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2010 Nissan Qashqai facelift

Here's a first look at the revised Nissan Qashqai, launched about 3 years ago. Most of the cosmetic changes concern the front end. Such as the hood, bumper, fenders, grille and headlights to give it a more aggressive look. There are also two new exterior colors, revised tail lights with LED technology, and newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels. Better quality materials can be expected with improved NVH levels. The engine lineup remains unchanged.   I took a look at the Qashqai when it was officially launched by Tan Chong Motors. There was a lack of steering mounted controls back then, which seems abit strange since this feature can be found in much cheaper Korean models. In addition, an extra pair of side airbags wouldn't hurt either. I hope that these points will be addressed when the revised Qashqai makes it's debut in the Lion city.

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The silent performer

Bridgestone just launched their new flagship touring tyre, the Turanza GR-90, in Bangkok. The GR-90 is the successor to the critically acclaimed GR-80. Touring tyres are essentially comfort biased.   The GR-90 has Intelligently designed rounded corners, combined with ideal construction rigidity to provide superior handling over a wide range of roads. The tread design features rows of low and high-angle winding grooves and flexible construction to deliver outstanding traveling dynamics and better water dispersion. This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort.   The GR-90 proved to be incredibly silent on rough road conditions as compared to the GR-80 at the media launch.   My Civic 2.0 used to run on a set of GR-80 some 3.5 years ago. The tyres are decent with acceptable grip and good comfort level. My only complaint about the GR-80 is the soft sidewall, making the front tyres appear under inflated even though I pumped up to 250 kPa. I hope that the GR-90 will come with a stiffer sidewall.

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Lamborghini Ankonian Concept

This will probably be the coolest looking 'environmentally friendly' Lamborghini the world has ever seen. Its a concept of the new Lamborghini Madura which is scheduled to be Lamborghini's first ever supercar attempt to please tree-huggers. Its downsized, sophisticated aerodynamic slimmer body means that the Madura is slated to be more environmentally friendly than its other fuel guzzling counterparts.     Known as the Lamborghini Ankonian concept, this mid-engine supercar features special OLEDs which have been flushed between the bodywork to act as headlamps, And this Lamborghini, as with all Lambos, is as bold and aggressive as ever. Even the name Ankonian, orginates from a bull famous for black hair.     The man who designed it, Slavche Tanevsky, clearly had his eye on creating the next Batmobile.. This revolutionary design looks to bring Lamborghini's styling department up to a whole new level, making this one even more radical than the Reventon.     Hopefully this car will be released as shown by 2016 because I must say, this car looks absolutely stunning..

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Audi R8 Spyder

There was always a group of people who thought the Audi R8 looked a little odd, disproportionate, and boring when put side by side with its cousin the Lamborghini Gallardo. It drives brilliantly, has a Lamborghini engine but those blokes still thought, nah.. its still just an Audi.   I think Audi has silenced those critics with this one.   The Audi R8 Spyder is simply gorgeous with a much better looking side profile without those 'awful' carbon fibre blades. Instead, they have been replaced by sharp slabs which cut into the Spyder's side with the air vents exposed, slightly reminiscent of the Lamborghini Gallardo.   /center]  Another problem with the R8 hardtop is that the engine's a little quiet when you are embraced by Audi's excellent insulation materials. Now though, you can fully enjoy the soundtrack of the Lamborghini-sourced 525bhp 5.2 litre V10. The soft top takes just 19 seconds to transform the Audi into a raging animal and even though the Spyder is 476 pounds heavier than the coupe, it still manages to hit 100km/h in 4 seconds. This car is mental!     And it's not just all show on the exterior and no go when it comes to the interior. Audi say that the leather for the seats are coloured with pigments that reflect the infra-red components of sunlight which makes the seats 20 degrees Celsius cooler...   With that kind of attention to detail, it can only be German.

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2010 MB E-Class convertible unveiled

Mercedes-Benz is completing the E-Class family with the introduction of a convertible model that will replace the outgoing CLK drop top. It will compete head on with the BMW 3-Series and Audi A5 cabriolets.   Unique to the 2010 E-Class Convertible is a retractable wind spoiler located on top of the front windshield. Called an 'Aircap', the system works in conjunction with a rear deflector to help to direct wind over the passenger compartment. The convertible also gets an electrically operated fabric roof instead of a retractable hardtop.   The entry level petrol lineup is the 184HP E200 CGI found in the latest E-Class Sedan. Other powerplants include the 204HP E250 CGI, the 292HP E350 CGI and the top-of-the line E 500 with a 388HP V8 engine.   Cabriolet lovers in Singapore, get your cheque books ready!

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Upcoming Korean "battleship"

If the success of the latest Kia Cerato Forte has caught the attention of the Japanese, they better be well prepared for the next assault in the form of the all new 2011 Hyundai Elantra (or Avante in our Singapore Market).   The coupe-like roofline of the new Elantra echoes the design philosophy of the new Sonata. Expect the new Elantra to be powered by a new 1.6-litre gasoline direct injection engine, mated to the group's latest six-speed automatic transmission.   Certain Japanese 1.6-litre (or even 2.0-litre) models still employ a four-speed automatic gearbox. I hope that the rise of the Koreans will give them a wake up call.  

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Official Honda CR-Z brochure leaked

Here's the official brochure of the new Honda CR-Z, hailed as the successor to the CRX of the late 1980s.   The brochure confirms that the CR-Z's hybrid drivetrain will comprise of a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit and an electric motor, with power being transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The petrol engine delivers an output of 113bhp at 6,000rpm and a peak torque of 145Nm at 4,800 rpm. The electric motor, on the other hand, delivers 13.4bhp at 1,500rpm and 78Nm at 1,000rpm.   As a result, the CR-Z performs the century sprint in a rather relaxed timing of 9.7 seconds. The published fuel consumption is 25.0km/L. Those who are expecting the CR-Z to be a CRX replacement would be disappointed with the performance of the car. Nonetheless, this is the most stylish hybrid car to date.  

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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta (aka the New 147)

Alfa's car christening department has gone a little mad.   First, with their MiTo, now the Giulietta. Bringing back the illustrious and beautiful name from the 70s.   I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I think the name is brilliant! It's just a feeling that they were trying a little too hard with the Mito. But the Guilietta.. that sounds fantastico!     The 147's replacement will be showcased at the 2010 Geneva Motor show and this will only be available with 5 doors. So obviously it's meant for people like me who like hot hatches. This is definitely one. Just look at it! Its trademark Alfa triangular grille and those headlamps which are slightly reminiscent of the Alfa Romeo 8C (like the Mito), only better looking.   And those gorgeous rims... a la Mercedes SLR. This car in white is the current hatchback killer. Boring Golf step aside...   It's going to be available with 4 turbo engines, most notably the 170bhp 1.4l Multi-Air petrol engine. The car will also come with lots of electronic gadgetry: Electronic stability control, Dynamic steering torque and the new DNA selector from the Mito.   So that's quite a lot of kit for a car this size with a 5 star NCAP safety rating.   Can't wait for it.   Can you?

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2010 Maserati GranCabrio

Prepare some tissue paper. Just in case you start drooling..   This one is definitely a looker.   Normally you'd see a middle aged man who suddenly realises that he has a wad of cash in his back pocket and doesn't know what to spend it on. Strangely, a Maserati would appear in his garage the next day. Maseratis are the relatively cheaper alternatives to the Ferraris and the Lambos. The problem is, while people in their 20s and 30s buy the Horses and the Bulls, the Trident badge is neglected! I don't really know why. Maybe its because they have the 4 door Quatroportte in their line-up which sort of gives Maserati the 'family-super-car' image. This however, casts that stereotype away. Far far away...     This is the GranCabrio. And as you can see, its based on the Gran Turismo. That's a good thing. Its powered by a 4.7l V8 which has 434 horses at the touch of your right toes. 0-100km/h in 5.4s, not bad. Could be better but who cares! Just look at it.. I have a niggling feeling that the engineers must have calculated that if the GranCabrio accelerated any faster, men toupes would struggle driving this car with its top down.. if you know what i mean.     It seats 4 human beings as well. So they claim. I never like to believe. You'd need to have children with legs the width of chopsticks and the length of pig's trotters to ever fit in cars like these. But no matter. This seats 4.     Hope your saliva didn't spoil your keyboard.

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Tricked out Mclaren SLR '999'

This is what happens to a car when its owner has too much money and hails from the land of Ricola sweets.   The Mclaren SLR alone costs a bomb, US$495,000 to be exact. This incredibly garish, pimped out SLR on the other hand costs US$4.5 million on top of the base price because of its 24 carat gold accents. It is all thanks to Swiss designer Ueli Anliker. The Mclaren now looks more like a Pussycat Doll's handbag than a car..     Check out the plush gold seats and trim.. This car has more bling than Snoop Dog and Jay Z combined. Its just hideous! The potential best-Mercedes-of-all-time SLR has been catastrophically transformed into an orgy of red and gold, I cringe at the sight of it.     From Classic Silver...     to Ridiculous Red.   And when you look at the man behind the 'Mclaren SLR 999', you'd understand why its all red and gold.. He probably just wanted to match his red jeans and his gal's gold outfit.   No wonder the Swiss haven't invented a car.

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VW extends it's global domination

VW has announced today that they've bought a 19.9% stake in Japanese carmaker Suzuki.   I think it's brilliant. Suzuki, as of recently, has been churning out cars that have actually been worth the mention like the Swift which have a few awards in it's pockets and even the SX4 which handles like a dream. Both companies will be sharing their tech knowledge and working together on things like fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicle technologies. I'm quite excited with this prospect...with such a relation, I'm sure Suzuki is going to find a way in improving their cars build and fittings quality, getting them one-up on the competitors in Japan like Honda and Toyota and also in overseas market.   This is a continuing expansion for VW, after having rode the turbulent waves of the economical instability better than it's major competitors, even taking over Toyota as the largest auto maker some months back.   A little trivia I stumbled upon: Did you know Suzuki held the number 1 spot in the local (Japan) mini car segment for more than 30 years! Daihatsu snatched that away 2 years ago though.

Ragingbull

Ragingbull

 

You call that a facelift? Come on BMW, you can do more!

Spyshots of the 2010 BMW M3 facelift were posted onto the web last week. If you were expecting those aggressive looking contour lines that appeared on the hood of the 2009 BMW 3 series sedans, you can forget it. The Bavarian manufacturer didn't bother with those. The flagship M3 only received minor changes to its front bumper and a new LED tail-light arrangement. Most changes were made on the inside with better trim, improved iDrive system and better interior lighting.   BMW designers seem to be picking up a thing or two from the people at Porsche...haha

911fan

911fan

 

Tata Nano now individualised!

[extract] Can you imagine a phalanx of Tata Nanos all travelling in the same direction with little to distinguish them from one another besides the different shades of colours? You can

911fan

911fan

 

BMW's new 5-er looks so much better without Bangle

It's only been a couple a months since Chris Bangle, infamous for designing what everyone dubbed "bangle butt" on the BMW series of vehicles, left the famed German company. Since then Adrian van Hooydonk has been hard at work slimming the profiles and softening up the lines on their cars.   A beautiful example of their hard work is in their new 5 Series. The team has kept the looks of the car in-line with their current 3 Series, but predictably stretched, certainly staying true to how they used to be designed back in the days.   Check out this photo! Tell me that doesn

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Ragingbull

 

Ferrari Submarine

If you've kept up with the papers recently, you would've probably read about the flash floods that've occurred in the Bukit Timah prime district area. Flood waters reached knee-level and some cars were even fully submerged beneath the murky waters.   It's hardly surprising but nevertheless traumatic to hear some exotic cars falling victim to the flood. A barely month-old Ferrari F430 was reported to have been completely submerged in the Tessarina condominium carpark.   This comes only weeks after watching a video of a Bugatti Veyron plunging into a lake somewhere in the States. It

911fan

911fan

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