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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Auto Shows

Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept

On: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 9:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept test 1-1

Mazda is showcasing new design language in a concept that it calls Shinari. The Japanese automaker recently previewed the new concept at a design event in Milan, and will officially debut the Shinari at the 2010 Paris Motor Show in late-September/October.

The Shinari is a curvaceous five-door hatch with an RX-8-meets-Aston-Martin look. The concept displays a shift in design language from Nagare to Kodo. Kodo translates into "soul of motion." The new language clearly drops the flowing side strakes that were such an integral part of the Nagare language, but maintains a similar flowing, kinetic style. The front-end has been tightened over the more bulbous front ends seen under Nagare, representing a move toward a more compact, focused design ethic.

Not to be confused with the nigiri of Japanese sushi houses, Nagare translates to "flow." The vehicles crafted under the mantra were designed to show “motion in vehicles, whether they’re moving or still,” with prominent lines flowing along the sides melding the front fasica seamlessly to the rear-end. Nagare first appeared on the aptly-named Nagare Concept, which debuted at the 2006 LA Motor Show.

The language appeared on several other concepts before making its full production debut on the 2011 Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Reports earlier this summer indicated that Mazda was unhappy with the language and was moving in a new direction.

Lotus Reveals Evora S and Evora IPS Before Paris Debut

On: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 5:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Reveals Evora S and Evora IPS Before Paris Debut test 1-1

We may not have any idea what Lotus' upcoming Esprit-replacing supercar will look like, but thanks to an early introduction, we have all of the info on two other cars that Lotus plans to debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show: the Evora S and Evora IPS. The "S" stands for supercharged and the "IPS" for "Intelligence Performance Shift." The two new cars deliver some extra performance to the already spritely, agile Evora.

The Evora S adds a supercharger to the Evora's standard Toyota 3.5-liter V6 engine, providing a leap in power from 276 hp to 345 hp. Torque jumps from 258 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft. Other mechanical upgrades include tuned suspension, a Sport button for controlling throttle response and a large, center-mounted exhaust.

The upgrade in output translates into added performance, with the Evora S beating the standard Evora to 60 mph by .3 seconds and adding 10 mph to the top end. The 0 to 60 mph time is 4.6 seconds and the top speed is 172 mph.

Along with the new exhaust, visual alterations include a new rear diffuser and bigger cross-drilled disc brakes. The new rear-end provides a beefy look that gives the car a more powerful demeanor to match its upgraded specs.

Peugeot to Debut First Diesel-Electric Hybrid In Paris

On: Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 9:02AM | By: Chris Weiss

Peugeot to Debut First Diesel-Electric Hybrid In Paris  test 1-1

Given the growing push by government regulators and automotive manufacturers toward cleaner, greener vehicles it's surprising that we had to wait this long to see a diesel-electric hybrid. Peugeot plans to debut the 3008 Hybrid4 at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The crossover hatchback features a diesel-electric powertrain that offers up to 62 mpg. The new car will launch in Europe next spring after its debut in October.

The 3008 Hybrid4 is based on Peugeot's 3008 hatchback. It is fitted with a 163-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine and a rear-mounted 37-hp electric motor. That combination provides a total output of 200 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Shifting for the diesel engine is provided by an electronically-controlled automated manual transmission. The electric motor is powered by a high-voltage nickel metal hydride battery pack. An 8 kW starter-generator on the engine provides start/stop capabilities and can deliver charging to the battery pack. The electric motor can charge the battery through regenerative braking.

Kia's Conceptual, Four-Wheeled Bubble Coming to Paris

On: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 9:43AM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia's Conceptual, Four-Wheeled Bubble Coming to Paris test 1-1

Kia previewed a new mini urban commuter concept this week that it calls Pop. A fitting name since the car resembles a four-wheeled version of the Pop-O-Matic bubble that every kid and former kid will recognize from the game of Trouble. Look at it from the top and it's hard not to want to give it a lil' pop. The new zero-emissions concept will make its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in late September.

In the purple and silver preview pictures, we can see an odd, otherworldly contraption that sports a rounded, futuristic look. The concept features a bulbous windshield that extends into a glass roof panel and capsule-shaped side windows that look more space age than automotive. The lines on the side and low door handles indicate that the doors open upwards--something that would continue the theme of the concept's spacy look. Up front, the Pop has a rather insect-like appearance with its extended fenders taking on the look of antennae or pincers and its multi-light headlamps giving it fly-like eye balls.


Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Debuts in Monterey

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Debuts in Monterey test 1-1

A little over a month ago, on July Fourth weekend, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport broke the world record for fastest production car with a speed over 267 mph. This weekend at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, Califonia, Bugatti officially debuted its victorious warrior in front of a crowd of media and car aficionados.

For its debut, the Bugatti shed the black and flourescent orange look that it had worn for the track and showed up in a stunning, glimmering blue carbon fiber paint job. Under that eye-capturing paint, Bugatti has upgraded the "standard" Veyron 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine by boosting the size of the four turbochargers and intercoolers.  These tunes have added 200 horsepower to the world-record-holding variant. The engine is mated to a twin-clutch seven-speed gearbox. Final specs come in at 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft of torque.

In order to handle those extra horses and the 15 extra mph they deliver, Bugatti strengthened the chassis of the car. Modifications include new shock absorbers and stronger stabilizers. Bugatti also added some slight aerodynamic enhancements to the body. The engine pulls its air in from two NACA ducts in the roof, rather than traditional hood scoops.

Morgan Eva GT Debuts At Pebble Beach

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Morgan Eva GT Debuts At Pebble Beach test 1-1

Independent U.K. manufacturer Morgan debuted its all-new Eva GT grand tourer this past weekend at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach. The sleek, stylish car combines sporty, retro-meets-modern styling with a lightweight chassis and body, enough room for four people and bags in the trunk, and a BMW six-cylinder engine. Those factors help to deliver enviable numbers in all-out performance and fuel efficiency.

Underneath its flowing, elongated hood, the Eva GT features a BMW twin-turbo straight six with direct injection, providing 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. That engine pairs with either a six-speed ZF automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

Despite its rather large, stately appearance, the Eva GT weighs significantly less than 3,000 lbs. (2,750). Morgan kept weight down by using its bonded aluminum chassis and a series of superformed aluminum body panels.

The combination of BMW power and lightweight design open the Eva GT up for a 4.5-second 0 to 62 mph time and a 170-mph top speed. According to Morgan's numbers, the car can also offer up to 40 mpg worth of fuel economy.

First Glimpse of the 2011 Toyota Highlander

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

First Glimpse of the 2011 Toyota Highlander test 1-1

If you are interested in getting a preview of the 2011 Toyota Highlander SUV, keep an eye opened for this year’s Moscow Motor Show scheduled on the 30th of August. Toyota will unveil, for the Russian and Ukrainian markets, a Euro-spec version of the Toyota Highlander, which could hold a great deal of similarity to the redesigned model soon to be launched in the U.S.

The 2011 seven-passenger Toyota Highlander gets styling revisions as well as some equipment rearrangement.  It’s part of a mid-cycle upgrade for a vehicle last fully redesigned in model-year 2008. The 2011 Highlander’s basic form doesn’t change. This Toyota Highlander has three versatile seating rows; it is the only electric hybrid, seven-seat crossover for sale in the U.S.

The 2011 Highlander model targeted for the Eastern European markets is updated with a dynamic redesigned front fascia with sharper looking triangular headlights and fog lights that are set into a contrasting section of the bumper. The lower section of the bumper is completely redesigned, which offers a more sophisticated look that, at the same time, gives the crossover a more rugged appearance.

Toyota has not released any official specs for the Highlander SUV, but unidentified sources claim that the vehicle will come with a 3.5 liter V6 engine delivering 273 hp. The unit will be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.  The North American market may see a 2.7 liter four-cylinder product. The 2011 Toyota Highlander is also expected to receive a hybrid version, in keeping with the trend of providing more fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. market.

Inifiniti Launches High Performance Division

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Inifiniti Launches High Performance Division  test 1-1

With eyes on the likes of Mercedes AMG, BMW M and Audi quattro GmbH, Infiniti is launching its own performance line. Possible good news: it appears that the company has spent so much time in designing high-end performance cars, there wasn't any left to come up with a name; the performance division will bear the rather unimaginative, no-frills moniker of "Infiniti Performance Line."

The line was unveiled at the Concours d'Elegance event going on now in Pebble Beach, and the first car out of the newly debuted division is the IPL G Coupe. The suped-up version of the G37 coupe gets modifications under the hood, in the cabin and around the exterior.

The coupe's 3.7-liter V6 enjoys a leap to 348 hp (from 330 hp) thanks to a little recalibrating. The max output now comes at 7,400 RPM rather than 7,000. Accompanying performance upgrades include increased rear and front spring rates, modified steering, 4-wheel sport brakes and viscous limited-slip differential. Those modifications are aimed at increasing handling and providing a smoother, surer ride. In back, modifications to the exhaust sytem cut pressure while delivering a more robust, performance-oriented grumble.

Treasures on Display at Bobby and Steve's Auto World Classic Car Show

On: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 9:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Treasures on Display at Bobby and Steve's Auto World Classic Car Show test 1-1

It was a glorious Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis, Minnesota June 24th, 2010. Car owners and enthusiasts were getting geared up for the 10thannual Bobby & Steve’s Classic Car Show. Hoods were propped up while car owners kicked back in the shade. Nearly every vehicle on the premises was worthy of being featured. Three cars in particular were brought to my attention and the respective owners were able to pass along some interesting information about their prized possessions.

Lotus Plans New Supercar Concept For Paris Motor Show

On: Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 2:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit Concept test 2

Six years ago, British automotive company Lotus saddened car fans everywhere when it discontinued its iconic Esprit sports coupe. The plan at the time was to refocus the brand on smaller, lighter, more affordable vehicles. While models like the Elise, Evora, and Exige have opened the Lotus badge to a new breed of buyers, the Esprit has been sorely missed. Rumors have been loudening that Lotus plans on showing an Esprit concept at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show. Today, Lotus confirmed that it has a supercar concept planned, but hinted that it may be even more intriguing than a new Esprit.

The Norfolk-based automaker stated that the supercar concept it brings to Paris may be "perhaps even more” than a simple Esprit revival, indicating that Lotus may move even farther upmarket. Under the leadership of former Ferrari executive Danny Bahar and a handful of other transplants from Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Porsche, it's understood that Lotus plans to make a decisive move toward Porsche and Ferrari territory. Lotus didn't reveal any details about the upcoming concept, but indicated it will provide a clear outline of the brand's intended future direction.

The History of Monster Truck Events

On: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 5:32PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The History of Monster Truck Events test 1-1

If you are a truck enthusiast, chances are that you are into Monster Trucks, particularly if your love for trucks goes back to the 70s when their popularity initially began, as lifted trucks with large 48-inch wheels became the rave. Famous trucks such as “Bigfoot" and “King Kong” were first introduced back then and still compete in shows today.

In the late 70s, truck enthusiasts began to explore different options for mud bogging and truck pulling which were evolving into more and more popular leisure activities. Trucks used for competition started to be modified to adapt to an increased demands that were put on them.

A pioneer in the monster truck industry was Bob Chandler, who has become known as the founder of the trade. Bob Chandler was a 4X4 enthusiast, and those who knew him say he was a lead-foot when he drove. His notoriously heavy foot led to a nickname—Bigfoot. Chandler started creating promotional videos of his jumps for his truck store. Then, as fate would have it, an event promoter noticed the video and requested that Chandler start performing in front of a live audience. Eventually the events grew to be more and more popular. Chandler was the first promoter of events with monster trucks that would jump and race other trucks. Chandler's performance became known as the “Truck-A-Rama,” and he was also believed to have first termed the phrase “Monster Truck,” when describing the famous truck called “Bigfoot.”