Monday August 29th, 2011 11:52 Audi shows the World its New Urban Concept

Audi E-tron Sypder

Audi is all set to take the lid off of its newest offspring, the Urban Concept Spyder. The convertible borrows liberally from various other established brands in its segment including the exteriors styling of the MX-5 model from Mazda, Nissan Leaf’s electric powertrain and Toyota iQ’s intelligent seating. The German manufacturer will debut the urban concept car at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show that is to begin in less than three weeks’ time.

Audi retains some of the more popular features from the original Urban Concept in the Spyder with basic styling like the body shell crafted out of sturdy yet lightweight CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastic), mesmeric and widely-appreciated 21” alloys and the adaptable 1+1 seating setup that has the passenger sitting behind the driver, maximizing elbow space for both the driver as well as the passenger.

The exterior of the Spyder remains more or less the same as its predecessor with R8-inspired side wings, strip-like running lights and headlamps fitted with LEDs. Rear-opening scissor doors with the corporate finish make the car a true German delight.

The visionary concept car is run on the lithium-ion battery pack-run electric motors that produce roughly the same power as its fixed-roof variant. Though no performance specs were released for the Spyder, the concept is expected to house the same powertrain as the original with a more powerful acceleration.

The multi-genre drop-top features a concentrated visage that makes the concept truly future city-worthy in the greenest possible sense. Stylistically, the Urban Concept Spyder does not differ from the Urban Concept coupe by a whole lot. However, the ultra-light car still reflects the traditional design language of Audi.

The cockpit and integrated undercarriage of the Urban Concept Spyder are done in carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The compact electric drive has elaborating suspension which allows it to make the most of the two E-Tron electric motors. Gorgeous free-standing 21-inch alloy wheels surrounded by protective plates, and forward-urging lines marked by blinking LED strips make the concept appear as competitive in its segment as it possibly can be. The vehicle’s performance capabilities are not marred by a huge carbon footprint either with the lithium-ion battery giving it all the green hearts it needs.

The Frankfurt-bound two-seater lower curb measurement is matched with a customizable pedal and steering wheel that can be refitted to mimic the dimensions of the driver. Although the concept is as city-chic as a hatchback can be, the sporty design conveys a much more sensory driving experience to the user. Extensive use of sports-specific elements like the slide-back roof, and imaginative tailgate entry highlight the car’s futuristic outlook. An innovative cabin design and the use of lightweight materials for the body and controls further emphasize the sportiness of the design, making the Urban Concept Spyder a definite showstopper for the coming Frankfurt show.

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About the Author: Amanda Kidd is a blogger who also happens to be gadgets lover. She is very fascinated by the luxury world and hence, is planning to write an article on the most expensive gadget in the world.

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Sunday August 28th, 2011 14:46 Audi Reveals the Hybrid A8 Saloon

 

With the Frankfurt Motor Show just weeks away, Audi has revealed its hybrid A8 Saloon car. The Hybrid A8, set to debut in Frankfurt, runs on a four cylinder 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine and a lithium-ion battery.

While the petrol engine produces 207bhp and 350Nm of torque, when coupled with the 40kw battery, the total output of the A8 hybrid is raised to 241bhp along with 427Nm of torque.

In terms of its green credentials, the hybrid A8 can claim CO2 emissions of 148g/km. One thing Audi will undoubtedly be looking to improve upon in future hybrid models will be the fuel economy of such models. As it stands, the A8 has a fuel economy of 44mpg. That falls a fair distance short of Audi’s alternative diesel offerings and will perhaps give potential buyers some pause for thought.

On electric power alone, the A8 is capable of reaching up to 62mph, taking 7.7 seconds to reach this speed. With the petrol engine in use, its total top speed stands at 146mph.

Drivers have the option of three different driving modes: The ‘EV’ mode prioritises the electric motor, while the ‘D’ option offers up an efficient combination of both the engine and the electric motor. In addition to these two modes comes the ‘S’ mode, which places an emphasis on greater acceleration.

The Audi A8 hybrid saloon has been given an exclusive Arctic Silver paint finish, and comes with three-zone automatic air conditioning, LED headlights and a BOSE sound system as standard.

Series production of the hybrid A8 will begin next year, and models should be expected to reach the UK by late 2012. If you want to take a closer look at it before then, then you will have to take a trip along to the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is open to the public from the 15th of September.

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Thursday August 11th, 2011 17:50 The new breed of Audi RS models

Audi TT RS

Audi have a long, deep seeded, background in rally, ever since the inception of the award winning Quattro. This four wheel drive system brought the brand a lot of credit and respect from motorists and industry peers. The newest range of Audi RS models embodies power and refinement above any rivals in their class. Here is a rundown of the current RS offering from the German manufacturer.

RS 3 – Powerful, yet compact
The RS 3 is the newest model to join the power family and has a big reputation to live up to. It’s up against the BMW 1M, which sports a similar amount of power from its twin turbo 3.0L six cylinder engine. Like the BMW, the RS 3 is thoroughly German from its classy and understated appearance, to the outstanding build quality and interior comfort. The RS3 is powered by a 2.5L 5 cylinder engine that has been both supercharged and turbocharged to produce over 340BHP. The interior is classy and chic, comforting you in realms of smooth black leather, matte aluminium trim and Audi detailing. The 3 spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel is Lamborghini inspired, and the dials give the driver a modern and interesting sight. The new RS 3 certainly lives up to its rally sport heritage.

TT RS – Sleek design and sporting perfection
The TT RS is also fairly new to the range, and blends power with the already loved TT coupe. The TT RS is available in either a 2 door coupe or a cabriolet for those looking for roof-down thrills. The TT RS has a similar engine to that of the RS 3 but has been tweaked meaning it sprints to 62MPH in only 4.6 seconds. This is borderline supercar territory, so other German competitors such as the Mercedes SL and Porsche 911 should be worried as the TT RS comes in with a solid cash saving. The TT has always been an attractive car to look at and this RS model is the icing on the proverbial cake, as it accentuates all the curves and bulges in all the right places. Highly desirable and a great drive, the TT RS will go down as one of the great powerful coupes.

RS 5 – The all-out power house
The Audi A5 only joined us a few years ago but has established itself among rivals from Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. The RS 5 model blends the executive luxury of the A5 with a 4.2L V8 engine churning out an astonishing 450BHP. This is enough power to take the coupe to 62MPH in under 5 seconds and to a top speed limited to 155MPH. As you would expect from the current flagship model, there is no compromise with quality of the ride and interior cabin. It’s a really pleasant place to be and the exterior styling is subtle yet menacing. The RS 5 has a lot to live up to after the raving success of the old RS 4. This car though truly shows what Audi are capable of when putting together such a powerful coupe.

The RS models all come in with hefty price tags, but they do come up second hand with great savings on the list price. Check out Autoweb for a complete list of Audi and used car stock.

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Monday August 8th, 2011 14:06 Ford Set to Unveil Five New Models at Frankfurt Motor Show

The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is shaping up nicely if you are a Ford enthusiast, as the Blue Oval are readying plans to launch an impressive five new models at the show. Visitors to the Ford stand at the motor show will also be able to see some of these new models in action, as the famous car manufacturer’s stand includes a 2,800m2 track.

Amongst the new models on display in Frankfurt will be an all-new design concept car that will showcase Ford’s future styling direction. Although this concept car will not hit the road until 2014, it will apparently reveal the company’s latest family-look. According to a Ford spokesperson, this concept car is “seventy to eighty percent confirmed for production” and displaying it at the Frankfurt Motor Show will afford the company an “opportunity to take customer feedback on board before finalising the design.”

In addition to the concept car, Ford will be showcasing two new performance versions of the popular Focus and Fiesta models in Frankfurt. The Focus ST is fitted with a new fuel efficient 2.0-litre direct injection engine, and is capable of producing around 247bhp. This should enable it to reach a top speed of around 155mph, while also allowing it to reach 62mph from a standing start in under six seconds.

The Focus ST will be joined at the Frankfurt Motor Show by the Fiesta ST, the B-MAX and the Ford Ranger pick-up. The new Fiesta model will feature a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine capable of producing around 200bhp.

The Frankfurt Motor Show runs from the 13th of September until the 25th of September, and is open to the public from the 15th.

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Friday August 5th, 2011 14:29 MINI Unveil the Special Edition MINI Soho

Earlier this year, MINI revealed that they would be naming all their limited editions after various London boroughs, districts or landmarks. This week saw the launch of their latest limited edition – the MINI Soho. The iconic car manufacturer announced that there would be two versions of the MINI Soho – one based on the Hatchback and the other based on the Convertible.

The MINI Soho will be available as both a Cooper and a Cooper D, so customers will be given the choice of either a 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engine. People attracted to the Cooper D version who just happen to live in the London area will be interested to hear that it is exempt from the London Congestion Charge. This is because the car’s CO2 emissions come in at 99g/km.

As is always the case with limited editions, it is the cosmetic touches that make all the difference. With the limited edition MINI Soho’s exterior, these alterations come in the shape of a White Silver finish and 17-inch Black Star Bullet alloy wheels. Also unique to the Soho is the car’s monochrome exterior. The Soho’s interior is decked out with Piano Black trim, black headlining and a leather steering wheel.

The MINI Soho is on sale now, and it will be available until next March. Prices for the limited edition MINI Soho start at £16,765 for the MINI Cooper Soho Hatch, £18,045 for the MINI Cooper D Soho Hatch, £19,060 for the MINI Cooper Soho Convertible, and £20,135 for the MINI Cooper D Soho Convertible.

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Monday July 18th, 2011 15:26 The Eco-friendly Driving Game

With the Honda Civic hybrid, you can play a nice, eco-friendly game that whiles away the hours on long drives – simultaneously helping to save the planet!

The “game” is all about maximising miles per gallon. Because the Honda Civic hybrid uses both a traditional internal-combustion engine that runs on petrol – and an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery, the gar is a good choice for today’s green and thrifty motorists.

The way the car works is that the electric motor takes some of the strain when the car is accelerating or climbing hills, thereby saving petrol. The extra load, though, drains the battery, so the car cleverly recharges the battery when the car goes downhill or when it is decelerating.

The Civic also includes dashboard dials featuring real-time display of what’s happening each second of your drive. Obviously, accelerating causes the miles per gallon to decrease but at a steady 60 miles per hour on a flat road, the car shows it is achieving up to 65.7 miles per gallon as the battery helps out.

On very long ascents, drivers are able to see the power being slowly drained from the battery as the mpg figures hold up well (when compared to conventional petrol-engine cars) from the additional electric propulsion.

On the downward slope, the battery is then recharged at no “cost” to the driver – ready to help out again on the next hill.

Hybrid cars are the logical next step for traditional motorists taking their first tentative steps into the world of eco-friendly motoring. The transition isn’t a painful one by any means. Meanwhile, the “game” of maximising miles per gallon saves money, saves the planet, and makes those long journeys that bit less tedious.

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Sunday July 17th, 2011 13:52 Renault Reveals the Price of the Wind Gordini

 

After being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Renault‘s limited edition Wind Gordini made it to UK showrooms this week. Limited to just 200 vehicles, the Wind Gordini comes with a choice of two petrol engines, the entry level 1.2-litre engine and a 1.6-litre engine. While the 1.2-litre version is capable of producing 100bhp, the 1.5-litre engine can produce 133bhp.

Although the limited edition Wind Gordini is virtually identical to the standard version of the car, there are a few cosmetic changes that set it apart. Along with 17-inch silver alloy wheels and Gordini badging on the car’s side pillars, customers have the choice of three paint colours – blue, black or white – to go along with the distinctive stripes that adorn the car’s exterior.

The car’s interior features two-tone leather seats embossed with Gordini badges, blue and white door straps and a sport steering wheel. The car’s gear stick is also adorned with the Gordini badge. Drivers are also given a reminder of the exclusivity of their car, as the Wind Gordini’s interior also features a numbered plaque.

The limited edition model also comes with Bluetooth, climate control and USB connectivity as standard. On top of these features, a Thatcham alarm is also included.

Prices for the limited-edition Renault Wind Gordini stand at £15,195 for the 1.2-litre version and £16,095 for the 1.6-litre version. Both are available to order now.

As the prices for the Wind Gordini were announced, Renault also revealed a reduction in the price of the standard version of the car. The 1.2-litre Dynamique model will now cost customers £12,995.

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Friday July 15th, 2011 13:09 Audi reveal latest updates to the A5 range

Audi has revealed details of its latest update to the A5 range. The German firm announced that the Coupe, Carbriolet and Sportback models would all be revised and updated.

Only minor changes have been made to the A5′s exterior, although it now has a new grille as well as narrower headlamp units. These units also happen to be stepped. On top of this, the A5 now features revised LED light clusters. You might need a magnifying glass and a measuring tape to notice, but Audi have also grown the exterior dimension of each model by a massive one millimetre.

In order to improve the handling of the A5, updates have also been made to the rear suspension bearings and the damper tuning.

Audi has also provided the A5 with a number of different engine options. Tweaks to the entry-level 1.8-litre engine now enable it to produce 168bhp and 320Nm of torque. As for the top of the range S5 Coupe, just as it did with the Sportback and Convertible, Audi has ditched the 350bhp 4.2-litre V8 engine. The S5 Coupe now has a much cleaner 3.0-litre V6 engine that is capable of producing 333bhp. This allows it to go from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 155mph.

There will also be a range of diesel engines available for the A5, including two differently tuned versions of the same V6 diesel engine. Audi has promised to follow these up with “a particularly low-emissions clean diesel model” of the A5, making it the first coupe to meet the Euro 6 diesel standard.

Audi enthusiasts in the UK will be able to order the new Audi A5 from September. These cars are expected to reach the UK before the end of 2011. Although no official prices for the A5 have been revealed, it is expected to cost in the range of £25,500.

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Sunday July 10th, 2011 14:48 Honda’s MUGEN hybrid car collaboration revealed at Goodwood

 

Visitors attending last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed witnessed the debut of Honda‘s latest hybrid concept car – The highly anticipated MUGEN Honda CR-Z Hybrid Concept. Two concept models were on display, the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept and the MUGEN CR-Z Concept.

The goal of the collaboration between MUGEN and Honda was to prove that hybrid cars could be exciting to drive. Colin Whittamore from MUGEN Euro, talking about the MUGEN CR-Z Concept, said: “We wanted a car that has genuine performance available at the touch of a button, but can perform just like a standard CR-Z and offer good fuel economy when the driver wishes. For that reason, we’ve kept the three driving modes, so the driver can select ‘eco’ or ‘normal’ to switch to economy and low emissions for the daily drive, but press the MUGEN button for the full-blown ‘weekend warrior’ settings!”

While the car retains the Honda IMA electric motor, the car’s original 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has been rebuilt to MUGEN specification, with bespoke upgraded and strengthened internal components. The introduction of centrifugal forged-induction will help the CR-Z MUGEN to deliver over 50% more power and torque from the Honda’s petrol-electric drive train. Power output for the car is in the region of 200bhp.

Although there are no official performance figures for the CR-Z MUGEN as of yet, early tests with a prototype car give the concept car a 0-62mph time of around 6.6 seconds. As there will be up to a 15% increase in power to come from the engine, and an approximate reduction in chassis weight of 50kg, expect overall performance figures to be even better than.

In terms of fuel consumption, Whittamore was encouraged by early tests in this area. Fuel economy ranges from 50+ mpg in ‘eco’ mode, and 35+ mpg when using the boosted power in the ‘MUGEN’ mode.

As for the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept, its appearance suggests it is more focused for track use. It has a unique front aerodynamic bumper, front fender, side spoiler, rear bumper, rear wing, and 18” wheels. The “RR” moniker was adopted in order to represent the racing spirit of MUGEN. Unlike the MUGEN CR-Z Hybrid Concept, performance details are currently unavailable.

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Saturday July 9th, 2011 14:16 Renault unveil the concept Frendzy

 

Renault has unveiled its latest environmentally friendly concept – an electric car-based van called the Frendzy. Designed by Laurens van den Acker, the Frendzy is the fourth in a series of six designs that are based on the different stages of the human life cycle. According to Renault, the Frendzy represents your professional working life.

The French car manufacturers will debut the new green car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Renault are pitching the vehicle as the solution for those drivers who need to use a vehicle for business purposes during the week and for family transportation at the weekend.

With its full width grille and oversized badge, the Frendzy is unmistakably part of the Renault family. The passenger side of the vehicle has a fully sliding door, so work materials can be stored or removed easily. This sliding door incorporates a 37-inch screen that is capable of displaying messages – early pictures of the Frendzy show it displaying the slogan ‘Happy Culture’ – or, for the salesperson in you, advertising. This screen is controlled by a BlackBerry PlayBook. In contrast, the driver’s side of the vehicle is more focused on the needs of a family. Access to the cabin is aided by a rear-opening door.

The car’s interior has a large cargo area which includes rather low-tech magnetic fixings and a fabric roof. This roof adapts to the shape of large, bulky items and objects. A nicely concealed compartment holds a fold-out rear bench seat for when you are wanting to take the family on a trip.

The Frendzy is powered by the same all-electric drivetrain that was used in the Kangoo Z.E. This means that it should have horsepower of 59bhp, coupled with a range in the region of 100 miles. As was mentioned earlier, those looking for a closer inspection of the Renault Frendzy will have to wait until September, when the vehicle debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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