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Subaru Legacy Concept close to 2010 production car

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Subaru Legacy (Liberty in Australia), Subaru unveiled a concept model that suggests the direction of the next model Legacy four-seat sedan, due for release in 2010. Indeed, from reading between the lines, we understand this is very close to what we’ll see in showrooms later this year or early next. The model again features Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel drive system mated to a 3.6-liter six-cylinder Boxer (horizontally-opposed) engine - the dash and centre console feature touch-screens and rear vision is accomplished by cameras, in a theme that Subaru has christened "High Definition". There’s a longer wheelbase and a higher roofline for more interior space, legroom and headroom, but we’d have preferred to see the 2.2 litre diesel engine – do we really need a 3.6 litre petrol engine for a family car?  Read More

Audi's Sportback concept

While the firebreathing 5.2-litre V10 R8 supercar is clearly the performance king of Audi's Detroit NAIAS lineup, the Sportback concept unveiled does an excellent job of marrying performance, economy, stunning looks and practicality. Its 3-litre, 6-cylinder direct-injection turbo 'clean diesel' engine puts out 225 horsepower and 550 Nm, for a top speed over 150mph - and yet its average fuel economy nearly tips 40mpg. Ultra-low CO2 emissions are the result of smart decisions throughout the car, from the advanced exhaust emissions control, to electric systems like the power steering that consume no energy when they're not immediately in use, to automatic engine stop-start at the traffic lights and power-smart sunlight-white LED headlights. The Sportback's ultra-clean lines and fastback hatch somehow make this four-door coupe look sportier than some of its two-door contemporaries. Beautiful.  Read More

BMW's 2009 Z4 roadster

We previewed the new Beemer Z4 roadster back in December - now we've had a chance to dribble on it at the Detroit NAIAS. The hardtop convertible is as slick and sporty as you'd expect, but its posing credentials are backed up a serious performance focus. Dynamic Drive control gives you three engine mapping/stability settings for the 300hp twin turbo inline 6 engine, to control your degree of hooliganism. Adaptive suspension with electronic damping control can adjust ride height on the fly, and adapt to road conditions so quickly that if you hit a bump with the front wheels, the back wheels will be adjusted in time to deal with it. The gearshift is accomplished either through an extremely short-travel manual 6-speed, a standard paddle-shift auto or a ripping seven-speed double-clutch sports auto. Bavarian beauty, brains and brawn in a 150mph top-down giggle machine.  Read More

The Lexus HS 250h luxury hybrid

In keeping with the strong theme of efficiency over gas-guzzling muscle at this year's Detroit NAIAS auto show, Lexus has introduced a new hybrid sedan to its lineup, slated to go on sale in Q3 2009. 30% more fuel-efficient than anything else in the Lexus range, the 187-horsepower, 4-cylinder HS 250h is an acknowledgement by the biggest-selling luxury car brand in the USA that even the cashed-up luxury market wants to control its use of fossil fuels. While the HS 250h is miserly on fuel (Lexus claim it will drink less per mile than the tiny Smart Fortwo) it's still a big spender on the interior, with some serious driver assist features, heads-up display, radar-governed cruise control, parking cameras and a voice-controlled nav/premium audio system.  Read More

GM to manufacture Chevy Volt battery packs in the US

General Motors is getting back into the battery business. It had been a two horse race between Korea’s LG and US startup A123 systems to win the supply contract for the Chevrolet Volt. LG Chem and Compact Power Inc. were one team and A123 Systems/Continental the second team selected from an initial field of 27 applicants to compete against one another to build the Chevy Volt’s battery packs. GM announced in September 2008 that it had chosen a battery supplier, but would not reveal which company that was. But has either team actually won?  Read More

HP Pavilion dv2

HP released the details of its 09 lineup at CES, outlining new notebooks, a desktop, a gaming keyboard, a server, and a photo printing app for iPhone. Among them, the inch-thick HP Pavilion dv2 weighs less than four pounds and has a high-capacity hard drive of up to 500GB.  Read More

Jaguar’s new 225 mph XFR and XKR

Jaguar unveiled all-new supercharged 510bhp XFR and XKR at NAIAS today, and announced that the new XFR prototype has already run a top speed of 225.675mph (363.188km/h). The new XFR is the first XF to carry the ‘R’ designation which defines Jaguar’s most performance-focused models. Powered by a new supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine developing 510PS and 625Nm of torque. But for the production car’s electronically limited 155mph top speed, it would be the fastest Jaguar ever, even faster than the 217.1mph (349.4 km/h) set by the XJ220 in 1992. The Jaguar XJ220 held the record for the highest top speed of a production car until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994. High-speed runs play a large role in the history of the Jaguar marque, with this May seeing the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar XK120's record-breaking 132.6mph run set in 1949. Full details of the new models inside.  Read More

The Touch&Go Messenger 65P - world’s largest all-in-one computer

Micro’s new US$15,000 touch screen Messenger 65P is designed as a retail-ready interactive consumer kiosk which can be used for self-service applications, digital signage, store maps, advertising, messaging, product information, and demonstrations. It can be hung from a ceiling or wall or even positioned on the countertop, but it's the dimensions of the bohemoth which couples Sharp’s largest commercial LCD with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor which make it stand out almost anywhere - 64.6" high by 37.6" wide by 7.4" deep. The Messenger 65P is on display at the Intel exhibit at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show 2009 which opened this week.  Read More

Toyota EV Concept confirms Battery-Electric car in 2012

As we reported would happen last month, Toyota today announced the Toyota FT-EV concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), confirming its plan to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012, based on the same platform as the award-winning iQ. Toyota’s FT-EV concept imagines an urban dweller, driving up to 50 miles between home, work and other forms of public transportation, such as high-speed rail. Although, for now, the FT-EV remains a pure concept, it represents a natural pairing of product strategies.  Read More

 The Royal Enfield Bullet – the world’s longest running production motorcycle

The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle in history, having remained continuously in production since 1948, and with roots back to the1932 Bullet which was one of the fastest bikes on the road at the time – the Bullet has just been completely redesigned, and as the Bullet Classic, has all the hallmark design cues of its 75 year heritage, plus electronic fuel injection, a “unit construction” (one-piece), all-alloy engine/gearbox and a range of dress-up kits to turn it into a café racer or classic scrambler. It also makes more power than any previous Bullet, though with its modest 20.3 kW (27.3 bhp) output, it’s still regarded as a learner motorcycle in most countries. Most importantly, it’s cheap as chips, and returns better than 80 mpg.  Read More

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