The Cars Blog

Rolls-Royce Exhibition housed in Munich’s BMW Museum

Rolls-Royce-ExhibitionThe BMW Museum in Munich is heaven for car enthusiasts who happen to travel in that corner of the globe. Anything about automotive and you will surely find your answers in this museum. It is a modern architecture that is filled with BMW memorabilia and BMW vehicles ranging from historic, rare, and concept versions.

The management of the museum recently announced the opening of their first ever exhibit dedicated to the luxury car marque Rolls-Royce. The exhibit started this month and will run until March of 2014.
The exhibition is in celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of one of the founders of Rolls-Royce, Sir Henry Royce.

We wish that the exhibit is in the right geographical spot or at least has a special venue but nonetheless, automotive fans will enjoy the exhibit that consists of 15 Rolls-Royce vehicles that date back from 1907 thru 2012. One of the most awesome piece you will find is the 10EX that came out back in 1926. That car was engineered, assembled, and driven by no other than Sir Henry Royce himself to demonstrate the performance of the ride.

Audi to field concept A6 Sportback e-tron to Frankfurt

Reports around the automotive circles says that Audi is planning to send a Sportback e-tron variant of the A6 during the annual auto show in Frankfurt.

After showing the e-tron form of the Spyder Concept, R8, A3, and the A1, the car manufacturer might field an A6 e-tron concept this September in the much awaited motor show in Germany. The brand already has a similar iteration that was based on the Audi A6 L, but this time the designers are coming up with an A6 Sportback.

The move can be interpreted as a clear intention of the Ingolstadt carmaker to introduce a thrid body style of the A6 that already has an Avant wagon and a sedan version.

Recent reports hint that the A6 Sportback concept will be equipped with a 300-horsepower engine that will be from the latest S3. This engine will be paired with an electric power than can produce an additional 100 horses.

The concept can go as fa as 100 kilometers when using the battery power alone while the conventional engine returns a fuel mileage of 2.5 liters for every 100 kilometers. The sprint from stand still to 100 kilometers an hour takes a little less than five seconds. The car can blast to a top speed of 250 km/h.

KIA updates 2013 Cadenza

2013-Kia-CadenzaIn case you are not so familiar with the line up of Kia, the Korean car manufacturer is actually offering a sedan bigger than its Optima, the Kia Cadenza. It offers the Cadenza, also known as K7 in Korea, in most of its market across the globe. For this year, the Cadenza gets a facelift.

The 2013 Kia Cadenza shares much of its mechanicals and underpinnings with the Azera of Hyundai. This is similar to how the Kia Optima shares the DNA of the Hyundai Sonata. This means that it shares the V-6 power, front-wheel drive setup, and the six-speed automatic gearbox. Kia has not disclosed the specs of the Kia Cadenza that will be heading to U.S. showrooms so for now we only get to preview the styling of the vehicle.

The car was heavily camouflaged during its testing phase but looking at the latest images, the 2013 Cadenza gets only minor styling upgrades. The revisions though helps the car to look fresh and updates its stance to be in line with the rest of the range.

The grille gets a more aggressive styling with the “tiger look” more noticeable. The sedan also gets a new hood, redesigned headlamps, and refreshed bumpers. The taillights also get a fresh look while the front fenders are now adorned with air vents.

Kia has not released the images of the interior of the new Cadenza but it should no be far from the previous model’s styling. The 2012 Cadenza had a large infotainment screen atop the center stack. He buttons and controls had nice layouts with functionality as the main priority.

The Korean company has not announced the date of release of the Cadenza in the U.S. but it might be safe to say that it will be within the next twelve thru fifteen months.

Radar Safety tech by Cadillac tested on the Brooklyn Bridge

brooklyn-bridgeThe Brooklyn Bridge was chosen for the Radar Obstacle Detection test for the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac XTS. The technology is expected to be used for the sedans by next year.

Tuning the radar based system is quite tricky as it often results to false positive results that bases as it uses data based on the shapes that it detects from its surroundings. With the Brooklyn Bridge’s intricate metal design it adds an additional obstacle to test the radar system. The test was designed to provide accurate data to the driver using the sensors to help avoid any accidents that may be encountered on the road, this is where the conditions and traffic scenario on the Brooklyn Bridge came into the equation.

Jim Nickolaou, Cadillac’s Sensor Fusion Lead engineer stated that his team was able to fine tune the system to detect obstacles that the driver may encounter. Nickolaou also added that they made sure that they prepared the system for any situation.

The Driver Awareness and Driver Assist that will be under the Driver Assist Package will be used in the new Cadillac models. The system will include automatic collision prevention, front/rear automatic braking, and lane departure alert. Another possibility for the system is a “super cruise” function that is still being developed for production and will allow highway driving without the need for driver input that includes speed control, automatic braking, and steering.

Safety Alert Seat will alert the driver by vibrating to detect any potential hazards that may be encountered while driving. The “sensor fusion” in the alert system also ties to the Radar Alert System.

BMW presents new 5-door hatchback 114i and M135i

BMW recently unwrapped the 3-door 1 series of the two new members of the 1-Series range the 114i and the M135i. And as expected the 114i and the M135i will have their 5-door version in due time.

The 114i sports a detuned version of 1.6L 4-cylinder petrol powerplant used by the 116i with a twin turbocharger that produces a humble 101 horsepower and a torque of 133 lb-ft. These figures were attained by BMW back in 1988 using the naturally aspirated 4-cylinder gas M40 engine. The unit used for the E30 316i gave out 101 horses and a torque of 105 lb-ft.

BWM claims a 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 11.2 seconds and a top speed of 195 km/h and an average mileage of 42.8 mpg by US standards. The carbon dioxide emission is pegged at 129 grams per kilometer for the BMW 114i 5d.

The new BMW 114is will be equipped with a start-stop function, and Shift Point Indicator working with the 6-speed manual gearbox. There will also be an energy regeneration system incorporated with the brakes.

The M135i will be equipped with the turbocharged 3.0L inline-six that delivers 315 horsepower while revving 5800 rpm and a torque of 332 lb-ft.

The six-speed manual gearbox version sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds and has a fuel mileage average of 29.4 mpg. The 8-speed automatic models will go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds and returns a fuel mileage of 31.4 mpg. The top speed for both versions is 250 km/h.

Select 5-door versions of the BMW 1-Series will also have an xDrive all-wheel drive versoin just like its 3-door sibling. The xDrive will be first offered with the M135i and 120d. Sales in Europe will kick off before the end of the year.

New Lexus ES photographed in China without disguise

The new Lexus ES was caught on pictures earlier this month in China sporting no disguise well ahead of its debut at the international motor show in Tokyo later this year.

The images first popped in Chinese websites showing the 2013 ES by Lexus with its new spindle grille. The headlamps show hints of the full size LS and GS. And like other most models of Lexus today, the new Lexus ES features running lights made of LED lining the bottom.

The new look of the Lexus ES clearly defines it away from the Toyota Camry cousin and also makes use of a more angular lines. It remains quite conservative though to please the conservative clientele.

The car manufacturer is practically silent about the 6th generation Lexus ES although some rumors circulated. The new ES gets a lot of inspiration from the Camry under the Toyota brand. The Camry for 2012 makes use of an improved platform of its older edition but basically the dimensions were only slightly changed.

The spotlight though is on the hybrid setup of the 2012 Camry which most likely be used as well for the Lexus ES. The hybrid engine, according to a source, registers a return of high 40 miles per gallon on highway driving and a great number too on city driving. The Toyota Camry is rated at 43mpg and 39 mpg for highway and city driving respectively, so we have yet to find out if the numbers are true for the Lexus ES which is heavier than the Camry.

The good fuel mileage of the ES though might spell the end for the HS 250h which is lags behind in terms of sales plus a higher demand for the sportier CT 200h.

Of course we cannot deny the craving for a more traditional V6 demanded by the bigger portion of the market. The engine will most likely be an improvement of the current 3.5L powerplant.

Volkswagen to unveil refreshed Passat CC in Los Angeles

Volkswagen will unwrapped the facelifted version of the Passat CC during the auto show in Los Angeles before the end of November. The car manufacturer wants the new Passat CC to make big strides in the upper market segment backed with its new styling and improved equipment.

Consumers will have three petrol engines with direct injection to choose from. These engines will produce 295 bhp, 208 bhp, 158 bhp. The two latter engines can be paired with a dual clutch transmission as an option while the most potent powerplant will have the gearbox with dual clutch as standard. These petrol engines will have battery regenerative function available.

There will also be diesel options including a 168 bhp and a 138 bhp engine. These versions will have battery regeneration and a stop-start system. The 138 bhp variant has a fuel mileage of 60.1 mpg with carbon dioxide emission measured at 125 g/km when paired with a six speed manual gearbox; DSG-equipped Passat CC’s will get a fuel rating of 53.3 mpg.

The new Passat CC will have a new design for its grille, hood, and also get bi-xenon headlamps. Buyers can also go for daytime lights using LED that will be integrated with the housing of the headlamps. The vehicle will also have another air intake under the bumper.

The frameless design of the door used for the older version stays while from the side, the car boasts of a more distinct side sills in between the housings of the wheel. VW designers also give this car a new set of tail lights and rear bumper.

The new Passat CC will have dual tailpipes, bi-xenon headlamps, 17-inch alloy rims, LED tail lights, washing system for the headlamps, and static cornering lamps.

The interior of the car features a fatigue detecting system, door sill plates made of stainless steel, chrome surrounds for the air vents and switches, plus front head restraints. Other kits are offered to enhance stabilization, start assist, differential lock, and dynamic chassis.

The new VW Passat CC will go hit the showrooms in Germany by January 2012 with other markets in Europe following a few months after. We are still waiting for pricing details.

The Bugatti Veyron: is it good value for money?

The Bugatti Veyron is an example of the super car gone overboard. It is both the most expensive and the fastest car that you can buy. In reality the level of performance is outrageous; nobody needs a car that goes four hundred kilometres per hour. That being said there are plenty of people who are willing to pay the money to buy one. While value is largely in the eye of the buyer it does have to be asked if the Bugatti Veyron is good value for the money?

veyron bugattiIt is hard to argue that the Bugatti Veyron is good value for the money. It is after all the most expensive car currently available with a price tag approaching two million dollars. While there is no doubting that it is a very good car it would be nearly impossible for a vehicle that expensive to a good value. It is a luxury item and whether or not it is worth the price is going to depend on the opinion of the buyer. If you have the money to buy one you probably aren’t too concerned about price anyway.

Besides being the most expensive car that you can buy the other claim to fame of the Bugatti Veyron is that it is also the world’s fastest production car. This obviously appeals to a lot of people. Although why you would need a car capable of more than four hundred kilometers per hour is another question altogether. The main reason that the car is so fast, and so expensive for that matter is the engine. It comes with an eight liter W16 engine, that is four blocks of four cylinders. It is capable of more than a thousand horse power. Hardly the car you would use to drive the kids to soccer practice.

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Preview: The 2012 Cadillac XTS

Announced at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, the 2012 Cadillac XTS is scheduled for production in late 2011 at the Oshawa, Canada GM factory. While many were surprised to find that the concept car was not as showy as expected, it is still, nevertheless, a luxury vehicle. It also follows trends of other luxury car manufacturers who have “reduced” their looks to appeal to a larger range of customers. Today, it is all about sales and not necessarily about distinction.

xts cadiNobody can dispute, though, that the four-door XTS is gorgeous, with its aerodynamic design, spoked wheels, and large front grill. The rear and side profiles are not as sharp looking as the front, but then there are less shiny elements to admire.

What makes the Cadillac XTS unique is that it is considered a new player in the competitive field of luxury sedans, previously monopolized by Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Audi, BMW and Lexus. GM believes that it can compete head-to-head with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both of whom have semi-hybrid luxury sedans already on the market. In a bold move, it has been suggested that the Cadillac XTS might exceed the competition’s sales, simply because it is a real hybrid.

Replacing the retired STS and DTS lines, the XTS was actually called the XTS Platinum Concept for the show. Additionally, it is a hybrid, which makes it even more appealing in a luxury market. Consumers want the luxury factor coupled with eco-conscious features. Prior to this model, Cadillac had no hybrid sedans. The vehicle can be powered either by electricity or gas or a combination of both when the situation demands more power. It is fitted with a V6, 350 horsepower engine, and only takes five hours to fully charge the lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike other “green” cars that require 240V electrical outlets, the XTS can used a standard 110V outdoor plugin.

The interior of the XTS is what one would expect of Cadillac. Rich looking, sumptuous, technologically advanced, spacious, and comfortable are features of this iconic brand. In fact, one might forget that this is a car interior. With Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, touchscreen navigation, and supple leather enhancements, it might be hard to pry oneself out of this vehicle when arriving at one’s destination. The rich contrast of the light colored seats and carpeting, with the dark accents make the interior warm and inviting. Interspersed with suede, and controlled lighting for maximum comfort are expected of Cadillac.

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Preview: The 2012 Fisker Karma Sunset Convertible

Fisker KarmaSunset  is one of the world’s first hybrid luxury convertibles. With a company philosophy that is dedicated to protecting the earth and future generations, the cars are a cross between electricity and gasoline power. Built to reach fuel consumption of one-hundred miles to the gallon, the cars can also run for approximately fifty miles when fully charged. The concept car was shown at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. One of the manufacturer’s main focuses when creating the Sunset Convertible was the founders’ beliefs that sporty, luxury cars were possible even in times when environmental issues existed.

The 2012 Fisker Karma Sunset Convertible is a hardtop, two-door vehicle that seats four people. Based on the aluminum frame from the Karma Sedan, the convertible is no slouch on the road. Two electric motors and turbocharged four-cylinder engine give this car plenty of staying power. With an impressive 402 horsepower, nothing about the vehicle sounds “green”. Its closest competitor is probably the Tesla Roadster.Fisker Karma Sunset Officials from capital fund Kleiner Perkins, significant stakeholders in the car company, recently stated that mass production would begin in early 2011 through Valmet Automotive in Finland.

Three approved dealerships in Canada have been taking orders for the car that is scheduled to sell for $100,000 – $120,000. And, some American dealership websites have indicated that finished orders for the Sedan are just about to arrive, which is good news, because it may mean that the 2012 production Convertible is closer to reality.

Not only does the Sunset Convertible have technologically advanced mechanical systems in order to meet the growing trend to environmentalism, but the interior is also made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, just like the original Fisker Karma. As proponents of the environment, Fisker believes in using “rescued wood”. Typically, wood that would be destroyed because of natural disasters or other catastrophes is collected and reused. The company has used wood in their car interiors from the 2007 Southern California wildfires, and other ravaged areas, instead of removing prime growth from precious rain forests. As a result of their continual search for rescued wood stocks, they have created several programs, including the certified Fallen, Sunken and Rescued Wood™, Karma’s Rescued Wood™ wings and accents, and Karma’s animal-free Eco-Chic™ package option.

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