Prodrive tunes Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin’s snazzy V8 Vantage has been officially pimped by Prodrive! Of course, don’t expect any 32’’ chromed rims and tri-colour body stripes. Prodrive’s range of parts include a performance pack for the engine; new driver-adjustable suspension; unique forged wheels; and a discreet aero package.

Beginning with the engine pack, Prodrive has tuned the 4.3 V8 to raise power from 380 Hp to 425 Hp and peak torque from 410 Nm (302 lbft) to 440 Nm (325 lbft). This reduces the car’s 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time from 5.0 sec to 4.7 sec and increases the top speed by 13 km/h to 293 km/h (182 mph). A new throttle map, combined with the increase in torque, also promises to make the engine more responsive throughout the rev range.

Prodrive has worked with Bilstein and Eibach, to develop a new, driver adjustable suspension. A switch in the cockpit allows the driver to choose between normal and sports mode. The V8 Vantage also receives special 14 spoke 19” forged alloys (same design as the one’s used on the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 racing car)made by Prodrive Japan, complete with Pirelli P-Zero tyres

Apart from the new alloys, Prodriven… V8 Vantage’s stand out thanks to discreet carbon composite front lip and trunk spoilers, which are in keeping with the Vantage’s classic styling. Together, these reduce lift by 45 per cent, improving both high speed stability and grip. The range of parts and prices will be available from early 2007.

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LA Show: Mazda Nagare Concept Video & Pics



Now this is a new one! Mazda describes the Nagare -pronounced “na-ga-reh” which is Japanese for ‘flow’ and the embodiment of motion, as “a concept of a concept.” In other words, it’s proportions and surface language will evolve in subsequent designs planned for presentation at future autoshows this season. So how long till we’ll see a concept version of the… Nagare concept? Well, sooner than you think, as Mazda’s new global design director, Laurens van den Acker stated that the Japanese company would debut two concepts, one in January at the Detroit Show and one in the Geneva Show in March.


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ESSEN Show: Nissan Qashqai by COBRA N+

Over at Europe’s SEMA equivalent, the Essen Motor Show in Germany, COBRA N+ premiered a series of accessories for the Nissan Qashqai, even though the latter hasn’t gone on sale yet.

The exterior bodykit includes chromed bumper add-ons, side chrome styling and what a “chromy” coincidence, a …chromed COBRA N+ stainless steel bumper grille and two -what did you expect... chromed tailpipes. The COBRA N+ program also includes custom-tailored tire/wheel combinations in 17- and 18-inch diameter. The largest possible version is the COBRA N+ CN12 wheel in size 8Jx18. In the interior the COBRA N+ product lineup adds individual highlights with aluminum foot pedals, various versions of shift knobs and stainless-steel sill plates with illuminated COBRA N+ logo. Via: Jalopnik

Related Links: Nissan Qashqai, Nissan Note MPV COBRA N+

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Essen Show: BMW X3 CC Dakar Rally


The Essen Motor Show is'nt only about weird prototypes and souped-up “beefenwagons’’ as BMW prooves. The Bavarian car-maker made the global premiere of it’s 2007 Dakar Rally vehicle. The car designated as X Raid BMW X3 CC wears a 2.9-litre 6-cylinder diesel engine pumping out 286 hp. Jutta Kleinschmidt (the winner in 2001), who will drive the X3 at the Dakar Rally 2007 (starting in Lisbon on January 6), stated: "I would like to get on the podium". Wow, that’s original…

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VW debuts R-Line sport packs for Golf, Touran, Passat & Touareg


S-Line in Ingolstadt, R-Line in Wolfsburg… geez, those folks over at VW Group are full of surprises’ aren’t they! So what’s the R-Line? Nothing more, nothing less than sporty exterior and interior equipment packages available for the Golf, Touran, Passat and Touareg models. Officialy presented at the Essen Show, the R-Line pack will first be coming out in Germany in 2007.


So far the letter “R” has exclusively stood for high-performance cars such as the Golf R32 (250 hp), or the new Passat R36 (300 hp). The idea behind it: all R line products take up on the characteristic design elements that also distinguish the Golf R32 or the Passat R36. Via: VW & Autoblog.nl


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Scooped: 2008 Mercedes GLK / MLK

Time to take a break from all that auto-buzz in the Los Angeles Auto Show and see what’s going around in other parts of the world. Our “kit-kat” breaks takes us to Sweden and in particular to the Swedish edition of Auto Motor & Sport which posted an excellent chop of Mercedes’s upcoming compact SUV which will be called MLK or GLK. The “chop” was based on pics from the camouflaged prototype which seems to lean more to the GL-Class than to the ML-Class in terms of design.


From what we’ve gathered, the production version of the GLK – MLK (call it what you want) will make its public debut in the September Frankfurt Motor Show but don’t be surprised if we see a near-to-production concept at th
e upcoming Detroit Show. Although details are scarce, the GLK – MLK will probably be available with a vast range of petrol an diesel engines that’ll include the upgraded 4cylinder 1.8 K with 184 Hp (as well the 143 Hp version), the 204Hp 2.5 V6, the 231 Hp 3.0 V6, the 272 Hp 3.5 V6, the 150 / 170 Hp 2.2 CDI, 190 / 224 Hp 3/0 CDI. Sales are expected to start in Europe late 2007 and in the US early 2008. Via: Automotorsport.se

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LA Show: Acura Advanced Sedan Concept

Ts, ts naughty, naughty! We’ve got to hand it to Acura for their creativity and originality in the design of the Advanced Sedan Concept which looks nothing like the Cadillac Sixteen Concept!



But then again, that’s just our opinion cause according to John Mendel, senior vice president, auto operations Acura, “the Advanced Sedan Concept illustrates Acura's commitment to modern design and cutting-edge style. With our advanced design team taking a significant role in shaping future vehicle design, we can expect upcoming products to reflect this progressive, forward-thinking styling." We’ll just leave you to decide.

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LA Show: Honda REMIX Concept previews future CRX!


At first we just thought this was just another concept. But always check out the fine print because
you might find a tiny detail that’s not in the press release. So here we have three little letters “CRX” written on the rear end of the right-hand sketch seen above!


Although these three magic letters are absent from the a
ctual concept someone’s pencil slipped. Or perhaps it didn’t. At any rate, the Remix Concept previewed at L.A.. is according to Honda, “a two-seat sports car focused on agile and fun-to-drive performance that can also provide exceptional practicality as a daily driver.” Hey, now isn’t that what the CRX was claimed to be? Coincidence? I think not!


Here’s a little blurb from the Press Release: The REMIX Small Sport Concept is a product of the Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Advanced Design Studio in Southern California. Purely a design concept, the vehicle is fashioned around a front-wheel drive small car platform with a 4cylinder engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. A sport suspension, along with aggressive tires and brakes, further supplement its performance side.

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LA Show: 2008 Saturn Vue

Here we have the Opel Antara, oops. No. What I meant was the brand new never seen before, never existed, totally just born Saturn Vue. But like the naughty children that we are, let us remind you that the Opel Antara, like its Chevrolet (Europe) cousin Captiva, was conceived, engineered, designed and also made, in Korea by GM’s subsidiary Daewoo (Winstorm)! So much for Saturn’s attempt to create a European inspired image for the Vue... Still, you have to admit its pretty good looking.


The Euro / American / Korean -call it what you want, inspired Saturn Vue will be available in the second quarter of 2007 as a 2008 model. These are the available versions: the XE FWD and Vue Green Line models are equipped with a 165 Hp 4cylinder 2.4L engine which is mated to the a 4speed auto box. A 5speed manual will be available on 4cylinder Vue XE models in early 2008.

All-wheel-drive Vue XE models come equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine, delivering 215 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 220 lb.-ft. (304 Nm) of torque at 2,800 rpm. Vue XR and Vue Red Line, are powered by GM’s 3.6L V6 VVT that delivers 250 horsepower (186 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 243 lb.-ft. (329 Nm) of torque at 4,400 rpm. All Vue models equipped with V6 engines receive the new Hydra-Matic 6speed automatic transmissions.

Saturn also confirmed that it will continue to offer the Green Line hybrid version of the Vue, beginning later in the 2008 model year.

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