VW, Audi Mull Low-Cost, Mid-Engine Sports Cars

VW, Audi Mull Low-Cost, Mid-Engine Sports Cars
VW, Audi Mull Low-Cost, Mid-Engine Sports Cars - 2008 LA Auto Show, VW Affordable Mid Engine Sports Car Concepts - Automobile Magazine
Will Porsche object? Or will it join with a reincarnation of the 356?

At the Los Angeles auto show in November, Volkswagen will unwrap a new mid-engine sports car concept. This marks the third iteration of a theme that started in 2003 with the Concept R and continued in 2005 with the EcoRacer.

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September Sales: The financial crisis looks worse than the fuel crisis

September Sales: The financial crisis looks worse than the fuel crisis
September 2008 Car Sales - Sales Analysis - Automobile Magazine
September sales: The financial crisis looks worse than the fuel crisis.And this time, no one is spared.

If zooming fuel prices earlier this summer killed sales of pickups and SUVs, then the faltering economy and now the credit crisis have pretty much choked off sales of the remainder of the market. While August saw the pain spread to all major brands, save Infiniti, Mini, Nissan, Subaru, and VW, in September, every one of those holdouts found themselves underwater, too. The only nameplates to post gains in September were tiny niche players: Maserati (up 30%), Lotus (up by 3 cars – yes, 3), Lamborghini (by 2), and Rolls-Royce (by 1).

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Chrysler and Dodge minivans now more fuel efficient

The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan have hit dealer showrooms. Fans of the minivan will find, for the first time in Canada, a 4-litre engine under the hood producing 251 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. Another first, this engine is now coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard on the Town & Country and optional on the Grand Caravan, this engine/transmission duo is capable of a 12.2 L/100 km consumption rate in town and 7.9 L/100 km on the highway, an 8% decrease compared to the old drive train.

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2010 Mazda3 Unveiled!

After making its debut on the 6 sedan, Mazda’s new styling language will soon be applied to the smaller 3. Though not officially set to be released until next month’s Los Angeles auto show, Mazda’s provided a sneak peak at the upcoming model- including some photos.

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2009 Maserati GranTurismo S

2009 Maserati GranTurismo S
2009 Maserati GranTurismo S - Maserati Sport Coupe Review - Automobile Magazine
Maserati’s sexy and speedy new GranTurismo S takes us to the racetracks where history was made fifty years ago.

The good burghers of Metz, France, haven’t heard a racket like this since Prussian Prince Frederick Charles besieged the place back in 1870. Trundling along the narrow cobblestone streets, our Maserati GranTurismo S – the brand-new, hooligans-rejoice version of Maserati‘s sexy coupe – clatters raucously on overrun and shakes the picturesque rafters of the medieval buildings with barely muffled blasts of V-8 pandemonium. We pull into a parking lot beneath the soaring spires of a Gothic cathedral and squeeze into a ridiculously cramped space after much gratuitous revving of the engine. By the time we kill the ignition, the parking attendant is hopping up and down with what we hope is enthusiasm. “Bruit magnifique!” he shouts over and over. Magnificent noise!

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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S - Volkswagen Golf Sport Hatchback Review - Automobile Magazine
You can toss it into turns at sporting speeds, and come out the other end with a roar.

I only drove the Rabbit briefly, but my overwhelming impression is that it oozes quality and refinement for an $18,000 car. There is nothing about it that feels cheap, from the nicely damped exterior door handles to the typically well-crafted VW interior, with its great seats, to the smooth and refined 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. There’s nice steering feel and a supple ride, and I didn’t even mind that the inline-five, which at 170 hp provides plenty of power, was hooked to an automatic transmission, since it’s a six-speed unit that’s well mated to the engine. If it were me, though, I’d opt for the five-speed manual and use the thousand-dollar savings toward a four-door Rabbit, which has a base price of $17,485. Still, if you’re looking to get into a high-quality small car, the two-door Rabbit with a five-speed manual, starting at $15,490, is a very attractive proposition. And heated seats are only a $225 option!

Photo Gallery: 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S – Volkswagen Golf Sport Hatchback Review – Automobile Magazine

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