2009 Ford KA: Official Details and High-Res Image Gallery

At 00:01 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Ford officially lifted the veil over its all-new KA. We are aware that the embargo was breached earlier today, but these are the first high-resolution photos of Ford's new city car that will make its global debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October. Moreover, we have additional images of the 2009 KA that you can check out right after the jump.

As we told you in our previous post on the new KA, Ford did not reveal a single piece of information in its press release, so we'll have to wait until September to learn all the details and especially, the engine line-up. What we do know is that the new KA is based on Fiat's highly successful 500 which in turn uses a shortened version of the Panda's platform. However, the two cars are totally different in design and unless you're blind, there's no way you'll mistake one car for another. -Continued

The only visible shared component that we found by comparing pictures of the 500 and the KA, are the A/C controls on the centre console. Overall, the new KA looks fresh in and out. It may feature a less radical design than the first-generation KA, but on the other hand, it's also less polarizing.


Paris Show debut for all-new Ford Ka
Bold, fashionable and stylish design
Full of youthful and cheeky Ka spirit
Exciting successor to the iconic original

The exciting new Ka, Ford's fresh, fun and funky small car, will take centre-stage at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October. The all-new Ford Ka brings new levels of style and enjoyment to affordable city cars. Twelve years after the original Ka was launched to great acclaim, its successor captures the same youthful and cheeky spirit. The new model retains all of the qualities which made the Ka so popular -its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality- but presents them in a fresh new package.

Stylish Inside and Out: Ford designers have given the new Ka a fashionable, modern appearance based around the company's 'kinetic design' form language. A number of visual cues provide a connection to the original Ka, but with its distinctive face and chunky proportions the new model has its own unique character. The interior of the new Ka also has a stylish, dynamic design, combining bold contrasts and expressive colours which reflect the more adventurous tastes of the typical Ka buyer.

Rebirth of a Design Icon: The new model is destined to continue the considerable success of the original Ford Ka, which is widely considered to be an automotive design icon. Launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1996, the Ka was immediately praised for its exciting "New Edge" styling and class-leading driving dynamics. Throughout its 12-year life the Ka has remained tremendously popular among small-car buyers, inspiring fierce loyalty from its owners. In total, Ka production has exceeded 1.4 million vehicles. Further information on the new Ford Ka range will be released in time for the Paris Motor Show in early October 2008.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart 237Hp Priced at $26,490

The long-awaited Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart will arrive at U.S. dealerships with a base price of $26,490. Essentially a toned down and less powerful EVO X, the Lancer Ralliart comes equipped with a 237 HP 2.0-liter turbo engine teamed exclusively with a twin-clutch semi-auto transmission and a full-time 4WD driveline featuring Mitsubishi's Active Center Differential (ACD) unit. The Lancer Ralliart is also equipped with a front helical and rear mechanical limited slip differentials, standard Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL) and 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R18 Yokohama ADVAN summer tires. -Continued

Just for reference, the outgoing 2008 Impreza WRX Sedan 224HP is priced from $24,350 (see the 2009 WRX 265 HP here) while the Ralliart’s bigger brother, the 291HP EVO X, from $32,990.

Lancer Ralliart buyers can also opt for the RECARO Sport Package which costs $2,750. The package adds Xenon HID headlamps, 650 watt Rockford Fosgate, Sirius Satellite Radio with 6-months subscription and RECARO front sport seats found on the Lancer Evolution GSR. A new 40-GB HDD navigation system is also available as either a port-installed option or as a dealer accessory.

U.S. Government Owns 642,233 Cars - Drivers Get Paid Up to $90,000 a Year!

Seems like we’re not the only ones obsessed with automobiles, so is the U.S. government as it owns a staggering 642,233 cars. And if that’s not enough to raise an eyebrow or two, then this will; according to General Services Administration data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press (AP), the operating costs of those vehicles that include maintenance, leases and fuel cost taxpayers $3.4 billion last year!

The report from AP notes that while most vehicles are used by officials to do their job, there are indications of mismanagement and unnecessary spending. And when we’re talking about spending we mean tens of millions of dollars every year. For example, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt’s driver earns about $90,000 a year – and who needs a college degree! But to be fair, salaries for government drivers begin from $46,000. -Continued

Another good example of the way money is wasted can be seen at a Cleveland VA medical center where a government-leased vehicle was driven a mere 16 times in a year while another one was used only twice in the three months after its arrival. And to top it all, one sedan at the center has disappeared and hasn’t been seen in months!

Check out the full article from Associated Press writer Jennifer C.Kerr by clicking the link below.

Via: Yahoo AP

Hello Kitty Motorcycle Leather Suit

Under normal circumstances, motorcycle leather suits are worn to protect the rider, however, if someone went out wearing a Hello Kitty suit like the one pictured above, we wouldn’t be so sure that he’d return home in one piece… Fortunately, as you can see in the picture after the jump, the Hello Kitty suit seems to be the work of a talented photoshop artist. -Continued

Via: Kittyhell , Suit: Spartan Leathers

Video: Nissan GT-R vs Lamborghini Murcielago LP640

Some folks in Japan – or at least we think it’s in Japan, if not feel free to correct us- drag raced a Nissan GT-R against the almighty Lamborghini Murcielago. We won’t tell you who crossed the finish line first, but we must mention that the two supercars weren’t drag raced from standstill but from a running start. -Video after the jump

Via: Autoblog.nl

Kitchen Fabric

It’s a long weekend here this weekend and HandyMan and I have some exciting stuff planned… shopping for door casing, transition strips, touching up the paint. Woohoo, I can’t contain my excitement :o\ One other fun thing we are doing is making a trip to Designer Fabrics and pick up some samples. There is a sliding door at the end of our galley kitchen and I really don’t like the racoons and other googly-eyed creatures hanging out in our backyard peeking in. So, I’ll be putting up a curtain at that end and also have a roman blind over the sink.

The fabric needs to pull in colours from the adjoining dining room, which has bold yellowy-green & brown wallpaper and white wainscoting, and the hallway which has white trim and charcoal grey walls. (Hmm, that colour scheme sounds a litle frenetic, now that I mention it). Since the kitchen cabinets and layouts are all very angular and linear, I thought we could soften that by using a floral pattern. I need to also consider the scale and complexity of the pattern...it should be smaller than the dining wallpaper and should either have more/tighter pattern or looser/less pattern than the wallpaper. Anything too similar would make the rooms 'compete' rather than 'complement'. Here’s a few contenders I’ve picked from the website:

Finding the right pattern is going to be a bit like buying a wedding gown... you never know what's going to work until you try it on.

Special Edition Hyundai i30 in Red, Blue or White

The first ever special edition version of the i30 promises to bring a little colour to Hyundai’s UK dealerships as it will be available in three exclusive colours - Crystal White, Ember Red and Indigo Blue – that have never been seen before on the subcompact hatch. Colours aside, the special edition i30 also gets a factory-fitted electric sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels and new door mirrors first seen on the i30 Estate model.

All of the i30 SE (Special Edition) models are powered by Hyundai’s 1.4-litre, 107 HP petrol engine which returns 46.3 mpg UK (38.6 mpg US). Hyundai says that just 700 of the i30 SEs will be available, priced at £11,845. The first cars are expected to reach showrooms on 25 August.

2009 Ford KA to be officially Revealed on Friday – See it on CarScoop

When the clock strikes 12:00 am tonight (that’s Friday, August 1st), Ford will take the wraps off the 2009 KA revealing the first photos of its highly anticipated minicar that’s scheduled to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show in early October. Since we’ve already seen the front quarter view of the Fiat 500 based KA –no thanks to U.K. sourced leak, what remains to be seen is the rear-end of the car and of course, the interior.

Unless some website or blog decides to do otherwise, we won’t break the embargo by showing you the two remaining pictures of the KA. What we can do though is tell you that Ford won’t be revealing any technical details or any significant information for that matter, on the new KA. (Picture edited by CarScoop)

2009 Kia Sportage SUV Gets Mild Facelift and New 2.0L Diesel

Kia has revised its compact-sized Sportage SUV with exterior and interior styling tweaks along with the addition of a new turbo diesel engine. For the 2009 model year, the Sportage gets a reworked front end with a modified bumper, new headlights and a different grille while at the back, the only significant change are the restyled tail-lamps. All of the design changes are inspired from Kia’s latest production and concept cars.

Though we don’t have any pictures of the interior in our hands yet, Kia says that the 2009 Sportage’s cabin has been improved with the revised instrument panel and the new seat trims. The only change under the hood concerns the new 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 150Hp. The new Sportage is expected to hit European dealerships in the forthcoming weeks. –Photo gallery after the jump

Most Unusual Items Left in Rental Cars

It doesn’t matter if it’s a hotel room or rental car; however hard they try, people always manage to forget something behind. But while a CD or a pair of sunglasses is nothing out of the ordinary, leaving a false leg or a… cooked sausage behind the engine of a rental car is unusual to say the least. After surveying its UK branches, Europcar came up with a list of the strangest items found in the back of returned vans and cars.

The items range from cash and… furry handcuffs to a wheelchair and colostomy bags! Europcar’s staff in Liverpool also found a pair or white, ladies shoes under the passenger seat of a car returned by a regular customer. They rang his home, but his wife answered and said the shoes were not hers… The staff explained that they had probably been left by the previous customer. According to Europcar, his wife was understanding – wonder if she has any available sisters... -See the list after the jump

(Picture: CarScoop)

Most Common Items Left in Europcar’s Rental Cars

  • Sunglasses
  • CDs
  • Keys
  • Mobile Phone
  • Sat Nav
  • Umbrellas
  • Wallets

Unusual Items Left in Europcar’s Rental Cars

  • A false leg (Liverpool)
  • A stocking (Hull)
  • A mannequin (Hull)
  • Furry Handcuffs (Yeovil)
  • 50 Fluorescent Light bulbs (Hamilton)
  • A Scottish Piper's Black Ostrich Hat (Hamilton)
  • A printer (Aylesbury)
  • A toy elephant (Milton Keynes)
  • A car full of flowers (Stansted)
  • A wheelchair (Bradford)
  • An ammunition case and stretcher (Reading)
  • Half a pint of beer with a CD called ‘The Art of Speed Seduction’ (Reading)
  • A pair of ladies black pants (Sheffield)
  • £300 cash (Sheffield)
  • Colostomy bags (Sheffield)
  • 10 odd pairs of shoes (Salford)
  • A cooked sausage – behind the engine! (Exeter)

Video: BMW F1 Mechanic Gets Electro Shock

A member of the BMW Sauber F1 team received one hell of a shock when the squad’s test driver Christian Klien pulled into the pits in the modified F1.07C after a test run at Jerez. As soon as the mechanic touched the F1 car that was equipped with the experimental Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) he received an electric shock that knocked him off his feet –literally. Luckily, the mechanic didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

“During testing of the KERS car at the Jerez track this morning, there was an incident involving a mechanic,” a BMW Sauber spokesman explained. “When the car returned to the pits, he touched it and suffered an electric shock. He sustained slight injuries to his left hand and grazing on his left arm.” -Watch the video after the jump

Via: Worldcarfans

Toyota Starts Construction of Second Indian Plant

Toyota Motor Corporation or TMC for short held an official ceremony on Thursday (July 31, 2008) to mark the beginning of construction of its second plant on the outskirts of Bangalore in India's Karnataka State. The new plant is scheduled to have an annual production capacity of 100,000 passenger vehicles (including a new compact vehicle) when it begins operation in 2010.

New Mazda3 to be Revealed in L.A. this November

A report from British magazine Autocar citing company insiders in Japan supports that the all-new Mazda3 will make its world premiere in sedan form at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November, while the five-door hatchback 3 will be launched at the Bologna Show in Italy in December. This means the Mazda’s new sporty compact car should arrive in European and Japanese dealerships in the first quarter of 2009, with the U.S. and other international markets following shortly after. -Continued

The highly anticipated 2010 Mazda3 will borrow design elements from both the Mazda2 hatch and Mazda6 sedan, meaning that it will be more distinct and sportier than the current model (see more renderings here). As with all new Mazda models, the “3” is almost certain to lose a few pounds compared to its predecessor.

Info: Autocar , Image via: Render

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX 265HP & Impreza 2.5 GT: Official Details & High-Res Photos

Understandably, those who bought a 2008 Impreza WRX 224HP aren’t going to be feeling happy with the Japanese automaker this morning as Subaru confirmed earlier reports (see here) by revealing that the 2009 Impreza WRX gets a significant power boost, a retuned suspension and to top it all, a series of STI design tweaks. Since the 2009 WRX will be offered exclusively with a 5-speed manual, Subaru renamed 2008 WRX 224HP with the 4-speed auto transmission to the 2009 Impreza GT, maintaining the same 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer.

Back to the 2009 Impreza WRX, thanks to the larger turbocharger, the new larger-diameter exhaust and low-density catalyst for reduced backpressure, the 2.5-liter engine now produces 265HP at 6,000 rpm (from 224HP) and 244 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm (from 226 lb.-ft. in the 2008 version).The suspension on the 2009 Impreza WRX has also been revised with new front upper strut mounts from the STI, stiffer springs, larger stabilizer bars and re-tuned suspension dampers. -Continued

The ’09 wears 17-inch alloys in 225/45R17 summer performance tires, compared to 205/50R17 all-season tires used on the 2008 WRX. Because of the wider tires used, Subaru added a new damper valve to the steering gearbox to ensure a more high quality steering feeling.

Both the 2009 WRX Sedan and 5-Door models can be distinguished by the new STI-type grille and the now standard Aero Package. The sedan has a low-profile rear trunk spoiler, while the 5-Door adopts the WRX STI rear spoiler and a rear diffuser. Inside, for 2009 the WRX gains a new carbon black checkered upholstery accented by red stitching while the WRX Premium Package gets a power moonroof.

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX 265 HP

2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5 GT 224 HP