Motor Shows Volkswagen

Detroit: Volkswagen New Compact Coupe

Volkswagen New Compact Coupe

Today Volkswagen presents its stunning New Compact Coupe at the NAIAS in Detroit. There’s a nice and cuddly green side to this car, but for now, let’s just focus on the looks.

Said to offer a hint of what to expect from Volkswagen’s new four-door Jetta, which is due for release later this year, the New Compact Coupe takes some definite styling cues from the VAG stable. The high crease shoulder line and C-pillar is akin to the Audi A5, albeit somewhat straightened out. The rear tail lights, too, take inspiration from the current A4 sedan. There’s even a bit of 3 Series coupe Hofmeister kink in the rear fixed pane window.

Overall, though, well, what a beautiful design. Every detail is bang on, from the squared off headlights, to sharply styled wing mirrors. In silver, under controlled lighting the New Compact Coupe looks just about perfect.

Just don’t look too closely at the light gray interior! Aside from the colouring, the rest of the interior is smartly laid out with nice details throughout. Ford could definitely learn a thing or two from the Germans here.

Now, to the car’s green credentials. Volkswagen has made sure the NCC will attract attention with its looks, so this will only help the company push their Hybrid technology under the car’s skin. The headline figures are fuel consumption of 4.2l/100km with CO2 emissions of just 98g/km. That CO2 figure is quite good, but the fuel consumption isn’t setting any records, with a handful of production cars already bettering those numbers.

Forget that, as the New Compact Coupe can use its 110kW 1.4 litre TSI petrol and 20kW electric engines to propel itself to 100km/h in 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 227km/h. Kind of pointless when you’re promoting a Hybrid car, but it’s good to know anyway. And, in Volkswagen’s words they want this car to be “sporty and fun to drive”.

More detail on the NCC’s clever gadgets and engine spec is given in the second press release below. Fourteen more images are also available after the jump. As always, simply click on the pic you like to access it in a wallpaper-friendly 2000px super image.

Lamborghini Random wallpapers

Random wallpapers: Lamborghini Miura SV

Lamborghini Miura SV

They say a picture says a thousand words. The Lamborghini Miura is beautiful. Nothing more need be said. Best to let the images do the talking (click on each image to load the wallpaper sized 2000x1320px versions).

You can see a Miura for yourself on the Historic Tribute display at the Melbourne International Motor Show (27 February–9 March).

Lamborghini Motor Shows

Gallardo LP560-4 drops its top down under

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder

The Lamborghini stand at the 75th Melbourne International Motor Show, which starts next week, is going to be a good one. Making its Australian debut will be the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder. The Gallardo is one of the finest looking supercars money can currently buy, if not the finest. And in soft top form it is just divine. That being the case, then, the sound from its 5.2 litre V10 is like divine intervention. It truly is a message from God!

With a lighter transmission, a reworked V10 engine, new suspension and updated all-wheel-drive system the LP560-4 Spyder can sprint to 100km/h in just four seconds flat. It has a top speed of 324km/h, and to keep Bob Brown happy, has dropped its fuel consumption by 18 per cent and reduced its CO2 emissions to boot.

Joining the Spyder on the Lambo stand will be the Gallardo coupé and the Murcielago LP640. The motor show’s Historic Tribute display will show off supercar royalty in the form of a 1960s Miura. I’m not sure the profile of any supercar has bettered the classic lines of this work of absolute perfection.

If you’re heading to show, make sure you check out the best Sant’Agata has to offer. I doubt you will be disappointed.

More pics after the jump. To download the press document from the 2008 LA Auto Show, including full specs; right click, save as HERE (100kb PDF).


Volkswagen Passat CC now in Australian showrooms

Volkswagen Passat CC

The Volkswagen Passat CC was first shown to the Australian public at the 2008 Sydney International Motor Show. Now, the sleek coupé-like Passat is available for sale at your local Volkswagen dealer. As revealed exclusively last year, pricing for the two available models is $54,990 for the 125kW 2.0 TDI and $65,990 for the 220kW 3.6 V6 FSI 4MOTION. Volkswagen’s now familiar six speed DSG transmission is the only option for either model.

The four-seater Passat CC offers some new technology for the Australian market, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist braking system and Adaptive Chassis Control. Deliberately positioned as a luxury vehicle, there’s plenty of bling on offer, too, such as a large glass panoramic roof and climate controlled leather seats.

The 2.0 litre TDI has a luxury car tax beating fuel consumption figure of 6.3l/100km. While the V6 is a more of a ‘I have power and I don’t care’ option, with a combined consumption of 10.5l/100km.

Full Australian press release below, along with more wallpaper sized pics (accessed by clicking on smaller versions).

Aston Martin Random wallpapers

Random wallpaper: Aston Martin DBR1

Aston Martin DBR1

Here at AUSmotive we’re pretty chuffed with the news that Aston Martin Racing is chasing outright success at this year’s Le Mans 24 hour race. Not so much because we like Astons, of course we do, but we also appreciate beautifully crafted machines. The inspiration for Aston Martin’s 2009 assault, the DBR1, certainly fits that criteria.

One of the most stunning racing cars of its era it also proved its credentials by powering Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori to victory in the 1959 Le Mans 24 hour race.

You can read more about the DBR1 at Wikipedia, while enjoying a couple of press gallery images (click each image to load 2000 x 1320px super image). Also included after the jump is a brief YouTube clip showing Stirling Moss behind the wheel of a DBR1 and discussing his memories of the car.

Motor Shows Porsche

2010 Porsche 911 GT3

2010 Porsche 911 GT3

The next release of the Porsche 911 GT3 will officially take place at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. European sales will commence in May.

If, like me, you’re unable to make the Geneva shindig, you’ll just have to make do with looking at the pretty pictures and reading the nice words Porsche have put together for us all.

Porsche, as ever, have kept the improvements under the skin. Of course, there are a few external tweaks, but not enough that anyone would really care, or notice immediately. Unlike its mad RSR brother, there’s no wild guards or cut out bonnets.

What this new 911 GT3 has, though, is more. More engine. More power. More grip. More speed. And, more gadgets. In this context Mies van der Rohe got it wrong, we like more. More is good.

Powered by a newly developed 3.8 litre flat six, the GT3 produces 320kW (435bhp), 15kW more than its predecessor. It will go from 0-100km/h in a wee 4.1 seconds, reaching 160km/h in a mere 8.2 seconds before reaching a v-max of 312km/h.

The white lab coats have also had a play with the electronic aids, and the stability and traction control systems can be switched off independently. According the press guff this gives “the driver unrestricted, individual control over the driving dynamics of his car”. Sabine Schmitz need not apply, it seems.

The lab coats didn’t stop there, either, as they found the time to add an optional lift system for the front axle, which can give sir 30mm more ground clearance at the touch of a button.

I want one!

UPDATE: Video footage of Walter Röhrl driving the GT3 can now be seen at

Motor Shows News Nissan

Nissan 370Z UK specifications

Nissan 370Z

Okay, the UK specs of Nissan’s stylish 370Z may not be of great use to Australian readers, but the car looks pretty damn good and these details will give an indication of what to expect when the new Zed hits the Australian market in May.

NOTE: Australian readers can see the 370Z for themselves at the upcoming Melbourne International Motor Show (27 February–9 March).

The 370Z is 32kg lighter than the outgoing 350Z and with a smidge over 240kW it isn’t likely to hang about once you press the loud pedal. As to be expected with any new Japanese sportscar there is some pretty nifty technology inside the 370Z. New features such as Synchro Rev Control, which matches revs automatically on gear changes for the 6 speed manual, are sure to delight the boy racer inside all of us. The 7 speed auto also has a similar feature, well actually, it’s probably pretty much the same thing, but Nissan have called it something new anyway, Downshift Rev Matching. While those opting for the optional 19″ RAYS forged alloy wheels will encourage nods of approval from the JDM crowd.

If you want to knock around looking at more pics, downloading stuff and checking out official videos then take a look at In the meantime you can enjoy plenty of pics and read the Nissan UK press release below.


MINI diesel due down under in 3rd quarter

MINI Cooper D

The diesel powered MINI Cooper D has finally been confirmed by BMW Australia. Scheduled for a 3rd quarter release the Cooper D shapes as being Australia’s greenest car. Claimed figures from MINI say the 1.6 litre turbo direct-injection four cylinder uses just 3.9l/100km of diesel on the combined cycle and emits a paltry CO2 figure of 104g/km.

Australia’s current green crusader, the smart fortwo mhd, uses an extra 0.5l/100km and emits CO2 at a rate of 105g/km.

These figures are all well and good, but MINI has developed its reputation for go kart handling and driving smiles. According to, the Cooper D doesn’t disappoint, they may not love the diesel Cooper, but they do say, “Overall, this particular Mini is a satisfyingly brisk machine, with impressive ‘legs’ for longer journeys.”

As is to be expected these days there is a raft of technology on board helping the Cooper D achieve its green credentials. Of course, the MINI marketing team haven’t missed their chance to get in on the act either. The Cooper D marks the introduction of “MINIMALISM” to the Australian market (MINI’s version of BMW’s EfficientDynamics). Away from the spin that means the Cooper D will have features such as the Auto Start Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and a Shift Point Display that prompts the driver to change gears at the optimum time.

That’s the words covered, what about the numbers? The Cooper D offers a moderate 80kW of power, but an impressive 240Nm of torque is available from 1750rpm. There’s also an extra 20Nm torque on tap from MINI’s familiar overboost system. The diesel powerplant weighs in at a smidge over 123kg and the exhaust system is fitted with a particulates filter which helps the car achieve the Euro 4 emissions standard. With a theoretical range of 1025km from its 40 litre tank, the Cooper D could make it from Melbourne to Sydney on a single tank of fuel.

Pretty cool, huh. MINI expects to sell around 220 Cooper Ds in 2009, with a firm release date yet to be confirmed. Stay tuned for more details, in the meantime, you know the drill—more pics and press blurb after the jump.


Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss

Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss

Every now and then Mercedes-Benz produces a car that jumps out of their range, slams down your front door, smacks you in the face, then steals your wife and daughter on its way out. In the past this has been done through cars such as the CLK 63 AMG Black Series. Astonishingly, Benz have even thrown out the rule book from the Black range. At least that’s the only way I can describe how on earth they (or rather McLaren) came up with the Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss, which is currently on show at the NAIAS in Detroit.

Spy shots and video were revealed on in July 2008 and even then you could sense this car would be almost like any other. (Oh, you must follow that link to hear the brutality of the car’s engine!) Certainly, its unlike any Mercedes-Benz road car in recent memory. I mean, just look at it! It’s stark raving mad, with crease lines all over the carbon fibre body, side exit exhausts that look like they could fire you straight to hell and a bonnet soooo long that it must have the Luftwaffe hidden away in some sort of Trojan horse disguise. Judging by the sound of the car’s supercharged 5.4 litre V8 it definitely sounds that way.

Stirling’s angry engine instills 478kW (641bhp) of fear into its driver, and plants said driver back in the seat with the brute force of 820Nm of torque. It’s said to do the 100km/h sprint in just 3.5 seconds on to a mammoth top speed of 350km/h. I’ve often said, you don’t quite get the right experience of wind in your hair until you’re doing 350 clicks. Just as well, then, that the SLR Stirling Moss has no roof.

Mr Moss’ latest wheels are driven by a relatively low tech sounding five speed auto, but I guess it needs to have balls of steel, and then some, to deal with the crazy power at hand.

Speaking of crazy, you’ll need around AU$1.5M if you’re to get your hands on a set of keys. Oh yeah, you’ll also need to already own an SLR in order to be “allowed” buy a Stirling Moss, limited to just 75 models. The SLR Stirling Moss also marks the end of McLaren’s deal with Mercedes-Benz for the forseeable future. They have certainly gone out with a bang!

More images, press release and promo video clip after the jump.

Ferrari Formula 1

Felipe Massa debuts Ferrari 2009 F1 car

Felipe Massa debuts Ferrari F60 Formula One car

Most F1 fans will be up on the news that Ferrari launched their new 2009 F1 car, the F60, a few days ago. Video footage has recently surfaced showing Felipe Massa driving the F60 around Mugello. TheYouTube clip, along with a few photos, are shown below.

The cars looks will quite different in season 2009, with the return of slick tyres and radical changes to the aerodynamic regulations. Just check how narrow the rear wing looks on the F60 for an example. And, with the introduction of the KERS regenerative braking system all F1 teams are working their backsides off to make it to the starting grid for the Australian Grand Prix in late March.

Massa undertook a relatively light practice session of around 100km, and explained the steep learning curve ahead, “The car is completely different to what we were used to up to last year.

“Today was not the day to do 100 laps and post times because when the rules change so greatly from one year to another, like KERS, for example, you have a completely different feeling for driving the car. In the end, we used it a little to start with and gradually increased the power and this is very positive.

“At the moment, we are at the start of a different cycle in Formula One and it won’t be an easy experience,” he said.

Don’t forget the video footage can be viewed after the jump.

Source: FerrariWorld and


Audi Sportback Concept wows Motown crowds

Audi Sportback Concept
Audi Sportback Concept

Audi has revealed yet another Sportback model at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But, unlike the A1 and A3 Sportback (seen here in S3 guise), this new concept is a large saloon, almost 5 metres in length. Think in between A6 and A8 sizing if it were to slot into Audi’s current model lineup. A7 perhaps?

So why call this a Sportback? Audi’s press guff says, “The Audi Sportback concept show car is now rolling up to the starting line with a dual mission: As suggested by the name, it symbolizes the Sportback principle in its purest form in the combination of elegance, sportiness and variability.”

Well, however they sell it, this new metal looks pretty damn good. Rolling on 21 inch alloys the side profile is stunning and has an aggressive fastback-like feel. There’s a bit of Jaguar there, and even a hint of Mustang if you try hard enough. From the front, though, the car’s lineage becomes clear, with Audi’s increasingly familiar all-LED headlights, flared guards and strong A5-inspired shoulder line.

The speedboat-like timber interior is all show car and may not be to everyone’s taste. Although, it works well in a show environment.

The Sportback Concept is powered by a 165kW/550Nm 3-litre V6 TDI, fitted with 7 speed S tronic transmission, is said to consume less than 6l/100km. In an Australian context that would see the car benefit from Luxury Car Tax exemptions. Emissions, too, are quite good, adhering to EU6 guidelines, which aren’t scheduled for introduction until 2014.

Of course, there’s plenty of electronic trickery wrapped inside the gorgeous shell, so make sure you check out the press release below while admiring the images on offer.


Der Neue Golf GTI added to UK website

Volkswagen Golf GTI - UK website

Information, alebit limited, on the Golf VI GTI has been added to the UK website. There’s not a hell of a lot to see, although the gallery is okay and the GTI looks great in red. But, it’s nice to see a classic inspired three-door white GTI on the homepage. (Click HERE for AUSmotive’s Golf VI GTI image gallery.)

There’s still been nothing official from Volkswagen Australia in regards to when we can expect the Golf VI in Australia. However, don’t be surprised if the vanilla models are launched at the Melbourne International Motor Show in March, ready for immediate delivery. There’s also plenty of speculation the GTI will be ready for Australian deliveries in October or November. I’m not so sure on the dates for the GTI, but we’ll see. As soon as I hear anything I will let you know.