Fiat planning low-cost models, brand for Europe


To cater to the budget-conscious buyers, Fiat is planning to launch a line of low-cost cars in Western Europe. A total of three models will be launched, two of which will be developed by Fiat's Brazilian subsidiary. The two models will be based on the Palio and the Uno supermini.

Fiat will restyle and rebadge the two models for sale by 2010 under a new brand aimed at frugal buyers. According to insiders, the third model could be a re-worked version of the Seicento city due for launch in late 2011. The car will be aimed at the Smart ForTwo and the Toyota iQ.

No pricing info is available as of yet but according to AutoCar, the new Seicento could be priced as low as £5500 ($8093 USD).

Source: AutoCar


Nissan Nuvu

Nissan_Nuvu Nissan Nuvu
Este prototipo de
Nissan es un auto eléctrico que mide apenas tres metros de largo y fue pensado como un utilitario. Tiene solamente 3 plazas ya que se pensó un espacio para llevar la carga, el conductor viaja en el asiento mas grande, mientras que a la derecha tiene dos asientos para los acompañantes.

El Nissan Nuvu tiene varias características sobresalientes, para empezar podemos mencionar su interior que tiene un techo de cristal con paneles solares y esta decorado con materiales orgánicos que simulan un árbol y sus hojas. Este árbol en el interior no solamente da sombra al habitáculo sino que genera energía solar a través de sus "hojas".

Nissan_Nuvu-2 Nissan Nuvu

Su sistema motriz anticipa la próxima fabricación de vehículos eléctricos. por lo que el Nissan Nuvu tendrá cero emisiones gracias a su planta motriz eléctrica.

Nissan_Nuvu+2 Nissan Nuvu


2009 Volkswagen Golf Mark VI family

Volkswagen's sixth-generation Golf hatch is less than a year away and this new rendering gives us an early look at the final design of the car. It shows VW designers are keeping with the current model's stylish yet conservative shape but are going with a more chiseled and edgy look.

There will be numerous engine choices for the Golf including a new 1.6L TSI engine developing 200hp as well as a high-performance 2.0L turbo version with 260hp in the GTI.


Segway, General Motors Continue Collaboration on Eco-Friendly Transportation Solutions

Saturn Flextreme with Integrated Segway PTs Unveiled at 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)

DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2008 -- Today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Segway Inc. and General Motors (GM) are showcasing a comprehensive solution for eco-friendly mobility - the Saturn Flextreme concept car with integrated Segway(R) Personal Transporters (PTs).

Saturn Flextreme with Integrated Segway PTs: DETROIT - Two Segway(R) Personal Transporters are shown with General Motors' Saturn Flextreme concept. The concept is on display at the 2008 North American International Show (NAIAS). (PRNewsFoto/Segway Inc./Axel Weirdemann)

Saturn Flextreme with Integrated Segway PTs: DETROIT - Two Segway(R) Personal Transporters are shown with General Motors' Saturn Flextreme concept. The concept is on display at the 2008 North American International Show (NAIAS). (PRNewsFoto/Segway Inc./Axel Weirdemann)

The Saturn Flextreme is built on GM's global E-Flex electric drive architecture that was first debuted by the Opel brand at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show last October. The Flextreme design is the first functional automotive concept that integrates an onboard storage and charging system for two Segway PTs.

"Segway is committed to developing safe, clean, innovative products that are redefining transportation for consumers and businesses," said Jim Norrod, Segway's chief executive officer. "The Flextreme concept with integrated Segway PTs is a great example of the evolution of transportation."

The two Segway PTs housed in the concept's FlexLoad(R) cargo space operate on the same balancing technology used in the well-known personal transporters available today. Using Segway Smart Motion(TM) -- a unique combination of sensors, propulsion and intelligence -- the Segway PT balances in place and moves in response to the way the rider moves his or her body forward, backward, left or right.

Special adjustments have been made to the Segway PT prototypes for easy loading and unloading into the Flex-Load cargo space. The tire diameter and track width were optimized to fit inside the vehicle and the prototypes have a unique exterior design to match the look and feel of the Flextreme, making them a cohesive part of this integrated transportation solution. Most notably, these Segway PT units have retractable handlebars that allow for more compact storage. Built into the Flex-Load cargo area are ramps used to load and unload the Segway PTs. The Segway PT units attach to a docking station inside the cargo space where they recharge while the Flextreme batteries charge.

"Saturn has a legacy of environmental responsibility, so products like this Flextreme concept with its integrated Segway PTs showcase our continued pursuit of consumer-focused, green technologies," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's General Manager.

"The Segway and GM teams worked closely to integrate the Segway PT into the Flextreme's functionality and innovative design," said Doug Field, Segway's chief technology officer. "It was a collaboration that resulted in one package with both short and long-distance transportation solutions."

Like the Flextreme, the Segway PT is electrically powered and does not produce emissions during operation. Powered by two lithium-ion batteries, the Segway PT typically takes eight to ten hours to charge at a 110/220 volt outlet and consumes about one kilowatt hour of energy while recharging(1).

Considering a rider can travel up to 24 miles on one battery charge the Segway PT consumes .0.052 kilowatt hours per mile on average. The production of 52 watt-hours of electricity creates 0.081 lbs. of carbon dioxide - that is 70 to 80 percent less than the emissions created by other individual transportation devices such as gas-powered scooters or motorcycles, respectively(2). Moreover, the Segway PT is four to five times more energy efficient than a motorcycle or scooter.

The Saturn Flextreme concept with Segway PT prototypes will be on display at the NAIAS Jan. 14 - 27, 2008 at the Cobo Hall Convention Center in Detroit.


Pontiac Rolls Out Enhanced G6 Family

Pontiac has announced that it is ringing in the new year with a fresh look for its best-selling line of G6 mid-size vehicles. Additional fuel-saving powertrain options, more aggressive exterior styling, and a sleek new instrument panel highlight the 2009.5 model G6, which will begin arriving in Pontiac dealerships in January.

"The G6 has always been one of our most important vehicles and has been Pontiac's number-one seller since it was launched in 2004," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "As the most complete family of mid-size vehicles available in the marketplace, the new enhancements for 2009 will further solidify the G6's reputation for sporty style and handling without sacrificing value and fuel efficiency."

All G6 models, including sedans, coupes and convertibles, receive the interior upgrades. The uniquely styled G6 GXP models will not be affected by the exterior or powertrain changes.



New Powertrain Options

For the first time, the G6 coupe will be available with GM's fuel sipping, 164-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder Ecotec engine. Linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, the coupe's new powertrain combo is capable of the same 33 miles per gallon fuel efficiency as the current G6 sedan and also incorporates a new TAPshift manual shift system with steering wheel-mounted paddle controls.

In those areas where E85 ethanol-based fuel is readily available, a FlexFuel version of the 219-horsepower 3.5L V6 will be available as a no-cost alternative to the standard 3.5L engine on all body styles.

The optional 222-horsepower 3.9L V6 for the G6 convertible remains unchanged, as does the standard 252-horsepower 3.6L V6 in all GXP models.




Sportier Exterior

Inspired by the sporty front end styling of the new G8 performance sedan, the new G6 front fascia features chrome surrounds for the signature Pontiac dual port honeycomb grille. This same grille pattern is carried to an updated lower air dam.

Also new are a revised headlight design with clear park/turn lenses and amber lamps, body color mirrors and painted rockers on the sedan and coupe. An updated spoiler is available for base model sedans and is standard on the GT models.

New rear fascias unique to the sedan and coupe/convertible accommodate both single and dual exhaust, as well as larger diameter exhaust tips.

17-inch chrome wheel covers are now standard equipped on all four-cylinder, six-speed automatic sedans and coupes. An updated 17-inch wheel will be standard as a part of the popular Sun-and-Sound package.

Refreshed Interior

A revised center stack is the most obvious interior enhancement of the 2009.5 model G6, sporting all new HVAC controls and an updated AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input jack. The driver information center has moved to the gauge cluster, which has also been enhanced with new graphics and lighting.

The 2009.5 G6 will also benefit from the integrated info-tainment opportunities in GM's optional MY LINK enhanced communication package. MY LINK integrates audio system, Bluetooth telephone, XM satellite radio and OnStar navigation functions in one simple package. It includes an upgraded USB-equipped radio system, allowing for direct control of various portable music players, plus provides a full year of both XM radio and OnStar Directions and Connections services.

Other interior changes include new dark satin nickel trim accents on the steering wheel, door panels, and shifter plate. New two-tone seats in an ebony-light taupe color combination are available in either cloth or leather for all models, offering an option to the standard ebony seats. A new optional ebony-titanium color leather seating package is also available on all GT and GXP models.



Pricing for the new G6 coupe with the four-cylinder, six-speed automatic powertrain combo starts at $22,890, including $670 destination and freight charges (DFC). A comparably equipped G6 sedan starts at $23,875.

The E85-capable FlexFuel 3.5L equipped G6 sedan starts at $24,125, with the GT coupe starting at $25,280. The 2009.5 G6 retractable hardtop convertible starts at $32,970.

A special value-priced G6 base sedan with a standard equipment package will start at $19,945.

All G6 models are covered by GM's five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.


Pontiac enhances G6 lineup with mid-year updates

The L.A. Auto Show is just days away, and as it draws near more models, updates and reveals are coming to light. Pontiac will be bringing a revised family of G6 coupes, convertibles and sedans to the L.A. Auto Show despite General Motors' widely publicized pull-out of its featured show vehicles.

Updates to the G6 range focus on efficiency, alternative fuels and improved value through added features. The mid-sized G6 will get updated exterior styling and reworked powertrains to achieve those goals, though the high-performance GXP models will only get the interior upgrade common to the entire range.

The G6 Coupe, for instance, will finally be offered with the 164hp (122kW) four-cylinder 2.4L Ecotec engine that's rated at 33mpg highway (7.1L/100km). The same engine is already on offer in the G6 Sedan, where it achieves the same fuel efficiency rating. The coupe also gets the company's new TAPshift manual-shift automatic transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Markets that have high availability of E85 will also get a FlexFuel version of the 3.5L V6 engine, rated at 219hp (163kW), and the coupe will still have the option of the 222hp (165kW) 3.9L V6. The 252hp (188kW) 3.5L V6 found in the GXP models is the same as last year's model as well.

Exterior appearance features updated with the facelift include the front fascia, which gets a chrome surround for the grille. The rear fascias are also updated, accommodating both single and dual exhausts and larger exhaust tips depending on trim level. Seventeen inch chrome wheel covers are standard on four-cylinder sedans and coupes equipped with six-speed automatic transmissions. The Sun-and-Sound package will also get an updated 17" alloy wheel package.

Inside, the new interiors across the range feature new heating and air conditioning controls, an updated stereo with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability and an auxiliary input jack. GM's MY LINK communications system gives the car Bluetooth capability, plus USB input for music player access. Dark satin nickel trim accents on the steering wheel, door panels and shifter plate plus two-tone seats in ebony/light taupe are available in both cloth and leather, which is a new option above the standard ebony seats. GT and GXP models als oget a new ebony-titanium leather seating package.

Pricing starts at $22,890 for the G6 coupe with the new four-cylinder option, while the E85 models start out at $24,125 for the sedan and the GT Coupe at $25,280. The 2009.5 G6 retractable hardtop convertible starts at $32,970.


EVA – Aerodynamic hybrid vehicle betters speed, range and efficiency

Eco Factor: Hybrid vehicle powered by lithium polymer batteries.

Electricity alone cannot provide the speed and distance we require sustaining our lives in future. Hybrids can take over conventional fossil fuel vehicles without making us too slow in the process. Cobus Marx has designed a futuristic vehicle called the EVA (Electric Vehicle Africa) that can carry two passengers on its three wheels and a hybrid engine.

The vehicle enhances the possibilities of a cost-effective alternative approach to a personal transport vehicle. The vehicle is based on the future needs of the urbanized user who needs extended range at a high speed to travel long distances when needed. The vehicle's specifications needed it to be extremely aerodynamic, which the designer accomplished by a height adjusting air suspension system.

When the vehicle is stationary the suspension is at its maximum height enabling the commuters to get in and out of the vehicle easily. When the car is running at a high speed the suspension drops down taking the car as close to the road as possible.

Large door handles of appropriate shape and diameter will help the user open and close the door with ease if the car has been parked in a congested space. The body of the car has been designed in a fashion to reduce drag at high speed, which again helps in increasing the efficiency of the car.

 EVA is powered by a conventional 250CC, two-cylinder, four stroke engine generating 16 KW. This engine is coupled with a Li-ion polymer powered electric motor which generates an additional 120KW. Running on electricity the car has a range of 400 km at a top speed of 160 km/h, which can be enhanced by running the gasoline engine simultaneously.

The Dark Side:
The car can carry two passengers. With the growth in population, cars which can carry more and more people are likely to attract more customers in future. The ever increasing cost of fuel has already attracted many people to commute on shared basis. In such a time a car with two seats is unlikely to comply with the demands of the future.


MINI Cooper S pimped with almost 40,000 Swarovski crystals

The Mini Cooper you in the picture above is more a work of art than a car. The MINI Cooper S by designer
Marco Mehn turns heads with its space-frame style , along with up to 20 hand-applied paints, three finishes and 40,000 Swarovski crystals. The gleaming MINI is an amazing combination of art and automotive enthusiasm. The car is a part of the Heim + Handwerk fair in Munich, where sparkling runabouts will be shown to the public. The MINI can sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in approximately 7.1 s and reaches a top speed of 225 km/h. Marco Mehn, on his artistic creation, said…

The purpose of my art is always, emotions and arousing the viewer to touch. The MINI gives me the opportunity to create a work that people not only with the eyes can perceive, driving for many people is emotion and pure luxury, which they feel with all your senses.

Via: OpenPR


MonoTracer Blurs the Line Between Motorcycle And Car

Peraves MonoTracer blurs the line between motorcycle and car, providing the excitement of two wheels with the comfort of four in a vehicle that looks like something out of Star Wars.

The super-exclusive MonoTracer -- just 100 will be built next year, at about $70,000 a pop -- is a fully-enclosed motorcycle with training wheels. The carbon-fiber two-seater combines Porsche-like performance with scooter-like fuel economy, accelerating from zero to 62 mph in
a claimed (.pdf) 4.8 seconds while still returning 65 mpg. With the perfect blend of performance and luxury, the MonoTracer just might be the sports car of the future. 

And it was just named one of Time magazine's
best inventions of the year.
Former SwissAir pilot Arnold Wagner has been playing with enclosed motorcycles since 1982, when he built a prototype of the
Ecomobile. It looked a bit like a Tylenol capsule with wheels and used a BMW motorcycle engine for power. Wagner and his sons built more than 90 Ecos -- most were sold in Europe and Japan, although a few made it to America -- before a fire destroyed the molds a few years ago. Rather than give up or simply recreate the Ecomobile, Wagner and his two sons went back to the drawing board.

The MonoTracer sports a carbon fiber and Kevlar body reinforced with aluminum crash and roll bars. The engine cradle, retractable outriggers  -- they keep the bike from falling over at stoplights -- and steering head are aircraft-quality steel. Power comes from the same 1200-cc four-cylinder engine BMW uses in its K-bikes. The engine produces 113 horsepower, which may not seem like much until you realize the Monotracer weighs just over 1,000 pounds. Amenities include air conditioning and a full-on stereo.

Driving the MonoTracer is a lot like riding a motorcycle - twist the throttle and go - but it's got a clutch pedal instead of a lever. The MonoTracer will lean into corners at a superbike-like 52 degrees, while ABS and traction control will keep you from getting in over your head.


Eliica Goes Vrooooooooming By

Too goofy becomes cool! Yep, that is the funda if the Japanese electric
car Eliica is anything to go by! Designed by a team of students led by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu at Keio University, Tokyo, the Electric Lithium-Ion Car (ELIICA) prototype has been around since 2003.

The design of the car is absoultely unique. It comprises of eight wheels with the axles one in front of the other. All four tires in the front turn simultaneously to give a good steering radius. Now they are working on giving the same edge to the rear wheels for easy parallel parking.

Promising an amazing acceleration from 0 To 62 in just 4 seconds, the Eliica surpasses even the Tesla Roaster. The Speed model was designed in 2005 with some extra techology that ensures longer range and better handling. The speed right now is 230mph, but the team wants it to reach 250mph and create a world record. On the other hand, the Acceleration model gives a top speed of 120mph.

The development costs are around $400,000 but the market price (if the car ever gets there) is estimated to be close to $255,000.

Via zoomilife & trendsupdates


Renault Releases Clio Renaultsport 197 Lux (UK)

Renault has announced a new version of the Clio for the UK market, called the Renaultsport 197 Lux. Meant to provide hot hatch thrills and a heavy dose of luxury the new version will be priced at £16,995 when it goes on sale this January.

The big news about the new model is that it includes £2,000 worth of equipment for just £1,000 more than the standard 197. Befitting of a luxury model the interior is decked out with leather upholstery, climate control, a 60W radio MP3 CD player, and a satin chrome finish to the air vents. Exterior features include brushed aluminum alloy wheels and a satin chrome finish to the door mirrors and to the air extraction grilles in the front wings. Rounding out the other standard equipment is automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, cornering lights, tinted rear windows.

Optional equipment includes electrically folding door mirrors (£100), a panoramic sunroof (£600), xenon headlamps (£550), Speedline wheels in either white or black (£100) or the acclaimed Cup chassis (£400).

Source: Renault


Artist gone nuts: Perodua Myvi Cabriolet

This set of photoshopped images confirm that our resident graphic artist Theophilus Chin is a crackhead I suppose if Nissan and Mitsubishi can create drop top versions of their tall-ish B-segment hatchbacks (the Micra C+C and the Colt CZC respectively), it's probably not too insane for Theophilus to dream of a drop top Perodua Myvi… or not! But seriously, Theophilus had nothing to do so he whipped up these photoshopped images just for fun. But what do you think? Would anyone buy something like this?


Nexter – An electric car for congested city lanes

Eco Factor: Lead-acid battery powered compact city car.
The Earth is not going to swell in the future to accommodate the growth in population and cars. City lanes are more congested than they ever were before and the situation is going to get worse in the near future. Car designers today are not just focusing on electric cars, but they have to keep the space factor in consideration before they bring the car of their dreams to paper.

Designer Florian FOIZON has addressed both of these issues in a future car called the Nexter. The car has been developed for a city tottering with space and environmental problems. The car is just under a meter wide and can carry two passengers. The car gets power from lead-acid batteries that give it a range of about 150 Km and a top speed of 90 Km/h.

The Dark Side:
In an effort to lower the cost of the car, Florian aims to power the car with lead-acid batteries that are not as energy-efficient as their lithium counterparts. Moreover, these batteries need some routine maintenance to make them perform flawlessly. Lithium batteries on the other hand, are maintenance free and provide a better performance than lead-acid batteries.


Maruti A-Star Mileage

Maruti will be launching the A-Star next week. According to ARAI the A-Star returned a mileage of 19.59 kmpl. The A-Star uses the new K series engine. The 1.0L, 3 cylinder unit has a power output of 65bhp.


24K Gold Fiat 500 Pepita

This Fiat 500 Pepita is coated with 24k Gold Paint and has a Swarovski Crystal studded gear, Swarovski crystal studded emergency brake handle, shifter knob and foot pedals, cashmere floor mats. Seat covering options are crocodile, snake, shark or lizard leather.


Tiny car


Hyundai Accent Takes Back Title Of Cheapest Car In America At $9,970

Nissan made some waves last month when they announced the Nissan Versa 1.6S, a car that would cost only $9,990 and snagged the unofficial title of "cheapest car in America" from Hyundai. The Korean automaker has struck back by dropping the price of their Hyundai Accent GS 3-door from $11,070 to $9,970, besting the Versa by an Andrew Jackson. That money will get you the same 1.6-liter, 110-horsepower engine and five-speed manual transmission found in the regular version. You'll also still get no radio, no air-conditioning and steel wheels. What's the catch? All the other prices remain the same, meaning that if you want a 3-door with an automatic you'll pay a whopping $2,100 premium for the pleasure of having the car choose the gears for you. If you want air-conditioning prepare to pay another $1,600. Full details in the press release below.


Hyundai Accent Retains Crown as America's Least Expensive Car


Fiat 500 Abarth “DA 0 A 100″ limited edition

To mark Karl Abarth's centenary, Fiat has announced a limited edition of the Abarth 500, the "DA 0 A 100
. With 101 units scheduled to be built, the special edition is powered by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers 160 bhp (118 kW) at 5750 rpm, and peak torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm. By modifying the gear ratios and adding an IHI RHF3 fixed geometry turboblower, the car goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 211 km/h (131 mph). Other mechanical upgrades include perforated disc brakes, high performance front brake pads, special air filter "powered by BMC", special low springs and new 17 alloy wheels with chrome-plated hub covers and Scorpion logo.

The "DA 0 A 100
comes in a Nuvolari Grey paint finish, with Abarth stripe on the sides and tone-on-tone effect, plus chrome plated badges on the pillar and wing mirror cases. On the interior, the car received hide colored leather seats with silver stichting, aluminium for the gear lever knob, the kick plate branded "da 0 a 100 and the special "da 0 a 100 plate with the number of the car. Check out one more photo of the car after the jump.


Report: Toyota Makes Plans for a $5000 Microcar

The Toyota iQ is positioned as a premium-segment microcar, but the $5,000 version will be entry-level and only for emerging markets

In an effort to steal at least a bit of the spotlight from Tata,
Toyota has announced that it too will launch a super-budget mini-car into the automotive market. Unlike the Nano however, Toyota's price mark is set at around $5000 and will probably not make it onto the market until 2015.

The budget mini-car probably won't face many of the unpredicted setbacks as the Tata Nano has suffered, but fluctuating prices on materials such as steel and plastics could be a future issue. The car is to be co-developed with Daihatsu and built in Bangalore, India where Toyota already has one plant, and another set to open in 2010.

Toyota's current micro-car, the iQ, requires a bigger wallet (though not by much) than the planned budget car, with prices predicted to hit below the $12,000 mark as set by the entry level Yaris if it does hit US shores under the Scion brand.

Tata's Nano famously promised to bring the opportunity of four-wheeled transport to the world's emerging markets - places such as India, Brazil and the African continent. Now Toyota is reported to be working on a similar car, though its initial price target is roughly double the Nano's originally intended price.

The news of Toyota's entry into the super-budget market comes from the Japanese Asahi newspaper, reports Automotive News Europe. To be co-developed with Daihatsu and built in Bangalore, India, the car won't make it to market until 2015. Toyota already has one plant in Bangalore, and is building another set to open in 2010.

Tata's car has faced setbacks, however, with the factory having to be relocated for political reasons and the rising costs of materials driving up the car's price. Toyota isn't likely to face exactly the same issues, though fluctuating commodities pricing on essential items like steel and plastic can quickly eat away at the tiny margins found in super-budget microcars.

Renault-Nissan is also among the contenders for the ultra-cheap tiny car market thanks to a cooperative agreement with Bajaj Auto. The Renault-Nissan car will more squarely target the Tata Nano, however, aiming for the same $2,500 price point. The companies hope to have the car to market by 2011.

The Toyota iQ, the company's latest submission to the microcar market, is targeted at more premium audiences in Europe and possible the U.S., with a UK price tag of £9,495 (approximately $16,140) for the entry-level version. Actual U.S. pricing, if the car does come under the Scion brand, will likely be below the $12,000 mark set by the entry-level Yaris. 


Japan votes Toyota iQ as COTY

It's that time of the year again when the COTY (Car of the Year) awards start flowing in thick and fast. Among those awards today comes news that Japan has voted Toyota's iQ, the world's smallest four-seater passenger car, as their 2008 Japan Car of the Year.

The cute iQ almost doubled the points attained by second place winner, Citroen's C5, to romp home the award judges say was given for efficient use of space, clever design and the ability to seat four people in a body less than three metres long. Judges also complimented iQ's high safety levels and low CO2 emissions.

The Japanese COTY awards are scored by a panel of 65 jurors (mostly motoring journalists) who are each allowed to nominate twenty-five points. Ten points must be given to the one car they like best with the remaining fifteen points to be allocated among four other cars. In all 39 of the judges allocated points to the iQ.

The top ten list of this year's contenders is as follows:

1.     Toyota iQ (526 points)

2.     Citroën C5 (223 points)

3.     Nissan GT-R (201 points)

4.     Audi A4 Avant (180 points)

5.     Jaguar XF (115 points)

6.     Daihatsu Tanto (100 points)

7.     Fiat 500 (90 points)

8.     Honda Freed (62 points)

9.     Mazda Atenza (60 points)

10.  Suzuki Wagon R (37 points)


2009 Mazda 2 upgrade

Mazda has released an upgrade for the popular Mazda2 (or Demio) in Japan today with several interior and exterior refinements aimed at extending the popular model's appeal.

A freshened interior featuring a piano black center panel and revised seat and door trim fabrics (three in all), new alloy look gear knob, parking brake and door handles door trim and an illuminated gear shift (auto only) all of which compliment a new exterior colour, Aluminium Metallic, which brings the colour pallet to an even dozen.
The top shelf Genki model also picks up climate control air-conditioning with particle filter.

Australia will most likely see the revised model sometime in the first quarter of 2009.