2007 Toyota Avensis Facelift - Official Pictures

Toyota brings some welcome positive news for the UK’s car manufacturing industry with the unveiling today of its new, British-built 2007 Avensis range at the Madrid Motor Show.

The new Avensis has fresh styling inside and out, increasing its dynamic and premium quality appeal. It also benefits from two new engines from Toyota’s latest generation of clean, efficient and refined D-4D common rail diesel units.

They are the 175hp D-4D 180, which exclusively powers a new flagship Avensis T180 model, and the D-4D 130, a more powerful replacement for the previous 2.0-litre D-4D engine, with additional gains in fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.

The new Avensis also delivers improved handling and ride, thanks to a series of detail revisions in the steering and suspension systems. The full range of saloon, hatchback and Tourer models will go on sale in Europe on 1 July. Pricing and specifications will be announced nearer that date. Click on the pictures to enlarge:

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2007 Subaru Legacy facelift – Sedan, Wagon & Outback

Subaru announced the introduction of its new Legacy models (Sedan, Wagon & Outback). The facelift series went on sale in Japan through its dealerships while in European and the US, the 2007 versions are expected latter this year

Major features of the faclifted Legacy

Exterior designs: Building on the style characteristics of the fourth-generation Legacy, which embodied beauty and functionality in its designs, the new Legacy boasts detailed design changes that heighten its original identity.

Interior designs: Additional decorative panels on the dashboard provide a quality feel and functional look, as well as accentuate the comfortable interior space. On the models with the SI-DRIVE, newly designed meter panels and steering wheel switches emphasize functionality in the interface with the driver.

Powertrain: FHI has improved further on engine combustion efficiency and the intake and exhaust efficiency for the new Legacy series. Improvements to the transmission also ensure smooth and responsive gearshifting. FHI has also expanded the availability of the 6-speed manual transmission on the new Legacy series to the 2-liter turbo as well as 3-liter engine models.

The SI-DRIVE on the 2-liter turbo and 3-liter engine models not only offers the driver a choice of three different modes of driving experience, but it can also help delivers to save fuel economy without sacrificing the driving pleasure.

Body/Chassis: Capitalizing on outstanding driving characteristics provided by the Symmetrical AWD, the new Legacy offers further improved stability and maneuverability through enhancement of joints in body frames and parts. High levels of comfort and relaxation, matched to the concept of the Grand Touring Car, have been achieved.

SI-DRIVE on 2-liter turbo and 3-liter engine models: The SI-DRIVE enables three distinctively different modes: the Intelligent mode; Sport mode; and Sport Sharp mode. By regulating the engine control unit (ECU) as well as the transmission control unit (TCU) in the automatic transmission, and by fine-tuning the electronically controlled throttle, the system provides vehicle performance unique to each mode. It allows the driver to choose from these three modes, which bring out very different driving experiences in the same car.

In addition to the SI-DRIVE selector on the center console for choosing the driving mode, FHI has also developed a new interface to display SI-DRIVE performance. The instrumentation incorporates an Info-Eco Indicator that lights up while driving on low fuel consumption; an ECO gauge that encourages mileage-conscious driving; and a multi-information display that shows comprehensive information about the driver-selected SI-DRIVE mode. A Shift-up Indicator is also available on the manual transmission models, which advises the driver to shift up a gear for better fuel economy.

The ECO gauge and Info-Eco Indicator have proven to positively influence drivers to drive more fuel-efficiently. Together with the improvements in the powertrain performance and control mechanism, the new Legacy driven in the Intelligent mode recorded 10 percent better gas mileage, compared to the current model without these improvements and display, according to FHI’s internal tests.

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2007 Land Rover Range Rover - New V8 Diesel, Improved Cabin & More Technology

All-new TDV8 diesel engine 272hp

Cuts 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) by over 4seconds, but same fuel economy as the outgoing diesel (25.1 mpg combined average)

Added technologies include Land Rover’s Terrain Response, electronic park brake and electronic rear ‘e’ differential

Improved cabin gains extra stowage, enhanced finishes and more effective air-conditioning – plus optional cooled front seats

New V8 Diesel: The technologically sophisticated, turbocharged 272 bhp/PS (200 kW) TDV8 diesel makes its debut in the Range Rover, and is one of the world’s most advanced engines. Acceleration is significantly improved, compared with the previous diesel engine: over four seconds has been cut from the 0-60 mph and 0-100 km/h times (now 8.5 sec and 9.2 sec respectively). Maximum speed is raised to 124 mph (200 km/h), electronically limited. In addition, the TDV8 is up to 75 per cent quieter overall, more refined, and has improved brakes and handling.

6Speed Auto: The new engine is matched to the six-speed, state-of-the-art ZF ‘intelligent shift’ automatic transmission, already used on petrol Range Rover models. The two petrol engine options for the Range Rover introduced last year to wide acclaim – a 396 bhp/PS (291 kW) supercharged V8 and a normally aspirated 306 bhp/PS (225 kW) V8 – continue for 2007 model year.

Terrain Response: The Range Rover’s outstanding off-road capability is enhanced by the addition of Terrain Response as standard for all 2007 models, together with a centre ‘e’ (electronic) differential and the availability of a rear ‘e’ differential. Terrain Response allows the driver to select one of five settings on the rotary switch, to suit the terrain. The vehicle’s electronic and mechanical controls are then optimised to tackle the specific conditions.

Improved Cabin: Other enhancements apply across the Range Rover line-up for the 2007 model year. The cabin gains better stowage space (including a new twin glovebox), an enhanced airbag package, a cleaner centre console design, an electronic parking brake, a new upper facia and substantially improved air-conditioning and ventilation. Switchgear and the audio system have been improved, and there are more extensive wood and metallic finishes, all contributing to an enhanced premium feel. Front seats now offer an optional cooling function, as well as a standard heating feature, and active head restraints contribute to improved safety.

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Fiat Ducato “Truckster” Concept

Pimp My Ducato!
The Madrid International Motor Show (25 May to 4 June), hosted Fiat’s Ducato “Truckster” prototype. Created by the Fiat Style Centre with the collaboration of Bosch SpA, Behr GmbH, SEWS CABIND SpA (Sumitomo Group) and Denso Thermal System SpA, this original concept vehicle is generously proportioned: 6.48 metres long, 2.55 m high and 2.49 metres wide.

The style is modern and “exuberant”, thanks to a design which accentuates the concept of sporting performance applied to a commercial vehicle, with features like 28 inch wheels, LED headlights, hydraulically-controlled gullwing doors, smoked glass windows and an aerodynamic spoiler. The interiors have also been given the same sporty feel, emphasising its “road racer” personality.

With its sense of power and sportiness, the Ducato “Truckster” takes the style hallmarks of the new Ducato to extremes. Like the Ducato it is also a modular vehicle with a huge range of possible uses: purely as a show car, or as an “Adventure” vehicle for transporting race cars or motorbikes, or even as a runway for fashion shows. This capacity for transformation has always been a key feature of the Ducato: take the camper van version, for instance, leader in its field (two out of three campers are fitted onto a Ducato base), all thanks to the technical characteristics of a vehicle designed for body fitters.

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2007 Land Rover Freelander II

These are the first pictures of the all new 2007 Freelander II. The leaked press kit of Land Rover’s new compact SUV model reveals that the new car looks very similar to the existing model, especially around the nose where Landrover trademarks such as the grille and clamshell bonnet are obvious –also think Discovery / LR3.

The car seems to have grown slightly in every dimension, with a wider track and longer wheelbase, thus improving space for both passengers and luggage. The pictures also show that the rear doors have grown in size, making access easier.

Despite its similar looks, the Freelander II is based on an all-new platform -a stretched version of the C1 platform that underpins the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Volvo S40. The new Freelander is expected to be an even more capable vehicle off-road than the current model, with a stiffer chassis and increased ground clearance. Most of the components are said to come from parent company Ford, but upgraded to ensure the new car performs like a genuiune Landrover.

Although the new Freelander will be offerd only as a five-door model, it is rumored tha we will eventually see a 'baby' 3door Landrover which will sit below the Freelander II in the Landrover range, possibly as early as 2009.

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BMW M3 CS vs Audi RS4 video from 5th Gear

Watch this fantastic comparision test video from “5th Gear” starring Tiff Needell and Jason Plato in the 2007 Audi RS4 Band the MW M3 CS respectively. See the two German gladiators compete in drift, speed and race track tests. A tiny bit long -12 minutes, but worth every second of it!

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Cadillac Offers Free Content Pack For Premiere Xbox 360 Game, “Project Gotham Racing 3”

Cadillac, in conjunction with Microsoft, announced today that it will provide the first free downloadable content pack available on the Xbox 360 for the Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) videogame title.

The full range of Cadillac V-Series vehicles is now available as a downloadable expansion pack for PGR3. The three Cadillac V-Series cars include the 400 horsepower CTS-V, the 443 horsepower XLR-V and the 469 horsepower STS-V.

In addition to the downloadable V-Series vehicles, gamers who perform in the top 100 on the Nürburgring Full F1 Circuit track via Xbox Live with any of the Cadillac V-Series performance cars will achieve Cadillac Elite status, a ranking system that will eventually represent the top echelon of console gamers across multiple gaming titles. The long-term vision of the Cadillac Elite program is to offer elite Xbox Live gamers access to exclusive events, customized downloadable content and potential prizes.

"We're offering constructive content for PGR3 that is desirable inside the gaming community," said Liz Vanzura, Cadillac marketing director. "Gamers will enjoy racing our high-performance V-Series vehicles against some of the world's finest sports cars and Cadillac Elite status will be a highly coveted and valuable level of achievement for players to strive for. It's taking brand integration to another level."

PGR3 is the first game in which the Cadillac Elite recognition can be earned and is unprecedented for the Xbox 360. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

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Toyota rolls off its first made-in-China Camry

Toyota Motor Corporation just rolled off its first Chinese-built Camry sedan which is based on the highly succesfull U.S. model. The launch, from Toyota's new $475 million factory in Nansha, near the southern city of Guangzhou, symbolizes the automaker's ambitions for China, which is about to surpass Japan as the world's second-largest auto market.

Toyota, a relative latecomer to China, hasn’t revved up in the specific market, as it controls just 3,5 percent of the Chinese market, with 180,000 vehicles sold in 2005. That puts it behind top foreign automakers like GM (665,390 units) and Volkswagen.

The former Camry was the lead import model in China during the past decade, selling about 30,000 cars annually. By shifting production to China, Toyota hopes to double its sales. Toyota's new plant comes with an annual output capacity of 100,000 units, though it aims to build 60,000 units this year. If the Camry takes off, a second shift will be introduced lifting capacity to over 200,000 units.

The new China-built Camry will sell for between $25.000 to $35.000 (200.000 yuan and 270.000 Yuan).

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New Audi Q5 to be built in Germany

EUR 300 million to be invested in production facilities
Production to start in 2009
Location chosen on strength of high productivity

The decision has been made: the new Audi Q5 will be built in Germany. The new model will start rolling off the production line at Ingolstadt in 2009. To that end, around EUR 300 million will be invested in the production facilities over the next years. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, explained: “The decision demonstrates what potential there is for industrial production in Germany. We are delighted that the Audi Q5 will be built in Ingolstadt, now that we have reached an agreement with the Works Council enabling us to build it at a competitive cost.” A total of some 1,700 workers will be involved in production of the Audi Q5 in Ingolstadt. “This decision will also benefit employment at Neckarsulm, because both plants will be very closely interlinked,” added Winterkorn.

The decision to build the Audi Q5 at Ingolstadt is the third major decision within a short space of time that AUDI AG has reached in favour of a German location. Just a few months ago, it was announced that the new Audi A5 is to be built in Ingolstadt, and the Audi R8 sports car in Neckarsulm. Production of the Audi R8 will commence in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The Audi Q5 will join the Audi Q7 as the Audi brand's second model in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. “The Audi Q5 will be an overtly sporty vehicle that will add an important product to the Audi model range. The Audi Q5 will take us a big step closer to vehicle sales of 1.4 million per year, a target that we have set ourselves for 2015,” continued Winterkorn.

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BMW Mille Miglia Concept Video

Ever wonder how Chris Bangle’s latest concept, the BMW Mille Miglia looks like in real life? Take a look at the following video and see the Bavarian prototype “stroll” around. If your curious enough to hear BMW Group’s head designer talk about his latest creation look at the second video bellow.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI “Edition 30” – Happy birthday GTI!

Its been 30 years since the first Golf GTI rolled off VW’s production line, so the Germans decided to make a birthday gift to the car that christened a whole new category: the Golf GTI Edition 30 concept.

As you can see from the pictures, the special edition GTI has a few cosmetic modifications –painted bumpers, 18’’ black alloy wheels, darkened rear lights, red stitched sterring wheel, gear knob with the classic Golf Ball Design and special "edition 30" signatures.

The most interesting part though is the pumped up 2.0 TFSI engine that now produces 230 hp, 30 more than the normal version –one hp for every year that the car was in production.

Although officially there is no word for a production version, Volkswagen is known for its limited series production models such as the Golf 20th or the Golf Pink Floyd which means we might very well see the Golf GTI Edition 30 come to life.

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Debut of the new “Fiat by T-Logic” digital appliances range

The first range of Fiat brand digital appliances is being launched onto the Italian market. A limited edition collection, it represents a consummate blend of advanced technology and fashion appeal.

In detail, the new high tech products are produced and distributed by Life Tool Technologies S.p.A., an Ancona-based company belonging to the Merloni Group, with the brand name “Fiat by T-Logic”. The products - Mp3 players, digital cameras and alcohol testers, all multi-function appliances - are called Genio, Album, Tribù, Cinema, Istante and Amico.

Produced in the official colours of the brand, the digital collection features the big vintage Fiat logo in pride of place, with the original pay-off “Fabbrica Italiana Alta Tecnologia”, inspired by and reworking the real acronym, “Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino”.

Targeting a young, modern market, Fiat electronic products boast a simple, original design. Reflecting this, the container has been designed to be reused: not just packaging to throw away, but a collectable object that can be reused constantly and displayed.

“The Fiat by T-Logic range is one of the Fiat products produced under licence by highly specialised, qualified partner companies”, explains Massimo Franzosi, licensing manager for Fiat Auto. “Just like the sweatshirts, biker jackets, sneakers and pens manufactured by Rites, Dainese, Sabelt and Mazzuoli respectively, the “Fiat by T-Logic” consumer electronics products will increase the appeal of the Fiat brand, and give existing and potential fans more scope for using the brand, both in and out of the dealerships”.

Prices: Prices go from around 300 euros for Genio, the mp3 player with a 20 GB hard disk, to 160 euros for Tribù, a Macintosh-compatible mp3 player with speakers, an FM radio and an internal memory of 1 GB, to 40 euros for Amico, the alcohol tester with gas sensor technology.

Distributed by selected qualified outlets, predominantly specialised shops and chains, the range also comes with a technical assistance service which offers free home delivery.

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Porsche Cayman: New basic version with 245 Hp

Following the market launch of the Cayman S in autumn 2005, Porsche is introducing the Cayman, a new basic version of the mid-engine sports coupé.

Engine: Based on the Boxster series, the two-seater is powered by a six-cylinder boxer engine with an engine-capacity of 2.7 liters and developing an output of 245 bhp (180 kW). Thanks to the Porsche VarioCam Plus system the Cayman affords a torque of 273 Newton meters available between 4,600 and 6,000 revs. Power is transmitted via a five-speed manual transmission with short, precise shifting travel. A six-speed manual transmission in conjunction with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system is also available on request. As a third variant, Porsche offers its customers the well-known Tiptronic S five-speed automatic transmission, which has rocker switches in the steering-wheel spokes for sporty gear shifting.

Performance: It has a top speed of 258 kilometers per hour. This sports car with manual transmission accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. The Cayman is convincing proof of the fact that outstanding performance statistics do not necessarily mean high fuel consumption. According to European standards, it consumes on average only 9.3 liters per 100 kilometers.

Chassis: The Cayman coasts along on 17-inch light-alloy wheels boasting a unique design with five double spokes. 205/55 tires are fitted as standard onto 6.5-inch wide wheel rims at the front; the combination at the rear is 235/50 tires on 8-inch rims. With the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system fitted as standard, the chassis makes an impressive impact in terms of driving dynamics and active safety.

The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system is available as an optional extra. The system is capable of lowering the body by ten millimeters, and automatically adapts the shock-absorber system to each particular driving situation. The driver can choose between the “normal” and “sport” programs by pressing a button on the center console.

Design: Other special features of the Cayman are black brake calipers, black front-spoiler lips, a titanium-colored logo at the rear and also a trapezoidal tailpipe. The impressive interior boasts a comprehensive range of standard features including an air-conditioning system, a radio/CD player, seat covers in luxurious Alcantara leather, black-faced instrument dials and door entry trims with the Cayman logo. Because of the mid-engine concept, it boasts two trunk compartments with a combined volume of 410 liters, just like its big brother, the Cayman S. Along with many other storage features, this design highlights the sports coupé’s supreme practicality.

Safety: In additional to two full-size airbags to guarantee the necessary level of safety protection in the event of head-on collisions, the ingenious Porsche Side Impact Protection System (POSIP), which features a chest and head airbag on each side of the vehicle, also provides excellent protection in side-on collisions.

Price: The basic price in euros for the Cayman is 40,900 euros. In Germany, the vehicle costs 47,647 euros including sales tax and country-specific requirements. The Cayman will be on sale in the USA for 49,400 dollars (not including tax). The market launch in Europe and the USA will take place on July 29, 2006.

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