Carbon Bike is the highlight of the 2006 Bike Collection from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH

High-tech and lightweight construction akin to that of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren super sports car: the new Carbon Bike is the highlight of the 2006 Bike Collection from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH. Thanks to its ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre frame, this thoroughbred weighs in at a mere 8.3 kilograms. The rest of the 2-wheeled range makes a more striking impression than ever before. Substantially lighter and with two equipment variants, the Automatic Bike swings elegantly into the 2006 model year. The elegant Fitness Bikes and the full-suspension Mountain Bike round off the range.

The design concept emphasises the proud temperament of this thoroughbred racing machine. The cork cladding on the handlebars and the slim red stripes around the tyres contrast with the dark carbon and exclusive black painted metals of the frame. Aluminium and polished steel set refined counterpoints in the materials mix. The Carbon Bike will only be produced as a limited edition of 199 units. A plate bearing the production number will be attached to the seat tube on every Carbon Bike, testifying to the strictly limited number in existence.

2007 Suzuki XL7 bolder and more powerful

The 2007 XL7 is bigger, bolder and more powerful than the previous generation XL-7 and retains Suzuki’s strong styling cues, while offering available all-wheel drive and available seven-passenger seating. In creating the all-new XL7, Suzuki leveraged its SUV heritage and expertise to design an all-new vehicle for the midsize SUV crossover segment that provides style, room and adaptability for active, mobile lifestyles.

Performance and Powertrain
The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 evolves from a rear-wheel-drive, truck chassis SUV into a crossover SUV based on the GM Theta platform with full-length underbody rails for added strength. The XL7 is now a front-wheel-drive vehicle that features four-wheel independent suspension and available all-wheel drive. The standard powertrain for the Suzuki XL7 is a GM-designed, Suzuki-built 3.6-liter, V6 DOHC engine rated at an estimated 250 hp with 243 lb-ft of torque.

The 3.6-liter, six-cylinder, DOHC engine is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission that features a manual-shifting (manumatic) mode. Although the new engine is nearly one liter larger than the 2.7-liter engine used in the previous XL-7, the new, larger XL7 was designed to deliver fuel economy equal to or better than its predecessor. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg/city and 24 mpg/highway for front-wheel-drive variants and 17 mpg/city and 23 mpg/highway for all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds.

Advanced Chassis Design
The sophisticated chassis delivers nimble, car-like ride and comfort whether driving on the highway, city streets or rural roads. The XL7’s responsive road manners communicate a sense of confidence and control in virtually every driving scenario, while still providing refined Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance at or near the top of the midsize SUV category.

The XL7 features four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in the front and a multilink design in the rear. The independent rear suspension is fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers in the five-passenger configuration and Nivomat self-leveling rear shock absorbers when configured for the available seven-passenger design.

All-Wheel Drive
The available all-wheel-drive system uses an active, electronically controlled rear differential module. The system responds immediately to all-wheel-drive requests and effectively eliminates lag times. A four-mount cradle secures the rear drive module, which is regulated by its own dedicated electronic controller. A new-design propeller shaft fitted with upgraded universal joints handles the added torque.

Sleek Sophistication and Functionality
Evolved from the Suzuki Concept-X, which debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the all-new XL7 features a modern, sleek and expressive design with Suzuki styling cues, such as triangle-shaped turn lamps, bold three-bar grille with large Suzuki “S,” muscular wheel arches, dual exhaust with chrome tips and integrated roof racks.

Plush Interior
The 2007 Suzuki XL7 offers the driver and passengers a spacious, function
al interior that provides upscale sophistication and refinement. The unique third-row seat delivers seven-passenger capability and real comfort.

With its six-inch deep footwell, the stretched platform delivers comfortable third-row seating, offering nearly 40 inches of legroom and 38.8 inches of headroom. In addition, the 50/50 split folding third-row seat can be folded flat into the floor for additional cargo carrying room, and the fold-flat front-passenger seat allows room for longer items such as skis, surfboards or even a small kayak.

In addition to the practicality of ample storage consoles and areas and the convenience of four 12-volt power outlets, the interior of the 2007 Suzuki XL7 features upscale wood or satin nickel appliqués on the instrument panel and doors, chrome accents throughout and matte black, low-gloss surfaces. Leather seating surfaces and leather-wrapped steering wheel are also part of certain trim packages.

Safety Features
The XL7’s
safety features start with the body structure itself – a combination of computer-designed high-strength, dual-phase and galvanized steels. The body structure is computer-designed to manage loads – to effectively transfer energy absorbed during impacts around the interior compartment and occupants – in both front and rear crashes

Packages and Pricing
Currently, Premium and Luxury trim levels are planned. Both will be
offered with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. Two Premium models will be available in five-passenger seating configuration and a third Premium model will be in seven-passenger configuration. Premium models can be outfitted with leather seating surfaces and sunroof.

Two Luxury trim level models will be offered. Both will offer seven-passenger seating and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. One will offer standard front-wheel drive while the other will come with all-wheel drive. Additionally, a navigation system and sunroof will be offered. The navigation system and the DVD system cannot be packaged together, so Luxury models equipped with the navigation system will omit the DVD System.

The Premium models feature 16-inch alloy wheels with P235/65R16 tires, while Luxury models are fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels and P235/60R17 tires. The 16-inch spare tire is carried in an outside-the-cabin underfloor area equipped with a hoist system.

Current projections call for 50 percent sales of front-wheel-drive and 50 percent sales of all-wheel-drive models. While prices will not be set until the vehicle goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2006, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is expected to range from $23,000 to $29,000.

2007 XL7 vs 2006 XL7

2007 XL7

2006 XL-7



112.4 in.

110.2 in.

2.2 in.

Overall length:

196.7 in.

187.4 in.

9.3 in.

Overall width:

72.2 in.

70.1 in.

2.1 in.

Overall height:

68.9 in.

68.0 in.

0.9 in.

Tread width, f/r:

61.6/61.8 in.

59.1/59.1 in.

2.5/2.7 in.

Engine displacement:

3.6 liters

2.7 liters

0.9 liters


est. 250 bhp

185 bhp

65 bhp


est. 243 ft-lbs

184 ft-lbs

59 ft-lbs

Overhang, front:

37.5 in.

29.7 in.

7.8 in.

Overhang, rear:

46.5 in.

42.3 in.

4.2 in.

Ground clearance:

7.9 in.

7.6 in.

0.3 in.

Approach angle:

17.5 degrees

28.5 degrees

-11.0 degrees

Departure angle:

20.0 degrees

23.4 degrees

-3.4 degrees

Nissan GT-R PROTO 2008

Mr. Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO, Nissan Motor Co, announced at the 2006 New York International Show that the next generation of the Nissan’s renowned GT-R performance car, which was previewed in concept form as the GT-R PROTO at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in fall 2007, followed by the U.S. and Canada in spring 2008. It should be noted that the previous Nissan GT-R generations where not offered for sale in North America

Nissan GT-R Tokyo Show Press Release

The design of the GT-R PROTO expresses pure GT-R heritage, coming from the first model PGC10 (1969) through R34 (1999), in a new and expressive form. From its original roots as a pure-bred Japanese performance car, the new GT-R will now be a car sold globally, recognising its ability to compete with the very best in the world. For the first time in its history, the new GT-R will be designed as a specific body-style, and not derived from a sedan.

The design language of the GT-R PROTO is expressed by a distinctive body-style that communicates pure performance and functionality. The form of the GT-R PROTO instantly expresses its purpose and potential, but in a way that is unique to this iconic car.

At the front end, the single centre air intake is designed to optimise airflow and to strongly link the identity of the GT-R from R34 to GT-R Concept (2001). Front fenders are uniquely designed through intensive analysis of the airflow around the tyres and the air vent behind the front fender also optimises aerodynamics. The sides of the body are sculptured towards the rear fender, expressing the power and dynamic tension of the car.

The overall shape of the body combines solid and smooth surfaces to achieve the look of a well-trained athlete. The unique C-pillar crease is designed for optimum aerodynamics, reflecting the racing DNA of the GT-R.

The rear of the GT-R PROTO is strong and well defined. The signature four ring-shaped tail lamps provide an immediate visual link to previous GT-R models. Four large-bore exhaust pipes complete the purposeful look, which could only be that of a pure GT-R.

The GT-R PROTO provides for the first time a clear indication of the final design direction for the production model to be launched in 2007 (Japan) the first all-new GT-R in eight years.

2007 Nissan Maxima

The enhancements to the 2007 Maxima include a redesigned exterior with a new front grille, hood, headlights; a refined premium interior with a redesigned instrument panel with new Fine Vision gauge display; intuitive next generation technology features including Intelligent Key; and the adoption of standard, performance-based Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) on all models. The new Maxima continues to offer a standard 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine. The 2007 Maxima will be available in June.

Ferrari 575 GTZ Zagato

Yoshiyuki Hayashi is a famous Japanese car collector, who owns numerous cars of great historical value, including several Ferraris such as the 166MM, the 250 Spider California, two Daytonas – a coupé and a spider – and the Enzo. In the classic tradition of the keen purchaser of exclusive cars who stimulated the creativeness of Italian coachbuilders in the 1950s and 1960s, Yushiyuki Hayashi asked Zagato if it would be possible to create a body for his 575M, in the style of the famous 250GTZ berlinetta.

When Zagato received this request, it informed Ferrari of the project, which would be a good opportunity to celebrate the model’s anniversary, and then created a car that harked back to the 250 GTZ, built around the Ferrari 575. Like its forebear, the 575 GTZ has an all-aluminium body, and, as a tribute to Ferrari and to two-seater Italian sports cars, it has joined the exclusive group of cars that are the fruit of the tradition of custom-built cars.

Like the 250 GTZ, it sports two-tone paintwork with styling cues and volumes that explicitly refer back to the 1950s, and sublimates the character of the many cars built by Zagato to clothe original engineering, with the pure style of traditional sports cars. For Zagato, the project represented an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GTZ of 1956, one of the most outstanding GT cars, which has already gone down in history.

The model, which was also commissioned by a gentleman driver and collector, in the best Zagato tradition, is a sublime synthesis of prestige and performance, elegance and sportiness, to the point that it can boast the highest value of any car in the luxury period sports car market. The 250 GTZ has won numerous competitions and concours d’élégance, and it represents a dream come true, because experts and fans consider it one of the most beautiful cars in the world.

The new 575 GTZ has the Ferrari prancing horse on its bonnet and the Z of Zagato on its side, an expression of eternal Italian excellence in its form and content. It is a winning combination, linking the most powerful, famous engineering in the world with the most refined, fascinating sporting style, both made strictly in Italy.

The concept of sporty elegance, functional design that does not merely follow the trend of the moment but strives for pure performance, and the ultra-light aluminium body are Zagato’s strengths which become a universally recognised value.

Just as in the 1956, the 250GTZ was showed at the most important concours d’elegance, 50 years later, the 575GTZ will be presented in a world premier at Villa D’Este Concours D’Elegance, Cernobbio (Italy) April 22 th -24th.

2007 Nissan Altima is evolutionary in design

Building on previous generation Altima’s reputation, the all-new 2007 Nissan Altima is evolutionary in design, but revolutionary in its platform and hardware. Along with its distinctive styling, the new fourth generation Altima utilizes the all-new Nissan “D” platform with improved body rigidity and a redesigned suspension.

The new Altima also offers Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a choice of the award-winning VQ-series 3.5-liter V6 or powerful 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engines, and a long list of technology features – including available Intelligent Key with Push Start Ignition, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System, RearView Monitor and an advanced touch-screen navigation system.

Distinctive, Sporty Styling
The 2007 Altima’s exterior styling is a continuation of Altima’s design. The wheelbase is 0.9-inch shorter (109.3 inches) than the previous model and the overall length is 2.5 inches shorter (189.8 inches), but the interior retains the same ample roominess. The width is 0.3-inch wider (70.7 inches) and overall height is the same (57.9 inches). Trunk space remains the same as the previous generation Altima.

Attention to Quality and Detail
The 2007 Altima interior has an enhanced feel with refined workmanship and expanded use of soft materials and chrome accents. Interior noise levels have been reduced through use of the new rigid platform and increased sound insulation.

The instrument panel features a new Fine Vision gauge display for enhanced readability and the L-shaped flow of the instrument panel to the center console adds to the driver-oriented cockpit feel. The center console includes a new triple front cup holder design (CVT-equipped models), among the many convenient cup and bottle areas (up to nine total, including 20-ounce bottle holders in the door panels) and storage compartments (many of which are covered). The volume of the glove compartment has also increased substantially, doubling in size to 0.46 cubic feet.

Interiors are available in three colors – charcoal, blonde and frost – as well as in both high quality soft-touch suede fabric and leather-appointed seating.

"Next Generation" Platform
The new Altima is the first global application of Nissan’s advanced “D” platform, which offers much improved body rigidity and an all-new front suspension with new geometry and shock absorbers with rebound springs.

The rear multi-link independent suspension design separates the rear shocks and springs for reduced friction and the shocks are in line with the center of the rear wheels, providing better damping and less harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard.

In addition to 17-inch wheels and tires, the Altima 3.5 SE offers a sport-tuned suspension with larger diameter stabilizer bars and unique spring rates and strut damping.

Two engines are available, a "next generation" version of the 12-time Ward’s “10 Best Engines” award-winning VQ-series V6 and an inline 4-cylinder. The 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 is now rated at 265-plus horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque while the 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder produces 165-plus horsepower and 170-plus lb-ft of torque.

New dual exhaust system designs reduce exhaust backpressure by 35% on the 4-cylinder and 50% with the V6. Both systems utilize increased tube diameters and include dual chrome-tipped exhaust finishers.

Smooth, Efficient Xtronic CVT
The 2007 Altima is offered with a choice of two transmissions with both the V6 and 4-cylinder engines. A new 6-speed manual gearbox and the advanced Nissan Xtronic CVT which replaces the previous conventional automatic transmission.

The Xtronic CVT is designed to create a true synergy between engine and transmission with smooth, responsive, fluid-feeling performance and efficient operation. The V6 CVT has been enhanced with an all-new "Sport" mode controller with a high-speed central processing unit and Adaptive Shift Controller with adaptive logic for faster shifting in both normal and manual modes. The adaptive logic feature delivers the best shift pattern based on the driving environment and driver’s perceived intentions.

Enhanced Structure, Steering and Braking
The new Altima’s improved body structure includes the expanded use of Ultra High Strength Steel. Use of this steel is also allows for a 30% weight reduction in the frontal body structure. Overall, the new Altima is only about 55 pounds heavier than the previous generation.

A new twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system is standard, providing light steering effort at low speeds and a secure feeling at high speeds, along with improved "on center" feel.

Braking for the 2007 Altima is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes. Standard on V6 models and optional on 4-cylinder models is a 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). ABS-equipped Altimas feature Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake force and Brake Assist, which senses hard or panic pedal application and helps provide maximum braking capacity.

Safety, Security and Convenience
The new Altima comes equipped with a number of standard safety features, including Zone Body construction and Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags). Also standard are front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.

Added convenience is provided by the available RearView Monitor, which utilizes a small camera to help show the view behind the vehicle when in reverse gear. Other available convenience features include an 8-way power driver’s seat, automatic on/off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power sliding glass sunroof, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System, satellite radio with choice of XM or Sirius service, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, leather-appointed seating, heated front driver and passenger seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control and rear-passenger air conditioning vents.

Models and Manufacturing

The 2007 Nissan Altima will be available in six well-equipped models: 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 S with SL Package, 3.5 SE, 3.5 SL and HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle -details on the early 2007 Altima HEV launch are forthcoming). The new Altima will be assembled at the Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi plants.