News: Brabus to show twin-turbo V12 G-Wagen in Geneva

Brabus G-Wagen fq

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the mainstay of Mercedes’ 4WD line-up the G-Wagen is partying hard and has found a friend to celebrate with. Mercedes itself has released a pair of special-edition Geländewagens to mark the occasion (read news item). And now Brabus is preparing to storm the Geneva Motor Show with its own modified G-Class, and the figures are bordering on ridiculous.

Brabus has dropped in the twin-turbo V12 from the Mercedes S600, but bored it out from a massive 5.5 liters to a gargantuan 6.3. With the help of a new crankshaft, cylinder heads, custom exhaust, optimised intercooler and bigger turbos, the Brabus G V12 S Biturbo pumps out 700 horsepower and even more jaw-dropping 973 lb-ft of torque from just 2,100 rpm. Driving through a retuned five-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive, all that power is enough to propel the machine to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds. And despite having the aerodynamic profile of two bricks the monster can reach 260kph. Custom aero kit, lighting, wheels and electronics round out the package for a price that may be the most ridiculous number of all: 379,000 Euros, or about $940,000 in our money.

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the mainstay of Mercedes' 4W ...

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News: Alfa Romeo releases first images of MiTo GTA

Alfa Mito GTA fq

Alfa Romeo has stayed tight-lipped about its MiTo GTA in the lead-up to its unveiling at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, but in addition to a couple of engine sketches, it’s finally released a full-on teaser shot of the new hot hatch. The styling continues to draw inspiration from the 8C Competizione, incorporating a few more elements of the supercar into the three-door’s front end, and the revised stance and upgraded wheels give it a considerably more sporting appearance.

With around 240 hp coming from the 1.8-litre turbocharged four, the MiTo GTA promises to be an interesting alternative to the MINI Cooper JCW at a competitive price and with Alfa’s trademark flair.

Check back for more updates and vehicles to be launched at next month’s Geneva Show

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News: Ferrari recalls F430 Spider

Ferrari F430 Spider fq

Yesterday Ferrari issued a recall for 1,950 of its 2005-2007 F430 Spiders involving the car’s automatic convertible top. The problem arose from the hydraulic hoses that operate the top, which could form hairline cracks due to heat from the engine.

As a result, the hoses could leak fluid into the engine bay and possibly create smoke or even start a fire. To remedy the situation, Ferrari dealers will install an insulated heat shield that will protect the hoses from heat in the engine bay.

Any New Zealand customers with a F430 Spider should wait to be advised about the recalls from their Ferrari dealer.

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News: 2010 Ford Mustang – cheaper than expected

Back in November many assumed the price of the 2010 Ford Mustang would start at around 30,000 USD, but yesterday Ford announced that the official figure is much lower than that. The 2010 Ford Mustang price starts at 20,995 USD for the base model which offers a 26 mpg fuel economy on the highway. The 2010 Ford Mustang offers a broad range of power output levels, including a 210 hp, a 315 hp and 540 hp model.

The price for the V6 Mustang starts at $25,995, the V8 powered GT coupe at $27,995 and the GT convertible at $32,995 USD. The top of the range 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 price starts at $46,325 while the convertible version can be yours for $51,225.

With this pricing structure Ford has gained an advantage over its more expensive rivals the Camaro SS and Challenger R/T.

Here in NZ we can only dream of walking into a Ford dealership and driving out in a new Mustang. However, a few examples of this retro-styled rocket should make their way down here, we will wait patiently…

Click here to read more about the 2010 Mustang

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News: Hyundai HED-6 concept leaks out

Hyundai HED-6 fq

We’re still just over a week away from the Geneva Motor Show, but the first official images of Hyundai’s HED-6 concept have been conveniently leaked out. The CG renderings stay true to the sketch released earlier, evolving the current Hyundai crossover design into a more edgy and sculpted package. Power comes from a 175 hp 1.6-liter GDi four-cylinder equipped with a turbo and direct injection, the new mill is expected to find its way into Hyundai’s future small and mid-size offerings, including the i30.

When the HED-6 makes it to production, the Crossover is likely to be called the iX35 moniker and be built along side the Kia Sportage at the automaker’s facility in Slovakia. The iX35 may find its way to New Zealand as the next Tucson, but more will be revealed in good time.

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News: Ford plans 4-Cylinders for all models

Ford has made a public commitment to industry-leading fuel economy, and the most important component of the new plan comes in a small but efficient package. Product Development chief Derek Kuzak told an American motoring publication that the Blue Oval will sport a four-cylinder option in every car and crossover by 2013.

Ford is going to lean heavily on its forthcoming Ecoboost engines to accomplish this feat, as turbocharged four-cylinder engines can provide V6 punch without the same thirst for fuel. With far stricter CO2 and fuel economy mandates on the way globally, Ford may need all the Ecoboost engines it can make.

Ford foresees the need for 750,000 Ecoboost engines per year by 2013, and two thirds of that total will be four-pots. V8 engines will be relegated to large pickups, SUVs and the Ford Mustang, but Kuzak says the company is even looking at turbocharged four-cylinder engines for the full-size F-150 pickup. If Ford can produce enough power from an Ecoboost engine to power an F-150, you can only imagine what it would do in a Mustang.

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News: BMW releases performance kit for 3.0-litre engine

BMW has announced that it will debut a BMW 335i and 135i Performance Kit at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The new BMW Performance Kit is available for all the models powered by the 3.0-litre straight six with Twin Turbo engine (the BMW 135i Coupe and Convertible and the BMW 335i Saloon, Touring, Coupe and the Convertible).

The BMW 335i and 135i Performance Kit offers a 15 kW/20 hp increase in power to 326 hp and includes upgrades for the drivetrain, suspension, aerodynamics and cockpit. The BMW 335i and 135i Performance Kit also increases the torque figure to 450 Nm which is 50 Nm more than standard.

With the power upgraded the BMW 335i and 135i Performance Kit can reach 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds.

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News: Kia unveils new design for Geneva Auto Show

Kia MPV

The first full design from the hands of Kia Motors design guru Peter Schreyer will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The Kia YN is a concept based on a compact people mover that is tipped to go into production later this year and its takes Kia’s new design-led prowess to the next level, following its recent success with the European cee’d, pro_cee’d and the upcoming Soul.

Schreyer, who left Audi and Volkswagen to take up the Chief Designer role at Kia Motors, says the concept will be unlike any other Kia to date. Although he has been with Kia Motors for more than two years, the YN is the first vehicle that has been completely developed under his guidance.

Schreyer has been provided with all the resources he requires to put Kia at the forefront in automotive design and the company has vowed not just to maintain its R&D spend into 2009 but to slightly increase its investment and maintain the momentum it has built up.

A three-quarter rear view of the YN has been released by Kia to give an idea of what the car will look like.

Although not seen in this photo, the Kia YN will sport the latest rendition of the new corporate “tiger” grille, which has been designed by Schreyer to help give Kia a more recognisable personality. Among the interesting design features to look out for at Geneva is the glass roof, which will help make the interior look much brighter and bigger.

The Kia YN is based on the same platform as the Kia Soul, which is due to arrive shortly in New Zealand and like that model it will showcase advanced design techniques that provide “astounding spaciousness in a compact package”.

No word on when the Kia YN might go into production and whether it would be available for sale in New Zealand, though Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, says it would fit very comfortably into the model line-up if it did.

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