Spy Shots: 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R

Spy Shots: 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R

2007 Nissan Sentra SE-RWhen Nissan released its new 2007 model-year Sentra at the Detroit Motor Show in January this year, the sporty version of the new car, the Sentra SE-R, remained a secret. But now we can reveal the styling of the new sporty car as seen through the cameras of our spies on the German Autobahn.

Crisp angles, fender flares, and a broad arching roofline will give the new Sentra a far more modern look than the rounded shape of the outgoing model. The new SE-R is differentiated from the standard Sentra by bolder front air intakes, larger wheels and performance tires, and a rear deck spoiler lip.

The SE-R also gets more power and beefier brakes than standard Sentras. Look for the SE-R to become official sometime during the 2007 calendar year.-Brenda Priddy

Volkswagen Iroc Concept Prefigures Scirocco

2006 Volkswagen IROC ConceptThe clue is in the name. This is the VW Iroc, known until now simply as the Concept S. But here's the trick; put the S in front of the Iroc and it starts to make sense, previewing a sports coupe in the mold of the legendary Scirocco. There's another link to the newcomer's famous predecessor - this vibrant color is known as Viper Green, and exactly the same shade was available on the 1976 model range.

Size-wise, the Iroc is 1.4 inches longer and 1.6 inches wider than the Golf hatchback. And check out that nose; it could be the shape of things to come for VW front ends as the official line is that this is "a face that's not yet common to other vehicles in the range."-Richard Yarrow


Highway Deaths Rise

Motorcycle and pedestrian deaths led to an increase in highway fatalities in 2005, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency says that total fatalities last year were 43,443, a 1.4-percent increase from the year prior when 42,836 people were killed in auto accidents. Accordingly the rate of deaths also rose from 1.45 per 100 million miles traveled to 1.47. While motorcycle fatalities were up 13 percent, and pedestrian fatalities were up, the number of younger drivers and children killed in auto accidents fell.

The NHTSA report also found the following:

-The number of young drivers (16-20) killed declined by 4.6 percent from 3,538 to 3,374

-Fatal crashes involving young drivers declined by 6.3 percent from 7,431 to 6,964

-The number of children 0-15 dying in crashes dropped from 2,622 in 2004 to 2,348 in 2005

-And the number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes declined 3.2 percent from 2.8 million in 2004 to 2.7 million in 2005.

Ford Has New Super Duty, New Diesels

A clean-burning diesel engine will be a centerpiece of the new range of Ford Super Duty trucks when the vehicles bow later this year and go on sale in early 2007. The 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup 6.4-liter "Power Stroke" engine, the company promises, will be its cleanest, quietest pickup diesel ever. The new diesel will be larger in displacement than the outgoing 6.0-liter V-8 diesel, but will offer similar fuel economy and better emissions thanks to the use of common-rail injection and particulate filters designed to work with the new low-sulfur diesel fuel coming to theU.S. in the fall. More details on the Super Duty will be released at its debut at this year's State Fair of Texas on Sept. 28.

MORE ON TRUCKS: Ford Orders Deep Production Cuts

More Cars, Trucks Getting Six-Speed Autos

By 2012, 60 percent of the light vehicles sold in North America will have six-speed automatic transmissions, according to a new estimate from CSM Worldwide in Northville, Mich. Currently six-speed transmissions are found in less than five percent of those vehicles. At General Motors, more than 75 percent of transmissions built in North America will be six-speed automatics by 2012 and Ford and DaimlerChrysler will be phasing six-speeds in during the next several years, as is Toyota. Four- and five-speed automatic transmissions will go from more than 90 percent market share in 2005 to less than 40 percent share in 2012.-Joseph Szczesny

GM Building Camaro in Canada

2006 Chevrolet Camaro conceptIt may be an American icon, but the new Chevrolet Camaro won't be an American citizen when it enters production in 2008. So says Automotive News, which confirms earlier reports on TheCarConnection that the new Camaro will be built at GM's Oshawa, Ont., plant. The new Camaro will spur GM to spend $658 million in plant upgrades starting immediately. The plant, in the end, will become a flexible manufacturing facility, the News adds. The concept version of the Camaro was on display this weekend at the Woodward Dream Cruise, along with thousands of other past and future classics.

See more pictures from the Dream Cruise

Ford Kills V-8 For New Lincoln

2006 Lincoln MKS ConceptFord's struggling Way Forward turnaround plan won't include a planned V-8 version of the coming Lincoln MKS. The 4.4-liter V-8 was to have been built in Ohio and installed in the new sedan, starting in 2008. But Ford's recent revamp of the turnaround plan-including accelerated job cuts and a big cut in production through the end of this year-means the money to tool for the V-8 production has been moved elsewhere. The MKS is the production version of a Lincoln concept bandied about the auto-show circuit; the production model will arrive in showrooms in 2008 with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine of about 250 hp, which is now being installed in the smaller Lincoln MKZ sedan.

Porsche Passes on '07 Cayenne

Ample dealer stocks of 2006 models and a facelift in the offing have given Porsche all the excuses it needs to skip the 2007 model year of its Cayenne sport-utility vehicle. Automotive News says that the company is passing on the 2007 model with a 51-day supply of 2006 models in its pipeline and a desire to avoid confusing its customers with a short run of 2007 models. The facelifted Cayenne appears for the 2008 model (as does a similarly facelifted VW Touareg and a revised Audi Q7) in the first half of 2007.

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