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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 12 2009, 12:25 PM


Whenever you go to an auto show, a fun game to play is figuring out which vehicle, of the hundreds on display, that you would take home if you could. While visiting the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, we narrowed down our choices to two stunning vehicles.

Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M


You have to love the Scuderia and we have never seen a screaming yellow Scuderia Spider, so this vehicle immediately caught our attention. With 510hp and the fastest shift times of any street-legal car in the world, the Scuderia Spider 16M is a top pick. What we don’t like, however, is that the car really is a sell-out. Sure it’s significantly lighter then a regular F430 Spider, but it’s also significantly heavier than an F430 Scuderia coupe.

Audi R8 5.2 V10


No one on staff here at AutoGuide has driven the new V10-powered R8, but as we love the standard 420hp model, we figure the addition of 105hp can only make it that much better. We’ve also never seen it in the stunning blue color. Sure it isn’t about to have the driving dynamics of the Scuderia Spider but it would also make for a better car for regular use. Besides, even if the Scuderia Spider was faster on a track, we’d just feel like poseurs for not driving the coupe.

Our Choice: The Audi R8 5.2

 |  Feb 12 2009, 10:56 AM


It may look a little extreme, but the Nissan NV2500 Concept will see production in some form or another as Nissan has announced it will enter the commercial truck business in North America in 2010. Unveiled at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, the NV2500 is designed to be not only a way to transport materials but also a comprehensive work station.

“The Nissan NV2500 is a rolling idea lab – bringing a new perspective to the Commercial Vehicle segment,” said Bruce Campbell, vice president, Design for Nissan Design America, Inc., which developed the NV2500 Concept.  “We see the NV2500 Concept as an ongoing exploration of ways to make these vehicles more than just a box on four wheels. Our goal is to enhance utility through creative design solutions, providing a platform for a wide variety of specific professional applications.”

The NV2500 is based on the Titan fully-boxed ladder frame chassis and while Nissan isn’t providing any information on engine choices the company has said it is in talks with Cummins. The trucks will also get automatic transmissions and a solid rear axle. On the concept vehicle were a set of 20-inch wheels.

To make the NV2500 a usable work-space, Nissan has included a long list of innovations. Inside the truck is a computer workstation, a built-in laser blue[printer, numerous 110/22W power outlets, vacuum hose outlets, a fold-down conference table, several storage compartments, cargo and tool tie-down racks and an awning-style panel that opens the entire side of the truck,  creating an outside workshop table. And in order to make all that interior work-space livable, Nissan has made the ceiling almost 6-feet high.

Outside, the NV2500 is enormous with a 147.6 (12.3-foot) wheelbase and an overall length of 234-inches (19.5 feet).  It is 8 feet tall and 6.6-feet wide. Interior room is enormous and objects as large as 10.5-feet long can be transported.

Nissan will begin production of three North American-specific vehicles based on the NV2500 Concept in 2009, to be built at Nissan’s Canton, Miss., plant. Of the three vehicles, the top-line models will receive a class 5 gross vehicle rating, meaning they will weight between 16.001 and 19,500 lbs.

Nissan NV2500 Concept:


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Feb 11 2009, 6:10 PM


Unveiled simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Kia took the wraps of its new Forte compact sedan.

The Forte will be offered in three trims with LX and EX models featuring a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with 156hp and 144 ft-lbs of torque. An SX model will also be offered with a larger 2.4-liter four cylinder boasting 173hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque. This is more power than what is offered in either the top line Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla.

A five-speed manual is standard on the LX and EX with an optional four-speed automatic. We’re a little disappointed to see a four-speed on a brand new cars these days but those who so choose can opt for the SX, which comes with a six-speed manual as standard an an optional five-speed automatic.

Kia will offer a Fuel Economy Package, featuring the 2.0-liter engine with a five-speed auto, motor driven power steering (as opposed to electric), low rolling resistance tires and improved aerodynamics. This will result in a class-leading 36 mpg on the highway.

LX models will be quite basic but EX and SX models will include standard power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, AC and steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. A sunroof and leather seating will be optional. SX owners might just want to stick with the cloth seats, however, as Kia has equipped the Forte SX with styling red stitching.

SX models will also get plenty of other upgrades to match that red stitching, including a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, a rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels with significantly sized 215/45/17 tires.

Wow.. a Kia we’re actually excited to drive!

Note: At the Canadian International Auto Show, Kia also had the Koup Concept on display (first featured at least year’s New York Auto Show) and according to Kia rep Sixto Fernandes, Kia will launch a new coupe in the summer and we should expect it to look very close to the concept.

2010 Kia Forte:


Kia Koup Concept:


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…