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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.
 |  Nov 17 2009, 12:46 PM

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Hyundai won’t be offering the all-new 2011 Sonata with a V6 engine, opting instead to go the four-cylinder route. It’s not clear if the automaker plans to offer two different four-cylinders, but this week in South Korea, Hyundai did take the wraps off of the company’s first direct-injection engine, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.

Using direct injection technology to get added power and reduced fuel consumption, the 2.4-liter four-banger makes an impressive 198-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque. In comparison, the old 2.4-liter motor made 175-hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque.

No fuel-economy numbers have been announced, but with the old engine achieving 22/32 mpg, this new motor should get closer to 24/35 mpg.

It’s entirely possible that this will be the only engine Hyundai will offer for the Sonata (until the hybrid model is announced), however, there is a possibility of a smaller, less powerful 4-cylinder, as well as a turbocharged version that would make V6-like power. A more powerful option isn’t a sure thing, however, as V6 versions of mid-size sedans like the Sonata, Accord or Camry, make up a small fraction of a model’s overall sales.

We expect to hear more about the new 2011 Sonata and this engine at the LA Auto Show in early December.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 29 2009, 10:01 AM

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Ahead of their official debut at the Tokyo Auto Show, Mazda has decided to give us just a small preview of what the company’s vehicles could be powered by in the near future. Both a new gasoline and diesel engine have been announced, as well as a new transmission, all under the catchy SKY brand.

First up is a new SKY-G 2.0-liter motor, that uses direct injection to improve both torque and fuel-economy by roughly 15 percent. Mazda hasn’t officially said anything about producing the motor or what car it will find its way in to, but we’d expect to find it in the Mazda3, replacing the top-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder, making roughly the same horsepower (around 170), while getting fuel-economy closer to the base 2.0-liter’s 24/33 mpg rating.

A new SKY-DRIVE transmission will also be available, which Mazda says will help improve fuel-economy by five percent. Unfortunately, this is not a fancy dual-clutch tranny, but Mazda does say it will be faster with more engaging shifts. Still being rather secretive, Mazda has not said how many gears there will be, but we suspect the improvement in fuel economy is due to the addition of a sixth gear.

Finally, Mazda unveiled a new SKY-D diesel motor, which we can be quite certain won’t make its way to North America. It uses a two-stage turbocharger with piezo injectors and some modifications of the engine structure to deliver a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy over the current 2.2-liter diesel.

We’ll be sure to bring you updates on all of these new drivetrain options when Mazda officially unveils them at the Tokyo Auto Show on October 21st.

[Source: LeftLaneNews]

 |  Sep 15 2009, 8:44 AM

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Ferrari introduced the 458 Italia, the F430 replacement, at the Frankfurt Auto Show today. Appearing on the company’s stand were two models, one in a traditional Rosso Corsa and the other in Giallo Modena Tristrato (pictured above).

Using an aluminum chassis and plenty of other light weight metals and materials the 458 Italia weighs an astonishingly low 3,043 lbs in its dry form (expect an extra 100 to 200 lbs with all fluids in place).

Combining these factors with a new 4,499cc V8 engine and a new smooth-shifting dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (that Ferrari claims is faster than the current F1 tranny), the 458 Italia can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 202 mph.

As expected, however, the 458 is about far more than straight line speed and so Ferrari has worked hard at applying its racing technology to improve the E-Diff differential and F1-Trac traction control systems to allow the newest prancing horse to put down 32 percent more power out of the corners.

Gallery: Ferrari 458 Italia

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jul 28 2009, 7:38 PM

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Ferrari has just released photos and details of a new model that both succeeds and exceeds the incredible F430. Named the 458 Italia, this new mid-engine exotic is powered by a 4.5-liter V8 that puts out an incredible 570hp at 9000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs of torque at 6000 rpm – 80 percent of which is available at just 3250 rpm.

The new engine it a typically high compression Ferrari V8 rated at 12.5:1 and uses direct-injection technology. This means it gets better fuel economy that otherwise might be expected with a combined city/highway rating of 17.2 mpg. In comparison, the F430 only got 16 mpg on the highway.

Using an aluminum chassis and plenty of other light weight metals and materials the 458 Italia weighs an astonishingly low 3,043 lbs in its dry form (expect an extra 100 to 200 lbs with all fluids in place).

Combining these factors with a new smooth-shifting dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (that Ferrari claims is faster than the current F1 tranny), the 458 Italia can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 202 mph.

As expected, however, the 458 is about far more than straight line speed and so Ferrari has worked hard at applying its racing technology to improve the E-Diff differential and F1-Trac traction control systems to allow the newest prancing horse to put down 32 percent more power out of the corners.

Ferrari will officially debut the 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.

GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  May 26 2009, 12:46 PM

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It appears as though Mazda will offer its RX-8 sports car with a rotary engine in the future and as the all-new second generation model is just around the corner, the Japanese automaker has been busy making improvements to the pistonless wonder.

Last October Mazda filed for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a new twin-spark, direct-injection rotary engine, which was approved last month.

According to the patent it’s possible the new motor will be of a slightly larger displacement and we expect a little extra power. The new twin-spark direct-injection system should also help in the power department, although its main benefit will be in terms of fuel-economy.

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GALLERY: Mazda Twin-Spark Rotary Patent Application

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[Source: Sidelaw and US Patent and Trademark Office]

 |  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:

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 |  Apr 06 2009, 11:15 AM

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On Friday we brought you news that the 2010 Chevy Equinox will be priced at $1,800 less than the previous model and today we can tell you the Equinox’s sister SUV, the GMC Terrain, is set to launch at the New York Auto Show. There is no official word on pricing but you can expect the almost $2,000 in savings to be carried over to this model as well.

Much like the Chevy model, the Terrain will come with two engine options, a standard Ecotec four-cylinder and an optional V6 powerplant. Thanks to direct-injection technology, the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine is capable of powering the Terrain with 182hp and 174 ft-lbs of torque – but don’t expect stellar acceleration.

For more power, the optional V6 is a 3.0-liter unit that also receives direct-injection for a total output of 254hp and 222 ft-lbs of torque.

Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission for optimum fuel efficiency. Models equipped with the V6 engine are expected to get 25 mpg on the highway and 18 in the city, while four-cylinder models should achieve an impressive 30 highway mpg with a rating of 21 in the city.

These ratings are also for FWD models only, with AWD models achieving 17/24 mpg and 20/27mpg respectively.

To help the Ecotec hit that impressive 30 highway mpg rating, GM has equipped 4-cyl models with an “ECO” mode that is activated through a button on the dash. The “ECO” model will ensure the torque converter lockup speed is reduced to 1125 rpm keeping the vehicle in the highest possible gear.

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While it may share much of its underpinnings with the Equinox, the Terrain has its own unique exterior, with a bold, elegant (and very masculine) new design. Helping to project that image is a big three-segment GMC grille surrounded in chrome. And while all that chrome is very truck-like it also helps this crossover exude luxury, as do the optional 19-inch wheels (with 17- or 18-inch wheels standard depending on trim model).

“We wanted to carve the GMC Terrain away from the pack and establish its identity as a powerful, fresh crossover SUV with a confident and strong stance,” said John Cafaro Jr., director of exterior design for Global Crossover Vehicles at GM. “Everything about the Terrain communicates a sense of tailored toughness and passionate craftsmanship.”

The 2010 Terrain also comes equipped with plenty of luxury amenities, with a back-up camera, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio standard. Other optional features include a power rear liftgate, Bluetooth capability, remote vehicle start, a seven-inch touch screen navigation system and a two-screen rear DVD entertainment system.

Back seat passengers will also enjoy the standard “MultiFlex” rear seat that can move up to 8-inches, providing either optimal cargo room, passenger room or a healthy balance of both

“The new Terrain brings GMC’s history of innovation and engineering excellence into a smaller, fuel-efficient package for today’s buyer,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “The capability attributes that make a vehicle a GMC are ingrained in Terrain, making it an appealing choice for existing traditional SUV customers who are looking for distinctive styling and increased efficiency.”

“GMC is a strong, core brand for GM and the Terrain crossover SUV is the latest example of how we’re adapting to changing market conditions,” said Docherty. “As we first demonstrated with the Acadia crossover, GMC is committed to offering the capable vehicles customers seek, with the personal technologies they expect.”

The 2010 GMC Terrain will be offered in SLT and SLE models in both FWD and AWD and will be available late this summer.

GALLERY: 2010 GMC Terrain

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Official release after the jump:

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All-New 2010 Chevy Equinox To Cost $1,800 Less Than ’09 Model

Direct-injection versions of 2.4-liter Ecotec 4-cyl and 3.0-liter V6 deliver impressive fuel-economy

 |  Apr 02 2009, 12:57 PM

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General motors has just released some new info on the upcoming 2010 Chevy Equinox, with the most surprising item being the price. The all-new model will come in at $1,800 less than the outgoing ’09 model, with a starting price of $23,185, including a $745 destination charge

The other important bit of info GM has released is the two engines that will be offered, both of which provide some impressive fuel-economy numbers – especially for a large crossover. The standard engine for the Equinox will be GM’s tried-and-true 2.4-liter Ecotec engine, which has been updated with direct-injection technology to improve output to 182hp. Direct-injection is also known for improving fuel-efficiency and GM estimates this engine fitted in the Equinox will result in a 30 mpg highway rating and a 21 mpg city rating.

The optional powerplant will be a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which also gets direct-injection, for a total output of 264hp. This, GM estimates, will achieve a rating of 18/25 mpg (city/highway).

Range for one tank of gas is expected to be 500 miles (800 km) with either engine.

“Offering the fuel economy of a sedan with the functionality of a crossover, the Equinox is a superior value for our customers,” said Ed Peper, VP of Chevrolet. “Getting best-in-class fuel economy and great storage for less than $24,000 is significant.”

GALLERY: 2010 Chevy Equinox

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More on the 2010 Chevy Equinox after the jump:

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 |  Apr 02 2009, 9:32 AM

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We’re sorry to report that Infiniti’s breathtakingly beautiful Essence Concept will not see production, this according to a company spokesman.

The Essence Concept was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show and took everyone by surprise as rumors had circled that the vehicle was to be yet another crossover. With a true grand touring look that had cars like the Aston Martin DBS and Ferrari 599 in its sights, the Essence also had the ponies to back it up with 600hp.

It was also a hybrid, with 440hp generated from the twin-turbo 3.7-liter V6 engine and an additional 160 ponies coming from an electric motor.

One part of the car is, however, certain to live on as Infiniti has already confirmed the direct-injection technology used in the Essence motor will make its way into the next M37 and the G37.

And with talk of a higher performance version of the GT-R coming out, there’s no reason it couldn’t get direct-injection technology too.

Still, we’ll miss never seeing this automotive work of art make it to the street.

[Source: AutoWeek.nl via AutoBlog]

GALLERY: Infiniti Essence Concept

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 |  Mar 20 2009, 11:33 AM

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Officially unveiled as the Mazda MPS at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month, the U.S.-spec MazdaSpeed3 will make it’s North American debut at the New York Auto Show on April 9th.

We don’t expect much to change from the Euro version, so don’t plan on any more power from the direct-injection 2.3-liter turbo-four. Power is rated at 260ps (256hp) and 280 ft-lbs of torque. Thankfully, the MazdaSpeed3 doesn’t need more power.

This is enough for a 0-62 mph run of 6.1 seconds, so the run to 60 might be able to get under the 6.0-second mark.

The engine does get some advancements though. For starters, emissions are reduced thanks to a new single-nanotechnology catalytic converter. As well, the 2.3-liter engine gets 0.5 liters/100km (0.1 mpg) better fuel economy.

In terms of technological advancements, the MAzdaSpeed3 has plenty of them. For starters the new engine features an advanced boost controller that reduces peaks for a more linear power delivery. The left and right drive shafts have been modified to reduce torque steer. The six-speed manual transmission now has wider ratios than before and the tranny uses a low-viscosity fluid to reduce shift effort.

With the new body and chassis, the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 is naturally better, however, it also gets large stabilizer bars, stiffer springs and shocks. As well, it now features 18-inch wheels with big brakes – 12.6-inches up front and 11-inches in the rear.

We’ll bring you full details in our New york Auto Show coverage starting April 8th.

Full Euro-spec details after the jump:

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 |  Feb 20 2009, 12:51 PM

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Set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March, the long-awaited Audi TT RS is powered by an all-new 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that features both direct-injection and turbocharging.

Audi has only released these teaser images and hasn’t released any specifics as of yet, but the company does say the new powerplant will make “far more” than 300hp.

Audi claims that “a legend is reborn” referring to the five-cylinder engine, a powerplant that has a long history with the four-rings.

As for performance statistics, Audi once again teases us, stating that it takes “nowhere near” 5 seconds to hit 100km/h (62 mph). Top speed is said to be 155 mph.

The only other item known about the car is that it will apparently have impressive brakes. One can assume this means that carbon ceramic rotors will be a part of the package.

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Official release after the jump:

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Jaguar XFR and XKR

510hp thanks to a supercharged direct injection 5.0-liter V8

 |  Jan 11 2009, 8:30 PM

img_4235We first reported that Jaguar would display its new XFR at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, but the British marque had a surprise -or two – up its sleeve. Also unveiled was the new Jaguar XKR, a high-performance machine above and beyond the current model.

Both the XFR and XKR get new, more aggressive, aerodynamics as well as a shockingly powerful 510hp engine. The engine is an all-new 5.0-liter powerplant that has been supercharged and features direct injection technology. Torque is also impressive at 460 ft-lbs.

This new engine can propel the XFR to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and the XKR to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Thanks to direct injection technology, the XKR gets comparable fuel economy to the old 4.2-liter model with fewer emissions. The XFR also registers equal fuel economy to the standard supercharged 4.2-liter car with fewer emissions. Both vehicles feature a revised transmission that allows for smoother and faster shifts.

Also standard on both new R models is a dynamic suspension that can adapt up to 100 times per second. These two new models are a commitment by Jaguar to reinvigorate the R badge.

The company also plans to unveil an all new model later this year, which, rumor has it, is a coupe-styled luxury sedan along the lines of the CLS and Panamera. Expect an official reveal of that car at the Geneva Motor Show.

Official 2010 XF and XFR release after the jump:
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Fisker to Show New Concept & Unveil Karma Production Model in Detroit

Plug-in Hybrid Karma S will do 50 miles on a charge and make 408hp

 |  Jan 02 2009, 11:09 AM

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After unveiling the luxury plug-in hybrid Karma Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last year, Fisker is set to show another concept as well as the production version of the Karma.

The production Karma S, has been developed with Quantum Technologies and boasts a plug-in Hybrid system that allows drivers to drive 50 miles on a single charge. Once the battery power runs out, the gasoline engine will kick in and the car will operate like a conventional hybrid.

Because of this innovative system, Fisker says that owners who drive less than 50 miles per day will achieve a yearly average fuel economy of 100 mpg.

The Karma will be powered by a GM-sourced 2.4-liter Ecotec engine that has been updated with direct injection technology. The engine alone makes 260hp and when combined with the two electric motors will make 408hp. Fisker claims this is enough for a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed is rated at a respectable 125 mph.

The stunning looking (both inside and out) Karma S will be priced at $87,900. The first deliveries are scheduled for November 2009 and apparently models are sold out until mid-2010.

Impressively, Fisker has arranged for the Karma S to be produced at the Valmet Automotive plant, a state-of-the-art facility where the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are manufactured.

Fisker Karma S:

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Official release after the break:

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Cadillac CTS Wagon to debut in Detroit

PLUS, Production Version of CTS Coupe Expected

 |  Dec 30 2008, 10:15 AM

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Cadillac has announced that it will show the production version of the new CTS Sport Wagon at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this January. Considering the American luxury brand announced production plans for the Caddy wagon months ago, it is also expected that a second model, the CTS Coupe, will be unveiled.

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Cadillac says the CTS Sport Wagon is aimed at expanding the new CTS product line to a wider audience. It is important, however, that the car remain just as sporty as the sedan. That being said, it will initially be offered with the same 304hp direct injection V-6 engine found in the sedan, with a 255hp V-6 coming afterwards.
The real surprise, however, is that the CTS Sport Wagon is actually shorter than the sedan (by 0.3-inches) and yet it has almost double the cargo space – 25 cubic feet to be exact.

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As for the CTS Coupe, expect to see a slightly revised C-pillar and rear quarter panel area but don’t count on the 2.9-liter turbo-diesel engine shown in the concept in Detroit in 2008. The 304hp direct injection V-6 is the likeliest engine option.

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Official CTS Sport Wagon release after the jump:
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UNVEILED: 2009 Ferrari California

Hard-top convertible a user-friendly exotic thanks to double-clutch tranny, torque and creature comforts

 |  Dec 29 2008, 11:35 AM

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Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California is designed to appeal to a broader market. This is due, mostly, to the fact that is has been designed to be better suited to regular use. It is still an exotic, however, and the proof is in the engine, a high-revving 4.3L V8 that makes 460hp at 7750 rpm and 358-ft-lbs of torque at 5000 rpm. It’s the same engine found in the F430 but with direct injection and tuned for slightly less hp and slightly more torque.

The California also has tons of creature comforts including a stunning interior and a 6.5-inch display screen. All the interior amenities, combined with the retractable hardtop (which takes just 14 seconds to open or close) make for a hefty curb weight of 3,825 lbs. Still, the California can hit 60 mph in four seconds and race on to a top speed of 196 mph. This is all achieved through a new (and more user-friendly) seven-speed double clutch gearbox.

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Official release after the jump:
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Volvo S60 Concept

Production version to get direct injection, a double-clutch gearbox and an innovative new pedestrian safety feature

 |  Dec 23 2008, 10:53 AM

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Looking almost crossover-like, the Volvo S60 Concept is undeniably an embellished version of the S60 that will make it to production for 2010. Volvo is, after all, one of the most conservatively styled manufacturers on the planet.

Other than the obvious design cues, Volvo will introduce several significant updates with the S60 as well as one new industry leading safety feature.

That feature is called “Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake” and what it does is detect when a pedestrian steps out in front of the car. At first it will give the driver a warning and if the driver does not react in time, the vehicle will apply the brakes. At speeds 20 km/h (12.4 mph) and below the system will bring the car to a complete halt. At any other speed, the system will reduce the speed by 20 km/h, which, says Volvo, will reduce the impact force by 75 percent.

The S60 concept will be on display at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and will showcase a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with direct injection technology. Output is an impressive 180hp.

The production version S60 will have direct injection although we expect there to be a larger powerplant for the North American market. The production S60 will also come with another first for Volvo, a dual-clutch gearbox.

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Official press release after the jump:
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Porsche Panamera Official Photos

Grand Touring Sedan looks more like a wagon… or a shoe

 |  Dec 10 2008, 11:11 AM

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We’ve been torn over what to think of the design of the Panamera ever since the first spy photos came out. First we hated it. Then we liked it just a little. Now we know why our opinion keeps changing.

Porsche has just released the official photos of the car and opinions seem to change depending on the angle. It does look an awful lot like a wagon. Plus, the fact that the rear seats fold flat for increased cargo area doesn’t help Porsche’s case that the car is a grand-touring sedan.

The Panamera’s functionality is certainly intentional and we suspect some of the reason is to keep Cayenne buyers interested in the Porsche brand as the demand for SUVs (like the Cayenne) diminishes.

Porsche says the Panamera will be offered in several models, shown here are the Turbo (in silver) and the 4S (in blue). Power will be anywhere from 300 to 500 hp depending upon the model. Plus, Porsche says a Hybrid powerplant will be available in the near future. Two transmissions will be offered, including a six-speed manual (thank you Porsche) and the new 7-speed PDK double-clutch system.

Regardless of what we say about the looks of this car, Porsche is expecting huge things for the model with annual sales projected at 20,000 units worldwide!

Full press release and more photos after the jump:

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Official: Audi to build V10-powered R8

R8 gets 5.2L Lambo V10… finally

 |  Dec 09 2008, 2:56 PM

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After over a year of speculation, Audi has finally confirmed it will build a V10-powered R8. The engine, as expected, will be donated from the Lamborghini LP560. It will, however, be somewhat less powerful when shoehorned into the German Gallardo. With 525hp and 391 ft-lbs of torque, the numbers are certainly impressive although not quite the 552hp and 398 ft-lbs found in the LP560.
Audi claims the V-10-powered R8 will rocket to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 196 mph.
Despite the larger engine the V10 R8 will weight just 68 lbs more than the standard model for a total of 3,571 lbs. This engine will feature direct injection as well as a dry-sump lubrication system. Audi also plans to use this engine (with only minor changes) in it’s R8 GT3 race cars starting in 2009.

Highlights include 19-inch wheels, composite brakes, launch control and larger sideblades to feed the V10 engine.

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