Wald International gives the Lexus RX350 - RX450h the Black Bison Treatment

Feast your eyes on one of Wald International's latest Black Bison styling packages that give the Lexus RX350 and its hybrid counterpart, the RX450h an aggressive new look. The cosmetic makeover includes a new front bumper with large air-inlets, matching side skirts, a new rear bumper that houses a diffuser, different treatment for the grille and a pair of twin tail pipes.

A roof spoiler and Wald International's multispoke alloy wheels shod in chunkier rubber help complete the new look for the Japanese automaker's luxury SUV. Customers can also upgrade the car with interior enhancements such as an alloy pedal set and specific floor mats.

Via: Autoblog.nl , Source: Wald

Fiat Panda Mini Receives Subtle Upgrades for the 2010 Model Year

Hmm; finding it a bit difficult to tell the differences between the 2009MY and 2010MY Fiat Panda? Well, can't say that we blame you as we ourselves had to thoroughly check out the press release to discover the changes. On the outside, all 2010 model year Pandas adopt the more contemporary body colored grille found on the 4x2 and 4x4 Dynamic variants, new alloy wheel options, larger exterior mirrors and silver trim finish for the roof bars. Fiat has also added four new exterior colors to the lineup.

Inside, the instrument panel gets fresh graphics while there's also a new selection of upholstery colors.

Mechanical improvements are limited to the introduction of a new 69 horsepower 1.2-liter gasoline engine that emits 113g/km of CO2. In Europe, Panda buyers have a wide choice of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and LPG engines with outputs ranging from 54 to 100 horsepower.

The Panda, which formed the base for the new Fiat 500 and Ford Ka models, was launched in September 2003. In the six years it has been in production, Fiat has sold more than 1.5 million units of the mini hatchback.

VIDEO: Gran Turismo 5 Teaser Film with Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing

About a week ago, we told you that the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing is being featured in the fifth installment of the Sony PlayStation 3 video game Gran Turismo. Now, besides publishing in-game shots of the SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz and the creators of the racing game have also released a teaser film of the gullwing model racing in the virtual world of the GT5, which is expected to hit retail stores sometime in 2010.

Kazunori Yamauchi, who is the creator and producer of the highly popular Gran Turismo series and in addition, both Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and President of Polyphony Digital Inc, said that he subjected the SLS AMG to an extensive test drive on the famous Nordschleife race circuit before adding the supercar to the game.

"The performance of the SLS AMG is unbelievable," said Yamauchi. "Despite the Nordschleife being an extremely undulating track, the gullwing remains extremely stable. Driving this unique super sports car in Gran Turismo 5 will be a fantastic experience."

Toyota Releases Pricing on New 4Runner SUV as well as on 2010MY Cars Including the Prius and Venza

Just one day after the presentation of the all-new 2010 4Runner, Toyota released pricing on its truck-based SUV model as well as on four more 2010 model year vehicles including the Land Cruiser, Venza, Prius and Tacoma pickup truck. MSRPs for the new 4Runner (including an $800 destination fee) range from $28,300 for the two-wheel drive SR5 grade with a 157HP 2.7-liter four pot to $40,600 for the Limited grade 4x4 with a 270HP 4.0-liter V6. Toyota said that the V6 4Runners will begin arriving at dealerships in late October or early November, while the 4-cylinder SR-5 will go on sale in early January 2010.

As for the rest of the range, the 2010MY Venza crossover-thingamajig, which will begin arriving at dealerships in early November, carries a base MSRP (including a $750 destination charge) that ranges from $27,025 for the four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive model to $29,550 for the all-wheel-drive V6. That comes to an increase of $300, or an average of 1.1 percent over the 2009MY cars.

For 2010, the Venza adds a USB port for iPod connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology as standard equipment on all audio systems.

Expected to arrive at Toyota dealerships in late October, the 2010 Land Cruiser will start from $66,770 (including destination fees), an increase of $1,215, or 1.9 percent over the 2009MY. Changes for the 2010MY include an upgraded audio system that adds a standard USB port for iPod connectivity, Bluetooth wireless technology, grey factory privacy glass tint to the rear hatch and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

While the 2010MY doesn't bring any upgrades for the Tacoma pickup truck, Toyota has announced a price adjustment increase of $175, or an average of 0.8 percent effective on November 2, 2009. MSRP's (including destination charges) range from $16,145 for the Regular Cab four-cylinder 4x2 with a five-speed manual transmission to $28,050 for the Double Cab long bed 4x4 V6 with a five-speed automatic.

Finally, Toyota has increased the base MSRP on the 2010 Prius II, III, IV and IV models that will begin arriving in late October by $400, or an average of 1.6 percent. Prices, again including destination fees, range from $23,150 for the Prius I model to $28,420 for the range-topping Prius V.

Toyota said that pricing for the Prius I model, which will be made available in limited numbers to fleet buyers, will remain unchanged at $21,750.

BMW Lovos Design Study Has us Wondering About Art, Design...

Maybe it's just me, but I can't seem to understand what most modern artists and designers believe that they achieve by being different just for the sake of being different. True, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I wonder how many of you wouldn't agree with me when I say that for example, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or if you prefer something car related, Pininfarina's 1940's Cisitalia 202, are timelessly beautiful and will always remain fresh and unique?

As for the concept that ignited our thoughts, the fish-scale-armadillo-like BMW Lovos concept with Swarovski earrings for lights, which was crafted by Anne Forschner, a 24 year old designer from Germany's Pforzheim University, what can we say; the photos speak for themselves.

And if you're still not baffled, well, just go ahead and read the designer's description of the project. That will do the trick for sure...

BMW Lovos – "Lifestyle Of Voluntary Simplicity"

Anne Forschner, Pforzheim University Germany

Textual description of the project

Lovos (Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity) is based on a philosophical idea, which asks critical questions about the design, construction and use of road vehicles, as we know them today. The world we live in is increasingly complex and we move within multifaceted social structures, hardly noticing that we perhaps lack an overview over how products and services influence and overwhelm us. We rarely question these structures and continue to live and consume habitually. The car represents this world in the form of a physical object.

Lovos aims to oppose and question the familiar process of designing, building, purchasing and driving cars. The project is a symbol for the Life Of Voluntary Simplicity and is an object that seeks to provoke the viewer to sidestep his or her embrace of pleasant conformity.

Leaving our common habits/knowledge behind, Lovos is asking fundamental questions:

How many parts do we use to build the exterior of vehicle?

How would a car look like, if it was built by just one (recurring) piece?

The result of an experimental research is a vehicle that is made by 260 identical, exchangeable pieces which are fixed with a hinge on a substructure. The individual pieces are movable, which allows the surface of the vehicle to be closed - like the scales of a fish – or opened to the environment. These pieces work like airbrakes and are also photovoltaic, following the movement of the sun when the vehicle is stationary.

Contrasts, emotion and provocation are the main themes of the design.

The pieces of the covered wheels are also functional: as soon as the vehicle starts driving, 12 pieces per wheel change their formation and move inside, just like a turbine.

The interior is soft and warm and represents a contrast to the mechanical and technical exterior.

Anne Forschner personal Information:

I am a 24 year old german girl and I have just finished my 7 Semester Transportation Design Course at Pforzheim University. For my final Project I got sponsored by BMW in Munich and graduated with a Bachelor degree in July 2009. Before and during my studies I was able to complete several Internships with Mercedes Benz in Sindelfingen, Mazda in California and BMW in Munich.

Thanks and Credits go to Grigory from Cardesign.ru

First Porsche Panamera Sports Saloon Mishap Occurs in the Czech Republic

Here are pictures of the first accident involving a Porsche Panamera sedan - or at least the first we've seen been documented on 'film'. The guys over at 'Wreckedexotics' reported that the 'light' fender-bender occurred somewhere in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. While not a serious accident in any way, you can't help but feel sorry for the owner as the car is brand new - don't forget, European sales of the Panamera only just began the first week of September. Not the best way to start off a relationship with you new car...

Hat tip to Gregg from Wreckedexotics

Abarth Takes to the Seas with Special Racing Powerboat Equipped with Three 350HP V8 Engines

Sure, Fiat's rejuvenated motorsport and tuning division is all about cars, but form time to time Abarth likes to extends its reach on other sports also, even if it's only for promotional reasons. The brand with the Scorpion logo has now teamed up with boatmaker Sacs and designer Christian Grande to create the Powershore Abarth SP (Sport Prototype). Based on the Sacs Strider 12S, the racing powerboat is propelled by three 350HP Yamaha V8 outboard engines, specially built for this version.

The powerboat has also been adorned with Abarth racing graphics from the deck to the interior, driving seats, stowage compartments, controls and dashboard.

Powershore Abarth SP - Technical specifications

Length ft: 12.30 m

Width ft: 3.64 m

Propeller draft: 0.7 m

Fuel tank capacity: 900 l

Water tank capacity: 120 l

Wastewater tank capacity: 51 l

Weight with engines: approx. 5.7 t

Sleeps: 2

Engines: 3 x 350 hp Yamaha

V8 – 350 engine - Technical specifications

Power (HP)

Displacement: 5330 cc

Cylinders: V8 (60°)

Valve gear: 32 valves DOCH

Timing: VCT (Variable camshaft timing)

Fuel system: electronic injection (Multi-Point EFI)

Weight: 365 Kg

Bentley Continental GT Bullet by TopCar: From Russia with Love

TopCar, a Russian tuning firm that we got to know after its custom package for the new Porsche Panamera sports saloon, has just announced an aerodynamic and wheel programme for Bentley's Continental GT and GT Speed coupe models. Called "Bullet", the package includes a new bonnet with air-intakes, a GT Speed grille (only for the GT obviously), front bumper with LED daytime running lights and a lip spoiler, side skirts and rear bumper with an integrated diffuser and side air-vents.

A discreet boot lid spoiler, new exhaust tips, tinted front and rear lights and the black window frames and lower moldings complete the aero package. Furthermore, the GT Speed's 20-inch alloys are finished in a darker shade and are available for the 'base' Continental GT.

The total cost of the aero kit including the forged alloy wheels amounts to €25,000 (about $37,000 US) while customers can opt for carbon fiber parts in which case the price increases to €30,000 (approximately $44,000 US). If you like the matte black finish on the model pictured here, then you'll have to deposit another €7,000 or $10,300 US.

The company said that it also developing new front fenders with large air-intakes that can be seen on the white Continental GT in the gallery. The cost for the front fenders is €5,000 or $7,300 at today's exchange rates.