2011 Nissan LEAF starts production in Oppama, Japan

2011 Nissan LEAF
2011 Nissan LEAF

Nissan announced today that it has started production of the 2011 Nissan LEAF electric-car at its Oppama, Japan plant. The LEAF is ready to go on sale in December in Japan and the United States and will hit select markets in Europe in early 2011. In November, the company will begin exports to the United States, followed by shipments to Europe in December.

“This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry,” said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Nissan LEAF offline ceremony. “Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility…and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide.”

The LEAF will be produced alongside the Nissan Juke and the Nissan Cube.

In the future, Nissan will produce the LEAF in Smyrna, Tennessee (in late 2012) and Sunderland, England (early 2013). When running at full-capacity, Smyrna will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, and Sunderland will have a capacity of 50,000 units.

Refresher: Power for the Nissan LEAF comes from a 107-hp electric-motor that runs on power supplied by lithium-ion cells. On a full-charge, the Nissan LEAF allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. A full charge takes up to 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet. Buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280, or for a lease payment of $349 a month.

2011 Nissan LEAF:

2011 Nissan LEAF2011 Nissan LEAF2011 Nissan LEAF2011 Nissan LEAF

JB Car Design Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Bat

Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Bat
Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Bat

JB Car Design, car tuner from Germany, has released its latest tuning package for the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 known as the Bat.

The Murcielago is fitted with Carbon Aero Kit which is limited to 75 pieces worldwide which is priced at € 28,500 including assembly and testing. The kit features new front bumper with side air intakes, carbon fiber front spoiler, carbon fiber headlight covers, side skirts, rear bumper with side air outlets and carbon rear diffuser. For an additional € 2,800, a two-piece carbon fiber rear spoiler can be installed.

The body paint meanwhile consists of 6 layers of enamel primer matched to the body color and comes with high solid clear varnish with the price starting from € 9,700.

JB car Design also offers LED headlights including dim lights, interior and engine compartment lighting, indicator lights and door emitter for € 970.

The modified Lamborghini Murcielago has been tuned to produce 750 hp at the price of € 28,500 while a 710 hp version costs € 19,500.

The JB Car Design Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Bat stands on three-piece 20-inch alloy wheels at the price from €8,700.

Inside, the supercar features garnished interior with a noble bicolor leather or Alcantara at the price of € 9,700, steering wheel with airbag 32 cm and 34 cm in diameter for € 1,970. Other features include a high-end sound system with additional subwoofer and amplifier.

2010 Audi A1 AC Milan edition revealed at Monza circuit

2010 Audi A1 AC Milan edition
2010 Audi A1 AC Milan edition

The Monza circuit hosted the revealing event of a special edition of the Audi A1, named AC Milan. The German manufacturer celebrated the partnership with the Italian football team AC Milan by revealing a special edition of A1, of course, painted in black and red, the color of the Italian team.

Audi announced that the sponsorship with AC Milan just got prolonged and they found useful to unveil a special edition of the small German model. The Italian team also did a football demonstration at the Monza circuit right next to the special edition presented by Audi.

The partnership between Audi and AC Milan consists of providing personalized models such as the Q5 and Q7 SUVs, but also the performance models RS5 and RS6 for various events where AC Milan is involved.

2010 Audi A1 AC Milan edition2010 Audi A1 AC Milan edition

2011 Chevrolet Volt - Fire and police departments learn about Chevy Volt safety

2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevrolet Volt

Car lovers, environmentalists, and automotive analysts alike realize the revolutionary changes that electric cars like the Chevy Volt will bring; now, firefighters and policemen are learning too. GM has scheduled five seminars in Auburn Hills, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Austin this fall to teach first responders about the ins and outs of the new automobile. The timing of these seminars, scheduled before and as the Volt goes into production this November, mean that emergency response units will be able to attack and understand the car in an academic environment before dealing with its quirks and new safety features in the chaotic real world.

In particular, units wanted to know how to tell whether the Volt’s battery was still on, how to deactivate it, how to get through the steel cage surrounding the car, and what to watch out for in an emergency situation. One important lesson from the seminar: the car’s battery turns off automatically, meaning that the lack of engine noise from the battery should not be a problem.

Not having to wonder about things like the battery came as a great relief to the responders, who as a whole valued the opportunities to become better acquainted with the important new automobile, which has a full rollout coming in 2012.

Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, “T”-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 310 miles. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.

2011 Chevrolet Volt2011 Chevrolet Volt2011 Chevrolet Volt2011 Chevrolet Volt

CLP Automotive MR 600 GT BMW 6-Series

MR 600 GT BMW 6-Series
MR 600 GT BMW 6-Series

CLP Automotive has developed an aerodynamic kit and performance upgrades for the BMW 6-Series known as MR 600 GT.

The CLP Automotive MR 600 GT BMW 6-Series features an aerodynamic kit (€ 5,990) which consists of wide front bumper, two front wings, two rear fender flares, left and right side skirts and a rear apron. For an additional € 399, a tailgate spoiler that can be merged with the trunk lid can be installed.

The modified BMW 6-Series stands on 3-part alloy wheels with stainless steel trim rings measuring at 9.5×22-inch at the front and 11.5×22-inch at the rear wrapped with 255/30-22 and 285/25-22 high performance tires. The wheel set costs € 8,960.

The suspension system meanwhile has been upgraded with KW Variant 3 coil-over. CLP stainless steel mufflers with four tailpipes are available at € 1,599.

Optional electronic performance enhancement which costs € 1,290 that increases the BMW 645i to 379 hp and 490 Nm of maximum torque is also available.

MR 600 GT BMW 6-SeriesMR 600 GT BMW 6-SeriesMR 600 GT BMW 6-SeriesMR 600 GT BMW 6-SeriesMR 600 GT BMW 6-SeriesMR 600 GT BMW 6-Series

China produced 1 million Audi vehicles

China produced 1 million Audi vehicles
China produced 1 million Audi vehicles

The German officials from Audi announced that 1 million units were sold on the Chinese market since 1988, when they started the production in China. The Chinese market benefits from few Audi models built together with FAW at the Changchun plant, models such A4L, A6L but also Q5.

The Audi vehicle with number 1 million was a blue Audi Q5 and also entered in the German manufacturer history as the unit number 1 million sold in China. Back in time, Audi started the production in China with the 100 model but the German manufacturer might celebrate the unit 2 million soon as they managed to sell about 180,000 units from the start of this year.

Today, no less than 300,000 vehicles are produced at the Chinese market in Changchun as the manufacturer just increased the production figures last year. Audi stated that about 7,000 guests were present at the ceremony held in Changchun, where the model in question was built.

2011 Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. will be built here

2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Turbo

Ford, Chrysler, and GM may be losing their footing as far as their “Made in America” rankings go; Hyundai’s American arm’s CEO has told CNNMoney that 80% of the vehicles produced by the Seoul automaker for sale in America will be produced here. With the new Sonata earning a stellar safety rating earlier this month and Hyundai being one of the few carmakers able to manage a sales increase in 2009, Hyundai is on a roll.

“I’m going to build my three best selling cars in the U.S.,” head of Hyundai Motor America John Krafcik said. “Ford builds its best selling car in Mexico.”

Ford claims that although its biggest sellers are built outside of the country, the bulk of its vehicles are built on American soil; that number still tallies up to less than 80%. Ford has recently brought a number of manufacturing jobs back to the US however in a move to make older UAW plants more competitive.

Chrysler declined to state what percentage of its US sold cars are actually produced here and GM said their figure was between 60% and 70%. Automakers generally don’t state the percentage of U.S. built cars because under free trade agreements, cars produced in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., all fall under the category of “North American Production.”

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