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crossover

crossover

  A crossover SUV or XUV is an automobile with a sport utility vehicle appearance but is built upon a more economical and fuel-efficient car-based platform.


BMW brought out the X6 in the second half of 2008, and with a few years of experience in the market, the SUV is now ready for a minor facelift to keep it refreshingly attractive. And when we say minor, we really do mean minor, because you need to look very close to see the changes in this facelift.

The facelift starts off with redesigned fog lights, headlights, and taillamps with a new adaptive LED option, and moves on to newly designed bars, new paint finishes, light alloy wheels, and leather trim. And that’s pretty much it.

The US market will get its usual xDrive50i powered by a 4.4-liter 400 hp TwinPower Turbo V8 and the X6 xDrive35i with a 300 HP TwinPower Turbo inline-6. However, for the first time, the BMW X6 will be able to be ordered with an M-Performance package that adds a few ponies and a meaner look.

On the US market, the new BMW X6 will go on sale in the spring of 2012.

UPDATE 06/26/2012: BMW has unveiled a pretty cool video for their new X6 SUV. The new model comes with selective modifications in design and innovative equipment features.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW X6.

Saab 9-3

As Saab closes up its latest chapter, which included bankruptcy and many months or “We’re sold, wait, no we’re not” turmoil, we were left wondering what happened to the 900 (ish) Saabs that got held up at port whenever the failed car company filed for bankruptcy. Well, now that Saab has been liquidated to the point that only the 900 cars remain, we now have an idea what’s going on with them.

According to reports, all 900 cars will be auctioned off to varying companies and exporters. Only 300 of these leftover Saabs will make their way into dealerships and the dealers have the option to either put them up for sale at a 30- to 50-percent discount and sell them or strip them down for parts. Obviously the most profitable game would be to strip them down, but it may take a while to sell off all of the parts. So we may be in for some super-cheap Saabs hitting what remaining Saab dealers there are.

The majority of the leftover Saabs will be auctioned to exporters and rental companies. So, for an American to snag up one of these Saabs he has to either find a dealership close enough that actually wants more stock on its lot or pick one up after the rental car company is done with it – AKA after it has been thrashed to within an inch of its life. Who buys a used rental car anyways?

According to the inventory report, there are 67 company cars, which include a 1960 Quantum IV and a `70 Sonnett III, over 450 9-5s, 400 9-3 sedans, 60 9-3 wagons, 12 9-3 convertibles and 28 9-4X crossovers.

So thus closes another part of the Saab saga. Now we just have to see what NEVS can do with the bankrupt Swedish automaker.


Chevrolet has just announced that a new minivan will make its way into the “Global Market,” which is the PC term for developing markets. In addition to announcing the upcoming debut, Chevy also teased us with a rather revealing image, for a teaser anyway.

This image depicts a minivan that boasts much bolder styling than your average people-hauling minivan. It features wrap-around headlights that come to a sharp point near the halfway point of the fenders. The windshield rakes rearward at a very shallow angle and its roofline actually has a slight curve to it. Really, this “minivan” looks closer to a crossover than an SUV.

Considering that the developing markets that Chevy has in its targets, Indonesia and Brazil, it is no wonder that it would bear the minivan classification instead of crossover. From personal experience, I can tell you that the term “crossover” is not a well-known one in Indonesia and only a handful of cars, including the Nissan Juke and Suzuki SX4 , bear that classification. We would assume much of the same is going on in Brazil.

The Spin will be available in both a five- and seven-seat capacity, but unlike American minivans, this one will boast hinged doors – again, bearing more resemblance to a crossover. To remain competitive in these developing markets and allow buyers to be able to fuel this new minivan, it will likely boast a sub-2.0-liter engine as its base level, with its smallest engine likely being the 141 PS (139 hp) 1.8-liter four-cylinder in the Chevy Orlando and Cruze .

Given its size and the fact that its closest competitor will be the 2.4-liter-powered Honda Odyssey, which is far smaller than the American Honda Odyssey , Chevy may offer it with an optional 171 PS (168 hp) 2.4-liter found in the Captiva SUV.

Chevy is set to fully unveil this upcoming minivan/crossover in the next few weeks and it’ll hit showroom floors early in 2013. We’ll update you once Chevy releases this additional info.

Click past the jump to read Chevy’s official presser.


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.

Mini Paceman

Last month, the Mini Countryman Coupe - or the production version of the Paceman Concept unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show - was spotted for the first time doing some of its testing. Now the Coupe is back for another round of testing at the Nurburgring race track, this time featuring the future Countryman Coupe in a completely new color.

Minus the two doors giving it a more sporty appeal, the upcoming Countryman Coupe will be similar to its four-door version. We expect to see the same technology and engines as the standard Countryman, which means it will get a 122 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine for the standard model and a turbocharged variant with 184 HP for the S version.

Expect to see the new Mini Countryman Coupe launched at the 2012 Paris Auto Show with sales on the US market to begin as a 2014 model.

Tesla Model S

We always see new little wrinkles in automotive dealerships to try and make the car-buying experience seem less stressful and forced. Two key examples are the “No-Haggle” promise offered by now-defunct Saturn and the “Sign-and-Drive” deals offered by several manufacturers now, but started by VW . These are less about making the process easier for the consumer and more about increasing the dealer’s profits while displaying the illusion of an easy-going sales force, which is an oxymoron for any commissioned sales job.

Tesla appears to be going into a realm where car buying is a simple and stress-free environment. How they are achieving this is by beginning with the elimination of the traditional dealership and replacing it with smaller stores in local malls. The second step is to eliminate all commissions and pay the employees a salary. The third step is to not require car sales experience as a prerequisite for hiring, which eliminates the high-pressure “Sell now or sell never” mentality. To get a good picture of what to expect, walk into an Apple store in a local mall and see how laid back it is. You can walk in and play with all of the gadgets without a single sales person bothering you until you ask.

You may be wondering about the floor models and demo models. Keep in mind that all Teslas are built to order, so stores only need a handful of models on the floor and a few test vehicles in the mall’s parking lot. The biggest focus of these stores is to simply educate the customer about Tesla models, and what better place to get plenty of people to educate than a traffic-heavy mall?

Our hats go off to Tesla in its new approach to vehicle sales, but we have a sneaking suspicion that we will see Tesla dealerships and commission-based sales in the near future. Especially if sales start taking off and more models have to be kept on hand for the I-want-it-now customer. So we’ll see exactly how long Tesla can hang onto this low-pressure buying experience before converting into your typical high-pressure dealership.

After debuting the Juke Nismo Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show, Nissan brought out the production version at the 2012 Le Mans. It looks like the company wanted to give customers an alternative to those who can not afford the Juke-R ’s $590,000 asking price.

The new Juke Nismo will combine the radical Juke design with a unique blend of styling lines from Nismo. The new crossover has received a new aerodynamics kit that includes lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, and a modified grille and tailgate spoiler which control airflow. The final touch of the exterior is a new set of 18" alloy wheels. The same Nismo treatment continues on the interior where the crossover gets redesigned steering wheel, pedals, gauges, gear knob, and door trims, but also special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching.

Under the hood, Nissan has placed a tuned-up version of its 1.6-liter direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, combined with stiffened suspension settings and new steering modifications for sportier direct handling and improved traction control.

The new Nissan Juke Nismo will go on sale in Europe in January 2013. Sales in Japan and USA will begin at a later date.

Kia Sorento

Ever since the beginning of 2012, the next generation Kia Sorento has been caught testing a few times, but the SUV was heavily camouflaged every single time. Now, it seems as though the stripping process has begun for the Sorento, as new spy shots reveal the prototype without the traditional Kia /Hyundai sack at the front and back.

As we have previously reported, the next Sorento will feature some design elements inspired by the new generation C’eed , including its new designed headlights with LED day driving lights and new front and rear bumpers. The interior will also get higher quality materials and new technologies.

As for the engine lineup, Kia is still keeping the power sources a secret, but we expect to see the same choices of four-cylinder and V6 engines with updates to improve both the final output and fuel economy.

The next generation Kia Sorento is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2013.

Volvo has never been one to be mentioned in the same sentence as performance cars, as the Swedish automaker always focused more on building family-friendly sub-luxury cars as opposed to sports cars. Since its takeover by Chinese car manufacturer, Geely , Volvo has been slowly broadening its vehicle selection to include several sportier models and the latest to come to the forefront was the S60 Polestar .

Another new and sportier model coming to Volvo’s lineup is the V40 , which is a rather sleek-looking 5-door model. Apparently, this was the perfect base for famed Volvo tuner, Heico Sportiv, to build a monster race car and debut it at the Auto Mobil International at Leipzig. This racer is set to compete in long-distance road races in their various alternative fuel classes.

The details are a little scarce at the moment, but Heico has shared a little information. We will share what we know with you now and will continuously update you as more information becomes available.

Click past the jump to read more on the Volvo V40 by Heico Sportiv.

Infiniti FX

The Infiniti FX and EX crossover models have been staples in Infiniti’s lineup since 2003 and 2008, respectively. In each year, both models came standard with Nissan Nissan ’s aging, yet still effective, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, despite the fact the Nissan all but replaced the 3.5-liter with the newer and more powerful 3.7-liter V-6. There’s really no rhyme or reason for the crossover siblings to still use the old 3.5-liter engine and Infiniti is finally realizing it.

As of the 2013 model year, both the FX and EX models will boast the now seasoned 3.7-liter V-6 engine that sees use in multiple Nissan and Infiniti models. This boosts the FX and EX to 325 horsepower, which is a 22-horsepower boost and 28-horsepower boost, respectively. This also brings about a slight name change, as the base FX now becomes the FX37 and the base EX becomes the EX37, replacing the FX35 and EX35.

Infiniti is also adding a few more goodies to the 2013 FX37. These upgrades include a moving object detector on the crossover’s Around View monitor, two new exterior colors (Iridium Blue and Moonlight White), and a new Graphite interior color combination.

The two new models are expected to debut this summer, with the FX37 arriving in showrooms in July 2012 and the EX37 bowing in around August 2012. If any more details on these new models pop up, we’ll update you, but for now it looks like new engines and a few new colors are the only changes to look out for.

Click past the jump to read Infiniti’s full press release.


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