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Every year, the Las Vegas SEMA Show is a great opportunity for carmakers to show that their cars are premium material for tuning programs. This year, to market its GLK SUV that will go on sale in the United States in January, Mercedes has announced that it will bring four modified versions of the mid-sized SUV. The four companies that are ‘responsible’ for this creation are Brabus, RennTech, Boulevard Customs and Legendary Motor Cars. What’s interesting is that we’ll be able to vote our favorite one, and the winner will be announced on December 2, after the LA Auto Show.

The Brabus Widestar is based on the GLK300 Bluetec and it features wide front and rear wheel arches and bumpers, Brabus wheels and a completely customized interior. The RennTech Rally Racer GLK concept is built on a hybrid powertrain and was inspired by the unlimited-class rally cars at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. Despite the long name, this is the most stylish one, if you ask us.

The Boulevard Customs ‘Urban Whip’ seems to be especially built for P.Diddy or Pharrell, because it features a wide-body styling kit, 26-inch wheels and a new interior with a customized…guess what…stereo system. By far the most extreme model is the Legendary Motor Cars’ ‘Four Corners Rock Crawler’, which, besides the obvious mods (huge wheels and tires, two-tone color, four lights on the hood, front rollbar) also includes a winching system for extreme sports enthusiasts.

Check out all the models after the jump. Read More: “Mercedes preparing modified GLK fleet for SEMA”

After last month Peugeot has announced the 29 finalists of their design competition, today only 10 entries made it to the next round. Unfortunately, our favorite design, the Rayo, got kicked out, which leaves us with another favorite, the GALapagos, pictured above. To check out the remaining designs and vote for your favorite one, check out the contest’s website.

As a reminder, the contestants’ task was to “create a Concept Car which is designed to evolve within the cities of the future, whilst retaining the key values of the 21st century. The projects should bear Peugeot’s stylistic codes and must contain the following four aspects included in this design competition: environmental awareness, social harmony, interactive mobility and economic efficiency.” The winner of this competition will be announced in October and, besides the €10,000 prize, will get his design created on a 1:1 scale as a design study and shown to the public at the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show.

Read More: “The 10 finalists of Peugeot’s design competition”

Bentley is becoming more and more a tuner favourite brand, after projects based on their cars by Mansory or MTM the Japanese tuning firm ASI decided to tackle the Bentley Continental GTC. After their previous kit made for the Bentley GT Speed, they decided to take their expertise on the luxury convertible and the result is quite amazing.

ASI stand for Accuracy Spirit Imagination, and they really tried to implement those principles in the kit they developed. Carbon fiber is the name of the game in the composition of this kit, being implemented in the lip fitted to the front bumper spoiler, on the lip for the rear bumper and in a discreet boot spoiler. Other modifications made were the LED daytime running lights, side skirts and the 22-inch wheels. But enough talk, check out more photos after the jump. Read More: “Bentley Continental GTC aero kit by ASI”

As if UK motorists weren’t allready facing a lot of charges and taxes, here’s another pilot scheme, stupid if you ask us, which is scheduled to be introduced in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK and expanded if the results are satisfying. In order to try and cut down pollution, the West Sussex Council plans on imposing a £20 spot fine if motorists don’t stop their engines while stuck in traffic.

A spokesman for the local authorities said: A spokesman said: ‘We want to get people out of the habit of leaving their cars ticking over out of convenience. We would stress that this is just an investigation at this stage. If it were ever introduced the fixed penalty would probably be £20, but we would hope the vast majority of motorists would be willing to cooperate. Air pollution is a particularly important issue for our residents, particularly those with asthma, lung and heart conditions.’

Ok, we understand, the environment and air quality are very important, but this penalty seems really ridiculous and we’re not the only ones thinking this way, because local motorists are against the idea too. One of the reason would be the fact that, if all motorists were to stop their engines, when it’s time to move again, some cars might not start and the traffic jams would only get worse. Also, studies showed that stopping the engine is only effective in terms of emissions if the car stops for more than a minute. Less than that, the fuel consumption and emissions caused by starting the engine again are higher.

Read More: “£20 fine for not stopping your engine while stuck in traffic”

We all know that NASCAR isn’t the most safe car racing series in the world, it’s almost a must that cars bump into each other or crash, either in the concrete wall on one side, or the other cars, on the other side. Such was the case with these two drivers, David Star and Todd Bodine who after a short trade of paint, stopped at the pit lanes and began fighting, each of them “helped” by their pit crews. You know what they say, the Americans sure know how to entertain themselves. Here’s the video.

Read More: “Fight between two NASCAR pilots caught on tape”

If you happen to live in the UK and own a Honda Civic Type R model, you’re in a very special treat from Honda. They’re organizing a special meeting of drivers, as a token of gratitude, on the day of the last round of the British Touring Car Championship which will take place at the Brands Hatch circuit on Spetember 21. Guests will benefit from a lot of perks and priviledges like special Type R only parking lot with 250 spaces to a special place in the paddock of the racing circuit from which they’ll watch the race. Also, a few lucky ones will get the chance to tour the pit lane and meet the drivers from Team Halford, which race specially prepped Civics on the touring car racing series.

Read More: ““UK Type R owners unite!” says Honda”

So, you’re either a diplomat, either a druglord with a lot of enemies and you really don’t want to show off in an S Class or a Rolls Royce? What to do, what to do? Have no fear, BMW is here. Yesterday, the Bavarian carmaker announced the BMW 5 Series Security, a special edition of the luxury sedan, whose main purpose is to protect as good as possible its passengers. To make sure you get to you destination alive, the entire passenger cell is bulletresistant and its armour fulfils the requirements of ballistic protection level VR4 (which means the car can resist attacks with guns like .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum or 9 mm Luger).

The armour is made of a combination of casings, moulded parts and panels, plus fibre mats used for the armourplating and aramid mats used for the roof, body columns and for the front wall to the footwell and the back wall to the luggage compartment. The security glazing of the BMW 5-Series Security consists of a 22 mm thick compound of plastic and glass, while the window panes also have a polycarbonate coating which provides shatter protection for the vehicle interior.

There are also several other security features of the car, but I’m sure that’s not interesting to you (we don’t really care about it too). All you need to know is that, if you ever fear that someone might want to kill you with a bazooka, the BMW 5 Series Security is probably one of the best choices. You can read more about it in the official press release.

Meanwhile, check out more photos after the jump. Read More: “BMW announces the 5 Series Security”

Our friends from CollegeCrunch published an interesting list with 15 cars that college students with more than average money could buy for driving to school. Since my college time has passed, if you ask me now, I wouldn’t give my son/daughter the money to buy one of these cars, because it’s pure suicide (how could you let a teenager drive to school in a 420 hp RS4?). But I’ve got to admit, back in college days, having one of these would’ve been awesome. Just when I think about all those chicks I could’ve gotten by driving an, I don’t know, convertible Z4. Anyways, the list includes the following cars:

– Audi RS4 – Ford Mustang – Mazda RX-8 – Honda S2000 – Nissan GT-R – Subaru Impreza WRX STi – Honda Civic Si Coupe – Dodge Challenger – Pontiac Solstice – Saturn SKY – Mini Cooper S – Chrysler Crossfire Roadster – BMW Z4 – BMW 135i M Sport Coupe

– Corvette C6

So, what do you think, what car would you like/would’ve liked to drive to school?

Read More: “Some of the coolest cars that college students could drive”

In a recent interview for Inside Line, RS6 project manager Jens Koch said that Audi is not considering bringing the current Audi RS6. “We had thought perhaps that it would be possible, given America’s preference for the four-door version instead of the Avant, but the work required on the V10 powertrain to meet the emissions goals hurt the business case.”

However, there are also some good news. According to Koch, the Audi RS5 will debut at next year’s Detroit Motor Show and, after that, it will also be available in the United States, with the RS4 following soon after. About the RS6, even though Americans won’t get the current model, Koch said that the next generation RS6, scheduled to debut in 2012, will be marketed globally, including to the United States.

He also made some other interesting things about Audi’s next sport models. After the RS5 and RS4 debuts, Audi will start marketing the Quattro name differently, to make it more clearly separated from the regular Audi’s. The S models will also be more sporty than the current ones, while the RS will be their top of the line in terms of performances.

Read More: “Current generation Audi RS6 not coming to the US”

You’d expect a little more competition from the two Detroit giants, but actually Ford’s gesture is really cool. On GM’s 100th anniversary, Ford decided to congratulate their rivals by strategically opening and closing specific blinds on the south side of the WHQ building, to show the message “Happy 100 GM”. Like we said, it’s very cool to see, that in these special moments, big companies like Ford decide to let rivalry aside and show their appreciation. Congratulations, Ford, and Happy Birthday, GM!

Read More: “Happy Birthday GM from Ford”

Today, Lamborghini released a teaser photo of a new car that will be on display at next month’s Paris Motor Show. Unfortunately, this is the entire press release, if we can call it that way:

The official press release and pictures will be available from 1 October, 21.00 hours Central European Time, and available during Paris motor show press days. We welcome you to the Lamborghini stand on press days, 2 and 3 of October. Hall 4, stand 110

So, what do you think this will be? If you ask us, judging by that rear look, we’d put our money on a redesigned Murcielago or its replacement. One thing’s for sure, on September 2, the first press day of the French show, we’ll be there and find out what’s all this about.

Read More: “Myterious new Lamborghini to be unveiled in Paris”

With less than two weeks left before the first episode of Top Gear Australia will be aired, SBS released a trailer for the Australian brother of the coolest TV show dedicated to cars, Top Gear. So, what everyone wants to know is whether Charlie Cox, Warren Brown and Steve Pizzati will be able to match Jeremy, Richard and James. To be honest, I’m pretty skeptical, because the three Brits are unique, but who knows, maybe the Australian version will also be cool. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, check out the trailer.


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Read More: “Video: Top Gear Australia trailer”

After last week a set of official photos of the new Chevrolet Volt leaked on the internet, today, during GM’s 100th anniversary, the Detroit giant released the first official images of the production ready hybrid. “Revealing the production version of the Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century,” said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. “The Volt is symbolic of GM’s strong commitment to the future … just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges.”

Because aerodynamics play a very important role in this type of vehicles, the Volt’s design changed a lot comparing it to the concept car that was shown at last year’s Detroit show. Changes include the rounded and flush front fascia with tapered corners and closed front grille, rear design graphics with a carefully designed spoiler, outside rearview mirrors and an aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag. These plus the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery which can be charged from a standard household 120v outlet or 240v, help the Volt achieve a driving range of up to 40 miles (based on EPA city cycle) without using gasoline or producing emissions.

On the interior the Volt will be available with a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options, modern controls, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter.

The Volt will be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, and production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for the United States. So, the big question, will the Volt manage to save GM? A lot can happen in two years, but things look good for the Detroit carmaker. What do you think?

Check out more official photos of the production ready Chevrolet Volt after the jump. Read More: “Production ready Chevrolet Volt unveiled”

Not sure whether that’s a Toyota or a Chevy, but this definitely has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. This guy is so drunk he can’t even walk straight and he decides to bang an innocent SUV. Love the soundtrack too. Unfortunately, all he got from this crazy sex scene was a meeting with a police officer and probably some time in prison.

Read More: “Funny Video: Drunk dude has sex with a Toyota and gets arrested”

Although BMW has announced that a track-prepped CSL version of the M3 will not be manufactured, thus breaking the hearts of a lot of fans, the guys at Vorsteiner thought that a kit that will make the standard E92 M3 look like a CSL is a great way to satisfy the need of those fans. They made the aero kit with what previous CSL (Coupe, Sport, Lightweight) version of the M3 had in common, like carbon fiber parts or really powerful exhaust systems.

This kit is actually composed of a carbon fiber lip for the front bumper, a rear diffuser complete with 3 air fins and a lip spoiler for the boot lid. The californian tuner also added a custom made titanium exhaust system, thus shaving quite a few kilos in the bodyweight section, and adding a really nice sound to the car. Other exterior elements that were added are the wheels, custom made for this car, dubbed the V-302 series, 5 spoke design of cold molded alluminium with 20×8.5J size in the front and in the rear 20x10J. On the inside, Vorsteiner has offered quite a selection of carbon fiber elements which the customer can choose to his own likeing, and come to blend in with the carbon fiber elements on the outside of the car.

Read More: “BMW M3 E92 CSL kit by Vorsteiner”