Skoda Praktik : Roomster's bread-van bro

As if the fact that the Roomster's looks wheren't already considered weird Skoda decided to make things worse by presenting the bread-van version of it's Toyota Yaris Verso look-alike. Just imagine that you're heading to a Skoda dealership after convincing yourself that the Roomster does not look like a professional van and suddenly bumping into one of these!

Dubbed Praktik, the brad-vevrsion of the Roomster gets a two-seat configuration with a large freight compartment (volume 1,783 litres, length 1,555 mm, width 1,016-1,429 mm, height 987 mm) separated from the driver's cabin with a sliding panel. It offers payload of 640 kg and it will be available with two petrol engines (1.2 12V HTP/51 kW and 1.4 16V/63 kW) and one diesel engine (1.4 TDI PD/51 kW). The launch of the Skoda Praktik is scheduled to start in the spring of 2007.

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Scoop: 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe pictures

Allegedly taken during a commercial shoot-out through a cell-phone camera, these pics reveal the 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe in all its glory. By the looks of it, Nissan designers decided to take inspiration from the Infiniti G35 Coupe / Nissan Skyline Coupe models.

Although there're no specs available yet, rumours have it that the Altima Coupe will make its global debut at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) in January with sales starting in the US a few months later. via: Jalopnik

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2007 Toyota Auris Production Version: Corolla's successor goes on sale in Japan

A couple of weeks after the debut of the Auris Concept at the Paris Show, Toyota announced the Japanese launch of the Auris production model. While its European release is scheduled for the spring of 2007, there's no word out yet for the US version.

Despite the dramatic changes that the name implies over its Corolla predecessor, I, as most people who saw the production ready Auris Concept at Paris, fail to see what the big fuss is all about. The Auris doesn't bring anything new to the C-Segment hatch category in terms of design, engineering or technology, so it sounds to me more of a marketing trick to convince younger people to take a look at the car.

As for Toyota's English press release, it doesn't reveal anything important except for the fact that the Japanese version which will be offered with two engines, the 1.5-liter VVT-i & the 1.8-liter Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). A quick tour at the Japanese site though reveals that the 1.5 produces 110 Hp / 6.000 rpm & 14.3 kgm / 4.400 rpm while the larger 1.8, 136 Hp / 6.000 rpm & 17,8 kgm / 4.400 rpm. The 1.8 can be equipped with the Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent), a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic transmission.

Like most cars in Japan, all Auris models will be offered in Japan either as 2WD or 4WD. For a more sporty look, Toyota has already released a couple of TRD kits as well as more sporty versions like the Modellista.

European version Range & Debut Date: In Europe, the Auris will be available in 3 and 5 doors hatchback body type with a choice of two petrol engines, a 1.4 VVT-i and 1.6 Dual VVT-i, and three diesel engines, 1.4 D-4D, 2.0 D-4D and 2.2 D-4D Clean Power. The new Auris will be revealed in Europe at the Bologna Motor Show on December 5, 2006 and will go on sale across Europe in spring 2007.

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2007 Ford Mondeo revealed in new James Bond Casino Royal trailer

About time wasn't it, meaning that we've already seen a bunch of pictures from the 2007 Ford Mondeo that will appear in the upcoming Casino Royal movie. Actually, this teaser trailer is part of a Ford TV promo add for the Focus in the UK, but who cares anyway !

Click here to see large pictures and the press release : 2007 Ford Mondeo

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SEMA Show : Outrageous Chevrolet C6 Corvette

Not exactly the epitome of styling, but on the other hand, this car won't go public in Paris but in Las Vegas at its famous SEMA show. The Outrageous C6 Corvette is the work of Corvette aftermarket parts distributor Mid America Motorworks, its in-house brand of products and parts, Performance Choice, Sony, and the designer, John Wargo of Custom Shop. Style apart, the Outrageous C6 gets a Pro Charger supercharger and Corsa exhaust system that boost power to a whopping 650 hp. Via: Autoblog

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Pic of the Day : What a... Bimmer

If it wasn't for the scr
atches on the hood and the side of the car, you could say that this was an unsuccessful try to imitate BMW'S renowned Art Car Collection. But unfortunately for the owner of this wonderful M3, this was just a successful attempt to get even. Now this must have been one hell of a pissed off female to do something like this on the poor man's bimmer, what a bummer...!

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Scooped : 2007 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X & Subaru Impreza WRX STi

I got my hands on this week's Autocar magazine that features two wonderful photoshops of the upcoming Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X & its Subaru counterpart, the Impreza WRX STi. Here's a summary of what they wrote:

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X : According to Autocar, we're going to get a first view of the EVO X in the form of a production ready concept, at the Detroit Motor Show in January with the actual production version following in the Tokio Motor Show in October the same year. The most interesting fact though is that Autocar say's that the being a member of the Lancer family, the EVO X will be based on the Dodge Caliber platform !

Subaru Impreza WRX STi : As most of us know, the next generation Subaru Impreza will be offered for the first time with a 5door hatchback body. Autocar, tells -and shows us through it's nicely made photoshop, that the new Impreza's design will be "Europeanized". As for the mechanics, the top spec STi will be again fitted with Subarus 2.5 Litre boxer motor. via : Autocar

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BMW 3 Series Coupe-Cabrio to be unveiled next week !

Update : Official Pictures & Specs

According to our information, BMW's first attempt at the Coupe-Cabrio category based on the E92 3 Series Coupe will be unveiled in the middle of next week. Apart from that and the fact that the it'll get an electrically folding metallic rooftop, the only other "official" info I obtained is that, like its coupe counterpart, the 3 Series Coupe-Cabrio will be offered in the beginning with BMW's new 3.0 litre straight six (325i with 218 hp) and the excellent 3,0 Twin Turbo (335i with 306 hp).

Latter on it'll get more engines like the 272 hp 3.0 & the 150 Hp 2.0 (only for Europe of course). The new open-top bimmer will most probably make its world premiere at the LA Auto Show (Dec 1 -10), along with the second generation X5 (it wasn't shown in Paris). Sales will start in spring 2007.

Stay tuned on Carscoop, as we'll have more official stuff on BMW's first ever Coupe-Cabrio

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Audi Q7 : Surprise, surprise, the US aimed Q7 sells better in Europe than in the States

A very interesting article in this week's Automotive News Europe reveals that, although Audi's premium SUV was primarily designed to appeal to American customers, it's the Europeans who are giving "a thumb up" to the Q7!

In Q7's first four months in the market, US sales represent the 30% of the total production instead of the planned 50%. But that's not bad news at all as, unlike BMW and Mercedes who produce the X5 & the ML in the States, Audi imports the Q7 from Europe, which means that it's more profitable for Audi to sell the Q7 in Europe than in the US (cause of the current EUR / USD exchange rates). Via : Automotive News Europe

Audi Q7 Sales August 2006

  • USA - 2.677
  • Europe 19.807
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Fiat Linea - World Premiere of Fiat's C-Segment Sedan

About a week ago I got my hands on an official list of the Fiat Group's product plan 2007-2007 (click here : Fiat, Alfa Romeo & Lancia 2007 -2009). On that list there was an unknown, till now of course, Fiat model called Linea. Like the new Opel Astra Sedan, the Linea is a C-Segment sedan which will make its world debut at the Turkish Motor Show in Constantinople (3 - 12 November).

Designed by the Fiat Style Centre, the new Fiat is 4.56 metres long, 1.73 m wide, 1.5 m tall and with a wheelbase of 2.6 m. I'm not sure though if the Linea is based on the Grande Punto or the upcoming Bravo C-Segment hatch (the Grande Punto has a wheelbase of 2.520 mm). Finaly, the Linea has a luggage compartment boasting an impressive 500 litres.

Produced in collaboration with Tofas, the Turkish joint venture between Fiat Auto and Koc Holding, the Fiat Linea will be first manufactured in the joint venture's Bursa plant in Turkey (at an annual production of 60,000 units) and marketed in a number of European and non-European countries starting in the second half of 2007 (in most countries, sales of the Linea will start October & September 2007).

As for the engine range, according to Fiat the Linea will get a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines coupled to both manual and automatic transmissions.

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Opel unveils the Astra Sedan

Following the five-door hatch, station wagon, three-door GTC and cabrio-coupe TwinTop variants, Opel unveiled the Astra Sedan which will make its world debut at the upcoming Turkish Motor Show in Constantinople (3 -12 November) with sales starting in autumn 2007.

Aimed to serve the Central and Eastern European markets as according to Opel (and we have no reason at all to question them), notchback sedans are highly sought after in these markets. 67 percent of Turkish customers who purchase a compact class car, for example, choose a notchback model. In Russia, this figure is 65 percent and in Poland and South-East Europe the total is around 15 percent. With a share of approximately five percent, this body variant plays a less significant role in the compact class in Western Europe.

The Astra Sedan, which will be produced in Opel's Gliwice plant in Poland is based on the long wheelbase Astra station wagon (2703 mm) boasting a 500 litre luggage compartment and it will feature a range of two gasoline and two diesel engines with output between 90 and 140 hp.

Leaving aside the fact that like all C-segment Sedans, the Astra's looks are shall we say, for your granddad's eyes only, according to Opel's press release the Sedan is 4.618 mm long (width/height: 1754/1458 mm) which makes it longer than it's D-Segment brother, the Vectra (4.611 mm ) !

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Scooped - 2007 Volvo XC70 !

Swedish car magazine Teknikens Varld -English translation : World of Technology, has got "THE" scoop on Volvo's upcoming mid-size crossover, the XC70. Based on the also new V70 -check it out here: Volvo V70 caught out in the open, the AWD XC70 gets the usual crossover treatment with an off-road bodykit that includes new front & rear bumpers, new alloys and of course raised body height so it can cope with city... curbstones.

Since the car we see in the pics is practically production ready, I don't see the reason why we won't see the XC70 going for sale sometime next year.

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Vid of the Day : WRC Rally Roll over - Saved by the Tree !

If this rally steward was a cat, I think you'd totally agree with me that he just used 8 out of his 9 lifes in this incident! The funny thing is that after the Suzuki tips over heading straight towards him only to be stopped by a... tree, he calmly blows his whistle to get some help for the poor guy in the car !

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Ford Fiesta Trail Concept : Oh yes, another Crossover Concept debuts at the Sao Paolo Motor Show

Fiat had one, so did Chevrolet. Obviously, Ford couldn't be left behind so they got their team together and made the Fiesta Trail Concept. Not much of a concept though if you think that the Fiesta Trail already exists in Ford's South American range... Basically, the Fiesta Trail Concept is a Fiesta Trail with a different bodykit and larger alloys -click on the following photos.

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