The new generation Touareg made its world debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and next to the usual petrol and diesel versions, Volkswagen is also offering a new hybrid version. The Touareg Hybrid is on sale at a price of $61,385, that’s almost $15k more than a standard Touareg which is priced at $45,270.
We won’t talk much about the new design language since it mimics the design of the standard version Touareg, but we will focus on talking about the SUV’s hybrid drive system. This system combines a 333 HP supercharged V6 TSI engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission customized for hybrid, and a Hybrid Module integrated between the internal combustion engine and automatic transmission. The hybrid module includes a 46 HP E-motor and a disengagement clutch. The E-motor gets its power from a Nickel Metal-Hydride (Ni-MH) battery and allows the Touareg to drive in pure electric mode at speeds up to 50 km/h. The hybrid drive system helps improving the fuel consumption by up to 25% in city driving. These engine specification allow the Touareg to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 150 mph.
When it comes to hybrid SUVs, there aren’t too many choices on the market. So the decision you’re left with is why you want an SUV and what your expectations are. If you opt for luxury, then the Mercedes and Lexus SUVs are no doubt the right choice for you. However, the Touareg is offering you more power with a hybrid system that has a combined output of almost 400 HP. This makes it faster than any other hybrid SUV on the market, so the choice is really about ultimate luxury or environmentally friendly speed. So, which is it?
When BMW dropped a larger engine into the Z4 it could only mean one thing. That instead of an M Z4, we would have to make do with the 35is. If you want a fast BMW roadster, this is as close as it’s going to get.
Still, considering that this 35is has just as much power as the old Z4 M, it’s not that terrible. The only things that you’re going to have to do without are those M badges.
From the outside, the Z4 sDrive 35is looks very good. In fact, we think that this is the best-looking Z roadster yet. In a way, this new car takes a bit of the old Z8’s styling. The look is butch and very aggressive and that’s good for a car like this. We love the straps look on the hood, trunk lid, and the ducktail spoiler.
Inside, the Z4 isn’t bad. BMW has raised the quality of the materials that should have been there in the first place. It feels low down, almost as if you’re sitting on the road. There are plenty of toys to play with, especially if you get the navigation system that comes with iDrive. We didn’t really have time to fiddle with the system, but we hear that it’s a bit easier to use than the old versions.
The Lexus SC430 luxury convertible is entering the 2010 model year with more standard technologies. It is now on sale at a price of $67,505.
The SC’s sleek style is enhanced by a low-profile front grille surrounded by chrome. The aggressive front bumper, projector-lens headlamps and stylish rear combination LED taillamps add to its fluid design. It comes equipped with iPod/USB Connectivity, Streaming Audio, Lexus Navigation System and Mark Levinson Premium Audio System.
The 2010 Lexus SC430 features an all-aluminum construction, and is powered by a 4.3-liter engine that produces 288 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in a remarkable 5.8 seconds. The engine is mated to a six-speed Sequential-Shift automatic transmission. The sequential-shifting capability enhances performance by allowing the driver to nudge the gearshift forward or backward. It works in conjunction with the Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), which compensates for uphills, downhills and headwinds, even adapting shift-timing to the driver’s acceleration habits.
For Lexus it has became a habit to refine the flagship of its line. So, for 2010, the LS460 gets revised styling, new electronics and a new optional performance-tuned Sport Package. It will be offered in four different versions, with prices starting at $65,380.
New on the exterior is a revised grille, bumper, and headlamps, while rear styling is enhanced with revised taillamps, license plate surround and exhaust diffusers. New side mirrors feature integrated turn signals, and the standard 18-inch wheels have a new 10-spoke design.
The LS460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 380 hp and 367 lb.-ft. of peak torque in rear-wheel-drive configuration and 357 hp and 344 lb.-ft. of torque with all-wheel drive (AWD). The engine is mated to a eight-speed automatic transmission.
The LS 460 can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in about 5.4 seconds; 5.9 seconds for the all-wheel drive models. Even with that level of performance, the LS 460 achieves an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway rating (AWD is 16 city/23 highway) and meets Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification.
BMW USA announced prices for the 550i GT - the only 5-Series Gran Tursimo version the US market will get. Sales will begin in spring of 2010 at a price of $64,725, including an $825 destination fee.
The 550i GT is powered by a 4.4L V8 engine that delivers a total of 400-hp and a peak torque of 450 lb-ft. The engine is mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, while top speed is 150 mph when equipped with the Sport Package (priced at $4,200).
Back in 2008 the lightweight English sports car manufacturers from Lotus released a very fast version of their fixed roof Elise roadster, the Exige Sport 240. The special edition Exige offered owners a very street able sports car while on track the 240 was capable of some incredible things. For 2010, the Exige S240 has received a slightly restyled front end, a new rear wing and the same combination of exceptional performance and usability, all starting at $65,690.
The S240’s front bumper gets a larger set of air intakes in the front bumper as well as larger vents in the hood in order to flow more air across the sports car’s cooling elements like the twin oil coolers ahead of the front wheels. This reduces the operating temperature of the high revving Toyota sourced four cylinder engine and further enhances the engine’s efficiency. This aerodynamically improved small super car is exactly what you will need to be able to run lap after lap at your local racetrack whenever you decide to take your new toy out to stretch its legs.
Under the rear decklid of the mid engine Lotus Exige S240 is an intercooled and supercharged 1.8 Liter Toyota 2ZZ-GE with the automaker’s Variable Valve Timing with Inteligence and tuned by Lotus to produce a maximum output of 240 HP at a screaming 8,000 RPM and 170 lb-ft of torque from 5,500 RPM. Tipping the scales at just over 2,000 pounds, the Exige Sport 240 is able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 4.1 seconds and reach the 100 MPH mark just 10 seconds after takeoff. The S240 can reach a top speed of 150 MPH and thanks to the drag reducing front end is able to get an EPA estimated 20 MPG around town and as much as 26 MPG on the highway.
The Saab Chile web page revealed the first official images and details on the 2010 9-4X. The official unveiling will be made next year at the Detroit Auto Show.
According to the official informations from Saab, the 2010 9-4X will be powered by a 2.0 turbo engine that delivers 245 hp at 5,300rpm and 400 Nm of torque at 1900rpm. The engine will be mated to a six speed sequential SENTRONIC gearbox.
The 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in 6,4 seconds, while the top speed will be limited to 155 mph.
The BMW M3 Convertible made its North American debut today at the New York Auto Show. It will go on sale at the US dealers starting this Spring at a price of $65,725. The Convertible version will be added to the M3 line-up made of the Coupe version sold for $57,275 and the M3 Sedan which starts at $54,575.
The move to eight cylinders in the fourth generation BMW M3 provides a powerplant offering the seemingly disparate characteristics of more power, increased efficiency and reduced weight when compared with the previous six-cylinder M3 engine. Displacing 3,999 cubic centimeters (4.0 liters), the new light-alloy engine produces 414 hp at 8,300 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85 percent of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500 rpm. This power output represents a 24 percent increase over the six-cylinder from the last generation M3 and it comes with a seven percent weight saving. Compression ratio is dialed in to 12.0:1 and redline is set at 8,400 rpm.
Also in addition to the traditional 6-speed manual transmission, the new M3 convertible premieres a new 7-speed double clutch transmission specially designed for a high-rpm engine. The M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic (M DCT Drivelogic) shifts gears without the slightest interruption in the flow of power. As a result, M DCT Drivelogic is able to extract the most performance possible from the car while also providing a smooth comfortable shift from one gear to the next.
Porsche presented today at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2009 Cayenne GTS, the latest edition of the Cayenne family. According to Porsche the new Cayenne GTS will offer the best on-road characteristics of any Cayenne to date.
The GTS features the same 4.8 liter, direct injection V-8 engine as the Cayenne S but a larger intake manifold and other modifications allow it to produce an impressive 405hp. And for the first time in North America, you can have a Porsche V-8 paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
The GTS is equipped with 21-inch alloy wheels carrying 295/35 R21 tires that, when combined with standard air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management, offer remarkable street handling that most would never equate to a sport utility vehicle.