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An EXTREME Truck like no other - the International MXT 4x4 Pickup

February 10, 2006 If playing keep-up with the Jones is your game, and said Mr Jones buys a Hummer, what do you do? You go out and buy an International pick-up, that’s what! The World’s Largest Pickup Truck was created by taking the trailer off a prime hauler, doing a bit of remodelling here and there, and turning it into a humungous don't-mess-with-me three-dimensional personal statement - a pickup so big that the crew cab can seat five sumo wrestlers with ease (providing one of them can drive) and the tray can carry a jet ski or a motorcycle with the tailgate up. Yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show, International unveiled the new International MXT 4x4 pickup truck, which has the same gargantuan proportions and strength as its brethren (it can tow 8 tons), and slots in as the third member of International's XT family, joining the CXT and the RXT.  Read More

Volkswagen shows first U.S.-bound Golf

February 10, 2006 Volkswagen chose the Chicago Auto Show to debut the fifth generation of Europe’s best-selling car, the new Volkswagen Golf hatchback. While it is hands down the most popular motoring choice for drivers on the other side of the Atlantic, one of the most interesting claims made by Volkswagen in announcing the new Golf was “an appeal that transcends both status and social class.” VW believes the Golf appeals to the purist, as it “epitomizes an authentic German car built for a wide group of buyers who share a stringent set of Teutonic standards for motoring.” The US Golf will go on sale mid year in both two- and four-door versions, though no pricing has been announced. Standard items on all new Golfs will include an advanced ABS braking system, traction control, active headrests (front), front and rear head curtain protection, front side airbags, manual climate control and anti-theft alarm system with remote locking.  Read More

The incredibly versatile Dodge Rampage Concept Vehicle

February 9, 2006 Bold, powerful and supremely versatile, the exquisitely-named Dodge Rampage concept vehicle was unveiled yesterday at the Chicago Motor Show and we think it’s a very exciting variation on the pickup truck theme. As the principal exterior designer of the Rampage said it, "this is a truck for the person who wants the functional aspects of a truck yet doesn’t want a traditional vehicle. The Rampage has the capability of a pickup without sacrificing occupant space."  Read More

Hyundai Entourage Makes World Debut At Chicago Auto Show

February 9, 2006 The new 2007 Hyundai Entourage minivan made its world debut yesterday at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Entourage is the first vehicle with the Hyundai Hideaway third-row seat, a simple-to-use 60/40 split fold-into-the floor seat offering flexibility for up to seven passengers. Hyundai packed the all-new Entourage with a range of safety technologies, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti-whiplash active front head restraints and six airbags including side air curtains, which help protect occupants in all three rows during side impacts.  Read More

Hyundai Genus and Accent SR Turbo concepts

February 9, 2006 They’ve obviously been burning the midnight oil at Hyundai’s European design centre in Russelsheim, Germany, with the studio creating two new concept cars for debut at major international auto shows in the next few weeks. The centrepiece of Hyundai’s presentation at the Geneva Motor Show next month will be the Genus concept vehicle, a premium crossover model that combines the sporting dynamism of a coupe with the versatility of an estate car. Also from Russelsheim comes the phat and fast Accent SR Turbo, looking every inch a design study of the next Hyundai World Rally Car, mooted to debut mid 2007 for a tilt at the 2008 season. Accent SR will headline Hyundai’s display at the Melbourne International Motor Show this week. The Accent SR Turbo is based on the three-door hatch variant of the coming new generation MC Accent range, and has the purposeful look of a high performance small car with wide tracks front and rear, big flares framing outsize alloys, lowered sports suspension, body kit and big tailpipes.  Read More

Freestream T1 roadster produces 480 bhp and weighs just 465 kilograms

February 7, 2006 The Freestream T1 is ultra lightweight 2-seater with wind-tunnel aerodynamics, a composite construction, a 480bhp 2.4-litre V8 and one of the lightest weights of any road car in existence - just 465kg. Built by a team of engineers who were part of the elite team that designed and developed the iconic McLaren F1, the T1’s 1,000bhp/tonne power-to-weight ratio will offer 3g cornering, and braking and acceleration performance approaching that of a Formula One car. Though it could well be the ultimate track day car, the T1 will be road registerable and is expected to cost in the vicinity of UKP150,000 when it goes on sale later this year.  Read More

Audi’s US$6,300 Concert-Level B&O Sound System

February 6, 2006 What’s the one automotive accessory that is used close to 100% of the time a car is occupied? The answer is of course, the sound system. So when Audi set out to build its flagship A8 and S8 sports limousines, it decided to offer an optional, state-of-the-art flagship audio product to match. In order to create the system, Audi teamed with Danish audio specialist Bang & Olufsen and the design pays heed to the actual acoustic characteristics of the car interior, such as internal space, shape and materials used, driving speed, the corresponding wind effect and the friction between asphalt and tyres are also taken into account. The system uses fourteen active high-end loudspeakers, B&O Acoustic Lens Technology and two sets of amplifiers (a high performance amplifier and a Digital Signal Processor) to supply a combined output of more than 1,000 watts. When the system is activated, two lens speakers automatically emerge from the dashboard, giving perfect sound to every seat in the car with precisely aligned horizontal emissions.  Read More

Marcus Gronholm

February 6, 2006 Ford has many reasons to celebrate overnight for Marcus Gronholm's win in the Uddeholm Swedish Rally in Karlstad; it was Ford’s 50th win in the World Rally Championship, Gronholm’s 20th WRC win (moving him to equal fifth on the all-time list) and it happened on his 38th birthday. The Finn admitted that he isn't so interested in his age anymore but his second win of the season in the Focus WRC06 was the primary reason to celebrate, having dominated the event and led from the first stage. However, of more interest to Ford its lead in the drivers championship and the manufacturers championship. It was a particularly sweet victory for Ford as despite its long and illustrious rally history (the Zodiac, Zephyr, Falcon, Anglia, Cortina, ad infinitum), the last time the marque won in Sweden was in 1978, with Bjorn Waldegard at the wheel of the Escort RS1800, when the WRC was just five years old. Gronholm’s win, and the exclusion of the third of the big three competitors in WRC, Subaru’s Petter Solberg, the bookies have now firmed Gronholm to 2.25 (5/4) clear second favourite for the drivers championship, though current world champion Sebastien Loeb remains odds-on favourite for the title at 1.70 (approx. 6/4 on). Solberg has now drifted to 8.00 (7/1) and Subaru’s Australian prodigy Chris Atkinson is fourth favourite at a staggering 80/1. Clearly the championship is a three-horse-race after just two events of the 16 event series.  Read More

Renault Altica sporty estate concept car

February 4, 2006 Renault has taken the wraps off its latest concept car, Altica, a sporty estate car with a spacious interior. Described by Renault's Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, Patrick le Quement, as “a successful balance between flowing and sporty lines,” the Altica is designed to combine the practicality of an estate car, the sports appeal of a coupe and a high standard of travelling comfort. The interior of the car is where most of the advanced concepts are employed, with a suspended drive station held in place by four profiled rods that hint at the world of Formula 1. Similarly, the seats are fixed, and the drive station and pedal assembly adjust to match the driver's physique via a motorized mechanism. Altica's sports pedigree is reinforced by its scissor doors, the form of which ensures easy access to this low vehicle.  Read More

Toyota mini SUV Urban Cruiser concept

February 4, 2006 Toyota is set to show a concept it is billing as an Urban Cruiser at this month’s Geneva Auto Show. The futuristic mini SUV is a design exercise by ED2, Toyota’s European design studio with the concept car drawing heavily on Toyota’s heritage in Sports Utility Vehicles but also adding its own dynamic flair and rugged originality. The Urban Cruiser will also feature a fresh interior style inspired by trendy furniture.  Read More

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