EuroNCAP's Revised Safety Ratings for Six New Cars Including Mazda6, Avensis and Impreza

The European organization for the assessment of vehicle safety has published the first results under its updated rating system. Up until now, Euro NCAP made three separate ratings available for each vehicle, but with the new system there's an overall rating for every car covering Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Pedestrian Protection and a new area of assessment, Safety Assist which takes into account systems such as electronic stability control (ESC) and seat belt reminders.

Of the six cars tested under the new ratings system, four managed to achieve Euro NCAP's maximum award of five stars: the Mazda 6, Mitsubishi Lancer, Toyota Avensis and Toyota iQ. Citroen's C3 Picasso minivan and the Subaru Impreza were both awarded four stars.

According to Euro NCAP, with the exception of the Subaru Impreza, all the other cars failed to impress on pedestrian protection.

After the announcement of the results, Mitsubishi and Subaru both said that they would change their ESC (electronic stability control) fitment policies for the Lancer and Impreza, as variants of these models without optional ESC were offered in some Euroepan countries.

Euro NCAP's new rating scheme requires all safety equipment, including ESC, to be standard on 85% of volume sales and at least optionally available on every variant.

Hyundai ix-onic Concept with 175HP 1.6 Turbo: First Photos of 2010 Tucson Study

This is Hyundai's ix-onic concept, also known as the HED6, and it previews the second-generation Tucson compact crossover / SUV that will be officially revealed in production form at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show this fall. Even though it's hard to deny the styling resemblances to the Ford Kuga, the ix-onic that was penned at Hyundai's European center looks way cooler than the anonymous Tucson.

The concept version of the 2010 Tucson that will be called in Europe ix-35 will be powered by Hyundai's new 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engine that delivers an output of 175HP. This engine will be available in the production version as well other Hyundai models in the near future. It will also be joined by a new 2.0-liter turbo diesel producing 184HP.

Alfa Romeo shows off MiTo GTA's 1.8-liter Turbocharged Engine

We guess we're living the days of teaser shots, when automakers release a sketch of no significance just to cause a little bit of commotion around a forthcoming model. Such is the case with Alfa Romeo that issued two renderings of the MiTo GTA's 1.8-liter turbocharged engine through its dedicated blog. Understandably, there's no point of making a fuss about it by describing what we're seeing in these sketches. We'll just say that the Geneva Show-bound MiTo GTA's four-pot is said to produce around 230HP with power being sent to the front wheels. Furthermore, the mini GT will be equipped with Alfa's Q2 electronic system that simulates the effects of a limited-slip differential.

2010 Kia Sorento Crossover Teaser Photo

This is the first official teaser picture of Kia's second generation Sorento crossover that's set to go on sale by the end of the year in some markets and early 2010 in others. The 'smoked' photo outlines the new Sorento's boxy looks which are partially inspired from the KND-4 concept that was penned under the guidance of Kia´s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.

The 2010 Sorento will most likely offer buyers the option of adding a third row of seats, increasing passenger capacity to seven.

Depending on the market, the Korean crossover will be available with three gasoline engines - a 2.4-liter four-pot, a 3.0-liter V6 with 240HP and a larger 3.8-liter V6 delivering 260HP.

In Europe and other selected international markets, the Sorento will also be offered with Hyundai's newly developed 2.0 and 2.2-liter turbo diesel engines with outputs of 184HP / 392Nm and 200HP respectively and a new 3.0-litre V6 CRDi turbo diesel producing 240HP.

It has yet to be confirmed if the 2010 Sorento will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show or if Kia will prefer to take the covers off the crossover at the Seoul Auto Show in April.

Via: Kia-World

2009 Ford Ranger Facelift: First Official Photos

The redesigned Ford Ranger will makes its debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show. Built in Thailand, the new model will hit European showrooms this April and it will be available with two turbo diesel engines in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and three body styles – Single Cab, RAP (Rear Access Panel) Cab and Double Cab. In design terms, the facelifted European and Asian market pick-up truck is inspired from last year's Ranger MAX Concept.

Up front, the 2009 MY Ranger gets a new fascia with an 'in-your-face' three-piece chrome grille, domed hood and restyled headlamps. Other changes include the clear tail lamp design, the new exterior mirrors and the side air-vents.

The Ranger is offered with two 4-cylinder diesel engines, a 143HP 2.5-liter and a 156HP 3.0-liter unit both of which can be paired with either a five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. According to Ford, the Ranger's towing capability with either the 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre TDCi Duratotq engine is rated at up to 3,000kg or 6,614-lbs.

Opel Ampera EV Sketches, and yes, it's a rebadged Chevy Volt

General Motors may have wanted to keep the Opel Ampera EV concept under wraps until the opening of the Geneva Motor Show in early March, but that isn't going to happen as official sketches of the electric car that were filed with the European Union trademark office have found their way into the web. To the surprise of few, the sketches reveal that the Ampera is nothing more than a rebadged Chevy Volt.

The only visible cosmetic differences between the two cars seem to concern the Ampera's restyled front and rear bumper along with the new set of alloy wheels - and that's about it.

If all goes well, the Ampera will be launched across the European continent as an Opel and Vauxhall about a year after its U.S. introduction in late 2010. The Ampera will utilize the same electric propulsion technology as the Volt which allows the car to run exclusively on lithium-ion battery power charged via a standard 230v outlet for up to 60 km (37 miles). For longer distances, the five-door hatch will drive on electricity that is generated by a small internal combustion engine.


2010 Chrysler 300 - Official Images and Details

Along with the forth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler LLC's official document on the firm's new viability plan also included a computer generated image (GCI) of the 2010 Chrysler 300 sedan. The rendering suggests that the new 300 will retain the most characteristic design cues of the current model like the "gangster"-style roofline and Bentley-like eggcrate grille. Furthermore, Chrysler LLC's document reveals that aside from the V8 Hemi, the 2010 300's powertrain options will include an "all-new fuel-efficient six-cylinder engine"

Renault Launches Teaser Site for 2009 Megane RS 250HP

Renault is offering us our first glimpse of the forthcoming Megane RS that is set to make its world premiere at the Geneva Show by launching a new dedicated microsite. As we first told you here at Auto Cars 2011, Renault's Ford Focus ST and VW Golf GTI adversary will come with a tweaked version of the current Megane R26's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot delivering an output of 250-horsepower. Power will be transmitted to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. For more info on Renault's hot Megane, click here.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Previewed in Chrysler's Viability Plan

In the new viability plan that Chrysler LLC submitted to the federal government today requesting another $2 billion on top of the $7 billion in loans it got the green light for at the end of 2008, the American automaker included a rendering of its forthcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee. If we are to take this official CGI into consideration - and we so no reason why not- the redesigned Grand Cherokee will get a more aggressive exterior styling that builds upon the current model's "squared" looks, as well as an all-new interior.

Furthermore, Chrysler supports that the forth-generation Grand Cherokee that's expected to be introduced in late 2009 or early 2010 at the latest, will feature significantly improved fuel economy over the current model.

Via: Jalopnik , Source: Chrysler

2010  Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010  Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010  Jeep Grand Cherokee

Mercedes-Benz celebrates G-Class' 30th Anniversary with Two Special Edition Models

Thirty years have passed since production of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class began in 1979 and the German automaker decided to celebrate the event with the introduction of two special edition models called the EDITION30 and EDITION30.PUR. Based on the long-wheelbase G 500 Station Wagon, the EDITION30 is more of a premium edition of the ever-lasting G-Class and is distinguished on the outside by a designo platinum black paint finish, specially designed light-alloy wheels and EDITION30 lettering on the wings.,

Inside, this special edition G 500 comes with designo leather in the color "chablis" and designo trim in anthracite poplar wood.

The EDITION30.PUR which is based on the diesel-powered, long-wheelbase G280 CDi, pays homage to the first-generation G-Model and has been optimized for off-road usage. With the optional "Off-road package 1" or "Off-road package 2", the G EDITION30.PUR can be equipped with all-terrain tires in size 265/75 R 16 on, flexible wheel arch flaring, protective grilles for the headlamps and lights, a walk-on bonnet for easier access to the optional roofrack, a towing lug at the front and a two-section rear door.

In the interior, the EDITION30.PUR features four individual seats upholstered in hard-wearing fabric or man-made leather, rubber floor coverings in the passenger compartment, spray-protected controls and drainage apertures in the footwells. A load compartment with a wooden floor, load lashing lugs and rails, as well as an auxiliary heater and manually operated air conditioning complete the package.

The two special models are available from Merc's dealers priced from €59,381 for the "EDITION30.PUR" and from €97,461 for the "EDITION30".