Monday October 24th, 2011 22:22 New Skoda Compact Family Saloon Car Set for 2013 Release


The next few years promise to be pretty busy for Skoda, as it plans to release a new model every six months from next year onwards. Although there is a good chance of a name change by the time of its release, one of these models will be the car currently known as the A-Entry.

Set for release in early 2013, the A-Entry is expected to go head to head with the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus in the compact family saloon market.

Last month Skoda displayed the MissionL concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it is this car upon which the A-Entry is supposedly based on. The new A-Entry is apparently 80% similar to the MissionL concept. At the time of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Skoda personnel were keen to stress the strong focus of the MissionL on two areas – size and affordability – so it will be interesting to see if the A-Entry has a spacious feel to it. If it is anything like the MissionL then it will have plenty of boot space and room in the back of the car.

Skoda is also hopeful of releasing a five-door hatchback version of the new model.

It is obviously far too early for any firm details about the make-up of the car, but we do know customers will have the option of an array of petrol and diesel turbos, These engines will most likely be taken from the Polo and Golf models of Skoda’s parent company. There will also be an eco-friendly version of the car available, and this will apparently emit less than 100g/km of CO2.

If Skoda is to compete in the compact family car range, then you can expect the A-Entry to have a price-tag that is reasonable and affordable for families. With the Fabia currently costing around £10,000 and the Octavia costing in the region of £14,000, it seems reasonable to expect that the A-Entry will cost somewhere around the £12,000 mark when it is finally released in 2013.

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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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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 June 3rd, 2011 14:51 Mercedes Unveils Soft-top SLS AMG Roadster


Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new SLS AMG Roadster – the soft-top version of the SLS AMG supercar. To compensate for the introduction of the soft-top roof, Mercedes has given the Roadster conventionally hinged doors instead of the upward-opening gullwing doors of the supercar.

Removing the roof meant that Mercedes engineers had to stiffen the aluminium chassis and body, and they did this by fitting extra bracing on the sills and a-pillars, as well as behind the dashboard and seats. Despite all this reinforcement, the SLS AMG Roadster weighs only 40 more kilos than the coupé.

You may think that this additional weight would have an adverse effect on the performance of the SLS, but this does not appear to be the case. Powered by the same 6.2-litre V8 engine as the coupé, the Roadster winds out 563bhp at 6800rpm, and is capable of going from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 197mph. Both these statistics match those of the coupé.

The new three-layered fabric roof is made of aluminium, lightweight magnesium and steel, and has a flush-mounted glass rear window. It can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph and takes 11 seconds to either open or close. Impressively, the roof only takes up 3 litre’s of the 176-litre boot space.

The interior of the new SLS has been given an Espresso Brown finish, while buyers will have the option of Mercedes’ Airscarf system. This system blows hot air on to the necks of occupants.

Although there is no official UK price tag for the SLS AMG Roadster as of yet, it is expected to cost buyers in the region of £170,000 when it goes on sale here in November. Those looking for a closer look at the new Mercedes soft-top will need to wait until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, where the Roadster will make its official debut.

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Tuesday May 17th, 2011 00:46 Porsche Launches 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe and Cabriolet


In September, Porsche will be launching its highly-anticipated new Porsche 911 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In order to tide Porsche enthusiasts over until then, the German carmaker will release two new variants of the current 911 in the UK in July.

Joining the two-wheel-drive GTS that went on sale last year will be the four-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe and Cabriolet.

The 911 Carrera 4 GTS is fitted with the same 402bhp, 3.8-litre, flat-six engine as the Carrera S. Porsche have managed to squeeze an additional 23bhp out of it, taking the output to 402bhp. The effect of this on the car’s performance is that at full throttle, with the standard six-speed manual transmission, the Coupe variant can sprint from 0 – 62mph in just 4.6 seconds. In contrast, the Cabriolet manages this sprint in 4.8 seconds. Those who utilise the optional PDK dual-clutch transmission will be able to cut an extra 0.2 seconds from both variants. With regards to torque, this remains at 420Nm.

In terms of its fuel consumption, with a rate of 26.9mpg, the new 911 Carrera 4 GTS is identical to the less powerful Carrera 4S. CO2 emissions come in at 247g/km.

In addition to having the model name indicated on the doors and boot lid, the Carrera 4 GTS variants will have an additional reflective stripe sitting between the taillights. On top of this, the Carrera 4 GTS will have a Sport-Design front apron, with a black painted spoiler lip, and special side skirts. Sports seats come as standard as does a rear limited slip differential and a switchable sports exhaust.

Scheduled for release in the UK in July, Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will be on sale for £83,145 and £90,024 respectively.

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