Kia Soul Hamsters return (U.S)

The new advertising campaign for the 2010 Kia Soul will be top-heavy with hamsters. The South Korean carmaker is even rolling out a line of "Hamstar" clothing for followers of the cuddly creatures.

Kia said the clothing, which is featured in the advertising, will "soon be available for purchase by fans at"

The ad campaign likens the Soul to other "boxy rides — represented by toasters, washing machines and cardboard boxes," said Kia Motors America in a statement. The hamsters also rap the title song's lyrics, "You can get with this, or you can get with that."

"Given the success and popularity of the hamsters in the initial Soul launch with a spot that won Nielsen's Automotive Ad of the Year, it made sense to bring them back for a new campaign," said Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America vice president of marketing. "The newest experience is rich with details in the hamster world."

The full commercial can be seen here.

Press Release:

Kia Motors America (KMA) officially released a new advertising campaign, titled “This or That,” for the 2010 Kia Soul. “This or That” is the rebirth of the initial Kia Soul award winning advertising campaign created by David & Goliath, KMA’s advertising agency of record, and brings back the loveable Hamsters due to popular demand. Soul is a unique and highly personalizable urban passenger vehicle and the new spot builds on its creative theme in the style of a music video set to the classic hip hop track “The Choice is Yours” by notable 90’s hip hop group Black Sheep. The new campaign launches today on cable TV networks Comedy Central, Fuse, MTV, MTV2 and Spike and runs through July. Beginning 28th May it will appear in movie theaters across the country as well as have a presence online at Pandora, Facebook, Social Vibe’s PetVille, KMA’s and a YouTube contest.

“Given the success and popularity of the hamsters in the initial Soul launch with a spot that won Nielsen’s Automotive Ad of the Year, it made sense to bring them back for a new campaign,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of KMA. “We know the Soul target audience is digitally savvy and that they viewed the first commercial multiple times online, so the newest experience is rich with details in the hamster world and integrated Soul content for them to discover during repeat viewings.”

“Hamstar™” logoed clothing, as seen in the spot, will soon be available for purchase by fans at (check soon for details).

Cruising through an urban landscape behind the wheel of an Alien Green Kia Soul, the hamsters in “This or That” cleverly compare Soul’s unique styling and plethora of personalizable creature comforts to other boxy rides – represented by toasters, washing machines and cardboard boxes – while rapping the title song’s lyrics, “You can get with this, or you can get with that.”

A recipient of “Best Family Cars for 2010” by and Parents Magazine, “Best Hatchback of 2010” by, “2010 Top Cars for Families” by, and 2010 “Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” from Kelley Blue Book’s, Soul is available in four trims, Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport, as well as four special editions, including the recently unveiled special-edition Ghost Soul. Other special-edition Soul vehicles include Ignition Soul, Denim Soul and Shadow Dragon Soul. Pricing for the versatile five-door begins under $14,000.

Soul stands out from the crowd with modern, unique styling aimed toward the young and young-at-heart and offers a unique combination of style, value and personalization options. An available Audio Upgrade Package includes speaker lights that can pulse to the beat of the music or add mood lighting to the interior cabin, enhancing the overall personal lounge feeling. The Soul+ offers funky black cloth seats with “glowing” Soul logo inserts while the Soul! trim comes with a distinctive sand-black interior with houndstooth-patterned inserts, and the Soul sport presents a bold red-black interior trim with red-trimmed cloth seats and metal-finish interior accents.

Vauxhall/Opel Calibra to make a comeback?

Ever since Vauxhall/Opel pulled the covers off the sleek GTC Concept back in 2007, there have been rumours circulating on the Internet and the media about a production version of the study that would essentially replace the Calibra of the 1990s.

A report claims that the four seater coupe is still under consideration but if it gets the go-ahead, it could go on sale as early as 2013, which sounds believable given that the car would be a coupe version of the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia/Buick Regal.

It is said that in order for GM to start making a profit off the Calibra's descendant, Vauxhall/Opel will need to build a minimum of 30,000 units a year, and that's where Buick comes in...

"We would feel a lot more confident about some of these projects if Buick, Chevrolet in North and South America and Saab were sharing volumes and risk," an unnamed GM Europe source said. Since Saab is no longer a part of GM, it’s easy to presume that this statement has been made either in the beginning of 2010 or last year...

If GM does give the go ahead for the Insignia coupe project, chances are that it will be sold Stateside.

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor proves popular (U.S)

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor with the optional 6.2 litre V8 is shifting like there’s no tomorrow, with 3,000 orders already booked for the $41,995 pick-up.

The V8, taken from those used in Ford's Super Duties, has a unique cam profile to help get extra power for the Raptor. The final result is 411bhp and 434 lb-ft of torque.

SVT chief functional engineer, Kerry Baldori explains, "We spent a lot of time developing our desert durability test so that it's very close to replicating the Baja 1000. Desert testing proved to be a very quick way to learn about the reliability of the truck and it put another level of extreme loads on the engine that our normal durability testing doesn't cover."

Ford is likely to see orders inflating once the SuperCrew arrives in 2011.

Photo Gallery: 2010 Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke pricing announced (UK)

Nissan has revealed the prices for its controversial Juke crossover, with the entry-level Visia 1.6 petrol costing from £12,795. All Jukes are linked to a 5 speed manual, 6 speed for 1.5 dCi & 1.6 DiG-T, which also receives a 6 speed CVT transmission.

Three engines will be available - along with the 115bhp 1.6, there's a 109bhp 1.5 diesel and an all-new direct-injection turbocharged 1.6 petrol engine that produces 187bhp and starts at £15,695 for the 2WD model. The range-topping engine is also available in 4WD, mated to a continuously variable transmission gearbox (CVT) which costs £19,995.

The entry-level 115bhp 1.6 litre petrol engine with manual transmission emits 149g/km and has a combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg/6.4l/100km. Top speed is 111mph. With a CVT gearbox, CO2 emissions decrease from 149g/km to 145g/km and top speed from 111mph to 106mph. Combined fuel economy increases to 44.8mpg/6.3/100km.

The 1.5 dCi engine has 86bhp and a combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg/5.1l/100km. This engine kicks out 134g/km with a top speed of 109mph.

Flagship 1.6 DiG-T 187bhp petrol engine with a manual gearbox has CO2 emissions of 149g/km with a combined fuel economy rating of 40.9mpg/6.9l/100km. Top speed is rated at 134mph. With the CVT gearbox and 4WD, the CO2 figure rises to 175g/km with a combined figure of 37.2mpg/7.6l/100km. The top speed is 124mph.

Three trim-levels are available; Visia gets 16” alloy wheels, ESP, 6 airbags, sports seats, particle filter (diesel only), active front headrests, immobiliser, 4 speakers w/ MP3 aux, 60/40 split folding rear seats, height adjustable driver’s seat, tilt adjustable steering wheel, front electric windows w/ one touch (drivers side only), electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors, air conditioning, remote central locking and speed sensitive power steering.

Mid-spec Acenta models get 17” alloys, climate control, ultrasonic alarm, body-coloured door handles w/ chrome interior handles, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel & gearknob w/ audio controls, Bluetooth with USB connectivity, cruise control, front fog lamps and the Nissan Dynamic Control System.

Two option packs are available with Acenta versions. A £300 Sport pack upgrades to 17” Sport alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and premium seat fabric. A £900 Premium pack gets Nissan Connect satellite navigation, reversing camera and 6 speakers, as well as the extras that come with the Sports pack.

Range-topping Tekna models get leather upholstery w/ heated front seats, electric folding door mirrors, Nissan Connect, reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, and intelligent key with engine start button.

Orders books open for the Juke next month, with the first deliveries expected towards the end of September.

Underneath, the Juke uses a widened, lengthened version of the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform, also used in the Clio and Micra; it’s 2530mm wheelbase is 10cm longer, and the platform's extra width means it can accommodate wider tracks.

Suspension remains a MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear for the two-wheel drive versions, but unusually Nissan has decided to fit the four-wheel drive models with a new multi-link suspension at the rear. This should give the Juke handling to rival the class leaders'.

The Juke will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant and will replace the Nissan Micra on the production line.


BMW Alpina B7 2009

The Alpina B7 weighs 4,312 lb (1,960 kg), still lighter than the 750i or Li production models and it sits on some beautiful Alpina-style 21 inch wheels. All that power and balance needs to be kept in place, so Alpina packs the B7 with 245 and 285 tires.
As expected, the interior design sufffered minor modifications, in line with Alpina’s design ideas. No pricing has been announced yet, but do expect the B7 to be over $100,000.

BMW Alpina B7
BMW Alpina B7
BMW Alpina B7
BMW Alpina B7
BMW Alpina B7

Alpina Motors

Worldcarfans published a set of spy shots featuring Alpina's new version of its luxury high performance sedan B7, based on the latest F01-platform 7-Series BMW. Powered by a supercharged version of BMW's 4.4L V8 engine, the B7's powerplant is rumored to put out more than 500 hp. The official unveiling of the new Alpina B7 is scheduled for the Geneva Motor Show next month.


Alfa Romeo Sports Racer

The Alfa Romeo Diva Concept was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. The Alfa Romeo Diva Concept was developed in a joint effort beween Fiat Auto’s R&D arm Elasis, the Alfa Romeo style center and the Espera design school. It was built to celebrate the Espera design school’s 10th anniversary.

Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo

Toyota Hilux 4x4 Trucks

The Commercial Vehicle Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on 15 April will mark the debut of a range-topping version of the Toyota Hilux for the UK market that̢۪ll be produced in just 500 units. It is equipped with the 3.0-litre D-4D engine that already features in the Hilux Invincible, but thanks to a Toyota Motorsport diesel-engine performance kit, maximum output is increased from 171 Hp to 197 Hp and maximum torque from 343Nm to 430Nm. With the new power kit, the zero to 62mph acceleration time is cut from 13.0 to 10.5 sec.The special edition Hilux 3.0D-4D also features new 15-inch alloy wheels and stainless steel mesh grille while the cabin is finished in a special two-tone grey leather, with heated front seats. Sales will begin in the UK this summer.

Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux