2009 VW Golf Plus Brochure Handed out by Mistake at Essen Motorshow!

The facelifted VW Golf Plus was supposed to break cover at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy on December 3 but an accidental release of the car's brochure at the firm's Essen Motorshow stand has given us our first view of minivan. As you can see from the brochure scans published by Dutch newspaper De Telegraff, changes on the front end are limited to the Golf VI inspired bumper and grille along with the restyled headlights. We're not aware of any other changes but expect to see an updated trim for the interior as well as a few minor mechanical improvements.



Source: Auto Telegraaf , Via: Autoblog.com
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Video: 2009 MINI Convertible on the Road

MINI took the wraps off its second-generation Convertible model well ahead of the car's scheduled premiere at the Detroit Show in January 2009. The latest MINI Convertible is distinguished by a range of features such as the new generation naturally aspirated and turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder petrol engines, a newly developed electrohydraulical softop as well as a variety of styling and design components. Hit the jump to watch the video or click here for more detailed information and a high-res photo gallery of the 2009 MINI Convertible.


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Audi R8 LMS Breaks Cover at Essen Motorshow - New Image Gallery

Audi R8 LMS Race Car The GT3 race version of the Audi R8 called LMS made its first public appearance at this week's Essen Motorshow in Germany. Audi's first-ever racing sports car that has been developed specifically for customer use will available from autumn 2009 for a proposed price of €262,000 (plus tax) which comes to around $332,000 U.S. with the current exchange rates. The Audi R8 LMS is powered by a mid-mounted 500HP plus V10 engine hooked up to a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. Given that the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive, Audi's race-spec supercar comes with a rear-wheel-drive powertrain.

The new Audi R8 LMS will be seen in action on the race track during the 2009 season with up to eight customer cars competing in different European race series and in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, for which Audi Sport will develop an endurance version of the R8 LMS. The German automaker itself does not plan to enter any races with the new GT3 car.

Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car
Audi R8 LMS Race Car

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Ford Ranger Max Concept Pickup Truck Premieres at Thailand Auto Show

Ford Ranger Max Concept The star attraction at Ford's stand at the Thailand Motor Expo that runs from November 28 to December 10 is the Ranger Max pickup truck concept. A team of Ford truck specialists in Thailand worked closely with Ford's Australia-based Asia Pacific and Africa design team, led by Paul Gibson, to create the Ranger Max. According to Ford, many of the design cues seen on the concept could find their way into the next-generation production model of the Ranger.

Ford Ranger Max Concept Orange paintwork aside, the Range Max sports a new fascia with a huge three-bar chrome grille, a customized hard tonneau cover at the rear of the vehicle and what Ford calls a "Sportsbar" which attaches to the pickup bed and arches across the vehicle. A set of deep-dish, 18-inch alloy concept wheels and custom technical-look P285/60R18 tires with a chunky tread pattern finish the Ranger Max's extreme look.

"The tough style of Ranger Max is based on the capability and versatility that make Ford Ranger the choice of the most demanding truck owners," said Mr. Saroj Kiatfuengfoo, senior vice president, Ford Thailand. "Ranger Max's high-impact design and tough style appeal will excite truck enthusiasts in Thailand."

"We recognise that Thailand is the home of Ranger for Asia Pacific, and from Thailand we export Ranger around the world. We know Asia is a fusion of many cultures, and we look to Thailand as a wonderful blend of tastes, styles and emerging ideas. For this very reason, we decided to create Ranger Max in Thailand and show the high-impact truck to the world at Motor Expo," added Mr. Kiatfuengfoo.

Ford Ranger Max Concept
Ford Ranger Max Concept
Ford Ranger Max Concept
Ford Ranger Max Concept
Ford Ranger Max Concept

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Suzuki to Slash More Than 20% of its Workforce in Hungary

The latest automaker in Europe to resort to laying off employees to cope with the difficult economic climate is Suzuki. The Japanese automaker said on Friday that it plans to slash more than 20 percent of its workforce in its Hungarian unit near Budapest –1,179 jobs out of a total workforce of 5,523. "We are facing a drastic drop in orders and needed to adjust our production schedule as a result," spokeswoman Viktoria Ruska told Reuters. Suzuki, which is one Hungary's biggest exporters, has rediced its production forecast for 2008 from 300,000 units a year earlier to 282,000.

Next year's target is even lower as Ruska said that the company expects to produce around 210,000 cars in 2009. The job cuts will take effect on December 8 and are expected to be completed by February 2009.

Via: Reuters

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Alfa MiTo M430 with 220HP by Marangoni: Inspired by Ferrari F430

Alfa Romeo MiTo M430 Marangoni Italian tire manufacturer Marangoni presented a beefed-up Alfa Romeo MiTo at the Essen Motorshow that supposedly draws its inspiration from the Ferrari F430 - hence the name MiTo M430. The tuning project was handled by the Florence-based TRC Italia which reworked the car from ground up with considerable changes to the bodywork, engine, interior, braking system and trim.

Alfa Romeo MiTo M430 Marangoni The MiTo's 1.4-liter turbocharged engine which in stock form produces 155HP has been extensively tuned and now delivers 220HP. The power kit designed by Mariani also includes a new bearing-mounted rotary turbine, downpipe complete with metal catalyst, rear stainless steel exhaust with four pipes, and air filtering with special carbon air box. To improve handling the MiTo M430 has been lowered by around 40mm using KW threaded strut housings that allow height adjustment.

Furthermore, the standard braking system has been replaced with new Tarox B33 10-pot calipers and composite 330x26 diameter brake discs.

The M430's bodywork features several elements that have been inspired from the Ferrari F430 including the redesigned front bumper with the two wide air grills and the large side air-vents, and the new rear bumper with a carbon fibre diffuser made by MB, featuring evident air extractor. Carbon fibre was also used to make the rings around the lights and the spoiler on the rear window while the new side skirts complete the vehicle's body kit. The most snazzy feature of the M430 are of course its Lamborghini-style wing doors.

Alfa Romeo MiTo M430 Marangoni Marangoni equipped the MiTo with a set of red Mythos tires in the 225/35R18 Y size which are fitted on Oxigin Crystal black 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the seats, roof lining, carpets and uprights have been covered with special open-work fabrics, enhanced by Luna supercar with a tricolor motif. Finally, the gear knob, pedals, footrest and handbrake lever have been made by Isotta with Swarovski stone inserts.


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