Which car is this? Enter to win a $100 petrol voucher

The Australian new car market is bigger and more competitive than ever, and a brand new entrant is headed our way in January to give buyers yet another option to consider.

In the lead-up to its launch, CarAdvice senior road tester Anthony Crawford was given an exclusive sneak peek at every detail of the new car �?" except its badges.

It�??s tough to pull the wool over Anthony�??s eyes and he quickly picked the make and model, but can you?

Tell us which car you think this is and what gives it away for your chance to win one of three $100 petrol vouchers.

Write your answers in the comments section below.

Good luck!

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The Biggest Stories of 2012

There�??s never a dull moment in the car industry, and 2012 proved to be another year of frenetic new-car activity and drama. So just in case you missed them �?" or you just want to read them again �?" CarAdvice has compiled the key stories of 2012�?�

Holden Commodore/Chevrolet SS [exclusive]

There had been some rumours stirred by the registration of the SS badge in the US, but CarAdvice was first to report that a deal had been done that would see the 2013 Holden VF Commodore packed off to the States to become Chevrolet�??s first rear-wheel-drive sedan for 17 years.� The SS would become Chevy�??s halo car in the US and be the basis for its 2013 NASCAR challenger.� This crucial export deal for Holden will see about 10,000 to 15,000 VF Commodores shipped to the US annually.

Click to read Holden Commodore US return announcement imminent

Toyota RAV4 to go diesel [world exclusive]

In May, we revealed Toyota�??s hugely popular SUV would ditch its powerful but thirsty petrol V6 for a new, efficiency-focused four-cylinder turbo diesel for the next-generation model due in early 2013. Toyota confirmed the news in late 2012. One of our Toyota insiders said the engine move was a response to customer requests, and it�??s a smart one considering the continuing growth of diesel-powered variants in the SUV segment.

Click to read Toyota RAV4 V6 axed for 2013 model.

Mazda CX-3 [world exclusive]

Car makers are tripping over themselves to build smaller SUVs that cash in on the ever-growing segment and offer cheaper running costs for buyers, and we reported in February that Mazda was planning to build a baby brother to its CX-5 and CX-9 soft-roaders.� Our well placed source revealed the model was being planned primarily for Europe and emerging markets such as South America and India, but you can confidently expect to find one in your local Mazda showroom in 2014, or 2015 at the latest.

Click to read Mazda CX-3 baby SUV in the pipeline.

Secrets of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class [world exclusive]

Name a common vehicle technology �?" such as anti-lock brakes or electronic stability control �?" and there�??s a good chance it debuted on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class many years ago. In June, CarAdvice was the first motoring media outlet in the world to detail the key innovations that will be found in the 2013 version of the German limo. Features included an undercar airbag designed to help reduce the severity of an accident, seatbelt airbags, front seats that move inwards automatically if a side impact is detected, and a suspension system that can scan the road ahead and automatically adjust its dampers accordingly.

Click to read Secrets of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Nissan and Mercedes-Benz brands join V8 Supercars

More than two decades after the �??Godzilla�?? GT-R monstered the touring car field in Australia, Nissan declared in Feburary 2012 that it would enter V8 Supercars and end the Ford Holden duopoly. The company said it would compete with a race car version of its upcoming Maxima replacement, the Altima.� In a bigger shock, in September, it was announced that the three-pointed star of Mercedes would also enter the series with a touring car version of the E63 AMG �?" run by Erebus Motorsport.� Mercedes-Benz Australia had denied persistent rumours that it would take advantage of new 2013 regulations designed to lure more companies into the sport, but money can be highly persuasive �?" especially when it�??s a Mercedes customer in the form of hugely wealthy Betty Saunders-Klimenko, daughter of the late Westfield co-founder John Saunders, who owns Erebus.

Click to read Nissan enters V8 Supercars.

Click to read Mercedes-Benz hopes for DTM-style Asia-Pacific race series.

Holden and Ford secure government co-investment
The Federal and State Governments, however, did deals with Ford and Holden in a bid to try and create a more secure future for the industry. In January, Ford used the Detroit motor show to announce a $103 million co-investment package with the Federal and Victorian governments to be put towards upgrades to the locally built Falcon and Territory due in 2014. Blue Oval management expected the deal to settle speculation on the future of Ford�??s Australian operations but did the opposite as the company could only confirm local production to the end of 2016.� Two months later, rival Holden went six years better by declaring it would build two models in Australia until at least 2022 after securing a $275 million co-investment with Australia�??s politicians.

Click to read Ford Falcon and Territory safe until 2016.

Click to read Holden commits next-generation local cars to 2022.

Ford, Holden and Toyota axe Australia jobs

The ever-shrinking large car market in Australia and the strong dollar continued to take their toll on local jobs in 2012. None of the nation�??s three automotive manufacturers was immune from the effects. More than 1000 jobs were axed between Ford, Holden and Toyota.

Click to read Ford Australia cuts 440 jobs.

Click to read Toyota Australia axes 350 jobs.

Click to read Holden cuts 170 jobs at Adelaide plant.

Toyota 86 test track plan [exclusive]

The 86 sports car was Toyota�??s biggest and most important launch of 2012 �?" and we revealed how the company�??s Australian subsidiary had been planning to build an exclusive race track locally as part of the model�??s introduction.
Toyota wanted to break from the shackles of busy existing tracks so it could run 86 customer days as well as use the circuit for vehicle testing, but unfortunately the plan proved to be prohibitively expensive.

Click to read Toyota 86 exclusive racetrack plan revealed.

Toyota LandCruiser 70-Series dual cab ute [exclusive]

The workhorse ute that carries the LandCruiser badge is popular with miners, and we reported in February how Western Australia had encouraged Toyota to develop a dual-cab version that could carry more workers.
Sixth months later, Toyota Australia confirmed the imminent arrival of a fourth variant of the 70-series ute that would join the three-persons-only Wagon, Troop carrier and single cab chassis.

Click to read Toyota LandCruiser 70-series dual-cab ute coming.

Secrets of the BMW i8 [world exclusive]

BMW�??s new hybrid sports car has been popular with spy photographers, and in February we detailed hitherto unknown information about the i8.� This included how the philosophy of the car�??s clever aerodynamics �?" including overlapping exterior panels �?" would be applied to future �??mainstream�?? BMW models. BMW insiders also revealed how this �??layering�?? effect would also become a design feature in cabins.� Other secrets uncovered included how the i8 would debut BMW�??s new laser headlight technology.

Click to read BMW i8 production car spied.

Honda MDX set to return

Honda Australia axed the MDX SUV in 2006 after slow sales, but in November the company confirmed to CarAdvice that it was investigating a return of the model.� If the green light is given, the MDX is unlikely to arrive until 2014 �?" after a third-generation MDX is launched in 2013.� The original MDX was priced from $69,990 and Honda suggests it wouldn�??t change the vehicle�??s positioning as a rival for similarly sized German luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML.

Click to read Honda MDX set to return in 2014.

Opel to expand performance model range [exclusive]

Holden�??s sister brand only launched in Australia in August but in October we revealed how Opel was planning to continue its aggressive product strategy with the introduction of more performance models.� Having confirmed only the Astra OPC hot-hatch at the 2012 Sydney motor show, CarAdvice reported it would be joined by the Corsa OPC baby hot-hatch and Insignia OPC performance medium car.� Opel Australia confirmed the two additional OPC models in December.

Click to read Opel Corsa OPC and Opel Insignia OPC performance models set for Australia.

Rolls-Royce slashes Phantom prices

Price cuts are common in the car industry, but how about a saving of $280,000?� That was the biggest reduction when in November Rolls-Royce announced it was launching a revised range of its Phantom in Australia with radical price revisions.� It was all relative, of course, as even the cheapest Phantom, the limo, still required an outlay of $855,000.

Click to read Rolls-Royce Phantom prices cut by up to $280,000.

And where we got it wrong�?�

New Maserati sports car to debut at Paris show

Hints from a usually reliable source led us to report that Maserati would unveil its strongly rumoured new two-seater sports car at September�??s Paris motor show, but the Italian brand�??s stand instead featured an MC Stradale version of its GranCabrio convertible. Oops.


Car mazda Ryuga

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Mazda's provocative Nagare (pronounced "nah-gah-reh") - Japanese for "flow" - concept car, revealed at the LA Auto Show, introduced a new surface language that evokes the emotion of motion in a stationary automobile.

Evolving that idea further, Laurens van den Acker, Design Division General Manager for Hiroshima, Japan's Mazda Motor Corporation, revealeds the Ryuga (pronounced "ree-yoo-ga") - Japanese for "gracious flow" - concept, at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"Ryuga celebrates refined and controlled motion," van den Acker said. "Nagare is a dream or an emotion that's just beginning to take shape; Ryuga extends that idea by adding definition.

"To draw this new surface language closer in time to a car Mazda will produce for sale, we've added interior and powertrain details that were purposely absent from Nagare," van den Acker continued. "In addition, large wheels placed at the far corners of Ryuga's exterior lend a highly stable, balanced stance. The aggressive wedge shape imparts motion even when this sports coupe is parked. Volumes that are small in front, larger at the rear, wrap around and over the wheels to give the exterior tension and direction.

"After we began studying natural phenomenon for inspiration, Mazda designers were initially hesitant to apply their findings, but I encouraged them to blend artistic and sculptural beauty to see where it led. Once we did, the results were both original and instantly appealing.

"While this initiative began with textures inspired by nature, it goes much deeper than that. We're looking at grand gestures that wrap all over the vehicle's exterior and throughout the interior. Some of the proportions are dramatically wind-swept. There's drama at every turn. There are no square corners." 

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News Airstream concept

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Verdict
The Airstream is more than a flight of fancy. The idea of having passengers sitting on either side, rather than facing the direction of travel, won’t have Ford’s safety experts jumping for joy. But the Dynascan screen is an interesting way of injecting fun into a car. The HySeries Drive power system is clean and functional. And it proves that MPVs don’t all have to look the same. If Ford could make it drive like an S-MAX, it might be on to a winner.
A car inspired by a caravan? Although we are used to designers telling us that the ideas behind the latest vehicles have come from the unlikeliest of places, Ford’s Airstream represents the first time we have ever encountered a family runaround with its roots in a mobile home!

Admittedly, the beautifully crafted aluminium body of the classic Airstream caravan isn’t your average house on wheels. But then Ford’s radical interpretation of it hasn’t created an average car either... which is exactly why we had to drive it!

There’s no doubt that Ford’s take on the Airstream brings the notion
of caravanning right into the 21st century. It features a wheel in each corner stance and aluminium coloured bodywork, as well as chrome inserts that shimmer in the sun.

Inside, the cabin is equally wild. Apparently, the designers’ other key inspiration was the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. As a result, the driver’s door is supposed to represent the escape hatch in a spacecraft, so it’s awkward to climb through.

Once inside, the seats are surprisingly comfortable, while the dash is smooth white plastic, and stretches away in front of you in classic MPV style. The driving position isn’t bad, either, but rather van-like with pedals that feel as if they’re beneath you rather than in front.

On the road, it’s clear the Airstream has been built more to be looked at than to drive. The steering requires a bodybuilder’s arms and the length of the wheelbase means this isn’t the most manoeuvrable motor around, and far from nimble.

Ford says it’s in the back that it expects people to be having the real fun. Rather than being laid out in consecutive rows, the chairs are positioned around the edge, so it’s a much more sociable environment than conventional MPVs. The centrepiece of the rear is a 360-degree screen called a Dynascan. It actually resembles the Time Rotor part of the console in Dr Who’s Tardis, but it could play a part in future models.

Ford claims that the screen is the smallest of its kind ever made, and you can use it to play games on, or even simply as a decoration. At the Detroit Motor Show – where this model was first shown off – bosses had it replicating a lava lamp and the flames of a fire.

However, perhaps the most serious part of this car is the power source. Just like the Ford Edge we have already driven it features the firm’s electric- hydrogen fuel cell HySeries Drive.

The lithium ion battery is charged up from the mains supply. When this runs down to 40 per cent of its power, the hydrogen fuel cell seamlessly steps in to recharge it. This gives the vehicle a range of about 225 miles, until both the batteries and hydrogen are exhausted.

The system works remarkably well, with instant power delivery, thanks to the Airstream’s two electric motors – one over either axle, offering all their available torque in one lump. It’s quiet, too.

The only noise that you hear is a whirring sound as the vehicle rolls away. However, that’s soon drowned out by the wind. And of course, the only emissions that the Airstream kicks out are water and hot air, so the environment is the big winner.

But the most impressive thing about the Airstream is its sheer size. The dimensions are about the same as the Range Rover Sport’s, although with its paintjob it looks bigger. And that means this is one MPV you wouldn’t lose in the supermarket car park on a Saturday afternoon.

Rival: Citroen C4 Picasso
While it can’t claim to have links to classic American caravans, the Citroen Picasso is one of the most exciting looking people carriers on the market. With up to seven seats it’s also extremely practical, and there are a range of efficient diesel engines, too.
Key specs
* Engine: Twin 65kW electric motors
* Power source: Lithium ion batteries, 35kW hydrogen fuel cell
* 0-62mph: 15 seconds
* Top speed: 80mph (limited)
* Economy: Equivalent to 40mpg
* CO2: None
* Standard equipment: Four-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, Dynascan in-car entertainment, 360˚ TV screen, dash-mounted power read out, electric tailgate, front-wing-mounted video camera
* On sale: Not yet!

New Ferrari 458 Spide

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The new Ferrari 458 Spider joins the 458 Italia, widening the range of Ferrari's mid-rear engined V8s and offering the same uncompromising technological solutions, handling and performance in a refined open-top configuration. It is equipped with a Ferrari patented, fully retractable hard top, a world first for a sports car with this lay-out.

The 458 Spider is powered by Ferrari's naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5 litre V8 which was nominated as the 2011 International Engine of the Year for its engineering excellence in terms of driveability, performance, economy and refinement. The power is transferred to the road by Ferrari's class-leading dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission through the sophisticated E-Diff, itself integrated with the F1-Trac traction control and high-performance ABS for maximum handling dynamics.


Certain features, such as its accelerator pedal mapping and the damping of the multilink suspension, have been calibrated to guarantee maximum sportiness and absolute driving pleasure with the top down, in line with Maranello's exclusive spider tradition. Even the engine soundtrack has been honed to ensure that the car's occupants are completely captivated by the drop-top driving experience.


Entirely in aluminium, the hard-top solution adopted for the Ferrari 458 Spider offers a number of advantages over the traditional folding soft-top, including a reduction of 25 kg in weight and a deployment time of just 14 seconds. Fully integrated into the styling of the car, the hard-top was engineered to fit neatly ahead of the engine bay without compromising aerodynamics or the performance of the car. The small space needed to house the roof enables the designers to include a generous rear bench for luggage behind the seats.


The rear of the car is characterised by innovative forms with the buttresses designed to optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators. For maximum comfort whilst driving top down the Ferrari 458 Spider features a generously-sized adjustable electric wind stop. The design was perfected to slow and diffuse the air in the cockpit, enabling normal conversation to be held even at speeds over 200 km/h.


New technical solutions adopted for the chassis guarantee identical levels of structural rigidity with the roof up or down. The result is a car that is truly exciting to drive, blending extreme performance with the responsiveness that has always characterised Ferrari's open-top berlinettas.

CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI

Mazda Kazamai, which means "swirling crosswinds" in Japanese, was chosen to express the powerful yet nimble character of this stylish and compact crossover. Mazda Kazamai evolves the Mazda Nagare "flow" design creating a dynamic, athletic exterior. Unlike previous concept cars, Mazda Kazamai's styling represents powerful natural movements that are emotionally expressed through three-dimensional motifs stretching over the whole body, representing a fusion of design and functionality.

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI


Slightly larger than the current MAZDA3, the Mazda Kazamai features all the room and comfort of an SUV, with an innovative body design and flared fenders that emphasize SUV-like strength and a sports car inspired cabin. The wedge-shaped profile was designed to evoke the image of a sleek arrow cutting through a mighty wind, while the body design between the front wheel arches and the roof pillars is intended to express the agility and dynamism of wind gusting along the side of the vehicle. The panel lines on the sides represent swift and elegant crosswinds, further accentuating the dynamic and stylish body design. Large, 22-inch wheels were designed to continue the crosswinds motif with each spoke carefully twisted and larger outside than in the centre, providing a strong sense of movement.

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI


The ideal match for the Mazda Kazamai is the next-generation 2.0L direct-injection engine. Based on the Direct-Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine currently offered on the CX-7, Mazda's next-generation engine helps minimize energy loss and vastly improve thermal efficiency. It is coupled with a lightweight, next-generation, 6-speed automatic transmission that is highly responsive and delivers the direct feel of a manual transmission and 4-wheel drive (4WD) for superior traction. 

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI


Mazda Kazamai also features a long list of active safety features including Roll Stability Control (RSC), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System to assist during lane changes and advanced Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). 

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI

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CAR MAZDA KAZAMAI

Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black Special Edition

Aston Martin doesn’t have to do much to dress up a space aside from bringing a car or three. Starting this month, Aston is doing just that to supply some particularly sexy furnishings for a series of luxury events across the nation, hosted by audio partner Bang & Olufsen. Specifically, it has supplied two examples of its most dapper DBS flagship yet, the new DBS Carbon Black special edition, to be put on display and used for demonstration. This is the first time the DBS Carbon Black will be seen in America: Its world reveal happened late last year in England, where, incidentally, it was joined by a matching Carbon Black edition of Aston’s smaller, faster V-12 Vantage, which, is a car we Yankees can’t get in any color yet. 


 First of all, Carbon Black shouldn’t be confused with black carbon fiber, which would’ve looked really cool. It simply indicates a bespoke metallic black paint “especially formulated with a subtle metallic twist to create a deep, rich patina,” and which requires 50 man-hours of hand-painting to apply, according to Aston Martin.

In the interests of “aesthetic purity,” everything that can’t be painted black (i.e., upholstery, headliner, carpeting, etc.) is also rendered in black (Obsidian Black, this time), save the silver grille mesh and silver seat stitching. Aston tosses in its gorgeous 10-spoke, diamond-turned, 20-inch wheels with inserts that have been painted gloss black. Hey, even the tires are black!

Inside, the slick B&O sound system that is normally a five-figure option is also standard. Piano-black veneers and a choice of alloy-finished or Carbon Black sill plates are among the only options. No mechanical changes were made, save making the six-speed Touchtronic automatic the standard transmission; it mates to the DBS’s mouthwatering, 510-hp 5.9-liter V-12.

This summer, the DBS Carbon Black goes on sale in both coupe and convertible body styles—the latter featuring a black top, of course—at a price roughly five percent more than that of lesser (well, less-black anyway) DBS models, which start at $266,350 for coupes and $286,400 for ragtops

Aston Martin Vanquish 2013

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England can feel like the land that time forgot. The quaint villages dotting the countryside are short Sunday strolls apart, the roads connecting them no wider or smoother than necessary for horse-drawn carts. Ask a woman her weight, and she’ll give it to you in stone before slapping you. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Aston Martin can sometimes seem like the car company that time forgot. Replacing the DBS for 2013 as Aston’s sportiest, most expensive offering, the Vanquish wears styling that is directly, obviously traceable to the 1994 DB7. Behind the familiar face rests a 5.9-liter V-12 that debuted in 2000 and a central architecture dating to the 2004 DB9.

This is not to suggest, however, that Aston is sitting completely still. Although the aluminum structure remains largely the same as the DBS’s (and DB9’s and Vantage’s and Rapide’s), the front-end structure is significantly lighter and is redesigned to allow the engine to mount 0.7 inch lower than in the DBS. Every body panel is new and now made of carbon fiber, contributing to a 25-percent increase in torsional rigidity and a weight reduction of about 150 pounds, according to the manufacturer. Still, figure on a curb weight of about 3850 pounds. Updating the big V-12 with variable timing on both the intake and exhaust cams (now hollow), larger throttle bodies, a revised intake manifold, and a few other tweaks bumps output from the DBS’s 510 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque to 565 and 457, respectively.



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Aston Martin still describes the Vanquish as a grand tourer, but a sporty grand tourer—the more laid-back being the DB9. The ride is quite firm, tending more toward sports-car stiff than GT supple. On smooth roads, the unyielding suspension contributes to surprising nimbleness and neutrality. Over rough tarmac, the Vanquish maintains its composure even in fast, lumpy corners, only—but readily—getting squirrelly with a midcorner throttle kick. The dampers offer three settings—normal, sport, and track—but even in normal, there’s hardly more body roll than there would be if the axles bolted directly to the subframes. And “track” is a rare bit of truth in advertising; nobody will ever want to use it anywhere else.

Hydraulic steering assist survives in the Vanquish. It’s a nice reminder of the way things still are in fewer and fewer cars. Quick, with a sporting but restrained weight that builds nicely in proportion to cornering forces, the rack allows appropriate feedback for something that its maker is unwilling to call a sports car, but the line goes a bit fuzzy at the limit. We do dig the available squared-off steering wheel, borrowed from the limited-edition One-77.

When compared with other V-12 sports cars in its pricing stratosphere, the DBS always seemed underpowered. Now, with 565 horses, the Vanquish…still seems underpowered. The Lamborghini Aventador has 691 hp. The Ferrari F12’s 730 beats Aston’s output by 165 horses. At least Aston’s flagship is no longer outmuscled by BMW’s SUVs. Nonetheless, we estimate the Vanquish should hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, which, if well off the pace of today’s hottest smart-phone wallpapers, does minimize the risk of being embarrassed by Mustangs and Camaros. And Aston’s V-12 is a thing of aural beauty; a sharp bark on startup and a guttural swell to redline can almost make you forget that Ferrari’s V-12 GT has 29 percent more power. Almost. Twenty-nine percent is a lot

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Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black Edition

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We understand that the Vanquish has replaced Aston’s long-running DBS as the “high volume” flagship for 2013, but we recently had a chance at a last fling with a very special DBS. Special, that is, because it is draped in a shimmering black hue so fetching you might wonder why every Aston doesn’t come painted this way. The metallic flakes sparkle in the light as if saying “hello, guv” and “piss off” in the same blink. Onlookers twist to catch a glimpse of the sparkling body that’s shrink-wrapped around the 5.9-liter V-12 they just heard. Aston says it takes 50 man-hours to apply the paint.

And then there’s exclusivity. A 2012 DBS Carbon Black Edition, if you were to find one still for sale, would cost you no less than $289,291. That’s with the six-speed automatic; the manual is $400 more, only because it carries lower EPA fuel-economy estimates and thus a higher gas-guzzler tax. Our test car came with what might possibly be the most expensive satellite-radio option on any car, at $1495, plus an upgraded alarm system ($450), a suede-wrapped steering wheel ($450), and a smoker’s kit ($570).

But what does the Carbon Black Edition get you that a regular carbon-fiber-bodied, 510-hp DBS doesn’t? Beyond the paint, there’s a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo. The rest of the DBS’s equipment list almost sounds as if the Rolling Stones’ song Paint It, Black were blaring on an iPod during the product-planning meeting: The 20-inch wheels have been trimmed in black, interior bits are black, the front grille and the tailpipes are blackened, and the taillamps are trimmed in black. It’s a good song. 


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Drive this Aston on a hot day, and all that black attracts the heat of our nearest star, and without a source of shade, the CBE cooks in the sun. Heat waves blur the background as the doors open. The heat seems to localize in a few pieces of aluminum on the center console. Contact with those hot hunks of metal activates the brain-stem reflex. Passengers might think your flailing right arm is some kind of crazy tic or maybe an impromptu Mick Jagger impersonation.

The driving experience is nothing short of spectacular. Rolling onto the throttle with a heavy foot turns up the 5.9-liter soundtrack partway through the rev range. Stay in it, and the V-12 will sing all the way to its 6850-rpm redline. The DBS’s six-speed automatic is calibrated for performance driving, but a pair of shift paddles encourages manual shifting. Be advised, however, that there is no physical redline on the tach, and the only warning that the fuel is about to cut off is in the gear indicator. It’ll turn red, telling you to upshift with the right paddle.

Messing around with the manual-shift mode might be fun on twisty roads, but it’s more or less pointless for acceleration runs on a straightaway. The DBS storms to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and 100 mph in 9.7, and it breaks a quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds (at 114 mph) whether you shift manually or leave the transmission in automatic mode. 


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The steering wheel has a bit of old-Porsche feel to it. By that we mean it shakes and transmits the tiniest road imperfections to the driver. Some of this information is extraneous, but we welcome the direct communication. The interior, although lush with leather, carbon, suede, and aluminum, has a cottage-industry feel—not surprising from a company that builds fewer than 900 cars per year. The turn-signal stalk clicks to its positions with a weak detent, not the fluid kind of sweep we’ve come to expect from quarter-million-dollar cars. It is a small oversight in an otherwise bespoke interior.

Mounting the transmission in front of the rear axle helps with weight distribution, as only 51.3 percent of the DBS’s 3929 pounds is loaded on a static DBS’s front tires. We were a little surprised at this because a good bit of engine hangs out over the front axle. The DBS pulls 0.90 g on the skidpad with little understeer, surprising because, on the road, the Aston feels like it has higher cornering limits than the numbers suggest.

The DBS is more of an ultra-touring car than a dedicated sports car, although the chassis is plenty rigid for track work. Carbon-ceramic brakes add to the racetrack pedigree, and the DBS’s capability is only exceeded by its comfort, luxury, and craftsmanship. The 2013 Vanquish has superseded the once range-topping DBS (the limited and hyperexotic One-77 notwithstanding) and promises more of everything

Aston Martin One-77

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 We have reported endlessly, it seems, on the stunningly fast, stunningly expensive, and stunningly styled Aston Martin One-77 in advance of the car’s official unveiling, which has just taken place at the 2009 Geneva auto show. Now that the supercar is out of the bag, we have more details on the most ambitious automobile in the company’s history.

Race Car Inside

The One-77’s architecture was guided, Aston says, by the principles of front-engine/rear-drive touring-car racers, incorporating a carbon-fiber monocoque and a double-wishbone suspension that features inboard, pushrod-actuated dynamic shocks. And, as with race cars themselves, final suspension tuning that will be set once the vehicle is actually delivered to the owner for the ultimate in customization. Interestingly, Aston claims that the beauty of each mechanical component was considered as the One-77 progressed, not just its function. And having seen it in person now, we can personally vouch for the company’s efforts.

Powering the One-77 is a 7.3-liter evolution of the savory 5.9-liter V-12 found in other Astons—still naturally aspirated but with dry-sump lubrication allowing it to be mounted nearly four inches lower in the chassis than in any previous V-12–powered roadgoing Aston. Said engine, developed with the help of racing house Cosworth, is projected to make at least 700 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It is mounted 10.1 inches behind the centerline of the front wheels for optimal weight distribution and weighs a remarkable 25 percent less than the 5.9-liter. This, combined with many other weight-reduction measures throughout the vehicle, translates into an overall projected weight of just over 3300 pounds. Expect a 0-to-60-mph time of just 3.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

Extreme Aston Style

Able as we are to see more of the One-77 than we could with the handful of studio shots Aston provided before the show, we now appreciate the extreme-ness of the One-77’s aluminum body. The grille doesn’t seem quite as massive as it did in pictures, but the rear fenders (and the 335/30 Pirelli P-Zero Corsas that reside within them) are truly gargantuan. The multispoke wheels are a none-too-dainty 20 inches in diameter. The headlamps and boomerang-shaped taillamps have interesting details that we weren’t able to see before. And the rear diffuser looks menacing enough to chew up road debris when the car is thrown into reverse.




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While the Geneva show car didn't house a finished interior, the cabin is likely to be gorgeous, reflecting both the car’s emphasis on weight savings and luxury inclinations. The One-77 will be built only 77 times and distributed to key markets—in single-digit allocations—around the world. Pricing is expected to be around $1.75 million, according to Aston.

TWO INDIAN CARS STEAL THE GLOBE

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Two automobile India Steal the globe Attention
Both of 'people's car' has become a byword and also the spotlight of the globe automotive business.

YouTube - Tata Nano and Bajaj RE60 arguably become one in all the success of the Indian automotive business, for not underestimated by the car makers within the world.

Both of 'people's car' has become a byword and also the spotlight of the globe automotive business. Having an occasional value and a reasonably distinctive style, makes this automobile price to be taken into consideration.

Tata Nano were gift Bajaj previous RE60. Nano, called the most affordable automobile of this universe, could be a good plan of ​​Ratan Tata. He dreamed of a shiny automobile provides to the poor Indians who had solely a motorcycle.

Although the journey, Tata Motors, had to face the struggle that's quite serious. numerous issues encountered, starting from the dearth of safety of the Tata Nano, that are typically burned. till the existence of a selling strategy and perilklan smart.

"Nano has continuously been the world's media spotlight. everybody encompasses a dream automobile becomes manifest with modah. Since the Nano could be a automobile for a motorbike," said Ashvin Chotai, managing director of Asian automotive consulting firm in London, as reported by Reuters on Thursday, January 5, 2012.

However, says Ashvin, the long run Nano continues to be struggling to seek out its market. Not solely domestically, however additionally within the world automotive market.

Slowly however surely, Tata Motors began to reform itself. At the top of 2011, she launched the most recent generation of universal most cost-effective automobile, Tata Nano 2012.

This automobile failed to expertise any changes in terms of exterior style. However, the Tata Nano in 2121 became additional luxurious, elegant, and so encompasses a superb safety level.

Nano 2012 pricing unchanged from the previous generation. costs are still priced Rs.1, forty lakhs or regarding Rp twenty five million (the lowest version) in India.

Not to be outdone, three-wheel specialist automotive makers from India, Bajaj Auto, additionally launched the automobile quite town automobile, that was named Bajaj RE60. This automobile is staying digadang are a powerful competitor universal most cost-effective automobile, Tata Nano.

This little automobile has style similarities with the Suzuki Wagon R and also the Fiat Uno. RE60 Bajaj Bajaj tiny automobile could be a development that's below the supervision of the project Ultra Low price (UCL)

"We need to present the answer an urban automobile that economical, environmentally friendly, and cheap," said the boss Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj.

Getting Auto Insurance For Brand New Cars

No matter where someone chooses to drive in Canada, the law requires that he or she obtain the appropriate motor vehicle insurance. This is a mandatory requirement in all territories and provinces if one wishes to operate his or her automobile legally. If a person is found not to have the proper policy for his car, he can end up losing his vehicle and receive several fines. Should they occur, any of these scenarios will have a negative impact on the driver's lifestyle, as well as his or her driving record.

How Rates are Determined

Insurance plans in Canada can change from location to location, so Canadian insurance agencies will look at every single independent factor and put them all together. One thing that stays constant is your driving history: a good record will always mean a lower insurance price. If one has a history of accidents, speeding tickets or other citations, he or she will most likely have to pay more for car insurance cover than someone with a clean driving record, or with a very minimal number of the aforementioned scenarios.

Insurance cover quotes will also vary depending on the accessories one has in his or her vehicle. You're able to save additional money for features like anti-theft sound alarms and extra airbags. In addition, younger people typically pay more for car insurance than mature individuals, and women are generally able to acquire lower rates than men. These rates are based on statistics that show younger, inexperienced drivers are more apt to become involved in accidents or acquire citations than mature drivers. Similarly, statistics show that men drive more aggressively than women and tend to speed more often, making them a higher risk, as well.

Insurance for New Vehicles

When it comes time to purchase a car, one must carefully consider the various pros and cons with regard to an used vehicle versus a new car that requires financing through a bank loan. The make, model, and year of a car are three details which have a notable impact on insurance rates. There are several reason for this, including the simple fact that if a brand new vehicle is involved in an accident, it will be more costly to repair than an older car. Similarly, a sports car or luxury car will cost more to repair than a standard model. In addition, newer cars are more often targeted for theft and are costly to replace if the insurance company must do so. Therefore, insurance agencies typically charge more to insure such vehicles than they charge to insure older cars.

Another fact to which some thought must be given is that cars which are brand new must usually be purchased through a finance company. The finance company in such a case will require that one have full cover on his or her automobile, meaning liability, collision, comprehensive, theft, vandalism, and cover for uninsured drivers. If one buys an used car that can be paid for with cash, he or she will have the option of purchasing only the minimum insurance required under Canadian law, which is usually basic liability. However, for a new car that must be financed, one must obtain the full cover as previously mentioned. With this in mind, it may be wise to consider if a new car is an absolute necessity, and if not, one may wish to purchase an used car for which onlx the minimum insurance cover is required.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Insurance on a Financed Car

Those who prefer to drive a new car do not have to resign themselves to paying extraordinarily high insurance premiums. There are several ways in which one can save money on the cost of a policy for a financed car. For instance, the aforementioned safety devices such as a car alarm or a GPRS system can cut insurance costs considerably, as theft is a key issue of concern for an insurance company. Additionally, if one does minimum driving, such as an individual who works from home and has no hectic commute five days a week, he or she should apply for a low mileage discount.

If you want to get even more discounts on auto insurance, be sure to take a driver's education course and that can really help you lower your insurance rates. In addition, one should comparison shop before making a final decision on a policy, as this is the best way to ensure that the most suitable and cost-effective policy will be found.

2015 Ford Mustang Rendered

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Mustang is Ford’s oldest continuously produced nameplate (Ford might cite its F-series, but that didn’t bear the F-150 badge until a decade after the Mustang arrived). In its lifetime, Mustang has been many different cars: a reskinned Falcon, something closer to the Torino, a hideous and malformed mutant Pinto, and a Fox, the platform it shared with a variety of Fords, Mercurys, and even a couple of Lincolns across three decades. In its current form, though, Mustang has become something it flirted with from inception: great. We named the GT and Boss 302 to our 2012 10Best pantheon, and called the Boss “the best Mustang ever.” For 2015, Ford’s ungulate will undergo its most revolutionary redesign yet. We hear it’ll arrive Thursday, April 17, 2014, or 50 years to the day it originally went on sale. This should make for one helluva birthday.

PLATFORM

Dimensionally, the 2015 edition won’t differ much from the current car, but it will employ an all-new unibody. The next Mustang’s track, both front and rear, will be slightly narrower. Wheelbase looks to shorten up by less than an inch from today’s car. With more-stringent impact requirements pending during the car’s anticipated life cycle, overall length could creep up by the same amount the wheelbase shrinks to allow for suitable crash structures.

SUPENSION

With the brief exception of the SVT Cobra that appeared intermittently between 1999 and 2004, the Mustang has always relied on a solid rear axle—and since the advent of the internet, forums have been overrun with calls for an independent rear. Hark, bathrobe wearers, your cries have been heard. In addition to reducing unsprung mass, the 2015’s multilink independent rear will allow more space for the rear seat and cargo.
A strut setup will carry on up front, but with new geometry. Performance models will use aluminum lower control arms, while stamped steel serves in the base car. Big six-piston Brembo brake calipers will be stand­ard on serious performance models, optional on the semi-serious ones.

POWER TRAIN

Unlike today’s Mustang, which sees only limited export beyond the NAFTA zone, Ford has decreed that its next-generation pony car will be sold around the world. With this in mind, powertrain choices will expand significantly beyond today’s single V-6 and three V-8 choices. We’ve even heard that, for select markets in Asia, Ford will offer a naturally aspirated inline-four. Sounds screwy, we know. But Ford continues to challenge convention with its engine choices; who would have thought even two years ago that V-6s would make up the majority of F-150 sales?

The U.S. will get a four-cylinder, too—the first in a Mustang since 1993. A turbocharged, direct-injected 2.4-liter four will relieve an upgraded version of today’s 3.7-liter V-6 of its mantle as 30-plus-mpg champ. Mimicking the EcoBoost’s role in the Edge and Explorer, the 250-plus-hp four-cylinder will be priced higher than the more powerful base V-6 Mustang and be positioned as a balance between sport and fuel efficiency

The 2015 GT will keep the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8, but don’t expect horsepower to rise from its current 420. The delayed-intro Boss 302 will see an extra six ponies coaxed out of its engine, raising that figure to 450.

Ford is playing its cards very close to the vest regarding the next Shelby GT500. Underhood space in the 2015 Mustang will be tighter than it is today, posing a problem for the Shelby’s massive supercharged and intercooled 5.8-liter. Due to its height, the 5.8 appears to have been squeezed out. Its 662 horses will be tough to beat in the next-generation Shelby, if there is a next-generation Shelby. But the GT500 has garnered Ford a lot of press, and a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected Coyote is a tantalizing concept with the potential to match the 114 horsepower per liter of the 5.8.

Initially, the new Mustang’s transmissions will carry over from today’s car, but an eight-speed automatic will join the lineup eventually.

STYLING

The 2015 edition of America’s original pony car promises a marked mechanical improvement over anything that has carried the Mustang name, but its sheetmetal wrapper may concern loyalists. Last September, Ford unveiled the Evos concept car at the Frankfurt auto show. The automaker said at the time that the sleek coupe represented “the ultimate expression of Ford’s new global design language.” Over the past several months, the company has led us to believe, through cryptic statements and innuendo, that the Evos also telegraphs the form of the next Mustang. To be sure, the Evos is one highly attractive machine, but when you look at it there’s little that makes you think “Mustang.”

It won’t be the first time the model eschewed its established visual language for a cleaner, less brand-specific look. Although devoid of any Mustang cues, the 1979 model was well received by customers and journalists alike—perhaps in large part because the Mustang II that preceded it was so misshapen. Slowly, though, original design elements crept back in, culminating in a 2005 model chock-a-block with everything that made the first Mustang so strong.

A Mustang that ignores its styling heritage does so at its own peril. While the Evos is a great statement and direction for Ford as a whole, it is woefully short of the visual candy that many people believe makes a Mustang a Mustang. Here’s hoping the clay scrapers at Ford design keep this in mind

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7



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As the launch of the new Corvette draws near—expect it to arrive in fall 2013—we are getting closer to defini­tive information on Chevy’s star-spangled sports car. Here’s the latest:

As we’ve said before, nothing so drastic as a switch to a mid-engine layout is planned for the C7. The base Vette will remain a front-engine, rear-transaxle coupe with a glass hatch (that is, until the C8 arrives, anyway). Something similar to the current car’s suspension, transverse leaf springs and all, will appear on this 2014 model. We also don’t expect any drastic dimensional changes; while mules we spotted in September appeared to have a narrower track, their bodies were donated by C6 Grand Sports, which have wider fenders and tracks than do base Corvettes. The C7 is likely to shed some mass, which would yield a better power-to-weight ratio.

In terms of its design, we’re going to go out on a limb and call it Vette-like. New headlight elements are more complex and narrower. The double-bubble roof returns, although the space between the bumps is wider, and the panel appears to be slightly flatter. Some sort of ventilation—either louvers or something like the scoop that adorns the nose of the current Z06, Grand Sport, and ZR1—will perforate the hood. Oh, and the side mirrors are less rounded than before and are a bit larger.

Among the critical design details shrouded in mystery is the final shape of the rear end, although we’re fairly confident that there will be more surface detailing on the back of the C7 than there was on the smooth, upswept tails of the C5 and C6. The quad exhaust tips, which appeared as slightly separated pairs on the C6, are now bundled together in a central row.

Expect more-significant changes under the hood. GM is investing more than $1 billion in the American plants that produce its small-block V-8, and the fifth generation of the iconic engine family will appear in the C7. Downsizing is a given for efficiency reasons, so expect a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter (possibly 6.0-liter) mill in place of the current 6.2 in the base model. (The oft-rumored twin-turbo V-6? We’re thinking C8.) The smaller engine will continue to use aluminum construction with pushrods and should make roughly the same 430 horsepower as the current 6.2; it will do so thanks in part to a higher compression ratio and direct fuel injection. The V-8 also is expected to feature cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing, and perhaps even stop-start functionality—the latter not exactly ideal for stoplight tête-à-têtes.  And the Z06 and ZR1 models—with their respective larger and supercharged eights—should return.

Lastly, pricing shouldn’t change much from current levels. Expect the base coupe to start in the neighborhood of $50,000.

BMW X4 SUV for 2014

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Heard the news from munich who brings an idea BMW X4. The latest information about dating X4 models in 2007, strengthened, but they were reinforced earlier this year when other several automotive outlets reported on the future, a smaller version of the X6 Sports Activity Coupe.Autoweek reports that BMW X4 near-production concept will be revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2013It will be a compact crossover with coupe-like styling and will share the basics with the BMW X3, like the X6 shares basics with the X5. The body will feature four doors, and inside there will be four individual seats.Target style and performance rather than utility, X4 will be against other style-conscious models in the segment of compact crossover like the Range Rover Evoque and upcoming Porsche Tigers. Setup all-wheel drive will remain standard, however.This position will help differentiate X4 from X3 cousin, who remains popular with young families. It also means that X4 is sold at a premium to the X3, which starts at just under $ 40k.Engine offerings should reflect those of the latest X3, X4, which means the base xDrive28i with 2.0-liter turbocharged four rated at 240 horsepower, and a more powerful xDrive35i X4 packing 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six good for 300 horsepower.A dedicated X4 M model with next-generation powertrain sharing rumored M3, like BMW M Performance models featuring a host of go-fast part of the new line of car accessories. At least one diesel model will be launched as well, although it's unlikely to make its way to the U.S.According to our sources, BMW X4 has moved from idea to concept stage and will be first shown in 2011. The production model will be launched in late 2013, early 2014. We learned that the X4 would share most hardware and interior parts with the X3. X4 will be built exclusively at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. Spartanburg factory has increased its capacity from the previous 160,000 to 240,000, and the expansion was presented today to the automotive journalists.

It’s still too early for pricing and availability details, but we expect the X4 to slot above the X3′s $36,850 base price, not including taxes, and below the X5′s $47,200 base price.

2013 Audi R8

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Car Barn Sport | Audi R8 Facelift (2013) | Audi has updated its range of R8, adding a new top model in the lineup. Other new features include single-frame grille with chamfered upper corners are painted glossy black and chrome horizontal fields. As an option, Audi installed front splitter made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). Splitter is standard on the new R8 V10 Plus. The mirrors and side air intakes on the wings coupe is made of carbon fiber on the new R8 V10 Plus Top Model. In

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If desired, the LEDs illuminate the engine compartment to the R8 V10 Plus, these lights, as well as some of the carbon fiber engine compartment trim are standard. LED lights dominate the rear of the Audi R8. Large carbon fiber diffuser optional (standard R8 V10 Plus), was drawn up. With all engine variants of the exhaust system terminates in two round, shiny side exhaust, painted black on the R8 V10 Plus. Audi R8 offers the solid colors Ibis White and bright red, four and five metallic colors pearl / crystal effect of the coating. Wings coupe is available in eight colors, and the roof R8 Spyder is available in black, red or brown.


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On the Audi R8 Spyder on the deck lid of the box and side panels made of carbon fiber. The new top model in the series, Audi R8 V10 Plus. 6-speed gearbox, with its leaders to open the gate lever, stainless steel is standard on the V8 and V10 version. Pressing the launch control with an initial increase in speed and is controlled with an optimal starting point for tire slippage. Audi Magnetic Ride adaptive damping system is a standard R8 V10 and the V8 additional options.
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The revised R8 riding on big wheels. V8 versions are equipped with standard sizes 8.5Jx18 10.5Jx18 wheels front and rear, with tires sized 235/40 and 285/35. According to the Audi V10 installed 19-inch width of 8.5 and 11 inch tires size 235/35, respectively, and to get 295/30. Steel wheels high sports cars internally ventilated and perforated aluminum disk sticks with shells.  Aluminum calipers of the front wheels, each with eight-piston and rear wheels, each with four pistons. In conjunction with the 19-inch wheels, Audi offers optional carbon-ceramic brakes (standard R8 V10 Plus). ESC Electronic Stability Program Management offers a sports mode, and can also be turned off completely. The new Audi R8 rolling line for European customers later this year.