2008

2008

For the past twelve years, the Boxster has been playing the chase-the-911 with its styling. Now the 2009 refreshed Boxster gets more of its own look, sorta. Instead of taking its styling cues from the 911, it looks a little more like the ultra-fast Carrera GT .

The new Boxster features a newly designed front and rear ends. The new halogen headlights with their integrated direction indicators are reminiscent of the lights on the Carrera GT, the new LED rear lights tapering out to the outside and integrated elegantly in the modified rear end of the car.

Under the hood, Porsche placed a 2.9-liter engine that delivers 255 bhp (an increase of 10 hp). The S version gets a 3.4-liter power unit that delivers 310 hp (up 15hp). Mated to a the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the new Boxter makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 5.9 seconds. Equipped with the PDK double-clutch gearbox, the sprint will be made 0.1 seconds faster.

As it turns out the increase in power will not mean worse fuel economy. The Boxster equipped with PDK averages 26.3 mpg, and 25.5 mpg for the Boxster S. That’s about a 4 mpg improvement from the Tiptronic automatic transmission cars.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

Unveiled back in 2008, the 21st century Dodge Challenger is entering the 2010 model year with a few new fun upgrades including the SE Rallye package as well as the full blown Super Track Pack which include a set of sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car tires wrapped around the 20 inch rollers, fancy front and rear Nivomat self leveling shock absorbers, larger diameter rear stabilizer bar for better handling, a taller 3.06 rear gear for increased fuel economy in the V8 powered R/T model, performance brake linings for increased durability and the all important enthusiast inspired “ESC-off” setting that will allow owners to hang the tail out and roast sme rubber all starting at just $23,460.

The Challenger SE is the tamest of the trio, powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 making 250 HP and is mated to a four speed automatic transmission. The SE is easily identified by its 17 inch steel wheels with bolt on covers. For a few thousand dollars more you can get significantly more power with the Challenger R/T, powered by a next generation 5.7 Liter HEMI V8 connected to either a five speed automatic with Auto Stick or a precision shift six speed manual transmission with a pistol grip shifter pumping out 370 HP that can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in less than six seconds.

The SRT-8 remains the top of the line Challenger with its 6.1 Liter HEMI V8 cranking out 425 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque which is good for a 0 to 60 MPH time of less than 5 seconds and can go from 0-100-0 MPH in under 17 seconds. The largest of the Hemi offerings is mated to either a five speed automatic transmission with the famed AutoStick or the six speed manual with pistol grip shifter.

Full details after the jump.

Revealed in 2008, the Corvette ZR1 is entering the 2010 model year with new Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology. It is an advanced system that is part of a new Launch Control feature that optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The car comes in two trim levels: 1ZR and 3ZR, with prices starting at $106,880, and respectively at $116,880.

The Corvette ZR1 is powered by supercharged and intercooled 6.2L engine rated at 638 hp and a peak torque of 604 lbs-ft. The ZR1 makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3,4 seconds and will not stop until it will hit a top speed of 205 mph. This way, the ZR1 becomes the most powerful production car ever offered by Chevrolet and GM.

The Corvette ZR1 shares the platform with the Z06, but it is meaner and badder. It features lightweight materials: the roof panel, roof bow, lower rocker moldings, front splitter, the underside of the hood are made out of exposed-weave carbon-fiber, while front fascia, doors, rear fenders and rear fascia are made of various other composite materials. This makes the ZR1 more agile. According to Ed Peper: "It all boils down to the power-to-weight ratio and the ZR1’s is exceptional – better than the Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 Ferrari 599 and even the Lamborghini Lamborghini LP640. In fact, the ZR1 is expected to be the first production Corvette to achieve a top speed of at least 200 mph."

Full details after the jump.

Unveiled back in 2009 with an even sharper Z shape, Nissan is already making minor improvements to the second year 370Z. Upgrading items like the Navigation Package contents, heated mirrors and in cabin micro filter to improve air quality as well as one new tantalizing color, Black Cherry, all starting at just $29,990.

Nissan 370Z Coupe

Compared to the old Z33 350Z’s four trim lineup (regular, Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring), the current generation Z34 will only be sold in base and Touring trims. Allowing owners a bit more creature comfort, the Japanese automaker will then allow new car buyers two option packages, Sport and Navigation. Powered by a VQ37VHR 3.7 Liter V6 with VVEL rated at 332 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque, mated to either a 6 speed manual or a 7 speed automatic with auto blipping Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Contro. The combination is good for an estimated 18 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

Nissan 370Z Coupe

The exterior design revisions include sharpened boomerang HID light clusters as well as a revised front end and wider arches. Meanwhile the interior benefits from a few new upgraded materials while maintaining the classic trio of gauges on the dash. It would appear that Nissan only improved upon what we thought was pretty perfect.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

The last generation 3 shared a platform with the Ford Focus, and so now that the (European) Focus has upgraded its chassis, so will the 3. The new look of the 3 takes cues from the Mazda6 , and continues what Mazda says will be the base of its future design language.

Mazda3 Sedan

On the North American market, the new Mazda3 will be launched as a sedan only, with the hatchback version arriving at a later date.

2010 Mazda3 is offered with two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 148 hp at 6500 rpm and 135 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm; and Mazda3 s powered by a MZR 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 167 hp at 6000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The i version gets a five-speed manual transmission while the s version gets a six-speed stick-shift transmission.

Mazda3 Sedan

The Mazda3 i achieves 25 mpg in city driving with the manual transmission and 24 mpg with the automatic. The highway mileage with the 2.0-liter engine is 33 mpg with either transmission. The Mazda3 s also tops 20 mpg in all conditions. Equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, its city rating is 21 mpg, rising to 22 mpg with the 5-speed automatic. The highway rating is 29 mpg with either transmission.

Press release after the jump.

Hyundai unveiled at the New York Auto Show the 2010 Genesis Coupe, a purpose-built rear-wheel drive sport coupe featuring two performance-focused engines – a 212-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a range-topping all-aluminum, 306-hp, DOHC 3.8-liter V6 engine. Genesis Coupe is scheduled to join the Hyundai lineup in the spring of 2009.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2010 Genesis Coupe was shown as a concept at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show and its transformation from concept to production reveals that its signature design features have emerged intact.

Genesis Coupe is lighter than the Infiniti G37, and its chassis is also 24 percent stiffer in bending rigidity than the BMW E46 M3. Rear-wheel drive provides a 55:45 front/rear weight distribution.

Two engines infuse Genesis Coupe with performance. The 3.8-liter Lambda DOHC V6 engine delivers an estimated 306 hp and 263 lb.-ft. of torque on regular unleaded. This engine will launch the Genesis Coupe from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 6 seconds.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The turbocharged, intercooled 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder benefits from CVVT on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. The 2.0-liter turbo generates an estimated 212 hp and 217 lb.-ft. of torque. It also features a cast-aluminum cylinder block and cylinder head. Both engines feature a free flowing dual cat-back exhaust and an available limited slip differential to put the power to the ground.

Nissan unveiled today at the New York Auto Show the 2009 Maxima, a model that marks a return to the longtime Nissan flagship sedan’s roots as a commanding 4-door sports car – a vehicle that is unique in both appearance and driving feel.

Nissan Maxima

For five previous generations, Maxima has been built on a front-wheel drive (FWD) platform. Yet with the new Maxima’s development team everything was open for discussion, including the benefits of front-wheel drive versus rear-wheel drive (RWD). Although there are well-known advantages of RWD in terms of sporty handling, it was ultimately decided that by switching Maxima from its previous platform to Nissan’s new “D platform,” which was first introduced on the current Nissan Altima Nissan Altima Sedan, Hybrid and Coupe, the target Maxima performance could be delivered – without giving up the added FWD benefits of lower costs, lower weight and enhanced roominess versus a RWD platform.

Nissan Maxima

For 2009, Maxima again features a standard 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine, enhanced and refined to take its driving performance to new levels. The engine delivers 290 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque (estimated), increases of 35 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque over the 2008 Maxima. All 2009 Maximas come equipped with a revised Xtronic CVT with manual mode, tuned specifically for Maxima’s sporty driving character.

Full details after the jump.

Infiniti launched the 2008 EX37, the world’s first compact coupe crossover. Based on the Infiniti FM platform, EX37 shares much of its hardware with both the G37 and G37 Coupe. As a result, it enjoys the same high levels of handling precision and balance as well as similar levels of performance, refinement, build quality and equipment.

Infiniti EX37

The EX37 is powered by a new 3.7-litre version of VQ engine family. Regularly honoured in independent awards the world over, the twin cam 24 valve V6 produces over 310PS and an impressive over 350Nm of torque.

Infiniti EX37

EX37 is available with a new seven-speed automatic transmission while the suspension design - double wishbone set up at the front and multi-link arrangement at the rear - delivers the ideal blend between sporting handling and superior ride comfort.

The RX 450h (second generation) made its world debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show next to the RX 350. The car will go on sale in the spring of 2009.

Lexus RX450h

The RX 450h will feature an exclusive grille, hybrid badging including blue-trimmed Lexus logos, unique front bumper, a special 19-inch optional wheel design, blue-tinted headlamps and taillamps, and optional LED headlamps.

Under the hood there is a Lexus Hybrid Drive system with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This, combined to a new, more efficient inverter delivers 295 hp, 27 more hp than the current generation RX hybrid.

Lexus RX450h

The RX 450h features a front-wheel hybrid drive or an electronically driven, part-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) hybrid drive system, which supplies the rear wheels with the optimal amount of torque as conditions demand. Unlike mechanical AWD systems that reduce fuel efficiency via added weight and friction, the RX 450h’s rear-mounted electric motor-generator allows all four wheels to perform regenerative braking, charging the hybrid battery more effectively.

UPDATE 11/06/2010: Check out our review for the RX 450h hybrid by clicking here !

Press release after the jump.

The Porsche Cayman has always had a suspicious place in the Porsche lineup. The extra-potent "S" model comes very close to hitting performance figures of the base 911, at much reduced cost. But now that 2009 refreshening adds extra power to the Cayman, how will this stack up?

The second generation of the Cayman is making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show right along side its Boxster sibling. Just like the drop top, the 2009 Cayman is being offered in two versions: Cayman and Cayman S (the Cayman S Sport version goes away.)

Porsche Cayman

The Cayman is powered by a 2.9-liter flat-six boxer engine that delivers 265 hp (an increase of 20 hp); the Cayman S gets a 3.4-liter power unit that delivers 320 hp (25 hp more). The Cayman S with PDK dual-clutch automatic and Launch Control can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. That’s a 0.2 second improvement from the previous Cayman S and is within 0.2 seconds of the published figures for the base 911.

As it turns out the increase in power will not mean worse fuel economy. The Cayman equipped with PDK averages 26.3 mpg, and 25.5 mpg for the Cayman S. That’s about a 4 mpg improvement from the Tiptronic automatic transmission cars.

Porsche Cayman

Design improvements take cues from the V10 Carrera GT . The 2009 Cayman gets new front and rear ends with new halogen headlights with integrated direction indicators, new LED rear lights, new air intakes and new rear panels with a wind deflector plate.

Both the Cayman and the Cayman S will go on sale in February 2009 in Europe. It’s expected that the new Cayman will reach these shores soon afterward with only a marginal price increase.

Full details in the press release after the jump.


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