2009
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Wallpaper of the Day: 2009 Mercedes CLC-Class

Wallpaper of the Day: 2009 Mercedes CLC-Class

The forgotten Mercedes

Here we are in 2018 and everyone is going bonkers over Mercedes’ latest creation, the AMG 4-Door Coupe and here I am setting the Mercedes CLC-Class as Top Speeds wallpaper of the day. By definition, the CLC-Class is probably the most forgotten model that Mercedes has ever built but yet, to me at least, it was one of the coolest. It was a sporty little hatchback aimed at the younger generation and it had a decent price to go with it. The six-cylinder models even came with as much as 272 horsepower on tap, enough for a 6.3-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed that was electronically limited to 155 mph. As an entry-level model for the younger generation, it wasn’t exactly the most luxurious but it had plenty of the typical Mercedes good stuff on the inside. Either way, the CLC is long gone now, but it can grace your desktop if you remember it like I do. I’ve hand-picked my favorite for the day and thrown in a gallery for you to choose from too. Go ahead and give this forgotten Merc a little love.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2009 – 2012 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

Wallpaper of the Day: 2009 – 2012 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

When deep-pocketed car lovers want something more than a 253-mph coupe like the Bugatti Veyron, the only answer is to find a way to remove the top. And, that’s exactly what Bugatti did, effectively creating the Veyron Grand Sport. It wasn’t anywhere near as easy as it sounds, though, as Bugatti had to do a lot to make the car exactly what it was – an open top speed demon. To help set the model apart, and keep it safe in the event of the unfortunate, there’s a lot going on here. The windshield is lighter, it has restyled running lamps, and that roof – it was made from transparent polycarbonate. It had to be safe, though, too, so Bugatti added in reinforcement around the side skirts and the transmission tunnel. The B-Pillars got carbon fiber cross supports, and the new carbon-fiber doors were built around longitudinal beams that would direct the energy of an accident from the A to the B-Pillars, It even has redesigned air intakes and the necessary carbon fiber roll bars in the rear.

Needless to say, this is one timeless beauty, and that’s why it’s displayed across every computer screen here at Top Speed. Well, when we’re not cracking the whip and punching keys, anyway. We’re displaying our favorite wallpaper here, but there’s a huge gallery at the bottom of the page if you’d like something different. Go ahead and take your pick – they are free for the taking.

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2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque

2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque

Back in the late 2000s, Pagani’s official dealer in Hong Kong requested that Pagani build “the most extreme road-legal Zonda ever created.” Pagani was up to the challenge and, in 2009, Pagani issued a direct response to the request with the Pagani Zonda Cinque. The Cinque was produced in just five examples (with an additional five examples built in roadster form) and was built with the track performance standards of the Zonda R combined with the road-legal standards of the Zonda F.

The end result was a car that was more powerful than the Zonda F with the looks of something that should be chained up inside of a luxurious stable at the track. Furthermore, The Zonda Cinque was actually the first road-legal car that was supported by a carbon-titanium frame and the first Zonda to have a six-speed sequential transmission. Powered by a detuned version of the Mercedes-sourced 7.3-liter V-12, the Zonda Cinque was obviously a very special machine.

As of the time of this writing, seven years has passed since the Zonda Cinque made its official debut (and made five wealthy people very happy,) so let’s take a look back on one of the coolest Zonda’s ever made. After all, one could say it is a genuine work of art.

Continue reading for our full review of the Pagani Zonda Cinque.

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The Forgotten Inline Engine: GM's 4.2-liter Atlas I-6

The Forgotten Inline Engine: GM’s 4.2-liter Atlas I-6

The story of GM’s high-tech straight-six and why it died

General Motors has a long history with making innovative strides in engine development. The Chevrolet small-block V-8, for example, began life in the 1950s and soon became the standard for high horsepower in a small package – a legacy that continues into today’s fifth-generation GM V-8s. Even GM’s lineup of V-6 engines is impressive, ranging from the 60-degree V-6 that powered nearly every GM car from 1980 through 2010, up to the twin-turbocharged V-6 powering the Cadillac ATS-V. However, GM has a lesser-known engine family that deserves admiration for its outside-the-box thinking and outstanding technological advancements: the Atlas inline family.

That Atlas family had three main members, the front-running 4.2-liter inline-six, the 3.5-liter five-cylinder, and the 2.8-liter four-cylinder. All three shared the same basic architecture and a wide range of parts, though it was the 4.2-liter that led the Atlas program.

The 4.2-liter called the GMT360 platform home. This included the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, Isuzu Ascender, and Saab 9-7X. Each of these mid-sized SUVs shared the same architecture, including the industry’s first fully hydroformed frame in a mid-size SUV. Introduced for the 2002 model year, the GMT360 platform sold a couple million examples worldwide before ending production after 2009.

The 4.2-liter Atlas LL8, otherwise called the Vortec 4200, was a groundbreaking engine for GM. It featured an all-aluminum construction, dual overhead cams with variable valve timing on the exhaust side, four valves per cylinder, a coil-on-plug ignition system, a high compression ratio of 10:1, and its cylinder heads featured GM’s then-prevalent “Vortec” engineering designed to maximize airflow.

This combination allowed for the production of 1.06 horsepower per cubic inch – a total of 270 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Torque was rated at 275 pound-feet at 3,600 rpm, but 90 percent of peak torque was available between 1,600 and 5,600 rpm. These stats far exceeded every comparable V-6 on the market at the time, including GM’s own 4.3-liter Vortec V-6.

We decided to take a closer look at the Vortec 4200 and its forward-thinking design. We reached out to GM and found Tom Sutter, the Assistant Chief Engineer for the Atlas. Sutter has been involved with engine programs for the last 30 years, ranging from Oldsmobile’s Quad Four to Cadillac’s current V-Series mills. Sutter was able to give us a deeper insight into the Atlas program, so keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

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Rare 2009 Lamborghini Murcielago SV up for Sale

Rare 2009 Lamborghini Murcielago SV up for Sale

Speed, lightness, and rarity

Super Veloce Racing (SVR), a racing car and supercar specialist based out of the U.K., is putting this extremely yellow Murcielago SV Coupe up for sale. Not only is it striking to look at and mind-bending to drive, but this particular example is also quite rare, bearing chassis number 022 of a total 186 Murcielago SV models constructed. It’s also one of only 28 built in the right-hand drive configuration. According to SVR’s website, pricing is set at 325,500 pounds, or $434,310 at current exchange rates (09/12/2016). SVR is accepting applications for purchase now.

First things first – the Murcielago LP 670-4 is powered by a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 engine producing roughly 670 horsepower – 30 ponies more than the base Murcielago. Torque is rated at 487 pound-feet. Cog swaps are handled by a six-speed automatic transmission, while a high-performance AWD system makes traction. Properly motivated, this Raging Bull can hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

And of course, being an SV, this thing is studded with aerodynamic enhancements from nose to tail. There’s a new fascia, bigger intakes, and tons of vents. This particular example was fitted with the carbon fiber Aeropack Wing, which takes a few mph off the top speed, but also adds lots of extra downforce.

It’s also got carbon brakes, a carbon fiber diffuser, glossy black alloy wheels, a carbon fiber engine cover, yellow brakes calipers, and black SV graphics laid over a Giallo yellow paint job. Inside, there’s carbon fiber trim, black Alcantara upholstery, and yellow contrast stitching.

There are 15,646 miles on the odometer, and all vehicle maintenance was performed at official Lamborghini Service Centers.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2009 Polaris RZR-X Pikes Peak

2009 Polaris RZR-X Pikes Peak

For anyone that got a chance to see the wreck-fest that was also known as the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), you may have noticed an odd vehicle resting just inside the top-10 standings. This vehicle was a Polaris RZR-X... That’s right, a UTV managed to sneak its way into the top-10 with a finishing time of 10:40.669.

This is not a normal RZR-X that you would see sitting in a local bike shop. Oh, no. It’s owner, Doug Siddens, and his crew have this RZR-X tuned to the gills, making it outrun some of the most exotic cars in the world.

In addition, if you were to sit this RZR next to any other RZR in the world, you would barely be able to tell that they are the same vehicle. Doug’s beast features all of the fixins needed to make it into a true race car, err, race UTV.

Mr. Siddens was so kind to actually take the time out to send us a laundry list of what the vehicle has and we chose to provide our readers with a full review of this amazing Polaris RZR.

Click past the jump to read this entire review, as well as see some awesome pics and videos of Doug’s impressive Polaris.

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2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

Stop the press! Ferrari has officially unveiled the 458 Italia, the long awaited successor for the mid-engine Ferrari F430, and the design is leaving our editorial staff speechless! The super car looks impressive from any angle as it has a design that has never been seen before on a Ferrari model. The high performance sports car comes complete with a new engine, improved aerodynamics, upgraded handling, and improved instrumentation and ergonomics inside the cabin.

The wedge shaped body was penned by Pininfarina, while the interior was left up to the work of Donato Coco, Ferrari’s Chief Designer. While you might say that the exterior is more or less based on the traditional Ferrari lines, there are also a few revolutionary new ones, all intended to improve the car’s aerodynamics. The front end features a single wide mouth opening to let a specific amount of air in paired with a vent on either front fender. Out back there are a pair of large ducts just before the taillights, all designed with aerodynamic contours and partitions that direct air directly into the radiators and away from the new flat underbody. The nose also sports small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and reduce drag.

Under the hood Ferrari has placed a 4.5 Liter V8 engine equipped with the traditional Ferrari flat crankshaft that gives the mid-engine sports cars their signature top end bark. The unit produces 570 HP at a rather high 9000 RPM which gives the future super car a power output of 127 HP/Liter. Weighing in at only 3,042 pounds, the new Ferrari will rocket from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds and won’t stop until it hits a top speed of 202 MPH.

The base price for Ferrari’s new supercar is £169,545 – or around $275,000 in the latest exchange rates. And that’s just a ‘simple’ version of the 458. Should you wish to put more add-ons to the supercar, then you’re more than likely to hit the £200,000 mark - $325,000 – which, if you must know is well in reach of the selling price for a 612 Scaglietti.

But hey, if you have that kind of money, who’s to keep you from spending a few thousand more on some pretty nice extra features like steering wheel-mounted LEDs, electric seats, an alcantara trunk lining, and, of course, an additional wheel or two.

After all, nobody ever said that the price for owning a Ferrari comes cheap.

UPDATE 04/27/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain the racing cockpit of the 458 Italia. The video will teach you how to perform the adjustments and explains the commands’ ergonomics. Okay, so this may not be all that interesting unless you own a 458 Italia, but watch it anyway. You may learn a little something.

UPDATE 07/29/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain how the 458 Italia’s engine is being built. Hit the jump and enjoy 11 minutes of high technology!

UPDATE 08/12/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain the process of building the aluminum body and frame of the 458 Italia.

More details on the Ferrari 458 Italia after the jump.

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2009 Cadillac Converj

2009 Cadillac Converj

Here’s a sexier approach to the Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac’s Converj concept takes the electric car with a gas back powertrain (now called Voltec) from the Chevy and wraps it in a sleek body that reminds of a larger version of the CTS coupe. The Converj is a strict four-seater. While this is used to give this car a sportier image, this is also necessary because a big center section is taken up by the "T" shaped battery used to power the car. The battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that can power the car for up to 40 miles. After the battery runs out, the electric will be replenished by a gas-powered generator. Just like the Volt, the car is designed to be fully charged after plugged in for eight hours on a normal household 120-volt outlet (three hours for 240v).

There is plenty of function to the Converj form. The dark roof contains solar panels to help recharge the car and the sleek body helps cheat the millage-killing wind. Now all that has to happen is for General Motors to find the capital to put the Cadillac of electric cars in production.

UPDATE 08/12/11: After a few jumps on both sides of the fence, Cadillac has officially given the green light for the production of the Converj. The latest news about Cadillac’s resident electric car concept is that GM executives have finally gone ahead and given their blessing to have the Converj hit the production block for a 2013 launch leading up to a release as a 2014 model. Took them a while to finally decide, but hey, better late than never, right?

Press release after the jump.

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2010 - 2012 Cadillac SRX

2010 - 2012 Cadillac SRX

The Cadillac SRX was unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and is going on sale starting at $33,330 for the base 3.0 Liter V6 powered front wheel drive version and climbs all the way up to $51,360 for the 2.8 Liter six cylinder Turbo Premium version. As the Cadillac of crossovers enters its second generation, the completely redesigned SRX delivers a dynamic alternative in terms of visual appeal and driving character to ordinary CUVs with its downsized fuel efficient gas burning engines. The SRX comes standard with a front wheel drive layout and is available with all wheel drive as an option. It is built atop a version of General Motors’ Theta platform that is also used for the Chevrolet Equinox and the Epsilon II platform that is also used for the European Opel Insignia.

UPDATE 04/12/2011: After being dramatically redesigned back in 2010, the Cadillac SRX has once again been put under the magnifying glass, but this time the changes that were made to the lineup were minimal. All SRX fans out there will have much to rejoice over as the 2012 Cadillac will get a more powerful version added to its line-up: a 3.6 liter direct-injected V-6 engine that will deliver a total of 300 HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

UPDATE 07/26/11: Cadillac has released some new information about the 2012 SRX, including adjustments to the performance figures on the SUV, as well as new interior features that will be included in the 2012 model. Head on after the jump to find out what’s in store for us with the 2012 SRX.

UPDATE 04/10/12: Cadillac has unveiled the 2013 SRX at the New York Auto Show a series of exterior and interior updates, but the most important one is the addition of the company’s latest CUE - a in-vehicle user experience that incorporates touch-screen controls similar to the most popular mobile devices.

Hit the jump for more details on the Cadillac SRX.

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2011 Fisker Karma

2011 Fisker Karma

With gas prices heading well above $3.00 per gallon in most states, economical cars and trucks have made a resurgence in the American automotive consumer’s mind. One can hardly drive down a road without seeing one of the first and most popular hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius. Most major manufacturers have since produced these types of vehicles and there are more new models in the works, even from upstart luxury manufacturers.

One of the premier automotive designers in the industry felt hybrid cars were lacking in both excitement and luxury, and decided to take it upon himself to create a new segment. Henrik Fisker previously designed such memorable cars as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. His company originally made several re-bodied versions of the Mercedes SL and the BMW 6-series, but in very limited production and a high price tag. Fisker Automotive became a true manufacturer in 2007 with the simple idea of creating an inspired, beautiful, and exciting luxury hybrid vehicles. Shortly after, the Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s easy to see why it turned more than a few heads with its voluptuous flowing lines and promised 50-mile full electric range.

As if drop-dead good looks were not enough to distinguish this car from other eco-friendly vehicles, the performance numbers help the Karma truly pull away from the crowd. Its 0-60 mph performance is said to be in the neighborhood of 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Karma may not be able to keep up with your neighbor’s Porsche Panamera, but while you’re getting 67 miles per gallon, he will be sitting at a gas station.

UPDATE 03/23/2011: Three years after the Karman first debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the first unit has finally rolled out of the Valmet Automotive’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. US and European customers will receive their first units by next month.

UPDATE 07/13/11: Finally, the Fisker Karma is set to be delivered to its first customers. It took a long time, but the wait is now over. The luxury plug-in hybrid sedan is scheduled to be delivered later this month with the first person expected to get his hands on it being no other than Hollywood A-lister and eco-guy Leonardo di Caprio. According to Fisker, there are already 3,000 pre-orders for the car with the wait list expected to hit until early 2012.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Fisker Karma.

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2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai unveiled the sixth-generation Sonata midsize sedan at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is on sale in three different trim levels: GLS, Limited and SE with the 198 hp version has a starting price of $19,195 for the well-equipped GLS model; the 200-hp SE model starts at $22,595 and the top-of-the-line Limited model is available for $25,295.

The 2011 Sonata will be the first model to be powered by Hyundai’s new Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system. The engine is rated at 198 hp (200 hp in the SE version) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC. A second engine will be added next year, a 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine. A 2.4-liter Hybrid Blue Drive version will also be available.

The exterior of the all-new Sonata is long, light and low. The high beltline allows for a long, sleek roofline accented by the third window. A monoform side profile includes flowing lines highlighted by a Hyundai signature chrome accent that spans the length of the car. Normally, this type of trim is only found around the windows. On the new Sonata, this trim extends out from the headlamps, juts up along the hood and through the beltline. The face is bold with a large powerful chrome grille and headlamps that integrate precise details. The stance is completed by 16-, 17- or 18-inch multi-spoke wheels. XM Satellite Radio™, real-time XM NavTraffic, XM Data Services, HD Radio Technology™, Bluetooth®, Touch-screen navigation and iPod®/USB inputs will be offered as standard equipment.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Porsche 911 GT3

2010 Porsche 911 GT3

The new Porsche 911 GT3 made its debut last year at the Geneva Motor Show and it is now on sale at a price of $112,200. beside a few exterior changes, the 911 GT3 comes for the first time, with a particularly sporting variant of PSM Porsche Stability Management, offering the option to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps.

The 911 GT3 is powered by a 3.8-liter six-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine that develops maximum output of 435 bhp, up 20 bhp over its predecessor. It offers even better grip and stability also at high speeds, specific modifications of the car’s aerodynamics increasing down-forces both front and rear to such an extent that the overall pressure pushing down the car is more than twice as great as on the former model. At the same time the new Aerodynamics Package gives the GT3 a brand-new look further accentuated by the new bi-xenon headlights, LED rear light clusters, as well as modified air intakes and outlets.

The GT3 holds an interesting place in the lineup because it is the fastest naturally-aspired car Porsche makes (aside from the track-only GT3 RSR), and some drivers prefer the GT3 over turbo models. This GT3 makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in four seconds and has a top speed of 194 mph. This represents only 0.3 of a second slower to 60 mph and is one mile per hour faster than the current 911 Turbo. Some of Porsche’s professional drivers have felt that the marginal power loss was worth the predictability that was gained by having a non-turbo engine.

UPDATE 12/28/2010: Want to catch over 16 minutes of awesome rally car action? Check out the video after the jump to see Pro rally team Olaf Dobberkau and Alexandra König drift, slip, and slide through the track while enjoying the glorious sounds of the 911 GT3’s beautiful engine and exhaust. Enjoy!

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Volkswagen Golf R

2010 Volkswagen Golf R

The German automaker Volkswagen has just unveiled official details about the all new Golf R - "the strongest Golf produced". The new turbocharged Golf R will replace the Golf R32 and be placed above the Golf GTI in Volkswagen’s lineup.

The exterior the new Golf R features a set of Talladega wheels and upgraded brakes as well as a more aggressive front bumper complete with large air intakes, standard LED strips, a new designed R logo, Bi-Xenon headlights and the rest of the exterior benefits from color matched side skirt extensions and mirror housings painted in a high gloss black paint. On the inside, the Golf R is distinguished by fine leather contrasting with piano black and chrome surfaces, the new “Top Sport seat system”, R gearshift knob, specific floor mats and aluminum kick plates featuring the new R logo along with a set of stainless steel sport pedals as well as an R specific instrument cluster.

Under the hood, Volkswagen placed a 2.0 Liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that delivers 270 HP at 6,000 RPM and sends the new Golf R from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.7 seconds thanks in part to the car’s all wheel drive system. This is almost a full second faster than the old R32’s 6.5 second 60 MPH sprint time, while Golf R’s top speed is still electronically limited to 155 MPH.

Updated 01/25/10: Volkswagen revealed a new image gallery for the new Golf R. Check it out!

Updated 12/09/2010: Volkswagen has officially confirmed today that the Golf R will be available on the US market starting 2012. It will be offered in both two and four door version and will feature upgraded sport tuned suspension, 18" alloy wheels, different R elements and the most important part: manual transmission only. The US version will make its world debut in January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX

Acura has unveiled the first details on the 2011 RDX crossover that comes with Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The 2011 RDX is defined by bold front and rear fascias, Acura’s signature grille, pronounced wheel arches, 18-inch 10-spoke aluminum wheels, and upscale trim accents. On the inside, the RDX is stretched out with beautiful leather, stitchwork, and flowing curves. Add some cutting edge technology and we have a winner.

The interior gets leather trimmed front seats, multiple storage compartments, Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD player, MP3, WMA, XM Radio, 7 speakers, and a 360 watt amplifier.

The 2011 RDX is powered by the same turbocharged 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine that was found in the previous model. It delivers a total of 240 HP at 6,000 rpm with 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission and delivers 19/24/21 mpg on the RDX 2WD models and 17/22/19 mpg on the RDX SH-AWD ones.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet will bring the production version of the 2011 Cruze at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The new compact sedan will be offered in three different trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ and will go on sale in the third quarter of 2010.

The Cruze’s exterior is characterized by a a two-tier grille with Chevy logo, prominent headlamps, a sculpted hood, as well as a short rear deck typically found on sports coupes. On the interior Chevrolet opted for a Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit matched with high-quality materials.

The new sedan will be offered with a Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine standard on the LT and LTZ models and an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder one for the LS models. Both engines can be coupled to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

Updated 06/03/2010: Chevrolet today announced prices for the 2011 Cruze that will go on sale in September. The new mid-size sedan will be offered in four trim levels: Cruze LS starting at $16,995, Cruze LT starting at $18,895, Cruze Eco starting at $18,895 and Cruze LTZ starting at $22,695. Depending on the trim level, standard equipment list includes: cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB port with audio interface, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and remote vehicle start.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

The luxury arm of General Motors, Cadillac has added a sportier new model to their CTS lineup of midsize vehicles. Cadillac showed off the CTS Coupe Concept back in 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show and following much of the same lines, the new model is set to go on sale in the spring of 2010, with a more powerful V-Series version later on in the year.

The Cadillac CTS Coupe is powered by a direct injected 3.6 Liter V6 gas burning engine and is mated to a six speed manual transmission standard with a Driver Shift Control automatic as an option. The combination is good for a total of 304 HP sent either directly to the rear wheel or routed through an all wheel drive system. Depending on how you want your CTS Coupe Cadillac is offering first the Performance Package that comes complete with a set of 18 inch wheels wrapped in all season tires and is available for both the RWD and AWD versions as well as the all out Summer Tire Performance Package that upgrades your rollers to a set of 19 inch units as well as stickier rubber for a higher level of road holding. No matter which you choose, you are sure to have BMW 3 Series drivers gawking at you wherever you go.

Updated 05/20/2010: Cadillac today announced prices for the all-new 2011 CTS Coupe that will go on sale in early August. The CTS Coupe will be offered in a range of four packages:

Standard ($38,990 RWD, $40,890 AWD): Six-speed automatic with tap up/down shifting, 18-inch wheels, performance suspension, rear park assist, Bose audio, MP3 input, EZ Key, remote start, power driver and front passenger seats.

Performance Collection ($43,430 RWD, $45,330 AWD): HID Xenon headlamps, adaptive forward lighting, 10-way power leather seats, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound, USB integration, 40GB hard drive.

Premium Collection ($47,835 RWD, $49,735 AWD): Interior ambient lighting, rear-view camera, heated/vented front seats, heated steering wheel, wood trim, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound with navigation, sunroof.

V-Series ($62,990): 6.2L Supercharged V8, paddle shift controls, Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, 19-inch wheels with performance tires.

UPDATE 07/06/2010: GM announced that their new flagship coupe is already being produced at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant and, on top of that, they’ve bumped the vehicle’s expected shipping schedule sooner than the expected August dealership date.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The look is unmistakably Jeep, but everything else on the 2011 Grand Cherokee is a departure from the old. Outside Jeep ditched the body cladding look of the previous three generations, and has gone for a more unified appearance. It’s a combination of smooth and sharp lines that’s further accented by the reduction of the grille and headlight area. It looks almost like how Toyota would design a Jeep.

Jeep wants to up play the premium SUV elements of the new Grand Cherokee. For starters, Jeep is being very vocal about the new Grand Cherokee sharing a platform with the Mercedes M-Class. Inside the layout has not changed greatly, but the materials quality has been given a big upgrade.

The engine choices have now gone from five to two. The bread ’n butter engine will be the new flex-fuel flexible 3.6-liter V-6 engine that delivers 280 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 N•m) @ 4,800 rpm. Second one is a reworked version of the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine. It now delivers 360 hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque (up 3 hp and 1 lb.-ft.).

Updated 05/12/2010: Jeep today announced prices for the 2011 Grand Cherokee that will be available in showrooms in June. The SUV will be offered in three trim levels: Laredo priced at $32,995, Limited priced at $39,995 and Overland that is priced at $42,995. The SUV will be offered with: standard Active Head Restraints, full-length side-curtain and seat-mounted side thorax air bags, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Hill-start Assist, and Trailer-sway Control. A Blind-spot/Rear Cross-path detection system and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning.

UPDATE 05/19/2010</i>: Chrysler is getting an early jump on the upcoming market launch of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee next month by releasing a new video of the luxury SUV. Click on the picture above to check it out!

UPDATE 06/11/2010: Check out the first commercial for the all new 2011 Jeep Cherokee after the jump.

UPDATE 06/21/2010: Jeep has unleashed an online configurator for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Check it out to personalize your ride before heading down to the dealer.

UPDATE 06/28/2010: Recently, Jeep’s Bob Hegbloom took some time to talk with Pentastar Video to discuss the painstaking process behind the creation of the Grand Cherokee. Among the finer points of the interview include Hegbloom laying the groundwork for how Jeep can maintain its brand image as a rugged SUV that puts a premium on customer satisfaction.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Saab 9-5

2010 Saab 9-5

The new Saab 9-5 Sedan marks an all-new era for Saab. It is not only the first model revealed after the Swedish brand went under Koenigsegg’s ownership, but it also comes with a new design, inspired by both Aero X and Saab heritage. The all-new Saab 9-5 Sedan will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show with sales to start later in model year 2010.

For the new 9-5 sedan, the front is inspired by the Aero-X Concept of a deep grille flanked with curving, ice-block headlamp units. The entire glasshouse is presented as a ‘wraparound’ mono graphic, the disguised windshield and side pillars giving the cabin Saab’s signature cockpit look. Squint slightly and the proportions of the windshield and roof become reminiscent of the classic 900 model.

The car comes with a variety of engine options with the base model having a 1.6-lite engine that can produce up to 180 hp. On the other end of the spectrum, is a 9-5 that comes with a 2.8-liter turbo V6 engine that puts out approximately 300 hp. While engines may differ depending on which version of the car you get, all 9-5 sedans do come with the same six-speed tranny in either stick-shift or semi-automatic.

The interior comes with all the neat trinkets – including a Harman Kardon surround sound audio system that can be configured and controlled through the touch screen display - that befit a car of this stature.

Updated 04/21/2010: Saab today announced the US prices for the new 9-5 sedan set to arrive in U.S. dealer showrooms in July. The 2.8-liter V6 turbo version is priced at $49,990, while for the 2.0-liter turbo variant customers will have to pay less than $40,000 (this version will be added at a later date). The new 9-5 will be offered with: leather-appointed seats and steering wheel, power front seats with memory settings for the driver’s seat and mirrors, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, a cooled glove box, front and rear interior reading lamps, and 12V outlets in the front console and trunk.

UPDATE 06/03/2010: Check out the new commercial released by Saab for the 2010 9-5 by clicking on the picture above.

UPDATE 06/10/2010: Here’s the next commercial in a series of commercials made to show customers the capabilities and active features of the brand’s new flagship sedan. Check out the next commercial after the jump.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Mazda2

2011 Mazda2

The North American version of the Mazda2 compact car made its debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The model will be launched into North American market in late summer, 2010 and will have a very serious competitor in the new 2011 Ford Fiesta.

The new Mazda2 is characterized by a combination of dynamic performance, sportiness and simplicity. The car’s exterior is characterized by a sporty wedge shape that conveys a strong sense of forward motion; a deeply sculpted form in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars; and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.

There is one thing Mazda did not reveal about their new model: the engine line-up. But they did announced the Mazda2 will feature an improved steering and braking systems and a highly regarded suspension system, which has MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear.

Updated 03/31/2010: Mazda announced today at the NY Auto Show prices for the new Mazda2 that will go on sale in June. Mazda2 will be offered in two trim levels – the entry level Sport and top grade Touring, and prices will start at $13,980 and $15,435 respectively (or $16,235 for a Touring version with four-speed automatic transmission).

UPDATE 08/23/2010: Mazda’s lightweight, entry level hatchback will be getting an upgrade for 2011 with the same focus on low fuel consumption and reduced emissions as other models in the lineup. This focus is thanks to the Euro 5 standards for cars that have many automakers changing things up to progressively move forward. The Mazda2 will be unveiled at this year’s Paris Auto Show and will come with a bit of a facelift.

The facelift Mazda2 will get new front styling featuring Mazda’s unique family face, a new interior, upgraded Euro V compliant powertrain line-up, and an upgraded chassis for even better ride comfort. An automatic transmission will also be offered for the very first time.

Press release after the jump.

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