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Automotive

December 31, 2008 Mercedes-Benz has released details of its new SLK roadster models ahead of an April 2008 release. With around 650 newly developed parts in all, the latest line-up is marked by new-look front and rear sections - the redesigned front bumper with a modified air-dam arrangement enhances the two-seater's distinctive arrow shape while at the rear, a diffuser-style lower section, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes and the AMG-inspired darkened tail lights have been added. Interior modifications include a new instrument cluster, three-spoke sports steering wheel and improved audio and telematics systems while under the hood the supercharged four-cylinder and V6 engine options have been boosted in terms of output and fuel economy with the 265 kW/360 hp, 5.5-litre V8 powerplant retained for the SLK 55 AMG . Read More
Chevrolet has announced details of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 with the promise of an American supercar that will establish new benchmarks for production-based power and performance. Coming almost two decades after the official launch of the Corvette ZR1 at the Geneva Auto Show way back in 1989, the 2009 ZR1 features a long list of specialized components that include extensive use of carbon-fiber paneling and an all-new LS9 supercharged 6.2L V-8 that's expected to punch out 620 horsepower (462 kW) with around 595 lb.-ft. of torque (823 Nm). Though full performance specs will not be released until the summer 2008 launch draws closer, predictions are that the new ZR1 will be the first production Corvette to achieve a top speed of at least 200 mph, making it the the most powerful and fastest automobile ever produced by General Motors and giving it the muscle to claim dominance over international competition like the Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 and the Lamborghini LP640. Read More
December 21, 2007 In recent months we've covered a number of the spectacular rare automobiles set to go under the hammer at the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction. Now, just weeks away from the event, news that another pre-war classic - the only 1929 Muller Front Drive Ruxton Engineer Prototype "alligator" Roadster ever built - will be among the more than 1100 vehicles up for grabs. Read More
December 21, 2007 In a further exploration of the theme of automobile as communal space displayed by the Round Box Concept shown in Tokyo this year, Nissan will unveil its FORUM concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The FORUM integrates a number of design features and communications technologies aimed at creating a family-friendly environment including trackless sliding side doors, the elimination of traditional B-pillars, versatile second row "Turntable Seating", an advanced Bose® Media System, multi-camera external monitoring, a built-in microwave and a "Kids Cam" monitoring system which allows adults to keep an eye on back seat mayhem via 2nd and 3rd row cameras mounted in the headliner and connected to the main instrument panel LCD display. Read More
December 19, 2007 This month marks the 10th anniversary of Toyota's landmark Prius hybrid-vehicle. Since the launch of the first generation model in Japan on December 15, 1997, approximately 900,000 vehicles have been sold worldwide - a drop in the ocean relative to total vehicle sales, but still a significant number that points to the important role the car has played in raising the profile of hybrid technology and proof that the public are willing to pay a premium for the fuel consumption and eco-friendly benefits it offers. Read More
December 19, 2007 Public transport organizations in the USA and Canada have ordered a total of 1052 Orion VII Next Generation diesel-electric hybrid buses with New York to have the largest diesel-electric hybrid bus fleet in the world by 2010. Read More
December 18, 2007 Mitsubishi will use what must be the worlds toughest proving ground - the 2008 Dakar Rally - to garner technical feedback on the company's new high-performance clean diesel engines with a view to fully introducing the technology at the Dakar in 2009. Aiming for its 8th consecutive Dakar victory, Mitsubishi aims to derive durability and endurance data essential to the future development of clean diesel engines already seen in its Concept-cX and Concept-RA vehicles. Read More
December 18, 2007 Land Rover will use the Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) in January as the launch platform for its new LRX Concept - a 3-door, compact 4WD that hints at a future broadening of design philosophy for the company as it joins other manufacturers in gravitating toward smaller, lighter, low-emissions vehicles. Labeled a "cross-coupé" and smaller than Freelander 2, the LRX aims to retain the distinctive Land Rover design flavor despite its reduced footprint, which features a smaller frontal area to enhance aerodynamic performance - boosting fuel efficiency and reducing C02 emissions - and integrates a number of interior design innovations to create the impression of a spacious, airy cabin as well as maintain practical load carrying capability. Read More
December 13, 2007 The wraps have been lifted on Aston Martin’s 600bhp, V12 Vantage RS concept. Based the V8 Vantage coupe, the new Concept combines a low kerb weight of less than 1600kg with the formidable horses provided by the race-developed 6.0 litre V12 to give it a power-to-weight ratio of over 375bhp per ton. On the speedo this translates to 0-62mph (100km/h) in 4.0 seconds and 0-100mph (160km/h) in just 8.5 seconds, making it Aston Martin’s fastest accelerating road car to date. Read More
December 13, 2007 The Mazda Furai concept vehicle will make its World debut alongside the new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Details of the Furai ("Sound of the wind") are still thin on the ground ahead of the launch and just one teasing image has been released, but the car will continue to extend the Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language most recently showcased in the radical Mazda Taiki Concept which premiered at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October. Read More
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