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— Automotive

Audi R8-based concept delivers a flat 1,000Nm torque spread

By - January 15, 2008 7 Pictures
January 16, 2008 Audi looks set to create a new class of road-going supercar following the first showing of its R8 TDI Concept at NAIAS this week. Using the V12 6.0-liter bi-turbo TDI engine first seen in the forthcoming Q7 V12 TDI SUV, the 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 with 500 bhp is similar in basic concept to the R10 TDI’s 5.5-litre race engine, and delivers – wait for it - 1,000Nm of torque - between 1,750rpm and 3000 rpm, guaranteeing the effortless delivery of a 4.2-second 0-62mph acceleration time and a top speed in excess of 186mph. The 4WD beauty has a full set of goodies, such as Audi’s magnetic adaptive suspenders, it already meets the proposed EU6 emission limits expected to apply from 2014 and comes with a GPS system that incorporates race circuit information and centrifugal force / boost pressure data when the car is in race mode. Hey guys, you’ve gotta make this one! Read More
— Automotive

Lexus transforms LF-A concept into a roadster

By - January 14, 2008 8 Pictures
January 15, 2008 In more news from the 2008 NAIAS, Lexus has taken the wraps off a roadster-version of its LF-A sports car concept. The open-top supercar uses a "front-mid" configuration of the high-revving, 500 hp V10 engine from company's LF-A coupe, first unveiled in Detroit back in 2005, and the body is also based on the Coupe's carbon-fiber and aluminum structure with the addition of a speed adaptive rear wing. Read More
— Automotive

The first hybrid technology with a positive ROI

By - January 14, 2008 15 Pictures
Buying a hybrid is currently a pastime for early adopters and those who are prepared to pay to salve their environmental conscience . Do the return-on-investment (ROI) math and you’ll realize that the fuel savings never bridge the economic rationale gap because of the higher initial cost of hybrids. That appears about to change! Ultra-capacitor-based energy storage systems have long promised a breakthrough for the automotive industry and AFS Trinity’s announcement of the real world performance specs of its plug-in Extreme Hybrid (XH) technology is landmark. In just completed road tests, a 2007 Saturn VUE Green Line SUV fitted with an XH drive train, exceeded 150 mpg, and improved the zero to sixty time from 12.5 seconds, to 11.6 second running in electric-only mode – something it can do for 40 miles at a stretch. The punchline is that in hybrid mode, it runs 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is faster than a Porsche Cayenne. Whatsmore, based on driving 340 miles a week, the company’s consumer payback analysis suggests the technology will pay for itself in less than four years – this appears to be the first economically viable, commercially-available hybrid auto technology. Read More
— Automotive

Young graduates ace their first work assignment: the Hummer HX concept

By - January 14, 2008 35 Pictures
January 15, 2008 Talk about hitting the ground running - three young design students, fresh out of college, fronted up for their first day of work at GM and instead of a week of fetching coffees, their first assignment was to produce concepts for a new, compact, youth-oriented off-road Hummer. The three students' input drove the design of the new Hummer HX concept, which has sparked a lot of excitement among Hummer fans. Open-topped, with a configurable rear roof section, removable body panels and an E85-capable engine, the HX concept will debut shortly at the 2008 North American International Auto Show – and it's rumored to be the base for the upcoming H4 production SUV. Read More
— Automotive

Ford Verve small car concept showcased in Detroit

By - January 14, 2008 16 Pictures
January 15, 2008 The Ford Motor Company is using the North American International Auto Show to introduce its vision for the future of the small car segment captured in the Verve Concept. Aiming to bring a new level of style and sophistication to the small car platform, both the four and three-door body styles of the fuel-efficient, 4-cylinder Verve are being unveiled in Detroit. The four-door is the basis for the production vehicle that will be sold in North America from 2010 with the European three-door (which appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show) being shown to test market reaction to the bodystyle in the U.S. Read More
— Automotive

Saab present 9-4X BioPower Concept

By - January 13, 2008 9 Pictures
January 14, 2008 Drawing on design elements showcased in the Aero X concept and hinting at the company's plans to enter the crossover vehicle segment, Saab unveiled its four-seat 9-4X BioPower Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Concept's key features include the use of a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, 300 horsepower (221 kW) BioPower turbo engine coupled with the Saab XWD powertrain already available in the 9-3 range. Read More
— Automotive

Ford to introduce EcoBoost engines with turbocharging and direct injection

By - January 13, 2008 5 Pictures
January 14, 2008 Ford Motor Company is introducing a new engine technology called EcoBoost that will deliver 20-30 percent better fuel economy. The EcoBoost family of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines features turbocharging and direct injection technology and is being touted as a more affordable alternative to hybrids and diesel engines, with improved fuel economy and lower emissions without compromising driving performance. Beginning with the 2009 Lincoln MKS sedan, the engine technology will be rolled out globally. Read More
— Automotive Feature

Mazda’s new, production-ready 180mph Furai Concept

Mazda unveiled the latest in its series of Nagare concept cars at North American International Auto Show yesterday - the Furai P2 concept celebrates 40 years of rotary engine development at Mazda plus the company’s international motorsport heritage with the raciest interpretation of Nagare design language to-date. The ethanol-burning, three-rotor rotary Furai is more than just a design exercise, having seen 180 mph on the racetrack and with strong hints that it is ready for production. The Furai concept serves as a turning point in the Nagare developmental process - while the four previous concept cars explored different ways to express Mazda’s emerging design philosophy and to explore an aesthetic, this one is all about function – every last texture and detail serves some functional purpose. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota's versatile Compact A-BAT Concept Vehicle

By - January 13, 2008 71 Pictures
January 14, 2008 Toyota rolled out a concept vehicle with direct roots to its heritage at NAIAS this week. The hybrid A-BAT is positioned below the Toyota Tacoma, and integrates truck features with car fundamentals, providing roominess, style and our favorite characteristic, versatility. The compact pickup architecture is designed to be equally as capable of manoeuvring the suburbs as dirt roads, as comfortable for long commutes as it is for road trips, as accommodating of outdoor toys as home improvement supplies. Inside the A-BAT has a retractable portable navigation unit, Wi-Fi Internet, portable device assistant synchronization, a hard drive for digital music and solar panels on the dash recapture energy from the sun to assist in the charging of the navigation unit, portable power pack and backlit information displays. Read More
— Automotive

Audi adds a sportier version of the TT sports car

By - January 10, 2008 19 Pictures
January 11, 2008 The ‘S’ emblem that spells extraordinary performance in the Audi range graces the TT for the first time this month in a new, even more focused version of the iconic sports car debuting at the North American International Auto Show (January 19-27). Available mid-2008 in both Coupe and Roadster body styles, the TTS earns its esteemed badge through the adoption of a specially developed, 272bhp Turbo FSI petrol engine complemented by state-of-the-art chassis technology. Read More
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