Hyundai Equus spied in Detroit

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Hyundai EqqusWinding Road has new shots posted of the disguised Hyundai Equus doing the prototype steeplechase on the roads around metropolitan Detroit. To review, the Equus will be Hyundai's new flagship sedan when it debuts sometime in '07 as a 2008 model. It's expected to be offered with both V6 and V8 power, and will likely retail in the $30,000-$35,000 range.

WR notes that the white car they saw testing had an upscale interior treatment that emulated the ones seen on the Japanese luxomarques, while the C-pillar incorporates a very Bimmer-like kink. The Equus will be an interesting one to watch when it ultimately arrives. If the styling's right and the pricing really is in the range we mentioned above, it won't be surprising to see people give it a try. We figure V8 power at V6 pricing should make for a nice selling point.

Time will tell, and we hope to see it revealed during the 2007 auto show season. For more spy shots, head over to Winding Road.

[Source: Winding Road)

 

[via] Autoblog

RUMOR MILL: New platform for Colorado/Canyon/H3 in the works?

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One of the more common complaints about the GMT355-based trucks (Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Hummer H3) is their lack of power. When the H3 debuted, there were rumblings of the 5.3L V8 being slid into its butched-to-the-max bodywork. Unfortunately, someone forgot to measure the transmission. It turns out the V8 with the 6-speed automatic will not fit, and that's the combo the General desires to offer in their smallest trucks. To accomplish that goal, the GMT-355 platform is reportedly going under the knife. No word whether it'll take a stage name when the surgery is over, or if the moniker will stay GMT355, but look for the revised platform under the reportedly forthcoming Hummer H4. Following soon after will be a new Colorado, which is said to look something like Colorado Crew Cab Z71 Plus SEMA concept pictured above. The overwhelmed 5-cylinder is also rumored to be taking a sidestep - giving the 6-cylinder Atlas a place to live. We can only hope the quality of the interior will come up as well. The current GMT-355 trucks aren't filled with materials comparable to the Tacoma, for instance, but the sticker wants to play in that realm. Rebates to the rescue, but our real hope is that the next Colorado is good enough to stand on its own

[Source: GM Inside News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Give your hot rod the gift of... Zirconia

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No ersatz diamonds here, but the Zirconia based coating from Zircotec in the UK will help your vehicle be more durable and powerful. The Zircotec ceramic coating was developed for the nuclear industry and has been proven in automotive applications by several Formula 1 teams. The purpose of the coating is to increase engine efficiency, improve aesthetics and improve thermal management. Older cars don't have the ability to manage the heat generated by their powertrain as effectively as more modern designs. There are also those pesky laws of thermodynamics and physics - a turbocharger housing is going to get bloody hot, no matter what. With a cherry red turbo snail, you'd best make sure anything that can burn or melt is well insulated. Coati ng parts like exhaust manifolds will improve engine efficiency by keeping the ambient temperature of the engine bay down, a by-product of which is lower intake plumbing temperatures. Turbocharged engines will also see a performance increase. The turbine is driven by the expansion of exhaust gas as it cools, and keeping the heat in the exhaust stream allows the turbos to spool harder. Engine blocks and intake manifolds also see benefits when coated, due to better insulation.

The Zircotec coating is so good at providing a thermal barrier that a motorcycle racing team discovered they could remove exhaust pipes without gloves, while the gasses coursing through the pipes were, uh, piping hot. The Zircotec coating sounds like it's well-suited to keeping your vintage sports car from cooking you, or making sure that the 502 you stuffed in your Chevette doesn't blister the paint on the quarter panels due to heat coming off the headers. We'd love to try it out and see for ourselves. No longer burning our fingerprints off on the hot parts underhood sounds like it might be worth the shipping.

More photos after the jump.

[Source: gizmag.com]

Continue reading Give your hot rod the gift of... Zirconia

 

[via] Autoblog

BMW M3 featured in Feb. issue of CAR

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The February issue of CAR Magazine based in the U.K. isn't set to go on newsstands until January 3rd. The cover, however, which reveals what appears to be an official shot of the new BMW E92 M3 rear end, is already up on the buff book's website, while pages of the accompanying article are being hosted on M3Post.com and GermanCarScene (we'll refrain from posting them here on account of the obvious illegality of scans).

In the issue, the BMW M3 is called The Most Exciting Car of the Year, no doubt due to the anticipation of its release, which has been fueled by a steady stream of spy shots and rumors of a 400+ hp V8 under the car's long hood. The article inside the issue states that the new M3 will cost £48,000 GBP, or about $94,000 USD (!) if you trust exchange rates. It goes on to reveal that the engine is indeed a 4.0-liter V8 producing 420bhp, but that the motor can only propel the M3 to 62mph in 4.9 seconds. The current M3 with "only" a 333-hp, 3.2-liter inline-six can manage that in skilled hands, which casts some doubt on the information provided (an over 100% price increase, seriously?). So take the info with a grain of salt, but the scans of CAR Magazine's February issue sure look like official shots from the manufacturuer to us.
Thanks for the tip, Disco Stu!

[Source: M3Post.com via GermanCarScene]

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoblog's #2 Most-Read Post of the Year

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Never underestimate the power of geeks is the lesson we learned from Autoblog's #2 Most-Read Post of the Year, titled "Pics of Nissan Terranaut reveal vehicle perfect for Picard and his crew." The Terranaut is a forgettable concept CUV with obvious sci-fi overtones that was developed by Nissan of Europe early in 2006. Had the title not contained "Picard and his crew," this post would have been passed over by most. With the reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation in place, however, the post was submitted to the social news bookmarking site digg.com, where it stands, we believe, as our most dugg post ever with 2,252 diggs. It was even mentioned by Digg founder Kevin Rose and his co-host Alex Albrecht on the Diggnation Podcast. No doubt thousands of trekkies around the globe were introduced to Autoblog because of this post and what they thought might be a new whip for the Away Team, as it has been viewed 345,709 times since it was posted on February 15th. Had it not been for Picard and his crew, however, this Terranaut post would've boldly gone nowhere.

The list so far:
Autoblog's #5 Most-Read Post of the Year
Autoblog's #4 Most-Read Post of the Year
Autoblog's #3 Most-Read Post of the Year

 

[via] Autoblog

Citroën offers boy-racer-look C1 Chrono

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Click for hires image gallery

Citroën's C1 supermini is getting some new casualwear from the French automaker. Last week, the automaker released the C1 Chrono. Mechanically identical to any other C1 with the 68-horse 1.0i 3-cylinder, the C1 Chrono is equipped with a -- wait for it, kids -- tachometer! The little rev counter is mounted on a stalk attached to the main instrument cluster.

The addition of basic instrumentation is also celebrated through the application of race-look body decals and the installation of white rearview mirror housings. Très sportif, indeed! 14" alloys keep the pert little Citroën planted to Parisian streets. Inside, white-faced gauge and an RDS radio with CD comp lete the deal. Only 800 will be made available and pricing ranges from €10,950 to €11,850 depending on bodystyle and transmission selection. Full details in the press release after the jump.



[Source: Citroën ]

Continue reading Citroën offers boy-racer-look C1 Chrono

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

[via] Autoblog

BMW mystery device

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Click image to enlarge

If you follow the "read" link your eyes and ears will be under full assault as BMW hypes up a soon to be released gizmo. What is it? We're a bit baffled, but according to the trailer it has the ability to play MP3s, DVDs and CDs, has USB and Bluetooth connectivity, can recognize voice commands and has a 65,000 color LCD. But alas, no nav.

We're still a trifle confused as to why an automaker would begin producing personal electronics, but then again, BMW has a tendency to throw the occasional curve ball, with its products and marketing tactics.

Until it's released in Mid-January 2007, we're just going to call it the "Highend," since that's the only discernable thing we could see in the URL.

A few more images are posted after the jump.

Continue reading BMW mystery device

 

[via] Autoblog

Officially Official: Embargo lifts on Lincoln MKR Concept

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click on image for full high-resolution gallery with 25 pics

Thanks to the worst case of embargo breaking in the history of automotive journalism, you're all well aware that Lincoln will be showing the MKR Concept at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. You know about the MKR's signature Lincoln design cues, including the double-wing grille, thin taillamps and dynamic beltline, all of which we're assured will find their way on future production models. You also already know the MKR is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that runs on ethanol E85 called the TwinForce engine. Based on the Mustang's platform, much like Ford's Interceptor Concept, the MKR is a rear-wheel drive, four-door coupe.

Lincoln, however, still had some material on the MKR up its sleeve, so we've got the brand's full press release after the jump, as well as an entire gallery full of high-resolution images that haven't been seen before. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Continue reading Officially Official: Embargo lifts on Lincoln MKR Concept

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 01.01.07

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OK, it was a really busy three days over on AutoblogGreen. Our latest feature story, an in-depth look at biobutanol, went live on Saturday, but there were plenty of other green driving stories at the end of the year. If you're awake enough to enjoy some news about driving smarter, click on any of the links below. Happy 2007.

 

[via] Autoblog

Electric truck hauls amps

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Slowly, the arguments against owning an alternative-fuel vehicle are being made invalid. There's an electric car for speed junkies. There's even a hybrid for hauling more than two people. The Prius not orange enough for ya? You're covered too.

But until now, if you wanted to haul cargo, your choices were limited, if not nonexistent. Phoenix Motorcars hopes to fill that need soon with its uncreatively-named Sport Utility Truck. The midsize pickup will use not one drop of gasoline while hauling your oversized sheets of plywood or mounds of mulch. The four-door cab will even let you take five of your closest home-improvement-able friends to the megastore, while the 480-lb-ft of torque takes the vehicle to 60 mph in a claimed 10 seconds and on up to 95 mph.

Phoenix says the SUT's battery pack will recharge 95% in 10 minutes with the off board charger and in six hours with the on board charger. The company says its NanoSafe battery packs will get 100 miles on a charge, and are guaranteed for 12 years. It just received a $750,000 order for 10 of the 35KWh packs from Altair Nanotechnologies. That order will help the company meet its goal of selling 500 of the California-built pickups in late 2007 in that state, and 6,000 nationwide by 2008.

Autoblog Green reported on the company from SEMA and has all the technical details on their site.

More photos after the jump.

[Sources: TechEBlog and The Auto Channel]

Continue reading Electric truck hauls amps

 

[via] Autoblog

Automobile gets a 6-speed M5. Better, but not great.

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When BMW opted to only make the M5 available with a seven-speed SMG gearbox, the hue and cry from U.S. purists was heard across the ocean. For 2007, BMW has finally decided to appease American customers by equipping the 500 HP uber-saloon with a six-speed manual, much to the apparent disgust of Gerhard Richter, the development chief of the M division.

Automobile magazine got their hands on the manual version of the M5 and seem to have come away with the opinion that it's better, but still not as good as it should be.

Asid e from the fact that the manual cog swapper slows forward momentum of the V10-powered sedan, BMW also decided to nix the ability to completely disable the traction control. This decision, surely on the part of BMW's legal wonks, will likely cause another up swell of consumer complaints.

Overall, the reviewer thought that the action of the clutch and shift linkage was up to BMW standards, but in the end, the two words that stuck with us after reading the review were, "even clumsier."

[Source: Automobile]

 

[via] Autoblog

Get outta Dodge: DAMD goes Loco(boy)

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Click to enlarge

Known best here for their bodykits that have aimed to turn a couple of Nissans into Aston Martins, DAMD is actually a prolific manufacturer of styling kits for just about every Japanese automaker. We have to say that their new accessory kit for Honda's Vamos, Hobio and Acty vans takes the cake, though.

Once the OE parts are switched out for the DAMD pieces, the little kei-class vans are transformed into miniaturized Dodge A100s. DAMD calls the kit "Locoboy." Honda's Vamos family of microvans certainly lends itself to retro-fication. You may recall the Vamos we featured back in August, which was kitted to look like a 1972 Honda Step Life van.

The Step Life clone was cool, but the Locoboy operates on an entirely different plane. We'd roll in this all day.

[Source: DAMD]

 

[via] Autoblog