Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daimler sells off their stake in Tesla, says they will still cooperate

Daimler sells off their stake in Tesla, says they will still cooperate
The 2016 Audi A4 has been spied wearing a production body.
Dressed in swirly camouflage, the model has an evolutionary design with a single frame grille that is flanked by slender headlights. Moving further back we can see longer rear doors, an integrated trunk spoiler and familiar looking taillights.
Audi has remained relatively quiet about the model but it is expected to ride on the MLB Evo platform and weigh approximately 100 kg (220 lbs) less than its predecessor.
Engine options are expected to include the usual suspects but there should also be a new plug-in hybrid variant that uses a 211 bhp (157 kW) 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder petrol engine and a 95 bhp (71 kW) electric motor. This could enable the sedan to travel up to 31 miles (50 km) on electricity alone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by Aaron wislire · 0

Daimler sells off their stake in Tesla, says they will still cooperate

Daimler has announced they have reorganized their partnership with Tesla and sold off their roughly four percent stake in the automaker.
The move will bring in approximately $780 (€613) million and Daimler Finance board member Bodo Uebber said “We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation."
Speaking of the partnership, Daimler says it will remain intact and their cooperation on automotive projects is unaffected. Daimler Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche also highlighted the success of the Mercedes B-class Electric Drive and noted “Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued."

by Aaron wislire · 0

Chevrolet highlights the technology transfer between the Corvette C7.R & Corvette Z06

Chevrolet has released a new promotional video which highlights the technology transfer between the Corvette C7.R and the Corvette Z06.
In the clip, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter says "This C7.R race car was developed concurrently with the Corvette Z06. We have completely broken walls between the production car's team and the race team, and you can see that technology transfer in everything about the car." Juechter goes on to highlight the similarities between the aerodynamics, materials and tires used on both models.
As a refresher, the $78,995 Corvette Z06 has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that develops 650 bhp (485 kW) and 650 lb-ft (881 Nm) of torque. It enables the coupe to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.95 seconds when equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Future Lamborghini SUV rendered, could actually happen in 2017

Future Lamborghini SUV rendered, could actually happen in 2017

The rumored upcoming crossover of Lamborghini has been virtually imagined by independent designer Rob Evans.

Looking like a Huracan on steroids, the rendered model strongly reminds us of the Estoque concept, revealed back in 2008. It features a front end in familiar Lamborghini style with massive air intakes and a V-shaped nose. The virtual SUV has also been equipped with a set of custom wheels and is towing a Huracan with the same alloys.

Reports from earlier this year have suggested the future SUV of the brand, probably named the Urus, will be manufactured at VW's factory in Slovakia starting from 2017. Sales will likely start in early 2018 at around 170,000 EUR ($207,000). Lamborghini’s first SUV after the LM002, phased out in 1993, could be offered with a hybridized V8 generating approximately 680 HP (500 kW).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 by Aaron wislire · 0

Mercedes rules out a takeover of Aston Martin

Mercedes rules out a takeover of Aston Martin

Rumors of an Aston Martin takeover have been swirling for months but Daimler Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche has downplayed the possibility.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Paris Motor Show, Zetsche told Autocar the company has "no plans to increase our stake [in] or takeover” Aston Martin. The executive went on to say such a move would carry risks and could distract them from their core business.

While Zetsche didn't seem too interested in buying Aston Martin, he has previously said the company is "fundamentally open" to a deeper partnership with British luxury marque.

Regardless of what the future holds, Aston Martin and Daimler have already signed an agreement which calls for AMG to develop a bespoke V8 engine for use future models such as the next-generation V8 Vantage.

by Aaron wislire · 0

New Ford GT reportedly coming in 2016, could return to Le Mans

The Ford GT went out of production nearly eight years ago but a new report is indicating a successor is due in 2016.

According to Motor Trend's sources, Ford is preparing an all-new GT to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GT40's first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Little is known about the car but it is expected to be a mid-engine supercar with lightweight components and a classic design. There are also rumors of a racing variant that will return to Le Mans and battle the best the world has to offer.

Specifications are still shrouded in secrecy but speculation suggests Le Mans racer will use a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. Road-going models are expected to adopt an upgraded version of the 5.2-liter V8 engine that will power the 2016 Mustang GT350. It's probably too early to talk about numbers but the magazine estimates it could produce 625 bhp (466 kW) and 500 lb-ft (677 Nm) of torque.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Volvo unveils 450 bhp four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine [video]

Volvo has unveiled a concept for a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine which develops an impressive 450 bhp (335.5 kW).

The recently launched second generation XC90 can be had with a T6 turbocharged & supercharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine developing 320 bhp (239 kW) but now Volvo is showcasing an even more powerful four banger generating a whopping 450 bhp. Currently billed as a concept, the Drive-E motor is equipped with two parallel turbochargers that are fed by an electronically-powered turbo compressor.

The compressed air is used to spool up the two parallel turbochargers rather than being fed to the cylinders. In this configuration, the gasoline is fed by a dual fuel pump working at a 250-bar pressure. Thanks to this hardware arrangement, Volvo says they were able to completely eliminate turbo lag

Developed in collaboration with AVL, Denso and Polestar, the four-cylinder Drive-E 2.0-liter powertrain is for the moment only a concept to show the benefits of downsizing while adding more power.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Eve Ryn radically restyles BMW i3

Eve Ryn radically restyles BMW i3

Japanese tuners from Eve Ryn have presented a radical body kit for the BMW i3 EV.

Dubbed the BMW EVO i3, the vehicle is probably the first modified i3 we’ve seen. The tuning program features flared fenders, a redesigned front bumper with faux large air intakes, new rear diffuser and several other carbon fiber details. Eve Ryn has also put and a new set of two-tone 20-inch wheels.

No further details about technical upgrades or a mass production plans have been released, but more information is expected in the coming months.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Next generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class spied testing and carrying production body

Next generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class spied testing and carrying production body

A prototype of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W213) has been photographed while undergoing preliminary testing.

The all-new E-Class is bound to grow in size to better distance itself from the C-Class and despite the increased dimensions it will lose some serious weight as a result of switching to the MRA platform also used by its smaller sibling. Some of the added size will be noticeable in the wheelbase which means there's going to be a more spacious interior cabin with additional legroom for rear passengers.

These are the best spy shots yet of the new E-Class (W213 generation) and although the prototype is wearing a significant amount of camouflage it's easy to notice the design will be influenced by its C- and S-Class brothers.

One of the main novelties the overhauled E-Class will bring is going to be represented by a new family of straight-six gasoline engines which will have displacements ranging from 2.2 to 3.5 liters. Also on the menu could be a 2.9-liter turbodiesel rated at 313 HP (230 kW) and 400 HP (294 kW), as well as hybrid and/or plug-in hybrid setups mixing up 2.0-liter gasoline or diesel engines with an electric motor rumored to develop about 122 HP (90 kW).

The engine lineup will once again be topped by an AMG variant that will likely be equipped with the recently introduced V8 4.0-liter twin-turbo found in the AMG GT and C63 AMG. Some of the engines will probably be offered with a nine-speed automatic gearbox already available on the current generation E350 BlueTEC.

Aside from the standard sedan, it is believed Mercedes-Benz will offer the new E-Class as a long wheelbase sedan, coupe, estate and convertible. The fixed roof derivatives are likely to become sportier whereas the open-top versions are believed to be more luxurious.

According to a report published earlier this year, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W213 is scheduled to go on sale at home in Germany in March 2016 which could mean an online reveal will occur before the end of next year.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Lamborghini starts teasing game for Huracan GT3 [video]

Lamborghini has released a teaser clip for the upcoming track-only Huracan built in GT3 specification.

Back in August we saw the Huracan LP 620-2 Super Trofeo and now Lamborghini is putting the finishing touches on the GT3 variant. Acting as a successor for the Gallardo GT3 FL2, the Huracan GT3 seen here was being put through its paces on the Vallelunga track in Italy during its first shakedown test.

Talking about the new track-only car, Lamborghini's chief tester Giorgio Sanna said "I'm pretty much satisfied with this first test of the new Huracan GT3" as "performance and reliability feedback is encouraging" but "we still have plenty of work to do to be ready for the upcoming season."

The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 will take part in next year's Blancpain Endurance Series and will compete in several events including the grueling Spa 24 Hours. Starting 2016, the car will also participate in various competitions organized in Asia and North America.

There's no word on pricing yet but we remind you the Gallardo GT3 FL2 developed in collaboration with Reiter Engineering costs €320,000 before taxes.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Monday, October 6, 2014

Citroen planning to introduce DS brand to United States around 2020

Citroen planning to introduce DS brand to United States around 2020

DS CEO Yves Bonnefont announced the company's intentions to enter the United States market by 2020.

Earlier this year PSA Peugeot Citroën transformed DS into a standalone brand and all cars which will be sold starting 2015 in Europe will lose the Citroën moniker, something that has already been applied on China-spec models. Now, the company has disclosed plans to sell DS-badged models in 200 large cities from all over the world in the next decade, with 30 of them being in North America and 20 in the United States.

The plan was announced by DS CEO Yves Bonnefont who wants to turn DS into a "global premium brand." It was 1991 when PSA's Peugeot pulled out of the U.S. market and now Bonnefont says Peugeot will be back in 2017 at the earliest, but sales of DS models won't kick off until after 2020. In addition, in the years to come we should expect a growth of the DS family as additional models are in the pipeline and most likely the newcomers will continue to be based on Citroën models but with upscale exterior and interior.

Monday, October 6, 2014 by Aaron wislire · 0

Audi Q3 facelift reportedly coming in December

According to a recent report, the Audi Q3 will receive a minor facelift by the end of the year.

Speaking to IndianAutosBlog at the Paris Motor Show, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management of Audi AG and head of Audi’s Technical Development, said “I think we’re having the facelift in November-December”.

The brand’s entry-level crossover was spied several times this summer and the photos show it will gain new graphics for the headlights and taillights together with slightly altered bumpers. Some changes and updates inside the cabin are also expected.

According to our source, the engine lineup of the facelifted Q3 will likely be carried over from the current model. It will include an assortment of familiar petrol and diesel units, while the range-topping Q3 RS will be powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo unit packing 310 HP (228 kW) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft).

by Aaron wislire · 0

2015 Ford Mondeo receives virtual ST treatment

2015 Ford Mondeo receives virtual ST treatment

The forthcoming Euro-spec Ford Mondeo has been digitally imagined by X-Tomi Design in the hotter ST specification.

Previous generations of the Mondeo did receive the ST treatment so we won't be too surprised if later on Ford will decide to spice up the mid-size sedan. Seen here is X-Tomi Design's vision of the hatchback and wagon body styles wearing a beefier body kit, larger alloy wheels, red brake calipers, sports suspension and a centrally positioned dual exhaust system as seen in the Focus ST.

Ford offered the Mondeo ST before with both gasoline and diesel engines so if there will be another model it will likely end up being sold with uprated versions of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost and twin-turbo diesel. The most powerful version of the EcoBoost in the Euro-spec Mondeo delivers 240 HP (177 kW) while the 2.0-liter diesel can be had with up to 210 HP (154 kW) so a hypothetical ST version would go beyond these figures.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Jaguar planning all-wheel drive XE; V8 version considered

Jaguar planning all-wheel drive XE; V8 version considered

Jaguar XE program director Nick Miller has disclosed some juicy details about the model's future.

About a month ago Miller announced coupe and wagon derivatives of the 2015 XE are being considered and now he admitted an all-wheel drive version is in the works and it will likely be one of the first updates to be applied on the firm's compact model. In addition, he also said the supercharged V8 5.0-liter engine is compatible with the XE and is being considered for a potential XE R / XE R-S high-performance variant.

Miller went on to say an inline-six 3.0-liter configuration of the existing 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine would also fit in the car's engine bay. Thanks to the modularity of these Ingenium engines, the XE can get a wide variety of configurations including twin-turbo, turbocharging & supercharging combined, electric supercharging as well as a hybrid setup.

Lastly, Miller said the AWD setup could be fitted on these higher performance flavors as well. Until then, the XE S will sit on top of the range with a supercharged V6 3.0-liter engine outputting 340 HP (250 kW) and 450 Nm (331 lb-ft) to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The car can do 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed limited at 155 mph (250 km/h).

by Aaron wislire · 0

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster drops its top in Paris

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster drops its top in Paris

Aston Martin has officially unveiled the V12 Vantage S Roadster during the Paris Motor Show.

Already available to order, the stylish model is described as the company’s “most potent, quickest and fastest-accelerating series production convertible yet”. The producer explains the car on show in Paris showcases a number of bespoke styling additions by the brand’s personalization program Q by Aston Martin like the Diavolo Red exterior paint and an interior with a full carbon fiber center console, leather detailing and special badges.

The model is equipped with a 565 bhp (421 kW) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) 6.0-liter V12 engine with Bosch engine management. Connected to a seven-speed Sportshift III transmission, the car is capable of reaching 323 km/h (201 mph) and sprinting from rest to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in only 4.1 seconds.

The V12 Vantage S Roadster also has an adaptive damping system, a two-stage anti-lock braking system and a three-stage dynamic stability control system. Carbon ceramic brakes and a Sport mode that alters throttle response, gearshift speed and timing come as standard.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by Aaron wislire · 0

2015 Volvo XC90 shows its stylish silhouette in Paris

Volvo has brought the second generation XC90 to the Paris Motor Show ahead of a market launch planned for May 2015.

It's the first product to ride on Volvo's newly developed Scalable Product Architecture and will be offered exclusively with four-cylinder Drive-E engines. On the gasoline side there will be a T5 with 254 bhp & 258 lb-ft, followed by a T6 turbocharged & supercharged rated at 320 bhp & 295 lb-ft while diesel offerings will include a D4 with 190 bhp & 295 lb-ft and a twin-turbo D6 generating 255 bhp & 347 lb-ft.

Sitting on top of the range will be a powerful plug-in hybrid version called T8 which will have a combined output of 400 bhp & 472 lb-ft coming from a turbocharged & supercharged 2.0-liter and an 80 bhp electric motor, with the latter offering an electric range of 25 miles (40 km).

Promising to be "the world's most powerful and cleanest SUV", the all-new XC90 adopts an evolutionary design and will be equipped with T-shaped LED daytime running lights and up to 22-inch wheels. The signature taillights have remained but they have received a sharper look and benefit from LED technology. For those who prefer a more rugged appearance, Volvo will be offering an optional package bringing dark plastic mouldings on the bumpers, wheel arches and side skirts.

Step inside the cabin which can seat up to seven people and everything has changed compared to the previous generation, with Volvo opting for a more premium configuration highlighted by the upscale materials, a digital instrument cluster and diamond-cut controls. There's also an Ericsson-based cloud solution, 1,400-watt 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system a brand new HERE navigation system as well as a massive array of safety systems including (but not limited to) pedestrian detection, road sign information, road edge and barrier detection, rest stop guidance and lane keeping aid.

Volvo has already announced production of the second generation XC90 mid-size luxury SUV will start early 2015 at home in Torslanda, Gothenburg and clients will start receiving their cars in May.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Updated Peugeot Exalt concept beautifies Paris Motor Show

Updated Peugeot Exalt concept beautifies Paris Motor Show

Peugeot is displaying these days in Paris the stunning Exalt concept in European specification.

The original concept was introduced at the Beijing Motor Show in China and now Peugeot has made some modifications for the Euro-spec version which features a bare steel exterior with a Shark Skin rear end as well as different shades of grey on the rest of the body to create a special look. The spectacular design continues on the inside where there's a Newspaper Wood finish developed by using pages taken from business dailies.

It has received a powerful hybrid setup consisting of a four-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine sourced from the RCZ R which develops 270 bhp & 300 Nm and works with a 50 kW electric motor. The Exalt concept offers a combined output of 340 bhp sent to the road through a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Tipping the scales at less than 1,700 kg (3,748 lbs), the updated Peugeot Exalt concept adopts a special tailgate opening mechanism which provides access to a "HYbrid-kick" electric scooter positioned below the boot floor. It also benefits from an energy recover braking system that enables the electric motor to charge the battery and can be driven in three different modes: gasoline, all-electric and gasoline-electric hybrid.

As you would expect, there aren't any plans to put the Exalt concept into production.

by Aaron wislire · 0

C-HR Concept and FCS preview the future of Toyota in Paris

C-HR Concept and FCS preview the future of Toyota in Paris

Toyota is currently displaying two conceptual vehicles in Paris – the C-HR Concept and the Fuel Cell Sedan.

Starting with the FCS, the model is making its European debut with a production-ready exterior, prior to being launched worldwide in 2015. The company previously stated the model will be able to perform the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) run in around 10 seconds and will offer a maximum range of around 300 miles (482 km). Once the fuel is depleted, a complete fill will take only around three minutes.

The Fuel Cell Sedan will go on sale in Japan before April 2015 and the manufacturer says preparations are underway for launches in the USA and European markets in the summer. At home it will cost approximately 7M yen (about 68,700 USD / 50,450 EUR / 40,500 GBP).

Next is the C-HR Concept that previews an upcoming C-segment crossover of the Japanese brand. It features LED headlights which merge with the front grille and comes with vertical strips of daytime running lights with the same lighting technology.

The C-HR Concept is built on a new platform and measures 4,350 mm long, 1,850 mm wide and 1,500 mm high. It uses a new full hybrid powertrain that will deliver "significantly improved fuel efficiency". A production version is expected sometime next year since prototypes have already been photographed conducting testing.

In Paris the Toyota stand will also display the newly launched European-built Aygo and Yaris.

by Aaron wislire · 0

New Suzuki Vitara shows its familiar design in Paris

New Suzuki Vitara shows its familiar design in Paris

Suzuki has taken the wraps off the new Vitara SUV during the Paris Motor Show.

Essentially a production version of the iV-4 concept, revealed in Frankfurt last year, the model comes with a toned down styling that features a massive chrome radiator grille and integrated LED daytime running lights in the front bumper.

The new Vitara is powered by the M16 1.6-liter petrol engine or the D16AA 1.6-liter diesel engine. Both have a peak power of 120 HP (88 kW), but the diesel has 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque against 156 Nm (115 lb-ft) for the petrol.

A five-speed manual transmission will be available for the petrol engine, while the diesel power plant gets a six-speed manual. The M16 can also be equipped with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Front-wheel drive will come as standard, while the ALLGRIP all-wheel drive system sourced from the larger SX4 S-Cross will be offered as an extra paid option.

The model is scheduled to go on sale in United Kingdom from next spring. It will be available with a generous array of personalization options including numerous colors and trims.

by Aaron wislire · 0

Renault brings super frugal Eolab concept to Paris

Following last month's online reveal, the Renault Eolab concept has made its public debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Renault is joining other automakers in the quest to develop an ultra-frugal car and for this year's Paris show they have prepared a peculiarly named Eolab concept. Hiding underneath the futuristic design is a hybrid powertrain featuring a small three-cylinder 1.0-liter gasoline engine which works with a clutchless three-gear transmission that has a built-in electric motor.

The conventional engine develops 75 HP and 95 Nm of torque whereas the electric motor adds 68 HP and 200 Nm. There's also a 6.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which grants the Eolab concept with an electric range of 66 km (41 miles) while used as a hybrid the vehicle can return a whopping 235 mpg US (282 mpg UK or 1 liters / 100 km).

Renault says the Eolab has a drag coefficient of 0.235 and is 400 kg (882 lbs) lighter compared to an equivalent Clio. The impressive weight reduction was possible after slashing 130 kg from the body, 90 kg trim & equipment, 70 kg suspension, 60 kg powertrain, 20 kg electric equipment while the hybrid powertrain has added 145 kg. The concept weighs 955 kg and benefits from a construction which mixes up aluminum, high elastic steel, magnesium and carbon fiber composites.

Although there won't be a production version directly based on the Eolab concept, Renault says the vehicle seen here features one hundred new, realistic technological developments which in the years to come will be gradually implemented on road-going cars.

by Aaron wislire · 0

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