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Toyota Avensis : Concept Cars
Toyota Avensis : Concept Cars

Toyota’s mid-size Camry sedan is nearly as American as apple pie, baseball, or whatever thing makes you feel warm, fuzzy, and patriotic inside, and its huge sales numbers prove it has what Americans want. But filling those needs also means it’s far too big to roam tight, winding European streets, so Toyota fills this slot in its Continental lineup with the more right-sized Avensis. And now there is a new version.

Now entering its fourth generation, the Avensis makes its big debut at the 2015 Geneva auto show, where it is being shown in four-door sedan and wagon forms. Toyota has thankfully vanquished the previous Avensis generation’s dowdy, cheap-looking styling in favor of a far sleeker look that’s not that different from that of our new Camry. There also are echoes of the X-shaped, criss-crossing face lines that burst into Toyota’s styling repertoire with the current-generation European-market Aygo last year.

Beneath the skin, Toyota promises all-new engines that are both powerful and efficient—as if a company would tout engines that are dogged and fuel-thirsty—as well as expanded safety and comfort features. We’ll find out more when Toyota releases full information in a few weeks’ time.

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Sources : Toyota Avensis Photo | Toyota Avensis Article
2015 DS 5 : Current Models
2015 DS 5 : Current Models

The DS5 facelift has made its online debut ahead of its first public appearance scheduled for early next month at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show where it will bring a new Ink Blue paint.

The refreshed French premium hatchback has received a fresh face featuring a more sculpted grille with the DS monogram in the center and flanked by xenon LED headlights with sequential turn indicators sourced from the facelifted DS3/DS3 Cabrio. The side profile shows a slender chrome sabre joining the tip of the headlights with the front window. At the back of the car there are mildly revised taillights and dual chrome exhaust tips incorporated in the bumper.

Stepping inside the cabin, there's a new color touchdrive interface which has eliminated 12 physical buttons to enable a less cluttered layout. The system benefits from Mirror Screen technology which means that smartphone content can be "copied" on the touchscreen display. Other goodies offered include massaging front seats with memory function, heated side mirrors, keyless entry & start, ambient lighting, electrochrome interior mirror, Denon audio system and dual-zone AC system.

The DS5 facelift has also gained a blind spot monitoring system offered alongside an array of safety systems like lane departure warning, automatic high beam function for the headlights, intelligent traction control, head-up display, reversing camera, hill-start assist, adaptive headlights and stability control, just to name a few.

In terms of engines, the facelifted DS5 will be available with the latest PSA motors, including a THP 165 with 165 HP (121 kW) and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque sent to the wheels through an updated six-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a BlueHDi 120 delivering 120 HP (88 kW) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) through a standard six-speed manual or the aforementioned six-speed auto (optional). A beefier BlueHDi 180 with 180 HP (133 kW) & 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) is also available with the six-speed auto while the hybrid all-wheel drive diesel model has been carried over with a 163 HP 2.0-liter turbodiesel working with a 37 HP electric motor.

The DS5 facelift will be unveiled to the public on March 3 during the first press day of the Geneva Motor Show where it will be displayed without Citroën's double chevron logo since DS is now a standalone brand within the PSA Group.

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Sources : 2015 DS 5 Photo | 2015 DS 5 Article
Chevrolet Bolt Update : News
Chevrolet Bolt Update : News

General Motors has confirmed that the Chevrolet Bolt concept it showed earlier this year will commence production in late 2016. But it could bear a different name because, as GM North American president Alan Batey said, "Some people think it's confusing."

Apparently the "Bolt" name has generated much buzz since the model was revealed at the Detroit auto show in January. Although it seems to mesh with GM's other monosyllabic small cars including the Spark and Cruze, it can easily be misheard as the Volt, another electric car from GM. And while powertrain details haven't been released, the name could give false promises on horsepower.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Batey said the decision "could go either way" at this point. But for now, the moniker seems to be doing just what GM would have wanted.

"People are having some fun with it. It is generating awareness, which is good. It's so conversational," Batey explained. Whatever GM decides to call it, the small electric car promises a range of over 200 miles on a single charge. That would make it a game-changer among electric vehicles. Riding on the same new platform that will also underpin the next Chevy Sonic, the Bolt features an aerodynamic body and lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber. Starting in 2017, the Bolt will roll out to customers across the U.S. Prices should be between $30,000 and $35,000.

Do you think GM should keep or ditch the Bolt name? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sources : Chevrolet Bolt Concept Photo | Chevrolet Article
Guaranteed Credit Autos : News
DRIVE AWAY 2DAY believes in giving people second chances. Bad credit, no credit, repossessions or bankruptcies? We understand life can be challenging and hardships can fall on anyone. We can help you get you approved with one of our many Guaranteed Credit Approval programs. Our easy to follow 3-step process will get the ball rolling on securing the dependable vehicle that you need and WANT. Based on the terms and financial limits you set, you can be driving home 2Day in the car of your dreams.

DRIVE AWAY 2DAY understands that purchasing a vehicle in these tough credit markets can be discouraging and time consuming. That’s why we take the grunt work out of it for you. Our qualified team of vehicle professionals will take your information and develop a deal that is right for you, regardless of past credit decisions. We believe everyone has the right to drive a car they are proud of. With over 30 years of experience in automotive purchasing, we feel we are more than competent to put a deal together that is right for you.

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1959 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite : Classic Cars
1959 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite : Classic Cars

In 1958,the United States launched its first successful satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit; the F-104 Starfighter set a new in-flight speed world record at Mach 1.4; and England's Austin-Healey sports car company launched its tiny Bugeye Sprite. While the last may not seem a monumental achievement, for the sports car world, it certainly was.

Austin-Healey was then known for its larger, high-powered sports cars, the "Big Healeys," as they'd be referred to in relation to the little Sprite. The automaker was founded six years earlier as a joint venture between the British Motor Company (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company. Healey was an enterprising Brit who had done a bit of racing himself, and went on to produce boutique sports cars in limited volumes. By the time Austin-Healey was formed, his cars had achieved numerous racing successes, including a class win at the 1949 Mille Miglia with the 2.4-liter Healey Silverstone sedan, and he'd even collaborated with American automaker Nash on the Pininfarina-bodied Nash-Healey sports car. Since Austin-Healey's first production model, the 100 (named for its 100-mph top speed), began rolling off the production line in 1954, the company had also been known for performance. While the BMC partnership meant Healey was able to produce -- and sell -- higher quantities of cars, the automaker was by no means a large-volume producer. Nevertheless, just over 4600 four-cylinder Healey 100s had been sold by the end of the model's production run in 1956, with the car continuously evolving. Healey's cars by now were well-known at such prestigious events as Le Mans and the Mille Miglia, and they were being campaigned by gentleman drivers and up-and-coming racers on both U.S. coasts.

To replace the four-cylinder Healey 100, a new 100-6 model entered production in 1956. With its longer wheelbase, six-cylinder engine, and less rounded bodywork, the 100-6 was an evolution of sorts. Still, it had lost some of the original car's magic. The styling was less racy and more elegant. The 100-6 was heavier than its predecessor, and with only an incremental increase in power over the 100-4, performance was stagnant. Perhaps most telling that Austin-Healey was growing up was the loss of the flip-down windshield and addition of two small rear seats. The 100-6 was the most refined, expensive, and practical Healey yet. And that got Donald and BMC to thinking about potential buyers who had been priced out of a new Austin-Healey, and those who wanted a more back-to-basics sports car.

"It's something on the order of a buzzsaw ripping through a can of marbles -- a raucous, almost harsh sound of something very small trying hard to be very big. "

The Austin-Healey Sprite was both of those things. Affordable and simplistic, the Sprite was a step between a diminutive 750cc Berkeley and a 1.5-liter MGA. With a 948cc engine producing around 48 hp, the Sprite was adequately quick for a car of its class. But it wasn't just about speed. It was about building an honest-to-goodness sports car that anyone with a decent job could afford to buy, drive to work on weekdays, and then race at the track on weekends. It was cheap at $1795 and simple to work on. Its clamshell hood allowed easy access to the engine and just about every other component forward of the cabin.

BMC and Healey knew the car's biggest market was bound to be the U.S., where the sports car craze was flourishing. With a prestigious nameplate and an affordable price, the car would be a sure hit. But just to be certain, BMC wanted to promote its new small sports car with some flash. The 12-Hour race at Sebring, Florida, was the U.S.' first European-style endurance circuit event to rate on an international level. Born of a grassroots effort on the old military runways of Sebring's airport, the race attracted nearly all the large factory teams -- Ferrari and Jaguar included -- and established itself as a must-run event. Austin-Healey figured it would use the race in much the same way other automakers had: as a marketing machine for its cars. The decision was made to leave the big 100-6s at home for the 1959 race, and show America what the little Sprite could do.

Quickly, four 1958 Sprites were picked off the assembly line, and with a four-month time frame, the cars were given to Healey and his son, Geoffrey, to prep for racing use. Some of the mods came straight from BMC's existing competition department, including an XSP compe-tition version of the 948cc engine. The special engine was balanced and blueprinted for efficiency and reliability, and featured light cylinder head work, domed pistons, special cams, larger 1.25-inch twin SU carburetors, and a tubular racing exhaust system. Paired to the racing engine was a dual-disc clutch and close-ratio four-speed gearbox, a large-capacity fuel tank, and a heavy-duty generator. A Jensen fiberglass hardtop was fitted to each Sprite, and Dunlop "light car" disc brakes and knock-off 13-inch wire wheels were installed. Inside went a large Smiths chronometric tacho-meter. Stiffer springs were included, along with a front anti-roll bar.

By all accounts, the 1959 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring was a soggy affair, with torrential rain falling during much of the weekend, including the last half of the race. The three factory-prepped cars (the fourth was kept as a reserve car) were entered in the race numbered sequentially 53, 54, and 55, driven by professional drivers and one automotive journalist, John Christy, who wrote about the experience in an article for Sports Cars Illustrated. In the end, all three cars not only finished (despite a throttle linkage issue and a cracked header, both fixed), but took a 1-2-3 victory in the GT 1.0 class for cars with displacement between 750 cc and 1.0 liter. Following the race, the third-place-finishing number 55 car was even healthy enough to be driven from Sebring to Los Angeles.

Fast-forward 53 years, and I find myself behind the right-hand- drive steering wheel of car number 54, the very Sprite in which racers Hugh Sutherland and Phil Stiles led cars 53 and 55 to victory at Sebring. I'm on my way to Lake Merritt, chasing a minivan across rush-hour traffic in Oakland, California, realizing very quickly that, while this little Austin-Healey Sprite may look cute and charming with its instantly recognizable bug-eye headlamps and adorable blue-and-white paint scheme, it's still a race car. Just getting the Sprite started is a slightly involved procedure. Make sure the red kill switch mounted on the rollbar is in the on position, and pull out the black knob on the dash marked C for choke. Then, slot the key into the ignition switch and give it a turn to the H position. Pull the unmarked black dash-mounted knob to switch on the fuel pump and, finally, pull the black knob next to it marked S to engage the starter. In an instant, the little 948cc I-4 barks into life.

I wasn't expecting the car to be quite so loud. How much racket can 948cc make, anyway? Turns out the answer is enough to fear being arrested, not to mention going completely deaf. The bark from the diminutive four-banger is only just bearable at low revs without the earplugs I neglected to bring. Above 3000 rpm, all hell breaks loose, as the lumpy, impatient drone disappears from the exhaust note to be replaced with a sound much more intimidating. It's something on the order of a buzzsaw ripping through a can of marbles -- the raucous, almost harsh sound of something very small trying hard to be very big. You wouldn't call the noise pretty as much as you'd call it intense. Despite the extensive modifications, the Bugeye is fairly easy to keep buzzing along in traffic. The clutch pedal is only slightly heavy, and while the brakes require a firm shove before they seem to do much at all, they ultimately do a fine job of bringing the car to a stop at the sub-50 mph speeds I'm limited to by traffic. The Sprite's steering, heavy at parking speeds, is tactile and light at anything over 5 mph, and visibility is good through the featherweight hardtop's rear Perspex window. Still, this Sebring Sprite is no car to hand over to your grandmother. Besides the ear-splitting noise, the gear change is tricky with its closely positioned and indistinct gates; and the transmission, while of the synchromesh style, seems to appreciate rev-matched gear changes both up and down the cogs. (The racing-duty two-disc clutch that keeps the mainshaft spinning longer may be to blame.) The ride is firm, and the Sprite hops and crashes over uneven stretches of road, the hardtop squeaking and rattling constantly.

To be fair, this race car is completely out of its element. It would much prefer to be back at Sebring, ripping down the same tarmac on the front straight on which aircraft used to land, leading its fellow BMC team members to victory.

Engine 57.8 cu in/948cc OHV I-4 2x2-bbl SU H24 carburetors
Power and torque (DIN) 55 hp @ 5800 rpm, 59 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Drivetrain 4-speed manual, RWD
Brakes front: solid disc; rear: solid disc
Suspension front: control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; rear: live-axle, leaf springs
Dimensions: L: 137.0 in, W: 54.0 in, H: 48.0 in
Weight 1790 lb
Performance 0-60 mph: 14.2 sec, quarter mile: 20.0 sec @ 69 mph, 60-0 mph: N/A (Road & Track, August 1960
Price when new $1975 (road car)

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Sources : 1959 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite Photo | 1959 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite Article
Rinspeed Budii : Videos

Rinspeed Budii : Videos

Swiss design and engineering firm Rinspeed made it clear last year that its vision of driving in the future is an autonomous one, and that cars, rather than being a tool to simply take you from point A to point B, will become an extension of your lounge or office. Now, Rinspeed is taking this concept to the next level with its Budii concept, which is described as a “friend on wheels.” The concept, which is based on a BMW i3, is fully autonomous and also has the ability to communicate with surrounding vehicles. But when the owner feels like doing the driving, they have the option of taking over.

Rinspeed, like most of the major automakers, sees self-driving cars as the ideal solution for eliminating road accidents, but rather than permanently removing control of a car Rinspeed prefers to let the owner takeover whenever they like. The steering wheel in the Budii features a robotic arm that enables either the driver or front passenger to steer. And if nobody feels like steering, the steering wheel is simply parked in the center position. Mercedes-Benz showed a similar concept at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in the form of the F015.

“Autonomous driving undoubtedly offers the opportunity to drastically diminish some of the drawbacks of private transport; for example, the number of traffic accidents could drop worldwide,” Rinspeed founder Frank Rinderknecht said in a statement. “The transition from traditional to autonomous driving will take place in stages; consequently, man and machine will still have a few years left to get used to this new form of mobility and the different interplay between people and technology it will entail, time they both will need.”

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Sources : Rinspeed Budii Photo | Rinspeed Budii Article