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12:32 AM

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New Porsche Museum in Stuttgart opens January 2009

Rafay Ansar



In the new Porsche Museum, the final preparations are being made for the opening on Saturday, 31st January 2009. At last, now that the scaffolding has been removed, it is possible to see to the full extent the bold architecture of the building, opposite the head office premises of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in Zuffenhausen; the famous suburb of Stuttgart, in Germany, that has since 1950 been the home of Porsche. The 5,600 square metres of exhibition space are supported on just three so-called cores of reinforced concrete - hence the building appears to hover in free-space. Inside, the majority of approximately 80 exhibits are already in place.

During construction of the new Porsche Museum, the vehicles have been stored in an off-premises warehouse in Zwingenberg am Neckar until required. The first exhibits that will go on display in the museum include, among others, a 356 Cabriolet, an original '11' model and the first prototype of the Porsche 924.

"In the last few weeks, we have comprehensively restored all the vehicles and polished them up for their use in the museum," explains Klaus Bischof, head of the 'Rolling Museum'. In addition to the exhibition vehicles, the small exhibits and show cabinets have also already been put in place. This means that work can now begin on the lighting of the exhibition as the next step.

As virtually all museum vehicles are also used on the road, it is intended that they will be continuously replaced by other exhibits. As a result, the Porsche Museum will constantly change its appearance, and this will enable visitors in future to discover different Porsche rarities in the new museum on a regular basis.

In the other areas of the new building - amongst them the museum workshops, the museum shop, the Porsche archive, an exclusive restaurant, a bistro and the capacious event areas - a team of experts is busy applying the finishing touches. Three days after the ceremonial opening, which takes place on Wednesday, 28th January 2009, the doors of the new Porsche Museum will be officially opened to welcome the first visitors.

On Tuesdays through to Sundays, the exhibition can be viewed between 09:00 and 18:00. General admission costs eight Euros. Children up to the age of 14 get free admission when accompanied by an adult. The Museum is closed Mondays.

The restaurant on the second floor - which has both a view through the glass facade onto the Porscheplatz below as well as through a glass partition into the exhibition itself - has its own separate entrance and is also open at hours different from those of the museum itself.

The new museum and its range of catering facilities offer additional capacity for conferences, company and private events in exceptional surroundings.

12:32 AM

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Mitsuishi Colt has a Better Residual Value than the Ferrari 430 Coupe

Rafay Ansar



Mitsubishi's next generation Colt is winning friends wherever it goes. Both the 3- and 5-door models have been designed to bring even more style, practicality and performance to this fiercely competitive supermini sector.

Confidence in this good value, well-specified and reliable supermini has been reflected in its forecast residual values. Best-in-class, the new Mitsubishi Colt beats some notable rivals such as the Mazda2, new Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Vauxhall Corsa.

The latest figures show that the CZ1 and CZ2 3-door variants have a predicted residual value of 75% of their new value after 12-months / 10,000 miles and 41% after 3-years / 60,000 miles. The 5-door Mitsubishi Colt has proven it's no slouch either with 74% and 40% residual values predicted over the same 1-year and 3-year periods.

Outside its more 'traditional' competition the new-look Mitsubishi Colt beats the Ferrari 430 Coupe, Jaguar XF Luxury Saloon and Maserati Quattroporte - retaining up to 22% more of its new value.

The previous generation Mitsubishi Colt's sales success was built on a responsible sales strategy that refused to cave-in to distress selling or big discount fleet and retail deals. In 2007 a healthy 8,698 new Mitsubishi Colts were sold, proving that stock management is key to alleviating stress on used market values.

Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi's Director of Sales and Marketing said: "We are really pleased with these residual values. They underline the strong value of this car both as a new-car proposition and as a used car for the future. It's also a great reward for the way we have responsibly sold the Colt since its relaunch in mid-2004. Beating a Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar is, of course, a bit of fun but the serious message is that we are top of the pile with all our main competition in the B-segment".

Starting at just £7,749, the next generation Mitsubishi Colt is on sale now with Mitsubishi dealers across the UK. A new 150bhp 'hot hatch' Ralliart version is due in the UK early next year promptly followed by a range of low CO2 emission variants, badged 'ClearTec', with emission levels starting at 115gkm as announced at the Paris Show.

10:20 AM

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2009 Volvo S80

Rafay Ansar



MSRP:
$39,600 - 51,850

The 2009 Volvo S80 is a four-door luxury car that features a wealth of technological advancements and several drivetrain options. As a carryover from the prior model year, the S80 maintains the same elegant exterior and comfortable interior filled with modern conveniences. While the fuel economy is moderate, the Volvo S80 simply cannot compete with the less expensive Saturn Aura, flex-fuel or hybrid models. However, the five-passenger sedan’s power surpasses most of the comparables on the market. Though the S80 is priced high, it is well worth the money.

The 2009 Volvo S80 receives a couple of new option packages. This is Volvo’s flagship sedan. It comes in three trim levels: the front-wheel-drive 3.2; the all-wheel-drive T6; and the AWD V8. The 3.2 has a 235-hp 3.2-liter 6-cylinder engine. T6 has a turbocharged 281-hp 3.0-liter 6-cylinder. The V8 has a 311-hp 4.4-liter engine. All S80s have a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Available is Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System. BLIS detects and warns of nearby objects that may go unseen by the driver. Other options include a navigation system and DVD entertainment. An Executive Package is optional on the T6, and most of its features are standard on the V8. Depending on the model, the Executive Package features luxury touches such as a massage function in the front seats and heated front and rear seats. The new Convenience Package offers front- and rear-obstacle detection, rear audio controls, and keyless access/engine start. A refrigerator in the rear-seat area is optional on the V8. The Sport Package has been discontinued.

10:17 AM

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The Fastest, Most Expensive Car - Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Rafay Ansar



Want a very fast car? Are you financially well enough to buy a $1.5 mil car? Want diamonds in your dashboard? Want to own one of the most powerful and luxurious car in the market? I think your thinking of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4.

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the most powerful, most expensive, and fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a proven top speed of over 400 km/h (407 km/h or 253 mph). It reached full production in September 2005. The car is built by Volkswagen AG subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles SAS and is sold under the legendary Bugatti marque. It is named after racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti firm. The Veyron features a W16 engine—16 cylinders in 4 banks of 4 cylinders.

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is an exotic sports car. Without seeing one in person, it’s a little hard to judge the car’s size, but in terms of dimensions the Veyron is actually a little bit shorter in length than a Porsche 911. To help reduce weight, carbon fiber and aluminum have been extensively utilized for the car’s bodywork and structure, though the Veyron still checks in at close to 4,500 pounds.

The Veyron can reach 62mph from a standstill in 2.5sec and 122mph in 7.3sec. When 0-60mph in 7sec is the mark of a quick car, this one is out of the world as we know it — all two tons of it.

When you press the accelerator to the floor — and you had better be prepared for the rocket-like response — the needle on a dial to the left of the instrument panel flicks round to 1001. It’s a power indicator and it has absolutely no use except to give the driver a sense of awe. It should be called a “boast gauge”.

According to those who’ve had the pleasure of seat time, the Bugatti Veyron is a relatively easy car to drive. Handling, though not as visceral or engaging as other exotic sports cars, is still monumentally impressive. Meanwhile, the car coddles its occupants with leather upholstery and special aluminum trim, while interior measurements are in fact quite roomy. Outward forward visibility, however, is noticeably poor due to the car’s very thick A-pillars.

Not everybody can buy a Bugatti Veyron. Only 300 Veyron can be made. Its the production limit. And only 60 persons had made downpayments for this car. It is an ultimate in technology. It is a billionaire’s prized possession, the automotive equivalent of one of those hideously expensive Swiss watches. And it will be the stuff of dreams, the bedroom poster for a generation of young boys.

MSRP: $1,500,000 - $2,065,902

More on the Bugatti Veyron 16.4:

12:01 AM

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Fisker to use GM Ecotec motor to recharge Karma’s batteries

Rafay Ansar

The forthcoming Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports car will be able to drive 50 miles on the electricity it gets from your home outlet, but after the batteries are depleted it will use a 2.0-liter Ecotec engine from General Motors to recharge the cells, the company has announced.

Typically rated at 260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, it’s unclear if the engine will be detuned or otherwise modified to reduce its fuel consumption. It’s not that four-banger is particularly fuel thirsty, but rather we fail to see why such a powerful engine is needed, unless it’s the only way to provide quick enough charging.

In any case, it’s good news for GM to have one of its products associated with a car like this, and it’s good news for Fisker because it has partnered with an automaker that has the means to provide it with more units can it sell.

Fisker recently announced a deal with Valmet Automotive to build the Karma in Finland. Valmet also builds the Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

12:00 AM

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2010 Mazda3 Hatchback unveiled prior to Bologna Motor Show

Rafay Ansar

After unveiling the Mazda has finally preview images and some technical details of its five-door hatchback ahead of its Bologna Motor Show debut early next month. Mazda says that one in three cars it sells worldwide is a Mazda3, so it comes as little surprise that it would choose the hatchback-friendly European market to unveil its roomiest variant.

Availability will begin early next year, likely alongside the Mazda3 sedan’s debut in March for the North American market. Like the new sedan, the hatchback is a little longer than its predecessor. The added length will translate to more interior space, though it’s not known if that will come in the form of passenger legroom or added cargo capacity.



Underhood, the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is borrowed from the larger Mazda6i and will offer 167 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 168 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Like its predecessor, the model offered in the United States and Canada will not be equipped with the smaller 2.0 liter engine standard in the sedan. Both powertrains feature a new catalyst developed with single nanotechnology that significantly cuts down on the amount of platinum and palladium necessary.



Exterior styling is obviously derivative of the outgoing model, though all body panels are new and most of the car, aft of the windshield, is exclusive to the hatchback.



Inside, it appears that the hatchback interior will be identical to the sedan, which features a more cohesive design than its predecessor as well as a number of class-exclusive luxury features. Mazda confirmed that the hatchback will be offered with Bluetooth connectivity, adaptive Bi-Xenon headlamps, an advanced keyless entry system and push-button start.

12:23 AM

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Volvo XC60

Rafay Ansar



The Volvo XC60, with Volvo's unique Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), is one of only five cars to receive the highest rating in Euro NCAP's new assessment procedure for evaluating the degree of whiplash protection offered by passenger cars in rear-end collisions. The Volvo XC60 also received the highest rating of five stars in Euro NCAP's Adult Occupant Protection tests, which includes front and side impacts.

The new Euro NCAP evaluation procedure for whiplash protection consists of a number of different tests. Firstly, the seat's geometry is measured, for example, the position of the head restraint, in order to determine how well the seat can protect against injuries in a collision. Three tests are then conducted in a testing rig with varying degrees of collision severity. This rig is used to simulate a situation in which a stationary car is subjected to a rear-end collision. Finally, the results are evaluated and the car is graded on a scale of red, orange and green where red is poor, orange is marginal and green is good.

"Our latest model, the Volvo XC60, performed well in all of the tests and was given an overall rating of green," says Thomas Broberg, a safety expert at Volvo Cars.

Whiplash injuries are one of the most common types of traffic injury and occur primarily in rear-end collisions. If whiplash injuries can be prevented, considerable expense and the amount of suffering by the individual is reduced.

"The reason for neck injuries is the very rapid movement between the head and body," explains Thomas Broberg. "This makes it vital for the whiplash protection system to support the entire back and head and to help the person's head move together with the torso. The design of the seat's backrest and a head restraint that is sufficiently high and positioned close to the head are also important factors."

Volvo's WHIPS is a form of protection integrated into the front seats which supports the seat occupant's entire back and head in a rear-end collision. This protective system cushions the movement through energy-absorbing deformation elements between the backrest and seat cushion. If a rear-end collision occurs, the backrest follows the occupant's rearward movement in order to reduce the forces on the neck and spine.

This year marks WHIPS' tenth anniversary. This technology was introduced in 1998 on the Volvo S80 and WHIPS has been a standard feature on all Volvo models since 2000. According to Volvo's Accident Research Team, this system reduces the long-term effects of whiplash injuries by half.

Volvo's work with safety is always based on real-life traffic accidents. Through Volvo's own Accident Research Team and tens of thousands of crash tests, facts are compiled that subsequently form the basis for the development of the safety systems of tomorrow. Helping a driver avoid an accident is naturally the most effective means of reducing the number of people injured or killed in traffic. For instance, the Volvo XC60 is equipped as standard with City Safety, which is a feature that helps the driver avoid colliding with the vehicle ahead in slow-moving traffic and other similar situations. Euro NCAP does not currently test safety systems of this type.

12:23 AM

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The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel Named Green Car of the Year

Rafay Ansar



The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel has been honoured at the Los Angeles Motor Show by the Green Car Journal, being crowned '2009 Green Car of the Year'.

The Volkswagen Jetta, which takes centre stage at the Los Angeles Show this month, is the first diesel vehicle to receive the prestigious award.

A jury of nine environmental and automotive experts from North America commended the Jetta TDI for its strong performance, fuel economy and low emissions.

Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal commented: "Hybrids have dominated the discussion of environmentally positive vehicles in recent years. The highly fuel efficient, 50 state emissions certified Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic. With its affordable price point, refined ride and handling, and high fuel economy, the Jetta TDI shows that hybrids now have a strong competitor in the marketplace."

The Volkswagen Jetta uses a 2.0-litre four cylinder common rail TDI engine producing 140 PS and 320 Nm (236 lbs ft) of torque at 1,750 rpm. Two key modifications have been made to the 'Clean Diesel' engine to substantially reduce the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions.

The common rail engine in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI clean diesel adopts optimised combustion chamber geometries and precise injection processes at extremely high pressures reduce the production of NOx. An exhaust gas recirculation process in the combustion chamber then reduces the concentration of oxygen with which the nitrogen can react and controls the combustion temperatures. This process can reduce temperature-dependent NOx emissions by up to 60 percent.

As a further measure to reduce emissions, a highly-efficient NOx storage catalytic converter soaks up any nitrogen oxides which remain. This filter is cleaned regularly, and without the driver knowing, through an automated engine management mode.

These modifications make the Volkswagen Jetta TDI one of the cleanest and most fuel efficient vehicles on sale in North America. It meets the strictest emissions regulations in the world including BIN5 standard, which is equivalent to the Euro 6 standard which becomes law in 2014.

The Volkswagen Jetta continues to enjoy sustained popularity in the North American market, enjoying popularity primarily with younger buyers. It is the best-selling European vehicle in the US, accounting for 40 per cent of Volkswagen's US sales. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI with Clean Diesel has been available across North America since August 2008.

"It is a tremendous honour to have our Jetta TDI awarded Green Car of the Year," said Stefan Jacoby, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "We believe the Jetta TDI provides our customers with the best of both worlds - excellent fuel efficiency combined with a dynamic driving experience."

12:20 AM

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Porsche wants to buy Tesla Roadster

Rafay Ansar



Porsche is not just known for performance cars, but also for a crack team of engineers (how else do you expect to get that kind of performance from six-cylinders?) So it’s no surprise that Porsche is in line to pick up a Tesla Roadster. Inside Line got the scoop from a Tesla spokesperson, "A Porsche senior engineer actually came over a few weeks back, and he was seriously analyzing the car in every detail."

Porsche is reportedly working on its own lithium-ion car, possibly to use on its own cars or offer to other makers through its engineering arm. One of the easiest ways to understand any technology is testing and reverse engineering successful technology, so there no telling what Porsche may do when its Tesla arrives.

Tuner Ruf has actually already assembled a 911 with ithium-ion battery power, but Porsche is doesn’t seem to be impressed with that car. Instead the German car company went shopping in California. But just like GM’s and Toyota’s Hyundai Genesis purchase, Porsche isn’t getting any special treatment. Tesla said Porsche is "pretty far down on the list of current orders."

12:16 AM

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Heffner Performance and Camilo Pardo Special Edition Ford GT

Rafay Ansar



Heffner Performance teamed up with Camilo Pardo and created a very special edition Ford GT. It pumps up to 900hp and features the Heffner Twin Turbo system that pumps the car from 0 to 200 mph in under 19 seconds, clocking over 150 mph in the quarter mile.

The car features a more futuristic, race-inspired look. By any measure, the artistic talents of Camilo have taken this car to another level. It is a striking vehicle on the road, retaining the grace of the Ford GT but with an intensity that screams out for speed. The Camilo Edition Heffner Performance TT GT also includes a Setrab transmission cooler for additional performance enhancement

Heffner Performance is a name that has become synonymous with ultra high performance exotic car tuning. Having already successfully modified Ford GT and Lamborghini Gallardo’s for added performance, the team at Heffner Performance looked to expand their range by teaming with world reknowned artist and Ford GT chief designer Camilo Pardo for a special edition Ford GT. The combination of these two unique talents has provided for one of the most desirable Ford GT supercars ever produced.

Camilo Pardo had met Jason Heffner in 2006 when Heffner Performance modified Camilo’s first GT, an all-white 2005. Having had the chance to drive one of the initial twin turbo GT cars, Camilo immediately qualified it as “the baddest GT I’ve ever been in.” It was only a matter of time before they began discussing a collaborative effort, as each sought to take the GT to another level of performance and design quality.

The Heffner Twin Turbo system for the Ford GT is already proven on the street, as well as the track. Whille the car retains all its stock driveability, performance was shown to be otherworldly at the inaugural Car and Driver 0-200-0 shootout. Making over 900hp, the system has proven to obtain 200 mph from stop in under 19 seconds, clocking over 150 mph in the quarter mile. One of the few outside vehicles to ever see the inside of the Ford proving grounds in Dearborn, MI, the Heffner Twin Turbo was an instant hit with many of the team who engineered the original supercar. The essentials have remained the same for the Camilo Edition, but this special edition features an all new, Camilo-designed billet aluminum intake.

The car features a number of key aesthetic improvements the designer had wanted to include from the factory including

* Unique Roundel and Number Graphics
* Heritage racing-inspired paintjob
* Flat black BBS wheels
* Concept-Style rear bumper treatment from Classic Design Concepts
* Black-lip mirrors
* Aluminum seat grommets
* Chrome Shift ball
* Lasercut door trim rings from OEM supplier Quality Metalcraft
* Wide-shaft shiter
* Wrinkle black valve covers
* Flat black gas cap and door latches
* T&A Shocks lowering
* Polished exhaust tips
* Brembo caliper graphics

These represent subtle modifications that Camilo Pardo felt could transform the car with a more futuristic, race-inspired look. By any measure, the artistic talents of Camilo have taken this car to another level. It is a striking vehicle on the road, retaining the grace of the Ford GT but with an intensity that screams out for speed. The Camilo Edition Heffner Performance TT GT also includes a Setrab transmission cooler for additional performance enhacnement.

The project was a true collaborative effort by leaders in their respective fields. The car was sold only moments after it was revealed at the Ford GT National Rally III to a GT owner that decided, though he already had 4, he absolutely had to have it. At this time, Camilo and Heffner are looking forward to the chance at collaborating on another successful and exciting project.

12:37 AM

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Wraps are finally off stunning Panamera

Rafay Ansar



At last, the wait is over! One of motoring’s worst kept secrets has finally broken cover – these are the first official pictures of the new Porsche Panamera.

At the front, the super saloon follows the design philosophy that’s been refined over time on the 911 and implemented more recently on the Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.

The four-door Panamera is 17cm longer than a Cayenne, but has short, sporty overhangs. Its swoopy roofline gives a coupé-like shape, but the bulbous rear is more testing on the eye. The twin exhausts at either end of the bumper work with the chrome strip between the rear lights to visually stretch the car.

No interior shots have been released yet, although bosses promise top-class comfort in the front and two sculpted individual chairs in the rear. The back seats will fold to increase the generous luggage bay.

Powertrains will be revealed next year, but front-mounted V6 and V8 units are to form part of the line-up. Outputs will range from 300bhp to 500bhp, and a hybrid is in development.

There will be a choice of a six-speed manual or Porsche’s PDK seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, with power going to either the rear or all four wheels.

The Panamera goes on sale from late next summer, with prices from around £50,000.

12:33 AM

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Mazda KAAN - race car of the future?

Rafay Ansar



The Mazda KAAN won the Los Angeles Design Competition and it represents a race car from 2025. KAAN took first place for how well it integrated a high level of innovation and technology into the design, as well as its truly unique styling.

Mazda’s patented electronic tire system uses this technology to power the KAAN to reach 250 mph with no harmful emissions.

The vehicles are piloted by individual drivers but teams are made up of thirty cars, all on the track together. Using strategies similar to those in cycling peletons, the tighter the group sticks together, the more aerodynamic and powerful it becomes.

nspiration for the KAAN comes from electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. The car is uniquely designed around its powerful electric wheels while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver, allowing for tighter peloton formations and a team victory.

12:32 AM

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BMW strongly considering ‘green’ supercar

Rafay Ansar

BMW is considering pouring its high-performance ambitions into a “breakthrough green supercar,” according to a company insider. These latest rumors follow a report from late October of a similar nature. The vehicle being described would purportedly be based on the M1 Homage Concept that was considered for production as a conventional supercar but eventually cancelled.

The car, if approved, would be a “puristic two-seater” designed using the latest “lightweight build processes,” the source told AutoWeek. The ultimate goal is to build an exotic sports car with a “whole new level of environmental compatibility.”

The source said BMW feels it can accomplish this goal using technology and materials that are “already in wide use” at present in other industries. The basic structure would be aluminum, but much of the body would be composed of carbon fiber. Total vehicle weight would be under 3,000 lbs.

BMW is said to be exploring both mid- and front-engine proposals. The company is said to be considering a 3.0-liter V6 with variable-vane turbochargers, possibly coupled to an electric motor for added power under heavy acceleration — effectively creating a type of parallel hybrid.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has not given the green light to any such project yet, but it certainly sounds like a green supercar is a serious consideration in Munich.

12:30 AM

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More 2010 Porsche Panamera photos leak online

Rafay Ansar



Following the leak late Friday of a single official image of the 2010 Porsche Panamera, four more images have found their way onto the Web, bringing the total to five. As previously noted, the sedan is expected to compete with the more expensive Aston Martin Rapide and Lamborghini Estoque models. Its narest rival in terms of price point, the BMW CS, was recently canceled.

In September, the automaker released a teaser shot of the Panamera’s characteristically Porsche nose, and until now that was the only official look at the finished exterior. The car measures 16.3 in length, 6.3 feet wide, and 4.66 in height. The car’s unique shape gives it a drag coefficient of 0.29, which is pretty respectable for a four-door sedan.



The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 hp from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses. All models are equipped with Porsche’s new PDK dual-clutch gearbox. According to Edmunds, the base car will come with a sticker price of $127,000. Despite the high price tag, Porsche is planning to sell 20,000 Panameras annually.



Some prototypes — likely the Panamera S — feature dual exhaust pipes and a retractable spoiler similar to the one on the Boxster/Cayman. Other prototypes — presumably the Panamera Turbo — feature quad exhaust pipes and a larger wing. While the finished car’s wing will look much different, we suspect the more powerful variants will have a larger spoiler than the base models.

12:22 AM

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Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe (2008)

Rafay Ansar

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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled its new Phantom Drophead Coupé at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2007. Production of the new car started at Goodwood in the summer of 2007.



The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body.

Its exterior lines echo the timeless styling of the great Rolls-Royce cars: a long bonnet, large-diameter wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the quintessential dynamic line descending along its flanks. Inside, the design emphasises the airy openness of top-down motoring, embracing the elements and creating a stunning, social environment.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Designer, Ian Cameron, said, "This car gave us the chance to think about the very nature of convertible motoring and in particular what it means to Rolls-Royce. Above all we were determined to make this car a joy to live with and engineered it to give years of effortless service to its owner."



A number of features first seen on Rolls-Royce 100EX, the experimental convertible shown by Rolls-Royce in 2004, have been engineered into the new Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. Two of the most visually striking of these are the brushed steel bonnet and A-pillar and the teak decking for the rear hood cover. The brushed steel is machine finished to give a uniform grain before undergoing extensive hand polishing to achieve a perfect sheen. At the rear, the teak decking is treated with a carefully blended mix of oils to preserve a natural finish and a long lasting lustre that is as beautiful as it is hardy.

Front opening coach doors have been homologated for the new car and add considerably to the ease of access to the rear seat, as well as to the overall aesthetics. Unique to Rolls-Royce, the doors dramatically transform the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé's looks, giving a side profile reminiscent of classic sports cars of the '60s. Crucially, they also aid the overall stiffness of the body as the rear hinged doors allow for an uninterrupted A-pillar.

Luggage is housed within a picnic boot, a split tail compartment that opens in two parts giving easy access to the 315 litres of space. The lower tailgate provides a comfortable seating platform for two adults when lowered. Careful engineering of the folding soft-top roof means that it stows in a relatively small space resulting in a luggage compartment that remains unaffected regardless of whether the roof is up or down.

The fabric hood is the largest of any modern convertible car and its acoustic insulation is exemplary. Five layers of material ensure that the cabin remains a serene space, even at speed. Lined with cashmere it has been tailored to stow in a relatively small space.

At the core of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé is an advanced aluminium chassis, perhaps the single most significant component in delivering the marques legendary refinement. Lightweight and exceptionally strong, it impacts positively on ride comfort, handling and safety. Hand made, it requires over 140 meters of welding in each chassis. Power is supplied by the same 6.75 litre naturally aspirated V12 engine found in the Rolls-Royce Phantom saloon, giving brisk performance and a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robertson, said, "The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé marks the next chapter in our history. While the saloon continues as the brand flagship, the Drophead leads us in a more informal direction, attracting new buyers to the marque. In the coming years other new models will strengthen the company still further."



The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé has been carefully crafted to be aesthetically pleasing, yet practical too. Wood, leather, chrome and brushed steel have been used where most appropriate. Form and function have equal billing. The simplicity of the design belies a car built to provide years of effortless service. It will offer owners an unparalleled convertible experience, combining compelling driveability with exceptional engineering, technology and design - hand crafted from the finest materials to an exceptional level of quality.

12:21 AM

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Rolls-Royce 101EX (2009)

Rafay Ansar



Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has confirmed that a series version of the two-door, four-seat experimental car, 101EX, will be launched in 2008. Production is scheduled to begin next summer. It will be hand-built at the company's manufacturing plant in Goodwood, England.

This model will complete the Phantom family line-up alongside the Phantom, Phantom Extended Wheelbase and Phantom Drophead Coupé.

The new car will be an elegant two-door, four-seat coupe that builds on the extraordinary driving experience offered in the Phantom and Drophead Coupé. It will use an all aluminium construction similar to the rest of the Phantom family. However, it will be a unique car in the Phantom family, designed around the desire to create the worlds' foremost transcontinental tourer.

Outright power will be identical to the other Phantom models - an impressive 453bhp and 720nm of torque - however the coupé will be subtly tuned with more emphasis placed on the driver. The body will be shorter than that of the Phantom sedan and there will be revisions to the suspension and chassis set-up.

Rolls-Royce Chief Designer, Ian Cameron, said, "With this car we wanted to emphasize the performance potential of the 6.75litre V12 engine and the effortless experience that it delivers. Whilst never overtly sporty, Rolls-Royce is a brand that has always offered owners a powerful and refined drive combined with, as Sir Henry Royce described it, a bit of fizz."

Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, "This new model represents an important milestone in the company's history. It completes the Phantom family and judging by the customer reaction to 101EX, we are confident of its success. Our challenge lies in meeting the exceptional levels of customer demand for the Phantom range and in preparing Goodwood to meet the needs of future new cars."

The new coupé will be priced between the Phantom and Phantom Drophead Coupé. Further information will be released in the coming months.

4:50 AM

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Hyundai Sonata (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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The Hyundai Sonata combines refined design, proven dependability, spirited performance and an extensive list of standard features to increase its appeal to a broader range of customers. For 2009, Sonata raises the bar for value and standard safety technology in the mid-size segment. Hyundai's sales leader boasts new features ranging from standard USB/iPod auxiliary inputs to available navigation and sport-tuned suspension. Combined with Sonata's continued leadership in safety - it remains the only mid-size sedan under $20,000 with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - the 2009 American-made Sonata is the smartest choice in the competitive mid-size sedan segment.

The new, second-generation Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine delivers more horsepower and quicker acceleration. Fuel economy numbers are 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission or the newly available five-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. The Theta II is rated at 175 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine now features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on both camshafts and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing.



Sonata's 3.3-liter V6 engine now pumps out 15 more horsepower and three more pound-feet of torque (249 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 229 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm). This newly refined powerplant features all-aluminum construction, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, CVVT on both camshafts and stiffer hydraulic engine mounts for optimum power, efficiency and refinement. A variable intake system is added for 2009, which further broadens its power curve, improving off-the-line acceleration and passing performance. New mileage figures for V6-powered Sonatas are 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway.



All V6-powered Sonatas use Hyundai's five-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission, which features an overdrive lock-up torque converter for improved highway fuel economy. The automatic transmission has a new reducing valve and solenoid valve for smoother shift quality while the manual transmission has been refined for more precise shifts.

The pleasant surprises continue inside where Hyundai designers have thoroughly revamped the cockpit to create the ambiance of an upscale, premium sedan. The sophisticated look is achieved thanks to a completely new center console and instrument panel, which borrows design cues and rich materials from the premium Hyundai Veracruz. The Sonata continues to be classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Large Car, truly a "class above" Camry, Altima, Fusion and Malibu (all are categorized as mid-size cars).



Music lovers will welcome the 2009 Hyundai Sonata's inclusion of standard auxiliary input jacks (3.5 mm mini-jack and USB input) to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods®. Other refinements include dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front-seat passenger and two-stage front seat warmers. A new factory-installed touch screen navigation system is now available as well.

The design team added a more refined touch to Sonata's exterior design, with new bumpers, lamps, wheels and grille creating a more elegant, dynamic and taut stance. The unibody design crafted of high-tensile steel features a concave hood design, distinctive rear-door cut lines, strong Z-lined body-to-bumper interfaces and four-barrel jeweled projector lens headlights. New chrome bodyside and bumper moldings match the chrome grille and chrome-accented exterior door handles on Limited models.



On the safety side, 2009 Hyundai Sonata's front collision performance has been improved by tweaking the design of the engine subframe. Every Sonata also has lifesaving ESC as standard equipment along with six standard airbags. The braking technology package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

12:17 AM

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Seat Exeo (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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The new Seat Exeo, the car with which Seat is making its way into the mid-size saloon segment, made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Exclusive, elegant and sporty, the Seat Exeo represents a giant leap in quality for Seat, whose aim is to explore new markets and widen its already attractive model range.

Quality and precision manufacturing processes and materials were the underlying requirements when designing and producing the Seat Exeo, resulting in an extremely dynamic, safe and lively car.

Distinctive personality



Distinctive elegant styling abounds on the new Seat Exeo. On the exterior, both the front and rear ends are clearly indicative of the Spanish brand's image - it is sporty, with fluid forms, soft curves and prominent wings that heighten the car's athletic looks. Finally, the unmistakable grille, larger on this model, and the proportion of glass to vehicle body lend an even greater sporty look to the car.

The new Exeo's assertive personality is enhanced with spectacular 19-inch alloy rims that are hard to miss, as well as the twin tailpipe at either end of the bumper.

The extraordinarily ergonomic interior is particularly comfortable. At the front of the passenger compartment the dashboard lines flow towards the door panels and the driver-facing central console, creating a visible wrap-around effect. The two-tone instrument panel's great looks are completed with dark brown wood inserts.



The colour scheme used on the interior is particularly interesting. Called "magnolia", it creates a feeling of spaciousness with light tones. The comfortable leather seats and Alcantara lining on pillars and ceiling also combine to create a harmonic feeling of fluidity, style and roominess.

The Seat Exeo also provides an extremely comfortable driving experience. The front seats have four automatic positioning memories, and the seat length offers exceptional leg support. The rear sunshade can be controlled electrically to reduce incoming glare.

On hot sunny days the contents of the Seat Exeo's glove compartment can be cooled using the automatic climatiser. Temperature remains constant for a certain time even after the engine has been turned off after parking.



The bodywork construction includes a steel monocoque structure with integrated aluminium components. The further use of high strength steel helps reduce weight on the new car, guaranteeing excellent results in both occupant and pedestrian protection. These special elements are used on both the front-end structure and the passenger compartment of the Seat Exeo.

Seat's saloon also features ample boot space, with a volume of 460 litres, while the especially generous 1,000 mm loading width between the interior extrusions allows bulky objects to be loaded with ease.

Agile, dynamic and sporty



With the arrival of the Exeo, Seat is demonstrating its efforts to create and manufacture made-to-measure vehicles. Its compact size and greater manoeuvrability provides more comfortable performance in city driving and parking. This all contributes to making Seat's new saloon car complete, with the combination of effective city driving and exceptional long distance performance.

The design of the drivetrain on the new Seat Exeo is greatly responsible for the car's extreme driving comfort. Its excellent dynamic performance is the result of the definition of the coil ratings and the shock absorbers, as well as the analysis of the suspension's elasticity and geometric behaviour.

The front suspension setup is independent multilink with a trapezoidal link at the rear. There are several light alloy elements on both shafts that also considerably reduce the unsuspended mass.

On board the Seat Exeo, the driver immediately feels the vehicle's controlled behaviour when driving to the limit, with the car's body responding succinctly to the steering wheel and minimal roll. This ride comfort stems in part from the speed-dependent Servotronic power steering, where the degree of assistance depends on the car's speed, providing the driver with greater comfort and driving quality.

Technologically advanced



Driving enjoyment is at the very heart of the Seat Exeo and, as such, several solutions have been specifically added for both driver and passengers to experience the greatest comfort while motoring.

Besides all of the elements expected on a saloon of this category, the Seat Exeo also features double-thickness door windows, which significantly reduce noise inside the car and are also a theft deterrent. It is also equipped with a tilt sensor alarm and a solar roof, which provides enough electrical power to activate the car's ventilation system (which continues to work when the engine is turned off).



Seat's new car also features sweeping Xenon Plus headlights, including daylight driving lights, providing an intensely even beam in front of the car. The dynamic turning lighting system is made up of swivelling lights that illuminate the inside of a curve when the car is travelling at a speed of at least 12 km/h.

The twin-zone automatic climate control system is equipped with an air quality sensor, which not only provides independent climate control on the driver and front passenger sides, but also detects and avoids the entry of noxious gases, maintaining a constant atmospheric air quality for all the vehicle's occupants.

The new Seat Exeo also naturally features a sophisticated navigation system with two SD ports and MP3-type audio support player.

The best safety measures

The Seat Exeo is fully equipped with the most sophisticated occupant protection measures, including two front airbags, which deploy in two stages depending on the severity of the collision, two front side airbags, two curtain-type head airbags, driver knee airbag and rear side airbags.

The car also features active front seat headrests that protect driver and passenger from whiplash caused by rear-end collisions. The passenger and rear seats are also equipped with Isofix anchoring points for child seats.



Seat's new sedan is also equipped with essential active safety elements, including ABS, TCS and ESP +, EBA and low tyre pressure warning.

More horsepower than g/km of emissions




The Seat Exeo displayed in Paris was equipped with a powerful petrol engine, the turbo-charged direct injection 200 hp 2.0 TSI. It delivers a maximum torque of 280 Nm at only 1,800 rpm, providing excellent performance. This engine's combined fuel consumption figure is 7.7 litres, and its CO2 emissions fall beneath 185 g/km.

12:08 AM

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Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will unveil, for the first time at an international motor show, the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback at the Le Mondial de l'Automobile 2008 (Paris Motor Show 2008) being held in Halls 1-8 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from October 2 (October 4 for the general public) through October 19. The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback will have its European launch this fall with a phased introduction into the various countries in the region.

The company will also be displaying the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart models that are based on the Lancer sports sedan and Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback. These models are powered by a turbocharged engine mated to Mitsubishi's Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission) and delivering power to all four wheels through an Active Center Differential.

With its inverted-slant nose and trapezoidal grille that defines the Mitsubishi Motors design identity the sporty Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is a 5-door sport hatchback, a body type that is very popular in Europe. The model is available in versions powered by 1.5-liter (109PS) or 1.8-liter (143PS) gasoline engines or by a 2.0-liter (140PS) turbo diesel engine. The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback offers an "auto-folding function" which enhances luggage compartment convenience through adjustable rear floor height and rear seatbacks that can be tipped forward via a lever located in the luggage compartment. The series is due to be joined by a model powered by Mitsubishi Motors' new diesel engine in spring of 2009.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart models use a new turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC MIVEC engine [maximum output 177 kW (240PS), maximum torque 343 Nm (35 kgm)]. This is mated to Mitsubishi's high-efficiency Twin Clutch SST transmission with an Active Center Differential, for extremely responsive steering and traction through tailoring the amount of torque fed to each wheel to optimally suit driving conditions. Also helping to significantly raise the basic performance attributes of these cars over the Lancer base model are 2-pot caliper front brakes and a larger brake master cylinder.

12:05 AM

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Mazda BT-50 (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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Since launch in 2006, the stylish Mazda BT-50 pickup has been very popular throughout the world. This tough but sophisticated-looking lifestyle vehicle can do it all - carry bricks to a construction site or a surfboard to the beach, and after a wash-up cut a good figure for a night on the town. Its appeal reaches across target groups like no other car in the Mazda portfolio: from commercial users in rural areas of Europe and Asia, to fire-fighters in Greece, to young urbanites with sporty or adventurous lifestyles. Since launch, Mazda has sold over 60,000 units globally (over 19,000 in Europe) while winning several awards along the way during the 30 months period. These include Ute of the Year in Australia and Off-road Competition's Car of the Year in Russia.

Mazda now introduces a facelift version of the Mazda BT-50 with updates that underscore its strengths without taking anything away from the original model's appeal. The Mazda BT-50 facelift now looks even tougher than before with design cues to emphasise that it can also sprint and run with the best in its segment. The sedan-like quality of the interior has been enhanced as well, and new equipment added to meet the lifestyle demands of even more people than before.

Exterior updates for higher quality look and more choice


The Mazda BT-50 facelift can handle whatever a commercial user or an off-road adventurous lifestyle demand of it. As with the outgoing model, three cab versions are available (depending on market) with room for two (Regular Cab), four (Freestyle Cab) or five passengers (Double Cab) and cargo box lengths of 2,280 mm, 1,753 mm or 1,530 mm respectively. It retains its high quality, single-fascia front bumper, but now with an all-new design. The facelift front end has a large 'oblique H' with upper arms that grow out of the bonnet's character lines, and lower arms at the base of the lower bumper. This visually integrates the individual parts of the front end into a strong, harmonious Mazda family face. The Mazda five-point grille, for instance, is more clearly defined here, and the trapezoidal shapes of lower openings hint at the pickup's high level of driving fun. Designers then added new front headlamps with bright silver mouldings that make the front end seem wider giving the facelift version a stylish and muscular look.

More variability - a larger list of exterior combinations now available


The Mazda BT-50 facelift adds exterior features that will allow customers to differentiate their own models to a greater degree than ever before. The choice of single colours is increased from 9 to 11, including 5 new colours, and all 3 two-tone colours are replaced - highlight silver metallic combined with either titanium grey metallic, lagoon blue mica or black mica. Body coloured overfenders are now standard for all mica/metallic exterior colours on Mid and High Grades, the vehicle's side sills are now in a new silver metallic colour and a new 16-inch alloy wheel design (for 4WD models) is introduced. Customers looking for even more style can now order dark tinted glass for the side and rear windows for High Grade models as well (depending on market).

Interior - new fabrics, colours and lighting

The original Mazda BT-50 delivered interior stylishness and build quality befitting a sedan. The facelift model inherits its predecessor's interior it and finish with very small gaps between the dashboard and door trim, and adds higher quality fabrics, colours and lighting for even more sedan-like feel. For a fresher ambiance, lighting for the driver metres, climate and audio controls, and for the indirect lighting at the base of the centre console, is now amber. New fabrics are also introduced for the seats and door trim. High and Mid Grade seats now have a new chequered fabric for the seat centre, woven to give off a quality lustre, and Low Grade seats also have new patterned fabrics in the centre, replacing the plain grey of the outgoing model. The centre panel is also upgraded for the Mazda BT-50 facelift with an all-silver look that matches the new fabrics and lighting for more sedan-like sophistication.

High Grade models now come with leather shift boot, shift knobs, steering wheel, and centre console lid as standard. Black leather seats and trim are available for High Grade as an option.

Comfort like a passenger car

Sedan-like ambience is combined with sedan-like comfort, equipment, and interior functionality you would expect from a pickup. All versions of the Mazda BT-50 facelift have front seats that offer full sedan-like comfort, and the Double Cab features a large centre armrest between its bench-type rear seats, providing four adults with superior comfort. The pickup's high seating position is optimised by a front bonnet and a cargo box wall designed to support front and rear visibility, which is important for a vehicle with as many uses as this. The facelift version adds new heated side mirrors (depending on grade), which defog/defrost quickly. Inherited from the original Mazda BT-50 is a climate system that includes a two-intake duct blower for superior heating/cooling. Mazda BT-50 facelift also inherits its quiet interior - with large amounts of insulation, a low-noise air cleaner and radiator fan, and a smooth-running common-rail diesel with dual-mass flywheel.

Superior functionality inside and out

Loading and using the Mazda BT-50 facelift on a daily basis is easy, making it the ideal companion for work or play. The Freestyle Cab features Mazda's unique centre-opening doors that provide a wide opening for getting into and out of the rear seats, or for loading something behind the front seats. It still has a single-action lever in the tailgate for easy opening and closing, there are rope hooks on the outer edge or the insides of the cargo-box walls, and there are load rest stoppers (depending on grade and market) at the rear of the cabin that can be raised to secure items too long for the cargo bed. There are even guiding grooves on the cargo-box walls for sliding in dividers, which create two load areas in the back.

The front seats are slide adjustable and can be tilted forward. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable, allowing just about anyone to find the right driving position. Interior storage is at a level not usually seen in a pickup interior. There is a slide-out tray above the glovebox strong enough to hold up to 10 kg, a large floor console storage box and even a handy tool box under the rear cushion of the left rear seat (Freestyle Cab). There are pockets in the front and rear doors for bottles, power adjustable side mirrors, and a remote fuel cap cover release. Power windows with safety power cut-off all around and a one-touch up and down function for the driver, power door lock/unlock from the driver's seat, as well as a retractable key with keyless entry system (on Mid and High Grades) provide additional convenience.

The floor console is large and flexible. It combines two storage boxes (with a 1.7-litre upper and a 5.1-litre lower box), a removable ashtray (accessory item), three cupholders in front, two cupholders in back, and an armrest (when closed) all in a single unit.

New equipment - AUX jack for connecting an MP3 player

To take full advantage of the Mazda BT-50 facelift's quiet interior is an audio system (depending on grade and market) that employs a high-performance amplifier and audio level control (ALC), which automatically adjusts the tone characteristics between three levels to match the speed of the pickup at any given moment for just the right volume level. The audio system includes a radio, a CD player and up to four speakers (Regular Cab has two speakers). High Grade versions are equipped with a six speaker system with a 6-CD changer. The facelift adds an auxiliary (AUX) jack to the audio system, which allows you to play music from your MP3 player directly using the audio system of the vehicle.

Strong and fun to drive

The Mazda BT-50 facelift retains the MZR-CD 2.5-litre common-rail from its predecessor, known for being strong, reined and fuel- efficient. It is a DOHC 16-valve diesel engine that employs a variable- geometry turbo charger and a large intercooler to produce maximum power of 105 kW/143 PS at 3,500 rpm, and maximum torque of 330 Nm as low as 1,800 rpm. This gives lively engine response to pedal input for Zoom-Zoom driving fun when unloaded, and takes care of business towing up to 3,000 kg with a braked trailer (4x4 models). A variable swirl control valve (VSCV) is also employed and is combined with an optimised exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and a high-efficiency EGR cooler to ensure Euro Stage IV compliance and low tax costs in most countries.

The facelift version of the Mazda BT-50 inherits the acclaimed rear-wheel drive transmission of the outgoing model that meets the demands of commercial customers, lifestyle customers, or both at the same time. It has Mazda's precise, easy-to-shift five-speed manual transmission in either a 2WD only version or a 2WD/4WD version. The latter transmission not only has a large and robust transfer case that converts the engine's high torque into great traction in any on-road or off-road situation, it is also easy and convenient to use. It includes an electric Remote Free Wheel (RFW) hub system that allows shifting between 2WD and 4WD while driving up to 100 km/h. Back on solid roads and in 2WD mode, pushing the 'RFW' button automatically disconnects the front differential and prop shaft from the front wheels. This function enables you to drive at motorway speed right after driving offroad, without stopping in between. It contributes to better fuel economy, lower noise and optimal durability of the transmission. All models (except some 2WD Low Grade versions) are equipped with a rear limited- slip differential (LSD) with an enhanced torque ratio in line with the engine's higher torque, which automatically adjusts drive power between the two rear wheels to maintain traction on just about all kinds of surfaces.

Enhanced ride comfort

The Mazda BT-50 uses the same durable and dependable chassis as its predecessor. Its double wishbone front suspension has large diameter dampers for good ride comfort. The rear leaf springs supporting its rigid rear axle with 'Berlin Eye' mounts are extra long and larger dampers are used here as well. This improves rear damping response during unloaded driving, and delivers the strength needed to handle a load of up to 1,181 kg in the cargo deck of the 4WD versions. The Mazda BT-50 facelift has the same steering system as the outgoing model that provides predictable control under all load conditions. And because it has hydraulic power assist, it is easy to back up and park, with good road feedback at higher speeds.

Active and Passive Safety

A high hip point gives the Mazda BT-50 facelift good overall visibility from behind the wheel. Its large ventilated front disc brakes have two-piston callipers (4WD versions) for predictable braking under load and its rear brake drums have a load sensing proportioning valve(LSPV) that optimizes brake pressure for excellent deceleration effectiveness. Low pedal play and a solid feel when braking are supplied by high-efficiency wheel cylinder caps, a low lever ratio, and an LSPV design that needs a rather small amount of brake fluid. Four-wheel ABS and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) are standard (Mid and High Grade) or optional (Low Grade) in most markets. A host of passive safety features are onboard including a strong cabin structure that resists deformation in a crash, front and side airbags (depending on grade), height-adjustable seatbelts for the front seats (Double Cab), child-proof door locks and power windows with safety power cut-off, and a collapsible steering column that helps reduce potential chest injuries to the driver during a serious front impact.

12:29 AM

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Edo Porsche Cayenne GTS (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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The Porsche Cayenne GTS provides the basis for the edo Porsche Cayenne GTS. The figures send a clear message: The engine generates 450 horsepower (331 kW) and a maximum torque of 530 Nm (391 ft-lb) at 3,800 rpm. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes a scant 6.4 seconds and the top speed is an unbelievable 270 km/h (168 mph). This impressive performance is achieved thanks to new high-flow catalytic converters, performance air filter inserts and a new ECU calibration optimized on the dyno.

The edo Porsche Cayenne GTS is also equipped with a new brake system. Huge six-piston fixed mono-block calipers clamp down on thicker and larger diameter brake rotors as well as upsized pads in the front. Rotor dimensions: 380 x 38 mm (15 x 1.5 inches).

For a matching appearance edo competition offers a sport suspension system adjustable in height, compression and rebound damping. The height adjustment range is TÜV approved. There are 14 settings for compression damping while the rebound damping is continuously variable. The front and rear body height is set individually according to the customer's wishes. Finishing off the look is a new hood featuring power domes and a new lower front skirt with 4 fog lights and mesh inserts.

Ideal road contact of the edo Porsche Cayenne GTS is provided by new 22 inch forged wheels with stainless steel outer rims: 10 x 22 inch with 295/30 ZR22 tires up front and 11 x 22 inch with 295/30 ZR22 in the rear. Custom-painted wheel centers are an option.

As with all edo competition models, we set no limit to our customers' imaginations when it comes to the interior. Color-coded instrument dials, aluminium pedal sets or lavish leather upholstery, individual requests are accommodated and executed with quality.

12:25 AM

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Volkswagen Touareg North Sails (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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At the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen is presenting a special model of the Touareg whose design was customized for yachting enthusiasts: the Volkswagen Touareg North Sails. The special edition designed in cooperation with renowned sailing outfitter North Sails impresses with numerous exterior and interior elements that reflect the style of high-end yachts. The new special model is already being launched this fall of 2008 and will be available with all six, eight and ten cylinder engines (176 kW / 240 PS to 257 kW / 350 PS).

Interior design: high-end and nautical in style






The most remarkable features of the new Volkswagen Touareg North Sails are to be found in the passenger compartment. Stylistically, the interior is a rather perfect match to the standard exterior car color "Campanella white" or the optional "Shadow blue metallic". In addition, the following car colors also provide a harmonious match: "Arctic blue silver metallic", "Atacama gray metallic", Galapagos anthracite metallic", "Reflex silver metallic" and "Black magic pearl effect". Basic interior features include "Cricket" leather upholstery in "Anthracite" or "Latte Macchiato" color. When the customer chooses the optional comfort seats (standard starting with the V8 FSI), they may also be ordered in Nappa leather with the special "St. Tropez" pattern and its white hue.

In conjunction with the "Latte Macchiato" and "St. Tropez" color schemes, the seats and interior door trim also sport seams in Aquamarine blue. Providing an exciting contrast are the "Aluminium engine spin, dark" decorative inserts of the instrument panel, door trim panels and center console. As an alternative, the Volkswagen Touareg North Sails may also be ordered with "Piano paint, white" treatments in these areas, which also evokes the elegance of luxury yachts. Standard features on board include stainless steel door tread plates (with "North Sails" signature in front) and the "North Sails" logo embossed on the center panels of the front seats.

Body design: luxurious chrome accents dominate



The design of the Volkswagen Touareg North Sails fits in ideally at any marina. For one, this is attributable to the already mentioned car paint in nautical "Campanella white" and the 19-inch "Zaragoza" alloy wheels with their chrome accents (with size 275/45 tires). For another, the special model is also pleasing with the factory-installed "Chrome & Style" design package. Two oval tailpipes of the exhaust system, a roof railing in silver, bi-xenon headlights including dynamic curve lighting, a vent glass sunroof and 65 percent light absorbing tinted windows in the rear (from the B-pillars) round out the equipment package. "North Sails" decals on the B-pillars complete the modifications.

Perfect at the pier and on the way there

The Volkswagen Touareg is the first choice for every skipper, not only at marinas, but as a towing vehicle for a boat trailer. The reason: all versions of the successful luxury SUV can tow braked trailers weighting up to 3.5 metric tonnes. The allowable hitch load is up to 140 kilograms. A removable trailer hitch is therefore part of the standard equipment package.

12:21 AM

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Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo (2009)

Rafay Ansar

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Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo will be the star of the all-new race series launched in 2009 by Automobili Lamborghini - the world's fastest one-make series. In May 2009, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo takes to the track with its first race. By the end of October, it will have completed 18 races on famous European circuits, supporting popular series like the Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft (DTM), the FIA GT Series and the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). To participate, the factory is offering its customers an exclusive sports machine - the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo with 419 kW (570 hp), a reworked chassis and significantly reduced weight.

The Super Trofeo is the only one-make series in the motorsport world to feature cars with all-wheel drive. And it is Lamborghini's clear objective to ensure that it will be the fastest single-brand series in the world - partly due to the technical superiority of the all-wheel drive principle. From May the Super Trofeo will make guest appearances at six race events - at Silverstone (UK), on the Adria Raceway (Italy), on the Norisring (Germany), in Spa (Belgium), in Barcelona (Spain) and in Monza (Italy).

Lamborghini is building 30 cars for the Super Trofeo, which they are making available to individual enthusiasts, as well as to Lamborghini dealer teams. The factory will enter one car for itself, and plans to commission well-known guest drivers to take the wheel. And on the edge of the racing action, the Super Trofeo Village hospitality venue will be available.

The Super Trofeo race car is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, powered by the new 5.2 litre V10 with direct fuel injection (IDS), generating an increased output of 419 kW (570 hp). Its power flows through the e.gear six-speed robotized gear box to the permanent all-wheel drive with viscous traction - the kind of power transmission perfectly suited to motorsport.

The Super Trofeo is a top-class race car in every detail. Its chassis, featuring double wishbone suspension all round, has been reworked specifically for the purpose. The competition tyres are supplied by Pirelli and a specialist racing brake system provides brutal stopping power with racing ABS. Additional body components such as the large, fixed rear wing are made from carbon-fibre composite. The cockpit hosts an ultra-light race seat, a racing steering wheel and additional specialized racing instruments.

The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series - Racing fascination from Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo will take to the track in May 2009 and is the only one-make series in the world to feature all-wheel drive cars. And it is also set to be the fastest single-brand race series anywhere in the world - that is the clearly stated objective.

This November sees Lamborghini begin work in Sant'Agata Bolognese on the construction of the 30 race cars that will constitute the starting grid. In spring and summer 2009, the Super Trofeo will run 18 races on well-known European circuits, starting on 3 May in Silverstone (UK), then on 17 May on the Adria Raceway (Italy), 5 July on the Norisring in Nuremberg (Germany), 2 August in Spa (Belgium), 20 September in Barcelona (Spain) and on 4 October in Monza (Italy).*Dates provisional

For all six race weekends, the new Lamborghini single-brand trophy will find itself in sterling company - in Nuremberg and Barcelona, it will enjoy the track with the Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft (DTM), while the Monza race is in co-operation with the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). In Silverstone, Adria and Spa, the Super Trofeo will complement the FIA GT sports car championship.

The rules are straightforward. Either one or two drivers per car can register for the series. On Friday, there are two 30-minute sessions, of which one is a qualifying session. The first race takes place on Saturday, with two further races during the race weekend. Each race lasts approximately 40 minutes and the results are added together. No additional weight penalty will be imposed on the most successful vehicles. The cars may not be modified during the season - all relevant components - engine, transmission and chassis - are marked accordingly.

The title sponsor of the Super Trofeo is exclusive Swiss watch maker Blancpain.

The price tag - 200,000 Euro per car

Lamborghini is offering the competition vehicles and replacement parts via its dealerships, with each car costing 200,000 Euro plus tax. Both professional and 'gentleman' drivers with an International Competition Licence (A, B or C) are free to enter the Super Trofeo, as are teams from Lamborghini dealerships. The factory will also enter its own car, and is lining up celebrity drivers for guest appearances at the wheel. During the race weekends, Lamborghini provides support to all drivers with an outstanding technology and parts service. In the paddock, drivers, sponsors and guests can relax and enjoy themselves in the stylish hospitality area, the Super Trofeo Village.

The technology - Breathtaking power

The technical basis for the Super Trofeo is already a winner - no less than the Gallardo LP560-4, the brand's latest model. The constructors took the basic design of its engine, transmission and chassis. They then carried out extensive detailed rework and refinement of all components to prepare them for racetrack performance - with the target of making the Super Trofeo the fastest one-make series in the world.

As is the case for all Lamborghinis, the race car's engine is mounted longitudinally. Located amidships, the V10 was newly developed for the LP560-4 and has a displacement of 5,204 cm3. At 6,500 r/min, it generates 540 Nm of torque at the crankshaft and, at 8,000 r/min, a breathtaking 419 kW (570 hp). The increase of 7 kW (10 hp) against the series production model is the result of recalibrated engine management. The exhaust system was also specially developed for the task to be extremely lightweight. The V10 works with it to produce a technical symphony of powerful harmonics that builds up through the revs with a meaty crescendo to finish in a mighty fortissimo.

The naturally aspirated ten-cylinder is race engine perfection. Its number of cylinders forms the ideal synthesis of high performance, potent pulling power, light-footed high revving, low weight and compact dimensions. Its technical refinements include dry sump lubrication, which guarantees oil supply even under extreme lateral acceleration, while at the same time lowering the centre of gravity. The 90-degree cylinder angle on the crank case serves the same purpose. The block is cast in hypereutectic aluminium alloy, with the bore surfaces machined from solid. The connecting rods are made from forged steel and the pistons are aluminium.

The V10 features direct injection- "Iniezione Diretta Stratificata" - which fires the fuel through laterally-positioned injectors into the combustion chambers at pressures of up to 100 bar. Direct injection reduces knock sensitivity and provides a degree of internal cooling - thus enabling a higher compression ratio of 12.5:1, which results in a mighty power output and high levels of fuel efficiency. All four camshafts feature variable adjustment, facilitating a wide spectrum of valve control times and thus improving charge characteristics throughout the entire rev range.

Power-to-weight ratio - Only 2.28 kilograms per hp

The specific output of the short-stroke engine is 109.5 hp per litre of displacement - each hp has to move no more than 2.28 kilograms, because the race car weighs in at only 1,300 kg dry.

Like the LP560-4, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo also features all-wheel drive with "viscous traction" - an exclusive technology from Lamborghini. The viscous coupling in the driveline, which functions without electronic control, distributes the driving force under normal operating conditions at a ratio of 30:70. If necessary, it adjusts to specific requirements and driving conditions within just a few milliseconds. Grip is optimised at the rear axle via a mechanical differential providing up to 45 percent limited slip.

With a weight distribution of 43:57 between the front and rear axles, the Super Trofeo boasts the perfect balance for a race car. Lamborghini first introduced all-wheel drive in 1993 in the Lamborghini Diablo VT, because it is the best technology for the highest performance. Four driven wheels have more grip than two, enabling the driver to accelerate earlier when exiting a curve. And it is not only traction that benefits from permanent all-wheel drive, but also lateral dynamics and stability.

Lamborghini is equipping the Super Trofeo with its e.gear robotized transmission as standard. It changes gear at the speed of lightning, especially at higher loads and engine speeds. The electronic gear box management, controlled by the driver via shift paddles behind the steering wheel, is optimised for the shortest possible shift times and the highest engine speed. In the race car version, Lamborghini hands over full responsibility for manoeuvring at the limit to the driver.

The chassis - Optimised for the race track

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo also demonstrates its supreme potential when it comes to the chassis. Aluminium double wishbones guide all four wheels, with an additional track rod adding extra stability to the rear axle. The rack and pinion steering, with discrete fluid cooling, connects the driver directly to the track thanks to its high-precision operating characteristics and relatively low power assistance. While the axle guide bearings remain unchanged, the springs are harder and the dampers shorter. The Super Trofeo moves on 18 inch light alloy wheels, each weighing only around 10 kilograms. The rims are dressed in Pirelli racing tyres.

The braking system has also been developed specifically for the extreme demands of motorsport. Behind the front wheels are steel discs measuring 375 millimetres in diameter and 34 millimetres thick, while the dimensions at the rear are 365 x 32 mm. On the front axle, Lamborghini has mounted eight-piston callipers, in the rear six-piston callipers. The ABS anti-lock brake system is set-up specifically for racing.

The bodyshell - Radically lightweight

Only 1,300 kilograms (dry weight) - the Super Trofeo shows its race car character on the scales, too. Compared with the series production sports car, the weight has been reduced by 110 kg; this includes the ca. 35 kg added by the extra, high-strength safety cage essential for motorsport.

The bodyshell of the Super Trofeo is 4.34 metres long, 1.90 metres wide and only 1.16 metres high. It is built using the spaceframe method - cast nodes and extruded profiles create a frame into which aluminium panels are friction locked and form fitted. In typical Lamborghini fashion, the bodyshell is not only extremely light; it also is exceptionally safe and boasts tremendous torsional stiffness - forming the basis for its outstanding handling characteristics.

One glance is all it takes to see that the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Super Trofeo is a top-class race car. The front skirt and the splitter that directs the airflow beneath the specially smoothed aluminium underbody, the rear bonnet and front compartment cover, the side skirts, the diffuser, the rear skirt and the large wing are all made from carbon-fibre composite. Using screws, the rear wing can be repositioned to suit the requirements of the various demanding race tracks. The bonnet and front compartment panels are opened and closed using quick-release fasteners. All windscreens and windows are made from Makrolon lightweight hi-tech polycarbonate instead of glass.

The Interior - The beauty of functionality

The majority of the weight savings achieved by Lamborghini in the Super Trofeo took place in the vehicle's interior. Finished in black Alcantara, its panels are made from carbon-fibre composite. The roof and parts of the doors are presented uncovered - displaying the raw beauty of functional technology. The carpet and sound-absorbing acoustic materials have been removed, as have the dual-zone climate control and audio and multimedia systems. Regardless of weight removal, every one of the uncompromisingly high quality criteria characteristic to the Lamborghini brand still applies - even more so in the construction of the Super Trofeo.

Instead of the series production electrically adjustable sports seats, the Super Trofeo is equipped with one low-mounted racing bucket seat, which provides perfect ergonomic support to the driver. The seat is produced in extremely light and stiff Kevlar carbon-fibre composite, and upholstered in black fabric. Its underside is made from black anodized aluminium. Six-point racing harnesses secure the upper body. The racing bucket seat alone saves over 50 kilograms.

A data display system integrated into the race car's CAN bus retains all the key information relating to the function and status of the technology. The small racing steering wheel with its chunky rim can be removed for entering the vehicle via a quick-release fastener. Shift lights in the instrument panel indicate when a rev limit has been reached, while an additional display shows lap times. A main switch for the on-board electrical network and a fire extinguishing system - both of which can be activated from outside the vehicle - complete the specific equipment in the race car made for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo.