VW Tiguan SUV by ABT: 1.4-litre TSI With 200 Hp!

Making its debut at the European equivalent of the SEMA Show, the 2007 ESSEN Motorshow, which takes place in Germany from Dec. 1 to 9, the Volkswagen Tiguan by ABT, boasts a series of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. In terms of styling, the German tuner developed an aggressive bodykit that includes among other things, a front and rear spoiler, fender extensions, side skirts and a new grille combined with a new set of alloy rims (available in 18, 19 and 20 inch). -Continued after the jump

To match the looks, ABT is offering power upgrades on all available engines. This means, the power of the 1.4 TSI is increased from serial 150 hp to 200 hp while the 2.0-liter Turbodiesel offers 170 hp instead of 140 hp while the 170 hp 2.0 TDI engine, delivers 200 hp. To complement the engine upgrades, ABT equips the Tiguan with an adjustable sports suspension and a new brake system, measuring 345 x 30 mm.

Via: Autoblog.it , Source: ABT

LA Show: Porsche Brings Cayenne Hybrid & 1900 Electric-Drive Lohner-Porsche

Porsche is attempting to show its eco-friendly side at the upcoming 2007 L.A. Show on November 16, with the first appearance of the Cayenne Hybrid in America. Featuring a full-hybrid design where the hybrid module (clutch and electric motor) is positioned between the 3.6-liter V6 petrol engine and the transmission, the Cayenne Hybrid consumes less than 9 litres / 100 km (approximately 26mpg). Comparatively, the standard Cayenne 3.6 V6 has an avg. fuel consumption of 12.9 litres / 100km (18.2mpg). Porsche intends to put the Cayenne Hybrid into production before the end of the decade. -Continued

Alongside the eco-friendly Cayenne, Porsche will display the electric-drive Lohner-Porsche from the year 1900. Considered as one of the world’s first zero emission vehicles, the Lohner-Porsche is equipped with electric motors in the wheel hubs and its the first time that it is shown at an auto show outside Europe.

The Los Angeles Auto Show will also host the North American of the new Porsche GT2 (video - click here). Equipped with a 530 Hp biturbo engine, the GT2 is the fastest production-911 of all times and it will be available as of February 2008 in the USA at a retail price of US$ 191,700.

Mercury Launches Fashion-Inspired "VOGA" Trim

Mercury premiered a new high-end trim called “VOGA” at the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami. The fashion-inspired trim will debut on the 2008 Mercury Mariner but it will be available shortly on most Mercury models. The VOGA trim came to life last year in the form of the Mercury Milan VOGA concept revealed during Miami Fashion Week in 2006.

In the Mariner “VOGA” translates into green metallic paintwork, special chrome detailing and unique badges along with a set of new 17’’ alloy rims. Inside the Mariner VOGA features a two-tone interior with VOGA-embroidered Cashmere leather seats trimmed with contrast “ash” stitching, charcoal black floor mats embroidered with the VOGA label and silver-green metallic detailing on the instrument panel, center console and door switch plates as well. -Details and pics after the jump

PRESS RELEASE: 2008 Mercury Mariner VOGA

Already known for its distinctive flair and good looks, the stylish Mercury Mariner has been customized to create the VOGA edition.

At first glance, the Mariner VOGA catches looks with Moss Green metallic paint, special chrome brightwork highlighting the grille, rear fascia trim and unique VOGA badging. The additional brightwork matched with the 17-inch VOGA-capped chrome wheels lends this fashionable vehicle a sporty appearance, making the Mariner VOGA appear ready to hit the scene.

“VOGA is about making a fashion statement each time you go for drive,” says Chief Designer Camilo Pardo. “I’m really excited to bring the concept of VOGA to reality across the Mercury line-up. It’s my passion to design vehicles that emotionally connect with customers – that ‘gotta-have-it’ appeal is what fashion is all about.”

The Mariner VOGA’s distinctive style carries through to the interior, as well. A charcoal black environment surrounds the plush, unique VOGA-embroidered Cashmere leather seats, which are trimmed with contrast Ash stitching to match the exterior color. Charcoal black floor mats are embroidered with the VOGA label, reinforcing the personalized feel.

The focal point of the interior is the striking Tarragon metallic instrument panel covered in a unique paint. The subtle silver-green metallic spans across the center console and door switch plates as well. All of these extra touches provide Mercury customers with the look and feel of a personalized vehicle customized to suit their tastes.

“Customers definitely care about choice and personalization – from their MP3 player case to their cell phone ring tone – that’s why Mercury strikes a chord with savvy individualists who aren’t looking for the run-of-the-mill products,” says Peterson.

The Mariner VOGA will include the same great host of features as the Mariner Premier edition, offering one of the most advanced safety packages in the compact SUV segment with standard side curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac® with RSC®. It also delivers fuel economy up to 24 miles per gallon.

Customers will be able to show-off their sense of style with the new Mercury Mariner VOGA beginning early 2008 when vehicles hit dealer showrooms. Mariner VOGA will join the Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid produced at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo

2008 Ford Focus Station Wagon Facelift

These are the first official pictures of the facelifted Ford Focus Station Wagon due to go on sale during the first quarter of 2008. Like its 3door/5door and ST siblings, the family orientated Focus SW’s appearance has been enhanced with the adoption of a Mondeo-inspired front-end and the slightly modified rear-end that features new light clusters and a redesigned bumper. -Continued after the jump

Inside, apart from the improved standard equipment levels, the car has been cosmetically enhanced with a new instrument cluster, a redesigned centre console, an optional Start button and a new grained soft-touch synthetic material on the entire instrument panel, as well as the upper trims of the front doors. Underneath the body, there are no mechanical changes.

Via: Motorpasion , Source: Ford

Video: Dodge Demon Concept Test Drive by Motortrend

A lot of things have changed at the Chrysler Group since Dodge took the wraps off the RWD Demon Concept at the 2007 Geneva Show back in March, but we can’t help believing that this roadster should somehow find its way into production. If anything, a car like this will help boost Dodge’s image in overseas markets like Europe (and we’ll have one more rear-wheel drive vehicle to choose from!).

VW Produces 15 Millionth Passat In 34 Years

The 15 millionth Passat produced throughout the world rolled off VW’s assembly line at the Emden plant line today (Nov. 9, 2007). The first generation Passat was unveiled in 1973 and since then, VW has introduced six generations of the mid-size model, the latest in 2005. The anniversary vehicle is a Passat Variant BlueMotion 1.9 TDI in arctic blue silver metallic with 105 HP and it will be donated by Volkswagen to DKMS (German Bone Marrow Donor Center).

2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Revealed

Ironic isn’t it; a 7,500 pound (about 3,400 kg) “hybrid” beast with a 6.0-liter V8 engine. However, on the other hand, if the Escalade manages to deliver more than a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving compared to the standard models as GM promises, it’s better than not having it at all. Cadillac’s Hybrid Escalade is powered the same 2-Mode Hybrid system as both the Yukon and Tahoe hybrids.

The 2-Mode Hybrid system consists of an electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS) working in concert with the standard 6.0L V8 gasoline engine. According to Cadillac, the Escalade Hybrid will go on sale in the US in the summer of 2008. -Details after the jump

PRESS RELEASE: Cadillac announced the world premiere of the Escalade Hybrid, the world’s first fuel-saving hybrid applied to a large luxury SUV. Powered by an innovative, fuel-saving 2-Mode Hybrid system, Escalade Hybrid will deliver more than a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving – all while delivering the same distinctive style, segment-leading features and full-size capability that have made the Escalade an icon.

“Escalade, already the sales and style leader among large luxury SUVs, now adds the desirability of a fuel-saving, technically advanced hybrid system,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “The arrival of Escalade Hybrid means that consumers can now use less fossil fuel, reduce emissions and still enjoy the benefits of a full-size luxury SUV.”

The Hybrid goes on sale in the US in the summer of 2008 and is the newest example of Escalade’s technology leadership. The potential for sales of the Hybrid in Europe are currently being evaluated with a decision expected within six months.

“No other manufacturer offers a hybrid than can seat eight luxuriously while simultaneously carrying or trailering lots of cargo comfortably,” Taylor said. “And no hybrid delivers the dramatic presence that is synonymous with Escalade.”

Escalade Hybrid is available in 2WD and 4WD configurations. It delivers up to 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg) of usable towing capacity on 2WD models and 5,700 pounds (2,565 kg) on 4WD models. All of Escalade’s standard comfort and convenience features are included. This includes an eight-inch, touch-screen navigation system that displays performance readouts of the 2-Mode Hybrid system on the screen.

Escalade Hybrid extends Cadillac’s leadership in the large luxury SUV category. Escalade sales have grown in the face of changing sales trends and increased competition. In fact, Escalade sales increased 22 percent in September over year-ago sales. Other models in the Escalade lineup include the extended-length Escalade ESV and the versatile Escalade EXT luxury-utility truck. The Hybrid model is available with the standard Escalade body style.

Patented 2-Mode Hybrid technology

The Escalade’s 2-Mode Hybrid system allows it to return exceptional fuel economy in both city and highway while delivering the capabilities of a true luxury SUV. In city driving, this advanced hybrid power system enables Escalade to launch and drive low speeds on electricity alone. As additional power is demanded, the system blends output from the battery and gas engine smoothly.

GM’s patented 2-Mode Hybrid system consists of an advanced electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). These systems work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late-intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. AFM enables the V-8 engine to seamlessly shut off half of its cylinders when less power is needed, such as during highway cruising. This new hybrid system not only enables the Escalade Hybrid to drive low speeds on electricity alone, it also allows the 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical four-cylinder mode for longer periods.

The key to Escalade’s 2-Mode hybrid system is that the electric power used to propel the vehicle is generated by the hybrid system itself. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is used to move the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

The 2-Mode Hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses on the streets today in dozens of major North American cities. Scaled-down for use in full-size SUVs, the 2-Mode system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most – in large vehicles with high levels of capability. It is a core part of GM’s energy diversity efforts, which are centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile’s impact on the environment.

Cadillac’s smooth and quiet power

Acoustic details specific to the Hybrid model ensure it delivers the superior luxury that has been an Escalade hallmark since its inception. The details include:

  • A new exhaust system and resonator specially tuned for the 6.0L LIVC engine’s Active Fuel Management operation. It ensures comfortable interior acoustics and a pleasant exhaust note during both V-4 and V-8 operation

  • An electrically driven, 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off. It includes the standard tri-zone climate system

  • An electrically driven, 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems

  • The Energy Storage System cooling system’s internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds, when the fan could more easily be heard by the occupants.

Escalade aesthetic

The Escalade Hybrid retains the qualities that have made it the leading large luxury SUV and a standard-bearer of Cadillac’s overall product renaissance. It is instantly identifiable as a Cadillac and incorporates styling cues from the landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.

The Escalade’s warm and inviting interior features a premium layout. It is available in two colors, Ebony and Cashmere. Standard features include a distinctive instrument panel; gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting; Nuance leather-covered seats; leather-covered door trim and center console; and a power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button.

1 Million Civics Produced At Honda’s UK Factory

Honda UK is celebrating its one millionth Swindon-built Civic today (Nov. 9, 2007). The Japanese carmaker began producing Civic’s at their Swindon plant on September 19, 1994 and in that first year 6,652 Civics were produced. This year, HUM (Honda of the UK Manufacturing Limited )will produce 138,792 Civic cars which will be exported to more than 60 countries worldwide. The millionth car is a red Civic Type R which is destined for the British market.

Ken Keir, Managing Director of Honda (UK) and Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe said: “Civic remains the cornerstone of our UK and European success. Customers love its innovative design and build quality, which not only retains a huge loyal customer base, but is key to us winning new sales across Europe.”

Bummer... Kia Kee Concept Crashes On Its Way To The L.A. Show

This must be a carmaker’s worst nightmare. Kia’s European penned Kee Coupe Concept was seriously damaged when it broke free of its cargo restraints inside the car transporter and smashed its front end. Important detail: the Kee Coupe Concept was on its way to the 2007 L.A. Auto Show (Nov. 13) were it would have made its North American debut. Kia spokesman Alex Fedorak said, "We had to send the car back to Italy to get repaired and there is no way it's going to make it back to the States in time for the LA show."

The Kee Coupe Concept made its premier at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. You can see the image gallery along with the official press release right after the jump. -Continued

All-new Kia Kee 2+2 sports coupe concept unveiled

  • New Kia Kee sports coupe concept heralds a ´new-look´ for Kia
  • Uncluttered, pure and timeless execution represents new Kia ethos
  • 4.3-metre long coupe powered by 200 ps V6 gasoline engine

The World Premiere of the all-new Kia Kee sports coupe concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany today is a landmark moment in the Kia Motor Corporation´s evolution into a major global automotive company.

The Kia Kee (pronounced ´key´) is a 4.3-metre long, four-seater, 2-door coupe with svelte, newly proportioned lines resulting from a slightly lengthened greenhouse. It is a new interpretation of a 2+2 coupe with an imposing road presence that demonstrates an uncluttered, pure and timeless execution and represents a new design ethos for Kia.

Designed in Europe, under the guidance of Kia´s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the sports coupe concept is named Kee for several reasons. "Kee refers to the English word ´key´ as the coupe embodies design elements which will become essential to the future ´look´ of Kia vehicles," explains Schreyer. "The coupe also represents the ´key´ which will open the door to success for our brand and acknowledges the Chinese and Korean word ´Ki´ - the
cultural concept for life-force or spiritual energy."

Kia Kee features a broad stance and a low profile, with unique exterior elements - the strong and powerful frontal design with its distinctive headlamps and eye-catching LED cluster, a dynamic profile with striking greenhouse treatment and 20-inch diameter alloy wheels. Measuring 4,324 mm long, the Kia Kee is powered by a ´next generation´ Mue-II 2-litre, V-6 gasoline engine producing 200 ps, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

"More than any other car-buyer, the sports coupe enthusiast knows instinctively when a car is right," observes Schreyer. "Shape, proportion, stance and both tactile and emotional aspects all add up to a car that stirs the blood. At Frankfurt, Kia is revealing just such a car.

"The Kee is a combination of all of those elements. It is a harmonious blend of everything that sets the sports coupe apart from the more functional vehicle that must undertake a range of activities. The sports coupe is single minded. It is about driving, pure and simple. It is about appearance, performance, emotion," enthuses Schreyer.

Much more than just a svelte, exciting sports coupe concept, the new Kia Kee is also the dawn of a new design language for the Kia brand - a language that will speak to motorists across the world about the Korean company´s intention to become one of the major automotive names over the coming years.

Peter Schreyer and Kia´s Frankfurt-based design team, headed by Gregory Guillaume, set out to make the Kee a landmark car in Kia´s history. It is no coincidence that its name plays on the word ´key´ because that is how essential Kee is to the future of the Kia brand.

Kee embodies Kia´s desire to create a family of cars that will be instantly recognisable on the road and will have simple yet sophisticated appeal in dealer showrooms. Whether wide-eyed admirers of this new generation of vehicles are existing Kia customers - wise to the dramatically improved quality and traditional strong value of the current range - or entirely new audiences, they will immediately recognise a range of cars aimed at those who enjoy driving and seek the perfect machinery to deliver that experience.

"Kee communicates a design language that will be seen on all future Kia products," continued Schreyer. "This language has to be stated in certain elements of the visual representation - lines, shapes, details. And it has to be consistent and easy to understand. It must be visually strong and purposeful but capable of being transferred from this sports coupe concept to a city runabout, a family saloon, a load-lugging MPV or a go-anywhere SUV.

"It was essential Kee should consist of a rhythm of lines - controlled, clean, pure. It had to have good, classic proportions and be well balanced. This is the future for Kia design - it must display the purpose, the function whilst still being capable of delivering an emotional aspiration," added Schreyer.

With its broad stance and low profile, Kee is a new interpretation of a 2+2 coupe, with a simple yet distinctive outline thanks to its long sweeping bonnet, slightly lengthened cabin with striking graphic treatment, sculpted flanks and strong swage lines.

Beneath the powerful and unique appearance are a host of fine details all hinting at the car´s true purpose and harmonising to create a sophisticated design entity. Whether it is the milled aluminium B-pillar visible through the panoramic grey-tinted glass, the distinctively individual 20-inch wheels and hand-cut Continental tyres or the small touches such as the electronic micro-switch door release set into the side-window glass, the clamshell rear hatch opening supported by electronic dampers or the unique front windscreen shape that mirrors so many other details on the Kee, it is clear that this car has been lovingly created by people who care about design.

Inside - Kee looks and feels like a true sports car in which the keen driver will instantly feel comfortable and at ease. The cabin is designed for maximum focus on driving. Clustered directly ahead of the driver, the main dials and controls are simple and straightforward utilising Kia´s new standard red-orange illumination.

Behind the square-bottomed steering wheel are paddles to shift the six-speed semi-automatic sequential gearbox. Instead of a standard gear stick an ergonomically designed lever sits atop the milled aluminium centre console and requires only a nudge forward or backward to select the desired drive mode. The top of the computer mouse-like lever flips up to reveal the electronic starter button.

The design team has concentrated on producing a realistic sports coupe - not a flight of fancy. Every element of the Kia Kee design should be clear, easy to understand and to use. All the main controls are fly-by wire, but their feel in operation has been created to deliver a sense of traditional operation. For example, the toggle switches mounted on the dashboard - echoing the DNA of generations of sports cars - let drivers navigate intuitively through the interface menu of the info-media centre.

After pressing the starter button the driver will immediately recognise the throaty roar of a V6 engine. The next generation 2.7-litre MUE-II engine, produces 200 ps and will deliver instant response, enormous flexibility and scintillating performance on any kind of road.

Kee uses light-weight aluminium or plastic panels and components wherever possible in order to reduce weight and keep the emphasis on rapid and controlled progress that ensures simple fun and driving pleasure. The result is a low kerb weight with excellent balance biased towards the front of this front-wheel drive showcar to deliver neutrally safe handling. Yet Kee could be built with rear wheel drive or even all-wheel-drive allowing Kia to add to its growing range as its brand develops its reputation amongst a more exacting audience.

Salome Etienne, a member of the Kee´s interior design team, comments: "All the main interior surfaces are covered in a semi-suede microfibre material and the body-hugging sports seats use a heard-wearing but distinctive metallic-finish cloth."

Continuing the theme of real-life functionality, the rear of the 2+2 cabin is sufficiently spacious to allow two adult passengers to travel on individual seats in the back of the vehicle whenever necessary. While Kee is not intended to be a regular four-seater, Kia knows that real people have real needs and the brand has no intention of moving into the exotic sports car territory that others so amply fill. And there is even space for a useful amount of luggage!

Raphael Le Masson, from the interior design team stated: "Echoing Kia´s concern for the comfort and convenience of its customers our team sought to ensure that rear passengers will not be confronted with a problem so common in many 2+2 coupes. In Kee, when the rear clamshell hatch is raised the cabin roofliner stays fixed in place to ensure that passengers do not come into contact with the structure of the hatch when it is subsequently closed."

Exterior designer Fabien Coradin observed: "This new concept car is about passion and energy. It is not an act of reason. Buying a sports coupe is an emotional choice and that is reflected in this car. Emotion may not have been the normal reason behind most Kia purchases in the past - now the brand is changing and this car shows the potential for Kia´s future."

Uncluttered, pure and timeless in execution yet modern, effective and usable in purpose, Kee represents a new ethos for Kia. With Kee the entire design team is laying open its mind and its heart. This car stands as a clear indication of Kia´s design philosophy and how it wishes to be viewed - exciting, appealing, creative, aspirational, with products that are beautiful and yet functional, purposeful and realistic.

Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, commented: "This new concept car is a starting point. It shows how we think and what we want to do - appeal to the emotional side of our audience and bring that balance of purpose and emotion into the Kia design language. With Kee we are irrevocably heading off along our chosen path…"

Kee is the first step towards a new family look for Kia vehicles underscored by a focus on distinctive design. Although Kee is primarily a concept vehicle, it is one that could easily go into production should public demand dictate. Kee lays down very clear indications of how Peter Schreyer and his design team intend future Kia vehicles should look and displays elements that its creators will transfer to future production models. Displayed as part of the strong frontal design with its distinctive headlamps and eye-catching LED cluster, the new-style front grille will become the new face of Kia across the product range.

"Kia has given me and our design teams a fantastic opportunity," enthused Schreyer. "Seldom is a designer allowed to shape the entire personality of a brand, given a clean sheet of paper and told to create the future. Kee is the first step on the road and I am so excited about the potential this journey can create."

"Kee is our keystone to the future Kia family we want to create. There is nothing in its design that cannot easily and readily be transferred to production vehicles. There is nothing in Kee that I would not be prepared to see in future production vehicles. This car stands as a clear indication of our philosophy for vehicle design and as a clear signpost to the type of vehicles we shall be bringing to showrooms in the very near future.

"I want motorists to be able to identify Kia cars almost unconsciously. It doesn´t matter what type of vehicle they see - right across the Kia range there should be a very obvious style and image that will encourage drivers to identify with the Kia brand and instantly understand the function of the vehicle at the same time as they are admiring its lines," he added.

The new Kia Kee ultimately serves the Kia brand on a number of fronts. It is a design exercise for a sports coupe model that currently does not feature in the company´s line-up - at present no plans exist to put the Kee into immediate production, but media and public reaction will be closely monitored.

It also allows Schreyer and the entire design team to present their ideas for a family appearance and a design language, to both internal and external audiences. In this respect Kee is the first stage in an on-going process that will be refined and re-examined but will stay true to the core elements of design contained in this car.

Perhaps most importantly Kee is a simple corporate statement to global consumers and to the motoring world that Kia is a brand underpinned with quality and reliability and now on top of that comes the emotional element of distinctive design. The future for Kia products lies in balance, clarity and purpose, and the company´s latest show car embodies that philosophy.

"The new Kia Kee is a clear and emphatic statement that the future of the Kia brand is set to be one that will excite and surprise an entirely new audience of consumers," concluded Peter Schreyer. "In making this design departure for Kia it was essential to my thinking that our sports coupe concept is not simply a flight of fancy but represents an affordable dream for sports car lovers."

Kia Kee - Technical specification
Length 4325 mm
Width 1860 mm
Height 1315 mm
Wheelbase 2675 mm
Tyre size 245/40 R20
Engine V6 2.7-litre MUE-II
Maximum Power 200 ps
Transmission Six-speed automatic

Via: egmCarTech

2009 Nissan Murano - Official Images Leaked?

So lets get straight to the point: do these pictures that found their way into the internet this morning show the actual 2009 Nissan Murano? We think so. We’re not 100% sure but we checked them out and couldn’t find any flaws to support the opposite. We don’t have any information for the time being other than that the new Murano is set to make its debut at the 2007 L.A. Show on November 13 with sales staring in the States during the first quarter of 2008. We’ll update the post as soon as we find more info. Until then, follow the jump for the rest of the pictures. -Continued

Volkswagen: Record Sales For Commercial Vehicles

German automaker Volkswagen has set a new sales record for commercial vehicles with 356,000 units in the first nine months of the year (January to September), an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to 319,650 vehicles sold in the same period in 2006. According to VW, this has increased total turnover by 12.1 percent to €6.6 billion or $9.7 million.

Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: ‘Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is on the fast track to a record year. The strong demand in the summer months delivered additional volume rather than purchases that have been brought forward. We stay optimistic for the rest of the year.’

RENNtech Karting / Aixro XR50: Inspired From The Mercedes SLR

If I had a loved one, the RENNtech Karting / Aixro XR50 may have been the perfect toy for asking this Christmas –think Santa will be generous this year and send me the cart and the...girls? Clearly inspired from the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GTR (click here for details), RENNtech’s cart is equipped with a 50Hp strong rotary engine that’s more than enough to sweep you off your feet. -More pics after the jump

Via: Motorpasion

2011 Lancia Thema Proposal

We like seeing design proposals. We like them even if there’s a bigger chance of hell freezing than seeing them going into production. Cause lets be honest here; Lancia had a hard time putting the Delta HPE in production (expected in 2008), let alone introduce a successor to the butt-ugly and complete market failure, the Thesis. Still, Infomotori’s proposition for a possible return of Lancia Thema nameplate (introduced in the mid 80’s) in the form of an aggressive and stylish sport sedan, does tickle our senses. -More pics after the jump

Source: Infomotori , Via: Autoblog.it

2008 Mercedes C-Class Sports Coupe: Half New, Half Old

Take a good look at Car Online’s scoop pictures of the next-gen Sports Coupe. Looks far too similar with the current C-Class Sport Coupe doesn’t it? Of course it does since Mercedes-Benz decided to save heap loads of money by adding the front end of the new C-Class (see here) in order to support the latest engines and dashboard to the “old” Sports Coupe chassis. We were never fans of the Sports Coupe’s appearance and we doubt if the new front end will make us change our mind. -Continued after the jump

Good news is that the new (or maybe shall we call it, facelifted?) Sports Coupe will get the 2008 C-Class’ engine range from the supercharged 156 Hp 1.8-litre up to the 272 Hp 3.5-litre V6 while Merc’s diesel line-up will start with a 136 Hp 2.2-litre unit and rise to a 224 Hp 3.0-litre engine. The 2008 Sports Coupe will most probably make its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008 with sales starting shortly after.

Via: Car Online

Ford CEO: “We Will Keep Volvo”

Ford has decided to terminate any rumors concerning the sale of Volvo -at least for the time being. “Our plan now is not to sell Volvo but to improve its cost structure and brand positioning,” said Ford CEO Alan Mulally, "I think we can do substantially better than where we are today.” On the other hand however, Mulally declined to rule out a future sale, saying Ford would “continue to review its brand portfolio.

Via: Autonews (sub. Req.)

2008 Ford Focus ST: Image Gallery Update

As usual, Ford has mysteriously released images of a new model without updating their press site or revealing any details. Anyway, following our first report on the redesigned 2008 Focus ST, we’ve updated our image gallery with six new pictures featuring the five-door version of Ford’s hot hatch. From what we know, there are no mechanical changes as the new ST uses the same 220 Hp 2.5L turbo unit as the current model. Changes include the redesigned front and rear end along with the slightly revised interior. -Pics after the jump