According to Audi , the next generation Q7 is supposed to be more fuel efficient than the current model, but until that generation makes its grand appearance, Audi has decided to offer a new engine for the current SUV. The first details for this new engine state that it will deliver a fuel economy of 39.2 mpg, up from the 25mpg of the current top-of-the-line engine.

The new 3.0 TDI quattro TDi engine delivers a total of 204 HP between 3,200 to 4,400rpm and 331 lb-ft of torque delivered between 1,250 to 2,750rpm. When equipped with this engine, the Q7 will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 9.1 seconds and will be able to hit a top speed of 127 mph. The new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI engine can be combined with the Standard, SE, S line, and new S line Plus specification levels.

The new Audi Q7 3.0 TDI models will be distinguished by 21-inch 5 segment-spoke alloy wheels, standard metallic paint, tinted privacy glass from the B-pillar rearwards, and running boards. The interior will get a more supple Verano leather upholstery, while the S-Line Plus package will include hard disk-based satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone preparation with online services giving access to Google Earth navigation mapping and a Wi-Fi hotspot for in-car internet access, an Audi Music Interface iPod connection linked to an upgraded speaker system, and the Audi Parking System Advanced with reversing camera.

On the British market, the new Q7 3.0 TDI is priced from £39,995 (about $62,300 at the current exchange rates).

Posted on by Deric Raymond 11

Mercedes-Benz has announced that they will be debuting their updated model for their flagship SLK convertible at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but with an unprecedented twist by the German luxury brand: it’s a diesel.

That’s right, for the first time, the SLK will feature a turbocharged-four diesel engine. The 2012 SLK 250 CDI comes full of new features and a few drips of technology including their 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission, magic sky roof, and the airscarf.

More than just a few upgrades, the new super-sleep SLK offers an elongated ride lending to more cabin and trunk space, an improved steering control and braking system to handle the diesel oomph, and three other petrol engines if you so choose.

At $60,065, it’s one of the more expensive roadsters in its market, but promises to be fun, and of course, luxurious.

Hit the jump to read on about the 2012 SLK 250 CDI.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 2
BMW 7-Series

Usually unflappable German engineering has taken a hit today. BMW has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated an investigation that centers on 120,000 2002-2008 7-Series models, ranging from the 730d to the 760li. This investigation began after a 2006 7-Series experienced an incident in which, after being placed in park, did not fully engage the park gear and proceeded to roll a short distance. This gearbox is designed to automatically shift into park, for example, when the vehicle is turned off.

If this pending investigation makes you nervous, keep in mind that the NHTSA has said that a) "thus far, no cause has been identified for any of the rollaway incidents" and b) it is not a full scale recall, just a preliminary investigation.

You may ask us, would we still buy one? Well, we have nothing but praise for the 7 series. We find it to be truly staggering, leaving us to shake our head in disbelief that a car the size of the state of Kansas can be made this fun to drive. This potential gearbox glitch does not affect our view of the Roundel and we continue to look reverently upon each model. This full size luxury sedan did not disappoint us and it won’t let you down either.

Source: NHTSA

Audi finally came to their senses back in September 2010 when they decided that it was time for the TT-RS to make its way back to the States, but their most recent announcement may leave some with less than what they bargained for. Along with the TT-RS’ first appearance on American soil at the Chicago Auto Show, came Audi’s announcement that we will only be getting a limited run of 1,000 units of the vehicle. Audi is obviously playing the supply and demand game since 11,500 fans expressed their enthusiasm over the TT-RS in only one month. No official details were given on the car, but Audi did confirm that it would be $10,000 more expensive than the current TTS , priced at $51,000. Sales for the Audi TT-RS will begin at the end of Summer 2011.

The Audi TT-RS will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that will deliver an extra 20 HP compared to the European model. With a total of 360 HP, the engine will only be offered with a conventional six-speed manual transmission and will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. We expect to see a greater top speed compared to the European model.

UPDATE 07/08/2011: Audi has announced prices for the 2012 TT-RS, a model that signifies the return of the RS nameplate to the U.S. The Audi TT RS will be priced at $56,850 (excluding destination charges, taxes, title, options and dealer charges). By comparison, the Audi TT-S version is priced from $50K.

UPDATE 07/27/2011: The first Audi TT-RS sold on the US market has been delivered to Forth Worth Audi dealer in Texas. The first client is veteran race car driver Don Istook. He is one of the more than 11,500 fans to sign the Audi TT Audi TT RS Facebook petition drive, which helped convince Audi to introduce the 360-hp coupe in the U.S. "Having raced at almost every major track in the U.S. and Canada, I’ve pushed the limits in many cars in my 34 years as a race car driver,” Istook said. “I like my street car to give me some of that thrill. With my new Audi TT RS, I not only get that thrill, but I also get that ’race car’ sound."

More details on the Audi TT-RS American model after the jump.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 28

What happens when you take a sports sedan and add sprinkles of practicality? You get the 2011 BMW 535i GT. This car lets you carve the corners and allows you to transport the kids in comfort..sounds like a winner in our book.

Black is undoubtedly the color most often worn to any elegant affair and Porsche is taking full advantage of that fact with another special edition model dressed to impress in a sleek black exterior. Mimicking the Carrera Black Edition revealed just a few days ago, the Boxster S model is taking its turn in the spotlight with the same package. However, unlike the Carrera, the Boxster S Black Edition will be limited to only 987 units with U.S. prices starting at $65,200. Sales will begin in March 2011.

The Black exterior carries the dark horse theme around to the model lettering at the rear, the roll-over bars, the rear side air intake grilles, and the twin tailpipe of the exhaust system. A set of black 19" Boxster Spyder wheels complete the aggressive exterior look.

The color also rolls in to the interior to mold itself onto the standard, three-spoke Sport Design steering wheel, the trim strips of the dashboard and of the gear shift lever or PDK selector, the dials on the instrument cluster, and the partial leather seats.

The color change won’t be the only thing distinguishing this model as Porsche is providing three optional packages to further customize this special edition: "Comfort", "Infotainment", and "Design".

Hit the jump to read more about the Porsche Boxster S Black Edition.

Posted on by Bryan 1

Back in 2005, Porsche was looking for something to slot in the middle of the 911 and the Boxster. It had to be pretty darn good, as the 911 is a legend among car fans and the Boxster was a hit for the automaker. What they came up with was the Cayman .

First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupe derived from Porsche’s second generation Boxster convertible, yet it looks like a 911 in the front. The name Cayman is an alternate spelling of caiman, a reptile in the same family as the alligator. Some thought the name came from the Cayman Islands, but that’s incorrect.

After the first generation Cayman was debuted and widely accepted, the second was introduced on February 21, 2009. The power was upped, the transmission was replaced, and the overall performance was vastly superior to the previous model. As an example, this baby 911 could hit 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

UPDATE 12/08/2010: After the LA Auto Show came and went with the unveiling of the Porsche Cayman R, our hopes of seeing a Cayman Club Sport were just about dashed. However, in an interview with Autocar, chief of mid-engined cars, Hans-Jurgen Wohler confirms that the idea of producing a Cayman is still on the table giving us just the sliver of hope we need to hold on to the idea of a CS version for the Cayman.

Hit the jump to read about it.

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 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?

More details in the press release after the jump.

Posted on by Bryan 4

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.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review

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.

Press release after the jump.

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