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April 2010 Archives

April 1, 2010

Audi RS5 Reportedly Confirmed for the US?

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It seems that the US is always getting screwed when it comes to automakers deciding not to bring some of their models here. Well it looks like Audi is going to be bringing the awesome Audi RS5 to the US sometime in mid-2011.

Automobile is reporting that the RS5, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last month is likely to arrive in the US by the summer of 2011. It will launch in European markets this October. The RS5 is powered by a 4.2L V8 with 450 horsepower.

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New York 10': 2011 Scion iQ is Aimed at Urban Drivers

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Toyota has officially confirmed the iQ minicar for the US, which will be sold under the Scion brand in 2011.

Toyota claims that the 2011 Scion iQ meets the needs of a new trendsetting generation of urban drivers. It features a 3+1 seating design making it the world's smallest four passenger vehicle. It's overall length is only 120.1 inches and it has a width of 66.1 inches, which should make parking it in tight parking spaces very easy.

The iQ is powered by a 1.3L four-cyl with 90 horsepower that is mated to a CVT. The iQ will also come standard with 10 SRS airbags, including the world's first rear-window curtain airbag and a Scion-first driver seat-cushion airbag.

The iQ is already on sale in Europe and Japan, but the release date for the US has not been released.

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New York 10': 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sees the Return of the Wing

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Subaru has unveiled the 2011 Impreza WRX STI, which brings back the four-door version of the WRX STI after being gone for three years. Along with bringing back the sedan version, Subaru has also outfitted the WRX STI sedan with a huge rear wing, that is reminiscent of the wing on the last sedan.

"The continuous evolution and development of the WRX STI is driven by the strong, loyal and vocal support from thousands of enthusiastic owners of this exciting high-performance vehicle," said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO of Subaru of America, Inc. "The 2011 4-door WRX STI will expand the appeal of this iconic performance model to a wider range of driving enthusiasts."

The WRX STI is still available in the five-door version as well. For 2011 The WRX STI gets a revised suspension with a lower ride height, higher spring rates and thicker front and rear stabilizer bars. The new standard 18-inch alloy wheels weigh 17.6 lbs less than the previous standard wheels. The power ratings of 305-hp and 290 lb-ft of torque remain unchanged.

Continue reading "New York 10': 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sees the Return of the Wing" »

New York 10': 2011 Hyundai Equus Debuts as Hyundai's New Flagship

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Does the Hyundai Genesis leave you wanting more? Well Hyundai has just unveiled their newest flagship, the 2011 Equus. We've seen the Equus before at last year's New York Auto show, when Hyundai sent over a non-US spec model to gauge customer interest. Well it must have gone well since Hyundai has decided to introduce the large sedan here for the 2011 model year.

"Equus takes Hyundai's formula for intelligent luxury to a new level," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "We've applied the lessons in engineering excellence we've learned with Genesis to the Equus, while adding a new level of customer experience that will further differentiate our take on luxury from the traditional premium brands."

The 2011 Equus is powered by the 4.6L Tau V8 with 385 horsepower using premium fuel and 378 horsepower using regular fuel. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual control. The combination accelerates the Equus from 0-60 mph in less than 6.4 seconds.

According to CEO John Krafcik, the base price of the Equus will come in somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000.

Continue reading "New York 10': 2011 Hyundai Equus Debuts as Hyundai's New Flagship" »

New York 10': Lexus Releases a Teaser Trailer of the Lexus CT 200h in the Lexus Dark Ride Campaign

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Lexus is going to release its second dedicated hybrid the CT 200h in the US early next year. Lexus hopes to reach the young, progressive, energetic and tech-savvy buyer with the CT 200h and is going to launch a campaign film, Lexus Dark Ride that will launch on May 13th.

Check out the teaser after the jump.

Continue reading "New York 10': Lexus Releases a Teaser Trailer of the Lexus CT 200h in the Lexus Dark Ride Campaign" »

New York 10': 2011 Kia Optima Brings a Turbo and a Hybrid to the Kia Lineup

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Kia already graced us with teaser photos of the new 2011 Kia Optima, but it was officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show today.

The 2011 Kia Optima shares its platform with the also new Hyundai Sonata, but thankfully the two do not share any of the same bodywork. But what is nice, is that the Optima will share all three powertrain options with the new Sonata, which means that the hybrid and turbo powertrains that were unveiled in the Sonata yesterday, are also going to be offered in the Optima. This means that the Optima will be available with either a 200-hp 2.4L, 274-hp turbo 2.0L or a 2.4L hybrid.

"The all-new Optima is a new strand in Kia's growing design DNA with a blend of simple and fluid lines and elegant but uncomplicated shapes that draw the attention of the eye in much the same fashion as a perfectly-tailored fine Italian suit," said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation. "From the distinctive sweeping chrome accent that stretches through the C pillars to the sleek greenhouse and flared wheel arches, every inch of the Optima projects a distinguished and refined style and extreme attention to detail."


Continue reading "New York 10': 2011 Kia Optima Brings a Turbo and a Hybrid to the Kia Lineup" »

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars in March 2010 Were...

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Well the third month of 2010 is officially over and although most of today's news is surrounding the New York Auto Show, we can now report the sales totals for last month.

It looks like the dismal sales of 2008 and 2009 are behind us, since March 2010 was a great month for most of the automakers. Buick actually had the highest percentage increase of almost 76 percent compared to March 2009, which helped GM's core brands post a 43 percent increase over the same month last year. Everyone has been wondering how Toyota is doing with all the recalls, but don't worry, Toyota had a great month with almost a 41 percent increase, which was largely attributed to some aggressive incentives. Ford sales improved by almost 40 percent and Honda posted a 22.5 percent increase. Sadly the Chrysler Group posted an 8 percent drop last month.

For a breakdown of the top 10 best-selling cars last month check out the list after the jump.

Continue reading "Top 10 Best-Selling Cars in March 2010 Were..." »

April 6, 2010

Aston Martin Rapide to Enter Nürburgring 24-hour Race

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Aston Martin is going to compete in the 38th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race with the new four-door Rapide. The Rapide will be near-standard near-standard specification apart from mandatory changes required to compete, such as the interior trim removed to reduce weight, a re-tuned suspension and the addition of slick tires designed for track use.

The Rapide will be joined by the V12 Vantage, which is also only slightly modified for racing.

The race starts on May 15th.

Continue reading "Aston Martin Rapide to Enter Nürburgring 24-hour Race" »

April 7, 2010

Renault-Nissan and Daimler Announce Alliance

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The rumors were true. Renault-Nissan and Daimler AG have announced a new alliance today that will involve sharing and cooperating on the development of diesel and gasoline engines. The new partners are also going to combine their efforts to develop a new platform for the Smart ForTwo, a new Smart four-seater and the next-generation Renault Twingo.

The partnership also involves Renault-Nissan supplying three and four-cylinder engines to Daimler for use in some Mercedes models. In return Daimler is going to provide gasoline and diesel engines that will be used in some Infiniti models.

Lastly Daimler will now hold a 3.1% stake in Renault and Nissan and the two partners will also hold a same stake in Daimler.

Continue reading "Renault-Nissan and Daimler Announce Alliance" »

April 8, 2010

2011 Chevy Camaro V6 Beats New Mustang with 312 Horsepower

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When Ford unveiled the changes to the 2011 Mustang, the V6 was officially rated at 305-hp, which beat the 2010 Camaro with its 304-hp. Well of course GM wasn't about to let the Mustang hold the horsepower crown for long. GM has officially announced the updates to the 2011 Camaro and with it comes a new 312-hp rating.

New SAE certification testing on the 2011 Camaro now officially rates it at 312 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 278 lb-ft of torque at 5100 rpm.

"The 304 horsepower in the 2010 Camaro was actually a conservative rating on our end," said Tom Sutter, GM V-6 chief engineer. "But we knew already that this award-winning engine produced at least the amount of power we stated, but now we've gone the extra step in certifying the engine for this application and have verified an additional 8 horsepower."

So that means that if you bought the 2010 model, you actually have 312-hp under the hood as well.

Continue reading "2011 Chevy Camaro V6 Beats New Mustang with 312 Horsepower" »

April 9, 2010

2011 Lotus Elise Gets 46.7 MPG, but Still Hits 0-60 MPH in Six Secs

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Thanks to a new smaller 1.6L engine and improved aerodynamics, Lotus has announced that the 2011 Lotus Elise has been rated at 46.7 mpg (US) on the European cycle. In addition to getting over 46 mpg, the 2011 Elise has just been certified with an outstandingly low emissions figure of 149g of CO2 / km which represents a reduction of 16% over the previous Lotus Elise S.

This means that the 2011 Elise has the lowest CO2 for its performance level for any gasoline sportscar in the world.

Even though the 2011 Elise gets great gas mileage and puts out very little emissions it still manages to reach 0-60 mph in six seconds.

It looks like the US is not going to get the 1.6L Elise, instead we will have to make due with the 190-hp 1.8L.

Continue reading "2011 Lotus Elise Gets 46.7 MPG, but Still Hits 0-60 MPH in Six Secs" »

Honda Planning Larger Hybrid Sports Coupe

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A Honda insider recently revealed to Motor Trend, that the automaker is hard at work on a next-gen hybrid sports coupe that will be bigger and more powerful than the yet to be released Honda CR-Z (pictured above).

According to the source the new Honda hybrid sports coupe will mate a 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine to Honda's IMA hybrid system. The coupe is expected to be around the same size as the Accord Coupe and will seat four.

In addition to the hybrid sports coupe, Honda is also at work on a V6 hybrid system for use in US-spec minivans and SUVs. The source also told Motor Trend that Honda is working on a plug-in hybrid system that is similar to the Chevy Volt. The plug-in system would be used in Honda's medium to large cars and SUVs.

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April 10, 2010

Honda Ridgeline Dead After 2012?

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Honda has yet to commit to a redesign of the Honda Ridgeline pickup and now sources have told PickupTrucks.com that Honda is not going to replace the truck after its current lifecycle ends around 2012.

Sadly it kind of makes sense, since Honda had high hopes of selling 50,000 units a year, but in 2009 Honda only managed to move 16,464 units.

Honda hasn't released any statements about the Ridgeline other than the statement at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show: "There would be no significant change to the Ridgeline through the 2011 model year."

Continue reading "Honda Ridgeline Dead After 2012?" »

April 13, 2010

Lexus GX 460 Gets "Dont Buy" Rating Due to Rollover Risk

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Consumer Reports has given the all-new Lexus GX 460 SUV a "dont buy" rating due to problems that came up during routine handling tests, which could lead to a rollover in real world driving.

During a test of the SUV's performance the rear of the vehicle was able to slide until the vehicle was nearly sideways at which point the stability control finally kicked in. Due to the fact that the stability control took longer than normal to correct the situation and the fact that a similar situation in rear world driving could lead to a rollover, the publication has labeled the GX 460 as a safety risk.

Toyota has yet to issue a comment.

Continue reading "Lexus GX 460 Gets "Dont Buy" Rating Due to Rollover Risk" »

BMW M3 Sedan May Not Return for the Next Generation

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According to sources BMW is not going to make a sedan version of the M3 when the next-generation arrives. Sources site unimpressive sales as the main reason that BMW is not going to produce another sedan version. When the previous M3 was out, US buyers demanded a sedan version of the M3, but sales have been disappointing.

If the sources are correct, the next-generation M3 will only be available as a coupe and convertible.

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April 14, 2010

Chevy Camaro Convertible Shows up on Facebook

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Two photos of the Chevy Camaro Convertible have shown up on Facebook.

There isn't really anything else to go with the photos, but we do know that the Camaro Convertible is expected in early 2011.

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April 15, 2010

2011 Buick Excelle Sedan Caught Naked Before China Debut

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After the release of the upcoming Buick Regal, Buick's next sedan will be a small sedan based on the Opel Astra, dubbed the Buick Excelle. The Buick Excelle that is pictured here without any camouflage is expected to officially debut at the Beijing Motor Show later this month.

The Excelle is expected to be released in the US in 2011.

Expect more details from the show.

Continue reading "2011 Buick Excelle Sedan Caught Naked Before China Debut" »

2011 Audi A8 L Debuts with 500HP W12 Engine

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Audi has unveiled the extended-wheelbase version of the new 2011 Audi A8. The flagship model in the A8 lineup, the A8 L W12 quattro is powered by a 500-hp 6.3L 12-cylinder engine. All that power launches the large sedan from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. According to Audi all that power doesn't mean that its going to suck down gas, since it gets 19 mpg (US) on the EU cycle.

The 500-hp engine isn't the only selling point of the 2011 A8 L. At just over 17 feet long, the A8 L has lots of room in the rear-seat area. The rear seats can be ordered as two separate power-adjustable seats that can be heated, ventilated and adjusted in a variety of ways: forward and back, seat cushion depth and seat back angle with top section adjustable separately. In between the two rear seats is an optional full length console that can come with a folding table and refrigerator.

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2011 Ford Explorer to Get New Terrain Management System

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Ford has announced that the all-new 2011 Explorer will be available with an advanced terrain management system that optimizes the four-wheel-drive system.

"Talking with customers told us that flexibility and freedom to tackle any road, anytime is important to them," said Explorer Chief Nameplate Engineer Jim Holland. "We saw the opportunity to eliminate a compromise by adding an intuitive and efficient terrain management system that can demystify four-wheel-drive control and enable the driver to properly match 4WD traction to the situations and road conditions they encounter."

The new terrain management system eliminates the guesswork when it comes to deciding between 4WD high, 4WD low and 2WD high. Drivers can simply choose the correct setting with the turn of a dial which has simple to read icons. The icons depict the various settings to best suit driving conditions.

The all-new Ford Explorer will go into production later this year.

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Toyota to Test the Stability Control System on of All of Its SUVS

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Following the surprise "do not buy" rating that the Lexus GX 460 received from Consumer Reports, Toyota has decided to conduct safety tests on all of its SUVs. Toyota has stopped sales of the Lexus GX 460 due to the report of a rollover risk.

Consumer Reports discovered that the rear of the SUV can slide sideways during testing before the stability control kicks in. Under certain conditions if the vehicle were to slide it could potentially lead to a roll over.

Toyota has sold 5,400 2010 GX 460 models in the US and Canada, but has suspended sales of the SUV in the US, Canada, the Middle East and Russia until a fix is found. According to Toyota none of the 5,400 owners of the 2010 model have reported any issues, but Toyota is taking the issue seriously.

Continue reading "Toyota to Test the Stability Control System on of All of Its SUVS" »

April 17, 2010

2011 Hyundai Accent Caught Completely Uncovered

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Two photos of the next-generation 2011 Hyundai Accent (aka Verna) have surfaced on the internet. As you can tell from these photos, the small Hyundai sedan is going to borrow styling cues from its larger brother, the Sonata.

Continue reading "2011 Hyundai Accent Caught Completely Uncovered" »

2011 BMW 528i Starts at $45,425

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BMW has announced the pricing for the all-new 2011 BMW 528i which starts at $45,425. The 2011 528i joins the 535i ($50,475) and 550i ($60,575) in July.

The 2011 528i is powered by a 240-hp 3.0L six-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

"When we announced the pricing for the 535i and 550i earlier this month, people were thrilled with what great value they represented," said Jack Pitney, Vice-President of Marketing for BMW of North American. "With the 528i BMW is uniquely positioned to offer a full range of midsized luxury-performance Sedans that, true to the philosophy of EfficentDynamics, offer better performance and improved efficiency than their predecessors at prices that are even more competitive."

Continue reading "2011 BMW 528i Starts at $45,425" »

Toyota Issues Recall of 600,000 Sienna Minivans to Fix Corrosion Issue

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Toyota has issued a recall of approximately 600,000 first and second generation Sienna minivans (1998-2010) to address potential corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable.

The voluntary recall affects Siennas that have been operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use. Prolonged exposure to road salt could corrode the spare tire cable, which could cause the cable to fail and the spare tire could fall of the vehicle.

Toyota is currently working on a remedy for the problem, but until then owners can bring their Siennas in to their local dealer for an inspection.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota Chief Quality Officer for North America, said: "Toyota is listening to its customers attentively, and we want to make sure their voices are heard. As part of that commitment, we are providing free inspections of the spare tire carrier cable even in states that are not included in this recall. We are also working diligently to develop a remedy as soon as possible."

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April 19, 2010

Chevy Volt MPV to be Unveiled in Bejing

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Patent drawings of an MPV based on the Chevy Volt have surfaced before the MPV is officially unveiled at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show.

According to Autocar the MPV will use the same powertrain as the Volt.

Stay tuned for more details next week.

Continue reading "Chevy Volt MPV to be Unveiled in Bejing" »

Toyota Agrees to Pay $16.4 Million Fine, but Denies Violating Safety Act

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Toyota has announced that the automaker has agreed to pay the $16.4 million fine that was demanded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on April 5th.

"We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a protracted dispute and possible litigation, as well as to allow us to move forward fully-focused on the steps to strengthen our quality assurance operations. This will allow us to focus on delivering safe, reliable, high quality vehicles for our customers and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity. These have been core Toyota values for 70 years, and we pledge to make an even greater effort to adhere to this philosophy now and in the future. We also welcome a new, more transparent chapter in our relationship with NHTSA, consistent with our commitments to Congress and the American people."

Although Toyota agreed to pay the $16.4 million, the automaker is denying any wrongdoing.

"We believe we made a good faith effort to investigate this condition and develop an appropriate counter-measure. We have acknowledged that we could have done a better job of sharing relevant information within our global operations and outside the company, but we did not try to hide a defect to avoid dealing with a safety problem."

Continue reading "Toyota Agrees to Pay $16.4 Million Fine, but Denies Violating Safety Act" »

Honda to End Production of the Civic Type R Four-Door in August

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Although the top CIvic in the US is only the Civic Si, buyers in the Japan have been lucky enough to get the even more fun Civic Type R. Well it's a sad day because Honda has announced that the four-door Civic Type R is being discontinued. Production of the Civic Type R is expected to end this August.

In Type R form the Civic puts out 225 horsepower. There is no word if a new Civic Type R is planned.

Continue reading "Honda to End Production of the Civic Type R Four-Door in August" »

Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept Car Provides Hint of Next CLS

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It was reported last month that Mercedes-Benz is working on a shooting break version of its next CLS and here it is at least in concept form. The Shooting Break concept is going to be officially unveiled at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

Mercedes-Benz describes the concept as "a further insight by Mercedes designers into the possible future development of the Coupé concept."

The concept also previews a new 3.5L V6 with 306 horsepower.

"The Shooting Break concept car is based on the great tradition of a stylish, cultivated sportiness which has always characterised the great Mercedes Coupés, and it takes this unique legacy an exciting step further," explains Professor Gorden Wagener, chief designer at Mercedes-Benz. "At the same time it points the way towards the future design idiom of Mercedes-Benz."

Continue reading "Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept Car Provides Hint of Next CLS" »

April 20, 2010

Honda Unleashes More Photos of the Euro-Spec CR-Z

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Honda has released more photos and info about the European-spec Honda CR-Z hybrid. The Euro version of the CR-Z is essentially the same version that we will see here in the US, except for the fact that the hybrid features two very small back seats, making it a 2+2 coupe (the US version will only be a two-seater).

Either way the CR-Z is powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder that is mated to an electric motor. Together the setup puts out 122-hp and 124 lb-ft. of torque. The CR-Z also features the first application of a six-speed manual in a hybrid.

Continue reading "Honda Unleashes More Photos of the Euro-Spec CR-Z" »

Kia to Release Wagon and Coupe Versions of the Optima...Maybe

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Kia unveiled the all-new Optima (Magentis) at the New York Auto Show this month. Now Autocar has learned that Kia is debating about releasing wagon and coupe version.

Chief designer Peter Schreyer said, "I would love to do station wagon and coupé versions of the car. The station wagon would only really work for Europe but the coupé would work in the US."

The all-new Optima is bigger than the current model and is based on the new Hyundai Sonata. It also shares the three powertrains that are being offered in the Sonata, including the new hybrid system.

Continue reading "Kia to Release Wagon and Coupe Versions of the Optima...Maybe" »

April 21, 2010

Toyota Reportedly Raises the Price of the FT-86

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The much anticipated Toyota FT-86 hasn't even been released yet, but Autocar is reporting that Toyota is going to raise the price of the RWD coupe. Rising development costs are the reason for the price hike.

According to a Toyota insider the original goal was to have the price start around £13,000 ($20,000 US) but the base price has now shot up to £15,000 ($23,000 US) with the top model going for £17,000 ($26,000 US).

In addition to the increased price, the insider also claims that Toyota has increased the target age group by 10 years, from the 30s to 40s after research showed that fewer younger buyers would be interested in the coupe.

Continue reading "Toyota Reportedly Raises the Price of the FT-86" »

GM Repays Remaining $5.8 Billion in Government Loans Ahead of Schedule

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GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre announced this morning that the automaker has made its final payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada, ahead of schedule. The announcement was made at a ceremony to highlight an investment of $257 million at GM's Fairfax, Kansas, and Detroit Hamtramck assembly centers.

"GM is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule, because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse we build here in Fairfax," said Whitacre. "We are now building some of the best cars, trucks, and crossovers we have ever built, and customers are taking note. Our dealers are increasing their sales, we are investing in our plants, and we are restoring and creating jobs."

The U.S., Canadian, and Ontario governments gave GM loans of $8.4 billion and took equity stakes in the new GM. Today's payment of $5.8 billion ($4.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $C1.1 billion to Export Development Canada) completes the payback of the loans.

"GM's ability to pay back the loans ahead of schedule is a sign that our plan is working, and that we are on the right track. It is also an important first step toward allowing our stockholders to reduce their equity investments in GM," said Whitacre. "We still have much hard work ahead of us, but we are making progress toward our vision of designing, building, and selling the world's best vehicles.

GM also stated that sales of GM's four brands are up 36 percent through March versus the same period in 2009.

Continue reading "GM Repays Remaining $5.8 Billion in Government Loans Ahead of Schedule" »

April 22, 2010

Ford Start Concept Unveiled in Beijing with new Three-Cyl EcoBoost Engine

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Ford has used the Beijing Motor Show to unveil the Start Concept.

"In an era of constant visual noise, we have created a car that conveys visual purity and harmony, in which every line has meaning and purpose. The Ford Start delivers a dynamic, personality driven design that stays true to the global Ford brand," said J Mays, group vice president, Design, and chief creative officer.

The overall design of the Start Concept is based on simplicity with its exterior body panels made from deformable, pre-colored recyclable composites. The concept also features a lightweight aluminum safety cell, which is part of the hybrid aluminum/high strength steel body construction.

Although the Start Concept is a pure concept, what lies under the hood is close to being a reality. The Start Concept is powered by a new one litre three cylinder EcoBoost engine. the small turbocharged 1.0L engine features a cast iron block with cast aluminum cylinder heads. Ford did not release official specs for the engine other than saying that its power and torque levels are comparable with a normally aspirated 1.6 liter four-cylinder.

Continue reading "Ford Start Concept Unveiled in Beijing with new Three-Cyl EcoBoost Engine" »

GM Unveils Chevy Volt MPV5 Crossover Concept

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The patent drawings that surfaced earlier this week showing an MPV version of the Chevy Volt were real. GM has unveiled the Chevy Volt MPV5 concept that is going to be unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show.

The Chevy Volt MPV5 concept borrows styling cues from the Chevy Volt, such as the headlights, grille and taillights. The overall styling also looks similar to the Chevy Orlando. The concept seats five

The Volt MPV5 concept uses the same Voltec system as the Chevy Volt.

"The Volt MPV5 concept demonstrates the flexibility of the Voltec propulsion system, which can produce enough electric power to propel a range of vehicles. from a compact sedan like the Volt to a crossover like the Volt MPV5 concept," said Doug Parks, Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Vehicle Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles at GM.

Continue reading "GM Unveils Chevy Volt MPV5 Crossover Concept" »

2011 VW Phaeton Tries to Move VW Up-Market...Again

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VW is going to try it again. The original VW Phaeton was introduced in 2003 without that much success here in the US, but VW remains determined to take the brand up-market.

For 2011 the Phaeton gets a new front end with LED lights and styling that brings it inline with the current VW design DNA. The rear end gets more subtle changes with new LED light clusters and a redesigned bumper. There are also new 18-inch alloy wheels.

Under the hood buyers have the choice of six, eight and twelve cylinder engines. The Phaeton is also available in standard and long wheelbase versions.

The new Phaeton is eventually expected to return to the US, but it has yet to be officially confirmed.

Continue reading "2011 VW Phaeton Tries to Move VW Up-Market...Again" »

April 23, 2010

BMW Concept Gran Coupé Previews a BMW Four-Door Coupe?

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BMW has unveiled the Concept Gran Coupé at this year's Beijing Motor Show. The Concept Gran Coupé is BMW's take on the increasingly popular four-door coupe.

The four-door concept features coupe-like proportions and a body height that is flatter than the BMW 5 Series or 7 Series sedans. The concept also features LED lights on the front and rear and frameless doors to enhance the over look.

Since BMW is one of the few luxury automakers that hasn't released a four-door coupe, it's a possibility that something like this concept could eventually be released.

Continue reading "BMW Concept Gran Coupé Previews a BMW Four-Door Coupe?" »

April 26, 2010

More than 6,600 People Have Already Reserved the Nissan Leaf

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It's only been a few days since Nissan has started taking reservations for the all-electric Leaf, but already more than 6,600 people have given their $99 deposit to reserve the vehicle.

The 2011 Leaf starts at $32,780 and after available tax credits the price drops as low as $25,280. You can also lease the Leaf for $349 a month.

Nissan hopes to have 20,000 orders by the time the Leaf goes on sale in select markets.

The Leaf is powered by an electric motor with a driving range of 100 miles.

Continue reading "More than 6,600 People Have Already Reserved the Nissan Leaf" »

Mercedes-Benz E-Class L Debuts in China

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Like the long wheelbase BMW 5 Series that was unveiled last week, Mercedes has unveiled the long wheelbase E-Class L, which will only be sold in the Chinese market.

Mercedes claims that the new E-Class L has an extra 14 centimeters of legroom in the rear compared to the standard E-Class. The E-Class L will launch with a choice of two gasoline engines the E 260 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY and the E 300. Both engines are mated to automatic transmissions.

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April 27, 2010

Hyundai Sonata Coupe in the Works?

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The all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata has only been on the market for a few months and Hyundai recently revealed turbocharged and hybrid versions of the sedan that will go on sale this fall. Now Inside Line believes that the next Sonata model will be a coupe.

The Sonata coupe would share the same 2.4L and possible 2.0L turbo engines as the sedan. The coupe would be aimed squarely at the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord coupes.

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GM to Invest $890 Million in Next-Gen Small Block V8s

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Last week GM announced that it paid off its government loans early and now GM has announced plans to invest $890 million a new generation of fuel efficient small block truck and car engines.

"GM is investing in our plants, restoring and creating jobs and making progress toward our vision of designing, building and selling the world's best vehicles," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "These latest investments show our commitment to improving fuel economy for buyers of every GM car, truck and crossover and giving them the best possible driving and ownership experience."

The next generation small block engines will be more fuel efficient thanks to direct injection and an all-new advanced combustion system design. The engines will also use aluminum engine blocks and be E85 ethanol capable.

The investment is expected to create or retain more than 1,600 jobs.

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April 28, 2010

Chrysler Sebring Replacement to be Named Nassau

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It's already been reported that Chrysler is possibly going to ditch the Sebring name for its refreshed midsize sedan that is expected to launch later this year. According to dealers and those that are familiar with Chyrsler's product plans, the Nassau name is going to used for the new sedan.

The Nassau name was used on a concept car at the Detroit Auto Show in 2007, but the new sedan is not expected to look like the concept.

The 2011 Nassau and its Dodge Avenger counterpart are expected to get all-new interiors and new styling on the outside. Buyers will have the choice between a 2.4L four-cyl and Chrysler's new Pentastar V6 engine.

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April 29, 2010

Peugeot and Citroën to Get Versions of Mitsubishi's New ASX Crossover

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Mitsubishi, Citroen and Peugeot have announced a partnership based around Mitsubishi's newest crossover, the ASX (RVR in Japan). The partnership involves Mitsubishi supplying the platform of the ASX to Citroen and Peugeot so that the automakers can use it as the basis for their own crossovers.

The European automakers will use the same platform as the ASX, but their models will have different bodies and use their own engine. Peugeot and Citroen will use a 1.6L HDI diesel engine.

The partnership should move an additional 50,000 units per year.

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Hyundai Unveils the Next-Gen Elantra in Korea

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Hyundai has been on a roll the last few months with the new Sonata, the upcoming Accent and now Hyundai has unveiled the new Elantra at the Busan Motor Show in Korea.

The new Elantra aka Avante gets Hyundai's 'fluidic sculpture' design philosophy that has also been applied to the new Accent and Sonata. It's powered by a 1.6L direct injected engine with 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Expect to see the new Elantra in the US in early 2011.

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GM Brings Chevy to Korea with the Camaro

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GM has announced that it is going to launch the Chevrolet brand in Korea in 2011.

"The introduction of Chevrolet will enable us to provide our customers an array of exciting new vehicles from the brand's global lineup, giving them more driving options," said Arcamone. "This will help GM Daewoo increase our sales and market share in the domestic market while generating additional revenue, strengthening our employees' job security, creating new jobs and resulting in additional investment in Korea. We regard it as a key to our long-term success."

The Camaro will go on sale in Korea in 2011.

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April 30, 2010

2012 Chevy Camaro To Get New Interior

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The pony wars have been heating up and although many people agree that the Chevy Camaro looks great on the outside, many have complained about what's on the inside.

Well it looks like our cries have been answered. GM is reportedly working on a revised interior for the 2012 Camaro. A GM insider confirmed to Inside Line that a substantially reworked interior is currently being worked on. Much of the upgrades are going into the dash and the area in front of the front passenger.

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Acura Recalls 167,000 TSX Sedans

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Acura has announced a recall of 167,000 TSX sedans to replace a power steering hose and o-ring gasket that could deteriorate prematurely. The recall involves the first generation TSX (2004-2008).

If the power steering hose becomes to deteriorated a crack in the hose could develop which could lead to fluid leaking on the exhaust, potentially generating smoke or a fire.

Acura has only received notice of one incident resulting in a fire.

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