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6 February 2009

Updated Renault Clio

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With Europe\’s other major international car show alternating to Frankfurt in 2009, the upcoming Geneva Motor Show is as close to home turf as the French automakers will get this year. Along with the new concept its Romanian budget brand Dacia is tipped to unveil at the show, Renault will be descending on the lakeside Swiss city with an updated version of its bread-and-butter Clio. The modest facelift draws on cues from the larger and newer Megane and Laguna models, with a small air inlet on the nose and a larger one integrated into the front bumper. The rear bumper as also bee mildly revised, while the updated cabin features a new sat-nav unit which Renault has developed together with TomTom to offer the cost-effective and web-upgradeable benefits of a standalone aftermarket… Read the rest of this entry

5 February 2009

Automotive sector trend analysis for the India Automotive industry

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The India Automotives Report (http://www.bharatbook.com/Market-Research-Reports/Automotives-Report-India.html) has been researched at source, and features latest-available data covering production, sales, imports and exports; 5-year industry forecasts through end-2012; company rankings and competitive landscapes for multinational and local manufacturers and suppliers; and analysis of latest industry developments, trends and regulatory changes.

Vehicle sales growth in India topped 20% once again in FY2006/07 (ending March 2007), as total sales were 23.6% higher than the previous financial year. Passenger car sales growth remained strong at 18.3%, although It\’s recently published India Automotives Report shows that there was a surprise result within the passenger market. Although tax breaks in India for small fuel-efficient vehicles had been expected to make the segment a run-away winner, results show that the premium segment was the biggest draw. Classed as the A4 through to A6 segments, the high-end vehicles registered sales growth of 56%. The growth of the premium segment… Read the rest of this entry

4 February 2009

BMW M and Mercedes AMG each see huge sales spike in 2008

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No one would argue that 2008 was anything but a miserable year for the auto industry worldwide. Even high end brands like Bentley, Porsche and Ferrari were feeling the pain. In spite of all that, there were a couple of bright spots in the high performance sector. Both Mercedes-Benz\’s AMG division and BMW\’s M GmbH saw big jumps in sales last year.

Sales of AMG models hit their highest levels ever with deliveries of 24,200 cars worldwide. AMG received a big boost from the launch of the new generation C63 which we drove last fall. The C63 accounted for one-third of AMG sales last year.

Over in Munich, BMW\’s M division also got a boost from its newest mainline model, the M3. The M3 accounted for 18,000… Read the rest of this entry

3 February 2009

2009 Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4

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The Blue Oval delayed the introduction of its all-important 2009 Ford F-150 by two months late last summer. The company claimed it could save some cash by postponing the pickup\’s launch, but in the interim, the cost to fill up the F-150\’s biggie-sized tank was slashed in half. The delay couldn\’t have been better timed. Marketing North America\’s best-selling vehicle is an expensive endeavor to begin with, but add in the trepidation of $4-per gallon gasoline and an economy spiraling towards the floor, and there\’s no doubt that the F150\’s intended audience would\’ve had a hard time plunking down the coin for a brand new pickup.

No doubt, Ford is relieved that gas prices dropped, but the sketchy fluctuations in the commodities market have changed the way this 106-year-old company looks at the truck business. One consequence of high gas prices has been the sharp drop in truck… Read the rest of this entry

3 February 2009

Honda Fit dominates Consumer Reports subcompact test

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The folks over at Consumer Reports have ranked the Honda Fit Sport top among tested subcompact cars in their March 2009 issue. \”We found the new Fit the most practical and enjoyable car in this month\’s group,\” says Consumers Union. The world\’s largest independent consumer product testing organization, who don\’t claim to be enthusiasts, ran the small Honda against the Suzuki SX4, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, and Chevrolet Aveo.

Compared to the rest of the group, the Honda Fit Sport 5-speed was the quickest to 60 miles-per-hour (an asphalt-melting 9.2 seconds) and sipped the least amount of fuel during testing (a not too shabby 33 miles-per-gallon overall). The CU testers were pleased with the Honda\’s versatile and flexible interior, but not with its dismal headlights. Of the five, only the Fit and SX4 were recommended. The Yaris and Aveo scored too low in testing to make the… Read the rest of this entry

3 February 2009

Nissan confirms Qazana concept, production NV200 for Geneva

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Nissan\’s plans for the Geneva Motor Show include the debut of the Qazana concept crossover and the production debut of the NV200 people mover.

According to Nissan\’s official release, the Qazana (not Qazan, as previously reported) is a small, five-door CUV that will \”challenge conventional wisdom\” in the segment. Nissan hasn\’t released a teaser of the Qazana, instead describing the crossover as a low-slung hatch with large wheelarches and suicide doors. If the Qazana reaches production, expect it to slot in below the Murano and Qashqai in markets outside the U.S.

The production version of the NV200, originally seen in concept form at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, will also bow in Geneva, and will feature three rows to accommodate seating for seven, along with sliding side doors and a flexible interior to fit all the detritus a European family on the move can manage. Van and Combi… Read the rest of this entry

3 February 2009

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid with supercharged V6 joining BlueMotion offerings

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Volkswagen is set to launch a Touareg BlueMotion Hybrid in 2010. The new machine will be the first real production hybrid from the German company and will join the automaker\’s expanding BlueMotionTechnologies lineup. In addition to the Touareg headliner, VW has announced a diesel-powered Passat BlueMotion, a Passat BlueTDI that\’s able to achieve 2014 Euro-6 emissions regulations today, and a natural gas-fueled Passat TSI EcoFuel.

The Touareg BlueMotion Hybrid will feature a supercharged 3.0L TSI V6 engine that\’s shared with the Audi S4 along with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. While many would likely be awfully pleased just to see that drivetrain in the Touareg, the big news is what\’s sandwiched between them, namely, a 38 kW electric motor that gets power from a 288-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack.

A similar hybrid system is expected to make an appearance in the upcoming Porsche Panamera and offers up 374… Read the rest of this entry

3 February 2009

Aston to debut DBS roadster, V12 Vantage in Geneva?

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Aston Martin doesn\’t have a huge product range. In fact, until the Rapide and One-77 come along, its line-up essentially boils down to two models: the Vantage and the DB9. And if reports coming straight from Switzerland are to be believed, the now-independent British sportscar company is descending on the Geneva Motor Show next month with new top-of-the-line variants of both.

First up is the convertible version of the DBS. The iconic Bond-mobile, whose name may have finally been determined, will make for a stunning drop-top. Not unlike arch-rival Ferrari, which took the 430 Scuderia and crossed it with the F430 Spider to create the 16M Scuderia Spider, Aston will take the fixed-roof DBS and put it in a room together with the DB9 Volante, dim the lights, put on some Boys2Men and let nature run its course.

Reportedly joining the DBS Volante/Roadster will be the production V12… Read the rest of this entry

28 January 2009

ABT Tunes the VW Golf VI

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If you\’re looking for a little more zest out of your 2009 Golf VI, then you might want to take a look at the new tuning packages from VW Group specialist, ABT Sportsline. The German tuner has introduced an array of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades for Volkswagen\’s latest generation Golf, including a power kit for the forthcoming GTI that boosts the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine\’s output from 210 to 240HP.


2009 ABT VW Golf VI Tuning Bodykit
With ABT\’s power kit, the entry-level 1.4 TSI engine that delivers 122HP in stock form produces 170HP, while the more powerful 1.4 TSI with 160HP gains an additional 40-horsepower for a total output of 200HP. As for the popular in Europe diesel version, the 2.0 TDI delivers 170HP from 140HP.

Other mechanical modifications concern the sport-tuned suspension and the availability of… Read the rest of this entry

27 January 2009

The Sound of Music: Porsche offers new exhaust on 911

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Premium sportscar buyers expect their exotic machinery to sound as good as it looks and goes. Few automakers recognize this as well as Porsche, which has announced the availability of a new variable exhaust system for its mainstay 911 range.

The new sports exhaust, with a pair of dual exhaust tips protruding from beneath the car\’s tail, is adjustable from inside the cabin, varying the exhaust note according to engine load and speed. The system will be available from April on the latest 911 Carrera and Targa 4 for a $2500 premium, and can be retrofitted to existing models as well. Follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Porsche]

PRESS RELEASE

Powerful Sound at the Touch of a Button
New Sports Exhaust System for the Porsche 911 Carrera and Targa 4

Stuttgart . The engineers of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart,… Read the rest of this entry

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