Blinging it in Dubai: Goldish-Chrome Mercedes C63 AMG

Slathering a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG in a goldish-chrome finish is one way of telling the world that a- you do have a lot of petrol spending money, and b- your taste buds are as dead as a dodo bird. Of course, it does not take a rocket scientist to guess the origin of this one-of-a-kind Merc – and yes, it’s Dubai, the world’s capitol of bling-bling. In particular, the chrome-finished C63 AMG saloon was spotted outside one of the world's largest shopping centers, the Mall of the Emirates. If you are up to it, puke click through to see the rest of the photos.

Via: Next Autos , Source: MBWorld

2011 Nissan Versa / Tiida Rendered, Gets New Turbo Engines

The Nissan Tiida, also known in the U.S. and Canada as the Versa, has been around in Japan since 2004. That is a long time in automobile-years so it comes to no surprise that Japanese magazines like “Best Car” have started publishing renderings of the Versa / Tiida’s replacement, expected in 2010. The artist’s rendering seen here, depicts a no-frills design proposal for the sedan variant that would also spawn a five-door hatchback version.

Best Car claims that, at least in what concerns the Japanese-market model, the 2010 Tiida / Verso will be offered with new range of turbocharged petrol engines. Since it is rumored that Nissan’s next-generation compact car will be based upon the Renault Megane architecture, the engine range could include Renault’s new 1.4-liter and 2.0-liter TCe turbocharged petrol units that deliver 130 and 180 HP respectively.

Expect to see the new Versa / Tiida hitting showrooms in the States and Europe sometime in 2011.

Rendering: Best Car

Why the Surprise? Hybrid Sales fall 9,9% in the U.S. in 2008

Just as gasoline-electric hybrids looked like they were ready to conquer America when gas prices rose up to nearly $4 a gallon in July, a steep decrease in fuel costs -aided by the collapse of the auto market in the second half of the year- resulted to a significant decrease in their sales. According to a report from Autonews, U.S. sales of hybrids fell 9,9% in 2008 to 315,761 units. Even Toyota, which controls about 75% of the hybrid market in the States, saw its sales drop 12.5 percent the past year.

General Motors on the other hand, saw its hybrid sales nearly triple from 5,175 units in 2007 to 14,439 units in 2008, but that was mainly due to the addition of several new models like the Chevrolet Malibu and Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon.

But as GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz rightfully pointed out at the Detroit Show last week, "at $1.50 a gallon, the American public is not willing to pay for fuel-saving technology." We couldn't agree more. If fuel prices continue to remain at these levels and unless automakers find a way to reduce the cost of these vehicles -eg. like Honda promises that it has done with the 2009 Insight, we seriously doubt that American consumers will embrace hybrids or any type of fuel-efficient vehicles for that matter.

And just to make it clear, it's not just Americans; do you think that European or Japanese consumers would choose a fuel-efficient car over one with better performance if gasoline prices were as cheap as they are in the States?

Source: Autonews

2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped: Production Model Gets Conventional Five-Door Layout

These are the latest spy shots of the new MINI Crossman, expected hit showrooms in early 2010. MINI gave us a preview of its baby SUV model at last year's Paris Motor Show with the Crossover Concept. Our scoop pictures reveal that the production version will lose the prototype's relatively low-slung roof and most importantly, the two asymmetric doors on the driver's side that have been replaced by conventional ones for a more practical five-door layout.

2010 MINI Crossman SUV ScoopedAt the rear, MINI will most likely ditch the prototype's huge side-hinged door for either a normal liftgate or a split tailgate similar to the one found on the Clubman.

Though heavily camouflaged with the usual 70's style patterns that we see on most BMW Group prototypes, it is apparent that the concept's gaudy face with the large sweptback headlights will be retained on the production Crossman.

2010 MINI Crossman SUV ScoopedThe fourth variant of the MINI after the classic two-door hatch, the convertible and the estate-like Clubman, will be powered by a range of petrol and turbo diesel engines. The difference is that for the first time, MINI will offer the Crossman with a four-wheel drive layout.

In another first, the Crossman will be built for MINI by Austrian contract manufacturer, Magna Steyr, as the firm's factory in Cowley, England does not have sufficient capacity to handle the production.

2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped
2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped
2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped
2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped
2010 MINI Crossman SUV Scooped

Caption This: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Blooper

Truth is, accidents can happen to anyone. But there are mishaps and mishaps, and this one, involving a $100,000+ Aston Martin V8 Vantage is one accident you wouldn't want to be held responsible for... Hit the jump to see another photo of the Vantage from a different angle and humor us with a witty caption for the picture above.

Source: Q35 Driver , Via:

Hyundai's Global Sales Rise 6.8 Percent in 2008 but Profits Drop

Despite the slowing global economy in the second half of 2008, Hyundai saw its sales rise 6.8 percent year-over-year to 2,796,370 units. South Korea's largest automaker also saw its sales revenues in the 2008 calendar year rise 5.1 percent to 32.19 trillion won. However, the firm's profitability declined by 13.9 percent to 1.448 trillion won from a year earlier while operating profit also dropped by 3.5 percent to 1.877 trillion won. Hyundai said that the decline was "due to higher marketing, dealer and brand development expenses which are needed to secure future competitiveness."

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe: First Official Photos

Mercedes-Benz seems to be having a problem lately keeping anything that concerns the new E-Class under cover. Just like the E-Class sedan that made its debut on the web well before the official unveiling, the Coupe version of the Merc's executive saloon that will replace the CLK coupe and convertible models has been ingloriously revealed through a series of leaked photos that appear to have been scanned from a brochure. With its quad-headlamp arrangement, the more dramatic styling of the three-part side windows combined with the sleeker roofline and its heavily shouldered rear wheel-arches, the new E-Class Coupe looks more stylish and has more presence than the current CLK.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe ScoopInside, from what we can tell, the dashboard is identical to the one found on the new E-Class Sedan. However, Mercedes has fitted the Coupe with four-individual, high-rise bucket seats.

The 2010 E-Class Coupe's engine line-up is likely to match that of the sedan model, meaning that you should expect to find (depending on the marker of course) four- and six-cylinder turbodiesels, plus four-cylinder supercharged petrols, a direct injection 3.5-litre V6 petrol with 292HP and a 5.5-liter V8 producing 388HP. The range-topping E 63 AMG Coupe model will get a 525HP V8 unit.

The new E-Class Coupe will make its show debut in Geneva this March with sales following shortly after in Europe, and towards the end of the year or early 2010, in the U.S.

Via: - Thanks for the tip Vincent!

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Scoop
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Scoop
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Scoop

Hamann's Widebody BMW X6 Tycoon

 BMW X6 Hamann TycoonHamann Motorsport's latest creation is the X6 Tycoon, a widebody conversion for BMW's sporty crossover. While eye-catching, the X6 is no beauty and Hamann's aero kit that broaden the body by 60 mm does nothing to change this. However, the aerodynamic add-ons that include a front apron with large air inlets and LED daytime running lights, a three-part rear diffuser, side skirts, and rear and roof spoilers along with the 23-inch alloy wheels with tires sized 315/25, give the bimmer a more aggressive and distinct look.

For the interior, Hamann offers a variety of accessories such as aluminum pedals, a 12-part decoration set made of carbon fibre, an instrument dial with a scaling up to 300 km/h and a 3-spoke sport steering wheel.

As with any other tuning project, Hamann has developed several performance kits for the X6 Tycoon. The xDrive35i delivers an output of 360 hp at 5230 rpm while the maximum torque rises by 140 Nm to 540 Nm in the rpm-range between 1300 and 5000. At the same time, Hamann also raises the speed limit from 250 km/h to 275 km/h (168 mph). Engine performance kits for the xDrive50i are already in the final stages of the development process.

The X6 diesel series also profits from extra power with the xDrive30d producing 265 HP and 600 Nm while the xDrive35d delivers 320HP and a 660 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm out of the Diesel car.

Via: Motorpasion

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