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Definitely one of the eagerly awaited reveals from the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show was Ford’s new Fiesta, designed for its native USA market, and available in both normal hatchback form and sedan.

We already published plenty of details about the great little B-segment car, but now you can customize your own model, as Ford has revealed the online configurator, available at this address. You can check out all of the options, including the prices for each one and see just how much it will cost to make the Fiesta of your dreams.

Those bent on buying a model already will be able to pre-order and reserve one, as Ford not only encourages it, but also throws in a turn-by-turn SYNC navigation plus a premium sound system for no extra charge. You can check out the photo gallery of the US-spec Fiesta below in case you missed it the first time.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Ford Fiesta

Read More: “Ford Fiesta car configurator online, prices start from $13,320, pre-order bonuses available”



After many rumors, speculations and sketches, Mitsubishi finally revealed some concrete details about its upcoming crossover, which will be named RVR when it will be launched on the carmaker’s native Japanese market in spring, 2010.

The compact crossover wants to be a blend of fuel efficiency but also offer ample space and performance for the customers. It will be available with a new 1.8-liter MIVEC petrol engine, which thanks to the lightweight body, will produce a “high fuel efficiency”.



The RVR will complete the lineup of SUVs from Mitsubishi, and join the Pajero and Outlander in the off-road family from the Japanese carmaker. The new crossover, after its Japanese debut, will be launched sequentially all over the world, including Europe, North America and Asia.

Are you excited about this new model? Share your thoughts through a comment.

Read More: “Mitsubishi’s crossover to be named RVR, goes on sale in Japan next spring”



After we Europeans got a glimpse at the upcoming 2011 Hyundai Sonata (or i40 as we’ll receive it), during the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the South Korean carmaker revealed the US-spec version of its mid-size sedan.

Major selling points include more room inside, a bigger boot and better handling, thanks to a good power-to-weight ration and tighter turning diameter. It will feature the 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine as standard, delivering 198 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission, which achieves 23 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, or a six-speed automatic which gets 23 and 35. During next year the Sonata will also receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit as well as a 2.4-liter Hybrid Blue Drive version.



Customers with a taste for higher end things will also be happy to hear that a Sonata SE version will arrive after the official launch, which features sportier suspension with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, as well as monotube rear shock absorbers and low profile 18-inch wheels.

Music fans will also get to choose from standard six-speaker audio systems to a Dimension premium one and a range-topping Infinity-made system will be available as an option. Look forward to the beginning of 2010, when this model will enter the market.

Read More: “LA Auto Show: 2011 Hyundai Sonata revealed for US market”



As the Fiat Group has recently bough quite a lot of shares in Chrysler, and agreed to fund its revival in the following years, you would say that the Italian company has quite a lot of money and can afford keeping all of its brands, despite sales not being what they used to.

One of Fiat’s brands which is definitely in trouble, according to some sources, is Alfa Romeo, which saw total sales figures take a massive nose dive in recent times. And things are going to get even worse, as Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat, has ordered a full re-evaluation of Alfa, after which one of two decisions will be made.

The first one, if things look up, will see the parent company still invest in the brand, especially in marketing, but if all hope is lost, the newer models like the MiTo and the upcoming Giulietta will do the marketing for the other models, like the Brera, 159 or GT until requests die down.

Alfa Romeo’s review will be done at the beginning of 2010, and Marchionne revealed that a conclusion might appear around February or even March. Hopefully the brand still has what it takes to be competitive and this iconic carmaker won’t be forced to shut down anytime soon.

Read More: “Alfa Romeo brand to be re-evaluated by Fiat, its fate will be decided in February”



For all you hot hatchback fans out there, the Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the best cars you can buy. Sure, there’s the new Golf R, which delivers more power, but what about those who have already bought the GTI but find that the car still isn’t fast enough for their needs?

Well luckily for them, tuning company Wimmer RS has revealed its tuning package for the GTI, taking it from its “humble” 211 HP (155 kW) stock performance figure to a dizzying 386 HP (284 kW) with a 455 Nm of torque.

To reach those new heights, the engineers fitted an optimized turbocharger and manifold, used a sports catalytic converter and also modified the ECU, fuel pump, piston rods, intercooler and the cat-back exhaust system. The increase in power also meant that the top speed is now 267 km/h (166 mph) from the stock 240 km/h (149 mph).



In terms of exterior design, customers can choose from a selection of 18, 19 and 20-inch wheels, with Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tires.

Excessive? Yes, but I’m fairly certain some people will gladly pay any amount of money to get that power from their GTI.

Read More: “Wimmer RS reveals 386 HP Volkswagen Golf GTI”



Speaking at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the head of the Research and Development section of Volkswagen, Dr. Ulrich Hackenburg revealed that the upcoming Golf 7 will come in both electric and hybrid “flavors”.

“We’re looking at a hybrid version of a compact car for Europe and it will come on the next Golf, and an EV version,” revealed Hackenburg.

The Volkswagen executive also said that the new diesel hybrid technology, previewed on the Up! Lite concept also revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, might also be scalable for bigger cars, not just sub-compact ones. An increase in the capacity of both the TDI engine and the electric motor will be needed, but nothing VW can’t do.

Read More: “Volkswagen Golf 7 to come in both electric and hybrid versions”



In yet another bold statement coming from Audi, the Ingolstadt manufacturer admitted that a production-ready variant of the fabulous Audi e-Tron electric concept, which was show at the Frankfurt Motor Show and can also be viewed these days at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be entering production around 2012.

The model, which can produce 313 HP and a massive 4,500 Nm (3,319 lb-ft) of torque, has been received quite well after its premiere and has generated plenty of rumors in regards to the final product which will incorporate the technology consisting four electric motors, two in the front, alongside the lithium-ion battery, and two at the back, powering all four wheel through Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.

Everything from an R4, to a brand new model which will tackle the Tesla Roadster, has been rumored, and after the announcement that Porsche and Volkswagen will be swapping platforms, it’s not far fetched to see the e-Tron come to life with a Boxster frame, for example.

Either way, electric sportscar fans should definitely look forward to the end of 2012 for this model, according to Audi (or to the apocalypse, according to doom-sayers).

Read More: “Audi e-Tron to appear on the market at the end of 2012”



In a move which in hindsight makes a lot of sense, General Motors has announced that it will be launching the Chevrolet Volt in California at the end of 2010, with the other markets in North America to follow after that.

“It is natural that California is the lead market for Volt. Not only is it the largest automotive market, Californians are known to be leaders in adopting groundbreaking new technologies,” said Brent Dewar, GM vice president, Global Chevrolet Brand.

The state, which is home to electric sportscar maker Tesla and also the place where plenty of plug-in electric vehicles are currently used and even the fuel-cell-powered Honda FCX Clarity, will be the host of a test of the Volt’s hybrid powertrain, which is funded by a $30 million grant from the federal Department of Energy’s Transportation Electrification Initiative. 100 Volts will be used as test subjects in various fleets in California in order to see how well they cope.

GM will also partner with a few local electric companies in order to further prove the efficiency of the Volt. Those companies are Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Overall, in case green living and electric vehicles are your favorite things, then California needs to be your destination.

Read More: “GM to launch Volt in California, rest of North America to follow after”



Besides being host to new cars like the Infiniti M Series, exciting concepts like the Volkswagen Up! Lite, the 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show is also the place where Mercedes-Benz shows off the new SplitView display technology in its S Class models.

The technology, which is developed by Bosch, enables the occupants of the front seats, the driver and passenger, to view different images. As such, the driver can view the navigation system or the Mercedes’ COMAND system, while the passenger can view a DVD or anything else.

The big 7-inch display in the new S Class allows for the two pictures to be portrayed in detail, and in order to prevent any distraction for the driver, separates them, requiring the head of the viewer to be at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees in order to accurately see a picture, meaning that the driver would need to move his head in the place of the passenger, and not just in the front of the screen.

While the technology may seem exciting, there is a problem, as many states and countries don’t allow video playback in the front of a car which is driving along a public road. Until laws will be changed or loopholes found and subsequently when the technology will become cheap/wanted enough, we might see such displays become standard on cars.

Thanks for the tip, Gabitz!

Read More: “LA Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz showcases the SplitView technology in S Class models”



I’m sure most Dodge Viper fans are aware that 2010 will be the last year the famous car will be made, but Dodge will certainly honor its snake with the best editions manufactured. At the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the company revealed both the 2010 Viper SRT10 and two new special editions of the high performance ACR version, the ACR 1:33 and the Voodoo ACR.

Starting with the regular edition, the new SRT10 will feature two new exterior paint jobs: Toxic Orange Pearl Coat and Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, as well as a shorter fifth gear ration, which improves the top speed. The “regular” ACR will also receive a new short-throw shifter, as well as aerodynamic tweaks to the rear wing, boosting its downforce and the top speed of 184 mph.

Onward to the special editions, as you might have guessed, the Dodge Viper ACR 1:33 is dedicated to the record lap the model achieved at the famous Laguna Seca racing circuit, and will feature a unique two-tone Black and Red Clear Coats (that’s the opposite of the regular Viper ACR of Red and Black), as well as piano black console bezels and red gauge highlights. The Voodoo ACR will sport a Black Clear Coat paint scheme with a single Graphite stripe, featuring a red ouline. Only 10 such cars will be made, so you’ll have to hurry.

Overall, the 2010 Dodge Viper is set to go out with a bang and will most definitely be missed by many fans. Hopefully the future performance Dodge car (with input from Ferrari) will successfully replace the old snake.

Read More: “LA Auto Show: Dodge reveals 2010 Viper SRT10 plus ACR 1:33 and Voodoo ACR special editions”



Maserati is a smart company as it knows where the money is still coming from and what markets haven’t been really influenced by the recession: its native Italy, more or less, and the Middle East. That is why the company has announced two special editions dedicated to the two regions.

The first one goes to the Middle East (show here in front of the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi), where a limited run of 12 Maserati GranTurismo S models will be made, decked out in Matte White “Ice” paint, and will feature many options from the MC Sports Line. 12 is a symbolic number, as it represents the number of awards the MC12 model got in the FIA GT championship, and the number of dealerships Maserati has in the Middle East, as each of them will get a single car.



For its native Italians, only 11 cars will be made, sporting a Matte Bianco Fuji paint with pearlescent nuances, and will also feature exclusive options from the MC Sports Line.

No word on pricing, but considering how exclusive these cars will be, it will definitely make a hole in the wallets of the future customers.

Read More: “Maserati reveals two special editions of GranTurismo S model, one for Middle East, one for Italy”



Volkswagen took the chance at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show to present its newest concept, the Volkswagen Up! Lite. As the name suggests, it is related to the upcoming Up! city car, but does away with many features from the boxy design to the rear wheel drive and rear engine placement, for a sportier look (presumably testing out reactions to an Up! Sport) and a front-wheel drive, front engine placement.

What’s most interesting about the new Up! Lite is that Volkswagen advertises it to be the second most efficient concept in the world, beaten only by the L1 model which was shown by the German company at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The diesel hybrid sees the same 800cc TDI engine from the L1, coupled through a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox with a small electric engine.



But don’t go thinking that the four-seater model will have rubbish performance figures, as the Up! Lite manages to reach 100 mph (160 km/h) and does 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a respectable 12 seconds. This is largely due to its extremely low weight of just 695 kg (1,530 pounds). As such, the car reaches a fuel economy of 2.44 liters/100 km (96 mpg (US) or 115.8 (UK).

Partly to “blame” for this low weight is the combination of lightweight steel, aluminum and carbon fiber, used in all of its parts. For example the roof is made out of carbon fiber and the wheels are formed by ten carbon fiber spokes, dressed in aluminum. The outside mirrors have been replace with small cameras, as well as the inside one. Another nifty little feature is an automatic air dam, which lifts when the TDI engine needs more air.



Overall, this new Volkswagen Up! Lite concept looks pretty good, and with the promise of transporting four people with such a great economy, it might be a best seller. Until and if it reaches the road, fans are going to have to settle with the normal (phat?!) Up!, which will go on sale in 2011.

Read More: “LA Auto Show 2009: Volkswagen presents Up! Lite hybrid diesel concept, does 2.44 liters/100 km (96 mpg)”



In a surprisingly bold move, Audi’s design director, Stefan Sielaff, revealed, after the formal presentation of the 2011 Audi A8, that the high performance S8 version, which will arrive at the end of 2010 probably, will pave the way in terms of design for other performance models, name-checking the S7 and S1.

This is the first time an Audi representative even admitted to the existence of the upcoming A7, and has even confirmed that the future A1 city car will also see a performance version. He also revealed that the S8 will most likely be powered by a turbocharged V8 engine, rather the a borrowed V10 from Lamborghini, as is the current generation’s S8.

Future S models will also differentiate in more ways from the standard models on which they will be based, with Sielaff confirming that more aluminum and carbon fiber inserts will be used on the inside.

So there you have it Audi fans, expect many surprises from future S models, coming for every vehicle set to be launched in the near future.

Read More: “Audi S8 to pave the way for S7 and S1, Audi design director says”



Infiniti has definitely prepared a lot of interesting things for the 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show, as after “wetting” the appetite of its fans with the facelifted G37 sedan, it went to the main course, the new M series lineup of models, which will consist of two normal cars, the M37 and M56, as well as a hybrid, presumably based on the M37, which will arrive sometimes in 2010 or early 2011.

The new series, which will target, among other rivals, the Mercedes-Benz E Class or BMW 5 Series, will feature a wide array of safety technologies as well as all the gadgets any tech fan would want. Based on the company’s rear-wheel drive Front-Midship platform, which sees the engine placed behind the front axle, the new car aims also aims at pleasing those who want a sporty feel in their sedan.

The first engine is the already familiar 3.7-liter V6 unit, which develops 330 HP with 270 lb-ft of torque. Those who want more power, can opt for the new 5.6-liter V8, which delivers 420 HP and 417 lb-ft of torque. All of the models will be coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission which features paddles behind the steering wheel, and four modes: Standard, Eco, Sport and Snow.

Technologies like the Blind Spot Recognition system, which can steer the car from a possible crash, Active Noise Control, which eliminates low frequency sounds, Forest Air climate, which adds a subtle hint of fresh aromas to the air delivered by the A/C, or the Dynamic Cornering Assistance, which gently applies the brake to prevent any unwanted maneuvers, will also be emplaced.

Look forward to the new models in the 2011 Infiniti M series in 2010, with prices to be announced sometime closer to the release date. Until then, enjoy the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: 2010 Infiniti M Series

Read More: “LA Auto Show 2009: Infinit reveals M series, M37 and M56 due out next year alongside hybrid”



Fresh news from the Scandinavian front, as it seems that while Wyoming-based merchant bank Merbanco has retired from the new competition for buying Swedish carmaker Saab from GM, new potential buyers have risen, with the most important being Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker.

But while GM revealed that it will be taking into consideration all bids for its Scandinavian brand, which has been struggling financially for quite some time, it seems that the failed deal with Koenigsegg to sell the brand to the supercarmaker might have had some big side effects.

New rumors indicate that yesterday’s announcement that GM CEO and president, Fritz Henderson, has resigned was tied to the fact that he wanted Saab closed down, a measure that the board of directors wasn’t happy with, considering that the brand might be saved and the potential costs of closing down Saab might have been too high.

Although we certainly won’t get a confirmation of what happened behind closed doors at GM, an announcement about the fate of Saab is approaching at the end of December. Will it be a merry Christmas for the Swedish brand? It’s all up to GM and the potential buyers.

Read More: “Spyker interested in buying Saab, GM boss might have resigned because of the Swedish brand”