Audi’s spectacular R8 will see the power increase we all knew was coming. Two turbos affixed to a V10 should be tire-shredding enough for any power hungry Audiphile. In fact, we all should have a nice family sedan or Avant, along with a sporting car. So Audi will supply the RS6 and R8 with a 5.2L V10 producing 530 horsepower should satisfy us regular folk.
For those prospective American customers who paid Roger Penske 99 bucks to reserve their smart fortwo and for those who didn’t: the rest of the pricing scheme has been announced. That’ll be $11,590 for the base, $13,590 will take you up a notch, and a well equipped cabrio at $16,590. ‘pure’ is bottom-of-the-line, ‘passion’ is a very comfortable trim level. The American smart will use a 71-bhp 1.0L three-cylinder. I was an early driver of the smart in Canada (where the smart is equipped with a hypereconomical diesel) and I came to this conclusion: a smart fortwo achieves its purpose perfectly. It is not right for everybody, but for those whose lives can work with a smart, well… they won’t be disappointed.
Jim Press, the first non-Japanese member of the Toyota board; president of Toyota in North America; a Toyota employee since 1968, is moving to Chrysler. He’ll head up sales, marketing, and product strategy. Shocking.
Volvo will be displaying a C30-based concept at Frankfurt called the ReCharge. An electric motor in each wheel – that’d be four, altogether – team with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine to provide potentially all-electric motoring. The ReCharge can survive on battery power for 62 miles, but Volvo said that a typical 93 mile trip would use just 0.7 gallons of fuel. Recharging the ReCharge’s battery, which takes up space in the luggage compartment, would take three hours. Interesting.