chance of competing the Nissan Qashqai, the leader in this market segment.

Under the hood, the 3008 will be available with six powertrain choices:

HDi FAP diesel: – 1.6 litre HDi FAP 80 kW (110 bhp), 240 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox, CO2 emissions: 137 g/km; – 1.6 litre HDi FAP 80 kW (110 bhp), 240 Nm, 6-speed electronically-controlled manual gearbox, CO2: 130 g/km; – 2.0 litre HDi FAP 110 kW (150 bhp), 340 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox – Euro 5, CO2: 146 g/km;

– 2.0 litre HDi FAP 120 kW (163 bhp), 340 Nm, 6-speed automatic gearbox – Euro 5, CO2: 176 g/km;

Petrol (developed in cooperation with the BMW Group): – 1.6 litre VTi 88 kW (120 bhp), 160 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox – Euro 5, CO2: 165 g/km; – 1.6 litre THP 110 kW (150 bhp), 240 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox – CO2: 176 g/km, and the 1.6 litre

THP 115 kW (156 bhp), 240 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox – Euro 5, CO2: 170 g/km.

According to Peugeot, the 1.6 liter HDI is the most economical one, with an average fuel consumption of only 4.9 liters/100 km (48 US mpg). The French company has also announced that a hybrid version based on the Prologue HYbrid4 concept’s powertrain will also be available, starting with 2011. Meanwhile, sales of the new 3008 are scheduled to start this summer.

Check out more photos and a video after the jump. Read More: “Peugeot 3008 crossover unveiled”

It looks like the American carmakers were very well prepared for the Detroit Motor Show, because after GM unveiled the Cadillac Converj Concept, another very good looking electric vehicle was introduced, the Chrysler 200C EV Concept. Though we can’t help noticing a resemblance between the concept and the recently launched Opel Insignia, especially at the front part, the 200C EV (just like the Fisker Karma S Concept, shows that cars can be both environmental friendly and beautiful.

“The Chrysler 200C EV concept represents the perfect blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, as well as the new Chrysler DNA,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. “Chrysler’s latest concept vehicle combines the benefits of progressive, ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology – which offers nearly zero emissions during daily commutes – with a design that boasts a combination of modern shapes, a planted athletic stance with classic overtones and an undeniably luxurious interior.”

Using Chrysler ENVI’s Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology, the Chrysler 200C EV is capable of driving up to 40 miles on battery-only power (no fossil fuel is used and there are zero emissions), but the car is also able to have an extended driving range of up to 400 miles, through a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator that produces electricity. To read more about the technology behind the concept, you can check out the official press release.

So, what can we say, the future looks pretty good. And clean. See more photos of the concept after the jump. Read More: “Chrysler 200C EV Concept breaks cover in Detroit”

Either this article‘s full of crap or this is the nicest newspaper around. News of the week claims to have broken the mistery around The Stig, but they chose not to spoil it for everyone and only revealed his eyes and a few details about his personal life. So…who is the Stig? According to the newspaper, The Stig is in his 30s, married, lives in a £300,000 home and drives a £15,000 car (they don’t say what car, only that it would even bore James May). The Stig, which takes home around £150,000 a year from Top Gear and from performing some stunts and test drives, is a former pilot in Formula First, GT Racing and Stock Cars and was very close to competing in Formula One.

We don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is, we’re very glad that News of the week chose not to make his name public, because they would’ve ruin it for us and for the other millions of fans, who I’m sure don’t really want to know who he is.

Read More: “Newspaper finds out Stig’s identity, chooses to keep it a secret”

One of the coolest debuts from this year’s Detroit Motor Show was the Fisker Karma S Concept, a plug-in hybrid hardtop convertible which tries to proove that a car can be both environmental friendly and exciting. Based on the same aluminum spaceframe architecture and powered by the same Q-DRIVE powertrain (403 hp from two electric motors) as the Fisker Karma sedan, the car can go up to 50 miles on a single battery charge.

“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future.” It’s good to see that things are finally getting started with the Karma project, after a lot of talking, Fisker Automotive finally presenting a production ready version of the Sedan in Detroit and now this beauty.

Check out a full photo gallery after the jump. Read More: “Convertible Fisker Karma S Concept makes its debut in Detroit”

10 years ago, at the Detroit Motor Show, BMW introduced what would become one of their most important and successful car ever, the BMW X5. The car, which was sold in 845,000 units since then, is basically the one the created the SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) segment, one of the most competitive ones in today’s market. The X5 still remains one of the most important players in this market, while the X range from the German carmaker extended with two new models, the X3 and the X6, and a fourth, the X1, almost ready for production.

If you like to see BMW bragging about their X5, make sure you read the official press release (a lot of numbers and awards there). So, happy birthday X5, you trully are one of the milestones in automotive history!

Read More: “Happy 10th birthday, BMW X5!”

After we were really impressed with the MINI Crossover Concept last fall in Paris, is looks like the British company is really serious about this project, because spy photographers caught the MINI crossover testing on the frozen grounds of Lapland in Scandinavia. So far nothing’s official, but it seems that the MINI crossover (which doesn’t have an official name yet) will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria and they’re hoping to sell around 60,000 units per year once the car debuts, most likely in 2010. Nothing about the powertrain, the only thing we can tell, from these photos, is that the production version will probably be very similar to the concept showcased in Paris.

This will definitely be on the most highly anticipated cars in the next period, so stay tuned as we’ll let you know more once we find out news about it.

Source: World Car Fans

Read More: “Spy shots: MINI starts testing the upcoming crossover”

After last month’s teaser photo, yesterday the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the Subaru Legacy Concept in Detroit. The car, which previews the next generation Legacy sport sedan, also celebrates 20 years since the first Legacy was introduced (and 3.6 million units sold). Though the teaser photo was really exciting, we can’t say we’re in love with the concept, which is not as sporty or striking as we’d expect. And the concept design’s theme, “Presence” as Subaru calls it, it’s kinda dull actually.

As for the powertrain, details are scarce, Subaru mentioning so far that the Legacy Concept features Symmetrical AWD and is powered by a Horizontally-Opposed 3.6 liter Boxer engine, which should be enough to offer a thrilling ride. We’ll see about that.

More photos and a video after the jump. Read More: “Subaru Legacy Concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show”

The incident in this video happened about two weeks ago, on December 30, somewhere close to Heathrow Airport, in London and it involved an AA van which was towing a broken down BMW owned by a British Airways employee. While going through an automatic security barrier, the van passed safely, but the barrier came crashing down on the BMW and, as if this wasn’t enough, the car was then lifted six feet into the air by two hydraulic bollards launched up from the ground. British Airways started an investigation on this, while AA officials deny any responsability, saying that the van driver was assured that it was fine to proceed through the barrier. No one was injured and the BMW suffered minor damages.

Read More: “Video: Stranded motorist gets unexpected lift”

The Cadillac Converj concept, which debut a couple of days ago at the Detroit Motor Show is GM’s view of the future of luxury transportation. The four-seater coupe is powered by Cadillac’s Voltec electric propulsion technology, made up of a 16 kWh, T-shaped battery, an electric drive unit and a four-cylinder engine generator. The thermally managed battery contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells, offers a 40 miles range and it takes about three hours to fully recharge, at 240V or three hours from a 120V outlet. You might say that the 40 miles range is really low, but the concept also has an ‘extended-range mode’, which reacts when the battery is low. Basically, this means that a flex-fuel powered engines starts creating energy to power the car until it is refueled or the batteries are recharged. The electric drive unit delivers 120 kW (163 hp), 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of torque and is able to take the Converj up to a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

This sounds really good (read full details in the official press release), not to mention the concept looks absolutely amazing, making the Tesla Roadster look like a frog. It’s finally good to see that, in order to save themselves, GM has to “reinvent” their approach on the car market. And this first step is really promising.

Check out more photos of the Cadillac Converj concept after the jump. Read More: “Cadillac Converj electric Concept debuts in Detroit”

The 2009 Detroit Motor Show marked the debut of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, “the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid” according to the Japanese carmaker. Placed between the IS luxury sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan, the HS will offer a hybrid choice for entry-luxury car customers. The HS 250h is powered by Lexus’ first four-cylinder engine, the 2.4 liter unit which is a part of the Lexus Hybrid Drive System which generates a total of 187 hp.

Though looking a little better than the rest of the hybrid pack, this is definitely not the most beautiful Lexus around. Like the guys from Carscoop point out, the car shares a lot of styling elements with the new European Toyota Avensis, but still has that chuncky look all hybrids have.

The Lexus HS 250h, which is expected to return a fuel efficiency more than 30-percent better than any current Lexus vehicle and is scheduled to hit US showrooms this summer. For more details on the car, check out the official press release.

And enjoy a full photo gallery after the jump. Read More: “2010 Lexus HS 250h Luxury Hybrid unveiled in Detroit”

In Detroit, under the title “Volkswagen celebrates comeback of the compact roadster”, the German carmaker presented the Concept BlueSport, which is a modern sports car aimed at offering “maximum driving fun with minimal fuel consumption”. “The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature. The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency,” said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s Chairman of the Board. So, what does the BlueSport offer?

Under the hood, there’s a 180 hp (132 kW) Clean Diesel TDI featuring commonrail injection and downstream NOx storage catalytic converter which, mated to a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, is able to take the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph). The fuel consumption figures also look great, with only 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 US mpg), the Concept BlueSport featuring two new technologies, part of the so-called Eco mode (automatic start-stop system and energy regeneration), which lower the fuel consumption by 0.2 liters per 100 km.

The Concept BlueSport also looks very good, the show car having a Flex Silver exterior finish with an orange fabric convertible top, while the interior features, among others, an easy to operate touchscreen and leather upholstered seats in lightweight construction with their single-piece seatbacks.

Check out more photos of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport after the jump. Read More: “Volkswagen Concept BlueSport debuts in Detroit”

At the Detroit Motor Show, which is happening as we speak, the Audi Sportback Concept was unveiled. Though the German carmaker didn’t confirm, the concept most likely previews the future Audi A7 four-doors coupe. A proof that the project is quite advanced is the technology behind the Sportback concept. Under the hood there’s a 3.0 liter V6 TDI clean diesel which delivers 165 kW (225 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque and with only 156 g/km (251.06 g/mile) of CO2 emissions, it meets the emission standards of all 50 U.S. states and the Euro 6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014.

Featuring a new 7-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, the Audi Sportback Concept is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and up to a top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph), while managing to achieve a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km (39.87 US mpg), which is, we must say, incredible.

The car looks pretty good, with several styling influences from other VW Group cars (the headlights are similar to those from the Audi R8, while the rear part reminds us of the awesome Lamborghini Estoque, even though Audi mentions that it’s inspired by the A5).

And now check out a complete photo gallery after the jump.

Update: We’ve also added a short video of the concept, released by Audi. Read More: “Audi Sportback Concept previews the future A7”