MTM adopts Porsche GT3 green for latest force-fed Audi R8R

German tuning firm MTM has announced a new individualization program for the Audi R8 that gives the everyday supercar a unique look and a healthy dose of added performance. To give their version of the car an exclusive appearance, MTM paints the R8's exterior "Porsche 2D8" green which is the same color that is used on the Porsche GT3 RS. The car rides on a special set of glossy-black ultra-light MTM Bimoto alloy wheels, which measure 9x20 and 11x20, and come with green badging that declares "MTM forged." Elsewhere the green theme continues as the black brake calipers and fuel cap receive a discrete green "R8" logo.

Being true to their tuner roots, MTM offers added performance from both of the R8's engines. The standard R8's 4.2-liter V8 gains a modified compression system which ups the engine's output from 420 hp (313 kW) and 430 Nm of torque to 560 hp (418 kW) and 580 Nm of torque. For the V10 engine, MTM installs new engine electronics which boosts the car's horsepower rating from 520 hp (388 kW) to 560 hp (418 kW). Other performance minded modifications include a new exhaust system and redesigned side-blades that increase airflow to the engine.

To maximize the usefulness of this added performance, MTM equips their R8's with an extensive aerodynamic carbon fiber body kit that includes a front splitter, new side skirts, and a rear diffuser. In a nod to practicality, the MTM R8 also features a Lift-up-System which can raise the axles by 40 millimeters to prevent bottoming out when entering parking garages or going over speed bumps.

Mercedes says it has no plans for new CLK63 AMG

Mercedes will not produce a CLK63 AMG -- which would actually be an E Class Coupe AMG. The axing is due to the CLK moving from the C Class platform to the E Class, and Mercedes' view that a hotted up E Coupe with the 6.3-liter would be too close to the CLS 63 AMG "both in positioning and price."

Good news is that one model in the 2011 CLS range which has been spied on a number of occasions, will sport an AMG badge. A possible power source for that car is not the existing 6.3-litre V8 (6208 cc) but a brand new engine. WCF sources at Mercedes-Benz have hinted to a 4.0-litre-plus twin turbo V8 said to produce about 400kW (544hp).

Toyota suffers fresh losses

Tokyo, April 12. The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota Motor headed this year by the global recession and the strong yen on the half-year loss in a row.

The operating loss in the 2009/2010 financial year in April begun broken can reach more than 500 billion yen (3.8 billion euros). Reported that the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Sunday.

In the previous financial year that ended March, according to the newspaper Toyota suffered an operational loss of about 500 billion yen from a previously forecast loss of 450 billion yen. This is the first loss in the company's existence.

The recession, the strong sales of Toyota under pressure. Also, the company has experienced the strong yen. The car of Toyota, this year is expected to approximately 6.5 million. It would for the first time in six years that Toyota less than 7 million cars.

Maruti Ritz to be Placed as Premium Hatchback

The new Maruti Ritz is ready to be launched in the Indian market with its 1197cc engine. The car will be positioned at the upend end of the small car segment. "The Ritz will be yet another compact car to join the company's A2 offering that includes Alto, Zen Estilo, A-star, Wagon R and Swift. The Ritz is in advanced stage of preparation for a formal launch shortly," the company said in a statement.

The car will powered by the new K12M BSIV compliant engine. This will be the first time in India that a passenger car will be powered by the BS-IV compliant engine. It will be second aluminum engine in the Kseries and retains the technological superiority and fuel efficiency of the K10B engine which powers.

"K12M engine is another example of Maruti Suzuki's commitment to take engine technology in India to the next level," Maruti Suzuki Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi said. The new Ritz will be also come with a 1.3 liter diesel engine.

Specs (Speculated)
Car Segment: Small Car, Premium Hatchback (B+ segment)
Fuel Type: Petrol/Diesel
Engine: 1.2L Petrol/ 1.3L Diesel
Max Power/Torque: Petrol - 85bhp/114Nm, Diesel – 75bhp/190Nm
Dimensions in mm (LxWxH): 3720x1780x1650

Mercedes S-class facelift and S400 Hybrid unveiled

Some cars dominate their segments – and Mercedes’ S-class is one such car. It’s the essence of what a pampering luxury saloon should stand for, becoming the default four-door of choice for boardroom bigwigs around the globe. Now Merc hopes to cement the S-class’s credentials with this 2009 facelift.

The W221 S-class is being revised with a range of new engines – including a frugal lithium-ion battery hybrid and BlueEfficiency diesels – a slew of new tech and the gentlest of visual makeovers. Blink and you will indeed miss it.

So what’s new on the ‘new’ S-class?

Let’s cover off the engines first of all. Take your pick from five petrols, a single diesel and the new hybrid – claimed to be the world’ most economical petrol-engined luxury saloon and the first production hybrid car with a lithium-ion battery:

• S350, 268bhp 3.5-litre V6
• S500, 383bhp 5.5-litre V8
• S600, 510bhp 5.5-litre twin-turbo V12
• S63 AMG, 518bhp 6.2-litre V8
• S65 AMG, 604bhp 6.0-litre V12
• S350 CDI BlueEfficiency, 232bhp V6 TD
• S400 Hybrid, 275bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol

Sadly, we won’t get the 35.7mpg/186g/km CO2 hybrid in the UK, so the diesel is destined to be the big seller. It noshes a gallon of black stuff every 37.2 miles and emits 199g/km of CO2. The crucial figures are too close to warrant the additional cost and low volumes for right-hand drive, you see…

As ever, the BlueEfficiency badge means the S350 CDI diesel’s been to Merc’s drying out clinic. Clever underbody panels improve the aero while the seven-speed auto decouples at standstill to save carve vital percentage points off the consumption figures.

I bet the S-class sports a flood to gadgets?

Oh yes. You’ll bag headlamps that flick between main and dipped beam for you (saving valuable digitwork), drowsiness detection systems and a gizmo in the stability system that corrects crosswind movements for you. Much of the tech has already been seen on the new 2009 Merc E-class, which goes on UK sale in June 2009.

Further gadgets include the latest night vision system, which now highlights pedestrians in the display, lane-keep assist and improvements to other existing systems. Pre-Safe Brake, for instance, now preps the anchors even earlier before a potential accident, reducing impact speed.

There’s also a potential row brewing over who has launched split-view multimedia systems; Land Rover claims the new 2010 Range Rover (unveiled last week) will be first to market, but Merc is making the same claim. Forget the playground rivalry; it’s a clever system that lets the driver read the sat-nav while a passenger can watch a movie. We’ve seen test systems and it works rather well.
Gizmos galore… But how do I spot the new S-class?

That grille is a smidgeon more ‘arrow-shaped’ – apparently – while the front bumper now sports a chrome strip beneath the air intakes and bi-xenon headlamps are now standard across the board. Mosey around to the rear and look out for exhausts integrated into the back bumper.

Proving that we’re all about to be increasingly being dazzled by science, LED daytime running lamps are standard on the new 2009 S-class. The rear lamps are powered by 52 LEDs, marking out a double-C signature.

The facelifted S-class goes on sale in the UK in autumn 2009. With fluctuating exchange rates and business meltdown, nobody’s pricing their cars early these days, but we expect the new S to start at just under £60k.