Mercedes-Benz reveals hardcore 2012 ML63 AMG

November 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It was back in 1999, that Mercedes-Benz revealed its first AMG-worked ML SUV – the ML55 AMG. During the following 12 years the performance SUV has sold over 24,000 units worldwide. Now the German brand is ready for the third generation of the series that will be called the 2012 ML63 AMG and will be officially revealed at this week’s 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Powering the family-friendly beast is Mercedes’ 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine that delivers 386kW of power and 700Nm of torque, representing an increase over the 375kW/630Nm output of its predecessor. If you need to do the school run even faster, there’s also an available AMG Performance Package boosts the V8 engine’s output to a crazed 410KW of power and 780Nm of torque.

With the “standard” package, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.7 seconds while top speed is quoted at 280 km/h. Estimated combined fuel is hardly frugal at 14.7l/100km.

Power is put to the tarmac through a permanent all-wheel drive system that operates at a ratio of 40:60 to the front and rear axle, and a standard AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission featuring three driving modes – Controlled Efficiency (C) for improved fuel economy, Sport (S) and Manual (M). Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz reveals hardcore 2012 ML63 AMG” »

2013 Ford Mustang teased online

November 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new 2013 Ford Mustang is on its way and is widely expected to be put on show later this week at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. To get Mustang fans all hyped up the blue oval has dropped a teaser image showing some of the changes for the new model.

The four separate shots include cropped images of redesigned head- and taillights as well as upgraded instrumentation with Ford’s Track App display. The new Mustang is expected to borrow styling cues from the current Shelby GT500 model and this will mean more a more aggressive aesthetic.

Aerodynamics are also set to improve with the addition of a new chin splitter and rear spoiler. But for many fans, what’s in store for the new 2013 GT500 has them really excited. Continue reading “2013 Ford Mustang teased online” »

Dodge stings fans with Challenger SRT8 Super Bee

November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Dodge is flying to next week’s LA Auto show with a new special edition take on one of its most popular vehicles. The iconic American manufacturer will be debuting the 2012 Charger SRT8 Super Bee. The hardcore Charger has been created for enthusiasts and the muscle car faithful and has plenty to excite Mopar fans.

Inspired by the original Super Bee series that was first introduced in 1968 as a member of Dodge’s Scat Pack performance group, the nameplate was then revived with the limited-edition Charger SRT8 in 2007. This new edition brings exclusive content inside and out to the 2012 Charger SRT8.

In terms of power, the Super Bee keeps the 6.1-litre HEMI V8 and five-speed automatic transmission. Power figures haven’t increased, but 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet are serious numbers. The Super Bee edition Charger will feature the 392 HEMI badge, which was brought back for the 2010 Challenger 392 model. Continue reading “Dodge stings fans with Challenger SRT8 Super Bee” »

Subaru reveals BRZ STI Concept Coupe

November 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Performance car fans have been waiting to see it for months and finally the first images of the Subaru BRZ Concept have been released before its world premiere at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16.

In STI-badged concept form these images show a concept vehicle which has much of the styling predicted for the upcoming BRZ coupe. Both the BRZ and its development brother the Toyota FT-86 will be shown in production form at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

Subaru isn’t saying much about specifications but has stated that the BRZ will have a very low centre of gravity and be a “pure handling delight.” The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat-four engine is expected to produce over 150kW and be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, and possibly, a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. Continue reading “Subaru reveals BRZ STI Concept Coupe” »

Porsche Cayman R revealed – arriving in NZ next year

November 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has just pulled the covers off its all-new 2011 Cayman R, the latest variant of the German automaker’s two-seat sports coupe. Unveiled at the LA Auto Show this morning the Cayman uses the letter “R”  which in the Porsche alphabet is reserved exclusively for very special models.

The new, lightweight, mid-engined coupe is designed for spectacular road dynamics and exhilarating driving. This is achieved by reducing weight, increasing engine output and retuning the chassis for an even sportier set-up.

The new Cayman R is 55 kilograms lighter than the Cayman S and gains 8 kW to bring maximum power up to 243 kW from its 3.4-liter six-cylinder boxer engine. With the standard six-speed manual gearbox it will accelerate from 0—100 km/h in just 5.0 seconds. With optional double clutch PDK gearbox the sprint time is reduced to 4.9 secs, or down to 4.7 secs when combined with optional Sport Chrono.

The new mid-engine coupe is capable of a top speed of 282 km/h with manual gearbox, or 280 km/h with PDK. Its fuel consumption is 9.7 L/100 km with six-speed gearbox and 9.3 L/100 km with PDK.

Continue reading “Porsche Cayman R revealed – arriving in NZ next year” »

Subaru teases mysterious concept model before LA Motor Show

November 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show (November 19 -28), Subaru will officially pull the covers off a never-before seen concept model that will show the firm’s new global brand statement, called “Confidence in Motion”.

It’s very mysterious at this stage with just a single teaser image released, there’s not really anything else we can tell you about the concept model at this stage. However, if you’re in the mood for some marketing hype the Subaru press release below concentrates on explaining the new slogan. Check it out and check back as we bring you more on this exciting concept. Continue reading “Subaru teases mysterious concept model before LA Motor Show” »

Early preview of the Kia Optima Hybrid

September 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

With the Paris Motor Show only a week away much attention has fallen off the anticipation for the following LA Auto Show. However, to shed some light on one of the valuable features set to debut of the Kia Optima.

The Optima Hybrid is likely to be powered by the very same 169-horsepower 2.4-litre Theta II engine mated to a 30kW electric motor that the Sonata Hybrid is currently being powered with. If this is in fact true, you would find the same fuel economy figures, if not better.

With a hybrid variant set to join the 2.4-litre base model and along with the 274 horsepower 2.0 Litre turbo variant, the Optima looks to have quite the advantages in the always competitive mid-sized sedan segment.  Its reported the Optima Hybrid will be available around early 2011.

Click below to see more pictures

Continue reading “Early preview of the Kia Optima Hybrid” »

Saab 9-4X confirmed for debut at LA Auto Show

August 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The long-awaited world premiere of the Saab 9-4X compact crossover has been confirmed for this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The LA automotive show is set to be a big one with more than 20 world debuts and will run from November 9 to 28.

The production version of the Saab crossover is expected to keep close to the 9-4X BioPower concept that was revealed at the 2008 Detroit Show (pictured). The compact SUV was designed and developed when Saab was still under the ownership of GM and makes use of the same Theta platform and major drive components as some Cadillac vehicles. The 9-4X will be built at GM’s factory in Mexico and global deliveries should begin mid 2011.

There’s no word on what powertrains will be offered on the Saab 9-4X but a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as well as a more potent V6 engine will be likely when details are announced.

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