March 2011 Archives

2013 Ford Fiesta ST to Get 180-HP EcoBoost Engine?

A more powerful version of the Ford Fiesta is slated to go on sale late next year. The Ford Fiesta ST will be the most powerful Fiesta available and will turn the small hatchback into a hot hatch with a reported 180 horsepower under the hood.

The 2013 Fiesta ST is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.6L EcoBoost engine that will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission. There's still no word yet if the Fiesta ST will be headed to the US, but at least we are for sure getting the Focus ST.

2012 Kia Rio Sedan Headed to New York

Kia is set to officially debut the sedan version of the all-new 2012 Kia Rio at the New York Auto Show this April. Kia held a press event this morning and it looks like the new sedan was confirmed for the show.

The hatchback version of the Rio was unveiled in Geneva earlier this month.

Expect more details from the show...

Hyundai Blue2 Fuel Cell Concept Debuts in Seoul

Hyundai has unveiled the Blue2 (Read as "Blue square") concept at the Seoul Motor Show. The concept is Hyundai's first sedan-style Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) powered by hydrogen.

The name 'Blue2' is a combination of Hyundai's sub eco-brand 'Blue Drive' and the number `2' from H2, the symbol for hydrogen gas.The Blue 2 Blue2 is powered by a fuel cell electric system that delivers a stack power of 90kW(1.65kW/L) and fuel economy of 34.9km/ℓ. Hyundai describes the exterior styling as 'Intersected Flow,' featuring innovative and dynamic designs. It's not known if Intersected Flow will replace Hyundai's current Fluidic Sculpture design theme.

Being a concept car, the Blue2 features new technology that is not yet available on a Hyundai vehicle like a welcome system which recognizes the driver, an automatic opening door system, and the deletion of conventional side mirrors that are replaced by side cameras and a roof camera. Outside LED screen panels display messages about the vehicle's condition and on the inside a Transparent Organic Light Emitting Diode (TOLED) monitor and ultra-light tempered glass, called Gorilla® Glass, provide more accurate and vivid graphic information.

Chevy Unveils Mi-ray Roadster Concept at the Seoul Motor Show

Chevy has taken the wraps off the Mi-ray Roadster concept at the Seoul Motor Show today. According to Chevy, the Mi-ray concept pays tribute to Chevy's sports car heritage, specifically the 1963 Monza SS and the 1962 Corvair Super Spyder.

According to GM Korea President and CEO Mike Arcamone, "Mi-ray" is Korean for "future." The concept is made of carbon fiber and CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastic). The Mi-ray's dual port grille is flanked by LED headlamps with new signature daytime running lamps and the front and rear fenders evoke Chevrolet Corvettes of the past.

The Mi-ray concept is powered by two electric motors at the front that power the front wheels and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is mounted behind the cockpit. The electric motors are capable of propelling the concept alone in urban city driving, which provides emissions free driving. The turbocharged engine is there when more spirited driving is needed. The powerplant is mated to a dual-clutch transmission and the Mi-ray has the capability of switching between front and rear-wheel-drive.

Buick Envision Crossover Concept Previewed

Buick has released a teaser photo of the Envision crossover concept that is going to be unveiled in Shanghai on April 18th.

The Envision concept was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). According to GM, the concept has "an elegant and smooth exterior that emphasizes its modern styling and contemporary sportiness." The Envision concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid system, which will eventually be offered in a production Buick.

Kia Naimo Concept Unveiled in Seoul

Kia is debuting a new concept, the Naimo at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. The Naimo concept is an electric crossover concept that is powered by twin lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor with 110 horsepower and 206 lb-ft. of torque.

Kia claims that the concept can travel up to 124 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of 93 mph. It will take five hours to recharge the system using a standard household power outlet, but a special quick charge system can recharge the batteries up to 80 percent in 25 minutes.

The design of the Naimo concept features a wrap-around windshield, an asymmetric sunroof and front and rear dot-style LED lighting. You won't be able to find a conventional wiper blade on the windshield since the concept uses a high-intensity air jet at the base of the windshield. Door mirrors have also been replaced by tiny cameras installed in the A-pillars.

2012 Chevy Mailbu to be Unveiled in Shanghai...Here's a Teaser...

GM is set to debut the new all-new 2012 Chevy Malibu at the Shanghai Motor Show next month and here is the first teaser photo of the new sedan.

"This Malibu takes Chevrolet's established and award-winning nameplate to new places and introduces it to new audiences around the world," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet. "Whether the Malibu is sold in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia, it has been engineered from the ground up to meet the needs of customers around the world."

The 2012 Malibu will be only be powered by four-cylinder engines that are mated to six-speed transmissions. It will be built on the Epsilon II platform that is also the basisi for the Buick Regal.

Expect the official unveiling to take place on April 19th.

Spy Shots: 2012 Jaguar XF Gets a New 2.2L Diesel

Jaguar has announced the birth of its most fuel efficient engine, a 2.2L diesel that puts out 187 horsepower and 330 lb-ft. of torque and gets 52 miles per gallon on the combined European cycle.

The new engine is debuting in the 2012 Jaguar XF and features a water-cooled turbocharger with low-friction pistons, new injectors and a new crankshaft. Jaguar engineers added a new oil pan and new electronic systems affecting the crankshaft to allow the new intelligent Stop-Start system to operate more efficiently.

The engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. According to Jaguar the diesel powered XF can reach 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds and has a top speed of 140 mph.

The new diesel will debut in the XF at the New York Auto Show next month.

According to the latest sources, GM is currently working on a Buick version of the European Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid (Chevy Volt in the US).

GM's engineers and designers are currently working on a Buick version of the Ampera that will adopt the Buick waterfall grille and Buick's front end styling. The biggest difficulty that GM faces right now is being able to differentiate it enough from the Chevy Volt. The Buick version would cost more than the Volt, so GM needs to add more features to it in order to justify the higher price.

It's hard to say how different GM will actually make the Buick version, since GM wants to rush the hybrid to the market. If it is officially approved, the Buick plug-in hybrid could be on sale by 2013.

Is Jeep Planning a Hemi V8 Powered Wrangler?

The current Jeep Wrangler is definitely under powered. It's slated to get Chrysler's new Pentastar V6 for the 2012 model year, but could Chrysler be planning something even more powerful?

Michael Manley, Jeep's current president and CEO recently had American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), a Jeep aftermarket firm in Montana, wedge Chrysler's 6.4-liter "392" V8 under the hood of a Wrangler. Yup that's the same 470 horsepower engine that powers the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. AEV has constructed and tested other concept vehicles for Chrysler in the past, so this may not be a one off exercise. It's rumored that this V8 powered Wrangler was produced for "executive evaluation," which means that it could actually be produced...

Audi Celebrates Producing the Five-Millionth A4

Audi is celebrating the five-millionth A4 rolling off the assembly line, an Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro in Misano Red.

Audi began production of the A4 at its Ingolstadt site in 1994, and since 2007 has also been building it at Neckarsulm as part of the production turntable.

Frank Dreves, Member of the Board of Management for Production at Audi AG stated, "This is another major milestone in Audi's history. All versions of the A4 are efficient, elegant and enjoy outstanding success in their class. Our highly motivated team and our effective Audi production system will keep this model on course for continued success in the future."

Tesla Sues Top Gear for Libel and Malicious Falsehood

Tesla is suing the BBC's "Top Gear" for libel and malicious falsehood. When Top Gear reviewed the Tesla Roadster, according to Tesla the episode contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster's performance and reliability. Tesla decided to take legal action against the show after repeated attempts to contact the BBC, were ignored.

The episode actually aired in 2008, but according to Tesla there were major issues during the episode that depicted the Roadster as unreliable and not able to live up to its claimed performance.

Specifically, Top Gear misrepresented that:

1. The Roadster ran out of charge and had to be pushed into the Top Gear hangar by 4 men.
2. The Roadster's true range is only 55 miles per charge (not 211).
3. One Roadster's motor overheated and was completely immobilized as a result.
4. The other Roadster's brakes were broken, rendering the car undriveable.
5. That neither of the two Roadsters provided to Top Gear was available for test driving due to these problems.

Tesla claims that the breakdowns were staged and wants the show to admit to the error and to stop airing the episode, which is available on the internet and for sale on Top Gear DVD's.

2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Officially Unveiled with 550-HP

Yesterday it was reported that Porsche was working on a Turbo S version of the Panamera and now Porsche has officially taken the wraps off the most powerful Panamera.

The Panamera Turbo S will have its official world debut at the New York Auto Show next month. It's powered by a 4.8L V8 that features twin-turbochargers with titanium-aluminum turbines and a modified engine control. The V8 puts out 550 horsepower, which is 50 more than the Panamera Turbo. The torque has also increased to 553 lb-ft. from 516 lb-ft. in the Turbo. The Sport Chrono Package Turbo has a max 590 lb-ft. of torque.

The Porsche Panamera Turbo S will go on sale this spring with a starting price of $173,200.

Saab Confirms Next-Gen Saab 9-3 Will Launch in Fall 2012

The 9-3 is currently the oldest model in Saab's lineup, but a new one is on the way. According to a blog post from Saab's recently resigned CEO, the next 9-3 will launch on or before October 2012.
Saab showed off the phoeniX concept in Geneva earlier this month, which the 9-3 is supposedly based off of. The phoeniX concept was powered by a 1.6L turbocharged engine with 200 horsepower. It was mated to a 34 horsepower electric motor and an all-wheel-drive system.

Before the new 9-3 hits dealers, the 9-4X crossover will go on sale, in May.

Chevy's answer to the Mustang GT500, the 2012 Camaro ZL1 officially debuted last month in Chicago.

The 2012 Camaro ZL1 gets all its fun from a supercharged 6.2L LSA V8 that puts out an estimated 550 horsepower and 550 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that features a twin-disc clutch. Throw in a suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, brakes developed with Brembo, a dual-mode exhaust system that alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm and the package will make any Camaro or GM fan drool.

Although it's still too early to be able to go check out this beauty at your nearest Chevy dealer, Motor Trend has been kind enough to post a quick video of the ZL1. Check out the sound of that engine after the jump...

Porsche Panamera Turbo S in the Works?

Rumor has it that Porsche is working on an even more powerful version of the Panamera than the current Panamera Turbo. Porsche offers a Turbo S version of the 911 and Cayenne and it's now being rumored that Porsche is about to unveil a Turbo S version of the Panamera.

The Turbo S version is expected to put out 550 horsepower, 50 more than than the Turbo version. Torque is also expected to increase from the standard 516 lb-ft. to around 590 lb-ft. The added power will help the Turbo S reach 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds.

If the rumors are true you can expect the Panamera Turbo S to be unveiled next month at either the Shanghai Motor Show or the New York Auto Show. Stay tuned...

BMW M3 Tiger Matte Edition is Only for China

BMW is launching a special edition M3 that will only be sold in China. The BMW M3 Matte Edition is a follow up to the M3 Tiger Edition that was released last year.

If you live in China and you're lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, you will get an M3 that features a matte-black exterior, 19-inch alloy wheels, black chrome side air intakes and exhaust pipes and red brake calipers. On the inside the seats get special red stitching and the interior features a black carbon fiber trim.

BMW only plans on building 250 units.

There Will be a Second Generation Cadillac CTS Coupe

It was rumored last year that there would not be a second generation Cadillac CTS Coupe as the CTS moves to the new Alpha platform that it will share with the next-generation Camaro and upcoming Cadillac ATS.

Of course that was a year ago and things are always changing. Last year it was rumored that the next-generation CTS would only be available as a sedan, leaving the ATS to accommodate a coupe and convertible. But it looks like GM has changed its mind and is currently working on a new CTS coupe. The CTS coupe will share its architecture with the new Camaro, although the Camaro will have a shorter wheelbase.

Things could always change again, but don't expect a new CTS until sometime in the second half of 2014 or early 2015. The ATS is expected to be released as a 2014 model.

BMW 3 Series GT to be a 4 Series Instead?

Spy photos surfaced last week of a next-gen BMW 3 Series, but with a different rear end than the previous sedan spy photos. It was predicted that this was our first unofficial view of the upcoming 3 Series GT. But, according to German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport, BMW intends on releasing a new 4 Series line and the car in the spy photos was actually a 4 Series and not a 3 Series GT.

It was already reported that BMW was planning on releasing a smaller version of the 5 Series GT as a 3 Series GT, but this new rumor is different. There have also been rumors that BMW has plans for a small coupe-like four door that would compete with the Audi A5 and the upcoming Mercedes baby-SLS, but are both these vehicles the same thing? Kinda confusing, especially since these are all just rumors.

What does hold more weight is that BMW is planning on releasing a four-door version of the 6 Series coupe along the lines of the Gran Coupe (pictured above) that will compete with the Mercedes CLS. The spy photos last week also confirmed that BMW intends on releasing a 3 Series version of the 5 Series GT, but what name it has is still up in the air...

Canada Says No to the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Well it does snow a lot more in Canada than the US, but for whatever reason Nissan of Canada has decided to not sell the Murano CrossCabriolet. The convertible version of the Murano crossover is going to hit dealers next month with a starting price of 46,000.

That lofty starting price and the fact that it's a convertible are the likely reasons why Nissan will not be selling the Murano CrossCabriolet in Canada.

Ian Forsyth, Nissan Canada director of corporate planning and business strategy stated, ""We will continue to assess the opportunity and success in the U.S. market to see if there is evidence to support a change in our position."

Maybe the Canadians know that it's going to be a flop?

VW Recalls 71,043 2011 Jettas for Wiring Issue

VW has announced a voluntary safety recall of the 2011 VW Jetta that was built between March 2010 and March 2011 to fix a wiring issue. VW is recalling 71,043 Jettas in order to reconfigure a wiring layout associated with the anti-theft alarm system and horn. Not sure exactly what happens, but another source is saying that the car could turn off if the horn is used...

No accidents or injuries have been reported due to the issue and VW intends on notifying owners by mail.

Rolls-Royce Opens its Largest Showroom in Abu Dhabi

Rolls Royce Abu Dhabi.jpg
Rolls-Royce has just opened its largest showroom in the world in Abu Dhabi.

The largest Rolls-Royce showroom is in the Umm Al Nar area of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The showroom is over 9687 square feet, which provides space for displaying five Rolls-Royce cars, a coffee bar and a customer configuration lounge including color and trim samples.

Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös said, "The showroom opening in Abu Dhabi represents one of a line of new and expanded Rolls‑Royce showrooms which have been unveiled throughout the Gulf region in the last 18 months. These investments underline the continuing confidence that the company sees in the Rolls-Royce brand across the Middle East". He continued, "The Middle East region continues to be an important driver in the global growth of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Last year the region contributed over 15% of our global sales. Abu Dhabi is no exception and continues to demonstrate remarkable year on year growth."

VIDEO: Cadillac ATS Prototype Does Some Laps on the Track

Here's a video of a prototype of the upcoming Cadillac ATS.

The Cadillac ATS is expected as a 2014 model and will give Cadillac a model that will go head to head with the BMW 3 Series. It's expected to use the new Alpha platform and will be powered by either a 2.0L four-cylinder with 270 horsepower or a 330-hp 3.6L V6. An ATS-V version is also expected that will be powered by a 6.2L V8 with a rumored 470-hp. A hybrid ATS is also a possibility.

Check out the video after the jump...

EU Wants to Ban Gas and Diesel Powered Cars by 2050

The European Commission has proposed a new ban, that would ban diesel and gas powered passenger cars in urban areas by 2050. The proposal is part of a plan to cut CO2 emissions from cars by 60 percent in 2050. vw_tdi_badge_new.jpg

The process involves focusing more on hybrid powered vehicles in the next few decades, which would eventually make it easier for a full transition to electric powered vehicles. Another big part of the proposal is for more emphasis to be placed on the use of public transportation.

Of course you can expect all the automakers to release statements against this proposal. Ford had this to say:

"The Commission's position paper while well intentioned would not achieve its goals of improving transportation policy," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "I believe the Commission should address the environmental and congestion issues associated with vehicles in urban areas to ensure consumer choice, and drive jobs and economic growth in Europe." Check out Ford's full press release after the jump.

Saying that Death Valley is hot is definitely an understatement. Because it's so fricken hot, every automaker takes their prototypes there to test to perform their hot weather tests.

BMW has released a video that provides a look at how hot it really is there and what it's like to do hot weather testing in Death Valley. In this video you will also notice that the heavily camouflaged vehicle is actually the next-gen 3 Series.

This is one place that no one wants to be...

Toyota FT-86 II Concept Behind the Scenes Photos Released

The second version of the Toyota FT-86 concept debuted at the Geneva Motor Show this month. The FT-86 II Concept is said to be much closer to the production version that is expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.

In the meantime enjoy these behind the scenes photos of the FT-86 II Concept.

Next-Gen Audi RS6 to Debut in 2012?

Audi took the wraps off the 2012 A6 at the end of last year and now there is word that the much hotter RS6 version is going to be released next year as a 2013 model, ahead of the RS version.

Audi originally planned on releasing the RS6 in 2013 as 2014 model, but it looks like Audi has pushed up the release date to compete with the upcoming M5. It's not known what will power the RS6, but it could be either a 5.0-liter TFSI V10 or a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8.

US-Spec 2012 BMW M5 to Get Manual Transmission

It was previously reported that the next-gen 2012 BMW M5 would only be offered with the 7-speed DCT gearbox, but now there are reports that a manual will be offered.

The current M5 is available with the choice of either transmission and it looks like the same will apply to the next M5, which is expected to debut in concept form next month. M5 fans in Europe feel free to throw up your arms in disgust, since it looks like the manual option will only be offered in the US. Although we get both transmissions in the US, our M5 will reportedly have a lower top speed of 155 mph compared to the model in Germany that will top out at 189 mph.

Kia is Working on a New Roadster to Take on the Mazda MX-5

Kia's European CEO Paul Philpott recently hinted to AutoExpress that the automaker is planning a rival for the Mazda MX-5. "I'd like to have a Kia MX-5," he said. "2011 and 2012 are about establishing the brand. But for 2013 and 2014, we're thinking about halo models that stretch the company forward." kia_2_2_sports_coupe_concept_fr.jpg

Philpott further explained that Kia is positioning itself as the younger, sportier brand than Hyundai. "In the past, we have been too close together, but if Kia is fun, dynamic and more youthful, Hyundai is more about style and comfort: more upmarket."

Chief designer, Peter Schreyer also stated "The brand deserves a sporty car, like a roadster."

Porsche officially announced the pricing for the 918 Spyder supercar (pictured above). At $845,000, the 918 Spyder is going to be far out of reach of most buyers, but what about a Porsche that is priced more along the lines of the McLaren MP4-12C, which starts at $230,000? Well it looks like Porsche is currently working a proposal for a new Porsche supercar that would compete with the McLaren, Ferrari 458 and Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4.

The new Porsche supercar, if approved would not be a limited edtion model, but a regular model that would sit above the 911, but below the 918 Spyder in Porsche's lineup.

Porsche boss Mathias Muller recently stated,"We're looking to extend the range. We've got an idea to do another mid-engined model. We're thinking above the 911 but below the 918 Spyder."

An insider stated to Autocar, "It is entirely possible that we could use a front end that's similar but not necessarily the same as the 911's, including components such as the axle and suspension. The rear end wouldn't be unlike that of the Boxster/Cayman in architectural terms, just bigger to accommodate a larger mid-mounted engine and gearbox installation, while providing greater overall length and width than the 911."

VIDEO: 2012 Nissan GT-R Laps the Nurburgring Over 2 Secs Faster

Nissan gave the GT-R a refresh for the 2012 model year, which included a few styling tweaks, but more importantly a bump in horsepower. The 2012 Nissan GT-2 now puts out 530 horsepower and 488 lb-ft. of torque. That added power now means that the 2012 GT-R can reach 0-60 mph in less than three seconds.

To show how awesome the new GT-R is, Nissan returned to the famous Nurburgring to see if it could beat the time set by the previous GT-R. This time the GT-R managed to complete the lap in 7:27:22, which was 2.48 seconds faster than the old time. This means that the GT-R is faster than the Ferrari Enzo, Porsche Carrera GT and Chevy Corvette ZR1.

Check out the video after the jump.

Toyota has announced that it is going to resume production of the Prius and the Lexus CT 200h and HS 250h on Monday following the devastating earthquake in Japan on March 11th.

Production of the Prius and Lexus hybrids will resume on Monday, which will be over a week since Toyota restarted production of replacement parts in Japan. There's no word yet on Toyota's other models that are produced in Japan.

Although Toyota has resumed some production, Honda announced that its plants in Japan will remain closed until at least April 3rd. Honda's research and development center in Tochigi is going to take at least a few months to repair.

This weekend marks Cadillac's return to the Sports Car Club of America World Challenge GT series as a pair of Cadillac CTS-V Coupe racecars hit the track.

The CTS-V Coupe racecars are based on the CTS-V coupe. The last time that Cadillac competed was in 2007 with a racing version of the CTS-V sedan. There will be two races: Saturday, March 26, at 11:50 a.m. and Sunday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m.

2012 Audi S8 to be Powered by a 520-HP Turbocharged V8

Audi has yet to release the sportiest version of the A8, the S8, but we're now getting reports about what will be under the hood of the S8.

The 2012 S8 is going to ditch the 5.2L V10 from the last generation and will instead be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 that will put out 520 horsepower.

The next-gen Audi S8 will debut in 2012 with a price tag over $100,000 and will compete with the Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and Porsche Panamera.

Next-Gen Mercedes C-Class to Use Hybrid Tech on Every Model?

The next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class is expected to debut at the end of 2013. According to Autocar, the next C-Class will use hybrid technology on almost every model.

In addition to using a hybrid system to improve fuel economy numbers and emissions, the C-Class could also see downsized engines. Prototypes are currently being tested with three-cylinder engines, but there is another possibility that the four-cylinder engines could get cylinder deactivation technology to allow the motors to run on just two cylinders when less power is needed.

Mercedes-Benz is also working on reducing the weight of the next C-Class by about 10 percent, even with the addition of the hybrid components.

2012 Honda Civic Will Not be Delayed Due to the Crisis in Japan

Japanese automakers have been shutting down production due to the issues surrounding the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Due to the plant closings and supply issues vehicles that depend largely on production in Japan are going to be in short supply until production starts up again. This is also going to cause an issue for new models that are launching.

Toyota is already having to delay the launch of the Toyota Prius V in Japan, but it looks like buyers who have been waiting patiently for the introduction of the all-new 2012 Honda Civic shouldn't have to worry too much.

Jeffrey Smith, Honda's vice president of corporate affairs recently stated that "The new Civic will launch according to plan." The only model that isn't built in North America is the Civic hybrid.

The new Civic is expected to launch this spring.

The Porsche Panamera has been a sales success for Porsche and like its other successful model the Cayenne, Porsche is reportedly developing a smaller model to compete with the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Porsche has already officially announced plans for a new smaller crossover dubbed the Cajun, which will essentially be a smaller Cayenne that will bring in younger buyers to the brand. Since the Panamera has been so successful as well, Porsche is reportedly working on a smaller model that is being internally referred to as the Pajun. The Pajun would also get a four-door coupe design, but in an overall smaller package.

Although Porsche hasn't officially announced these plans, Autobild is reporting that the Pajun will be released in 2016 with a price tag around €60,000.

VIDEO: 2012 Ford Focus ST...One Hot Focus!

Ford is set to release a hot hatchback in the form of the 2012 Focus ST.

The Focus ST takes the all-new Focus up several notches with its EcoBoost 2.0L turbocharged engine that puts out 247 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

While we wait to get behind the wheel of the Focus ST, check out the video after the jump.

Pagani Huayra Roadster Coming in Three Years

Pagani founder, Horacio Pagani recently stated in an interview that a roadster version of the new Pagani Huayra will be out in about three years.

It's not a big surprise that Pagani is going to release a roadster version of the Huayra considering that Pagani also produced a roadster version of the Zonda.

The Huayra is powered by a 700 horsepower V12 engine that is mated to a seven-speed transmission. Pricing is expected to start at $1.35 million.

Lamborghini gave us our first official look at the Aventador LP700-4 at the Geneva Motor Show this month and it looks like buyers want it. Even though the Aventador is going for $379,700, Lamborghini has reportedly already received more than a year's worth of orders for the supercar.

The Lamborghini Aventador is powered by a 690-hp V12 and it reaches 0-62 mph in a very short 2.9 seconds.

The Aventador isn't the only new supercar that is sold out, the four-seat Ferrari FF is also sold out for more than a year.

Ford Releases New Customization Packages for the 2012 Fiesta

Ford has announced three new packages that are available for the 2012 Fiesta. The new packages build upon the current personalization choices that are available for the Fiesta, since nearly 40 percent of Fiesta buyers purchase at least one accessory.

"The Fiesta customer loves accessories and personalization. These packages extend the desire the customer has to make the car more tailored to his or her own personal tastes," said Lew Echlin, Global Car marketing manager. "Personalization has been key since the Fiesta launched, and with the new packages we're featuring the latest design trends so customers can do even more with their car."

The new premium sport appearance package takes cues from the European Focus RS with several blacked out components like the side mirrors, headlamps and upper rear spoiler. The package also includes 16-inch polished alloy wheels and a shorter final drive ratio of 4.25 compared to 4.07 for the base model.

The premium interior packages draw inspiration from the runway and feature high-contrasting interior accent colors in Oxford White or Race Red. "The inspiration for this package is mainly a result of the trends we're seeing in fashion," explained Mark Conforzi, chief designer, Ford Vehicle Personalization. "Designers like Stella McCartney use bold, contrasting color similar to these interior packages, adding a one-of-a-kind design that looks amazing."

Mazda MX-5 GT Race Car Unveiled

Mazda has unveiled a GT version of the Mazda MX-5 that will race in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011.

The MX-5 GT is going to take on Aston Martin, Porsche and BMW with a total weight just over 1,700 pounds and a 275-hp 2.0L engine that is mated to a six-speed sequential paddle-shift transmission. That combination is good enough for 0-60 mph in three seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.

Carbon fiber doors and polycarbonate windows help keep the weight down. The Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship is this weekend, March 26th.

BMW Launches New Car Sharing Scheme

BMW has launched a new car sharing scheme in Germany that BMW hopes will bring one million new customers by 2020.

The new scheme, which has teamed BMW with Sixt is being called DriveNow. DriveNow is expected to launch in Munich on April 1st with 300 BMW 1 Series and Mini vehicles.

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of the BMW AG for Sales and Marketing stated: "As a mobility provider, the BMW Group is not simply an automobile manufacturer. There is a growing demand for flexible mobility products in urban areas. DriveNow's premium car sharing services are aimed precisely at this gap in the market. We are aiming to launch a profitable new line of business while at the same time introducing potential new customers to our brands."

Shortly after the launch in Munich, the scheme will launch in Berlin, which will have 500 vehicles to choose from. Drivers in both cities will be able to book cars using the internet and a smartphone app. Eventually the scheme will be offered in other European cities and possibly the US.

Maserati is expected to take the wraps off the next-generation Quattroporte at the Frankfurt Motor Show this fall. The replacement for the current Quattroporte is codenamed M156 and is said to draw inspiration from the GranTurismo coupe and convertible. It will continue to be powered by the current 4.7L V8. Maserati is going to move the Quattroporte upmarket slightly to make room for a new smaller sedan.

The smaller sedan is codenamed M157 and will compete at the high end of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series sedans. The new smaller Maserati will not be launched until sometime around 2014 with a price tag of $75,000. Maserati is also planning on taking the brand beyond sedans and coupes with the addition fo a new crossover.

The upcoming Maserati crossover is expected in 2012 or 2013 and will borrow components from Jeep and Alfa Romeo. Although it will be based on some existing architecture from Fiat's other brands, the Maserati crossover will get its own styling and borrow at least one engine from Ferrari.

Lexus Confirms LF-Gh Concept to Debut in New York

Lexus is going to unveil the LF-Gh concept car at the New York Auto Show next month (2011 GS pictured above). The LF-Gh concept is expected to be a preview of the next-generation GS sedan. In addition to being a preview for the next GS, the concept is supposed to provide "a glimpse into the future of Lexus design."

The next-generation GS is expected to debut in 2012 and a replacement for the IS is also due next year.

VIDEO: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe in Action

Over the weekend Mercedes took the wraps off the 2012 C63 AMG coupe. The C63 AMG coupe is powered a 6.2L V8 with standard 451 horsepower that can be bumper up to 481 with the AMG Development Package.

The coupe will not officially debut in the US until the New York Auto Show next month. Until then enjoy the two videos of the coupe hitting the road.

Chevy Camaro to be Named Ke Mai Luo in China

GM has announced that it is planning on offering the Chevy Camaro in China, but under a different name. The Camaro will officially be dubbed the Ke Mai Luo in China.

The Ke Mai Luo will be offered in China with the 3.6L V6 that can be mated to either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. It will be priced around RMB 500,000. There's no word yet if the V8 will be offered.

The Ke Mai Luo will officially debut at the Shanghai Auto Show next month.

Cadillac Still Wants a Piece of the Market in Europe

Cadillac has been trying to gain traction in Europe, but it remains difficult for the brand to compete against Europe's premium brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Cadillac is hoping that two new models and a new styling direction will help boost its sales.

GM chief executive Dan Akerson stated, "The only thing you can do is try, try and try again with Cadillac in Europe."

The Cadillac XTS concept was unveiled in Detroit in 2010 and is a preview for a new larger Cadillac sedan that will sit above the CTS in the lineup. The XTS also previewed a new "softer" styling direction from Cadillac. The other new Cadillac will be a smaller sedan that will be positioned below the CTS.

The one thing that isn't in the works yet, is a dour-cylinder diesel. "We can't do everything all at once," said Jeff Lux, Opel Vauxhall's powertrain boss.

Arden Turns the Range Rover Evoque into the AR8 City-Roader

The Range Rover Evoque is easily going to become the best looking model in the Range Rover lineup when it is released later this year. While we wait patiently for the small Range Rover, German Tuner Arden has unveiled a new upgrade kit for the crossover.

The package officially turns the Evoque into the Arden AR8 City-Roader and comes with a body kit, which includes a new front apron, side skirts and a new rear apron. It also gets a new stainless-steel exhaust system and Dakar II rims. Under the hood there is also a small power upgrade for the turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl, which bumps up the final horsepower number to 270 from 240 in the standard Evoque.

SPY VIDEO: 2012 Porsche 911 Hits the Snow

The 2012 Porsche 911 is set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, but here's you first look at a prototype cold-weather testing.

The new 911 will be just over 2 inches longer than current model. It will be powered by a 3.4L flat-six with around 345 horsepower in the standard model, which will allow it to reach 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds. The 911 Carrera S is expected to get a 3.8L engine that puts out 395 horsepower.

Check out the video after the jump.

Audi A9 to be a Two-Door Coupe Based on the A8?

Audi is reportedly working on a new flagship coupe called the A9 that will borrow its mechanicals from the A8 sedan.

Earlier this year it was reported that the A9 would actually be a four-door coupe that would have competed with the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CL. But now according to German car magazine AutoBild, the A9 will actually be a two-door coupe with a "modern design" and will be over 5 meters long. Either way the A9 is going to use a aluminum space-frame like the A8 and will get its main components from the MLB architecture (Modular Longitudinal Architecture).

The A9 isn't expected to be released until 2014 and will be powered by a new 4.0L V8 that is currently being developed in addition to the V6 and V8 engines currently offered in the A8.

Chevy Colorado Show Truck Unveiled...Preview of Next-Generation

GM has officially unveiled the Chevy Colorado Show Truck that is going to have its official debut at the Bangkok International Auto Show. The concept truck is a preview of the next-generation Colorado.

"Thailand is the world's-largest market for midsize pickups, so this was the perfect location in which to unveil our new Colorado," said Susan Docherty, vice president, GMIO Sales, Marketing and Aftersales. "Trucks have been part of Chevrolet's core for nearly all of its 100-year history. The Colorado reinforces that heritage with expressive design, refinement and uncompromising capability."

The Colorado show truck is powered by a 2.8L turbo-diesel engine that is mated to an all-wheel-drive chassis. It's a body on frame design that features Chevy's trademark two-tier grille with wraparound LED headlights. It features a streamlined "cab collar" design with a body-color hard tonneau cover on the bed. The truck rides on 20-inch wheels with Cooper 285/50R20 Zeon LTZ all-terrain tires.

Inside the Colorado gets a a dual-cockpit instrument panel design that lows into the doors, with continuous lines that create a floating, wraparound effect, amplifying the Colorado's feeling of spaciousness.

Although the next-generation Colorado will be a global truck, GM has yet to announce if it will be offered in the US.

VW Kicks Off Production of the 2012 Golf Cabriolet

VW has officially kicked off production of the Golf Cabriolet at its new facility in Osnabrück, Germany. The Osnabrück plant was formally a Karmann plant.

The Cabriolet version of the Golf has officially returned and its based on the current generation Golf. In Europe the Cabriolet can be powered by either gasoline or diesel engines. Buyers will also be able to check off the dual-clutch transmission in some versions.

There still is no word if the Golf Cabriolet will be offered in the US.

Porsche 918 Spyder Officially Goes on Sale for $845,000

The Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid officially goes on sale this week with a starting price of $845,000, but deliveries will not start until 2013.

The Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid has only been shown in concept form, but Porsche is only planning on building 918 units of the new supercar. The plug-in hybrid puts out a total 718 horsepower from a V8 engine and two electric motors and gets more than 78 mpg on the European combined driving cycle. The 918 Spyder will reach 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed over 199 mph.

Porsche has released sketches of the production version of the car, which show that it retains most of the design elements of the concept version. One new feature that the production version will have is a removable roof panel that can be stowed in the luggage compartment. porsche_911_918 _Spyder_edition.jpg

Since the 918 Spyder is officially going to enter production until September 2013, Porsche has announced a new version of the 911 Turbo. The 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder is only available to buyers of the 918 Spyder. Porsche is also only going to build 918 units of the special edition 911 that features special green detailing and badges from the 918 Spyder concept car. Deliveries of the 911 will start this summer with the coupe costing $161,650 and the cabriolet going for $173,050.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Officially Unveiled

Here's your first official look at the AMG version of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The C63 AMG coupe is pretty much the same as the C63 AMG sedan, minus two doors. It's powered by the 6.2L V8 that puts out 451 horsepower, but when it's equipped with the AMG Development Package the power is bumped up to 481. The engine is mated to a seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The Development Package reaches 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph.

You can tell the difference between the AMG coupe and the standard C-Class coupe by the AMG front apron, LED daytime running lights and side air outlets. The aluminum hood has "powerdomes" and the wide front fenders feature the "6.3 AMG" stamp. 18-inch titanium grey AMG alloy wheels help put all the power to the ground. The rear of the AMG coupe features an AMG rear apron with a distinctive, black diffuser insert and three pronounced diffuser fins along with two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system.

The 2012 C63 AMG Coupe will hit showrooms in September 2011.

Mitsubishi Confirms Plans for Another Lancer Evolution

Earlier this month Mitsubishi's global product director stated that the current Lancer Evolution would be the last model produced. Of course it created quite an uproar. Now Mitsubishi has decided to change its plans and will not be killing the Lancer Evolution.

Mitsubishi president, Osamu Masuko has gone on the record by stating that the current Lancer Evolution X will continue as originally planned. As far as the next-generation Evo is concerned, Mitsubishi is going to let the market and regulations dictate the direction it goes. Mitsubishi is currently trying to focus its energy on more "green" vehicles like hybrids and electric vehicles. So for now it looks like the Evo is here to stay, although we have no idea what the next model will end up becoming.

BMW 1 Series M Coupe Serves as MotoGP Safety Car

The all-new BMW 1 Series M Coupe is going to serve as the official Safety Car for the MotoGP events. BMW has a 13 year history being involved with the event.

The BMW 1 Series M safety car is a one-off built by BMW's M division specifically for the event. The only elements taken from the production model are the 340-hp turbocharged engine and the entire drivetrain. The safety car is lighter than the production model due to the use of carbon fiber. It features a carbon fiber reinforced bonnet with additional air vents in addition to polycarbonate side and rear windows. The exhaust system is made of a lightweight titanium and a new lip spoiler provides more downforce.

Inside the rear seats have been deleted and a rollover cage that is bolted behind the B-pillar has been added. The two front seats have 6-point safety belts and the steering wheel is covered in alcantara.

The suspension has also been upgraded with an adjustable race track set-up that includes a sports-tuned chassis in which the dampers are independently adjustable for bump and rebound.

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 to Put out 470-HP

Chrysler has revamped pretty much its whole lineup, but there is still something missing... Although we have a new Chrysler 300, we've been eager to hear if the SRT8 model would return.

Spies in Michigan recently spotted the new 300 SRT8. It was easily recognizable as anything but the SRT8 version of the new 300 due to its big seven-spoke wheels, slotted brakes and more aggressive front end. Outback the prototype featured bigger tailpipes and a lip spoiler on the trunk.

Of course what we're all interested in lies under the hood. The old 6.1L Hemi V8 is being replaced by a new 6.4L V8 that is currently in the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. It's expected that the engine will put out around 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque in the 300 SRT8. The engine is also expected to mated to an eight-speed transmission.

It's not exactly known when the 300 SRT8 will hit dealerships, but it could be by the end of the year or early next year.

Fiat 500 Cabrio to Debut in New York

The cabriolet version fo the Fiat 500 is set to debut next month at the New York Auto Show. The Fiat 500 Cabrio is not expected to look much different from the version sold in Europe will go on sale shortly after the New York debut.

This week Porsche officially confirmed that it is working on a new baby SUV that will be called the Cajun. Now Autobild is reporting that the Cajun will initially launch with a three-door bodystyle, which will distance it from the Audi Q5, in which it will be based on.

Porsche originally planned on launching the Cajun as a five-door like the larger Cayenne, but it fears that a five-door Cajun may also take sales away from the larger Porsche SUV. Although a three-door will be the initial bodystyle, a five-door Cajun hasn't been ruled out.

The Cajun will share some of its parts with the Audi Q5, but will feature a more coupe-like bodystyle that only seats four-passengers to differentiate it.

More Powerful Honda CR-Z Confirmed and Will Still be a Hybrid

There have been so many rumors lately that Honda is working on a more powerful version of the CR-Z. While most rumors have claimed that a more powerful CR-Z would do away with the hybrid system for a conventional gas engine, Honda's R&D chief has confirmed that it will still be a hybrid.

Honda's R&D chief Tomohiko Kawanabe has confirmed that a high-performance CR-Z is in the works and that it will be a hybrid. Kawanabe recently spoke to Autocar and confirmed that the high-performance version of the CR-Z will keep its IMA hybrid system.

"The decision on the engine hasn't been made," he said. "Turbocharging is an option, but a high-compression petrol engine would work better in tandem with a hybrid assist system."

The most likely outcome will be that the high-performance version of the CR-Z will adopt the next-generation IMA hybrid system that is debuting in the 2012 Civic. The new IMA system is more powerful thanks to the use of lithium ion batteries.

Although Honda is trying to get more power under the hood of the CR-Z, the high-performance version must still be as efficient as the current version. Kawanabe stated, "It will not be acceptable for the new car to be less fuel efficient than the current one. The CR-Z must deliver low CO2 emissions, as well as be fun to drive."

Lamborghini officially unveiled the Aventador at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month and it looks like that model is already sold out for at least a year. Lamborghini is now said to be working on its next new models, which will include the carbon fiber Sesto Elemento, the four-door Estoque and a replacement for the Gallardo that may be dubbed the Cabrera.

First up is the Estoque, which was unveiled as a concept at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently hinted that the model could be moving closer to production. Since Lamborghini is officially part of the VW family, the Estoque will share its platform with the next generation Porsche Panamera, Audi A8 and Bentley Continental. lamborghini_estoque_concept_fr_new.jpg

The Sesto Elemento was unveiled as a concept at the end of 2010 and will likely arrive before the Estoque.

Lamborghini also needs a replacement for the Gallardo and that could come in the form of a new model that may be called the Cabrera. According to the latest rumors the Sesto Elemento could see production as early as 2012, the Gallardo replacement will arrive in 2013 and the Estoque in 2014.

Audi is Readying a BMW X6 Rival

Audi has officially started development on a new crossover that will go head to head with the BMW X6. The Audi rival will have a similar name as well, Q6 when it arrives in showrooms. The five-seat crossover will be based on the same platform as the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, which both use a short-wheelbase version of the VW Colorado platform.

Rupert Stadler hinted at the crossover at the Geneva Motor Show by saying, "We can imagine a model between the Q5 and the Q7 . . . a coupelike, four-wheel-driven model."

When the Q6 does go on sale it will be offered with both gasoline and diesel engines. A hybrid is also possible based off the hybrid system that is used in the Touareg and Cayenne.

Honda Brio Production Version Unveiled in Thailand

Honda has officially unveiled the production version of its new small city car the Brio, which will be sold in emerging Asian markets like China and Thailand.

Honda previewed the Brio last fall with a concept version that looks very close to the model that you see here. The Brio is powered by a 1.2L engine that puts out 90 horsepower and that can be mated to either a five-speed automatic or a CVT transmission.

Honda Thailand president Atsushi Fujimoto stated, "The Brio will meet the driving and lifestyle needs of people who are looking for a stylish and compact, yet spacious and fuel-efficient car that carries a brand that they can trust for its advanced and safety technologies."

2012 VW Beetle to Debut in Shanghai and New York

VW gave us a little teaser of the new 2012 VW Beetle during the Super Bowl last month and we've also seen some spy photos of it on the road (see video after jump). Now it's being rumored that the official unveiling will take place next month.

Next month the Shanghai and New York Auto Shows are taking place pretty much at the same time, at the end of April. VW is going to use both shows to kick off the 2012 Beetle. The Shanghai show kicks off on April 19th and New York officially starts on April 22nd.

Sales of the New Beetle are expected to start this summer or fall.

Land Rover Launches Range Rover Sport Luxury Edition in Europe

If your in Europe and for some reason you don't think the current Range Rover Sport has enough "luxury", Land Rover has the model for you. Land Rover is releasing a new Luxury edition of the Range Rover Sport in Europe.

The Luxury edition fits in between the HSE and Autobiography editions of the Range Rover Sport. It comes with a sunroof, heated steering wheel, contrast-stitching leather trim and a Harman/Kardon audio system. It's powered exclusively by the 245 horsepower 3.0L turbodiesel V6 in Europe. The starting price is €110,000.

Mugen-Tuned Honda CR-Z Adds More Power

Mugen's European based division and Honda UK are hard at work on a more powerful version of the Honda CR-Z that will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. The CR-Z Mugen will get modifications to both the 1.5L engine and the IMA hybrid system. According to Mugen the changes will increase both the available horsepower and torque to deliver "Type r-like performance." honda_cr-z_mugen_2.jpg

In addition to the modifications under the hood the CR-Z Mugen will get larger brakes, a revised suspension and new alloy wheels. Honda's UK marketing head Martin Moll stated, "This will be one quick hybrid. It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive."

Although the CR-Z Mugen is just a prototype, Honda is reportedly already working on a Type R version of the CR-Z in Japan.

VIDEO: 2013 BMW i3 Makes Driving in the Snow Look Fun

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Here's a clip of a BMW i3 prototype testing in Sweden. The all-electric 150-hp i3 makes driving in the snow look like a lot more fun than it actually is.

Although a prototype of the i3 has been caught testing, we still have to wait until 2013 for the car to be released. The i3 will feature a rear-mounted electric motor that will power the rear wheels and to keep its weight down, the body of the i3 will largely be composed of aluminum and carbon fiber.

Pricing is expected to start north of $40,000.

2012 Audi R8 GT Starts at $196,800

Audi has the pricing and details for the 2012 R8 GT, which is the most powerful version of the R8 available. The 2012 R8 GT starts at $196,800 and Audi only plans on producing 333 units, with 90 destined for the US.

The R8 GT is powered by a revised 5.2L V10 FSI engine that puts out 560 horsepower, 35 more than the R8 5.2 quattro. The V10 is mated to the R tronic sequential manual transmission. 0-62 mph is reached in 3.6 seconds and the R8 GT has a top speed of 199 mph. The R8 GT is also 180 pounds lighter than the R8 Coupe 5.2 quattro thanks to the use of more carbon fiber. The rear hatch, spoiler and diffuser are all made of carbon fiber.

2013 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 to Pack Over 600 HP

According to the latest rumors Ford is currently working on an even more powerful Mustang Shelby GT500. The current Shelby GT500 puts out 550 horsepower from its 5.4L V8, but new competition from the Camaro ZL1 has Ford looking for even more power. Sources claim that Ford is going to increase the power of the 2013 Shelby GT500 by boring out the 5.4L V8 to 5.8 liters. The increased size and a new supercharger could see the horsepower number climb up to 620.

The 2013 Mustang will get a refresh that is said to take it beyond its current retro styling for something more modern.

Porsche Cajun Production Confirmed

Porsche has confirmed that its new small SUV, dubbed the Cajun will be produced at its plant in Leipzig. Currently the Cayenne and Panamera are produced at the Leipzig plant, but Porsche will extend the facility and add more than 1,000 jobs to make room for the Cajun.

The new "light and easy to handle" Cajun will be released in late 2012 or early 2013.

VIDEO: BMW Releases Another M5 Preview

BMW must be loving all of the teasers its been releasing for the 2012 M5. The automaker has released another video of a 2012 M5 prototype hitting the snow.

BMW has yet to release any official details for the new M5, but it's already known that the next M5 will not be powered by a V10 like the current generation. Instead a twin-turbo V8 will sit under the hood, which is rumored to only be available with an automatic transmission.

It's expected that the next M5 will debut at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show.

Ferrari has launched the configurator for its newest model, the FF. Of course there isn't any prices next to all the options, but when you're in the market for one of these babies, who cares how much special alloy wheels cost...

BMW CEO Reveals Plans to Unveil 5 Series Plug-In Hybrid in China

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer recently confirmed that BMW is going to unveil a 5 Series plug-in hybrid at the Shanghai Motor Show.

"A highlight at the Shanghai Motor Show in mid-April will be the presentation of our New Energy Vehicle," Reithofer said. "This model will be our e-car from China for China - a long version of the BMW 5 Series as a plug-in hybrid. This car will benefit from the strength and the excellent reputation of the BMW brand."

The 5 Series plug-in will be based on the long-wheelbase 5 Series in China and it isn't expected that the model will be offered in the US. Although the technology could eventually be offered in the US.

The more exciting news is that there are rumors that the M5 will also debut at the show...

Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato to be Produced?

The Fiat 500 is just now starting to hit dealers, but in Geneva earlier this month, Fiat unveiled a new concept version of the small Fiat. The Fiat 500 Zagato Concept was officially unveiled in Geneva and was designed by Zagato.

From the front the 500 Coupe Zagato looked like the standard 500, but out back is where most of the changes occurred. The concept featured a sleeker roofline with an integrated spoiler and the rear side windows were more rounded than the standard 500. Although the 500 Coupe Zagato was dubbed as a concept at the show, there are now rumors that it could enter production as a limited edition model.

If the model does get the green light, it's expected to look pretty much like this concept and feature the same engine as the 500.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sketch Leaked?

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An image has leaked onto the internet of what looks like to be the next Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which is expected to go on sale in 2012.

If this sketch is a preview of the next A-Class, it looks like the small Mercedes is going to get a bit more style than the current model. There are also rumors of an AMG version.

VIDEO: 2012 BMW 6 Series Hits the Pavement

Over the weekend BMW officially unveiled the 2012 6 Series coupe. The new 6 Series is bigger than the current model, but looks much sleeker. It's powered by a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 that puts out 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. of torque.

Kia Mulls a Hot Hatch Version of the Rio

Kia recently unveiled an all-new version of the Kia Rio for the 2012 model year in Geneva. The new Rio adopts Kia's current design language and looks far better than the current car that looks at home in a rental fleet.

It looks like Kia is thinking about releasing a hot hatch version of the Rio to boost its image in Europe. Europeans love hatchbacks, where models like the VW GTI are immensely popular. Kia's marketing and product planning chief Benny Oeyen recently told Autocar, "The quality and design is much greater than the brand image represents. You can improved this with cars. A helpful car for us would be a hot hatch, cabrio or a coupe."

The most immediate option will likely be the hot hatch. This fall the standard Kio Rio will be released. In the US it's expected that the Rio will be be powered by a 1.6L engine with 138 horsepower.

2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe Officially Unveiled

Here's your first official look at the 2012 BMW 6 Series coupe. The 650i coupe follows the launch of the 650i convertible. The 6 Series coupe is now longer by almost 3 inches, has a 3 inch longer wheelbase and is 1.5 inches wider than the last generation.

Under the hood of the 650i coupe lies the twin-turbo 4.4L V8 that puts out 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 can be mated to either a new 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and ha sa top speed of 155 mph.

As expected the 650i coupe gets a host of new tech features such as: Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Rear and Top View cameras, Parking Assistant, and a new three-dimensional, full-color Head-Up Display. BMW's Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection and Active Cruise Control with stop-and-go capability are also available.

The 2012 650i Coupe will be available this fall.

Mini Countryman to Get Five-Seater Option

Currently the four-door Mini Countryman only seats four passengers, since it has two bucket seats in the back rather than a full bench seat. According to the latest rumors the Countryman will get a rear bench option for the 2012 model year.

VW Bulli Gets the Green Light?

At this year's Geneva Motor Show VW took the wraps off the Bulli concept, which is a modern take on the VW Microbus. According to Autocar, VW is going to produce the concept.

The concept was powered by a 113-hp electric motor with a lithium-ion battery pack. Although the concept was powered by an electric motor, it was also designed to fit VW's small 1.0L and 1.4L gas and diesel engines.

In the US the concept would compete with models like the Scion xB.

Toyota to Release a Hybrid Version of the FT-86?

According to Auto Express, the upcoming Toyota FT-86 could be offered with a hybrid version.

Auto Express spoke with a Toyota spokesman at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month and the spokesman had this to say about a hybrid version of the Toyota FT-86:

"Why not? It's no secret we've been considering a hybrid sports car for a while."

The final production version of the FT-86 and the Subaru version are expected to debut later this year at the Tokyo Motor Show.

2012 Acura TL Goes On Sale Next Week Starting at $35,605

For the 2012 model year Acura has addressed many of the styling issues that we've had with the current generation TL. It gets a refreshed front end with a toned down grille, shorter front and rear overhangs and a new 6-speed automatic transmission.

The refreshed 2012 TL starts at $35,605 and goes on sale March 18th. In addition to the new face, the 2012 TL also gets better gas mileage, which is up 3 mpg on the highway at 29 mpg. That's with the front-wheel-drive 280 horsepower TL, if you want more power and all-wheel-drive you will have to step up to the TL SH-AWD, which starts at $39,155. The TL SH-AWD is powered by the 305-hp 3.7L V6 that can be mated to either the new six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

The day is here! BMW has launched the 2011 1 Series M Coupe configurator on Pricing starts at $47,560, but of course my version comes out to $54,035! One day...

Mercedes-Benz is Reportedly Working on a Baby CLS

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The second-generation Mercedes-benz CLS is just launching and now there are reports that Mercedes is working on a smaller version.

The new baby four-door coupe will take styling cues from the CLS and the F800 Concept that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year. Unlike the CLS, the new smaller coupe will be front-wheel-drive and be based on the same MFA platform as the next-generation A and B Class. The coupe will slot in below the recently introduced C-Class coupe and will be the smallest coupe in the Mercedes lineup.

The new smaller four-door coupe is expected to arrive sometime in 2014.

Tesla Model S Priced at $74,400 for Top 300-Mile Range Model

Tesla has released more details about its upcoming Model S sedan. Deliveries are expected to start in mid-2012 and the first 1,000 units off the line will be the North American Model S Signature Series. The limited-edition series will be equipped with the 300 mile range battery and will feature unique badging.

After the initial 1,000 units are produced the deliveries will continue to be powered by the 300 mile range battery, followed by the 230 and 160 mile options later in 2012. Tesla expects to produce 5,000 units in 2012.

Pricing for the Model S is expected to start at $49,900 for the 160-mile battery model after the $7,500 federal tax credit. The 230-mile option is expected to cost $10,000 more and the 300-mile option is expected to cost $20,000 more than the base model, which puts it at $74,400 before any federal tax credits.

Toyota Has Sold More than 3 Million Hybrids

Since the introduction of the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV coach and the first-generation Prius in 1997, Toyota has sold more than three million hybrids. At the end of February of this year Toyota has sold 3.03 million hybrids.

Although Toyota's most popular hybrid is the Prius, Toyota sells 16 different hybrid models around the world, which includes hybrids sold under the Lexus brand. Toyota is preparing to introduce 10 new hybrids in world markets by the end of 2012.

Driver Feedback Lead to the Redesign of the Toyota FT-86

Earlier this month we got a closer look at what the Toyota FT-86 will look like, in the form of the FT-86 II Concept. The FT-86 II featured a redesigned more pedestrian friendly nose that is taller than the original. The bigger change is to the A-pillars, which have been moved back about 100mm at the base. According to Akihiro Nagaya, the manager of Toyota's design division, who told Autocar, the changes to the FT-86 were due to driver feedback. toyota_ft86_II_concept_fr_new.jpg

Nagaya told Autocar, "We had feedback from drivers who felt that the angle of the A-pillars created a type of 'tunnel vision. This could sometimes make the car hard to place on the road, particularly at higher speeds."

Nagaya went on to state that the FT-86 II is about 50-70 percent of what we can expect for the final production version that is expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.

2012 Buick Verano to Get 250-HP 2.0 Turbo?

Buick is set to release its next new model, the Buick Verano. When the Verano was officially unveiled, Buick said that the new sedan would be powered by either a 177-hp 2.4L Ecotec four-cyl, which would be followed by a 2.0L Ecotec turbocharged engine. Today it looks like a brochure has leaked that provides some proof that the 2.0L turbocharged engine will put out 250 horsepower.

Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord to Go Up 15 Miles in Electric Mode

Honda has been criticized for its current hybrid lineup, which is basically a mild hybrid system that doesn't have enough power to propel the vehicle on electricity alone for extended periods. Honda is currently working on a new plug-in hybrid system that should be a big improvement over the current Integrated Motor Assist system that the Insight, Civic and CR-Z currently use.

Hirohisa Ogawa, a chief engineer of battery research at Honda recently stated that Honda's new mid-sized plug-in hybrids will be able to travel up to 15 miles in electric-only mode. The system uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a 120 kW electric motor. It will take 2 to 2.5 hours to recharge the battery using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet. When the electric power runs out the system switches to a 2.0L i-VTEC 4-cyl, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).

The new technology is expected to debut in 2012 and the first vehicle that will receive the it will be the Accord.

Mini Rocketman Gets the Green Light?

Mini officially unveiled the Rocketman concept in Geneva earlier this month. The small Mini concept was a throwback to the original Mini. According to BMW's sales and marketing head, Ian Robertson, the Mini Rocketman could be produced.

Robertson recently told Autocar, "We are good at looking at history and interpreting a future for it." He went on to point out that most Mini concept cars do eventually end up being produced. According to Robertson, all future Mini models could be influenced by the Rocketman concept, "The themes in the car are not just about a smaller Mini," he said. "Lightweight construction, and new types of components will go on to Minis. The BMW i-concept [lightweight and alternative energy] will be available to all members of the group."

Although Mini is looking into producing the Rocketman and has recently introduced new models like the Countryman and Clubman, the models will not be a threat to the Cooper.

Buick Outsold Lexus, Audi and Acura Last Month

When GM went through its restructuring many of us wondered why Buick wasn't killed off, but it looks like the brand has something to celebrate. Last month Buick managed to outsell Lexus, for the second month in a row.

In addition to outselling Lexus, Buick also sold more cars than Audi, Acura and Mercedes-Benz (if you take out sales for the Sprinter work van). The top luxury brand last month was BMW, but it too only managed to top Buick by only 800 units, due in large part to the demand for the new BMW X3.

This news is great for GM and Buick fans, since Lexus has been the top selling luxury brand in the US since 2000. Last month Buick sold 15,807 vehicles compared to 13,814 Lexus vehicles. Buick's year-to-date sales are also higher than Lexus, since Buick sold more vehicles in January as well. What's interesting is that Buick has managed to beat Lexus with only four vehicles in its showrooms, the Enclave, LaCrosse, Lucerne and Regal.

Hennessey Unveils a 602-HP Chevy Camaro Convertible

Want more power than you can currently get under the hood of the Chevy Camaro SS? Well Hennessey has just unveiled the 2011 HPE600 Camaro Convertible that packs 602 horsepower.

"We were excited to receive one of the first 2011 Camaro SS convertibles from Chevrolet," says company founder and president, John Hennessey. "It was only natural that we would take the new Camaro SS convertible and upgrade it with our very popular HPE600 Supercharged upgrade. If having a 602 horsepower Camaro is cool and fun to drive then being able to drop the top takes the sensation of speed and the classis sound of American-muscle to a whole new level."

The HPE600 Camaro Convertible puts out 602-hp and 605 lb-ft. of torque thanks to a TVS2300 supercharger, high flow fuel injectors, a cold air induction system and high flow catalytic converters. The HPE600 Camaro Convertible also rides one inch lower to the ground with a KW adjustable coilover suspension system. 20-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires help put all that power to the ground. It reaches 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

The HPE600 Supercharged upgrade will add $15,995 to the base price of the Camaro SS convertible.

GM Releases Teaser of Next-Gen Chevy Colorado Pickup

GM has released a single teaser photo of the next-generation Chevy Colorado pickup. GM is set to debut the Colorado show truck t the Bangkok Motor Show in Thailand on March 25th.

The Colorado show truck is a preview of the all-new Colorado. According to GM, the reason why Thailand was chosen as the place to hold the global debut of the new truck is because of the popularity of pickup trucks in Thailand. In 2010 the pickup truck segment accounted for 43 percent of the vehicles sold in Thailand.

2011 Kia Sportage SX Packs 256-HP Turbo and Starts at $25,795

Kia has announced a more powerful Kia Sportage, the Kia Sportage SX, which is powered by a 256 horsepower 2.0L 4-cyl.

The Sportage SX is powered by the same turbocharged 4-cylinder that can be found under the hood of the new Optima, but puts out more power in the Optima. The 4-cyl also puts out 264 lb-ft. of torque, is mated to a six-speed automatic and gets up to 27 mpg on the highway. In addition to the more powerful engine, the Sportage SX also gets a new sport-tuned suspension with firmer shock and strut rates.

The front-wheel-drive SX starts at $25,795 while all-wheel drive models start at $27,295.

MItsubishi Doesn't Deny the Evo's Death on Facebook

Yesterday the internet with crazy when Mitsubishi's global product director, Gayu Eusegi told Autocar that the current Lancer Evolution would be the last. Now it looks like Mitsubishi has posted a little response on it's Facebook page:

Further to some comments published in the press recently, production of the current Lancer Evolution continues as planned. As for its successor, regulations and market feedback will dictate its engineering package & architecture. Stay tuned.

What exactly does that mean? Of course the current model is here, but that statement doesn't really provide much hope for Evo fans...

Haha. This sounds like a joke, but it's true. Mazda has announced a recall of 52,000 Mazda6 sedans spiders have been building nests in the fuel system.

Mazda is recalling some model year 2009-2010 Mazda6 vehicles that were built between 2008 and 2010 due to the fact that a specific species of spider can weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line, which could restrict the line. If the line is clogged, the fuel tank pressure could become excessively negative, which could cause the fuel tank to crack.

To fix the issue, Mazda dealers will inspect and clean the vent line and install a spring to prevent the spiders from entering it.

Brabus 700 Biturbo Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Unveiled

Brabus unveiled the Brabus 700 Biturbo Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Geneva this week, which is essentially the Brabus Widestar Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, but with more power.

The Brabus 700 Biturbo Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.2L V8 engine that puts out 690 horsepower and 626 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to aSPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed sport transmission. The two-seater reaches 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds and 124 mph in 10.2 seconds. Its top speed is 213 mph.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo is Dead!

In what is probably the most shocking news of the day, it looks like Mitsubishi is not going to make a new Lancer Evo after the current generation's run is over. Mitsubishi's global product director, Gayu Eusegi just told Autocar the sad news.

Speaking about the current Lancer Evolution X, Eusegi stated, "There is still a demand [for the car], but we must stop." "Our influence now is EV technology."

For now Mitsubishi is going to focus on releasing more "green" cars like electric vehicles and hybrids. The automaker plans on releasing eight EVs and hybrids by 2015.

There were rumors that the next Evo would be a hybrid, but that will not be the case.

It's a sad day...

Ferrari FF Already Has a 18-Month Waiting List

Ferrari officially launched the Ferrari FF at the Geneva Motor Show this week and according to What Car? there is already a 18-month waiting list.

The Ferrari FF is Ferrari's first ever four-seat four-wheel-drive model. It's powered by a 651 horsepower 6.3L V12 and it reaches 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds. Although the FF wasn't officially launched until this week, Ferrari has been showing off the car at private events. Those private events are the reason that Ferrari has already received over 1,000 orders. That's great news, but unfortunately Ferrari only has the capacity to build about 800 FFs a year.

The FF officially replaces the 612 Scaglietti and is already selling better than the old model, which only sold 3,000 units in seven years.

Ferrari hasn't announced the pricing for the FF, but it's expected to be around $360,000.

Jeep Confirms Plans for a Mini Rival

According to Jeep's CEO Mike Manley, who recently spoke to Autocar, the brand is working on a B-segment SUV that will be released by 2013.

"There's definitely space in the market for a Jeep-brand B-segment SUV. We're already working on a project that will meet that need, and expect to have the car on the road by 2013," stated Manley.

Manley continued by stating that Chrysler's current relationship with Fiat would be tapped for the development of the new mini Jeep. Fiat's four-cylinder engines will likely be used in addition to Fiat's Grande Punto platform.

The B-segment Jeep would compete with models like the Mini Countryman and Audi A1.

What Were the Top-10 Best Selling Cars in February 2011?

Even though the past two days have been filled with news from Geneva, the month of February is over and with it comes the sales numbers.

The good news is that for the most part every automaker's sales were up last month with the exception of Chrysler and Jaguar. GM and Toyota had a great month with sales up 49 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Last month the Ford F-Series held onto its top sales crown and the Toyota Camry remained the number one selling car in the US. It's worth noting that the Ford Fusion has quickly moved up the ranks and has now passed the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.

Check out the top-10 list after the jump.

Geneva 11': Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato Unveiled

Fiat has unveiled the 500 Coupe Zagato concept in Geneva, which is inspired by it's predecessor that was buit in 1950.

Zagato designers have taken the Fiat 500 and made it more aggressive. The roofline features Zagato's trademark "double-hump", while the side of the car gets uniquely rounded side glass.

The Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato is also being used to show off Fiat's 105-hp TwinAir two-cylinder engine.

Geneva 11': Alfa Romeo 4C Concept is a Baby 8C

Alfa Romeo has unveiled the 4C Concept, which is a preview of a new smaller sports car from the brand. The 4C Concept looks like a mini version of the 8C Competizione.

The 4C Concept is based on a new lightweight platform and has a total length around 13 feet plus a wheelbase that is less than 8 feet long. According to Alfa Romeo its dimensions emphasize the compact size of the car and also accentuate its agility.

The 4C Concept is powered by a 1.75L four-cylinder turbo that puts out 200 horsepower. Although 200 horsepower doesn't seem like a lot, the concept only weighs just over 1,800 pounds thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum. It's lightweight means that the 4C can reach 0-62 mph in less than five seconds and has a top speed over 155 mph.

The 4C has already been confirmed for production, which will start next year.

Geneva 11': Saab PhoeniX Concept Previews the Future of Saab

Saab is celebrating its first year since its departure from under the umbrella of GM. It even released the special edition Independence Edition 9-3 Convertible to celebrate the past year. Saab has also just unveiled the new PhoeniX concept in Geneva, which is supposed to preview of what we can expect from future Saab models.

The PhoeniX concept is based on the next-generation 9-3 and introduces a new "aeromotional design" theme, which Saab describes as a visual evocation of the aerodynamic design principles and passion for innovation that inspired the creators of Saab's first car, the iconic Ursaab. The sleek exterior has a low drag co-efficient of 0.25.

Butterfly doors provide access to a 2+2 seating arrangement. Under the hood the PhoeniX concept is powered by a 1.6L turbocharged engine mated to an electric motor. The 1.6L puts out 200 horsepower and features start/stop technology, while the electric motor puts out an additional 34 horsepower. The hybrid system is mated to Saab's all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed manual transmission.

Geneva 11': Subaru RWD Sports Car to Get 2.0L Boxer Engine

Subaru is using the Geneva Motor Show to share more of the details of its upcoming rear-wheel-drive coupe that it is developing with Toyota.

Although every model that is currently available in the US with a Subaru badge, has all-wheel-drive, the upcoming coupe will be rear-wheel-drive. Will Subaru fans scream in disgust? Subaru claims that its first mass-produced front-engine, rear-wheel-drive model will deliver a new level of driving excitement thanks to its lower center of gravity and compact and lightweight body. The 2.0L boxer engine sits even lower and further back in the coupe since there isn't a front differential or driveshafts to get in the way.

Production of the rear-wheel-drive sports car is expected to begin in spring 2012 at a Subaru production plant in Japan.

Toyota has also unveiled a new concept version of its coupe, the FT-86 II.

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