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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Average U.S. Gas Prices Drop Below 3$ a Gallon


Fortunately for us, as crude oil prices tumble down so do gas prices - or at least in the States. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), for the first time since February 2008, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline fell under 3$ a gallon. In the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the current average price of regular unleaded in the U.S. on 23 October, was $2.822 which is a far cry from the highest recorded price on July 17, 2008 when gas hit a nationwide average of $4.114 which sent everyone into despair.

The AAA's report notes that Oklahoma State continues to have the lowest average price in the States at $2.461 for a gallon of unleaded regular while Alaska has the highest at $3.844.

SEMA 2008: New Toyota Venza Sportlux by Street Image

The new 2009 Toyota Venza underwent a unique transformation by Street Image resulting in the creation of the SportLux Venza performance show car. The Venza SportLux will be displayed at the Toyota exhibit throughout the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas from November 4-7.
The conceptual vision of the Toyota SportLux Venza by the Street Image design team was centered on a vehicle which could be offered as a factory tuned model. Taking cues from European tuners, Street Image added an assortment of subtle, yet aggressive, body kit modifications including a six-piece lip kit enhancement, rear hatch spoiler, custom grille and integrated hood scoop.
Its performance driven stance reflects the Toyota SportLux Venza's substantial boost in power output. Among its many performance modifications are several components from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) including a supercharger kit. The SportLux Venza's power surge is complemented with a height adjustable coil over tuned suspension and rides on Chrome Cognac No 20 Wheels measuring 24-inches and Toyo Proxy 4 performance tires. The massive wheels are controlled by 15-inch front and 13.6-inch rear TRD Big Brakes with forged calipers.

Street Image added appropriate interior comfort and convenience modifications to the SportLux Venza including special Black & Burgundy leather seating. A state-of-the-art Eclipse entertainment system features a premium navigation system and includes front and rear video and high-powered audio. The overall effect gives passengers a refined sports car feel without sacrificing the utilitarian appeal of the Venza.

Monday, October 20, 2008

ASI TETSU GTR: Bentley Continental GT


ASI's automotive masterpiece, the TETSU GTR, is a full custom complete car program for the Bentley Continental GT. Utilizing a super-efficient exhaust system, intensive ECU tuning, enlarged turbocharger turbines, and an improved engine coolant system, the TETSU GTR achieves a breathtaking and unprecedented 800 horsepower.

The Bentley Continental's stately appearance has also been reimagined from the ground up in order to better showcase ASI's spectacular power boost. The 2070mm wide body, long-grill exterior features LED day lights, carbon fiber lip elements and a plethora of dry carbon components (hood, roof cover, trunk lid, rear wing, rear diffuser).

ASI's prestige styling package showcases some of Japan's most traditional and sophisticated artistic traditions; the hood and interior have become a canvas for the skillful hand of Tetsuei Nakamura, who has been comissioned for countless projects by luxury hotels and illustrious locations around Japan, including Enryaku-ji (Mt. Hiei) . The seats and floor mats have been fashioned in the Nishijin weaving legacy, further imbuing each TETSU GTR with the spirit of Japan's cultural capital, Kyoto.

ASI's flflagship TETSU GTR, appearing at the 2008 SEMA Show, boasts a two-tone carbon fifiber, Fujiyama matte white color scheme, ASI's 22-inch forged wheels in a special midnight black style, blacked out headlights, a gold dry carbon engine cover, a carbon fiber sports steering wheel, and ASI's original 12-piston braking system. But as a full custom work, each of the 29 TETSU GTRs to be produced can be entirely customized to the owners' requests, down to the most minute detail.

Audi R8 V12 TDI Le Mans Concept


The age of the diesel supercar has dawned. Ferrari should worry.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Matte Black BMW in Abu Dubai


This matte black BMW Lumma CLR 500 RS was spotted in Abu Dhabi, and it looks much better than the orange version revealed by Lumma last year. Like yesterday’s BMW X6, some things just look much better in matte black.

The CLR 500 RS is powered by V10 engine that delivers 560 HP. Top speed is 203 mph.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rolls Royce Sales up 42.8%


Credit crunch, what credit crunch? Maybe for us, but not for the rich and richer. While most automakers are in the process of tightening their collective belt, Rolls Royce is seeing its sales soar this year and it's getting ready to hire more workers to keep up with demand. Last month the British brand delivered 129 cars which represents growth of 7,5 percent compared to the same month in 2007. From January through September of this year, BMW Group-owned Rolls-Royce has delivered a total 827 vehicles to customers, achieving a gain of 42.8% over the previous year (579 units).

Commenting on the economic situation (we call it meltdown), Rolls Royce CEO Tom Purves said: “We’ve had a very good year. Nobody’s immune, and we certainly don’t think we’re immune, but we do think we have a certain degree of insulation.”

Dodge TriCharger: Two Door Charger


Force Performance answered the question no one asked: what would a two-door Dodge Charger look like? Despite this, the TriCharger does offer several useful modifications.

The engine was replaced with a new HEMI V8 engine featuring FAST XFI Engine Management Twin GT40 turbochargers and a Magna Charger Supercharger Custom EFI Blower Intake. Due to these components the car was named TriCharger. For better stability the car features a lowered suspension while in order to stop in time a new set of Brembo brakes were added. Although there is no official word about production or pricing, it may just be easier to put the engine in an established (similar-looking) Dodge product, like maybe the CHALLENGER.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

BMW May Be Planning X4


BMW has been aggressively expanding its vehicle offerings, and like most other automakers, crossovers make up the majority of additions. Earlier this year, team Bimmer added the X6, and with the X1 concept unveiled in Paris, mild-to-wild CUVs seem to be the focus for the boys in Bavaria. Automotive News is reporting that the SAV love will continue next year when BMW unleashes the X4. Design elements are said to come from the larger X6, which is to say that it'll probably look like a really tall hatchback. The X1 concept and the production X3 are based off of the excellent 3-Series platform, and we're guessing the X4 will also don the sharp-handling underpinnings.
If this is what BMW needs to do in order to remain the world's top-selling luxury automaker, we're not so sure it's worth the trouble. The X1 will probably sell relatively well, but it will do so with underwhelming sheet metal. An X4 based off the X6 sounds like an even worse proposition, but then again, we didn't think the X6 was a bright idea either.

2009 Dodge Charger Cop Car Gets More Power


The boys in blue will be happy to know that a new, more powerful interceptor has just hit the streets. Just like the civilian version, the 2009 Dodge Charger police car benefits from Chrysler's tweaked 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that produces 368 HP and 395 lb.-ft. of torque, or 28HP and 5 pounds of torque more than the 2007 model. As before, departments with a lower budget have the option of the basic version that gets a 250 HP 3.5 V6 engine.

Compared to the civilian version, the cop-spec Dodge Charger's features include performance-tuned steering and suspension, heavy-duty seats to accommodate fully equipped (or...fully-sized) officers, a column-mounted shift lever Load-leveling, height-control shock absorbers and a severe-duty cooling system.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Corvette ZR1 Cancellation Rumor


The rumor weed is abroad everywhere, and sometimes it can spread like crazy. This appears to be one of those times. The DigitalCorvettes.com forum posted a note earlier this day saying that Corvette ZR1 production has been halted (Bowling Green is shut down this week, so no Vettes are being built at the moment) and suggesting that the ZR1 may be cancelled. A post on dealer Rick "Corvette" Conti's blog, linked in the referenced DigitalCorvettes thread, added to the intrigue. Autoblog.com has contacted GM's Terry Rhadigan, who handles global communications for the Chevrolet brand. We presented the DigitalCorvettes link and asked for an official response. His was very clear: "Not true."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

2009 Renault Megane Trophy Concept

The 2009 Renault Megane Trophy has been unveiled today at the Paris Auto Show and is on track for the 2009 World Series by Renault. The 2009 Renault Megane Trophy is powered by a mid-rear V6 3.5 24V engine developing 360 hp and 390 Nm of torque. The 2009 Renault Megane Trophy comes equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox, a semi-automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shift gearshift and a limited slip differential.

The company claims the new 2009 Renault Megane Trophy will be able to pull similar lap times to those of the Porsche GT3.

Visually, the 2009 Renault Megane Trophy features a new body design inspired by the new coupe.

New: Volkswagen Golf GTI

Since the debut of the first and the discontinuation of the fifth generation, more than 1.7 million buyers made the GTI to the world’s bestseller. Now the new GTI is at the ready: at the Paris Motor Show (4th to 19th October 2008) Volkswagen will be demonstrating the design study of the new Golf GTI at its world premiere.

The GTI suspension with a new electronic limited-slip diff (XDS) defines curves and traction in a completely new way. A GTI with a top speed of 240 km/h that with its 155 kW / 210 bhp strong turbocharged engine is even more fun and, on average, only uses 7.5 litres.

The sixth generation Golf GTI will go into series production in the spring of 2009 – as usual with a unique connection between sporty suspension and agile engine. The engine develops already at 1,800 rpm a maximum torque of 280 newton metres. The sprint from 0 to 60mph is achieved in 6.9 seconds. A stand-off between wind resistance and output occurs only just at 240 km/h.

Lowered by 22 millimetres and equipped with a new sports suspension, the springs, shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bars of the design study have been completely reworked. Furthermore, the optional adaptive chassis control DCC feature will also be available for the future GTI.

"We wanted a purposefully clear GTI design. A car that has power but also style," summarises the Volkswagen AG's chief designer Walter de’Silva. The design study of the sixth generation presented in Paris blends in both style elements of the GTI icons. Details like the typical honeycombed radiator grill and the V-shaped bonnet, stretching over the head lights, contribute to the GTI V. The clean and horizontal structure clearly originates from the GTI I. Because of the styling as well as the underlining horizontal graphic of the front section the Golf GTI design study appears visually wider (1.78 meter), lower (1.47 meter) and more dynamic than any other car in its class.

Friday, October 3, 2008

VW Scirocco Tuned by ABT


ABT, is one of the first tuners to get their hands on the new VW Scirocco, which has already begun to sell in European dealerships. This German tuner has made an aggressive looking bodykit for VW’s sport coupe that includes a new front bumper with a lip spoiler, side skirts with air inlets, a larger roof spooler, a rear skirt that incorporates a diagonally attached set of four tail pipes and a boot wing. For just a little more they have also added the feature of the option of 18" or 20" alloy rims.

The suspension brings the car 30 mm closer to the ground. This package will be available in Germany on January at the price of €5,990 or $8,300 USD.

For recreational purpose customers can also upgrade the engine's performance with ABT’s engine kits which raise the 1.4-liter TSI’s output from 160 to 200HP, the 2.0 TSI’s from 200 to 240HP and the 2.0 TDI’s from 140 to 170HP. The engine modifications can be combined with a set of larger and better disk brakes.

Citroen GT Concept In GT5


Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is about to get a pretty nice upgrade. The next time you start up your Playstation 3, an update will be available for GT5 that will add the GT by Citroen, Ferrari's new California and the Lotus Evora. Lotus fans got a sneak peek into the Evora's GT5 inclusion at the British Motor Show a few weeks back, and now everybody gets to join in on the aluminum-intensive fun. It's always been a pleasure to strap yourself in a Ferrari, in real-life or virtually, and the California is the latest Italian Stallion around, so its addition is a foregone conclusion. The biggest news, though, is the new French GT, which it's maker says was "a partnership between Citro├źn and Polyphony." In the game-realm, the new GT concept will be powered by electrons generated from a hydrogen fuel cell. Even if the technology isn't quite ready for prime time in your driveway, it can always make waves in digital form, running around various race tracks while emitting nothing but water.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Paris 2008: The GT by Citroen: Live


The day is here, the GT by Citroen has got over its shyness and is ready to be seen by the world. Par for the French, the GT is funky -- and we're not even going to get into the seventh teaser for the car in which the car was completely covered. Contrary to the rakishness of its looks, it's also fairly slow. The 3,000-pound two-seater takes a virtual 3.6 seconds to get to a virtual 62 mph, and that's with a 646 digital ponies boosted by an additional 136 hydrogen-powered horses. As for the design, if you're wondering what that rear overhang is about, the phrase you're looking for is "retinal persistence." Yeah. You can find more explanations like that and a whole lot more in the press release after the jump, and the gallery of high-res photos below.

Seibon Releases Carbon-Fiber Accesories for the Nissan GT-R

For those people that don’t know, Seibon is a manufacturer specialized in producing carbon-fiber parts, such as hoods, trunk lids, fenders and lip spoilers. It seems that the guys from Seibon liked the new Nissan GT-R and because of this they decided to create few carbon-fiber accessories for it.

The manufacturer released today a new hood and a new trunk, both made out of dry carbon-fiber. In our opinion the parts would really look awesome if they had the “glossy” look of the carbon-fiber not the “dry” look! What’s your opinion?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2009 Lotus Exige Cup 260: Now Even Lighter


Lotus Motor Company released its Exige Cup 260 for the 2008 model year to terrorize much larger and more pricier cars on race tracks around the world. For 2009, the British automaker has spiced things up by adding lightness in the marque's grand tradition. Weight drops by over 80 pounds this year to just under a ton thanks to carbon fiber. Fit with a 257-horsepower 1.8-liter Toyota (Tuned Celica Engine) air force fed through an intercooler by an Eaton M62 supercharger, the '09 Exige Cup 260 should hit 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Electronic goodies such as launch control combined with variable traction control, plus 40 kilograms of downforce at 100 mph, do their best to keep the car planted on the track.

Audi R8 is Now Also Available for the Water


This catamaran is heavily inspired by the Audi R8, Design ordered from a Dubai race boat company. Will use one V10 diesel or 2 regular V-8s and will be run on bio fuel for the diesel. Boat is 8.8 meters and expected speeds are in the 100-110 MPH range. The coupe has gull wing doors for access to cockpit area.

VW Scirocco Tuned By Oettinger


The Volkswagen Scirocco has only been on sale in Europe for only about a month, but that didn’t stop Oettinger from tuning it. The new kit consists of a front lip spoiler, new side skirts and a new rear air diffuser featuring a 4-pipe stainless steel exhaust system and 20 inch Oettinger type RXX alloy wheels.

Because the Scirocco is based on Golf, the engine improvements are easy to make. The 1.4 TSI engine has been boosted from 170 to 200 hp while the 2.0 FSI engine now gives out up to 240 hp. There is also a new kit that is currently under development, which will boost the 2.0 FSI engine to 350 hp. No words about the price though.

2010 Ford Mustang Head Light Teaser


Taking a break from our Paris Show reports, Ford just released the ninth consecutive teaser shot of the 2010 Mustang that's supposed to be revealed in November at the LA Auto Show. So what's new? Well, this time Ford Motor Company decided to add a few blurbs giving us a short description of the changes featured in the Mustang’s front-end design. These include slimmer headlamps with the integrated turn indicators that are incorporated in a larger grille and the large twin fog lamps fog lamps on the GT model which also features dark headlamp bezels and grille surrounds. Also on the GT, the revised pony badge is finished in dark chrome.