America’s 10 Most Leased Vehicles: It’s All about German Luxury Cars

The easiest way to get behind the wheel of an expensive luxury / sports car if you can’t afford to buy it cash or through a loan is to lease it. Basically, what you do in leasing is that instead of putting a loan for the entire cost of a vehicle, you borrow an amount for the cost of a car brand new minus what it will be worth (estimated value) at the end of the leasing period. This results to lower monthly payments even though you’ll have to pay an extra amount if you want to keep the car.

Even though most automaker’s in the U.S. are beginning to either cut back on leasing like BMW and General Motors or quit it altogether like Chrysler, this form of ownership remains quite popular in the luxury car segment. According to a study from .D. Power & Associates' Power Information Network (PIN) that was published on 'BusinessWeek', the 10 most commonly leased vehicles in the U.S. belong to the luxury segment. -Continued

From the 10 vehicles with the highest lease share, seven belong to German automakers with four of those being BMWs. The 7-Series tops the list with a lease share in 2008 of 85.3% (!) followed by Saab’s 9-7x with an equally mind-blowing, 82.2%.

BMW 7 Series

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 85.3%
Starting price: $77,625
Sales through July 2008: 8,190
Sales through July 2007: 8,634
Percent change: -5.1%

Saab 9-7X

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 82.2%
Starting price: $41,145
Sales through July 2008: 2,321
Sales through July 2007: 3,259
Percent change: -28.8%

Audi A6

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 74.1%
Starting price: $42,950
Sales through July 2008: 6,321
Sales through July 2007: 6,410
Percent change: -1.4%


2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 70.7%
Starting price: $37,525
Sales through July 2008: 4,116
Sales through July 2007: 5,420
Percent change: -24.1%

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 70%
Starting price: $52,775
Sales through July 2008: 25,101
Sales through July 2007: 25,473
Percent change: -1.5%

Land Rover Range Rover

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 69.6%
Starting price: $78,450
Sales through July 2008: 4,775
Sales through July 2007: 6,610
Percent change: -27.8%

BMW 6 Series

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 68.6%
Starting price: $77,425
Sales through July 2008: 4,218
Sales through July 2007: 5,190
Percent change: -18.7%

Audi A4/S4

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 68%
Starting price: $32,700
Sales through July 2008: 26,770
Sales through July 2007: 25,205
Percent change: +6.2%


2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 67.3%
Starting price: $39,425
Sales through July 2008: 11,257
Sales through July 2007: 16,926
Percent change: -33.5%

Jaguar XJ Sedan

2008 lease share through Aug. 10: 65.8%
Starting price: $64,500
Sales through July 2008: 1,514
Sales through July 2007: 2,500
Percent change: -39.4%

Via: BusinessWeek , Data: J.D. Power & Associates' Power Information Network

GM Recalling Nearly 1 Million Vehicles Worldwide on Electrical Issue

Chevy Tahoe 2008 MYGeneral Motors will be sending letters to more than 944,000 owners worldwide, 857,735 of which are located in the U.S., due to voluntary recall that affects 16 cars and SUVs from 2006 to 2008. The huge recall involves vehicles fitted with a heated washer fluid system that could short circuit causing other electrical features to malfunction and lead to smoke or even fire. According to GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, up until now, there have been three reported fires related to the problem. GM said that its dealers will install a wire harness with an in-line fuse free of charge. See the affected models after the jump. -Continued


  • BUICK / ENCLAVE -2008
  • BUICK / LUCERNE - 2006-2008
  • CADILLAC / DTS - 2006-2008
  • CADILLAC / ESCALADE - 2007-2008
  • CADILLAC / ESCALADE ESV - 2007-2008
  • CADILLAC / ESCALADE EXT - 2007-2008
  • CHEVROLET / AVALANCHE - 2007-2008
  • CHEVROLET / SILVERADO - 2007-2008
  • CHEVROLET / SUBURBAN - 2007-2008
  • CHEVROLET / TAHOE - 2007-2008
  • GMC / ACADIA - 2007-2008
  • GMC / SIERRA - 2007-2008
  • GMC / YUKON - 2007-2008
  • GMC / YUKON XL -2007-2008
  • HUMMER / H2 - 2006-2008
  • SATURN / OUTLOOK - 2007-2008

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX 265HP Priced from $24,995

Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback MY2009Today, Subaru announced U.S. pricing on its revised 2009 Impreza line up (see details and photos here) that includes the more powerful WRX that gets a 41 HP bump, now delivering 265 HP and the newly introduced 224 HP 2.5 GT model. The Impreza WRX sedan has a starting price of $24,995 (from $24,350 for the outgoing 224 HP MY’08 WRX) while the hatchback is priced at $25,495 (from $24,850).

Both variants of the WRX are available exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission, and apart from the more powerful 2.5-liter boxer engine, they also get larger 225/45 R17 lower profile summer performance tires, 17-inch alloy wheels, an Aero Package, STI rear spoiler (only 5-door), WRX upholstery w/red stitching and WRX logo on front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and red stitching, and STI type grille w/WRX badge. -Continued

Subaru Impreza Sedan 2.5 GT MY2009The new Impreza 2.5GT 4 door that’s powered by the MY’08 WRX’s 224 HP boxer engine and teamed exclusively to a standard 4-speed automatic transmission and Active AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive has a starting price of $26,995 and is powered by 224-hp intercooled turbo Boxer engine. The all-new 2.5GT model also features Impreza Premium Package equipment, including new power glass moonroof, plus All-Weather Package. The comparatively equipped 5-door version of the Impreza 2.5GT is priced at $27,495.

The Impreza 2.5i 4 door, equipped with manual transmission, will have a starting price of $17,495. While the 2.5i 5 door, also equipped with manual transmission, will have a starting price of $17,995. Pricing for the Outback Sport models remains unchanged starting at $19,995 as does pricing for the Impreza WRX STI model starting at $34,995. According to Subaru, destination and delivery for all 2009 Impreza models is $665 ($815 for dealers in Alaska).

Nismo Launches Club Sport Package for new Nissan GT-R

NISMO Nissan GT-R 2009Nissan’s official motorsports and performance division, NISMO has finally released a new range of performance accessories for the 2009 GT-R under the name ‘Club Sport Package”. Starting with the chassis enhancements, Nissan’s in-house tuner offers a set of race-spec Bilstein Damptronic adjustable dampers, stiffer front (18.5kg/mm) and rear springs(9.6 kg/mm) and new 20-inch Rays forged aluminum wheels wrapped around in Bridgestone RE070R run-flat tires, sized 225/40 and 285/35, front and rear. -Continued

For those wanting to shave off a few extra pounds, NISMO’s new lightweight exhaust system that comes with a carbon fiber under-tray designed to reduce drag will remove 11 pounds from the GT-R’s overall weight while the carbon fiber backed and leather trimmed bucket seats that retain the side airbags but ditch the electronic adjustments, will save you an extra 13 pounds.

If you go for the full Monty, the Club Sport will cost you ¥5,460,000 or about $50,000 / €34,000. For the time being, the NISMO’s tuning parts for the GT-R are available only in Japan.

NISMO Nissan GT-R 2009

NISMO Nissan GT-R 2009

Via: , Source: NISMO

Toyota iQ to be Fully Revealed at Paris Auto Show

Toyota iQ Production VersionFollowing the iQ concept car at the Frankfurt show in 2007 and the production design version at this year’s Geneva Salon in March, Toyota will fully reveal its new micro car at the Paris Motor Show on October 2. Since we already know what the iQ will look like, what we’re waiting to find out is all the technical details on Toyota’s new micro car that will go on sale in Europe towards the end of the year - early 2009 (depending on the market). At 2,985mm long and 1,500mm high, the iQ is only slightly larger than Mercedes’ Smart Fortwo, but thanks to its comparatively long, 2,000mm wheelbase and smart interior packaging, Toyota says that it can fit three adults plus a child or luggage in comfort. -Continued

According to the Japanese automaker, the iQ has been designed to meet five-star Euro NCAP crash test safety standards. In an earlier announcement, Toyota said that the iQ will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel. Full production of the iQ will start during late 2008, with 100,000 units expected worldwide in the microcar’s first full year in the market.

Video: 2011 Chevy Volt & Corvette Concept at Transformers 2 Movie Set

We finally managed to find the amateur video from the ‘Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen’ movie set that we told you about in our previous post. The video shows what appears to be the production version (or pretty damn close to production) of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt along with shots of the Bumblebee Chevrolet Camaro, the Chevrolet Beat, the Chevrolet Corvette Centennial Design Concept and some other Chevys during the filming of a scene for the new TransChevys, err we mean Transformers 2 movie. Watch the video after the jump. -Continued

New SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive with Low Emissions and Reduced Consumption

Seat Ibiza Ecomotoive 2009After the unveiling of the top-of-the-range Cupra model –see here, SEAT introduced its most frugal and eco-friendly version of the new Ibiza. Available in both 5-door and SportCoupe (3-door) forms, the Ibiza Ecomotive is equipped with VW Group’s 80 HP 1.4 TDI turbo diesel engine with a DPF particulate filter. According to the Spanish carmaker, the Ibiza Ecomotive features a reduced CO2 emissions figure of only 99 g/km while consumption is also low; however, SEAT hasn’t released any official figures yet. -Continued

Along with the updated engine software, the Ibiza Ecomotive also features revisions to the gearbox and the gear ratios, low resistant 175/70 R14 tires and improved aerodynamics through the new closed front grille and new rear spoiler that reduce resistance to movement and therefore decrease mechanical effort as well as fuel consumption and emissions.

Opening picture edited by Auto Cars 2011

Seat Ibiza Ecomotoive 2009
Seat Ibiza Ecomotoive 2009

VIDEO: New Aston Martin Rapide Promo Films [Part 3]

Aston Martin has released the third and final part of its promotional trilogy “True Power Should Be Shared” starring the Rapide four-door coupe. There's less action in this film as our heroes drive towards their destination, wondering what they are transporting. Well, it turns out to be some kind of a time machine, which saves them from being killed in an ambush and returns them to Lisbon, where everything started. Not what we expected, but at least the Rapide didn’t get blown up. Hit the jump to watch the video.

By Csaba Daradics


BMW to Present X1 SUV Concept at Paris, Z4 Roadster at Detroit Show

Updating our previous report on BMW’s forthcoming presentations –see what we said in June by clicking here, we’ve received official confirmation that the Bavarian automaker will indeed present an X1 SUV Concept at the Paris Auto Show in October. The prototype model will give us an idea of how the production version of BMW’s 1-Series based SUV/Crossover will look like when it enters the market at the end of 2009 or early 2011. -Continued

Although we knew that BMW was getting ready to present the Z4 roadster’s successor, up until now, we weren’t sure where the unveiling would take place and if it would be a concept or the production model.

Now we can reveal to you that BMW will take the wraps off the actual production version at next January’s 2009 Detroit Auto Show. However, from what we learnt, we won’t have to wait until January as BMW will give us a sneak-peek of its new roadster just before the end of the year. Unlike the current Z4 that is built in the U.S., BMW’s new two-seater will be manufactured in the company’s German plant in Regensburg.

2009 Toyota Avensis – First Official Image!

Toyota Avensis Sedan 2009The first official photo of the next-generation Toyota Avensis has been leaked into the internet well before the mid-size sedan’s scheduled debut at the 2008 Paris International Motor Show on October 2. The Avensis, which you could call Toyota’s European equivalent of the American Camry (the two models share nothing in common), has been fully redesigned featuring a crispier and more dynamic styling than the outgoing model. We don’t have all the details in our hands yet, but in previous talks we had with Toyota Europe’s people, the new Avensis will get a new line-up of engines with lower consumption and reduced CO2 figures.

Alfa Romeo GT Coupe Redesigned by Fan to Resemble 8c Competizione

Alfa Romeo GT Coupe FaceliftWe’re not aware when and if at all, Alfa Romeo will update its GT Coupe, but in the case that the Italian automaker does decide to present a facelift version of the compact 4-seater coupe in the near future, this rendering from ‘’ reader Luciano seems to hit the spot. Inspired from Alfa Romeo’s latest models, the 8c Competizione and the MiTo, Luciano completely redesigned the front end of the GT Coupe replacing the rectangular headlights with the sexier oval-shaped lights found in Alfa’s exotic supercar. Admittedly, we prefer Luciano’s version of the Italian coupe over the original design. Hopefully someone at Alfa might agree with us.


Official: BMW 2.0-liter Turbo Coming to the USA in 2011, Replaces 3.0-liter Straight-Six

We knew BMW's brand-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine was coming to the States but now, the Bavarian automaker has made it official. The German company released a statement saying the first cars to be equipped with the force-fed four-banger will "arrive later this year" in the USA.

The 2.0-liter unit made its debut on the X1 compact crossover and will eventually replace BMW’s trademark normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six. While BMW's US division has yet to announce which models will get the new engine, in Europe, the automaker has already confirmed the powerplant for the Z4 coupe-roadster and the 5-Series range.

In the U.S., the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six is currently available on these models:

-128i Coupe / Convertible 230HP

-328i Sedan / Coupe / Convertible / Sports Wagon / xDrive 230HP

-528i Sedan 240HP

-X3 xDrive28i 240HP

-Z4 sDrive30i 255HP

There's a strong possibility that BMW will offer the new 2.0-liter turbo on all of these models in the U.S. but this has yet to be confirmed.

BMW's more for less 2.0-liter unit combines twin-scroll turbocharging with high-pressure direct-injection and the firm's VALVETRONIC intake control. In the X1, the maximum output of 240 horsepower is achieved at 5,000 rpm, or 1,500 rpm lower than in the normally-aspirated 3.0-liter inline six. The peak torque of 260 lb-ft, comes on tap at just 1,250 rpm, which according to BMW, is not only 30% more torque than the aforementioned inline six, it also peaks 1,500 rpm earlier. On top of that, BMW says the four-pot also returns 16 per cent better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.


Ayrton Senna Documentary Receives Positive Reviews at Sundance Film Festival [with Video]

Seventeen years after the great Ayrton Senna died, the documentary about his life, aptly named 'Senna', was shown at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival last week and was met with critical acclaim. The work of British director Asif Kapadia and screenwriter and executive producer Manish Pandey, Senna tells the story of one of the greatest drivers who ever lived exclusively through archive footage.

That means that all the great racing sequences are there, showing incredible overtaking maneuvers, spectacular crashes and some of the greatest rivalries that Formula 1 has ever seen.

According to the LA Times, the documentary not only shows Senna’s incredibly competitive personality, but also his spiritual side.

“Though he drove like the devil, he was a spiritual person who believed deeply and profoundly in a higher power. A philosophical mystic with a jewel thief's nerves and a poet's sensitivity (and good looks), Senna was an altogether remarkable human being”, the review states.

The Brazilian pilot entered the world of racing driving karts and at the height of his career he won 33 races and three Formula 1 World Championships. Senna died aged 34 in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

The official trailer of the Senna documentary is available below.

By Csaba Daradics

Source: LA Times via Autoblog


Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC with 415HP

Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
The German-based tuning firm Inden-Design has released a new performance package for the Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC. In the standard S 500 4MATIC, the 5.5-litre V8 engine produces an output of 388 HP accelerating the all-wheel-drive luxury sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.4 seconds. Thanks to the reprogrammed engine control unit (ECU), Inden-Design has managed to add another 27 HP to the 5.5 V8 raising its total output to 415 HP. Other than that, the Inden-Design prepped S500 4MATIC’s suspension has been lowered by 45mm and it also features a sport exhaust system with four tailpipes and new 20-inch BBW LeMans alloy wheels in 245/35R20 tires in front and 285/30R20 at the rear. -Image gallery after the jump

Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC
Inden-Design Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC

Revised Opel Corsa ecoFLEX Consumes 4.1lt/100km or 57.4MPG

Opel Corsa ecoFLEX DieselFollowing the introduction of the new Astra ecoFLEX range, GM’s European arm Opel presented a revised version of its eco-friendly Corsa ecoFLEX model. Thanks to improved engine control and lower vehicle weight, Opel says that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the MY 2009 Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX have been reduced by a considerable 9 percent in comparison to the MY 2008. Its combined fuel consumption is now just 4.1 (57.4 MPG US) instead of 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 km, and at 109 g/km, it emits 10 grams less CO2 per km than before. -Continued

Opel Corsa ecoFLEXLike its Astra counterpart, the Corsa ecoFLEX’s 1.3-liter diesel engine has been recalibrated and adapted to a longer transmission gear ratio while to improve its aerodynamics, Opel’s engineers lowered the car by 20mm, changed the air intakes and fitted low resistance smaller tires (175/70 instead of 185/70) with lighter 14” steel wheels. Moreover, engineers managed to reduce the car’s overall weight by 45 kg or 100lbs.

The Corsa ecoFLEX is available in Europe with a 5-speed manual transmission as a 3-door model in the equipment variants Corsa and Edition. According to Opel, its performance figures are similar to its predecessor, with the engine developing an output of 75 HP and a maximum torque of 170 Nm. The Corsa ecoFLEX’s top speed is 168 km/h or 105 MPH.

SEAT Ibiza Cupra with 180 HP 1.4-liter TSI and 7-Speed DSG

SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009Just a few months after it launched the new Ibiza, Spanish automaker SEAT is expanding its supermini’s range with the reveal of the sporty Cupra model that is equipped with the latest version of the VW Group’s 1.4-liter TSI engine. The new twin-turbo engine now delivers 180 HP and is mated to a seven speed DSG gearbox with steering wheel shift-paddles. SEAT say that while developing the same output as the 1.8-liter turbo in the previous generation Ibiza Cupra, the new engine delivers a noteworthy reduction in emission levels and fuel consumption thanks to its smaller cylinder capacity. -Continued

SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009Compared to the other Ibiza SportCoupe (3door) versions, the new Cupra gets a relatively aggressive bodykit with new a front bumper that features a lip spoiler and air intake vents surrounding the central grille, 17-inch alloy wheels and a newly designed rear bumper with an integrated difusser and a centrally placed trapezoid tailpipe. Oddly enough, and although the Cupra is the top-of-the-range model in the Ibiza line-up, it does not get side skirts. Apparently SEAT will charge a few hundred Euros extra for them…

According to the VW’s Spanish subsidiary, the Cupra will come equipped with standard ESP, ABS, TCS + EBA, driver and passenger airbag, head airbag, Hill Hold Control, tire pressure loss warning light, twin chrome headlights, fog lamps with cornering function, “easy entry” system on the passenger seat, CUPRA suspension, CUPRA sports seats and aluminum pedals. The Ibiza Cupra will make its worldwide debut at the forthcoming Paris Auto Show in October.

SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009
SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009
SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009
SEAT Ibiza Cupra 2009