Automotive first things first

Let me introduce myself. My name is Jim Lyons. I work at Allen Paint in Denver. I won't dwell on personal stuff, I don't want this to be a commercial for where I work but I want to be up front about my day job. I've run a web site for 6 years not a big deal but you can check it out at I've taught basic web page design for to middle school students for a couple years and I wanted to do a blog (I’ve tried to do a personal blog I just couldn't think of too much to say).
There are things that come up at work all the time and this seemed like a good idea. Please feel free to comment I may not know everything and in the world of car painting there are often more than one right to do things.

Automotive News Citroen C-Metisse

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When it comes to great sports cars, none come close to the C-Metisse that was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. This is a very stylish, very powerful high performance concept car that can hit top speeds of over 155 mph. Not only that, but the Citroen C-Metisse can actually cover about 45 miles for each gallon of gas. The main point of this car was to actually explore new paths in car design. As you can see, the paths that they chose to take are quite stunning indeed.

The first thing that people notice when looking at the Citroen C-Metisse is the fact that it has front and rear gull wing doors. On top of its good looks, it also offers good environmental credentials as well. In fact, it boasts a V6 diesel engine that has a great diesel particulate filter system. On top of this, it also has two completely separate electric motors on the rear wheels. This gives the car the extra torque that everyone loves. When you are just driving this car around town, it can run in zero emission mode. This is thanks to the two electric motors in the back.

Now let's talk a bit more about that diesel engine in the front. This engine is only in charge of running the two front wheels. It is a 208 bhp V6 HDI diesel engine. It is a six speed automatic car that also comes with 4 wheel drive, which makes since with all the engines they have powering different wheels.

Automotive News The Maserati Quattroprte Sport GT

If you are looking for a car that is going to blow you away, then you can not go wrong with the Maserati Quattroprte Sport GT, 2009 model.

Now, when you first see this car you will think that it looks a lot like the Quattroprte S model. This is because of the chrome logo and red accents, as well as the nice black finish with just all the right trims. However, this car has so much more to it than that.

Where the Maserati Quattroprte Sport GT really shines is on the inside. Here you are going to find a nice 4.7, V-8 engine. This engine boosts more than 433 hp, meaning that it will get you where you want to go, and it will get you there fast. Not only that, but the car's suspension has been changed as well. The car now is a lot lower to the ground than the S model, but it also has single rate dampers and stiffened springs to help out.

Overall, this is a car that anyone would want to drive. When you see what it looks like, you may be thinking that it is just more of the same. However, when you sit behind the wheel, you can see where all of the changes went. This car is not called a Sport GT for nothing.

More information on this car was released at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. However, all the features of this car have yet to be given out. There is a lot of hype about this car, so if you ever get a chance to drive one do not pass it up.

Automotive News Auto Fiat 500

Since the success of the retro style Fiat 500 that came out in Europe, it should come as no shock that a 2009 Fiat 500c is on the way. This is a great version of the car that now has a great drop top to go with it. The design of this soft top does not make it your typical convertible car at all. However, the main goal was to make this car stay true to the original 1957 open top model cars, and they have done just that. Although you will not get the full top down “experience”, it is more than enough to please most riders.

Just like most convertibles today, putting down the top of the 2009 Fiat 500c only takes the push of a button. At the start, this car will come out in three different colors. These colors are red, black, and ivory.

Now for the good stuff! The 2009 Fiat 500c comes with a 75hp, 1.3 litre diesel engine. You can get a 100hp, 1.4 litre gasoline engine if you want. The manual transmission models will, of course, showcase new automatic start and stop technology. It's always worth noting that this car is really good on gas mileage. Thus, for people who are looking for both a car to drive them around everyday and a pleasure car, this car is perfect for you.

This car is set to launch in Europe this spring, but if you keep your fingers crossed, you may hear a rumour that Chrysler is planning on bringing the 2009 Fiat 500c to the US. Although this has not been planned out, you could always special order your car from overseas.

The only Gremlin exported to Australia returns to the United States | Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts

Boomerang: The only Gremlin exported to Australia returns to the United States | Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts

We found this over at Hemmings this morning. A car that could be easily overlooked if it weren't for the fact that it was right hand drive. And such a fascinating story to go with it. A one of one Gremlin sent as a kit to Australia for evaluation of export production/sales there. Incredible that the car survived.

Source: Hemmings

Automotive Newss

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The automotive industry is using programmable logic devices (PLDs) after discovering how they can contribute to the success of both system suppliers and automakers (original equipment manufacturers). With best-in-class quality, cost structures suitable for high-volume consumer applications, and increasing system performance, PLDs are entering the automotive market faster than any other semiconductor category. Unlike ASSP or microcontroller solutions, PLDs provide the flexibility and faster time-to-market that is increasingly becoming a key requirement in the automotive industry.
PLDs, which have already found a home in the automotive infotainment and communications markets, are included in designs for the emerging driver assistance automotive segment. This segment consists of some of the fastest growing applications, including lane departure warning, night vision, and tire pressure monitoring. With a low silicon cost structure, abundance of intellectual property (IP) cores, reference designs, and a long product shelf life, PLDs are an ideal choice for the growing automotive electronics market.
Altera’s automotive grade semiconductor portfolio includes products no other PLD supplier in the automotive market currently offers.
Photos Courtesy: Bosch

Hot News: Renault Pulse to be Revealed on 29th October

Renault is all-set to unveil the Pulse compact car for India, on 29th October 2011.

The Pulse (codename: B58) will be the French car maker’s third offering in six months; the Fluence saloon and Koleos SUV being the earlier two.

The Pulse is based on Renault-Nissan alliance’s V-platform that also underpins Nissan’s Micra hatchback and Sunny saloon and will be built at Renault-Nissan’s Chennai plant alongside the Micra.

The Pulse’s dimensions will be near-identical to the Micra and likewise should weigh less than a tonne which will reap huge dividends in the terms of fuel. While the two cars will share many components including engines namely the 1.2 litre petrol and the 1.5 litre diesel, the Pulse will be easily identifiable as a Renault and willlook different from the Micra. The nose, headlights and grill will be very different and so will the shape of the rear hatch and tail lights included However, the two cars could share the dashboard design as tooling for a new dashboard entails considerable expense.

Apart from the Micra itself, the Pulse will compete with the likes of the Maruti Wagon R, Hyundai i10, Honda Brio and Maruti Swift and will be priced around Rs 4-5 lakh.

Thanks to: Autocar India

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Toyota FT-86

These images show the best indication yet of the new Toyota FT-86’s final production styling. The images – which were leaked on a Toyota FT-86 fan site – show brochure pictures of the new rear-drive sports coupe after a makeover from Toyota’s in-house tuning arm Modellista.

Toyota refused to officially confirm the validity of the images, but Autocar sources have indicated them to be real. Externally, the production car will differ only slightly from the modified car you see here, with the main changes centring around subtly toned down designs for the alloy wheels and bumpers. The car’s exterior design also stays true to the most recent

The images also offer the first glimpse at the FT-86’s cabin, which fits in with the Toyota’s billing of the coupe as offering a real ‘back-to-basics’ approach.

The black and red cabin features sculpted sports seats trimmed in cloth and a short-throw gear lever for the six-speed manual. There’s also an ‘ESP’ off button, and what appears to be a push-to-start button.

The car’s instrument cluster places great importance on the white-coloured rev counter, which reveals a red-line of around 7500rpm. Speed is recorded in the left-hand speedometer as well as a centrally-mounted digital display. No technical details were, however, included in the brochure.

The final production version of the Toyota FT-86 will be officially revealed at the Tokyo motor show next month ahead of its UK launch in summer 2012.

Aimed at the enthusiast driver and inspired by the rear-drive 1980s Corolla AE86, the FT-86 will feature a low-set Subaru flat-four boxer engine producing around 200bhp, a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited slip-differential.

Toyota is promising a low target weight of around 1100kg, some 200kg lighter than a Volkswagen Scirocco. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but £20,000 should be close to the mark.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Audi A4

We’d say that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, but, between the Audi A4 and A5, we’re not sure which is the female and which is the male. We don’t know what it says about us, but we like them both. The A4 and A5, we mean. Following the lead of the recently face-lifted Audi A5 and S5, Audi’s A4 and S4 sedans get similar cosmetic updates and technological additions for the 2013 model year.

It’s a little obvious to say that the most evident change to the A4 and S4 is the front fascia, but it’s unavoidable. The new headlights and rounded nose very much mimic those of the new A6, giving the car a more streamlined look. Even if you’re not a geek for automotive design, compare this car with the A4 of the late 1990s and it’s easy to appreciate the influence of angles and creases on cars that previously looked like suppositories. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that—we hear suppositories have low wind resistance and great fuel economy.)

While the powertrains carry over—a 211-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four for the A4 and a 333-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 for the S4—Audi has taken care to add more gadgetry to keep its mainstay sedan competitive. This includes updates to the optional MMI infotainment system; our favorite is the addition of a touch-sensitive pad that allows the driver to input commands to the nav system by “writing” letters with a finger. Audi has already implemented this system in the A6, A7, and A8, and we’ve found that it works extremely well at deciphering even the most chicken-scratch handwriting.

The European press release for the A4 also includes info on the wagon and Allroad versions. We know that the A4 Allroad is headed here, so we suspect the regular A4 Avant is going to bite the bullet in the States. An Audi rep’s comment that a final decision hasn’t yet been made solidifies this hypothesis.

Between the attractive front end and some new toys, the dynamically strong A4 should be able to minimize defections to the all-new BMW 3-series. When the next A4 arrives in a few years, that model will pack a diesel engine and, we suspect, many other big-picture updates that were just too costly to implement with this face lift. The goose and gander don’t mind waiting a few years, right?
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Automotive News GMC Acadia Test Drive

GM is rolling out their all-new crossover sport utility vehicles and the GMC Acadia is the first to compete in this hot, fast growing segment of the industry. Crossover sport utility vehicles are gaining a foothold with the consumer offering a more sedan-like ride with the same versatility of a sport utility vehicle. That is just what GMC’s Acadia does so well, offering seating for up to eight, and combining the capability of a SUV with a smooth, responsive and sedan-like driving experience. Arcadia features a body-frame integral design that enables lower step-in height and the generous interior space of larger sport utilities. A comprehensive safety system includes six airbags and standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology.

Acadia is powered by GM’s 3.6 liter V6 VVT, a high-tech, all-aluminum, DOHC, engine with variable valve timing that is designed for good fuel economy, low emissions and exceptional smoothness. Electronic throttle control gives it crisp, immediate response and feedback. It is rated at 275hp and 251lb.ft. of torque.
The engine is backed by a new, fuel-saving Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission that is so smooth and quiet you’ll never feel the shift changes. The transmission feature sequential shifting by pushing the shift lever to the back of the gate and pushing a button for +/-.
Acadia comes standard with front-wheel-drive and optional all-wheel-drive for even more traction on slick road surfaces. The AWD system works by always delivering a slight amount of torque to the rear wheels. There is no driver intervention; the system automatically decides how much torque to apply and it automatically delivers torque to the wheels that have the best traction. The Acadia ’s AWD system is also the only one to feature a Low gear for maximum traction.
Acadia rides on a long 118.9in. wheelbase and wide 67.2in. front/rear tracks-a combination that lowers the center of gravity and enables smooth, stable ride and handling. Sharp reflexes are also supported by independent front and rear suspensions.
The front suspension features a MacPherson strut design, with d direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles, while isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration. The rear suspension uses a compact, state-of-the-art linked ‘H’ design, which uses an isolated mounting system that reduces noise and vibration transmitted into the passenger compartment. This design enables the nimble handling that comes with an independent suspension, but with minimal floor pan intrusion-a feature that helps the Acadia offer generous passenger and cargo space. The suspension systems enable Acadia ’s maximum 4,500lb. towing capacity.
The standard power-assisted rack & pinion steering, with variable-effort optional, helps you easily maneuver around slower traffic and keep the Acadia rock steady at high speeds. It gives great feedback from the road with a very good on-center feel.
Quickly and safely slowing Acadia down from speed are large, vented steel discs at all four corners. Up front are 12.8in. discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 13in. discs clamped with single-piston calipers. ABS comes standard, as does traction control, StabiliTrak with Rollover mitigation technology, and a tire pressure monitoring system, all combining to help keep you safe on the road.
The Acadia rides on large 18X8in. wheels and tires standard, with 19X9in. wheels optional. Either size tires give a smooth, quiet ride with excellent traction.
Acadia ’s body-frame integral structure enables lower entry/exit height for passengers. Despite the vehicle’s sport utility-like front-end height, the front door step-in height is only 18.9in., the rear door step-in height is 19.8in. Entry to the third-row seat is eased with very wide rear doors and GM’s exclusive Smart Slide second-row seat feature, which aids passenger access to the third-row seats. Wider than most doors on most other sport utilities, the Acadia ’s rear door width is enabled by the vehicle’s long wheelbase. The rear door opening was maximized by reducing the space between the rear door and the leading edge of the door opening. Engineers were able to maximize the opening space while providing optimal chassis integrity for maximum occupant protection.
The Acadia features athletic styling that underscores GMC’s professional grade philosophy so you’ll notice family design cues with the Yukon . The design is accented with polished aluminum roof rails, select bright work and large, prominent headlamps that flank a detailed grille. The headlights use projector beam, HID headlamps are optional, that are mounted behind plastic that gives them a crystal-clear, jewel-like appearance. The profile is sleek and aerodynamic, with sweptback windshield pillars, a sporty, tapered roof line, lower side moldings, aero-styled power-remote side-view mirrors and wheel-well-stuffing 18 or 19in. wheels. Distinctive LED taillamps, rear spoiler, polished stainless steel quad exhaust tips. Acadia cuts through the air with a very low 0.36 coefficient of drag enabling it to experience less wind noise and improved mileage.
You’ll enjoy the smooth ride even more when you are sitting behind the wheel and putting the Acadia through its paces because as with the exterior design, Acadia ’s interior reflects refinement. The front bucket seats are very comfortable and supportive. A carlike ‘low and away’ instrument panel enhances the feeling of openness in the front and provides a commanding outward view. The instrument panel and other interior elements feature high-quality, low-gloss materials and tight gap tolerances. All well and good but I would like to also see and feel softer materials. Acadia can be configured for seven or eight passengers, including two front buckets, a 60/40-split second-row bench or two second-row captain’s chairs, and a 60/40-split third row bench seat. Leather seats are optional with front power-adjustments.
Gm’s exclusive Smart Slide feature is standard on all second-row configurations, allowing quick and easy access to the third-row seating area. The second-row seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, effectively compressing the space occupied by the seat. It operates with one hand and enables adjustable fore/aft positioning of the second-row seat. Along with passenger comfort, Acadia offers generous cargo room. With 19.7cu.ft. behind the third-row seat, the Acadia has more space than many other sport utility vehicles. With both rows folded flat, the Acadia has 116.9cu.ft. of cargo room. A covered rear cargo convenience center allows items to be stored out of sight beneath the cargo floor.
Standard equipment includes cruise control, power windows/door locks, thick-pile carpeting, dual map lamps with theater dimming, Driver Information Computer, grab handles at each passenger door, manual tilt/telescope steering wheel, and intermittent wipers/washer.
Optional equipment includes touch-screen navigation system, dual skyscape sunroof, 19in. wheels/tires, DVD entertainment system with two wireless headphones, remote and 8X5in. fold-down screen, Bose Surround Sound System, HID headlights, trailering package, cargo area audio controls, tri-zone auto climate control, and the only ‘head’s-up’ display available in a CUV that helps keep your eyes where they belong, on the road, as you see vital information straight-ahead, through the windshield glass.
Acadia comes equipped with six standard airbags: two dual-stage frontal airbags, two seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two head curtain side impact airbags that cover all three seating rows. It is amongst the longest airbags in any production vehicle. Complementing the airbags is GM’s rollover sensing system, which can preemptively activate the side-impact airbags if sensors determine a rollover is imminent. Other safety systems include 3-point seat belts for all positions front load-limiters and pretensioners, steel beams in each door, front/rear crush zones, daytime running lamps, and one-year of OnStar Generation 7.
The all-new 2007 GMC Acadia is a solid choice for a crossover utility vehicle with all the power, performance, comfort and versatility you will ever need. It should be on every consumer’s list when looking for a fun-to-drive and very versatile vehicle.
Prices start at just $26,000.00 and my fully loaded AWD SLT-2 was sticker priced at $45,225.00.
Price MSRP: $37,370 Invoice: $34,941
Type: Large SUV
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles

Length: 200.7 in. Width: 78.2 in.
Height: 72.8 in. Wheel Base: 118.9 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. Curb Weight: 4936 lbs.
Gross Weight: 6398 lbs.
Front Head Room: 40.4 in. Front Hip Room: 57.8 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 61.9 in. Rear Head Room: 39.3 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 61.1 in. Rear Hip Room: 57.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.3 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.9 in.
Luggage Capacity: 19.7 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 117 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 8
Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6 Base Engine Size: 3.6 liters
Base Engine Type: V6 Horsepower: 275 hp
Max Horsepower: 6600 rpm Torque: 251 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3200 rpm Maximum Payload: 1462 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 4500 lbs. Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 40.4 ft.
Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Automatic: : 17 mpg / 24 mpg
Range in Miles: (City/Highway)
Automatic: 374 mi. / 528 mi.

Hot Rod of the Day!

I found this stunning 1950 Mercury via Fotki (a new photo service we are trying out) and just had to post it. In one shot, it captures the whole essence of Southern California Car Culture at it's best. The Pacific ocean, a hopped up flat head, a woody station wagon, and surfing. What more could you want?

Hot News Up Date: Baby Audi R8 is on the Way

The R8 is getting a little brother. Audi insiders have given the strongest hints yet that the much rumoured R4 is heading for showrooms. The two-seater sports car will sit between the TT and R8, and rival the new Jaguar C-X16.

“If the go-ahead was given today, it would take around three years to put into production,” an Audi insider told Auto Express.

Taking inspiration from the e-tron Spyder, the R4 will be designed as a convertible. Our source added: “If you start with a roadster, it’s easy to make a coupe version, too [it’s simply a matter of putting a roof on].” Our illustrations give a good idea of how both cars will look.

Initially, the R4 will come with a conventional engine, such as Audi’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo, producing around 400bhp, but a hybrid will also feature. “Even in our sports car ranges, customer demand for efficiency is increasing,” said the insider.

While all R4s will have quattro four-wheel drive, the hybrid will take this further. As there’s no mechanical link between the mid-mounted engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor powering the fronts, the car will get a clever torque vectoring system as seen on the e-tron Spyder.

This drivetrain promises strong efficiency – the e-tron Spyder can run in front-drive electric-only mode at up to 37mph for around 30 miles.

The biggest question is whether the car will sit on a new mid-engined platform or a cut-down version of the R8’s aluminium spaceframe. The new mid-engined chassis was debuted by the VW BlueSport at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, and could also underpin a new entry-level Porsche.

Our insider explained: “We’ve made platform sharing work in the past with cars such as the Q7 [it shares with the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg], but have to decide if it’s right for this car.”

Whatever the platform, the R4 would be a popular junior R8. With prices from around £50,000, the R4 could outsell Porsche’s 911, shifting as many as 10,000 a year. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Range Rover Sport

With a new Range Rover on the way, Land Rover is also prepping the smaller variant of the iconic off-roader, the Range Rover Sport, for launch. Rumored to be based on a modified Jaguar XJ platform, the Range Rover Sport is said to share underpinnings with the larger Range Rover model, as well as the next-gen LR4 (known as the Discovery in the UK and other markets). Our trusty spy photographer was working hard when he captured these shots, lurking in the bushes to give us a glimpse of this mostly uncovered future sport ute.

The front end is the only part of the vehicle wearing any form of camouflage, using armor-like body cladding to cover up the fenders, front bumper, and headlights. The outline of the grille is more exposed here than on the regular Range Rover we caught in August, helping us to better visualize what the final product might look like. The shape of the grille resembles an inverted trapezoid, and looks taller and wider than the one employed on the current model. We saw a similar grille design on a Range Rover variant we caught winter testing earlier this year.

The body work aft of the A-pillar doesn’t look much different from the model currently sold, although test mules aren’t always an accurate indicator of the production model’s final styling. A feature present on this mule that likely won’t make it to production are the comically oversized, and conspicuously exposed, dual mufflers hanging off the rear bumper. Likely installed for testing purposes, the dual pipes could hint at a V-8 powerplant, or another engine large enough to warrant a dual exhaust setup. The Jaguar-sourced 5.0-liter V-8 – both in naturally-aspirated 375-hp spec and 510-hp supercharged guise – is expected to carry over for the year or two, but hybrid and fully electric drivetrains are currently in development.

The next-gen Range Rover Sport will likely be unveiled alongside its sister vehicle, the full-sized Range Rover, which could arrive as early as fall of next year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Nissan Juke-R

Journalists at a Nissan press event in Spain this week got a nice surprise: a first glimpse at the now-complete Nissan Juke-R sport crossover.

This is the first of two Juke-R models built by Nissan’s European Technology Center and the RML racing team. The project entailed stripping the funky Juke crossover of its turbocharged I-4 and massaging the bodywork and platform to accommodate Godzilla’s powertrain. As a result, the car now sports the GT-R’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6, and boasts all-wheel-drive, 480 hp, and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Impressive, but most incredible is the fact the finished cars will be street legal.

On the inside, Nissan managed to squeeze in the GT-R’s gauge cluster, as well as its seven-inch LCD display with graphics by video game house Polyphony. The car also gets a complex roll cage, designed to brace the Juke body to cope with the extra power.

The hopped-up crossover was given a surprise unveiling at a press event in Malaga, Spain, which was primarily focused on Nissan’s less-insane crossover models. Nissan says the Juke-R will begin testing next month, but after that, the plan is a little less certain. Interestingly, Nissan says it’s toyed with putting a form of a super Juke into limited production, and that the Juke-R will gauge public reaction to such a vehicle.

Seeing as the Juke-R has roughly 25,000 fans on Facebook, many of whom have left comments like “Love that JUKE!” and “This is exactly what all car companies should be about,” we predict the reaction will be favorable.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mazda Takeri

Mazda today has the first photos of the Takeri, an alluring concept sedan that is scheduled to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in late November. The Takeri bears Mazda’s new Kodo corporate design language, and showcases the company’s fuel-saving Skyactiv innovations.

Like the CX-5 crossover, which also was styled based on the new Kodo language, the Mazda Takeri wears a rounded pentagon front grille and flowing character lines. The car ends in a pinched, taut trunklid with narrow lights. Its sweeping greenhouse and sloped rear glass create a sporty feeling, while the Takeri’s profile somewhat resembles cars like the Audi A7 and Kia Optima.

Inside the sedan are four bucket seats and a futuristic dashboard replete with a largecolor display. The three-spoke steering wheel is typical Mazda design, while the flashy gauges and joystick-like shifter are more unusual. The car’s center console also has a collection of buttons and a small joystick, which could be for controlling the aforementioned dashboard display — sort of like BMW’s iDrive or Audi’s MMI.

Mazda says that its Skyactiv-D diesel engine with i-stop (engine stop/start) powers the Takeri. The car is said to have “lightweight, aerodynamic” components, which presumably hints to further Skyactiv innovations like those seen on the CX-5. Finally, Mazda claims the engine uses capacitors to store electrical energy on deceleration, reducing the load on the alternator at other times and thus improving fuel economy.

The Takeri is slated to mix “excellent fuel economy with vigorous performance and a comfortable ride.” Based on its design, we think there’s a strong chance this concept previews the next iteration of the Mazda6. The company has said that production of the next-generation 6 in Japan could begin as early as 2013. We’ll bring you more once the car is fully unwrapped in Tokyo.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Jeep Compass

If you think the legion of Alfa Romeo Giulietta–based mules we’ve seen running around is getting a bit tiresome, well, we sort of feel the same way, too. Almost daily, our inboxes get fat with photo sets of one matte-black prototype or another, cut, chopped, and resized in a dozen different ways. But there’s a good reason the hatchback keeps popping up: Its next-gen bones will serve as the basis for Chrysler’s crucial small-car overhaul. The compact cavalry includes a Caliber-replacing sedan for Dodge and the Jeep seen here, which will put the unloved Patriot and Compass out to pasture.

With its jacked-up ride height signaling Jeep-y intentions, the mule’s Giulietta body is merely an exterior shell covering a newly embiggened Fiat platform known as “Compact Wide.” (It’s based on the Giulietta’s current C-Evo architecture; our sources indicate that C-Wide adds roughly two inches of width.) This particular mule is likely the front-drive version of the compact Jeep, as the photos show no evidence of drive components for the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is certainly in the plans for the Compass/Patriot replacement, however: Jeep chief Mike Manley has stressed that the brand’s future vehicles will be offered in both efficient on-road—in this case, FWD—and focused off-road versions.

Due out sometime in 2013—probably as a 2014 model—this Jeep is currently tapped for production alongside an Alfa version in the Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, although fluctuating exchange rates and assembly costs could easily change those plans. It’s too early to know exactly what will power the CUV, but you can expect a small four-cylinder featuring Fiat’s MultiAir tech and possibly a turbocharger—the Fiat 500’s 1.4-liter can whip up as much as 170 hp in turbo guise. Alfa’s new 1.8-liter turbo four is another possibility, while the automatic transmission is likely to be a ZF-designed nine-speed unit. Whatever the details, we think can say one thing for certain: The final result can’t possibly be worse than the Compass or Patriot.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Automotive News Audi S6 Test Drive

The all-new 2007 Audi S6 is a midsize sedan that you only dream of. It seamlessly blends V10 FSI engine power, six-speed sequential shifting, Quattro all-wheel-drive; unique front and rear suspension geometry, massive vented disc brakes, all riding on 19X9in. wheels and tires. All of this automotive high-technology is packaged in a sleek and sexy design, while you sit behind the sporty steering wheel surrounded by carbon fiber inlays, real aluminum trim, race-styled custom high-back, silk Nappa leather bucket seats, and soft-to-the-touch materials. There is competition from Cadillac CTS-V, BMW M5 and M-B E63 AMG, but none comes close in total.

The heart of the all-new S6 is its new 5.2 liter V10 engine with FSI technology taken from the race track. The V10 is the perfect engine, smaller and lighter than a V12 yet more powerful, using lighter pistons and connecting rods than a comparatively sized V8 engine. The V10 in the new S6 uses the FSI gasoline direct injection principal that permits a high compression ratio of 12.5:1 and a correspondingly effective combustion process. FSI technology has been successfully demonstrated its dynamic potential in auto racing-the Audi R8 race car is equipped with FSI and has won Le Mans 24 Hours five out of six times.
In the S6 the FSI technology is managed by a high advanced Bosch Motronic operating with two separate control units according to the master/slave principle.
Unlike conventional indirect manifold injection, the FSI common rail injection system injects the fuel directly into the combustion champers in precisely metered amounts, at a pressure of up to 1470psi. This results in an extremely homogenous fuel/air mixture, benefiting the efficiency of the combustion process. An internal cooling effect moreover takes place, allowing the engine’s basic compression ratio to be raised. A highly efficient combustion process is the result.
The powerful V10 engine has been optimized for high torque as well as high engine power. It generates a very healthy 435hp at 6,800rpm and 398lb.ft. of torque at engine speeds of just 3,000 to 4,000rpm. Over 90% of the torque is available as low as 2,300rpm. The V10 has instant throttle response and very smooth. It also produces a throaty rumble under load. It is highly refined with low vibration and plenty of refinement. The new S6 blasts from a standstill to 60mph in just 5.1sec.
The entire drivetrain of the Audi S6 has been designed from scratch. The engine’s power is translated into locomotion by a six-speed Tiptronic which adapts to your driving style by means of an intelligent feature. It performs this as a function of the momentary lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and the amount of engine power that is currently being called up. the software program that controls the Tiptronic electronically has been optimized to deliver more dynamic gear changes, the gear changes are noticeably swifter in the one-touch mode in particular. You can call up the automatic’s ‘S’ sport mode via the console shift lever-the shift characteristics here are set for high engine speeds. It is also possible to change gears manually in both modes by means of the aluminum-look shift paddles that are located behind the steering wheel rim. The gear selector lever or gate has another side gate for + by pushing the shifter forward, or –by pushing the shifter backward. The selector lever has an aluminum look and-like the steering wheel-is trimmed in smooth leather.
The servotronic speed-sensitive, rack & pinion steering system with its direct ratio makes a noticeable contribution to the agile handling of the new S6. It always feels solid with a great feel for the road with precise and quick response to your inputs.
Like all high-performance Audis, the new Audi S6 takes Quattro permanent four-wheel drive as its basis. It virtues are already widely acknowledged: superior traction in all driving conditions.
A self-locking center differential, installed longitudinally in the driveline, distributes power between the front and rear wheels, always according to the prevailing situation. The normal split is 40% to the front, and 60% to the rear. According to the situation, it can divert up to 85% of power to the rear wheels or as much as 65% to the front wheels.
If a wheel on one axle spins (wheel slip), it is moreover brought under control by the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) which applies the brakes. This newly configured package of technical features guarantees a further increase in agility, particularly spontaneous turn-in response, and even greater driving stability.
The electronic stabilization program shuts down in two stages: when the ESP button is pressed once, only the ASR traction control system is deactivated; the ESP remains active, to stabilize the car if needed. If the ESP button is pressed for longer than three seconds, all ESP functions are switched off. Only the electronic differential lock and the ABS system now remain active. Pressing the ESP button again switches all ESP functions on again.
As a result, the desired degree of electronic assistance can be determined by you via the ESP button. Without ASR traction control, the degree of stability can, within certain limits, be determined by you via the throttle. Drivers with sporty ambitions who may wish to probe the outer limits of the S6’s handling can in addition completely deactivate the ESP functions with the second stage and let the rear slide out a little when entering sharp corners and curving roads at faster than recommended speeds.
The dynamic suspension layout of the new S6 is based on a technology that has already demonstrated its sporty caliber in the most challenging of conditions: the refined four-link front suspension acknowledged as a typical Audi feature and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension carried over from the A6. This combination gives the S6 one of the most complex and efficient rear suspension layouts on the market. In terms of its kinematic behavior, this technical feature provides a taste of the out-and-out sporty, active characteristics of the S6. As a reflection of its explicitly sporty character, the suspension settings of the S6 have been made firmer, and at the same time assure a high standard of comfort for long-distance driving.
It is so fantastic to drive! So much fun and excitement when you want it, so relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable, when you want it.
The entire layout is designed in such a way as to produce a neutral response with a moderate tendency to understeer when the very high limits of handling and adhesion are approached.
The chassis is constructed using a multi-material concept. The principal components of the chassis feature lightweight aluminum construction, resulting in decisively lower unsprung masses. The targeted use of sheet steel, on the other hand, achieves optimum rigidity wherever it is required.
The Audi S6 comes standard with big, 19X9in. cast aluminum wheels of a 5-arm wing design. The wide performance tires are 265/35R19in. Continental Contact radials.
A strong brake system assures supreme braking performance and decelerates the car quickly and in control even under high loads. The S6’s four large discs are ventilated, the discs up front measuring 15.2in. and 13in. in the rear. The front four-piston calipers are painted black with titanium grey supportive plate with an S-specific S6 emblem. Standard ABS, Electronic Brake Proportioning and Brake Assist enhance braking power and control.
The all-new 2007 Audi S6 not only is very powerful with outstanding handling characteristics; it also looks great from any angle. It looks even more supremely athletic out on the roads-but without the slightest hint of aggression. The most striking differences compared to the A6 are to be found up front. The eye-catching single-frame grille displays the S6 emblem, and its vertical aluminum-look struts are of a double design by way of further differentiation. There is an air inlet beneath the grille and a spoiler lip at the front end providing addition downforce. Another innovation in the front bumper is a pioneering development in terms of both road safety and style: the separate LED daytime running lights, each of which consists of five white light-emitting diodes.
When these light stripes on turned on, wow! The effect is distinctive Audi S6, and the low-down position of the lights gives the car a dynamically flat appearance.
To make this design work, the front fog lights have been incorporated into the main headlights, the covers of which are tinted grey. Bi-Xenon adaptive headlights are standard. The rear light units feature LED brake lights. The S6’s rear also features a color-contrasting diffuser in the bumper for turbulence-free air routing, and four ellipsoidal tailpipes from the free-flowing dual exhaust system and throaty growl.
In the same way as the body design, the interior of the S6 reflects a character of dynamic elegance and high quality-from the organically flowing cockpit to the integrated MMI (multi media interface) operating concept. I’m not a great fan of the dial that does everything because it takes your eyes off the road to be able to change the setting for most of the car’s system. I’m a big fan of the button for quick and easy changes to your current setting. It is safe and sound.
The luxurious interior features just what you would expect from a world-class performance sedan. The new generation of sport seats have integral head restraints and pronounced lateral supports and are upholstered in Silk Nappa leather. The front seats are heated and electrically adjustable in 12-directions including power lumbar support. The rear seats are equipped with L-shaped head restraints affording a better view to the rear. The front seats have the S6 badge embossed on the seat backs.
The three-spoke multifunction leather sports steering wheel with the S logo is a typical example of the hand-crafted character that Audi so often achieves in its attention to detail: it is trimmed in smooth leather and displays a color-contrasting double stitch with an exclusive seam pattern. The reach and height of the wheel can be power adjusted, including an automatic entry and exit aid. The shift paddles, which are mounted to the steering wheel have an aluminum-look finish. The knob on the transmission selector lever is also finished in aluminum and trimmed with smooth leather. So nice to the touch.
The standard trim inserts are grey birch wood with carbon fiber insert optional. The material on the instrument panel represents a further innovation in the S6: it correspondingly exhibits an anthracite-colored metallic surface characteristic. Anthracite is also the predominant color featured on the other sections of the instrument panel. The center console on the other hand is black. All of the material is soft to the touch.
The newly styled instrument cluster features two mechanical designed pods with a 200mph speedometer, an 8,000rpm tachometer and small gauges for fuel and engine coolant temperature. The instrument needles are in white and its numbers use characteristic S-style italics; the dials are in dark grey. An S6 logo also adorns the dials of the tachometer. All of your needed information is easy to see in the color Driver Information System in the middle. You receive information about all of your MMI setting on a high-resolution 7in. color display. The MMI also operates the Bose Surround Sound system with 6-disc CD changer and 12-speakers. Operation of the Bluetooth car phone is also via the MMI. Climate control is dual zone up front with air quality and humidity sensors. The light and rain sensor and the cruise control system likewise play a part in this.
Standard equipment not already mentioned above include remote keyless entry, push button start/stop, power glass sunroof, self-dimming rearview mirror, high-pressure headlight washers, all express power windows/door locks, dual map lamps with theater dimming, heated, power-remote/folding/heated side mirrors, grab handles above each door, thick-pile carpeting with front/rear floor mats, and door kick plates featuring the S6 logo. Options include the Phantom black pearl effect custom paint on my test S6, and the Technology Package with Voice Recognition, Advanced Key, Advanced Parking rear TV, and the Audi Navigation System.
Standard safety features include driver & front passenger front airbags, driver & front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, SIDEGUARD inflatable curtain airbags, LATCH system, front and rear 3-point safety belts with automatic pretensioning and force limiters up front, side impact protection, front and rear crumple zones, anti-theft alarm, front and rear fog lamps, tire pressure monitoring system, and LED daytime running lights.
After a week behind the wheel of the all-new 2007 Audi S6 I have to say that it is one of the best midsize high performing luxury sport sedans on the market, and is reasonably priced starting at $$72,000.00. The only item I would add would be aluminum-faced foot pedals and I’m sure that they will be standard in the eagerly anticipated new RS6.
Price MSRP: $72,000 Invoice: $66,148
Type: Midsize Sedan
Where Built: Germany
EPA Class: Midsize Cars

Length: 193.5 in. Width: 79.2 in.
Height: 57 in. Wheel Base: 112.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.3 in. Curb Weight: 4486 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5666 lbs.
Front Head Room: 37.5 in. Front Shoulder Room: 57.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 37.8 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 55.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.3 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.9 in.
Luggage Capacity: 15.9 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5
Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 10 Base Engine Size: 5.2 liters
Base Engine Type: V10 Horsepower: 435 hp
Max Horsepower: 6800 rpm Torque: 398 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3000 rpm Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 39 ft.
Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Automatic: : 15 mpg / 21 mpg
Range in Miles: (City/Highway)
Automatic: 316.5 mi. / 443.1 mi.
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