2011 Hybrid variant of Sonata comes with a new front fascia

Here is a teaser image of the U.S. market 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid, which Hyundai will be debuting at the upcoming New York Auto Show.

The 2011 Sonata hybrid will have a somewhat different design than the standard model. As is evidenced from the image published here, the hybrid variant will feature its own distinct front fascia. That new face includes a new large-mouthed grill, new headlamps, sporty front bumper with bigger air intakes, as well as new fog lights.

Hyundai's Blue Drive hybrid system for the Sonata consists of a 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder gasoline/petrol engine, a 30 kW electric motor with 205 Nm (151 lb-ft) of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is powered by lithium-polymer batteries but Hyundai doesn't say what kind of range they provide the Sonata hybrid. Power figures for the gasoline/petrol engine are also not included, although Hyundai's standard 2.4 liter engine rates 201 bhp (150 kW / 204 PS) and 252 Nm (186 lb-ft) of torque.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid will premiere at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday March 31. Prices for the US market will be revealed then.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept

Autocar.co.uk is reporting that BMW may be replacing its top performer, the M6, with a new model to compete against the likes of the Audi R8.

The new model will be a V8 powered sports car/supercar drawn from the Bavarian brand's Vision Efficient Dynamics concept. That Vision ED concept came with a diesel-electric hybrid system with 356 bhp (258 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. But that model featured a turbocharged 3-cylinder diesel engine which is hard to envision being placed under the hood of an R8 competitor. That engine may make it to the streets wrapped in a 1-Series or a 3-Series BMW one day, but the new supercar will more likely opt for BMW's 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 power plant.

The 6-Series was always more tourer than out-and-out sports racer, with its comfortable and robust dimensions. This new supercar will also be going up against the likes of the Porsche 911 and the upcoming baby SLS from AMG.

Klause Draeger, head of research and development at BMW, has said that in order to make a car that competitive it will need to be "intelligent and dramatic-looking."

New Ferrari ID comes to UK

What’s more, Car Dealer Magazine helped the supercar firm move in, for an upcoming feature!

Graypaul’s brand new £5m dealership in Solihull, Birmingham, is the 4th Sytner Group franchise. It has been built fast, taking just 12 months to replace the firm’s temporary premises in Bromsgrove.

This came after the franchise was acquired from Nick Whale Sportscars.

The slick new car dealer has a flash new showroom with space for up to 10 cars – ordinarily, 4 Ferrari and 4 Maserati models will be shown. There is also indoors space for a further 12 Ferrari Approved used cars.

Graypaul has installed a dedicated ‘Atelier’ specification room, too. And, naturally, plenty of goodies from the Ferrari Dealer Selection goodies range.

Matteo Torre of Ferrari North Europe was on hand to help open the new dealership. He said ‘we are delighted to see the new showroom opening here in Solihull as I know we have many enthusiastic clients in the area.’

Sytner Group sells more than a third of all Ferrari UK new cars, and 4 in 10 of its used car stock. Franchise director Mario Vignali said Solihull was chosen ‘because it is the 6th richest borough in the UK.

‘We are proud to be representing Ferrari in Solihull and this new dealership demonstrates the confidence we have in the brand.’

Vauxhall Ampera in Britain and is currently in discussions

GM talking to potential Ampera customers in UK, interest in vehicle builds .
General Motors has begun pushing the Vauxhall Ampera in Britain and is currently in discussions with potential fleet customers. According to GM, there is a significant amount of interest from government agencies and public companies. The Ampera will be launched in a Vauxhall-badged righthand drive version in the UK in 2012, the same year that the Olympics come to London.

GM-UK spokesman Denis Chick spoke with just-auto about the upcoming release of the Ampera and about consumer interest in the vehicles and said:

We'll start off with fleet demonstrators. But we are already picking up plenty of interest from potential fleet customers. The fact that the right-hand drive car goes on sale in the UK in 2012 - the year of the next London Olympics - is also highly significant in terms of visibility for some fleets.

One of the largest groups to show interest in the Ampera is none other than London's Metropolitan Police Force. Chick hinted at a possible announcement of a big deal with the London police coming later this year. Timing the Ampera to arrive as the Olympics roll into town is important. With London as the center of attention, the Ampera will be there to share the spotlight.