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compact cars

compact cars

  Compact car is a largely North American term denoting an automobile smaller than a midsize car, but larger than a subcompact car. Compact cars usually have wheelbases between 2.54 metres (100 inches) and 2.67 metres (105 inches). Another definition specifies between 100 ft³ (2800 L) and 109 ft³ (3000 L) of interior volume.

Acura NSX Concept

Nearly every automotive brand has its own little gimmick. Ford has its blue oval, Chevy has its bow-tie, Buick has its shields, and on it goes. Acura , however, never really developed a gimmick until recently and it certainly made up for its lack of said gimmick by making one for the ages.

Acura’s newfound gimmick was what it dubbed “the shield” or as us automotive buffs have dubbed it “the beak.” As of late, Acura has received a good bit of flack regarding said beak, and even its own design head admits that it went “a little overboard at some points” when speaking about “the shield.”

According to multiple reports, however, Acura has no plans to drop the beak any time soon, but it may massage it a little on certain models. We already saw that the nose was slightly reduced on the ILX , though it was still pretty large. The NSX Concept was another that looked as if the beak was trimmed back a little bit, but it was also still very noticeable.

It’s one thing to have your own little niche carved out in automotive history, but it’s another thing when that niche suddenly becomes the focal point for your cars. We are willing to bet that “the shield” gets trimmed down over the next few years and the largest cut down just may happen when Acura finally releases the production NSX .

Then again, car companies can be a little stubborn when it comes to admitting failure and letting designs linger around for way too long, so we may be in for several decades of this massive beak. Only time will tell.

BMW M5

For true car nuts, there is nothing better than having total control over your car’s power via a manual transmission. Unfortunately, we three-pedal lovers are becoming less and less common each year, especially with the advancements being made in automatic transmission technology. This disappearance of the slush-box automatics and introduction of precision shifting performance automatics has left the manual transmission as an undesirable hunk of metal.

The BMW M-Series is a clear example of where a manual transmission is at its best. With the baby brother, the M3, punching out 414 ponies and its two big brothers, the M5 and M6 , slated to wallop the concrete with 560 horsepower; we think a manual transmission is the only way to really experience them. Well, apparently we are in the minority, as according to Inside Line, only 15 to 20 percent of the M5s sold in the U.S. last year were six-speed manuals and BMW has taken notice.

With this, BMW has decided that the next generation M5 and M6 will not be engineered with a manual transmission option, leaving just a dual-clutch automatic as the only available transmission. This makes the reports that the U.S.-bound M6 models will come with a manual option seem like they were just pipe dreams. The M3 , however, will still receive its typical no-cost manual transmission option.

Fortunately for us, the dual clutch transmission is just as responsive, if not more responsive, than a manual transmission. Plus, there is no clutch to mess with, so your left foot can take a much needed break from all of the thrashing it has received over the years. To boot, this automatic transmission has also proved to be a more fuel-economy-friendly option over manual transmissions, which is pretty much the opposite of what we have had crammed into our heads for the last, say, 100 years!

Source: InsideLine

While everyone’s attention was focused on debuts of the new Aston Martin Vanquish and the Bentley Continental GT Speed , Citroen was also expanding its model line-up with the unveiling of two new models: the new generation C-Elysee and the C4 L.

The new C-Elysee was designed for families looking for an attractive, affordable sedan. When creating the car, Citroen designers had to start from scratch, but the result is a model with an innovative design and a roomy interior that is ideal for families. Depending on the market, the new C-Elysee will be offered with the latest generation VTi 72 petrol engine or a new VTi 115 engine, combined with a manual or an automatic gearbox.

Sales for the new Citroen C-Elysee will begin at the end of 2012 and the model will be sold in selected international markets.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Citroen C-Elysee.


As auto enthusiasts, we all often dream about racing cars professionally and how sweet it must be to navigate these powerful machines to within inches of the bounds of physics. Well, unfortunately, we tend to overlook the fact that with all of that risk comes the potential for severe injury and even death. Unfortunately, we experienced the risk involved in car racing this weekend as up-and-coming rally co-driver, Gareth Roberts, perished in a crash at the young age of 24.

Gareth was in his typical position in the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 that Craig Breen was piloting in the Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia, rattling off the upcoming track directions and related speeds when Breen lost control of the Peugeot and put it into a guardrail. According to reports, Gareth was impaled by the guardrail and lost his life as a result of the injuries.

According to statements from teammates and crew members, Breen and Gareth had been really working well with one another and were starting to garner a lot of attention in the rally world. Gareth also had a bright future as a driver, once he learned the necessary skills, but that unfortunately, never came to fruition.

We are deeply saddened by the death of this young man and pass our condolences onto his family, friends, and his racing team. This is really a reminder of just how dangerous racing truly is, especially rally racing, and we hope that the rally world can learn from this tragedy and make strides toward this type of thing not happening again.


To audiophiles, 18,900 watts of power in a sound system is music to their ears, but to us normal folk, it seems like ear drum torture. Regardless, Nissan decided to team up with the Ministry of Sound to create a Nissan Juke with a monstrous sound system in it and released it for public viewing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans festivities.

On the outside, this flat-black Nissan Juke looks wild enough, with its unorthodox paint job and various black matte decals affixed to its body. On the inside, however, this Nissan Juke takes a turn toward the extreme, in the form of an 18,900-watt mobile DJ booth.

With the hatch closed the two speaker boxes, which each house an 18-inch subwoofer and several mid- and high-range speakers, feed through a perfectly tuned box to provide 150 dB of bone-rattling audio through the compact crossover. When the hatch is opened, the massive speaker boxes go with it, turning this Juke into a rolling PA system.

Complete with a DJ station and ambient lighting, there is no need to go to the club; you are rolling the club around with you. The tunes are piped in through the head unit via Ministry of Sounds digital radio app, so there’s no CDs to change or logging songs onto an iPod or flash drive.

This type of system requires extreme electrical power and the puny 12 volts from the Juke’s system just isn’t enough. This system includes its own power source, which Ministry of Defense does not identify. We can only assume that it is a series of deep cycle batteries, or it runs at a limited capacity when running off of the Juke’s electrical system and can be cranked to full power only when its power supply is plugged into a standard household electrical outlet.

I am not a huge fan of rolling boom boxes, but even I have to say this thing is pretty bad ass!

UPDATE 08/20/12: Nissan has announced a multitude of updates on the Nissan Juke Box, beginning with it’s UK price of ₤17,895 ($28,000), a new batch of photos, and a new video of the crossover hitting the road! Plenty to check up on with the Juke Box.

At the end of last year, Audi unveiled the special edition A1 Quattro - a model limited to only 333 units and powered by a 256 HP 2.0-liter TFSI powertrain. Now, new spy shots suggest that the company is working on a new model that will be placed just under this sporty Quattro model.

The spy shots reveal a prototype wearing the quad exhaust pipes usually found on the S-Models, making us think that we are actually looking at a new Audi S1 . On the other hand, the requests for the A1 Quattro were beyond expectation, so it is very possible that this car will match the A1 Quattro in performance, have a milder and less extreme body kit to fulfill the demands of the customers.

Whichever name this car is bestowed, this prototype is powered by a 2.0 liter TFSI delivering somewhere around 220-250 HP. The power is sent to all four wheels via an Audi Quattro system.

Any ideas on whether this is the Audi A1 Quattro or the Audi S1? Hit us up in the comments section below.

Even if the Audi A1 isn’t being sold in the US - we’re still not happy about that, by the way - the German automaker has taken the steps to ensure that customers enjoy the car even further.

Recently, Audi announced that the A1 will get a facelift of sorts, one that is designed to give the German hatchback a sportier touch. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Audi A1 Amplified.

The upgrades will be offered in three different levels and are set to be available for both the A1 three-door and A1 Sportback five-door.

The first level, called Amplified, will include a matte, transparent film for the engine hood, roof, and rear hatch, a high-gloss black roof line, an S line roof spoiler, exterior mirror housings, a single-frame grille, and a new set of 17" alloy wheels in five-arm design with black inserts. Meanwhile, the upgrades on the interior feature special black-trimmed sport seats with contrast stitching and air vents that share the same colors as the car’s body.

From there, the second level is called amplified plus. This program includes a number of new aerodynamic kit components, LED taillights, and a comprehensive interior program. These new interior digs feature a black headliner, an LED interior light package and a color coordinated ignition key, which we’re not too sure what that’s all about. Stainless steel caps for the pedals and foot rest are also part of the program, as is a center console and rearview mirror housing that have been painted with the same color scheme of the exterior.

The highest level of the program is called Amplified Advanced, which is only reserved for top-of-the-line A1 models. In this program, you’ll get a full boat of interior modifications for Audi’s S-line. S sports seats with black upholstery in Silk Nappa leather with matching contrast stitching in Parade Red or Dark Silver highlight this program. Outside, the Audi A1 is treated to a large rear wing, xenon headlights, and a new set of 18" wheels.

If you’re interested, you’re going to need to shell out a minimum of €1,990, which is around $2,500. Not that it matters because America isn’t getting their hands on this car, let alone its program, anytime soon.

The Smart Fortwo has received yet another special edition. Orders for the new Fortwo Iceshine Edition will be taken starting this month, while the first deliveries will be made in October 2012. The model can be ordered in either white or exclusive azure blue and will be priced from €14,490 - about $18,200. Only 1800 units will be produced.

The white or the azure blue exterior paint of the Smart Fortwo Iceshine Edition will be combined with white tridion safety cell, white alloy wheels in new 3-double-spoke design, LED daytime driving lights, and a special logo on the mirror triangle.

For the interior, the model gets exclusive leather-effect seats with a white fabric insert on the backrest and white stitching, as well as a 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles and white stitching. The list of standard equipment will include automatic gear program, electric windows, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, and a panoramic roof with sun-blind.

UPDATE 09/04/12: Smart has officially launched the ForTwo Iceshine Edition in the UK. Of the 1,800 units of the Fortwo Iceshine that Smart built, 155 will be earmarked for UK customers, costing £10,500 - that’s about $16,657 based one current exchange rates - a pop.

We already know that MINI is a staunch supporter of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. But true to their quirky and aggressive nature, the German automaker took to a different level to show it’s support for the Olympics.

If special edition MINI Coopers and videos aren’t enough, MINI has decided to release a special edition model of the Rocketman Concept . Nevermind unconfirmed reports that the Rocketman Concept has been canned; MINI still sees some strong branding mileage in decking their concept model with an extensive exterior and interior make-over.

The concept vehicle is not a production model, which is a real bummer. But with all the enhancements it has received, we sure wouldn’t have any problems see it in dealerships in the future.

The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away, and MINI picked the perfect time to release this special edition concept. Too bad it’s going to remain strictly that.

Find out more about the MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept after the jump.

Chevrolet Volt

On the surface, the Chevy Volt is actually a pretty good looking car, if you are able to ignore the fact that it pumps out only 149 horsepower from its paltry1.4-liter engine and uses an electric motor for 30 miles before the gas engine ever kicks in. We’re not trying to say it’s a sports car, but it could certainly fall into the sports sedan area.

Unfortunately, we come right back to that 149 ponies and that immediately disqualifies this otherwise stylish car from sniffing the sports sedan segment. Well, GM obviously has noted the potential for the Volt and rumors are now swirling around that Chevy will start installing the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that the all-new Buick Verano T is receiving into the Volt .

As of now, this is still a rumor, but given that the Cadillac ELR and its sexy exterior is due to debut any time now and will likely ride on the same platform as the Volt, it only makes sense to use the powerful boosted 2.0. The ELR with only 149 horsepower would be like dumping a Civic Si engine in a Ferrari , it just doesn’t quite fit the looks.

We are uncertain if the Volt receives the full-powered version of the 2.0-liter engine, or a detuned model, it will mean that the Volt could push up to 270 horsepower, if it receives the full-power 2.0. Also floating around is a rumor that this new engine will receive a larger electric motor for a little extra gasoline-free oomph.

All we can say is that we truly hope that these rumors are true, as the Volt in its current form is underwhelming, to say the least. We’ll keep you updated as more details roll out on this possible upgrade.

Source: InsideEVs

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