Auto Industry News

Selected news facts from around the car industry…

2013 Range Rover Evoque by Land Rover: Review

  • Wednesday Dec 19,2012 10:39 AM
  • By Scott
  • In Land Rover

The segment of the crossover coupes is an odd one but when you see the 2013 Range Rover Evoque, you will really not care about the other half sporty and SUV-ish vehicles in the market. This creation of Land Rover is really nice to look at, it is quite comfortable to sit in, and is pretty quick.

2013-Land-Rover-Range-Rover-EvoqueYou can get the 2013 Evoque as a five-door or a three-door version. It is the least expensive ride you can get from Range Rover with the entry-level model starting at $42,000. That is actually cheaper by as much as $2,000 than the 2012 MY. Land Rover introduced a Pure trim that allowed for the lower pricing without sacrificing much on the equipment.

In the engine bay of the Evoque is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with a turbocharger. The engine can give out 240 horsepower, and this power is transferred to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Driving the Evoque is pretty much like driving a car. It is pretty light and nimble on the road. Do not under estimate the Evoque since it is also capable off-road with the brand’s Terrain Response technology that helps it adjust to different surfaces. The 2013 model also comes with off-road nav features and MagneRide dampers.

If you love the exterior of the Evoque, you will love the interior more. Everything is made of high quality materials and the dashboard has a nice layout. The front cabin also has a generous amount of space even for tall occupants. The rear seats can get pretty tight especially with the three-door model. The Evoque is a small crossover so do not expect a generous room for your luggage as well.

Prices start at around $42,000 and goes up as you add more features, equipment or when you upgrade its looks.

Report: New Porsche Macan to sport first modern 4-cylinder

  • Tuesday Oct 30,2012 02:01 PM
  • By Scott
  • In Porsche

We have heard before about the possible new four-cylinder powerplant of Porsche that makes use of a flat boxer architecture. There were also speculations at some point that this engine will be used for the 2013 Cayman and Boxster models. The latest reports, however, say that the new engine will debut under the hood of the Porsche crossover, the 2014 Macan.

During a recent interview, the head of Research and Development of Porsche confirmed that Macan will be the first Porsche in modern-day era to have a 4-cylinder engine. According to the Porsche executive, it does not necessarily mean that the new engine will be offered next year with the roll out of the Macan, but definitely in the medium or longer term.

The new Porsche powerplant is said to have a 2.5L displacement that will be available in turbocharged and naturally-aspirated form. The turbocharged version of the engine can produce more than 300 horsepower.

With the brand trying to reduce the emissions of its fleet, it is most likely that the new engine will also be used for the other vehicles such as the Cayman and the Boxster. There is also a good possibility of having a hybrid configuration.

Coming up with the four-cylinder engine should have not been a big challenge for the Porsche engineers. With their existing sixes, they just lopped some cylinders and optimized it to get the desired output and driving characteristics.

The Macan will be using the revised platform used for the Audi Q5. It will also be sharing some engines with the Q5. The two vehicles has a good chance of sharing the 300-hp 3.0L turbodiesel among other potent powerplants. There could also be some V-6 gas-dependent engines that will be offered such as a 370-hp Macan Turbo.

The 2014 Macan is said to make its debut during the auto show in Frankfurt come September next year.

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Suspension tuning, thru the years, have been a balancing act between the good and the bad. You might get the best ride quality but have to deal with band handling. On the opposite end, you can get the best handling but might get a bumpy ride.

The setup for the suspension of a vehicle usually ends up sacrificing the side of caution and comfort. Recent advancements like Delphi’s magnetorheological dampers on the Ferrari 458 Italia, Cadillac ATS, and Chevrolet Corvette has shown a good balance between handling and ride quality.

Delphi’s system is able to improve the ride by altering the damping oil’s viscosity. The damping oil contains iron particles so when the setup is magnetized, the suspension stiffens. Conversely when the electromagnetic charge is lowered, the suspension becomes quite comfortable and more compliant.

Another way to achieve a better suspension system is to increase the hydraulic pressure inside the dampers. This concept is what is being used by Mercedes-Benz with the brand’s Active Body Control suspension. The ABC Suspension relies on five sensors that detect the motion of the body: side to side, up and down, or front to back. The damper adjusts the pressure to react to the different driving conditions.

Aside from the main sensors, the suspension system also makes use of embedded sensors that measure the hydraulic pressure and position in each of the dampers. The setting of the dampers are altered by the system using a high pressure pump that can do in a fraction of a second.

What can be the downside of this setup? Well the ABC suspension is pretty complicated and most likely expensive. There is also a big chance that your local mechanic will not be able to diagnose the problem and more so fix it. With the ABC suspension, there will be no need to upgrade the dampers in order to enhance performance but you also cannot replace any worn out component.

Will this be a better setup? Watch the video below to be enlightened about Mercedes’ ABC suspension.

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Production update: 2012 Camaro by Chevrolet

  • Thursday Apr 26,2012 02:43 PM
  • By Scott
  • In Chevrolet

A lot of people are drooling for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and some of our readers might actually have ordered it, so we try to keep you updated on the latest developments as the production and delivery goes on.

A document floated over the internet about the production updates of the ZL1 and the details about some options available for buyers. One important fact about the on going production is that only 500 of the 1,100 to be fulfilled orders will roll out as 2012 models. The other 600 will be carried over to the production of the model year for 2013 which will not be starting until next month. Buyers will most likely have received updates with regard to the status of their orders.

The production of the Camaro ZL1 have resumed already and that the software issues have been resolved. The cars that have not yet been built will be getting adjustments as necessary for the packages their owners opted for.

The ordered 2012 models that should get the carbon fiber inserts for the hood, will get a new sticker on its window to reflect that the charge of $600 was offset by a credit of $600.

ZL1 orders that hsould get the sunroof and stripe package is also expected to get a tweak. Nothing major but the stripes will only get to the rear deck and not stretch over the roof.

We will keep you posted if we hear of any more updates about the new Camaro ZL1.

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Project Kahn tweaks Porsche Panamera

  • Friday Feb 17,2012 03:06 PM
  • By Scott
  • In Porsche

Project Kahn, an automobile styling firm based in Britain, chooses to give the Porsche Panamera’ exterior and interior a refresh.

The first noticeable thing about the Porsche Panamera tweak of Project Kahn is its wide bodykit which includes a front bumper with vertical strips of LED, beefed up fenders, side skirts, and rear bumper with an integrated air dam.

The designers at Project Kahn also installed roof spoiler, tinted windows, rear wing, tail lamps, side vents, tail pipes, brake calipers, and Kahn RS600 rims that can be finished in any color the consumer wants.

Project Kahn also upgraded the exhaust system of the Porsche Panamera to give it a sportier attitude. The height of the ride was also dropped a bit by modifying the suspension module.

Kahn also upgraded the interior by giving the cabin a treatment of bespoke leather with a good blend of perforated and quilted leather.

One of the models is up for sale for $135,300.

Each of us autophiles has a dream car that we want to build by combining the features of our favorite rides. Let us say you will get the body of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, the interior of a Pagani, engine of a Veyron, and the everyday functionality of a Porsche. This is what you call a car made from the parts bin or assembled by borrowing existing parts of existing models.

The top executive of General Motors North America Mark Reuss was recently asked by Car & Driver to come up with his dream car using the parts available in the shelves of the company.

It might not be a perfect setup, well you might not think of the GM parts bin as the best place to get your dream car components but Reuss was able to come up with a very interesting ride.

The GM president wants the bodywork used for the Cien Concept for Cadillac in 2002 which he believes defines the Cadillac brand. He wants the electric motor of the Chevy Volt that gives out 149 horsepower to drive the front wheels while Corvette’s V6 2.8L powerplant will deliver power to the rear wheels making the dream car a hybrid that is an all wheel drive.

The handling will be chopped from the Corvette and make use of the magnetorehological dampers and the brakes from ZR1. The tires will be snatched from the Camaro so it will be the F1 Supercar G rubbers from Goodyear.

The GM exec even came up with some numbers. The hybrid engine will be able to produce 440 horsepower and a torque of around 450 lb-ft which may be good enough for 0 to 96 kilometers per hour in just 3.2 seconds. Reuss even predicts a lap time of his dream car at the Nurburgring and estimates it to be at 7:46 which is quite fast.

The interior will borrow the steering wheel in suede of the Caddy CTS-V and the bucket seats of the Opel Insignia OPC. The dash will have the multifunction like info box like that of the Volt’s. It will also make use of a noise cancelling system and boast of excellent visibility with night vision, blind spot detection, and cameras to aid the driver.

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Ford pushes for F-Series and Explorer at the 2011 SEMA

  • Monday Oct 31,2011 04:29 PM
  • By Scott
  • In Ford

The line of trucks of Ford will come well represented during this year’s SEMA Show where it will have four modified pickups of the F-Series plus three customized Ford Explorers on the stand of the car manufacturer.

The SEMA special edition F-Series pickups come from Hulst Customs, CGS Performance Products, Skyjacker Suspensions, and Superlift Suspensions. The Ford Explorers were made by Tjin Edition, DSO Eyewear, and Stitchcraft Interiors.

The Ford F-Series trucks consist of two F150 and 2 Supper Duty F350 pickups.

Skyjacker transforms the Ford F150 Ecoboost to their Project No Compromise using monotube shocks, four-inch suspension lift, LED light by Rigid Industries, fender flares from Bushwacker, and dual exhaust from Magnaflow.

CGS Performance made the F-150 into The Tarmac using twin screw Whipple supercharger, coilover suspension for the front by Bell Tech, six piston brakes by Baer, and installed CGS air intakes and cat-back exhaust.The seats are hugged by red leather from Pecca and the body gets a good finishing using Boyd Red and Jet Black from DuPont

The F-350 Black Mamba of Hulst was created using customized grilled and hood , lower fascia in front, and side rockers. The rear doors were also modified into suicide style, and the big ride painted with black and highlighted with stainless graphics.

The other F350 was transformed into Matchbox-Superlift Brush ride that has a ten-inch lift system, 41-inch tires, and finished in PPG Vibrance. The team also equipped it with sirens and emergency lights.

The Ford Explorers came in Business Edition by Stitchcraft using two tone pain, Alcantara upholstery, and Orion Audio. DSO made an active sport version which has lowered suspension, 24-inch 3-piece rims, leather seats by Katzkin, LED lighting, and finished in white BASF paint. The Ford Explorer by Tjin made use of Baer brakes, 24-inch rims from Flken, Realm audio, suspension by Eibach, black leather seats, and paint job by DuPont.

Audi to bring in more RS models to US market

  • Sunday Aug 21,2011 09:50 PM
  • By Der Sven
  • In Audi

German car manufacturer Audi said in a statement that new RS models will be arriving in the US shores for American consumers.

In order to compete aggressively with models like the Mercedes-Benz AMG and the BMW’s M product line, Audi recognized that they need to haul more RS models into the US markets.

According to Johan de Nysschen, the president of Audi of America, the RS models are the best manifestation of the brand’s technical advancement. Moreover, Nysschen said that sports car enthusiasts and consumers have expressed their desire to make the RS models readily available in the United States.

Based on the same press release, the German brand will launch the TT RS model into the US market this month, despite the fact that preliminary deliveries are currently ongoing. The RS5 model, which will be debut in the 2012 product line is gearing up to compete with the M3 Coupe from BMW.
Audi plans to rake up US sales of performance models like the RS by double, around 16,000 units by year 2015. Audi chose the RS models because it’s the pinnacle of the brand’s top performing vehicles. According to Audi’s sale chief, Peter Schwarzenbauer, the brand is taking the first step towards this goal by bringing the TT RS and RS5 models to the US market.

But that’s not all the brand has in store for the US market. There are also other RS models to look forward to like the new generation RS4, the RS6,the entry-level RS3 and of course, the 2012 Audi A6.

China car news: General Motors rolls out Baojun 30

General Motors thru its SAIC GM Wuling joint venture rolls out the first vehicle under the Baojun brand to take advantage of the fast growing demand for compact vehicles in China. The carmaker’s Baojun 630 comes in three trims and will cost $9,750 to around $11,495.

The Baojun 630 aims to address the demand in the 2nd-tier and 3rd-tier cities in China. The sedanwas first unveiled during the 2011 auto show in Shanghai. The Baojun 630 was developed in the automatic center of SAIC-GM which will eventually be improved in order to produce SUVs and MPVs.

The SAIC GM Wuling team up is looking at around 20,000 units of the Baojun 630 this year. The join venture has a goal of adding a new car model each year to be marketed under the Baojun brand. Baojun means “treasure horse” in Chinese. It also aims to get a big chunk of the market for compact and subcompact vehicles through 2016.

The Baojun 630 is a well positioned vehicle in the market covering the segment of those who can afford cars priced between $10,00 to $12,000 which is considered with the largest potential in the booming economy of China.

Baojun dealerships have mushroomed in eight cities across China including those in Najing, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Jinan, and Shijazhuang. By end of 2011, the brand is expected to have 150 showrooms to cover more cities.

GM is among the car giants which formed a joint venture with local Chinese car manufacturers to take advantage of the demand for budget cars in the second tier metros of China which are dominated by local brands like Chery and Geely.

Fiat 500 “First Edition” Models Launched in Shanghai, China

  • Thursday Jul 28,2011 06:15 AM
  • By Der Sven
  • In Fiat

Lorenzo Sistino, the Executive VP for Internal Operations of the Fiat Group, presented the first Fiat 500 in Shanghai, China today. This is the very first Fiat model to ever arrive in China, and as a special treat, a “special version” of the Fiat 500 models were created. In these so-called Fiat 500 “First Edition” models, the graphic designs of five Chinese graphic designers were imprinted on the car’s bodywork. How’s that for pop car art? Only 100 units of Fiat 500 First Edition were made and will be available in a limited time offer only, which is way ahead of the car model’s regular China launch on September 15, 2011.

The Fiat 500 “First Edition” boasts of the so-called Lounge Trim. It has a beautiful pearl white paint finish. In contrast to the white paint job, the interiors are made with red leather and the door pillars carry special badges. Under the hood, the “First Edition” Fiat 500 carries a 1.4-liter MultiAir engine that has 101 ponies attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

As for the standard Fiat 500 units that will be available in showrooms this September, the same engine and transmission system will be attached. There are three trims available—the Sport, Lounge, and Pop. For those who might miss on the special bodywork that honors the work of young Chinese designers, you can always choose from 12 different paint finishes and about 9 different materials and color for the upholstery. Interior trims can either be ivory or black.

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