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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 15 2009, 2:37 PM

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Alongside several other “Efficient Dynamics” models that were officially unveiled at today’s Frankfurt Auto Show was the X6 ActiveHybrid with no less that 480hp. Using a 400hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the X6 and combining it with two electric motors the X6 hybrid achieves a massive 480hp and 575 ft-lbs of torque, enabling it to hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds.

As a two-mode hybrid system, the X6 ActiveHybrid will be able to travel on pure electric power up to a speed of 37 mph. Unfortunately it can’t drive on electric power long, just 1.6 miles at speeds up to 37mph, before the gasoline engine kicks in.

Interestingly the X6 ActiveHybrid makes use of a 7-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted by the driver. BMW says the tranny is “based on” a CVT transmission and works in two separate modes. There is one mode for around town where one electric motor operates and when the speed is increase or more power is called for the second electric motor kicks in an engages the gasoline engine. That second electric motor then powers the vehicle’s electric systems (power steering, radio, etc.).

BMW says the X6 ActiveHybrid will provide a 20 percent fuel consumption improvement over a similarly powerful non-hybrid engine. The sporty SUV is rated at an average of 9.9 l/100km – or 23.8 mpg. That isn’t likely to please Green Peace, but it is an impressive number for such an incredibly powerful AWD vehicle.

The X6 ActiveHybrid will go on sale in the U.S. later this year.

GALLERY: BMW X6 ActiveHybrid

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 12:26 PM

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As Germany’s largest automaker, Volkswagen had big news at the Frankfurt Auto Show today with numerous new models that boast impressive fuel-economy. But even the BlueMotion Polo has nothing on the fuel-economy of the L1 Concept, a tiny two seater that uses just 1.38 liters of diesel per 100 km – that’s 170 mpg. And for some reason it doesn’t look as dorky in real life as VW’s promo photos suggested.

The car is a two-seater, although the passenger sits behind the driver.

The engine is an 800cc diesel motor mated to a hybrid drivetrain and a seven-speed DSG transmission. It makes 27hp in ECO mode and 39hp in a more powerful mode. Torque is rated at 74 ft-lbs.

Along with this motor the L1 Concept gets a start-stop system, a light-weight carbon fiber body that is just 838 lbs and a drag coefficient of just 0.195.

Volkswagen calls the L1 Concept a “near production vehicle,” and says a production version is expected by 2013.

GALLERY: Volkswagen L1 Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 11:55 AM

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Hyundai introduced a futuristic crossover concept model, the ix-Metro, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Drawing inspiration from NASA, science fiction and pine cones (yes, pine cones), the Hyundai ix-Metro was the result of an internal design competition.

Design features such as faceted surfaces and triangulating lines along the bonnet, side and rear panels are a departure from other recent Hyundai models, both production and concept. Hyundai says the high beltline provides a protective feeling while the 20-inch wheels and flanged wheel arches give the ix-Metro a muscular stance.

Interior designer Sandy Hartono compares the interior to a pine cone with seats, cargo area and other surfaces separated by light-filled gaps, creating an appearance that seems both organic and futuristic.

The ix-Metro uses a hybridized drivetrain, producing 123 hp out of a 1,000cc three-cylinder engine . This was accomplished through the use of continuously variable valve-timing, turbocharging and direct injection. Additional torque assistance is provided by the starter motor-alternator with power stored in an electric, double-layered ultracapacitor, and a 12V battery.

Gallery: Hyundai ix-Metro

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 11:24 AM

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Maserati debuted its first ever four-seater convertible, the GranCabrio at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The GranCabrio joins the Quattroporte sedan and the GranTurismo coupe in Maserati’s product line-up, giving the company what it calls the three prongs of the Trident.

The GranCabrio will be powered by the company’s top-level 4.7-liter V8, making 433hp. This seems to indicate that unlike Maserati’s other models, the 405-hp  4.2-liter V8 will not be offered. What this also may indicate is that a GranCabrio S model could make even more power. After all, with the added weight of the necessary chassis stiffening required in a drop-top, the 433hp model will likely be about as fast as the base-engine coupe.

The GranCabrio has a completely re-engineered body. At 2,942 mm (115.8 inches) in length, the GranCabrio has the longest wheelbase in its class. As it lacks a top frame, Maserati paid special attention to increasing the GranCabrio’s rigidity, using a flat aluminum base. According to Maserati’s testing, the GranCabrio claims the top static rigidity of its class (75,000 DaN/m/rad.  Maserati says the aluminum base reduces the Cx aerodynamic coefficient by six points to 0.35, giving the convertible the aerodynamic performance of a coupe.

Gallery: Maserati GranCabrio

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:49 AM

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Kia pulled the covers off the Venga, its new B-segment MPV at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Based on the No. 3 concept shown at the Geneva show earlier this year, the Venga will be sold across Europe with Kia’s seven-year drive train / five-year whole car / 150,000 km warranty, as well as a ten-year corrosion warranty.

“Venga will certainly deliver all the practicality and versatility that a European family could require. It will also provide them with the most stylish transport this segment has ever seen,” says Benny Oeyen, Director Marketing & Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. “On the road, its performance and agility will surpass the class norm. Venga will ensure that rewarding, fun-to-drive motoring is now available to drivers whose lifestyles demand an MPV.”

The Venga has a 103-inch wheelbase, longer than most cars in its class. Kia says the interior will also be  roomier than its competitors with space typical of a larger class vehicle. For comparison sake, it has a footprint roughly the size of a sub-compact Ford Fiesta, but interior room closer to the compact Focus.

The sliding 60/40 rear seat folds flat into the floor for larger cargo space while some models will have a tilt-&-slide all-glass panoramic roof.

The Venga will be powered by 1.4 and 1.6 gas and diesel engines, producing between 74 hp and 113 hp. All models will feature Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) technology.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Kia Venga will make it to North America.

Gallery: Kia Venga

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:39 AM

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Toyota is planning to offer hybrid versions of all of its vehicles by 2020 and the next step in that process is a Hybrid Synergy Drive version of the Corolla-based Auris hatchback sold in the U.K. Toyota unveiled a prototype of that vehicle, the Auris HSD Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show today.

The Auris HSD Concept uses the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant as found in the current third-generation Prius. With a 1.8-liter gasoline engine and electric motor, power output should be about the same with 134 ponies under the hood. With a slightly heavier package acceleration should be close with a 10 second 0-60 mph time. Fuel-economy is expected to be similar as well, but not quite as high as the Prius, due in part to a drag coefficient that isn’t quite as good as 0.28 cd, as compared to the Prius’s 0.25 cd rating. The Prius gets a rating of 51/48 mpg, so even a close rating will still be impressive.

Aerodynamic enhancements have been made over the current Auris, however, with different front and rear bumpers, underbody panels, a larger rear spoiler, a ride height that has been lowered by 20mm, low rolling resistance tires and special 18-inch wheels that cut air turbulence in the wheel arches.

Like the Prius, the Auris HSD Concept will get four driving modes, including ECO, Power and EV mode. The EV mode will allow the car to travel 1.25 miles or 2 km on just electric power at speeds up to 31 mph.

Another similar feature between the two cars are solar panels on the roof which work to power the fans in order to keep the car cool when parked. Toyota says it continues to look into ways to expand the use of solar panels on its hybrids and shows an example on the Auris HSD with solar panels on the dash that can be used to power cellular phones.

Toyota plans to bring a production model of the Auris HSD Concept to market in the U.K. in the second half of 2010 and will build the hybrid at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) in Burnaston, U.K.

As the Auris is based on the Corolla platform, can a hybrid Corolla (or possibly a Matrix HSD) be far behind?

GALLERY: Toyota Auris HSD Concept

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:23 AM

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Mazda unveiled its MX-5 Superlight concept roadster at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Though pictures were leaked ahead of the show, seeing the Superlight version of the MX-5 in person was still impressive.

Created by Mazda’s European design team to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first MX-5, the Superlight version weights 2,194 lbs (995 kg), down from the stock 2,381 (1,080 kg).

Power comes from a 124hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder (rather than the 169hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder currently offered in North America), mated to a Mazdaspeed cold air intake and exhaust, allowing the car to hit 62 mph in 8.9 seconds while getting 44.8 mpg.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Superlight

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Frankfurt 2009: Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Concept Recharges in Just 90 Minutes

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:17 AM

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Until now we weren’t overly impressed with Toyota’s idea for a plug-in Prius hybrid, along the lines of the Chevy Volt. There’s still a lot we don’t know (including, hopefully, a lower price point), but today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Toyota announced that the Prius Plug-In Hybrid Concept would be able to recharge fully in just 90 minutes – using a conventional household outlet.

The car has a zero-emissions electric mode that will allow it to travel up to 12 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in. This is considerably less than the Volt’s 40 mile claim.

Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Engineers at the Japanese automaker are also looking beyond lithium batteries for future energy solutions.

Later this year Toyota will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States.

In Europe Toyota is looking to start raming up interest in its hybrid models and start a new program called “2010 Toyota Drive,” which will get potential customers into Toyota products.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Concept

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:04 AM

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Despite a strong presence on this side of the Atlantic, Lexus has yet to penetrate the European market. But they folks at Toyota’s luxury arm are hoping that a premium level hatchback in the compact segment – that also just so happens to be a hybrid – will help them win over a new (younger) generation of customers.

The LF-Ch Concept is a look at what that vehicle may look like.

Lexus is staying tight-lipped about the possible hybrid drivetrain but it is expected to be either that found in the new 2010 Prius or in the HS250h – that later of which is not scheduled to go on sale in Europe. Lexus also did not comment on if the LF-Ch production version would see U.S. shores.

A production version is planned to start in 2010 to compete against cars like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Volvo C30. The name is expected to be CT200h, as Lexus has already submitted a patent for that alphanumeric combination, as well as a few variants.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-Ch Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 9:59 AM

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Lotus is returning to Formula One racing with a team run by the Malaysian government and a group of Malaysian investors.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile selected the Lotus F1 Team to replace the withdrawing BMW team in the 2010 season. Lotus will be the 13th team, restoring the brand as an F1 constructor for the first time since 1994. Lotus confirmed the news at its press conference at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The team will be headed by Tony Fernandes, founder and chief executive officer of Malaysian-based Tune Group, owner of Air Asia airline. Though the ownership is based in Malaysia, the team will initially be based in Norfolk, England, just ten miles from the Lotus factory.

The BMW Sauber team was appointed the 14th team, ready to step in should another team withdraw, though the FIA says it may increase the grid to 28 cars. In a news release, the FIA said BMW Sauber had an “application of high quality” and would be competitive even without the support of the manufacturer.

[Source: FIA]

Official release after the jump.

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 9:38 AM

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At long last, its here; Audi’s R8 Spyder. With rumors of the car emerging almost simultaneously with the launch of the original V8-powered R8, it’s been a long time coming.

Powered by the Lamborghini sourced 5.2-liter V10, the Spyder makes 525hp, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 195 mph!

What might be most impressive about the drop-top R8 is that the exotic German sports car only weighs 13.23 lbs more than the Coupe, thanks in part to the R8’s already stiff chassis and a light-weight soft-top instead of a retractable hard top. The total curb weight of the car is now 3,792 lbs. Additional weight savings were made through the use of carbon fiber for not only the side blades but also the rear tonneau cover for the soft top.

As for the soft-top, it opens and closes in just 19 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph and Audi claims the interior noise with the top up is almost identical to that of the coupe.

As for the style of the R8 Spyder, it is certainly stunning, with a bold chrome grille, gloss black detailing and a rear tonneau cover with large vents. Special Y-spoke wheels in a 19-inch fitment complete the design with 235/35/19 tires up front and 295/30 tires out back. For added grip, Audi also offers the R8 Spyder with 305-wide rear tires.

No U.S. Pricing has yet to be set, but in Europe it runs 156,400 euros.

GALLERY: 2010 Audi R8 Spyder

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 9:25 AM

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For 2010 the Porsche 911 Turbo gets a long list of improvements including an all-new, larger 3.8-liter engine. Possibly more important, however, is the fact that the clumsy bush-buttons have been replaced with paddle shifters with the addition of Porsche’s impressive 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.

As for that engine, it’s the first entirely new one in the Turbo’s 35-year history. Porsche’s variable turbine geometry turbos are back, and the new engine also gets direct-injection for the first time, resulting in an output of 500hp.

Porsche says the new Turbo will be capable of a 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.4 seconds and can blast on to a top speed of 194 mph.

The new engine is also significantly more fuel-efficient than the previous Turbo, consuming just 24.1 mpg with the manual transmission (compared to 22.1 mpg before), meaning it avoids the gas guzzler tax in the U.S. And when combined with Porsche’s PDK tranny the Turbo gets even better mileage at 24.8 mpg.

The 2010 Turbo will be lighter than it predecessor and feature updated versions of Porsche’s PTM and PSM systems. A PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring) system will also be offered for the first time.

Sales of the 2010 911 Turbo will begin in Europe in November with worldwide sales to follow. Coupe models will be priced at $132,800 ($165,300 CDN), with the Cabriolet costing $143,800 ($178,400 CDN).

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  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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 |  Sep 15 2009, 7:28 AM

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Unveiled in a stunning light-matte-gray color called Reventón Grey, Lamborghini drew back the covers on Reventón Roadster at the Frankfurt Auto Show today. With just 15 models scheduled to be built Lamborghini’s pre-unveiling video reminded those in attendance that while your chances of climbing Mount Everest at 2,000,000 to 1 and your chance of having a baby that will grow up to win a Nobel prize is 50,000 to 1, your chance of owning a Reventón Roadster is 700,000,000 to one.

Those lucky 15 will get to experience the top down Reventón with the LP670 SV’s high-output 670hp engine. With full power at 8000 rpm, torque of 487 ft-lbs is available as of 6000 rm. When combined with Lamborghini’s all-wheel drive system the car blasts to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph.

“The Reventón is the most extreme car in the history of the brand,” says Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann. “The new Roadster adds an extra emotional component to our combined technological expertise – it unites superior performance with the sensual fascination of open-top driving.”

The chassis of the car is made of steel and carbon fiber with the body made almost entirely of carbon fiber – with the exception of the doors, which are steel. Thanks to the use of light-weight components, the massive drop-top weights a reasonable 3,725 lbs – just 55 lbs more than the Coupe.

And along with the already wild exterior, the Roadster features a rear spoiler that deploys at 80 mph and then folds up to an even steeper angle at speeds above 136 mph.

Other highlights include the use of LCD screens in the cockpit, instead of traditional gauges.

GALLERY: 2010 Lamborghini Reventón Roadster

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 7:16 AM

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After plenty of rumors, denials and leaked images that looked like a photoshop hack job, Audi has officially taken the wraps off the E-Tron Concept, an electric R8… of sorts.

And if you still find it all hard to believe, it might take some convincing to accept that the car’s power output numbers are for real. The car makes a modest 313hp and a ridiculous 3,319 ft-lbs of torque. That’s no typo.

With all that power you would think this electric exotic could muster up a better 0-62 mph time than 4.8 seconds. The car’s total weight is 3527 lbs, although over 1,000 lbs of that is the battery pack situated behind the passenger compartment but ahead of the rear axle.

Like a true Audi, the E-tron is a quattro car with individual electric motors at each wheel, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Audi says that this allows the E-Tron an incredible amount of cornering ability, as power can be distributed to each wheel individually.

As for the car’s design, it looks very much like a real-world photoshop job, as though it was created from a solid piece of metal. The headlights differ from conventional units in that they use LED lighting that illuminates the entire field of vision (as opposed to having high beams and standard beams). When the car detects an oncoming vehicle, the angle of light in that car’s way is simply shut off.

As for that front grille, it features air intakes than open when necessary to cool the electric motors. The same goes for flaps in front of the rear wheels.

A final piece of innovation on the E-Tron is what Audi calls car-to-x communication that allows the car to communicate with traffic lights or to know if traffic is slowing ahead or if an emergency stop of maneuver is needed.

GALLERY: Audi E-Tron

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 6:28 AM

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Sure Volkswagen’s main stage was reserved for environmentally friendly BlueMotion diesels, but is there was no car on the German automakers stand that deserves the spotlight like the 265hp Golf R.

We have to admit being a little disappointed that the car won’t get the same turbo five-cylinder as found in the TT-RS, but sharing the powerplant with the TT-S is nothing to scoff at. Instead of a 3.2-liter V6 or the GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-liter, the R gets a more powerful turbo-two making 265hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual it is slated to hit 62 mph in about 6.5 seconds, or 6.4 seconds with the DSG.

Oh, and it gets VW’s 4Motion AWD system.

Inside and out the Golf R has plenty of unique features including LED daytime running lights, new five-spoke wheels, a new grille, R side skirts and badging and dual exhaust pipes. Inside there are new sport seats, special aluminum pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Volkswagen has yet to confirm if the model will be released in North America.

GALLERY: 2010 Volkswagen Golf R

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 4:59 AM

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Mercedes introduced the SLS AMG supercar, the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL Gullwing, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula One World Champion, was on hand for the SLS AMG’s premiere, hopping into the supercar’s driver seat as the press mobbed him.

Powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine found in all of AMG’s 63 models, but with reworked internals, the SLS makes a total of 563hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque – enough to propel the SLS AMG all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle and a double-clutch seven speed transmission. That tansaxle layout means that the tranny is located out back (for an ideal weight balance of 48/52) and it attached to the engine by a carbon fiber driveshaft.

The projected curb weight is just 3,571 lbs, due mostly to the fact that this is the first model Mercedes has ever produced with an all aluminum chassis and body.

Weight is also saved by using carbon ceramic brakes and light weight wheels, that measure 19×9.5-inches up front and 20×11-inches in the rear. Tires measure 265/35/19 front and 295/30/22 rear

Gallery: Mercedes SLS AMG

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 4:53 AM

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Porsche has just unveiled the 2010 GT3 RS model at the Frankfurt Auto Show, with more power, a wider front track, a reduced curb weight and increased downforce. When combined the GT3 RS gets even better and continues to be a motorsports-derived masterpiece.

Thanks to an increased displacement from 3.6 to 3.8-liters, the new engine makes an additional 15hp for a new total of 450. That power hits the ground (as it should) through a rear-drive setup and a six-speed manual transmission. Plus, the gear ratios for the 2010 model have been shortened further for increased acceleration.

As the GT3 RS is all about performance through light-weight, additional weight has been shaved off the body of the GT3 RS through the use of a titanium exhaust. Porsche will also offer an optional lithium-ion battery in place of the standard lead battery, which will help save an additional 22 lbs.

In terms of handling, the GT3 RS gets a dynamic engine mounts, which change their stiffness depending on how the car is being driven. A new special PASM suspension setup has also been included that takes into account not only the RS’s wider rear track, but also its wider front track (new for 2010). Inside those flared fenders you’ll find 19×9-inch wheels with 245/35/19 tires up front and 19×12-inch wheels with 325/30/19 tires in the rear.

The 2010 GT3 RS will be available as of March with pricing is listed at $132,800 ($163,000 CDN).

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche GT3 RS

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Official release after the jump:

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Frankfurt 2009: BMW Officially Unveils X1 Crossover

North America to get 258hp X1 xDrive 28i model

 |  Sep 15 2009, 3:46 AM

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BMW has just unveiled its smallest SUV, the X1, and now for the first time we know what model North America will get. AutoGuide was invited to test drive an X1 prototype several months back and while we were impressed, the 23d diesel model was not headed for our shores.

What we will get will be called the X1 xDrive 28i, which will be powered by a 2.8-liter straight-six engine making 258hp and 229 ft-lbs of torque. Power will be put to the ground through a standard six-speed automatic transmission with BMW xDrive AWD technology. Stability control will also be standard.

The X1 xDrive 28i will be able to hit 62 mph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 127 mph. The crossover will get an average rating of 25 mpg and fit up to 47.3 cubic feet of luggage, or 14.7 cubic feet behind the third row.

GALLERY: BMW X1

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Read more on the BMW X1 after the jump

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 3:30 AM

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MINI unveiled its new Roadster model alongside the the Coupe at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Sharing the same platform as the Coupe, the MINI Roadster is nearly identical to its sibling from the waist down. Above the waistline, the Roadster features a manually opening convertible roof.

Like the MINI Coupe, the MINI Roadster’s windshield slopes back an extra 16 degrees more than other MINIs. The roof is also 6 cm shorter.

Under the hood, the Roadster is powered by the 1.6 Cooper S turbo engine with a claimed output of 175hp.

Both the MINI Roadster and the MINI Coupe will enter production at MINI’s Oxford facilities.

Gallery: MINI Roadster

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 1:06 AM

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Just prior to its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show later today, Audi has release a full gallery of images of the drop-top R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI.

Powered by the Lamborghini sourced 5.2-liter V10, the Spyder makes 525hp, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 195 mph!

What might be most impressive about the drop-top R8 is that the exotic German sports car only weighs 13.23 lbs more than the Coupe, thanks in part to the R8′s already stiff chassis and a light-weight soft-top instead of a retractable hard top. The total curb weight of the car is now 3,792 lbs. Additional weight savings were made through the use of carbon fiber for not only the side blades but also the rear tonneau cover for the soft top.

As for the soft-top, it opens and closes in just 19 seconds at speeds u to 31 mph and Audi claims the interior noise with the top up is almost identical to that of the coupe.

As for the style of the R8 Spyder, it is certainly stunning, with a bold chrome grille, gloss black detailing and a rear tonneau cover with large vents. Special Y-spoke wheels in a 19-inch fitment complete the design with 235/35/19 tires up front and 295/30 tires out back. For added grip, Audi also offers the R8 Spyder with 305-wide rear tires.

No U.S. Pricing has yet to be set, but in Europe it runs 156,400 euros.

Be sure to check back later when we update with photos from the car’s official unveiling.

GALLERY: 2010 Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 14 2009, 3:41 PM

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Lamborghini has just confirmed that the Reventon Roadster will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show tomorrow, but more importantly, it will come with the LP670 SV’s high-output 670hp engine. With full power at 8000 rpm, torque of 487 ft-lbs is available as of 6000 rm. When combined with Lamborghini’s all-wheel drive system the car blasts to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph.

“The Reventón is the most extreme car in the history of the brand,” says Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann. “The new Roadster adds an extra emotional component to our combined technological expertise – it unites superior performance with the sensual fascination of open-top driving.”

The chassis of the car is made of steel and carbon fiber with the body made almost entirely of carbon fiber – with the exception of the doors, which are steel. Thanks to the use of light-weight components, the massive drop-top weights a reasonable 3,725 lbs – just 55 lbs more than the Coupe.

All that carbon fiber and steel is coated in a particular color of matte-gray, called Reventón Grey. (The matte-gray on the coupe model is a different color). The wheels on the roadster are mostly glossy with matte-colored crescent shapes, that work to cool the ceramic brakes.

And along with the already wild exterior, the Roadster features a rear spoiler that deploys at 80 mph and then folds up to an even steeper angle at speeds above 136 mph.

Other highlights include the use of LCD screens in the cockpit, instead of traditional gauges.

Lamborghini says the less than 20 Reventón Roadsters will be made, with an asking price of 1.1 Million Euros ($1.46 million) with deliveries starting in October.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our live coverage of the Frankfurt Auto Show and the Lamborghini Reventón Roadster.

GALLERY: Lamborghini Reventón Roadster

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 14 2009, 12:14 PM

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BMW is unveiling a high-mileage Efficient Dynamics Edition 320d sedan at the Frankfurt Auto Show with a claimed fuel mileage of 57.36 mpg with CO2 emissions rating of 109 g/km.

Helping the 320d reach such figures are the fitted wheels and a lowered body, reducing the drag coefficient to 0.26. Parasitic losses are reduced by using electric rather than hydraulic power steering while regenerative braking helps store kinetic energy.

A 163hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine sends power through a six-speed manual transmission with a taller final drive ratio specific to the ED edition. The practicality of improved efficiency aside, the 320d ED edition goes from 0-62 mph in a reasonable 8.2 seconds.

And following BMW company policy, the 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition is priced the same as the regular BMW 320d.

We’ll have more about the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition tomorrow when it’s officially presented at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

GALLERY: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Sep 14 2009, 12:04 PM

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Forget the GTI or R32, Volkswagen has just released the Golf R, a high-performance, turbocharged, all-wheel drive hot hatch.

We have to admit being a little disappointed that the car won’t get the same turbo five-cylinder as found in the TT-RS, but sharing the powerplant with the TT-S is nothing to scoff at. Instead of a 3.2-liter V6 or the GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-liter, the R gets a more powerful turbo-two making 265hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual it is slated to hit 62 mph in about 6.5 seconds, or 6.4 seconds with the DSG.

Oh, and it gets VW’s 4Motion AWD system.

Inside and out the Golf R has plenty of unique features including LED daytime running lights, new five-spoke wheels, a new grille, R side skirts and badging and dual exhaust pipes. Inside there are new sport seats, special aluminum pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

The best news of all, however, is that the car is reportedly heading to North America.

GALLERY: 2010 Volkswagen Golf R

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[Source: WorldCarFans]