Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, an AW Drivers Log

MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: This is one bad boy right here.

The pure performance driver in me is not a huge fan of a lot of Mercedes' products, even many AMG creations, but the C63 is spot-on in my “how to tackle a road and win” book.

DTM-inspired bodywork looks great, giving the C63 an aggressive appearance that leaves no doubt as to what it does best, and the true hardware lives up to expectations. From the moment you turn the key (thanks, AMG, for eschewing the ubiquitous yet useless start button) and the V8 belches awake with a deep tone, you know you're in for a great ride.

Behind the wheel, you find yourself in perfect driving position thanks to the outstanding seats with massive side bolsters. The wheel itself is sweet, with a flat-bottom design and touch-points trimmed in suede (OK, Alcantara in reality) like a race car. Select manual mode, open the throttle and this car lights up the rubber without hesitation, cracking off shifts with speed and precision and rumbling with menace on downchanges and trailing throttle. Again, the racing heritage is evident and the soundtrack adds a lot of fun to this experience. Naturally, it also goads you (or at least me) into finding every little gap in the road to punch it, then banging down through the gearbox every time I need to slow, holding the revs smack in the middle of the powerband when normally you'd just leave most cars in the higher gears.

In fact, AMG's Speedshift Plus automatic surprises you. No, it's not as involving as a manual nor is it as quick-shifting as a modern double-clutch system. But it still shifts well, smooth and relatively quick, matching revs during downshifts as a car like this should. Normally, this is where I would complain about the lack of a manual or double-clutch system, but the C63's transmission is competent enough that it certainly wasn't a deal breaker for me.

The aforementioned powerband is extremely flat and useable, with almost 90 percent of peak torque available from 2,000 rpm. There's always plenty of go available at any speed or throttle position; this is one of those imminently enjoyable cars that sucks you into slicing both corners and straights into oblivion at even the slightest opportunity. Mercedes and AMG won't like the following analogy, but I feel a lot of BMW M car in this thing. The steering is quick, the chassis nimble, the engine relatively high revving. Those key attributes are missing from many of Mercedes products, but not this one. What Mercedes/AMG will like to hear is that, finally, I would have a difficult choice deciding between the C63 and M3 if my money was on the line at the local dealer. And I appreciate this car's relative simplicity compared to the M3 and certain other modern performance cars: No launch control, no endless combination of suspension and gearbox and engine map settings to drive you crazy. There's just a good, solid setup straight out of the box that gets the job done. Sometimes less really is more.

Yes, this is a great car that will no doubt hold the attention of driving and motorsports enthusiasts. Writing these words, I'm thinking I need to have another go in it. Like right now.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: Morrison's description of this car is spot-on. It is a runner, with a terrific-sounding V8 that is as potent as it sounds. I am not as enamored with the automatic trans as Mac, though. It still doesn't respond with the same quickness as a dual-clutch, and a six-speed manual would seem to be a natural in this car.

And while Mercedes steered clear of a lot of the gimmicks we find on other similar models-- not to mention other models wearing the three-pointed star--the one gimmick that did annoy me was the pop-up screen in the dash. With the radio off and the screen down inside the dash, there was a rattle coming from the contraption. Due in part, I'm sure, to the firm suspension transferring a lot of energy throughout the car with every bump and pothole hit. Here's the funny thing about a pop-up screen: the dash has a terrific look with the thing closed, but in my opinion, looks like hell when it's in use. A simpler in-dash navigation screen would be a better alternative.

The screen is simply a minor annoyance in an otherwise terrific car. This is a real performer with great grip, monster brakes and head-snapping acceleration. The highly bolstered seats became a bit uncomfortable after a long stint in the saddle, but I want to take the steering wheel with me and use it on every car I drive. The small diameter and flat bottom wheel, with wonderful suede grips on the sides, is absolutely wonderful.

ART DIRECTOR KEN ROSS: Mercedes has never been at the top of my performance list, not that they don't build them and do it well in some cases. I just think others do it a little better. But they hit the mark this time; the C63 is the right size and has the right amount of power to be a true performance car.

The looks are strong: AMG did a great job of making this car stand out from any other C-class without being gaudy. The C63's rims are hot, the carbon-fiber trim is done well and the ground effects are sinister. The interior continues the sport luxury feel with snug seats and a suede steering cover that is comfortable, but I'm curious to see how it holds up.

The driving is just sick, the sound from the exhaust and the power you get when you hit the gas is awesome, but it is capable of being very controlled and tame. You don't find yourself having to control its power all the time.

MANAGING EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: Though an E63 AMG puts you into a whole ‘nuther league on price, the bigger car is probably a good choice for most buyers looking at the C63. Sure, it's bigger and heavier, but it also punches 518 hp and 465-lb-ft of torque from the same engine. And you get a back seat real people can use, so you can share the AMG joy with more friends.

That said, there's absolutely nothing amiss with the performance of this stylish C63--as noted, the car exudes muscle, with downshift throttle blips and an exhaust note to match every driver action. Hammering the throttle is rewarded with satisfying acceleration, whether you're pulling away from a stop or running at 70 mph.

The brakes are equally stunning, stopping the car with authority regardless of speed. But the most telling part of this performance package, to me, is that Mercedes finally dialed some real road feel into the suspension and steering--so much so that the soft-covering on the steering wheel provides a nice buffer between hands and the road surface. It's not harsh in any way, but it's clear what's happening out at tire level-which hasn't always been the case in past Benzes with overly heavy steering feel.

Combined with the solid suspension, the overall package gives one the kind of confidence once reserved for the most-revered, like the M3. I'm with Morrison: I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but if Mercedes tossed in the E63's wicked launched control system, I'd be tossing my money to the big star boys.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: : I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I just might take this over the M3. Yeah, even with the automatic transmission. As we all know the M3 is nothing short of amazing and rightfully deserves all the praise we've heaped on it over the years. But as Mac points out, it's become more technologically advanced with a bunch of buttons to adjust traction electronics, engine mapping and, when equipped with the dual-clutch transmission, different shift settings. Not so with this C63. You just jump in; fire it up, hammer it and you'll grin ear to ear. Sometimes it's about the simple things in life.

I'm not about to say that the optional AMG development package on this car is necessary, which bumps horsepower from 451 to 481 and top speed from 155 to 174 mph, but it sure is cool knowing you have it. This car just sounds wicked right from startup and it goes like someone lit a fire under its bottom. Acceleration is brutal, but what may be the most impressive thing of all is how well this AMG Speedshift Plus automatic transmission performs. No, it doesn't match the performance of a dual-clutch unit, but it up- and downshifts with throttle matching incredibly well for a full automatic gearbox.

It's not a one-trick pony, either. It torches corners with a large dose of grip, composure and responsive steering. When it comes down to it, you can describe this car as agile with knockout power to slide the rear around when the feeling strikes you. Getting back to the simplicity of this car, the suspension isn't adjustable, but plays both roles of sporty handler and comfortable enough for daily driving, which is something few companies are capable of pulling off.

I have to give props to AMG for the interior, too. The flat bottom steering wheel with Alcantara feels great in your hands and the front seats features the largest amount of side support this side of a full Recaro race seat. And the exterior appearance is just mean looking with the front bumper with mesh inserts and wide bodywork.

In all, this is a really well done performance sedan. It just might be the best one available today.

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Here's a car I would certainly put on my shopping list. It looks like a performance sedan with flared fenders and I love the bulgy hood.

This is an old performance formula: Stuff a big V8 in to a relatively small package, and hang on. The thing is a rocket. The acceleration at higher speeds, say from 30-50 or 50-70 is more impressive than off the line. I expected it to be fast but I was impressed.

The suspension is compliant and the car feels very focused and refined. There's more than enough grip, the steering feels just right and, wow, the brakes are impressive.

In my humble opinion this is the best sports sedan on sale in the U.S. right now. Or at least I can't think of a better one.

2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

Base price: $60,325

As tested: $77,105

Engine: 6.3-liter, 481-hp, 443-lb-ft V8, RWD, seven-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3,649 lbs.

EPA (city/highway): 12/19 mpg

EPA combined: 14 mpg

Options: Options: AMG development package including AMG compound braking system, increase power level to 481-hp, top speed 174, AMG lightweight forged pistons, connecting rods, revised crankshaft, new engine management, red-painted brake calipers, carbon fiber trunk spoiler, engine intake runners in titanium gray finish, AMG leather/alcantara performance steering wheel ($5,950); multimedia package including seven-inch power retractable color display, COMAND hard drive based navigation system, premium audio, voice control, music register PCMCIA slot, iPod/MP3 media interface and cable ($3,300); AMG leather package ($3,030); limited slip differential lock ($2,000); premium package II including bi-xenon headlamps with washers and cornering fog lamps, split folding rear seats, power rear-window sunshade ($1,400); tele-aid ($650); rear-view camera ($450)

2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante

2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante (1280*960 Wallpaper)
Aston Martin DBS Volante makes its debut at the 2009 Geneva Auto Salon. Completing the Aston Martin DBS line-up, the new Volante will afford customers the combination of the DBS’s already-established benchmark sports car characteristics with all the thrills of open-air motoring.

Broadening the DBS’s character, the Aston Martin DBS Volante will appeal to drivers who wish to combine the excitement of driving a finely-tuned sports car with the invigorating feeling of being open to the elements. This juxtaposition of ultimate performance and openness stirs the senses on any drive whether an exhilarating jaunt on favoured roads or cruising on lengthy journeys. ‘Volante’, meaning ‘moving with light rapidity’, perfectly defines the performance potential and the dynamic characteristics of the Aston Martin DBS Volante.

Featuring a motorised retractable fabric roof, the DBS’s beautiful profile is preserved whether up or down. When the roof is closed, it provides a warm comfortable ambience and when open, it neatly disappears behind the new tonneau cover at the touch of a button.

Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez said: “The Aston Martin DBS Volante delivers the utmost relaxed driving experience with the hood up or down. It combines engineering excellence with design perfection.
2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante (1280*960 Wallpaper)

2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante (1280*960 Wallpaper)

2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante (1280*960 Wallpaper)

Ferrari drops new photos of 458 Challenge test session at Vallelunga

Ferrari 458 Challenge - Click above for high-res image gallery

A few weeks ago, Ferrari officially debuted its latest Challenge race car, based on the 458 Italia. Now they've released new photos of the car during its test session at the Vallelunga race circuit. Factory test drivers Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo were on hand to provide feedback on the 458 Challenge, and predictably, both seem impressed with the car's capabilities. Mediani described his drive as "very quick and extremely good fun," while his counterpart commented, "I am sure that Prancing Horse competition owners will be very pleased with the car."

Using the standard roadgoing 458 Italia as a base, Ferrari creates the Challenge version by increasing output of the 4.5-liter V8 to 570 horsepower, cutting weight via thinner and lighter body panels, adding a race-specific suspension setup, fitting 19-inch BBS wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, installing a set of carbon ceramic Brembo brakes and more.

So equipped, Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge can lap Fiorano over two seconds per lap quicker than its predecessor, the F430 Challenge, while pulling a cornea-yanking 1.6g's worth of lateral acceleration. You can check out the new photos below, and we'll be sure to bring you any more if Ferrari sends them our way.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 Chevrolet Corvette

MSRP: $48,930-$116,880

The 2010 Corvette is a 2-door, 2-passenger sports car, or convertible sports car, available in 21 trims, ranging from the Coupe 1LT to the ZR1 3ZR.

Upon introduction, the Coupe 1LT is equipped with a standard 6.2-liter, V8, 430-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional. The ZR1 3ZR is equipped with a standard 6.2-liter, V8, 638-horsepower, supercharged engine that achieves 14-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 Corvette is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Lamborghini Murcielago

MSRP: $360,400-$455,400

The 2010 Murcielago is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury sports car, or convertible sports car, available in 4 trims, ranging from the LP640 Coupe to the LP670-4 SuperVeloce.

Upon introduction, the LP640 Coupe is equipped with a standard 6.5-liter, V12, 640-horsepower engine that achieves 8-mpg in the city and 13-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional. The LP670-4 SuperVeloce is equipped with a standard 6.5-liter, V12, 670-horsepower engine that achieves 9-mpg in the city and 14-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 LP640 Coupe is a carryover from 2009. The LP670-4 SuperVeloce has been reskinned for 2010.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

MSRP: $102,600-$198,750

The 2011 SL-Class is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 3 trims, ranging from the SL550 Roadster to the SL65 AMG Roadster.

Upon introduction, the SL550 Roadster is equipped with a standard 5.5-liter, V8, 382-horsepower engine that achieves 14-mpg in the city and 22-mpg on the highway. A 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The SL65 AMG Roadster is equipped with a standard 6.0-liter, V12, 604-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 12-mpg in the city and 18-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2011 SL-Class is a carryover from 2010.

2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom

MSRP: $380,000-$450,000

The 2010 Phantom is a 2- or 4-door, up to 5-passenger luxury coupe, luxury convertible, or luxury sedan, available in 4 trims, ranging from the Sedan to the Drophead Coupe.

Upon introduction, both trims are equipped with a standard 6.75-liter, V12, 453-horsepower engine that achieves 11-mpg in the city and 18-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 Phantom is a carryover from 2009.

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

MSRP: $56,200-$64,800

The 2011 E-Class is a 2- or 4-door, up to 7-passenger sports coupe, luxury sports coupe, convertible, luxury convertible, luxury sedan, luxury sports sedan, or luxury wagon, available in 8 trims, ranging from the E350 4MATIC Wagon to the E63 AMG Sedan.

Upon introduction, the E350 4MATIC Wagon is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 268-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 23-mpg on the highway. A 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The E63 AMG Sedan is equipped with a standard 6.2-liter, V8, 518-horsepower engine. A 7-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The E350 4MATIC Wagon has been redesigned for 2011. The 2011 E63 AMG Sedan is a carryover from 2010.

2010 Audi A5

MSRP: $36,000-$44,100

The 2010 A5 is a 2-door, 4-passenger sports coupe, or convertible, available in 5 trims, ranging from the 2.0T Premium Coupe quattro Manual to the 2.0T Premium Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic.

Upon introduction, the 2.0T Premium Coupe quattro Manual is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 211-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 22-mpg in the city and 30-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The 2.0T Premium Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 211-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 20-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 2.0T Premium Coupe quattro Manual is a carryover from 2009. The 2.0T Premium Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic is all-new for 2010.

2011 Ford Shelby GT500

MSRP: $48,645-$53,645

The 2011 Shelby GT500 is a 2-door, 4-passenger sports car, or convertible sports car, available in two trims, the Coupe and the Convertible.

Upon introduction, both trims are equipped with a standard 5.4-liter, V8, 550-horsepower, supercharged engine that achieves 15-mpg in the city and 23-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2011 Shelby GT500 is a carryover from 2010.

2010 Lamborghini Gallardo

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is without doubt one of the most desirable cars on the planet. Boasting a 5.2-litre V10 engine with an output of 412 kW at 8000 rpm and 540 Nm of torque, the baby Lambo is also one of the world's highest performing cars - try 0 - 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 325 km/h.
MSRP: $205,000-$229,100

The 2010 Gallardo is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury sports car, or convertible sports car, available in 4 trims, ranging from the LP560-4 Coupe to the LP570-4 Superleggera.

Upon introduction, the LP560-4 Coupe is equipped with a standard 5.2-liter, V10, 560-horsepower engine that achieves 12-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional. The LP570-4 Superleggera is equipped with a standard 5.2-liter, V10, 570-horsepower engine that achieves 14-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 LP560-4 Coupe is a carryover from 2009. The LP570-4 Superleggera has been reskinned for 2010.

2010 MINI Cooper Convertible

MSRP:
$24,250 - $34,000
Invoice:
$21,825 - $30,600
 2010 MINI Cooper Convertible  Base

The 2010 Cooper Convertible is a 2-door, 4-passenger convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 3 trims, ranging from the Base to the John Cooper Works.

Upon introduction, the Base is equipped with a standard 1.6-liter, I4, 118-horsepower engine that achieves 28-mpg in the city and 36-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional. The John Cooper Works is equipped with a standard 1.6-liter, I4, 208-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 25-mpg in the city and 33-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 Cooper Convertible is a carryover from 2009.

2011 Ford Mustang

V6 Premium Convertible shown
MSRP: $22,145-$37,845

The 2011 Mustang is a 2-door, 4-passenger family coupe, sports coupe, convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 8 trims, ranging from the V6 Coupe to the GT Premium Convertible.

Upon introduction, the V6 Coupe is equipped with a standard 3.7-liter, V6, 305-horsepower engine that achieves 19-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. The GT Premium Convertible is equipped with a standard 5.0-liter, V8, 412-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 24-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2011 Mustang is a carryover from 2010.

2011 Mustang GT Convertible makes the scenery come alive in Kona Blue Metallic.

2011 Sterling Grey V6 Mustang. 305 hp. 31 mpg hwy.*Personalize with ROUSH front fascia with fog lamps, HID headlamps, front splitter and side splitters. Add in Ford V.P. side scoops and stripe package, rear lower valance with rear deck lid spoiler and lowering springs. Roll on 20-inch custom accessories chrome wheels - powder coated charcoal.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Porsche Panameras recalled for seatbelt fix

Porsche is recalling all 11,300 units of the 2010 Panamera to fix a problem with the front seatbelts.

According to Porsche, the Panamera's seatbelt mounts could fail in a crash when the front seats are in the full forward position. No injuries have been reported.

Porsche says the repair is simple--adding another mounting point for the front belts--and shouldn't take more than 15 minutes at a dealership. The repair will be done free of charge.

Owners can contact Porsche their local dealers to set up an appointment for the repair. Scheduling or other questions can be answered through the customer service center, which can be reached by calling 800-PORSCHE (800-767-7243).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 BMW 1 Series

MSRP: $29,150-$40,350

The 2010 1 Series is a 2-door, 4-passenger luxury sports coupe, or luxury convertible, available in 4 trims, ranging from the 128i Coupe to the 135i Convertible.

Upon introduction, the 128i Coupe is equipped with a standard 3.0-liter, I6, 230-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. The 135i Convertible is equipped with a standard 3.0-liter, I6, 300-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 1 Series is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Audi A5

MSRP: $36,000-$44,100

The 2010 A5 is a 2-door, 4-passenger sports coupe, or convertible, available in 5 trims, ranging from the 2.0T Coupe quattro Manual to the 2.0T Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic.

Upon introduction, the 2.0T Coupe quattro Manual is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 211-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 22-mpg in the city and 30-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The 2.0T Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 211-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 20-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 2.0T Coupe quattro Manual is a carryover from 2009. The 2.0T Cabriolet quattro Tiptronic is all-new for 2010.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL65 AMG Roadster.
MSRP: $102,600-$198,750

The 2011 SL-Class is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 3 trims, ranging from the SL550 Roadster to the SL65 AMG Roadster.

Upon introduction, the SL550 Roadster is equipped with a standard 5.5-liter, V8, 382-horsepower engine that achieves 13-mpg in the city and 21-mpg on the highway. A 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The SL65 AMG Roadster is equipped with a standard 6.0-liter, V12, 604-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 11-mpg in the city and 18-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2011 SL-Class is a carryover from 2010.

2010 Ford Mustang

When was the first time you pressed your face to the glass and exclaimed that four-letter word, "COOL.” 2010 Mustang GT Premium shown in Torch Red.
MSRP: $21,395-$36,395

The 2010 Mustang is a 2-door, 4-passenger family coupe, sports coupe, convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 8 trims, ranging from the V6 Coupe to the GT Premium Convertible.

Upon introduction, the V6 Coupe is equipped with a standard 4.0-liter, V6, 210-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. The GT Premium Convertible is equipped with a standard 4.6-liter, V8, 315-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 24-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 Mustang is reskinned for 2010.

2010 Audi R8

MSRP: $114,200-$155,100

The 2010 R8 is a 2-door, 2-passenger sports coupe, available in 4 trims, ranging from the 4.2 Coupe quattro to the 5.2 Coupe quattro with Auto R tronic.

Upon introduction, the 4.2 Coupe quattro is equipped with a standard 4.2-liter, V8, 420-horsepower engine that achieves 12-mpg in the city and 19-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The 5.2 Coupe quattro with Auto R tronic is equipped with a standard 5.2-liter, V10, 525-horsepower engine that achieves 13-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard.

The 2010 R8 is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Honda Accord Coupe

MSRP: $22,555-$31,305

The 2010 Accord Coupe is a 2-door, 5-passenger family coupe, or sports coupe, available in 12 trims, ranging from the LX-Sport 5-Spd MT to the EX-L V-6 5-Spd AT w/ Navigation System.

Upon introduction, the LX-Sport 5-Spd MT is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 190-horsepower engine that achieves 22-mpg in the city and 31-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The EX-L V-6 5-Spd AT w/ Navigation System is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 271-horsepower engine that achieves 19-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 Accord Coupe is a carryover from 2009.

Exterior:
Drive an eye-catching Accord Coupe, and you’ll just have to get used to the extra attention.
Sculpted
With stylish lines and available 18-inch wheels, the Accord Coupe will attract more than a passing glance.
Inspiring
Eagle eyes inspired the shape of the new projector-beam headlights.
Detailed
Brilliantly finished exhaust, chrome door handles (V-6), jewel-like brakelights and an exquisite attention to fit and finish are proof that the Accord has left no stone unturned.
Performance:
Driving an Accord, you’ll never forget that it’s a high-performance vehicle. But it’s so quick and agile, you might not always remember that it’s fuel-efficient, too.

Options Abound
Accord Coupe offers three engines: a 2.4-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder, putting out 190 hp; and two versions of a 271-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (i-VTEC® is offered with automatic transmission and VTEC is offered with the 6-speed manual transmission).
Ingenious
i-VTEC® engines, which come standard in all Accord Coupes (except V-6 6MT), add more power and efficiency at all engine speeds. And the V-6 features the latest generation of Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) technology, which activates the engine’s cylinders as needed, providing both brisk acceleration and fuel savings.
Agile
Honda power meets razor-sharp handling, thanks to a low center of gravity and a multi-link rear suspension.
Transmissions
In the 4-cylinder models, choose a quick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission or an available 5-speed automatic. In the Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe, go with the standard 5-speed automatic or opt for the close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.

Interior:
Luxury, as imagined by the Honda Accord. Yeah, you could get used to this.


Sumptuous
Available leather-trimmed, deep-bolstered seats and a driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment including power lumbar support (EX and EX-L) beg you to indulge.
Helpful
The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with voice recognition is a seemingly endless resource of information, including restaurant ratings and reviews from Zagat Survey[2]®.
Convenient
Accord comes with an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™. And every Accord with leather features Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®[3] which enables you to make hands-free calls with many compatible phones. Plus, steering wheel-mounted controls allow you to easily access cruise, audio, navigation and hands-free functions.
High Tech
Accord LX-S features a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 6 speakers and a 6-disc in-dash changer. Step up to the EX, and enjoy a 270-watt AM/FM/6-disc in-dash premium audio system and XM® Radio[4]. And all Accord audio systems feature an auxiliary input jack for MP3 players.

2010 Dodge Challenger

MSRP: $22,735-$41,230

The 2010 Challenger is a 2-door, 5-passenger sports coupe, available in 3 trims, ranging from the SE to the SRT8.

Upon introduction, the SE is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 250-horsepower engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The SRT8 is equipped with a standard 6.1-liter, V8, 425-horsepower engine. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 Challenger is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Ford Focus

MSRP: $16,290-$18,780

The 2010 Focus is a 2- or 4-door, 5-passenger family coupe, or family sedan, available in 6 trims, ranging from the SE Coupe to the SEL Sedan.

Upon introduction, both trims are equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 140-horsepower engine. A 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2010 Focus is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

MSRP: $48,050-$85,750

The 2010 E-Class is a 2- or 4-door, up to 5-passenger sports coupe, luxury sports coupe, luxury sedan, or luxury sports sedan, available in 5 trims, ranging from the E350 Coupe to the E63 AMG Sedan.

Upon introduction, the E350 Coupe is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 268-horsepower engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The E63 AMG Sedan is equipped with a standard 6.2-liter, V8, 518-horsepower engine. A 7-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The E350 Coupe is all-new for 2010. The E63 AMG Sedan has been redesigned for 2010.

2011 Ford Mustang

MSRP: $22,145-$37,845

The 2011 Mustang is a 2-door, 4-passenger family coupe, sports coupe, convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 8 trims, ranging from the V6 Coupe to the GT Premium Convertible.

Upon introduction, the V6 Coupe is equipped with a standard 3.7-liter, V6, 305-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. The GT Premium Convertible is equipped with a standard 5.0-liter, V8, 412-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 24-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The 2011 Mustang is a carryover from 2010.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

TechArt Black Edition Porsche Panamera is all matte-black love

Tuner TechArt has released a new tuning package for the Porsche Panamera sedan that turns the Stuttgart luxury sedan into something Batman would drive.

Known as the TechArt Black Edition, this Panamera features an exterior that comes entirely in matte-black. The TechArt Aerodynamic Kit I adds multifunctional daytime running light system in black, a TechArt exhaust system and red TechArt branded calipers peaking through the TechArt 22-inch Formula II light alloy wheels.

2010 Ford Taurus

MSRP: $25,170-$37,770

The 2010 Taurus is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in 6 trims, ranging from the SE FWD to the SHO AWD.

Upon introduction, the SE FWD is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 263-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. The SHO AWD is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 365-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2010 Taurus is redesigned for 2010.

2010 Lexus IS

MSRP: $32,145-$37,595

The 2010 IS is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sports sedan, available in 4 trims, ranging from the 250 RWD Manual to the 350 RWD.

Upon introduction, the 250 RWD Manual is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter, V6, 204-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The 350 RWD is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 306-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 IS is a carryover from 2009.

2010 Porsche Panamera

MSRP: $89,800-$132,600

The 2010 Panamera is a 4-door, 4-passenger sports sedan, available in 3 trims, ranging from the S to the Turbo.

Upon introduction, the S is equipped with a standard 4.8-liter, V8, 400-horsepower engine. The Turbo is equipped with a standard 4.8-liter, V8, 500-horsepower, turbo engine. A 7-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2010 Panamera is all-new for 2010.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

MSRP: $48,050-$85,750

The 2010 E-Class is a 2- or 4-door, up to 5-passenger sports coupe, luxury sports coupe, luxury sedan, or luxury sports sedan, available in 5 trims, ranging from the E350 Coupe to the E63 AMG Sedan.

Upon introduction, the E350 Coupe is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 268-horsepower engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 26-mpg on the highway. A 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The E63 AMG Sedan is equipped with a standard 6.2-liter, V8, 518-horsepower engine. A 7-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.

The E350 Coupe is all-new for 2010. The E63 AMG Sedan has been redesigned for 2010.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

MSRP: $27,950-$27,950

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in one trim only, the Sedan.

Upon introduction, the Fusion Hybrid is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter, I4, 156-horsepower, hybrid engine that achieves 41-mpg in the city and 36-mpg on the highway. A variable speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is restyled for 2010.

2010 Nissan Altima Sedan

MSRP
$19,900 - $24,520
Invoice
Not Available

The 2010 Altima Sedan is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in 3 trims, ranging from the 2.5 to the 3.5 SR.

Upon introduction, the 2.5 is equipped with a standard 2.5-liter, I4, 175-horsepower engine that achieves 23-mpg in the city and 32-mpg on the highway. The 3.5 SR is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 270-horsepower engine that achieves 20-mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway. A variable speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2010 Altima Sedan is freshened for 2010.

2010 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or the "Baby Benz" as it is affectionately known, has been a favorite of entry-level luxury/sport sedan buyers for years. More than just a small sedan with a few three-pointed stars thrown on it, the C-Class provides the core strengths of the brand, such as cutting-edge safety features, lively performance and a feeling of solidity. Fans of ultra-high performance have been thrilled by the AMG versions, which boast blistering acceleration and tenacious handling along with tastefully sporty styling accents.

Style plays into the equation of the small Benz's appeal as well, with the C-Class drawing inspiration from bigger Benzes. The front and rear fascias are instantly recognizable as part of the Mercedes family. In the recent past, the cabin of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class wasn't up to the car's traditional standards in terms of quality, but Mercedes has largely rectified the situation on the latest generation of the car.

Invariably, the C-Class is cross-shopped with its German rivals, the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. While the 3 Series is traditionally the most sporting of the trio and the A4 the more luxury-themed, the Benz offers a little of both personalities, along with superior technology features and more prestige for those concerned about such things.

Current Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan is available in four trim levels: C300 Luxury, C300 Sport, C350 and C63 AMG. The C300 Luxury and C300 Sport share the same engine (a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque), but differ in exterior styling elements, interior trim, front seat design and standard transmission. A seven-speed automatic is standard on the C300 Luxury and optional on the C300 Sport, which comes with a six-speed manual. Both C300s can be had with an all-wheel-drive system known as 4Matic. The C350 comes only in Sport guise and powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed auto is the only transmission choice.

The ultimate C-Class is known as the C63 AMG, a high-performance sports edition with a 6.2-liter V8 shoehorned under the hood. Sending 451 hp and 443 lb-ft to the rear-wheels via a seven-speed automatic, the C63 is a wild machine that accelerates to 60 mph in a lightning-quick 4.4 seconds. Other performance upgrades include a wider front track, revised steering and suspension, meaty 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and aggressively bolstered seats. There are also noticeable exterior styling differences.

In reviews, we've welcomed the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class as a significant improvement over its forebears. The Luxury and Sport flavors of the base model should help attract a wider array of new and traditional buyers, and the interior is mostly up to date in terms of features and design, though it's still not a standout. The C63 AMG is a feather in the company's cap, a ridiculously powerful small sedan that can keep up with the vaunted M3 and sounds better to boot. While the C-Class may be a tad too expensive given its size, power and equipment level, there's no denying the attraction of this refined, luxurious Baby Benz.

Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Models

The current third-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted for the 2008 model year. Changes since then include a redesigned instrument cluster on Sport models for 2009, and the 2010 addition of a Dynamic Handling package (RWD Sport models only) that adds an active suspension, quicker steering, shift paddles and 18-inch AMG wheels. A back-up camera and keyless ignition/entry were not available prior to 2010.

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted in 2001, and there were a variety of changes made to the numerous different models and body styles during the car's lifespan. The initial models were the C240 (168-hp V6) and C320 (215-hp V6) sedans. These were joined the following year by a C320 wagon and the C230 Kompressor two-door hatchback coupe (192-hp supercharged four-cylinder). The C32 AMG also showed up for 2002 saddled to a 3.2-liter supercharged V6 producing 349 hp. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system became available for 2003 on sedan and wagon body styles, while the C320 two-door hatchback, C240 wagon and supercharged C230 sedan arrived. A variety of Sport upgrades debuted for particular models for 2004, while the following year saw freshened exterior styling and a revised interior. The C32 AMG was also replaced for 2005 with the C55 AMG, which featured a 362-hp V8.

The biggest changes occurred for 2006, when the hatchback coupe and wagon were discontinued and a new selection of models and engines debuted that would remain with the car until it was replaced by the current C-Class. This was also the first year for the Sport and Luxury trim designations, which differed in wheel size, transmission choice, suspension tuning, styling elements and interior trim. The C230 Sport (201-hp V6) and C350 Sport (268-hp V6) were joined by the C350 Luxury (same engine as Sport) and the C280 Luxury (228-hp V6). 4Matic all-wheel drive was available on Luxury models.

Those considering this generation Mercedes C-Class probably won't regret their purchase, as there should be more than enough performance and luxury to satisfy them. As with the current model, savvy shoppers should know that other automakers, particularly those from Japan, offered roomier, less costly alternatives that equal or better this C-Class in performance and features, although certainly not status. This C-Class didn't exactly hold its value well, so there are certainly deals to be found. However, given the staggering amount of model designations, body styles, engines and feature content, it's important to make sure you know exactly what you're getting in a used C-Class.

The original Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted in 1994 as a replacement for the small 190-Class sedan. With more room, a more luxurious cabin and styling that mimicked the larger E-Class, the first C-Class could be had with four-cylinder (C220) or six-cylinder (C280) power, with output ranging from 148 to 194 hp. There was no wagon offered at all during this generation's run (1994-2000). Safety has always been a priority with Mercedes, and as such the C-Class benefited from the early adoption of such technologies as stability control, emergency brake assist and side airbags. Performance of the base C rose through the years, as the 2.2-liter four gave way to a 2.3-liter, which was then replaced by a 2.3-liter supercharged unit.

The hot-rod AMG versions started in 1995 with the C36 that featured a 268-hp inline-6. Serious firepower arrived in 1998 with the debut of the C43, whose 4.3-liter V8 pumped out 302 hp. Die-hard enthusiasts should know that only automatic transmissions came with the AMGs, though this hardly hurt the performance of these fast little sedans.

Either way, used-car shoppers should know that the Mercedes C-Class historically scores high in crash tests, and ownership satisfaction is generally quite high, with consumers praising handling, ride and reliability. However, maintenance is typically costly.

2010 Buick LaCrosse

MSRP
$26,245 - $33,015
Invoice
$25,195 - $31,694

The 2010 LaCrosse is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan, available in 5 trims, ranging from the CX 4 cyl to CXS.


Upon introduction, the CX 4 cyl is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 182-horsepower engine. The CXS is equipped with a standard 3.6-liter, V6, 280-horsepower engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2010 LaCrosse is redesigned for 2010.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Who would have imagined a few years back that there would be so much interest in a new generation of the Hyundai Sonata that it would be totally justified for us to stay up until the early morning hours to write a post on the car... But times change, GM went in and out of bankruptcy protection, the Fiat Group acquired Chrysler and surprise, surprise, Hyundai overtook the Ford Group in the first half of the year to become the world's fourth largest automaker. So there you have it. But let's wind back back to the Sonata. After more leaks than a New Orleans levy, the Korean maker formally introduced the four-door sedan in its home market today.

"The Sonata will set a new standard for world class mid-size sedans with state-of-the-art technology, superior build quality and emotional design," said Euisun Chung, Hyundai's Vice Chairman at the launching ceremony for the car in Seoul. "The new Sonata will raise Hyundai's brand values."

It might not be an Alfa Romeo, but compared to its dull and unimaginative predecessors, we'd say that the sixth-generation Sonata makes a huge step (call that a leap) forward in terms of design. Some will even claim that it clearly adopts styling cues from the so-called four-door coupe segment such as the swooping roofline and the stubby rear end, and they're probably right.

The Sonata also boasts a fresh interior with a contemporary styling that's in line with the Korean firm's latest products such as the new Tucson / ix35 SUV that was revealed at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Size-wise the Sonata is 4,820mm long, 1,835mm wide and 1,470mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,795mm making it a little longer and wider but slightly lower than the outgoing model.

The Sonata, which may be sold under a different name in some regions (e.g. i40 in Europe), will be offered at launch in its home market with a 2.0-liter Theta II MPi gasoline engine with 165HP and an LPG version that makes 144HP. Both engines are paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai said that it plans to add 2.4 liter Theta II GDI gasoline engine to the range in January next year. This engine will be offered as standard on the U.S. market model.

All versions of the Sonata will be equipped with a standard Vehicle Dynamic Control with Hill-start Assist Control and Brake Assist System functions. Other highlights include an available three-piece panoramic sunroof and a new Parking Guide System (PGS) that allows the driver to avoid obstacles during parallel parking or when driving in reverse - or so the company claims.

Hyundai said that it began developing the new Sonata in 2005 under the codename YF with the project costing a total of 450 billion won (US$ 372 million) to go from concept to production.

The company plans to sell 60,000 units of the new Sonata in Korea this year. With the addition of production in its U.S. plant in Alabama plant in early 2010 and in China the following year, Hyundai expects that number to raise to 450,000 units annually worldwide from 2011.

In South Korea, the new Sonata's prices range from 21.3 million Won to 25.95 million Won (US$17,600 to US$21,450).

2010 Honda Accord Sedan

EXTERIOR
The Accord has been styled to attract more than just a passing glance. Its sharp lines and powerful stance excites the senses from any angle.


Artful
Look close. The Accord’s form is a study in modern design. And available 17-inch wheels will surely impress.
Outside In
Wide-opening doors invite you to step inside. And the one-touch power moonroof (EX and above) couldn't be any easier.
Anything but Ordinary
No stone has been left unturned. That’s because the details make all the difference. Take a look at the Accord’s brilliantly finished exhaust and chrome door handles (V-6). Exquisite attention to fit and finish set the Accord apart from the average sedan.
PERFORMANCE
Powerful, yes, but every bit as environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. And did we mention fun?

Decisions
The LX 4-door features a 2.4-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder with 177 hp. Plus, there’s a 190-hp EX version. And a 271-hp 3.5-liter V-6.
Legendary Performance
Accord models have always roared ahead of the curve. That's because they utilize i-VTEC® for abundant power and efficiency at all engine speeds. The V-6 features the latest generation of Honda's Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) technology, which activates the engine’s cylinders as needed, providing both brisk acceleration and fuel efficiency.
Transmissions
Choose a quick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission. Or opt for the available 5-speed automatic that features our Grade Logic Control system, which helps put an end to gear-hunting when climbing uphill or driving back down.
INTERIOR
With a large and luxurious interior, the Accord Sedan provides the comfort you deserve.

Comfort
In the Accord's case, bigger is better. It means more comfort and more room for those Honda details, like available leather-trimmed seats. The driver's seat has 10-way power adjustment including power lumbar support (EX and above) to fine tune a perfect fit. Rear passengers enjoy ample room conveniences like a fold-down center armrest and a Rear HVAC Vent to keep them cool.
Informative
The available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with voice recognition provides you with a huge point-of-interest database, including restaurant ratings and reviews from Zagat Survey®.
Convenient
Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® enables you to make hands-free calls with many compatible phones, and comes included with the available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ (and in EX-L models without the Navigation System). And steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and cruise control allow you to change speeds or music at will.
Melodic
Accord LX Sedan features a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 6 speakers. EX adds a 6-disc in-dash CD player. Step up to the EX-L, and enjoy a 270-watt AM/FM/6-disc in-dash premium audio system and XM® Radio[4]. And all Accord audio systems feature an MP3/auxiliary input jack.
 

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