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Saturday, 10 January 2009

LEAKED! - Meet the Sportback Concept, futurelly known as A7

Audi probably planned to surprise its audience at Detroit Auto Show this year with a secret concept, but, as it almost always happens to secrets in the automotive world, they can't be kept for too long. This is what has succeeded to the so called Sportback Concept, a car that we will very soon be used to name as A7.

The concept is (and the future A7 will be) built over the A6 platform. This is a modular architecture called LBK, which allows changes in lenght, width and height, according to what Audi wants the car to offer its customers. It is a concept Fiat has already used for Stilo. Bravo uses the same platform, but with the changes the Italian carmaker thought that were necessary for the new hatchback.

Considering the Sportback Concept will be presented this year, we can expect the A7 to be presented in no longer than two years. Fans of the concept will be able to buy Audi's four-door coupe by 2011 or sooner (so we hope).

Source: Fourtitude via Autoblog

Jaguar XF-R will show its claws at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show

Few cars must have been photographed so often when they were being developed as the beautiful sedan below. This is Jaguar's answer for BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG and Audi RS6, and the answer comes in a subtle, but powerful way, as we should expect from any feline. The new XF-R will be officially presented at the 2009 edition of Detroit Auto Show and promises to be a real head-turner when it hits the streets.

Besides the great looks, the car is powered by a new-generation AJ-V8 engine, a 5-litre powerplant that counts on the help of a Roots-type twin vortex system (TVS) supercharger to be even stronger. With it, XF-R has 510 bhp from 6,000 rpm to 6,500 rpm and 625 Nm from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm. 0 to 100 km/h is a task accomplished in 4.9 s and the top speed could surpass 300 km/hm, but it is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Since a powerful engine is not the only thing that matters in a car that is good to drive, Jaguar has made improvements to its Active Differential Control and to Adaptive Dynamics, a system that controls the car suspension. Both work together in order to give the car better grip and handling in all situations. Brakes have also been improved, and must be a nice vision through the 20-inch alloy wheels.

We could describe the minimum and very adequate changes that have been made to the appearance of the car, but we prefer to leave it up to you in the pictures below. Have a nice time exploring the official photos of this gorgeous cat.

Source: via CarScoop

Friday, 9 January 2009

Hennessey creates a mix of Camaro and ZR1 with HPE700

Hennessey has presented a Chevrolet Camaro most fans would like to see mass produced. It has called the car HPE700. As this beast's name suggests, the new car is a Camaro on the outside, but it has 715 bhp (526 kW) and 810 Nm of torque under the hood thanks to an upgraded LS9 engine, used by Corvette ZR1.

Besides the powerful engine, Hennessey has also made changes to the car suspension and brakes. Optionally, this special Camaro can be equipped with the same 15-inch carbon brakes that are fitted to ZR1. HPE700 also presents HRE lightweight wheels with Michelin PS2 tyres.

Considering the high speeds this vehicle can reach, Hennessey has created an aerodynamics package that improves downforce at high speed. Called Cam-Aero, it has most of its itens made of carbon fibre, for resistance and low weight, such as the rear lip spoiler, side rocker panels and front splitter. The company will also offer HPE700 buyers a 1-day performance driving course at Lonestar Motorsports Park, in order to make sure they will take the most of their new toy without hurting themselves. Just as ZR1, HPE700 proudly allows its engine to be seen through its transparent hood.

With a base price of US$ 109,500, this limited series Camaro (Hennessey does not inform how limited it is) will be available in selected Chevrolet dealers in the USA and directly at Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE), in Texas. The first one, anyway, will go to the house of the proud bid winner at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction.


Stop by to browse their large selection of Corvette Parts.

Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering via AutoBlog

LEAK! - Kia Soul'ster appears before its official presentation

Kia has followed the same strategy Ford used to present the 2010 Mustang with its concept car, Soul'ster. Before officially showing it at Detroit Auto Show, the Korean company has released pictures of parts of the new car. Kia only did not manage to keep the secret as long as Ford did and now a picture of the entire car has leaked on internet. Check below what it will look like:

Based on Kia Soul, which will start its sales in the USA in February, Soul'ster (a clear joke with the word "roadster") brings back a sort of body that has been widely used by some off-roaders such as Ford Bronco and Isuzu Rodeo, among others. It may also become a sort of pick-up truck if its back seats are removed.

Although the first picture has leaked, no additional information on the car has had the same fate. This is why we can only try to guess which engine it is powered by. It is very likely that it uses a petrol 2-litre four-cylinder engine able to produce 142 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 186 Nm at 4,600 rpm, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox.

The other choices for the concept car would be two 1.6-litre engines, a petrol and a diesel one. Both generate 126 bhp, but the diesel unit is more powerful in what relates to torque: 255 Nm at 2,000 rpm, against 156 Nm at 4,200 rpm of the petrol powerplant. Dimensions should be pretty much the same ones from Kia Soul, or else, 4.11 m long, 1.61 m tall, 1.79 m wide and 2.55 m of wheelbase.

Source: via AutoBlog

Thursday, 8 January 2009

EXCLUSIVE! - First shots of uncovered BMW M7

One of our readers, Francisco Maciel, lives in Germany and has kindly sent us images of what appears to be final version of a car many did not expect to see, but the fifth generation of BMW 7 Series was expected to bring to life: the brand new M7.

"I was shopping in a supermarket in Ulm, about 100 km west from Munich, and this car was parked right beside me", said Maciel. At first, he thought it was the 2011 5 Series because the car looked smaller than the new 7 Series. Besides that, the car had a very sporty appearance, with black wheels and dual exhaust on each side of the car. It could be an M5, but it is just too soon to have this car so undisguised. Since 7 Series cars never had that ambition, it was difficult to know what vehicle this could be, but the brand new F01 7 Series was expected to have a version to compete with S 63 AMG. Someone could also have changed a 7 Series, but why would the owner cover the badges with black tape?

The new M7 is expected to have a twin-turbo V12 and to be lighter than the regular sedan, what would make it have an overall better handling that does not count only on a huge load of horsepower. Anyway, expect it to have more than 600 bhp.

Considering M7 looks ready for dealerships, we would bet on an official presentation to happen in March, at this year's edition of Geneva Motor Show.

If you see any new car around, manage to make pictures of it and would like to share it, please to not hesitate to send us your images. We will be glad to publish them and to tell your history to our other readers, just as we have told Maciel's!

Source: Francisco Maciel (pictures)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Cardi turns a Porsche Cayenne into a Russian classic, Volga GAZ-21

If you had a car such as Porsche Cayenne, what would you do? Would you drive it as it is (and enjoy it)? Would you tune it? Well, if you were the Russian company Cardi, you would surely turn it into a Volga GAZ-21, a classic car from Russia. Do you doubt it? Then check the pictures below. Believe it or not, it is a Cayenne. At least underneath this fiberglass skin.

Cardi has used a Cayenne Turbo, with all its 450 bhp, as a basis for the transformation. All the original body has been removed and a Volga GAZ-21 has been electronically mapped, with the help of lasers, in order to obtain a 3D model of the classic Russian car. After that, the 3D model of Volga has been adjusted to Cayenne's structure, much bigger than Volga's.

The body, made of fiberglass, has kept the same appearance of GAZ-21, transforming the German SUV into a sedan with a luggage compartment of 370 l. Volga Cayenne, as Cardi has named the project, is 5.09 m long, 2.09 m wide, 1.74 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.86 m.

Windshield and all glasses of Volga Cayenne have been tailored made, what gives an almost exact idea of how much money has been spent on the project. A lot. Therefore, it is very likely the company believes a lot of Cayenne owners will decide to have their Volga GAZ-21 in a more modern style very soon. Let's wait to see if Cardi will really offer the transformation to anyone interest. And how many would be willing to change their Porsche badges on the hood for a Volga GAZ-21 appearance.

Source: Cardi via CarScoop