Archive: February 2008

29 February
Forg Kuga – Production Started

Ford Kuga in Production

Last year in September Ford Kuga was just a concept. It took them 6 months to put the robots at work and start production at the Ford plant in Saarlouis, Germany. 45,000 Ford Kuga are expected to leave their factory to customers in 32 countries of the world. The Germans decided to export around 84 percent of the units produced in Saarlouis. Biggest clients will be from Germany, Italy, UK, France and Spain.

Official debut will be in just a few days at Geneva.

via AutoUnleashed

29 February
Holden Coupe 60 Unveiled

Holden Coupe 60

Today at the Melbourne Auto Show, visitors got a chance to drool on the floor. That is because Holden Coupe 60 was unveiled to celebrate the company’s 60th diamond anniversary. It’s a little different from the VE Commodore sedan, being 60mm shorter but with a great front view and swollen fender flares.

It screams “I have muscles all over” and it’s true. A 6.0 liter flexfuel V8 engine powers the beast, has a 6-speed manual gearbox, Brembo brakes and side-exiting exhaust tips. Now that I’m stunned on the exterior but I’m sure the interior is going to be amazing: it has one-piece carbon fiber seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a LCD instrument cluster.

Can you imagine Holden Coupe 60 could go into production? “With Coupe 60 we think we have designed a car that has the potential to write another chapter in the book of Holden icons” they said.

Holden Coupe 60 back Holden Coupe 60 side

Source: Holden

29 February
Opel Meriva Concept is Official

Opel Meriva Concept

Does Opel like viral marketing, because it sure looks like it. A few hours ago the newest model Opel Meriva was just a leak that made a few of us happy, but now we have the official press release.  The things I like are the suicide doors that offers better access to the interior or a U-shaped windshield. They say Meriva is still a concept but I’ll have to disagree knowing that there is a B column and they’ve considered passive security reasons.

Though there is a press release there nothing more related to engine, dimensions or other goodies. We’ll have to wait for it in Geneva and give you more info. Meanwhile check up the images.

Opel Meriva Concept doors Opel Meriva Concept Interior Opel Meriva Concept , side

29 February
BMW to sell engines and transmissions to Fiat and GM

 BMW to sell engines and transmissions to Fiat and GM

To be honest I was expecting something like that to happen sooner or later. Financial Times Deutschland announced today that BMW is in talks with General Motors and Fiat to sell them engines and transmissions, but none of the three cared to give an official comment.

The main reason why I was expecting it to happen was because for over 10 years GM sold automatic transmissions to BMW or 3 and 5 series models. They want to return the “favor”. Anyway, about the engines, BMW is rumored to either provide a 4.4l V8 engines for the Cadillac line or twin turbo.

via AutoBlog

28 February
Geneva 08 : Black Gumpert Apollo

Black Gumpert Apollo

News are coming in about the March Auto Show that a new super car is going to be down on the floor, a Black Gumpert Apollo. I first heard of it in 2006 when during the same motor show a 641hp Gumper Apollo was presented. Later, in 2007, the company came with a race-ready 800hp Apollo Sport.

What will happen this year? Apparently they will not come with a new version but will change the colors. They will bring two models that will be black. Thought the story is official there’s no official photo to show you guys, so a Photoshoped version should do.

“Apollo enjoys a very strong interest. Currently, talks are underway both in Germany and abroad. This year we are planning on establishing at least three domestic distributors.” said Roland Gumper.

The whole team of the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur is waiting eagerly for the greatest event this year – the Motor Show in Geneva. From 6 to 16 March, more than 260 exhibitors will revive 83,000 square meters net space. Among them: the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur. Look forward to the both breathtaking brand-new black apollo. Visit us in hall 2, stand 2141 and use the opportunity to become acquainted with our two new exclusive distribution partners for German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland.

Sportwagen Manufaktur

28 February
Morgan AeroMax, Retro but Modern

Morgan AeroMax Coupe

Morgan AeroMax coupe, was first presented in 2006 during the International Motor Show in Geneva as a custom built car but today I’ve heard that they are going to produce 100 units. Our friends from WorldCarFans say that this is a love-it or hate-it design, but I have to disagree. How can you not love it?

Under the all-aluminum hood, is a 4.8 liter V8 engine from BMW that develops a stunning 367 bhp, does 0 – 100kmh in just 4.2 seconds and tops at 170 mph. This is supposed to be the first Morgan ever to feature an automatic transmission, a six-speed ZF gearbox.

When it comes to the exterior design I don’t think you need any comments, right? I think that’s the car of the week.

27 February
World Car of the Year finalists announced

After the International Motor Show that will be held early March, the New York Auto Show will come. You probably knew it but what you didn’t knew is that the organization planning the “World Car of the Year” awards have decided it’s top three finalists in each of the four categories. 47 automotive journalists helped for the list to be built.

So here are the “nominees”:

2008 World Car of the Year Finalists
Ford Mondeo
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2008 World Design of the Year
Audi R8
Mazda2 / Mazda Demio
Volvo C30

2008 World Performance Car
Audi R8
Audi S5 Coupé
BMW M3

2008 World Green Car
BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics
SmartForTwo cdi
Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI

Past year’s winners included Audi A6 in 2005, BMW 3 Series in 2006 and Lexus LS460 in 2007. Place your bets people.

WCOTY

27 February
Holden VE Ute Exports to South Africa, continue

Holden Ute South Africa

Holden, the Australian car manufacturer that have been a General Motors subsidiary since 1931 just announced that they will continue to export their VE Ute model to South Africa. They’ve been doing it for the last 5 years already.

“The ute is the only vehicle of its kind available in South Africa and has a tremendous appeal amongst a set group of buyers”  said Des Fenner, marketing manager with GM South Africa. The Australian company announced that they want to export 50 percent of their production and South Africa is a great market.

From what I’ve heard the Ute is going to be rebranded as “Chevy Lumina SS”.

via CarAdvice.com.au

27 February
Audi TT 2.0 TDI quattro Revealed

Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro

Powerful performance with maximum efficiency this is how the Audi TT 2.0 TDI quatro press release starts. Yes guys it’s true that we’re looking at a quattro coupe, a real sports car, that has a 2.0 TDI engine that develops 170hp and 350Nm of torque and has a stunning fuel consumption : an average of 5.3 liters of fuel per 100km, that’s 44.38 mpg.

The specs above and the looks are already winning customers, but here’s some more.

  • 0 to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds
  • a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph)
  • weighs 1,370 kg
  • permanent four-wheel-drive
  • 16-inch cast aluminum wheels
  • optional: Audi’s magnetic ride (shock absorber system)

It got my vote.

26 February
Infiniti EX37: The Most Powerful Compact Crossover

Infiniti EX37

EX37 is the newest addition to the Infiniti range that every new car buyer that needs the style of a coupe mixed with the versatility of a four-wheel drive crossover should pick. At least this is what the press release says no matter if more and more people become aware of environmental problems a 3.7 liter engine could cause.

But let’s get into details over here because I’m sure many of you are interested to see some specs. So, it uses a 3.7L VQ37VHR V6 engine that gets 310 hp and 350 Nm of torque, a 7-speed automatic transmission and an all wheel drive system. Another interesting feature is the “Around View Monitoring” system to keep your eyes on it while it’s parked.
From what I’ve heard there’s no diesel version.

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