Monday, September 19, 2011

BMW Releases New Power Kits for 135i and 335i that Boost Output to 320HP

BMW's North American division has set its eyes on the lucrative aftermarket business with the releases of two performance packages for the 135i Coupe and 335i models.

The stage 1 and 2 Power Kits for the aforementioned models are fully covered under BMW of North America’s limited warranty and can be retrofitted at BMW centers or via the Port Installation Program.

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GM Details 2013 Malibu's New 2.5-liter Ecotec, Says it will Deliver More than 30mpg Highway

As time goes by, General Motors is slowly releasing more information on its upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu that's destined to go on sale in nearly 100 countries on six continents, with the U.S. market launch planned for spring of 2012.

Today, the Detroit-based automaker announced some fresh details on its all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine that will take the place of the firm's current 2.4-liter unit as the standard powerplant in the 2013 Malibu's range.

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SPY SHOTS: 2013 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro is on its Way

While we have already brought you a single grainy picture of a completely undisguised 2013 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro prototype that was caught completely off guard on the road, our spy photographers just dropped these latest pictures of a test car in our mailbox.

The mild off-road version of the new A6 Avant, which will once again carry the Allroad Quattro moniker, was covered up in the usual swirly camouflage seen on other Audi prototypes.

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U.S. Fiat Dealers Disappointed by New Decision to Delay Alfa Romeo's Return

American fans of the Alfa Romeo brand are not the only ones to be upset by the Fiat-Chrysler alliance's most recent decision to delay the scheduled return of the Italian automaker to the States. So are the company’s newly launched Fiat dealerships that were expecting the brand to launch in late 2012.

While Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne never put it in ink, the company had told its 130 Fiat dealers in the USA that they would likely get Alfa Romeo cars as part of their franchise.

The Fiat-Chrysler alliance appointed a total of 130 Fiat dealers across the States, most of which already had a Chrysler store. The company gave dealers the permission to incorporate temporary showrooms in their existing Chrysler facilities, but required them to build separate and permanent stores by the end of 2012.

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Renault to Resurrect Alpine Brand with a New Sports Car

Renault is planning to develop an all-new sports car, and one of the options examined by its management is looking to its past and, more specifically, a brand that has ceased to exist for close to two decades.

Speaking to journalists at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault product manager Beatrice Foucher said that the next-generation Megane and Laguna, due to be launched in 2013/14, will be based on a common C/D platform. And this platform will surely include a sports car.

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Rumors: Jaguar-Land Rover to open new Engine Plant in UK

When Tata Motors acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008, it had to buy powertrains for the models that were already in production by the British group's former owner.

Now, as part for their expansion plan, Tata Motors is considering the opening of a new engine plant, according to British newspaper Sunday Telegraph. If the report is indeed accurate (the company wasn’t available for comment) it will be built in Wholverhampton in central England and employ around 2,000 workers.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

U Spy: New 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe / iX45 SUV Takes to the Heat of Death Valley

We really love it when our readers go (literally in this case), the extra mile to snap some pictures of future models testing out.

Today, we're happy to share some excellent photos of the next generation of the Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be renamed to iX45 in Europe and other markets around the world that follow the South Korean maker's alphanumeric nomenclature.

The man behind the camera was Carscoop reader Landoni Corrado from Italy, who during a visit to the USA, caught a bunch of 2013 Santa Fe prototypes hot-weather testing in California's Death Valley.

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Video: One Lucky Son of a Gun…

It's hard to realize that a single moment, just a split second in time, can change or even worse, terminate your life. One of these rare moments almost occurred to the passengers of a car in Russia that was equipped with a dashboard-mounted camera that caught the entire act on film.

While driving on a two-lane highway that was gradually merging into one lane, a large rig on the left hand side of the road and a passenger car on the right hand side, were caught in a life-threatening situation.

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Toyota to Build Hybrid Drivetrains Outside of Japan in Four Years

Toyota has chosen to focus most of its resources on its hybrid models, and more specifically on the Prius “family” and Lexus lineup, in order to recover from this year’s earthquake and the subsequent, and quite substantial, decrease in global sales due to parts shortages.

Until now, Toyota manufactured all components of hybrid drivetrains, such as battery packs, electric motors and inverters only at its Japanese plants. The recent disaster has shown the vulnerability of the decision to put all of your eggs in one basket.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Poland's Arrinera Supercar Ready for Production with the help of Lee Noble

British car designer Lee Noble is back with a vengeance. If you are a Carsccop regular, you’ll remember the Arrinera.

And if you’re wondering who Lee Noble is, you’ll be interested to learn that he has been designing and manufacturing cars for three decades, almost all of them hardcore machines focused on pure driving pleasure. The first of them, the Ultima, was used as the test mule for none other than the McLaren F1.

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Car Movie Review: Super Hybrid

Tilda’s (Shannon Beckner) life is less than perfect: her boyfriend is a layabout body builder who refuses to work because of a back injury, her boss (Oded Fehr) is a sexist asshat who has just passed her over for a promotion and her estranged nephew (Ryan Kennedy) talks about her behind her back.

She works at the 29th District Garage in Chicago, the place where all the accident vehicles go. The garage’s latest resident is a near-totaled Chevrolet Nova with a matte black paint job.

Only this isn’t just any old car: it’s actually a shape-shifting, man-eating killing machine! With the garage closed for renovations over the weekend and our band of misfits sealed in, it is a race to survive against nature’s smartest – and most devious – predator.

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Oh China…Yema Auto Presents Clones of the Audi A4, VW Tiguan and Infiniti EX

Not too long ago, in a country far, far away, Yema Auto presented a clone of the previous generation Subaru Forester. The years passed and the force behind Yema Auto became stronger and stronger…

At this week's Chengdu Auto Show 2011, the Chinese automaker unleashed a second attack with a new breed of clones named the E-SUV, T-SUV and the F16.

In all cases, the pictures speak louder than words and it doesn't take an avid automobile aficionado to see that the T-SUV is a blatant rip-off of the Volkswagen Tiguan, the E-SUV China's doppelganger of the Infiniti EX crossover and the F16 and its commercial E-TAXI sibling, copies of the older Audi A4 Avant.

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The Manchurian Candidate: Jeep capitalizes on Fiat’s Chinese Operations, Wants to Build SUVs locally

Now that Sergio Marchionne has consolidated Fiat-Chrysler management into a smaller, leaner unified team, its members are working full force to maximize the group’s capabilities.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley travelled to China last Wednesday to negotiate the local production of Jeep models with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd., which already has a joint venture with Fiat.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

SCOOP: Mystery Sport Lexus LS Caught Testing on the 'Ring, Could it be the LS-F?

Lexus may not be fully embroiled in the sports car segment as the only true performance models in its range are the IS-F and the limited run LFA special, but something tells us that the Japanese firm is not yet ready to throw the towel in and let its rivals take the win.

And this, despite the fact that over the years, we have heard many rumors about the possibility of Lexus expanding its range of high-performance F-badged lineup to include the GS and the LS models, and which never came into fruition.

This brings us to our mystery Lexus LS prototype that was snagged doing the rounds on the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. Our scoop photographers tell us that the car featured the usual testing equipment seen on other prototypes on the 'Ring.

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IAA 2011: Pretty Cars, Pretty Women Part 3

The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show opened up to the general public today (it will remain open until September 25), which means it’s the end of the road for us.

It has been a truly great ride with some 150 world and European premieres, so what a better way to celebrate the end than to finish up with the third part of our series (see Part 1 here, and Part 2 here) on the booth professionals of the show.

So follow the break and take a gander at our gallery.

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Carscoop's A-to-Z Guide to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show Debuts [Updated]

Frankfurt is playing host to the world's largest and most important motor show of the year and this here is our list of the production models and conceptual studies that are making their debut in Germany.

The 64th IAA International Auto Show, more commonly referred to as the Frankfurt Motor Show, runs for the media from September 13 to 14, and for the public, from September 15 to 25.

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IAA 2011: Kia's RWD GT Concept Hints at Production Version [Updated Gallery]

The all-new Kia GT Concept that will made its world premiere at the 64th IAA is the South Korean company's first ever attempt to create a rear-wheel drive model. It is also the most powerful thanks to a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine that delivers an output of 390HP and 534 Nm (393.8 lb-ft) of torque that are sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Even though development of the concept began less than a year ago, in November 2010, Kia’s European design team has been considering a rear-wheel drive car for quite some time.

The South Korean manufacture's chief designer Peter Schreyer explains: “This concept allows us to explore exciting new design directions, as using a rear-wheel drive layout creates very different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car".

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IAA 2011: Mercedes F1 Drivers Reveal New C-Class Coupe DTM AMG Racer [Video]

Mercedes Formula 1 drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were at hand at the IAA to unveil the Stuttgart-based automaker's new contender in the German touring car championship, the DTM.

The new racing model is based on the recently launched C-Class Coupe and replaces the most successful model ever in the DTM series, the C-Class, which has won 84 victories in 156 races, a record in the championship’s 27-year history.

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Company Launches CD with Original Volkswagen Beetle Sounds

It may be too late for Father’s Day, but there’s nothing stopping you from picking up The Beetles: Greatest Sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s for dad as a very early Christmas present.

Not to be confused with The Beatles, a little known British band that has all but faded into obscurity, The Beetles is a CD of car sounds dating from 1960 to 1978. And not just any car sounds: Volkswagen Beetle car sounds…

Yes, you can now rock out to such timeless classics as “Gears 1 - 2”, “Long Idle” and “Turn-Off, Handbrake”. With 30 tracks (well, 10 tracks spread across 3 different engines), your dad will be over the moon will this mass produced one-of-a-kind CD.

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Toyota Prices New 2012 Prius Plug-in from $32,760 and Prius V Minivan from $27,160

Toyota has released the full rundown on the pricing of the upcoming 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the five-passenger Prius V minivan.

The first-ever Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which combines the firm’s Hybrid Synergy Drive with a small lithium-ion battery to extend the electric-only driving range, starts at $32,000 not including a $760 processing and handling (DPH) fee that raises the price to $32,760, while the better equipped Advance trim model will have an MSRP of $39,525 or $40,285 with DPH.

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Video: Jennifer Lopez Shakes it for the New Fiat 500C

While we were busy bringing you all the news from the 64th International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Fiat USA released their latest commercial for the newly launched in the States, 500C open-top city car, starring Jennifer Lopez.

This is the first but not the last ad to show the hot 42-year old pop star as Fiat has enlisted Lopez to promote the new 500 in more commercials that will appear gradually throughout the year. If you try hard, you may notice the 500 taking a backstage role in the promo...

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Facelift 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Appears Again Undisguised

The refreshed 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has made yet another appearance online, this time on the Hyundai-blog, showing off its redesign snout without a shred of camouflage.

As reported previously, if not all, most cosmetic changes on the facelifted version of the South Korean automaker's first rear-wheel drive coupe are concentrated on the front and rear ends.

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Ford Says New 2014 Mustang will be Less Retro, More Modern

In 2014, Ford will celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary and it will do so by launching a brand new model. The revelation comes from the company’s design chief, J Mays, who spoke to journalist during the 64th International Auto Show in Frankfurt.

According to Mays, the design of the next-generation Mustang has already “locked down” three years ahead of its launch. The real surprise, though, is that Mays states that the new version of Ford’s iconic pony car will look more into the future than in to its past.

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IAA 2011: The Ladies of the Frankfurt Motor Show Part 2

Here is our second –but not last- photo tribute to the beautiful booth professionals of the 64th International Auto Show. For those of you that missed out on the first part, click here.

We're guessing that few if any will read these words (what's the point when the pictures talk for themselves...) so we'll let you enjoy the parade after we remind you that we're preparing a third and much more comprehensive gallery that will go live tonight.

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IAA 2011: Volkswagen Pays Tribute to Fender with New Beetle Concept

The high-performance Beetle R Concept was joined at VW's Frankfurt Motor Show stage by a second conceptual study that pays tribute to famed U.S.-based music instrument manufacturer, Fender.

Mimicking the styling used on an electric guitar customized by Volkswagen Design, the Fender Telecaster, the bespoke Beetle study is painted in a high-gloss "Black" finish with a fine red line framing the side windows.

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Office of Fair Trading to Begin Fact Finding Probe into UK Insurers

The UK Office of Fair Trading has launched a preliminary investigation – known as a call for evidence – into the nation’s insurance companies after car insurance premiums rose 40% over the last twelve months.

The consumer watchdog is probing whether there is genuine competition between the major insurers – and if there is, why it isn’t offering adequate protection for consumers against massive rate rises.

In the past, the industry has been blaming fraud, the so-called “compensation culture” (which must share a room with the “nanny state” and the “me generation” at the Hoary Old Cliché Hotel) and the activities of accident management companies like RTR.

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SCOOP: BMW Continues Development of New 2012 M6 Coupe

We were expecting to see the new M6 making its global premiere at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show, but apparently BMW has other plans set aside. Regardless of where the new M6's debut takes place, we should see the high-performance model in dealership by the summer of 2012.

The third iteration of the M6 in both Coupe and Convertible flavors will borrow the inner works of the latest M5 sports saloon, which means power will come from a 4.4-liter eight-cylinder engine supplemented by a pair of turbochargers and direct-injection technology.

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VW Wants Number One Spot, Will Invest US$86 Billion to Achieve its Goal

Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board has approved a cash influx of €62.4 billion (US$86 billion) into its automotive division over the course of five years. The investment is necessary if VW’s plan to overtake GM and Toyota and become the world’s number one car manufacturer is to succeed. Read more »

Japanese Tuner Sheds Some…LEDs on the Lamborghini Diablo [Video]

If you found the LED adorned Ferrari 458 Italia to be an overkill, wait until you check out this gem created from a Japanese audio and light systems specialist called Diecock – no seriously, that is the company's name.

Make the jump below and see what you should never do to a Lamborghini Diablo.

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IAA 2011: New Mercedes-Benz B-Class Keeps Old Model's Pricing

Good news for European consumers interested in the second-generation of the B-Class, as Mercedes-Benz is launching the new small MPV at the same price as the outgoing model, despite the numerous improvements and additions to the standard equipment.

Available for order now with first deliveries to arrive in November, pricing for the 2012 B-Class starts at €26,001.50 (about US$35,900) including 19% VAT in Germany for the B 180 BlueEFFICIENCY (BE) that is motivated by a 1.6-liter petrol engine delivering 122HP, 7HP more than the preceding model.

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SEMA Preview: Fox Marketing Working on Monster 2012 Honda Civic Coupe with More than 500HP

Even though we are still wrapping up the goods from the 64th International Auto Show in Frankfurt, we are keeping an eye on upcoming automotive events such as the 2011 Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, more commonly referred to as SEMA, that will take place in Las Vegas from November 1 to 4.

One of the project cars currently being developed for the largest aftermarket gathering in the world is a highly modified 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe from Fox Marketing.

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IAA 2011: New Lexus GS450h Full Hybrid Sedan

Having revealed the new gasoline-only GS 350 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, Lexus chose the 64th International Auto Show in Frankfurt for the unveiling of the hybrid variant that we will come to know as the GS 450h.

The full hybrid model is based on the fourth generation body style and it uses a 290-horsepower, 3.5l-itre V6 Atkinson cycle petrol engine, in conjunction with a two-motor hybrid system.

The total system output is 343-horses [DIN] at 6,000 rpm and 345Nm (255 lb-ft) of peak torque at 4,600 rpm. Power is channelled to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential-shift E-CVT.

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IAA 2011: New Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupé Black Series with Aero and Track Packages

We first gave you a taste of the new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series fitted with the special track and aerodynamic packages back in August when we spied a prototype testing at the Nürburgring, but Mercedes-Benz showed the production model at this week's Frankfurt Auto Show.

Available as separate options on the limited edition C63 AMG Coupe Black Series, which is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 pushing out 517-horses, the AMG Track and Aerodynamic Packages were designed to further enhance the two-door model's driving dynamics.

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Senner Tuning Beefs up the Audi S5 Sportback

The crew over at Senner Tuning have pointed their guns on the pre-facelift Audi S5 Sportback with the release of a new package that aims to improve both the performance and styling aspects of Ingolstadt's liftback model.

Underhood, the S5's 3.0-liter TSI V6 gains a software optimization, a new air filter and a custom exhaust system, all of which do their part to lift output from 333HP and 440Nm to 445-horses and 530Nm (390.9 lb-ft) of peak torque.

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Chrysler Slows Down Production Due to a Lack of Carpets

A lack of carpets after one of Chrysler’s suppliers on the East Coast was hit by the tropical storm Lee has forced the automaker to slow down production and cancel shifts this week at three of its plants.

The carpeting shortage has hampered production at the Sterling Heights Assembly in Michigan, Toledo North in Ohio and Brampton Assembly in Ontario.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Install Xenon Flat Fender Flares on an '08 Jeep Unlimited

Fender Flares are plastic molded pieces that attach to the existing fenders on your Jeep. These connect to the body of the vehicle with screws on the inside of the wheel well. Xenon flat fender flares can be installed on your Jeep Unlimited by first removing the existing fender flares. The new fender flares will then attach to the vehicle using the same mounting holes as the old fender flares.


1. Remove the nut that is located behind the marker light on the front fender flare with the socket wrench, if applicable on your Jeep.

2. Push the light assembly out of the fender flare and turn the bulb socket ¼ of a turn. Pull the bulb out of the light assembly and set the light assembly aside.

3. Remove the mounting screws that are used to secure the fender flare to the body of the Jeep. These can be found under the lip of the fender flare.

4. Take the fender flare off of the body of the Jeep and then set it aside.

5. Place the new Xenon fender flare on the body of the Jeep. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them to secure the fender flare to the body.

6. Repeat this process to install the remaining fender flares on the vehicle.

Tip: The rear fender flares do not have a light assembly

Read more: How to Install Xenon Flat Fender Flares on an '08 Jeep Unlimited |

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IAA 2011: The Schöne Frauen Edition Part 1

When the curtains close in Frankfurt in ten days' time, the 2011 edition of the International Auto Show will go down as one of the most exciting in recent memory with more world and European premieres than we could possibly list here.

And as with most events of this magnitude, there were plenty of beautiful faces throughout the halls to keep things even more interesting… Hop over the jump and enjoy the first part of our photo special on the booth professionals of the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Videos: 2012 Honda Civic Hatchback Filmed In, Out and on the Road

The new Honda Civic hatchback is perhaps one of the most significant production models to make its world premiere at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

We've already brought you a barrage of photos and all the preliminary details on the ninth generation of the European market Civic that will launch early next year as a five-door hatchback, so now it's time to show off Honda's latest creation on film.

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IAA 2011: Audi Presents New A5 Coupe DTM Racer in the Flesh

Audi certainly has a rich history in the Deutche Tourenwagen Masters, the German touring car championship, more commonly known as the DTM. From the 1990 V8 quattro until today’s A4, the four-ring brand has raced only four-door models.

This is about to change as Inglostandt's new contender in the DTM is based on the A5 Coupe. Making its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week, Audi’s 2012 racer was developed around three principles: maximum safety, 40% reduction of costs and an impressive bodywork design.

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The Vanishing Tank: BAE Systems’ Adaptiv Technology Renders Vehicles Invisible to Infrared

One of the long-standing goals of science has been the perfection of invisibility. Now, with a new technology developed by BAE Systems called Adaptiv, we’re one step closer to realising that goal.

Although aircrafts like the F-117 Nighthawk have used their unique design and low emission engines and subsystems to avoid radar and infrared detection, true “visual” invisibility has long eluded humanity.

Adaptiv builds on this by taking hexagonal plates called “pixels”, each of which about the size of an anti-tank mine, and fastening to the exterior of a vehicle.

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