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New BMW M6 is a Teutonic turbo missile

A biweekly roundup of automotive news, good, bad and just plain weird: BMW reveals new M6 coupe and cabriolet As far as I'm aware, our government frowns on private ownership of liquidfuel intercontinental ballistic missiles.

A biweekly roundup of automotive news, good, bad and just plain weird: BMW reveals new M6 coupe and cabriolet

As far as I'm aware, our government frowns on private ownership of liquidfuel intercontinental ballistic missiles. Not to worry, just buy a BMW M6 instead.

And here it is, the latest iteration of BMW's blisteringly fast uber-coupe. Powered by the same 560 horsepower, twinturbocharged engine that you can find in the M5, this new car says goodbye to the old F1-style hollerin' V-10 in favour of a more efficient turbocharged V-8.

Wait, did I just say "more efficient turbocharged V-8?" And with a straight face?

Either way, as already seen in the new M5, turbocharged Teutonic titans are the wave of the future for one main reason: torque. While the outgoing car needed to be revved up, this new model puts out 500 foot-pounds of thrust starting at a low 1,500 r.p.m.

Result? 0-100 kilometres per hour in 4.2 seconds, also partially due to the new lighter chassis. Aside from the straight-line stuff, expect all the usual BMW M-trickery to make the big sedan take to the curves and shrug off the laws of physics in a manner that should have Isaac Newton eating his own hair.

Tesla launches Model X prototype

Moving away from SportsPanzers propelled by liquified dinosaurs for a moment, it's the latest - ahem - electrifying concept from California-based Tesla Motors.

Resembling an Infiniti EX35 with the face of a parrot-fish, the Model X has a super-cool name but is, in essence, yet another dang cute-ute crossover. Or is it?

Well, for one thing, the Model X runs only on electrons: it's a full plug-in electric car. What's more, the low-slung lithium-ion battery packs mean that you've got just as much room (if not more) than you would in a normal CUV: seven-seater capacity and room for luggage too.

Then there are the "falcon" style doors which open like - well, Tesla probably wants me to say they're like the iconic Mercedes-Benz SL300's gullwing doors, but really they remind me of Doc Brown's Back to the Future DeLorean.

Even better, this innocuous-looking machine will run up to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. Even better-er, you can make that sprint with a clean conscience and with plenty of friends aboard.

Aston-Martin reunites with Bond franchise

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to drive . . . this classic 1964 Aston-Martin DB5. No, it doesn't have an iPod connector. Stop making that face.

So might the notoriously sarcastic "Q" be instructing that most destructive-ofgadgets secret agent, James Bond, for the latest in the series of movies. In Skyfall, due to be released sometime after umpteen months of trailers give all the best bits of the plot away, Jim will be back at the helm of the DB5 from Goldfinger, arguably one of the most recognizable cars in the world.

Bond fans will no doubt note that a DB5 already appeared briefly in 2006's Casino Royale. That was just a loop around the block; this time, expect the classic Aston to dust-off the Ben-Hur axle blades and really go to battle with the baddies.

Audi reveals Euro-only RS4 Avant

Here we go again with another excellent hothatchback that would sell like pretzels at Oktoberfest over here - if they'd only ship it to us. It's Audi's latest fastwagon, the RS4 Avant.

Audi used to bring over a scorching version of their A4-wagon, the much-missed S4 Avant, which boasted 340 h.p., all-wheel-drive practicality and, to my mind, looked even better than the sedan. However, all that stopped in 2008, much to the chagrin of anybody who owned an older one and couldn't replace it.

Let's rub a little salt in those wounds. If you live in fancy-pants You-rup you can buy an even hotter version of that small wagon. It's powered by a 450 h.p. version of that glorious Audi 4.2-litre V-8 and boasts big fenderflares, lightweight aluminum construction and a sevenspeed dual-clutch gearbox.

Flagship Kia sedan coming, but not for Europe

As something of a salve, here is the latest on Kia's most recent project, a rear-wheeldrive flagship sedan that will be debuting in Korea early this year. Dubbed the KH for now, think Hyundai Genesis sedan in size, and Kia Optima in looks.

The whole Kia/Hyundai corporate structure is a funny thing. On one hand, both manufacturers share platforms and engines and factories, but on the other hand, they act as though in direct competition with each other.

A strange way of doing business, but it does keep both companies on their toes, and you can't argue with the success of both Hyundai and Kia in recent years. Don't be surprised then if Kia's full-sized sedan differs in some significant way from Hyundai's Genesis, possibly in the drivetrain.

If you'll remember, Kia launched a concept at last year's Frankfurt Auto Show that boasted a twin-turbo V-6, something not seen in either company's model range. Considering Hyundai/ Kia's obvious competence at turbocharging (the turbo engine in the Veloster Turbo makes 201 h.p. from just 1.6-litres), we might well see a turbocharged option in the higher trim levels.

Oh, and one more thing? While the KH will debut in Korea and then later in world markets, one place you won't find it is mainland Europe or the U.K.

Toyota GT86, now in cheapskate version

Last week, I got to drive around in a Porsche Cayman R: a stripped-out racing version of the Cayman with less stuff in it . . . for more money. Toyota has a different plan for their upcoming sport coupe.

Given the enormous tuning market in Japan, Toyota is offering their GT86 model in a no-frills package for significantly less than the standard model. And when I say no-frills, I really mean it.

The tuner-ready model comes with steelies instead of alloys, no stereo, no air-conditioning, and they haven't even bothered to paint the front and rear bumpers. As a blank canvas, it's the perfect place to start creating a shiny-paint showcar or turbo-charged drifter.

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