Monday, March 1, 2010

2010 Mazda 3: One Slick Shifter


As an enthusiast, there’s nothing like the connection between man and machine with a smooth-shifting manual transmission. I’ll gladly give up a few tenths in the performance column for that gratifying experience of rowing through the gears. Porsche cars tend to do it best, but in the economy segment, I think our long-term 2010 Mazda 3 is tops.

Although I’m not a fan of the 3’s completely numb clutch pedal, the shifter is very precise in its action. Two fingers or three, full palm, or the back of your hand while texting—just kidding, we listened to Oprah—the Mazda’s shifter always finds its gate with ease while retaining a really solid feel. Our 3’s lever should be the affordable-car benchmark.

Triumph Daytona 675 Audi LEDs rendering

Triumph Daytona 675 Audi LEDs rendering

There’s little you can reproach to Triumph about the way their Daytona 675 looks, but ways to make it better are continuously found both by tuners and owners around the world. What we’ve recently came across is actually a supposition regarding to weather Audi-like LED headlamps further enhance the aggressive note of middleweight British sports bike.

We think this looks quite striking and might catch on to the motorcycle industry as well, but in the end it’s all up to the Hinckley-based company to make their move as result of feedback from fans.

Audi Owner Rebadges TT Coupe as a Volkswagen

Audi Owner Rebadges TT Coupe as a Volkswagen

At a first glance, few would guess that the first generation Audi TT shares a platform, engine and most of its mechanics with parent company Volkswagen's Golf as well as the VW Jetta, New Beetle, Seat Leon, Skoda Octavia etc., etc. Call it down right honesty, call it stupid, you know, call it whatever, but the owner of this 2000 model year Audi...

2011 Audi RS5 Coupe 450HP V8

Audi is now ready to show us a lot more of its Geneva Motor Show-bound RS5 as the Ingolstadt automaker published a slew of high-resolution images of the high-performance coupe that will take on the BMW M3 and its ilk. Like all RS models, the hottest A5 has been fully developed by Quattro, Audi's in-house performance division. Under the bonnet of...

2011 Audi A8 Receives its First Tuning Job by Hofele Design

The new generation of Audi's A8 limo, codenamed D4, was only just presented at the end of 2009, but the tuning industry has already started cranking out performance and styling mods for the German automaker's flagship sedan. One of the first (if not the first) tuners to launch a dedicated programme for the 2011 A8 sedan is Germany's Hofele...

Audi A1 e-tron is extended-range EV with Wankel rotary generator

2011 Audi A1 -

still hasn't released any images of its new electric A1 e-tron concept, but it has revealed some details of the car. Unlike the two previous e-tron sports car concepts that were both pure battery electric models, this one is a range-extended EV. Like the Chevrolet Volt, the A1 e-tron uses a smaller battery pack that allows it to go up to 31 miles on a single charge with no emissions.
Once the battery is depleted, an internal combustion engine kicks in to drive a 15-kilowatt generator and keep the A1 going. However, unlike the Volt or Fisker Karma, the A1 is using a single-rotor Wankel engine to drive the generator. While Wankels are not renowned for their fuel efficiency (much the opposite in fact), in this application it could work well thanks to its high power density.
The range with the Wankel running is bumped up by another 124 miles to a total of 155. With only a 15kW generator available to sustain the battery, it will be interesting to see how much performance is degraded in that mode. Audi claims the A1 e-tron achieves 123.8 miles per gallon (U.S.) on the draft EU standard for ER-EVs. We should have more details tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

V8-powered Audi R8 Spyder in the pipeline?


The Audi R8 Spyder was introduced at Frankfurt with a stonking V10 powertrain nestled snugly in its boot, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the righteous 525-horsepower mill will be the R8 droptop's only source of power. Our West Coast friends at Inside LIne insist that the more reasonable 4.2-liter V8 that powers the "base" R8 is going to be offered as well... eventually.

The availability of a V8-powered Spyder could drop the price of entry by $30,000 or more, and it could prove to be an attractive option to potential customers who are more interested in the R8 Spyder as a fashion statement than as a near-supercar with outstanding performance. IL estimates that a V8-powered, topless R8 could arrive in showrooms sometime next year.
Who knows, perhaps Audi will find it in its collective heart to utilize the updated, better-breathing 450-hp 4.2-liter that is scheduled to arrive under the bonnet of the RS5 – not a bad consolation prize for a luxury car buyer looking to become part of the 500 Horsepower Club.

New Toyota Cars

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