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Video: 2010 Kia Forte Koup Unveiled


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Auto Show Videos,Coupes,Kia
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Written by Charlie Romero

The Kia Forte Koup was just a concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show, but this year, at the 2009 New York Auto Show, Kia unveiled the 2010 Kia Forte Koup. Joining a lineup of new vehicles marketed towards young buyers, Kia has come into its own with its trendy and sporty designs.

Kia’s new production models show that they will be fierce competitors in the young buyers market. The Kia Soul hit showrooms just 6 weeks before the show, while the Forte and Forte Koup will hit showroom floors in early and late summer, respectively.

For more 2009 New York Auto Show Coverage, please visit our Auto Show Blog.

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Video: 2010 Acura ZDX Prototype Debuts In New York


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Acura,Auto Show Pictures,Auto Show Videos,Concept Cars,Sports Coupes
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Written by Charlie Romero

This year, for the 2009 New York Auto Show, Acura brought its new 4-door coupe prototype.  The 2010 Acura ZDX is based on the TL while also bringing in the functionality of its SUV siblings, the MDX and the RDX. Under the hood, the ZDX boasts a 3.7L V6 engine producing 300 horsepower mated to a 6-speed sequential automatic transmission, giving performance like that of a sport coupe.  In addition to its performance abilities, the 2010 ZDX will also be luxurious.  It boasts a panoramic glass roof, glass tailgate, and blind spot warning system.  While pricing has not been released, we’re guessing that you won’t be able to get your hands on a ZDX for less than $40,000.

While it would be easy to view the ZDX as a crossover or as the poor man’s BMW X6, the ZDX lacks the truck-like feel of similar vehicles, despite the standard AWD.  The ZDX also has very unique proportions.  It stands less than 62 inches tall, while the RDX is 3 inches taller, and the MDX is 6 inches taller. While the ZDX is as wide as the MDX, at 78.5 inches, it is longer by 2 inches, coming in at 192.4 inches.

For more 2009 New York Auto Show Coverage, please visit our Auto Show Blog.

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General Motors Drops Big News


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Auto Show Pictures,Auto Show Videos,Crossovers,GMC
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Written by Charlie Romero

At this year’s New York Auto Show, General Motors not only did the standard unveiling of new vehicles, but they also dropped some pretty big industry news.  With the auto market struggling in the current economy, GM announced that they have decided to focus on their four main brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Pontiac.  With this change, they will merge GMC, Pontiac, and Buick under one roof, combining all of the brands’ best features.

As I mentioned above, in addition to major announcements on where GM would be focusing their resources, they also launched their 2010 GMC Terrain.  The Terrain is GMW’s new crossover, getting 30 mpg and available in showrooms this summer.

For more 2009 New York Auto Show Coverage, please visit our Auto Show Blog.

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2010 Mazdaspeed3: turbocharged fury unleashed on America


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Mazda
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Written by Charlie Romero

The Mazdaspeed3 is well-liked by nearly every automotive journalist that has driven it. It’s easy to drive, fun, sporty, utilitarian, and looks good too. Oh yeah, and it’ll blow the doors off just about anything else at the race track. And now the 2010 Mazdaspeed3 will do it looking better than ever!

Mazda unveiled a European spec Mazdaspeed3 at the Geneva Auto Show a month ago and chose the New York Auto Show to reveal the latest US incarnation of this spectacular machine. The skin is completely updated but the powerful engine has remained the same.

Here are a few quick highlights from the press release:

  • MZR 2.3‐liter DISI Turbo engine
  • Engine: 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb.‐ft of torque at 3,000 rpm
  • Revised gearbox: 2nd through 5th gear are slightly taller
  • Torque‐sensing conical limited‐slip differential (LSD) standard
  • Wheels: Aluminum 18″ x 7.5″


2010 Mazdaspeed3

2010 Mazdaspeed3


2010 Mazdaspeed3 hood scoop and front spoiler

2010 Mazdaspeed3 hood scoop and front spoiler


2010 Mazdaspeed3 Information

THE 2010 MAZDASPEED3: TAKING SIBLING RIVALRY TO THE EXTREME

It’s an unwritten law of nature.  When two parents have kids, more often than not, their offspring will be quite different.  One will have Dad’s eyes, another, Mom’s nose.  Some will be mild-mannered, happy and always smiling, and others, well – they will be wicked.  Enter the all-new 2010 MAZDASPEED3.  From a distance, it may look like its MAZDA3 siblings, with its five-point grille and sleek lines, but one minute behind the wheel will prove otherwise.

For 2010, the MAZDASPEED3 blends the five-door functionality of the all-new MAZDA3 5-Door with bolder, more aggressive styling and exhilarating performance to meet the needs of driving enthusiasts with active lifestyles. Carrying forward the award-winning MZR 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine, the new MAZDASPEED3 builds on the legendary performance of the original while adding a fresh new look and even better handling.

Expressive and Dynamic Design

The design of the all-new MAZDASPEED3 evolves the model’s visual identity to create a sportier, more aggressive appearance. The result is a more emotional design that takes the sporty, agile nature of the all-new MAZDA3 5-Door to a new level.

The MAZDASPEED3 is easily distinguished from its siblings. Start at the front, where a lower air dam and round fog lights frame an organic, metallic-black grille. The hood now houses an intercooler scoop to improve charge air cooling, and the front fenders are flared to contain the car’s wider tires.

From the side view, the new 18 x 7.5-inch aluminum wheel design is unique, but modeled closely on the deeply sculpted, expressive, and very lightweight 19-inch forged wheels on the RX-8 R3. Sculpted side skirts and a lower stance also give away the MAZDASPEED3’s sinister motives. From the rear, larger dual exhaust tips, a rear valance painted the same metallic black as the grille, and a larger, roof-mounted rear wing give it away.

Nagare-inspired design defines the exterior and continues into the cabin, which features color coordination and materials chosen to excite the driver and passengers every time they take a seat. Black is the keynote color employed throughout the interior, while the seats and trim fabric have an organic red graphic design. This MAZDASPEED3-exclusive design is distributed throughout, with red stitching enhancing the sporty interior character on the steering wheel, seats, door trim, shift lever boot, and center armrest.

The dashboard of the new MAZDASPEED3 is designed to give a roomy feel while displaying critical information up high and deep into the dashboard, closer to the driver’s field of vision and focal point.  The instrument cluster for the all-new MAZDASPEED3 also includes a new LED turbo boost gauge positioned between the meters.

The driver’s seat is especially critical in any performance car.  Without solid lateral support, a driver loses the focus, control and precision needed to really enjoy driving.  The all-new MAZDASPEED3 seats are designed to provide that support without compromising everyday comfort.

Exhilarating Performance

The all-new MAZDASPEED3 continues to use Mazda’s award-winning MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo powerplant.  Delivering 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb.-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm, it made the original MAZDASPEED3 the most powerful front-drive performance car under $25,000, and remains one of the strongest engines in its class today.

With no need to increase power, the development team focused on harnessing that power more effectively. Engine output itself is more consistent, thanks to the hood-mounted intercooler scoop that not only improves intercooler airflow over the grille-mounted intercooler duct of last-year’s car, but also frees up grille space for a fresh-air duct to feed the engine’s intake. Breathing cooler air improves efficiency, boosting both real-world power and fuel economy.

The gear ratios in the compact, three-shaft gearbox have also been revised, with 2nd through 5th gear all getting slightly taller to make better use of the engine’s abundant torque. The new gear spacing and refined engine calibration are focused on providing more linear, seamless power delivery. The advanced torque management system, which minimizes torque steer by adjusting torque output based on gear position and steering angle, has also been recalibrated. The new gear ratios allow more of the engine’s torque to be utilized in the lower gears while still keeping torque steer at a manageable level.

Handles Like a Mazda

The new MAZDASPEED3’s body shell benefits from a focused effort at strengthening the most important parts of the structure. The use of high-strength and ultra-high strength steel in the safety structures like bumpers and side impact beams has nearly doubled, making these areas both stronger and lighter. The suspension mounting points all gain rigidity from the use of thicker sheet metal in high-stress areas and extensive use of weld bonding, a hybrid joining technique combining conventional spot welds with structural adhesives. Torsional stiffness around the rear suspension mounts is improved roughly two percent, while deflection around the rear liftgate is reduced nearly 40 percent.

In general, a stiffer structure allows firmer suspension tuning without compromising ride comfort. In the case of the new MAZDASPEED3, that firmer suspension was accomplished with stiffer springs, higher damping rates, and revised mounting points for the front stabilizer bar that reduce bushing deflection and increase the bar’s effectiveness. Combined with wider, higher-grip 225/40R18 Dunlop SP Sport 2050 performance tires, the MAZDASPEED3’s new suspension tuning marries unflappable control with a comfortable everyday ride.

Steering feel and response have been improved through more rigid 3-point mounting of the steering rack, compared to the previous 2-point system. The hydraulic power steering pump has also been removed from the engine and is now driven by an electric motor. This electro-hydraulic power assisted steering (EHPAS) reduces parasitic drag on the engine, lowers power steering fluid temperature, and gives much more flexibility for the development team to dial in steering feel. Rigid high-speed steering feel can now be accomplished without suffering heavy steering at low speeds.

Brake feel in hard braking has been improved through the upgrade of the brake assist from mechanical to a new electronically-controlled system. Brake assist shortens stopping distance in panic-stop situations by applying full brake pressure during the moment of hesitation that most drivers exhibit in the instant after first hitting the brakes. The new electronically-controlled system is better at differentiating between true panic-stop situations and, for example, braking hard for turn 11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Features and Options – Everything You Want, Nothing You Don’t Need

The 2010 MAZDASPEED3 is loaded with all the goodies a driving enthusiast wants, but without anything that would add undue weight. Standard features and equipment include variable intermittent windshield wipers, roof-mounted aerodynamic antenna, illuminated vanity mirrors, electroluminescent gauges, aluminum pedals, MAZDASPEED -branded black/red cloth seats, door trim, interior trim, floor mats, scuff plates and black/red decoration panel; and dual-zone climate control. An available MAZDASPEED3 Tech Package offers advanced keyless entry, push-button start, a compact full-color navigation system, Sirius satellite radio with six months of free service, a perimeter alarm, six CD changer, and BOSE® Centerpoint® surround sound – a five-channel surround system engineered cooperatively with BOSE® that enhances the listening experience thanks to a digital amplifier, noise cancellation technology and 10, strategically placed, premium speakers. Because the weight and structural penalties would compromise the pure driving experience, the MAZDASPEED3 is not available with a moonroof option.

The MAZDASPEED3 is the third model in the 2010 MAZDA3 lineup, joining the MAZDA3 5-door, which made its North American debut at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year, and the 4-door sedan, which made its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico through more than 850 dealers.  Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

2010 MAZDASPEED3 AT A GLANCE:

Exterior

Design based on the all-new MAZDA3 5-Door, evolved for a sportier, more aggressive appearance
New air intake to optimize intercooler efficiency
Front fender and front bumper designs exclusive to MAZDASPEED
The front grille and lower bumper sections share the same black metallic paint finish

Wedge-shaped, curving character lines on the side panels and side under spoiler for a lower-looking center of gravity

New, large floating rear spoiler

New 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with the same three-dimensional design theme as the Mazda RX-8 R3 wheels

Interior

Driver-oriented dashboard design gives a roomy, wrap-around, sporty feel
New tachometer with red MAZDASPEED logo
New LED turbo boost gauge between the driver meters
Semi-bucket front seats with superior fit
Seat upholstery in black base color with a red graphic design and red stitching
Black interior color with an organic red graphic design throughout the cabin and red stitching for the steering wheel, shift boot, door trim, center console

Powertrain

Acclaimed MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo producing high power of 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 280 ft.-lb. of torque at 3,000 rpm
In-cylinder cooling effect from direct injection realizes ca. 10 percent more torque compared to conventional-intake turbo engines
Top speed of 155 mph
The world’s first single-nanotechnology catalytic converter helps to reduce the amount of precious metals needed
Advanced boost pressure control suppresses sudden torque peaks for linear torque development
Left and right drive shafts optimized to minimize torque steer
Torque-sensing conical limited-slip differential (LSD) standard
Specially-designed, 6-speed manual transmission with wider gear ratio than before
Triple-cone synchronizers for first, second and third gears and a double-cone synchronizer for fourth gear for optimized gearshift operation
Low-viscosity transmission fluid reduces shift effort when the engine is cold

Chassis & Safety

Special reinforcements inside the front cowl member gussets and a large tunnel member for increased body stiffness
Modified coil spring rates for MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension
Larger diameter stabilizers with longer mount spans achieve greater roll linearity
Special dampers with increased damping strength contribute to higher roll stiffness
Now three highly rigid steering gear mount bushings instead of two used on the previous model for improved response to steering wheel action
New wider Dunlop 18-inch tires with improved grip, more rigid sidewalls and damping strength for more direct steering feel and a stronger one-with-the-car feel
Electro-hydraulic power assisted steering (EHPAS)
Large diameter 12.6-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 11-inch rear solid discs, 8+9-inch tandem brake booster and 1-inch large diameter master cylinder for powerful and stable braking
Newly-introduced electronic brake assist added to four-wheel ABS and DSC as standard equipment

# # #

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Comments (1) April 9, 2009 , 4:48 pm |

Scion iQ micro-subcompact unveiled at New York Auto Show


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Scion
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Written by Charlie Romero

Jack Hollis, Scion Vice President unveiled a special concept of the iQ micro-subcompact today. Designed to meet the transportation needs of young urban trendsetters Scion’s iQ concept is just 10 feet long and accommodates three people plus luggage and with it’s 1.3L gasoline engine is expected to deliver 56 MPG on the highway.

If the iQ looks familiar it’s because this hot little runabout is due to be sold under the Toyota nameplate in Japan. It was rumored to be coming to the States as a Toyota. Scion being the younger, hipper brand it certainly makes sense that this yellow stunner bare the Scion badge.

So if you’re looking for what is just about guaranteed to be a better option than “the Dumb” a/k/a Smart ForTwo it looks like Scion will have something for you soon.

Some quick facts from the press release below…

POWERTRAIN
Engine: 1.3-liter, four-cylinder, VVT-i
Horsepower: 93 hp
Torque: 89 lb.-ft.
Drivetrain: Front wheel drive

Also included are stability control, ABS, nine air bags, and 50/50 split rear seats.


Scion iQ Concept

Scion iQ Concept

Scion iQ Concept Interior

Scion iQ Concept Interior




Scion Reveals iQ Concept at the 2009 New York International Auto Show

NEW YORK, April 8, 2009 — At the New York Auto Show today, Scion unveiled a special concept version of the iQ micro-subcompact car designed to meet the transportation needs of young urban trendsetters.

Scion’s iQ concept is a new urban vehicle with a revolutionary package that is just over 10 feet in length and accommodates three plus luggage. As more and more urban centers are revitalized with a new sense of purpose, energy, and creativity, young people are moving in from the suburbs to embrace new urbanism and are looking for a car that suits their needs and delivers high emotional value.

Scion’s iQ concept is the intelligent answer to this need for highly emotional and efficient urban transportation. The convenience of having work, entertainment and culture nearby for young city-dwellers is a significant draw to urban centers. The vehicle must be able to navigate narrow, congested streets, park in tight places, have impressive fuel economy, and have compelling design and function.

“Scion’s iQ concept turns traditional auto design upside down,” said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. “Traditionally small vehicles have been thought of as being basic. The iQ concept is just the opposite with its innovative features and iconic urban design, and we believe it fits in well within the Scion brand. Our young, trendsetting buyers are creative and innovative forward thinkers, and we think they will appreciate what iQ has to offer.”

The production iQ is currently sold in Japan and Europe. Five Axis of Huntington Beach, Calif. took the iQ to the next level with aggressive exterior and interior modifications that show the vehicle’s potential for personalization.

With its 78.7-inch wheelbase, the three-door hatchback can deftly maneuver through city traffic. At the same time, its overall length of 126.9-inches, overall width of 71.4-inches, and short front and rear overhangs allow the iQ to fit in virtually any city parking space. The front-mounted differential and repositioned steering rack decrease front end length. In addition, the iQ is equipped with a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor that reduces rear overhang.

Pushing the wheels of the small, bold concept towards the four corners of the body gives the iQ a confident stance. The custom 18-inch wheels with a nickel finish and wide tires fill the wheel well, adding to its surefootedness. The iQ’s custom front air dam, aero headlamps and high-intensity LED driving lamps signal urban road readiness.

“We believe the Scion iQ micro-subcompact concept is the future of transportation,” said Hollis. “If it should join our future line-up, I think it could reach iconic status like our xB. Its styling will attract attention and if it’s a Scion, you know it’ll be easy to personalize.”

The iQ’s profile is defined by a strong and high beltline. Smooth lines glide from the large, dark finish headlamps, up the A-pillar, across the roof and wrap around the rear emphasizing the concept’s geometric beauty. Side mirrors with integrated turn signals accent the clean design.

The rear emphasizes the vehicle’s modern style. Trapezoidal lines run toward the wheels, from the hatch to the thick rear diffuser, creating a substantial presence. A center-mounted trapezoid exhaust adds to the vehicle’s distinctiveness, while large, matte-finished rear taillights help keep the vehicle visible.

The iQ’s interior fuses function, style and entertainment. Attention to detail and modern accents can be seen in the illuminated door handle; the swiveling spotlight that hovers over the dash; an illuminated iQ logo on the passenger-side dash and nickel and raw aluminum toned interior panels. Iridescent green and gray honeycomb upholstery covering the door panels and seating areas, combined with the custom exterior paint, provides a balance of freshness and sophistication. Black matte scuba-like polyurethane covers the seat bolsters and is also used on the headliner with a bright green topstitch for a contemporary finish.

The iQ features a 10-inch panel LCD screen on top of the center cluster that serves as the main entertainment console and navigation system interface. With the push of a button, the touch-screen articulates to reveal the entertainment hub. The touch screen can also play movies while the vehicle is parked. When not in use, the screen lays flat on the dash with a translucent cover that emits a colorful display of light patterns to make the interior even more unique.

A few quick strokes to the black panel below the entertainment hub, or steering wheel controls, command the audio system to shuffle through a music library. The center cluster also features three control knobs for dual front heating and air conditioning settings. The driver and front passenger each have a knob that displays their desired temperature and controls their temperature and fan settings. The center knob dictates zone control for both occupants.

The instrument panel has a speedometer, warning lamps, and a multi-information display. The multi-information display allows the driver to toggle through the odometer, average speed, temperature and eco lamp. The eco lamp illuminates during efficient driving to help the driver achieve maximum fuel economy.

Comfortable front passenger legroom was achieved with a newly-engineered, compact air conditioning unit located behind the center of the front console. The iQ employs a glove bag, with the same textured, honeycomb fabric as the front and rear seats, that can be easily snapped on and off for storage or additional legroom.

Rear seating can accommodate one adult behind the front passenger and a child, small package, or pet behind the driver. Extra slim front seat backs provide rear passengers with legroom. The rear seats are 50/50 and fold flat for increased utility. In addition, the rear seat cushion lifts up to reveal a small flat storage space that can be used for pocket-sized portable music players, small books, digital cameras, or slim laptops.

The iQ does not skimp on safety and is equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (BA); and nine SRS airbags, which includes the world’s first rear window curtain airbag. Other airbags include driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag; and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.

# # #

SCION iQ CONCEPT VEHICLE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

POWERTRAIN
Engine:                 
1.3-liter, four-cylinder, VVT-i

Horsepower:        
93 hp

Torque:                
89 lb.-ft.

Drivetrain:         
Front wheel drive

DIMENSIONS (inches)

Overall Length:        
126.9

Overall Width:           
71.4 without side mirrors
79.3 including side mirrors

Overall Height:           
56.9 without antenna
62.5 including antenna

Wheelbase:                 
78.7

Seating Capacity:     
3+1

MODIFICATIONS

Exhaust:        
Five Axis custom stainless exhaust

Wheels:         
Five:AD S6:F custom wheels with nickel finish prototyped by MetalFX
18×8.5 ET03

Tires:             
Yokohama S.drive
2.5/40R18

Suspension:
TEIN Super Street coilover suspension

Body:            
Five Axis widebody conversion
Burnt nickel accents
Custom accented headlights and taillights

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Comments (1) April 8, 2009 , 6:13 pm |

2010 Land Rover LR4: New performance and styling to match


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Land Rover
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Written by Charlie Romero

The new, fourth generation of Land Rover’s versatile SUV gets a new name – Land Rover LR4 – to go with its more powerful and more efficient new LR-V8 engine, revised exterior styling and more premium cabin.

The all new Land Rover LR4 2010 model has a revised suspension architecture to provide a much more sporty driving experience on-road while still providing true Land Rover capabilities off-road. This coupled with the more powerful base engine, larger brakes and more precise steering should continue to excite LR4 customers.

2010 Land Rover LR4

2010 Land Rover LR4

2010 Land Rover LR4 Interior

2010 Land Rover LR4 Interior

Land Rover’s engineers have transformed the LR4’s on-road ride and handling. They have also improved on the much acclaimed all-terrain capabilities of its predecessor the LR3.  The comprehensive changes include new suspension components, revised steering, larger brakes, improved traction control, and enhancements to the Terrain Response system, which helps optimize the vehicle for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations.

2010 Land Rover LR4 Information

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Comments (2) April 8, 2009 , 4:30 pm |

2010 Supercharged Range Rover Sport now with 510HP


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Land Rover
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Written by Charlie Romero

The Range Rover Sport received subtle interior and exterior refinements for 2010 but the real story is the change which occurred under the hood. There is a new more powerful normally aspirated V8 as well as a more powerful supercharged V8. The entire 2010 Land Rover lineup received new engine options which offer both increased performance and efficiency. The new Range Rover engines offer 25% more HP, 16% more torque, and approximately 7% better fuel economy. They also feature direct fuel injection.

  • 5.0-liter V8 supercharged, 510 bhp and 461 lb/ft  torque
  • 5.0-liter V8 naturally aspirated, 375 bhp  and 375 lb/ft  torque

Range Rover Sport performance specs:

  • 0-60MPH in 7.2 seconds. (normally aspirated V8)
  • 0-60 MPH in 5.9 seconds. (supercharged V8


2010 Range Rover Sport

2010 Range Rover Sport

The chasis has been improved for better road feel. For more sportiness paddle gearshifts have been added to the steering column of the Range Rover Sport.

Styling changes include cleaner front-end styling and 50% fewer switches on the interior.

2010 Range Rover Sport Interior

2010 Range Rover Sport Interior


2010 Range Rover Sport Information

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Comments Off on 2010 Supercharged Range Rover Sport now with 510HP April 8, 2009 , 3:50 pm |

2010 Range Rover: subtle refinements and greater performance


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Land Rover
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Written by Charlie Romero

The Land Rover flagship, the Range Rover received subtle interior and exterior refinements for 2010 but the real story is the change which occurred under the hood. There is a new more powerful normally aspirated V8 as well as a more powerful supercharged V8. The entire 2010 Land Rover lineup received new engine options which offer both increased performance and efficiency. The new Range Rover engines offer 25% more HP, 16% more torque, and approximately 7% better fuel economy. They also feature direct fuel injection.

  • 5.0-liter V8 supercharged, 510 bhp and 461 lb/ft  torque
  • 5.0-liter V8 naturally aspirated, 375 bhp  and 375 lb/ft  torque

The exteriors and interiors have been refined with even more premium materials and features. Interior refinements include the world’s largest (12″) TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen used for the instrument cluster. Exterior improvements include new LED lights and a deeper front grill.

2010 Range Rover

2010 Range Rover

Land Rover’s world famous off-roading capabilities rely on their high utility suspension. For 2010 the Range Rover received an improved active dampening suspension.

2010 Range Rover Interior

2010 Range Rover Interior

During the press conference Phil Popham mentioned an all-new compact vehicle based on the LRX Concept shown in Detroit in 2008. Land Rover hopes to release more news on the upcoming compact and efficient Land Rover later this year.

Mr. Popham also briefly talked about the new V6 diesel engine which will be available in Europe. It’s a new 3.0-litre LR-TDV6 diesel engine available on Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4 (LR4) which delivers over 30mpg.

2010 Range Rover Information

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Comments (1) April 8, 2009 , 3:10 pm |

Acura ZDX 4-door sports coupe unveiled at New York Auto Show


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Acura
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Written by Charlie Romero

Acura unveiled their new four-door sports coupe this morning at the New York International Auto Show. The All new Acura ZDX takes the Acura concept of “Advance” to a whole new level. The new luxury sport sedan goes on sale this fall.

All new Acura ZDX undercover on the floor of the NYIAS

All new Acura ZDX undercover on the floor of the NYIAS

The ZDX will deliver sports sedan performance with its powerful V-6 engine coupled with its all-new, 6-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system provides the ZDX with outstanding safety, handling and cornering capabilities in all-weather conditions.

Acura ZDX

Acura ZDX

2010 Acura ZDX 4-door sport coupe

2010 Acura ZDX 4-door sport coupe

Acura ZDX Product Information


All-New Acura ZDX Debuts at New York International Auto Show

NEW YORK, April 8, 2009 – A prototype of the provocative Acura ZDX luxury four-door sports coupe made its world debut at the New York International Auto Show today. The production version of the dramatically styled prototype goes on-sale in the fall of 2009. The segment bending ZDX features stunning coupe-like styling with the added benefit of a commanding presence and flexible utility.

“The ZDX is truly a luxury performance coupe – plus,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “The emotional coupe styling coupled with a luxurious and dramatic interior and surprising versatility, allows the ZDX to define its own segment and attract an entirely new customer.”

The ZDX is designed to break new ground for Acura in the areas of provocative styling, contemporary luxury and meticulous refinement. With its sensuous curves, sharply raked roofline and bold fender flares, the ZDX blurs the distinction between coupe, sedan and sport utility vehicle. Clean, flowing lines start from the headlights and run the length of the car, accentuating the cars presence and grace. In keeping with the coupe-inspired styling, the rear door handles are cleverly concealed in the C-pillar. The all-glass tailgate opens wide to reveal a highly functional cargo space with integrated under-floor storage. The prototype is finished off with stylish dual chrome exhaust outlets and 9-spoke machined wheels fitted with 20-inch Michelin tires.

“From the very first sketch of the ZDX, I wanted to create an emotional vehicle that challenged conventional thinking of what a sports coupe should be,” said Michelle Christensen, ZDX exterior designer. “My goal was to create a strikingly beautiful exterior, and use that attraction to help draw you into the rich interior.”

Inside, the ZDX exudes modern luxury while focusing on pampering the front passengers. The cabin is enveloped in leather, which gives the interior a luxurious and inviting feel. The hand-stitched leather dash and instrument panel sweep down to form a dual cockpit layout, creating a personal and intimate experience for the front seat occupants. The premium leather seats are highly bolstered to support the passengers during sporty driving and at the same time provide comfort during a long getaway. A black monochromatic center stack leads to the textured metallic center console, which complements the black and pearl white leather trim. The thick leather wrapped steering wheel provides ample grip and is framed by racing-inspired paddle shifters for the ultimate in driver control. The cabin is enclosed by a panoramic glass roof which runs the entire length of the vehicle, providing occupants with a breathtaking view of the world around them.

The production ZDX will bring a new level of prestige and sophistication when it arrives at Acura dealerships in the fall, offering the latest advancements in performance, technology and safety. The ZDX will deliver sports sedan performance on the road with its powerful V-6 engine mated to an all-new, smooth shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. The potent powertrain will be coupled with Acura’s exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system, giving the ZDX outstanding handling and cornering capabilities in all-weather conditions.

In typical Acura fashion, the ZDX will be available with the latest in customer enhancing technologies and advanced safety features including an all-new blind spot information system, which will help drivers change lanes more confidently. A new multi-view rear camera makes parking even easier with the added enhancement of both a wide angle and top down view. Acura signature technologies like Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic and Weather™, Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system and Bluetooth® connectivity will also be available on the all-new model.

The ZDX represents the next step for Acura in its advancement to becoming one of the top luxury brands and makes a clear statement toward the future of the brand.

ZDX Prototype Dimensions:
Length:  192.4 inches

Width:  78.5 inches

Height:  61.8 inches

Wheelbase: 108.2 inches

Wheel/tire: 9-spoke custom alloy wheels with Michelin Latitude HP 275/40ZR 20 tires

Powertrain: All-aluminum VTEC® V-6, all-new 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)

Seating capacity: 5-passenger

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Mercedes-Benz shows off the new 2010 E63 AMG


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Mercedes-Benz
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Written by Charlie Romero

The new Mercedes E63 AMG with it’s amazing V8 pumping out 518 normally aspirated HP and delivered to it’s rear wheels via the equally amazing 7-Speeed automatic transmission reaches a top speeed of 186 MPH. If you’re wondering about 0-60 times… how does 4.4 seconds sound?!? Quite impressive!

The AMG 6.3-liter V8-engine in the new E63 AMG develops an output of 518 hp and a 465 lb-ft of torque, matching that of the current SL63 Roadster.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG


From Mercedes-Benz Press Office:

With 518 hp and AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission The E63 AMG – a new generation sports sedan delivering top driving dynamics

Affalterbach – AMG is kicking-off the 2009 driving season with a new superstar: shortly after the launch of the new E-Class, the AMG high-performance brand of Mercedes-Benz Cars presents the new 2010 E63 AMG. This dynamic sports sedan impresses with outstanding performance, thrilling handling characteristics and advanced technology transferred from its sibling, the SL63 AMG high-performance Roadster. The E63 AMG makes its U.S. sales debut in November 2009.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

The new E63 AMG distinguishes itself from the standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans with a newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping, revised front suspension and unique exterior and interior design. At the same time, Mercedes-AMG has achieved a significant reduction in fuel consumption of almost twelve percent for the new E63 AMG, thanks to the precise application of several fuel efficiency improvements. With its unique combination of pioneering driver assistance systems, the E63 AMG further consolidates the brand’s leading position in the field of automotive safety.

The AMG 6.3-liter V8-engine in the new E63 AMG develops an output of 518 hp and a 465 lb-ft of torque, matching the outstanding figures for the SL63 AMG. The high-performance Roadster has also transferred its AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission to the new model. This transmission replaces the conventional torque converter through the use of a multi-disc wet start-up clutch. In conjunction with the four individual driving modes, rev-matched shifts and RACE START function, the resulting, direct connection to the powertrain delivers an extremely emotional and high-performance driving experience.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Interior

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Interior

The AMG MCT drive unit is unique in this segment, and provides dramatic performance figures: the E63 AMG accelerates from standstill to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The fast-revving, naturally aspirated engine with a displacement of 6208 cc impresses with its agile responsiveness, muscular power delivery and high redline. The AMG V8 sound is a thrilling partner for mile after mile, while the smooth-running engine guarantees renowned Mercedes long-distance comfort. A newly designed water cooling system ensures maximum endurance even under the enormous dynamic stresses of the racetrack.

Fuel consumption cut by almost twelve percent
Despite 11 hp of additional output versus the preceding model, the E63 AMG showcases several advancements designed to improve fuel efficiency, including on-demand delivery of fuel and alternator management with recuperation of engine power during overrun. In-engine friction is also reduced by the AMG-exclusive twin-wire arc spray coating process used to coat cylinder walls.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission also makes a decisive contribution to fuel economy: a multi-disc wet clutch running in an oil bath replaces the previous torque converter. This unit responds extremely rapidly, directly and without the losses typical of a torque converter transmission thanks to its low rotational inertia. The transmission is equipped with four driving modes: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual), which can be selected using a rotary electronic switch in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Partial suppression of individual cylinders by interrupting ignition and injection during gearshifts under full load contributes to considerably faster shift times. In M mode the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission allows gearshifts to be performed in 100 milliseconds.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 Information

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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee world debut


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Jeep
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Written by Charlie Romero

Jeep unveiled the all new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the New York Auto Show.  The new Grand Cherokee looks very clean and much more modern while still maintaining traditional Cherokee lines. The interior is the real story. Past Jeep Grand Cherokees have not kept up with the high-end competition in terms of interior finishes, fit, and features. The 2011 Grand Cherokee’s interior has been completely over hauled to appeal directly to the high-end SUV consumer.

The standard engine configuration offers an all new 3.6L V6 with 11% increase in fuel economy while providing a 500 mile range.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Inventor of the SUV Hits the Sweet Spot of Real-world Capability and On-road Refinement

Legendary Jeep Capability

  • New Quadra Lift™ air suspension system provides height control and lifts vehicle up to 4.5 inches from park mode to a maximum ride height of 11.1 inches to deliver legendary Jeep off-road capability
  • Choice of three 4×4 systems – Quadra-Trac I®, Quadra-Trac II® and Quadra-Drive® II with Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (ELSD)
  • New Selec-Terrain™ system with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II offers five terrain settings: Auto, Sand/Mud, Sport, Snow and Rock to match driving conditions
  • First application of company’s all-new, flexible fuel 3.6-liter V-6 engine which features Variable-Valve Timing (VVT), 280 hp (209 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 N•m) @ 4,800 rpm – an increase of 33 percent in horsepower, 11 percent in torque over its predecessor and up to an 11 percent improvement in fuel economy
  • Available 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 generates 360 hp (268 kW) and 390 lb.-ft. of torque (520 N•m) @ 4,250 rpm – features VVT and fuel-saving Multi-displacement System (MDS) technology with dual exhaust to maximize efficiency
  • For international markets, left- and right-hand drive and a choice of diesel and petrol powertrains will be available
  • Unsurpassed trailer tow capability of up to 7,400 lbs. on 4×2 models
  • Larger fuel tank with 24.6 gallon capacity, compared to 21.6 on current model, combined with improved V-6 fuel economy, delivers range close to 500 miles on one tank of gas

Refinements – World-class Interior

  • Premium soft-touch interior materials for all price classes, including leather instrument panel and door uppers on Overland model
  • World-class interior features include real wood and leather, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, four-way power lumbar controls, rain-sensitive wipers, Passive Entry/Keyless Go, ParkView rear back-up camera and power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory
  • Increased storage areas in instrument panel with larger glove box and covered center-stack storage bin
  • Premium packaging delivers enhanced comfort and easy accessibility for up to five passengers and cargo
  • Larger front- and rear-door openings (78 degrees) for improved ingress/egress compared to current model (67 degrees)
  • More than 4 inches of increased rear-seat knee and leg room (38.6 inches) compared to previous model with reclining second-row seats
  • Larger cargo volume (36.3 cubic feet) provides 17 percent more room for gear compared to current model (31 cubic feet)
  • A fold-flat front passenger seat provides improved cargo carrying capability (Laredo models)
  • Well-appointed cargo compartment with removable dual storage bins inside the spare tire compartment


Note: This post is a work in progress. PDF downloads of vehicle specs as well as photos are on their way. (4/8/09, 10:33 AM)

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2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid offers a combined 335 HP


Filed under: 2009 New York Auto Show,Mercedes-Benz
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Written by Charlie Romero

Mercedes-Benz ML 450 HYBRID: The perfect hybrid powertrain

The power of a V8 with the fuel economy of a six: 24 MPG Highway, 21 MPG City.

In the search for the optimum hybrid system for the premium motor car, the engineers were already sure of one thing right from the concept phase: a Mercedes-Benz SUV with a hybrid drive would have to share the same typical brand attributes as any other Mercedes vehicle. Essential elements such as the greatest possible active and passive safety, optimum ride comfort and ease of operation, uncompromising reliability over a long period and high-quality workmanship with select materials would have to be on a par with a comparable, conventionally powered standard-production vehicle. And all combined with the greatest possible efficiency. At the same time, the drive system should be testimony to the company’s innovative strength and cutting-edge technology. These objectives demanded a complete development cycle – the kind of process any new model family developed from scratch would undergo. Until the Mercedes-Benz ML 450 HYBRID reached series-production maturity, the engineers and technicians clocked up a total of four million kilometres, taking in some of the world’s most extreme climatic conditions to prove the system’s reliability, be it in the sub-zero Arctic circle, the searing heat of arid desert regions or in the sweltering, humid temperatures of the tropics. The work was supplemented by an extensive test-rig programme and detailed simulations as part of the “Digital Prototype”. An important aim during development was to optimally match the various subsystems within the powertrain. System matching enables the various drive modes to be easily used while the customer is driving.

Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid


Mercedes-Benz ML Hybrid System

Mercedes-Benz ML Hybrid System


2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid Interior

2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid Interior


  • Compact 288-volt battery with high power density
  • Sophisticated management system computes the most fuel-efficient operating mode in real time, 160 times a second with up to 50 million computing operations
  • Consumption-optimised Atkinson V6 petrol engine developing 205 kW (279 hp)
  • Classic benefits of the M-Class such as economy of space, high active and passive safety, ride comfort or the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system are fully retained

The two-mode hybrid technology in the ML 450 HYBRID, whose drive architecture supports purely electric operation and purely combustion engine operation or any combination of the two, takes its lead from the fundamental work undertaken by the “Global Hybrid Cooperation”. This group brought together research and development work undertaken by the companies Daimler AG, BMW Group, General Motors and Chrysler.
Superior technology: two-mode hybrid for the most efficient drive system.

2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid Information

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