Monday, August 31, 2009

Hyundai sketches out 2011 Sonata YF, Official Presentation Pegged for Sep. 10

This just in from Hyundai: the South Korean automaker published a pair of teaser sketches previewing the all-new 2011 Sonata YF. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the drawings were released only a few hours after a set of official shots leaked all over the internet. And even though the actual production model is very close to the vehicle depicted on the drawings, let's just say that it's not as aggressively styled as the design sketches imply.

But, you shouldn't just take our word for it, so click here to check out the leaked photos and judge for yourselves.

According to Korean media, the next-generation model of Hyundai's mid-size sedan will be fully revealed on September 10, so stay tuned for more details.

Lexus GS 450h Becomes Australia's First Hybrid Pace Car

Not that we're expecting anyone to soil their pants from the excitement, but a Lexus GS 450h will make its debut as Australia's first ever hybrid pace car at the annual Muscle Car Masters, which will be held at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway on September 6, 2009. The Japanese luxury hybrid sedan will take a permanent role as the Eastern Creek Raceway's official safety car.

According to Lexus, aside from the special livery and the safety car lights, the GS 450h features no other modifications over the road-going model.

"Our partnership with Eastern Creek is a great way to showcase Lexus' hybrid range of vehicles and demonstrate its compromise free mix of economy and power," commented Lexus Australia Chief Executive, John Roca.

Ford Australia Revives Falcon GS Nameplate with Budget 405HP V8 Sedan and Ute Models

Named after the original Aussie model from the late 1960s, the Falcon GS sedan and ute models are the new entry-level products of Ford Performance Vehicles, otherwise known as FPV. Available in limited numbers, the new FPV GS is the budget series of the Falcon GT with both the sedan and ute being powered by a detuned version of the 5.4-liter V8 engine that now produces an output of 405HP (302kW) instead of 423HP (315kW). Peak torque remains the same at 551Nm or 406 lb-ft.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optionally, a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford did not release performance specs for the GS Falcons.

Both Falcon GS models get specific race stripes, a charcoal cloth interior, FPV GT instrumentation, gear knob, starter button and badging while a premium sound system with iPod and Bluetooth integration, and dual zone climate control are also standard.

In addition, the GS sedan features 19-inch Graphite alloy wheels and a choice of six exterior color/stripe combinations, while the GS Ute gets 19-inch Alpine Silver alloys, an FPV soft tonneau and a choice of three exterior color/stripe combinations.

FPV said that production of the GS Series is limited to 250 sedans and 75 Utes, with prices set at $54,950 AUS and $49,950 AUS respectively.

"GS is another iconic badge in Ford's family history in this country," said FPV General Manager, Rod Barrett. "Our aim was to develop a model that provides the performance, prestige and individuality that is a signature of the FPV brand, with its own identifiable model personality, and all at a great price."

Leak: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

New 2011 Hyundai Sonata YF made the rounds today on several Korean forums revealing more details on the mid-size sedan's styling. As predicted, Hyundai's Mazda6 and VW Passat challenger incorporates a more dramatic design language than the current model featuring a four-door-coupe-like roofline and a stubby rear-end.

Although it is most likely that these photos depict the U.S. and Asian market model, the European version that will potentially be named ix40, shouldn't differ much - we suspect that the only significant change will concern the replacement of the Klingon-like front grille with something more in the lines of the new Tucson / ix35's grille.

The single interior photo shows the 2011 Sonata's instrument panel that houses a pair of deeply set gauges separated by small color screen.

We'll have to wait for the official reveal to learn details about the engine range, but four-cylinder and V6 gasoline units are almost guaranteed while the European range will also include Hyundai's a choice of four-banger turbo diesels such as the 2.0-liter four-pot with 185 horsepower.

We expect to see the new Sonata making its world debut before the end of the year and to arrive in dealerships on both sides of the Atlantic sometime during the first half of 2010.

Dunkel Industries creates ultimate off-road RV

As they sat looking over the horizon, they realized they had achieved their dream. The guys from Dunkel Industries had driven themselves to a remote spot where they could just relax and enjoy nature at its tranquil best. What made the journey extra special was that they had gotten there in their very own Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4. Now, "Luxury 4X4" might have some of you thinking Land Rover or Porsche Cayenne. If that's what you're picturing, then all we can say is "Think bigger." Much bigger. Like, so-big-we-can't-get-it-into-the-frame bigger. The Dunkel version of a Luxury 4X4 starts with a Ford F-650 commercial chassis and winds up as the ultimate off-road recreational vehicle.

As their website puts it, Dunkel industries was built on the childhood dream of never having to stop because the trail was 'more than the RV could handle.' So they created a vehicle with "unlimited versatility" that utilizes a Fabco military-grade 4x4 system, capable of driving the luxurious "custom wood, leather and Fiberglass interior" to places no RV dares to go. And in case you want to bring some smaller toys along with you into the wilderness, the bed is big enough to haul a car. That bed also articulates to serve as a ramp to load dirtbikes or ATVs onto the roof. No trailer necessary and no 55-mph limitations for this beast.

Dunkel Industries Luxury 4X4 Build Sheet

  • Custom Seats
  • Custom Cabinets
  • Center Dash with Navigation, Stereo, Bluetooth, DVD, CD, and Laptop
  • Rear Bed/Seat
  • Custom one touch entry Stairwell
  • Tilt-Bed with ramps
  • Truck Levelers
  • Extra Water
  • 3 Winches
  • Tow Package with air hook-ups
  • 3 windshield wipers
  • Custom Rims and Tires
  • Custom Grille
  • Custom Bumpers with lights
  • 2 Flat Screens 17" and 12"
  • LED Lighting (above and under cabinets)
  • Rear Closet with Drawer
  • 2 Custom Pull Out Tables
  • 2 Hideaway Boxes (each side of rear seat)
  • 3200 Onan
  • Inverter
  • Kitchen Sink (folding)
  • 2 Burner Stove
  • Refridgerator
  • Aluminum Bed deck with Tie downs
  • Upper Deck (with More Storage)
  • Rear Pental Hitch (pivot with spring)
  • Front Tow Bar
  • Drivers air ride seat
  • Upper Cabinets (6 Total)
  • Back-up Camera also available for left and right side
  • Monitor for cameras
  • Four house batteries
  • 18,000 BTU A/C-Heater
  • Air-Ride for chassis with seperate air ride for cab

More Photos

Oakley Design Panamera Turbo

British Porsche tuners Oakley Design is the third to show their vision on the Porsche Panamera Turbo. The Oakley Design Panamera Turbo features a number of wind tunnel developed aerodynamic parts and Dymag lightweight carbon fiber wheels. The engine outputs range from 580hp for a simple remap and modified exhaust to an expected insane 680hp for a fully modified Panamera Turbo.

The 680 hp comes by way of a fully modified engine. Partial mods with 580 hp is also achievable via the exhaust and a "simple remap" of the ECU. The titanium exhaust include quad tips, replacing the original system from Porsche. After getting carbon fiber upgrades, like a tweeked rear spoiler, new front splitter, and new 20" wheels, the company added a new front spoiler and new side sills resembling those found on the Oakley GT2. The roof has also been remodeled in carbon fiber, while still using the original Panamera sliding roof.

The strongest version of the Oakley Design Panamera Turbo that produces 680bhp will feature various other parts that are being developed with Oakley’s American distributer ‘Farnbacherloles’. The Oakley Design Panamera Turbo kit should be available from the 15th of September 2009.

Source: gtspirit

Frankfurt Motor Show: Opel Astra styling kit by Irmscher

IAA Frankfurt 2009: World premiere of the new Irmscher Opel Astra

The new Astra from Irmscher - exciting design and outstanding driving dynamics

On the occasion of the IAA in Frankfurt, the customisation specialist Irmscher for the first time presents the upgraded Astra. To accompany the nationwide sales start on 17th September, Irmscher offers a comprehensive sports programme for the trade. For this volume model from Opel Rüsselsheim, Irmscher has come up with a strikingly sporty design coupled with pure driving dynamics. The Irmscher accessories are characterised by unusually high quality and the seamless integration into the look and design of the new Opel Astra. The lrmscher exterior products harmonise perfectly with the proportions of the new Astra.


Balanced proportions and exciting design

The broad shoulders on the flanks, and gentle curves between clearly defined lines recall the design language of the Insignia. The balanced proportions of the new Astra imply dynamics at the very first glance. An attribute which Irmscher consistently underlines and develops further with its design ideas. Viewed from a distance, the eye is immediately caught by the harmoniously integrated front spoiler lip, the slim radiator grill panel with silver or carbon-look design rail and the track width of the Irmscher wheels with their Turbo Star design. The side view of the new Astra is skilfully enhanced by Irmscher with a side skirt which picks up the curved line of the side view. The sporting ambitions of the Irmscher Astra are also clearly apparent from the vehicle rear, where the agile and dynamic look are complemented by the striking roof spoiler, together with a diffuser insert and quad stainless steel exhaust silencer.


Selected materials and outstanding quality

In the interior of the vehicle, the driver and passengers want for nothing. The seats, door panels and central armrests are manufactured by Irmscher and finished in fine cowhide. The leather interior fittings have been carefully matched with the red bodywork. Irmscher provides additional interior refinement in the form of aluminium door-locking pins, sill panelling in stainless steel and aluminium pedals. All Irmscher accessories stand out for their excellent visual and tactile finishing quality and further enhance the already high-quality impression of the new Astra.


Outstanding dynamics with high driving safety

For the new Astra, Irmscher has developed a new 18" wheel in the "Turbo Star" and "Turbo Star Exclusive" design. The new rim comes complete with the 225 cm tyre width. These will be followed shortly by 20" light metal wheels, also in the Turbo Star design. For the chassis, Irmscher offers a lowering of 30 mm. here the spring characteristics used ensure sportily agile driving pleasure, and in combination with the wide tyres provide greater track stability and even more driving safety. The exhaust silencer with its elliptical twin tailpipe not only emphasises the sporty rear view of the Irmscher Astra, but also creates the appropriate satisfying sound.

At a glance

The new Astra from Irmscher


• Front spoiler lip
• Radiator grill panel with design rail in stainless steel or carbon look
• Side skirts
• Roof spoiler
• Diffuser rear spoiler trim


• Complete leather interior including seats, door panels and central armrests, and matching foot mats
• Matt aluminium door-locking pins
• Stainless steel sill panelling
• Aluminium pedals


• Light metal wheels in the Turbo Star design 8x18 ET 46 with 225/45x18 tyres
• 30 mm lowering of the chassis springs
• Left and right exhaust silencers with elliptical twin tailpipes


2010 Volvo C70 Facelift: First Official Photos go Online Ahead of Frankfurt Show

We brought you the first images of the refreshed 2010 Volvo C70, which was snapped by a Volvo forum member during a commercial shoot in Spain, back in June, but today the first official photos of the facelifted model made their way onto the internet. The most prominent change on the folding-hardtop four seater concerns the new front-end design with more organic details and softer shapes that is very similar to the S60 Concept that was reveled in Detroit this past January.

That means a prominent new front bumper arrangement with swoopy styled headlights and a wider and more pronounced grille. At the back, the facelifted C70 gains a new tail light design with LED strips, a restyled bumper and a larger 'Volvo' name on the boot lip.

From what we can tell by looking at the single press shot of the C70's interior, there don't seem to be any changes made to the convertible's cabin.

Since there's no press release, we don't know if Volvo made any changes to C70's chassis and engine range, but we suspect that it won't be long before the Swedes come out with an official announcement.

The new-look Volvo C70 will make its world debut in a couple of weeks time at the Frankfurt Motor Show and should go on sale towards the end of the year or early 2010, depending on the market.

Renault Fluence: New Compact Sedan for Russia, Turkey and Romania, and perhaps the US as a Saturn

Remember Renault's 2004 Fluence concept car that inspired the styling of the Laguna Coupe? Well, the only common denominator between the sexy prototype (see pics below) and this compact-sized sedan is their name... Virtually a rebadged version of the Korean market Samsung SM3 that was revealed earlier this year, the Fluence is the sedan variant of the Megane and it will be initially sold only in Russia, Romania and Turkey.

There's also a chance that we may see Renault's VW Jetta-sized sedan heading towards the States as a Saturn if the American brand's new owner, Penske Automotive Group, closes a proposed deal with the French automaker.

Depending on the market, buyers will have a choice of two gasoline engines, a 110HP 1.6-liter unit linked to either a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission and a 140HP 2.0-liter matted to a CVT, plus a 1.5-lited dCi diesel with outputs of 85HP, 90HP (DPF - Diesel Particulate Filter), 105HP and 110HP (DPF). All diesel engines are coupled to a manual gearbox, with the most powerful version also offered with Renault's new dual-clutch transmission.

In 2011, Renault will also introduce an electric version of the Fluence with more details expected to be released closer to the launch date.

The 4,62 metres long four-door saloon that boasts a luggage capacity of 530 liters will be built at Renault's plant in Bursa, Turkey, on the same assembly line that manufactured the outgoing Megane II sedan.

Renault Fluence Sedan


Samsung SM3


Renault Fluence Concept