July 2011 Archives

Mercedes-Benz Quietly Kills the V12 Powered SL Models

Mercedes-Benz has decided to discontinue the twelve-cylinder versions of the SL roadster, the SL600 and SL65 AMG without an official announcement. The move is reportedly in anticipation of the upcoming all-new 2013 SL-Class that is expected to debut sometime next year.

The SL600 was the first model to disappear and was powered by a 5.5L V12 that put out 510 horsepower and 610 lb-ft. of torque. The SL65 AMG, which is powered by a 604 horsepower 6.0L V12 has been dropped from the 2012 lineup.

It's not known if Mercedes-Benz will be phasing out its V12 engines completely and replacing them with V8s.

Mopar Releases Over 150 Accessories for the 2012 Fiat 500

Fiat 500 and 500 Cabrio owners can now personalize their cars even more thanks to Chrysler's aftermarket division Mopar. Mopar has released 150 accessories for the 2012 Fiat 500.

The available accessories span from a $21 locking gas cap to a $1,400 body kit.

"The Fiat 500 is one of the most accessorized vehicles in Europe," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "We expect that trend to continue here in North America and will offer more than 150 accessories for those looking to personalize their ride. Our all-new Fiat 500 is the perfect canvas for customization."

Mopar has also announced its Top 15 accessories for the 2012 Fiat 500. The list includes custom key covers, exterior graphics, bike carriers, a chrome shift knob and fuel door, seat covers and the unconnect web system that allows passengers to access the internet on the go.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Honda Civic 5-Door Teased

We already have the 2012 Honda Civic in the U.S., but the new Civic hasn't been released yet in Europe. Honda is planning on unveiling the Euro-spec 2012 Honda Civic at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. In the meantime, Honda has released a teaser of the five-door, heavily camouflaged.

Sadly the U.S. does not get a hatchback version of the Civic.

Mercedes-Benz is going to unveil the all-new 2012 B-Class at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Mercedes-Benz has released has given us a tiny teaser of the exterior, but today the automaker is giving us a full view of what the inside looks like.

According to Mercedes-Benz the interior is inspired by ideas from Advanced Design Center in Como, such as the free-floating, streamlined screen in the new Mercedes B-Class. As expected, the 2012 B-Class will have an intior made of the highest quality materials, including a dashboard may be covered with stitched ARTICO man-made leather.

Stay tuned for the debut of the new B-Class at the Frankfurt show. The 2012 B-Class will hit dealers in Europe in November 2011.

BMW i8 Concept Gets us Closer to the 2014 i8 Supercar

BMW has unveiled both the i3 and i8 concepts today, which will have their official world debut in Frankfurt in September. While the i3 is more focused on urban mobility, the i8 concept previews BMW's next supercar that will be released in 2014.

The i8 concept has a plug-in hybrid setup, unlike the standard EV only i3. The i8's main source of power comes from a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder gas engine. The i8 borrows the electric motor from the i3, but will only have an all-electric driving range around 20 miles. The i8 concept reaches 0-62 mph in less than five seconds.

When the i8 is released in 2014 it will be produced at BMW's Leipzig plant in Germany.

BMW i3 Concept Unveiled Previews the 2013 i3

Its been known for a while that BMW is launching a new electric line with the small i3 and i8 supercar. Today BMW has given us a closer look at what we can expect by unveiling the new i3 and i8 concepts. The two concepts provide a glimpse of what we can expect when the production models are released. The BMW i3 will launch in 2013 and the i8 in 2014. BMW_i3_Concept_6.jpg

The BMW i3 concept is made for the city and tight urban centers. It was originally teased as the MegaCity concept. The i3 features a lightweight body made of aluminum and carbon fiber.

The i3 is powered by a 170 horsepower electric motor that powers the rear wheels. The all-electric system has a range between 80-100 miles. It can reach 0-62 mph in less than eight seconds and with a high speed charger it can be charged up to 80 percent in less than an hour. It takes a full six hours to charge the lithium-ion batteries with a standard outlet. BMW has also announced that the i3 will be available with a range-extending internal combustion engine, named i-REX. BMW hasn't announced how big the engine will be.

The i3 concept will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Toyota Prius Coupe to the Borrow Lexus GS Platform in 2014?

Yup! It seems kinda crazy, but the latest reports claim that Toyota is going to expand the Prius lineup with a new coupe in 2014. We've already heard rumors about a Prius coupe, but this is the first time that we're hearing that it's supposedly going to be borrow the rearl-wheel-drive platform from the next-generation Lexus GS.

Auto Express is reporting that Toyota is going to create more models under the Prius brand, which includes a new sports coupe that will use the Lexus GS platform and the latest version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive hybrid system. You would think that Toyota would use the upcoming FT-86 platform instead.

VIDEO: 2012 BMW M5 Has Fun on the Track

Here's a new video of the 2012 BMW M5 doing some laps on the track. Any BMW M5 should love this.

Check out the video after the jump.

Redesigned 2012 Toyota Tacoma to be Released in October

The Toyota Tacoma pretty much owns the small truck market now with the death of the Ford Ranger right around the corner and the future of GM's small pickups being uncertain. The current Tacoma has been around since 2005, so it's obviously long overdue for a redesign. According to Toyota's Group Vice President and brand manager Bob Carter, the Tacoma is going to get a redesign for the 2012 model year.

The 2012 Tacoma is going to get new styling inside and out, but it will keep the same engines and frame as the current model.

"It's an important segment for us because it provides us with young customers," Mr. Carter said.

The Tacoma is one of several new models that Toyota is planning on introducing, which also includes the 2012 Camry.

2013 Infiniti JX Crossover Concept Shows More of its Face

Infiniti continues to tease the 2013 JX Crossover concept that is going to debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance next month. This fourth teaser reveals more of the face than we've seen before.

At this point will we be surprised at all when we see the new seven-seater completely unveiled? The production version will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November and sales will start early next year.

Porsche is Working on a Long-Wheelbase Panamera?

Insiders have reported to CAR that Porsche is working on a long-wheelbase version of the Panamera that will launch in early 2012.

The long-wheelbase Panamera is reportedly going to get a 150mm longer wheelbase to provide more room for rear-seat passengers. If Porsche is working on a long-wheelbase Panamera its expected to be offered in China, where long-wheelbase BMW and Mercedes-Benz models are popular. Note the long-wheelbase BMW 5 Series. CAR claims that the long-wheelbase is also going to be offered in Europe and there is a possibility that it could come to the U.S.

Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed more details about the 2012 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans. The V6 versions of both sedans will be getting a new eight-speed automatic transmission that will initially be built by ZF in Germany. Chrysler is going to license the technology from ZF and eventually start building the transmissions at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana. The new eight-speed transmissions will give the Pentastar V6 equipped sedans 31 mpg on the highway. The eight-speed transmission is designed specifically for rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Chrysler is also set to begin building a new nine-speed transmission that will be used in its front-wheel-drive models.

2013 Lexus GS to Get a Four-Cylinder Diesel?

The next-generation Lexus GS is almost here with our first look coming in just a few weeks at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. While it's already been confirmed that the GS will be offered with a V6 and a hybrid setup, sources also claim that a diesel engine could also going to be offered.

If Lexus really wants to go head to head with Mercedes-Benz and BMW, it needs a diesel to compete in Europe. Lexus sources claim that although the main focus will be on hybrids, Lexus does need to broaden the appeal of the brand and diesels would be one way to do that.

The diesel engine that could be offered in the GS is the diesel engine that is currently offered in the IS. According to Autocar the four-cylinder 2.2L diesel engine could be introduced in 2013 and targeted at fleet customers.

An announcement about the diesel powered GS could come as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

2012 Ford Explorer 2.0L EcoBoost Gets 20/28 MPG

Ford's 2012 Explorer is about to become the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUV available. The EPA has just certified the 2012 Ford Explorer with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The Explorer will be the first Ford to offer the 2.0L EcoBoost engine in North America.

The EPA has officially certified the 2.0L engine at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder puts out 240 horsepower at 5,550 rpm and 270 lb-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic. To compare the 2011 Explorer's 3.5L V6 has 283 horsepower and gets 17/25 mpg.

To achieve its fuel economy goal with the new four-cylinder, Ford used direct-injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). A variable-displacement air conditioning compressor and electric power-assisted steering system also improved its efficiency.

"Today's SUV buyers place a high priority on miles per gallon, so Explorer has expanded its portfolio of fuel-efficient engines with an all-new EcoBoost offering," said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager. "SUV buyers deserve economy with their capability, so Explorer now offers best-in-class V6 and four-cylinder fuel efficiency."

First 2012 Audi TT RS Finds a Home in Texas

The Audi RS line is finally being offered in the U.S. again and its first new model is the 2012 TT RS. Audi's TT RS is officially on sale and the first one has been claimed by a guy in Texas.

The first 2012 Audi TT RS has found a home with veteran race car driver Don Istook. Istook was one of more than 11,500 fans to sign the Audi TT RS Facebook petition drive, which helped convince Audi to introduce the TT RS to the U.S. Istook has been racing Audi's since the 1980's.

"Having raced at almost every major track in the U.S. and Canada, I've pushed the limits in many cars in my 34 years as a race car driver," Istook said. "I like my street car to give me some of that thrill. With my new Audi TT RS, I not only get that thrill, but I also get that 'race car' sound."

The Audi TT RS, is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder TFSI engine that generates 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. It only comes with a six-speed manual transmission and it reaches 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

The 2012 Audi TT RS is priced at $56,850

VIDEO: Pre-Production 2013 Lexus GS 350 Hits the Track

Lexus has already confirmed that the 2013 Lexus GS 350 will debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 18. Lexus also recently allowed journalists the opportunity to get behind the wheel of pre-production version of the new GS.

This video shows off a heavily disguised pre-production 2013 GS 350 doing laps on a track.

The 2013 Lexus GS 350 is expected to be pretty close to the Lexus LF-Gh hybrid concept.

Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, recently stated, "Our customers have been waiting for a new GS that's more intense in every way. They'll soon discover this GS was well worth the wait."

Check out the video after the jump.

2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC Starts at $143,400

The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC is being labeled as the fastest Maserati ever in the U.S. and starts at $143,400, which includes the $1,700 gas guzzler tax and $1,800 destination charges.

The GranTurismo MC is powered by Maserati's 4.7L V8 that puts out 444 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 is mated to a ZF six-speed automatic that puts the power to the ground via the rear wheels.

According to Maserati the GranTurismo MC will reach 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 185 mph. The GranTurismo MC also gets an aerodynamic package that increases downforce without any increases in drag.

Mazda Unveils the Black Edition MX-5 and Mazda2

Mazda has introduced the Black limited edition versions of the MX-5 and Mazda2 for the UK market. What's interesting is that the two limited edition models aren't actually "black."

The Black limited edition models are inspired by the MX-5 GT race car. The MX-5 Sport Black gets a black retractable hard-top, while the rest of the car can be selected in Spirited Green metallic, Crystal White Pearlescent and Velocity Red mica. The MX-5 Sport rides on "gun metal" 17-inch alloy wheels and the interior is decked out in black with black leather and a Piano black steering wheel.

The Mazda2 Black five-door is available in Spirited Green metallic, Crystal White Pearlescent and True Red. It gets a black vinyl roof, matte black 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a rear bumper sports trim.

Mazda is only going to produce 500 units of the MX-5 Sport Black and 618 examples of the Mazda2 Black.

Spy Shots: 2012 Honda CR-V Prototype Hits Blogger

This is an interesting story for a couple of reasons.

First: It looks like a 2012 Honda CR-V prototype recently collided with a Toyota Highlander on California's P.C.H. Luckily it doesn't appear that anyone was badly hurt in the collision that involved the heavily camouflaged 2012 CR-V test mule and a few Toyotas.

Second: I heard about this accident yesterday at my "full time job", but didn't expect it to be the famous Jean over at NOTCOT. Just glad to hear that she is doing ok, but unfortunately her Toyota Highlander is not.

It looks like Jean will be out shopping for a new car soon after she recovers from this unfortunate accident. Head over to NOTCOT to see the full story.

GM Studied Lots of Bottoms for the 2013 Chevy Malibu's Seats

GM is releasing an all-new Chevy Malibu for the 2013 model year. GM is putting the final touches on the new Malibu including optimizing its seats.

The Chevy Malibu has to appeal to many different buyers of all shapes and sizes in order to be successful. GM's engineers and designers from all around the world have provided input into the 2013 Malibu seats in order to make sure they provide the maximum comfort. 2013_Chevrolet_Malibu_Seat.jpg

GM's engineers used state-of-the-art digital pressure-mapping technology to scan the rear-end impressions of people of all shapes and sizes. The system takes a snapshot of a person's back and rear-end pressure distribution over the seat surface, creating a map with more than 4,600 data points. The information is transferred to a laptop computer that generates graphics illustrating how occupants sit in the seat statically or while driving.

"This test allows us to understand how far a customer will compress into the seat to ensure the selected seat foam and other materials can support the pressure," said Daniel Cohen, one of the seat performance engineers for the Malibu. "We want to find the sweet spot of seat comfort: a seat that is neither too firm nor too soft, but just right."

Chrysler's SRT8 Models to Get Optional 570-HP Supercharged V8?

Chrysler is serious about its new SRT8 versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300. All four models are being offered for the 2012 model year with a 470 horsepower 6.4L V8. But what if you were hoping for even more power? Well the latest rumors claim that Chrysler is planning even more powerful SRT8 versions of the 300, Charger and Challenger.

Rumors are circulating that Chrysler is going to unveil more powerful versions of the Chrysler 300 SRT8 and Dodge Charger SRT8, which will get more power from an Eaton supercharger. While the standard 2012 SRT8 models put out 470 horsepower, the supercharged versions are reported to pack between 540-570 horsepower.

If the rumors are true, the supercharger will be offered on 2013 models and an eight-speed transmission will also be added to the equation.

Unfortunately these rumors do not include any mention about upgrades to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Hyundai Confirms that the 2012 Hyundai Azera Will Debut in LA

Hyundai has announced today that the all-new 2012 Hyundai Azera will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Hyundai didn't announce any other details about its large front-wheel-drive sedan, but it's expected that the 2012 Azera will essentially be the Grandeur sedan (above), which is sold outside of the U.S. A new Azera is definitely needed since the Azera is now the oldest sedan in the Hyundai lineup.

If you think that the 556-hp Cadillac CTS-V isn't powerful enough, Hennessey has given us a preview of its 1,000 horsepower CTS-V coupe. Hennessey has already created a 700 horsepower version of the CTS-V and a 600 horsepower version of the Camaro, but this takes the CTS-V to even higher heights.

The Hennessey V1000 Cadillac CTS-V coupe is powered by a twin-turbocharged 427 cubic-inch LS V8. Part of the upgrades to the engine include forged steel connecting rods, forged low compression pistons, a forged steel crank, ARP main Studs and head Bolts, high flow cylinder heads and upgraded fuel injectors. The V8 can be mated to either a manual or automatic transmission.

All of the upgrades helps the Cadillac CTS-V coupe reach 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds. It has a top speed of 230 mph.

Hennessey only plans on building 12 units, but the pricing has not been released.

2012 Cadillac SRX Starts at $36,060

GM has already announced the new V6 for the 2012 Cadillac SRX, which is now powered by a 308-horsepower 3.6L direct-injected V6. The 2012 SRX now has the most standard power in its class and gets a driver-selectable ECO mode.

The 2012 Cadillac SRX starts at $36,060. Bluetooth is now standard on all models and a heated steering wheel is optional as well as an all-ebony interior and 20-inch wheels.

"We're taking a winning product in the SRX and reaching higher," said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing. "The crossover category is one of the biggest and most important segments in the luxury market. SRX has performed very well and is the best selling Cadillac worldwide, but our approach is not to leave well enough alone."

2011 Nissan Leaf Gets 5-Star Safety Rating

The 2011 Nissan Leaf was recently given the highest safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Leaf a five-star safety rating. The five-star safety rating is the highest rating possible from NHTSA and the Nissan Leaf is the first fully electric vehicle to earn the rating.

"The Nissan LEAF is the first all-electric vehicle to achieve 5-star overall for safety," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "Not only is the LEAF the most innovative car on the planet, it is also one of the safest."

GM Continues to Focus on Fuel Economy

GM is currently focusing its attention on releasing fuel efficient cars like the Chevy Cruze and upcoming 2013 Malibu. GM is going to continue to release key car models across its four brands, but in 2013 GM will shift its focus to launching new trucks.

In 2013 GM will launch its next-generation full-size pickups and SUVs as 2014 models. As with GM's latest cars, the new trucks will also focus on improved fuel economy. GM is expected to offer a new eight-speed transmission and turbocharged engines in its new trucks. GM is also going to add its eAssist hybrid technology to more models.

2012 Cadillac SRX Gets More Power Thanks to a 308-HP V6

Cadillac has given the 2012 SRX crossover the segment's most powerful standard engine, a 308 horsepower 3.6L V6.

The new LFX 3.6L V6 puts out 16 percent more power than the outgoing V6 with 308 horsepower and 265 lb-ft. of torque. The V6 is mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. In addition to the new V6, the 2012 Cadillac SRX is now quieter and more refined compared to the 2011 model. The Base and Sport suspension systems have also been revised to improve the ride quality.

"The improvements we've made to the 2012 SRX make an already great luxury crossover even better, giving our customers more performance and features," said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. "Many of the changes are a direct response to consumer feedback, demonstrating Cadillac's commitment to total customer satisfaction."

Honda Announces the 2012 Ridgeline Sport

Honda has announced the updates to the 2012 Pilot and given us a preview of the 2012 CR-V with the CR-V Concept. Honda has already announced the death of the Element after the 2011 model year, but one other Honda, the Ridgeline pickup truck is getting some updates for the new year.

The 2012 Ridgeline continues mostly unchanged since it's introduction in 2005, but for 2012, Honda has made it more fuel efficient and announced a new version, the Ridgeline Sport. The new Ridgeline Sport starts with the Ridgeline RT model and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a black honeycomb grille, standard fog lights and blacked out headlights and taillights.

Honda has improved the fuel efficiency of the 2012 Ridgeline, but the full specs have not been released. The 2011 Ridgeline currently gets 15/20 mpg. The 2012 Honda Ridgeline will go on sale in November.

2012 Honda Pilot Gets a Refresh and Better Fuel Economy

Honda is giving the 2012 Honda Pilot a mid-life refresh. On the outside buyers will notice the new three-slat grille and revised fog lights. Under the hood is where the most important changes are.

Honda claims that the 2012 Pilot will be the most fuel efficient three-row eight passenger SUV available, although the official specs have not been released. The 2012 Pilot gets a new six-speed automatic, which replaces the old five-speed in the 11' model.

On the inside, the 2012 Pilot gets a revised navigation and audio system. Other than that the rest of the changes are the addition of new colors and revised wheels.

Mercedes' BMW X6 Rival to be Built at its Alabama Plant

It's already been reported that Mercedes-Benz is working on a rival to the BMW X6. The Mercedes-Benz crossover will feature coupe-like styling, but share its platform with the new M-Class.

According to the latest sources the crossover is expected to be dubbed the GLS and will be built at the automaker's plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the M, R and GL-Class models are produced.

Audi is also reportedly working on an X6 competitor, dubbed the Q6.

US-Spec Fiat 500 Abarth to Debut in LA

Fiat has announced via its Facebook page that it is going to unveil the US-spec version of the 500 Abarth at the LA Auto Show in November.

The Fiat 500 Abarth is expected to officially hit our shores sometime in the later half of 2012 as a 2013 model. Fiat hasn't released the official specs for the 500 Abarth, but it's expected to put out somewhere around 170 horsepower from its 1.4L engine.

2012 Honda CR-V Concept Previews the All-New CR-V

We've seen several spy photos of Honda's all-new 2012 CR-V, which is going to go on sale by the end of the year. To give us a preview of what to expect, Honda has unveiled the CR-V Concept.

Honda typically releases concept versions of its all-new models, which are pretty close to the actual production versions. So it's expected that the 2012 CR-V will look almost identical to the CR-V concept you see here, minus the hue wheels and aggressive kit. Overall the all-new CR-V doesn't stray too far from the current model's design, although it does get a rear-end that many critics claim looks like one of Volvo's designs.

Under the hood it's expected to maintain the CR-V is expected to still only be powered by a four-cylinder with horsepower ranging from 180-200. The fuel economy of the 2012 CR-V is expected to improve and front-wheel-drive will be standard, with all-wheel-drive being optional. It remains to be seen if the 2012 CR-V will offer a third-row seat to compete with the Toyota RAV-4.

Lexus Mulls a GS 350 Coupe

Lexus is going to officially unveil the 2013 Lexus GS 350 sedan next month at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Although the past three generations of the GS have only been offered in sedan variants, Lexus is reportedly considering a coupe version of the fourth-generation GS.

Ben J. Mitchell recently told Inside Line, ""I'd like to do a coupe. We're really trying to increase the emotional qualities of our brand. We want to emphasize exterior styling and dynamics."

Lexus' external communications vice president also stated that Lexus does want to expand its current lineup, "Lexus has aspirations to have a full model line and global reach."

Lexus currently doesn't offer a fixed roof coupe. The closest thing currently in the Lexus lineup is the IS convertible with its retractable hardtop. If Lexus does give the GS coupe the green light, the coupe won't arrive before the spring of 2013.

Tesla Signs $100 Million Deal for Electric Toyota RAV4

Tesla Motors has signed a $100 million dollar deal with Toyota to build the electric powertrain for the Toyota EAV4 EV.

Tesla is going to supply the RAV4's electric motor, transmission, battery and charging system. Production is expected to kick off next year. Toyota recently squashed rumors that the RAV4 EV would only be available for fleet customers.

"The 2012 RAV4 EV will definitely be sold to the general public. We anticipate robust public interest in the RAV4 EV and are keen to inform consumers that their future vehicle options include a battery electric Toyota."

Porsche's CEO Confirms Plans to Build a Modern Day 550 Roadster

Just over a week ago more rumors surfaced that Porsche is mulling a successor to the front engine, rear-wheel-drive 928 coupe. Now according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Porsche's CEO Matthias Mueller has confirmed plans to produce a successor to the Porsche 550.

"I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well-received by our customers," Matthias stated.

The new model will be smaller than the Boxster and based on a new mid-engined platform that it will share with the upcoming VW and Audi roadsters.

The Porsche 550 was produced from 1953-1956.

Mercedes-benz has officially unveiled the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series, which is the most powerful C-Class coupe available.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series takes the C63 AMG Coupe and dials up the performance even higher. It's powered by a naturally-aspirated AMG 6.3L V8 that puts out 510 horsepower and 457 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 is mated to a AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed gearbox. The coupe reaches 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

The C63 AMG coupe Black Series has wider tracks and sits lower than the C63 AMG. The track has been widened by 1.57 inches in the front and 3.11 inches in the rear. To help stop all that power the Black Series gets large 15-inch brakes in the front and 14-inch brakes in the rear.

Mercedes-Benz hasn't announced the pricing for the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series, but it's expected to be somewhere around $90,000 when it arrives in early 2012.

VIDEO: 2012 Porsche 911 Shows up Undisguised

The 2012 Porsche 911 is set to be unveiled in Frankfurt this September, but a video has popped up of what appears to be an almost completely undisguised prototype.

The video lets us hear the exhaust of the new Porsche 911 for over four minutes.

Check out the video after the jump.

VIDEO: Fifth Gear gets Behind the Wheel of the Honda CR-Z Mugen

We're still waiting for Honda to release a high-performance version of the Honda CR-Z hybrid. While we wait for that, Mugen has managed to make some modifications to the CR-Z, which make it worthy of the "sport hybrid" name.

The CR-Z Mugen has a supercharged 197-hp 1.5L hybrid powertrain, which is much better than the standard 122-hp. Honda recently let the guys over at Fifth Gear have sometime behind the wheel of the CR-Z Mugen.

As the guys point out, the CR-Z Mugen has a lot more power, handles better and is lighter than the standard model, but the changes make it much harder to live with. The CR-Z Mugen is made much more for the track than your everyday commute.

"The world's fiercest and noisiest hybrid"

Check out the video after the jump.

Audi Wants to Build Cars in Mexico

Audi has been finalizing plans to build a plant in North America, but although it was expected that the plant would be in the U.S., it looks like it might actually be in Mexico.

Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler recently stated in an interview with Manager Magazin that he wants Audi to build a plant in Mexico, instead of using the plant that VW has in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The plant in Mexico would build the Q5 crossover. Stadler's plans will most likely face strong opposition from VW's bosses that want Audi to use the extra space at the Tennessee plant.

A decision is expected to be made before 2015.

Toyota Confirms 2013 Lexus GS 350 to Debut at Pebble Beach

Toyota has officially confirmed that the 2013 Lexus GS 350 will debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Toyota states that the all-new fourth-generation Lexus GS will have a more defined and emotional design with a distinctive front grille and styling cues that will eventually be used on all future Lexus models.

"Our customers have been waiting for a new GS that's more intense in every way," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "They'll soon discover this GS was well worth the wait."

The 2013 Lexus GS 350 will debut on August 18th.

VIDEO: BMW Brings the 3 Series to Life

BMW has released this cool video, which documents the entire production process of the BMW 3 Series.

Production of the current 3 Series ends this fall to make way for the next-gen 3 Series that is coming next spring.

Check out the cool video after the jump.

GM Confirms Chevy Cruze Diesel for the U.S. in 2013

GM has officially confirmed that it will offer a diesel version of the Chevy Cruze in the U.S. in 2013.

GM already sells diesel versions of the Cruze in Europe and Australia. GM has yet to confirm the specs of the diesel powered Cruze, but there have been rumors that it will be a 2.0L diesel with 147 horsepower and 235 lb-ft. of torque. There is a possibility that GM could offer a smaller even more fuel efficient diesel.

Currently the most fuel efficient Cruze, is the Cruze Eco that gets up to 42 mpg on the highway, there are rumors that the diesel powered Cruze will get around 50 mpg.

VW Kicks off Production of the 2012 Beetle

VW has started production of the new 2012 Beetle at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.

"The Beetle is a strong symbol of our brand. It combines the emotional heritage of the original Beetle with the future of Volkswagen," Hubert Waltl said in Puebla. "At the same time, the new Beetle and the engine plant we are building in Silao represent the great confidence we place in Mexico as a manufacturing location. As one of the main manufacturers of compact class vehicles, Volkswagen de México is a key building block in our growth strategy for North America."

GM is Working on a 2013 Chevy Cruze Wagon?

The Chevy Cruze was the best-selling car in the U.S. in June, so it makes sense that GM wants to capitalize on that success by producing other versions of the Cruze. There have been rumors of a Cruze coupe and now comes new rumors that a wagon variant could be produced as well.

The latest reports out of Europe are claiming that GM is working on a Cruze wagon that will arrive in 2013. GM already offers the Cruze hatchback in other markets outside of the U.S. There have been rumors about a Cruze wagon, but if GM does decide to produce it, it could debut as early as the 2012 Paris Motor Show, with a release in 2013.

If GM does produce a Cruze wagon, its likely that the U.S. will also not get this model, since an all-new Chevy Cruze is expected to be released in 2015.

Infiniti Releases a Third Teaser of the JX Crossover Concept

Infiniti has released a third teaser of the JX Crossover concept, which is a preview of the 2013 Infiniti JX. We've seen teasers of the front end, the rear and now we have our first look at the profile of the JX. It looks like the JX is going to get a panoramic sunroof and notice the shape of the D-pillar.

Expect to see the JX Crossover concept on August 18th when it premiers at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The production model is expected to debut at the LA Auto Show in November, with sales kicking off in the spring of 2012.

Discovery to Launch Velocity TV Automotive Network

Want more TV shows about the automotive world? Well Discovery has announced Velocity, that is a new TV network geared towards an upscale male lifestyle. It will feature more than 400 premiere hours of new and returning series and specials showcasing the best of the automotive, sports and leisure, adventure, and travel genres.

Hit shows like Mecum auctions, West Coast Customs, Cafe Racer, and Wayne Carini's Chasing Classic Cars from HD Theater, which is owned by Discovery will be part of the Velocity lineup.

"Velocity continues Discovery's tradition of maximizing the value of each of its cable platforms. It is going to be a game changer when it officially joins our portfolio of U.S. networks later this year," said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. "As the first network devoted to the upscale men's market, Velocity will be a hub for viewers within this key demographic, as well as the wealth of advertisers that target them."

"In the same way that a car once defined the person who drove it, Velocity will define the viewer who watches it, " said Robert S. Scanlon, Senior Vice President of Velocity. "Whether you are a car aficionado or just someone who prefers fast-paced, high-stakes television, Velocity will become a must-have entertainment

Chevy has announced that it sold 2.35 million vehicles globally in the first six months of 2011, which is the best half-year performance in Chevy's 100-year history.

Chevy sold 286,499 more vehicles in the first half of 2011 compared to the same time period in 2010, which is a 14 percent increase. Most of Chevy's global growth can be attributed to new models like the Chevy Cruze, Spark mini car, the all-new Aveo/Sonic, and Orlando MPV. Chevy is about to release an all-new Malibu and the Colorado compact pickup for markets outside of the U.S.

The Cruze is the stand out model, with Chevy moving more than 330,000 units worldwide in the first half of 2011, a 132 percent increase over the same period in 2010. The Cruze was the best-selling car in the U.S. in June.

Mercedes-Benz Unveils New 5.5L AMG V8

Yesterday news broke that Mercedes-Benz is planning a new 5.5L V8 for the 2012 SLK55 AMG. Mercedes-Benz has now unveiled the new engine. The new 5.5L V8 features an AMG Cylinder Management system that gives it the fuel economy of a four-cylinder without sacrificing the power of the large V8.

The 5.5L V8 is codenamed M152 and is based on the AMG M157 engine that powers the CL63 AMG and S63 AMG models. The M152 engine does away with the twin turbochargers from the M157, but the displacement, bore/ stroke and direct injection systems are the same. The naturally-aspirated 5.5L V8 puts out 415 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque, which is up from 355 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. in the previous engine. Fuel consumption has been improved by about 30 percent.

"With the new 415 hp AMG 5.5-liter V8 engine we have once again created a real masterpiece. The M152 sets an outstanding example for efficiency, while demonstrating the creativity and expertise of our engineers, who took their inspiration from Formula 1 when developing the cylinder shut-off system. This makes the new, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder the perfect power unit for the new SLK55 AMG, which will celebrate its premiere at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main in the autumn," says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

BMW Announces the Performance Edition for the 335i and 135i

BMW 135i and 335i owners can now upgrade the power under the hood of their BMW's thanks to a new Performance Edition kit that has been announced by BMW.

The Performance Edition is being offered for a limited time on 2011 335i sedans through the end of the year. The kit includes a power kit (engine tuning software), black kidney grilles and a "BMW Performance Edition" badge for only $550.

With the upgrades the engine output changes from 300 to 320 horsepower and 300 to 317 lb-ft. of torque on manual models and 332 lb-ft for automatic equipped models. It reaches 0-60 mph 0.2 seconds faster than the standard model as well.

Existing owners will be able to upgrade their cars at the end of the year, but the pricing for retrofitting those cars has not been announced.

Mini unveiled the Paceman concept earlier this year, which was a three-door concept based on Mini's new crossover, the Countryman. The concept was dubbed as the first Sports Activity Coupe in the premium small segment market. mini_paceman_patent_2.jpg

When the Mini Paceman concept was unveiled it was expected that Mini would eventually produce it. BMW's Ian Robertson also confirmed the plans to put the Paceman into production.

BMW recently trademarked the design of the Paceman, and those official patent images have now been uncovered. It looks like the official design of the Paceman isn't going to really change from the concept version. The three-door version of the Countryman is expected to be powered by the same engines as the Countryman.

Bentley's CEO States that an SUV is in the Works

Bentley is reportedly working on an SUV, according to the latest reports. Bentley's CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has reportedly stated that Bentley is working on a new SUV that will go head to head with other high end SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover models.

Auto Motor und Sport recently had an interview with the CEO, in which he stated that Bentley wants an SUV because of their popularity in the U.S., China and Europe.

2012 Scion iQ Officially Starts at $15,995

Toyota has officially announced the pricing and more details about the upcoming 2012 Scion iQ. Scion's newest model, the small iQ starts at $15,995 and will start arriving at west coast Scion dealers this October. The Scion iQ will be available in other regions of the country beginning in early 2012.

The 2012 Scion iQ is powered by a 1.3L four-cylinder with 94 horsepower and 89 lb-ft. of torque. The 1.3L is mated to a CVT transmission and has a 37 mpg combined rating.

At only 120 inches long the Scion iQ will be perfect for tight parking spots in urban cities. The Scion iQ features a unique 3+1 seating layout and 11 standard airbags, including the world's first rear window airbag.

Mercedes-Benz is going to unveil the new SLK55 AMG in Frankfurt this fall. The SLK55 AMG will be powered by a version of the 5.5L V8 that powers the CLS63 AMG and E63 AMG models, minus the twin-turbochargers.

The SLK55 AMG will make due with a naturally aspirated 5.5L V8, which had to have the turbochargers removed to fit under the hood of the SLK. One insider also stated, "It also wouldn't do to have an SLK that's faster than the SL."

The 5.5L V8, which weighs 412 pounds, will put out 422 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque in the SLK55 AMG. The engine is expected to get fuel saving features like a cylinder-deactivation system.

2012 Chevy Impala Gets a 3.6L V6 and 30 MPG

GM is giving the 2012 Chevy Impala a slight refresh to hold it over until the all-new 2014 Impala arrives. GM has yet to officially unveil the 2012 Impala, but we do know that the 2012 Impala is going to be powered by GM's 3.6L V6. The 3.6L V6 puts out 302 horsepower and 252 lb-ft. of torque, which is far better than the current 3.5L and 3.9L V6 engines.

The E.P.A. also recently certified the 2012 Impala and claims that it will get 30 mpg on the highway. The 2011 model only got 29 mpg on the highway, but did manage to get 19 mpg in the city vs. 18 mpg for the 2012 model. The fuel economy numbers aren't that different, but at least you don't have to pay more at the pump for the extra power under the hood.

Stay tuned for GM's official unveiling of the 2012 Chevy Impala.

Chrysler's Upcoming C-Car May Get an SRT Version

2003_dodge_neon_srt4.jpgChrysler's SRT boss Ralph Giles recently hinted at possible new SRT models, like the rebirth of the Dodge Magnum. He has also stated that Chrysler needs to release an SRT version of its upcoming compact car.

Giles recently stated to Ward's, "I was so proud when we came up with the (Dodge Neon) SRT4 turbo, because up until then Honda was the only game in town, and those weren't factory produced performance cars."

"The Neon put the whole street-tuning scene on its ear with the factory turbo. We have to figure out how to get an entry-level SRT product to capture the next generation."

Chrysler is currently working on a new compact model that will share its platform with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Nissan Upgrades the 2012 Nissan Leaf and Jacks up the Price

Nissan has announced the changes "upgrades" to the 2012 Nissan Leaf EV.

The 2012 Nissan Leaf gets updates, which are the result of feedback from the initial owners, which includes making many previously optional features standard. The Nissan Leaf SL now gets the DC Fast Charge capability, standard. The majority of 2011 model year Leaf owners opted for the system that allows the Leaf to be recharged at 480V reducing the charging time to 30 minutes for for charging the Leaf to 80 percent from empty. Nissan is set to offer the Leaf in more colder markets and to keep those buyers comfortable, the Leaf is now standard with a battery warmer, heated steering wheel, and heated seats in both the front and rear.

Nissan has announced plans to open up the ordering process to consumers with existing reservations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Leaf has already been on sale in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

The 2012 Nissan LEAF starts at $35,200 for the SV trim level, and $37,250 for the SL trim level. The 2012 model's price has jumped up significantly compared to the $32,780 entry price for the 2011 Leaf. The 2012 Leaf is still eligible for the $7,500 tax credit, which brings the price down a bit and if you decide to lease the Leaf, you can get a three year lease for $379 a month.

Yesterday there were reports that Toyota was only going to sell its upcoming electric powered version of the RAV4 to fleets and car sharing programs. Toyota has released a statement today about the rumors and has stated that the RAV4 EV will be sold to the general public.

"Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We'd like to set the record straight. The 2012 RAV4 EV will definitely be sold to the general public. We anticipate robust public interest in the RAV4 EV and are keen to inform consumers that their future vehicle options include a battery electric Toyota."

VIDEO: Porsche Previews the Next-Gen 2012 Porsche 911

Porsche is in the final testing phase of the next-generation 2012 Porsche 911, with the new 911 expected to debut this fall in Frankfurt. Porsche has decided to give us a preview of the new 911 in this video.

The video shows the new 911 during its hot weather testing in South Africa. The cool video shows off the exterior and the interior of the new 911, in addition to some cool shots of South Africa.

Check out the video after the jump.

GM has announced plans to invest $328 million in its plant in Flint, Michigan to produce the next generation Chevy and GMC full-size pickups. The investment will also create or retain 150 jobs.

The Flint assembly plant currently employs 2,047 employees and builds the heavy-duty versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

"This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning full-size pickups that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality," said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of Labor Relations. "We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size pickups."

Sales of the new-for-2011 trucks have led to an additional 2.4 percentage points of market share, through May, bringing GM's total HD share to 36 percent. GM's retail share of the full-size pickup market has grown 40.4 percent through May compared to 37.7 percent in the first five months of 2010.

Jaguar and Land Rover to Get Engines from Tata?

Currently Land Rover and Jaguar are using engines from its former parent, Ford. But future models could get engines developed by the brands' new parent Tata.

Tata is considering jointly developing engines with Jaguar and Land Rover according to its chairman Ratan Tata. He stated that the goal is to "optimize the synergetic strengths between JLR and Tata Motors in India". If the program is approved engines could be produced in the U.K. and India.

By developing engines in-house with Jaguar and Land Rover, Tata would be able to cut costs, which would help make the vehicles cheaper for price sensitive markets like India.

Tata is also looking at producing cars in China.

Next-Gen VW GTI to Get a Power Boost

VW is currently working on the next-generation GTI and Golf models, with prototypes caught testing in Europe. The latest reports claim that the next GTI will get a mild power boost from its 2.0L turbocharged engine.

The next GTI is going to get a boost to 220 horsepower thanks to tweaks to the current 2.0L engine, which includes a new valve lift system developed by Audi. A new electronically controlled, mechanically locking differential is being added to the GTI and R models.

VW recently unveiled a R-badged Golf Cabriolet concept, which according to Autocar is more likely to see production than a GTI-badged Cabriolet.

The next-gen Golf is expected to be released late next year as a 2013 model and the next GTI will debut sometime in 2013.

Alfa Romeo's Return to the U.S. has Now Been Delayed 10 Years

Alfa Romeo's return to the U.S. has been delayed again, with a full return now being pushed back until mid-2013 at the earliest. According to Automotive News, Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne now states that Alfa Romeo, which is owned by Fiat will not return until late 2012, with a full return coming in 2013.

Fiat left the U.S. in 1995, but in 2000 then Fiat CEO Paolo Cantarella stated that a new Alfa Spider would be sold here in 2003, which never happened. In 2002 that plan was delayed, which set off a series of delays, which brings us to present day. Now Alfa Romeo's return is being delayed due to the fact that Marchionne has rejected the design of the Guilia. Alfa Romeo has technically been back, since it's currently selling the Alfa Romeo 8C out of Maserati showrooms, but only 100 units have been sold, which is not really significant.

Alfa Romeo is expected to return first with a new compact crossover, followed by the Giulia sedan at the end of 2013.

Toyota's RAV4 EV Will Not be Sold to the Public

Toyota is going to launch an electric-powered version of the RAV4 in early 2012, but unfortunately it is not going to be sold to the general US public, according to Toyota's national business planning manager of advanced vehicle marketing, Geri Yoza.

The RAV4 EV is only going to be offered to fleet customers and car sharing programs.

The RAV4 EV is powered by a Tesla electric system, which includes the battery, electric motor, transmission and software. The RAV4 EV also gets unique front and rear fascias, 18" wheels and comes exclusively in pearl white.

2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback Keeps its Old Parts

Nissan has announced the pricing for the 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback and although the sedan version is all-new, the hatchback keeps its same old clothes. Yup, the 2012 Versa Hatchback is still the first-generation model.

The 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback is available in 1.8 S and 1.8 SL models, which are both powered by a 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine. The Versa 1.8 S can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, while the 1.8 SL gets a standard CVT transmission. For 2012 the previous Premium Package content is now standard equipment on the SL model and there are four new packages for the S model: Convenience Package, 15-inch Aluminum-Alloy Wheel Package, Nissan Navigation Package and a "Special Edition" Package.

The Versa 1.8S Hatchback with the manual transmission starts at $14,380, while the addition of the 4-spped automatic raises the base price to $15,380. The top 1.8 SL Versa Hatchback starts at $18,390.

VW has No Plans for the Passat Wagon in the US

According to the latest VW sources, VW has no plans to sell a wagon version of the new Passat in the US. There have been spy photos of the Passat wagon testing in the US, but it was merely to test the vehicle in our climate.

VW has no plans to bring a Passat wagon to the US, since US car buyers don't gravitate towards wagons. VW has repositioned the Passat to better take on models like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, neither of which offer a wagon version in the US.

2012 Lexus GS to Debut at Pebble Beach

The all-new 2012 Lexus GS is expected to debut at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

An unnamed source recently revealed Toyota's plans to unveil the next-generation Lexus GS, although Lexus Communications Manager Ming-Jou Chen wouldn't exactly confirm the plans, ""We haven't made any announcements... but it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep an eye out during Pebble Beach."

The Lexus GS is expected to draw styling inspiration from the Lexus LF-Gh concept. The Lexus GS headed to Pebble Beach will likely be a hybrid version, while Lexus is also expected to offer gasoline powered models as well as a high-performance F version.

Shelby Supercars Unveils the Tuatara Concept with 1,350 HP

Meet Shelby Supercars's (SSC) latest creation, the Tuatara Concept, which gives SSC the title of having the fastest production supercar, which was previously held by Bugatti.

The Tuatara gets its name from a modern day lizard found in New Zealand. The Tuatara lizard has the fastest evolving DNA in the world and that fast paced evolution is how SSC's designers envisioned their new supercar. Jerod Shelby, who founded SSC stated, "Most manufacturers essentially use the same basic model and body shape for up to 10 years, while only making small refinements to it each year. After only three years in production with the Ultimate Aero, SSC's Tuatara is about to monumentally evolve in the areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and shear all-around performance. We felt that the fastest evolving DNA was a perfect definition of SSC's latest project."

The Tuatara is powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0L V8 with 1,350 horsepower that is mated to a seven-speed transmission.

BMW has powered up the online configurator for the 2012 BMW 650i Coupe. The 650i coupe has a starting price at $83,000, which gets you the 6 Series coupe with a 402-hp 4.4L V8.

While the 650i coupe starts at $83,000, once you add in packages like the M Sport, Cold Weather, Driver Assistance packages the price gets pretty close to $100k. BMW is also planning on eventually releasing a six-cylinder powered 640i coupe, which will be cheaper than this version of the 6 Series.

BMW Unveils the BMW M3 DTM Concept

BMW has unveiled the BMW M3 DTM Concept, which is a preview of the BMW M3 DTM that will mark BMW's return to the DTM series after two decades. Since it's being labeled as a concept, not everything we see here will make its way to the race version, but it should be pretty close.

The BMW M3 DTM Concept is powered by a 480 horsepower V8 that accelerates the car from 0-62 mph in three seconds with a top speed at 186 mph.

The race version of the M3 DTM Concept will be ready for the 2012 DTM season.

2012 Ford Mustang Blue Angels Edition Salutes the U.S. Navy

Ford has produced a unique 2012 Ford Mustang, dubbed the "Blue Angels" edition salutes 100 years of U.S. Navy aviation and supports the education program for young aviators.

The one-of-a-kind 2012 Ford Mustang GT "Blue Angels" edition is being sold at the he Gathering of Eagles charity auction July 28, during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) 2011 AirVenture Oshkosh. All proceeds from the sale of the car will benefit the EAA Young Eagles organization. 2012_ford_mustang_gt_blue_angels_6.jpg

The exterior of the "Blue Angels" Mustang GT was inspired by the naval aviation performance demonstration team and the F-18 Hornet aircraft it flies. The car's custom rear spoiler's vertical tailfins, the "screaming yellow" gloss accents, inclusion of the Blue Angels script and crest all are drawn from the Navy aircraft.

Under the hood of the "Blue Angels" Mustang is a Ford Racing supercharged 5.0L V8 that produces 624 horsepower. The Ford Racing components also include a handling pack, performance exhaust and racetrack brakes.

Inside the interior gets cluster graphics, performance gauges, navigation screen images, safety belt fabric, instrument panel appliqués, rear seat-delete and cross-brace, Blue Angels script in the illuminated sill plates and puddle lamps that project jet images when the doors open.

Chrysler to Bring the Dodge Magnum Back to Life?

It's been almost four years since Chrysler decided to kill off the Dodge Magnum wagon and several other models as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy. The Dodge Magnum was introduced in 2004 as a new low slung rear-wheel-drive wagon for the Dodge brand. According to SRT's boss Ralph Gilles the decision to kill the Magnum was decided by one executive that has since retired from Chrysler.

Gilles recently spoke with Jerry Garret at the New York Times Wheelsblog, in which he expressed his desire to bring the Magnum back. He also stated that there are a lot of people at Chrysler that want to see it return.

"With the Magnum, we owned the station wagon segment," Mr. Gilles said. "It was always a pleasure to go to car shows and trade fairs and see the number of Magnums that owners had personalized with such obvious loving care."

Although Gilles failed to confirm the return of the Magnum, he did state that, "Great things are coming."

Chrysler announced the 2012 SRT8 models today, maybe in the not so distant future, the Magnum will part of that lineup as well as an SRT8 version of the Viper.

Next-Gen Subaru WRX to Drop Impreza Name

Subaru unveiled the next-generation 2012 Subaru Impreza at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, but did not unveil the WRX version of the new model. According to the latest sources, the reason we haven't seen the next WRX is because Subaru is planning on separating the WRX from the compact Impreza.

A source recently spoke to Motor Trend and said, "Apart from a few nuts and bolts, every part on the WRX will be unique. Even the engine and body. Obviously the WRX's platform will be inherited from the new Impreza, but it will be radically modified and significantly shortened." 2012_subaru_impreza_new_fr.jpg

The past generation Impreza and WRX models shared many common parts, which drove up the cost of the Impreza, Subaru's entry-level model. For the next WRX, Subaru is developing it from the ground up to win in motorsports events and will use an updated version of Subaru's all-wheel-drive system and a turbocharged boxer engine.

Motor Trend's source claims that the next WRX will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6L boxer engine with around 270 horsepower, while the STI version will put out around 300 horsepower from the same 1.6L engine. The WRX will use a heavily modified version of the Impreza's platform, but it will be significantly shortened.

Unfortunately the next WRX is not coming until around 2014.

Chrysler Announces the Pricing for the 2012 SRT8 Models

Chrysler has announced the pricing for its high-performance brand, the SRT8 models. This includes the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 and the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8: $46,660

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: $55,295

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8: $47,995

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8: $44,077

The SRT8 models are powered by Chrysler's 470-hp 6.4L HEMI V8.

2012 Chevy Camaro to Get More than 570-HP?

GM officially unveiled the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, but although the high-performance Camaro was unveiled, its official stats were not.

At the time GM only stated that the Camaro ZL1 would put out an estimated 550 horsepower and 550 lb-ft. of torque from its supercharged 6.2L LSA V8. The 6.2L V8 is also found under the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V, where it puts out 556 horsepower. We're still waiting for GM to unveil the official stats for the Camaro that will go to head to head with Ford's Shelby GT500, but the newest reports now claim that the ZL1 will put out more than 570 horsepower.

Infiniti has released the second teaser of the upcoming Infiniti JX concept that is going to be unveiled at the LA Auto Show this November.

The first teaser photo showed the front end of the new concept, which is a preview of Infiniti's new seven-passenger crossover that is expected to go on sale next spring. This teaser shows off the rear taillight design.

Stay tuned...

Chrysler has announced the details of the Mopar JK-8 Kit, which allows Jeep Wrangler owners the ability to turn their Wrangler Unlimited into a pickup truck.

The Mopar JK-8 Kit starts at $5,499 and includes a steel bed, inner and outer bedsides, sport bar extensions, Freedom panel assemblies, fiberglass hardtop and bulkhead.

"Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are some of our most accessorized vehicles," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO, Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "New Jeep Wrangler owners typically spend more than $500 on Mopar accessories. For Jeep Wrangler Unlimited owners, our new Mopar JK-8 kit answers the call for even more radical customization. And it's yet another example of how Mopar will continue to support our brands with innovative features."

The base price of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited is $25,545, adding on this kit will mean buyers will be paying over $30k for a Jeep "pickup truck."

GM Fires Back at VW CEO for Talking About a Possible Opel Sale

It looks like GM is not happy about recent comments that VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn made about the possible sale of GM's Opel division.

In Wednesday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn commented on rumors regarding Opel. GM calls these comments "regrettable."

GM released this statement, "General Motors has a longstanding policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation. Unfortunately, some of our competitors do not show similar restraint."

GM claims that VW's comments were timed to the positive media reaction its received about the new Opel Ampera, which according to GM has been labeled as "a stroke of genius." An unnamed industry expert said that the Opel Ampera places "Opel three years ahead of VW."

Because of the strong demand and enthusiastic reviews, Opel is ordering an additional 2,000 Amperas for the European market next year.

Dodge Journey Finds Success in Europe as the Fiat Freemont

Fiat is asking Chrysler to increase production of the Fiat Freemont, which is a rebadged Dodge Journey that is sold in Europe.

Fiat originally planned to sell 13,000 Fremonts this year, but Fiat recently told Automotive News Europe that it has already received 15,700 orders for the model. Fiat plans to sell 33,000 Fremonts in 2012, its first full year of sales in Europe. Chrysler originally planned to produce 3,000 units a month, but due to the higher than expected demand, increased that number to 4,067 units in June.

Chrysler is hoping to produce 4,000 units a month without having to have its workforce work overtime.

80 percent of the Freemonts orders are coming from Italy and 80 percent of those buying the Freemont are new Fiat customers.

NYC Police Dept. Adds 50 Chevy Volts to its Fleet

The City of New York has decided to purchase 50 Chevy Volts, which it's adding to its fleet in an effort to reduce air pollution, carbon emissions and gasoline consumption.

The Volt will be the first electric car used by the New York City Police Department and represents the majority of 70 new electric vehicles joining NYC's fleet.

"This is the latest and largest-ever addition of electric vehicles to the City's fleet, which is already the largest municipal clean-air vehicle fleet in the nation," Bloomberg said in a press statement. "We will continue to lead by example, but we also must provide New Yorkers with tools to make environmentally friendly choices in their own lives.

"When provided with the facts, people become far more likely to choose an electric vehicle. Our job is to ensure the public has the facts, ensure they can make their own decisions and ensure that if they want to drive an electric vehicle, we are providing the infrastructure needed. It's all part of our PlaNYC agenda to create a greener, greater New York City."

VW claims that the all-new 2012 VW Beetle is closer in design to the original than the last generation and that the new Beetle is far sportier. Jay Leno recently got behind the wheel of an iconic 1938 VW Beetle and then he hopped behind the wheel of the 2012 VW Beetle. 2012_VW_Beetle_JayLeno.jpg

What did Jay Leno have to say about the all-new Beetle?

"The thing that astounds me about this car is how sophisticated and how much power it has.."

"It's fast, it's comfortable, it handles..."

"It's quiet sporty actually. It handles very nicely."

There you have it! Jay Leno claims that the 2012 VW Beetle has power and is sporty, which are two things we wouldn't say about the last one.

Jay Leno may like the 2012 Beetle, but Jeremy Clarkson hate's it.

Check out the video after the jump.

2012 Scion iQ to Start at $15,995

The smallest Scion, the 2012 Scion iQ is going to have a starting price of $15,995 when it hits US dealers this fall.

The 2012 Scion iQ will be launched in four phases with the West Coast getting it in October, followed by the south in January, then the East Coast and the Midwest. The base Scion iQ gets standard features like Pandora, and 10 airbags to keep you safe, one of which is a new rear-window curtain airbag.

The 2012 iQ is powered by a 90-hp 1.3L four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT. Scion is also going to release an electric-powered version of the iQ sometime in the next year or so.

Toyota UK Drops the Details on the 2012 Toyota Yaris

Toyota's UK division has released the details on the UK-spec 2012 Toyota Yaris, which is expected to be pretty close to our own version of the Yaris in the US.

The third generation Yaris will be offered in four trim levels in the UK, T2, TR, SR and T Spirit with prices starting at £11,170. There are three different engine options for the Yaris, 1.0L and 1.33L gas engines and a 1.4L diesel. The three-cylinder 1.0L puts out 68 horsepower, while the 1.33L generates 98 horsepower and can be mated to Toyota's new Multidrive S CVT. The 1.4L diesel is mated to a standard six-speed manual and puts out 89 horsepower.

Pricing ranges from £11,170 for the T2 three-door with the 1.0L all the way up to £15,385 for the T Spirit five-door with the 1.33L engine and CVT.

Expect to see the US-spec version soon.

Is Porsche Working on a 928 Successor?

There have been rumors in the past that Porsche is planning a new front engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe that would be the spiritual successor to the 928. According to Autocar, Porsche is still working on a new grand tourer that will be based on the next-generation Porsche Panamera.

Sources claim that the Porsche grand tourer, which could be named the Porsche 929 is planned to launch after the next-generation Panamera, which is scheduled for 2014-2015. The Porsche 929 will be offered in both coupe and convertible body styles.

Audi Gives the 2012 Audi A5 and S5 a Facelift

Audi is giving the A5 lineup a facelift for the 2012 model year. The A5 and the more powerful S5 version get new styling and updated engines.

On the outside the 2012 A5 and S5 models get new headlights that are more inline with the A6 and Audi A1 models. The front fascia also gets a new front bumper with a restyled grille. The rear of the A5 and S5 gets new taillights with LED light strips and a restyled bumper.

Inside the interior gets updated with a new steering wheel,a new selector for the automatic transmissions and a new ignition key. The Audi MMI infotainment system is also getting updated and there are new interior colors.

In Europe the A5 is powered by a 170-hp 1.8L, 211-hp 2.0L and 272-hp 3.0L V6. The diesel options are a 177-hp 2.0L and three V6 engines. In the US the A5 is only available with the 211-hp 2.0L. The S5 models are now powered by a 333-hp 3.0L V6 that replaces the 4.2L V8. The 2012 S5 reaches 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.

The pricing is set to only increase slightly.

Stay tuned for the US-specs...

Cadillac Flagship Sedan Reportedly gets the Green Light

It's been reported for a while that GM is working on a new Cadillac flagship, but now we've received confirmation that a new large Cadillac has been given the official green light.

GMI is reporting that GM has fully approved the development of a new Cadillac flagship sedan. The new flagship is expected to ride on a new rear-wheel-drive platform that is being referred to internally as the Omega. The new flagship is expected around 2015-2017. If you're thinking that's a ways off for the release of the XTS sedan. You're in for a little surprise. It looks like the Cadillac XTS (above) is not really going to be the Cadillac flagship sedan, for long.

The Cadillac XTS is seen as a stop-gap model until the true Cadillac flagship sedan is ready. According to GMI, some GM heads don't really even like the XTS.

Stay tuned...

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic Starts at $49,865

Mercedes-Benz has announced the pricing for the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, which starts at $49,865 for the 2012 ML350 4Matic.

The third-generation M-Class is going to initially be offered in two versions, the ML350 4Matic and the diesel-powered ML350 BlueTec. The ML350 4Matic is powered by a 302-hp 3.5L V6, while the ML350 BlueTec is powered by a 240-hp 3.0L diesel engine. The ML350 BlueTec starts at $51,365.

A V8 powered M-Class will debut early next year.

Porsche to Boost Cayenne Production to Meet Increased Demand

Porsche is going to increase production of its popular Cayenne SUV next year after a huge surge in demand increased sales by 37 percent in the first six months of this year.

Cayenne production is going to increase by 10 to 20 percent starting in 2012. In some markets delivery times have been as long as 12 months, but Porsche wants to make sure the wait time is no longer than six months. Porsche sales chief Bernhard Maier stated, "We're now looking into ways we can expand production capacity to be able to serve our customers more quickly."

Porsche expects to double its sales to about 200,000 vehicles by 2018. A large part of those sales will come from the Cayenne and the upcoming Cajun compact SUV.

VIDEO: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1...Listen to Those Sounds

We're still waiting for GM to officially confirm how much power is actually under the hood of the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1. In the meantime enjoy these two videos that show off the sound that the awesome supercharged 6.2L V8 makes.

Check out the videos after the jump.

BMW has created its first music video, which is the result of a collaboration between BMW Group's Electronic Media Department and creative Munich artists Jonas Imbery and Mirko Borsche.

"Check my machine" shows off the production process for the new 2012 BMW 1 Series.

Jonas Imbery, who composed the soundtrack stated, "The appeal of the work was to develop a viable, independent, recognisable composition that only makes use of vehicle sounds, such as the blinkers, GPS voice, closing noises, seat belts, doors, safety alarm, to name but a few. The visual resolution at the end shows clearly that the percussive elements such as the bass synthesizer, the vocals and the melodies were produced by the vehicle itself."

Check out the video after the jump.

VIDEO: Top Gear USA Season 2 Trailer Released

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Top Gear USA is coming back for a second season and the History channel has released a teaser of the upcoming season.

The trailer for the second season shows off the same hosts as the first season, Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood and Adam Ferrara.

The 2nd season of Top Gear USA kicks off on July 24th at 10/9c.

Check out the trailer after the jump.

Hyundai has been trying to change its image from a builder of low-priced cars with models like the Genesis and Equus. Although some people may have a hard time buying a Hyundai luxury car, it looks like some of the most wealthiest people are buying Hyundai's luxury models.

According to Hyundai CEO John Krafcik, wealthy American Express Centurion Card holders (Black Amex) buy Hyundais at a higher rate than originally expected. Six percent of Black Card holders say they have a Hyundai in the garage, which is tied with Bentley and Audi. The top brands are BMW with 22% and Mercedes-Benz with 21%.

The average Black Card holder has $16.3 million in assets and an annual household income of $1.3 million.

50-MPG Chevy Cruze Diesel Confirmed for the US

According to two unnamed sources, GM has officially decided to sell a diesel version of the Chevy Cruze in the US. The Associated Press is reporting that the sources claim that the diesel-powered Cruze will get around 50 miles per gallon and will be here in about two years.

GM already has a diesel version of the Cruze in Australia that is being re-engineered to meet US emissions standards. The Holden Cruze is powered by a 147-hp 2.0L diesel.

As of July 1st California's hybrid owners no longer get to drive in the carpool lane (High Occupancy) if they are riding solo. Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid owners qualified for the special privilege six years ago and were given special yellow HOV lane stickers, but now solo drivers must suffer with the rest of the non-carpool vehicles in the regular lanes. There's still one vehicle that does get to stay in the HOV lanes until 2015, the natural gas powered Honda Civic GX.

Drivers of the Honda Civic GX and all-new Civic Natural Gas get to keep their special access to the HOV lanes in California until January 2015.

"Civic GX drivers in California have long enjoyed the benefits of driving a compressed natural gas vehicle, whether it was saving time commuting in the carpool lane, paying lower fuel prices, reducing dependence on oil or reducing their CO2 footprint," said Elmer Hardy, senior manager of alternative fuel marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With the all-new model coming this fall, drivers will continue to earn these benefits along with additional commuter-friendly features."

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: A Bunch of New Photos Released

Mercedes-Benz has released new photos of the US-spec 2012 M-Class. The third-generation M-Class is all-new for the 2012 model year and now sits almost an inch lower, is an inch longer and half an inch wider than the last generation. The 2012 M-Class will be available either as the ML350 BlueTec diesel or the gas powered ML350 4MATIC.

The ML350 is powered by a 302 horsepower 3.5L V6 that now has 13 percent more power than the last model. The ML350 BlueTec is powered by a 3.0L V6 diesel that puts out 240 horsepower and 455 lb-ft. of torque. The 3.0L diesel gets 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gas engine.

Pricing for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has not been announced.

2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Teasers and Details Released

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is going to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but Mercedes has just released the first teaser photos of the next B-Class.

According to Mercedes-Benz the new B-Class will be "substantially more agile and efficient, but as comfortable and spacious as ever." The 2012 B-Class will be powered by a new turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine with direct injection or a new diesel engine. The engines can be mated to either a dual clutch transmission or a manual.

Mercedes-Benz expects the 2012 B-Class to be a "quantum leap in the compact class." It features a low 0.26 drag coefficient, which can be lowered to 0.24 with the optional ECO Technology package. The B-Class measures 4359mm long, 1786mm wide and 1557mm tall.

The new four-cylinder 1.6L gas engine puts out either 122hp in the B 180 and 156-hp in the B 200. The four-cylinder diesel engine is a 1.8L that puts out 109-hp in the B 180 CDI and 136-hp in the B 200 CDI. The engines can be mated to either a seven-speed dual clutch transmission or a six-speed manual.

Stay tuned for the official debut in September.

2012 Peugeot 508 RXH Diesel Hybrid Unveiled

Peugeot has unveiled the 2012 Peugeot 508 RXH diesel hybrid ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

The 508 RXH is powered by Peugeot's 2.0 l HDi FAP HYbrid4 drive train. The combination of the 2.0L diesel engine and the electric motor puts a total 200 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. The hybrid system is mated to a four-wheel-drive system and is capable of traveling in full electric mode. According to Peugeot, the 508 RXH gets drinks less than 4.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle and emits 109g/km of CO2.

The 2012 Peugeot 508 RXH diesel hybrid will go on sale in spring 2012.

All-New 2012 Nissan Versa Starts at $10,990

Nissan has announced the pricing for the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa sedan, which starts at $10,990.

The base Nissan Versa sedan 1.6 S with the manual transmission starts at $10,990, add a CVT transmission and the price jumps to $12,760. The 1.6 SV with the standard CVT starts at $14,560 and the top of the line 1.6 SL with the CVT starts at $15,560.

The 2012 Versa comes standard with air conditioning, a 6-way adjustable driver's seat and an AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system. It's powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder engine that puts out 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft. of torque. With the manual transmission it gets 27/36 mpg, while the CVT gets 30/38 mpg.

Hyundai Supercar in the Works?

Hyundai continues to release new products that dominate its respective segments. In recent years Hyundai has even entered new segments like the luxury market with the Genesis and Equus. One model that Hyundai still lacks is a true halo model, but that could soon change. There is a rumor that Hyundai is planning a new supercar that will take on models like the Chevy Corvette, Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911.

It's being rumored that Hyundai is working on a new V8 powered supercar that would cost between $80,000 and $100,000. Front engine and mid-engine designs are supposedly being considered, but the only engine planned is Hyundai's 5.0L Tau V8 that currently powers the Genesis R-Spec. It puts out 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The supercar is expected to only be rear-wheel-drive to keep cost and weight in check.

Of course this is all speculation, since Hyundai's CEO John Krafcik has denied these rumors.

Audi's CEO Confirms Production Plans in the U.S.

Audi is soon going to start producing cars in the US according to a recent statement from Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler.

"It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S.," Stadler recently told Automotive News. "The question only is when."

Audi is currently finalizing the details for a new plant in the U.S., including which models will be produced, location and its final location. Audi is reportedly also considering a second plant that will produce engines and transmissions for both Audi and VW.

Audi set a sales record in 2010 with 101,629 units sold in the U.S. and Audi plans to increase those sales by 10-20 percent this year. Demand is outpacing Audi's currently production capabilities.

All of the decisions will be finalized within the next three years.

Brabus has just announced the introduction of the world's most powerful and fastest four-seater convertible, the Brabus 800 E V12 Cabriolet.

The Brabus 800 E V12 Cabriolet is the most powerful Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertible available with its V12 engine borrowed from the Mercedes S600. Engineers heavily modified the engine with a special crankshaft with a longer stroke and longer pistons in conjunction with increased cylinder bore bumped displacement up from 5.5 to 6.3 liters. Two special exhaust manifolds with integrated larger turbochargers have been added in addition to four water-to-air intercoolers. All the modifications have resulted in a total 788 horsepower and 1,047 lb-ft. of torque. The torque is unfortunately electronically limited to 811 lb-ft.

The 800 E V12 Cabriolet reaches 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds and only takes 9.9 seconds to reach 124 mph. It has a top speed of 231 mph.

If you want the "world's fastest four-seater convertible" it won't come cheap. It's listed at 478,000 euros, which is about $680k.

Toyota Prius Sales to Continue to Grow Despite Lack of Supply

Toyota expects the sales of the Prius to beat the number sold in 2010 despite the fact that Toyota's dealers only have a one day supply of the hybrid. The lack of Prius inventory is due to the March earthquake. In June Toyota delivered 61 percent less Prius models due to the lack of inventory.

The Prius is currently Toyota's number three best selling car after the Camry and Corolla, but it's currently the fastest growing Toyota model. Toyota originally planned to deliver over 180k units this year, but due to the inventory issues, that isn't going to happen. Toyota still expects to beat the 140k units that were delivered in 2010.

Toyota expected production of the Prius to be back at full output by September. This fall Toyota is set to launch the Prius V wagon and early next year the compact Prius C will launch. The Prius plug-in is also going to launch in 2012.

BMW 1 Series Gran Turismo Reportedly in the Works

BMW is developing other variants of the next generation 1 Series including a Gran Turismo that was recently caught testing.

BMW currently has the 5 Series GT and is set to release a 3 Series GT as well. The 1 Series GT will be a more practical five-door version of the third-generation 1 Series and is expected to launch for the 2014 model year. It's based on the same platform as the rest of the new 1 Series lineup and the next-generation Mini family. The 1 Series GT is expected to be front-wheel-drive, which the rest of the next 1 Series models are expected to be as well. The current 1 Series models are expected to be renamed the 2 Series.

Audi has announced the pricing for the highly anticipated RS version of the TT, the 2012 TT RS. The 2012 TT RS is now the top TT and starts at $56,850.

The 2012 Audi TT RS is powered by a turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine. It puts out 360 horsepower and 343 lb-ft. of torque. The 2.5L is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. An automatic transmission is not available. The TT RS reaches 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

The TT RS gets exclusive design elements to separate it from the lesser powered TT models such as a black diamond-patterned grille, large front air intakes and a fixed rear wing spoiler. Oval exhaust pipes, rear diffuser, unique 19" rotor wheels, prominent body sills and exterior mirror housings in matte aluminum finish round out the RS-specific design elements.

The interior of the TT RS gets a 3-spoke sport multifunction steering wheel, aluminum door sills with the RS logo, and RS-specific interior door handles. The interior also gets aluminum accents, heated leather seats and available LED lighting.

The 2012 Audi TT RS goes on sale this summer.

VW Golf R U.S. Debut Set for Early 2012

VW fans and anyone that loves hot hatchbacks in the US should be excited that VW is bringing the high-performance VW Golf R here. The VW Golf R is the successor to the R32 and is an even hotter than the current GTI.

According to VW's product and technology communications manager Mark Gillies, the Golf R was always planned for the US and will finally hit our shores in early 2012.

Unfortunately the Golf R that we will get, will not be exactly the same as the version sold in Europe. The Golf R will be powered by the same 2.0L turbocharged engine, but it will be slightly detuned, with only around 250 horsepower. Tighter EPA regulations are blamed for the slightly lower numbers. US buyers will also not have the option of getting the dual clutch DSG transmission, since the all the Golf Rs headed here will be equipped with the six-speed manual. The good news is that it will still send all of its power to the ground via all four wheels.

Stay tuned...

Mitsubishi has released the fuel efficiency ratings numbers for the electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i and it beats the Nissan Leaf.

The EPA has rated the Mitsubishi i at 126 MPGe in city driving and 99 MPGe out on the highway (112 MPGe combined). The Nissan Leaf is rated at 106 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway with a combined 99 MPGe rating.

The one area where the Leaf still pulls ahead of the Mitsubishi i is the total "real world" driving range. The EPA estimates that the Mitsubishi i has a range of 62 miles, while the Leaf can reach 73 miles on a single charge.

The 2012 Mitsubishi i will go in November starting on the West Coast. It's starts at $27,990 for the base ES model before the $7,500 federal tax credit.

2012 Audi A4 to Get a Facelift

The current Audi A4 launched four years ago, so it's time for a facelift. Although we have yet to see what changes Audi has in store for the revised A4, the last spy shots hint at a revised front-end with tapered headlights and a new grille that is similar to the Audi A6 and A1. The rear end is expected to get new taillights.

The interior is where most of the changes will take place, since the updated A4 is expected to get Audi's new MMI control system and new luxury features from the larger A6.

There will also be some updates under the hood. As with every automaker's refreshed or all-new models the A4's engine lineup will be more fuel efficient and have lower emissions. Audi's upcoming 3.0L turbocharged diesel engine is expected to be offered in the A4 as the top diesel engine.

It's not yet known when the revised 2012 A4 will debut, but it's expected by the end of the year.

VIDEO: Audi RS3 Takes on the BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Buyers in Europe have plenty of models to check out if they are in the market for something as awesome as the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. Audi's RS3 is a easy competitor to the 1 Series M Coupe on paper. If you ignore the extra doors and and all-wheel-drive, the two models have similar stats. Auto Express also sees the comparison and decided to pit the two models head to head in a straight out quarter mile race. Who took home the title...

One vehicle takes home the title, but which one would you rather take home?

Check out the video after the jump.

Lincoln has announced the changes to the 2012 Lincoln MKT crossover and the biggest news for the "not pretty" crossover is that it's now cheaper. Lincoln has dropped the price for the top version, the MKT with EcoBoost by $3,000 bucks to a starting price at $46,295.

The Lincoln MKT with EcoBoost is powered by a turbocharged 355-hp 3.5L V6 with standard all-wheel-drive. The starting price of just over $46k is the same starting price for the 2011 MKT with the standard 270-HP V6 and all-wheel-drive. The base 2012 MKT with the 3.7 V-6 engine and front-wheel-drive starts at $44,300.

To make it easier for those people that do decide to buy the Lincoln MKT, Lincoln has reduced the amount of orderable combinations been by two-thirds.

Infiniti Releases First Teaser of Infiniti JX Concept

Infiniti has released the first teaser image of its upcoming 2013 Infiniti JX seven-passenger crossover.

The Infiniti JX crossover will launch next spring and kicks off the launch of the "Power of 7", an innovative social media campaign designed to initiate conversation about the JX Concept in advance of its global reveal at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 18.

The "power of 7" campaign ncludes a series of seven images that will be distributed exclusively on Facebook every Thursday over the next seven weeks. The Facebook page will include an opportunity to win a trip for two to join Infiniti at the vehicle's reveal at the Pebble Beach Concours.

The 2013 Infiniti JX will debut at the LA Auto Show this November and goes on sale next spring.

2012 Range Rover Sport Gets 8-Speed and Upgraded Diesel

Land Rover has given the Euro-spec 2012 Range Rover Sport a few upgrades in the form of a more powerful 3.0L V6 turbodiesel and a new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.0L V6 turbodiesel gets horsepower bump from 241-hp to 252-hp and is now more fuel efficient thanks to the new 8-speed gearbox.

The 5.0L Supercharged Range Rover Sport remains unchanged. The Autobiography Sport and Limited Edition versions get revised interiors and a new power tailgate has also been added.

"The enhancements to the 2012 Range Rover Sport will ensure this car retains its position as one of the most economical and dynamic high performance SUVs on the market today. With greater levels of diesel engine efficiency, lower fuel emissions and exciting new features, the Range Rover Sport continues to live up to its reputation for power and refinement," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.

Subaru Plans Four New Models by 2016

Subaru has announced a new five year business plan that will run through fiscal year 2016. The plan known as "Motion-V" is includes a plan to introduce three new models, plus a hybrid.

Little is known about the new models, but the first new model will be Subaru's version of the rear-wheel-drive coupe that has been jointly developed with Toyota. The new hybrid is expected in 2013 that could be based off the Hybrid Tourer Concept from 2009.

The Motion-V plan is expected to help Subaru grow its sales to 900k units by 2016, which is up from the current projected 633,000 during the current fiscal year. Most of the growth is expected to come from the U.S. and China.

Honda has announced that the all-new 2012 Honda Civic Si is the official safety car for the IZOD IndyCar Series, which begins this weekend/

Honda's racing subsidiary, Honda Performance Development (HPD) recently modified the Civic Si in order to turn it into the official IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car. Modifications include Sparco seats with four-point racing harnesses, an HPD brake system with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; and Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels.

"The high-performance new Honda Civic Si is the perfect match for the IndyCar Safety Car fleet," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, auto sales. "With its larger and more powerful 2.4-liter engine and enhancements provided by HPD, it is ready to lead the IZOD IndyCar Series field at the Honda Indy Toronto and beyond."

BMW M2 to Get Tri-Turbo Six-Cyl Engine

In May it was reported that BMW had trademarked the M2 name, providing more fuel to the rumors that BMW is planning a 2 Series line and a high-performance M2 version. Now we have a bunch of more details about the supposed upcoming M2, the successor to the 1 Series M Coupe.

Auto Express recently spoke with the BMW's M division managing director, Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, in which he revealed some of his plans for the M2. The M2 will be based on BMW's F21 platform, which will also be the basis for the 2 Series that is due in 2014. BMW is currently testing two new engines for the M2. One is a 3.0L six-cylinder turbocharged engine with 350 horsepower and the second is a tri-turbo engine that will have a similar power output, but with better fuel economy. The six-cylinder engine is expected to be mated to BMW's new DCT semi-automatic transmission, with brakes borrowed from the M3.

This isn't the first time that we've heard rumors about a tri-turbocharged BMW M. There were rumors in May that BMW is planning an X3 M with a six-cylinder that features three turbochargers.

The M2 is expected in 2015.

Kia to Unveil V8 Rear-Wheel-Drive Coupe Concept

Now that Kia has Kia_Logo.jpgbasically revamped its entire lineup, it's time to set its sights on other segments where Kia has never ventured before. Kia is going to unveil a new V8 rear-wheel-drive coupe concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Kia's boss, Hank Lee recently spoke to What Car? and confirmed that Kia needs a halo model to improve its brand image. The rear-wheel-drive coupe will be the first of a series of concepts to gauge public reaction to higher-end Kia models.

The rear-wheel-drive coupe concept will be based on a new rear-wheel-drive Kia sedan that is set to be released in 2012. Kia is expected to release another concept car based on the same platform at the Detroit Auto Show this coming January. A production version of the coupe is expected in 2015.

Kia is also rumored to be working on a new Mazda MX-5 rival in addition to a model to go head to head with the VW GTI.

Looks like Kia will no longer be the bargain basement/ throw away car that it was in the late 90's and 2000's.

Ford Unveils the 2012 Fiesta Sport Special Edition for Europe

Ford's fans in Europe are getting a special edition of the 2012 Fiesta, the 2012 Fiesta Sport Special Edition.

The Fiesta Sport Special Edition, which is only available as the three-door gets a full body kit complete with lowered side skirts and distinctive spoilers for the front bumper and rear hatch. It also gets a chrome grille surround and twin exhausts. The interior of the Fiesta Sport Special Edition gets Ebony Black heated leather sports seats with silver stitching, alloy metal pedals and air conditioning with automatic temperature control.

Buyers can choose between either a 132-hp 1.6L gas engine or a 93-hp diesel.

"The Fiesta boasts a rich sporting heritage and the combination of the free-revving 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol engine and dynamic, contemporary styling inside and out means the Fiesta Sport Special Edition is a worthy addition to Ford's roll-call of performance models," said Roelant de Waard, Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series gets an Early Unveiling

We already knew that Mercedes is working on a Black Series version of the new C63 AMG, but now it looks like the car has just gotten a premature unveiling on the internet.

The photo you see here is our first official view of the 2012 C63 AMG Black Series thanks to SpeedFans.fr. The C63 Black Series was revealed at a Mercedes-Benz drive event in Le Castellet, France. It's rumored that the C63 Black Series will be powered by a more powerful version of the 6.2L V8 in the C63 with around 517 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.

Stay tuned for the official unveiling and all the stats.

Honda and Toyota Still Dominate Car Sales

Ever since the earthquake in Japan in March, Honda and Toyota have struggled to deliver cars to its US dealers, which has had a dramatic affect on sales. But despite the fact that GM and Ford have taken the sales lead in the past few months, Honda and Toyota still lead in car sales in the first six months of this year.

Ford's F-Series and the Chevy Silverado trucks still lead the pack, but even though GM has held the number one selling car spot the past two months, Toyota's Camry holds the number three spot for the last six months. The Honda Accord comes in fourth. The Ford Fusion comes in at number seven and the Chevy Cruze takes the ninth spot, followed by the Chevy Malibu at number ten.

Check out the list after the jump.

2011 Saab 9-4X Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick

The 2011 Saab 9-4X crossover is now the latest model to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

The 2011 Saab 9-4X was rated as good, the highest rating possible in front, side and rollover safety tests. The 9-4X also received a good rating in protection in rear-end crashes.

It's not that surprising that the Saab 9-4X has received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award since the Saab's structural twin, the Cadillac SRX also received the same award.

Volvo Unveils the S60 Performance Project

Volvo Car Australia has created the S60 Performance Project, which is the result of its partnerships with Polestar and Heico.

Volvo has upped the performance of the S60 T6 R Design. The horsepower has been increased to 325-hp and the S60 Performance Project also gets unique 19-inch Heico wheels and a new exhaust system. It also gets a lowered sports suspension with stiffer springs and bushings.

Matt Braid, Volvo Car Australia Managing Director stated, "The S60 T6 already boasts excellent performance credentials and the S60 Performance Project takes that even further. With the extra power, torque and unique wheels and exhaust system the S60 Performance Project really is a very special edition S60.''

ABT Modifies the 2012 VW Beetle and Creates the Speedle

Following the slightly modified 2012 VW Beetle that the guys over at VWVortex created, ABT Sportsline has officially unveiled its first modified version of the 2012 VW Beetle, dubbed the Speedle.

The VW tuning firm will offer upgrades to the exterior and under the hood of the 2012 Beetle. ABT is still ironing out the details for the performance upgrades, but we 2012_VW_Beetle_ABT_Speedle_2.jpg do know that performance kits will be available for the entire engine lineup in Europe. The 2.0L turbocharged engine is expected to get an upgrade to around 240-hp, which is up from the current 200-hp the engine puts out.

ABT is also going to offer a lowered sport suspension with a bunch of new wheel options. A new aero kit with a front spoiler, side skirts, rear spoiler and rear diffuser is also available.

Expect more details from the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Honda CR-Z Mugen RR Concept Debuts in Goodwood

Honda surprised everyone with a new concept at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Honda CR-Z Mugen RR Concept. The "RR" label signifies a more race ready version of the CR-Z Mugen.

The Mugen CR-Z RR Concept gets an exclusive body kit with front and rear aero bumpers, side spoilers and a rear wing. The concept also rides on new 18-inch wheels. Honda hasn't announced what changes lie under the hood, but we do know that the CR-Z Mugen uses a supercharged 1.5L engine with Honda's IMA hybrid system for a total 197 horsepower.

VIDEO: Audi Q3 RS Prototype... 300-HP Sounds Sweet!

Last week it was reported that Audi is working on a high-performance version of the Audi Q3, dubbed the Audi Q3 RS. The reports claimed that the Audi Q3 RS would be powered by the same 300 horsepower 2.5L turbocharged engine as the TT RS and RS3.

Well here is more proof that the hotter Q3 is coming. The guys over at Sweden's Audi_Q3_RS_Prototype_2.5L.pngSportbilen were lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a Q3 RS prototype at a recent press event for the Q3 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Q3 RS prototype had the detuned 2.5L engine from the TT RS and RS3 under the hood. The engine is mated to a seven-speed transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Enjoy the video after the jump.

2011 BMW X3 Recalled Due to Possible Power Steering Failure

BMW has announced a recall for the 2011 BMW X3. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, certain 2011 X3 models have an issue with a control module in the electric power steering that may malfunction.

The recall only affects X3 models built between Aprill 27, 2011 and June 8, 2011. If the control module malfunctions it could result in a sudden loss of power steering assistance. Luckily only 50 vehicles are affected by the recall.

2011 Chevy Caprice PPV Hits the Streets in Georgia and Iowa

GM's all-new police patrol vehicle, the 2011 Chevy Caprice PPV has started to be delivered to law enforcement officers all over the U.S. Georgia and Iowa are among the first to receive the Caprice patrol vehicle.

Forsyth County, Ga. Sheriff Ted Paxton stated, "With its emphasis on the ergonomically designed seats for officer comfort, and enhanced safety features, the Caprice is a vehicle that is made for police work. We've had our vehicles for a month, and we're sold. This will be a worthwhile investment."

After the Caprice's first month on patrol, Paxton's office decided to replace its fleet of 175 other patrol vehicles with Caprice PPVs.

Dennis Hogan, Fleet Services manager in Cedar Rapids, Iowa stated, "We view the police vehicle as an extended office for our officers. We chose the Caprice, because it delivers optimal officer operational space, trunk and storage space, and generally provides our officers the most-suitable operating environment."

The Chevy Caprice PPC is powered by a 6.0L V8 with 355 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque.

Nissan Leaf Sales Pull Ahead of the Chevy Volt

The battle is heating up between the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt was beating the Nissan Leaf in sales through May of this year, but last month the Nissan Leaf took the lead.

Sales of the Nissan Leaf totaled 3,875 so far this year, with a record 1,708 units sold in 2011_Chevy_Volt_new_fr4.jpgJune alone. Sales of the Chevy Volt have totaled 2,745 units, but only 561 units were sold last month.

Nissan's Leaf is catching up due to a slow production start last year. Nissan expects to move 12,000 Leafs this year, but it expects that total to eventually reach 200,000 units annually in the U.S.

GM plans on selling 16,000 Volts this year and hopes to boost that total to 60,000 units in 2012.

It's being reported that Lexus is working on a new smaller hybrid SUV, dubbed the CX 300h that will take on models like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

Autobild is reporting that the new Lexus hybrid SUV will be based on the Toyota RAV4 and should put out around 200 hp.

Land Rover has officially started production of the 2012 Range Rover Evoque. The first Range Rover Evoque to roll off the production line at Land Rover's Halewood plant was a white five-door model, which will be to the British Motor Industry Heritage trust.

Land Rover has already received 18,000 orders for the Evoque and LR has doubled its workforce to over 3,000 employees to help meet the demand for the new model.

"The Evoque is an incredibly exciting vehicle that joins a product range which across both of our brands is the strongest we have ever had - and it fits in perfectly." commented Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer."

Aston Martin has confirmed production of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, but it looks like only 150 will be produced.

AutoWeek.nl is reporting that Aston Martin is only going to produce 150 units of the V12 Zagato with a price tag set at £330,000 or 364,000 Euros. That's unfortunately out of reach for most us, but we can dream...

At 364,000 Euros, the V12 Zagato is over two times as expensive as the V12 Vantage in which it's based on. It's almost double the price of the DBS. Just in case you're wondering, 364,000 Euros converts to around $500,000.

Infiniti to Get an Audi A3 Fighter

Nissan has announced plans to aggressively grow the Infiniti lineup, growing its sales to 500,000 units sold worldwide up from the 150,000 sold in 2010. Nissan plans on reaching that lofty goal by introducing new models to the Infiniti lineup, which will be 10 vehicles by 2017. Infiniti currently only offers seven models.

One new model planned for the Infiniti lineup is a new entry-level model that will sit below the G series in the lineup. The new Infiniti entry-level model will compete with models like the Audi A3 and Lexus CT 200h. Infiniti wants to tap into the entry-luxury segment, since it expects higher sales in that segment than the others. The Infiniti Etherea concept (above) could be a preview of the new entry-level Infiniti.

Infiniti is also working on a new crossover, dubbed the JX and a new EV based on the Nissan Leaf.

Jaguar Engineer Confirms XF Wagon

Jaguar has confirmed plans for a wagon version of the Jaguar XF. Andrew Whyman, XF Vehicle Engineering Manager for Jaguar recently told Carsales, "I can't say when or how much, but it is on the cards."

The last wagon that Jaguar built was the X-Type Estate, which didn't sell that well. Mainly due to the fact that the sedan version of the X-Type was largely unloved. Although the Jaguar X-Type Estate wasn't a success, Jaguar intends on grabbing a piece of the wagon market. The XF Estate will mainly be targeted at Europe, since they actually sell there. It's not known if the XF Estate will be offered in the US, but it's unlikely since BMW and Audi have both stopped selling wagon versions of the 5 Series and A6 here.

Whyman stated, "Ian Callum [Jaguar design chief] will do something different with this. It will be slightly different, with character and panache."

The actual release date for the XF Estate hasn't been confirmed.

Saab Announces New 9-1, 9-6X and 9-7 Models

Even though Saab has had a lot of financial troubles the past few months, which have severely effected production, Saab has announced plans for three new models. Saab has finalized its deals with China's Youngman and Pang Da, which will help it produce the new models.

Saab's new models in addition to the next 9-3, will be the Saab 9-1, Saab 9-6X and Saab 9-7. The Saab 9-1 will be a new entry level Saab, which may have been previewed by the 9-X Air BioHybrid Concept. The Saab 9-6X will be a new larger crossover that will go head to head with models like BMW's X5. Lastly the Saab 9-7 will be a new flagship sedan.

The new models will be based on Saab's Phoenix platform and will be built in China by Youngman.

Spy Shots: 2012 Toyota Camry Unveiling Caught on Video

Here's more new about the 2012 Toyota Camry. Last week the 2012 Toyota Camry was 2012_Toyota_Camry_Leak_New_Video.jpgunveiled to Toyota's dealers at its annula dealer meeting in Las Vegas. A teaser of the headlight was released next to Toyota's President Akio Toyoda.

This morning a single photo of the 2012 Camry showed up and now we have a video of the actual unveiling of the 2012 Camry at the dealer meeting. The video taken by an unknown user, shows the 2012 Toyota Camry rolling on stage to Katy Perry's "Firework." Three 2012 Camry's take the stage the Camry XLE, Camry SE and Camry Hybrid. Although the video isn't shot too close to the stage, this is your first official view of the 2012 Camry.

Thanks to all the leaks, don't be surprised if Toyota officially unveils the 2012 Camry soon.

Check out the video after the jump.

2012 Toyota Camry Photo Leaked?

Last week we got our first official teaser of the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry, thanks to Akio Toyoda. The photo you see here has just surfaced on the internet and it might just be our first full view of the 2012 Camry.

The headlights of the car in this picture closely resemble the headlight in the teaser video from last week.

Although Toyota claims that the next Camry will not be as conservative as the previous models, if this photo is accurate, Toyota still seems to be playing it pretty safe with its best-seller. The 2012 Camry is expected to be powered by the same 2.5L and 3.5L engines as the current Camry.

Ford of Australia's performance division, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) has unveiled its first ever concept car at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne.

The FPV concept is based on the Ford Falcon GT sedan. It's powered by the supercharged 5.0L Boss V8. The outside is finished in all black with a unique matt finish stripe package on the bonnet, rear wing and bodysides. Large brake ducts are incorporated into the modified front facia, black framing has been used to enhance the rear light graphics treatment, and the vehicle carries a unique black GT badging.

The concept rides on 19-inch black alloy wheels with a track-tuned suspension.

Inside the same black theme continues with a black leather interior and all black dash.

Lotus to Unveil Exige-based Rally Car in Frankfurt

It's being reported that Lotus is going to unveil an Exige-based rally car at the Frankfurt Motor Show this fall. Lotus has already announced plans to widen its motorsport activities to offer a race car for the GT rally category.

According to CAR, even though the Exige is no longer produced, a successor is in the works. Claudio Berro, Lotus's director of motorsport, claims that Lotus will homologate the necessary 300 models in time for a January 2012 launch.

It's not yet known which formula (WRC or IRC) the Lotus Exige rally car will compete in.

VW's June 2011 sales were up 35.1 percent over the same period last year, bringing its year-to-date sales up 22.3 percent.

"We've been able achieve a volume in the first half of this year in what took us effectively seven months last year," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "With Volkswagen's broad range of fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles, we expect the momentum to continue into the second-half of the year." 2011_VW_Jetta_new_fr3.jpg

One of the main reasons that VW's sales are improving so much this year is due to the all-new 2011 Jetta sedan, which had a very nice 121 percent jump in sales last month. VW Eos sales increased 17.7 percent, making June the best month for the Eos since May 2009. VW Touareg sales were up 46.9 percent and the VW Tiguan had a nice month with sales up 47.1 percent.

"The first-half of the year marked a period of unprecedented growth as more customers discovered the value, fuel economy, design and driving experience of the Volkswagen brand," said Browning. "As we head into the second half of the year, we expect this trend to continue, particularly in the fall when we add the all-new Passat and Beetle to our dealer showrooms."

All-New 2012 Toyota Yaris Debuts in Australia

Toyota has unveiled the all-new 2012 Toyota Yaris at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne. We've already seen the Euro-spec version of the new Yaris, but this Yaris is debuting with a unique sports kit with a restyled (sportier) front bumper with chrome trim surrounding the lower grille opening, side skirts, alloy wheels, and a unique rear bumper.

The 2012 Yaris is going to go on sale in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year. We're still waiting for the US debut of the Yaris.

Toyota Announces Launch of Electric Scion iQ

Toyota held its annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas earlier this week, in which Toyota's president and CEO Akio Toyoda announced many of the Toyota's upcoming plans.

During the meeting Akio Toyoda officially announced the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry that will hit showrooms this fall. He also announced Toyota's EV and Hybrid plans. The Prius V, which is a larger Prius is still on track for a US launch this fall and the smaller Prius C will be released in early 2012.

On the EV front, the RAV4 EV will be released next year as well as an electric version of the Scion iQ. We've already known about the upcoming RAV4 EV and the Prius plug-in hybrid, but this is the first we're hearing a launch date for the iQ EV.

The Scion iQ EV will go head to head with other EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MIEV. The Scion iQ EV only has a range of 50 miles. Toyota has yet to release any pricing details for the Scion iQ EV, but at least we now know that it will be released within the next year or so.

BMW has announced the 2012 BMW 3 Series Edition Exclusive and M Sport Edition packages for the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible.

The Edition Exclusive trim package includes 18-inch V-spoke alloy wheels painted in Space Grey. The package also includes an optional exclusive exterior Mineral Grey paint color. Inside the seats are wrapped in Dakota leather and the can be ordered in an exclusive Pearl Grey color with grey contrast stitching or in black with white contrast stitching. Bamboo grain anthracite wood trim also adds a special touch.

The M Sport Edition features an M Sport suspension and 18-inch Ferric Grey light-alloy wheels with a double-spoke design. Shadow line window recess finishers, black-painted exterior mirrors and and integrated sports diffuser are also included in the package. Inside the sports seats feature M detailing. There's also an M Sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and an M aluminum driver's footrest. The sports seats are wrapped in Dakota leather with bue contrast stitching and special "M" piping.

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

Half of 2011 is already over! Wow! Well here's the list of the top-10 best selling cars in June.

June was a good month for many of the automakers. Chrysler's sales were up 30%, Ford 14% and GM saw sales increase 10%. Nissan even saw its sales rebound with sales up almost 12%. Toyota and Honda are still feeling the effects from the earthquake and tsunami, with sales down 21%.

The top-10 list is still dominated by the Big 3, with only one Toyota making the list.

Check out the full list after the jump.

2012 BMW 528i Gets Turbocharged 4-Cyl and Auto/Start Tech

The 2012 BMW 528i is getting one big change for the new year and it takes place under the hood. BMW has announced that the 2012 BMW 528i will be powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder.

The 2.0L four-cyl is going to replace the current six-cylinder in the 528i. It puts out 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque, which is more than the current 3.0L six-cylinder. Even better, the max horsepower is achieved at 5,000 rpm, which is 1,500 rpm lower than the old six-cylinder and peak torque comes on at 1,250 rpm. The new 4-cylinder features a twin-scroll turbocharger and with its s all-aluminum crankcase is lighter and more compact than a 6-cylinder engine of equivalent power.

In addition to BMW EfficientDynamics technologies like Brake Energy Regeneration, the 2012 BMW 528i will feature Engine Auto Start/Stop. This feature switches off the engine when the car is stationary at traffic lights or in slow-moving traffic in order to minimize idling.

In the end the 2012 528i reaches 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than the 2011 model and will deliver up 15 percent better fuel efficiency.

BMW Unveils the 2012 6 Series M Sport Package

BMW has released another version of the all-new 2012 BMW 6 Series, the 6 Series M Sport.

The M Sport package adds an M aerodynamics package, LED foglights, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats with Alcantara/leather upholstery and an M leather steering wheel.

The M Sport package is available on both the 6 Series Coupe and Convertible.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Production Confirmed

Aston Martin has confirmed that the Aston Martin V12 Zagato will enter production. Aston Martin's website states, "Only a strictly limited run of road going cars will be built."

Aston Martin's website also lists the Zagato in its model line-up.

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is the result of a partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato, which dates back 50 years. The V12 Zagato features a handcrafted aluminum body and is powered by a 510 horsepower 6.0L V12 engine.

Expect an official press release soon.

Xplore Makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Even More "Trail Rated"

Venchurs has unveiled the latest Xplore Adventure Series vehicle, the Xplore Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Xplore Jeep Grand Cherokee is a hand-built Jeep for Jeep enthusiasts that love getting their Jeeps dirty. The Xplore Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in a signature special matte clear titanium grey paint with a charcoal leather interior by Katzkin. It gets a modified suspension package plus additional hardware from Mopar, BF Goodrich and Method Racing.

"Over the last 70 years, Jeep has defined true off-road capability and introduced the world tothe great outdoors - the Jeep Grand Cherokee is an amazing vehicle," states Jeff Wyatt, CEO of Venchurs. "We feel privileged to offer this special version designed to deliver more power, capability and satisfaction to faithful Jeep enthusiasts."

The Mini Inspired by Goodwood now has a price tag, which starts at £41,000 in the UK. The "Rolls-Royce of Minis" is officially on sale in the UK, with deliveries starting in March 2012.

Mechanically the "Mini Inspired by Goodwood" is equivalent to the Mini Cooper S, but this special Mini gets new exterior and interior tweaks that were developed by Rolls-Royce. On the inside it gets Corn Silk beige leather on the center console, instrument panel, seats and doors. The dashboard and door handle surfaces are finished in Walnut Burr.

Only 1,000 units will be produced with an unspecified number headed to the US. US pricing hasn't been released, but the UK price is equivalent to $65,671.

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