Ford has made a commitment to small cars in the U.S. with its upcoming Fiesta and new Focus. The Ka is smaller than the Fiesta. Mulally recently told the Automotive News that the Ka might eventually be sold on our shores, but that Ford needs to figure out a way to make a profit on it.
This year's Official Vehicle of SEMA will be shown in four distinct concepts: Camaro LS7 Concept, which features the GM Performance Parts LS7 Crate engine with 550HP; Camaro Dale Earnhardt Jr. Concept, which was produced with input from the Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Camaro GS Racecar Concept, which is powered by a production LS3 V8 mated to a Tremec 6060 six-speed; and the Camaro Black Concept, which features a blacked out exterior and interior.
Today Toyota officially announced the pricing for 2009 Venza that starts at $25,975 for the 2.7L four-cylinder, front wheel drive model. The top of the line 3.5L V6 with AWD goes for $29,250.
Mitsubishi's Normal, Illinois plant produces the Galant, Eclipse and Endeavor, none of which are really bringing in any sales for the brand. The plant has the capability of producing 100,000 vehicles per year and Mitsubishi's CEO Osamu Masuko wants to shuffle which vehicles are built there to maximize production. Mitsubishi's two smallest vehicles in its lineup, the Lancer and Outlander sell much better than the Galant and Endeavor, so it would make sense to produce the Lancer and Outlander here, instead of the Galant.
The SVT Raptor starts with the new 2009 F-150 and adds a unique grille and a body that is seven inches wider. In addition the suspension has been upgraded with new upper and lower A arms, upgraded tie rods, new half shaft joints, and shocks from Fox Racing.
The standard engine in the SVT Raptor is the F-150's proven 5.4-liter Triton V8 three-valve engine, which delivers 320 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new 6.2L V8 engine will be available after launch.
Last month was a horrible month for automobile sales with most automakers posting double digit declines. Well decreased sales and profits are also cutting into the product plans for many automakers as well. BMW has announced that the Concept CS is not going to be produced because the vehicle will not be profitable.
This news means that the 7 Series will remain the top vehicle in BMW's lineup. The Concept CS was designed as a four-door coupe that was meant to compete with the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide, and Mercedes-Benz CLS.
To create the coupe Hyundai delivered its first prototype Genesis Coupe 2.0T 12 weeks ago. RMR employees stripped the car to bare metal and then began creating new aftermarket parts and accessories for the new Genesis Coupe.
Inside all comfort and convenience items were removed to make way for a custom-fabricated eight-point safety cage and firewall. In addition a single Sparco racing seat was added for the driver.
On the outside Millen replaced hood, deck lid, roof, doors, fenders, front fascia and side skirts with lighter carbon fiber pieces. Under the hood the 2.0L turbocharged engine was enhanced with a Turbonetics turbocharger, waistgate and blow-off valve to provide more horsepower and torque.
The HFP Concept takes the standard Civic Si and adds an HFP body kit, super-light alloy wheels with aerodynamic covers a lighter HFP exhaust system and an upgraded HFP suspension kit all of which improve the vehicles gas mileage without compromising its performance.
Honda didn't release final mpg figures for the concept.
The new four-cylinder engine puts out 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque and gets 20/27 mpg. The 2.7L engine is mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota estimates that the four-cylinder powered Highlander will reach 0-60 mph in 9.7 seconds.
Last week Nissan announced a new entry Versa that starts at $9,990, which means its the cheapest car you can buy in the U.S. Although it starts below $10k, when you actually want A/C or any other "normally standard" features be prepared to pay more.
KickingTires, did some research into the pricing of the 2009 Versa 1.6 and discovered that the base model does not come with air conditioning, power windows or door locks, and a stereo. Reminds me of the base econo cars of the 80's and early 90's. Of course cruise control and a driver’s seat height adjustment are also missing. The standard model also has a manual transmission. The automatic transmission costs and extra $1,000, but requires that you also get a/c, which is $1,000 as well. After adding an auto transmission and a/c you're already at $12k.
The fully-electric MINI can go up to 150 miles on a full charge. The electric motor puts out 204 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque, which helps the car reach0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 95 mph.
Although more than 9,500 people have signed up for info about the 2009 MINI E, only 500 will be produced for lease in California, New York and New Jersey. The $850 per month covers all maintenance and replacement parts. The car also comes with a wallbox that allows the battery to be charged in two and a half hours. In order to buy the car you need to have a lockable garage, since the charging system will be located in your garage.
According to Mercedes-Benz US CEO Ernst Lied, the CLK coupe is going to die after the 2010 model year. Its replacement will be based off the next-generation E-Class sedan that is set to be released in mid-2009.
The larger E-Class coupe and convertible will draw inspiration from the ConceptFASCINATION that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. The coupe is going to debut at the same time as the sedan, next year and the convertible will debut in 2010.
The three new models could include a new coupe, a roadster based off the XF sedan and a new lightweight sports car that would compete with the Porsche Boxster. Tata has no plans to introduce a Jaguar SUV, since that would compete with its other brand, Land Rover.
The first package is the NISMO S-Tune Aero Package that improves the car's aerodynamic performance a new nose, front lip spoiler, side skirts and rear spoiler that will reduce lift and provide extra downforce. Also included in this package are rear fender protectors and a set of NISMO-badged floor mats.
Last week it was reported that GM had suspended all talks with Chrysler about an apparent merger after the U.S. treasury denied GM's request for aid to buy Chrysler. Now it're being reported that Hyundai may be interested.
According to Reuters, Hyundai and Chrysler's owners, Cerberus Capital Management, have been in talks about Hyundai acquiring the Jeep brand. Both automakers have not released an official statement about the discussions.
VW was set to debut its upcoming mid-engine roadster at the LA Auto Show in a little over a week, but has decided to push back its unveiling until January at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
VW hopes to attract more interest for the roadster at the show in Detroit. The final details are pretty scarce. It is expected that the car will debut in 2011, but it is not known what 4-cylinder engine that VW will use.
Athough Nissan hasn't released any official specs of the concept it's supposed to preview Nissan's entry into the North American Commercial Vehicle market in 2010. The concept looks bigger than Ford's commercial vehicle, the Transit Connect.
When the concept enters production it will be built at Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi.
Last week GM reported that it lost $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2008, while spending $6.9 billion. Today General Motors stock has plunged more than 31 percent to their lowest level in more than 55 years after two analysts downgraded GM's stock claiming that it will be worth very little of nothing if GM does receive a government bailout.
Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache reduced GM to sell and put a price target of $0 a share.
"Without government assistance, we believe that GM's collapse would be inevitable, and that it would precipitate systemic risk that would be difficult to overcome for automakers, suppliers, retailers, and sectors of the U.S. economy," Lache wrote. "As part of GM's restructuring, we are also convinced that a large number of stakeholders who are senior to GM's equity will have to settle for pennies on the dollar."
The 2010 Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Sport will both make their debut at the race. Both vehicles will be camouflaged in NASCAR-inspired camouflage during the race. The Fusion Hybrid will lead the field to the green flag and the Fusion Sport will remain the pace car for the rest of the race.
Thanks to the LA Auto Show website we now know that the final horsepower rating for the 3.7L V6 is 332 horsepower. The engine can either be mated to a new 7-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. The new Z also has a shorter wheelbase than the current generation and more lightweight pieces to keep the vehicle's overall weight in check.
Lexus is going to unveil a concept version of a new dedicated hybrid model at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in January. We're now getting more info about the new model thanks to Japanese magazine, Mag-X.
Mag-X claims that the new Lexus hybrid is going to be dubbed the HS250h and that the car is going to be a sedan. We do know that the new hybrid is going to share some of its mechanicals with the new Prius. It will be powered by a larger 2.4L engine mated to the hybrid system. Initially the car will use nickel-hydride batteries.
It's already been reported that GM canceled plans to unveil the new Buick LaCrosse and the production version of the CTS Coupe at the show. GM spokesman Scott Fosgard told the Detroit News that all of GM's bad financial news and the pending government bailout would have overshadowed the show.
Instead of showing anything new GM is going to bring the Chevy Volt and the Saab 9-4X Air Concept that was unveiled in Paris.
The 2009 X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance starts at $52,025. The diesel powered X5 is powered by a 3.0L inline-six diesel engine that puts out 265 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine allows the X5 to reach 0-62 mph in 7.2 seconds while still achieving 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The diesel powered 3 Series starts at $44,725. It is powered by the same 3.0L inline-six diesel engine in the X5 that puts out 265 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2009 335d can reach 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds while achieving 23/33 mpg and a range of 550 miles.
The magazine's editors applauded the GT-R for "delivering high-intensity fun and astonishing performance". They also claim that the Nissan GT-R is the first Japanese supercar to seriously threaten the other supercars in the world with its neck-snapping acceleration, super-accurate steering, and incredible value.
The magazine also gave the 2009 Design of the Year award to the Audi A5 and named Takeo Fukui - President, Honda Motor Company, Man of the Year.
It's already been confirmed that Toyota and Subaru are working on a new RWD coupe that will be sold both as a Subaru and Toyota. Well now reports are surfacing that Toyota's version of the RWD coupe will actually be sold under the Scion brand as the replacement for the current tC.
Scion definitely needs some new models to renew interest in the brand. A RWD coupe could be just the thing the brand needs.
The P-51B Mustang is powered by Ford's 4.6L V8 that puts out 510 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque. In order to get this much power ROUSH engineers replaced many of the engine's components with stronger parts. ROUSH also upgraded the clutch. 6-piston brakes, Cooper RS3 ultra-high performance tires and the ROUSH Stage 3 suspension were also added to the car.
Only 51 units are going to be produced with a starting price of $65,800.
The Azure T is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6¾-liter V8 that puts out 500 horsepower and 737 lb-ft. of torque. This is an 11 percent improvement in horsepower and 14 percent improvement in torque over the lesser powered Azure. 0-60 mph comes in a fast (considering its weight) 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 179 mph.
The exterior of the Azure T features 20-inch five-spoke 'Bright Finish' alloy wheels, retractable 'Flying B' bonnet mascot, dark tint matrix upper and lower grilles, 'Le Mans' lower front wing air vents, and a Bentley 'Jewel' fuel filler cap.
Inside there is diamond quilting on the seats and door panels, drilled alloy brake and accelerator pedals, aluminum panels and "Bentley" embroidery.
Bentley has not announced the pricing for the Azure T.
Yesterday it was reported that GM has canceled all of its press events and major intros at the LA Auto Show, which leaves the automaker with very little to show off. Since there isn't much to show, Saab is going to quietly debut its 25th anniversary edition of the 9-3 convertible.
The 2nd limited edition 9-3 convertible is available in three colors, Jet Black, Carbon Grey, and Bright Champagne. It's powered by a 210 horsepower 2.0L engine that can be mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
The anniversary 9-3 convertible will be in showrooms in January 2009 with a starting price of $46,725.
Too bad we've already seen a few photos of the new Prius that leaked onto the web. At first we weren't sure if the photos were authentic, but Toyota eventually confirmed that the leaked photos are of the next Prius.
Overall the 2010 Prius will keep the same basic shape as the current generation. Inside there is a whole new dash that is very different than the current model.
The 2010 RX will come in two versions, the RX 350 that is powered by a 3.5L V6 and the hybrid RX 450h. Recent photo renderings of the new crossover show an overall shape that is very similar to the current generation.
Lexus is also going to unveil the IS 250 C and IS 350 C convertible models at the show. The IS 250 C was recently unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The IS convertible models feature the same engines as the sedans, plus a lightweight aluminum three-panel roof.
The all-wheel-drive versions of the LS 460 and LS 460 L will also be on hand for the show.
Here's a quick video that Ford has created to show how its voice-activated SYNC system works.
Teaser photos are ok when an automaker releases one or two right before the actual vehicle is unveiled, but when Ford decided to release ten separate teaser photos of the 2010 Mustang over a series of weeks, it got a little annoying.
Either way here is the last teaser photo which shows the design of the taillights. The 2010 Mustang will officially be unveiled in a week at the LA Auto Show.
65 jurors gave the Toyota iQ 526 votes and 39 of the 65 jurors actually gave the iQ a perfect 10 score. The Citroen C5 came in second with 223 votes and the Nissan GT-R came in 3rd with 201 votes.
-If all three fail next year it will result in 3 million U.S. jobs lost in the first year
-Total governement tax loss over three years = $156.4 billion
-The U.S. GDP would drop 4 percent, compare that to the fact that the current economic downturn was caused by a .3 percent drop
-One out of every ten jobs in the U.S. relies on the U.S. auto industry
Suzuki is going to buy back the 3.02 percent stake from GM. Suzuki stated that it is necessary for the automaker to buy back the stake from GM to help the ailing automaker. Although Suzuki is buying the 3.02 percent stake, the two automakers will continue to have a partnership in the future, which includes the development of hybrid vehicles and SUVs in Canada.
If the info leaked today is correct the 2010 GT with the Premium package will start at $30,095, which is inline with the pricing for the Camaro and Challenger. Some of the features included in this package are the 4.6L OHC 3V V8 Engine, SYNC system, 18″ wheels, shaker 500 audio, ambient lighting, bright aluminum accent dash, pedal covers, scuff plate & shift knob and 6-gauge cluster with MyColor.
Today Congress is meeting to discuss the details of the $25 billion bailout plan for U.S. automakers. Debates are going back and forth from both sides on how to solve this problem. Some senators are now even saying that the CEO's of the Big 3 should consider stepping down from their positions if that is what it will take for Congress to approve the plan.
During an interview yesterday on NBC’S “Meet the Press”, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin stated I’d be happy to tell (GM CEO) Rick Wagoner that he ought to consider resigning if that is the difference between getting this kind of support and not. If it was the difference between getting this kind of support or not, obviously the management should consider resigning."
The Insignia achieved the award by a mere one point (321) over the 2nd place finisher, the Ford Fiesta (320). The bronze winner was the VW Golf with 223 points. This is the first win for the Opel brand in 22 years.
Here are a few photos and more details about what we can expect to read soon. Head over to Ford's site to see the Mustang in motion and come back here in a few hours to see all the official photos.
The new Mustang features all-new styling that continues to draw cues from the original Mustangs and is more of a evolutionary redesign as it doesn't stray far from the design of the current generation.
The new Mustang will be offered in coupe, convertible or a coupe with a glass roof. V6 and V8 powered models will continue to be offered as well. The 4.6L V8 in the GT sees a modest power increase to 315 horsepower.
The next S5 is going to get the same 329 horsepower supercharged V6 engine as the recently introduced Audi S4.
"Not only does this new engine get nearly the same horsepower and more torque," said an Audi spokesperson, "but the fuel efficiency with the V6T improves by 30 percent over the V8."
Motor Trend had this to say about the 2009 GT-R:
"The GT-R puts Nissan on a map that thus far only designated Maranello, Sant’ Agata, Munich, and Stuttgart as points of interest,” said Motor Trend editor Ron Kiino. ”Well, it’s time to stick a tack on Tochigi. In the kingdom of supercars, the GT-R positively belongs. Be it comparing 0-to-60 sprints, quarter-mile times, 60-to-0 braking, or lateral acceleration, the GT-R is one of the world’s best.”
"Plainly put: No Nissan has ever been as formidable or as awesome as the GT-R. More significant, no other 2009 contender crushes our criteria like the GT-R. For that, it wholeheartedly deserves our Golden Calipers."
Ford's stake in Mazda has been reduced from 33.4 percent to just over 13 percent. This is part of Ford's plan to raise more money as the sale of the shares gives Ford an extra $540 million. The shares were bought back by Mazda and Mazda's strategic business partners.
The all-new Mazda3 will be available with a new 167 horsepower 2.5L engine, self leveling Bi-Xenon headlights, adaptive front lighting system, push-button start and Bluetooth.
Now we'll just have to hold tight until we get the details from the new Mazdaspeed3.
Expect more photos live from the show tomorrow...
Just like the Ford Fusion, the Fusion's sister the Mercury Milan also gets a long list of changes for the 2010 model year. This includes new styling inside and out, upgraded engines and a new hybrid model.
The Milan makes due with only two gasoline engines, the 2.5L and 3.0L, unfortunately the 263hp 3.5L V6 is only available in the Fusion Sport. The Milan Hybrid is identical to the Fusion Hybrid and will be able to go up to 47 mph on electricity alone. Ford also predicts that the Fusion and Milan Hybrids will get better gas mileage than the Camry Hybrid.
The 2010 Mercury Milan will hit showrooms in spring 2009.
For 2010 the Fusion gets all-new styling inside and out (looks much better). In addition there are now three available gas engines and a new hybrid Fusion. The available gas engines range are the 2.5L 4-cylinder (175hp), 3.0L V6 (240hp) and a new 3.5L V6 (263hp) in the Fusion Sport. All three of the engines are mated to six-speed transmissions.
Inside there are new features such as Ford's SYNC system, SIRIUS TravelLink, and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert.
The redesigned 2010 Fusion will be available in the spring of 2009.
The 2010 Cube is powered by a 122 horsepower 1.8L engine mated to either a CVT transmission or a six-speed manual. The Cube equipped with the CVT is projected to get over 30 mpg on the highway.
The Cube fits five passengers with a “lounge sofa” style sliding rear bench seat.
The Cube will be initially offered in three trims, Cube 1.8, Cube 1.8 S and Cube 1.8 SL.
The all-new Mazda3 is powered by a choice of two engines, a 148 horsepower 2.0L engine or a 167 horsepower 2.5L. The 2.0L engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the 2.5L can be mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed auto. The 2.0L with either transmission gets 33 mpg on the highway.
On the outside the styling is all-new, although it is easily recognizable as a Mazda3. The front-end features Mazda's new global face with a front-end that Mazda describes as "exotic".
The new Mazda3 is available with many features that are not available on other vehicles in its class, such as self leveling Bi-Xenon headlights, adaptive front lighting system, and rain sensing wipers.
Now we have to wait to see the five-door hatchback.
The Honda FC Sport Design Study is hydrogen-powered three seat sports car. It uses the V-Flow fuel cell stack and electric drivetrain from the recently introduced FCX Clarity. The fuel-cell stack is located between the rear seats and the electric motor is mounted just forward of the rear axle. Inside the driver sits in the middle of the car, while the two rear passengers sit directly behind the driver on the left and right side of the vehicle. The doors also open upward from the rear.
"The Honda FC Sport explores how to satisfy automotive performance enthusiasts in a world beyond petroleum," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "People who love sports cars will still have a reason to love in a hydrogen-powered future."
The G37 Convertible is powered by a 325-hp 3.7-liter V6 mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission. The folding hardtop is a three-piece unit, which manages to preserve the sexy lines of the coupe.
Compared to the coupe the convertible features new body panels from the A-pillar back and is actually 1.1 inches wider than the coupe. It also features a wider track and modified rear suspension.
The top open or closes in a mere 30 seconds.
The 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible will be available in spring 2009.
The convertible version of the Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupe is powered by a 560 horsepower 5.2L V10 engine. It reaches 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.
On the outside the Spyder features new headlights with LEDs and a completely redesigned tail. The top that can come in black, blue, grey or beige can be lowered in 20 seconds.
More photos of the next-gen 2010 Toyota Prius are showing up on the internet. A few weeks ago the first photos of the new Prius leaked onto PriusChat and were confirmed to be accurate photos by Toyota.
The 2010 Prius is set for a world debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. What we do know about the new hybrid is that it will keep its iconic shape with a slightly larger body and more distinct nose. Inside there is an all-new dash design that looks far more complicated than the current generation.
The 2010 Prius is also expected to be more powerful and at the same time achieve better gas mileage.
For 2010 the Cayman and Boxster receive a mild facelift inside and out in addition to new features. There is also a little more power to make the cars even more enjoyable. The Boxster now puts out 255 hp (increase of 10) and the Cayman puts out 265 hp (increase of 20). The Boxster S now puts out 310 hp (increase of 15) and the Cayman S puts out 320 (increase of 25). The Cayman and Boxster are also now available with Porsche's PDK double-clutch gearbox.
In addition to unveiling the FC Sport, Honda also provided more details about its next hybrid, the Insight. The Insight is going to feature a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). The system gives the driver feedback on how she or he is driving and provides real-time guidance on environmentally responsible driving. It basically tells you how "green" you are driving through the economy scoring function.
A green "ECON" button on the dash also activates the ECON mode which optimizes the control of the transmission, engine and other elements to optimize fuel economy.
Ford also recently introduced a eco-type dash in its 2010 Fusion and Milan hybrids.
The production version of the Insight will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show with sales starting in April 2009.
The Cayenne diesel is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged V6 diesel engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque. It also manages to get 25 mpg. The engine is mated to the Tiptronic-S automatic gearbox.
The Cayenne diesel is initially only going to be sold in Europe, although Porsche claims that other markets will follow. It remains to be seen how well the diesel powered Mercedes and upcoming Audi Q7 TDI will perform in the US.
The 2010 Panamera is a four-door, four-passenger sedan that will join Porsche's lineup in the summer of 2009. Porsche hasn't released the official details about what will be under the hood of the Panamera, instead the automaker simply states that six and eight-cylinder engines will be offered with between 300-500 horsepower. The engines will be mated to a manual either a six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK). Rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models will also be available.
The Panamera will be making its world debut in spring 2009
The unveiling of the Mazda3 hatchback follows the unveiling of the sedan at the LA Auto Show last week.
European customers will be able to get an optional 2.2L turbodiesel engine.
Expect more details and photos next week.