Thursday, September 10, 2009

2010 Ford Mondeo Facelift Spied


A CAMOUFLAGED MONDEO test mule has been spotted in Europe undergoing trials, indicating a facelifted model of Ford’s popular mid-size sedan is not far away.

It’s hard to discern any major details underneath the black cladding on this prototype’s nose, but it’s clear that the upper grille has been narrowed and the Mondeo’s trapezoidal lower grille extended upwards.


The rest of the car appears unchanged, however subtle tweaks to the rear bumper are expected. Sheetmetal will remain the same, but new LED taillights will likely feature on the new Mondeo.

Powertrain details are scant, however output and economy are expected to be improved. Ford’s newly-developed EcoBoost four-cylinder is a definite contender for the updated Mondeo, as is the 2.0 litre turbodiesel and 6-speed Powershift twin-clutch gearbox used by the Focus.

Market launch dates are still a secret, but expect the facelifted Ford Mondeo to surface at the Geneva Motor Show next March.

Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde To Debut With MultiAir Engine At Frankfurt


THE FOUR-LEAF CLOVER is set to make a return to the Alfa brand, this time on the side of a special version of the Alfa Romeo MiTo.

Dubbed the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, the special edition MiTo is powered by Alfa’s newest MultiAir engine, a 1.4 litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 127kW.

By comparison, the MiTo Sport develops 114kW, while the regular MiTo produces a more sedate 88kW. The MiTo GTA, for which production has yet to be confirmed, tops the range with a 1.8 litre turbocharged engine developing 180kW.


Fiat launched its new MultiAir petrol engine technology earlier this year, which it claims can slash fuel consumption by up to 25 percent, reduce CO2 emissions by 10 percent and improve both power and torque output.

By using an electro-hydraulic tappet between the camshaft and the intake valves, the MultiAir system can vary valve lift profiles on-the-fly with precision and greater versatility that other variable cam systems.

The MultiAir engine is paired with the new-generation C635 six-speed manual transmission, developed by FPT in Italy and featuring what Alfa promises to be clean, swift changes with short shifts and vibration- and noise-free operation.


To set it apart from its more pedestrian siblings, the clover-emblazoned Mito Quadrifoglio Verde wears 17-inch alloy wheels on low-profile tyres, and features mirror housings finished in a dark satin silver.

A Magneti Marelli-tuned suspension is at work behind each wheel, which Alfa says provides “exceptional driveability and unparalleled safety”.

Three suspension modes are offered: “Normal”, combining agility with a higher level of comfort, “All Weather” for enhanced response from the Vehicle Dynamic Control stability system, and “Dynamic”, transforming the Quadrifoglio Verde into a sportier, more performance-oriented drive.

No official images have been released of the interior, but Alfa says a largely black trim scheme offset by white instruments features in the cabin.

No word has been given on production, numbers or distribution for the Quadrifoglio Verde, but more information is expected when the car appears at Frankfurt.

2011 Audi R8 Official Images Surface Online


FOLLOWING A GALLERY of spy photos posted in June of the production-ready Audi R8 Spider, official promotional images of the all-new convertible R8 have surfaced online.

The Spider features a number of aesthetic and functional design changes in its leap from hard-top to soft-top - the absence of the R8’s signature ‘blade’ panels and the new engine cover being perhaps the most obvious.


Audi has not revealed any technical details for the R8 Spider, but reports suggest that Audi has opted to pass on the 4.2 litre V8 that powers the regular hardtop R8, skipping straight to the 5.2 litre V10 that powers the R8 V10.

While lacking the outwardly-flared side intakes of the R8 V10, the intakes of the R8 Spider appear noticeably deeper than those of the ‘regular’ R8, indicating that a V10 may well be on the cards.

Other reports have suggested that Audi will skip Frankfurt for the R8 Spider’s unveiling, aiming instead at the Detroit Motor Show. With these official images surfacing so close to the Frankfurt event, however, it seems a German debut may not be out of the question.

Volkswagen Golf R Locked In For Frankfurt Show: Report

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf VI GTI, launching in Australia later this year.

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf VI GTI, launching in Australia later this year.

REPORTS ARE CIRCULATING that Volkswagen is preparing to unveil its most powerful Golf model yet at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

Dubbed the Golf R, this new model will become the performance flagship of the Golf range, taking over from the outgoing R32 as the most powerful production Golf ever.

The Golf R is expected to drop the R32’s 3.2 litre V6 in favour of a highly-tuned version of the Golf GTI’s 2.0 litre turbocharged four. Output is expected to be around 208kW, and torque is likely to be north of 350Nm.

VW’s other hot hatch, the Scirocco R (below) currently uses a 195kW/350Nm version of the GTI’s 2.0 turbo four.

However, unlike the FWD Scirocco R, the Golf R is expected to take power to all four wheels via a Haldex AWD system similar to that used by the current R32.


The Golf R will also receive its own unique bumpers, wheels and exhaust system, and numerous styling changes will provide more differentiation between it and the Golf GTI.

Like the R32, the Golf R is anticipated to be offered in three and five-door guise.

Images and precise specifications of the Golf R have yet to be released, but expect the covers to drop on September 15, when the Frankfurt Motor Show opens its doors.

2010 Dodge Caliber Update On The Way


DODGE HAS GIVEN its Caliber small five-door hatchback a facelift and powertrain update for 2010, boosting power, lowering fuel consumption and improving refinement.

The Caliber, Dodge’s highest-selling vehicle outside of North America in 2008, now receives a 2.2 litre common-rail turbodiesel engine, replacing the current 2.0 litre CRD in the Caliber line-up.

Compared to the outgoing diesel, power is up 16 percent to 120kW, torque is up 3 percent to 320Nm and fuel consumption falls by 5 percent to 5.7 l/100km.


Drive is delivered to the front wheels by a six-speed manual transmission, and no automatic gearbox option exists for the range-topping diesel.

Vibration and noise from the diesel is reduced by twin balance shafts and the addition of more sound deadening material.

The base 1.8 litre petrol four is replaced by a 2.0 litre ‘World Engine’, which develops 115kW and 190Nm. A 2.4 litre petrol four cylinder engine sits in the middle of the Caliber’s revised powertrain line-up, producing 125kW and 220Nm.

Exterior styling changes are virtually non-existent, but more chrome in the front grille and the addition of 18-inch polished alloy wheels in an optional Sport Appearance pack add a little extra spice to the Caliber’s appearance.


Inside, it’s a different story. The dash, door cards and interior fittings have been completely revised for 2010, and a new design aesthetic and the use of more premium materials boosts interior quality.

More storage space is built into the 2010 Caliber’s cabin, and a refrigerated storage bin, iPod/auxillary input and voice-controlled sat-nav system still feature. Extra chrome and satin silver trim also dress up the interior.

The 2010 Dodge Caliber will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15, and Australian sales are expected to commence late next year.