Monday, June 30, 2008

Honda Odyssey


The Honda Odyssey equipped with a four-cylinder engine and four conventional side doors. In reality, it cultivated a loyal following among consumers who wanted lots of space combined with unwavering reliability and the fuel economy that a small engine could provide. The third generation Odyssey is far sportier looking than anything else in its category. A low roofline and reduced ground clearance give the new Honda a ground-hugging appearance.

The Odyssey looks most attractive from front angles, where its sleek nose and aggressive headlight assembly – with eye-catching blue reflectors – give an impression like no other people mover. Sporty twin exhausts can be found at the rear and the top-of-the-line Luxury version (as tested) scores 16-inch alloy wheels.

Plus, it is the first van to offer the clever “magic” third-row seat that folded into the floor.




Engine

Click for larger image

A 3.5-liter SOHC V6 engine with variable valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC), generating 255 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. Power flows to the front wheels through a new five-speed automatic transmission with direct shift control, getting to the ground more quickly thanks to a new drive-by-wire throttle. This engine runs on regular unleaded fuel, and meets stringent Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards in California and New England.

Model Lineup

Honda offers the new Odyssey in LX and EX trim levels. A leather package is available on the EX, and a new Touring edition is a fully equipped luxury van with all the bells and whistles. Honda Odyssey, the LX also includes P235/65 tires mounted to 16-inch wheels, power windows for the first two rows of seats, power door locks with remote keyless entry, cruise control, a CD player, a 60/40 split-folding “magic” third-row seat, an in-floor storage bin, and a smart maintenance indicator. On the Odyssey LX, the exterior trim is black rather than body color and the wheel covers are plastic, making it easy to identify as the entry-level model. To open the sunroof, reach down onto the lower left portion of the dashboard, rather than overhead, to find the controls.

A leather package turns the Odyssey EX into the Odyssey EX-L. Advanced engine technology that generates better fuel economy is standard on this model, along with

The 5-speed automatic transmission is designed for precise shifting with reduced shift shock, lighter weight and reduced noise and vibration.

special noise-suppression technology, triple-zone climate control, and a power sunroof that lacks one-touch open and close control. Oddly, the leather package does not include a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Options for the Odyssey EX-L include a DVD entertainment system with integrated remote control and wireless headphones with personal surround sound; and a DVD navigation system with XM satellite radio, voice-recognition control, integrated Zagat restaurant surveys, and a reversing camera.

EQUIPMENTS:

With the Odyssey Touring model, you get top-of-the-line, luxurious amenities like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, tri-zone climate control and a driver's seat with manual lumbar support.

A 360-watt premium audio system, automatic headlights, parking sensors, a second-row removable center console, a Michelin PAX run-flat tire system with tire pressure monitors, a driver memory seat, a programmable multi-information display, special interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt AC power outlet, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and unique alloy wheels, power adjustable pedals, a power tailgate.

ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY

With an iVTEC (i = intelligent) Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system that shuts down three of the engine’s six cylinders to conserve fuel when cruising at a steady rate of speed or when decelerating. With this engine, the Odyssey is expected to achieve a 20-mpg city and a 28-mpg highway fuel efficiency rating from the EPA. Included with this engine is an Active Noise Control (ANC) technology that works in concert with the audio system to quell unwanted interior noise from the VCM and other sources, allowing the technology to work transparently to the Odyssey’s occupants.

The Touring model shows off with unique alloy wheels, fog lights, body-colored parking sensors (front and rear) and multi-reflector halogen headlights with auto-on/off.

The brakes perform well but our test vehicle felt like it had a problem with its pads – it occassionally lacked pedal feel at moderate brake pressure. However, all-out stopping power can’t be criticised – the 300mm ventilated front and 305mm solid rear discs arrest the Odyssey without fuss. EBD and ABS come standard but brake assist is not available on local models. The new Odyssey is redesigned with this goal in mind, and the result is a comprehensive standard safety package on all models as well as a new Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure.

ACE refers to the design of the Honda Odyssey’s forward frame elements, new upper and lower structural members engineered to spread crash energy over a larger area for absorption and disperse the energy away from the cabin. New gussets located in the lower corners of the engine bay at the firewall intend to reduce passenger compartment intrusion during a crash. Honda expects this new design to better protect the Odyssey’s occupants while making the new minivan more compatible with smaller vehicles in an accident.

SAFETY HIGHLIGHTS

Inside the Honda Odyssey, a full complement of airbags and safety technologies come standard to protect passengers. Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags are combined

Dual-Stage, Dual-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)

with standard side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for all three rows. To help keep a rollover accident from occurring, every Honda Odyssey is equipped with a standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, which includes both traction control and stability control. Also standard is a four-wheel-disc ABS with brake assist technology to bring the new Odyssey to a stop as quickly as possible.

NEW FEATURES

Large, easy-to-read gauges consist of a tachometer, speedometer, two digital trip meters and a main odometer.

Odyssey which adds power adjustable pedals, a power tailgate, a 360-watt premium audio system, automatic headlights, parking sensors, a second-row removable center console, a Michelin PAX run-flat tire system with tire pressure monitors, a driver memory seat, a programmable multi-information display, special interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt AC power outlet, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and unique alloy wheels. Beautiful speedometer.Optional on the Touring are entertainment and navigation systems.


SPECIFICATIONS


Engine Size and Type : 3.5-liter V6
Engine Horsepower : 255 at 5,750 rpm
Engine Torque : 250 at 4,500 rpm
EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 19/25 (estimated for LX and EX); 20/28 mpg (estimated for EX-L and Touring)
Observed Fuel Economy : 19.3 mpg (Touring test model)
Curb Weight : 4,378 to 4,634 (LX to Touring)
Max. Cargo Capacity : 147.4 cubic feet
Max. Towing Capacity : 3,500 pounds
Max. Seating Capacity : 7 (LX and Touring); 8 (EX and EX-L)


Toyota Prius

Hi to all...glad to meet you guys with an interesting article about the Toyota Prius...Toyota comes with this stylish car...lets see about the features of the car and details...
The Toyota Prius is an impressive technological feat. It offers much better fuel economy than conventional cars and radically less environmental impact. We wouldn't have expected the pairing a small gas engine with a battery-powered motor to create a social phenomenon, but that's what the Prius has done, and it continues to be in demand.

The Prius is the best-selling gas-electric hybrid in the United States and in the world. Toyota sold just 5,600 in 2001, but annual sales expanded to 54,000 in 2004 and 108,000 in 2005. Sales for the first quarter of 2008 were up from the same period in 2007.

Introduced as a 2001 model, the Prius was redesigned for 2004 and updated for 2006. The 2008 Prius gets some new options, notably leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

We find the Prius to be a comfortable car that's easy to like and live with. It's roomy, with adult-size back seats and lots of cargo space. It's pleasant to look at, with sleek, futuristic styling, easy to spot in a parking lot. In short, we like the Prius.

The EPA ratings for the 2008 Prius are 48 mpg City, 45 mpg Highway, and we're guessing everyday fuel economy for most owners should fall somewhere between 40 and 50 mpg. The test procedure used until recently by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency exaggerated the fuel efficiency of all hybrids, but the EPA has revised its test procedures to more closely simulate modern driving habits.

While the Prius excels at fuel economy, its performance in terms of emissions is even better. Prius is certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV); meaning that it meets the Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) exhaust standard; plus a zero evaporative emissions standard, a 150,000-mile durability demonstration, and an extended emissions system warranty. That makes the Prius an excellent choice for buyers who want to reduce air pollution and America's dependence on oil. The Prius isn't cheap, but it costs less than a lot of other vehicles that are commonly promoted as family transportation.

It's important to understand that the Prius is not an electric car. You never plug it in. And there's no worry about driving beyond the range of the battery. A small, highly efficient four-cylinder gasoline engine charges the battery as you drive. No special knowledge is needed to drive the Prius. It works just like a regular car: You get in, you twist the key, you put the lever in Drive and you go. When it gets low on gas, you fill it up.Thank you for seeing this post...hope you like it..please fill your comments in the cbox...thank you for your cooperation...

Cadillac STS


Hi to all...Glad to meet you with an interesting article about the cars...in this we are going to seeabout the features of the car Cadillac's STS...lets see the features of the car...Cadillac's current-generation STS was the first to use a rear-wheel-drive chassis, which at last put it on equal footing with big-name players such as the Mercedes Benz E-class, the Lexus GS, and the BMW 5-series. That's very tough competition and, at the midpoint in its season, the STS is getting some fortification.

For 2008, the STS attempts to dazzle its opponents with the chrome wattage of its bigger, fancier grille, chrome door handles, and--today's must-have style accessory--chrome front fender vents. Inside, there's revised wood trim and a new steering wheel. But the real substance comes in the form of mechanical upgrades, starting with a new engine that produces 302 hp.

That figure, by the way, is for the V-6, which Cadillac has switched to direct injection, adding 47 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque in the process. That makes the 3.6-liter GM's most powerful production V-6 ever. Now paired with a six-speed transmission, it provides the STS with brisk acceleration--lively enough to catch the Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan, which also claims a 6.5-second 0-to-60-mph time.

To quicken the STS's reflexes, Cadillac offers a performance handling package, which firms up the suspension and swaps in the larger Brembo brakes from the STS-V. With it, the ride is a bit more tied down but large body motions aren't controlled as well as they are with the V-8 model's Magnetic Ride Control in performance mode. Taking a page from BMW, the STS now offers active steering, although that's reserved for V-8-powered, all-wheel-drive models. Besides varying the steering ratio, this system also works in conjunction with Stabilitrak to steer the front wheels (by up to 3 degrees) into a skid, which is not as creepy as it sounds. Also new on the safety front is a lane-departure warning system (useful, particularly for cell-phone yakkers) and a blind-spot warning system (less useful, due to the subtlety of its warning light on the sideview mirrors).None of these changes will have the STS running away from the field, but the more potent V-6 makes the base car (which accounts for four out of five sales) a much more solid player. In this league, that's doing pretty well for a rookie.

Infiniti G35

Hi guys happy to meet u all with an interesting article...in the latest car series here comes Infiniti G35...Lets see about the features of the car...its more than a car...One spouse prefers SUVs; the other craves classic sport-sedan driving delights. While satisfying both prerogatives sounds like a job for Dr. Phil, walking the perilous line between sport and utility is precisely what the infiniti G35 accomplishes.

Infiniti has staked out a microscopic site of unclaimed turf in the gridlocked crossover segment. Sizewise, the new EX is a low-riding BMW X3. Stylewise, it's an infiniti G35 sedan with a bobbed tail and a hatch. Philosophically, it's a machine with the uncanny ability to maintain garage goodwill.

Mechanically, this is another shuffle of the Nissan/Infiniti FM-platform components deck. Take a front suspension from the G, bolt on a rear suspension from the FX, stir in a fourth-generation 3.5-liter V-6, and add a smart five-speed manu-matic. Keep the curb weight below two tons, whip the energy supply toward 300 hp, and avoid the severe FX suspension settings that intimidate the weak of spirit. Season liberally with electronic goodies for the gadget-afflicted.


Tidy dimensions keep the EX35 from being the jack of all SUV skills. There is no macho off-road pretense. The back seat is roomy enough for two, although adult-size shoes must be twisted to clear the narrow door openings. While power-folding rear seats make the most of the cargo hold, the 16.8 cubic feet available (with all seats in use) falls short of a sprawling family's needs. This is an SUV for two camps: those wishing to curb a supersize habit and car folks dipping a toe in crossover waters.

Utility sacrifices are well-rewarded. The EX's speed-sensitive steering maintains a truthful dialogue with the road, especially when the optional all-wheel drive is eschewed. Thanks to a reasonably low center of gravity, firm dampers, and ample roll resistance, the body never flops like a fish out of water. The automatic transmission offers well-spaced ratios, crisp shifts, an authoritative sport mode, and rev matching on downshifts. The engine loves every unbridled run to its 7500-rpm redline. Driving the optional eighteen-inch, V-rated Dunlop SP Sport tires through their grip limit, it's easy to forget that you're wearing crossover attire.

Four interior hues are available with black-lacquered plastic and textured aluminum or real maple trim. The optional navigation system includes a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive for music storage. An eleven-speaker Bose sound system offers iPod connectivity via a USB port. Two innovations are an Around View Monitor that mixes four video-camera feeds into one bird's-eye look at your immediate surroundings and a Lane Departure Prevention system that nudges the brakes to curtail unintended lane changes.

With the long-running sport versus utility dispute solved by Infiniti's EX35, modern couples may now focus their energy on other pressing issues, such as who's actually responsible for the laundry.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ford Falcon XT sedan


THE blistering XR6 Turbo might be earning all the praise, but it is the base XT that holds the key to the Ford FG Falcon’s success. The bread and butter model might be the cheapest in the range, kicking off at $36,490, but it is anything but a bare and basic fleet special. It now comes with a new five-speed automatic transmission, which, together with the range of other FG upgrades, makes the XT a well-specified large sedan. The engine has been upgraded, is smoother than ever before, is more powerful and its fuel economy gets awfully close to many four-cylinder cars. FG upgrades include the new double-wishbone suspension, revised steering rack and all-new cabin. But it’s not all roses because the FG XT looks very similar to the previous model - it even has the same wheel covers - and the full-size spare has been replaced by a space-saver.

THE BF MkII upgrade of October 2006 was essentially a styling exercise and a re-jigging of equipment levels. Holden had just introduced the bold new VE and Ford needed something fresh to show. It gave the Falcon range a facelift, modifying the headlights, bonnet and making more of a feature of the trapezoidal airdam at the front. What few people knew at the time was that this was actually a very strong pointer to the FG styling, which had already been locked in. Ford had previously upgraded the engines, with independent variable camshafts and fuel savings, and introduced the ZF six-speed automatic for the BF model of 2005. For the BF MK II it made no mechanical changes, but did increase the availability of ESC and the six-speed auto.

HSV ClubSport LS3 V8 range


MOST of us might be reeling from record petrol prices, but soaring sales of Holden Special Vehicles suggest that Aussie muscle cars are, so far, immune to such pressure. As many brands down-size, HSV is going the other way and increasing the size of its engines from 6.0 litres to 6.2 litres. The new engine is called the LS3 and it replaces the LS2 on all V8 HSVs including Maloo and ClubSport, GTS, Senator and Grange. This is a different family of engines to the Gen IV than runs in Holden models and is more performance orientated. The new HSV engine lifts power by 10kW to 317kW, but the torque is capped at 550Nm in order to protect the gearbox and rear differential. Some revisions have been made to the automatic gearbox, which now has a new, larger, oil-cooler and new mapping. Other than that, and the availability of 20-inch rims across the range and some new colours, there is little else different.
You can also pick a gear, any gear, and the LS3 will just pull away. It proves, to an extent, that "there is no replacement for displacement".

GoAuto tested the LS3 at the national launch just out of Perth. It was enough for a light sample of the cars, but the limited kilometers and the open nature of the roads meant we were unable to truly test the engine's capability.

The only place you can really do that is on a racetrack, but a road with lots of tight corners and opportunities for acceleration would also allow you to comprehensively explore the engine's wide powerband.

The LS3 delivers a wonderful growl at all points of the rev range, which builds to a menacing howl from around 4000 revs onwards.

In the long-wheelbase Grange, the exhaust is a little more sedate, but all of the cars are loud and gruff, both when running at low engine speed or when pushed hard.

The LS3 is quite lumpy at idle. This is either good or bad depending on what you want from your prestige muscle car. Sitting at the lights, you can feel the big V8 wobble and shake the whole car.

This issue is largely due to a more aggressive camshaft profile and the lowering the idle from 800rpm to 650rpm to save fuel.

Some performance car fans won't mind, in fact a lot like it and feel that such a trait is part and parcel of big and brawny eight-cylinder machine.

Others, especially those who are looking at the more luxurious Senator or Grange might, not appreciate the 'hippy-hippy shake' a characteristic that would never be tolerated in a German luxury vehicle that HSV says are its competitors.

The manual gearbox is quite good given the power and torque characteristics of the cars. Its clutch is relatively light compared to the hefty pedal of the past and the gears are easy to select.

The automatic transmission has been improved and it is a reasonably good gearbox. It changes are not shorter and the gearbox can be more intuitive than before when put into sport mode.

Still, customers will compare this gearbox to the ZF six-speed available in the potent Ford models, which shows-up the HSV box. The HSV auto does not change gears as smoothly or as quickly as the ZF and is also not as intuitive.

For example, in some cases when you press the throttle considerably hard, the HSV transmission will drop down a gear, pause and then shift down another. In the same conditions, you would expect the ZF to judge the throttle input and simply drop down two gears.

Pontiac G8


We have Australia to thank for the all-new Pontiac G8. It was designed and is built there by Holden, a division of General Motors, and is sold as the Commodore SS. They've had the time to perfect it.

The G8 is a rear-wheel-drive sedan, Pontiac's first full-size car since the Bennoville was discontinued in 2005. It becomes the Pontiac flagship, being bigger than the mid-size front-wheel-drive G6, and it takes that spot at the top of the line with pride, being a very good car, with no weaknesses. At least not with the V8-engined GT, which Pontiac accurately bills as the most powerful car on the market for under $30,000. But it's not just powerful; there's a wonderful six-speed manual automatic transmission, the ride is comfortable without being soft, and the handling is taut. It all works.

And it looks good: smooth and muscular, with an unmistakably Pontiac nose. The interior is comfortable and tidy, with good instrumentation and a reasonably roomy rear seat. The standard cloth seats are excellent, with good bolstering and lumbar support. Leather is optional. The GT features an 11-speaker Blaupunkt sound system.

Even with 361 horsepower, the G8 GT gets 15 city and 24 highway miles per gallon, on regular fuel. Premium is recommended but not required. When Pontiac measures the horsepower on the dynamometer, guaranteed, they use premium fuel.

It comes with a comprehensive list of safety features, including electronic stability control, curtain airbags, and Onstar.

The V6 G8 uses the same engine that's in the Cadillac . It doesn't rate the same praise as the GT because it doesn't have the V8's power, six-speed transmission or taut suspension or steering. It costs $2400 less, and its highway mileage is only one more mile per gallon, at 17 city and 25 highway.

The GT is the hot setup. The 6.0-liter, 361-horsepower V8 engine, using a six-speed manual automatic transmission, totally changes the car. Starting with the hood scoops, passing through the seat of your pants with the tuned suspension, and ending at the four polished stainless exhaust tips. Inside, it adds dual-zone air conditioning, a leather wrap steering wheel with controls, color LCD display, and six-disc CD with Blaupunkt 11-speaker sound system.

Hyundai Azera


The Hyundai Azera, the Korean automaker's premium sedan, is now entering its third season, and the accolades are still rolling in. For the second year in a row, Azera scored a first-place finish in the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, and in its Strategic vision Total Quality Award. That's after landing a second-place in Power's 2006 Initial Quality Study.

Azera is Hyundai's entry in the full-size, near-luxury segment, an alternative to the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima. Azera boasts as much or more total interior and cargo volume as the Avalon, the Mercedes Benz E-class sedans, and the BMW 7 Series. In design and styling, in creature comforts, powertrain and in safety features, Azera offers as much or more than anything else in the class, and at a lower price.

Azera's powertrain uses the latest technology. Both available V6 engines feature variable valve timing for low emissions and a broad power curve; while the standard five-speed automatic gearbox gives the driver the option of shifting semi-manually. These are features that compete with Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. While there's nothing especially striking in Azera's design or styling, take off the Hyundai badge, and it could pass as family among any of the top-rated Japanese nameplates.

Inside, fit and finish are first rate, with quality materials and assembly. There's a quiet elegance in the simplicity of the instruments, usability of the controls and sleekness of design. What isn't readily visible received the same attention as what is, with hardware studiously hidden away and storage bins fully finished. All is not perfection: Some of the faux leather feels more plastic than bovine. But the overall presentation is upscale.

At a more practical level, the Azera equals or betters the competition in standard equipment, with special emphasis on safety. Eight airbags are standard, as are electronic stability control, traction control, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and active front seat head restraints. Rain-sensing windshield wipers, more commonly found only on high-end cars, are available. In addition to the awards cited above, Azera has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top crash test rating for frontal offset impacts.

For 2008, Hyundai has expanded Azera's list of standard and optional equipment. The 10-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels reserved for Limited models last year are now standard on all Azeras, as is XM Satellite Radio. The Limited now comes with a power sunroof and a 315-watt Infinity audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and 10 speakers. New options include leather for the base model and an LG navigation system for Limited. And all Azeras benefit from a re-tuned chassis and quicker steering.

Ford Taurus.


Ford had little success with its large, front-drive family sedan called the Ford Five hendred since its introduction two years ago. So, for 2008, Ford dumped the Five Hundred name and went back to the name of a clear market winner, renaming this car the 2008 Ford Taurus.

Likewise, the Mercury Montego has been renamed Mercury Sable, and the Ford Free style has been renamed Taurus X, the X for crossover SUV.

Along the way, Ford has made some 500 changes to the new Taurus, changes that were already scheduled for the mid-cycle freshening of the Five Hundred. The general body shape of the new Taurus is the same as that of the previous Five Hundred, a large, front-wheel-drive family sedan, but almost everything else has changed for the better.

This family of vehicles, loosely based on the same architecture as the Volvo s80 luxury sedans with some detail changes to the suspension systems, also uses the same Swedish Haldex all-wheel-drive system as the Volvo when it is ordered as an option.

The weak 3.0-liter V6 engine has been dropped in favor of a new 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine that makes a full 30 percent more power. It's the same engine that powers the larger and heavier ford and Lincoln MKZ crossovers and MKZ luxury cars. Likewise, the CVT transmission has been replaced by a new 6F six-speed automatic.

This new powertrain makes the Taurus a whole lot more fun to drive than the ill-conceived Five Hundred was. Its 0-60 mph acceleration performance has been reduced by more than a second and a half, from 9.2 seconds down to 7.6 seconds, which is a huge chunk of performance. The new engine not only makes more power, it gets 10 percent better fuel economy, even after adjusting for the new, stricter testing procedures EPA has mandated for 2008 models. On the open road, we found the Taurus to be very quiet and smooth.

Taurus competes directly against other larger sedans on the market, chief among them the Toyota Avalon, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Chrysler 300. Against that competitive set, the Taurus is the largest car in the group, and carries four five-star safety ratings for front, rear, side and rollover crashworthiness. The big kicker in all of this is that, with all the new styling, interior, engine, transmission and standard features upgrades, the price hovers only about $250 above comparably equipped versions of last year's bland, slow Five Hundred.

BMW M3


BMW has come a long way in the past 50 years, from the low point in the winter of 1959 when its fortunes were so bad that it was nearly sold to Mercedes Benz, to becoming a world powerhouse of motorcycles, high-performance cars, luxury sedans and SUVS. Like Mercedes-Benz with its AMG in-house racing and high-performance specialists, BMW has created its M division, primarily responsible for motorsports, but also for high-performance cars, including the M3 version of the 3 Series, the M5 version of the 5 Series, and the M6 version of the 6 Series (no M7 yet, and no high-performance versions of their SUVs, but it's only a matter of time). The M3 is the one with the longest history and the most affordability, so it has become extremely popular over the last four generations of the 3 Series.

Every generation of BMW 3 Series, for the past four generations, has offered the enthusiast driver an M3, something rare and special at the top of the lineup, something that the cognoscenti will recognize and appreciate every time it goes by, and something that is quicker, faster, flatter and flashier than the regular 3 Series, for the owner's maximum driving and bragging enjoyment.

Every one of the previous generations was powered by a modified version of the famous BMW inline six-cylinder engine, but this new generation has broken with that long tradition to become the first V8-powered M3 in BMW history.

For now, the BMW M3 in the North American lineup comes as the coupe and the less-expensive sedan, but if history is any indicator, these will soon be followed by a convertible version, the same model flow as the last two generations of M3. The first car to arrive, the M3 coupe, will be replete, including every available safety feature from ABS to stability control, traction control, six air bags, and run-flat high-performance tires.

The M3 also packs a tremendous amount of electronic wallop, with dynamic stability control having new interconnected control features, electronic damper control for the shock absorber settings, iDrive for the radio, navigation and telephone as well as two different power steering modes, normal and sport, that can be selected through iDrive.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Seat Ibiza


All-new from the wheels up, SEAT’s new Ibiza five-door supermini is bigger, and certainly looks better with its sharper styling.

The work of ex-Lamborghini stylist Luc Donckerwolke, the new car offers a variety of class-leading options such as the availability of a new seven-speed DSG automatic/sequential manual gearbox, Hill Hold Assist, front fog lights with side illumination function for cornering and combined AUX-IN/USB connectivity for various music devices.

It’s longer than the current model and more spacious, with improved rear seat legroom and a significantly larger and more practical boot space.

Sitting on a new version of the Ibiza chassis, with wider front and rear tracks (30 mm and 33 mm respectively) the new car promises to drive as well as it looks; SEAT promises that it delivers both a composed ride and class-leading, sporty handling.

Initially three petrol engine options will be available: a 1.2-litre three cylinder with 70 PS; a 1.4-litre 85 PS four cylinder, or a sporty 1.6-litre four cylinder delivering 102 PS. All three engines are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, and SEAT says all have undergone engineering modifications to ensure emissions fall comfortably below 160 g/km. But there will be no diesels to start with; you’ll have to wait for the range of direct-injection TDI Ibiza five-doors.

Welcoming the unveiling of the new car, Head of SEAT UK Peter Wyhinny said: “The debut of the spectacular new Ibiza is the clearest sign yet that SEAT is serious about putting enviable quality and state-of-the-art technology alongside sporting ‘auto emoción’ as the cornerstones of the Brand. With the debut of this distinctive and clearly design-led five-door we are embarking on a major development of the SEAT range, with plenty more to come in the months ahead!”

Vauxhall Insignia














Vauxhall’s Vectra is now showing its age, so it’s about time its replacement arrived. And what a step forward in design the new Insignia is. Gone are the days when family saloons were designed to look like boxes, the new Insignia is styled like a coupé. It has a distinctive ‘blade’ feature running along the side of the car and even the radiator grille has a new-look Vauxhall emblem.

The Insignia is available with five engines at launch. All meet the Euro 5 emissions standard and come with either manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. The three petrol engines range from a four-cylinder 140PS unit to a V6 with 260PS. Two new 2.0-litre direct-injection diesel engines will be offered with power outputs of either 130PS or 160PS. In time, the Insignia engine line-up will be extended with an EcoFLEX version offering low CO2 emissions in addition to other more powerful variants.

The Insignia will be offered with front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The new ‘Adaptive 4X4’ system has proactive, instantaneous torque distribution to provide optimal traction and improve handling.

The car will have clever lights; the latest generation AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) system means that nine different light beam settings automatically adjust themselves to cater for various driving conditions. The interior features ambient lighting which is said to radiate a ‘warm, luxurious aura’.

The five-seater Insignia will initially be available in hatchback and saloon guise and the car will be officially launched at the British International Motor Show in London on July 22.

The Insignia was developed by GM Europe with a significant contribution coming from Vauxhall’s Engineering Centre at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, UK.

Chevrolet Matiz

Hi to all...glad to meet with an interesting article...lets see about the features of the Chevrolet Matiz...
Chevrolet, a maker of American muscle cars in years gone by, has now gone into the business of cars that are very un-muscular.

The latest Matiz 0.8S is yet another car that will be clogging up the streets of London when the new Congestion Charge swings into force in October, as it will enter the capital for free with its emissions of just 119g/km of CO2 (subject to a £10 registration fee), which translates to a combined fuel consumption figure of 54.3mpg.

Yes, this is the same emissions figure as a BMW 118d - along with an ever-increasing range of other models. The difference is that the Matiz is petrol rather than diesel, so if you have an aversion to diesel but want to drive for free in London, then this could be the car for you.

Of course it has benefits for motorists outside of the capital, with Band B road tax classification meaning a Matiz buyer will pay just £35 a year at current rates to tax their car.

The Matiz has Group 1A insurance and a fixed-price servicing package costing £199 for three years/30,000 miles or £399 for three years/60,000 miles.

All models include central locking, immobiliser, power steering, tinted glass, a Blaupunkt RDS Radio/CD player and body coloured bumpers as standard.

And it costs just £6,245. So you could buy one of these and a classic Chevrolet Corvette for the same cost as an average new family saloon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nissan Sentra

Hi to all...in the car series,here comes Nissan Sentra...lets see the features of the car...
With strong new entries from Mazda, Honda and Kia ruling the economy sedan segment, Nissan's aged Sentra has fallen behind in performance, comfort and style. But not to worry, this completely revamped, and larger 2007 Nissan Sentra will go on sale in late October 2006, followed by a new SE-R model in early 2007. "I think the 2007 Sentra will change the way people think about Nissan in this segment," John Weiner, director of product planning for Nissan cars, told us. "It has a level of refinement people haven't seen before." Materials quality has improved, and the stage car's tan leather and light faux wood accents had the feel of a Scandinavian furniture store. Features like a keyless startup system, Bluetooth and an MP3 player hookup will be available, and thanks to the car's longish 105.7-inch wheelbase, a 6-inch increase over the current generation, there's finally some legroom for rear-seat passengers. The trunk is large at 13 cubic feet. Unlike the independent rear suspensions used in the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic, Nissan chose to stick with a less sophisticated torsion-beam setup on the '07 Sentra. We think this could be a liability, but VP of Product Planning Jack Collins says, "We can deliver the handling performance we need with this suspension and keep the car more affordable." Braking hardware is a similarly basic front disc/rear drum design, though the discs are vented and both ABS and EBD are available. The steering is electric. More interesting are the drivetrain options. The standard all-aluminum 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder sends an estimated 135 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. Nothing remarkable in this segment, but the engine is paired with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, a rare feature on an entry-level economy sedan. Based on positive feedback from Murano SUV owners, Nissan will also offer a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a conventional automatic. With the CVT, Nissan estimates the 2007 Sentra will get 29 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway. Prices will start around $15,000 and side-impact curtain airbags and air conditioning will be standard.

Mitsubishi Eclipse


Hi to all...Happy to meet u with an interesting article about the Mitsubishi Eclipse...lets see about the features of the car...
2,378 cc 2.4 liters in-line 4 front engine with 87.0 mm bore, 100.0 mm stroke, 9.5 compression ratio
overhead cam
variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder 4G69

Unleaded fuel 87

Multi-point injection fuel system

17.7 gallon main unleaded fuel tank 14.7

Power: 121 kW , 162 HP SAE @ 6,000 rpm; 162 ft lb , 220 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

its having excellent handling capabilities, some of it are,
Four-wheel ABS
Four disc brakes including two ventilated discs
-
Electronic brake distribution
-
Immobilizer
Spacesaver steel rim internal spare wheel
Strut front suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs, multi-link rear suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs

and the other features are,
12v power outlet: front and 2
Driver front airbag with multi-stage deployment, passenger front airbag with occupant sensors and multi-stage deployment
Internal dimensions: front headroom (inches): 38.5, rear headroom (inches): 34.6, front hip room (inches): 53.7, rear hip room (inches): 44.4, front leg room (inches): 42.8, rear leg room (inches): 29.2, front shoulder room (inches): 54.2, rear shoulder room (inches): 51.2 and interior volume (cu ft): 81.6
3-point reel rear seat belts on driver side and passenger side
Front side airbag
Six speaker(s)
Driver and passenger power body color door mirrors
Body color front and rear bumpers
External dimensions: overall length (inches): 179.7, overall width (inches): 72.2, overall height (inches): 53.5, wheelbase (inches): 101.4, front track (inches): 61.8, rear track (inches): 61.8 and curb to curb turning circle (feet): 40.0






Hyundai Tiburon




Hi to all... glad to meet u guys with an interesting article about the Hyundai Tiburon.All of the talk about Hyundai for the last year or two has been in regards to the Genesis sedan and coupe. Sure, the new products sound much more exciting than anything Hyundai dealers have ever sold, but it also means products like the Tiburon have been completely forgotten.

If you can get past the looks, the Tiburon is a pretty solid car. The six-speed manual and V-6 aren't the best in the business, but they provide ample power. The seats are comfortable, and the standard equipment list isn't too shabby. No, the Tiburon isn't exciting enough to steal away sales from the V-6 Ford Mustang, but the forthcoming, rear-wheel-drive Genesis coupe should be. Heck, the Genesis coupe should even steal some Mustang GT sales.

The most surprising part of the Tiburon was the radio. At first glance, I thought this car had an aftermarket head unit, but a second look revealed it to be a Hyundai-branded Kenwood unit. I don't know if that decision was made so tuners could replace the stock stereo with an aftermarket unit or if the Hyundai folks just thought the Kenwood unit looks cool, but it certainly was unexpected.

Chevrolet Cobalt



The Chevrolet Cobalt features a Automatic transmission and Front Wheel Drive drivetrain on the base model Cobalt. We offer a wealth of additional information including Cobalt photos, car specs, and helpful financing information like car rebates, invoice pricing, and dealer incentive programs. At just $14,410.00 for the base trim package, this car is a great value for any buyer looking to save a little money. If you can’t find it here, it may not exist anywhere online. Enjoy the all-inclusive vehicle data and when you think you’ve narrowed down which car you are interested in, be sure to get your free no-hassle price quote.

The safety features of the Cobalt are,
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Seat Lower Anchorage
  • Pretensioner
  • Energy Management Feature
  • Advanced Air Bag Features

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Skoda Joyster


Skoda Auto's new concept car - the Skoda Joyster - is having a world premiere at the Paris International Motor Show. Shaped very dynamically, this leisure-time three-door front-wheel-drive compact vehicle is mainly targeted at young people. On top of its fresh-looking design, the vehicle offers a high degree of comfort and smart modern communication solutions. The Joyster concept demonstrates the big creative potential of the company's young designers led by Jens Manske. The team indeed creates new, simple and sophisticated solutions in the spirit of the company's advertising slogan "Simply Clever".

Mitsubishi's Lancer



Ford's small car is now upgraded with side-impact airbags, but doesn't quite match Mitsubishi's safety specification

Mitsubishi's Lancer leads the way in small car safety, but Ford is in hot pursuit. Broadmeadows has announced that the entry-level Focus, the Focus CL, is now fitted with side-impact airbags as standard.

It's a clever move for Ford. The entry-level Lancer is not fitted with side-impact airbags as standard, but they can be optioned along with side curtains as well. In effect, consumers can get into the small Ford from a price starting at $20,490 -- and have some side impact protection -- or pay more for the Lancer ($20,990 for Lancer ES) and have to pay an extra $850 on top of that for the added side-impact safety.

Of course the extra outlay for the Lancer will also cover side curtain airbags, which protect the heads of front and rear-seat occupants. This level of passive safety in the Focus will cost a further $1300, but that includes stability control, traction control and Brake Assist (all of which are already standard in the Lancer).

Where does this 'snakes and ladders' specification battle leave you, the consumer?

If you option up both cars -- based on current pricing -- to the highest (roughly comparable) level of safety, the Focus is $50 cheaper than the Lancer. That's about what we imagine the cost of the standard knee airbag in the Lancer would be worth to the manufacturer -- if the Focus had one.

Porsche 911 GT2 coupe


AT $425,700, Porsche's new 997-series 911 GT2 shoots directly at Ferrari territory, but the most expensive production Porsche ever sold in Australia also offers the most formidable performance statistics. With more power than the flagship 911 Turbo and no all-wheel drive system with which to harness its extra turbocharged urge, the GT2 is not for the faint-hearted. Best described as a turbocharged version of the race-ready, rear-drive GT3 coupe, the GT2 is the most track-focussed road-going 911 ever.

Porsche_911_GT2_996.jpg Porsche 911 GT2 coupe
August 2001-August 2003
The current GT2's 996-series forebear headed in a more luxurious direction than the 993-series original of 1995, but as Porsche's highest-performing road-going 911 coupe, it was no slouch. Peak power was rated at 340kW and, with 620Nm of torque available from its twin-turbo 3.6-litre flat-six, the six-speed manual-only 996 GT2 was one of the quickest and fastest supercars in its day. In Australia, the previous GT2 was priced at $399,000.

Volvo S80 2.5T


VOLVO is no force in the medium luxury sedan sector, as its original S80’s inability to lure enough buyers from 1998 to 2005 reveals. But the second-generation version is a very different animal, sharing DNA with Ford’s impressive Mondeo as well as the Land Rover Freelander II, to take on a more dynamic, refined and flexible persona. Perhaps the base S80 – the diesel-powered D5 – is the best of the big Volvos, offering luxury, safety, performance, economy and space in a value-for-money package. Of course the S80 D5 isn’t perfect, but it makes for an interesting, fresh and unique alternative to a BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus.

Volvo S80 2.5T sedan
October 2004-July 2005
The first S80 was built off Volvo’s premium front-wheel drive platform, and lacked the dynamic sophistication to take on the established German opposition. Nevertheless, a spacious and luxurious interior, high equipment levels and Volvo’s unwavering commitment to safety were in the S80’s favour. The 2.5T was a short-lived base model and a replacement for the previous S80 2.9, powered by a 150kW/280Nm 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine. As the 2.5T’s name suggests, it used the familiar 154kW/320Nm 2.5-litre in-line turbo five, mated to a five-speed automatic. But sales were sluggish so Volvo withdrew the whole S80 line-up from the middle of 2005.

Aston Martin V8


ONE of the most desirable cars in the world is to be made even more desirable with the imminent introduction of an upgraded Aston Martin V8 Vantage with a bigger engine.

To be introduced in the third quarter, the entry-level Aston – if such a term is applicable to a car that starts at $245,000 in Australia – looks much the same but gets some significant technical improvements.

Top of the list is an increase in engine capacity from 4.3 litres to 4.7 litres by increasing the bore and stroke from 89x86mm to a perfectly square 91x91mm, giving a displacement of 4735cc.

Power output consequently increases by 11 per cent to 313kW at 7000rpm while torque goes up 15 per cent to 470Nm at 5750rpm, providing a 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than the current car) and a top speed of 288km/h with the optional and revised Sportshift sequential semi-auto transmission.

Combined European fuel economy and CO2 emissions are also improved by 13 per cent with the Sportshift transmission, which benefits from revised software and a revised clutch and flywheel that reduces weight by 0.5kg.

Aston_Martin_V8_Vantage_Group.jpg
As well as hill descent detection, the rear-mounted Sportshift unit now also takes inputs from the steering wheel, enabling the current gear to be held when cornering.

Increasing the cylinder bore has been facilitated by a move to cylinder liners that are pressed into the alloy block, allowing a thinner liner than was possible with the cast-in design of the 4.3-litre engine.

A new forged steel crankshaft incorporates new holes in the counter weights for reduced rotating mass and improved inter-bay breathing, while the dry sump lubrication system includes a new sump casting with oil pick-up points moved from the front and rear to the sides of the sump.

Modified cylinder-heads get bigger intake ports and valves (up from 34.9mm to 35.9mm) while the intake manifold has also been modified to match the new porting to optimise air flow.

The other major area of improvement is the suspension, with the aim of improving body control for better handling while at the same time improving low speed ride quality.

A number of the components originally introduced on the Vantage Roadster are carried over to the Coupe, including revised upper damper mountings and bump stops. Bilstein low-friction dampers have been fitted as standard and the spring rates have been stiffened by 11 per cent at the front and five per cent at the rear.

Steering geometry is also modified to improve steering feel, while the front lower suspension arm compliance bushes are stiffened by 22 per cent to provide enhanced steering response and handling.

Apart from new 19-inch wheels, the exterior is unchanged, but the interior features a new diecast zinc alloy centre console, revised switchgear and the introduction of a DBS-style ECU (made from glass, stainless steel and polycarbonate) in place of a key.

Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez introduced the upgraded 2009 V8 Vantage Coupe and Roadster and said it was an important mid-cycle upgrade to a model that first grabbed headlines when it appeared as a concept at the 2003 Detroit motor show and two years later in production form at Geneva.

Since then, 10,000 Vantages have been hand-built at Aston Martin’s plant at Gaydon in Warwickshire, England.

“Continued development and evolution of our unique VH (Vertical-Horizontal) architecture has brought even higher levels of refinement and dynamic performance to our whole range,” said Dr Bez.

“With the new 4.7-litre engine and associated changes, we have taken the V8 Vantage to new levels of performance to produce an even more desirable sports car.

“The V8 Vantage is now the most successful Aston Martin in our history and we are confident these changes will continue its appeal and driving enjoyment for both new and existing customers.”

Renault Laguna



RENAULT Australia has introduced the third generation of its Laguna flagship. Pitched against the Peugeot 407, Volkswagen Passat and higher ends of the Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo model ranges, the Laguna is a well specified model that will be available as both a hatch and wagon starting at $41,990. Some models have already arrived (two trim levels of the diesel auto hatch), while the range will grow to eight by September and include a wagon and a petrol engine. Both engines are 2.0-litres in size and use a turbo. The diesel is good for 110kW and 340Nm, while the petrol produces 125kW and 270Nm. The diesel comes standard with a six-speed manual and is also available with a six-speed automatic, while the petrol is only available with the six-speed automatic.

features:Great handling, torquey engine, good economy, hatchback practicality, sleek exterior styling
disadvantages: Noisy and unrefined at idle, uninspiring interior, pricey, issues with brand image
By JAMES STANFORD 19/06/2008

THE Laguna is a stylish and comfortable model that does most things quite well. Existing Laguna customers will be more than happy when they come to upgrade their cars.

But Renault will face a tougher task attracting new buyers to the car.

It competes with the Volkswagen Passat, Peugeot 407 and higher-end Mazda6s and Ford Mondeos, but is not clearly better than those cars.

It is has an edge in some ways and falls short in others. Then there is the price.

There is no doubt the Laguna has a lot of good features, but its entry-level price of $41,990 might mean it doesn't make it onto some people's radars. Of course, the VW and Peuegot are also pretty pricey, but those brands have a far stronger image than Renault in Australia.

The Laguna is quite a good looking car and stands out in traffic. It has a unique appearance, but is by no means a quirky design like some other Renault models (in particular the Megane hatch).

We only tested the $50,690 Privilege hatch, which looked even better as it sat on 18-inch wheels.

The Laguna's interior looks okay, but is bit a plain for this type of money. There is no problem with the quality, and the plastic surfaces are good, but the layout looks quite conservative.

It also looks bitsy and lacks the design consistency of, say, a VW.

There are also some odd touches, including the cruise control and speed limiter switches, which are the only buttons on the centre console.

Lexus GS460



LIKE the proverbial iron fist a velvet glove, the Lexus GS460 combines scintillating V8 performance and a world-first eight-speed automatic transmission with Japanese refinement and an extensive equipment list - at a sensible price. Large German V8 sedan buyers should overlook the fuel-efficient, rear-drive GS flagship at their own peril, because despite a couple of oversights, the Lexus answer to the likes of BMW's 5 Series, Audi's A6 and the Mercedes-Benz E-class puts up a persuasive argument.

Advantages:
Creamy V8 performance, fuel consumption, smooth and intuitive eight-speed auto, ride/handling, noise and refinement levels, standard equipment list, tight tuning circle, comfort/ergonomics, value for money

Disadvantages:
Foot parking brake, front and rear headroom, small boot opening, no one-touch indicators, no steering wheel gearshift controls, compromised centre rear seat
By MARTON PETTENDY 20/06/2008

THE merits of a large V8 luxury sedan in a world of high fuel prices and a warming global climate may be more questionable than ever, but the flagship variants of their full-size model ranges still represent unrivalled status symbols for premium car-makers and the valued customers that purchase them.

But if you can afford to buy one and you don’t mind the social stigma that can sometimes attach itself to driving it, then chances are that you can probably afford to run one too.

Though it’s conspicuous by its absence of the petrol-electric hybrid technology that Lexus has so successfully trademarked as its own in the luxury sector, the facelifted GS460 remains a logical, if not compelling, alternative to its German V8 sedan rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The epitome of an iron fist in a velvet glove, the GS460 borrows the state-of-the-art, quad-cam, all-alloy 4.6-litre V8 directly from the new LS460 limousine (launched here in October 2007), and also comes mated with that model’s world-first eight-speed automatic transmission.

In typical Lexus fashion, it’s a configuration that can’t be beaten on a bang-for-your-buck basis.

At $134,900, the GS460 may be $10,000 more expensive than the GS450h hybrid, with which it shares a similar power output of 255kW but which it out-muscles by a significant margin, with peak torque of 460Nm versus 368Nm for the 450.

But the 460 also hits the scales at a whole 200kg lighter than the hybrid at 1695kg, giving it a 0-100km/h sprint capability of a reasonably rapid 5.8 seconds – one-tenth quicker than the GS450.

What’s more, the 460 blasts to 400 metres in a claimed 13.9 seconds – a whole half-second sooner than the 450, which of course returns more frugal claimed average fuel consumption of just 7.9L/100km. That’s almost three litres better than the 460 (11.0L/100km) - and two litres better than even the GS300 (9.8L/100km).

It’s the same story with CO2 emissions, just 186 grams of which are produced by the GS450 each kilometre, compared to 232g/km for the GS300 and 258g/km for the GS460.

So it’s more powerful and quicker but not as clean or efficient as its less expensive hybrid stablemate, as well as 23 per cent more powerful and 10 per cent torquier than the 7.3 per cent smaller-capacity GS430 it replaces.

More importantly, the GS460 stacks up well against its German V8 rivals.

Its closest price rival is BMW’s 540i sedan ($136,700), which costs $1800 more but offers less performance (225kW/390Nm) from its 4.0-litre V8 - though remains lighter (1650kg) and more fuel-efficient (10.4L/100km).

Audi’s A6 4.2 quattro sedan ($149,900) is $15,000 more expensive and has a similar (1745kg) kerb weight and performance (246kW/420Nm) to the Lexus, but is slower and less economical than both the BMW and Lexus.

The E500 Elegance sedan is the least expensive Mercedes-Benz E-class V8 at $161,500 and offers sharp performance numbers (285kW/530Nm) from its 5.5-litre V8. It's lighter at 1690kg and returns the same 11.8L/100km consumption as the Audi, yet is the quickest of the bunch with a 5.5-second 0-100km/h claim.

Jaguar’s new XF V8 sedan looks attractive on paper, priced at just $130,500 ($4400 les sthan the GS) and powered by a 219kW/411Nm 4.2-litre V8 that returns 11.1L/100km, but at 1749kg is the slowest of the group with a 6.5-second sprint time.

Accord to Redbook, the GS460’s resale value after three years is on par with the A6, but well behind the other Germans, although the Japanese luxury brand’s reputation for customer service and class-leading four-year/100,000km warranty compensate for that somewhat.

So the rear-drive GS460 is relatively powerful, quick and economical – despite the fitment of an enviably array of luxury features as standard – and still has as much road presence as its rivals, with the exception, perhaps, of the brand-new XF.

Australia never saw the first-generation GS but the MkII version has been around since 2005 yet still looks fresh thanks to this year’s midlife facelift that presents a sharper new look for its hallmark quad-headlight design.

A prominent Lexus grille is flanked by a pair of bi-Xenon high-beams with washers, while wing mirror-mounted indicators, proper door-handles and a subtle rear decklid spoiler complete the discreet and understated look.

Step inside and there’s no doubting the GS460’s luxury car status, with swathes of tastefully finished woodgrain highlights gracing the centre console, door trims and steering wheel, and soft-touch textured dashboard and door materials contrasting nicely with the high-quality perforated leather seat trim.

There’s good vision in all directions despite a super-narrow rear screen, and the large white instrument markings are easily readable on their classy, brushed alloy-look backgrounds.

The large central speedo reads to 260km/h and contains a multi-function information display for all key trip computer functions, all of which is duplicated in the large central touch screen – another Lexus hallmark that’s super-easy to use.

Far easier to access than some other notoriously difficult cockpit management systems, the GS460 presents navigation, audio, climate, trip computer, telephone and even service functions on its large, central colour touch-screen.

It is complimented by a cracking Mark Levinson sound system that is one of the best in the business and even comprises a cassette deck, and the dual-zone climate-control system is impressively efficient and features twin rear outlets.

All four doors comprise storage compartments, the larger front units supplemented by fold-out sides, there are four overhead grabrails, a small but double-deck glovebox and the sizeable boot is fully lined and illuminated and features chromed cargo hooks and includes a warning triangle, first-aid kit and toolkit in the European tradition.

Unfortunately the boot loading aperture is fairly small and there's no split-folding rear seat, but at least there’s a full-size alloy spare under the flat load floor.

The fussy Benz-style foot-operated parking brake aside, user-friendly features abound - such as the keyless entry and starting system, fully electric seat adjustment that includes ventilation and memory functions for both front seats, plus automatic headlights, un/lock buttons on both front doors and the auto up/down buttons for all four side windows.

Audio, cruise, trip and phone functions can all be operated via the steering wheel but glaring omissions include a one-touch indicator function, steering wheel gearshift controls, a digital speedo display and automatic fuel flap unlocking.

There is an array of overhead light and sunroof controls, but no sunglasses holder, and the twin rear bucket seats severely compromise centre-rear seating strong points. In fact, while rear legroom is plentiful, headroom is not one of the GS460’s fortes – either front or back.

The fully electric steering wheel adjustment (for both height and reach) makes finding the right seating position a breeze, but for us both front seats were too high.

Despite that, the large Lexus remains a model of ergonomic success, with all major controls well placed and light to operate, making the GS460 feel immediately familiar and effortless to drive in all conditions.

The first and most lasting impression is its cabin serenity. The GS’s impressive noise suppression makes it quieter than its rivals, and ride quality is at least a match for its German opponents – even in the firmer of the two suspension damping settings (Sport).

The plush ride doesn’t come at any expense to road holding, with a taut-feeling chassis that steers with the precision and feedback of a true luxury car. The GS may not feel as substantial on the road as its rear-drive German rivals, but it’s certainly in the ballpark in terms of outright grip and handling and overall balance. A super-tight, 10.4-metre turning circle makes parking a cinch.

The GS460’s big drawcard, however, is its state-of-the-art V8, which produces its impressive torque peak at 4100rpm and enough useable power right across the rev-range to give you the impression the eight-speed auto is always in the right gear.

Gears can be changed manually via the traditional console shifter only, but the new transmission is surprisingly adaptive and, left to its own devices in drive, the GS460 transmission makes good use of the 4.6 V8’s long legs.

A formidable V8 growl is almost inaudible inside with the windows up, and the despite making full use of the broad and creamy torque curve, our GS returned a respectable 12.5L/100km fuel figure, running on E10 premium unleaded and book-ended by figures well under the 10L/100km mark on the highway and more than 15L/100km in stop-start city traffic.

Of course, with much lower fuel consumption and acceleration that’s almost as quick, the $10,000-cheaper GS450h is perhaps the GS460’s fiercest rival.

For some large luxury saloon buyers, however, only a V8 will do and the 4.6-litre Lexus V8 is as accomplished as the GS flagship’s level of ride/handling, refinement and high-tech features.

Throw in a unique Japanese flavour, a class-leading equipment list, attractive pricing and, with a couple of reservations, benchmark ergonomics, and the GS460 deserves a second look by those in the market for a luxury German V8.

Renault Clio Sport





New Renault Clio Sport is a concentrate of technology and equipment derived
from the world of motor sport. The car is poised to go on sale in France in June
2006 at the price of €23,000. Order books for Renault Clio Sport will
nonetheless be open within the Renault network at the end of March.

The challenge faced by Renault Sport Technologies’ engineers when first penning
Renault Clio Sport was to respect the original personality of Clio III while at
the same time highlighting the newcomer’s own intrinsic qualities and dynamism.
The result is an outstanding car which puts the accent firmly on performance,
passion and driving pleasure.

Clio Renault Sport stands out as a worthy successor to Clio Renault Sport
2.0 16V and features a groundbreaking first in its segment in the form of a rear
air diffuser which uses technology derived directly from Formula 1. In association
with the extractor vents in the front wings, it ensures excellent aerodynamic
performance.

Sportier than ever, New Clio Renault Sport is powered by an evolution of the
normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine, the power of which has been increased to
197hp. Coupled with the new six-speed gearbox, this powerful, responsive engine offers first-class sports performance and driving pleasure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Skoda Roomster


Hi Guys, Happy to meet you with an intersting article, Hope it is useful...The fourth in the Skoda model inventory, the Skoda Roomster, is scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The area set aside for the debut is the Skoda Auto display, which will be located in Hall 2 with a coverage area of 1,155 square metres, will be found in Geneva. In addition to the unveiling, an additional five Skoda Roomster cars will be exhibited with each featuring a different level of equipment.

The Skoda Roomster’s inaugural appearance occurred in 2003 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. It was showcased as a design study, but was quickly proven favorable to both automotive experts and consumers alike. The spacious interior and compact dimensions have proven to be a viable option for many auto enthusiasts. It’s interior seating system allows for a conceivable four or five seat automobile. In addition, visibility is improved for all passengers through the use of a raised rear seat, large rear door glass and a panoramic roof. The Skoda Roomster vehicles, including the base models, feature four airbags and five three-point retractor seat belt systems.

The Skoda Roomster will be made available through the primary European markets during the summer months of 2006. In addition to the Roomster, Skoda Auto plans to introduce the Fabia, Octavia and Superb models at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chrysler 300


Smooth, quiet operation, tight handling, space, luxury: The Chrysler 300 sedan has it all, at attractive prices. Yet what the 300 has more than anything is bold, appealing styling.

The Chrysler 300 nameplate includes a wide range of engines and amenities, from a frugal V6 to the powerful SRT8. The base model comes well-equipped for less than $25,000 MSRP. The Touring model adds leather, amenities and a more powerful V6 for about $28,000. The 300C offers a truly powerful Hemi V8, with Chrysler's fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System, and it can be equipped with most of the gizmos and luxury features available today.

Long-wheelbase models are also available that some families may find appealing. Aimed primarily at the chauffeur-driven executive class, the long-wheelbase version offer a cavernous back seat, th more leg room than just about anything on the road. It's great for tall folks or anyone who likes space and convenience and can be equipped with custom features such as writing tables and foot rests.

The Chrysler 300 is rear-wheel drive, and we consider that a benefit. Rear-wheel drive adds to the pleasure and excitement of driving this big sedan, and that's partly why luxury sedans and sports cars continue to use it. The 300's traction and stability electronics are well sorted and effective, delivering good all-season performance, and all-wheel drive is an option for those who live in the snow belt. With the big-torque V8, the 300 also offers something buyers that has had buyers turning to SUVs: enough towing capacity to pull a lightweight trailer.

The Chrysler 300 models are comfortable. They're also responsive for large cars. The 300C delivers thrilling acceleration, while the SRT8 offers true high performance in civilized fashion.

Then there's the styling. Inside and out, this car makes no apologies. It won't be mistaken for any other sedan the road. It can be trimmed with chrome, mono-chrome and various wheels to look stately and elegant or downright mean.

The Chrysler 300 delivers impressive value, but emphasizing the cost/benefit ratio may minimize its other strengths. The 300s are good, appealing cars, and they've set the benchmark for Detroit's car builders.

For 2008, Chrysler added several features and tweaked the interior and exterior design. New features include adaptive cruise control, Sirius Backseat TV and Chrysler's MyGig, a 20-gigabyte hard drive that holds songs, pictures, and navigation system map information. Chrysler's UConnect hands-free cell-phone link has been upgraded with an integrated iPod interface. The interior has a new instrument panel and center console, and the arm rests, center console and door trim benefit from soft-touch surfaces. Outside, the front and rear fascia, grille, decklid, and side moldings are updated. Base models are now called LX.

Nissan Murano


Nissan's recent history is for the most part a success story, and part of that success comes from designing one set of parts into a platform and then stretching that platform's length, width, and strength to do other jobs under other kinds of vehicles. Nissan does this better than most manufacturers, and has done it successfully once again with the 2009 Murano, using basically the same kit of parts that goes under the Altima coupe and sedan for a much larger, heavier and more complex crossover SUV. Murano is named after two different luxury items from two very different parts of the world, Murano art glass from Italy and Murano pearls from Japan, which is a good thing, considering it's sold in more than 130 countries.

The outgoing Murano has been one of the most successful models in Nissan's recent history, with sales rising every year since its introduction in 2003, and a loyalty rate upwards of 30 percent. With sales up more than 70 percent, they've stopped production on the original Murano and given us this brand new second-generation version to consider.

The 2009 Nissan Murano is several steps more radically styled that the original. There are many more curves in the body sheetmetal, a much bigger, shinier grille with a less-busy air intake under it, very large, bold, seven-element headlamps, and a completely new rear-end design, more horizontal than vertical, with dual exhaust ports under the bumper.

Murano models come with 18-inch wheels, with 20-inch wheels standard on the top LE model and optional on the others. Once you get beyond the grille and the headlamps, the only chrome on the curvy new body shell is the door handles. This design strategy lets the body and the paint do all the talking. The new body is almost two counts better in aerodynamic performance than the 2007 version, improved from 0.37 to 0.39 Cd. The more slippery design should mean better highway mileage and less wind noise.

The flexible, stretchable platform underneath the new Murano has been reinforced from front to rear, and fitted with several additional bumper beams and crossmembers, for the heavier duty cycles a crossover sport ute encounters, so it's now roughly 150 percent stiffer than the old truck. This is meaningful not only in terms of crash safety and survival, but also in terms of long-term durability and reliability for those buyers who aren't going to be back in the market for six or eight years. Things like doors and hoods and hinges will stay where they are put because the frame is strong to start with.

The redesigned 2009 Murano retails for some $1500 less than comparably equipped 2007 models.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jaguar XF


Hi...guys in the series of latest cars, here come Jaguar XF.Lets see some of the features of the car.The 2009 Jaguar XF is a new model, replacing the aging S-type in Jaguar's lineup. This mid-sized, rear-wheel-drive sedan offers a fresh, engaging alternative to luxury imports such as the Audi A6,BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-class, and Lexus GS. After a 300-mile test drive, we'd rank the Jaguar XF near the top of its class.

The Jaguar XF delivers everything you'd expect in a contemporary luxury sedan, and then some. The big news with XF is styling, interior design and features, though the hardware underneath is anything but ordinary. A lot of it, including the suspension design, is borrowed from the Jaguar XK.

Factor in a well-engineered body structure, and the XF is exactly what it should be: smooth, quiet and responsive. It feels lighter and more agile than some of its competitors, and it bears up like a sport sedan when driven aggressively.

The XF comes with a choice of two V8 engines. The base engine is Jag's familiar 4.2-liter V8, delivering 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The upgrade is a supercharged version of the 4.2, generating 420 hp and 408 lb-ft and surpassing nearly all competitors in output. Both V8s come with Jaguar's six-speed ZF automatic transmission, which is one of the best automatics money can buy.

The XF will be offered in three trim levels, starting with the normally aspirated Luxury, which is better equipped than most base models in this category. The Premium Luxury adds even more stuff, including double-stitched, soft-grain leather on the dash and door panels. The SC (for supercharged) comes with just about everything Jaguar offers, including CATS automatic suspension control and 20-inch wheels.

Then there's the racy new look. The XF marks a new direction for Jaguar, but it also continues some of the styling themes that have identified Jaguars for decades. The roofline and the shape of the side glass are intended to create the impression of a sporty, two-door coupe more than a four-door sedan, and to a considerable extent it works. The XF presents one of the more interesting designs in a category full of handsome automobiles. If you're intrigued by the photographs, you'll like it better in real life.

The same applies inside. We really like the XF cabin, for both its look and overall function. Slide into this sedan, and an interactive greeting that Jaguar calls the handshake welcomes the driver and reminds him or her that driving is an active process. The wood, wool and leather create the feel and scent of a British club room, yet the design is light, airy and almost Scandinavian. The XF interior is more minimalist than its German competitors, but also more charming and easier to get familiar with.

Of course, the swoopy styling has its drawbacks. By nearly every exterior dimension, the XF is slightly larger than all competitors, but the flow of its roofline and the rake of its rear glass mean rear headroom is tight. In general, the rear seat feels more confining than that in a Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6. On the upside, the XF's trunk is larger than any competitor's, and a folding rear seat further expands capacity. The importance of these packaging issues will depend on the buyer's priorities.

In our estimation, the XF debuts as one of the most appealing cars in its class. Before the XF, well-heeled buyers seeking an option to the dense-pack switches, multi-layered interfaces and alphabet-soup of electronics in most imported luxo/sport sedans probably had to think about a brand with less cachet or dynamic capability. No more. With steady improvement in Jaguar's resale values and customer-satisfaction ratings the last several years, the new XF offers an excellent alternative.

The 2009 XF replaces the 2008 S-Type in Jaguar's line-up, though the two cars will sell concurrently during calendar year 2008.

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