Mercedes unleashes E63 AMG hauler

September 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes E63 AMG fq

Daimler has just unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show the new 2010 Mercedes E63 AMG Estate which is scheduled to go on sale globally next year.

The 2010 Mercedes E63 AMG Estate is powered by the well-known 6.3 litre V8 engine with 386 kW at 6800 rpm and 630 Nm of torque at 5200 rpm. It’s a powerful unit and will take the Merc from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds and has a limited top speed of 250 km/h.

The impressive performance of the Mercedes E63 AMG Estate comes without sacrificing its practicality. The luggage area has a 695 litre capacity (1950 liters with the rear seats folded down) and a fuel consumption of 12.8 l/100 km.

The 2010 Mercedes E63 AMG Estate price will be announced at a later date.


Ford unveils 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine

September 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ford Ecoboost engine 1.6 1

Ford’s aggressive EcoBoost engine development is continuing at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week with the official launch of its third engine, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The new engine joins the 3.5-litre V6 currently in production and the already announced 2.0-litre four-cylinder. Like the rest of the family, this one features direct gasoline injection, a turbocharger and dual independent variable valve timing.

Output numbers haven’t been released yet, but the 1.6-litre unit should produce about 180 horsepower and 170-175 lb-ft of torque. Ford’s overall plan is to use these EcoBoost engines to replace larger normally aspirated engines in a variety of vehicles. The new 1.6-liter unit is set to replace 2.0-2.5-liter engines in many C-segment vehicles like the Focus and possibly the Mondeo.

Ford is really backing this new powerplant and plans to have 1.3 million of these engines on the road over the next four years with availability in 80 percent of its product lines.

Bugatti Galibier 16C concept preview

September 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Bugatti Galibier fq

After months of speculation, Bugatti has finally pulled the wraps off its new four-door supercar concept just ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. 2009 represents a centenary for Bugatti and the unveiling of its super sedan may constitute the future plans of the company.

According to reports, the concept may go into production once the run of Veyron’s have come to an end, expected to be sometime in 2012.

The car will be named the Galibier after a difficult Alpine pass along the Tour de France.

One of the Galibier’s most striking features is undoubtedly its two-tone outer shell, which is comprised of both polished aluminum for the doors and front fenders and a unique dark blue carbon fibre weave that shines through when illuminated. This will make it the lightest car in its class.

Powering the Galibier concept will be a version of Bugatti’s crazy powerful eight-litre W16 powerplant. Unlike the engine propelling the Veyron, this version will be mounted up front and is capable of running on ethanol fuel. Power output should be around 800 horsepower and it will jettison the four turbos and replace them with a two-stage supercharging system.

A final decision on possible production plans of the Galibier 16C is expected by the middle of 2010. In the meantime, Bugatti is busy filling current order lists. The company only has 50 slots left for the Veyron, of which the total build will be 300 units.

Check back as we bring you more news on this exciting concept vehicle.

Volkswagen L1 – world’s most fuel-efficient car?

September 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

VW L1 fq

Volkswagen is claiming that its new 1-litre concept vehicle, the L1, is the most fuel-efficient automobile in the world. The recently unveiled concept car is set to make it’s debut at the Frankfurt show.

The L1 features a carbon fibre/plastic body and weighs just 380 kilograms. It’s powered by a 0.8-litre TDI engine developing 20 kW at 4,000 rpm in Eco mode and 29 kW at 4,000 rpm in sport mode. The maximum torque is 100 Nm. The powertrain of the Volkswagen L1 also features an electric motor developing 10 kW. Power is transferred through VW’s 7-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox).

The L1 has two driving modes — eco and sport — and, of course, features Auto Start-Stop. So what’s the bottom line? Driving in eco mode the L1 can achieve an amazing 1.38l/100km fuel economy. However, with this kind of economy don’t expect blistering performance. The top speed of the Volkswagen L1 is 160 km/h and the car will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in a frustrating 14.3 seconds.

Some serious design effort has been put into the L1’s aerodynamics resulting in Cd 0.195. VW is calling the L1 “revolutionary yet close to production readiness” and is talking about 2013 as a possible production date.

Mazda MX-5 superlight concept – more details

September 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda MX-5 superlight concept fq

The Frankfurt Motor Show ready Mazda Superlight concept has been on the radar for weeks now but details and fresh images of this radical vehicle have just popped up.

Conceived and created as a way to celebrate the MX-5’s 20th anniversary and also showcase Mazda’s focus on lightweight performance — the Superlight is the work of the automaker’s European R&D center in Oberursel, Germany.

Based off the recently facelifted roadster, the most obvious point-of-difference to the Superlight is its speedster profile, which involved discarding the windshield, retractable roof and its frame. From there, Mazda’s European team extended the aluminum hood towards the cabin and mounted an aluminum rear-view mirror, along with a set of roll-over hoops fitted with LED brake lights.

The passenger compartment has been stripped out, with the removal of the sound insulation, carpeting and air conditioning unit. What’s been put back in? Carbon fibre racing bucket seats coated in the same brown leather as the steering wheel, armrests and aluminum shifter and hand brake. The dash is a custom fiberglass and plastic unit, which makes use of the stock MX-5’s gauges.

The 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine puts out 126 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque and comes equipped with a Mazdaspeed cold-air intake and exhaust.

The track has been increased by 50mm all around to accommodate the larger four-piston calipers and slotted discs, with the whole vehicle has been lowered by 30mm courtesy of Bilstein B16 coil-over suspension. Eibach anti-roll bars are fitted front and rear, and the Superlight uses standard 17-inch wheels.

Mazda Motor Europe’s Chief Designer, Peter Birtwhistle says of the project, “I’ve dreamed of building a Mazda MX-5 with this kind of radical form for a long time. Now that weight reduction has become a dominant factor in automotive development, the time is ripe for it.”

Check out the fresh images in the gallery below.

Wiesmann MF5 Roadster teased

September 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Wiesmann MF5 Roadster rq

German automaker Wiesmann has been busy making drop-tops in 2009. It began with the 367-hp V8-powered MF4 Roadster unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show back in March. Now, Weismann is bringing another open-aired creation to the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it’s released a teaser shot in an attempt to get us all worked up before the big day.

Powered by the BMW M5/M6-derived V10, Weismann says the 507-hp MF5 Roadster will get to 100kph in under 4 seconds — the same as its fixed roof sibling — and can blast to a top speed of 308 kph.

Aside from the cloth roof, the body remains unchanged and all the standard equipment carries over to the Roadster, including the dual airbags, ABS and stability control. Weismann is only planning to produce 55 examples, so there’s little doubt they’ll find their way into enthusiastic collector’s garages.

Audi R8 Spyder – exposed early

September 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Audi R8 Spyder fq

With all the leaked images and details leading up to the Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s not surprising this much anticipated model just popped up. The Audi R8 Spyder has arrived and it looks surprisingly good in a brave chocolate brown hue.

Currently there is no official information to accompany the images so many details are unknown but Audi will only be offering the Spyder with the Lambo-derived 5.2-liter V10, putting out 525 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.

On the styling side, there’s not too much difference from its hard top sibling. Along with the removal of the roof, the sideblades have been dispatched in favor of a large set of scoops ahead of the rear wheels, while the windshield gets framed in brushed aluminum and a set of vented bulges trail backward from the two seats.

No images of the R8 with the top up are out yet, but more will be revealed at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Lamborghini Reventon roadster images leaked

September 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Lamborghini Reventon Roadster official fq

It’s shaping up to be an all-out supercar showdown next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With the new McLaren MP4-12C and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG — not to mention the Ferrari 458 Italia all being unveiled. Not to be left out Lamborghini will reportedly be showing off the roadster version of its million-plus dollar Reventón.

Images of the much anticipated drop-top have fond their way on to the web before the big show. Sporting the same stealth fighter-inspired angular bodywork as the hard top Reventón that was unveiled two years ago in Frankfurt, the new topless Lambo will reportedly make use of its all-wheel drive system to help the run to 100kph in just 3.4 seconds. Top speed is expected to be well over 320 kph, as expected from an Italian supercar packing a mid-mounted 650-horsepower V12 powerplant.

Check back for more official details as the Frankfurt show approaches.