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Qoros GQ3, from China to Europe.

The new compact sedan from Qoros has officially been dubbed GQ3. To be revealed at next year's Geneva Motor Show before going on sale in China in the second half of of 2013, the GQ3 is a C-segment sedan whose selling points are meant to be a spacious interior, lots of technology and five-star crash ratings on the Euro NCAP tests. If you're wondering about the name, each element signifies brand nomenclature: Qoros sedans will all begin with "G," the letter "Q" stands for the company and will feature in every car's name, and the number is the segment, "3" representing compacts.

Even though it's a compact car and those wheel arches can swallow 19-inch rims. Beyond spaciousness, the interior's main attraction is the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system utilizing in-house software, technology and graphics. 

The arrival to the Europe is scheduled for the second half of 2013.
Qoros want to add new models to its range at close intervals of six months after the release of GQ3, scheduled for the second half of 2013.

Car of the Year 2013 eight finalists

Ford B-Max, Hyundai i30, Mercedes Classe A, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Toyota GT86, Volkswagen Golf e Volvo V40. These are the eight finalists of «Car of the Year 2013».

The decision will now be presented to a jury of 58 specialist journalists representing 22 European countries.

Out of the list were the names of "weight" as the new Audi A3, BMW 3 Series and Toyota Auris, or even the Porsche Boxster, Fiat 500L, Kia Cee'd, Mazda 6 and Opel Adam.

The winner will be announced on March 4, the opening of another edition of the Geneva Motor Show.

Rolls Royce Rally Car

BMW 4 series revealed

BMW will add a new model to its lineup known as the 4-Series.
The 4-Series concept will make its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and BMW has just released the first official details of the upcoming concept.

The new 4-Series will take its design inspiration from the 6-Series Coupe and it will offer greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation from the 3-Series. It will also be longer and feature a lowered roof line.

BMW offered no details on the engine lineup just yet, but the production version will be offered with the same engine lineup as the 3-Series sedan.

Jaguar XFR-S revealed

The XFR-S is the fastest and most powerful saloon that Jaguar has ever made, pumping out around 550 hp from a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from the XKR-S. The car will also recieve a stiffened and lowered suspension, upgraded brakes, and a full body kit to help the aerodynamics.

Carbon fiber accents are found around the whole car, while larger front air intakes and lowered side skirts complete the body kit.

BMW M8 is on the Way

 BMW should bet on a successor to the "classic" M1, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who made sensation between 1978 and 1981, a period that had only 456 units produced. 

According to Automobile, the super coupe Bavarian brand, which never had a successor (despite already being produced other M models), named M8. The production model in question will serve to mark 100 years of the BMW.

With arrival in 2016, has reached M1 Hommage concept take the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2008. But this never came to pass that stage. 

Still no confirmation on the propellant to be used, but speculates that it may be related to the system to be used in hybrid i8. At stake could be a V8 engine working in conjunction with electric motors for a total output of 600 hp. 

In order to save development costs, also the body of M8 should be a modified version of the i8, using carbon fiber and aluminum.

Toyota Supra Successor Confirmed

Rumors of a Toyota Supra revival have been circulating for years, but engineer Tetsuya Tada has confirmed Toyota President Akio Toyoda has asked him to "make a successor to the Supra as soon as possible."

Speaking with Asia One, Tada said the company has approved two new sports cars which will be positioned above and below the GT 86. Tada already confirmed one of them will be the Supra revival, but the other remains a bit of a mystery. 

A timetable hasn't been set, but Tada said "The GT 86 needed five years to develop, so at least five years is required for the others." The Supra successor will take priority, so the entry-level sports car is likely a ways off.

Supra might be developed in partnership with Tesla and could then be an all-electric sports car.

New Maserati Quattroporte unveiled

Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul joins Need For Speed movie

Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul has been cast as the lead in Need for Speed, DreamWorks’ action film based on the Electronic Arts video game.

DreamWorks also set a Feb. 7, 2014, release date for the car-racing project, which Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) is attached to direct.
The movie will be “rooted in the tradition of the great car-culture films of the '70s while being extremely faithful to the spirit of the video game franchise," a DreamWorks release said. "In Need for Speed, the cars are hot, the racing is intense, and the story keeps players at the edge of their seat.”

Vettel wins Indian GP

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel cruised to his fourth consecutive win and extended his lead in this year's title race to 13 points when he steered his Red Bull car to victory in the Indian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old German dominated the race from start to finish as he led from pole to the chequered flag to come home ahead of nearest championship rival, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso meanwhile took the runners-up spot, passing Mark Webber for second in the final third of the race. Lewis Hamilton was fourth, finishing right on the tail of Webber, ahead of Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna complete the points' scorers.

1. Sebastian Vettel     Germany    Red Bull-Renault    60 laps 1hr 31m 10.744s
2. Fernando Alonso     Spain     Ferrari-Ferrari     +0m 09.4s
3. Mark Webber     Australia    Red Bull-Renault    +0m 13.2s
4. Lewis Hamilton     Britain     McLaren-Mercedes    +0m 13.9s
5. Jenson Button     Britain     McLaren-Mercedes    +0m 26.2s
6. Felipe Massa     Brazil     Ferrari-Ferrari     +0m 44.6s
7. Kimi Raikkonen     Finland     Lotus-Renault     +0m 45.2s
8. Nico Hulkenberg     Germany    Force India-Mercedes    +0m 54.9s
9. Romain Grosjean     France     Lotus-Renault     +0m 56.1s
10. Bruno Senna     Brazil     Williams-Renault    +1m 14.9s

Hirvonen wins in Italy

Finland's Mikko Hirvonen won the Rally of Italy on Sunday in the absence of Citroen team mate and nine-times world champion Sebastien Loeb. Was Hirvonen's first victory for Citroen and 15th of his career.

Frenchman Loeb hit rocks and retired on Friday on the first full day of the rally in Sardinia, the penultimate round of the championship and first event since he retained his title in France earlier this month.
Russian Evgeny Novikov was second, one minute 20 seconds behind, with Estonian Ott Tanak third, both in privately-entered Fords.

Result from the 2012 Rally of Italy

1 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen 3hr23min54.900
2 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) Ford +01min20.6
3 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +02min21.1
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford +03min42.9
5 Sebastien Ogier (France) Skoda +04min27.5
6 Chris Atkinson (Australia) Mini +05min22.2
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Skoda +06min12.5
8 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +09min29.3
9 Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford +09min52.3
10 Luca Pedersoli (Italy) Citroen +20min35.6

Drivers and Constructor points after Rally of Italy

1 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen Total World Rally Team - 244
2 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen Total World Rally Team - 198
3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Mads Ostberg - 137
4 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford World Rally Team - 133
5 Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford World Rally Team - 124
6 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 87
7 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Citroen Junior World Rally Team - 53
8 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 52
9 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Czech Ford Rally Team - 46
10 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport - 41

Nissan GT-R Launch Control

Vettel wins Korean GP

World champion Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix in a Red Bull one-two finish on Sunday to take the overall Formula One lead from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with four races remaining.

It was Vettel’s third straight race victory after wins in Singapore and Japan. Vettel heads the standings with 215 points, six more than Alonso.

Australian Mark Webber, who had started on pole position but was overtaken by his team mate off the grid into the first corner, finished second to anchor the first one-two of the season by any team.

South Korea's 'Gangnam Style' rapper Psy waved the chequered flag as Vettel crossed the finish line.

The 17th of 20 races, the Indian Grand Prix, is scheduled Oct. 28 in New Delhi.
1. Sebastian Vettel     Germany    Red Bull-Renault    55 laps 1hr 36m 28.651s
2. Mark Webber     Australia    Red Bull-Renault    +0m 08.2s
3. Fernando Alonso     Spain     Ferrari-Ferrari     +0m 13.9s
4. Felipe Massa     Brazil     Ferrari-Ferrari     +0m 20.1s
5. Kimi Raikkonen     Finland     Lotus-Renault     +0m 36.7s
6. Nico Hulkenberg     Germany    Force India-Mercedes    +0m 45.3s
7. Romain Grosjean     France     Lotus-Renault     +0m 54.8s
8. Daniel Ricciardo     Australia    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    +1m 09.5s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne     France     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    +1m 11.7s
10. Lewis Hamilton     Britain     McLaren-Mercedes    +1m 19.6s

Toyota recalls 7.43 million cars

Toyota says it is recalling 7.43 million vehicles globally, including the U.S., Japan and Europe, for a faulty power-window switch that may stop working in more than a dozen models, produced from 2005 through 2010.

Toyota said that the switch on the driver's side didn't have grease applied evenly during production, causing friction and sometimes smoke. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the problem.

In total European market, this operation involves about 1.4 million units, while in the United States and in China the number reaches 2.47 million cars and 1.4 million, respectively.

Sébastien Loeb clinches ninth consecutive WRC title

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena have won Rallye de France Alsace to secure their ninth FIA World Rally Championship crown.

In the process they have helped Citroen secure the WRC manufacturers title for an eighth time.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished second for Ford with Mikko Hirvonen adding to Citroen’s joy in third place.

But by reaching the finish of the run Sebastien Loeb claimed the overall victory - his 75th in the FIA World Rally Championship - to secure in his ninth WRC drivers title with Citroen becoming WRC manufacturers champion for an eighth time.
Belgium Thierry Neuville moved up two places from sixth overnight to fourth in his Citroen after winning Sunday's first three stages, as Spaniard Daniel Sordo lost ground after the powersteering on his Mini Cooper failed.

Rallye de France-Alsace: Overall standings after Stage 22 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     3hours 32mins 53.0secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala    Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +00mins 15.5secs M
3. Mikko Hirvonen    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +00mins 44.1secs M
4. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC     +01mins 07.3secs M
5. Mads Ostberg    Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +01mins 16.4secs M
6. Ott Tanak     M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +02mins 27.9secs M
7. Evgeny Novikov    M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +05mins 51.6secs M
8. Chris Atkinson    WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +06mins 42.4secs
9. Martin Prokop    Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 46.8secs
10. Sebastien Chardonnet FFSA Citroen WRT DS3 WRC    +08mins 59.7secs

Schumacher announces retirement

Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher said that he will retire at the end of the current season. 

Just last week, Mercedes-Benz announced that Lewis Hamilton would be replacing Schumacher for the 2013 F1 season. Schumacher didn't completely dominate the rumors of his taking a spot with another racing outfit next season. I

In an interview with the Associated Press following the Japanese Gran Prix, Schumacher recounted, "I feel I am still able to compete at my best level but the time has come to say goodbye and this time can be forever." 

Schumacher retired for the first time following the 2006 F1 season, choosing to return with Mercedes in 2010. 
Despite being the most successful driver in the history of the sport, Schumacher has underwhelmed in the intervening years since his comeback.

Hyundai returns to WRC with i20

Vettel wins Singapore GP

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won an incident-packed Singapore Grand Prix ahead of McLaren driver Jenson Button on Sunday night.

Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso was third but McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, second in the standings heading into the weekend, retired early with a gearbox problem.

This allowed Vettel to move to second place in the championship while his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber remained fifth after finishing tenth in the race for a single point.

Webber was one place behind fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo in a Toro Rosso.
Alonso increased his championship lead from 27 to 29 points with six races to go.

Numerous safety car periods meant the race finished on the two-hour time limit rather than distance covered.

Force India's Paul di Resta finished a career-best fourth while Mercedes' Michael Schumacher retired after a heavy crash into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           2h00:26.144
 2.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +     8.959
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    15.227
 4.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    19.063
 5.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    34.759
 6.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    35.700
 7.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +    36.600
 8.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    42.800
 9.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    45.800
10.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    47.100
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +    50.600
12.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
13.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
14.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
15.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap (*)
16.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
17.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
18.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    2 laps
19.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +    2 laps

Latvala wins Rally GB

Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala won the Wales Rally GB on Sunday, ending reigning champion Sebastien Loeb’s run of five-straight victories in the World Rally Championship.

Latvala won by 27.8 seconds, his first taste of victory since February in an otherwise disappointing season and the first win for his Ford team since Portugal in April.
Citroen’s Loeb took second place by just 0.9 seconds from Latvala’s teammate Petter Solberg, with Mads Ostberg fourth.

The result increases Loeb’s championship lead over teammate Mikko Hirvonen and leaves the Frenchman in a near-impregnable position with three rallies remaining.

Hirvonen was fifth but took the three bonus points for being fastest on the Power Stage. Russian driver Evgeny Novikov came in sixth, working with replacement co-driver Ilka Minor because of an injury to his regular co-driver.

Wales Rally GB: Overall standings

1. Jari-Matti Latvala    Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     3hours 03mins 40.3secs M
2. Sebastien Loeb    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +00mins 27.8secs M
3. Petter Solberg    Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +00mins 28.7secs M
4. Mads Ostberg    Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +01mins 10.6secs M
5. Mikko Hirvonen    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +01mins 29.5secs M
6. Evgeny Novikov    M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +03mins 37.0secs M
7. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC     +04mins 11.9secs M
8. Matthew Wilson    M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +06mins 00.4secs
9. Martin Prokop    Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 58.9secs
10. Nasser Al-Attiyah    Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC     +09mins 32.1secsM

Five years ago Colin McRae flew into eternity

The September 15, 2007 disappeared one of the best rally pilots in the history: Colin Steele McRae. The legendary Scottish marveled millions around the world with his talent and his uncompromising style of attack permanent, something that brought him much admiration from the public. The 1995 world title is just a small part of the story of Colin McRae, so well portrayed in this beautiful tribute.

2013 Volkswagen Golf VII revealed

Loeb wins in Germany

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb puts in another masterful performance in Germany to claim victory.

Loeb led throughout the three-days and eventually finished the event 2 minutes up on Jari-Matti Latvala, who was 'best of the rest' for Ford. It was Loeb's fifth win in succession - and his ninth in total in Trier. He also took the honours in the Power Stage too.

Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile took the final spot on the podium, 31.3 seconds further back, followed by Mads Ostberg, Chris Atkinson, Sebastien Ogier, Andreas Mikkelsen and Nasser Al-Attiyah in positions 4 through to 8. Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo rounded out the top ten.

1. Sebastien Loeb     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     3hours 41mins 52.4secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala     Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +02mins 00.1secs M
3. Mikko Hirvonen     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +02mins 31.4secs M
4. Mads Ostberg     Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +03mins 24.4secs M
5. Chris Atkinson    WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +09mins 10.4secs
6. Sebastien Ogier     VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +09mins 50.8secs
7. Andreas Mikkelsen     VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +12mins 22.7secs
8. Nasser Al-Attiyah     Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC     +12mins 50.4secs M
9. Ott Tanak     M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +13mins 01.3secs M
10. Dani Sordo     Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Coopers Works WRC +14mins 17.3secs

McLaren MP4-12C-based X-1 created

This is the McLaren X-1, a dramatic one-of-a-kind production car based on the McLaren MP4-12C that was dreamed up by an anonymous McLaren enthusiast. McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the McLaren division behind delivering bespoke projects, turned it into reality, and it was seen in public for the first and only time at Pebble Beach last weekend.

It was one of those very special customers - someone who already owns a McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and 12C - who began discussions with McLaren chief Ron Dennis three years ago to build something completely unique. Apparently the brief was to create something with the capability of the 12C, but wrapped up in something that reflected his "needs and personality".

The design of the X-1 is credited to McLaren’s RCA graduate Hong Yeo, who won an internal and external design competition overseen by Stephenson. The styling took 18 months to sign off, and the bespoke body necessitated homologation, high-speed and track testing, and a full CFD aerodynamic testing schedule to ensure it was durable on the road.

Srrounded by bespoke carbon panels and brightwork machined from solid aluminium, like the shoulder rails, the headlight ‘eyebrows' and even the McLaren Airbrake. And as you can see, those carbon panels cover the rear wheels too, accessed via - in McLaren's own words - "some of the most gorgeous hinges you've ever seen".

The X-1 is wider and longer than the MP4 but weighs around the same (1,400kg), using the same interior architecture, albeit with some personalisation such as a titanium weave and tufted carpets.

Underneath, the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 remains, powering the rear wheels, replete with 621bhp and many torques. It's also been thoroughly homologated for road use (it was tested for 625 miles) and because it's been nailed together by McLaren, expect it to offer Space Station levels of build quality.

Violent crash Pikes Peak 2012

Loeb wins in Finland

Sébastien Loeb dominated the Finns at their own game to take his 73rd career WRC win. 

The Frenchman, chasing his ninth successive championship, finished ahead of local favourite and team mate Mikko Hirvonen with another Finn, Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, in third place.
Loeb finished the final Ouninpohja 2 stage 6.1 seconds ahead of Hirvonen, who lost precious time in the morning when he hit a tree. Latvala was a further 28.9 adrift.
Norway's Petter Solberg was fourth in a Ford.
The victory was Loeb's sixth in eight races this season, 73rd of his career, and he led from start to finish. The Frenchman now has 171 points to Hirvonen's 128 with five rounds remaining.
"It's very satisfying to win in Finland," said the Frenchman. "I didn't come here especially to win, I came for points because it's very difficult to beat the Finnish drivers.
"It was a great fight with Mikko, a one-two for Citroen and great for the championship."

1 Loeb
2 Hirvonen +6.1s
3 Latvala +35.0s
4 Solberg +56.1s
5 Ostberg +2:32.1s
6 Tanak + 2:47.6s
7 Rantanen +4:51.7s
8 Ketomaa + 6:01.9s
9 Prokop + 6:04.3s
10 Ogier + 8:46.0s

Craig Breen crash Finland

Porsche Most Appealing Car Brand of 2012

Porsche insists on keeping in the first place the most popular brands in the United States. This is the eighth time the German manufacturer earns the highest score in the study 'APEAL' by JD Power and Associates, and is therefore considered the brand more attractive by the Americans.

Customers voted for the 911 model as the best sports car in the segment of 'premium' and Cayenne as the most 'coveted' of 'premium crossover SUV'. The two vehicles were evaluated in ten different categories, with regard to design, comfort, dynamic performance and suitability for everyday use.

The 2012 APEAL Study - "Car, Performance, Execution and Design" was conducted by opinion research center and JD Power and Associates.

All of the winners of the 2012 APEAL study by JD Power and Associates:
Sub Compact Car - Chevrolet Sonic
Compact Car – Chevrolet Volt
Compact Crossover SUV – Mini Countryman
Compact Multi Purpose Vehicle – Kia Soul
Compact Premium Sporty Car – Mercedes SLK
Compact Sporty Car - Mini Coupe/Roadster
Entry Premium Car – BMW Série 3
Entry Premium Crossover SUV – Range Rover Evoque
Large Car - Dodge Charger
Large Crossover SUV - Ford Expedition
Large Pickup - Chevrolet Avalanche
Large Premium Car - Audi A8
Large Premium Crossover SUV - Infiniti QX56
Midsize Car - Kia Optima
Midsize Car - Volkswagen Passat
Midsize Crossover SUV - Ford Flex
Midsize Pickup - Nissan Frontier
Midsize Premium Car - Audi A6
Midsize Premium Crossover SUV - Porsche Cayenne
Midsize Sporty - Dodge Challenger
Midsize Van - Nissan Quest
Premium Sporty - Porsche 911

Aspid GT-21 Invictus, Spanish supercar with the Germanic soul

Aspid has released this - the GT-21 Invictus. It sounds like a hedge fund, but it's actually a 450bhp rear-wheel-drive GT that'll get from 0-60mph in under three seconds, top out at 189mph and pull 1.6g on the skidpad. 

Despite the hoofing great BMW-sourced 4.4-litre V8, Aspid's kept weight to a piffling 989.7kg by using a composite panels and a spaceframe chassis. And they claim that, despite the diminutive mass, there's accommodation for four actual humans as well as room for modest luggage. 

Underneath, there's a set of clever pushrod dampers, all-aluminium double wishbones, adaptive airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes.

The company hopes to have the Invictus ready for 2014, but there's no word on pricing either.

France's PSA Peugeot-Citroen slashing 8,000 jobs

 Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen is slashing 8,000 jobs in France and closing an iconic site north of Paris. Union members said company management announced the job cuts and closure plan during a meeting with the works council. The restructuring plan includes the closure of its Aulnay-sous-Bois factory. Unions vowed to try to fight back, and plan protests later Thursday. The company is trying to save €1 billion ($1.2 billion) this year as it struggles to compete in Europe's fiercely competitive car market. It is suffering particularly amid a slump in sales in the recession-hit south of Europe. Its sales plunged 20 percent in Europe in the first quarter. It is hoping a new alliance with General Motors Corp. will allow it to return to long-term profitability.

Welcome to the all-new fourth-generation Renault Clio

Loeb wins Rally New Zealand

Sebastien Loeb extended his World Rally Championship lead to 38 points as he took his fifth win in seven 2012 rallies in New Zealand.

The eight-time defending world champion finished 29.6 seconds ahead of Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen.

The win once again underlined the Frenchman's utter dominance in the sport over the past eight years.

"It's been a long weekend and my driving has not been perfect," Loeb said.

"We made a few mistakes in the closing power stage, when we were pushing too hard but the most important thing is that we have won."

Norway's Petter Solberg finished third in the fastest Ford and said tyre selection on the opening day cost him dear.

"We came here to win but a third place is still good so we must be happy with that," he said. "The team and the car is fantastic, but we just need to keep going and hopefully one day soon a win will follow."

 Rally New Zealand: Overall standings after Stage 22 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 04mins 51.2secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 29.6secs M
3. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 36.4secs M
4. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 13.6secs M
5. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +02mins 42.4secs M
6. Dani Sordo Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Cooper Works WRC +03mins 03.1secs
7. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +04mins 52.9secs M
8. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +09mins 36.4secs
9. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10mins 30.3secs
10. Manfred Stohl Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 26.3secs M

Anthony Davidson Huge Crash 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours

2013 WRC calendar

Next year's FIA World Rally Championship will include a return to Australia as part of a 13-event calendar.

Although the dates of the events have yet to be finalised, has adopted the calendar proposed by the WRC Commission.

In addition to Australia, Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Monte Carlo, Portugal, Spain and Sweden will all host a round of the WRC in 2013.

The definitive calendar will be published once logistics and the calendars of other FIA championships are taken into account to avoid date clashes where possible.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT

The introduction of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT effectively announces the ouster of previous versions of the SLS AMG.
The vehicle is equipped with the same 6.2-liter V8 from the current SLS model, but delivers an additional 20 horsepower at 583. Torque remains consistent at 479 pound-feet, and the same seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch gearbox is carried over. The GT’s maximum speed is still electronically limited to 197 mph, while the 0 to 60 acceleration time yields 3.6 seconds. Enhancements are also found on the car’s adaptive performance suspension, resulting in stiffer springs and dampers that are more aggressively tuned. Interior upgrades include the new optional Designo style package, offered in three different color combinations and featuring the finest leather upholstery with contrast stitching and diamond quilt patterns on the seats and doors.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT will hit dealer showrooms starting in November.

Loeb wins in Greece

Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena have won the Acropolis Rally for a third time following a faultless display in their Citroen DS3 WRC.
After seeing off determined challenges from Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg, Loeb was able to win with ease, despite a late scare when he and Elena had to stop to change a puncture tyre on stage 20.
Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen made it a Citroen one-two with Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila claiming the final podium spot for the factory Ford team.
It was Loeb’s fourth victory in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Acropolis Rally:
1. Sebastien Loeb     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     4hours 42mins 03.3secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen     Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +00mins 40.0secs M
3. Jari-Matti Latvala     Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +03mins 04.8secs M
4. Mads Ostberg     Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +06mins 16.4secs
5. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC     +07mins 46.5secs
6. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC     +09mins 41.4secs M
7. Sebastien Ogier     VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +12mins 59.9secs
8. Yazeed Al-Rajhi     Ford Fiesta RCC     +20mins 12.2secs
9. Ott Tanak     M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +23mins 18.9secs M
10. Abdulaziz Alkuwari     Seashore Qatar WRT MINI John Cooper Works WRC +28mins 40.5secs

Laguna Seca Ferrari 458 flies in Ferrari Racing Days 2012


Martin Scorsese to produce Silver Ghost film about Rolls-Royce

Oscar-winners Martin Scorsese and Richard Attenborogh are teaming up to make a film called Silver Ghost, based, in part, on the lives of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. The screenplay was written by Jeffrey Caine and playwright Sharman Macdonald, who also happens to be actress Kiera Knightley's mom.

According to
Top Gear, the biopic will be set at the dawn of the 20th Century, during the seminal days of the auto industry. But the report says the real hero of the story will be one Lord John Douglas-Scott Montagu, the Second Baron Montagu of Beaulieu and a member of British Parliament who used his position in British society to champion motoring.

While we're not quite sure what all that Barons and Lords stuff is about, reading that in 1899 Montagu drove the first car to enter the yard of the House of Commons made us think he must have been a decent enough chap. According to the report, he even launched a monthly car magazine. And like any good period-film protagonist, he was romantically linked to another key figure in the story, Eleanor Thornton, the woman who inspired the
Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy mascot that became a defining feature of the marque.

The film is still a long way from the screen, although Scorsese's involvement can't hurt its chances of getting made.

BMW presents M6 MotoGP Safety Car

Maldonado wins Spanish F1 GP

Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado claimed his maiden Formula One win, and handed Williams their first since 2004, with victory in the Spanish Grand Prix here on Sunday.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished second with Finn Kimi Raikkonen in third as Maldonado made the most of inheriting pole position from Lewis Hamilton after the Briton was relegated to the back of the pack on Saturday.

McLaren driver Hamilton finished in eighth place at over a minute behind as Maldonado won a thrilling duel with Ferrari's former two-time world champion Alonso.

Alonso's runner-up place gave him 18 points and the championship lead at the expense of defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was sixth in a Red Bull having started from seventh on the grid.

Maldonado's maiden win handed Williams their 114th overall, but their first in the series since fellow South American Juan Pablo Montoya won the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2004.

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1h39:09.145
 2.  Alonso        Ferrari                            +     3.195
 3.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault             +     3.884
 4.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault               +    14.799
 5.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:14.641
 6.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renau               +  1:17.576
 7.  Rosberg       Mercedes                      +  1:27.919
 8.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes     +  1:28.100
 9.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes       +  1:25.200
10.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  +     1 lap
11.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault            +     1 lap
12.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari          +     1 lap
13.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
14.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes     +     1 lap
15.  Massa         Ferrari                              +     1 lap
16.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault        +     1 lap
17.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault            +     1 lap
18.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth         +    2 laps
19.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth              +    3 laps

Real-life Transformer

Citroen Number 9 concept

These pictures of the French manufacturer's hybrid-powered wagon have been delivered ahead of the N9's debut at the upcoming 2012 Beijing motor show, hinting that Citroen's DS sub-brand is about to get itself a new flagship.

The styling flagellation begins with 21-inch wheels and ends just 1.27m later with a glass roof. But its massive 1.94m width and 4.9m length - only 1.79cm shorter than an S-Class - leave plenty of room to showcase that front-end. Citroen says: "It introduces the new identity of future models, along with an original light signature. The concept signals the styling cues of the next three DS line models: a premium sedan, an SUV and an executive saloon."

Underneath the 1500kg shell, there's full plug-in full-hybrid tech, which Citroen thinks will esteem to 166mpg, 50km all-electric range, 295hp, and 39g/km of CO2. There's also a deliciously Turbo Outrun-sounding ‘boost' function, which combines the power of the combustion engine and electric motor, dispatching all 295 horsepowers at once. This means 0-62mph takes 5.4 seconds and it'll travel a 1,000m in 25.3 seconds from a standing start.

The drivetrain mashes a normal FWD combustion engine together with an electric motor - rechargeable in 3.5 hours, fact fans - on the rear axle that develops 70hp and 200 torques.
This is, resolutely, a proposition aimed at the Chinese market. Firstly, enormous, thrifty Euro saloons are flying out of dealerships out there.

Here it is Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car

Sebastien Loeb wins Rally Argentina

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb came through to take the victory on Rally Argentina today, the fifth round in the 2012 World Rally Championship.

Loeb moved into the lead in SS5 on Friday afternoon and then enjoyed a great scrap with team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen on Saturday morning. However following the mid-day service, with a 1.5 minute gap back to third, Citroen instructed both drivers' to hold position, thereby ending the fight. After that the two works Citroen men paced themselves to the finish, Loeb eventually taking the spoils by 12.5 seconds.

Dani Sordo meanwhile ran in third virtually from the off, but heartbreakingly was forced out at the start of the very final stage with a suspected alternator failure – a bitter blow for the Spaniard on his guest outing with the Ford WRT.

Mads Ostberg thus inherited third, ahead of Martin Prokop and Thierry Neuville, who rolled on Friday, but who still managed to take fifth thanks to the Rally 2 regulations.

Petter Solberg recovered to finish sixth after the disappointment in SS4 on Friday, when he went out, while leading by 20 seconds. He also took the Power Stage win, which was some consolation for Ford after seeing Sordo retire so late on.

Sebastien Ogier was seventh in his VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000, while Evgeny Novikov, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Ott Tanak took advantage of the Rally 2 regulations to come home in positions 8 through to 10.

1. Sebastien Loeb    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     5hours 34mins 38.8secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen    Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC     +00mins 15.2secs M
3. Mads Ostberg    Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +03mins 10.4secs M
4. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC     +09mins 45.3secs
5. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC     +11mins 17.6secs M
6. Petter Solberg    Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC     +12mins 02.2secs M
7. Sebastien Ogier    VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000    +12mins 25.3secs
8. Evgeny Novikov    M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +21mins 10.2secs M
9. Nasser Al-Attiyah    Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC     +28mins 22.6secs M
10. Ott Tanak     M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC    +37mins 19.5secs M

MINI Cooper Swindon Roof Top Tent

2013 Audi Q5 Facelift Officially Revealed

As expected, the 2013 Audi Q5 features the updated hexagonal grille, a revised front bumper with larger air intakes and chrome accents and updated headlights featuring LED daytime running lights. The rear gets an updated apron on the bumper and tweaked taillights.
But what we didn’t see before is the interior, which actually received very minor changes. It appears that the more premium trim levels will get minor upgrades, but the Q5 does sport a new steering wheel design.
The 2013 Q5 will ride on an updated chassis that also see’s changes to its suspension to enhance its ride quality. A more fuel-efficient engine lineup will also find its way under the Q5 hood and will include the popular, supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI.

Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Vettel claimed his first victory of the season and the 22nd of his career with a near-flawless drive from pole position to the chequered flag to come home ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, and his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean.

It was Grosjean’s first podium finish in Formula One and Raikkonen’s fifth and Vettel’s first win since the Indian Grand Prix last year.

Australian Mark Webber finished fourth in the second Red Bull, confirming their return to form after a lacklustre start to the year.

Vettel’s win lifted him to the top of the drivers’ standings with 53 points ahead of Hamilton on 49 and Webber one point behind. He was the fourth different winner in four races so far in the 2012 season.

German Nico Rosberg, who claimed his maiden victory for the Mercedes team at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, finished fifth ahead of Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton, who led the championship before Bahrain, came home eighth after a troubled race for McLaren, ahead of Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and, amazingly, seven-times champion ichael Schumacher in the second Mercedes. Schumacher had started from 22nd on the grid.

Race results
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1hour 35min 10.990sec
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finlnad) Lotus +3.333sec
3 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus +10.194sec
4 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull +38.788sec
5 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +55.460sec
6 Paul di Resta (Great Britain) Force India +57.543sec
7 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +57.803sec
8 Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) McLaren +58.984sec
9 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari +1:04.999sec
10 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes +1:11.490sec
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber +1:12.702sec
12 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India +1:16.539sec
13 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber +1:30.334sec
14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso +1:33.723sec
15 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso) +1 lap
16 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham +1 lap
17 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham +1 lap
18 Jenson Button (Great Britain) McLaren +2 laps
19 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia +2 laps
20 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT +2 laps
21 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT +2 laps
22 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams +3 laps

Mercedes Concept Style Coupe unveiled

Here’s another car to be unveiled at next week’s Beijing Motor Show, and another one that is going to become reality. Mercedes is calling this the CSC or ‘Concept Style Coupe’,  but you should call it CLA as that’s what it will likely be badged when you see it in your local showroom next year, or early the year after.

A little longer than a current C-class and a lot more sexy, this is the third variant on the new A-class (the first being the new B-class, which of course was launched before the A in Mercedes’ slightly dyslexic new model programme). All three cars share what Benz calls the ‘MFA’ structure for ‘medium front-drive architecture.

The CSC will roll onto the stage in China powered by a 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that also sees duty in the new
A-Class hatchback. Like the A-Class five-door that debuted in Geneva, the CSC is expected to ride atop Mercedes' new MFA platform.

We're also expecting Mercedes to unveil a related concept in North America very shortly at the Transmission LA: AV Club music and media festival that begins in LA on April 20, so keep your eyes peeled for that vehicle as well.

Rosberg wins F1 2012 Chinese GP

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday for his first career Formula One victory after starting from pole.

Rosberg won by a massive 20.6 seconds over McLaren’s Jenson Button after making just two pits stops and managing to hold off the rest of the field on worn tires.

Button’s McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton was third, followed by Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, who were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Defending champion Vettel started 11th on the grid and at one stage moved up to second, but couldn’t hold off Button, Hamilton and Webber in the closing stages.

Rosberg’s teammate, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, had started second, but retired from the race on lap 13 after his right front wheel wasn't fitted properly during his first pit stop.

McLaren leads the constructor standings with 88 points, followed by Red Bull in second with 64 and Ferrari on 37.

Results from the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix: 
1. Nico Rosberg, Germany, Mercedes, 1 hour, 36 minutes, 26.929 seconds, 56 laps.
2. Jenson Button, Britain, McLaren, 1:36:47.555, 56.
3. Lewis Hamilton, Britain, McLaren, 1:36:52.941, 56. 
4. Mark Webber, Australia, Red Bull, 1:36:54.853, 56.
5. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Red Bull, 1:36:57.412, 56.
6. Romain Grosjean, France, Lotus, 1:36:58.420, 56.
7. Bruno Senna, Brazil, Williams, 1:37:01:526, 56.
8. Pastor Maldonado, Venezuela, Williams, 1:37:02.572, 56.
9. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Ferrari, 1:37:04.185, 56.
10. Kamui Kobayashi, Japan, Sauber, 1:37:05.649, 56. 

Drivers' Championship
1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 45
2. Jenson Button, McLaren, 43
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 37
4. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 36
5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 28
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 25
7. Sergio Perez, Sauber, 22
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 16
9. Bruno Senna, Williams, 14
10. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, 9

Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse

This is the most powerful production roadster ever. Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse was launched in February and now you can see it in motion.

Which is precisely as spectacular as it sounds. And almost as spectacular as the Veyron's armada of confounding statistics: the GSV's got 1200 horsepowers and 1500 torques. That's 197bhp and 183lb ft up from a standard Veyron thanks to larger turbochargers (four in total) and new intercoolers. It's got new fuel pumps (four of those, too), borrowed from the SS, to handle the GSV's thirst.

Drivetrain components have been beefed up, too - the guts of the DSG box have been reinforced, and the brakes and brake cooling improved. There are new dampers and the ESP stability management system's been adjusted to intervene a little later than before. According to VW engineers, that means it can generate lateral acceleration of up to 1.4g.