2011 Acura RDX FWD

Posted by norak on Saturday, April 23, 2011

2011 Acura RDX

2011 Acura RDX FWD

The Acura RDX was designed to be among the sportiest in its segment, and except for a couple issues, the driving experience of the 2011 model is engaging as with our 2007 RDX long-termer. And that long-termer didn't benefit from the changes Acura made for the 2010 model year.
Yes, the RDX now wears Acura's polarizing power plenum grille, but the changes are far more significant than a restyled exterior and attractive new 18-inch wheels. A rear-view camera, changes to the leather seating surfaces, more ambient lighting, and USB-port connectivity now come standard.
When the RDX was introduced, it was available only with Honda's super-handling all-wheel drive. That strategy was rethought and now there's the front-drive model we sampled. It boasts a cheaper entry-level price and better fuel economy with the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. The engine is plenty powerful, and the turbo surge makes the RDX feel quicker than it really is at times.
Back when we tested our long-term RDX, it sprinted from 0-60 mph at 7.0 seconds. Now that the front-wheel-drive crossover is 200 pounds lighter, expect a slightly improved time. RDX drivers will need to develop a lighter touch with the throttle or else fuel economy will suffer.
The brakes, too, were improved for the refreshed RDX. Acura says the upgrades result in more feel and less grabbiness to the binders, although they still are a touch on the sensitive side. Regardless, there's no arguing with revised rear brake pad actuation that translates to less drag and longer pad life.

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Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Posted by norak

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
For Porsche, performance is always paramount, but now it must also be “intelligent”. Apparently, hybrids = intelligence, as evidenced by Porsche’s new Panamera S Hybrid, which its debut today at the 2011 New York show and is another showcase of the German automaker’s emerging Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy.
As far as we’re concerned, with 380 horsepower, a 0-to-60 time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph, you can call it a dunce and we’ll still drive it. Fast.
Essentially the same system as found under Cayenne S Hybrid, the Panamera S Hybrid employs a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine with 333 horsepower, augmented by a 47-horsepower (34 kW) electric motor, which also doubles as the generator and starter. Porsche says it can roll for approximately one mile on battery juice alone and speeds of up to 50 mph in around town driving situations. Final EPA fuel economy ratings are yet to be announced, but expect it to be close to the Cayenne hybrid’s 20/24 city/highway mpg rating.
The Panamera S Hybrid is a higher-spec version of the conventional V-8 S model and comes with the automaker’s adaptive air suspension and PASM adaptive shock absorber system, as well as variable-assist power steering among other options. In addition, there’s a special display setup that highlights several of the hybrid system’s operations.
All of this intelligent performance stuff doesn’t come cheap. The Panamera S Hybrid’s base price is $95,000 (excluding destination) and is set to hit dealerships later this year.



Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
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2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

Posted by norak

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan
Compact sedans are all the rage, with a host of new entries from both domestic and import manufacturers reaching showrooms recently. Nissan will cash in on that popularity with the 2012 Versa sedan, debuting today at the New York auto show with refreshed styling and tweaks to improve fuel economy.
The 2012 Versa rides on an evolution of the last car's platform called V, for Versatile. The sedan's wheelbase and width are unchanged from the current model, but it loses about an inch of length and height. Despite this, Nissan says that packaging improvements for the engine and transaxle mean there is more trunk space. The new car also should be marginally lighter than before.
Styling-wise, the new Versa takes cues from the larger Altima and Maxima sedans, starting with a new grille design and oval-shaped headlights, and continued with a smoother rear and reshaped taillights that sweep from the rear bumper to the Versa's rear haunches. The hood and sides are broken up by an assortment of creased character lines akin to those seen on the Hyundai Elantra. Whereas the old Versa had a more conventional flat roof and steep rear window, the new car's roofline gently slopes toward the trunk, following the coupe-like trend. The exterior changes reportedly help achieve a low 0.31 drag coefficient.
Nissan claims the Versa's rear seats offer more legroom than a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and says much effort was spent making the seats comfier and the interior more spacious and appealing. The new dashboard has rounded, contoured controls in place of the drab flat-plastic layout in the old car, a simpler dual-gauge instrument cluster, and a redesigned steering wheel. That said, the interior continues to showcase expanses of plain plastics and fabrics (in either Sandstone or Charcoal color schemes) that don't look particularly upscale.

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan








2012 Nissan Versa Sedan
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan
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2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate

Posted by norak

2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate
At $21,485, Land Rover's Autobiography trim package has served to make the $95,465 Range Rover Supercharged the swankiest Rubicon-runner in the land. But the trouble with having it all is that soon you want more. Owners of $117,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbos can go back to the options well and keep ticking until they hit $171,175 (maybe even more). Well, now Range Rover has simplified the selection of wretched off-roading excess by introducing the Autobiography Ultimate Edition-one box to tick that fast-tracks the sticker to $170,000.
Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Front Three Quarters View
 For that kind of dough you get baby's-bottom-soft leather everywhere (including the headliner and cargo area sides), Kalahari wood trim (that has a real Born-Free ring to it, eh?) on the dash and doors and genuine teak wood on the cargo deck and tailgate, grouted with the same rubbery non-slip stuff they use on boats. The hinges and tie-downs back there are rendered in Monaco-harbor-grade polished stainless too.
Each rear throne is fully adjustable, heated, and cooled, and enjoys its own iPad integrated into the front seat headrest. Naturally there's a champagne cooler and two stemware holders, plus a truly usable tray table that flips up out of the center armrest for use by either (but not both) of the rear-seat occupants. The choice of interior ambiances include ivory and either dark cherry or Arabica, as desired to coordinate with the exclusive exterior shades of Roussillon Red or Otago Stone. To identify an Ultimate Edition from the outside, look for its unique "atlas" grille, new side vents and special 20" multi-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels. An Exterior Design Package and deployable side steps will also be available. Once identified, however, the rear windows' privacy coating may prevent you from seeing the occupants.
Hurry up and order yours now-of the 500 that will be built, only 50 are coming to the U.S.

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2012 Range Rover Autobiography

2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate
2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate
2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate
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2012 Kia Soul

Posted by norak

2012 Kia Soul
2012 Kia Soul
When Scion released the second-generation xB in 2008, many fans of the original, smaller xB were disappointed and upset at the larger, heavier replacement. Ever the opportunist, Kia seized the moment and introduced its Soul urban crossover/tall mini-wagon/CUV/whatever around the same time, and offered fans of the genre something a little closer to the original xB in spirit. While we don't have any solid data on how many first-gen xB buyers opted for the Soul over the second-gen xB, we'd venture to guess it was more than a handful.
Well, fans of the Hamsters' favorite ride will have even more to get excited about for the 2012 model year, as Kia is introducing two brand-new engines to the Soul, both direct-injected, and offering solid improvements in power and fuel-efficiency over their predecessors. The base engine will be a 1.6 liter direct-injection four-cylinder producing 135 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. Mated exclusively with a new six-speed manual, this combination is good for 28 city and 34 highway miles per gallon. Not enough power for you? Try the 2.0-liter direct-injection engine, good for 160 horsepower and 143 lb.-ft., offering a still very good 27/33 rating. The added bonus with the bigger engine is the availability of a six-speed automatic transmission for the three-pedal-challenged.
In an update that's sure to be a hit with the Soul's target demographic, available LED running lights and taillight clusters on the Soul! (Exclaim) model add a touch of high-tech class to the exterior, along with projector-beam headlamps. New for 2012 is an Infinity premium audio system, and Kia's UVO (think Sync) system on the Soul! and Sport trims. An available premium package adds heated leather-trimmed front seats, automatic climate control, navigation, and push-button start. All Souls feature standard air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, and Sirius-ready radios.
Pricing info was not released, but prices are expected to be close to current models, comparably-equipped.

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2012 Kia Soul
2012 Kia Soul
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