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Video: Chevrolet Teases New 2012 Malibu Exterior Design 31
Posted by Larry in Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Malibu, video on 03 31st, 2011

I remember my brother’s old 1968 Chevy Malibu which was, well, an awesome looking car that simply needed more power from its deceivingly big 5.0-liter V8 engine. I know, he should have opted for a Chevelle SS. Since then, the Malibu has become a watered down mid-sized-4-door slush box that would otherwise be completely overlooked until you end up at the rental car counter. The upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will be taking a totally different direction, one that hopes to bring some life back into the name from the looks of the exterior design teaser video below. We expect the new 2012 Malibu will be something along the lines of a bigger and more refined Chevy Cruze, something that is universally styled for several world markets.

GM may still have something in the works for a RWD 4-door vehicle wearing the bowtie but unfortunately it won’t be the new Malibu. The good thing about the Malibu teaser is the Camaro-esq styled taillights. That’s got to be a sign of ‘good’ things to come right? Check out the exterior design elements in the video below.

[source: WorldCarFans via Chevrolet]

G-Power Tunes BMW M3 GTS to 720 Horsepower 31
Posted by Larry in Automotive, BMW, BMW M3, BMW M3 GTS, E92 BMW M3, G-Power, News, Nurburgring, Tuners on 03 31st, 2011

The BMW M3 GTS is one of the most touted track-oriented street M3’s to date. With a 4.4-liter V8 producing 450 horsepower, rear roll-cage, lightweight carbon fiber components, it would be safe to say that the M3 GTS is the Porsche GT3 RS equivalent of a new M3. Of course the infamous German tuner G-Power could not leave things in their so-called stock form. They had to pimp it out with one of their blowers. Doing so would give the M3 GTS, already a beast, a total of up to 720 horsepower.

G-Power’s specialized supercharger kit, producing 720 horsepower, exceeded their original expectations that had their eyes set on only 600 horsepower. The modification included an engine rebuild replacing stock pistons with low-compression forged pistons. Now the M3 GTS is able to run 0-60mph in under 4 seconds. If you are at all unfamiliar with the M3 GTS, then check out these M3 GTS Triplets in stock form prepping to attack the Nurburgring in the video below.

[sources: G-Power via Autoblog.nl via GTSpirit]

Lamborghini Cabrera: Gallardo Replacement Rumored to get 600 Horsepower 30
Posted by Larry in Automotive, Lamborghini, Lamborghini Cabrera, Lamborghini Cabrera LP600-4, Lamborghini Gallardo, News on 03 30th, 2011

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

With all of the hype circulating around the new Aventador, the smaller Gallardo stablemate is starting to look as stale as Charlie Sheen’s drug addiction. So what are the bullish Italians to do? Easy solution – give it more power and a fresh style with composite construction similar to the Sesto Elemento and Aventador.

Sure, the Gallardo has had its day touted as the Lamborghini with a slight disconnection from the rest of the breed of bulls. But that was nothing to really complain about because, after all, it is still a true exotic. Some have even said the Gallardo was just a fancy Audi. I’m still laughing.

Reportedly, we should look for the new Gallardo replacement to pack in 600 horsepower and carry a name of “Cabrera LP600-4” which will debut sometime next year. It would only make sense to model the new Lamborghini Cabrera after the Sesto Elemento considering only a handful of those things will ever see daylight.

[source: L’Automobile]

Porsche Panamera Turbo S: More Horsepower Fixes Everything 30
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, featured, GT Cars, News, Panamera Turbo, porsche on 03 30th, 2011

Porsche's Panamera Turbo S. Image: Porsche AG

Harlan Ellison, the reclusive but brilliant science fiction writer, once penned a story called “How’s The Nightlife On Cissalda?”. Like most of his work, it baffled many, offended some and amused the rest of us. I can’t possibly do the story justice here, but let’s just say the issue of appearance versus performance factors heavily into the tale. If something is so good at what it does that it touches a place in your very soul, do you really care what it looks like? That question haunts me when it comes to the Porsche Panamera. As GT cars go, the Panamera is among the best, particularly when you get to the cost-be-damned Panamera Turbo. If you routinely haul three other passengers from coast to coast at speeds that would have made Brock Yates in his prime pucker, the Panamera Turbo is perhaps the best choice for performance, comfort and handling. Even the Cadillac CTS-V doesn’t come close, particularly for rear seat passenger comfort. Sure, on a racetrack the CTS-V can hold it’s own against the Panamera Turbo, and the Caddy costs half as much as a Panamera Turbo, but the Porsche offers a level of refinement that the Caddy lacks. If you’ve got the bank account to afford either, some serious test driving was required to decide which GT sedan is the best option for you. Until now.

Image: Porsche AG

Porsche has announced a new Panamera variant called the Turbo S. As you can guess, the Turbo S adds more horsepower and torque, courtesy of a re-mapped ECU and improved turbochargers. The changes are good enough for a 10% boost in horsepower, giving the Panamera Turbo S 550 hp to the Turbo’s 500 hp. Torque also gets a boost from 516 ft lb to 553 ft lb, but thanks to Porsche’s “overboost” function (offered with the Sport Chrono Package), the Turbo S can temporarily deliver up to 590 ft lb of torque for passing more pedestrian sedans. Porsche is proud of the Panamera Turbo S’ fuel economy as well: in EU testing with standard tires, the car returned up to 20.39 MPG. Opt for the all season, low resistance tires and fuel economy gets a bump up to 20.74 MPG.

Image: Porsche AG

On the outside, the Turbo S gets 20 inch Turbo II wheels, a wider rear track, side skirts and a four-position rear spoiler. Inside, the Turbo S comes with two tone leather seating in either black and cream or in gray and cream. Pricing has been announced for the German market, where the Turbo S will start at the equivalent of $253,502. On this side of the pond, pricing will start somewhere around the $173k mark. If you’ve got the finances, the Turbo S may be the world’s best GT sedan.


Porsche Panamera Turbo S Press Release

With its new four-door Panamera Turbo S, Porsche once again raises the bar for sporty four-door luxury cars by delivering ultra high performance and efficiency, sports-car-like driving dynamics, and first-class comfort in a purely Porsche package.

Porsche will reveal its most powerful Panamera for the first time in North America on April 20, 2011 at the New York International Auto Show.

The engine in the new top-of-the-line Panamera is based on the already proven and powerful twin-turbocharged V8 engine in the Panamera Turbo. The 4.8 liter, V8 engine in the Turbo S achieves a maximum output of 550 horsepower, which is 10 percent more than the 500 horsepower delivered by the Panamera Turbo. The torque is also increased over the Turbo from 516 lb-ft to 553 lb-ft. In the “Sport” and “Sport Plus” mode of the standard Sport Chrono Package Turbo, the overboost function can temporarily generate additional torque with a peak rating of 590 lb.-ft.

The power increase delivered in the Panamera Turbo S can be attributed to two main enhancements: new twin turbochargers with titanium–aluminum turbines and a modified engine control. Titanium–aluminum reduces the turbine and compressor wheel’s weight, which results in a quicker turbo response that improves the engine’s agility.

The formidable powerplant that lies beneath the hood of the Panamera Turbo S is capable of propelling it to sports-car sprint times. With the help of Launch Control, the newest Panamera can reach 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The top track speed is 190 mph. And despite this increased performance, fuel consumption is expected to remain comparable to the Panamera Turbo that delivers an EPA estimated rating of 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway (18 mpg combined). Official EPA fuel economy estimates for the Panamera Turbo S will be available when the car goes on sale in North America.

Even for a world-class luxury car, the Panamera Turbo S boasts an extraordinarily high level of comprehensive features. In keeping with its sporty concept, it comes equipped with the most important driving-dynamic control systems. For example, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is an active anti-roll system that significantly reduces lateral body movement during corning, which enhances stability, handling and overall occupant comfort. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) is also standard and works to help ensure superior traction and higher-performance cornering by applying a variable torque split to the rear wheels in combination with an electronically controlled rear differential lock. Also standard is Porsche’s advanced speed-sensitive Servotronic steering system, a sports exhaust system, and the Sport Chrono Package Turbo that further tunes the engine and suspension at the touch of the “Sport Plus” button.

While the sporting character of the new Panamera Turbo S is most apparent behind the wheel, the car’s exterior tastefully exudes its high-performance ambitions. The new 20-inch Turbo II wheels with increased rear axle track width, side skirts from the Porsche Exclusive range and the adaptive four-way extending rear spoiler express the car’s elite performance abilities. Inside, the fusion of exclusivity and sportiness is conveyed in the interior by the standard bi-color leather finish. A new combination of black/cream is offered exclusively for the new Panamera Turbo S with Agate Grey/cream also being added as an exclusive option later this year. Agate Gray Metallic will also be an exclusive exterior color.

The new Porsche Panamera Turbo S will go on sale in the U.S. later this spring, and will have a base MSRP of $173,200, excluding $975 for delivery and destination.

Source: Porsche

eGarage Evokes A New Way of Portraying Exclusive Automotive Culture 30
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Koenigsegg, Koenigsegg CCX, News, SSC, SSC Ultimate Aero on 03 30th, 2011

Automotive Enthusiasts, dreamers and the owners of some of the most delectable automobiles in the world will have a new way to look at how the Automobile is portrayed – on a new site called eGarage.

eGarage.com will envelope a new exclusive network not for just exotic cars and owners, but for those enthusiasts who enjoy the likings of all aspects of the automotive culture. For those with a hunger for vintage, classics, hot rods, muscle cars, race cars, sports cars, Imports and of course, Exotics and Super Cars, eGarage aims to provide fulfillment in a variety of ways.

eGarage.com, through various online social networks, has already proved that they are serious about displaying a wide selection of car-centric awesomeness – just check out the photos of the modified Koenigsegg CCX and SSC Ultimate Aero.

The creative automotive aficionados at eGarage see the car as something more than a mode of transportation. It is more of a heart-felt way of life, something that, if portrayed through the right medium, will bring out certain emotions and leave you yearning for more. If this describes you at all, then the crew at eGarage welcomes you to bookmark their upcoming eGarage.com site and LIKE them on Facebook.

[image sources: Albert Manduca for eGarage via NorthWest Auto Salon]

Recession? Not In The United Arab Emirates 29
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, luxury cars, Rolls-Royce, United Arab Emirates on 03 29th, 2011

Image: © Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Ltd.

While the majority of us are combing couch cushions for spare change and living on a diet of ramen and peanut butter, things are different in the United Arab Emirates. Sure, they’re feeling the pinch of global belt tightening, but it’s a slightly different reality in the oil rich nation. Hard times mean that you buy a used Pagani Zonda instead of that new Bugatti Veyron SuperSport you had your heart set on. Need proof? The region accounts for 15% of Rolls Royce sales worldwide, so it stands to reason that the uber-luxury manufacturer would open a flagship store in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The showroom alone is nearly 10,000 square feet, which is room enough to display five Rolls-Royce models, house a coffee bar and a customer configuration lounge. It’s also linked to an equally impressive state-of-the-art service facility, supporting customers throughout the Middle East.

To celebrate the opening of the largest Rolls-Royce showroom in the world, the company unveiled the Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection Phantom Drophead Coupe. Only 100 will be built, so I doubt that I’ll be seeing one in the Florida press fleet any time soon. The special edition cars come with white on black RR badging, an illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy figurine and interior appointments inspired by the world’s most famous hood ornament. Pricing isn’t listed, but those who are serious about adding a Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection Phantom Drophead Coupe to their collection have people to handle details like that for them.

Source: NY Times Wheels

Porsche Targets Short Term Leases To Move 911s 29
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Leasing, new cars, News, porsche, Porsche-911, used cars on 03 29th, 2011

A Porsche 911 Carrera. Image: Porsche AG

Selling and leasing cars is a complicated business. If you’re a luxury brand like Porsche, chances are good that you lease a lot more vehicles than you sell outright. When it comes to buying a 911, stepping up to the plate with a check that starts at $80k is a tall order. On the other hand, if you break it down into a “digestible” $1,200 per month or so, the cost seems more within reach (at least to some). Leases are good for business, because they also turn over a lot of clean, low mileage used cars, and a $65k, three year old 911 is a lot more attainable for most people. So what do you do when your three year leases decline, reducing the future population of used cars? If you’re Porsche, you find a way to restructure leases for 24 months.

So far in 2011, Porsche has more than doubled the number of 24 month leases offered in previous years. Falling interest rates have dropped monthly payments to the point where a 24 month lease is nearly as attractive as a 36 month lease. In the case of the 911, a typical 36 month lease runs $1,118 per month while the 24 month lease runs $1,263, or just $145 more per month. Shorter leases ensure that clean used vehicles are available for interested buyers, and allow customer leasing 911s to step up to a new car that much sooner. Porsche’s own research shows that those leasing 911s are much more likely to lease another 911 that customers leasing other Porsche vehicles.

Source: AutoWeek

2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost – ‘Luxury and Efficiency’ 29
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in 2011 Lincoln MKS, Automotive, featured, Lincoln, Lincoln MKS, Test Drives on 03 29th, 2011

When you see a luxurious, high-performing sport sedan on the road you may think that it is a ‘gas-guzzler’ and the wealthy owner doesn’t care much of the environmental damage that it causes.  If that luxury high-performing sport sedan is the new 2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost you’d be wrong because this car offers smooth performance from direct injected and turbocharged 3.5 liter V6 engine providing V8 power with V6 fuel economy and lower emissions.  The 2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost flagship sedan evokes luxury from its exceptional quietness and comfort to its premium materials, class-exclusive features and confident high-performance driving demeanor.

Putting you in command, the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost chassis provides supreme isolation from the road noise and harshness but doesn’t isolate you from the road.  The electric power-assisted rack & pinion steering gives an excellent feel for the road, is not over-boosted and with a strut tower brace up front it gives very quick and accurate reaction to your inputs.  The ride is smooth yet taut, braking is linear and controlled, and with a twin-turbocharged 3.5 liter Direct Injected, DOHC, all-aluminum V6 engine with intake variable cam timing this potent engine generates a very healthy 355hp at 5,500rpm and 350lb.ft. of torque at 5,250rpm.

This powerful, high-tech V6 engine is mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with paddle shift activation.  This advanced six-speed gearbox offers you a choice between fully automatic operation, and when the time and place is right, manual control.  In addition, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes.  Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a ‘matched-rev’ downshift.  This capability makes the Lincoln MKS driving experience sporty yet smooth.  Unlike some competitive transmissions, SelectShift won’t ‘second guess’ you with an override shift.  With SelectShift, manual control is truly manually controlled.

All MKS models with the EcoBoost engine come standard with the great all-wheel drive transmission that enhances the vehicle’s capability in a variety of weather conditions while further enhances its stability and cornering capabilities.  The AWD system is full automatic using an advanced array of internal electromechanical clutches to efficiently distribute torque between front and rear wheels as needed.  With the 3.5 liter V6 and the six-speed automatic transmission spinning all-four wheels, EPA specs are 17mpg/city and 25mpg/highway, specs you’ll find in larger displacement V8 engines.  The MKS races out to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.4 seconds, good numbers for a V6 powered luxury sport sedan.

You will appreciate the solitude that comes courtesy of the MKS’s premium noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.  Chassis and body bracing and strategically placed sound-deadening materials produce an extraordinary level of cabin isolation giving you a sense of sanctuary when is a thoughtful mood, or turn up the THX audio system and enjoy your favorite music without any outside interference.

The structural stiffness is supplemented by a suspension designed to further isolate occupants while also enhancing the driving experience when pushed hard.  Up front is an independent MacPherson strut setup with rear facing L-shaped lower control arms, coil springs, a 26mm stabilizer bar all held tight with an isolated subframe.  The rear independent multi-link setup includes coil-over shocks, stamped steel lower control arms, cast upper control arms and a 21mm stabilizer bar.  Mounts and bushings have been carefully tuned, and spring/shock tuning and front suspension geometry have been engineered to give you exceptional handling capabilities in a full-size luxury sedan.

In addition, the MKS EcoBoost takes the tuning further with larger stabilizer bars that provide flatter cornering characteristics, and a front subframe that aids in handling dynamics perfectly matched to its powerful, responsive turbocharged engine-all without sacrificing the luxurious ride Lincoln owners demand.

Slowing the MKS EcoBoost down from speed is easy and fast with 12.25 inch front discs with dual-piston calipers and 12.75 inch discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Standard ABS, BA, AdvanceTrak Electronic Stability Control and Brake Actuated Traction Control enhance your control when braking under severe condition.

Coming down the mountain during my photo shoot I did notice a lot of smoke coming from all four wheels when I reached the bottom stop sign so I would encourage Lincoln to put in large rotors and maybe four-piston calipers up front and dual-piston calipers in the rear for ‘fade-free’ and ‘smoke-free’ braking under heavy loads.  The car is fast and begs to be pushed hard!

My test MKS EcoBoost rides on optional, wheel-well stuffing 20X8 inch, multi-spoke, polished aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Michelin 245/45R20 inch high-performance, all-season radial tires for excellent grip and a very compliant ride.

New for 2011, music lovers will enjoy the addition of HD radio technology to the available voice-activated navigation system.  The HD radio receiver enables more listening options and digital sound quality with no additional equipment or cost.  To use HD radio, listeners simply tune in their favorite station.  If the station is broadcasting with HD radio technology, the system automatically picks up the signal and will transition to digital audio once decoded.

The Lincoln SYNC voice-activated in-vehicle connectivity system, standard on the MKS, now integrates Traffic, Directions & Information with the voice-activated navigation system.  Traffic, Directions & Information leverages industry-leading voice-recognition software, integrates GPS technology and a customer’s Bluetooth capable mobile phone to provide simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather.

The new MKS EcoBoost delivers technologies aimed at making life luxurious for both driver and passengers.  A holistic approach was used to develop these features, where ease of use and intuitive operation were key objectives.  Nowhere is this focus more apparent than with Active Park Assist that is enabled by the electric power assist steering system (EPAS).

This technology employs an ultrasonic-based sensing system, as opposed to video camera-reliant competitive offerings, making parallel parking a breeze.  Active Park Assist activates at the touch of a button, determining an adequate parking sport, detecting the edges of adjacent objects to calculate an optimized angle, and then steering the MKS into the sport while coaching you through conventional throttle and braking inputs.

In addition to completing a parking maneuver quickly, Active Park Assist also works in uphill parking situations, unlike some competitive systems.

Also working in conjunction with EPAS, Pull-Drift Compensation is a software-based technology that helps you offset vehicle pulling or drifting than can occur in steady crosswinds or on uneven road surfaces.  Pull-Drift Compensation uses sensors to constantly measure the steering input applied to help maintain the vehicle’s chose path; it automatically compensates for slight steering changes causes by environmental factors such as road crowning or steady crosswinds.

On the road, Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support allows you to set and maintain vehicle speed, while radar monitors traffic ahead of you.  This optional system automatically adjusts speed and slows the vehicle to maintain the set distance behind the traffic ahead.

Collision Warning with Brake Support provides you with a ‘head’s-up’ display that flashes on the windshield if the system senses a potential collision with the vehicle in front of it.  If you don’t respond and a collision is imminent, the system with pre-charged the brakes and increase brake assist sensitivity to provide full responsiveness when you do use the brake pedal.

MyKey allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain MKS features when in the hands of a MyKey driver.  Parents simply program the vehicle through the message center to incorporate features such as limited top speed of 80mph, traction control system that limits tire spin cannot be deactivated, audio system volume limited to 44% of maximum volume, and a speed alert chime at 45, 55 or 65mph.

Lincoln SYNC is standard and provides all occupants with voice-activated communications and infotainment, including 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and Traffic, Directions & Information.

MKS is offered with two audio technology choices: standard is a THX II Certified car audio system with AM-FM-CD6/DVD/MP3 capability, 10-speakers, SIRIUS satellite radio, an auxiliary jack and a USB port.  The optional navigation system includes an internal hard drive for map and point-of-interest information storage, THX II Certified car audio system with 14 strategically aimed premium audio speakers and HD Radio technology.  In addition, a SIRIUS Traffic and SIRUS Travel link subscription is included with the navigation system, providing coast-to-coast weather date, forecasts, fuel prices, sports scores, movie listings and more.

The available navigation system also enables you to display personal photos on the center stack-mounted touch screen.  The system can store and display up to 32 photos, sized 1.5MB or less.  The home screen can be personalized by display, desired information, or photos in one-two-or three panel views.

Both audio technology choices feature an internal Jukebox hard drive for storage of up to 150 hours of recorded audio entertainment.  Users can browse the Jukebox via touch or voice control.  Gracenote technology will display the CD cover when a selected track is playing.

On the inside, the meticulously detailed 2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost delivers a precision-crafted environment resplendent in premium leather trim real aluminum and metal accents.  Elegant, flowing surfaces create the feeling that the interior has been sculpted, rather than constructed.  The flow-through center stack is topped with an integrated information screen that also serves as the screen for the optional navigation system.  The entire top of the dash is covered in premium leather, and a wide piece of real aluminum with carbon fiber-like swirls rides the dashboard from one end to the other.

A philosophy of ‘guilt-free luxury’ means Lincoln MKS strives to use materials and processes that reflect the finer things in life, but not at the expense of the world around it.

An example is the leather for the seats by Bridge of Weir, the same Scottish company that supplied hides for the iconic Continental Mark II, was chosen for its high quality and its organic, chromium-free tanning methods.

Lincoln comfort seats, developed for the MKS, feature side bolster supports designed for spirited driving.  The standard heated and cooled, 12-way power driver and front passenger seats offer four-way lumbar for added comfort on long drives.  Rear seat passengers also enjoy a luxury experience as they have standard heated rear outboard seats.  Recessed into the front and rear door openings, cleverly designed hidden rocker panels allow for a low step-over height, making it easier to enter and exit.  This design helps shield the rockers from the elements, reducing the likelihood of soiling shoes or trousers when entering or exiting the car.  Grab handles above each door further help when entering or exiting.

Standard features inside and outside the new MKS EcoBoost, not mentioned above, include adaptive HID headlamps, foglamps, heated power remote sideview mirrors, easy fuel Capless fuel filler, sporty, leather-wrapped, tilt-telescoping steering wheel with cruise-control, audio and Bluetooth buttons, two-driver memory for seats/sideview mirrors, steering wheel, leather/chrome stick shifter, dual-zone electronic auto climate control, push button start/stop, ambient lighting, all express power windows/door locks, self-dimming reaview mirror, dual lighted vanity mirrors, a center console with dual cupholders, deep storage bin and sliding leather padded armrests, easy-to-see, chrome ringed instrument cluster, all dials, switches and levers within easy reach and fully illuminated, dual panel electric sunroof, storage slots in the doors, map pockets behind the front seats, reading lamps in the rear, pull-down center armrest and dual cupholders in the rear, a rear pass-thru for longer storage items, remote trunk release, thick cut-pile carpeting and front/rear floor mats.

The red candy metallic tined clear-coat paint is a $495.00 option and really sparkles and draws attention to the beautifully detailed and sculpted exterior design of the MKS EcoBoost with its coupe-like profile, split-wing Lincoln signature front fascia with sculpted lens clusters, lower air intake, scalloped hood, deeply raked A-pillars, full-perimeter greenhouse chrome strip, side roof mounted chrome strip, pull-out door handles, flared fenders, deep side extensions, fast rear glass, a short trunk lid with integral lip spoiler, large rear lamp clusters, a bold rear bumper and dual, 3 inch wide, polished stainless steel dual exhaust tips.  From any angle, the new MKS EcoBoost speaks sleek, sexy luxury and high-performance.

The MKS features an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and support members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.  MKS also features Side Protection and Cabin Enhancement (SPACE) Architecture to optimize side-impact occupant protection.

The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube embedded in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and along the rocker panels to form a safety cage to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.  Also included is the enhanced Personal Safety System combining multiple technologies to help tailor the airbags and seatbelt functions to each individual passenger and the particular accident circumstances.  The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and seatbelt usage to adjust deployment force.

Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with Brake Actuated Traction Control, dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtains, safety canopy an exclusive side-impact protection system employing side curtain airbags to help protect front and outboard rear passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes, dual front seatbelts with pretensioners/load limiters, 3-point seatbelts for all rear passengers, tire pressure monitoring system, SOS Post-Crash Alert System flashes signal lights and sounds the horn in the event of an accident, and the LATCH system for child seats.

With a base price of just $48,160.00 and $56,980.00 fully loaded, the new 2011 Lincoln MKS is one of the world’s best looking and best luxury equipped sport sedans.  It has it all to enjoy the ride and the interior luxury, convenience and high-tech amenities.

2011LincolnMKSBeautyLeft sm001





  • $41,270


  • $56,980



  • Chrome grille

Tires and Wheels

  • Painted alloy wheels
  • 19 x 8.0 in. wheels
  • Alloy spare wheel
  • P255/45R V tires
  • All season tires
  • Inside mounted spare tire
  • Temporary spare tire

Roof and Glass

  • Intermittent wipers
  • Rear defogger
  • Power rear sunshade


  • Width: 75.9 in.
  • Height: 61.6 in.
  • Length: 204.1 in.
  • Front track: 64.9 in.
  • Rear track: 65.1 in.
  • Wheel base: 112.9 in.
  • Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 18.7 cu.ft.
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 18.7 cu.ft.
  • Maximum towing capacity: 1000 lbs.
  • EPA interior volume: 124.5 cu.ft.
  • Gross weight: 5400 lbs.
  • Curb weight: 4305 lbs.

Exterior Options

  • 20″ Polished Cast Aluminum 11-Spoke Wheel
  • Front License Bracket
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat Paint
  • Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat Paint


Engine & Performance

  • Engine size: 3.5 L
  • Cam type: Double overhead cam (DOHC)
  • Cylinders: V6
  • Valves: 24
  • Valve timing: Variable
  • Direct injection
  • Torque: 350 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
  • Horsepower: 355 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Turning circle: 39.7 ft.
  • Engine type: gas
  • 0-60mph: 5.4 seconds


  • Drive type: all wheel drive
  • Mechanical center differential
  • Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
  • Center limited slip differential


  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar


  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: premium unleaded (recommended)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 19.0 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 323.0/475.0 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 17/25 mpg

Mechanical Options

  • PowerCode Remote Start System


Safety & Security

  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Front and rear head airbags
  • Dual front side-mounted airbags
  • Child seat anchors
  • Remote anti-theft alarm system
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Front and rear ventilated disc brakes
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Front fog/driving lights
  • Auto delay off headlamps
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Xenon high intensity discharge headlamp
  • 2 front headrests
  • 2 rear headrests
  • Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
  • Rear center 3-point belt
  • Front and rear seatbelt pretensioners
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Emergency interior trunk release
  • Front height adjustable headrests
  • Rear fixed headrests
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Self-leveling headlights
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Airbag Deployment Notification*

Safety & Security Options

  • Active Park Assist


  • Basic: 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
  • Drivetrain: 6 yr./ 70000 mi.
  • Free Maintenance: 3 yr./ 45000 mi.
  • Roadside: 6 yr./ 70000 mi.

Mazda, Honda Suspend Dealer Orders 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, honda, Imports, Japanese Automakers, Mazda, News on 03 28th, 2011

Want a Mazda 3? Buy it soon… Image: Mazda

The economic effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will begin to hit U.S. auto dealerships in April and May. Last week, both Mazda and Honda temporarily suspended U.S. dealership orders for all vehicles built in Japan. For Mazda, this includes the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Mazda 5, MX-5, RX-8, CX-7 and CX-9; for Honda, the vehicles impacted include the Fit, CR-V, Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX and Acura RL. Nissan will reduce U.S. vehicle allocation for May by 50%, while neither Toyota nor Mitsubishi have announced any changes to dealer ordering procedures. Neither Mazda nor Honda will speculate on when orders will resume, but it’s reasonable to expect inventory shortages of popular models heading into the summer months.

Multiple factors are contributing to the order suspensions, including regional rolling blackouts and restrictions on industrial water usage in Japan. Even if an automaker’s manufacturing plants aren’t damaged, those of suppliers may well be inoperable, leading to production delays. It’s too early to say what the long term impact will be on the global auto industry, as no one really knows how long it will be before automobile and component production reaches pre-quake levels. Equally bad is the domino effect that will likely impact domestic and European automakers who rely on components sourced from Japan. It may be months or even years before we’re back to business as usual, so factor that in if you plan on car shopping in the near future..

Source: Autoweek

Video: Hennessey’s 755 Horsepower Corvette ZR750 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chevrolet, Corvette ZR1, Hennessey Performance, Tuners, video on 03 28th, 2011

The Hennessey ZR750. Image: Hennessey Performance

Out of the box, the $110,000 ZR1 Corvette gives you some pretty incredible stats, like 638 horsepower, 604 ft-lb of torque, a zero to sixty time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed somewhere north of 200 miles per hour. Just a few years back, those numbers were reserved for cars with a prancing horse or a charging bull on their logos, with the accompanying increase in price. The Corvette ZR1 really does bring near-supercar performance to a broader audience (although $110k isn’t exactly blue collar), but that’s simply not good enough for some buyers. It’s one thing to show taillights to a Ferrari F430; it’s something else entirely to go toe to toe with your ZR1 against a Ferrari Enzo. Want to see a ZR1 capable of taking on Italy’s best? Hit the video below.

If you’ve got that jones, and if you have a sufficiently large balance in your bank account, Hennessey Performance would be happy to build you a 755 horsepower ZR1 Corvette. Dubbed the ZR750, the car gets its horsepower increase from ported cylinder heads, a hotter cam, a ported throttle body, more boost courtesy of smaller supercharger pulleys, a revised intake, headers and high-flow catalysts. The mods drop the zero to sixty time to 2.9 seconds (assuming you can get the tires to hook up) and yield a quarter mile time of 10.7 seconds at 139 miles per hour. The tops speed is increased to 224 miles per hour, and the zero to one hundred fifty mile per hour time is decreased by four seconds (to 13.1 seconds). Pricing isn’t listed on the Hennessey website, but I can guarantee the kit plus a ZR-1 Corvette will set you back far less than anything with a horse or bull on it.

Video: 2012 Nissan GT-R Beats Previous Nurburgring Record Time 28
Posted by Larry in Automotive, nissan, video on 03 28th, 2011

In terms of bang for the buck in a supercar, the new 2012 Nissan GT-R takes the cake. The latest recorded Nurburgring track time for the 2012 GT-R comes in at 7 minutes and 24.22 seconds, almost 2.5 seconds faster than the 2011 Nissan GT-R’s time.

The Nurburgring remains to be a benchmark setting course in terms of performance for any vehicle that chooses to take it on. The newest Nissan GT-R, with a total of 530 horsepower and a 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds, is a testament to the major advancements in automotive technology. Still, the GT-R falls a little behind Porsche’s stated time of 7:18 around the Nurburgring in the all-new Porsche 911 GT2 RS and around two seconds short of the Corvette ZR1.

Check out the exclusive (Japanese) cockpit video of the 2012 Nissan GT-R making its fastest-lap around the Nurburgring below.

Fake Security Program ‘MS Removal Tool’ Attempts to Foil Computer Users Out of Money 27
Posted by Steven in Computer Help, MS Removal Tool on 03 27th, 2011

Various computer users have reported to many security companies of a program called MS Removal Tool that somehow installed itself before displaying a plethora of misleading popup alerts.

One may think that the MS Removal Tool program was created and sold by Microsoft but that is not so. MS Removal Tool is a deceptive application created by hackers with the intent to extort money from unwary computer users. This process takes place from MS Removal Tool’s aggressive extortion techniques. Computer users think that in order to “fix” issues that MS Removal Tool has presented to them that they must purchase the full registered version of MS Removal Tool.

MS Removal Tool in full version form does not do anything more than the one that may be installed automatically from a malicious source online or a Trojan horse. In other words, MS Removal Tool is completely unable to detect or remove spyware and malware parasites. Regardless of MS Removal Tool’s popup messages, it should never be purchased. Purchasing MS Removal Tool would only put your credit card information in the hands of cybercrooks, the ones that may have created MS Removal Tool in the first place.

How Can You Remove MS Removal Tool?

MS Removal Tool can be very difficult to manually remove if you are an inexperienced computer user. Not to mention, MS Removal Tool has been known to populate the Windows Registry with many different entries and removing the wrong entries could render a PC damaged or useless. The use of a reputable antispyware or antivirus tool is recommended to safely remove MS Removal Tool from your Windows computer.

To easily remove MS Removal Tool, find the following process and end them in the task manager. After that is done, delete each related MS Removal Tool file from your hard drive. In additional to locating the following processes, it is recommended that you delete the MS Removal Tool registry entries listed below as well. It is also a good idea to uninstall the MS Removal Tool application via your add/remove programs function found in the Windows Control Panel if your system recognizes MS Removal Tool has an installed program.

MS Removal Tool files (and folders) to remove:

  • %CommonAppData%\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]

MS Removal Tool registry entries to remove:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]

2011 Jaguar XJ Supercharged Review & Test Drive 25
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, featured, Jaguar, jaguar xj, Test Drives on 03 25th, 2011

If you enjoy driving in the lap of luxury, then you may fit the profile of someone who may consider owning a Jaguar. Jaguar vehicles are well recognized by enthusiasts as well as the common Joe, both who admire some of the finer things in life. The all-new Jaguar XJ, despite its somewhat unfamiliar good looks, wears its new skin very well distinguishing it from the rest of the luxury car crowd.

Totally redesigned for 2010, the new Jaguar XJ literally leaves behind whatever statement the outgoing model made. The XJ is Jaguars flagship that once housed V12 engines under the bonnet and dates back to 1968. Nowadays, the V12s are replaced by supercharged V8s, which is what’s found in the new supercharged XJ. The new 2011 Jaguar XJ has innovation written all over its exterior and is subtly carried into the lavishly appointed interior. In other words, today’s hip-culture would say that the new Jaguar XJ is so 3008 while the old Jaguar XJ was 2000-late.

The new Jaguar XJ, in my opinion, is a sexy machine that likes to stretch its legs on the highway. The British, back in the day, were known for building eye-catching and competitive racing vehicles, while also satisfying the exquisite needs for those seeking a luxurious touring automobile. Some will say that this tradition faded into the background between years 2000-2006 when Ford had its hands in designs such as the Jaguar S-Type based off of Lincoln LS. It was not necessarily a bad thing at the time given the sales figures. Quite possibly Jaguar put things in motion in a different direction when it comes to the design of the new XJ, which has minor design cues from the smaller XF. Regardless, the new Jaguar XJ is here to make a serious statement to its competition putting it in a position to pounce on someone.

My test Jaguar XJ was the supercharged version with a 470 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. This setup comes with a thirst for massive amounts of premium fuel getting only 15mpg city and 21mpg highway. I averaged about 17.5mpg around town and was able to match the 21mpg figure on the highway.

Jaguar XJ’s are offered in a base configuration in either long wheelbase (LWB) or short, supercharged, supercharged LWB, Supersport, and Supersport LWB. Base models start with a 5.0-liter V8 producing 385 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque. The Supercharged versions have an increased power output to 470 horsepower while the top-of-the-line Supersport has a stout 510 horsepower and 461 foot-pounds of torque. The long-wheelbase XJs get an additional 4.9 inches in wheelbase length, which adds another 5.2 inches to rear legroom.

You could, in a way, call the Jaguar XJ a British version of the new BMW 7-Series. But I won’t go as far as to intertwine the German brand with a Jaguar because they are essentially two differently designed vehicles. In the Jaguar XJ, the moment you sit down in the fully leather appointed cabin, you will know that this vehicle has no relation to Munich, Japan, or America for that matter. The XJ is enveloped with a fully leather covered dashboard, an Alcantara headliner surrounding the panoramic sunroof, an abundance of burl wood trim, and soft thick carpeted floors. The motorized turn-knob shifter and airplane engine styled vents give away the Jaguar heritage embedded into the aesthetics of the car. Although the new innovative large LCD screen used as the dash gauge cluster seems a bit out of place, it is very functional and fits well with modern automotive innovation. Additionally, I am personally not a fan of replacing dashboard needles with a highly configurable LCD screen, yet it brings a new type of classiness to luxury and exotic cars of the modern world. My XJ test vehicle was optioned out with a heated front windshield that has several micro-thin heating elements running through the glass. This can be a nuisance if you take notice at night to the glare it creates of oncoming vehicles or other light sources. Nevertheless, the heated windshield does come in handy for quickly clearing frost.

The cabin of the new XJ is very sumptuous. Seating positions are excellent with some room to spare even when setting my 6-foot-plus frame in the rear seats. I can only imagine the extra space in the XJL; long wheelbase version. Some of the controls take a little getting used to but otherwise understandable to buyers of a big luxury vehicle. The only pitfall is the response time of the central controls integrated into the center LCD touch-screen. Pressing any button or LCD on-screen button has an annoying delay. This is something you would not expect from a vehicle of this class. From turning on the seat massagers, to adjusting the radio/Satellite station, the buttons take too long to respond. This is a shame because the interface is well done and user-friendly. Unfortunately the user-friendliness is overshadowed by the slow responding controls. It may be possible that a firmware update in later XJ models could resolve this issue.

During my time with the new Jaguar XJ, I was able to enjoy the heated, cooled and massaging leather seat up front. The rear seating areas were heated and cooled only. The 1200-watt Bowers and Wilkins (commonly referred to as “B&W”) sound system was among the best in the industry with crisp treble and clear thumping bass tones. The center console chrome accents near the armrest become rather blinding at times due to the sun reflecting from the surface. This is a minor issue but one to note due to the abundance of shiny material in front of the armrest storage area where you can conveniently plug in your iPod/iPhone or other USB media device.

Driving the new XJ puts you in a world of serenity mainly due to the soft supple ride and smooth power delivery. The 470 horsepower supercharged V8 was never shy about directing a massive surge of power through its snappy-fast shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. Surprisingly the transmission shifts relatively fast for an automatic, somewhat reminiscent of a dual-clutch setup especially when using the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Dynamic mode, turning the virtual LCD dashboard’s gauges background to red, brought the XJ to an even more aggressive level by advancing the throttle position and firming up the active dampening shocks. Putting the shift turn-knob to the “S” position will allow you to manually shift the 6-speed transmission and even blip the throttle to hear the rumble of the sweet blown-V8 engine.

The feel of the steering for the XJ can be a bit unpredictable at times until you get used to the vehicle. This could be due to the variable steering assist. The chassis of the XJ handles bumps like a big luxurious land-yacht should. You never get that boating-effect because the active dampers do a great job with managing this 4,281 pound cat. You are reminded that this lateral rocket-ship is not a sports car once you enter into your first aggressive corner, but that’s not what the Jaguar XJ is designed for. Comfort is what you will get and you get it in abundance. Using the Automatic Speed Limiter comes in handy so you do not end up going too far over the speed limit. This 470 horsepower supercharged cat can get away from you at times if you are not paying attention because it is an extremely refined and quite ride.

The new Jaguar XJ is the ultimate epitome of British luxury fit for the modernistic world. If ever someone is seeking an exquisite luxury wrapped up in an eye-catching stylistic package, then the XJ is the cat that you want to take home. The base Jaguar XJ starts at $72,700. My supercharged Jaguar XJ starts at $87,700 and was optioned out with just the heated windshield bringing the total to $88,950.


Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base Jaguar XJ $72,700 As-Tested $88,950
  • Engine: 5.0-liter 470hp @ 6000 rpm/424 ft-lbs torque @ 2500 rpm
  • Drive: RWD
  • Wheelbase: 119.4in.
  • Total length: 201.7in.
  • Total width: 74.6in.
  • Total height: 57.0in.
  • Track: f/r-64.0/63.1in.
  • Turning circle: 40.4ft.
  • Headroom: f/r-38.4/38.6in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.5/38.9in.
  • MPG est.: 15mpg city/21mpg highway
  • Fuel tank: 21.7 gallons
  • 0-60mph: 5.4 seconds
  • EPA cargo volume: 15.2cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 4,281lbs.

One Company’s Brilliant Idea 25
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Brilliant Transportation, Luxury Travel, Mercedes Benz, Sprinter Van on 03 25th, 2011

Image: Mercedes-Benz

Let’s face it: limousines are entirely too played out, and you’re not likely to hire one for an interstate drive. That’s where Brilliant Transportation comes into the picture, since they’re offering ultra-luxury transportation cross town, cross state or cross region, as their client’s needs dictate. The concept is sheer genius; turn business or family travel into quality time by recreating the luxury of first class air or train travel. Brilliant Vans are based on Mercedes’ Sprinter platform, and each comes equipped with hardwood floors, flat panel TVs, oversized leather chairs, a refrigerator, cabinets and even folding desks. Want to head from NYC to Boston on your schedule, not Amtrak’s? Want to get work done when you travel from Washington D.C to New York? Brilliant Vans may be the perfect solution for corporate executives who understand that time is indeed the equivalent of money.

Richard Fertig, Brilliant Transportation’s founder, had this to say about his company, started just 13 months ago:

“We’re introducing a new mode of travel we call “Private Motoring¨, that often replaces air and rail transport. Although a number of our clients didn’t realize at first that Mercedes-Benz makes large vans, they know and love Mercedes, which makes our chauffeur-driven Brilliant Vans a natural extension of the way they choose to travel. Our New York-based Sprinters offer a distinct environment for business trips to Boston and DC, social events in Manhattan such as Lincoln Center or family weekends to the Hamptons and the Vermont ski country. With a similar range of use, our just-opened L.A. operation makes frequent trips to Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and San Diego.”

Image: Mercedes-Benz

There’s no word on what a trip from NY to DC in a Brilliant Van costs, but I’d be willing to bet it’s somewhere between a first class train ticket and hiring a private jet. There’s a significant investment in hardware to cover, since each Brilliant Van costs in the neighborhood of $190,000. Still, I see the service as a great way to stay productive on the road, and at the senior executive level you can probably pass it off as a cost savings compared to hiring a private aircraft. Rank, and wealth, both have their privileges.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Is Kia Working On A Mazda MX-5 Rival? 25
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kia, Mazda, News, Roadsters, Sports Cars on 03 25th, 2011

The Kia Elan, built under license from Lotus from 1996 to 1999.

When it comes to manufacturing products, it’s best to not under-estimate the Koreans. As a Hyundai insider once told me, they’re the only people of the planet who can make the Japanese look like slackers. Just look at Hyundai and Kia if you need proof; two decades ago they were the butt of jokes, but today they’re on fire. The Hyundai Elantra is kicking ass and taking names in the compact car segment, and their Sonata is doing the same in the midsize class. Kia’s Optima and Optima Turbo are poised to give Hyundai a run for their money, and it looks like Hyundai is positioning Kia as a younger, more sporting brand. When Kia says they’re looking at building a rival to Mazda’s MX-5, I believe they’ll succeed where others have failed.

It’s not a done deal yet, but Kia is seriously considering a two-seat roadster to go up against the Mazda MX-5. That means they’ve already dissected the current MX-5 and found a way to build it lighter, cheaper, more powerful and with equivalent or better handling. Given that the MX-5 starts at around $23,000, a base Kia roadster would have to squeak in closer to the $20k price point. On the top end of the line, I can see a 274 horsepower, 2.0 liter turbo-equipped Kia coming in below $30k, which could have a huge impact on sales of Mazda’s MX-5.

Other manufacturers have tried to dethrone the MX-5 as king of affordable sports cars, but all have failed. Remember the Mercury Capri, which tried to get by on being cute? How about the Toyota MR2 Spyder, which barely had enough room to haul a briefcase, let alone a weekend’s worth of luggage? The Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky came closest to beating the MX-5 at its own game (and actually rivaled it for handling), but GM pulled the plug just as the cars were getting the bugs worked out. Kia’s got the ability to build a successful rival if they choose to do so, and I’d pay close attention to their progress if I were Mazda.

Source: AutoExpress