VIDEO: Ferrari California is easy to drive... you know, for the ladies

So far the only video footage we've seen of the new Ferrari California has been either computer animated or sitting still with a giant chin talking. But the fellas over at Autocar magazine in the UK made their way down to Maranello with video cameras in tow for an up-close-and-personal with the newest Prancing Stallion. After the jump you'll find some focus-changing fun angles of the new California, as well as a brief interview with product development director Roberto Corradi, who amusingly informs us that the car was made easier to drive and more softly styled to accommodate female customers. Seriously. Check it out after the jump... it's good for a laugh.

Ford Ka

Ford released the details and official photos of the new generation 2008 Ford Ka. The new 2008 Ford Ka retains all the qualities that made its predecessor so popular - its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality. The 2008 Ford Ka will have its global premiere in October at the Paris Show.

The design of the 2008 Ford Ka follows the company’s ‘kinetic design’ concept and includes a number of cues that link it to the original Ka.

Further information on the 2008 Ford Ka will be released in the fall during the French auto show.

2008 Ford Ka City Car

The exciting new Ka, Ford’s fresh, fun and funky small car, will take center-stage at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October.

The all-new Ford Ka brings new levels of style and enjoyment to affordable city cars.

Twelve years after the original Ka was launched to great acclaim, its successor captures the same youthful and cheeky spirit. The new model retains all of the qualities which made the Ka so popular – its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality – but presents them in a fresh new package.

2008 Ford Ka City Car

Stylish Inside and Out

Ford designers have given the new Ka a fashionable, modern appearance based around the company’s ‘kinetic design’ form language. A number of visual cues provide a connection to the original Ka, but with its distinctive face and chunky proportions the new model has its own unique character.

The interior of the new Ka also has a stylish, dynamic design, combining bold contrasts and expressive colors which reflect the more adventurous tastes of the typical Ka buyer.

2008 Ford Ka City Car

Rebirth of a Design Icon

The new model is destined to continue the considerable success of the original Ford Ka, which is widely considered to be an automotive design icon. Launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1996, the Ka was immediately praised for its exciting “New Edge” styling and class-leading driving dynamics.

Throughout its 12-year life the Ka has remained tremendously popular among small-car buyers, inspiring fierce loyalty from its owners. In total, Ka production has exceeded 1.4 million vehicles.

“We are very excited about the launch of the new Ka”, said Roelant de Waard, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford of Britain. “The original has been a huge hit in the UK with a sales record of over 480,000 – 80 per cent of which have been to retail customers, and many of those first-time buyers. I’m confident that the latest design will prove just as big a hit”, he added.

Further information on the new Ford Ka range will be released in time for the Paris Motor Show in early October 2008.

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio

BMW M3 Cabrio got the new package from AC Schnitzer - the ACS3 Sport Cabriolet package. Powered by the standard 4.0 liter V8 engine, the AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio may develops 309 kW / 420 hp.

The ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio package includes a new twin sports rear silencer incl. chrome “Racing” tailtrims, height adjustable racing suspension, a new 8-pistons high performance brake system and a new spring kit.

The ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio equipped with a new front grille, a carbon front spoiler, a carbon rear diffuser, aluminum struts for front spoiler, and bonnet vents.

The ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio interior featuring various carbon and aluminum inserts, including gear knob, hand brake handle, and pedal set.

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio

Press Release
The ACS3 Sport Cabriolet based on the BMW M3

The sun shines, the wind’s in your hair and the engine note in your ears: almost no other vehicle on the road evokes such untrammeled emotions as the BMW M3 Cabriolet. Especially when the road leads via AC Schnitzer in Aachen. The 309 kW / 420 HP V8 engine is (as yet) untouched, but in the end, extra sporting performance can be achieved in a different way, as susension guru Manfred Wollgarten knows: “With our racing suspension set up on the North Loop, we’ve thoroughly mastered the physics of driving”.

The car is an out-and-out eyecatcher from the outside: with its new front skirt and strictly rectangular segments of the chromed grille insert, the vehicle has a strong, muscular look. The sporting presence is further underlined by the carbon spoiler lip with optional aluminum braces.

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio

The power dome on the bonnet hints at the powerful 4.0 liter V8. It is flanked by two AC Schnitzer Bonnet Vents, which emit a greedy intake howl during driving. At the sides, the open-air sports car shows its muscles in the form of flexibly molded side skirts which emphasise the wheelarches.

The latter are perfectly filled by the 20″ Type V lightweight forged rims. Their slender spokes give a clear view of the 8-pot high performance braking system by AC Schnitzer which mercilessly reins in the thrust when required. A deceleration performance which the ACS3 rarely needs for cornering, where it behaves totally neutrally.

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio

A carbon rear diffuser helps the vehicle hunker down to the asphalt. The perfect driving experience is rounded off by the acoustic qualities of the powerful vehicle, provided by the AC Schnitzer sports rear silencer with chromed tailpipes in “Racing“ design. The sonorous note of the cabrio is heard at its best in narrow road tunnels. If only the sun would shine a bit more often there!

And naturally AC Schnitzer maintains the motorsport atmosphere in the driver’s workplace, with attractive and ergonomically designed aluminum elements for the gear knob and handbrake handle, pedals and i-Drive controller. A carbon interior trim and sports airbag steering wheels are available on request, together with velours mats.

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport BMW M3 Cabrio

Mazda Biante Mini Van in Japan

Mazda has launched their latest minivan in Japan - the Mazda Biante. The new Mazda Biante offers a choice between front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, also a choice between two DOHC engines - a 2.0 liter and a 2.3 liter.

Mazda Biante comes with a nanoe ion generator that neutralizes bacteria, odors and allergens such as pollen and anti-bacterial deodorizing seat covers.

Mazda Biante also equipped with dual power sliding doors, a third row seat with a bench-type design, back baskets, and floor mats.

Mazda Biante price will be start at 2,199,000 YEN, while target for a sale volume for Mazda Biante is 3000 units a month.

Mazda Biante Mini Van

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the sales launch of the newly developed Mazda Biante for the Japanese market. Mazda’s mid-size tall ‘high-roof’ minivan goes on sale today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealerships throughout Japan. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including consumption tax) range from 2,199,000 to 2,650,000 yen for the front-wheel-drive (FWD) models. The target sales volume is 3,000 units a month.

The Mazda Biante was developed exclusively for the Japanese market under the concept, ‘Look, then experience the Zoom-Zoom Tall minivan as it expands your dreams.’ It offers a spacious and functional clean interior, distinctive, athletic styling, and superb driving performance that provide an enticing blend of security and excitement.

With the longest and widest interior dimensions in its class, the Biante boasts best-in-class*1 interior space. The cabin’s feeling of spaciousness is amplified by the ‘living mode’ function for the second row seats, which enables the seats to be adjusted backwards by an outstanding 863 mm. To ensure the interior is comfortable even with a full complement of passengers, the Biante features wide aperture dual sliding doors, a low floor in the passenger compartment and flexible seating arrangements. Additional features that provide a clean and comfortable cabin space include a ‘nanoe ion’ air purification system*2, an Alleru [Allergy] Buster*3 unit (a particulate filter to aid allergy sufferers), a deodorizer in the cabin ceiling and easy-wipe seat fabric.

The exterior design of the Biante is unlike anything seen in the minivan segment before. The styling is intended to maximize visibility of the surroundings and the feeling of interior space for passengers. These impressions are emphasized by the flowing interior fittings, expansive side windows with low sills, and large triangular A-pillar windows.

Driving performance attributes were based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, with the Biante being developed to provide a balance of driving pleasure with safety and peace of mind. Effective use of high tensile steel produced a highly rigid body, helping the Biante achieve top class aerodynamics, quietness and safety levels.

The direct-injection naturally aspirated engine*4 delivers excellent environmental performance, fuel economy and a powerful ride. The electronically controlled five-speed automatic*5 transmission ensures lively acceleration from low speeds.

*1 The most interior space in the 2,000 cc minivan class (3 rows of seats, domestically manufactured people carrier) based on cabin length, height and width. According to a survey conducted by Mazda in June 2008.
*2 ‘Nanoe’ is a trademark of Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.
*3 Alleru [Allergy] Buster® is a registered trademark of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic)
*4 Featured on the 20S and 20CS grades. The 23S grade has a 2.3-liter DOHC engine.
*5 Featured on the FWD models (The 23S grade also has a manual mode). 4WD models have an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda Biante Mini Van Photo

Main features of the Mazda Biante

Cabin space

Development focused on attaining ‘space,’ ‘functionality’ and ‘cleanliness.’ The aim was to achieve top class comfort and an exciting experience for all of the occupants.


- The Biante has the most spacious interior in its class, with best-in-class cabin length (2,990 mm) and width (1,545 mm) as well as one of the tallest cabins (1,350 mm) in its segment. The spacious and open impression is emphasized by expansive side windows with low sills and large triangular A-pillar windows.
- By lowering the hip point of the front seats and raising the rear seats, and through use of compact saddle-type headrests for the second and third rows, the wide-open feeling is preserved even when there are many passengers.
- By sliding both the second and third rows of seats to their most rearward positions, second row passengers are afforded an impressive 863 mm of leg room. This ‘living mode’ arrangement creates an even greater sense of openness.


- The dual sliding doors have the widest aperture in the Biante’s vehicle class (according to Mazda’s assessment). Combined with one of the lowest floors available, access to the rear seats couldn’t be easier. For the first time, Mazda is offering power sliding doors with a touch sensor to prevent them from closing if anything is obstructing the opening (power sliding doors are standard on the 20S and available as a factory-installed option on other grades).
- The arrangement of the rear seats is extremely flexible. Options include ‘living mode’ for maximum leg room, ‘walkthrough mode’ for easy access to the third row seats (by splitting the second row seats and sliding them to either side), and a choice of luggage modes to match the size and shape of various cargos. For maximum convenience when rearranging the seats, levers are provided on both the front and back of the seats.
- The third row seat is a bench-type design which can be flipped up or down. This allows the cushion to be thicker and more comfortable than on a split seat. Other benefits of the full-width seat are greater rear visibility and more under-seat storage space.


- The Biante comes equipped with a nanoe*2 ion generator that neutralizes bacteria, odors and allergens such as pollen. The ions are blown from the driver’s seat air conditioner vent to deodorize the cabin air (standard on four-wheel-drive (4WD) models, available as a factory-installed option on FWD models).
- The fully automatic air conditioner features an Alleru [Allergy] Buster*3 filter to remove allergens and viruses (standard on 4WD models, available as a factory-installed option on FWD models).
- The deodorizer mounted on the cabin ceiling absorbs and neutralizes tobacco, adhesive and other unwelcome odors. It has an extended lifecyle and does not require periodic replacement (standard on 4WD models, available as a factory-installed option on FWD models).
- The Biante’s ‘Cleanable seats’ are upholstered with easy-wipe fabric to prevent stains in the event of spillages (standard on the 23S and 20S grades).
- Anti-bacterial deodorizing seat covers, anti-bacterial deodorizing and waterproof seat back baskets, and deodorizing floor mats are available as dealer-installed options.

Mazda Biante Mini Van Picture


The design was intended to be attractive at first glance and emphasize the Biante’s spaciousness and functionality under the concept, ‘space motivator.’


- The vehicle’s exterior reflects Mazda’s new ‘Nagare’ design theme. The styling hints at the vehicle’s lively driving performance, while the broad interior space is enhanced through the continuously flowing lines that connect the front, sides and rear.
- At the front, a large brand symbol adorns the top part of the grille, which stretches to each side in a broad wing-shaped chrome extension. The lower fascia features a large version of Mazda’s hallmark five-point grille, expressing athleticism and stability. On the rear, stylish vertical reflectors built into the sides of the rear bumper embellish the Biante’s sporty image.
- Sharp headlight units that flow into the large triangular A-pillar windows create a distinctive side view. The tall window glass connects seamlessly all the way along the sides and hints at the spacious interior. Biante’s rising beltline expresses dynamism, while the stretched blister fenders above the front and rear wheels suggest dynamic stability and poise.
- Large LED rear combination lights carry the sweeping side lines around the back and convey width, a low center of gravity and stability. Chrome and transparent trim emphasizes the high quality levels. - Seven exterior colors are available, including soft ‘Lilac Silver Metallic’ and vivid ‘Chili Orange Mica’ (new and exclusive to the 23S grade).


- The broad meter cluster enhances the sense of depth and is positioned at the top of the dashboard towards its center. The design is intended to minimize the driver’s eye movement away from the road, and also enable passengers in the second and third row seats to easily see the instruments, making the ride more enjoyable for everyone.
- For seat and trim designs, customers may choose either the calm and airy light-beige or muscular and poised black. The seat designs also feature a light, flowing motif.
- The dashboard panel is black on the 20S and 20CS grades, and comes with a “hairline” finish (beige interior) or a wood grain finish (black interior) on the 23S grade.

Mazda Biante Mini Van


The Biante was developed to provide driving pleasure through a combination of top class comfort, quietness and safety, and Mazda’s hallmark Zoom-Zoom performance.

- Extensive use of lightweight and rigid high-tensile steel in specific parts allows the Biante to achieve excellent body rigidity despite its large door apertures. This results in superior handling and ride quality. These weight reductions contribute to the Biante’s low fuel consumption.
- The specially developed suspension comprises MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link arrangement in the rear. The suspension provides a comfortable and assured ride even with a fully occupied cabin.
- Electric Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering provides precise feedback to the driver, for a natural feel. The steering gear ratio is the same as general passenger cars, to maintain the kind of light handling that drivers of sedans and other smaller vehicles will have little trouble adapting to.
- All four wheels have large disc brakes. The brakes respond reassuringly and linearly to movement of the brake pedal and provide precise braking even at highway speeds.
- Two engines are available. The MZR 2.0L DISI (direct injection spark ignition) engine provides an excellent balance of high torque, environmental performance and fuel economy, while the MZR 2.3L engine offers superb acceleration.
- The FWD models come with an electronically-controlled five-speed automatic transmission. Wide gear ratios improve low-speed acceleration and the higher fifth gear ratio assures better fuel economy when cruising. On models with the 2.3-liter engine, the transmission also features a manual mode for sportier performance. (4WD models are equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission.)
- The Biante offers excellent stability in crosswinds. This was achieved by optimizing the shape of the D-pillars and other areas to enhance the upper body aerodynamics, and careful design of the underbody aero parts. Mazda Biante has achieved a class-leading drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.30.
- The highly rigid body, anti-vibration and sound damping materials, improved suspension oscillation characteristics, and an optimized tire structure effectively suppress road noise. The Biante also boasts one of the lowest levels of wind noise in its class due to the optimized shape of the door mirrors and A-pillars, clever use of cowling, and enhanced door rigidity.

Mazda Biante Mini Van

Environmental and safety features

The Mazda Biante is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, and comes equipped with various people- and eco-friendly features.

- Mazda’s Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System consists of crumple zones to absorb impact energy and a triple-H body structure to preserve cabin integrity in the event of a collision. The system was developed to withstand impacts from various directions, including head-on collisions, side collisions and rear offset collisions at up to 80 kilometers per hour.
- Safety equipment to minimize injury to occupants in the event of a collision includes a crushable brake pedal, Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags and anti-whiplash front seats. To minimize injury to pedestrians, the bonnet area features an energy absorbing structure.
- All model grades qualify as Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (SU-LEV), achieving exhaust emissions that are at least 75 percent lower than Japan’s 2005 regulations. Additionally, FWD models with the 2.0-liter engine meet Japan’s 2010 fuel economy standards plus 20 percent, making them eligible for Japan’s Green Tax exemptions.
- Highly recyclable polypropylene is used for both bumpers, the instrument panel and trim. The recyclability ratio for the entire vehicle is over ninety percent.*6

*6 Calculated based on the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s Guidelines on the Definition and Calculation of Recyclability Ratios in New Models (1999).

Mazda Biante Mini Van

2008 Buick Invicta Car

The 2008 Buick Invicta Car is a four-door mid-size sedan car with a coupe-like roofline that showcases a new design direction for the GM brand.

The 2008 Buick Invicta sedan makes its world debut at Auto China 2008, in Beijing. Powered by a 2.0L DOHC, direct injection turbo engine, the 2008 Buick Invicta may delivers 250 hp and 220 Nm of torque. The 2008 Buick Invicta engine transfers the power to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

2008 Buick Invicta Gallery

Buick Evolves Global Design Inspiration Into Invicta Show Car

The sleek Buick Invicta show car revealed here in conjunction with Auto China 2008 is Buick’s strongest statement yet of its deliberately international plans. The four-door mid-size sedan with a coupe-like roof line presents bold direction for Buick’s new generation of vehicles in the world’s two biggest automotive markets – the United States and China.

Invicta has evolved from Buick concepts such as the 2004 Velite convertible and 2007 Riviera coupe, both of which received accolades for their thoroughly modern adaptation of classic Buick themes. Invicta was designed collaboratively by GM centers of expertise in Warren, Mich. and Shanghai, China. The name, which is Latin for “invincible,” returns to Buick after a 45-year hiatus in the United States.

2008 Buick Invicta

“Buick’s global appeal created an opportunity for GM Design Centers to elevate our collaboration to new levels. Using our virtual reality centers in Warren and Shanghai, designers fused the best ideas from both cultures during the development of the Invicta,” said Edward T. Welburn, vice president, General Motors Global Design. “The result will set a new design standard for Buick, and it couldn’t have been achieved by one studio working in isolation. The Invicta represents another significant design milestone in Buick’s history.”

Invicta is powered by Buick’s first direct injection turbocharged engine, a four-cylinder powerplant that produces 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) of torque. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission for maximum fuel efficiency.

2008 Buick Invicta Picture Gallery

Modern, sleek exterior

Invicta’s designers drew inspiration from the Riviera concept. Invicta features modern and sleek proportions with exterior lines that flow uninterrupted around the vehicle. For example, Invicta’s cat-eye headlamps transition into the Buick heritage-inspired sweepspear design cue, which flows seamlessly along the body sides and merges into the tail lamps. Similarly, one can trace the top of the headlamp casing to the roof line and the rear of the vehicle without interruptions.

As with Riviera, Invicta features short overhangs with wheels pushed out to the corners for a well-planted stance. The overall appearance is sleek,thanks in part to a sweeping, low roofline and a front windshield that has an aggressive rake.

Up front, the Buick tri-shield is prominently displayed inside the Velite-inspired chrome vertical waterfall grille. Polished aluminum surrounding the headlamps, portholes, around the D-pillar and along the lower side of the vehicle on the lower doors accentuates the overall exterior design. Reminiscent of a number of historic Buick models, Invicta’s portholes – three per side – are located on the hood rather than on the front quarter panels.

2008 Buick Invicta Sedan

Invicta’s wheelbase and high belt line give the vehicle more substantial proportions while visually reinforcing its premium appearance. Invicta’s 20-inch polished aluminum wheels feature a milled Buick tri-shield in the center cap.

To signal its premium attributes while enhancing the vehicle’s sleek proportions, Invicta’s exterior is draped in a sumptuous AluStone color. Its warm beige tone contains wafer-thin flakes of aluminum that reflect light to emit a liquid gold appearance.

2008 Buick Invicta Sedan Picture

Flowing, crafted interior

The focus and attention to seamless transitions carry over inside Invicta. The doors merge to become one with the instrument panel, which morphs into the center console.

The wrap-around design of the interior and fluid design provide a spacious cabin for all passengers, especially those seated in the back of the vehicle. At nearly 100 cubic feet of interior space, Invicta delivers large-car comfort in a mid-size sedan. The sense of roominess is further accentuated by a full glass roof, which allows all passengers to enjoy the sights, day or night.

2008 Buick Invicta Car Picture

Invicta also showcases a high level of interior craftsmanship while creating an environment that is soothing, quiet, comfortable and inviting for all passengers.

The blending of premium materials – such as wood trim and polished aluminum accents, soft aniline leather, supple suede-like material and soothing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting technology – encase passengers in Buick luxury.

2008 Buick Invicta Car Gallery

Beyond its sumptuous appearance, Buick created a show car for the senses. Authentic French seam stitching on the soft-touch instrument panel pad, door panels and steering wheel invites touch. Buttons, switches and door pulls are crafted to deliver a tactile quality experience. Soft and soothing Ice Blue ambient LED lighting on the instrument panel, around the central vehicle function controls, along the console and center storage, and in the front footwells provoke visual sophistication. Two discriminating “spotlights” also accent the center point of the front and rear seats.

Buick introduced the Invicta in North America as a production vehicle in 1959. The Invicta show car is the first time the nameplate has appeared on a Buick in China.

2008 Buick Invicta Picture

Jeep Wrangler All-Access

Jeep Wrangler All-Access

Jeep Wrangler All-access has been upgraded its interior with premium materials and paint. The designers vamped it up with Mopar performance parts including Rubicon Express 4-in to give it “trail and off-road” credibility.
Front and rear bumper with tire carrier, suspension lift, rock rails, cold air intake and Warn 9500ti winch also included. Its new Pintler sheels had been supplied by American Expedition Vehicles.

The Wrangler All-access also features 35-in BFG Mud Terrain tires and this car is painted in “Surf Blue”. The Wrangler All-access will be seen at Camp Jeep� and Easter Jeep Safari [Moab, Utah] in 2008.

Jeep Wrangler All-Access

Mitsubishi Concept-RA

Mitsubishi unveil the Mitsubishi Concept-RA as an all-wheel-drive sports coupe concept car powered by a 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel generating 201 horsepower.

Mitsubishi Concept-RA

The Concept-RA could pave the way for the next Mitsubishi Eclipse, which is probably part of the reasoning behind making the car look like a tuner’s dream. But aside from looking like an extra from a Fast and Furious film the Concept-RA does showcase some decent technology, even if the packaging is less than original.

Mitsubishi Concept-RA Interior

The Mitsubishi Concept-RA’s Super-All Wheel Control driveline is a next generation all-wheel-drive system that adds Active Steering and Active Suspension control to the ACD, AYC, ASC, and Sport ABS components that comprise the system used on the 2008 Lancer Evolution.

Mitsubishi Concept-RA Picture

The Concept-RA’s S-AWC system manages these components to control drive torque, steering input, vehicle roll, and braking at each wheel, thereby raising traction, cornering and vehicle stability levels.

Sending power to the 21 inch wheels of the Mitsubishi Concept-RA is a new, high output, high-efficiency 2.2-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve turbo diesel engine with MIVEC4. This clean diesel’s MIVEC system incorporates valve lift control with low and high-speed cam profiles actuating the intake valves. A Piezoelectric injector, common-rail direct fuel injection system allows the engine to use of a lower static compression ratio. The new diesel showcases a VD/VG (Variable Diffuser / Variable Geometry) turbocharger whose internal vanes can control airflow over the turbine and compressor surfaces to produce optimum boost characteristics at all times. The efficient, low emissions diesel unit delivers a maximum output of 201 hp (150 kW) and maximum torque of 310 ft-lbs (42.8 kg-m).

Mitsubishi Concept-RA Car

2008 Audi Sportscar Experience

The German manufacturer offers the opportunity for North American market to drive the Audi R8 and the RS 4 as part of the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience. The 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience will take place at the Audi Forum Sonoma in Northern California.

However, the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience price for driving the Audi R8 for a day is $1,895, and going up to $3,495 for two days.

2008 Audi Sportscar Experience Picture

Audi Launches the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience

- Program based at Audi Forum Sonoma in Northern California
- Special half-day program added for drivers to test all new Audi “S” models
- An experience that is designed and executed with strategic partner Emotive

Audi of America, Inc. today announced the launch of the 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience based at the Audi Forum Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in California. Created by Audi and its strategic partner, Emotive, the Audi Sportscar Experience is a hands-on driving experience designed especially for performance car enthusiasts – consumers who love to drive and experience exceptionally engineered vehicles. The 2008 Audi Sportscar Experience will feature the new Audi R8 sportscar and the Audi RS 4 high-performance sedan.

The Audi Sportscar Experience features a special half-day program that allows drivers to experience the true performance of Audi’s newest “S” models — including the sporty S4, the new and powerful S5 coupe, and the luxurious and commanding 450-horsepower S8. In addition, participants will have access to highly-acclaimed, limited-volume new products from Audi.

“This program was developed on the pillars of the Audi brand – performance and technology,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America. “The Audi Sportcar Experience allows participants to test and sharpen their driving skills and push our cars in a controlled environment. There is no better way to demonstrate the foundation of this company than behind the wheel and on the track.”

The Audi Sportscar Experience operates year-round from the Audi Forum Sonoma, located trackside at Turn 1 of Infineon Raceway in beautiful Sonoma Valley. Using a variety of vehicles from among the Audi R, RS, and S model lines, the Audi Sportscar Experience takes drivers through a rigorous, behind-the-wheel instructional driving program at one of the most exciting racing circuits in the world. With its 160-foot elevation changes, challenging corners and breathtaking scenery, the 2.5-mile Infineon course has been described aptly as a small Nurburgring.

“We’ve created an unmatched experience for avid car enthusiasts,” said Chip Pankow, president of Emotive Group. “We’ll help drivers develop the skills necessary to extract optimal performance from these exceptionally engineered vehicles on a real speedway – all set in the beautiful locale of Sonoma’s world-class wine country.”

The Audi Sportscar Experience includes both one- and two-day programs. A complete schedule of events can be found at Programs include:

RS 4 One-Day Program

Bred from motorsport dominance, the 2008 Audi RS 4 delivers a blend of exceptional luxury and pulse-pounding performance. The one-day program is designed to develop driving fundamentals, including braking, accident avoidance, car control and slalom. Drivers develop their skills in a controlled manner and put themselves to the test on the slalom course. ($1,295)

RS 4 Two-Day Program

Building on the foundation from the one-day program, the two-day program adds track lapping on Infineon Raceway, Northern California’s premier speedway. Drivers will test the remarkable capabilities of the RS 4 while racing on one of the most exciting tracks in the world – just like a race car driver! ($2,495)

R8 One-Day Program

The amazing Audi R8 sports car was just named the 2008 World Performance Car of the Year at the 2008 New York Auto Show. The race-ready R8 epitomizes Audi’s quest for perfection and is the industry leader in innovation, technology, design and performance. Drivers will use the R8 to hone their driving skills on the paddock and then take the R8 where it really wants to be – on the 2.52-mile road racing course at Infineon Raceway. ($1,895)

R8 Two-Day Program

This program also builds on the essentials of the one-day program and incorporates more track time in the R8. Progressive sessions in the R8 ensure that drivers will responsibly approach the limits of the R8 at Infineon Raceway. Drivers will enjoy ample seat time and instruction from professional drivers who are experts in their fields. ($3,495)

S Model Half-Day Introductory Program

“S” denotes sport in the world of Audi. In the S-Model Half-Day Introductory Program, drivers will get a taste for racing in the S4, the new S5, and the 450-bhp S8. This program covers the fundamentals of driving followed by laps on the speedway. The experience culminates in a handling course competition where drivers can compete in the team category and for individual best time. ($695)

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Production

There are various websites have reported, that the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera production has been ended today. The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera was always meant to be a limited production model and probably the Italian manufacturer needs the facilities to build the new Gallardo LP560-4.

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Powered by a 5.0 liter 10 cylinders engine that develops 522 hp at 8000 rpm and 510 Nm of torque at 4250 rpm, the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera has top speed 315 km/h and 100 km/h come in 3.8 seconds.

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Car

For comparison, the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 that will take its place is more powerful, has a top speed of 325 km/h and reaches 100 km/h one tenth of a second faster.

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Picture

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Photo

The Holden VE Commodore 60th Anniversary and the Holden SS V 60th Anniversary has been launched by GM Holden, following their special edition Captiva.

The Holden VE Commodore SS V 60th Anniversary equipped with 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, color satellite navigation, chrome door handles, and also 60th Anniversary floor mats and rear badge.

The Holden VE Commodore SS V 60th Anniversary price will starts at $55,290 for the manual version. However, this car will become available on the 1st of May this year.

Holden VE Commodore SS V

Holden Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Special Edition VE Commodore and Sportier SS V Sedan

GM Holden has reinforced its commitment to value by introducing the VE Commodore 60th Anniversary Special Edition comprising $8,000 of extra value including rear parking sensors and leather seat inserts.

Joining the Special Edition Commodore is the sportier VE SS V 60th Anniversary Special Edition featuring 10-spoke wheels, interior and exterior upgrades and special 60th anniversary floor mats and rear badge.

Holden VE Commodore SS V Picture

GM Holden’s Director of Marketing, Philip Brook, said the Special Edition VE sedans were the perfect way to celebrate the success of GM Holden’s most famous nameplate.

“The 60th Anniversary Special Editions further highlight Holden’s dedication to quality at value for money prices, providing something for everyone, whether it’s an Australian family or an individual looking for that something special,” Mr Brook said.

“Commodore has been Australia’s top selling car for the past twelve years and the added features included in these Special Editions will appeal to a wide range of buyers to ensure its continued success in 2008”.

Holden VE Commodore SS V Photo

VE Commodore 60th Anniversary Special Edition

Offering $8,000 of extra value the VE Commodore 60th Anniversary Special Edition represents outstanding value and further enhances an already impressive level of standard features, built-in safety and the performance of the VE Commodore.

Wheels Car of the Year 2006, the Holden Commodore features Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), six airbags and air conditioning as standard on all models.

Holden Omega

In addition to the standard Omega features, the VE Commodore 60th Anniversary Special Edition includes the following:

New 18-inch alloy wheels (four)
Onyx leather seat inserts
Leather steering wheel
Decorative moulding on instrument panel in micro silver
Front grille insert
Rear parking sensors
Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible mobile phones
Special ‘60th anniversary’ rear badge

The VE Commodore 60th Anniversary Special Edition is on sale 1 May and is priced at $33,990#.

VE Commodore SS V 60th Anniversary Special Edition

The SS V 60th Anniversary Special Edition provides Holden customers with an even longer list of accessories and features, taking Holden sports performance and styling to an all-new level.

Holden Omega Picture

In addition to the standard SS V features, the VE SS V 60th Anniversary Special Edition includes the following:

20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels (four)
Colour Satellite Navigation
Rear parking sensors
Chrome surround exterior door handles
High mount rear spoiler
Special ‘60th Anniversary’ floor mats
Special ‘60th Anniversary’ rear badge

The manual VE SS V 60th Anniversary Special Edition is on sale 1 May and is priced at $55,290#.

ESP® is a registered trademark of Daimler Chrysler AG

Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG Inc

#Recommended Retail Price – excludes dealer delivery and Government charges.

Holden Omega Photo

Webasto LiGHT Concept Car

German sunroof and convertible top manufacturer Webasto has unveiled the Webasto LiGHT concept car. Webasto LiGHT is a two-seat cabriolet designed by IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Italy.

Webasto LiGHT Concept Car

The Webasto LiGHT’s exterior design was inspired by the Fiat 124 Spider. This influence is most apparent in the rear 3/4 view, as well as the front grille.

Webasto LiGHT Concept Picture

While overall the design is attractive, but it is similar to most two-seat convertible sports cars. But the real reason for creating the concept was to showcase Webasto’s frameless polyurethane soft-top which is both strong and lightweight.

Sexy Girl with Webasto LiGHT Concept Car

The top also incorporates a heated glass rear window. When down, the top sits flush with the rear arches and boot lid meaning the cargo space is not compromised.

Webasto LiGHT Concept Car Picture

Suzuki Alto

Suzuki has announced their latest environmentally friendly model - the Suzuki Alto.

Suzuki Alto offering a low CO2 emissions level, around 109g/km CO2 and it has has a high fuel efficiency.

Although small in size, the Suzuki Alto combines an eye-catching style with easy urban mobility, and provides ample interior roominess and comfort.

Suzuki Alto Photo

Suzuki Alto has a youthful look, full stylish, and sporty design that simultaneously exudes solidity and urban energy.

Suzuki Alto has been designed to suit European taste with a low drag coefficient.

Suzuki Alto Picture

Mosler MT900 GTR XX

Mosler MT900 GTR XX was announced a few months ago by Mosler as an anniversary model to celebrate their 20th birthday.

Powered by a 7.0 liter Corvette LS7 V8 engine, the Mosler MT900 GTR XX may output 620 hp and can take it from 0 to 62 mph in 3.0 seconds and to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds.

Mosler MT900 GTR XX

Mosler MT900 GTR XX is 150 kg lighter than the previous model and also have 20 hp more on power increasement.

Mosler MT900 GTR XX Picture

Mosler MT900 GTR XX’s suspension has been tested on the Homestead Raceway, and according to the latest official news, Mosler MT900 GTR XX has started its street testing in Florida.

Mosler MT900 GTR XX Image

Equipped with a MOVIT Ceramic brake system and KW suspension, the Mosler MT900 GTR XX also features Recaro carbon seats from and a Carbon clutch.

Mosler MT900 GTR XX Photo

Abt Audi R8

At this year’s Essen Motor Show, the facelifted Abt Audi R8 will be showcased at the Dunlop stand in hall 3.0/131. The optical features of the Abt Audi R8 include a side skirts, front skirt, a rear skirt, a rear wing and the side blades. The Abt Audi R8 is a fantastic super sports car, playing in the same league as Lamborghini Gallardo or Ferrari F430.

Abt Audi R8

No doubt, even the basis model of the Abt Audi R8 is something special - and therefore a real challenge, emphasizes Hans-J�rgen Abt. �The fluently dynamic form of the car is unique, it looks like having a lot of power, even when standing still,� admits the managing director and therewith he raises the bar for his engineers and designers. As it is usual for Abt, the result is quite respectable and can be driven with fascination. The light and sporty high-tech material Carbon well visibly shapes the rear skirt, the side blades and the side skirts.

The exciting body kit of the two-seater was developed by the motor sports professionals from Kempten who also optimized the car in reducing weight and in distributing mass evenly. That optical features do not obviate technical sophistications but, on the contrary, lead to perfection clearly show the contours of the Abt Audi R8. Front skirt, side skirts, and rear skirt form a unit in which the rear wing, the side blades and also the exhaust system are harmonically integrated. A special highlight is the front skirt partially made of sight carbon. It is a component of the equipment version �Extravagant�. The customer is able to provide his Abt Audi R8 with attachment parts, at his own option with elements of sight carbon. A two tone structure is also possible by request. This equipment version also offers the customer the possibility to beautify his R8 with an Abt body kit made of high-quality GRP (glass fibre reinforced plastic).

Abt Audi R8

Also the new BR wheel from Abt with its bi-colour paint perfectly fits the car. The front axis presents it in the size 9×20 inch, the rear axis in 11×20 inch. Thus the R8 appears much more dynamical. With Abt suspension springs and car lowering the team from Kempten improves the road holding even more as Christian Abt and his specialists exactly adjusted the suspension. With the Abt sports brake system (380 millimeters diameter), the fast super sports car from the Allg�u sets standards also in matters of delay.

The new Abt Audi R8 is a car which makes hearts beat faster. It perfectly brings the magic of speed onto the road even when standing still.