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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.
 |  Sep 16 2009, 5:46 PM

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At the Frankfurt Auto Show, Volvo officially unveiled a sporty R-Design package for the XC60, giving the brand’s progressive luxury crossover an even more appealing look.

Outside the R-Design model gets a new “silk metal” finish for the grille, fog lamp surrounds, mirrors and a silk metal R-Design badge. The side skirts will have an aluminum look, while the rear skid place will be chrome plated with chrome twin tailpipes. The lower body panels will be paint-matched, giving the crossover a ground-hugging look, even though the ride height remains the same as on the standard vehicle. A set of 18-inch wheels will come standard, although buyers can choose to upgrade to a 20-inch set.

Inside the XC60 R-Design gets new sport seats with unique upholstery with a choice of two color combos and R-Design emblems. Also included is an R-Design sports steering wheel, aluminum sport pedals and blue gauges.

The drive of the XC60 R-Design will also be more engaging due to stiffer springs, more responsive shocks and tighter steering.

The XC60 R-Design will be offered in seven colors including one exclusive color (shown above) Passion red.

GALLERY: 2010 Volvo XC60 R-Design

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 |  Sep 08 2009, 10:46 AM

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Rolls-Royce has officially released the first production images and a long list of details on its latest model, the 2011 Ghost. Styled much like the Phantom, but slightly sportier and more modern, this more “entry-level” vehicle is still expected to cost close to $300,000.

The wait for the Ghost has been a long one, as Rolls first announced it was building a new line of vehicle at the Paris Auto Show back in 2006. Known initially as the RR4, this Ghost has been shown around the world in several prototype and concept forms (including as the 200EX) , but next week it will officially debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Powered by a 6.6-liter V12, the Ghost makes 563hp and 575 ft-lbs of torque at just 1500 rpm. Using a new eight-speed automatic transmission the Ghost will be able to hit 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds.

The Ghost will be available with a very long list of standard an optional equipment, including rear-seat LCD screens with fold out tables and, of course, umbrellas in the doors.

GALLERY: 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 04 2009, 9:26 AM

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Along with the Exige Cup 260 model that Lotus just announced, the British sports car maker will also debut a new Elise Club Racer at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 15th.

Based on the 134hp Elise S model, the Elise CR gets plenty of unique features likes an anthracite anodized gear knob and handbrake sleeve, along with the Club Racer “CR” logo embroidered on the headrest. There’s even a unique anodized aluminum floor. A small 320mm steering wheel even features an on-center marker to make sure the driver always knows the position of the wheels. Included in the package are a set of anthracite anodized six-spoke aluminum wheels with Yokohama AD07 LTS tires.

The Elise CR will be available in four traditional Lotus colors: Elite Yellow, Carbon Grey, Sky Blue and Old English White. These colors are carried over into the cockpit with a paint-matched transmission tunnel.

Lotus claims the Elise CR can hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.

“Special Editions of the award winning Elise have always proved popular with our customers around the world, and I expect the Elise Club Racer to be no different,” said Luke Bennett, Director of Lotus Cars. “We have taken color schemes from our past, used on the Elite and Elan in the 1960s and cleverly brought them up to date with a modern feel to the interior. The whole design package is modern with a classic twist, which of course matches the peerless ride and handling of a Lotus and the convertible experience of the Elise perfectly.”

There are no plans to offer the Elise CR in the U.S., but it will be available in Europe starting at around 34,500 Euros.

GALLERY: Elise Club Racer

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 11 2009, 5:10 PM

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Sadly, Michael Schumacher will not return to Formula 1 this weekend, although there is a possibility that the 7 time World Champion will be back in 2010. Schumacher today posted on his personal website that he could not return to the sport after recent testing at Ferrari’s private track in Mugello revealed fractures in his neck from a motorcycle crash earlier this year.

“I am disappointed to the core,” wrote Schumacher. “I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races.” 

So with Schumacher out of the running to replace the injured Felipe Massa for this weekend’s race in Valencia, Spain, Ferrari was left to choose between two less than ideal candidates, Marc Gene or Luca Badoer. Gene hasn’t raced an F1 car since 2004, and it’s been a decade since Badoer last did. Still, today Badoer got the call from Ferrari head Luca di Montezemolo that his services were needed back in the big leagues.

Schumacher’s announcement, however, does not mean that a comeback is impossible; at least according to di Montezemolo who is pushing for a rule change that would allow Ferrari to run three cars in 2010, one of which would be piloted (at least in part) by Schumacher.

[Source: F1Live and AutoSport]

[Photo Credit: Kappakstur]

 |  Jul 30 2009, 11:03 PM

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If all goes as planned the Penske-owned Saturn brand could be selling rebadged vehicles from French automaker Renault in the U.S. Thought to be a wild rumor at first, Renault has now confirmed that Penske has in fact approached the automaker to supply both parts and cars.

Currently Penske Automotive Group has a tentative deal with General Motors to buy its Saturn brand. Penske is expected to take full control of the company by September. The deal would see GM continue to supply vehicles for two years and does not include any manufacturing abilities, meaning that Penske must forge an alliance with another automaker to obtain vehicles.

Renault spokeswoman Frederique LeGreves would not comment further on the proposed deal but did say that it would not involve any part of Renault’s Nissan division.

Penske Automotive spokesman Tony Pordon wouldn’t comment specifically either but did say that his company is in talks with several different manufacturers.

In Europe Renault sells a full line of vehicles including the popular compact Clio as well as high performance models like the Megane RS (pictured above).

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jun 15 2009, 11:02 AM

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So far Kia has had a lot of success with its trendy new Soul model, receiving plenty of positive feedback on the car.  The Korean automaker isn’t about to let the favorable public relations end there either, as it is poised to launch a new special edition of the compact crossover-thingy.

The folks over at Autoblog spotted this special edition version while out reviewing the Forte and have confirmed that it will be called the Denim Soul – presumably after the blue-shade of paint and not because the interior features a Levis-esque fabric.

The only other details we have are what you can see here. It will come with a set of white stripes and also features white-painted wheels. We should expect some interior upgrades, but they will most likely come in the form of audio equipment.

The decision to start launching special edition Soul models by Kia is a smart one as people looking to purchase a unique car like this will certainly appreciate the extra-individuality offered by a limited edition car. Scion has followed a similar formula with its many “Release Series” models, which makes us wonder if this is just the first of many special edition Souls.

GALLERY: Denim Soul

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[Source: Autoblog]

[Photo Credit: Drew Phillips]

 |  Apr 08 2009, 7:56 PM

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Replacing the popular Land Rover LR3 model for the 2010 year is the evolutionary LR4. Looking in many ways quite similar to the previous model, the LR4 is more refined (particularly on the inside) while still keeping all the functionality that made the LR3 so good.

“The outgoing LR3 has well over 100 international awards to its name.  But for the new LR4 we’ve found ways to improve virtually every aspect of the vehicle’s design and engineering – some subtle, some major,” says Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing  Director.

Under the hood is a new 5.0-liter V8 engine (originally designed for the latest Jaguar models). This new powerplant can be found in the 2010 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport as well, and makes 375hp and 375 ft-lbs of torque, an increase of 25 percent more power and 19 percent more torque over the outgoing 4.4-liter engine. Acceleration to 60 mph is rated at 7.5 seconds. 

The new V8 makes use of variable camshaft timing and direct-injection technologies to deliver added performance. And thanks to a new six-speed automatic transmission, power delivery is smoother than ever before. 

The 5.0-liter engine is rated at a maximum towing capacity of 7,716 lbs.

The on-road driving dynamics of the LR4 are much improved thanks to new shocks and a lower center of gravity. Compared to the LR3, the LR4′s center of gravity is reduced by 1.65-inches up front and 2.44-inches in the rear. Highway dynamics are also improved due to the more luxurious front end design, which reduces lift on the front axle at highway speeds by as much as 50 percent. That new front fascia also features stylish LED lights.

To assist with slowing the hulking LR4 is a new set of brakes with twin-piston front calipers and 14.2-inch rotors with rear single-piston calipers with 13.8-inch rotors. 

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A major area of improvement is the interior of the LR4. It has been completely reworked with a new dash, center console and new seats. 

“The new interior not only has a much more premium look and feel, it’s also gained improvement to its functionality.  The new console inclines towards the driver, the switchgear and controls fall more readily to hand, and new LED ambient lighting helps make the cabin a more pleasant and more easily used space after dark.  We’ve made the interior environment more premium too, with smoother surfaces, softer materials and close attention to critical details such as stitching,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director.

Other highlights on the 2010 LR4 include keyless entry with a push-button start, Tow Assist, Gradient Release Control and a Surround Camera system that uses five separate cameras to help make parking easier. 

 

GALLERY: 2010 Land Rover LR4

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More on the Land Rover Discovery LR4 after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 04 2009, 6:21 AM

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After teasing us with just one image a few weeks before the Geneva Auto Show, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg has revealed the Quant Concept car. Shaped like a sedan with the design of a Koenigsegg, the Quant is a a solar-powered electric car with 512hp and 527 ft-lbs of torque.

This is enough to propel the Quant to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 171 mph.

To build this new vehicle Keonigsegg worked with NLV Solar AG to use new solar technology. The body of the Quant is actually coated in a thin layer of solar “film.” 

The main power for the vehicle, however, comes from two electric motors that can be recharged in just 15 to 20 minutes. The electric motors give the car a range of 500km (311 miles), which is extended by the solar generated film.

The car itself is exotic not only in its design but also in its makeup, with a carbon fiber body and a carbon/aluminum body. In total the projected curb weight is 3,924 lbs, due in part to the 309 lb electric motors. The car also features regenerative brakes.

The Quant is also a safe vehicle with ABS and stability control standard.

Koenigsegg says that they will begin tests on the car with the possibility of production at least three years off.

GALLERY: Koenigsegg Quant

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