Lamborghini Estoque four-door to enter production

December 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

At the recent Bologna Motor Show in Italy, Lamborghini big boss, Stephan Winkelmann confirmed that the Lamborghini Estoque will finally enter production. The announcement of the production version of the Estoque was followed by word that there will not be a Lambo SUV in the near future as rumoured. A four door Lamborghini is a much more plausible business decision, especially considering that a concept has already been developed – the Estoque.

The Estoque concept was first premiered at the Paris auto show back in 2008 and received a lot of attention ever since. Measuring 5.15 meters in length, 1.99 m in width, and 1.35 m height the Estoque is a monster and has a 3.01 meters wheelbase. When it finally hits the streets the Estoque better be sharp because as a four-seat sportscar it will have to battle it out with the Porsche Panamera Turbo and the Aston Martin Rapide.

No details have been released yet regarding powertrain choices for the Lamborghini Estoque. However, it’s possible a V12 and all-wheel-drive combination would be the go.

Check back for more info on the production version of the Lamborghini Estoque. Continue reading “Lamborghini Estoque four-door to enter production” »

Watch the Chevrolet Volt be built in two minutes (+video)

December 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

What would we do without time lapse video footage? Watch long and arduous tasks in real time – definitely not. The lastest door opened by this new technology allows us to watch the construction of the new 2011 Chevrolet Volt, from beginning to end. It takes less than two minutes to see the entire production process from when the first pieces of metal are welded on to the chassis to when the car is first started and driven off the production line.

The Volt is an interesting model and represents the first range-extended hybrid vehicle to enter production. It’s being built at GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit, USA where production is now up to full speed. The first deliveries of the car are heading out to American customers later this month.

Holden are working on rebadging the Volt and bringing it here to NZ in 2012, click here to find out more.

Check out the time lapse video below. Continue reading “Watch the Chevrolet Volt be built in two minutes (+video)” »

Porsche confirms smaller ‘Cajun’ SUV for production

December 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Rumours of a smaller Porsche SUV have been circulating the web for years now but Porsche has finally ended speculation and officially green-lighted its entry-level Cajun crossover.

Designed to increase sales volumes and attract new, younger customers, the Cajun will be an “efficient and sporty model” with design goals of “typical Porsche features such as light weight, ease of handling and agility.” The new crossover will share a platform with the Audi Q5 and feature styling influenced by VW design boss Walter de’ Silva. It will be given sportier themes and priced around five to ten percent higher than the Audi.

The Cajun is expected to be launched in 2014 and will be a direct and fierce competitor for the Mercedes GLK, BMW X3, and Land Rover Evoque.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne

Audi Quattro concept – promotional video released

November 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has just released a promo video for its new Quattro concept, the vid offers insights into the birth of the retro-inspired concept car.

The popular Quattro concept was unveiled this year at the Paris auto show as a celebration of the famous rally car that introduced all-wheel-drive to the sport. The concept is in essence a shorter A5 that has been stiffened, lightened and received various updates.

Power comes from a 2.5-litre engine producing 408 hp and 480 Nm of torque. Official 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time for the concept is quoted at 3.9 seconds.

While Audi has not officially announced that it will put the Quattro concept into production, it’s received massive interest and various inside sources have confirmed that it will reach the streets in the future.

Check out the promotional video below. Continue reading “Audi Quattro concept – promotional video released” »

It’s official – Mercedes Benz to build CLS Shooting Brake

November 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz has now officially confirmed rumours that its CLS Shooting Brake concept, is heading into production. First shown in China earlier this year, the shooting brake model with the sloping tail end will use the same platform as the second generation CLS sedan and will go to market in 2012.

The CLS Shooting Brake will be built at the Mercedes-Benz Plant Sindelfingen on the same production line as the CLS and the E-Class Sedan.

Very little info on the new model has been officially released but it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake model will more or less carry the same lineup of gasoline and diesel engines as the new CLS sedan. The CLS Shooting Brake range should also include a flagship AMG model powered by Mercedes’ new 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out at least 536-horsepower.

Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars made the big announcement and said, “The CLS still makes waves with its fascinating design and wows customers for our brand. With the new generation of the CLS we expand our pioneering role in this segment. We aim to extend this success story with the CLS Shooting Brake and complement our product portfolio with another appealing model. This car is based on the great tradition of a stylish, cultivated sportiness which has always characterised the great Mercedes Coupes, and it takes this unique legacy an exciting step further. At the same time it points the way towards the future design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”

The production version of the CLS Shooting Brake will most likely make its world premiere at a major motorshow event either late next year or early 2012.

Ford Start concept to replace Ka in 2014

October 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Initial details on the production version of the 2014 Ford Start have begun surfacing on the web this week. The 2014 Ford Start was first unveiled back in April as a concept car at the Beijing auto show in China. But now it has been revealed that the Start concept car will be the base for the replacement to the Ford  Ka and will be ready for sale in 2014. The Start will be powered by a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine equipped with a turbocharging and a spark-ignited, direct-injection fuel management system. This modern powertrain will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

It’s too early for power outputs and performance figures, however, it’s speculated that the new model will develop around 75kW. Just like the concept, the production model will have a low CO2 emissions level of around 100 g/km of CO2.

In automotive years it’s a long time between now and 2014, so expect the Ford Ka replacement to offer various new technologies that are only being developed now. Ford predicts one new technology used on the car will be a voice activation system that will control the air conditioning, vehicle diagnostics and various other features. The Start will be built on an aluminum and steel chassis, with a lightweight aluminum safety cell.

Check out more images in the gallery below. Continue reading “Ford Start concept to replace Ka in 2014” »

Aston Martin Cygnet city car confirmed for production

October 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

British sportscar maker Aston Martin has announced that its Cygnet mini car is no longer just a concept and will go into full production. Originally shown as a pre-production concept car at this year’s Geneva Salon in March, the Cygnet is based on the Toyota iQ city car but is given signature styling cues such as the gaping front grille, and alloy wheels, plus a high-luxury interior with details that match the automaker’s supercar range. The luxury city car is scheduled for production with sales to start in 2011, pricing and specification will be announced later this year, but it is likely that the Cygnet will only be sold to existing Aston customers.

Described as a luxury solution to the problems of urban mobility, the Cygnet will be built at Aston Martin’s Gaydon facility in the UK using stripped down Toyota iQs shipped from Japan. The British automaker tells it like it is about the Cygnet’s intended purpose.

“Whatever we do, we do right. If we do performance, we do performance; we don’t downsize or compromise our sports cars. The Cygnet needs to satisfy the demands of emissions and space. It is a car without compromise, just like every other Aston Martin. Our customers need a small car for urban and city use, and they want the right tools for the right job, to downsize creatively without compromising intelligence, artistry and personality,”says Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.

Dr Bez explained further: “The Cygnet is designed to support our sports cars by providing a greater degree of freedom in the urban context; it is a very special car, a premium but compact package with heart, soul and personality. This car is reality; Cygnet is the natural choice for those who want a premium, bespoke commuter car.” Continue reading “Aston Martin Cygnet city car confirmed for production” »

Mazda celebrates two million Mazda6 models

September 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Design-driven Japanese carmaker Mazda has just reached an impressive milestone in its history with its mid-size Mazda6. The two millionth example of this model has just rolled off the assembly line. It took Mazda eight years and six months to get all two million built.

Production began on the first generation Mazda6 back in 2002 and it immediately helped push the Zoom-Zoom campaign. That first-gen car was redesigned in 2007 and facelifted this year, the third generation is expected soon.

The secret of the Mazda6’s success is largely due to the bold styling and excellent driving dynamics. If Mazda sticks with this formula the future certainly looks bright. Now if Mazda could just bring the go-hard Mazdaspeed6 over to New Zealand we could help push them to three million units even faster.

Click here to read a full Car and SUV review of the latest Mazda6. Continue reading “Mazda celebrates two million Mazda6 models” »