Just Car Blog
|Volvo Flagship Debut May Take More Time||
Volvo has denied speculations that suggest the launch of a flagship model. They made the statement regarding this following the introduction of the Universe concept at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby made it clear in an interview that a flagship is not there in the company’s midterm or long-term strategy. He further said that it is too early to enter the S-class size market with their newly speculated auto. Right the company plans to concentrate with new products on its core segments.
The Universe concept, which debuted recently, has a restrained design and is said to have been built to preview the company’s flagship sedan. It presents an ingenious blend of design and technology packed in a modern and luxurious body. Well, on the speculated flagship model, let’s not expect it anytime soon.
|Brabus Tuning Program for Twin-Turbo V8 Engines||
Brabus has come up with a new tuning program the twin-turbo V8 engines, which are incorporated in Mercedes CL550/S550 and CL63/S63 AMG models.
As for the CL550 and S550 models, they will be equipped with the 490 PowerXtra CGI kit. This allows the engine to churn out 490 PS (360 kW / 482 bhp) and 780 Nm (575 lb-ft) of torque, which is more from the standard 435 PS (320 kW / 429 bhp).
Another version 520 PowerXtra CGI package allows the engine to produce 520 PS (382 kW / 512 bhp) and 820 Nm (604 lb-ft) of torque. This accounts for an increment of 85 PS (63 kW / 84 bhp) for both 500 models.
Coming to the CL63 and S63 AMG, a 584 PowerXtra CGI setup will be there. It develops an additional 40 PS (29 kW / 39 bhp). The other 620 PowerXtra CGI version produces 620 PS (455 kW / 610 bhp) and 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft) of torque.
Thus the tuning enables both the CL- and S-Class can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Official (Video)||
Porsche has officially announced the 911 GT3 RS 4.0. The new machine is said to come featured with the best attributes that helps it make it big on the race track. The highlights sound impressive and will definitely yield remarkable performance.
The power is extracted from the naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter engine. It is considered to be the biggest engine ever to be incorporated in a Porsche that figure around125 hp/liter (92 kW). This engine has been adopted from the 911 GT3 RSR racing model. The engine produces a total output of 500 PS (368 kW / 493 hp). This leads to a transmission of six-speed sport gearbox. The car does the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in only 3.9 seconds
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will be a limited edition of just 600 units, said the manufacturer. The vehicle will go on sale in Germany and UK in July. It will be available for price starting at 178,596 Euro inclusive of 19 per cent value added tax.
|Prince William and Catherine Drive by in vintage Aston Martin DB6 Volante MK II||
All eyes were on the new Royal couple as they completed their nuptials and celebrated a new union in front of the world today. Surprisingly it seems Prince William may be sort of a car buff in choosing to ride out with his Princess in his father’s blue convertible Aston Martin DB6 Volante MK II. The vintage Aston Martin DB6 was retrofitted to run off of E85 bioethanol made up from waste produced in the making of English wine. Go figure, Royalty with a sense of being stylish and eco-friendly at the same time.
Hit up TheSun for additional hi-resolution images.
|The Caterham Seven Lives: Team Lotus Buys Caterham||
In the U.S., you need to be a true enthusiast to know what a Caterham Seven is, but the car is known, loved and feared throughout the rest of the world. Based on the minimalist Lotus 7, the Caterham Seven is a tube frame, front-engine, rear-drive sports car that’s always been about function over form. Some variants are road legal while some are reserved for the track. Some are powered by a 1.4-liter four, good for just 105 horsepower, while the range-topping Superlight R500 gets a 263 horsepower out of a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec. That’s good enough to get the R500 from 0 to 60 in 2.88 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 150 miles per hour. All of them, including the base Classic model, are superb-handling cars that reward smooth driving and punish those lacking in finesse.
It looks like Caterham will live on for the foreseeable future, thanks to their recent acquisition by Team Lotus. That’s separate from Lotus Cars, but don’t worry: Team Lotus has deep pockets since they’re backed by Air Asia chairman Tony Fernandes. No management changes are planned at Caterham, but the manufacturer will get a much needed infusion of cash. To celebrate the union, Caterham is building a limited run of Team Lotus Sevens, with just 50 to be sold worldwide. If you want one on this side of the pond, give Caterham USA a call, but beware: prices for the entry-lever Classic start at $29,580, and a Superlight R500 will set you back at least $61,057. No one ever said that speed came cheap.
|Absolutely Winning Videos: Lamborghini Aventador on the streets of Rome||
I think Charlie Sheen should be the official spokes person for the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 especially after seeing some of the new promotional videos because they are absolutely Winning!
One of the latest promotional videos features a stroll through the streets of Rome. What better setting to film the newest Italian bred bull? Frankly, we have to agree with AutoGuide, who posted this video earlier today, it is truly Epic!
UPDATE: New Video added!
|2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 Limited 4×4 – ‘Unlimited Fun and Adventure’||
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 improves the formula and delivers the ultimate combination of Jeep 4X4 capability and on-road refinement with the latest in luxury and high-technology features found only in more expensive sport utility vehicles.
Improved fuel efficiency with the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, that I tested, delivers up to 23mpg/highway enabling the new Grand Cherokee to cruise more than 550 miles between fill-ups.
Every surface of the all-new Grand Cherokee is new and treated for aerodynamics. This improves fuel efficiency and puts more fluidity into the design while delivering an 8.5% improvement in drag compared to last year’s model-0.37 verses 0.40. This new Grand Cherokee is more refined, focused and sportier than ever with classic Jeep Grand Cherokee styling with sculpted athletic exterior refinements.
The front includes Jeep’s classic seven-slot grille, round HID headlamps and trapezoidal wheel arches. The removable lower front fascia delivers improved fuel economy, on-road performance and off-road capability. The lower front fascia features a large chromed appliqué that showcases the tow hooks. From the side, the new Grand Cherokee features an athletic, muscular profile. A full-perimeter chrome strip wraps around the greenhouse, the black appliqués on B-pillars give the bright daylight openings an aerodynamic, modern appearance and a sleek profile augment with the steeply raked A-pillars and lower side extensions. The power-dome hood features a scalloped center channel to increase downforce.
The chromed/heated/self-dimming side mirrors and door handles add to the profile and further enhance the luxurious look. The Limited’s 18X8in. chrome wheels wrapped with Michelin Latitude Tour all-season radials stuff the flared fenders.
At the rear taillamps wrap from the rear quarter panel to the back of the vehicle and create a solid form which achieves a more upscale appearance. Up top is a spoiler that enhances downforce at cruising speeds. The Limited model that I tested came with the power liftgate that makes loading and unloading cargo easy, plus the tinted flipper glass opens with a push of a button hidden in the space just below the Jeep badge. The bold step-up bumper has rubber inserts that make standing easy or more stable. Under the bumper is a single, 3in. wide chrome exhaust tip. If you order the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 you get dual, 3.5in. chromed exhaust tips.
The all-new interior features rich materials and elegant appointments as well as more room for both passengers and cargo. It is a step up to a higher level for the Grand Cherokee thanks to the work of the Chrysler/Jeep Advanced Interior Design Studio.
One highlight is the optional all-new CommandView dual-pane sunroof that provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sunroof and extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle. The front panel may be opened rearward, providing additional light and fresh air to first-row passengers. The rear panel, which is fixed, allows sunlight and open viewing for second-row passengers and comes standard with a power sunshade.
Inside you’ll notice a smaller, sportier leather-wrapped steering wheel with power tilt/telescoping function along with buttons for the cruise-control, trip computer, audio and Bluetooth systems. The leather trimmed front bucket seats feature 8-way power and lumber adjustments and are heated and ventilated. The rear seats of the Limited model also feature heated adjustments. The new instrument cluster is easy to see and understand with driver and system readouts scrolled from the steering wheel buttons.
The new dashboard features wood, aluminum and chrome trim pieces with a great attention to detail. The dashboard is soft-to-the-touch and is a great improvement from the last model. The new center aluminum and chrome finished center stack flows smoothly into the new center console with a storage bin down below, a padded two-tier storage compartment and dual cupholders. The shifter gate is now lined with chrome giving the interior a further luxury look. The shifter matches the steering wheel’s leather and is easy to operate. The four air-vents are also finished in aluminum trim making this all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited as luxurious as any mid-size sport utility on the market.
The vehicle’s 114.8in. wheelbase is 5.3in. longer than last year’s model and contributes to an overall vehicle length that is 1.8in. longer than the prior model. The longer wheelbase creates more interior room and gives passengers an additional 4in. of rear-seat knee and legroom. The vehicle is also 3in. wider for improved handling and packaging.
Larger front door openings (1.9in. wider/2in. higher) and rear doors that open 78-degrees (compared to previous model’s 67-degrees) provide better access to the interior.
For maximum cargo and passenger comfort, rear seat backs move a total of 12-degrees front to back. Cargo volume behind the second-row provides an additional 5.6cu.ft. (35.1cu.ft. total) compared to the previous model. The well-appointed rear cargo area includes a storage unit with a removable/rechargeable flashlight and new and improved grocery hooks on both sides. The spare tire compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items. Chrome tie-downs front and rear plus polished aluminum slats on the floor further aid at keeping your larger cargo items from moving around.
Continuing to build on the Jeep’s brand’s legendary off-road capability, the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee adds premium on-road performance to complete the package.
The new Grand Cherokee’s premium SUV on-road manners and legendary Jeep ruggedness is achieved with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone. Torsional stiffness is 146% stiffer than before and stiffer than the BMW X5 and Toyota Highlander for improved durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). More than 3,700mm of arc welding and 100m of structural adhesive augment the welding. This marks a 53% increase in spot welds, a 42% increase in arc welds and a 38% increase in structural adhesive.
Powering the new Jeep Cherokee Limited is a choice of two powerful engines: the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 making 360hp has been available for the past two years but the big news is the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine. This is the first application of the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine. This all-new flexible-fuel 3.6 liter V6 engine is standard and features an all-new design with DOHC’s and a high-pressure aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration. It also features variable-valve timing and delivers 290hp at 6,400rpm and 260lb.ft. of torque at 4,800rpm. The all-new V6 engine improves fuel economy up to 11% compared to the last V6 engine. It is coupled with the proven W5A580, a five-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy. The five-speed W5A580 transmission includes adaptive electronic control or electronic range select (ERS) driver-interactive manual control and an electronically modulated torque converter clutch. Trailer-tow capability when equipped is 5,000lbs. with the new V6 engine.
Also under the skin and out-of-sight is the new Select Terrain and new Quadra-Lift Air suspension system that further set the Jeep Grand Cherokee apart from the competition.
These two new systems allow you to choose the drive system that best matches on-or-off road driving conditions. The all-new front and rear independent suspension setups deliver premium on-road handling and comfort you expect from a luxury sport sedan.
Up front is Short/Long arms, coil springs, gas-charged twin-tube coil-over shocks, upper and lower control arms and a stabilizer bar. The rear multi-link setup features coil springs, twin-tube shocks (including load leveling for towing), aluminum lower control arms, independent upper links (tension and camber) plus a separate toe link. Precise steering control comes from the proven power-assisted rack & pinion steering system.
When off-roading the optional Quadra-Lift air suspension system takes you further with enhanced safety. The Quadra-Lift air suspension system features five height setting for optimum ride performance: Normal Ride Height-8.1in. of clearance offers improved fuel economy and improved aerodynamics during off-road driving: Off-Road 1-Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.3in. for added height in clearing obstacles (9.4in.); Off-Road 2-delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.6in. of height for 10.7in. of ground clearance; Park Mode-lowers the vehicle 1.5in. from the normal ride height for easy entry and exit and roof rack loading. Normal Ride Height and Park mode are driver-selectable, giving you control over vehicle height; Aero mode-lowers the vehicle 0.6in. from the normal ride height. Aero mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy.
Quadra-Lift adds up to 4.1in. of lift span that is supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride. Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console controls. This new system enables you to conquer more off-road challenges like no other mid-size sport utility can.
Further increasing the new Grand Cherokee’s off-road capability is the all-new Selec-Terrain traction control system that lets drivers choose off-road settings for the optimum experience on all terrains. This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, traction control and electronic stability control. The console-mounted control dial allows you to choose from five driving conditions in order to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains: Sand/Mud-Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque is tuned for optimal performance; Sport-Provides enhanced on-road fun-to-drive capability; Auto-Automatically adapts to any on-or-off-road situation; Snow-Vehicle traction adjusts for ultimate performance over snow-covered roads; Rock-Quadra-Lift air suspension system raises to maximum height (10.7in.) and the transfer case, differentials, and throttle coordinate to provide low-speed control.
Selec-Terrain coupled with the all-new Quadra-Lift air suspension system offers drivers an adjustable suspension span that delivers world-class capability. With the front airdam removed, and the available Quadra-Lift air suspension system, the all-new Grand Cherokee features a 34.3-degree approach angle (compared to 32.3 previously), a 29.3-degree departure angle (compared to 27.5 previously), and 23.1-degree breakover angle (compared to 20.4 previously).
The all-new front and rear suspensions setups feature isolated front and rear suspension cradles. Variable-rate rear springs deliver improved on-road handling and comfort that complements the vehicle’s off-road capability. The new rear suspension allows the spare tire to be stored inside the vehicle as opposed to underneath for ease of changing a flat tire.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers three 4X4 systems (Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. Quadra-Trac I delivers full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull. The system provides smooth operation over a variety of road conditions. This lightweight single-speed case is both proven and highly efficient for enhanced fuel economy. Quadra-Trac II’s two-speed transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs. When tire slippage is detected, as much as 100% of available torque is instantly routed t the axle with the most traction. Quadra-Drive II with a rear electronic limited-slip differential, delivers industry-leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip. Selec-Terrain is standard with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. These systems are the ultimate in off-road capability and each model proudly wears the ‘Trail Rated’ badge on the driver’s side fender.
Safely slowing the all-new Grand Cherokee down from speed as all of these systems provide forward motion, are new, larger four-wheel steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.9in. vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.6in. solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS, traction control and electronic stability control systems help to keep you in control on-road or off-road.
Standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front airbags, side-curtain front and rear airbags, front seat side airbags, LATCH system for child seats, 3-point safety belts for all five seating positions including pretensioners/load limiters up front, security alarm, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.
Standard features not mentioned above in the Grand Cherokee Limited includes ParkView rear backup camera, ParkSense rear park sensors, push-button start-stop, keyless enter and go, hill start assist, hill descent control, trailer sway damping, cruise-control, remote start, rain-sensitive wipers/washer, rear wiper/washer, heated front seats, heated second-row seats, power 8-way driver’s seat with two-person memory, front passenger 4-way power adjustments, 60/40 split rear seat back, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders, dual-zone climate control with air filter/rear air-ducts behind the center console, electronic vehicle info display with reconfigurable display, power windows with front express up/down, power door locks, 2-12-volt auxiliary outlets, 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, Uconnect hands free phone with voice command, 9-premium speakers with 506-watt amp and subwoofer/AM-FM-CD/MP3/DVD audio system, USB port for mobile devices, premium front/rear floor mats with logo, foglamps, Bi-Xenon headlamps with auto leveling system, daytime running lamps, dual map lights, cargo lights, second-row lamps, grab handles at all four doors, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, polished steel slats on the cargo floor, and dual, lighted vanity mirrors. Options on board my Grand Cherokee Limited model included ventilated front seats, power liftgate, heated steering wheel, skid plate group, tow hooks, GPS navigation, iPod control, SIRIUS satellite radio with SIRIUS Traffic.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is the ultimate on-road/off-road performance sport utility vehicle with a more refined exterior, more luxurious and contemporary interior and new off-road systems to take you further on your off-road adventures.
- Price: Base Jeep Grand Cherokee $30,215 As-Tested $42,840
- Wheelbase: 114.8 inches
- Total length: 189.8 inches
- Total width: 76.3 inches
- Total height: 69.4 inches
- Track: f/r-63.9/64.1 inches
- Headroom: f/r-40.0/39.3 inches
- Legroom: f/r-40.3/38.6 inches
- Cargo volume: behind rear seat-35.1cu.ft./behind front seats-68.7cu.ft.
- Turning circle: 37 ft.
- Fuel tank: 24.6 gallons
- Curb weight: 4,850 lbs.
- 0-60mph: 8.7 seconds (1-foot rollout)
- EPA mileage: 16mpg/city, 22mpg/highway
|Reminder: Check The Fuel Price Before You Pump Your Gas||
Imagine this: you’re late for a family dinner, you’ve got your wife and kids packed into the car and you decide to top off the tank so you don’t run out of fuel a mile from grandma’s house. Swiping your credit card, you pump just five and a half gallons of fuel before you say, “good enough”. The pump spits out your receipt and you stagger back into your car door: those five and a half gallons of gas just cost you over $300, or $55 per gallon.
Is this the stuff of science fiction? Hardly: it actually happened to drivers in a town outside of Stuttgart, Germany, this weekend. A local Esso (their equivalent of Exxon) station was running low on premium fuel, so they raised the price to $55 per gallon to discourage motorists from tanking up. It proved less than effective, and at least two drivers refused to pay before the police were called to diffuse the situation. In the end, the motorists were forced to pay their bills, but Esso is expected to intervene on a corporate level. A spokesman for Auto Club Europa compared the situation to the black market, and called for a an investigation into unfair price escalation.
What caused the drama? A shortage of premium unleaded fuel, compounded by restrictions on fuel deliveries over the Easter weekend. Logistical problems created by the introduction of E10 fuel only made the situation worse, and some 20% of gas stations in the Stuttgart area were out of premium fuel on Monday afternoon. Think it can’t happen here? Don’t be too sure about that, so always check your fuel prices at the pump before you tank up.
|2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Details & Images Officially Revealed||
After the speculations and image leak, Porsche has finally revealed the new 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Limited Edition.
As you already guessed the obvious, the new 911 GT3 RS 4.0 features a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six. The architecture from the new 4.0-liter was taken from the GT3 RSR racecar incorporating titanium connecting rods, forged pistons and virtually the same crankshaft found in the RSR. The new 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will be Porsche’s most powerful naturally aspirated street 911 with 500 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 339 pound-feet of torque at 5,750 rpm.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 has a light-weight body, at 2,998 pounds, resulting from several carbon fiber bits down to weight-optimized carpets lining the luggage compartment. This will allow the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 to hit 60mph in 3.8 seconds (more than likely another conservative figure from Porsche) and top out at 193 mph.
To keep things proper, a 6-speed manual transmission will be the only choice to direct power to the rear wheels. And that is the way it should be; Thanks Porsche!
To complete things, the Limited Edition 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will come standard in the white paint color as seen in the official images with new innovative air deflection vanes on both sides of the front bumper for added stability and an additional (up to) 426 pounds of downforce.
Only 600 fine examples of the all-new 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will be produced this year for a price of $185,000. That price will get you a vehicle that can lap the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 27 seconds which places it as one of the fastest for a production vehicle.
Full 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Press Release
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0: Biggest 911 Engine Ever Offered
Limited-edition car is packed with motorsport technology
ATLANTA – April 28, 2011 — The 911 GT3 RS, one of Porsche’s most popular, coveted and successful track-inspired production cars, has been given a final, thrilling injection of thoroughbred motorsport technology resulting in the 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. Limited to 600 vehicles worldwide, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 brings together in a sports car the attributes that have made the Porsche 911 GT3 a consistent winner on the race track.
The motorsport-derived 4.0-liter engine, already the highest displacement 911 engine ever, also features the highest per-liter output — 125 horsepower (hp) per liter — from a naturally aspirated Porsche flat-six engine. The engine uses forged pistons, the connecting rods are fashioned from titanium, and the crankshaft has been lifted unchanged from the 911 GT3 RSR race car. It achieves its maximum power of 500 hp at 8,250 rpm. Maximum torque of 339 ft/lbs is reached at 5,750 rpm.
The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 offers truly impressive performance, lapping the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.8 seconds, and with its gearing designed for the race circuit it reaches the 124 mph mark on the race track in under 12 seconds.
The 911 GT3 RS 4.0′s outstanding driving dynamics come from numerous, meticulously coordinated details. In addition to using suspension components typically encountered in motor racing, weight reduction is also of supreme importance. Equipped as standard with lightweight components such as light but strong carbon fiber sport bucket seats, carbon fiber front fenders and luggage compartment lid, and weight-optimized carpets, the two-seater’s ready-for-action weight is just 2,998 lbs with a full fuel tank. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0′s power-to-weight ratio is 5.99 lbs/hp.
This limited edition 911 is painted Carrara White as standard and emphasizes its proximity to motor racing by its dynamic appearance. Signature characteristics are the wide track, the low vehicle position, the large rear wing with side plates, central twin tailpipe, and the aerodynamically optimized body. Air deflection vanes mounted on either side of the front bumper – called ‘flics’ or dive planes – make their first appearance on a production Porsche. They create increased downforce on the front axle, and together with the steeply inclined rear wing, provide aerodynamics on par with its performance capabilities. As a result, at the 193 mph top track speed, aerodynamic forces exert an additional 426 lbs of downforce, thus pushing the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 onto the road.
With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $185,000 (excluding destination), the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 goes on sale in the United States in late 2011.
|2011 Toyota Avalon Limited Review – Affordable Luxury||
Toyota has introduced a newly redesigned Avalon for 2011 incorporating silky smooth V6 power and a spacious cabin that evokes subtle elegance. The newly styled Avalon combines practicality while offering a soft luxury feel to driving Toyota’s largest sedan. The outside is distinctively styled bringing a fresh new look to the front and rear fascia.
The new 2011 Toyota Avalon is sometimes referred to as the “Buick” of Toyota. Anyone thinking that very thing would not be too far off of the boat considering the new Avalon has a soft, (but well damped over large bumps), suspension that could literally put you to sleep on the highway. As you can imagine, handling is not the Avalon’s forte, but being a full-sized practical sedan is.
The Avalon now comes in just two trim levels, the base Avalon and the Avalon Limited. All Avalons come equipped with leather seats, eight-way power driver seat, backup camera, dual-zone climate, moonroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. My Limited trimmed test vehicle included cooled/heated front leather bucket seats, rain-sensing variable-speed wipers and smart-key (unlocks the doors with the touch of the door handle or locks with a push of the door handle button) with push button start. My test vehicle was also equipped with an optional voice-activated touch-screen navigation system and JBL Synthesis stereo. The sound from stereo system was decent with clear audio coming from all 12 speakers. Bluetooth music streaming was also included on my test vehicle allowing me to seamlessly sync my iPhone’s music and phone dialing/answering functions.
You may catch a few distinctive design changes on the outside of the new 2011 Avalon, such as the new self-leveling projector HID headlights. The Avalon continues a tradition of having a long wheelbase of 111-inches. In a way the new 2011 Avalon has a sportier look than earlier models. At one time, many consumers thought the Avalon was specifically targeting buyers of Buicks but I can honestly say those who want a slightly bigger Camry may find the Avalon appeasing.
The new front bumper now has fog lights trimmed in chrome accents with an extremely wide illumination. If Toyota was ever targeting the middle aged to older demographic, then they will have no problems in that area. With forward illumination at night between the HID projector lamps and wide-angle fog lights this may make our Avalon more enticing. The low-slung side skirts of the Avalon give it a lowered stance appearance. The doorsill chrome strips add a luxury appeal as does the flat trunk.
Inside of the large 106.4 cubic-feet passenger volume cabin you will find a contemporary feel and design. The wide long-running dashboard gives away to a big-car vibe to everything you see up front. The plastic trim pieces are not cheap but unfortunately they are not expensive either, after you start getting all feely-touchy with the new Avalon. This is even more apparent with the faux wood trim. Let’s just say mediocrity still overtakes the Avalon’s dashboard with the exception of a few elements such as the newly styled gauge cluster and center-stack LCD touch screen. The controls and dials are clearly marked making it easy to operate basic vehicle functions. The new Optitron gauges with white needles are easy to read in the daytime and night.
Rear seating volume is plentiful, providing almost 41-inches of legroom and comfortable perforated leather seating surfaces. Even with the front seats fully adjusted out, rear passengers still have plenty of room.
Toyota has such a tradition of building reliable family oriented sedans that cars like the Camry and new Avalon can be called ‘driving appliances’. The cabin of my new Avalon test vehicle was extremely quiet with no rattles or foreign sounds what-so-ever. The soft suspension is a bit too ‘bouncy’ for my taste, but those looking for an affordable full-sized sedan may find the Avalon’s ride to be just fine. Take the Avalon into a turn too hot and you are quickly reminded that this vehicle was simply not designed for spirited driving.
The 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque V6 engine provides plenty of power. If you lay down your right foot, you get a surge of power, which will quickly engage the traction control to intervene as the front wheels begin to lose traction. Torque steer is another concern outside of the Avalon’s limited sports-car-like handling abilities. The smooth 3.5-liter V6 is overly eager to inject enough power for the 6-speed transmission to direct more power to one front wheel than the other. It would be wise to keep both hands on the steering wheel under wide-open-throttle or you could end up putting this 3,616 pound sedan in a ditch.
0-60mph times come in a surprising 6.2 seconds. Luckily the Avalon still manages to get 20mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway, and you do not have to pay extra for premium fuel. I saw a consistent 24mpg during my daily commutes to the office, which is a mixture of highway and light-traffic city driving. The 2011 Avalon is certified as an ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle).
Steering feel is somewhat light and neutral providing very little feedback from the road. This gives you a smooth ride over poorly paved roads. The Avalon’s brakes are firm and eager to stop the vehicle. You can feel the electronic brake force distribution during panic stops with very little noticeable fade when they are heated up.
The new 2011 Avalon continues a tradition in providing several standard safety features such as driver and front passenger airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags in front and rear, driver’s knee airbag, side-impact door beams, front/rear crumple zones, tire pressure monitor, daytime running lights, front seat load limiters/pretensioners, and seat anchors for child car seats.
The new 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited ventures into its already-familiar luxury car territory once again now with an even better styled full-sized luxury-car demeanor. My loaded-up 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited test vehicle has an as-tested price of $37,884 while the base Avalon starts at $32,595. The new Toyota Avalon remains to be competitive where a comparably equipped Buick Lucerne or Ford Taurus would have a sticker around $38K. The 2011 Toyota Avalon is for anyone at any age looking for a full-sized, contemporary but not bland, luxury sedan that does not break the bank.
Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base $32,595 As-Tested $37,884
- Wheelbase: 111 inches
- Total length: 197.6 inches
- Total width: 72.8 inches
- Total height: 58.5 inches
- Track: f/r-62.2/61.6 inches
- Headroom: f/r-38.9/37.5 inches
- Legroom: f/r-41.3/40.9 inches
- EPA passenger volume: 106.9 cu.ft.
- Cargo volume: 14.4 cu.ft.
- Turning circle: 36.9 ft.
- Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons
- Curb weight: 3,616 lbs.
- 0-60mph: 6.2 seconds
- EPA mileage: 20mpg/city, 29mpg/highway
|Luxgen Neora Concept Leaves Shanghai Charmed||
Auto Shanghai 2011 had already shown us fabulous ideas from different automakers across the world. This one is no less. Taiwan-based Luxgen unveiled their Neora concept at the auto show. The novel concept similar to a Volt-ified Hyundai Sonata, comes with an attractive design with LED head lights, a panoramic glass sun roof and has smooth and sleek edges.
The interiors are spruced up with a refined look, complete with leather upholstery, wood trim, head-up display, and a nine-inch screen infotainment system.
Acceleration is provided by a 48 kWh lithium-ion battery that can generate a power up to 180 kW (241 hp / 245 PS) an electric motor that runs the front wheels. Regarding to this setup, the auto maker says the 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) concept can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, achieves a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and move up to 400 km (249 miles) on a single charging.
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Official Images Leaked||
The official photos of the upcoming Limited Edition GT3 RS 4.0 have made their way to the internet via the TeamSpeed forum just recently.
Many enthusiasts have already started to soak in the trickle of information on the limited edition Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, which is suppose to have only 600 examples of excellence available when it goes into production. The new Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 is speculated to have around 500 horsepower from a larger displacement naturally aspirated flat-6. The GT3 RS 4.0 will probably be the lightest street-version GT3 with a price of admission upwards of $200,000.
|McLaren Strategy Banks on ‘a New Car a Year’||
All car news seems good news – a majority of them indeed are. In case you disagree, listen to this. The latest one comes from the McLaren family, and hints at the company’s plans to introduce a new automobile every year to the market. So that could mean a car a year, without fail!
A McLaren official has been quoted as saying that between the various models under development, the company will have something new about once a year. Though the official hasn’t given us much specifications, we guess he cemented the fact that company would “stick to building two-seat sports cars.”
Previous reports and rumors had suggested that future McLaren line up involves a MP4-12C convertible, an entry-level Porsche 911 fighter and an F1 revival. Apart from this we are expecting hybrid and high performance variants too.
(via The Detroit Bureau)
|Video: eGarage Literally Heats Things Up During Koenigsegg CCX Dyno Session||
‘Things’ are literally getting HOT at eGarage as they get closer to launching their new revolutionary site. To show how HOT it really is, check out one of their latest videos featuring a fire-breathing Koenigsegg CCX during a Dyno Session below. Enjoy!
eGarage’s Matte White Koenigsegg CCX steps up to the plate for an audio & dyno session. Watch the Koenigsegg twin centrifugal supercharged v8 engine burst flames from the exhaust during the session.
Be sure to LIKE them on their Facebook page here!
|Honda Confirms Work On NSX Successor. Sort Of.||
During a press conference at the Shanghai Auto Show, Honda’s president, Takanobu Ito, confirmed what car enthusiasts the world over have hoped for: Honda will build a successor to the legendary NSX. Depending upon your perspective, that’s where the good news ends. While Ito insists that Honda is “working very hard on it”, he gave no indication of what “it” is, where “it” will be sold, when “it” will be released or even what price segment Honda is targeting for “it”. Worse, another Honda representative said the car would be positioned as a high performance counterpart to the CR-Z, a car which only Honda bills as a “sports hybrid”. The NSX replacement is believed to be a parallel hybrid, but Ito would only say that the car would be both exhilarating to drive and environmentally friendly.
The original replacement for the Honda NSX was to be a V-10 powered, front-engine, rear drive coupe putting out some 500 horsepower. Production was killed by Honda in the midst of the global economic meltdown of 2009, but the car went on to race in Japan’s Super GT series as the HSV-010 GT.
Whatever the new NSX replacement morphs into, Honda needs to take a step back and examine what’s most important. If that’s green cars, give up on the idea of building a world class sports car. If you want a high performance halo car, scrap the parallel hybrid drivetrain and focus on a smaller displacement engine with direct injection, variable intake and exhaust cam timing and twin, sequential turbos to get reasonable performance and fuel economy. Trying to serve two masters well is an impossible task, and there’s a reason why no one makes turkey giblet gravy flavored ice cream.
Source: Automotive News