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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Feb 11 2010, 3:43 PM


With what might be the largest Porsche dealer in Canada, Pfaff also has a tuning department, dedicated to giving more power and performance to customer’s who demand more from their car. And apparently, Pfaff also likes to deliver more style, showing off both a matte-black Audi R8, as well as a matte-black Carrera C4S.

The Carrera is a special model, featuring a mild upgrade package from Champion Motorsport, a Florida-based tuner associated with the Champion race team that ran the Audi R8 race cars in North American several years back. Rather than the low-cost option of a wrap, this matte-black Porsche is actually painted. It also features a set of black Champion RF67 wheels with a nice red pinstripe.

The car has also been equipped with a Werks1 front lip and rear diffuser (Werks1 being Champion’s line of aerodynamic parts). Added power comes from a Tubi exhaust an a GIAC ECU tune, while the car’s handling has been increased thanks to some H&R springs.

We took plenty of snaps of both cars, so feel free to browse though them all in the gallery below.

GALLERY: Champion Motorsport Porsche Carrera and Audi R8


 |  Feb 11 2010, 12:15 PM


Without the media-day crowds of bigger shows, the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto allows for some pretty-incredible access to important new vehicles – like Volkswagen’s New Compact Coupe NCC) Concept. There’s no new news about the NCC hybrid, which debuted six weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show, using a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 148-hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque along with a 27-hp electric motor. When combined with VW’s 7-speed DSG transmission, the NCC gets an impressive 45 mpg. Acceleration isn’t exactly impressive at 8.1 seconds to 60 mph.

At the Toronto show we were able to get a much closer look at this concept car, including a peak inside to look at its exquisitely tailored interior, large hybrid information screen and near-production package. That’s right, while the NCC might just be a concept it’s likely to be very similar to the coupe version of Volkswagen’s upcoming compact sedan. While VW has yet to even come close to confirming anything (heck, they barely admit they have a new compact car coming to replace the Jetta), its possible that the German automaker will deliver a hybrid version like the NCC as well as a high-performance model similar to the 265-hp Golf R.

In the mean time, browse through the gallery below, especially at the NCC’s incredible interior.

GALLERY: Volkswagen New Compact Coupe (NCC) Concept


 |  Feb 11 2010, 11:51 AM


With the Chicago Auto Show just the day before, there’s not a lot of point in covering the Toronto Auto Show, except for the fact that it often allows a much closer look at new and upcoming models. Chicago is already low-key but the media day at the Canadian International Auto Show is sparsely attended at best and so we got the best access we’ve had yet to Fiat’s high-powered Abarth version of the 500.

We’re not overly fond of the Fiat 500′s European econo looks, but add on some aerodynamic treatments, a lowered suspension and some 17-inch wheels and we’re starting to see the appeal. Plus, in the Abarth mode, the 500′s standard 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gets a turbocharger (one of the smallest we’ve ever seen), to create 170-hp and 170 ft-lbs of torque.

While no production date is set, the 500 is scheduled to U.S. and Canadian shores and that’s likely to mean the Abarth 500 will also follow. We were surprised at how high-grade the car’s interior is, looking like a slightly lower-grade Audi, with some well-bolstered seats and a nice meaty steering wheel. If Fiat is to make a success of a car like this it will have to sell it as a premium vehicle, competing with the MINI Cooper. With slightly less power but also less weight, a model like this Abarth is sure to be a hit amongst enthusiasts.

GALLERY: Abarth 500