News: Saab creates 9-3 Special Edition

2009 Saab 9-3 2.0T Convertible Special Edition

With nothing new on the drawing board, Saab has made another special edition model for the world to be mildly intrigued by. General Motors’ Swedish brand is putting out its second limited run version of the 9-3 convertible this year. Differing from the recent bright yellow special edition model, this new one is more conservative. The latest special edition 9-3 Convertible is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the very first Saab convertible from 1983. The Saab comes in special choice of Jet Black, Carbon Grey and the new Bright Champagne. Power comes from the standard Saab 2.0L turbo with 210 hp. The anniversary convertible will magically appear on the show floor at the LA Auto Show next week.

Check back as we bring you more new models from the LA Auto Show next week.

With nothing new on the drawing board, Saab has made another speci ...

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News: Nissan tweaks GT-R for 2009

Wald Nissan GT-R fq

In the constant drive for perfection Nissan has made some fine tweaks to it’s hero model the GT-R. The GT-R will benefit from a few engineering and cosmetic changes for the 2009 model year in Japan, beginning with a slight increase in performance that brings output up by five hp. Other modifications include a larger fuel tank — expanded from 71 litres to 73.8 litres — a slight increase in fuel economy (about .3 km/l), “Nissan” replacing “Brembo” on the brake calipers, a new mounting location for the front license plate.

Pricing will also increase by another 5% in 2009 and it’s expected that most of these changes will be adopted on global-spec vehicles when the “Series II” production run begins next year.

In the constant drive for perfection Nissan has made some fine twe ...

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News: Bolwell Nagari – back from the dead

Bolwell Nagari fq1

Over the ditch in Australia they have been hard at work preparing a new lightweight supercar. The car is a revival of the Bolwell Nagari, which was produced in Oz back in the ’60s and ’70s. All of the usual supercar components are accounted for, including large-scale use of carbon fibre, twin Recaro seats and a Momo steering wheel with paddle-shift gearbox. The transmission is linked up to a Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V6 engine, mid-mounted that powers the rear wheels.

The motor could offer a little more juice, at only 295hp it is too gentle to be considered true supercar calibre, but it is only moving about one ton of car, so power to weight ratio is quite good. Originally a supercharged version of the Toyota Aurion engine was shown in the prototype Nagari in Melbourne, but compliance and durability issues led to the naturally aspirated version slotting into the standard specification. A conventional six-speed manual gearbox will be available as an option, as will a supercharger kit for greater performance.

Standard features onboard the Nagari include 19-inch alloy composite wheels, ABS brakes, an underbody aero kit (front and rear), sports exhaust, UV-protected windscreen, Recaro seats (with Nagari emblem), leather trim (matched to the metallic exterior colour, which is also included in the price), a Momo steering wheel (with carbon-fibre paddle shifter), remote central locking, cruise control, air-conditioning, electric windows/mirrors, height- and reach-adjustable steering, door sill scuff plates, and a Polaris GPS stereo comprising sat-nav, rear-view camera, DVD/CD audio and high-spec two-way speakers.

The price? Around $200K in Australian bucks, which converts to about $227,000 NZ, at the moment. Those who place their refundable deposits will attend demonstration days early in 2009.

Over the ditch in Australia they have been hard at work preparing ...

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News: Audi to make R4 sportscar

Audi R4 fq dynamic

After squashing numerous rumours about a smaller version of the R8, Audi has now turned around and will produce a small sports coupe according to an English car magazine.

The new mid-engined R4 will occupy a slot in the Audi lineup above the TT and below the R8. Like it’s big-brother R8 it will be a two-seater only, available as either a coupe or roadster. To distinguish it from its Porsche siblings, the Audi is said to be getting Quattro AWD and aluminum construction. Powerplants should include the full range of TFSI engines, from the 2.0L turbo, all the way up to the new supercharged and turbocharged 335-hp 2.5L five-cylinder from the TT RS. A high-performance diesel and a gas V6 are also said to be in the mix. Expect a traditional six-speed manual as standard and a seven-speed, S-tronic twin-clutch, semi-automatic as an option.

The R4 won’t appear until 2011 at the earliest, allowing Porsche time to launch the Boxster/Cayman first. If that’s not enough good news for Audi fans, there are also reports that the company is planning an R6 to go head-to-head with the Jag E-Type replacement as well as the Porsche 911. The R10 has also been green-lit, giving Audi a full range of R-badged sports cars for just about any budget.

We will bring you images and more details as they become available.

After squashing numerous rumours about a smaller version of the R8 ...

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News: Finalists for 2009 European Car of the Year announced

The European Car of the Year has been narrowed down from the initial list of 38 contenders to just seven finalists, which have now been announced. Along the way, some noteworthy new vehicles have been dropped, among them the new Audi A4, BMW 7 Series, Honda Accord, Jaguar XF and Volkswagen Scirocco, but not everyone could make the short-list.

The finalists for the coveted prize includes the Alfa Romeo MiTo, Citroen C5, Ford Fiesta, Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, Renault Megane, Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Golf. Previous versions of the Megane took home the trophy in their hatchbacks twice since the contest was instituted thirteen years ago. Fiat and Alfa Romeo have won it six times before. The winner will be announced in just over a week on November 19.

The European Car of the Year has been narrowed down from the initial l ...

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News: Petrol prices continue to drop

The price fell again internationally this morning, this time five per cent to US$56 a barrel as the US government lowered its global demand growth forecast again due to the slumping global economy.

Opec officials are concerned about the oil’s steep drop from record highs at over US$147 a barrel back in July, the cartel is discussing another cut in production to raise prices.

Cheaper petrol is being welcomed here in NZ with Shell, BP, Mobil and Caltex all dropping prices by 5c a litre on Monday.

The price fell again internationally this morning, this time five per ...

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News: 9ff Porsche GT2 whacks out 670hp

9ff Porsche GT2 fq

The Porsche 911 GT2 is already a very powerful car but aftermarket tuner 9ff demanded even more. Strapping on a pair of V670 turbos, a 9ff custom intake manifold, headers and exhaust system with a two-stage valve the 9ff GT2 puts out 670 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero to 100kmh comes up in a sickening 3.6 seconds. The ECU has been modified to make use of the additional boost and breathing modifications, while simultaneously raising the rev limiter to 7,200 rpm. The additional power is delivered to the transmission via a single-mass flywheel and racing clutch, while a coilover suspension does its best to keep the GT2 from losing control. And if 670hp is still not enough to get you down the shops for milk and a newspaper, a 910 hp version is on the way.

The Porsche 911 GT2 is already a very powerful car but aftermarket ...

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News: Nissan GT-R Spec-V unleashed soon

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The new Nissan GT-R Spec-V has been the focus of rumour and speculation recently, Nissan HQ has supposedly confirmed the rumors and targeted an on-sale date in Japan in late January or early February.

The GT-R Spec-V is expected to be packing another 100 hp over the standard GT-R (pictured), through the use of a new exhaust, more boost and a retuned ECU. The Spec-V will be lighter with carbon fibre will replacing some of the body panels, new wheels, upgraded brakes and suspension tweaks will round out the mods.

Nissan may release the Spec-V at the 12th annual NISMO Festival at Fuji Speedway in Japan later this month. Pricing could be up to 15,000,000 yen ($266,300 NZ) more than double the cost of a standard GT-R.

Few facts are known yet so check back as we bring you updates on the GT-R Spec-V.

The new Nissan GT-R Spec-V has been the focus of rumour and specul ...

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