Suzuki SXForce Concept

Four new vehicles are being showcased by Japanese automaker Suzuki at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. One of the vehicles which the automaker has unveiled at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show is the SXForce LIVE vehicle which according to the automaker has been inspired by sportsbikes.

The SXForce LIVE is the newest addition to the automakers LIVE Series which have become popular among automotive enthusiasts. Suzuki has been known to be one of the largest manufacturers of motorcycles. The company fused their engineering prowess in the manufacturing of four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles to come up with the SXForce.

The said vehicle was designed and built by Road Race Motorsports based in Santa Fe Springs in California. The heart of the SXForce is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine which produces as much as 250 horsepower. Said powerplant is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

On the outside, the SXForce LIVE has been given an eye-catching design. Two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicle lovers would see the combination of sportsbike and sportscar in the SXForce. True to its designation as a vehicle for enthusiasts who live life on the edge, the vehicle is given a carbon fiber body panels. Flash Pearl White and Orange Metallic paint schemes makes the vehicle very visible on the road. These exterior design cues are enhanced by the addition of sportsbike-style side rearview mirrors and dual exhaust.

Gene Brown, the vice president of marketing and press relations at American Suzuki Automotive Operations, had this to say: “Suzuki always looks forward to SEMA because of its upbeat and somewhat irreverent energy. The overall enthusiasm for cars and for life that underlies the entire event meshes perfectly with our brand philosophy and parallels the passion infused into the concepts we have on display this year and the vehicles currently in our showrooms.”

The SXForce has a lot of features which can attract a lot of admirers. Said vehicle has a fully tuned performance suspension system making it stable on any road surface. It also has Formula One-style outlet grills which is not only for looks but helps air flow under the hood of the car. These are just some of the things that make the Suzuki SXForce Live a show-stealer at the SEMA Show.

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With one race left in this year’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car schedule, Mazda was able to clinch the Manufacturer’s title. The title was the company’s first with the MAZDA6 platform.

Tri-Point Motorsports’ drivers Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst were the leading players in Mazda’s title chase. Altenburg finished 10th and kept his lead in the driver’s championship race, while Pobst finished 15th after being punted off the track late in the race, reported JMS Motorsports Marketing.

“Congratulations to Mazda on winning the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Manufacturer’s Championship! I’m proud of the Tri Point Motorsports Team for their part in winning it after many years of trying so hard. Now we head to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the finale to settle the Driver’s Championship!” said Altenburg of #72 Tri-Point MAZDA6.

Weather for the 45-minute scheduled Touring Car race was wet but both Tri-Point drivers were happy for the condition. This is because they know that their MAZDA6 have usually been fast in rainy conditions.

“In the rain on the warm up lap at Road Atlanta, I was optimistic. I’m normally really good at such conditions, and my Mazda 6 felt much improved in the rain at Mosport in practice. Well, after a good start, we were hit hard in the second turn of the race by an overzealous competitor. The suspension was bent, but we were able to continue in a wounded condition, which is much better than Mid-Ohio,” noted Pobst of #73 Tri-Point MAZDA6.

“A difficult race became a tragic comedy when a Mazda friend punted me and him into the gravel in the last corner. On to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca! Special thanks to Tri-Point Motorsports, Mazdaspeed, Chase Cam, Stop Tech, Weathertech, APR Tuning, and Team Janica Racing… what an adventure!” added Pobst.

The Tri-Point squad is now heading to the second finale at Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California. It will start on the 19th and will end on the 21st of this month. With the title secure in Mazda’s hand, the fight will be between Altenburg and Pobst.

This season, the momentous racing event is sponsored by Mazda, Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, Racing Hart, Stop Tech, Sparco, Chase Cam, Crocotile, Quarter Master, Ron Davis Racing, Hawk, Pro Parts USA, and Race Sign Specialists.

Thieves are making more and more car owners walk. Because of the prevalence of auto theft, thieves keep car owners on their toes. Literally.

  Car Thieves

In the last couple of months, about 500 cars have been stolen in Spokane, up slightly from last year. According to authorities, patterns of thievery change based on arrests. They added the chronic problem has been made worse by weak sentencing for those who steal automobiles – many of whom are repeat offenders – and not enough people to investigate all the thefts.

“The jail is so backed up with violent criminals that those who commit property crimes aren’t held,” said Spokane police Sgt. Keith Cummings. “It’s not too sexy, so to speak, so the jail time isn’t much,” Cummings said.

Authorities stressed that when they arrest some of the more prolific car thieves, a drop in stolen cars can be detected immediately, but only for a short time. Kootenai County fielded 82 stolen vehicle reports in 2005, 71 in 2006 and 55 so far this year, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.

California is first in the nation for auto theft; Texas, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington, followed respectively. Meanwhile, Idaho is ranked 44th in the nation. Based on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s data, Spokane is 17th in the country according to a per-capita calculation of cities. Kootenai County fielded 82 stolen vehicle reports in 2005, 71 in 2006 and 55 so far this year, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.

The reason: Police caught a group of people who were stealing cars, said Liz Peterson, a crime analyst for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. The other day, a young girl reported her vehicle stolen. Cummings oversees property crime investigations. He noted most auto thefts in Spokane can be tied to drugs. National Insurance Crime Bureau Spokesman Frank Scafidi said that the national average for recovered stolen cars is 59 percent.

 

The Dodge Journey crossover vehicle that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show was primarily destined for Europe but surprisingly it will first be offered in the US as early as next year as a 2009 model.

2009 Dodge Journey

Journey is heading to the United States but will not arrive until the scheduled Los Angeles Auto Show in November. And although it would look more like the Europe version its performance, engine, and fuel economy will not be the same due to the federal regulations implemented in the US.

The Journey for US will be available with a 3.5 liter V6 gas engine which Europe won’t get since the Europe version will get a more powerful Volkswagen-supplied diesel engine which is not allowed in America.

The Journey is built on a modified Dodge Avenger platform and hopefully will provide Chrysler with a bigger presence in the growing crossover market especially since sales on trucks have been sluggish due to slowdown in the construction market, not to mention the ever increasing gasoline prices.

With regards to size the Journey is in between the Nitro crossover and the full-size Durango SUV.

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The 2008 Limited Edition Boxster and Boxster S are priced at $49,000 USD and $59,900 USD respectively. Only 500 of the Limited Edition Boxster and Boxster S models will be made available throughout US and Canada on September 28, 2007.

Sophisticated airbag safety comes standard on both Boxster models. Two full-size Advanced Airbags in front offer optimum upper-body protection, even with the top down. A weight sensor in the passenger seat automatically switches this airbag off when the seat is unoccupied or fitted with a child seat.

Add to that standard 18-inch black alloy wheels (19-inch for the Boxster S) and additional black trim pieces on the exterior, and you’ve got a fairly stunning exterior package that overshadows a garden variety Porsche Boxster with ease.

The idea of locating a compact, freerevving engine midship gave the Porsche a nimbleness no sports car had ever possessed. The Boxster shares this boldly intelligent approach to sports car design.

Active electronic driver aids profoundly enhance the everyday driving stability of a Porsche. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) switches to Sport mode, altering its baseline damping force for considerably firmer shock response, enabling faster turn-in as well as better road-holding and traction.

The Limited Edition Boxster and Boxster are to be clad in a stunning orange paint which was previously featured in the track-ready Porsche 911 GT3 TS. The Limited Edition Boxster is an impressive piece of work that includes a special “Limited Edition” plaque on the glove compartment. And that’s not all! Even the gray shift pattern on the gear shift lever was also tinted with orange.

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I’m browsing through the net and I happened to found this interesting topic.

Cars.com, one of the most trusted websites that offer automotive pricing and other information provide consumers some info about the vehicle models that are “wallet-friendly”. Why wallet friendly? Well, it is because these car models costs less than or bigger than $10,000.

Patrick Olsen, managing editor of Cars.com said:

“Whether it’s a thrifty ride for a college student, a grocery-getter for the family or something for the daily commute, lots of shoppers seem to want the same thing: a late-model, low-mileage car that’s reliable, safe and fuel-efficient.”

Top 10 best inexpensive used cars according to Cars.com.

2005 Ford Focus ($10,500 – $13,000)

“The restyled 2005 Ford Focus offers nimble handling with few of the equipment recalls that beset the early-2000s original. “

2003 Ford Taurus ($10,500 – $12,000)

“The Ford Taurus is a sound used-car choice for families and sensible for young drivers. Both the wagon and sedan offer generous cabin and luggage space, not to mention top reliability and crash-test scores.”

2003 Mazda Prot̩g̩ ($8,500 Р$15,000)

“Those wary of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla homogeny should consider the Mazda Protege.”

2003 Mercury Sable ($9,000 – $13,000)

“The Ford Taurus’ upscale twin offers slightly better reliability ratings and the same stalwart crash-test scores.”

2002 Buick LeSabre ($9,000 – $12,000)

“The Buick LeSabre is a comfortable car for drivers young and old, and the ’02 model came chock full of safety features.”

2002 Chevrolet Impala ($9,000 – $11,500)

“The Impala is Chevy’s workaday sedan, and the 2000-05 iteration arguably boasted sharper styling than its anonymous successor.”

2002 Ford Windstar ($7,500 – $15,000)

“Minivan lovers can fill the Ford Windstar with up to seven people, and there are plenty of bells and whistles for those who want them.”

2002 Honda Accord ($10,000 – $13,000)

“The sixth generation, built from 1998 through 2002, delivered excellent reliability and respectable crash-test ratings.”

2002 Honda Civic ($10,000 – $12,000)

“The Honda Civic combines thriftiness and refinement in a way few others can, making it an excellent choice for those who often drive solo.”

2002 Oldsmobile Aurora ($10,000 – $13,000)

“The Oldsmobile Aurora is proof you can buy a used luxury car for around $10,000. The restyled early-2000s model earns high marks for reliability and crashworthiness.”

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According to Saab, the 2008 Saab 9-7X “brings unique Saab brand characteristics to the midsize SUV segment, including sophisticated styling inside and out, premium design features, and the sporty and spirited performance inherent to Saab vehicles.”

“The Saab 9-7X Aero is one great SUV to pilot”, according to Shannon. “We are excited to offer enthusiastic drivers an increased level of performance with the Aero, a symbol of Saab performance, in the midsize SUV segment.”

The performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system delivers impressive on-road grip and enhanced “launch” feel. Like all 9-7X models, the Aero model represents a terrific value with a high-level of standard equipment.

Highlights of the 2008 Saab 9-7X Aero include:

– powerful, 6.0L small-block V-8 delivering 390 horsepower (295 kW) and 395 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque
– composite intake manifold adapted to the LS2 engine to help produce balanced torque and horsepower
– Carbon Flash Metallic exterior with charcoal metallic paint
– 20-inch polished, aluminum wheels wrapped with P255/50R20 V-speed-rated performance tires
– refined and driver-oriented cockpit-inspired interior
– “Aero” embroidered leather seats and embossed floor mats
– lowered chassis tuned and tested to deliver responsive, balanced handling
– front stabilizer bars for improved corner control and body roll control
– heavy-duty rear axle with limited-slip differential for additional strength
– four-wheel disc braking
– heavy-duty iron calipers
– Anti lock braking system (ABS)
– automatic all-wheel-drive
– StabiliTrak electronic stability control system (ECS)
– Torsen center differential

The 2008 Saab 9-7X and Saab 9-7X Aero will roll out in dealer showrooms all over the U.S. starting this fall. The 2008 Saab 9-7X carries a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $39,935. Meanwhile, the limited edition Saab 9-7X Aero will have a starting MSRP of $45,690. The limited edition Saab 9-7X Aero comes with sporty features as well as the highest level of driving performance.