Archive: April 2008

26 April
Audi Q5

Audi Q5

The new Audi Q5 made its world debut, where do you think? At the Beijing Motor Show.

I’m sure Audi knows who they are going to fight with, in the compact crossover niche, because BMW already has the X3 live, Mercedes-Benz have just announced the GLK and Volvo seems pretty active, too. Their ace up the sleeve is the sportier (elegant) looks, or at least the Germans think so.

Beautiful headlights with bi-xenon lamps and LED daytime running lights, a large single-frame grille or those big wheels are extremely eye-catching when you take a look at the picture. I wouldn’t expect anything cheaper on the rear: taillights with LED technology or the aluminum wraparound tailgate.

The engine palette is also nice. Three choices that include two diesel versions and a petrol engine, all turbocharged:

  • 2.0 TFSI that outputs 211 hp and 350 Nm torque.
    It does o to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 222 km/h. Fuel consumption is 8.5L for 100 km.
  • 2.0 TDI that outputs 170 hp and 350 Nm torque.
    It does o to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds and has a top speed of 204 km/h. Fuel consumption is 6.7L for 100 km.
  • 3.0 TDI V6 engine that outputs 240 hp and 500 Nm torque.
    It does o to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 225 km/h. Fuel consumption is 7.7L for 100 km.

I really like what I see. Waiting for prices now !


26 April
Buick Invicta Concept

Buick Invicta Concept

The Buick Invicta Concept a midsize premium sedan, debuted a few days ago at the Beijing Auto Show. Inspired from Buick Riviera the four-door is going to be produced for the US and the Chinese markets, but rumors say that it may “visit” other continents if sales figures decides it.

The high belt line and the big 20-inch polished aluminum wheels makes the Buick Invicta seem like a beautiful tank with cat-eye headlamps.

Now comes the interesting part. The engine. It’s powered by a first direct injection turbocharged engine that develops 250 hp from those four-cylinders and 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) of torque. All these are possible thanks to a 6-speed automatic gearbox that promises fuel efficiency.

25 April
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with 638 hp

 Corvette ZR1 LS9 Engine

“Not bad” is the first thing I could say about the new Corvette ZR1. They called it the American supercar and for a reason because it was supposed to output 620 hp from a hand built LS9 6.2L supercharged V8 engine. Though 620 hp may have been enough, it turned out to be the bad number, because Corvette ZR-1 outputs nothing less than 638 hp (476 kW). This is the most powerful engine that GM ever built.

“The combination of large displacement and the new, four-rotor design broadens the effective range of the supercharger, allowing the engine to make more power at lower rpm and sustain it throughout the power band. The low-end torque is tremendous and the high-rpm charge from the supercharger is simply amazing.” said Sam Winegarden, GM Powertrain Chief Engineer.

25 April
Peugeot RC-Z Concept, Will Be Produced

Peugeot RC-Z Concept

I’ve just heard that Peugeot’s General Director, Jean-Philippe Collin, noted during the Lisbon Motor Show that the rumored Peugeot RC-Z Concept is actually going to be produced. Build on the 308 platform, doesn’t yet have a name and the French are expecting to see it reaching dealerships by the spring of 2010.

Rumors say that we will get to see the new Peugeot RC-Z Concept in 2009, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. I really wonder if they will make it hybrid or something !!!

For a good price, they would sell a lot of units with this design. What do you think?

via AutoMill

25 April
Audi A5 Cabrio – Paris is Waiting

Our friends from Germany that always have new stuff about new models Audi, BMW of Mercedes is going to release, Auto Motor und Sport, have done it again. They may hold some confidential info that the new Audi A5 Cabrio is going to debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Audi A5 Cabrio

Things are supposed to change, because the A5 Cabrio will replace the A4 Cabrio and will not be build by the sub-contractor Karmann, anymore. The company will build it itself at the Neckarshulm production facility.

A few info about the new model mentioned that it’s going to use a canvas top and will be equipped with the standard diesel and petrol engines. Rumors talk about a S5 Cabrio with a 4.2L V8 engine that is also going to be built and about a RS5 Cabrio, so you can imagine how well the design and the power are going to be mixed in together.

2009 is the year when the Audi A5 Cabrio is going to reach dealerships for a 37,000 Euro price in Germany.

25 April
BMW M5 ad, really has humor

BMW M5 funny puppy ad

I don’t know if there are many passionate drivers that would say no to a BMW M5. It’s among the most powerful sedans that one could buy and that makes it a very interesting car. But what do we have here? A BMW M5 ad that won’t show you lines and curves of a car but a funny puppy that was pushed under the seat.

The ad says “The new BMW M5. Never underestimate the influence of the centrifugal force.

I bet they are trying to say it’s damn powerful and they managed (at least with me).

via AutoUnleashed

23 April
HonQi – SUV Concept by FAW Group

HonQi - FAW China

If you remember the Bentung A 501, the limousine from the Chinese automaker, FAW Group, then I have a new one for you from the same guys in China. It’s a SUV concept that really got my attention and it’s called HonQi.

I’ll have to agree with everyone that it’s some sort of a Lincoln redesign, but if it’s going to come up with an “attractive” price it will be very appealing to customers, I can bet. It has large front vents, some sort of LED lights and the in-house V12 engine that is supposed to be pretty advanced (the company says) including an advanced combustion system, full aluminum light weight design, optimized fuel economic efficiency and lower emissions.

Rumors say that 2010 is going to be the year when HonQi is going to be available.

HonQi HonQi interior


23 April
VW Lavida sedan

Volkswagen Lavida

Volkswagen Lavida sedan is the first car that was designed outside of Germany, by the Shanghai office. This is how the new “Volkswagen face” is going to look in the future. It’s a unique front that Shanghai Volkswagen adopted with almond shaped head lamps and tail lights.

Volkswagen Lavida rear

Volkswagen Lavida interior

Though I like the front and the interior, I’m not impressed by the rear design. What do you guys think?

via WCF

23 April
Mercedes-Benz GLK – the new one

Mercedes-Benz GLK - compact SUV

It was about time to get some full specs on the new Mercedes-Benz GLK and to many people’s surprise it’s actually shorter than the 7-seat GL-Class. It  measures 4.528 mm in length, 1.840 mm width and 1.689 mm height which makes it a great compact SUV that fights head to head with the likes of BMW X3, Audi Q5 or Volvo XC60.

As an incentive Mercedes will offer the Edition 1 model with 20-inch wheels, privacy glass, black-white nappa leather on the sporty interior, EASY-PACK tailgate, AMG leather steering wheel, aluminum trim, black roof lining and Comand APS System.

The first specs I’ve been able to read these days are summarized below:

Mercedes-Benz GLK specs

21 April
Did you consent to your vehicle being towed away?

Did you consent to your vehicle being towed away?

Much has been written in recent months about the unscrupulous behavior of some tow truck operators. It is important to remember that a motorist is not at the mercy of these operators but has a say in the towing away of his vehicle. Few motorists might however be aware of Section 61(3) of the Road Traffic Act which stipulates that ‘…no person shall remove a vehicle involved in an accident, except for the purpose of sufficiently allowing the passage of traffic, without the permission of the owner, driver or operator of such vehicle or a person who may lawfully take possession of such vehicle.’

The South African Towing and Recovery Association (SATRA) has identified the need for the industry to be regulated. Anybody can buy a one-ton truck and turn it into a tow truck and start operating – and such an operator might pose a significant financial risk to the uninformed motorist.

The Arrive Alive website has addressed the need for more information with a section titled “Recovery of Vehicle after Accident / Dealing with Tow Truck Operators” and also a shortened version on the mobile road safety website at

[The image is that of the VW Touareg V10 TDI towing a 155-ton Boeing 747 down an auxiliary runway at Dunsfold airport, 60km south-west of London at the end of 2006]


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