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Aston Martin’s “practical” exotic, four-seater sports car concept

January 12, 2006 Exotic four seater sportscars have not exactly been plentiful in the history of automotive evolution, though there’s a definite trend towards four berths in recent times with the Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera and now Aston Martin has shown a 4-seat concept car at the 2006 Detroit Motorshow. To be known as the Rapide, the 6.0-liter V12, 480 hp coupe is the work of Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman, in conjunction with CEO Dr Ulrich Bez. P The Aston Martin Rapide concept is a four-door, high performance coupé of remarkable grace and poise. Based on Aston Martin's unique VH (Vertical/Horizontal) architecture, the Rapide combines the company's commitment to power, beauty and soul with space and practicality for every eventuality. It stands for stylistic excellence, market innovation and flexible manufacturing. The Rapide is the epitome of Aston Martin’s low-volume, high-technology approach, the synergy of modern methods and materials with traditional skills to create a new form of craftsmanship for the 21st century.  Read More

Mitsubishi Introduces 'Attainable Exotic' 2007 Eclipse Spyder

January 11, 2006 Mitsubishi unveiled the all-new 2007 Eclipse Spyder at the North American International Auto Show this week and in so doing, promised a showroom floor (due in April) model of modest price and exotic capability. Based on the fourth-generation Eclipse coupe introduced in 2005, the GT specification Eclipse Spyder combines 260-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 performance with a convertible top and outstanding value. The 2007 Eclipse Spyder arrives in Mitsubishi dealerships in April.  Read More

Mitsubishi unveils hybrid MIEV 4WD sport compact concept

January 10, 2006 Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) used the NAIAS to unveil the Concept-CT yesterday, a groundbreaking concept for a hybrid-powered small car that may influence future development of Mitsubishi models. The key to the Concept-CT's roomy packaging, performance potential and fuel efficiency is the Mitsubishi In-wheel Electric Vehicle (MIEV) hybrid powertrain, which employs an electric motor in each of the vehicle's four wheels. The ultra-compact four-door hatchback combines practicality, fun-to-drive performance and low fuel consumption.  Read More

Ferrari 599 GTB - most powerful V12 production car of all time

January 10, 2006 There are few automotive announcements that could turn attention from the new model frenzy currently underway at the NAIAS (Detroit) Show, but overnight news from Maranello has done just that, when Ferrari announced the forthcoming Pininfarina-designed 599 GTB. To be shown for the first time on February 28 at the Geneva Motor Show, the 599 GTB will be the most powerful V12-engined production car of all time. The latest interpretation of a theme that has seen such classics as the 250 GT, the 275 GTB, and the 365 GTB4, the 599 GTB replaces the most recent in that great line of berlinettas, the 575M Maranello. The new car is a concentration of Ferrari's most innovative and technologically advanced engineering solutions applied to a mid-front engined two-seater coupe.  Read More

Mitsubishi moves to dominant position on last Mauritanian stage of Dakar Rally

January 9, 2006 As the Dakar Rally moved into its second half today, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team continued to tighten its grip on a sixth successive victory in the 28th Dakar Rally, as overnight leaders Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret extended their overall lead in the daunting 599 kms special stage between Nouakchott and Kiffa in Mauritania. As the Volkswagen Touareg challenge faded, Mitsubishi teams now hold first, second and fourth in the car section.  Read More

Toyota F3R transforms from minivan to mobile lounge

January 9, 2006 One of the surprises of the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit was the F3R concept vehicle from Toyota. The surprising F3R is an exercise in providing maximum space, efficiency and athletic style from a concept all but forgotten in today's automotive world – that of the minivan. Toyota’s research showed that the younger generation of new car buyers see the mini-van as something they were “carted around in as a kid.” In order to revitalize the image of the mini-van with its three-row seating, Toyota has given the F3R a reconfigurable lounge interior. "Younger people are hanging out in their cars,” says Toyota. “When they do that, the car becomes an entertainment area - a sophisticated extension of the home.”  Read More

Chrysler Imperial Concept – flagship material

January 9, 2006 Like the great Imperials of Chrysler’s storied past, the 2006 Imperial concept vehicle is designed as Chrysler’s flagship, a luxury sedan that is elegant, provocative, aspirational, yet attainable. For inspiration, the designers looked not only to the classic Imperials of the 1930s and 1950s but also to Chrysler’s long tradition of creative concept cars, from the earlier Chrysler d’Elegance and Falcon to the more recent Chrysler Chronos and Firepower. This rich heritage is expressed in the crisp line that parallels the sill, then arches up over the rear wheel and flows to the rear of the car, signaling that this is a powerful rear-drive automobile.  Read More

Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle production announced

January 9, 2006 In his opening remarks at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, Honda president Takeo Fukui noted that the FCX Concept car on the company’s stand was “very close to the next generation fuel cell vehicle we will debut in 3-to-4 years” and that the company would be offering the media “limited driving opportunities with a prototype version of this vehicle” as early as Q3 this year. Clearly, the era of the viable fuel cell vehicle is nearly upon us.  Read More

Kabura Concept: Sports Coupe with innovative 3+1 layout

January 8, 2006 Research shows Mazda has one of the youngest new-car buyer groups (average age 41 years) in North America. Based on this research, the latest Mazda concept car is designed to enhance its appeal to Generation-Y buyers, who are several steps ahead of the latest trends and constantly on the lookout for affordable possessions that satisfy their hunger for stylish, insightful and spirited designs. The Kabura design concept ventures beyond the compact sports coupe norm to support youthful lifestyles and explore several fresh ideas that could appear in future production models, with one of the most interesting aspects being the interior versatility. Replacing the typical 2+2 layout is a clever 3+1 arrangement which establishes a new interior concept giving greater passenger comfort versus a traditional coupe without increasing weight or size. Obliging spur-of-the-moment adventures and shopping sprees, all passenger seats fold flat to make way for snow boards, shopping bags and all the tools of an active life.  Read More

Lexus LS 460 Flagship: ultra luxury and an eight speed auto transmission

January 8, 2006 Statistics suggest that this year will see Toyota become the world’s top selling automobile manufacturer, so the launch of the flagship LS 460 model of the company’s ultra luxury Lexus brand took on more significance than in any of the LS’s previous 17 years. The most significant technological achievement with the new LS460 is the use of the World's first eight-speed automatic transmission and for the first time we will also see a long wheelbase variant.  Read More

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