Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 307

Nissan launched the Dualis, their latest midsize crossover, in Japan. Known in Europe as Qashqai, the Dualis will be available with a DOHC 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that delivers 140 hp and with prices from $16,080 to $19,970.

Nissan hopes to sell about 24,000 Dualis crossovers in Japan (which is a small number, considering their target for Europe of 106,000 vehicles). The midsize crossover, which will be built in Europe and shipoped to Japan, will be launched in other markets, including Australia and South Africa, in the future. Read More: “Nissan Dualis Launched in Japan”

Autoblog celebrates it’s relaunch with the Autoblog Nitro Sweepstakes, that gives you the chance to win a 2007 Dodge Nitro R/T. Autoblog partnered with Dodge for this sweepstakes where you can win the Nitro R/T featuring standard 20-inch chrome wheels and a 4.0L V6 engine with 260 horsepower, plus the MyGIGâ„¢ Multimedia Infotainment System and a power sunroof-prize valued at over $29,000!

This is a really cool idea from Autoblog but, unfortunately, you can join only if you are an US citizen. So, if you want a chance to win this car, click here (you can enter once a day, until June 15th). Here are the contest rules and the official Autoblog post. Read More: “Win a 2007 Dodge Nitro R/T with Autoblog”

AC Schnitzer presented their modified version of the BMW 3 Series Cabrio, the AC Schnitzer S3 Cabrio. The convertible is powered by a 3.0 diesel engine that produces 195 kW / 265 HP and a maximum torque of 550 Nm. The body kit includes a more sporty front skirt, which also increases downforce, side skirts and a rear skirt, plus Type II and Type III alloys and racing rims in various sizes from 17″ to maximum 20″.

For the interior of the AC Schnitzer S3 Cabrio, an extensive range of high-quality accessories is available, like carbon steering wheel trim in silver Exclusive, AC Schnitzer speedometer display up to 300 km/h, footrests and pedals of aluminiumm, plus a carbon interior trim in silver Exclusive. The aluminium gear knob, handbrake handle and cover for the BMW “i-Drive System” are available in silver or black anodized finish. Velours foot mats complete the range. Read More: “BMW 3 Series based 2007 AC Schnitzer S3 Cabrio”

First of all, I’d like to mention that this is a paid review, order by Autotropolis.com through ReviewMe. However, even if paid, the opinions presented here are all mine. So here it goes.

The main subject of this review is Autotropolis’ Vehicle Selector Aid service. What does this service do? As it’s name says, it helps you find the most appropriate new car for you. They claim that this is “the internet’s first application to help you find New Cars based on your needs and wants, not just price and style!”. So let’s see if they are right. I’ll try to find myself a new car. Read More: “Vehicle Selector Aid System”

Facing a $327 million loss in 2006 on its luxury-car segment, it seems that Ford Motor Company plans on selling Volvo. One of the companies interested in acquiring Volvo is BMW. The German giant has been studying a possible purchase of Volvo and already had some informal talks with Ford about this, but nothing is official so far, one of Ford’s spokesman saying that they will not comment speculations so far.

Bought in 1999 for $6.5 billion, Volvo is one of the most promising companies in the luxury segment and would allow Ford to get some real money for it (apparently around $9 billion). One possible problem(or on the contrary, an important factor) is the fact that BMW and Volvo have different identities; while BMW tries to provide the ultimate driving experience, Volvo is known for producing some of the safest cars on the market. So all we have to do now is wait and see what happens, but lately all of these rumors about selling and buying companies were true. Read More: “BMW might be interested in Volvo”

The new Twingo, which will go on sale on 15 June 2007, will be one of the first new vehicle released in an extensive range renewal programme by Renault. The new model by Renault targets a broader, more international customer base than its predecessor, and there’s even a right-hand-drive model for the UK market.

With a design close to the new Clio’s look, the new Twingo model will have, among other new features, a 1.5 liter dCi diesel engine. The car will be an almost perfect urban car, with different connectivity features like the TunePoint sound system, with steering-wheel controls, which imports custom music libraries in MP3 format, on USB key, MP3 player or iPod. There’s also a Bluetooth hands-free phone system with hold function, for safer motoring. Read More: “The new Renault Twingo”

JN Hephaiss presented a modified version of the Ferrari 360 Modena, especially focused on improving the aerodynamics. The car’s body kit include a front spoiler, side skirt and rear-end diffuser, all of which are available in two materials: FRP and Carbon (dark colored spoilers). Other modification include the exhaust/muffler system and the 19-inch O.Z. rims. The price for the entire package is around $22,000. Read More: “Ferrari 360 Modena by JN Hephaiss”

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”