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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 17 2009, 3:31 AM

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It might not have been one of BMW’s main attractions at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but the world premiere of the all-wheel drive 7 Series is a welcome addition to the BMW lineup.

For the first time ever, the 7 Series will be offered with AWD, with xDrive being added to both the 750i and 750Li models. When combined with the recently announced V12-powered 760Li, the 7 Series range grows to five variants for model year 2010.

BMW’s acclaimed xDrive all-wheel drive system has been enhanced for these new models to ensure that the 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive set a new benchmark for handling characteristics among all-wheel drive sedans. BMW’s Integrated Chassis Management, using the remarkable speed of its FlexRay on-board network and the quick-responding xDrive hardware, is able to identify and limit understeer by shifting torque rearward (up to 80% to the rear axle) while preserving the stability for which xDrive has been so widely recognized.

As a second step, the Integrated Chassis Management system can then apply a precise combination of throttle and individual rear-corner braking in order to maintain perfectly neutral handling in a corner – regardless of road surface conditions.

These key enhancements to xDrive ensure that the 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive will be two of the most nimble all-wheel drive sedans available in any vehicle segment.

GALLERY: BMW xDrive 750i

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 |  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 16 2009, 5:35 PM

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When it comes to hybrid and eco-friendly technology, it looks like blue is the new green. Both Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz have chosen the color blue to represent their environmentally friendly vehicles with their respective Blue Drive and Blue Efficiency brands. Hyundai’s latest hybrid concept, the Blue-Will, is a look into the future of eco-friendly vehicles.

First introduced at the Seoul Auto Show in April,  the Blue-Will made an appearance at the Hyundai exhibit at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Concept cars usually include features that are way out there and will likely never see production. In the Blue-Will, this would include features like the  LED screen under the front grille (which seems a bit strange when an internal graphic display promotes fuel saving driving habits).

Some of the Blue-Will’s features may be worth another look however. Touch screen drive selection may not appeal to those who like the feel of a stick, but with the Blue-Will’s continuously variable transmission, the only choices you’ll have are drive, reverse, neutral and park. Touch screen HVAC and entertainment controls seem like a natural evolution however, judging by the popularity of products like the iPhone.

The Blue-Will is powered by a 152hp GDI 1.6l engine and a 100 kW motor in a proprietary parallel hybrid system. Hyundai says this parallel hybrid architecture will be the base for the company’s future hybrid models, starting with the next generation Sonata in the U.S.

Another interesting innovation is a thermal generator in the exhaust manifold that converts heat into electrical energy. Hyundai says this energy will be used to power auxiliary systems, which, we assume, include the LED screen above the front bumper.

The Blue-Will is a plug-in hybrid, and designers have placed the power port at the front of the car behind the pop-out Hyundai insignia on the front grille. The lithium ion polymer battery is located under the rear seat however, so more conventional location for the power port may make more a sense.

Overall, the Hyundai Blue-Wire is an interesting concept, but with some of the choices the designers made might make you wonder what that concept is.

Gallery: Hyundai Blue-Will Concept

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 5:33 PM

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As expected, Dodge unveiled its updated 2010 Caliber at the Frankfurt Auto Show, with a redesigned interior, more powerful base engine and a new diesel engine for Europe. The car wasn’t getting much attention, however, as it was located in the same hall as all those other brands that fall under the Fiat umbrella. Even a Caliber SRT10 wouldn’t get much notice next to a Ferrari 458 Italia or Fiat’s models in school girl uniforms (see below).

Still, the new interior is a significant improvement over the previous design with plenty of quality materials including chromed HVAC vents and cluster rings as well as a chrome surround for the shift bezel and instrument panel. The door armrest and center console now also feature soft-touch material. Other features include a new automatic climate control system, a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system, a Chill Zone storage bin for drinks,m LED lighting around the cup holders and reclining rear seatbacks.

For Europe a new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel makes 163hp and 236 ft-lbs of torque, a 16 percent increase in horsepower and a 3 percent increase in torque. This translates to a towing capacity that is improved by 25 percent to 3,300 lbs – significantly more than most entry-level crossovers.

In the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, the 2010 Caliber will come with either a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-level (now that the SRT4 model has been discontinued) 2.4-liter makes 170hp and 162 ft-lbs of torque. As for the 2.0-liter motor, it replaces the old 1.8-liter engine and makes 156hp and 140 ft-lbs of torque.

GALLERY: 2010 Dodge Caliber

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GALLERY: Fiat Models

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 3:36 PM

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Volvo to chose the Frankfurt Auto Show to debut a mid-cycle makeover for the C30 premium hatchback.

“Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car’s entire personality has been boosted to an entirely new level,” says Daniel Backman, Product Manager for the new Volvo C30.

We’re not sure we agree with the comments about the car’s back-end, but the new front certainly adds a bit more style to the C30, helping it appeal to its intended young-buyer audience. Much of the design cues have been taken from Volvo’s progressive new XC60 crossover.

The new front end features not only a new bumper and grille, but also new headlights.

A new rear end is also a part of the redesign, using colored panels, as opposed to black plastic ones, while on T5 models large 90mm exhaust tips will be included. A new Orange Flame Metallic paint job will also be offered, as will white wheels.

Volvo has also decided to offer a long list of interior trim options to customers, with items like an Espresso/Blonde two-tone interior, as well as Cranberry leather.

In addition a sport chassis will be offered with stiffer bushings, a tighter steering ratio (by 10 percent) and springs that are 30 percent stiffer as well.

In Europe Volvo has also announced changes to it’s C30 1.6D DRIVe, including the addition of start-stop technology that allows the diesel to use just 3.8 l/100km of fuel (62 mpg).

GALLERY: Volvo C30

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GALLERY: Volvo V30 1.6D DRIVEe

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Frankfurt 2009: Ford Grand C-Max Headed to North America

1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder also unveiled

 |  Sep 16 2009, 12:04 PM

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As we predicted, Ford’s new Grand C-Max will make its way to North America. Freshly unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford of Europe boss John Flemming made the announcement that the company’s new seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle will make the jump across the pond.

Both the Grand C-Max and standard C-Max are based on Ford’s new global architecture that will also underpin the new Focus. This is yet another European model that Ford is bringing to North America, after announcing several months ago that the Fiesta would find a home in showrooms on this side of the Atlantic.

The Grand C-Max is a seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle along the lines of a Mazda5. In fact, Ford has the 5 directly in its sites, after selling off much of its stake in Mazda about a year ago. TThe Grand C-Max MPV even has typical minivan sliding doors.

Ford unveiled its European MPV complete with the company’s new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which makes roughly 180h and 170 ft-lbs of torque. Ford plans to offer turbocharged EcoBoost powerplants across almost all of its product range with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 replacing V8 engines, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder replacing V6 engines and a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder replacing larger four-cylinder motors.

GALLERY: Ford Grand C-Max

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 11:05 AM

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Germany exotic car tuner Mansory continues to one-up itself with custom creations, the latest of which is an exposed carbon-body Aston Martin DBS. Looking like something you might find on a race track with black wheels, wider fenders, a massive rear diffuser and an additional spoiler, this custom DBS also sports a very special front end.

This DBS, called Cyrus by Mansory, sorts a carbon version of the same grille that apears on Aston’s upcoming One-77 supercar.

Mansory hasn’t released any info on if the Cyrus has any engine modifications, but then under-the-hood work has never been their specialty. Besides, with a 510hp V12 engine, there’s already plenty of power on tap.

GALLERY: Mansory Cyrus

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Frankfurt 2009: Rolls-Royce Ghost World Premiere

Coupe and Convertible models expected to follow

 |  Sep 16 2009, 10:45 AM

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It isn’t every day that Rolls-Royce rolls out a new model, let alone the start of a new lineup of cars. In fact, the most luxurious luxury brand on the planet hasn’t had an entirely new model (based on a new platform), since 2003. Sure, there have been the Coupé and Drophead Coupé, but both of those models are based on the Phantom’s underpinnings.

The company’s latest model, the Ghost, has just been officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show. With definite Phantom design cues, the Ghost is a slightly smaller vehicle, but that’s not saying much.

It is, by all accounts, incredibly large and has an engine to match. 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.

Rolls-Royce is expected to follow the same product development strategy with the Ghost as with the Phantom, so expect to hear rumors of both a coupe and a convertible starting soon.

GALLERY: 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 16 2009, 10:10 AM

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Move over Corvette, Barbie has a new ride.

German luxury tuner Mansory unveiled its latest and, quite possibly, most ludicrous vehicle to date at the Frankfurt Auto Show today. Called Vitesse Rosé, this completely reworked Bentley Continental GT Speed is most notable for it’s Barbie-pink paint. Or should we say matte-Barbie-pink.

While the pink paint is the most obvious, this Bentley Continental GT Speed also gets a complete Mansory aero kit including a new front bumper with wider openings, side skirts and a new rear bumper with a diffuser. There is also an exposed carbon fiber hood to drop a few pounds on the hefty Bentley, with a carbon rear lip out back that shows just a hint of carbon weave emerging from the paint.

Additional exterior details include the set of 21-inch wheels, but the real surprise is inside, where a pink and purple diamond stitched leather and Alcantara cockpit assaults the eyes.

If you’re life just wouldn’t be complete without owning this car then you’re in luck. The current model is spoken for but Mansory will build another one for 269,000 euros ($383,000) – plus the cost of a Bentley.

GALLERY: Mansory Vitesse Rosé

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 9:48 AM

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Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the latest Brabus E V12 might be typically Brabus in that, like almost all Brabus models, it is “fast, black and expensive.” It’s also very uncharacteristically Brabus-like due to the wider rear end with bizarre fenders that cover over most of the wheels. Add on matte black paint and we’d almost think we were at Mansory’s booth.

Designed to hit 230mph, the E-Class’s new rear fenders were tested in a wind-tunnel to help reduce lift on the rear end and are made of light-weight carbon fiber. And because the rear end is now also 1.4-inches wider, it is possible to fit wider 285 rear tires for better high-speed stability.

Under the hood is the latest version of the Brabus twin-turbo 6.3-liter V12 engine called the SV12 R Biturbo 800. Making 800hp (788bhp) at just 5500 rpm, torque is an incredible 1,047 ft-lbs. Due to safety concerns with tires, Brabus chose to electronically limit torque to “just” 811 ft-lbs.

Brabus claims its new E v12 can hit 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and 124 mph in 9.9 seconds.

Just 10 of these special edition high-performance models will be built at a price of 498,000 Euros (roughly $730,000).

GALLERY: Brabus E V12 “One of Ten”

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 16 2009, 6:35 AM

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Mercedes-Benz introduced its BlueZero E-Cell Plus concept car at the Frankfurt Auto show.

The plug-in electric Hybrid can travel up to 100km (62 miles) on electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion batteries, enabling an extended range of 600km (373 miles). The engine is a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder powerplant producing 67hp.
The electric motor which actually powers the car makes 134hp and 236 ft-lbs of torque, enabling the plug-in hybrid to hit 62 mph in 11 seconds.

Impressively, the BlueZERO E-Cell Plus can be recharged for 50km trips in just 30 minutes using a special rapid charger. A full charge will take an hour or up to six hours with a conventional wall outlet.

The E-Cell Plus’ door handles are flush with the door, popping open with a touch. I had a hard time figuring it out myself; I tried touching it, tapping it, even swiping a finger across the handle but I couldn’t get it to work. A Mercedes-Benz rep came by to help me out, giving the handle a simple tap on its wider back end. The door handle then slowly slid out, opening the door at the same time.

The E-Cell Plus is one of three models in Mercedes-Benz’s BlueZero family. The E-Cell, introduced in Detroit earlier this year, is completely battery-powered with a range of 200 km (124 miles). The F-Cell is powered by fuel cell with a hydrogen gas tank. It has a range of 400 km (248 miles) and produces water vapor as a by-product.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz BlueZero E-Cell Plus

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 6:02 AM

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Audi has expanded its Sportback lineup, by adding an S5 model directly above the A5 Sportback. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the S5 Sportback is powered by the company’s new supercharged V6 engine rather than the S5 sedan’s 4.2-liter V8.

The new model gets quattro all-wheel drive and makes 333-hp and 325 ft-lbs of torque. Thanks to a seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission, the sprint to 60 mph takes just 5.4 seconds and fuel-economy is rated at an average of 9.4 liters/100km or 24.3 mpg.

Because the S5 Sportback is a performance model, the quattro AWD setup gets a rear-wheel bias. The car’s performance characteristics can be further enhanced through an optional rear differential.

But the S5 Sportback is about more than just performance, as the rear hatch gives plenty of functional space. Cargo room behind the rear seats is listed as 16.9 cubic feet, with a total of 34.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. The space seems even larger, however, thanks to a deep trunk.

Sadly, Audi has made no plans to bring its Sportback models to North America.

GALLERY: Audi S5 Sportback

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 16 2009, 6:00 AM

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Lotus displayed its Exige Cup 260 race car at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The race-ready version of the Exige is powered by the same 257-hp supercharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder as the street car, while weighing just 1,958 lbs.

Carbon fiber components include the roof, seats, dash-top, tailgate, center tunnel, front access panels, front splitter, side intake ducts and rear spoiler. Additional light weight components include a lighter motorsports battery, ultra-light wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, alloy u-bend pipes for the supercharger and a lightweight flywheel.

The new Lotus Sport forged wheels are the lightest original equipment wheels in the world, weighing just 5.65 kg (12 lbs) in the front and 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) in the rear.

GALLERY: Lotus Exige Cup 260

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 5:40 AM

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Mercedes-Benz is expanding its E-Class family of vehicles with a new wagon. Called the Estate in European markets, the wagon will be available with ten different engine options.

The new wagon will launch in November with two gas options and three diesel options:

Gas

  • E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 3498 cm³, 215 kW/292 hp, 8.6–8.9 l/100 km, 200–208 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission
  • E 500: V8, 5461 cm³, 285 kW/388 hp, 11.1–11.2 l/100 km, 258–260 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission

Diesel

  • E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 125 kW/170 hp,5.8 l/100 km, 150 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission
  • E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 150 kW/204 hp, 5.8 l/100 km, 150 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission
  • E 350 CDI Blue-EFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cm³, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.0–7.3 l/100 km, 185–192 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission

An additional three gas options and two diesels will be introduced in early 2010:

Gas

  • E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 135 kW/183 hp,7.7-n/a l/100 km, CO2 179-n/a g/km, 6-speed manual transmission,
  • E 250 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 150 kW/204 hp,8.0-8.2 l/100 km, CO2 185-191 g/km, 5-speed automatic transmission
  • E 350 4MATIC: V6, 3498 cc, 200 kW/272 hp, 10.2-10.3 l/100 km,CO2 238-241 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission

Diesel

  • E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cm³, 100 kW/136 hp,5.7–n/a l/100 km, 150-n/a g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission
  • E 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.6–7.7 l/100 km, CO2 200-203 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission

The new wagon will have air suspension with rear self-leveling. The E-Class wagon has a load capacity to 68.8 cubic feet.

In addition to the standard models, AMG will, as expected, offer its own version of the E-Class Wagon: the E63 AMG Estate. With a 6.2-liter V8 making 518hp and 465 ft-lbs of torque, the E63 Wagon will get you (and all of your stuff) where you have to go… fast. In fact, the E63 Estate takes just 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph! And because if you bought a wagon you might actually care somewhat about practicality, Mercedes is pleased to announce that the new 2010 model is now 12 percent more fuel-efficient.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

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More on the E63 AMG Estate after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 16 2009, 5:34 AM

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Volkswagen made a big splash at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show with a total of nine new vehicles, including two new ultra fuel-efficient concepts that will one day see production. Included in the list of “normal” premieres was the 2010 Polo with a BlueMotion option that delivers futuristic fuel-economy right now.

The ultra-efficient BlueMotion Polo sub-compact, is powered by a 75hp 1.2-liter diesel engine. Improving even on the already impressive Polo TDI that gets 56 mpg, this new car gets 71.3 mpg! Equipped with a 12 gallon (45 liter) tank the BlueMotion Polo has a theoretical travel distance of 847 miles (1,363 kilometers).

In total, the all new (and we have to say quite handsome) Polo will be offered with six engine options ranging in power from 60 to 105hp.

But the BlueMotion Polo wasn’t the only hyper-efficient diesel on display, as VW also took the wraps off BlueMotion versions of the Golf and Passat. The BlueMotion Golf gets 61.9 mpg while still producing 105hp and 185 ft-lbs of torque, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 11. 3seconds and top out at 120 mph (190 km/h) on the German autobahn.

Finally, there’s the BlueMotion Passat, a mid-sized car that gets 53.5 mpg. It might not get up to speed very quickly, taking 12.5 seconds to 62 mph thanks to the same 105-hp engine as found in the Golf, but with a large 18.5 gallon (70 liter) tank it can travel 989 miles (1,591 km) at a time, which Volkswagen says equates to just seven fill-ups per year.

Volkswagen is planning on bringing the Polo to North America but it is likely to be a slightly larger model than the one sold in Europe.

GALLERY: 2010 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion

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Frankfurt 2009: Volkswagen E-Up! Electric Concept Debut

Electric mini car based VW's upcoming city-car chassis expected to hit market by 2013

 |  Sep 16 2009, 4:56 AM

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Debuting alongside the 170mpg L1 concept car at the Frankfurt Auto Show was the zero-emissions E-Up! concept. As the name suggests, this is a pure electric vehicle and it is based on a chassis that will form the basis of a new line of VW city cars starting in 2013.

As a 3+1 seater the E-Up! is about the size of a SMART fortwo or Toyota iQ. It has a peak output of 60 kw with 210 Nm of torque (80-hp and 155 ft-lbs of torque). With a curb weight of 1,085 (2,392 lbs) the E-Up! Concept can hit 62 mph in 11.3 seconds and drive a total distance of 130 km thanks to stored energy in a lithium-ion battery pack.

Volkswagen is boldly declaring the car is the Beetle of the 21st Century and says this electric Up! model will go on sale in 2013.

GALLERY: VW E-Up! Concept

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 3:51 AM

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After first debuting a concept version at the North American International Auto Show back in 2007, Aston Martin chose the Frankfurt Auto Show to debut what it calls “the most elegant four-door sorts car in the world.”

The Rapide joins the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte in an emerging segment of performance-oriented sedans.

The Rapide is powered by a front-mounted V12 engine, which Aston says is 6.0-liters, but it really closer to 5900ccs. Power is rated at 470hp at 6000 rpm with 443 ft-lbs of torque coming on strong at 5000 rpm. And if we know Aston, it probably sounds like a wicked beast at about 4000 rpm.

The Rapide will be offered exclusively with a six-seed automatic transmission.

As for the design of the car, it’s all Aston up front and even the rear maintains Aston’s signature subtle duck-tail spoiler, which is integrated into the rear hatch. And of course, all four doors flip slightly upward, just like the rest of the Aston fleet. The cabin of the car seats four with 10.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats or 26.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

“Rapide is the culmination of the Aston Martin range of sports cars, a car that seals the revival of a truly admired marque,” said Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez. “There is now an Aston Martin for every taste and for every use. With Rapide, the entire family can enjoy their Aston Martin together in unison, in an invigorating yet comfortable environment, sitting low, with plenty of visibility from every seat and with new levels of comfort, refinement and entertainment.”

GALLERY: 2010 Aston Martin Rapide

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GALLERY: Official Aston Martin Rapide Photos

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Official:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 16 2009, 2:52 AM

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Hyundai introduced its new Tucson SUV at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The new Tucson, named the ix35 in Europe, is an example of what Hyundai calls its new “fluidic” design language with its sweeping, curved lines.

Hyundai lowered the overall height of the new Tucson while still promising extra legroom and headroom. A new dual-panel panoramic sunroof with ultraviolet blocking also works to create a feeling of spaciousness.

North Americans will have a choice of two engines,  a 2.0l Theta-II plant rated at 161hp and weighing 22 lb less than the Theta-I. A 2.4l Theta-II will also be available. European regions will have the option of a new diesel engines, a 2.0l and a 1.7l plant, as well as the 2.0l Theta-II and a 1.6l GDI engine with ISG stop-start technology.

Gallery: Hyundai Tucson

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 2:05 AM

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A company in turmoil with a less than certain future, Saab is hedging its bets on the all-new 2011 9-5 luxury sedan, which launched today at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

In total, the 9-5 will be offered with five different engines, all of which will be turbocharged and relatively small, meaning fuel-economy should be quite good. Also helping in the fuel-economy department is the fact that all five engines will be paired with six-speed transmissions.

When the car first goes on sale three of the five engines will be available: a 160hp 2.0-liter turbo diesel, a 220hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a range-topping 300hp turbocharged 2.8-liter V6
- the same engine found in the Cadillac SRX.

And despite Saab’s split with General Motors, that GM sourced engine isn’t the only GM part of the 9-5. The actual chassis of the car is shared with the Buick LaCrosse. That being said, like the LaCrosse, the 9-5 will be available in AWD.

Later on, Saab will also offer a 180hp 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine as well as an E85-capable 2.0-liter motor.

The car’s proportions are somewhat awkward, but the interior is definitely luxurious and original.

Notable features on the new 9-5 include a heads-up display driver information system, adaptive lighting, adaptive cruise control, Saab DriveSense adaptive suspension, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning, dynamic parking assistance and the option of AWD with Saab’s impressive eLSD system.

Saab has yet to set ricing and while a secific on-sale date has not been set, the car will be release some time in 2010.

GALLERY: 2011 Saab 9-5

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Official release after the jump:

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Frankfurt 2009: Porsche 911 Sport Classic Debut

Limited edition model is a wider, faster Carrera S with lots of extras

 |  Sep 16 2009, 1:46 AM

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Looking more like something that might roll out of one of the many Porsche tuner shops in Germany, than off the production line, the new 911 Sport Classic marks Porsche’s return to building limited edition models. And while these ultra rare cars will make for excellent collectors items, as Porsches they are also incredible driving machines for the genuine enthusiasts.

The 911 Sports Classic, which debuted today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, is based on the rear-drive Carrera S platform, but gets a wider rear track by 1.73-inches. Power comes from a 3.8-liter flat-six motor with direct-injection, but thanks to a new intake manifold with six vacuum-controlled switching flaps, power has been increased 23 hp for a total of 408hp.

Built by Porsche Exclusive, a department dedicated to creating the company’s most highly customized vehicles, the Sport Classic unmistakable sets itself apart from the rest of the 911 lineup. Included in the long list of custom features are the Sport Classic Grey paint, custom 19-inch wheels, Espresso Nature natural leather and plenty of soft Alcantara, a custom front lip and the classically Porsche ducktail spoiler reminiscent of the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7.

Other standard features include PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, a mechanical rear differential and Porsche’s PASM suspension system which lowers the car by 20 mm (0.79 inches).

Just 250 versions of the 911 Sport Classic will be made.

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 5:46 PM

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Looking more like something we might find parked in front of the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai than at the booth of a serious German automaker at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi had on display an R8 coated in chrome paint.

This was no regular R8 either, but the 525-hp V10-powered model capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Standard equipment on the new R8 5.2 FSI includes a rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive system Audi magnetic ride, navigation, a 465-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Audi parking system with backup camera, and 10-way heated sport seats.

Audi’s chrome R8 was made specifically for show purposes and the automaker has no plans to offer a chrome version for sale.

GALLERY: Chrome Audi R8 5.2 V10

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 5:23 PM

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The second of two production-destined hybrids unveiled by BMW at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the ActiveHybrid 7 Series joins the X6 ActiveHybrid to expand the German automaker’s focus on electric-assisted engines.

The ActiveHybrid 7 uses the same twin-turbocharged V8 as found in the 750i, but pairs it with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to make 455hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque. And while the X6 ActiveHybrid may lay claim to being the world’s most powerful hybrid, the ActiveHybrid 7 is most likely the fastest with a 0-60 sprint in just 4.8 seconds.

Impressively, while BMW is using its ActiveHybrid system to improve performance on the 7 Series, it is also (as you might expect from a hybrid) improving fuel economy. Fuel-consumption is rated at 9.4 liters/100km (25 mpg) average, a 15 percent improvement over the 750i.

Due to the use of a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack, the unit measures just 14.6 x 8.7 x 9.1 inches and only weights 59.5 lbs, making it just slightly heavier and larger than a conventional car battery. BMW has located the lithium-ion unit under the trunk floor, keeping an adequate amount of trunk space

The new ActiveHybrid 7 also features regenerative braking, as well as a start-stop system. Impressively, even when the engine is shut off at a stop light, the air conditioning continues to run as is it powered electronically, not by the gasoline engine.

BMW plans to offer the ActiveHybrid 7 in the Spring of 2010. Both a conventional wheelbase and an extended wheelbase hybrid 7 Series will be offered.

GALLERY: BMW ActiveHybrid 7

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 4:41 PM

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AutoGuide was one of the few media outlets that posted live coverage of the Bentley Mulsanne’s unofficial debut at the Pebble Beach Concour d’Elegance, but the regal British automaker wasn’t willing to cough up any details. Now that the car has been officially unveiled, we have some info - but not all of it.

Bentley has hidden all the tasty tid-bits of info about the Mulsanne deep in its press release, preferring to boast about how there are 114 different paint colors to choose from and how it takes nine weeks to complete a car.

But we know you want the hard numbers, so here goes. The Mulsanne, like the Arnage it replaces, uses a 6.75 liter V8 engine. The new engine has, however, been completely reworked with light weight pistons, con-rods and a forged crankshaft. Power is an expected 505hp, while torque rises impressively to 752 ft-lbs – which is available from just 1800 rpm.

Bentley has made big promises in the fuel economy department (even if its customers don’t care), and has equipped the Mulsanne with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel-consumption is down by 15 percent – in part due to the engine’s ability to run on just four cylinders while cruising.

Actual fuel consumption numbers have not yet been provided. Nor has the flagship Bentley’s curb weight.

Additional highlights include an air suspension with variable dampers four settings: Bentley, Sport, Comfort and Custom.

As for wheels, the Mulsanne comes with 20-inchers but we’re certain most owners will opt for the 21-inch set.

We’ll be sure to update you when more info is available, but in the mean time take a gander at the second Mulsanne to roll our of the Crewe factory. Not only are we liking the car more each time we see it, sitting amongst pedestrian vehicles from VW, Skoda and Seat, we really had a chance to appreciate just how enormous this new model is.

GALLERY: 2010 Bentley Mulsanne

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 3:09 PM

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While BMW had plenty of items on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show, just two were official new model premieres. The first was the X1 crossover and the second was the the 5 Series Gran Turismo (GT). BMW has shown a near-complete version of the car several times, but waited for Frankfurt to give full details.

Looking by all accounts identical to the concept, BMW claims it is the first in this new segment – which is true, because BMW beat Audi and its new S5 Sportback, to the punch by just a few hours.

BMW says the 5 Series GT combines the best of a classic Grand Tourer with a modern day Sport Activity Vehicle. With four seats, the interior is spacious with headroom equal to an X5 and legroom equal to a 7 Series. Rear seat space is particularly plentiful thanks to rear seats that more fore and aft by 4-inches.

Cargo room is equally large thanks to the GT’s two-mode trunk layout. Trunk space is 15.4 cubic feet, which can be expanded to 20.7 cubic feet b moving the rear seats forward and by removing the hatch divider. There is even the option to flip down the rear seats for a total of 59.5 cubic feet.

The 5 Series GT will be available in three different models: the 535i, 530d and 550i. The 535i model uses BMW’s twin-turbocharged inline-six to produce 306hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 6.3 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 8.9 liters/100 kilometers, or 26.4 mpg, thanks in part to the 8-speed automatic transmission that is standard on all GT models.

The 530d makes 245hp and 398 ft-lbs of torque for a 0-62 mph time of 6.9 seconds and an expectedly good fuel economy rating of 6.5 liters/100 kilometers, or 36.2 mpg.

As for the flagship 550i, it produces 407hp and 442 ft-lbs of torque, for a 0-62 mph time of just 5.5 seconds. Fuel economy is, however, rated at just 11.2 liters/100 kilometers (21 mpg).

The 5 Series GT is not scheduled to go on sale in North America but we have heard rumors that it could replace the less-popular 5 Series Touring/Wagon model.

GALLERY: BMW 5 Series GT

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Official release after the jump:

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