Monday

Youngest female Everest climber backs the Juke; orders flooding in too (EU)

The youngest woman ever to climb Everest is backing the British built Juke crossover. Selected by Nissan to take part in the new Juke launch due to her astonishing personal achievements and natural sense of adventure, 22 year old Bonita displays the qualities respected by Nissan and that typify the new Juke.

Exchanging the mountains for an urban location for the Nissan Juke photoshoot, Bonita Norris said: “I’m delighted to back the launch of Nissan Juke because I believe in backing anything British and anything that creates jobs and pride for this country has my support. Juke defies the stereotypes and breaks the mould, I can relate to that. I’m unconventional and I’ve got a spirit of adventure that drives me to do different things and this is what Juke represents.”

Before of its 24th September on-sale date, the Juke will be officially available in Nissan showrooms across the UK, and orders are already flooding in. More than 2,000 customers in the UK have already pre-ordered their Juke, while more than 15,000 orders have now been taken across Europe.




Saturday

No 4.4 TDV8 for America (U.S)

According to insiders at Range Rover, the all-new 4.4 litre V8 diesel will not be sold in the U.S.

The new engine, originally designed with Ford and built in Mexico, offers substantially better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared to the previous 3.6 litre V8 unit, but the engine is still not clean enough to strict U.S emission regulations. The current U.S emission laws are equivalent to Euro6 standards, which come into power in 2014. The 4.4 TDV8 is engineered to meet Euro5 standards.

Although, the next-generation version of the TDV8 engine is set to be launched in 2014/15, and Range Rover sources said the engine is “very likely to come to the U.S then”.

Volkswagen to resurrect Lupo name-plate

Volkswagen’s new city car, internally known as ‘Up’, will be sold as the Lupo. The Lupo city-car will also be available as an Audi, Seat and Skoda, by 2015 as part of Volkswagens go-getting target to take global market leadership by 2018.

With the Brazilian-built Fox to be withdrawn, the newcomer will be the entry-level car in Volkswagens line-up when it reaches the UK in 2012. It will be manufactured in Slovakia and is the first model in an extended range of modern small cars, which Volkswagen officials call the New Small Family (NSF).

Initially created with a space-saving rear-engined/rear-wheel drive design, the new car has been comprehensively reworked during its three-year development procedure. Financial concerns have required the platform to be switched to front-engined, front-wheel drive that VW says will allow it to use existing engine and gearbox combinations without any major penalty in overall packaging.

The new Lupo will elongate to no longer than 3,445mm in length, 1,628mm in width and 1,495mm in height; approximately 525mm shorter, 54mm narrower but 33mm taller than the Polo 3dr.

In the VW line-up, the Lupo will be placed above cheap offerings like the Nissan Pixo, Suzuki Alto & KIA Picanto but beneath Polo in order to draw both first-time car buyers and those looking for a second car. The latest hint suggests that the entry-level Lupo will have a sticker price of £8,200 (€9,700) in the UK, thus competing directly with the Fiat 500, Citro├źn C1, Ford KA, Peugeot 107, Renault Twingo, and the Toyota Aygo.

Keeping with the newcomers ‘back to basics’ theme, the Lupo is intended to be sold with a restricted range of engines during the early sales stage. The Lupo will be released throughout Europe in Summer 2011 (as a 2012 MY) using two engines; a 65bhp naturally aspirated 1.0 litre 3 cylinder petrol engine and a 1.2 TDi CR 75bhp 4 cylinder engine, with the latter potentially offering in excess of 80mpg and emitting less than 80g/km in Bluemotion variant.

The 5dr Lupo will launch in Spring 2012, with an all-new 85bhp turbocharged 1.0 litre TSI 4 cylinder petrol engine. In the pipeline is an electric variant, dubbed E-Up that’s being built with Audi and is expected to reach European dealerships by Winter 2012, with U.S sales predicted in early 2013. A shooting-brake model, similar to that of the Up Lite concept is likely to be sold.

Thursday

Fast Sport Cars | Ford GT black Fast Sport Cars

Ford GT black front (click to view)
Ford GT black front
Ford GT black front angle (click to view)
Ford GT black front angle
Ford GT black wheel (click to view)
Ford GT black wheel
Ford GT black dashboard (click to view)
Ford GT black dashboard
Ford GT black close (click to view)
Ford GT black close
Ford GT black left (click to view)
Ford GT black left
Ford GT black right (click to view)
Ford GT black right
Ford GT black Geiger (click to view)
Ford GT black Geiger


Peugeot BB1 concept nearing to production

The Peugeot BB1 concept EV is nearing closer to production after Peugeot confirmed it had moved from concept car status to project status. That means the vehicle may launch in 2012/2013 and Peugeot design director, Gilles Vidal said he hopes the production BB1 will very much look like the concept car.

The vehicle's official categorisation is being mooted. The BB1 has handle bars and a twist-grip accelerator and passengers sit pillion style behind the driver. Although, homologation for a quadricyle is complicated because different countries have different definitions of what a quadricyle is. For example, in France a quadricyle is not allowed on the motorway and the UK has two classes of quadricyle, depending on the vehicle's weight and power.

Classifying the BB1 EV as a car could make homologation more direct.

The BB1 is just 2.5m long and weighs a mere 600kg. It is powered by two electric motors mounted on the rear axle, producing 19bhp combined. Despite being low on power, the BB1 can reach 20mph in just 2.8 seconds and has a 75 miles range.



Men frightened of women's driving (UK)

The men in the UK are left trembling in the front passenger seat when their partner drives, according to a new poll.

A study by market research firm OnePoll.com has exposed that 10% of men have been forced to grasp the steering wheel because their partner had lost concentration and drive towards the central reservation.

An OnePoll.com spokesman said: 'Most men feel they are better drivers than the women in their lives. They believe they concentrate a lot better, read road situations more quickly and clearly, and have better reactions’.

'One in five even went as far as to say they were never able to relax when their other half is driving.'

The research also revealed that 20% of couples have quarrelled about the quality of the other's driving skills. Men's biggest disapproval of their partner's driving was that they were very easily sidetracked by children, scenery, or other drivers. 1 in 10 men also confessed to asking their partner to pull over, so that they could take the wheel.

Top 10 criticisms about women's driving:

1 - Shortage of concentration

2 - Braking too late

3 - Flicking the accelerator

4 - Not avoiding rumble strips

5 - Getting too close to other cars

6 - Braking too hard

7 - Fiddling with the stereo

8 - Failure to indicate

9 - Going too fast

10 - Sticking to the middle lane

Kia Picanto voted the most reliable car (UK)

A car reliability survey carried out by consumer magazine Which? have acknowledged that the Kia Picanto is the most reliable new car on sale.

Although being one of the cheapest new cars on sales at £7,195, the petite Kia beat every other car to the top spot with a customer satisfaction score of 98.1%. Only 1.9% of people experienced problems and found the 7 year warranty offered something to fall back on. But, Which? doesn’t vouch for the Picanto thanks to its lack of safety features and poor Euro NCAP crash test rating. So in its place, the 2nd placed Mazda3 received the Which? Best Buy gong.

Asian car manufactures primarily dominate the chart, with seven making it into the top 10 list. Only Volkswagen and Mercedes represent Europe.

Most reliable new cars:

1 - Kia Picanto – 98.1%

2 - Mazda3 – 97.6%

3 - Daihatsu Sirion – 97.0%

4 - Honda Insight – 97.0%

5 - Honda Jazz – 96.2%

6 - Toyota iQ – 96.1%

7 - Toyota Prius – 95.4%

8 - Volkswagen Golf Plus – 93.3%

9 - Mercedes-Benz SLK – 93.3%

10 - Mazda2 – 93.2%

Driving age should be raised (UK)

According to Admiral Survey of British Motorists 2010, almost 1 in 5 Brits wish for the legal driving age to be increased to 21. The bulk of the 2,100 motorists surveyed think the legal driving age should be raised from 17, with 19% saying the new limit should be 21.

Furthermore, the survey found the number of motorists who want all residential speed limits lowered to 20mph has increased to 38%, from 30% in 2009. On the motorway, 6 in 10 believe that the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph, but a mere 16% want more speed cameras fitted.

1 in 5 motorists say they would use toll roads if they were quicker and a quarter think more towns and cities should consider congestion charging.

Tuesday

Kia Sportage pricing announced (UK)

Kia UK has disclosed prices for the 2011 Sportage First Edition. The SUV will cost £20,777 when it goes on sale 1st August. The first 800 cars will be available in limited 'First Edition' trim. These are powered by a 134bhp 2.0 CRDi engine that is linked to a 6 speed manual gearbox, and come with four wheel drive as standard. The 2.0 CRDi churns out 320Nm (236lb/ft) of torque at 1,800rpm.

The 6 speed manual combines 47.1mpg (6.0l/100km) with CO2 emissions of 156g/km. The 6 speed auto takes its toll on fuel economy with 40.4mpg (7.0l/100km) combined and CO2 emissions of 183g/km.

Standard features include leather upholstery w/heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control w/ cooled glovebox, Bluetooth, 6 speaker audio system w/ steering wheel mounted audio controls, USB/AUX socket w/ iPod cable, auto-dimming rear-view mirror w/ reversing camera, rear parking sensors, 18” alloy wheels w/ full-sized alloy spare wheel, tilt & telescopic leather steering wheel and gear-stick, rear privacy glass, silver roof rails, electric panoramic glass sunroof, LED day-time running lights, electric folding door mirrors w/ integrated LED indicators, rear spoiler, chrome exterior door handles, automatic windscreen wipers & lights, front fog lamps, 60/40 split folding rear seats, ESP, HAC (hill-start assist control), DBC (downhill brake control), x6 airbags and deadlocks.

A 6 speed automatic gearbox is available, along with a choice of five colours; 4 metallic, 1 solid.

The Sportage First Edition will be £1,200 cheaper than the entry-level Ford Kuga and similar VW Tiguan, while a similar spec Nissan Qashqai is £2,718 more expensive at £23,495, although this comes with xenon headlamps and electric front seats.

The full Sportage range will go on sale in November. The range will be completed by the 1.6 litre petrol and 1.7 litre diesel engines, both with stop/start to improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, in addition to front wheel drive models that will also be available. Prices for the full range have yet to be confirmed.

News in brief

Alfa Romeo Giulietta coupe coming?:

According to sources, Alfa Romeo might produce a coupe variant of the Giulietta family car. The coupe would be named ‘Sprint’, because the first-generation Giulietta, dating back to 1954 also had a coupe model called the Sprint.

If given the green-light, it would replace the aging 147-based GT coupe.

BMW X6 as a proper SUV-coupe:

Russian car tuner, ArmorTech has turned a regular BMW X6 coupe into a genuine 3dr SUV-coupe. Modifying the X6 was no easy task; the B-pillar was pushed backwards, 250mm were added to the front doors, and the rear window was moved forward by 200mm. ArmorTech also installed bespoke front seats which tilt and slide forward to allow passengers easy access to the rear seat.

Engine, suspension, braking and exhaust upgrades are available, alongside a host of accessories. ArmorTech says the vehicle will be available worldwide.

Jaguar green-lights XF wagon, XF LWB, F-Type (XE) & X-Type replacement:

JLR has approved the much anticipated XE/F-Type sports car & X-Type replacement. Tata Motors CEO, Carl-Peter Forster confirmed that the models are in early development stages. While no release dates were announced, Forster did reveal that both models would come in “several variations”. It’s natural to presume the X-Type successor to come in sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible bodyshells, while the XE could arrive in coupe & cabriolet form.

Speculation suggest that the vehicles will be built adapted aluminum chassis which is currently being built for the next-generation XF, however, the XE could be built on the same platform as the next-generation XK sports car. An XE concept car will debut at the 2011 Geneva motorshow.

In addition to the aforementioned models, Forster revealed plans for a XF wagon for Europe and XF LWB for the Chinese market.

Toyota Supra to return in 2014?:

The head of Toyota Motor Co, Akio Toyoda said he would love to see the Supra back on the market. The Supra will strongly resemble the FT-HS concept, which was first revealed at the 2007 Detroit motorshow. Rumors indicated that a hybrid set-up would be used, in conjunction with a V6 petrol engine.

Toyota is already preparing a replacement for the MR-2 – which will use a 1.5 litre petrol engine, linked to a hybrid drivetrain – and is in advanced development stages – with Subaru – of the FT-86 sports car.

McLaren MP4 receives ‘2,700 interests’:

McLaren has gotten 2,700 ‘interests’ from people attracted to the MP4-12C. If the preliminary interests are converted into sales, it is enough to account for at least two years of production. The MP4 is now enduring final shake-down tests, having done more than 1m test miles on five continents.

The MP4 has been given a target price of less than £175,000, and boss Ron Dennis has vowed that buyers will not only get the fastest car money can buy, but also the highest build quality and level of dealer and aftersales support from any car company.

Under the hood is a Ricardo-developed twin-turbocharged 3.8 litre 90-degree V8 engine, producing 592bhp. Around 598Nm (442lb/ft) of torque is available from 3000rpm, although 80% is available between 2000-6500rpm. An all-new F1 in 2012, as well as a smaller, entry-level supercar is in the pipeline.

Chevrolet nabs over 90% of car-market in Uzbekistan:

Budget car manufacture, Chevrolet has pinched 94% of the car-market in Uzbekistan, which means it sold 59,485 units out of a total market of 63,220 vehicles. In the first five months of 2010, Chevrolet took 98.6% of passenger car-sales.

Porsche 918 price-tag likely to eclipse Carrera GT:

Whispering sources within Porsche have said that the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar could cost approximately £420,000 (€ 500k), over shadowing the £321,000 Carrera GT. Order books have yet to be open, however, Porsche has received over 2,000 ‘expressions of interest’ from people.

Under the hood is a 3.4 litre V8 petrol engine, making 500bhp and a pair of 80kW electric motors allowing the vehicle to drive upto 25km (15.5 miles) on electric power alone, with CO2 emissions of 70g/km.

Subaru revises design plan:

In order to appeal to a larger audience, Subaru is rethinking its design strategy said design boss, Osamu Namba.

Previously, Subaru has been considered as an engineering-led company, with design taking second place. Namba – who joined Subaru in 2008 – wants to bring the brand to the masses with a united design language.

"We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd," he said. "We need to add a more contemporary element."

Namba said Subaru needs to inject some design flair into their designs and react more quickly to market trends.

"I don't want it to be just something serious and boring," he said. "A lot of people don't know that Subaru brand. If we can make styling more accessible, it will bring them in."

Monday

Photo Gallery: 2011 Nissan March (JP)

Nissan has introduced the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) edition of the all-new March supermini, which went on sale this week.

Unlike its ancestors, the fourth-generation March is produced in Thailand, to lower manufacturing costs. Although, Nissan has set up a unique inspection process at its Oppama plant in Japan – that produced the previous generation model – to make additional quality checks on the Thai-made variant.



The Micra/March will be manufactured in India, China and Mexico, where manufacturing costs are low. Nissan has plans to sell the new supermini in more than 160 countries around the world including Australia, U.S, Turkey and Russia.

The Japanese March is presented with a 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, while plusher trim-levels receive a stop/start system that can achieve around 61mpg on the Japanese urban cycle. Features like leather steering wheel, 4WD, x4 electric windows, keyless entry, front fog lamps, satellite navigation system and electrically adjustable/heated/folding door mirrors will be standard.

Amid the assorted grades and trim levels offered in Japan is the Bolero model. Bolero sticks out thanks to its Bentley-esque front grille and revised front bumper. The March is priced between ¥999,600 - ¥1.64 million, with Nissan looking to sell approximately 48,000 units per annum in Japan.