Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chrysler's upcoming 6.4L V8 only for SRT, not for Ram?

2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8

Back in November, during Chrysler's seemingly endless business plan presentation, Ram trucks chief Fred Diaz told the captive media audience that the new 6.4-liter Hemi gasoline V8 would likely appear in Ram's heavy duty trucks. Fast forward to today, however, and it would appear that the big Hemi is now off the table. reports that the 6.4 Hemi will instead be exclusive to Chrysler's potent SRT vehicles. Chrysler VP of product development, Joe Veltri, says that the 6.4 is designed for performance, not the grunt work truck buyers demand of their vehicles. notes also that Veltri sees a need for Ram to get gas engine that delivers more power and torque than the currently-available 5.7-liter Hemi, but that the likely course of action will involve building off that engine, rather than looking to adapt the SRT lump for truck duty. Why the drive to add more gas offerings in the diesel-dominated heavy-duty truck category? Emissions regulations, natch. Increasingly strict rules mean that diesels are becoming commensurately more costly to produce and sell, and Chrysler sees the ratio of diesel to gas engines offered becoming much closer in future years than it is today. Head over to for the full skinny.

New York 2010 Preview: All-new 2011 Kia Optima

2011 Kia Optima

The next stage of Kia's transformation from design also-ran to serious contender will kick off at the New York Auto Show in few weeks. After launching the Forte sedan and Koup, the new Sorento and, most recently, the Sportage, Kia's new design language is being applied to the Optima. The all-new 2011 Kia Optima is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces although we don't know by how much. While it's not as aggressive as the sketches released a few weeks ago, this Optima is certainly a huge step forward.

We don't have any mechanical details yet, but we'd guess that the Optima shares a lot under the skin with the new Hyundai Sonata. Nor would we be at all surprised to learn that the Optima won't have a V6 engine option this time around. Instead, it'll probably use the same direct-injected 2.4-liter inline-four found in the Sonata. The turbocharged and hybrid variants may follow as well.

Officially Official: Lotus, Cosworth back in the IndyCar series

Lotus-Cosworth/KV Racing  IndyCar

Lotus is officially returning to the IndyCar series in 2010 in partnership with engine builder Cosworth and KV Racing. Lotus, as you well know, has a long history with Indy-style open-wheel racing, dating back to the early 1960s. Its exploits include a victory by Jim Clark in 1965 and the all-wheel-drive, turbine-powered cars that arrived a few years later.

Pics Aplenty: TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster hits the road

TAH Heuer Tesla Roadster

Following the unveiling of the TAG Heuer Roadster Sport at the Geneva Motor Show last week, Tesla has released a large batch of new photos of the one-off electric sports car. The new shots show the car, which was prepared to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Swiss watchmaker, out on the road.

Officially Official: 2011 BMW 5 Series Touring

2011 BMW 5 Series Touring

Just as the new sixth-generation BMW 5 Series sedan goes on sale in Europe, a new station wagon variant has been unveiled. Like past editions of the 5 Series Touring, this one is essentially the same as the sedan, only with the roof extending straight back to enclose a substantially larger cargo area.

All of the fancy new technology that we've already seen in the 5 Series Gran Turismo and sedan is carried over into the Touring. That includes the driver assistance systems like the surround-view cameras and parking assist. Underhood, BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 won't be available at launch, but a selection of gas and diesel four- and six cylinder engines will be offered. The range-topping 535i is powered by the new 300-horsepower 3.0-liter N55 twin-scroll turbo direct-injected inline-six.

Single-turbo versions of the 2.0-liter inline-four and 3.0-liter inline-six diesels are also available with 184 hp and 245 hp respectively. The four-cylinder 520d Touring gets an EU combined fuel economy rating of 45.2 miles per gallon (U.S.) with the 530d also scoring an impressive 36.8 mpg.

Unfortunately, it seems extremely unlikely that we will ever get to see any of these handsome new wagons given Americans' ongoing aversion to this body style. We'll just be forced to make do with the homelier-looking 5 Series Gran Turismo. Click past the jump to check out new video footage of the 5 series Touring.

Challenge Muscles Its Way In

Michigan-based Classic Design Concepts has come up with a, well, classic auto in the Group 2 Widebody Challenge. The auto was shown to the public during the Las Vegas SEMA Motor Show last year and it came with all the modifications and enhancements introduced by the company.

As the name suggests, the Group 2 Widebody Challenge has a widened front and rear wheel arches. It has Pirelli tires matched with 20 x 10 inches front wheels. If you’re a fan of the older Dodge Challenger then you’ll notice that the Widebody has front aerodynamic canards, lightweight aluminum hood, sequential taillights and stylish stainless steel mesh grille.

The Group 2 Widebody Challenge is powered by a 6.1-Liter HEMI V8 engine producing 560 horsepower. The enhancements made by Design Concept to the Challenger including the retro styling and the added horsepower have indeed made the Widebody a worthy Challenger.

Citroen Hypnos Hybri

The Citroen Hypnos Hybrid concept, which debuted during the 2008 Paris Motor Show, may look plain on the outside but prepare for the mind and eye-boggling psychedelic interiors. This is one quirky auto with jewel-like seats and a double-helix center station styled like a DNA adorning the interior.

The Citroen Hypnos Hybrid concept is powered by a 50-mpg hybrid powertrain producing 200 horsepower. The psychedelic concept car should not come as a surprise considering that it carries a name identified in the Hellenic mythology as Hypnos the god of sleep. But as to whether or not this is a foreboding that the car will be a sleeper once it reaches production version has not been confirmed. The manufacturer or maybe the one who named this Citroen would have done better naming the car with a little more research since he would discover that Hypnos had four sons one of whom is named Morpheus or the god of dreams—this would have been more appropriate.

While the design and the name remain highly debatable the Citroen Hypnos Hybrid is a certified fuel-efficient auto with a low fuel consumption of 4.5 liter per 100 kilometer. It is also environment-friendly with just 120 g/km of CO2 emissions.

Fiat 500 to get 0.9-liter Turbocharged Two-Cylinder Engine in 2010

We just got our hands on the Fiat Group's refreshed product plan for 2010 and 2011 that was introduced by the firm's CEO Sergio Marchionne in Rome today. We'll bring you the full monty later on but here's a taster of what the company is planning to launch into the market.

Next year will see the arrival of Fiat's long anticipated New Small Gasoline Engine that will make its premiere on the 500 mini. The innovative 0.9-liter twin-cylinder gasoline engine features turbocharging and Fiat's Multiair technology that controls the intake valves, depending on the horsepower needed.

Ford Confirms Deal with China's Geely on Volvo Sale

While General Motors is still trying to figure out what it's going to do with its Saab division, Ford Motor Company announced today that it has settled all substantive commercial terms with China's Geely Holding Group Company Limited on the prospected sale of its Volvo unit.

2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi: Estate Version Pictured Undisguised?

The boffins over at the Swedish news site 'Aftonbladet' have posted this photo of the estate version of the new Saab 9-5 without any camouflage whatsoever. We're not entirely sure if it's the real deal or not as while the shades and lights on the body suggest it's a static picture, the alloy wheels appear to have been shot on the move. We don't know.

2010 Kia Sorento SUV Geared up by Cobra Technology & Lifestyle

The new generation Kia Sorento that made its debut earlier this year is the latest object of Cobra Technology & Lifestyle's tuning affections. Not that most Sorento buyers will actually ever need bull bars - that is, unless your parking skills are worse 16-year-old that just got his license, but Cobra offers a variety of front, rear and rocker panel guards including a lower front bar with integrated LED daytime running lights.

Claims Toyota Has Been Keeping a Lid on Potential Safety Problems

In the wake of Toyota's recent recall of a record 4.26 million vehicles in the United States because the gas pedal can get stuck in the floor mats and cause sudden acceleration, the Los Angeles Times has posted an article that portrays the Japanese automaker as a company that has habitually delayed or even covered up safety recalls and tried to put the blame on human error in cases where owners claimed vehicle defects.

Toyota Sai Hybrid

Toyota's budget version of the Lexus HS 250h, the new Sai Hybrid, just went on sale in Japan in the beginning of the month, but the automaker's TRD division has already lined up some subtle visual and performance upgrades for the sedan. In addition to the selection of aero bits, TRD has also released a new grille insert, a sport suspension kit, specific oil and fuel caps as well as a choice of 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels available in various designs.

Lexus IS 350C with 405HP Supercharged V6

you probably know about the custom made Lexus IS 350C that Fox Marketing is preparing for the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this November. We've already shown you a teaser rendering as well as some photos of the car taken during the development phase but now, Fox Marketing has released detailed specs along with the first live photos and videos of the lime-green hardtop convertible that comes equipped with a supercharged version of the stock 3.5-liter V6 pumping out some 406 horsepower.

2011 BMW Alpina B7 with 500HP

The Alpina-prepped B7 sedan will be returning to BMW's U.S. lineup this year offering American buyers an alternative to Mercedes-Benz's S-Class AMG models. Boasting a bevy of performance and styling upgrades over the standard 7-Series sedan, the Alpina B7 is probably the closest thing you'll get to an M7, which as you already know, BMW has no plans to build.

BMW 3-Series Coupe and Convertible

In case the M-Sport kit for the BMW 3-Series E92 Coupe and E93 Convertible leave you wanting more, Vorsteiner has released a new aero package designed to enhance (not replace) the existing factory package.

BMW 3-Series Coupe and Convertible

BMW is gradually replacing its N54 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six (featured in models like the 335i) with the firm's new twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six cylinder engine, designated N55. The latest Bavarian products to get the N55 are the 2011 model year 135i Coupe and Convertible that will go on sale in the United States in Spring 2010.

With a maximum output of 300HP at 5,800 rpm and a peak torque of 300 lb-ft available from 1,200–5,000rpm (U.S.-spec version), the new six-cylinder produces the same level of performance as the current twin-turbo six-cylinder.

2011 BMW 135i Coupe and Convertible get New Twin Scroll

BMW is gradually replacing its N54 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six (featured in models like the 335i) with the firm's new twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six cylinder engine, designated N55. The latest Bavarian products to get the N55 are the 2011 model year 135i Coupe and Convertible that will go on sale in the United States in Spring 2010.

With a maximum output of 300HP at 5,800 rpm and a peak torque of 300 lb-ft available from 1,200–5,000rpm (U.S.-spec version), the new six-cylinder produces the same level of performance as the current twin-turbo six-cylinder.

Shhh.... Chrysler-Badged Lancia Delta Appears at the Detroit Motor Show [Updated]

Talk about a crappy representation of a thinning yet still major player in the States like Chrysler and its Dodge and Jeep brands. Not only did Fiat Group's bosses decide to skip a press conference at the 2010 NAIAS in Detroit but they didn't even bother -at least until the time that this post was written- to issue a press release on the Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta that was displayed at the firm's booth...

2010 Chevrolet Camaro Sunergy: Limited Production Version Inspired by SEMA Show Concept

As promised at the SEMA show last November, General Motors announced the launch of a special edition version of the 2010 Camaro that's distinguished by a never-before available, unique green hue. The Synergy Green exterior color was first previewed at the 2009 SEMA show with a concept model.

The limited edition production car is based on 2010 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT powered by a 304HP 3.6-liter V6 coupled with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. It will be produced in limited quantities from February to May with pricing starting at $26,790.

Toyota FT-86 G Sports Concept with 2.0-liter Turbo Engine Debuts at Tokyo Auto Salon

The first day of the Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 saw Toyota announcing its plans to roll out a new series of modified cars under the "G Sports" name for the Japanese market this summer. These special variants will be developed in cooperation with Toyota's tuning and racing partner, GAZOO, and will benefit from a series of performance upgrades.

And what a better way to grasp the attention of buyers and petrol heads alike for the new G Sports models than to reveal a specially modified version of the FT-86 concept that previews Toyota's upcoming rear-wheel drive compact coupe.

The FT-86 G-Sports Concept that made its world debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon boasts an array of upgrades the most important being the turbocharging of the Subaru-sourced, 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine.

Toyota Prius G Sports Concept Ups the Aero Ante at the Tokyo Auto Salon

Being one of the favorites at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon that opened Friday in Japan, Toyota couldn't but present a concept model of its latest generation Prius hybrid. Like the FT-86 G Sports Concept that also made its world premiere today at Japan's largest tuning show, the Prius G Sports Concept previews a new series of performance models based on series production cars called "G Sports" that will be sold through Toyota's dealers in Japan.

The G Sports package includes all kinds of cosmetic and performance goodies, but curiously enough, none that concern the gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain...

What it does get is a full body aero kit that adds a completely new nose, a different rear bumper that houses the twin tail pipes of the sport exhaust system, rear wheel covers (sic...), side skirts, carbon fiber mirrors and a rear wing.

It's all About the Looks

Renault's UK division has brought back to life the Clio S formula from the early 1990s and applied a similar treatment on its latest generation supermini for an all-show, no go result. Based on the standard variants of the Clio, the new three-door S models hark back to the original Clio S through their trademark white 16-inch 'Polar' alloy wheels.

New Porsche 911 GT3 R Racer with 4.0-liter Boxer Unveiled at Autosport International show Today, Porsche celebrated the world debut of its new 911 GT3

Today, Porsche celebrated the world debut of its new 911 GT3 R racing car at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, UK. A further development of the 911 GT3 Cup that was presented in September for one-make cup racing, the new 'R' model replaces the 911 GT3 Cup S in Porsche Motorsports' model range fully complying with the FIA GT3 regulations.

Six-Cylinder Gasoline Engines to X1 SUV Range

Starting from March 2010, BMW's most compact X model will be available (in most markets) with a new entry-level four-cylinder version and an additional six-cylinder power unit expanding the engine portfolio available in the X1 to a total of three gasoline and three diesel engines.

2010 MINI Launched, 1.4-Liter Petrol Replaced by New 1.6-Liter, Cooper S gets More Power, New Models Added

BMW Group's MINI models with the presentation of a new range of petrol engines that offer more power and torque while reducing both emissions and fuel consumption as well as new model variants. Even better, MINI said that the powerplant upgrades will not affect pricing that remains the same.
Beginning from March 2010, all First, One, Cooper and Cooper S models in the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman ranges will be equipped with a new and improved version of MINI's petrol engine.

1970s Rallye Kadett B Sprint

Chevrolet isn't the only brand in the GM Group playing around with vivid colors and special editions that hark back to models of the 60s and 70s. So is the firm's European division Opel that has released a new exclusive edition of the Corsa supermini called 'Color Race' inspired from the late 1960s - early 1970s Rallye Kadett B Sprint.

Chevrolet Camaro

This time, the independent designer with a flair for creating realistic automotive fantasies has crafted a batch of computer generated images of a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro-based sports car racer for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).