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Friday, 27 March 2009

VW presents the new Golf GTD at AMI, in Leipzig

A little later the introduction of the sixth generation of Golf GTI, Volkswagen will also present the sixth generation of another one of its sportscars, the most rational one: Golf GTD. Powered by diesel, the new vehicle will show up at the autoshow Auto Mobil International (AMI), in Leipzig, from March 28 to April 5.

Apart from the appearance, the same one presented by the new generation Golf, the GTD presents some very interesting features, such as the 2-litre turbodiesel engine able to generate 170 bhp (125 kW) at 4,200 rpm and 350 Nm between 1,750 rpm and 2,500 rpm. It allows the car to reach 222 km/h of top speed and go from 0 to 100 km/h, with the dual-clutch automated gearbox DSG, in 8.1 s. Fuel consumption is also remarkable: 17.9 km/l, what helps the car travel up to 982 km with its 55 l fuel tank.

Externally, you can say you are in front of a GTD because of the 17-inch alloy Seattle wheels, the chromed radiator horizontal stripes, a different air diffuser at the rear, dual chrome tailpipes on the left side of the diffuser and the GTD badges in the front grille and at the back of the car.

Source: Volkswagen

Thursday, 26 March 2009

OFFICIAL - Tesla reveals its electric sedan, the Model S

We have just released leaked images of Tesla Model S. It is very likely that, while we were writing the text, Tesla was presenting its electric sedan in Hawthorne, California. And what a presentation it was. When it enters production, by the third quarter of 2011, it will be the only fully electric sedan in the market able to run up to 483 km. And this is only the beginning.

Model S base price would be US$ 57,400 if the North American government hadn't given electric cars a federal tax exemption of US$ 7,500. With this little help (can we say it is really little?), Model S will be available at US$ 49,900. With that price, the car will be able to run up to 258 km with a full charge of its batteries. The 483 km battery pack (8,000 of them), as well as an intermediate 370 km battery pack, are available as options.

Performance, on the other hand, comes as standard. Model S is able to reach a top speed of 193 km/h and goes from 0 to 97 km/h in 5.6 s. All this in a 4.98 m long body, with a wheelbase of 2.96 m, 1,735 kg of weight and capacity for five adults and two children in the place where a luggage compartment would be expected. What about baggage? It fits under the hood of the car. Remember: this is an electric car, so there is no need for a front engine. There is no info on where the engine is installed, but we believe it is in the rear axle. Since it counts on a single speed transmission, most of the car's room is dedicated to people, batteries and luggage.

If you manage to buy a base model by 2011 and need to travel further than 258 km, all you have to do is rent the 483 km battery pack. And what if you have to go even further? Tesla is planning to have battery changing stations in which, instead of filling up a tank, you just swap your battery pack for a fully charged one. The whole operation takes a maximum of 8 minutes, about the same time you take to fill your car tank. Or even less, depending on the size of the line...

If you don't like the idea of changing your batteries, you can charge them in a 110V, a 220V or a 440V outlet. In this last case, recharging takes only 45 minutes. In a 220V outlet, it takes about 4 hours to fully charge them.

If you hear about any 17-inch piece in this car, be sure: we are not talking about the wheels, but about the main display of the car. Model S has no buttons, only touch-screen displays. The wheels are 21-inch wide, 245/35 ZR21 front tyres and 285/30 ZR21 rear tyres. It is a pity this car will take so long to reach the roads, but Tesla is already accepting orders for it. It is a way to fund the plant it will built in California for this sedan. Tesla expects to produce 20,000 units by the end of 2011.

Source: Tesla viaAutoblogGreen

LEAK! - Tesla Model S appears for the first time

The official presentation of Model S is scheduled for today, but a leak continues to be a leak even if it happens just some hours before we have access to all pictures and details. This is why internet is so nice! Have a look at the new electric sedan, which should start to be sold by 2011, when its factory is ready to run.

Even being presented with so much time in advance, the new sedan already has a price. It will cost US$ 57,400, or US$ 49,900 because of federal tax exemptions of US$ 7,500. This is all we have on the car for now. The presentation should bring us more photos and technical specs. Stay tuned!

Source: Jalopnik via CarScoop

LEAK! - Here are the first official images of Opel Astra

The next generation of Opel Astra was expected to debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Since it did not show up there, the car is expected for anytime soon. In fact, sooner than it may have seemed before, as the first official images have emerged, even if in a low definition.

The new hatchback will be for sale in three and five door versions. Astra, by the way, will continue to have a whole family of cars, such as a station wagon and a convertible version. A sedan would also be expected, but only if this car was to be sold in emerging countries. For these markets, GM must send only Chevrolet Cruze.

Engines will remain the same ones used by the current Astra, ranging from 75 bhp to 240 bhp in its petrol powerplants and from 90 bhp to 150 bhp on diesel ones. We can also expect a six-speed manual gearbox and an adaptive chassis control, similar to the one VW has offered in the sixth generation of Golf.

Source: via Autoblog

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Who will build the Gordon Murray Design T.25?

When you check the pictures below, you may think they are just a joke, but there may not be nothing more serious in the automotive world nowadays than that. The first picture of this post is the only official glimpse we have had so far on the Gordon Murray Design T.25, a microcar that promises not only to turn cars into more rational means of transportation, but also car production into something smaller, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

The production system created by Gordon Murray, the father of machines such as McLaren F1, is called iStream. It consists on a simplified and flexible assembly process, which could reduce a current car manufacturing plant to 20% of its actual size. Capital investments would, therefore, be also only 20% of what is spent nowadays. Or even less, considering the same plant could produce many variants. Benefits would also reach carbon emission, which would be reduced both in the car and in the factory. We are sure if it was not a great idea it would not be called one of the most important steps in car production since Henry Ford invented the production lines.

Gordon Murray has already been contacted by 15 potencial clients in 12 different countries. The companies that have searched for iStream and T.25 are not necessarily established automakers, but companies that may be seeking to become one.

Check below some of the advantages T.25 and iStream are said to offer. If you believe no other car can be so extraordinary as McLaren F1, you should give these images credit. They have been done by the guy that made automotive dreams come true.

Source: Gordon Murray Design

Hyundai presents the concept BLUE-WILL at the Seul Motor Show

Hyundai does not want to leave Toyota and Honda in the small hybrids market segment. Besides presenting the new Elantra LPI Hybrid next July, it will show a concept car almost the same size of Toyota Prius and Honda Insight called BLUE-WILL. Even better than that: it is going to be a plug-in hybrid, or else, it will be able to run solely on electricity for some time.

In fact, according to Hyundai's description for the car, it could be a plug-in hybrid or an electric car with its range extended by a combustion engine, but we will only be sure about it when the car is officially presented, on April 2.

The combustion engine used by BLUE-WILL is a direct injection petrol 1.6-litre powerplant, mated to a CVT and to a 100 kW (136 bhp) electric engine. Besides the propulsion system, the new car also presents biodegradable plastics and solar panels to help it obtain electricity. We may not have to wait long to see this car into production lines. Prius will surely have a hard time from now on.

Source: Hyundai

Citroën C4 Pallas is seen in China with a different tail

Citroën C4 Pallas, the sedan version of C4, has been first presented in China as the C-Triomphe in June 2006. It is from there that the first images of a possible "taillift", or restyling, if you prefer, have arised. They present a smaller tail segment, inspired in the back of the new C5.

There is no word on when the new car will be presented (at least not one that we understand). We would not doubt the car to be sold in the Chinese market along with C-Triomphe, but the new vehicle can be a replacement for C4 Pallas in South American markets. This may take a while to happen, only when the car needs a little change, especially after the new C5 start to be sold in these markets. C5 is expected to reach dealerships by the second half of the year.

Source: Xcar via China Car Times