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About nisarnadaf

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  1. The latest generation W204 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been on sale since 2007 and is now due for its mid-cycle facelift. As these latest spy shots reveal, Mercedes-Benz designers won’t be mucking around with the stylish look of the current model, instead choosing to focus on only minor changes such as new bumper and wheel designs, and possibly a revision of the headlights as well. Besides the styling changes to the exterior, there will almost certainly be some updates to the interior and a number of mechanical changes. The latter will likely include modifications intended to improve the efficiency of the C-Class and boost Mercedes’ fleet wide fuel economy and emissions averages. Some of the changes will likely include the addition of new BluTec diesel powertrains and engine stop-start systems, as well as more direct-injected and turbocharged models. Like previous updates, the new changes will be incorporated across the C-Class range but there may also be a major shift in the lineup--the addition of a new C-Class Coupe to replace the current CLC model. As for the Estate wagon, Mercedes-Benz spokespeople have confirmed to TheCarConnection.com that there are no plans to bring this particular model to the U.S. although we will still get the bigger 2011 E-Class Estate. Mercedes-Benz brought the previous C-Class Estate to the U.S. from 2002 through 2005, but it was a slow-seller and the current version never made it.
  2. Possibly for the first time ever, our review of a new V12 engined supercar starts with the back seats. But what else would you expect? As the firm’s first saloon in more than 30 years, Aston Martin’s Rapide marks many new milestones, but the first question to answer concerns the leather-trimmed chairs in the rear. Accessed through trademark “scissor” hinged doors – they lift up slightly as they swing open – the seats are mounted low to the floor, and when viewed in profile, are no more than two inches thick.Getting in is not without its challenges, and if you are more than six feet tall you will struggle to swing gracefully through the narrow door aperture and down into the bucket shaped squab. Once settled, however, the Aston springs its first genuine surprise. The seats are comfortable, and spacious. At six foot three inches tall, I comfortably fitted behind our Aston test car’s chauffer. There’s no doubting that there’s plenty of luxury on offer too. A large transmission tunnel in the rear also provides a control panel from which drivers can adjust the heated and cooled seats, and control the £139,500 car’s only optional extra – rear DVD screens. On the road, the ride feels firm but is never harsh. Body roll is well controlled, and thanks to those race style front seats, which taper toward the headrest, you get an incredible view of the road ahead. Things promise to get even better behind the wheel. With an update of the firm’s bonded aluminum chassis, a new rear-subframe and revised suspension and brakes, the car’s 6.0-litre V12 engine offers 470bhp and a 0-62mph sprint of 5.3 seconds. Adaptive dampers, like those fitted to the DB9 coupé offer standard and stiffer sport settings, and 20 inch alloy wheels at the front and rear promise masses of grip. But on top of the new chassis – and radical interior layout, there’s a third Rapide revelation… In that the car is actually built in a factory in Austria – and not at the firm’s Gaydon HQ in the UK. Based on our test car, we would argue that this is the best quality car Aston Martin has ever built. But despite all of these radical changes Aston is keen to point out that the Rapide, like all of the makers other cars in at its heart a sportscar. The engine is started by pushing a sapphire tipped “key” into the dashboard. The V12 engine spins quickly and smoothly before bursting into life. Power delivery is smooth and even, with power building smoothly as the revs climb to the near 7,000rpm redline. Power is fed to the rear wheels and there’s a limited slip differential to improve traction in tight turns. Impressively the steering is pin point accurate, and there is bags of feedback through the hydraulic power steering system. But perhaps most impressive of all is the car’s refinement. Whisper quiet while crusing on the motorway, the car rides smoothly over even the roughest road surfaces. Brakes – weight saving dual cast aluminium and iron items – offer impressive stopping power, as well as consistent performance under heavy use. Added together, all of this doesn’t just create a saloon that drives like a sportscar, but helps set a new benchmark for Aston Martin’s cars. The new Rapide isn’t just a great four-seater, it’s the best car the company builds. FIVE STARS First opinion After the V12 Vantage, we didn’t think Aston could build a more exciting car to drive, but in the refined Rapide, the firm has scored a direct hit. Easily the most accomplished driver’s car in the makers range it also delivers impressive refinement and performance. We were impressed by the practicality too, but this car’s knockout punch is the way in which it combines these two very different characteristics in such a seamless fashion. Aston’s small but expert band of engineers should be proud of themselves.
  3. The German luxury carmaker launched a limited edition of BMW Gran Turismo, priced at Rs6.3 million on Wednesday. The limited edition of the Gran Turismo comes with a 3.01 litres diesel engine and only 100 units of the car will be available. It will be brought as a completely built unit (CBU) from the company's plants overseas. BMW is investing $50 million in its Chennai plant to increase its production capacity, which is at present 3,000 units per year, said Peter Kronschanbl, president, BMW India Private Limited. "At the end of the year BMW will launch BMWX1 into the Indian market. BMWX1 will be locally assembled at the Chennai plant for that we need to get ready the plant; this means that we will increase the production capacity," Kronschanbl added. BMW is also aiming to ramp up dealership network in the country from 12 outlets at present to 22 outlets. BMW, which is pinning special hopes on the latest version of the five Series, which hits the market in late March, forecast record sales again this year in China, Brazil and India. BMW holds 41% share in the luxury market sector. With an indication to increase 20% all alone from the Indian market, the company is eyeing the Indian market for its sales in the coming years. The world's biggest premium automaker forecast a modest rise in car sales this year and confirmed it expected a 2009 pretax profit thanks to cost cutting and other efficiency measures that helped offset a 10.4% decline in sales to just under 1.29 million vehicles. BMW said 2009 group revenue fell 4.7% to €50.68 billion. Revenue in its core automobiles segment fell 10.3% to 43.74 billion. Link removed, last warning
  4. U.S. safety officials have widened their investigation into Toyota's sticky gas pedals to see whether the same problem could exist in vehicles from other auto manufacturers that used the same pedal supplier as Toyota. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday it has sent a letter to CTS, the Indiana company that made the pedals that caused Toyota to recall millions of vehicles worldwide. The safety agency wants to know more about pedals that CTS — which has a manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ont. — made for other auto companies. CTS says it makes pedals for Honda and Nissan cars and a small number of Ford vehicles in China. The company has been adamant that the issues are limited to Toyota alone. Other automakers have also said their pedals are based on different designs and aren't at risk of the same problems. Fourteen complaints in Japan Japan's Transport Ministry said Wednesday it has also received 14 complaints since July last year about brake problems with Toyota's new Prius hybrid. The ministry ordered Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, to investigate the complaints. The other 13 cases happened between December 2009 and January 2010. Transport Ministry official Masaya Ota said the ministry has yet to receive a formal report on the complaints from Toyota. Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said the company has received reports about the Prius complaints in North America and in Japan and was now looking into the matter.
  5. Mercedes-Benz formally announced the arrival of its iconic sedan and the All-New S 350 L and the S 350 CDI L Blue Efficiency in India. With state-of-the-art technology for even greater safety, as well as trailblazing innovations in comfort and drive technology, the Mercedes-Benz flagship is all set to reassert its leading position as the brand's innovation platform and benchmark for luxury sedans. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Dr. Wilfried Aulbur (Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India) said, "The all-new S-Class is the perfect embodiment of the brand's core attributes of safety, comfort, quality and innovation. Its uncompromising standards have made it the preferred choice of the world's most powerful and influential people.” The 2010 S-Class is the only car in its category to offer a unique combination of ultra-modern assistance and protection systems. The new assistance systems turn the new S-Class model into an “intelligent” partner for the driver. The car is able to “see”, “feel”, respond reflexively and act autonomously to prevent accidents or mitigate their effects. Link removed
  6. AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler sold more than 118,000 Sebring sedans in 2001. Eight years later, the automaker barely sold 27,000 as its bankruptcy filing sent customers fleeing to the car's newer, better competitors. Chrysler now has a turnaround plan that promises improved quality and a stream of new models. But it won't work unless Chrysler can get cars like the Sebring back on people's shopping lists. To do that, Chrysler is going back to the basics: Reinventing its car brands - Chrysler as a luxury line, Dodge as a quirky value brand - and reintroducing them with head-turning ads. Chrysler Concept Car: http://xs.to/share-E895_4B5D3812.html It's a tall order, but Chrysler insists it can be done. "We've had troubles. Yeah. We saw death. But the whole world needs to realize we're serious about this plan," Dodge brand chief Ralph Gilles told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "We're no dummies. We know what a good car is and what a good car isn't." Chrysler's truck brands, Jeep and Ram, have strong identities in buyers' minds. But its car brands are mushy, said Allen Adamson of the San Francisco-based branding firm Landor Associates. One of Chrysler's first actions under Fiat SpA, which took control of the automaker last year, was to split Ram truck from Dodge so Dodge could stand alone. "What they need to do is quickly define what they want to stand for and then build on it," Adamson said. Dodge will try to make a big splash with an ad during the Super Bowl next month. Chrysler Group LLC, which has yet to pay back $15.5 billion it borrowed from the federal government, is taking some heat for paying an estimated $5 million to air the ad. But the company says it's the best forum to explain Dodge's transformation.
  7. Nissan Motor India Private Ltd (NMIPL), as part of its growth strategy to introduce nine models in India by 2012, on Wednesday launched its acclaimed and iconic sports car Nissan 370Z in India. Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director & CEO, said, “The 370Z has been conceived as an ‘Everyday Sports Car’, bringing to life the sweet spot of performance, style and value, which symbolises the DNA of Nissan cars. We believe that 370Z will create an aspirational value for Nissan brand in the country as we gear up for the launch of our first made in India car in 2010.” The 370Z comes with a two-seat layout built around a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length centre console separating the driver and passenger’s seat. In the rear is an open cargo area with enhanced storage and accessibility. The design focus incorporates a ‘layer concept’, with an information layer, an operation layer and a holding layer. http://xs.to/image-4439_4B5A6FCF.jpg The Nissan 370Z comes in eight attractive colours with two interior leather colour options (Persimmon Orange and Black) available in both manual and automatic transmissions (A/T). The Nissan 370Z six-speed M/T with Synchro Rev Match is priced at Rs. 53.50 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) and Nissan 370Z seven-speed A/T with manual shift mode at Rs. 54.50 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi).
  8. A former Chinese carmaker planning a hybrid car assembly plant in Alabama has lined up a veteran engineering and design firm while still trying to put together $1.5 billion in financing for the project. Benjamin Yeung, chairman of Hybrid Kinetic Motors Corp. in Pasadena, Calif., signed an engineering and design agreement Tuesday with Giorgetto Giugiaro, chairman of Italdesign Giugiaro of Torino, Italy, during a ceremony in Alabama's capital. HK Motors is looking at opening an Alabama plant in 2013 that will provide 4,000 jobs. Yeung and Giugiaro worked together when Yeung developed and ran the Chinese auto manufacturer Brilliance China Automotive. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley called Giugiaro "a living legend" whose clients have included most major car manufacturers in Europe, Japan and Korea. Yeung, formerly known as Yang Rong in China, turned Brilliance China Automotive into the first Chinese company listed on Wall Street, but he fled China in 2002 fearing arrest for alleged economic crimes. He settled in California and selected Bay Minette, Ala., last year as the site for his first U.S. car factory. The site is about 25 miles northeast of Mobile, Ala. After the ceremony Tuesday, Riley told reporters that he has no concerns about Yeung's past. He said Yeung's success came while China's economy was in transition from tight control to more aggressive manufacturing. "That transition sometimes leads to points of tension," Riley said. Riley said the state government has not pledged any economic incentives for the plant, but will negotiate those once Yeung has financing in place. Riley and Alabama's leading industrial recruiter, Neal Wade, visited Yeung in his home in early January while they were in California to see the University of Alabama win the national football championship. Alabama has provided as much as $253 million for previous car plants to prepare land, build roads and conduct worker training.
  9. THE iconic three-point star of Mercedes has always been something of a status symbol. Mercedes are the kind of car people aspire to, and in the case of the E-Class, has traditionally been somebody a little longer in the tooth, particularly if powered by a diesel. The latest line-up now features some of the hottest-looking cars on the road and some of the most powerful and efficient engines. The coupe version is an excellent example of how the latest incarnation of the E-Class now offers something of a wow factor and clearly appeals to a wider audience. It is a stunning looking car. Impossibly good looking, but with a brutal power unit lurking under the bonnet. You could wax endlessly lyrical about the shape and needless to say, it attracts a lot of interest, particularly with the optional panoramic roof and sunroof. Sitting low to the ground on stunning 18-inch alloys, the car, with AMG livery, has a predatory look that is matched by performance from the 3.5-litre V6 205bhp engine. Large air intakes, side skirts and an aggressive looking grille mean few people walk past without stopping to have a good look. It may look mean but it does its bit for the environment as well with BlueEFFICIENCY, a package of fuel saving technologies. This means that everything from the engine to the wheels is geared for lower emissions and reduced fuel consumption. This is demonstrated with CO2 emissions from the car of 179g/km not bad for something that performs not far off supercar levels. If the exterior is striking, the interior is sumptuously laid out with the array of controls looking more like the cockpit of an aircraft. Neat touches abound, such as the passenger seat belt moving forward to help you buckle up. The car is a riot of electrics, from seat adjustment, with lumbar controls having their own control panel at the side of the seat to folding door mirrors and windows. The one down side was the limited vertical adjustment for the seat, which did not go up high enough for my liking. The car features and expensive console that includes sat nav, Bluetooth, an ear-splitting sound system and multi-function steering wheel. Front seat passengers have plenty of leg and headroom, but the sloping coupe shape means it is cramped in the rear, although I would imagine there would be few times four people would be in the car. Boot space is surprisingly spacious with a respectable 450 litres of room available. Like all Mercedes it bristles with technology and offers features like option reversing camera, adaptive lighting, radar cruise control and agility control sports suspension which adapts to the prevailing conditions. Buyers are spoilt for choice and can almost have a bespoke model such is wide variety of options. There are five engine variants and three suspensions together with five different wheel and tire combinations and dizzying array of options to suit almost any, (pretty well-heeled) pocket. Driving the diesel E-Class was quite an experience. Acceleration is neck-wrenching. The car rockets from 0-60mph in just 6.7 seconds and on to a limited top seed of 155mph. Quick, but also pretty economical with official fuel consumption figures showing an average of 45.6mpg. For a more sporty drive, switch to manual and the paddles behind the wheel gives the racing driver touch. The power transmitted to the rear wheels is such that if you floor the accelerator, the traction controls often kicks before the wheels can find grip. But it is certainly quick. All Mercedes are safe and the Coupe comes with seven standard-fit airbags including front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, a knee bag for the driver and window bags. There are tensioners and belt force limiters on all seats, as well as crash-responsive head restraints. It also features a pop-up bonnet to protect pedestrians in a collision. FAST FACTS Mercedes Benz E350 CDI BlueEFFICIENY Coupe Sport Price: £35,280 Mechanical: 205bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox Max speed: 155mph 0-62mph: 6.7 seconds Insurance group: 17 Combined mpg: 45.6 CO2 emissions: 179g/km BiK rating: 26% Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles
  10. NEW DELHI: Vehicle manufacturer Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) plans to sell 70,000 of its new compact car Etios in India every year. The new car is expected to be rolled out by this year-end, a senior company official said on Tuesday. "We hope to attain a sizeable market share in India. We will expand our sales in India through our network of 150 dealers by the end of this year," TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said after unveiling the concept model of Etios at the 10th Auto Expo here. He said the car will first be introduced in India and then elsewhere. The Etios, a family car, comes in both notchback and hatchback models. Toyota's new Indian plant will be the first to begin the production of Etios. The officials, however, refused to disclose the price of the car. According to Kazuo Okamoto, vice-chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, over 2,000 engineers in India and Japan worked for at least four years to develop Etios. The company is very hopeful about its positioning in the Indian market. "India will play a major role in our global expansion plans. The time has come to strategically build up our growth plan," he told reporters. Toyota began producing cars in India in 1999. It currently has about 400,000 customers in the country. It went into an alliance with Kirloskar to market its cars in India.
  11. Chevrolet Beat. The mini car is priced aggressively under Rs 400,000 to take on Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor. The two are India's largest and second largest carmakers by volumes, respectively. Beat sports a 1,200 cc petrol engine with the base model priced at Rs 3.34 lakh and going up to Rs 3.94 lakh for the top variant (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Chevrolet Beat will take on contemporaries -- A-Star, Swift, Ritz, Santro, i10, Getz and i20 -- in a market where small cars constitute 78 per cent of the two million cars sold per year. "The Beat will be our highest seller this year after Spark, which sold 45,000 units last year. We expect to easily breakthrough the 100,000 unit sales mark in 2010," president and managing director of GM India Karl Slym told a press conference. Beat is the company's second car under GM's global 300 series platform after the Cruze sedan, which was introduced in September last year. GM India sold about 70,000 units in 2009, Slym said. It already sells two other small cars -- the Spark and the Aveo U-VA in the Indian market. "A diesel version of Beat will be rolled out later this year," Slym said. The carmaker will also start exports of the hatchback to European and A s i a - Pa c i f i c markets by the end of the year, totaling retail in about 150 countries. Beat is manufactured with 60 per cent local content, and within the first year Slym expects localisation to go up to 90 per cent. "The Talegaon factory will go on a second shift this year with the introduction of the Beat," Slym said. The Talegaon factory has a capacity of producing 140,000 cars annually. Other top global carmakers Toyota Motor, Volkswagen and Ford Motor are also set to storm in with their compact cars this year. The local car unit of Suzuki already sells six hatchbacks, holding almost two-third of the Indian car market.
  12. Tata Motors Ltd (TML) will showcase the much-awaited crossover vehicle Xover at the Indian Auto Expo in New Delhi this January. The vehicle, expected to be priced Rs 6-8 lakh, will hit the markets in the first half of the 2010 and plug a vital gap in its portfolio. Positioned to take on Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and Chevrolet Tavera, the Xover with its three row of seats will attempt to blend the benefits of a family-friendly luxury tourer with the refined driving dynamics and visual cues of an activity-oriented sports utility vehicle. This seven-seater vehicle will sport a new generation engine, navigation system, ABS and air bags among other enhancements. Created with extensive design inputs from London-based Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), the concept vehicle was first showcased at the 75th Geneva Motor Show in 2005. A decision to go ahead with the production was taken a couple of years later and the vehicle design fine-tuned. Vendors for supply of components were then tied up and prototypes readied for testing earlier this year. According to sources, extensive testing of the prototypes is currently underway in western India. "Xover’s production variant will be ready for display at the Auto Expo in New Delhi," said Nitin Seth, head of car product group, passenger car business unit at TML. While the vehicle will closely resemble the concept that was displayed at Geneva, the radical headlamp cluster of the concept could go for a more conventional set. Seth, however, ruled out a production version of Prima, the concept luxury sedan designed by Pininfarina and showcased by TML at the 79th Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
  13. Small car competition is heating up at the tenth annual Delhi Auto Expo, as three major automakers are premiering new subcompacts. Toyota and Honda are both planning to debut new small cars specifically for India and other emerging automotive markets, while Maruti Suzuki is going to unveil a homegrown sub-$8500 minivan. Called the Eeco, it comes with a 1.2L engine and seating for seven — and is proof of automakers’ hopes for the Indian market. “The new car represents the growing expertise of our engineers to conceive, design and produce vehicles here,” Maruti Suzuki executive I.V. Rao told Cartradeindia.com. “This is also in line with parent Suzuki Corp’s vision of turning India into a global hub for small car research and development.” The theme of India as a breeding ground for subcompacts is apparent in press releases and statements. With car sales down in nearly every other country, automakers are after Indian consumers like New Yorkers hunting down iPhones. Toyota is taking aim at Maruti’s best-selling Swift sedan (shown above) with a long-awaited concept that, until recently, was known as the Entry Family Car. Now christened the Etios (meaning “the origin of”), the car will be offered in hatchback and sedan variants with a choice of 1.3L diesel or 1.2L gasoline engines. It will be built in India and on sale by the end of 2010. Not to be outdone, Honda announced the “New Small Concept,” developed especially for the Indian market. Ford is counting on the Figo, unveiled in September (shown above), to boost its presence in India. Built in Chennai, the car “shows how serious we are about India,” according to Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
  14. TOKYO — Japan's Toyota Motor plans to boost its global production in 2010 by 17 percent to about 7.5 million units, Japanese media reported Saturday. The output target -- which does not include Toyota group firms Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors -- is still down about one million units from the peak year of 2007 and matches the level of 2005, the business daily Nikkei said. But Toyota may raise its 2010 output further after taking into account the impact of the government's decision to extend subsidies for purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles by six months to September 2010, the paper said. Following the global sales slump due to the financial crisis, Toyota early this year embarked on steep production cuts centred on its major markets -- Japan, the United States and Europe. But sales in major markets have recovered gradually and with demand picking up in China and other emerging markets, Toyota's global sales recorded their first year-on-year rise in 15 months in October.
  15. Toyota has announced pricing for its third-generation Sienna minivan today with base models starting at $25,060 (including $800 delivery and handling charge), which Toyota says is slightly cheaper than the current model. Camry and Prius, meanwhile, got slight price increases. Toyota is moving quickly with the new Sienna, having only debuted it a few weeks ago at the Los Angeles Auto Show and setting its on-sale date for February 2010. Customers looking to get in the sliding doors as inexpensively as possible will need to shell out $25,060 for a base 187-hp 2.7L four-cylinder model, the first four-banger ever offered in the Sienna. It and the unchanged 266-hp 3.5L V-6 both come mated to a new six-speed automatic, also a first for the Sienna. A V-6 equipped base model will run you $26,300. Those looking for a bit more equipment, or optional AWD, can step up to the LE trim and pick up a few standard gadgets previously available only on the next-step XLE model like a multifunction display with backup camera and dual sliding doors. A basic, four-cylinder LE will start at $26,145, but to get that optional AWD you'll have to pick up the V-6 as well and the whole package will run you $31,930. Stepping up further to XLE will net you more standard gizmos like heated seats and automatic climate control, but they'll cost you. The XLE, which is available as a V-6 only, starts at $32,975 and you can expect to add another two grand for AWD. Go nuts with top-shelf Limited model and you'll snag leather everything, second-row lounge seats, a JBL audio system and more, all for the starting price of $39,300. Go for broke with the Limited AWD model and you're looking at a starting price of $40,570. For the soccer dad on the go who sure does miss that Mustang he had in college, Toyota has also rolled out the sporty SE model. New side skirts, fascias, 19-in wheels and smoked headlight and taillight lenses get paired up with sport-tuned suspension and steering finished in unique colors and trim pieces to help you forget that you're still driving a minivan. Reliving your glory days starts at $31,350. Toyota is also fiddling with the prices on the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Prius. The Camry's price goes up by $200 while the Camry Hybrid jumps $250 for a total of $20,345 and $27,150 respectively. Prius' price, meanwhile, jumps up $400 and now starts at $22,150. All prices include Destination and Handling charges. Stay tuned for our complete test of the 2011 Toyota Sienna, coming soon.
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