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  1. saw this in the mail today. so what does an sgcarmart roadshow means? anybody swinging by?
  2. Let me get one thing straight. Personally I am not a fan of McLaren. I have nothing against the team, its Formula One drivers or the firm's awkward behaviour of naming its cars after fax machines. It's just like Manchester United vs Liverpool or Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer or Tiger Woods vs well whoever he competes with. However there are one or two things I admire about McLaren. Firstly, its futuristic, yin-yang inspired factory at Woking, U.K. Secondly, the automaker's approach to cars and the firm's obsession with implementing technology. I have mentioned a countless number of times in the blog, as much as I like cars and the science, art and engineering behind it - I like technology, gadgets and gizmos. As such I cannot think of any other automaker in this era (perhaps besides Audi) that harnesses science, technology and cars as well as McLaren. Ferrari is a front to sell road legal Formula One cars to fund their F1 programme while Lamborghini is a German engineered Italian on steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Pagani is a new kid on the block that is all about theatricality, flamboyance and art. McLaren celebrated - with pride - their 50th anniversary as a racing team. 50 years is a long time, but the British firm has only created five road going cars thus far, and all five have been blockbusters in their own right. We have the iconic and legendary McLaren F1, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the MP4-12 and 12C and now we have the long awaited and alien looking McLaren 'Designed by Air' P1. The McLaren P1, together with the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari, welcome the next generation of hypercars and motoring in general. They are from three different countries in one continent but they share a similarity - they are all hybrids. Unlike its predecessors, the McLaren F1, Porsche Carrera GT and Enzo Ferrari, they are not purely naturally aspirated. Each feature an electric motor of some sort to boost performance to an already capable internal combustion engine. http://dai.ly/x14g7to In the case of the P1, the futuristic looking vehicle is unlike anything I have ever seen. The aesthetics have time travelled 10-15 years from the future, combined with the technical limitations of today. It is powered by a substantially revised 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, coupled to a single electric motor, for a combined power output of 903bhp. Top speed is electronically limited to 350km/h, with the 0-100km/h standing start acceleration taking less than three seconds. The McLaren P1 will power from rest to 200km/h in less than seven seconds, and on to 300km/h in less than 17 seconds - a full five seconds quicker than the McLaren F1. Despite this, the P1 is also efficient with CO2 emissions less than 200g/km, and the ability to cover more than 10km in emissions free electric mode. Undergoing the final stages of testing before commencing on first customer deliveries soon, fellow self-confessed automotive and collector, Jay Leno, became the first man outside the development team at Woking, and Jenson Button, to drive the McLaren P1. The 12 minute video is pretty much split into two sections, a tour of the McLaren engineering centre that looks nothing short of a cathedral while the second part is Leno thrashing the all new hypercar on what I think is the Top Gear test track - who was gleaming with excitement every single minute of course. As mentioned at the start, I am not a fan of McLaren, but does that mean I should not be jealous?
  3. Regan_ong

    What is the best car I've driven so far?

    "What is the best car you've driven so far?" I always get asked this question whenever I am engaged in a conversation with my relatives or friends. Well, as a rookie in the industry, I haven't had the chance to try as many as other seniors have. My age notwithstanding. But what I can say for sure is that I don't have an absolute answer to the question but if you're interested, here is my two cents' worth. Firstly, every single car out there has its pros and cons, and in my dictionary, there is only near perfect. Same goes for us humans. And then it boils down to the personal preference about a car. You may love a Toyota 86 to bits, however, your other half may not like it because of the frequent 'get out to let others in' courtesy. Last but not least, on this hot and sunny island of ours, every single thing is helluva expensive. No, hold a second. Buying a car here is helluva expensive - if it ain't for the price, I may have gotten a wee bit nearer to having answered the question. Cars aside, one vehicle that I actually enjoy driving is a Suzuki Every. It is such an honest vehicle; it is just what it is - a van. Yes, the driveability may be like crap and powering it is only a mere 659cc engine but, seriously, who cares about the performance when all you need is a vehicle that allows you to get from point A to point B in a fuss-free manner? Heading to IKEA? No problem too, this 'kei' car can haul your furniture as easy as 1, 2, 3. Best of all, its compact size allows you to access cramped places easily, which is really common on this tiny red dot we call home. So what's the best car I've driven thus far again?
  4. Here is the 2014 Audi A8 facelift which, despite possessing some impressive technology, looks like an offering from the early 90s. It's sharp, boxy and bland. Compared to the all new S-Class or the 7 Series, the A8 looks really boring, although the MatrixBeam LED headlights are pretty impressive. The facelifted A8 comes from the same automaker that brought us sexy machines like the Quattro concept, the RSQ, R8, RS5 and so on. It actually looks like a rejected design piece from Bentley, to be honest. Or perhaps Audi had to tone down its design just so the Bentleys could look more 'exclusive'. Built around the lightweight aluminium Audi Space Frame, the A8 has been finessed by subtle resculpting of the bonnet, the single frame grille, the front bumper and the lower edge of the headlight units. At the rear, the design of the LED taillights have been revised and the bumpers in all models - except the S8 - incorporate two rhomboid tail pipes. New chrome elements, new high gloss black window surrounds and five new colours also mark out the updated car. Measuring 5,140mm in length, sitting 1,950mm wide and standing 1,460mm tall with a 2,990mm wheelbase - the A8 remains unchanged, while the 'stretched' model provides better rear leg room thanks to a 130mm extended wheelbase. The A8 can be powered by one of seven petrol and TDI engines, the majority of which have been revised to improve performance and efficiency. The supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI is boosted to 305bhp, while the twin-turbo 4.0-litre TFSI V8 has 429bhp. The 3.0-litre and 4.2-litre TDI oil burners, have 254bhp and 379bhp respectively. Paired with the renowned quattro all-wheel drive system, the 4.0-litre TFSI now throws the A8 from nought to 100km/h in a brisk 4.5 seconds. The power units in the facelifted A8 is not all about the Frank Martin pleasing performance though. When applicable, the Audi Cylinder-On-Demand (COD) system deactivates four of its eight cylinders to give priority to fuel economy. The most efficient diesel engine is the 3.0-litre TDI, which returns up to 20.36km/L, corresponding to 155g/km of CO2. The luxuriously equipped Audi A8 L W12 quattro is the range topper among the A8 lineup. The lightweight 6.3-litre power unit produces 493bhp. It boasts the best in-class combined fuel consumption of 10.2km/L, corresponding to 270g/km of CO2 emissions. The respectable efficiency rating is due in part to a newly adopted version of the COD system, which can deactivate the fuel injection and ignition for six cylinders. Meanwhile, the 512bhp capable S8 is powered by a 4.0-litre TFSI engine that propels the sports saloon from nought to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds. Equipped with the same COD technology, the S8 is capable of returning up to 11.9km/L and 235g/km of CO2 emissions. All A8 models are equipped with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission which transmits power to all four wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system in all six, eight and twelve-cylinder versions. The new Audi A8 is expected to reach customers here next year. Audi A8 Audi A8 L Audi S8
  5. Regan_ong

    Toyota 86 could get a new engine

    Fans of the 86 listen up. Rumour has it that Toyota is preparing a power boost for its popular 86 sports coupe. The Japanese brand has teased numerous concepts of its two-door cult car with upgraded engines, including a supercharged TRD version (above) built in the U.S.A and a twin-charged version (below) created by its in-house skunkworks Gazoo Racing. But those were designed to showcase the ability for aftermarket tuners and were not really suitable for mainstream production. Now, the Chief Engineer of the 86, Tetsuya Tada, has finally admitted that his team is developing a number of ways to increase performance of the showroom version - one of which will definitely make it to production when the 86 receives its mid-life upgrade in 2015. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We have already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and the other is a special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada did not divulge any further details, but inside sources claimed that the most likely option is an increase in displacement, bumping the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed engine up to a 2.5-litre and increasing power from 200bhp to around 260bhp. It is understood that this option would be the most cost-effective solution, which not only maintains the integrity of the lightweight concept but prevents placing additional stress on the drivetrain that a turbo charger would, or the complexity and weight penalty of a hybrid system. However, both alternatives are not being tested in vain, as they are likely to be introduced on the next generation 86. Either way, it is almost certain that the hybrid system Toyota is currently working on will make its way into the next generation 86. However, it is unlikely to be a conventional and heavy battery pack but rather a road-going development of the super capacitor system employed in its Le Mans sportscar racers, which are not only smaller and lighter but can store and deliver energy quicker for rapid bursts of acceleration. Come on Toyota! We certainly hope to see a more powerful 86.
  6. With 197bhp, 300Nm of torque and a top speed of 234km/h, a high performance version of the new 1.6-litre SIDI turbo engine will globally premiere in a Vauxhall Cascada at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The engine is one of the newly-designed Vauxhall four-cylinder SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) units and will join the existing 167bhp 1.6-litre SIDI turbo, available from its launch. The new power unit delivers 11 percent more power, including 300Nm maximum torque with overboost - 70Nm more than the comparable 1.6-litre turbo predecessor. At the heart of the SIDI turbo is a new engine block that can withstand a maximum combustion pressure of up to 130 bar in the cylinder. The block is made of grey cast iron with an aluminium baseplate. A different type of piston was also developed on top of a reduced compression ratio. Vauxhall engineers also achieved a high power output with exceptional refinement by optimising the car
  7. The Shibetsu Proving Ground (SPG) in Japan is the birthplace of the original Lexus LS 400 and has been the top secret test track for new Lexus models. Recently, Lexus offered an inside look at it. The SPG opened in 1984 after six years of planning and building. Rumour has it that the scale of the construction was so large, the Soviets mistook it for a fort being created by the Japanese. Imagine the Soviets mobilising their troops..right.. Hidden behind heavy security and tall metal fences are five circuits, each varying in size and function. The longest of these is about 10 kilometres. The tracks are surrounded with tiny villages of buildings and facilities, used to assess and maintain all kinds of vehicles, ranging from production cars to highly confidential prototype models. A high speed circuit on home soil didn't take long to bear fruit for Lexus. Firstly, the SPG helped reduce costs. It also sped up the research and development process, with the majority of testing now done in-house. When it came to the LS 400, the proving ground's biggest contribution was helping to forge superb aerodynamics and an exceptionally quiet cabin environment. More impressively, the engineers could analyse and perfect the vehicle's acceleration, movement and noise at speeds as fast as 250km/h - impossible on the shorter domestic courses previously used by Lexus. The four other circuits at Shibetsu also have their own special features - such as tree-lined country roads - to help put vehicles through their paces. To examine the effects of certain road conditions on Lexus vehicles, more than 20 road surfaces unique to different regions and countries around the world, such as the German autobahns, have been duplicated and installed on several sections of the courses at Shibetsu. We wonder if there's a mini Nurburgring in the SPG? Well all in all, SPG brims over with everything the Lexus automobile engineer - they call them takumi - needs to hone the vehicles. Is this Area 51 for Lexus? Or perhaps they have another Area 52 somewhere else? Whatever it is, this is a really rare glimpse and we hope to see more of these in the future, only if allowed of course. Photo Credits : Lexus International
  8. Here is a new supercar maker to take note of - Icona from Italy. Well they are not exactly new, having been around since 2010, with the launch of the electric concept car - the Fuselage. The Fuselage was a finalist at the 27th Festival Automobile International in Paris in the World's Most Beautiful Concept Car competition. The Italian firm was founded by Italian members and is led by an Italian director. The headquarters for the automaker is in Shanghai while the car is made in Italy. Icona has recently developed their second car - the pretty wicked looking Vulcano - which will make its U.K. debut in September at Salon Prive. The Vulcano coupe seats two and was unveiled in Shanghai earlier this year. The one-off is powered by a V12 Hybrid reaching up to 950bhp, capable of a top speed of 350km/h and a quick century sprint timing of nine seconds. The Vulcano was engineered by world famous former Scuderia Ferrari technical director Claudio Lombardi. Sales Director, David Bagley commented, "Icona is a very exciting new brand and we are delighted that it has chosen Salon Priv
  9. RchLuvSlly

    2014 all new Honda Fit Leaked!

    It seems that Asian automakers somehow have the ability to manufacture pretty interesting super-mini cars. Take a look at the Mitsubishi Mirage, for example. It seems like Mitsubishi tried to shrink the car so that it can just fit into the A-segment. However, with Honda, things seem to change a little bit as the Japanese automaker seems to be lean towards practicality. You see, instead of competing in the A-segment as well just like the Mirage does, the Honda Fit (also known as the Jazz here) plays in the B-segment and it's quite big too. Carrying a chunky boot capacity of 335 litres, I think the Fit is a leader in its class. However, if you are satisfied with the boot capacity of the current generation Honda Fit, you may feel happier to know that Honda is already preparing the next generation Honda Fit that carries a total of 400 litres when it comes to bringing along your stuffs. Yes, you heard it right, it's the 2014 all new Honda Fit that's in the works! The car will make its first bow to the public of its home country by the end of 2013, after which it will also go global. But thanks to these accompanying Japanese scans, we're not going to have to wait that long just to know how the car will possibly look like. These scans manage to show us some parts of the car, including the interior and possible colour choices - two of which seem to be very bright neon colours - that Honda will be offering for its latest Fit. While the car is supposed to play in the B-segment still, it has grown a little, by 60mm (that's around a little above 2 inches). So, the car now measures 3,960mm. Well, don't be disappointed if you're keen on practicality that comes from a smaller size. The smaller the size of the car is, the easier it is for you to manoeuver through traffic, right? But, the good news is that passengers will have more spacious legroom, thanks to the wheelbase that now has a length of 80mm. This growth in size is probably partially due to the new architecture the car is being built upon. I believe it is this new architecture that Honda will also use in order to produce its very first SUV/crossover in the B-segment. Well, honestly, the car looks modern and is also prettier than the previous generation Honda Fit, although it does look kind of boxy in a few spots. The car also borrows a transparent nose that we've come to know from the Honda Civic hatchback of the previous generation. Now, let's get to the most important part of a car - under the hood. With the 2014 Honda Fit, we'll have the privilege to choose between a 1.2-litre and a 1.4-litre VTEC petrol engines. And, if we choose the latter, we'll also be able to choose a six-speed automatic transmission. Yet, for those who live in the European continents of this world, a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine that produces 120bhp is also an available option. Actually, I would say that there's still one engine that Honda will probably offer with its 2014 all new Fit. That would be the hybrid engine with a total capacity of 1,500cc in addition to a power output of 110bhp. This engine is previously used by the Civic as well. However, this engine will only see the light of day provided that the seemingly hybrid car pictured in the scans is actually a hybrid car indeed. Despite a bigger size than its older brother, the car maintains a light weight. This is possible thanks to the fact that the head and block utilises aluminium alloy. So, with its bigger size that makes for more spacious legrooms, do you think that the 2014 All New Honda Fit is still practical enough for you to be interested in? If you feel like sharing your thoughts, the comment section below may be your best friend.
  10. The radical Jaguar C-X75 unfortunately did not make it to production due to the ongoing global economic crisis. However, a few working prototypes were built. Up to three of these will be auctioned off, while one will go into a future Jaguar museum and the other will be kept by Jaguar for running demonstrations. Autocar U.K. was fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of one of these and did a review of the supercar that suffered from stillborn. The review was very positive and the reviewer commented that it is a shame that nobody will really get a chance to own one. The hybrid drivetrain consists of a turbocharged/supercharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors mounted at either end of the car, driving transaxles and powered by a liquid/air-cooled battery pack. The hybrid drivetrain is rated at 888bhp with a combined torque of 800Nm. The C-X75 could travel from 0 to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds. The C-X75's carbon fibre chassis was developed with the Williams F1 team.
  11. The Festival of Speed remains unique in its ability to attract the majority of the current season's Formula 1 teams and drivers, with seven current F1 teams confirmed for Goodwood including Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes, Marussia and Caterham. Current F1 drivers and leading characters in action at the Festival will include previous World Champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, on top of Nico Rosberg, Roman Grosjean, Max Chilton, Heikki Kovalainen and Adrian Newey among others. Past Grand Prix masters present at this summer's Festival of Speed will include Alain Prost (above), Nelson Piquet, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Nick Heidfeld among others. In total, 17 Grand Prix winners will be in action, with a total of 232 GP wins between them! One of the great Festival of Speed's moments will be relived at this year's event when Nick Heidfeld is reunited with the very McLaren MP4/13 that he so famously launched up the Goodwood Hill in a record time of 41.6 seconds back in 1999. From the world of rallying, IRC Champion, Andreas Mikkelsen(above) will be spitting gravel in the 2013 VW Polo WRC, as will Spanish double World Champion Carlos Sainz, whilst Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen DS3 WRC will also be in full flight on the Goodwood Forest Rally Stage. A host of other star drivers and riders, plus cars and motorcycles from each of the world's major motor sport disciplines, past and present, will also be featured at Goodwood, including champions from Formula 1, Indycar, the World Rally Championship, Superbikes, NASCAR, World Sports Cars and Touring Cars, plus Land Speed Record holders. Goodwood is recapturing many of the outstanding Festival of Speed moments from the 1993-2012 era, including over 350 great machines from all of the world, as far flung as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Japan and the USA, all making a very rare return to the U.K. The 20th anniversary of the Festival will see many famous man and machine pairings reunited, including three-time Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet returning to the cockpit of his celebrated Brabham BT52, in which he secured the 1983 crown.
  12. Lexus will return to Salon Prive later in September this year to showcase its industry-leading range of full hybrid models. It will have a special focus on the F Sport versions of its cars, which combine sportier styling and performance with the peerless luxury, craftsmanship and advanced technologies that are associated to the Lexus brand. Among the line up will be the IS 300h F Sport, representing Lexus's all new sports saloon. Adopting Lexus Hybrid Drive technology for the first time, the new IS presents the latest interpretation of Lexus's L-finesse design philosophy. The effect is even more pronounced in the F Sport, with a stronger rendering of the spindle grille design and styling cues inside and out that take reference from the Lexus LFA supercar. As it delivers increased driving pleasure, the IS 300h achieves CO2 emissions from 99g/km and an official combined cycle fuel economy of 27.9km/L at the same time . It will be joined by the new GS 450h F Sport, representing the fourth generation of Lexus's luxury sports saloon. The GS's hybrid system combines a 288bhp V6 petrol engine with a compact but powerful electric motor. The GS 450h F Sport can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in less than six seconds and progress to a 249km/h top speed despite emitting a modest 141g/km of CO2. The Lexus RX - the original luxury SUV - has been consistently refined and developed over the years to the current RX 450h. It will be present at Salon Prive in F Sport trim too, demonstrating how Lexus has successfully interpreted its sporting theme across its full model range. Common with all current Lexus hybrids, the RX allows the driver to select different drive modes to prioritise fuel and emissions efficiency or performance, according to personal preference or driving conditions, including an EV mode for all-electric running with zero tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption. The LS 600h Premier is the flagship of the Lexus range, a limousine rich in advanced technologies and luxury features. The innovations include the world-first Lexus Climate Concierge, which maintains an ideal cabin environment by monitoring the individual facial temperature of each occupant to determine appropriate co-ordination of the ventilation, heating, heated seats and heated steering wheel. With handcrafted finishes, a supremely smooth V8 hybrid powertrain and a cabin designed for optimum comfort, the LS 600h fulfills Lexus' mission to deliver a world-class limousine.
  13. The Infiniti Q50 sedan has been awarded the 'Best Chinese Premiere' by the organising committee of the Shanghai International Motor Show in conjunction with sohu.com, one of China's leading online magazine. The award was presented to the Managing Director of Infiniti China, Daniel Kirchert. "We are honoured and very proud that our new premium Q50 sedan received this much respected award. This is a kickstart for the Q50 in China. We are looking forward to the market launch in spring 2014 with much confidence," said Kirchert. Infiniti fronted the Shanghai Motor show with the Q50 Hybrid variant, making its debut in Asia. The car is powered by a 3.5-litre petrol V6 featuring electric motor assistance. The hybrid system's nett power is approximately 354bhp, providing strong acceleration and lean fuel economy. The engine is matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and steering-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. The Q50 is available in both rear-wheel drive and an Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Last year, Infiniti moved its global headquarters to Hong Kong where it can serve the Chinese market better. At the Shanghai Motor Show, Infiniti announced the long wheel base versions of the Q50 and QX50, both of which are specifically developed for the Chinese market. They will be built in the Xiangyang plant which is operated by Infiniti's partner in China, Dongfeng Motors.
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bowkytZAVdw After Ford, Hyundai is the next car maker to apologise over a controversial commercial. The video, created by agency, Innocean Europe for Hyundai UK, shows a man trying to attempt suicide in his garage by hooking up the exhaust pipe to the cabin of his Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell. The attempt failed as the ix35 only emits water vapours and not carbon monoxide which blocks the transport of oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs in the body. Hyundai issued an apology statement that read, "Hyundai Motor deeply and sincerely apologises for the offensive viral ad. It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community. We are very sorry for any offense or distress the video caused. More to the point, Hyundai apologises to those who have been personally impacted by tragedy." Hyundai has removed the YouTube video after widespread criticism on social media. However, the video has been uploaded by other netizens.
  15. Maserati CEO, Harald Wester, had some very strong and unkind words regarding electric cars at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. "All this discussion about zero emissions is nonsense. Nobody talks about the efficiency of how the battery is charged. It varies strongly from region to region, depending on how the energy is produced, nuclear, coal and so on, but even the best is not ahead of the internal combustion engine," he said. Wester's argument is based on data regarding power charging stations' efficiency at various parts of the world, which show that the average CO2 emission of electric cars in Europe, US and China as 86g/km, 110g/km and 191g/km respectively. "Diesel and CNG are the more obvious answers if CO2 is the focus. Both are more viable answers than hybrid. If they gave us a CO2 target instead of imposing technology then we would go that way. If we want a realistic solution to emissions then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer," Wester added. However, Wester commented that the Italian brand may have to look into a hybrid system in the near future to meet fuel economy regulations.
  16. Acura formally debuted its SUV-X design concept at the Shanghai Motor Show - a global concept vehicle for a small SUV that is targeted mainly for the Chinese market. This is the first in Acura's 27-year long history, it has globally introduced a new concept outside of North America. Emotional and sharp styling and driving performance, together with the environmental performance of a small vehicle and excellent utility of an SUV are all fused together at a high level in this vehicle. Acura is planning to begin local production and sales in China of a mass-production model based on this concept vehicle for its market in about the next three years. Sadly no technical details were unveiled. "We are planning to produce the mass-production model of the Acura Concept SUV-X locally in China. With the hope that our Chinese customers will more closely feel the values offered from Acura, we will begin preparing for the start of the local production. In China, where dynamic growth continues, both Acura and Honda will keep up our efforts to enhance products and technologies that will offer new joys of mobility to our customers," said Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. On top of the SUV-X design concept, the Chinese market Acura RLX was also announced. The RLX is a luxury flagship sedan which will go on sale in China in June 2013. Excellent manoeuvrability and comfort are pursued through the adoption of a number of advanced technologies including a newly developed 3.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC V6 engine and Precision All-Wheel Steer - the world's first technology to achieve both outstanding turning performance and vehicle stability. The well received next generation NSX concept was also on display which made its debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January.
  17. Infiniti launched the long wheelbase version of the Q50 saloon at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. The Q50 is a class competitor against the likes of the BMW 3 Series. For readers' information, BMW showcased its Chinese market only BMW 3 Series long wheelbase saloon at the Beijing Motor Show last year. The Infiniti Q50 saloon will be built alongside with the QX50 crossover at the Nissan-Dongfeng plant in Xiangyang, Hubei Provence. "We are expanding our product portfolio with two new models especially for the Chinese market in 2014, and plans are underway to significantly increase the dealer network from the current 60 dealers to 80 in 2014," said Infiniti President, Johan de Nysschen. At the Shanghai Motor Show, two variants of the Q50 were displayed
  18. The Toyota Prius V has been rebadged as the new Daihatsu Mebius in Japan. The move is part of a business collaboration in the environmental technology field between the two companies as agreed in September 2010. Toyota has held 51 percent ownership of Daihatsu since 1998. The Mebius is the second Toyota hybrid car rebadged as a Daihatsu, the first being the Camry hybrid's conversion into the Daihatsu Altis. This can be a bit confusing since Toyota has an Altis model itself. The Prius V and MEbius are identical twins both internally and externally but the Mebius is offered exclusively as a five-seater while the Prius V can be specified with a seven seat arrangement. Like the Prius, the Mebius has a hybrid setup consisting of a 99bhp 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 136bhp. Average fuel consumption is rated at 3.82 litres/100 km.
  19. Lexus has given the official green light for the stunning LF-LC Concept to go into production. The confirmation is delivered by Brian Smith, Lexus' Vice President, Marketing, who spoke to WardsAuto, a US online car portal, during a recent media event. "That was (intended as) a concept car, and I think it surprised everybody, including us, when Japan said due to overwhelming response they decided to do it," said Smith. Lexus unveiled the Lexus LF-LC Concept 2+2 hybrid sport coupe at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, showcasing the future design direction for Lexus with an emphasis on a driver-focused vehicle. The design was developed by the company's Calty design studio in Newport Beach, California. Powering the concept is a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain producing a combined system output of 499bhp. During the media event, Lexus also confirmed the production for the LF-CC, which is basically a coupe version of the 2013 Lexus IS sedan.
  20. Porsche plans to increase its global dealership by 33% over the next five years. According to CEO Matthias Mueller, Porsche will invest 200 million euros annually to increase the number of dealerships to 1,000 outlets by 2018 from the current 750. "Our international dealership network is being expanded at a high pace," said Mr Mueller at the Porsche museum. "In China alone, there's a new Porsche Centre opening almost every month," he added. Despite challenging economic conditions in 2012, Porsche's operating profit rose 19% to 2.44 billion euros while delivering a record 143,096 vehicles. Such sterling results probably gave Porsche the confidence to commit to the aggressive expansion plans. However, the brand is cautiously optimistic on this year
  21. In the April 2013 issue of Consumer Reports, the magazine states that while other hybrid vehicles have an excellent reliability report, the Civic Hybrid has been plagued with a serious battery issue. Since the Civic Hybrid's introduction in 2001, it has sold over 255,000 units globally and is the second best-selling hybrid model in the US. "The Civic Hybrid, which has been a reliable car overall in most years, has a big problem with its drive battery. The 2009 model was the worst - Almost one in five owners needed a replacement hybrid battery in our 12-month survey period. But more than 10 percent of owners of the 2003, 2004, and 2010 models also needed one," said Consumer Reports. On the issue, Honda claims that a software update was issued to older models to prevent premature battery failures. Honda has switched to a new lithium-ion battery pack in the 2012-2013 Civic Hybrid. Hopefully, there will be less electrical issues.
  22. FaezClutchless

    Toyota considering a hybrid powered 86

    With the recent introduction of an open-top concept of the Toyota 86 at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, it seems that Toyota have been rather busy with their new model. And at the same time, they are considering to launch a top range version of the Toyota 86 that will be powered by a hybrid drivetrain. Tetsuya Tada, Toyota's chief engineer, has stated that designers at the Japanese auto firm have already begun work on the 86's mid-cycle facelift. The facelift model will receive some changes on the bodywork and on top of that, there will be a more powerful version of the car. It will use either a turbocharger, a supercharger or an effective hybrid powertrain that will squeeze every last horsepower out of the boxer engine. Tada also mentioned that a hybrid solution is highly possible and will bring benefits that forced induction devices do not. Additionally, he also stated on why the company did not release a more powerful version of the Toyota 86 and also a convertible model immediately after its launch. The management considered the 86 a huge risk and they needed proof that the sports coupe would hit sales target before they agree on a convertible and a powerful variant of the car. Since now they have that proof, the management can think of new ways to develop the car. If Toyota agrees on the hybrid solution, the petrol/electric powertrain will be considered a simple and inexpensive choice as they already have that technology. One of the things that they need to consider is the extra weight these hybrid powertrains pose.
  23. Audi has released the A3 e-tron in the Avant body style at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. An 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery sits under the floor beneath the rear seat, complete with a liquid cooling system. The plug-in hybrid is driven by a parallel hybrid drivetrain consisting of a turbocharged 150bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor integrated into the car's six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The electric motor generates 102bhp. The A3 e-tron goes to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds and is able to achieve a top speed of 222km/h. In a plug-in hybrid, the focus is on fuel efficiency. According to Audi, the vehicle uses petrol at a miserly 1.5L/100km and produces CO2 at a mere 35g/km. The A3 e-tron can be driven in hybrid, electric or gasoline mode. When driven in EV mode, the car provides a range of up to 49km. The fwd model is not scheduled for production yet.
  24. SYF77

    McLaren P1 officially unveiled

    Supercar maker McLaren has released the details of the production version of the P1 prior to its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Only 375 units will be produced instead of the originally planned 500 copies to maintain the car's exclusivity. The P1 is motivated by a hybrid powertrain consisting of a twin-turbo, 3.8-litre V8 generating 737bhp with 720Nm of torque and an electric motor producing 179bhp and 260Nm. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which sends power to the rear wheels. The P1 has a carbon fibre chassis which weighs 100kg, which is the lightest ever installed on a road-going car. According to McLaren, it is capable of providing the safety and rigidity of an F1 vehicle. The slippery P1 has a CD figure of 0.34 and can generate 600kg of downforce, which is five times more than the MP4-12C. The super car is fitted with an Instant Power Assist System (IPAS). According to McLaren, the IPAS is the electric motor which can be activated via a steering wheel-mounted button that gives the P1 the throttle response of a normally-aspirated engine. With the IPAS on, the P1 reaches 100km/h from standstill under 3 seconds and achieves 200 km/h within 7 seconds.
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