Lexus Shows Off IS-F Pikes Peak Vehicle

Lexus has just posted a video of its IS-F CCS-R screaming up Pikes Peak during last weekend’s hill climb, placing second in its class. 

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Chrysler: The Transmission Nazi

Chrysler continues to expand the use of its new dual-clutch transmission, offering it in a total of three models – just not in North American. Originally offered in the Dodge Journey in European markets, the transmission will now also be available in the Avenger and Sebring.

Designed in partnership with Getrag, the state of the art transmission is similar in design to Audi’s DSG unit or the new PDK transmission found on new Porsches. Essentially it operates like an automatic transmission from the driver’s perspective, and gears can be selected through a manumatic-type system. Because of the dual-clutches, the next gear is always pre-loaded, meaning gear changes are incredibly quick and smooth.

According to Chrysler, it also makes for an improvement in fuel economy of six percent.

Currently the dual-clutch transmission is only available on 2.0-liter turbo diesel engines found in the Journey, Avenger and Sebring overseas.

Official release after the jump:

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UNVEILED: 2009 Ferrari California

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

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

Official release after the jump:

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Volvo S60 Concept

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

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

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

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

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

Official press release after the jump:

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NEW 2009 BMW Z4 ROADSTER

After a lengthy and successful run, the first generation Z4 will bow out this winter to make way for a new and improved model for 2009. Completely redesigned the new Z4 will be available with two engines and several transmission choices.

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