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Following the launch of the new 911, at the LA Auto Show, Porsche is unveiling the facelifts for the Cayman and the Boxster, which, beside the obvious resytling, will also get new flat-six boxer engines. The new two-seaters received new air intakes, foglights as standard, new rear panels with diffuser inserts (Boxster) and wind deflector plate (Cayman) and new LED rear lights.

Like we said, under the hood, the Cayman and the Boxster will be offered with new engines. The smallest engine will be a 2.9 litres unit developing 255 bhp (188 kW) in the Boxster and 265 bhp (195 kW) in the Cayman, while the S versions will be powered by a 3.4 liter engine with Direct Fuel Injection, which delivers 310 bhp (228 kW) in the Boxster S and 320 bhp (235 kW) in the Cayman S. This means the Cayman S goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds, while the Boxster S takes 5.9 seconds. Porsche also managed to improve the fuel economy, the 2.9 liter takes 8.9 litres/100 km (26.4 mpg US), while the 3.4 liter unit needs 9.2 l/100 km (25.5 mpg US).

The new models are entering the market in February 2009. The base price of the Boxster in the Euro countries is Euro 38,600, the base price of the Cayman Euro 41,700. The corresponding prices of the Boxster S are Euro 46,700, of the Cayman S Euro 51,500. Including VAT and national specifications, the Boxster retails in Germany at Euro 46,142, the Cayman at Euro 49,831. The Boxster S, in turn, comes at a retail price of Euro 55,781, the Cayman S at Euro 61,493.

Check out a cool photo gallery and a video after the jump. Read More: “Facelifted Porsche Cayman and Boxster debut at the LA Auto Show”

Nissan has announced the 2010 Nissan Cube, the third generation of their weird looking car launched in 1998. “The new Cube is designed for people who imagine a life less ordinary, who have grown tired of the never-ending pursuit of faster, more powerful, more outrageously styled cars,” said Yosuke Iwasa, Segment Chief Product Specialist. “The quieter, more harmonious qualities of the Cube have attracted interest not only among young people, but for those in every walk of life. While carrying forward the concept of the original Cube, this latest edition has advanced significantly, including offering far greater comfort.”

As you can probably imagine, power and aerodynamics are not these car’s main attractions, the Cube being offered with a 1.5-liter HR15DE engine, e-4WD system featuring standard XTRONIC CVT with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) which Nissan claims offers an improved fuel economy. The interior however, is very versatile and funky, with an open cabin, conceived with the image of a Jacuzzi, curve-shaped instrument panel, “Fine Vision” instrumentation, “skylight”-style glass panel roof with shoji-style shade to diffuse sunlight and “water drop” ripple design motif in cupholders and other cabin details.

The new Nissan Cube will go on sale in Japan on November 26 (prices ranging between $15,000 and $20,000), in the spring of 2009 the United States will get it, while European customers will be able to place their orders starting with fall 2009. Check out more photo after the jump. Read More: “2010 Nissan Cube unveiled”

A little bit late, but yesterday I finally got to see the latest Top Gear episode and, I hate to say this, but it kinda sucked. I mean, this season, the show changed, being more about entertainment and less about cars. There were still great parts, like the one with the Challenger, the Cadillac CTS-V and the Corvette from episode 2, but the overall feeling is that the show changed and I’m not sure I like it.

The thrid episode starts with Richard’s visit to the Toyota headquarters in Japan and a “test-drive” of one the Toyota i-Real (video here). After that came the news and then we saw James taking a trip to Finland where he got some training into “Finnish driving” from one the greatest drivers ever, Mika Hakkinen (though I was a Schumacher fan back then, I have to admit he was incredible too). Video here (part 1) and here (part 2).

After that, Jeremy decided to go into the home appliance business, by creating a V8 blender. Yup, that’s right, a V8 blender. You can see it in action here. Then, we had one of the most interesting moments from the show, Mark Wahlberg’s apperance, in the “Celebrity in a reasonably priced car” section. This part was pretty entertaining (watch it here). In the last part of the show, we had the regular challenge, where the producers decided to give the guys around 10,000 to modify a Renault Avantime and make it faster around the Top Gear track than the Mitsubishi Evo X. I’ll let you watch this part and see for yourselves how they did. (Check it out after the jump) Read More: “Top Gear Season 12 Episode 3”

Christmas is getting closer and closer, so Lamborghini has released their annual Christmas gifts collection. This year, it includes a range of 2008 baubles, bears, candles and cushions available in the special matt black and white colours launched this year on the Gallardo LP 560-4.

The collection includes box-sets of three baubles in lightweight ceramic (available with one Nero Noctis black and two Mono Cerus white in each box), candles box-sets include one black, one white, slow-burning candles, 13-inch Lamborghini shield-embroidered cushions in the two colours, plus a Lamborghini polar bear, who’s wearing a black sweater and the Lamborghini logo. Of course, there also a range of calendars and Christmas cards available to order. All items can be ordered from the Lamborghini online store, from authorised Lamborghini dealers and in the Lamborghini store at Sant’Agata Bolognese.

Prices (without tax) Box-set three baubles: 56 Euro ($70) Box-set two candles: 44 Euro ($55) Cushion: 32 Euro ($40) Polar bear large: 26 Euro ($32)

Polar bear small: 44 Euro ($55)

Check out more photos after the jump. Read More: “Lamborghini’s way of saying “Merry Christmas!””

Mazda has announced today that they’ve reached an agreement with Ford, according to which the Japanese company, together with its partners, will buy more than half of Ford’s stake in Mazda. Ford’s ownership will be reduced from 33.4 percent to just over 13 percent, but the two giants announced that their 30 years partnership will continue. Considering Mazda’s stock trading price, the deal is estimated at around $200 million. It’s not much, but going through some rough times, Ford needs all the money it can get, just like GM, who announced a couple of days ago the sell of their stake in Suzuki.

“This agreement allows Ford to raise capital that will help fund our product-led transformation, and at the same time, allows Ford and Mazda to continue our successful strategic relationship in the best interest of both companies,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.

Read More: “Ford selling more than half of its stake in Mazda”

Today, at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, Ford has unveiled the four-door sedan version of the new Fiesta. The car, which will be built at the Ford plant in Nanjing, will be available to the Chinese market in the first quarter of 2009, and starting with 2010 it will be available to the rest of Asia and North America. What’s interesting is that the Fiesta sedan won’t be available in Europe, which is a little weird, considering it would probably sell pretty good there.

“We set out to design a truly exciting, desirable small car that exceeds all expectations. Today, we are keeping our promise that was made with the Verve Concept notchback last year,” said Chelsia Lau, chief designer of China/ASEAN Programs, Ford Motor Company. “The all-new Fiesta sedan is sleek and contemporary. The interpretation of kinetic design on the four-door body has given the Fiesta sedan an independent identity while retaining the emotional appeal of its five-door sibling.”

Check out more photos of the Ford Fiesta Sedan after the jump. Read More: “The new Ford Fiesta Sedan unveiled in China”

Finally, some good news for GM. The new sedan from Opel won this year’s European Car of the Year award, but it was a close one, the Insignia beating the Ford Fiesta by only 1 point (321 points, comparing to Fiesta’s 320 points). Out of the seven finalists, the Insignia received 20 first place votes out of 59 compared to 19 received by the Fiesta. This is the first time an Opel car wins this award, but it has been runner-up four times, for example, in 2007, the new Corsa losing by just 2 points to the Ford S-Max. This year’s podium was completed by Volkswagen’s new Golf VI. And here are all the seven finalists and their scores:

1. Opel/ Vauxhall Insignia – 321 points 2. Ford Fiesta – 320 points 3. Volkswagen Golf VI – 223 points 4. Citroen C5 – 198 points 5. Alfa Romeo MiTo – 148 points 6. Skoda Superb – 144 points

7. Renault Megane – 121 points

Read More: “Open Insignia is the 2009 European Car of the Year”

Well, after a lot of teasing, here it is, the 2010 Mustang, Ford’ competitor against the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, which received a redesign for the exterior, new interior and some performance upgrades. “The new Mustang marks new levels of both power and refinement,” said Paul Randle, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve designed and engineered this to be the next classic Mustang that everyone talks about for years and years.” Everytime a new car shows up, everyone judges it first by its looks, so let’s see what’s new for the 2010 Mustang. It features a more aggressive grille, new headlamps and turn indicators, redesigned powerdome hood, new front rear fenders, sculptured wheel flares, new rear end design with new tail lamps (features three LED bulbs firing sequentially from the inside for turn indication), new angled corners, sculpted decklid and a large rear badge.

Under the hood, the starting point for the new Mustang was the Bullitt, including the 4.6 liter V8 which has been upgraded to 315 hp. The new Mustang will be offered with bigger wheel-and-tire combinations, ranging from 17 to 19 inches. Beside that, the Mustang will come with AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control (ESC), all-speed traction control and ABS system, dual stage front driver and passenger air bags, front seat-mounted side air bags plus Ford’s Personal Safety System.

The interior has also received a redesign, featuring new one-piece instrument panel design crafted in soft-touch TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) with aluminum-finish panels, chromed-ringed gauges and dual-vane air register vents, the seats and arm rests have softer materials, plus a new center stack design that adds the latest version of Ford SYNC.

So, the question everyone is asking now…what’s the best new American muscle car, the Mustang, the Camaro or the Challenger? We have yet to drive any of these, but we’ve seen them and it’s going to be a very interesting competition between these three. So, what’s your favorite?

Photo Gallery: 2010 Ford Mustang

Read More: “2010 Ford Mustang officially unveiled”

German tuner Edo Competition has announced a new tuning program for the Porsche Cayenne GTS, which offers more power and an improved aerodynamics kit for the German SUV. By fitting the car with new high-flow catalytic converters, performance air filter inserts and new ECU calibration, Edo managed to take the engine up to 450 hp (331 kW) and a maximum torque of 530 Nm (391 ft-lb) at 3,800 rpm. This means the Cayenne GTS goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.4 seconds an up to a top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph).

Other mechanical upgrades include a new brake system with huge six-piston fixed mono-block calipers, new sport suspension system adjustable in height, compression and rebound damping (14 settings). The bodu kit includes a new hood featuring power domes and a new lower front skirt with 4 fog lights and mesh inserts, plus 22 inch forged wheels with stainless steel outer rims (can also be ordered custom painted).

Check out more photos after the jump. Read More: “450 hp Porsche Cayenne GTS by Edo Competition”

This special MINI you see pictured here is the creation of Ken and Annie Burkitt of Ontario, Canada who covered the small British car with 1 million Swarovski crystals depicting 10 American symbols like the Statue of Liberty, White House, Mount Rushmore, the American flag or the Hollywood sign. Named American Icon, the shining MINI is on display at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum at Piccadilly Circus in London. So, a British car decorated by Canadian artists with Swiss jewels depicting American symbols…talking about globalization.

Photo Gallery: MINI Cooper covered in Swarovski crystals

Read More: “MINI Cooper gets Swarovski treatment”

A few hours ago, GM has announced that they’ve decided to sell their remaining stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. This probably comes as an effort to raise additional funds, after a couple of weeks ago the Detroit giant, which is going through its worst financial crisis ever, announced that it might have no funds left by next summer. GM plans to sell 16,413,000 Suzuki shares, which is equal to 3 percent of Suzuki’s shares, for around $230 million. GM was involved in Suzuki for the first time in 1981, when it purchased 5.3 percent of the Japanese carmakers’ shares. In 2001, GM was owning sligthly over 20 percent, before selling 17.4 percent in 2006.

According to both parties, this doesn’t mean the business relationship between the companies won’t go on: “We highly value our strategic relationship with Suzuki,” said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer. “Despite the sale of our remaining Suzuki shares, this action will have no impact on our existing bilateral business relationships. We look forward to continue building on our success to date with our long-term partner.”

Read More: “GM to sell its equity stake in Suzuki”

German tuner Hamann released a set of photos showing new sets of wheels for the Maserati GranTurismo and for the new BMW 7 Series. But don’t imagine that Hamann got lazy and has only been on working on these wheels, because they actually preview the tuning programs for both vehicles. The Maserati is fitted with new 21 inch EDITION RACE wheels (FA 9.0Jx21 with tyres 245/30ZR21 and RA 12.5Jx21 with tyres 345/45ZR21), while the BMW, though not the most good looking car around, looks pretty good with the black wheels. Enjoy the photos!

Photo Gallery: Maserati GranTurismo Hamann wheels

Photo Gallery: New BMW 7 Series Hamann wheels

Read More: “Maserati GranTurismo and BMW 7 Series get new Hamann wheels”

Miami developer Michael Samuel and Lamborghini Miami owner, Brett David reached an agreement which will give a free $260,000 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to everyone who buys one of the South of Fifth luxury residences. That sounds pretty good, huh? However, there’s only one minor setback: each of the seven condos available (out of 28) costs between $6-8 million. That’s about 30 Lambos. It’s true, for this money you get two penthouses with private roof top pools, two two-story beach house villas with four bedrooms and maids quarters, and three four bedroom beachfront units with maid’s quarters. But still, why would anyone who pays $8 million be more atracted to the project because of a Lamborghini?

“There is simply no other development like South of Fifth,” says Michael Samuel, principle of Samuel & Co., “and no other vehicle like Lamborghini. Melding the two is the ideal live/drive marriage for a very discriminating consumer. Our main goal with the South of Fifth project has been to ensure an unprecedented level of luxury within all aspects of the residences [..] Teaming with Lamborghini Miami furthers that special lifestyle.”

Read More: “Buy a condo and get a free Lambo!”

To mark Karl Abarth’s centenary, Fiat has announced a limited edition of the Abarth 500, the “DA 0 A 100″. With 101 units scheduled to be built, the special edition is powered by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers 160 bhp (118 kW) at 5750 rpm, and peak torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm. By modifying the gear ratios and adding an IHI RHF3 fixed geometry turboblower, the car goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 211 km/h (131 mph). Other mechanical upgrades include perforated disc brakes, high performance front brake pads, special air filter “powered by BMC”, special low springs and new 17″ alloy wheels with chrome-plated hub covers and Scorpion logo.

The “DA 0 A 100″ comes in a Nuvolari Grey paint finish, with Abarth stripe on the sides and tone-on-tone effect, plus chrome plated badges on the pillar and wing mirror cases. On the interior, the car received hide colored leather seats with silver stichting, aluminium for the gear lever knob, the kick plate branded “da 0 a 100″ and the special “da 0 a 100″ plate with the number of the car. Check out one more photo of the car after the jump. Read More: “Fiat 500 Abarth “DA 0 A 100″ limited edition”

The Detroit Motor Show, which will open its doors on January 11, is the United States largest motor show and is visited by houndreds of thousand visitors every year. However, it look like for some carmakers, having a stand here is not an option anymore, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Suzuki announcing they’ve withdrawn from the 2009 show.

“It’s a purely economic decision,” said Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland, adding that “this is no reflection on the people of Detroit or on the city.” Suzuki, whose US sales declined 12% so far this year (around 100,000 units sold) decided to cut costs and give up on a Detroit show stand, instead, the Japanese carmaker said it will hold a small dinner for reporters before the show. The other carmakers also said money was the most important reason behind their decisions, especially with them not having any new cars to show.

So, after last week we told you about GM canceling any press events for the LA Auto Show, now this, it looks like the motor shows will suffer in the future, and carmakers that won’t having anything really important to show will probably decide to withdraw from motor show and spend their money elsewhere.

Read More: “Several carmakers canceling Detroit appearance”