Monday, May 31, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bismarck du Plessis sponsored with a new Ford Ranger

Ford have decided to give South African rugby star Bismarck du Plessis one of their new Ford Ranger bakkies as part of a new sponsorship deal.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Mini BeachComber concept could start production

The Mini Beachcomber concept debuted at this years Detroit Auto show and caused a massive amount of buzz. So much so in fact that BMW are seriously considering putting the Beachcomber into production. Don't hold your breather just yet though, as it is still just a rumour and if it was given the go-ahead it would only be ready in the next few years.

There could definitely be an audience for the Mini Beachcomber though, as it draws some elements from the Toyota Rav4 and combines them with the Mini look to create a fun and funky car that doesn't necessarily need to stay on the road. The doors of the concept were left off, as well as the boot to give on-lookers a better view of what the Beachcomber has to offer and the response seems good enough to justify its production. Now we just wait and see what BMW decide.

Source: AutoExpress

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kelley Blue Book names its coolest cars under $18k

Kelley Blue Book, or just KBB for short, has long been the trusted source for book values for new and used cars. They have no recently released their list of what they believe are the coolest cars for under $18k which works out to around R144 000. Although you cant take that at face value, as the actual cost of the car once it has reached our shores it a lot more than that, but anyway, back to the list!

What exactly makes a car cool according to KBB? They take into consideration that x-factor, with emphasis on cool to own as well as cool to drive. This is obviously a very subjective list but they tried to not just consider the normal safety issues and the like but rather which cars are the most fun. While the list consisted of their top 10, here are the top 5, as no one really bothers with anything worse than 5th on a list anyway.

• 1 2011 Ford Fiesta
• 2 2010 Honda Civic
• 3 2010 Honda Fit
• 4 2010 Hyundai Elentra Touring
• 5 Kia Soul

Once again the 2011 Ford Fiesta comes up tops. Its great price tag along with its sporty and fun looks seem to be make it a favourite the world over. That added to its great fuel economy and style and you have an extremely well made car.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG voted most attractive car

The readers of Germany's popular AUTO BILD magazine were asked to vote on what they thought was Germany's most attractive car, and in first place was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BMWs new energy and environmental test center

BMW have constructed a specialty environmental test center in order to ensure all of their vehicles can operate properly under numerous different conditions. In previous times many of these tests had to be conducted in different areas that had varying temperatures and weather conditions but now they can all be conducted within the test center. The tests are to ensure that rain does not inhibit full breaking power, snow must not adversely effect the engine and extreme heat should not overtax the cooling system.

The test center can simulate all the necessary environmental conditions that the cars need to be tested against. Including, precipitation, head, cold, humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind. The test center is made up of 3 wind tunnels and 2 chambers. The wind tunnels include a climatic wind tunnel, a thermal wind tunnel and a environmental wind tunnel. The chambers include an altitude test chamber and a cold test chamber.

Previously there was always a decision to be made whether to test the car with a test drive or test facility. Now BMW can combine the best of both worlds and have their cars drive through the test facility and under all the varying different conditions in just 8 hours.

Source: BMW

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Ford Focus TDCI breaks previous fuel efficiency run

The Ford Focus TDCI Powershift set a new fuel economy run record driving for an impressive 1432km on a single tank of fuel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Land Rover to make 2wd and hybrid models in the future

The call for lighter, more economical and more environmentally friendly cars has been heard by all manufacturers and now even Land Rover are developing a lineup of cars to cater to this need. A future Range Rover model will be made with a 2wd option, as well as the standard 4wd. The car will go on sale in 2011 and has a CO2 emission level of just 130g/km. It aims to be the lightest and most fuel efficient Land Rover that has ever been made.

The idea is to give their customers more options, the company has always been a 4wd company but giving the buyer the option to get a 2wd with reduced weight and improved fuel efficiency simply opens up their vehicles to a larger market. Adding to this, Land Rover are working on their first ever Diesel Hybrid model which they are looking to make for 2012 and have on the road in 2013. This first prototype diesel hybrid will be called the "Range_e".

Source: Land Rover.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2011 Ford Fiesta is the most economical car in its class

In an era that is dominated by being green and saving money, the 2011 Ford Fiesta has stepped up to the plate and has been named the most fuel efficient car in it's class. The Ford Fiesta has been given a rating of 40mpg (miles per gallon), which translates into around 17km per liter. This rating is given by the 'Environment Protection Agency' or EPA.

This rating of 40mpg puts the 2011 Ford Fiesta ahead of it's competitors regarding highway driving. At 40mpg it is 5mpg less than the Honda Fit and 4mpg less than the Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta is able to achieve this impressive fuel economy thanks to a number of fuel saving features. The engine is a 1.6 liter Duratec with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing, a deceleration fuel shutoff and a system that reduces the power needed to run the aircon and alternator.

To further add to this mpg rating, the car is aerodynamically designed to reduce drag and has electric-power assisted steering. The transmission is a 6 speed automatic.

Source: Ford.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The new BMW M3 GTS Cleared for market launch

The BMW M3 range is massively popular in South Africa, albeit quite rare due largely to its hefty price tag. That said any new models in the M range will surely receive a warm welcome to South African car buyers. It's popularity is obviously down to the incredible performance the M-series can produce as well the cars aggressive looks and sporting design.

Introducing the BMW M3 GTS, a car designed for the racetrack but is also at home on the road. The BMW M3 GTS is the most powerful offering in the M3 coupe range. Sporting a V8 331kW/450 bhp engine the M3 GTS accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 305km/h. The car has been optimized for the race track, but quite importantly, it is still road-legal.

The gearbox is a 7-speed and the transmission of power is effected by the M Dual Clutch Drivelogic. Being developed for racing, the transmission is able to shift through gears without interruption of traction. Inside the car, are bucket racing-seats, carbon-interior trims, an Alcantara M steering wheel. Again focusing on the racing aspect, the car is fitted with a roll-bar and 6-point seat belts as well as a fire extinguisher.

Source: BMW

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Porsche 911 GT2 RS details released

The Porsche 911 GT2 RS is only making it's world debut at the Moscow motor show in August the 25th but here are some advanced details about the car to whet your appetite.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Audi A1 pre orders have begun, price is reasonable

Advanced sales of the new Audi A1 have begun, unfortunately the pre-orders are only open to European buyers at the moment. The good news though is the price seems very reasonable, with the price starting at just 15 800 Euros, roughly R151 600. Which for an Audi is not too bad at all. There will no doubt be import costs and the like, so it will likely be more expensive in South Africa but thats something we have come to expect.

The aim of the A1 is to target a completely new Audi audience, as this is Audi's first venture into the compact car segment. It remains to be seen just how successful the A1 will be, but there definitely seems to be a trend around the world focusing on smaller, cheaper and more economical cars. As seen by the popularity of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Audi notes that of the initial 100 000 or so people that signed up to be notified of the advanced sales, 90% of them have never owned an Audi. So their plan in theory is working.

The Audi A1 officially goes into production on the 11th May and 50 000 units are expected to be produced by the end of the year.

Source: Audi.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mercedes-Benz develops new V6 and V8 engines

Mercedes-Benz have developed entirely new engines with world class fuel efficiency, these V-series engines plan to be the best in segment. Mercedes new V6 and V8 engines hope to lead the way in efficiency and advanced technology in an attempt to produce more power with reduced consumption.

The new V8 engine displaces 4663cc with an output of 320kW (435hp). This is around 12% more than the previous engine and yet still 0.8 litres less displacement. More impressive stats show that the torque has increased from 530Nm to 700Nm and yet the fuel consumption has dropped by 22%.

The V6 engine provides similarly impressive stats, within the S 350 the fuel consumption is an impressive 7.6 litres per 100km. This was achieved by the use of start/stop technology, which has become somewhat common place in most new cars that are being developed. Adding to this technology is third generation direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion, multi-injection and multi-spark ignition.

Mercedes Benz direction when designing these engines was to increase the output and still reduce the fuel efficiency, instead of just producing newer power-house engines capable of massive output but at massive fuel consumption. This is a particular impressive feat for Mercedes and shows just how much life the combustion engine still has while still being economical and more friendly to the environment.

Source: Mercedes-Benz.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The new Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet details released

The ever-popular Renault Megane is back but this time in a Coupe' Cabriolet 2010 version that is bound to be a hit with anyone looking for a styling ride with the top down. With over 170 000 units sold of the previous Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet it's already a very popular car, and the 2010 model is sure to pick up where the previous model left off.

There have obviously been styling changes with the 2010 model, for starters it is 13cm longer than it's predecessor as well as having a longer wheel-base. There are some subtle changes to the headlights, rear and front but they are nothing to write home about. Regarding the drop-down roof, one of the praises for the previous model was the amount of light that was let in, this remains the same and has now become the segments largest folding glass roof.

Unlike some cabriolet car, the Megane is actually designed to carry 4 passengers as well as their luggage. As to just how comfortable they will be, space wise and just how much luggage they can bring with them is another story. With the roof down, the boot can carry 3 luggage cases, which is probably fair enough.

As with most new cars, the Megane is available in a range of petrol and diesel engines as well some sport versions. The 2 sport versions available are the GT Line and GT. These sport versions come with slightly different styling on the exterior as well as different sport tires and performance engines.

When it comes to the safety features, the Megane seems quite loaded, including: Seatbelt warning lights, tire pressure warning system, automatic headlight and wiper activation. The 2010 Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet is said to go on sale in Europe in 2010.

Source: Renault

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Most expensive car ever has been sold for $30+ mil

The coveted and ultra-rare car has been auctioned off to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed amount. However the amount is said to be between $30 and $40 million, which makes the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC the most valuable car in the world. The car was auctioned off by Gooding and Company, the world-renowned auction house that was entrusted to the estate that formerly owned the Bugatti.

This "almost" one of a kind car was the winner of the Pebble beach Concours d'Elegance best in show car in 2003. The price-tag associated with this car is largely due to it's rarity. Only 4 models were ever made and each were made slightly different. This particular Bugatti was the first one made and is often described as the most beautiful car ever made (or at least pre-war). It is reported that only 2 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic cars are still in existence today, the other is owned by Ralph Lauren.

Source: Gooding and Company

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ford Fiesta reaches milestone as 6-millionth car is produced

The Ford Fiesta has long been a favourite among new car buyers and youngsters looking to purchase their first car. The Fiesta has always been a small, fun, nippy compact car that oozes personality and a zest for life.

The Niehl assembly plant in Cologne has just completed it's 6-millionth Ford Fiesta, a truly impressive milestone for such a well selling car. The plant produces an amazing 1885 models each day, including Ford Fiesta and Fusion models.

This milestone is a testament to how popular the car has remained all these years. The total number of Ford Fiesta models sold comes to a staggering 13 Million since the car went in to production in Europe all the way back in 1976.

Good news for American car buyers is that the new 2011 Ford Fiesta is slated for release in their country!

Source: Ford

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Huge increase in April sales figures for 3 of the top car manufacturers

As seen in previous months, the trend of increasing car sales remains consistent. Many car manufactures are seeing massive increases in sales as compared to the same month in 2009.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ford teams up with DUB to showcase their new Mustang

In partnership with DUB magazine, Ford have unveiled a limited special edition of the 2011 Mustang. This comes as no surprise as the Mustang is the most customized car in the world, so Ford took this opportunity to showcase the Mustang to a new generation.

Being based on the 305hp Mustang V6, the gearbox will come in either automatic or manual 6-speed. The engine remains the same though but the wheels are now 20 inch and fitted with Pirelli tires. Colour options include: Grabber blue, Black, Race Red and Ignot Silver.

Many areas of the interior have been styled by Roush as well as the front fascia and splitter. The limited edition Dub Ford Mustang will be available this fall and will be offered in either coupe', convertible and glass roof.

Source: Ford