OFFICIAL: The new BMW 1 Series hatch

BMW 1 Series hatch (F20)

Here are the official words and images for BMW’s new world order 1 Series. For now, we’re still in rear-wheel drive mode, but don’t forget there is a front-wheel drive 1er is on the way, too.

The slightly bloated F20 1 Series is 85mm longer and 17mm wider than the E87 model it replaces. Overall height remains the same. Other measurements of note to change include the wheelbase, 30mm longer, and, significantly, the front track is now 51mm wider and the rear track has had 72mm added. All that means there’s now an extra 21mm legroom for rear seat passengers and the rear cargo area now offers 360 litres of space, up from 330 litres.

Five four-cylinder engines are offered in this initial release and, for the first time in the compact class, an 8-speed auto is available. The 135kW 120d is the quickest model announced to date and can reach 100km/h in 7.2 seconds. You can thank a generous 380Nm of torque for that.

There are two other diesel engines provided, as well. The 118d has 105kW/320Nm and reaches 100km/h in 8.9 seconds. The entry-level 116d offers 85kW/260Nm and requires 10.3 seconds to reach the speed limit. All feature common rail injection, TwinPower Turbo technology and use around 4.5 litres of diesel per 100km.

Completing the engine range is a 125kW/250Nm 118i (7.4s 0-100) and a 100kW/220Nm 116i (8.5s 0-100). Like the diesels, the petrol engines rely on forced induction and boast fuel consumption in the high 5s per 100km.

So far it looks like the new 1 Series isn’t winning many fans for its looks. We’re still convinced feelings will soften once we start seeing the 1er on the road, but tend to agree it’s certainly not the prettiest car BMW has ever made.

After the break there’s a concise press release and a massive image gallery of 85 pics to help you get used to the new look.

UPDATE: The press material released by BMW Australia only lists info on the 118i, 116i and 118d; surely giving a hint to their model plans for the F20. They’ve also offered a far more detailed press release, which has now been added below.

UPDATE 6 June: BMW Australia is expected to launch the new 1 Series some time after October this year.


Volkswagen Jetta four-door sedan rendering

Volkswagen Jetta VI sedan rendering

US based site VWvortex brings us some great coverage of the New Compact Coupe, including this rendering of how they expect the next Jetta sedan will look. In fact, the report says the profile of the show car is pretty much exactly the same as the final shape for the production version of the four-door Jetta sedan, which is expected to go on sale in the US before October.

This is clearly Volkswagen’s best effort in recent years at making the Jetta a proper stand alone model, rather than simply “a Golf with a boot”. Moving away from platform sharing, to a degree, VW will rather employ component sharing across its model range. This Jetta, for example, has a wheelbase around 75mm longer than the Golf VI, but it will share components from the Polo, Passat and everything in between.

As you can see from the images of the New Compact Coupe, interior styling has also been given a hand to establish an identity of its own. Sure, it’s all Volkswagen design language, as you would expect. Now, though, the Golf and Jetta will appear as siblings, rather than identical twins in different outfits.

More on the New Compact Coupe from the Detroit show can be seen at the VWvortex gallery.

UPDATE 13 January: For more Jetta speculation head on over to The Motor Report.

[Source: VWvortex]


2009 Volkswagen Golf image gallery

2009 Volkswagen Mk6 Golf

With just a few days until the official Australian launch of the Mk6 Golf here is AUSmotive’s biggest image gallery yet.

The gallery features 50 images and showcases 5 door and 3 door models, interior details and cutaway graphics, with a few other tidbits thrown in as well. You can click on all images to load a 2000px super image, perfect for wallpapers and desktop backgrounds.

For more information on the new Golf read these earlier AUSmotive entries:

Aston Martin Motorsports

Aston Martin Racing chase history at Le Mans

Aston Martin LMP1

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Aston Martin’s sole Le Mans 24 hour race victory. To honour the feats of Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori the British company are chasing outright success with this stunning LMP1 racer. Racing cars with iconic Gulf livery always look great, but this creation from Aston Martin takes the look to a whole new level. It’s just brilliant!

Trouble is, there’s a lot more to racing than simply looking the part. Aston is the current Le Mans holder of the GT1 class, but to show how serious they are with their outright assault they will not be running any GT1 cars in 2009. It’s all or nothing in the outright category.

The LMP1 will use the proven V12 engine from the class winning DBR9 GT1 cars. The chassis is based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola.

The 2009 Le Mans 24 hour race will take place over the weekend of 13–14 June.

Full press statement after the jump.


2009 Audi S3 image gallery

2009 Audi S3 coupe

Hope you enjoy this selection of images of the 2009 Audi S3 range, including images of the familiar 3-door Coupé and the newly introduced 5-door Sportback. Also included at the end of the gallery is Audi’s press release from the Paris Motor Show and technical drawing of both models.

Click on an image to load a 2000x1320px super image.


Nissan GT-R image gallery – Australian delivery from April 2009

R35 Nissan GT-R

Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll be well aware of the hype and publicity created by the Nissan GT-R. Now, in an official capacity at least, the GT-R will be heading down under. The country that gave the car its Godzilla nickname (courtesy of Wheels magazine) will be in Australian Nissan showrooms in April 2009. Okay, a select few Nissan showrooms—the GT-R will be sold at just 11 Nissan High Performance Centres.

The GT-R will be available in two specifications, GT-R ($148,800) and GT-R Premium ($152,800). The Premium model doesn’t add any extra power, just a few bling items like smoked alloy wheels, better sound system and the like. There will be a choice of six colours, Super Silver, Vibrant Red, Gun Metallic, Black Obsidian, Titanium, and Ivory Pearl.

Orders will be taken at the Australian International Motor Show from 9 October. For Nissan’s full release and a massive image gallery, comprising of 30 pictures at 2000x1320px, make sure you read below…

Formula 1 Random wallpapers

Random wallpaper: Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit

To celebrate the Belgian Grand Prix here is a 1920×1200 pixel aerial photo of the awesome Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit. The current track is a fraction over 7km, but the original layout was over 14km in length. The Belgian Grand Prix was first held here in 1924 and the Eau Rouge–Radillon corners—part of the original layout—form one of the most famous sections of Grand Prix track in the world. Rivalled, perhaps, only by the Monaco street circuit. However, it is the Blanchimont corner on the back straight that drivers find the more fearsome corner, according to Wikipedia. More detail on the track can be found on the official Formula 1 website.

To download the 1920×1200 pixel version of this image, simply click on the image above.

Credit for the image goes to Chubbennaitor, sourced from Wikipedia.