Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 305

A few days ago we presented some unmasked spy-shots of the upcoming Peugeot 308. We now have some official pictures from Peugeot of this car, which will be equipped with the same 1.6L unit from the new 207, developing 120hp. This will be followed by a 150hp 1.6L turbo unit that was co-developed with BMW, with the range topped out by a 170hp 2.2L turbodiesel.

No official details have been released so far, but rumors say that the new model has grown by about 4cm to 4.25m in length, while height was reduced slightly from the 307.

Sales should start by the end of the year, following the car’s world debut at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show. A new coupe-convertible and wagon version should arrive a year after the initial release and there’s even talk of a crossover variant in the works. Click here for some more photos. Read More: “Peugeot 308 official pictures”

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline today was $3.23 a gallon, up 2 cents compared with Tuesday, May 22. The average price is 37 cents higher today than it was a month ago, according to AAA, of Heathrow, Fla.

The average prices of midgrade unleaded and premium unleaded gasoline also are slightly higher compared with three days ago. Drivers are paying $3.42 a gallon for midgrade, up 1 cent, and $3.55 a gallon for premium, up 2 cents compared with Tuesday.

Diesel prices remained much lower than the high set in 2005. The national average price reported today was $2.92 a gallon, compared with the record $3.24 a gallon on Oct. 24, 2005.

Low gasoline inventories have been blamed for the high prices, with outages continuing to plague U.S. refiners. It looks like refiners are reluctant to invest capital to upgrade plants because they are unsure what effect the government’s push for biofuels will have on their future.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would penalize oil companies, traders and operators found guilty of price gouging. President Bush is expected to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, concerned that price controls could lead to shortages, according to the Associated Press.

Drivers in Bridgeport, Calif., are still seeing the highest prices in the US, at $4.09 a gallon. At $2.69 a gallon, drivers in Sherman, Miss., are seeing the lowest prices across the United States. Read More: “Gasoline price to go up again in the US”

During a media event at Seat’s headquarters today, the company’s chairman Erich Schmitt officially announced that Seat plans to produce two new models starting from 2009. It looks like the first one will be a new mid-sized sports sedan that is currently in development and the other will be an estate car.

The sport sedan will probably be based on the same, Audi A3/VW Golf/Seat Leon stretched platform (currently used by the Volkswagen Passat) and it will be a successor for the actual Toledo. Rumored to be named Bolero, we hope the car will bring that sport touched Seat was meant to bring in the VW Group, because, we have to admit, except for the Leon, it is hard to call the Altea, for example, a sport car. Read More: “New Seat models coming from 2009”

Vortech Engineering is preparing a tuned up 635 hp version of the Corvette Z06. The kit, which starts at $6,695, comes with everything you need for installation, including the supercharger, air-to-air aluminum intercooler, compressor bypass valve, aluminum mounting brackets and hardware, high-flow fuel pump, oversize fuel injectors, and a custom Diablo Sports handheld programmer to reflash the factory ECU with optimized settings. The modifications will make the V8 engine take the car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 and to 160 km/h in 7.8 seconds which is very impressive. Read More: “635 hp Corvette Z06 by Vortech”

BMW announced today that all Mini models will get fuel saving technologies by August. The three main technologies used include brake energy regeneration, automatic start-stop, and switch point display(this will help drivers of manual transmission MINIs to select the most economical gear in which to drive by analyzing speed, road situation and accelerator pedal position and based on this data calculates optimum gearing.

With the changes, the MINI Cooper D will be capable of returning an astonishing 72.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 104g/km. Fuel economy improvements range from 6.5% for the Mini One to 12.8% for the Cooper D. Despite the reductions, the Cooper D is the only car in the range that remains under 120g/km. Read More: “Mini MK2 available in August”

Some bad news for the European car enthusiasts. It seems like Ford will quit developing the RS for the next year MkII Ford Focus. One of the most appreciated cars from Ford, the Focus RS sported WRC-inspired looks and handling, and was powered by a turbocharged 215-horsepower 2.0L Duratec engine.

A spokesman from Ford revealed that the prototype models seen testing in recent months were developed to test high-performance parts for other future products and that at no point was there ever a business case for an RS-badged Focus. Another sign is the report that an UK customer who placed a deposit for the next generation RS got his money back, the dealer informing him that the project was canceled because of concerns over carbon-dioxide emissions.

However, there is still hope, because it seems that the RS could be back for the next generation MkIII Ford Focus which will arrive in 2010.

Source [AutoBlog]

Roush F150 Nitemare

Two Ford special edition F-150 pickups were unveiled this week. First one is the Roush F150 Nitemare, a 445hp supercharged car based on the standard cab version of the F-150. The Roush F150 Nitemare is equipped with a Roush charger that boosts output from the 5.4L engine to 445hp and 500lb-ft. of torque. The car will be produced in a limited run of just 100 trucks.

The other one is a Harley-Davidson special edition. This version manages to produce 450hp and 500 lb-ft. of torque, and is based on the supercharged F-150 Harley-Davidson concept car on display at last November’s SEMA Show.

Performance enhancements include a Saleen twin-screw supercharger lifted from the Shelby GT-500, a dual-stage water-to-air intercooler and boost and air-charge temperature gauges. Read More: “New Ford F-150 pickups”

The engineers and designers at Kicherer presented the SL K60 Evo Black. Pretty long name, but the car worths the effort or remembering it.

Thanks to the Kicherer K60 Biturbo 12-cylinder engine fitted with 605hp/445kW, the SL 600 becomes one of the most powerful roadsters around the globe. 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and 200 km/h after 14.2 seconds are values speaking for themselves, just like the electronically limited peak speed of 300 km/h.

The are shod with Z-rated Continentals: 255/30 in front and 305/25 in the rear.

An aero body kit consists of a front apron with a large central air intake and a new rear diffuser and deck lid and 20-inch Kicherer RS-1 alloy wheels. Also, carbon trim pieces are available to dress up the cabin. Read More: “Mercedes SL based Kicherer SL K 60 Evo Black”

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city’s yellow taxi cabs will go green within five years, as part of a larger push to make New York a more environmental friendly city.

As part of a plan that Bloomberg hopes to serve as a model for other large cities, 1,000 hybrid taxis would be introduced by October 2008, and that hybrids would gradually replace the rest of the city’s 13,000 taxi cabs by 2012.

The hybrid vehicles are powered by gasoline and electricity, and they emit less exhaust and have better gas mileage than other vehicles. Even if hybrid cars are usually more expensive, the plan would save cab drivers more than $10,000 per year in gasoline and other expenses. Read More: “New York green cabs by 2012”

The Swiss tuner Sportec presented their version of the Audi S3, which has been moded into a pretty powerful car. The car is powered by Audi’s 2.0 TFSI engine which has been raised from 265 hp to 300 hp and now takes the car from 0 to 100 in just 4.9 seconds (1 second faster than the “regular” S3) and has a top speed of 265 km/h (165 mph).

Other features of the Audi S3 by Sportec are stainless steel exhaust system extending from the catalyst, exclusive 18 and 19 inch aluminum wheels Mono 10, special sport brake system or coil-over suspension. The finishing touch is added by the aluminum pedals and footrest and the optional Alcantara interior equipment. And we especially like the black and green combination available in these pictures. Read More: “Audi S3 by Sportec”

A few days ago we wrote about Hamann tuning the Ferrari F430. It seems that Hamann likes Ferrari, because they’ve presented their modified version of the Ferrari F430 Spider. Not so impressive as the Black Miracle, but still, a wonderful car. Click to see more pictures. Read More: “Ferrari F430 Spider by Hamann”

Seat is preparing to launch its first off-road vehicle, the Seat Altea Freetrack. The car will be presented at the Barcelona Motor Show which will take place between 7 and 17 June. A prototype of this car was first presented in Geneva, but the model presented in Barcelona will be the final production version and will go on sale this summer.

The car will be powered by a 200 hp 2.0 TFSI petrol engine (40 hp less than the concept) and a 170 hp 2.0 TDI diesel engine are responsible for taking the Altea freetrack over all types of terrain. The 2.0 TFSI engine takes the car to a top speed of 214 km/h, with 0 to 100 km/h taking just 7.5 seconds – yet it can still average fuel consumption of 9.4 litres. On the other hand, the 2.0 TDI reaches a top speed of 204 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and consumes an average of 6.8 litres for every 100 km of driving.

The Seat Altea Freetrack features dual climatise control, rain sensor wipers, light sensor, parking sensors, cruise control, trip computer, plus CD MP3 radio and steering wheel mounted controls, among others. Safety highlights include standard ESP (Electronic Stability Control), six airbags, EPS electro-mechanical steering and tyre pressure warning.

Click to see more pics. Read More: “Seat Altea Freetrack close to production”

Here are the first unmasked photos of the upcoming Peugeot 308, presented by worldscoop. Our first impression..well..Peugeot could’ve done better. There is nothing spectacular about the new car, it look just like the facelifted 307, except for the back, where there is some clear difference. So, we don’t think this is going to be some big hit from Peugeot.

As for tech specs, there is nothing official yet, but we guess the car will be powered by 1.6 & 1.6 Turbo engines delivering 120 to 170 HP, developed by the PSA group. The Peugeot 308 will be presented at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Click “read more” to see one more photo. Read More: “2008 Peugeot 308 Scooped”

Being sponsored by Audi, Real Madrid took its players to test the new Audi models, like A5, S5, R8 or the TT. Here are some photos of players like Roberto Carlos, Robinho or Fabia Cannavaro testing the new Audi models. Click “read more” to see more pics from the event. Read More: “Real Madrid players present new Audi models”

Don’t you just love it when tuners decide to modify already powered-up cars? We certainly do. It’s the case of JE Design, which decided to modify the Seat Leon Cupra, so they upgraded the 2.0 TFSI engine which now produces 285 hp (210kW), that’s 45 hp more than the standard version. The car now goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 261 km/h.

But that’s not all, JE Design prepared a unique body kit for the Seat, with spoiler inserts in the front apron, a matching diffuser insert in the rear bar, a modified front grille and headlight covers to give a more aggressive look, plus side sills, air channels in both the front and rear bumpers and finally, a rear wing for added downforce.

The Leon also comes with 18in or optional 19in multipsoke alloys finished in a chrome paint or matt black. But that’s not all, it seems that JE Design engineers prepare a more powerful version, with 300 hp, plus some other exterior modifications. Read More: “Seat Leon Cupra by JE Design”