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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.
 |  Mar 03 2009, 7:39 AM

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Yes, another special edition of the Bugatti Veyron. These guys must have gone to Maserati’s school of marketing.

The Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centenaire has the same 1001hp engine and pretty much all of the same toys. The real special reason to buy the car, however, is the matte-blue paint. Sorry, did we say blue.. we mean’t “bleu.”

The special edition Bugatti was made to celebrate the brand’s 100 years in business. (We’ll have more info after the press conference).

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Ble Centenaire:

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Audi TT-RS Fully Revealed

340hp and 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds

 |  Mar 03 2009, 7:29 AM

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After plenty of leaked details Audi has released all the juicy info on the TT-RS during the sportscar’s unveiling at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. The car does in fact make 340hp and an impressive 332 ft-lbs of torque from an all-new turbocharged 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine.

But the TT-RS is about more than just power, it’s actually intended to be a real driver’s car. In fact Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen drove the white TT-RS onto the stage at Geneva. The car weighs quite little, especially considering it retains its quattro all-wheel drive system. The curb weight of the coupe is just 3,197 pounds and the roadster will tip the scales at 3,329 lbs.

Zero to 62 mph is rated at 4.6 seconds with a tenth of a second more for the TT-RS Roadster. One of the reasons is that all that torque is available as of just 1600 rpm.

The TT-RS features a new suspension setup with stiffer springs and quicker reacting shocks. It also comes with 18-inch wheels with 245/45/18 tires at all four corners. (19 and 20-inch wheels are optional). Front brake calipers measure 14.6-inches and rears measure 12.2-inches. Audi was also smart in that they made it possible to completely shut off the stability control.

The interior will be offered in several different specifications with one trim-line even including a mixed leather and Alcantara design.

Impressively, the car is available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Which brings us to the bad news… it’s not available in North America. Not yet anyway.

GALLERY: Audi TT-RS:

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 |  Mar 03 2009, 7:01 AM

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Hyundai used the 2009 Geneva Auto Show to unveil the “ix-onic” – an crossover concept that will eventually become the successor to the Hyundai Tucson. Hyundai also plans to change the entry-level SUVs name to the ix-35.

This stunning concept car makes use of a turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 175hp. Possibly even more exciting is the fact that the crossover concept also uses a double-clutch gearbox with ISG (Idle Stop and Go) technology. Will we see either this engine or transmission in the production vehicle?We certainly hope so.

Some of the notable design features are the LED daytime running lights, 21-inch wheels and the hexagonal front grille. This grille is particularly important as Hyundai intends to use this strong design across its SUV range. In fact, the is-onic Concept will donate its creativity to the next generation Santa Fe and Verarcuz.

GALLERY: Hyundai ix-onic Concept

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 03 2009, 5:42 AM

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Oh hell yes!

Rumors abounded before the Geneva Auto Show that the company was bringing a new crossover. Well, for anyone who really wanted YET ANOTHER crossover from the Japanese luxury arm of Nissan we hate to tell you this but… they decided to take the wraps of a 600hp Hybrid Concept car instead. It’s name? The Essence Concept.

We won’t ramble on about the design elements – you can stare at the pictures for that. (Or read the press release below).

Let’s just say it’s achingly beautiful. It does, however, look a lot like the Lexus FL-A – only with classic Infiniti styling.

As for the powerplant, it is made up of Infiniti’s 3.7-liter V6 engine with two turbochargers and direct injection and makes 440hp. An electric motor is also a part of the package. The electric motor is a new innovation from Infiniti, which the company called 3D Motor. Infiniti says it is quite small but makes twice the power of a conventional electric motor. This motor creates 160hp and uses  lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk area to store power.

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As to speculation over if this car will ever make it to market, the possibility seems to be there as Infiniti has repeatedly boasted that they intend to take on the entire European market.

GALLERY: Infiniti Essence Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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Ferrari 599XX Track Monster Breaks Ground

Reworked V12 makes 700hp at 9000 rpm

 |  Mar 03 2009, 5:24 AM

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Ferrari unveiled two vehicles at the Geneva Auto Show today, with the most exciting one not even being a street car. The 599XX was conceived specifically for track use, and will be part of Ferrari track events that will be arranged for the 2010/11 season – for those lucky enough to afford it of course.

The program is expected to be similar to the FXX program or possibly even as involved as the F430 Challenge series.

The V12 engine found in the 599XX makes an outrageous 700hp at 9000 rpm. To achieve this Ferrari engineers significantly modified the engine with a new, lighter, crankshaft. Carbon fiber is also used for the intake plenums. As well, the 599XX has the same 60 millisecond shift time as found in the F430 Scuderia.

Due to the new aerodynamics of the 599XX it now gets 612 lbs of downforce at 124 mph and almost 1,400 lbs of downforce at 186 mph!

One particularly important innovation on the 599XX is Ferrari’s new “Actiflow” technology, that adjusts downforce and drag depending upon how the car is operating. This is achieved through the use of a porous materia in the diffuser and two fans in the trunk lid that work to channel air from under the car out through two grilles next to the tail lights. Rather noticeable winglets have also been added to the the are just behind the winds, where the buttresses are located.

Ferrari hasn’t yet released how much lighter the car is but you can be sure it is significant as almost every part of the vehicle we checked is made of carbon fiber.

GALLERY: Ferrari 599XX

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 |  Mar 03 2009, 3:35 AM

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There isn’t much more to tell about the Gumpet Apollo SPEED that what we already reported. These are, however, the first photos of the German supercar.

Whereas past Apollo models, including the Apollo, Apollo Sport and Apollo Race, were all aimed at track performance, the Speed model is designed for hitting and breaking those 200+ mph barriers. And according to Gumpert, that shouldn’t be a problem with the Apollo Speed, as it is listed as having a top speed of 224 mph!

To hit these speeds, Gumpert stuck to modifying the aerodynamics of the car and left the engine well-enough alone. A revised front end, including new, smoother front fenders and a modified front air intake, as well as a new adjustable rear spoiler are apparently enough to get the Apollo up to that 224 mph speed.

As you can see from these new photos, the Apollo SPEED also uses special wheel covers to hit that 224 mph mark.

As for the engine, it remains unchanged from past models. Out back can be found a 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged Audi 4.2-liter V8, which produces anywhere from 650 to 800hp. Gumpert claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds.

GALLERY: Gumpert Apollo SPEED:

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 |  Mar 03 2009, 2:54 AM

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That’s right, VW will be getting into the ultra-competitive sub-compact segment in North America with the new VW Polo.

There is no word on which engine options will be offered but we wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the TDI engines (of which VW will produce three) offered. TDI models will range in power from 60 to 105 hp.

As for gasoline engines, the Polo will be offered worldwide with four different FSI engines. The U.S.-market is likely to see just one of these but possibly two. The most likely is the 1.2TSI, a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 105hp.

The next engine down from that is a naturally aspirated 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 90hp.

VW is planning to offer some of the higher-performance Polos with its new 7-speed DSG gearbox. Some models will also be offered with 17-inch wheels.

Look out Honda Fit!

GALLERY: 2010 VW Polo

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 03 2009, 2:03 AM
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**UPDATED with Official REVEAL Photos

Lambo has done it again, releasing an even more powerful version of the LP640, the LP670-4 SuperVeloce. Boasting as outrageous 670hp and 487 ft-lbs of torque from the Lambo 6.5-liter V12 engine this is enough, says Lamborghini, to propel the LP670 SV to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds.

There are, however, two other important reasons for the incredibly fast acceleration time, the supercar’s weight and its AWD system. For starters, as the 4 in the car’s name suggests, the SuperVeloce is still an all-wheel drive beast.

The amazing thing, however, was that Lamborghini still managed to reduce the weight of the car by 220 lbs.!

Top speed for the new Bull is rated at 212 mph thanks in part to the extra power but also due to the  increased aerodynamics of the car. In fact the LP670 SV is offered with two different spoilers as well as some very custom aerodynamcis that help keep it stable at high speeds.

The Lamborghini LP670-4 SV will be limited to just 350 units.

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GALLERY: Lamborghini LP670-4 SuperVeloce

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 02 2009, 12:11 PM

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We just captured a few images of Opel’s upcoming Ampera (unfortunately all from the same angle), based on the yet-unreleased Chevy Volt. The styling is certainly more progressive, although the basic shape of the car remains similar to the Volt/Prius/Insight design.

We’ll be sure to bring you full info on this car from tomorrow’s press conference and see if Opel’s recent decision to spin-off from General Motors will disrupt plans at all.  We’ll also be sure to bring you more photos.

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 |  Mar 02 2009, 10:39 AM

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World famous Italian design studio Giugiaro said that it would be bringing the world’s fastest hybrid to the Geneva Auto Show and we have the first pictures. Giugiaro did send out a press release with a rendering but these are the first photos. We still don’t really know anything more about the exotic-looking beast but heck… the show doesn’t even start until tomorrow.

What we did observe were Lambo-style scissor doors with a stunning quilted Alcantara interior. The car also has a set of big Brembos. And judging from the matrix design in the glass on the upper corners of the roof and on the hood the car appears to have some solar-heating applications.

We did watch Giugiaro staff place a decal on the side of the car that appears to read “VAMIR.” Could this be the name of Giugiaro’s fierce creation?

GALLERY: Giugiaro

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 |  Feb 26 2009, 1:55 PM

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ABT Sportsline, the world’s largest Audi/VW tuner will unveil a 510hp Supercharged version of the Audi S5 at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show in just a few days. Called the AS5-R, the fully reworked coupe gets a boost of 156hp thanks to a supercharger system. ABT first showed a modified version of the S5 at the 2008 SEMA Show

ABT claims the added power is enough to rocket the AS5-R to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 181 mph! Possibly even more impressive is the fact that this super-coupe maintains the same level of fuel consumption and emissions as the standard vehicle.

As expected with ABT, the AS5-R is includes a whole host of modifications including a coilover setup, 20-inch BR alloy wheels and 380mm rotors at all four corners.

As is obvious, the car features an aero kit, designed to keep the car planted at high speed on the German autobahn. It includes a new front grille, a new bumper with a specific fog-light design, front fender gills, side skirts and a rear bumper with cutouts for the 4-pipe muffler system.

GALLERY: ABT Sportsline AS5-R

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For more info on ABT products visit the company’s site here:

ABT Sportsline

Kia To Show No 3 Micro-Car Concept in Geneva

cee'd Hybrid and cee'd with Stop and Go technology also planned

 |  Feb 25 2009, 1:43 PM

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Kia Motors will have a big presence at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show this year with 18 different vehicles including the new Soul. Sportage and Magentis (Optima).

The focal point of the display, however, will be three micro-cars, the No 3 Concept, the cee’d ISG and the cee’d Hybrid.

The No 3 (we’re not sure where the first two went) is an MPV that Kia says is both functional and fun to drive. At just 13.5-feet long it’s perfect for the European urban market. And the fact that it’s a concept means it is likely to see production.The car also features Kia’s new “face of Kia” grille.

The other two cars are new versions of Kia’s cee’d, which was launched in Europe in 2007. The first is the cee’d ISG (Idle Stop & Go) and features a new technology that shuts down the engine when the car is at a stop and immediately restarts it when the accelerator is pressed. The cee’d ISG will be available with a 1.4-liter or 1.6-liter gasoline engine, in either the five-door hatchback or the three-door pro_cee’d. Kia claims its ISG technology will account for a 15 percent savings in fuel during city driving.

The final new vehicle from Kia at Geneva will be the cee’d Hybri, which uses a 15kw and 77 ft-lb bump to the standard 1.6-liter engine. The car also features a CVT transmission and Kia’s ISG technology for a total fuel savings of 25 percent. Kia claims the cee’d Hybrid is capable of hitting 62 mph in 11.8 seconds and will get an average of 49 mpg!

Kia No 3 Concept

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 |  Feb 25 2009, 11:03 AM

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Just ahead of it’s unveiling at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show, Bentley has release full details and specifications of its most powerful production car ever, the Continental Supersports.

As predicted, the car makes 630PS (that’s 621hp) and is capable of a top speed of 204 mph. Torque is rated at 590 ft-lbs at just 1700 rpm. It is also, as the rumors suggested, a two-seater, making use of two carbon fiber bucket seats in an extraordinarily lavish interior.

Through the absensce of rear seats and the use of lighter 20-inch wheels and lighter componenets for the suspension, Bentley engineers were able to chop 243 lbs off the weight of the Continental GT. The result of the added power and decreased weight, as well as a new “Quickshift” transmission that cuts shift times in half, is a 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds! Even beter, the sprint to 100 mph takes just 8.9 seconds.

But the Continental Supersports is also more fitted to hit the corners now thanks to a modified suspension and steering system, a 40/60 rear biased all-wheel drive system, a modified stability control program and a track that is 2-inches wider.

As for the promise of a FlexFuel vehicle, Bentley has delivered. The more powerful W12 engine is capable of running on both gasoline, ethanol or a mx of both and according to Bentley this new vehicle reduces overall CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent. Don;t get too excited, however, as Bentley’s measurement is what the call “well-to-wheel” and includes not only the emission reduction of the car but the lower emissions involved in obtaining and refining the fuel.

The reality is that the Continetal Supersports gets a fuel-economy rating of 11.5/23.8 mpg (city/highway).

We are a little disappointed, but not surprised, that it looks almost identical to the Conti GT. The front intakes are larger, to help feed air into the two turbochargers and the hood does feature some air outlets. Bentley has also said that the Continental Supersports will be available in two matte colors: Light Grey Satin and Dark Grey Satin.

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As for the interior, it’s incredible with quilted Alcantara everywhere and plenty of carbon fiber detailing.

Commenting on the new Supersports model, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive said: “The Continental Supersports reflects the passion and enthusiasm of Bentley’s engineers and designers. This is the fastest, most extreme Bentley ever, dramatically styled to underline its supercar character. Importantly, it also pioneers the use of FlexFuel technology in the luxury sector.”

Bentley Continental Supersports:

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Feb 24 2009, 5:48 PM

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The rumors were right and Aston Martin will bring a convertible version of its impressive DBS flagship vehicle to the Geneva Auto Show in March.

Based on the same DBS platform and using the same 5.9-liter V12 engine, the DBS Volante makes 510 hp and 420 ft-lbs of torque and is capable of a 0-62 mph sprint of 4.3-seconds. Top speed is an astounding 191 mph. A six-speed manual is standard and the DBS Volante (just like the coupe) can also be ordered with a new six-speed Touchtronic automatic transmission.

The DBS Volante is the 16th convertible from Aston Martin in the company’s 95 year history.

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The soft-top convertible folds away under a sculpted tonneau cover in just 14 seconds, preserving the lines of the car no matter what. The roof can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph.

The car also features a Roll-Over-Protection-System (ROPS) which deploys two roll bars in the case of a roll-over accident.

The use of a soft top allowed Aston Martin engineers to keep weight gain to a minimum. The DBS Volante weighs a total of 3,990 lbs, compared to 3,737 for the Coupe. If that weight still sounds like a lot, we do live in the age of heavy cars and comparatively it’s quite light. After all the BMW M3 Convertible weighs 4,145 lbs.

Much of the design of the DBS Volante is borrowed from the coupe although a new carbon fiber deck lid was designed for the convertible. The car also features a new line that runs from the front to the back of the car, right from the hood, across the door tops and over the rear fenders, giving the DBS Volante some unique character of its own.

As with the DBS coupe, the Volante uses carbon fiber for the hood, front fenders, and trunk. These weight-saving measures help keep heft down to a minimum and it doesn’t end there. Along with light weight 20-inch wheels and carbon composite brakes, the DBS Volante also uses light weight material for the carpets and the carbon fiber pieces are coated in a 200 micron-thin layer of glue before receiving seven layers of paint.

2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Feb 23 2009, 12:54 PM

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Audi has just released some more images of its upcoming TT RS and apparently both a Coupe and a Convertible will be offered. And while the images look great, the rumors about the power output of these cars sounds even better.

Carscoop is reporting that they have obtained the official specs on the cars and that Audi’s claim of “far more” than 300hp from the TT RS isn’t far off. The high-performance version of the TT is expected to make 340hp and 333 ft-lbs of torque thanks to a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine.

The TT RS will make use of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and will use a six-speed manual gearbox (YES!). There is no word on if a DSG system will be offered.

Audi says the TT RS will be capable of hitting 62 mph in less than 5.0-seconds.

Unfortunately Audi has still not confirmed the car for launch in the U.S.

Audi TT RS Coupe & Roadster:

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[Source: Carscoop]

For a sound clip of the 2.5-liter turbo-5-cyl in the TT RS, follow the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 19 2009, 6:05 PM

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Not satisfied to sit idly by while every other manufacturer attempts to drop the biggest bomb at (or ahead of as the case may be) the Geneva Auto Show, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg has teased us with just one image of what might be a new vehicle.

Both terrifyingly evil and achingly beautiful, the sole picture of The Quant could potentially be either a new version of the CCX or a second (and smaller) platform, aimed at taking on the more mainstream exotic market.

Koenigsegg also will use the Geneva show to display its new touchscreen system, which incorporates the navigation, climate control and stereo systems into one screen. The screen will also display gobs of performance data (in true Nissan GT-R style) including a G-force meter, a lap timer and a torque meter. The system will even let drivers adjust the chassis, traction control and paddle-shift times (much like a Ferrari Mannetino).

Koenigsegg says its new ATM paddle-shift transmission makes use of an entirely new gearbox that can sit lower in the chassis for better weight distribution and will deliver shift times of 30 milliseconds – faster than the F430 Scuderia which currently holds the record for the fastest shift times in a street legal car of 60 ms.

We’ll bring you full details from the Geneva Auto Show floor starting March 3rd.

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 |  Feb 19 2009, 5:43 PM

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Roll-Royce has just released these photos of it’s new “entry-level” vehicle. Code-named the EX200, the concept vehicle will be on display at the Geneva Auto Show in March ahead of its Spring 2010 on-sale date.

This yet-unnamed Rolls-Royce sits on an entirely new chassis that is larger than an extended-wheelbase 7 Series and yet smaller than a Phantom. It will share some parts with the new 7 Series, such as some of the suspension hardware and the steering rack , but will feature the cushy air springs found on the Phantom.

Power will come from a torquey V12 engine that will eventually find its way into the 7 Series.

In terms of style, the resemblance to the Phantom and the rest of the Rolls-Royce family is undeniable. And yes, it does have those sick suicide-doors.

Pricing is expected to be around 180,000 British Pounds or roughly $250,000.

Rolls-Royce EX200:

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[Source: CAR Magazine]

 |  Feb 19 2009, 12:30 PM

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Ford Europe has just release images and information on the upcoming 2010 Ranger pickup truck. With a sporty new redesign that looks suited for hitting the sand-dunes, this new look is not destined to appear in North America. U.S. customers will get this instead:

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“The Ford Ranger nameplate is already established in more than 100 markets around the world,” said Henrik Nenzen, Ford of Europe’s Director of Commercial Vehicle Marketing and Sales . “The new
model delivers even more style, comfort and features, making it an ideal choice for a family activity weekend, or a working week.”

In Europe, the Ranger will be offered in three body styles Single Cab, RAP (Rear Access Panel) Cab and Double Cab. The RAP Cab features normal front doors with suicide-style rear access panels – a design that first appeared on the Ranger in 2002.

Two engines will be offered, a 2.5-liter turbo diesel or a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel, which can paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatics in either 4×2 or 4×4 configuration.

The 2.5-liter engine makes 143hp and 243 ft-lbs of torque, whereas the 3.0-liter engine gets 156hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque. Towing capacity is rated at 6,600 lbs.

As for the less-exciting U.S. Ranger, it will continue to use Ford’s 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 21 and 26 mpg (city/highway). New for 2010 will be several safety updates including Ford’s AdvanceTrac with Rolls Stability Control (RSC) technology as well a standard side airbags.

2010 Euro-Spec Ford Ranger

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Feb 19 2009, 10:34 AM

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Brabus is a a company that never disappoints. With the unofficial motto of “Black, Fast and Expensive” Brabus will unveil a 700hp version of the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon at the Geneva Auto Show in March.

Called the Brabus  G V12 S Biturbo, this SUV is powered by a fully reworked version of a Mercedes biturbo V12 engine, as found in the S600. Barbus bores and strokes the engine for a displacement increase from 5.5- to 6.3-liters. The heads are also reworked and feature new camshafts.

To feed the massive V12, Brabus swaps out the Mercedes turbochargers in favor of its own units. A completely new intercooler system is also required to help the engine maintain an optimum operating temperature. A new exhaust system is also a part of the package, as is a new ECU that ensures the truck meets the Euro IV emissions regulations.

Total output is 700hp at 5100 rpm and 811 ft-lbs of torque at 2100 rpm. The engine actually produces 973 ft-lbs of torque but the number is electronically limited to 811 ft-lbs to prolong the life of the transmissions and axles.

Brabus maintains that its G Wagon is still a true off-roader and features a “special” five-speed automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel drive. The sprint to 62 mph takes just 4.2 seconds and top speed is limited to 150 mph… with a theoretical top speed of 163 mph. (Is that all Brabus? We expected a little more).

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The Brabus G Wagon rolls low on a custom suspension setup and on lightweight Brabus Monoblock VI wheels that measure 21×10.5-inches, with 295/40/21 tires at all four corners. Inside those 21s can be found a big brake kit.

Outside, the SUV maintains the G Wagon good looks with some minor modifications, including a Brabus front lip with LED daytime running lights, special running board covers with integrated LED ground lighting and a Brabus rear bumper.

Inside, the interior is fully customized, although subtly so, with a new Brabus steering wheel, a new speedometer with a 175 mph top speed, and stainless steel kick plates that feature an illuminated Brabus logo. The interior also comes fully coated in Brabus Mastik leather.

Options include eight-inch LCD screens in the back of the headrests, a DVD player, TV tuner and game console, and wireless headphones.

Brabus is a registered manufacturer in Germany and so the Brabus G V12 S Biturbo is sold as a Brabus and not a Mercedes. As for the cost? It’s a pricey 379,000 euros, or $476,000.

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 18 2009, 11:27 AM

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Just one photo of Hyundai’s IX35 concept vehicle, the ix-onic, has surfaced ahead of the SUV’s unveiling at the Geneva Auto Show in March. This stylish looking compact crossover, originally coded as the HED-6, is the official concept car for the next generation Hyundai Tucson and will inspire all new Hyundai SUV designs, including the Santa Fe and Veracruz.

Until now the only images of the ix35 available were the rather abstract sketches Hyundai released almost a month ago.

The ix-onic IX35 Concept was created at Hyundai European Design in Rüsselsheim, Germany, under the leadership of Hyundai Europe’s Chief Designer Thomas Burkle.

Power will come from a direct-injection 1.6-liter engine that makes an impressive 175hp.

[Source: WorldCarFans via autotelegraaf.nl]

 |  Feb 18 2009, 10:29 AM

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Mercedes tuner Carlsson will have on display at the Geneva auto Show its third combined project with European fashion icon Aigner, a modified GL500 (known as the GL550 in North America).

Called the CK55 RS Racasse, this 456hp GL-Class Benz gets its name from a famous corner on a famous racetrack; the second last corner on the Monaco Grand Prix Circuit. (The two previous Carlsson/Aigner projects, the Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, are named after corners on the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium).

With 388hp in stock trim, Carlsson has reworked the V8 engine with modified cylinder heads, high lift camshafts, a remapped ECU and free flow exhaust system with high flow cats. The result it 456hp and 472 ft-lbs of torque. Carlsson claims this is good for a 0-62 mph sprint of just 5.9 seconds, compared to 6.5 seconds for the standard vehicle.

Like all other Carlsson Aigner vehicles, the Racasse features a two-tone paint job. The full-size SUV also features a completely reworked exterior with wider wheel arches, new side skirts, new front and rear bumpers and a new, more aggressive front hood. The front grille has been replaced with a more imposing chrome unit (featuring a large Carlsson logo) with chromed wire mesh behind.

New driving and fog lights are built into the new front bumper, with LED daytime running lights and illuminated Aigner logos on the fenders.

The Racasse rolls on a set of Carlsson 3/11 UL forged aluminum wheels that measure 23×11-inches at all four corners with massive 305/30/23 tires. The SUV also sits low thanks to Carlsson C-Tronic suspension system that lowers the factory air suspension by 40 mm.

Inside is where the Aigner side of the project really shines with Alcantara on the seats, dash, door panels and center console. The headliner is also coated in Alcantara in a custom stitched pattern.

In the rear, major adjustments were made, as the Racasse has just two seats, as opposed to the usual 5 rear seats. As a result there is plenty of space – enough for a fridge, in fact. Passengers can even enjoy a beverage in the hand-blown Carlsson-Aigner glasses.

A full entertainment system is also contained in the back seat with two eight-inch screens integrated into the front headrests.

The car will officially be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March and we’ll be sure to bring you more photos then.

Only 20 models will be built and as for the cost, Carlsson has set it at 228,500 Euros – or approximately $287,000. Yikes!

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 17 2009, 4:02 PM

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FAB Design, a German tuner shop famous for West Coast Customs-style rapper-trash modifications on Mercedes vehicles, has outdone itself by blinging out a Maybach 57 S. Notice we said, “ruin” in the headline.. with quotes… as Maybach models aren’t exactly gems to begin with.

Other than the obvious blue paint, the car features ASMA-like fenders that extend the width of the car by 30cm – essentially one foot (although that sounds like an exaggeration based on the photos). Up front a new bumper has some large square cutouts that match the rear exhaust outlets.

Inside the wheel wells are 20-inch rims, with some extra wider rubber that measures 265/30/20 up front and 325/25/20 out back.

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FAB Design says that thanks to their engine tuning the car now makes 650hp and 756 ft-lbs of torque and can hit 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at 186 mph – the same speed the Brabus modified Maybach achieved to set a record for the world’s fastest Maybach. Again, it sounds like FAB Design is embellishing.

The interior of the car features white leather and gobs and gobs of blue Alcantara.

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On a positive note, the company did make use of some nice carbon fiber details around the door handles and other areas.

FAB Design says just 15 version of this vehicle will be built for customers and while we can see some of them being ordered, with Maybach’s low sales volume 15 sounds like wishful thinking.

FAB Design is usually at the Geneva Auto Show so we’ll be sure to get more info if we can. And if you thought this was over the top, we’re certain Mansory has something just as even more ridiculous in store for Geneva.

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[Source: WorldCarFans via Auto Motor Und Sport]

 |  Feb 17 2009, 3:25 PM

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It’s really all just speculation at this point but there are reports the Bentley’s new supercar will make as much as 630hp and hit 62 mpg in just 4 seconds. And as ridiculous as that sounds, it might be an understatement.

Currently the Continental GT Speed makes 600hp from Bentley’s famous twin-turbo W12 and those Bentley engineers haven’t even begun to tap into the available power in that massive 6.0-liter engine.

According to a report on Gas2.0, it is quite likely that the Bentley Supercar will use a technology called Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection, or EBDI. Bentley has already announced that it will focus upcoming engineering efforts on biofuels (aka Ethanol) and considering the performance advantaged of EBDI, this isn’t a stretch.

EBDI technology allows, for the first time, for a FlexFuel vehicle to use direct injection optimally for either gas, ethanol or a blend of both.

EBDI is the invention of a company called Ricardo; and while that doesn’t mean much to most people, Ricardo has worked with VW and Audi in the past, helping to develop past direct injection technologies, as found on Audi’s Le Mans race cars and now in its street cars. And with Bentley being owned by VW/Audi, the connection almost becomes a no-brainer.

In fact, in the Ricado press release announcing the EBDI technology breakthrough, the company comments that it is currently doing testing on a VW VR6 engine – essentially a naturally aspirated half of the Bentley W12. Ricardo states that its technology works perfectly with high-boost turbocharging to achieve the higher compression required to optimize ethanol combustion.  The company also said that a EBDI VR6 could replace a larger V8 engine – hence our belief that the Bentley Supercar will make more than 630hp.

“We’ve moved past theoretical discussion and are busy applying renewable energy technology to the real world,” said Ricardo Inc President Dean Harlow.  “The EBDI engine project is a great example because it turns the gasoline-ethanol equation upside down.  It has the performance of a diesel at the cost of a gasoline engine, and runs on ethanol, gasoline, or a blend of both.”

Note: Reports say that the Bentley Supercar may achieve its four-second 0-60 time by removing the rear seats. We’ll have to wait for Geneva to find out.

[Source: WorldCarFans via Autowereld and Gas2.0 and Ricardo]

 |  Feb 17 2009, 2:24 PM

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It has been rumored for quite a while now and Mercedes has decided to officially confirm the existence of the E-Class Coupe, ahead of its unveiling at the Geneva Auto Show in March.

With a stunning new design based on the all-new 2010 E-Class, the Coupe does away with the B-pillar and features frameless windows. Incredibly, this new design is the most aerodynamic shape of any production vehicle with a coefficient of drag of just 0.24. (This ought to bruise some egos over at Toyota, after the not-yet-released 2010 Prius was recently announced to have the most aerodynamically efficient shape at just .025 cd.)

Mercedes intends to make the E-Class Coupe efficient in many other ways with steering and fuel pumps that only operate when necessary and an alternator that varies depending upon the driving situation and the on-board voltage. Mercedes has also equipped the E-Class Coupe with low rolling resistance tires.

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Offered in The U.S. in June, the vehicle will be available as both an E350 and E550. The E350 will make use of Mercedes’ V6 engine with 268hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and the E550 will use the V8 engine which boasts 382hp and 391 ft-lbs of torque. Two four-cylinder engines will also be available in Europe.

Much like its sedan counterpart the E-Class Coupe will feature plenty of state-of-the-art performance and safety equipment, including Agility Control adaptive shock absorbers and Attention Assist drowsiness detection. High beam assist, which adjusts the vehicle’s headlights based on the distance to a vehicle ahead or one in the oncoming lane, is also standard.

In Europe the E-Class Coupe will also come equipped with an Active Hood that will raise two two inches during an impact to reduce injury to a pedestrian.

Standard equipment includes a leather interior with sport seats, a Panorama Sunroof, Mercedes’s Command System and automatic dual-zone climate control.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe:

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…