Tesla & Brabus Have A Go At Smart

Wednesday September 23rd, 2009 at 7:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Brabus smart car

It was bound to happen, and it looks like it just did at this years Frankfurt Motor Show. By ‘it’, I mean someone doing a modded version of the upcoming Smart EV. And the people who decided to take a crack at it are noted German tuning house Brabus. Brabus is most famous for making Mercedes that outperform WW II fighter planes. You know the drill: S-Class with huge motors and aero bits that top out over 200 MPH, that sort of thing.

So what happens when Brabus goes in the completely opposite direction and even goes so far as to do away with the internal combustion engine entirely? We’ll find out, but the good news up front is that someone is actually doing it. I’ve said for years now that if you want to make better EVs, and get people to buy them and take them seriously, you can’t just make them green, you have to make them fun.

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Some Electric Winners at Frankfurt

Thursday September 17th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: m35man

Citreon EV

France’s Renault SA stole the spotlight at the Frankfurt Motor Show, unveiling four electric cars and pledging to bring them to market at reasonable prices within three years.

These spicy winners steamed the competition when Renault stepped up and led the buzz parade. The name of the game in Frankfurt was electric. Gas is passé and the press is impressed by top-tier designs that embrace the passion of electric car technology.

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Aston Martin Rapide, Finally For Real

Wednesday September 16th, 2009 at 9:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide 4 door has had one of the longest gestation periods of any car in recent memory. It first came upon the scene almost four years after its concept debuted at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. The initial reaction of everyone who saw it was a simple “Build it now!!!”

And finally, Aston has gotten off the dime and finally revealed a production version in Frankfurt. Due to hit the streets in early in 2010, this will be Aston Martin’s first series production four-door. AM didn’t mention prices just yet, but did say that detailed pricing expected to be announced later in the year. The Rapide will be come equipped with Aston Martin’s hand built 6.0-liter V12 engine that puts out 477HP at 6,000 rpm and 443 lbft of peak torque at 5000 rpm.

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All-New 2010 Land Cruiser

Tuesday September 15th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

2010 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser, the first real response to the Jeep, and the first ride out there that showed that someone besides Americans could make decent off road trucks. That was back in the dark ages though, before SUVs were everywhere and soccer moms and flat screens for the kids in back were even a consideration.

And now, here we are, it’s nearly 2010, and Toyota has just released the info on the latest iteration of its venerable Land Cruiser. Premiering at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-new 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser, will go on sale in Europe and other international markets before the end of fall 2009. The sixth-generation Land Cruiser, which will also have a Lexus-badged version in North American, gets all new sheetmetal and a completely overhauled interior.

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Baby Rolls Royce Ghost Gets Twin-Turbo V12

Wednesday September 9th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Rolls Royce Ghost

First it was a rumor, and now it looks to be a reality, but the engine choice seems counter to where they were supposedly going. Rolls Royce, makers of cars for the old money and landed gentry for the longest time, has decided to make what amounts to an “entry level” or baby Roller – or at the very least a smaller ride. Nothing really wrong with that. And on the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with mounting a twin-turbo V12 into a car, any car. But isn’t this supposed to be the “baby” of the line up?

Rolls Royce let some details about the upcoming and all-new Ghost, which a lot of people are saying will be the first “driver-orientated” Roller in quite a while. The Ghost was first publicized at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and then previewed at this year’s Geneva Show, and is aimed to compete head on with Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur.

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Polo Three-Door Diesel Gets 71 mpg

Monday September 7th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Polo

More news from the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show about the bound for the United States Polo from Volkswagen. The Polo, or some version of it, has been around Europe for quite some time. VW never brought it to North America because they felt it was “too small” for us. That might have been true, but times have changed and so has the Polo. The upcoming version is now about the size of the Golf from a few generations ago, and VW is supposedly bringing it to U.S.

Which is good on a number of levels. It should be small, tossable, fun to drive and economical to operate. It could also fill a nice niche for first time car buyers, and for those that use their car primarily for commuting or city driving, the Polo seems like a natural. And if VW is smart enough to bring the TDi diesel variant here, the gas mileage looks to be stunning.

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Ford Unveiling C-Max at Frankfurt Motor Show

Friday September 4th, 2009 at 11:99 AM
Posted by: m35man

Ford C-Max

Ford Motor Co. will unveil the first of many models that will be built on its new, compact-car underpinnings this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Ford’s on a roll, with a ton of Cash for Clunkers money in its pockets while receiving great reviews on all its new vehicles, especially their 2010 Taurus. This is a good time for Ford, and positive responses on the new C-Max will only strengthen the carmaker’s position moving into 2010.

Based on the Ford iosis Max concept displayed earlier this year at the Geneva car show, the all-new C-Max is roomier and more stylish than the vehicle it replaces. The car will debut in Frankfurt Sept. 15, and is scheduled to roll into Ford of Europe showrooms in the second half of 2010.

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Frankfurt Motor Show Preview: New Volkswagen BlueMotions

Wednesday September 2nd, 2009 at 10:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW BlueMotion cars

Frankfurt’s a’comin, so let’s look at some hot numbers set to debut there from Volkswagen. In this case, VW is set to debut BlueMotion diesel version of its Polo, Golf and Passat models. The Golf and the Passat are already here, and word is that the Polo will soon be here. And given the growing interesting in diesels from consumers, green drivers AND car companies, these are three rides worth paying attention to.

It’s easy to see why this is happening. In the first place, Frankfurt is the home show for VW, and diesels are über-popular amongst the continentals. So consider this something aimed more at the home market than America. But then again, the whole world pays attention to Frankfurt, and with two out of three of these guys already in the U.S., and a third coming, it’s pretty plain to see why we should be paying attention.

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