Monday, February 21, 2011

Spyshots: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz engineers are testing fairly a lot these days. After seeing spy shots of the next generation S-Class and C-Class Coupé AMG the 2012 SL Roadster was currently spotted road testing in Spain.

The Mercedes-Benz team took it rather gravely, as they were out with convoy of camo’ed SL prototypes, which were accompanied by numerous other products from Stuttgart as well as an example of the current generation SL hardtop roadster model.

Although Mercedes has complete its best to disguise the SL by covering it with tons of black tape, we can see that the new generation model keeps its predecessor’s two-piece folding hard top. Beside that the 2012 SL roadster will come with a more aggressive looking front grill.

Information regarding the engine are still clandestine, but buyers can expect a entry-level V6 and the customary lineup of V8 units including the newly developed 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 for the AMG model. Or will we see the 6.3 liter AMG again?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Government BMWs: good car, not a good look

It was predictable that when the National government came to fulfill a contract for new BMWs to replace the ones ordered by Labor, there would be some fallout.

In light of high unemployment and the struggle-street on which a lot of us are travelling at the moment, it's easy to criticize a government when it's ordering a nice fresh fleet of what many would call flash German luxury cars.

But what they are doing is common business practice, something that many fleets have to do as fraction of their contract with a supplier.

Fleets do not change their cars when they are worn out. It is excellent practice to do so within a pre-agreed timeframe, with the distance travelled also factored in. That way the cars have plenty of life left in them and are a better-looking proposition when they re-enter the market as a used car.

Few people are privy to the deal that the Labor government inked with BMW New Zealand when the first BMW 7-series diesels came on to the fleet, but it must have been a sugary one. At the time some pundits in the automotive industry opined that the price could have been as small as $100,000 - but that was pure assumption.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Renault Captur concept car (2011) first pictures

Renault today whisked the covers off the latest Captur concept car. It’s a compact SUV akin to alliance partner Nissan’s Juke – and the Renault Captur will be the French brand’s star at the 2011 Geneva motor demonstrate in March.

It’s surely a welcome look at a clean-sheet proposal for an SUV. We’ve never fully warmed to the bigger Koleos, a short-cut gleaned from the innards of Renault’s Asian partners.

Monday, February 7, 2011

School automobile club hopes to drive into record books with 'world's lowest car'

OKAYAMA -- Students at the automobile department of a local high school are seeking bureaucrat recognition by Guinness World Records for producing what they claim is the world's lowest car.

In March previous year, students at Okayama Sanyo High School's Automobile Department in the Okayama Prefecture city of Asakuchi erudite about a car holding the Guinness World Record for the lowest height.

The students then decided to expand a car that measures around 45 centimeters in height -- about 2.5 centimeters lower than the record -- by using their cleverness, such as cutting off the upper part of the steering wheel.

The new single-seater electric car, which is named "Mirai" (future) and runs at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour, was unveil in the city of Okayama on Feb. 5.

We faced some hardships, but I'm pleased that we never gave up, one student said, gaining smiling agreement from his classmates.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

McLaren Automotive's First Major Milestone of 2011 As MP4-12C Enters Production

WOKING, UNITED KINGDOM – February 3, 2011: Following a winning public world debut at Good wood Festival of Speed, and a series of elite presentations to prospective customers and media across the globe in 2010, the first McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car has begun production at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Working, England.

McLaren Automotive plans to build up to 1,000 12Cs in 2011. Most will be manufactured in a bespoke new £40m McLaren Production Centre, which is due for completion in May on a site neighboring to MTC. However, ‘Chassis 01’ is being built in the accessible MTC production facility, where outstanding quality and highly competent production methods have been fine-tuned since the Foster + Partners-designed building opened in 2004.

The innovative 12C was first presented to the public at the famous Good wood Festival of Speed in southern England in July 2010, prior to a North American debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. 12Cs were then presented at exclusive events to potential customers and media around the world as McLaren Automotive toured many of the cities that will form a network of 35 retailer launch locations.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good start to 2011 for the auto industry

The automobile industry has started 2011 on a well note, with sales of 10 leading car manufacturers rising by approximately 14 per cent to 245,664 units, owing to burly demand in the domestic market. A total of 216,002 units were sold in the year-ago period.

Exports, however, remained a concern for both Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL)and Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), who jointly account for nearly 65 per cent of sales in the Indian market.

MSIL, which accounts for almost one of every two cars sold in the country, posted sales of 109,743 units, a 14.7 per cent rise. While the company's domestic sales grew by 23.8 per cent to 100,422 units, exports dropped to the lowest in the previous three months at 9,321 units. MSIL is the first in the country to cross the 1-million sales mark in the first three quarters of the economic year. MSIL had recorded sales of 1037,408 units in April-December, 2010.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toyota Prius cedes Japan car market leadership to Honda Fit in Jan.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid surrendered its leadership in Japan's passenger car marketplace in January for the first time in 20 months, with Honda Motor Co.'s subcompact fit probable to capture the top slot, industry sources said Tuesday.

Overall vehicle sales in January, excluding mini vehicles with engines of up to 660 cc, tumbled 21.5 percent from a year former to 187,154 units, falling for the fifth successive month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said the similar day.

While sales of the Prius began falling year on year following the government subsidy program to promote eco-friendly car purchases ended in September, Fit sales have been robust due to the launch in October of a hybrid model with a preliminary price of 1.59 million yen, the most inexpensive in Japan amongst vehicles powered by electric motors and gasoline.