Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe Concept

The Pontiac Solstice is no stranger to the show floor at SEMA. Pontiac has previously shown the Solstice Weekend Club Racer in 2005, the Solstice GXP-R in 2006, and the single-seat Solstice SD-290 Concept. last year. For this year, GM's line of performance parts will be shown on the Solstice in coupe form for the first time when the Solstice GXP Coupe Concept is officially unveiled next week in Las Vegas. This customized Solstice shows off GM Performance Parts' Stage 2 performance kit , intake kit, and cat-back exhaust system that boosts horsepower from 260 to 290. The car also features a sportier suspension system, exterior graphics kit, customized leather-trimmed seats, race-style pedal covers, and an iPod interface. More details and live photos soon to come as part of our extensive SEMA 2008 coverage.

638-horsepower Pontiac G8 GXP Street Concept

One of the best parts about SEMA is getting to see the manufacturers build cars they might not otherwise. Take this G8 GXP Street Concept, for example. Sure, the 415-horsepower 6.2L V8 in the standard G8 GXP is plenty good enough, but why not stuff the new LSX454 crate engine from GM Performance Parts underneath the hood? The 7.4L V8 is good for a ZR1-matching 638 horsepower and 600 lb-ft torque, allowing this G8 to unashamedly call itself a true muscle car. Other features include stiffer springs and the brake package from the CTS-V as well as 20-inch black chrome wheels. The exterior has been given an aggressive makeover with a new front fascia with unique upper and lower grilles and a rear fascia that incorporates a diffuser and performance exhaust system. Inside are custom leather seats and a new gauge cluster. More details and plenty of photos are soon to come when we hit the show floor next week. Thanks for the tip, Jonathon!

2009 Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6 - Cheapest New Car in the USA

Priced from $9,990 (excluding a destination and handling fee of $695) the new Versa Sedan 1.6 is the cheapest vehicle on four wheels in the U.S. - or so Nissan claims. The newest addition in the Nissan Versa's range is powered by a smaller displacement 107HP 1.6-liter engine as opposed to the 122HP 1.8-liter unit found in the standard Versa Sedan and Hatchback models (pictured above) that are both priced from $12,990. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a standard 5-speed manual gearbox and optionally, to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

NISMO Prepped Nissan 370Z Photo

NISMO 370Z BodykitNissan might have been successful in keeping the all-new 2009 370Z under cover until the release of the first official photos earlier this week, but its in-house performance division NISMO (abbreviated from Nissan Motorsport) didn't manage to do the same. From our experience, this leaked photo of a NISMO accessorized 370Z (called Fairlady Z in Japan) looks like it's the real deal. The sports coupe pictured here features a full bodykit that includes a rear wing, side sills, a rear diffuser housing a new set of tailpipes and larger alloy wheels. Understandably, we're not aware of the mechanical upgrades that will be offered by NISMO but expect to see several goodies for the V6 engine, suspension, brakes and the interior.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What makes a tire bulge?

You have a broken steel/fiber ply belt in the sidewall of the tire. Normaly this is caused by two things, a manufacturing defect or a heavy impact to the tire side wall (like hitting a pot hole). You need to get the tire replaced as soon as possible as it is a huge safety hazard because the integrity of the tire has been broken (hence the bulge as it starts to loose shape). This might cause the tire to blow making you to loose control.

Go to either Costco (my favorite) or Sams club to get another tire. Because they have lifetime balancing and rotation it is well worth paying for a membership. I would also highly recomend getting Michelin tires (for cars or tight duty trucks) or BF Goodrich tires (owned by Michelin - for SUVs or truck tires)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BMW India launches BMW Xpo with attractive finance schemes

BMW India has launched the “BMW Xpo” at BMW dealerships across India until 28 October 2008, where prospective and existing customers can test drive the range of BMW cars at all BMW India dealerships during the BMW Xpo2008.

During the BMW Xpo 2008, special financing and leasing offers have been launched by BMW Financial Services in conjunction with ICICI Bank and ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Ltd. Prospective BMW car buyers can also avail special insurance offers from Bajaj Allianz. ICICI Bank will exclusively offer “Fixed Interest Rates” instead of “Floating Interest Rates” to all loans logged in for BMW customers. Attractive offers on the BMW 3 Series include “Zero down payment” option for select customers through ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Ltd, Interest free option for a fixed period of time, Lower fixed interest rate of 15% from ICICI Bank, and a special discount of 30% on a basic insurance policy from Bajaj Allianz.

During the BMW Xpo 2008, BMW India dealerships will also display a wide range of BMW lifestyle accessories that extend from classic BMW lifestyle products such as BMW shirts and jackets, sports products in golfing, kids’ mobility equipment, car miniatures, original accessories, baggage and luggage.

Hyundai Genesis coupe makes world debut

Hyundai Motor Co. has launched its Genesis Coupe in the Korean market at an event on Jeju Island. The coupe follows the Genesis sports sedan launched earlier this year. Hyundai promises the Genesis to be the most affordable 300-hp sport coupe on the planet.

The range-topping all aluminum DOHC 3.8-liter V6 Lambda RS will churn out 306 horsepower thanks to dual CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing on both inlet and exhaust valves) and is mated to a six-speed ZF automatic. The engine’s peak torque figure of 360Nm@4700rpm helps it get to 100kph from a standstill in 6.3 seconds.
The base engine will be the 210 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged Theta, which will do 0-100kph in 8.3 sec. They haven’t skimped on cornering ability, either, what with a 55/45 front-rear weight distribution, LSD, and a five-link setup for the rear suspension. A front tower strut bar is optional, as is the track-use package that throws in Brembo brakes that offer 340mm rotors in the front and 330mm at the rear with four-pot callipers.