Hyundai sketches out 2011 Sonata YF, Official Presentation Pegged for Sep. 10

This just in from Hyundai: the South Korean automaker published a pair of teaser sketches previewing the all-new 2011 Sonata YF. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the drawings were released only a few hours after a set of official shots leaked all over the internet. And even though the actual production model is very close to the vehicle depicted on the drawings, let's just say that it's not as aggressively styled as the design sketches imply.

But, you shouldn't just take our word for it, so click here to check out the leaked photos and judge for yourselves.

According to Korean media, the next-generation model of Hyundai's mid-size sedan will be fully revealed on September 10, so stay tuned for more details.

Lexus GS 450h Becomes Australia's First Hybrid Pace Car

Not that we're expecting anyone to soil their pants from the excitement, but a Lexus GS 450h will make its debut as Australia's first ever hybrid pace car at the annual Muscle Car Masters, which will be held at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway on September 6, 2009. The Japanese luxury hybrid sedan will take a permanent role as the Eastern Creek Raceway's official safety car.

According to Lexus, aside from the special livery and the safety car lights, the GS 450h features no other modifications over the road-going model.

"Our partnership with Eastern Creek is a great way to showcase Lexus' hybrid range of vehicles and demonstrate its compromise free mix of economy and power," commented Lexus Australia Chief Executive, John Roca.

Ford Australia Revives Falcon GS Nameplate with Budget 405HP V8 Sedan and Ute Models

Named after the original Aussie model from the late 1960s, the Falcon GS sedan and ute models are the new entry-level products of Ford Performance Vehicles, otherwise known as FPV. Available in limited numbers, the new FPV GS is the budget series of the Falcon GT with both the sedan and ute being powered by a detuned version of the 5.4-liter V8 engine that now produces an output of 405HP (302kW) instead of 423HP (315kW). Peak torque remains the same at 551Nm or 406 lb-ft.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optionally, a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford did not release performance specs for the GS Falcons.

Both Falcon GS models get specific race stripes, a charcoal cloth interior, FPV GT instrumentation, gear knob, starter button and badging while a premium sound system with iPod and Bluetooth integration, and dual zone climate control are also standard.

In addition, the GS sedan features 19-inch Graphite alloy wheels and a choice of six exterior color/stripe combinations, while the GS Ute gets 19-inch Alpine Silver alloys, an FPV soft tonneau and a choice of three exterior color/stripe combinations.

FPV said that production of the GS Series is limited to 250 sedans and 75 Utes, with prices set at $54,950 AUS and $49,950 AUS respectively.

"GS is another iconic badge in Ford's family history in this country," said FPV General Manager, Rod Barrett. "Our aim was to develop a model that provides the performance, prestige and individuality that is a signature of the FPV brand, with its own identifiable model personality, and all at a great price."

2010 Volvo C70 Facelift: First Official Photos go Online Ahead of Frankfurt Show

We brought you the first images of the refreshed 2010 Volvo C70, which was snapped by a Volvo forum member during a commercial shoot in Spain, back in June, but today the first official photos of the facelifted model made their way onto the internet. The most prominent change on the folding-hardtop four seater concerns the new front-end design with more organic details and softer shapes that is very similar to the S60 Concept that was reveled in Detroit this past January.

That means a prominent new front bumper arrangement with swoopy styled headlights and a wider and more pronounced grille. At the back, the facelifted C70 gains a new tail light design with LED strips, a restyled bumper and a larger 'Volvo' name on the boot lip.

From what we can tell by looking at the single press shot of the C70's interior, there don't seem to be any changes made to the convertible's cabin.

Since there's no press release, we don't know if Volvo made any changes to C70's chassis and engine range, but we suspect that it won't be long before the Swedes come out with an official announcement.

The new-look Volvo C70 will make its world debut in a couple of weeks time at the Frankfurt Motor Show and should go on sale towards the end of the year or early 2010, depending on the market.

Renault Fluence: New Compact Sedan for Russia, Turkey and Romania, and perhaps the US as a Saturn

Remember Renault's 2004 Fluence concept car that inspired the styling of the Laguna Coupe? Well, the only common denominator between the sexy prototype (see pics below) and this compact-sized sedan is their name... Virtually a rebadged version of the Korean market Samsung SM3 that was revealed earlier this year, the Fluence is the sedan variant of the Megane and it will be initially sold only in Russia, Romania and Turkey.

There's also a chance that we may see Renault's VW Jetta-sized sedan heading towards the States as a Saturn if the American brand's new owner, Penske Automotive Group, closes a proposed deal with the French automaker.

Depending on the market, buyers will have a choice of two gasoline engines, a 110HP 1.6-liter unit linked to either a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission and a 140HP 2.0-liter matted to a CVT, plus a 1.5-lited dCi diesel with outputs of 85HP, 90HP (DPF - Diesel Particulate Filter), 105HP and 110HP (DPF). All diesel engines are coupled to a manual gearbox, with the most powerful version also offered with Renault's new dual-clutch transmission.

In 2011, Renault will also introduce an electric version of the Fluence with more details expected to be released closer to the launch date.

The 4,62 metres long four-door saloon that boasts a luggage capacity of 530 liters will be built at Renault's plant in Bursa, Turkey, on the same assembly line that manufactured the outgoing Megane II sedan.

Renault Fluence Sedan


Samsung SM3


Renault Fluence Concept

Official Pictures of 2011 Hyundai Sonata Leak on the Web

The first set of official photos of the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata YF made the rounds today on several Korean forums revealing more details on the mid-size sedan's styling. As predicted, Hyundai's Mazda6 and VW Passat challenger incorporates a more dramatic design language than the current model featuring a four-door-coupe-like roofline and a stubby rear-end.

Although it is most likely that these photos depict the U.S. and Asian market model, the European version that will potentially be named ix40, shouldn't differ much - we suspect that the only significant change will concern the replacement of the Klingon-like front grille with something more in the lines of the new Tucson / ix35's grille.

The single interior photo shows the 2011 Sonata's instrument panel that houses a pair of deeply set gauges separated by small color screen.

We'll have to wait for the official reveal to learn details about the engine range, but four-cylinder and V6 gasoline units are almost guaranteed while the European range will also include Hyundai's a choice of four-banger turbo diesels such as the 2.0-liter four-pot with 185 horsepower.

We expect to see the new Sonata making its world debut before the end of the year and to arrive in dealerships on both sides of the Atlantic sometime during the first half of 2010.

UPDATE: Hyundai Releases Official Sketches

Via: Bobaedream