August 2011 Archives

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition Debuts

Toyota's history of building off-road capable SUVs goes back to the FJ40 and Land Cruiser models. Toyota's FJ Cruiser was created on that long heritage and continues to be part of a dying breed of vehicles that are more at home on the trail than the paved road.

Toyota has teamed up with Trail Teams to create the 2012 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition. The special edition FJ Cruiser comes exclusively in a red exterior with black painted door handles, bumpers and front grille. To improve visibility at night, a pair of off-road lights sit on top of the FJ Cruiser.

The FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition is powered by a standard 260 horsepower 4.0L V6 engine that gets an extra air filter to trap more dirt. To make it even more capable once the road ends, the special edition FJ Cruiser gets Bilstein shocks, TRD wheels mated to BFG All-Terrain tires, rock rails and skid plates for the engine, fuel tank and transfer case. The FJ Cruiser also gets a standard rear differential lock and Toyota's A-TRAC traction control system.

Mazda is going to officially unveil its newest crossover, the CX-5 in Frankfurt next month.

Mazda has released the photos of the CX-5 that is debuting in Frankfurt, but we have yet to see the US-spec CX-5. Mazda's manager for the CX-5, Hideaki Tanaka recently gave some new info about the US-spec CX-5 at a press event.

The CX-5 will hit our shores in early 2012 with a starting price around $20,000. The CX-5 is more than five inches shorter than the CX-7 crossover and will compete with the Honda CR-V, VW Tiguan, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The CX-5 will be powered by a 2.0L gas engine, which puts out 165 horsepower in the Euro-spec CX-5. A 2.2L diesel will also be offered in Europe and will come to the U.S. in 2014.

The US-spec CX-5 will debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

Honda Releases Specs for the Refreshed 2012 Pilot

We've already seen the official photo of the 2012 Honda Pilot, but now Honda has released the specs for the refreshed crossover.

The 2012 Pilot gets a refreshed front end, which includes a new three bar grille. Honda claims that the new grille gives the 2012 Pilot a "more sophisticated crossover SUV appearance." The interior updates mainly focus on the instrument panel, which includes a more intuitive button layout.

Under the hood the 250-hp 3.5L V6 gets refinements that improve its fuel economy, giving the 2WD Pilot the title of "the highest fuel economy of any 8-passenger SUV." The 4WD Pilot is now has the highest fuel economy for any mid-size 4WD SUV. The 4WD Pilot gets 17/24 mpg, while the 2WD gets 18/25 mpg. It was thought that the Pilot would get a new six-speed automatic, but instead the Pilot is keeping its five-speed.

The 2012 Pilot starts at $28,470.

2012 VW Beetle Online Configurator Pops Up

The all-new 2012 VW Beetle is almost here and if you can't wait to get online and spec it out the way you want it, VW has just launched the online configurator.

The 2012 Beetle starts at $19,765 for the base Beetle that is powered by a 170 horsepower 2.5L five-cylinder. The base Beetle comes with 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system. Adding an automatic transmission pushes the price up to $20,895.

The more awesome turbocharged Beetle starts at $23,395 and is powered by the same 200-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L engine as the GTI. A fully equipped Beetle Turbo will go for about $30,000.

2012 Nissan GT-R GT3 Race Car Debuts in France

Nissan has unveiled the Nissan GT-R GT3 race car that has been jointly developed by Nismo (Nissan's motorsports division) and JR Motorsports.

Although the GT-R GT3 race car has just been unveiled, its already had its first race. This past weekend the GT-R GT3 was entered in the fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Magny-Cours circuit in central France. After 98 laps drivers Richard Westbrook and David Brabham managed to finish eighth out of 35 entries.

Driver Richard Westbrook stated, "The car ran like clockwork. I had to keep reminding myself that this was its first race! It's excellent on tyres, so it means you can lap at the same speed at the end of a stint as you can at the start. For a brand new car to run the whole of the three-hours without a problem is a great achievement. It's easy but rewarding to drive and I must admit that, even after completing two one-hour stints, I didn't want to get out of it."

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Audi S7 Gets Twin-Turbo 420-HP V8

Audi has decided to release three new S models at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, the S6 and S6 Avant, S8 and the S7 you see here.

The S7 is now currently the most powerful version of the A7 with its new twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8. The 4.0L V8 is the same engine in the S6 and S6 Avant models. It generates 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft. of torque. The S7 reaches 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The 4.0L V8 is mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The S7 comes standard with an adaptive air suspension, matte black brake calipers with S7 logos and 19-inch wheels. Inside the S7 gets S badges and the sport seats are covered in a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara.

The Audi S7 is scheduled to arrive in the spring.

Subaru Teases the XV Crossover a Second Time

Subaru has released a second teaser photo of the 2012 Subaru XV crossover that is going to have its world debut in Frankfurt. The Subaru XV was originally previewed as a concept at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year.

The two teaser photos show that the XV will remain pretty close to the concept. Subaru expects production to kick off by the end of year. The XV is expected to be offered in the U.S. as the Impreza Outback.

Honda Teases the 2012 Civic Hatchback Euro-Spec.

Honda is set to debut the all-new 2012 Civic (European-spec.) at the Frankfurt Motor Show in about two weeks. Honda has released several spy photos and early specs for the new Civic, but now we have our first official look at the Civic's rear end.

The European Honda Civic is completely different than the U.S.-spec Civic and is only going to be offered as a five-door hatchback. The 2012 Civic is also going to get a new 147-hp 2.2L diesel.

Stay tuned for the official debut coming in September.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Audi S8 Unveiled with 520 HP

Audi has unveiled the high-performance version of the A6, the S6 and S6 Avant. Joining those models is the high-performance version of the A8, the S8.

The flagship S8 is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 that generates 520 2012_Audi_S8_V8_2.jpghorsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque. The 4.0L V8 replaces the old 5.2L V10. The 2012 S8 reaches 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and as a electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. Compared to the old 5.2L V10, the new 4.0L is almost 23 percent more fuel efficient thanks to "cylinder on demand" technology and a start-stop system. The 4.0L V8 is mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Audi S6 and S6 Avant Unveiled with 420-HP

Audi has unveiled the high-performance S6 and S6 Avant models ahead of their debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The S6 and S6 Avant are powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 that pumps out 2012_Audi_S6_V8.jpg420 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque. It reaches 0-62 mph in as little as 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. The 4.0L V8 is mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The new engine replaces the old 5.2L V10 and is 25 percent more fuel efficient. A start-stop system and a new "cylinder on demand" cylinder management system help contribute to the reduce fuel consumption of the new engine.

The S6 and S6 Avant come standard with an adaptive air suspension, black brake calipers with S6 logos and 19-inch wheels. S6 models also stand out with four chrome-tipped tailpipes and a rear spoiler.

Other standard equipment on the S6 and S6 Avant includes xenon headlights, LED taillights, the MMI audio system with Bluetooth and ten speakers. Buyers can choose to add LED headlights, adaptive light, an ambient lighting package, convenience key, head-up display, and the parking system plus with 360° camera.

The S6 models are expected to be released in the spring.

After 63 years its finally time for Land Rover to replace the Defender. Land Rover is committed to replacing the Defender by 2015. To gauge public opinion on where the automaker should take the next Defender, Land Rover is unveiling the DC100 concept in Frankfurt.

The DC100 concept isn't going to debut until next month, but in the meantime Land Rover has released this preview.

Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover stated, "Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."

John Edwards, Global Brand Director, Land Rover added: "Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.

We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalize the details of the new vehicle. One thing's for sure, it's going to be an exciting journey, and we can't wait to get going."

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Ford Evos Concept Unveiled

Ford has just given us a preview of its new concept car that is being unveiled next month in Frankfurt, the Evos Concept.

According to Ford the Evos concept showcases "Ford's first truly global design language." The Evos concept is a four-door, four-seater that is powered by a lithium-ion plug-in hybrid system.

"The Ford Evos Concept unites three key elements which are at the core of our One Ford global product strategy: outstanding design, smart technologies and fuel economy leadership," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development.

"With its compelling design and innovative technology experience, this is a clear demonstration of the exciting vision we have for the Ford brand. While you will never see this car on the road, the next generation of Ford products around the world will display many of the distinctive design ideas and advanced technologies it showcases."

The concept is 177-inch long, 77-inches wide and 53-inches high, with a 108-inch wheelbase. Ford says that the design of the Evos is an evolution of Ford's current kinetic design language.

"Both the exterior and interior of the Ford Evos Concept clearly communicate that this is a driver's car, so that as soon as people see the vehicle, they will immediately want to get in and drive," said executive design director Moray Callum.

Porsche Wants a Ferrari Rival

Porsche is reportedly working on a new supercar that will go head to head with Ferrari, according to a recent statement from Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller.

"It always irritated me that the 911 tops out at 250,000 euros and then the 918 continues starting at 750,000 euros."

Mueller sees the gap between the 911 and 918 as the target for a new Porsche model. Mueller stated that the new Porsche could cost between 250,000 euros to 400,000 euros.

Porsche is also considering a new flat-eight boxer engine for the new supercar. Porsche engineers are reportedly frustrated with the fact that Porsche's current six-cylinder cannot be expanded beyond 4.0-liters. Also if Porsche wants to fully compete with Ferrari, it needs an eight-cylinder engine.

The new Porsche supercar is part of Porsche's plans to increase its global sales to 200,000 units by 2018, up from 97,000 in 2010.

Infiniti Set to Release Front-Wheel-Drive Models

Acura has been criticized basically from its inception for its lack of rear-wheel-drive models to compete against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Infiniti has been the opposite of Acura with its lineup largely composed of rear-wheel-drive models. But it looks like Infiniti is about to change that with the introduction of front-wheel-drive models.

The last front-wheel-drive Infiniti was the Nissan-Maxima based I35 that was discontinued in 2004. Infiniti is now set to enter the front-wheel-drive segment again with the introduction of the JX crossover that was unveiled in Pebble Beach earlier this month. The JX is available either with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Infiniti is set to release another front-wheel-drive model, which will be a small hatchback based on the Etherea concept.

Larry Dominique, vice president of product planning for the Americas at Nissan North America Inc. stated, "Customers really don't care that much about the platform beneath their car. They care about the car. We can create more interior space if we get away from the technical requirements of rear-wheel."

Dominque also acknowledged the performance advantages that come with rear-wheel-drive based platforms, "There is a performance perception with rear-wheel," he says. "But we're comfortable that we don't need rear-wheel to deliver the performance we need. And some of our vehicles, like the G and the M cars, will remain rear-wheel."

Mini Paceman Production Confirmed...Again

Mini took the wraps off the Paceman concept earlier this year and due to its near production ready design, it was pretty much a given that the Paceman would be produced. Seen as a coupe version of the Mini Countryman, the Paceman will share most of its parts with the five-door Countryman.

Although there have been several rumors that the Paceman would be produced, Mini chief Kay Segler has confirmed to Car and Driver that the three-door will be built. The Paceman will be built at the same plant as the Countryman. There is a possibility that the Paceman name may not be used for the production model that is expected as a 2013 or 2014 model.

Help Hyundai Build the 2012 Azera

Hyundai has yet to officially unveil the all-new 2012 Azera, but Hyundai is now asking for your help in configuring the Azera the way you want. There is also a survey at the end.

According to the online configurator, a fully optioned 2012 Azera will cost around $37,000.

Click here to check out the configurator. The 2012 Azera is set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Alfa Romeo has released a preview of what we will see in Frankfurt next month, a revised version of the 4C Concept.

The original 4C Concept was unveiled in Geneva earlier this year. The biggest difference between the Alfa Romeo 4C concept that we saw earlier this year and the one we will see next month, is the new "fluid metal" exterior paint color that replaces the bright red from the original.

The 4C Concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.75L engine that puts out more than 200 horsepower. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum, the concept only weighs around 1,800 pounds, can reach 0-62 mph in under five seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.

The exciting part about the 4C Concept is that Alfa Romeo has already confirmed plans to build it and that it will eventually make it to the U.S. as well.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Peugeot HX1 Diesel Hybrid Concept Unveiled

Peugeot has released the first official photos of its HX1 Diesel Hybrid Concept that will it will be showing off at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

According to Peugeot, the goal of the concept was to create a "vehicle for up to six people, offering strong styling, that is sporty and efficient and at the same time giving a unique driving sensation."

The HX1 features an MPV design with four reverse-opening 'half-scissor' doors that allow the six occupants to enter the vehicle. The concept is powered by a 204 horsepower 2.2L diesel mated to a 95 horsepower electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid technology is also going to be used in the 508 RXH hybrid that is going on sale in the spring.

VIDEO: 2012 Porsche 911 is Officially Awesome!

Porsche has already released the first official photos and details for the 2012 Porsche 911 ahead of its world debut in Frankfurt next month.

To get us ready for its debut next month, Porsche has released a minute long video that shows off the new 2012 911.

If you missed out on all the first details for the 2012 911, the new 911 Carrera starts at $82,100 and is powered by a 350 horsepower 3.4L boxer engine. The 911 Carrera S starts at $96,400 and is powered by a 400 horsepower 3.8L boxer engine.

Check out the video after the jump.

2012 Acura TSX Special Edition Released

Acura has announced a special edition version of the 2012 TSX sedan, the 2012 TSX Special Edition. According to Acura, the special edition TSX is meant to "evoke the fun-to-drive 4-cylinder Acuras of the past."

"The Acura TSX has long been known for its high-revving 4-cylinder engines and sporty driving nature," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "With the new Special Edition, the TSX becomes even more youthful and sporty in character, furthering its appeal to performance-minded buyers."

The 2012 TSX Special Edition gets a more aggressive front spoiler, new rear bumper fascia, unique side sills, a "Special Edition" badge on the trunklid and 17-inch alloy wheels with a dark grey background.

Inside the special TSX gets leather seats with black suede inserts. The seats, steering wheel and shift knob get red stitching and the red theme continues on the instrument cluster with its red lighting. There aren't any upgrades to the 2.4L engine.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Leaked?

The Hyundai Genesis sedan got a facelift for the 2012 model year, but we've yet to see what updates lie in store for the Genesis coupe. The first photos of what appear to be the 2013 Genesis coupe have appeared online.

The 2013 Genesis coupe was apparently caught in South Korea at a Hyundai facility and the photos were uploaded on the GenCoupe forums. If these photos are real, it appears that the revised Genesis coupe is going to get a face that looks closer to the new Hyundai Veloster. The rear of the Genesis has been graced with LED taillights. Under the hood the V6 is expected to get the same updates as the sedan, which should increase its output to 333 horsepower.

Unfortunately we will have to wait until the Detroit Auto Show in January for the official unveiling of the Genesis coupe.

Chevy Cruze Eco Averages 64 MPG Over 9,552 Miles

An Australian couple recently drove a Chevy Cruze Eco 9,552 miles and managed to average 64.42 miles per gallon during the trip. The trip was sponsored by Shell Oil.

John and Helen Taylor drove the unmodified Chevy Cruze Eco almost 10k miles and managed to average a fuel economy rating that is 50 percent better than the 42 mpg EPA rating that the Cruze Eco has.

The Cruze Eco is powered by a turbocharged 1.4L Ecotec engine that puts out 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. When the engine is mated to a six-speed manual the Cruze Eco gets 28 mpg city and 42 mpg on the highway. Equipped with the six-speed automatic the Cruze Eco gets 26 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.

Toyota Ukraine Unveils the Euro-Spec 2012 Camry

Toyota unveiled the all-new US-spec 2012 Camry earlier this week and now we have our first look at the the Camry that will be sold in Russia and other parts of Europe.

Is this Camry more attractive than the one we're getting here in North America? The "Russian" Camry gets a different, some would say, more attractive face. The rear end is also slightly different, although everything under the skin is the same as our Camry.

GM and LG to Partner on Electric Vehicles

General Motors and LG Group have announced a new partnership to jointly design and engineer future electric vehicles. The new partnership builds on the current relationship built on LG's work as the battery cell supplier for the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera extended-range EVs.

The new partnership will help GM expand the number and types of electric vehicles that it makes and sells.

"Many solutions for tomorrow's transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy," said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. "Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process."

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Road-Ready Version Unveiled

Aston Martin has taken the wraps off the road version of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato race car, which will debut next month in Frankfurt.

Aston Martin is only planning on producing 150 units of the V12 Zagato, which is based on the V12 Vantage. The mostly handmade V12 Zagato is powered by Aston Martin's 6.0L V12 engine that packs 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque.

The first units are expected to be delivered next summer with a starting price at £330,000.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Unveiled

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been officially unveiled ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The all-new B-Class MPV is now lower and sportier than its predecessor. It's overall design borrows cues from Mercedes' current design language. Mercedes claims that the new B-Class will be more agile and efficient than the past generation.

The 2012 B-Class can be powered by a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. The gasoline engine is a 1.6L that puts out either 122 horsepower or 156 horsepower. The diesel engine is a 1.8L unit that generates either 109 horsepower or 136 horsepower. The engines can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch transmission. There are rumors about a more powerful AMG version.

Will the B-Class come to the U.S.? It's a possibility...

Lexus Teases the 2013 GS 450h Hybrid and GS F-Sport

Last week we got our first look at the all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350, but it's being reported that Lexus is planning on unveiling another GS model in Frankfurt next month.

The next GS model to debut will be the 2013 GS 450h hybrid. The 2013 GS 450h hybrid will pair a V6 engine with an electric motor, although official specs have not been released. From the teaser photo, the GS 450h will look largely the same as the GS 350, with the exception of new hybrid badges. Although it is being rumored that the GS 450h hybrid will be the first Lexus to get full LED headlights. Sales are expected to kick off early next year.

The GS F-Sport as the name implies is a sportier version of the GS 350. It gets a new aero package, with a sportier front bumper and grille. It also gets larger alloy weeks and brakes and an improved suspension. The GS-F is most likely going to debut at the SEMA show in November, in Las Vegas.

VIDEO: Jay Leno and GM's Ed Welburn Walk Around the Cadillac Ciel

Last week GM unveiled the Cadillac Ciel Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The four-door, four-seat convertible immediately impressed the crowd and showed off the direction that Cadillac's Art & Science design language could go in.

The Cadillac Ciel concept featured classic American style in a futuristic concept. Although it may have drawn styling cues from past Cadillacs, the powertrain was totally modern. The Cadilac Ciel concept featured a 425-hp 3.6L hybrid powertrain.

Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac stated, "It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac's vision for the future."

During the show Jay Leno was lucky enough to get to spend some time with GM's VP of Global Design Ed Wellburn.

Check out the video after the jump.

VIDEO: 2012 Toyota Camry Commercials Hit the Web

Just in case you missed the news, Toyota officially unveiled the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry yesterday.

The 2012 Toyota Camry will officially hit dealerships in October, but that doesn't mean the marketing for the new Camry has to wait until then. The first batch of commercials for the new Camry have hit the internet. Toyota is definitely milking the fact that the new Camry is also the official pace car of the 2012 Daytona 500.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2013 Audi A8 Hybrid Unveiled

"The power of a six-cylinder model, the fuel consumption of a four-cylinder version." Not really something that we haven't heard before, but that is how Audi is describing the upcoming Audi A8 Hybrid. Audi has released the official specs and photos of the 2013 Audi A8 Hybrid before its world debut in Frankfurt next month.

The Audi A8 Hybrid is powered by a 2.0L TFSI four-cylinder and an electric motor that together puts out 245 horsepower and 345 lb-ft. of torque. The power is transmitted to the ground via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. The A8 Hybrid gets 37 mpg U.S. and can travel up to 62 mph on electricity alone. It can also travel up to 1.86 miles using the power supplied by the lithium-ion battery pack.

The 2013 Audi A8 Hybrid is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2012.

Aston Martin Unveils the V12 Vantage GT3 Race Car

Aston Martin has unveiled the V12 Vantage GT3 race car, which is the successor to the DBRS9.

The V12 Vantage GT3 race car is powered by a modified version of Aston Martin's 6.0L V12 engine. It packs 600 horsepower and is mated to a Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission with semi-automatic paddle shifters.

The V12 Vantage GT3 will be eligible for numerous race series around the world including the FIA GT3 Championship, ADAC Masters, Nürburgring VLN, Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT, Belcar and Open GT among others.

The official testing of the V12 Vantage GT3 will start in October with the first deliveries starting early next year. The starting price has been set at £298,000.

Dodge Caliber Says Bye Bye in November

The Dodge Caliber has hit the end of the road. It's being reported that the last Dodge Caliber will roll off the line in November.

Are we surprised? The Dodge Caliber replaced the Dodge Neon in 2006, but even though the Neon was a hit when it launched in 1994, its replacement failed to succeed. The Neon was plagued by quality issues when it first launched, but at least there was a waiting list for the small Dodge/ Plymouth. The Dodge Caliber also launched with quality issues, but even if it had a more "popular" SUV-like shape, its interior and horrible CVT transmission kept it from flying off dealer lots.

Well five years later, Chrysler has decided to finally kill the Caliber. According to Allpar the last Caliber will be produced in November. It's replacement is going to come from Fiat, but it's not known if it will be released by the time the Caliber disappears. It's rumored that we will get our first preview of the small Chrysler at the 2011 LA Auto Show in November.

2012 Hyundai Veloster Gets 40 MPG and Starts at $17,300

Hyundai has announced the official pricing and specs for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, its new three-door coupe.

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts at $17,300 with the six-speed manual. Adding the six-speed dual-clutch transmission brings the starting price to $18,550. The Veloster is powered by a new Gasoline-Direct-Injected (GDI) 138-hp 1.6L engine. When its mated to the six-speed manual, it gets up to 40 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in the city. The six-speed dual-clutch gearbox gets slightly lower gas mileage at 38 mpg on the highway, but does 1 mpg better in the city at 29 mpg.

Hyundai is reportedly also working on a 208-hp turbocharged version of the Veloster.

2012 Toyota Camry to Pace Daytona 500

Yesterday Toyota officially unveiled the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry. Toyota also announced that the all-new Camry will serve as the official pace car for the 2012 Daytona 500.

"We're thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season's biggest race," said Ed Laukes, TMS corporate manager of motorsports marketing. "We think the Daytona 500 is the perfect place to showcase the all-new Camry -- which will go on sale this fall. We knew when the opportunity arose to partner together with Daytona that it would be an extraordinary way to highlight our new Camry, as well as reinforce Toyota's commitment to NASCAR and its fans."

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, stated, "NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway provide a uniquely American platform for manufacturers to display their technology, innovation and overall automotive excellence. After nearly eight years of competing at NASCAR's highest level, I'm pleased to have the 2012 Toyota Camry pace the Daytona 500."

The 2012 Toyota Camry will kick off "The Great American Race" on February 26, 2012.

Bentley is going to officially debut the 2012 Continental GTC convertible next month in Frankfurt. The 2012 Continental GTC builds on the GT coupe, which is definitely not a bad thing.

The GTC is powered by the same 6.0L 12-cylinder engine as the coupe. It packs 567 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 rear torque bias. All that power accelerates the GTC from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 195 mph.

The second-generation GTC rides on 20-inch wheels and features an interior that is more spacious and luxurious than the first model. Buyers can choose between a range of wood veneers and leather colors.

"The GTC has always been the most emotional model in the Continental range and a showcase for Bentley design. With its tailored soft top, the GTC is a pure British convertible true to those classic Bentleys of the past. However, the technology, performance and overall design excellence invested in this model means that we are now writing a new chapter for the Bentley convertible driver." -Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.

2012 Toyota Camry Officially Unveiled and Starts at $21,995

Toyota has officially unveiled the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry, which is the seventh-generation of the popular sedan.

The 2012 Camry gets a new exterior that is much for of an evolution of the current Camry than anything extreme or revolutionary. According to Toyota, "The 2012 Camry employs an elegantly simple but modern form, emphasizing a wider, lower stance than previous models." Inside the new Camry is now more spacious and inviting thanks to a new dashboard design, modified seat locations, redesigned seats.

Camry buyers will be able to choose from three different powertrain options. The four-cylinder has now been upgraded to a 2.5L that puts out 178 horsepower, an increase of nine hp, and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque. It's rated at 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The 3.5L V6 packs 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft. of torque. its 21/ 30 mpg rating places it at the top of the class. The green choice, the Camry Hybrid is now more efficient than before and gets a new 2.5L engine that replaces the old 2.4L. The Camry Hybrid puts out a total 200 horsepower and gets 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway/41 mpg combined.

The all-new Camry and Camry Hybrid will offer six different model grades to choose from. Camry will be available in the entry-level L, value-driven LE, premium XLE and sporty SE grades. The XLE and SE are available with four-cylinder or V6 engines. The Camry Hybrid is offered in LE and XLE grades.

The base 2012 Camry L starts at $21,995 and the Camry SE V6 starts at $26,640, while the base Camry Hybrid starts at $25,900. The 2012 Camry models will start arriving at dealerships in October.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Ferrari Unveils the 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider

Ferrari has unveiled the convertible version of the 458 Italia, the 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider. The Ferrari 458 Spider now holds the title as the world's first mid-engined car with a retractable hardtop.

The 458 Spider is set to debut next month in Frankfurt. It's powered by a naturally-aspirated, direct-injection 4.5L V8 that packs 562 horsepower. The engine is mated to a dual-clutch F1 paddle-shift transmission.

The retractable hardtop is made entirely of aluminum and takes only 14 seconds to retract. The hardtop fits ahead of the engine bay and still enables the 458 to have luggage space behind the seats.

2012 Porsche 911 Officially Unveiled, Starts at $82,100

The Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and Porsche has now officially unveiled the 2012 911 ahead of its world debut at the show.

The Porsche 911 is now 48 years old and continues to retain the same basic shape. The all-new 911, which is now in its seventh-generation has a 3.9 inch longer wheelbase, but the overall height has been reduced. The new body employs the use of steel and aluminum making it 100 pounds lighter than the outgoing 911 and thanks to improved aerodynamics the body retains the Cd value of 0.29.

Inside designers created an interior that draws cues from the Panamera and Carrera GT models. The rising center console and high-mounted shift lever or gear selector more closely integrate the driver within the cockpit.

The base 911 Carrera is powered by a new 350 horsepower 3.4L boxer engine, while the 911 Carrera S is powered by a 400 horsepower 3.8L boxer engine. The 911's engines can be mated to either the PDK dual-clutch transmission or a new seven-speed manual. The 911 Carrera S with the optional PDK gearbox reaches 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the 911 Carrera with PDK takes 4.4 seconds. Top-track speed for the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera is 188 mph and 179 mph, respectively.

The 2012 911 will hit U.S. dealerships in February 2012. The 911 Carrera Coupe will have a base MSRP of $82,100, while the 911 Carrera S Coupe's base MSRP will be $96,400.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Subaru Names its New Sports Car the BRZ

Subaru and Toyota have been jointly working on a new rear-wheel-drive coupe for a while now and although Toyota has been kind enough to give us several previews with its concepts, Subaru has been pretty quiet. Up until now Subaru's only preview of its version of the new coupe came in the form of a preview of the "architecture" of the new coupe, earlier this year.

Subaru has just announced a name for its new sports car, the Subaru BRZ. "BRZ" stands for "Boxer engine", "Rear-wheel drive" and "Zenith." Subaru claims that the name "embodies ultimate passion for the new sports car and confidence in its distinctive trademark and core technology: the "Horizontally-Opposed Subaru Boxer engine."

The Subaru BRZ is going to be officially unveiled next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with production kicking off in the spring of 2012.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Officially Unveiled with 285-HP Pentastar V6

Chrysler has officially announced the updates to the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. And as previously reported the biggest changes to the 2012 Wrangler are under the hood.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is ditching the old, slow 3.8L V6 for Chrysler's new 3.6L Pentastar V6 that has 285 horsepower (40 percent improvement) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (10 percent improvement). The 2012 Wrangler also gets a new five-speed automatic, which helps the Wrangler get 21 mpg.

"Jeep Wrangler - the most capable and iconic vehicle in the world - has a new heart but retains the same soul for 2012," said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Our new 3.6-liter V-6 engine gives the ever-capable Wrangler a completely new, more refined on-road driving experience - complete with more fuel efficiency, power and torque.

"Available in 2-door and 4-door models and boasting an untouchable combination of efficient design, open-air freedom, significant towing capability, improved real-world drivability, and unique 4x4 systems that deliver unmatched off-road prowess, Jeep Wrangler once again resets the benchmark and offers consumers the ultimate vehicle for any driving adventure," Manley added.

BMW X1 U.S. Launch Postponed Indefinitely

The BMW X1 crossover was officially unveiled back in 2009 and sales were expected to start in the U.S. in 2010. Due to higher than expected demand the X1 launch in the U.S. was pushed to early 2011 and then again to the fall of 2011 and most recently it was pushed until the end of 2012. It looks like it's now pushed back again, but this time the word BMW is using is "indefinite."

This newest announcement means that we now have no idea when the X1 will be coming to the U.S. We may have to wait until the midlife refresh for the X1 happens in about two years.

Ford and Toyota Announce Partnership for a New Hybrid System

Ford and Toyota have announced a new partnershop for a new hybrid system to be used in trucks and SUVs. The new co-developed hybrid system will be used by Ford and Toyota in its rear-wheel-drive light trucks and SUVs.

"This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "Ford achieved a breakthrough with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and we intend to do this again for a new group of truck and SUV buyers - customers we know very well."

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota executive vice president, Research & Development, said: "In 1997, we launched the first-generation Prius, the world's first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid. Since then, we have sold about 3.3 million hybrid vehicles. We expect to create exciting technologies that benefit society with Ford - and we can do so through the experience the two companies have in hybrid technology."

Mazda Ends RX-8 Production Due to Low Sales

Automotive News is reporting that Mazda has stopped production of the RX-8 sports car due to falling sales and higher emissions standards.

Production of the RX-8 reportedly ended in July and sales are expected to end, by the end of the year. Sales of the RX-8 last year were 49 percent lower than in 2009 and sales through July 2011 were down an additional 21 percent.

The RX-8 was powered by Mazda's 1.3L rotary engine, which put out 232 horsepower. The death of the RX-8 means that Mazda is again without a rotary powered model in its lineup. Mazda claims that the rotary engine will appear again in a future Mazda, while sources claim that engineers are currently working on a next-generation 1.6L code-named 16X.

Infiniti Announces 2013 IPL G Convertible Coming in the Spring

Infiniti has confirmed that the IPL G Convertible that we saw in Paris last year will be heading to showrooms this coming spring.

IPL, which stands for Infiniti Performance Line will be getting its second model after the IPL G coupe. Think of IPL has Infiniti's answer to BMW's M division. The 2013 IPL G Convertible is powered by a 348 horsepower 3.7L V6 that is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It will also get larger brakes, 19-inch wheels and a unique red leather interior.

Expect the 2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible to debut at the 2011 LA Auto Show this November.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Leaked

What appears to be the first official photo of the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has leaked onto the internet. The new B-Class is going to debut in Frankfurt next month.

The 2012 B-Class MPV has grown a bit. Although this is our first look at the exterior of the new B-Class, Mercedes-Benz has already given us a preview of the interior. There will be two gasoline powered models, the 122-hp B180 and the 156-hp B200. Diesel fans will be able to choose from a 109-hp B180 CDI or a 136-hp B200 CDI.

Stay tuned for all the official photos and specs next month.

Chrysler Ending Dakota Production this Week

Chrysler is expected to end production of the Dakota midsize pickup this week at its Warren truck plant. The end of the Dakota means that 39 temporary workers have already lost their jobs, but there could be more layoffs. The total layoffs could reach 150 or more.

The Dakota debuted in the late 1980's and was dubbed the first "midsize" pickup. The small truck segment has seen its market share slip dramatically since the Dakota was first launched. In 2000 Chrysler sold 177,000 Dakotas, but last year only 13,000 were sold. Ford has also announced plans to end production of its small truck, the Ranger by the end of the year.

Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne has already announced plans to replace the Dakota with a car-based "lifestyle" model for the Ram brand. Marchionne has not announced when the Dakota's replacement will be released.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 VW Up! Unveiled

VW has revealed the 2012 Up! before its official debut in Frankfurt next month. The production version of the Up! comes four years after the original concept debuted in 2007.

VW's new entry-level model stays true to the concept, but gets a more conventional front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. The Up! is based on VW's new MQB platform. In Europe it will be powered by a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder TSI gasoline engine. The base 59 horsepower version gets 56 mpg on the European cycle and the more powerful 74 horsepower version gets 54.6 mpg. The 1.0L engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed clutchless auto. Even though the Up! is a new entry-level model for Europe, VW hasn't announced any plans for a diesel-powered Up!

The three-door Up! will go on sale in Europe in December 2011, with a five-door version set to be released in the second half of 2012. VW has also announced plans for a plug-in electric Up! Sadly there are no plans to released to he Up! in the U.S.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Unveiled with 415-HP

Mercedes-Benz has unwrapped the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG, the fastest SLK ever.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG is powered by Mercedes' new AMG 5.5L V8 that puts out 415 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque. The V8 is mated to a standard AMG 7-speed automatic transmission with three modes. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed at 155 mph. The new V8 is based on the AMG 5.5L biturbo V8 that powers the E63 AMG, CLS63 AMG, S63 AMG and CL63 AMG models, minus the turbochargers. The 5.5L in the SLK gets AMG Cylinder management that allows the engine to shut off cylinders to improve efficiency.

The SLK55 AMG stands apart from the lesser powered SLK models with its darkened headlights and taillights, black detailing on the front fascia and the vent gills in the front fenders. Inside the SLK 55 gets an AMG steering wheel and instrument cluster and the standard Airscarf neck heating system.

Mercedes-Benz has not announced the pricing for the 2012 SLK55 AMG.

All-New 2012 Subaru Impreza Starts at $17,495

Subaru has announced the pricing for the all-new 2012 Subaru Impreza, which starts at $17,495 for the base 4-door Impreza 2.0i with a five-speed manual. The starting price of the 2012 Impreza starts at the same price as the outgoing 2011 model.

The base Impreza mated to a CVT starts at $18,495. The base 5-door Impreza 2.0i starts at $17,995 when equipped with a five-speed transmission and $18,995 for the CVT-equipped model. The 2012 Impreza is also offered in 2.0i Premium, Sport Premium and Limited models. The 4-door 2.0i Premium starts at $18,795, while the 5-door Premium starts at $19,295. For the 2.0i Limited, prices start at $21,595 for the 4-door and $22,095 for the 5-door version. The Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium starts at $20,295 and is only offered in the 5-door body style.

The 2012 Subaru Impreza is powered by an all-new 148 horsepower 2.0L four-cylinder boxer engine that gets 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

Kia is no longer the same bargain basement brand that it was in the late 90's and early 2000's. The automaker now has its sights on much higher segments and intends to show this off at the Frankfurt Motor Show, next month. Kia has given us a preview of its newest concept, a four-door sports sedan with rear-wheel-drive.

According to Kia the new concept is "powerful, dynamic and forward-looking." It signals Kia's new design direction.

"No matter from which perspective you look at it - this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off," says Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Design Officer, proudly.

"I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter."

GM Unveils the Cadillac Ciel Concept at Pebble Beach

Lexus unveiled the 2013 Lexus GS 350 and Infiniti chose Pebble Beach to unveil the 2013 Infiniti JX Concept. GM also unveiled a new concept at the show, the Cadillac Ciel Concept, pronounced "C-L," the French translation for sky.

The Cadillac Ciel concept is a four-door, four-seat convertible that takes Cadillac's Art & Science design philosophy to new heights.

"Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future," said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. "Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey."

The Cadillac Ciel concept is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of Cadillac's 3.6L direct-injection V6 mated to a hybrid system with a lithium-ion battery. The unveiling of the concept at Pebble Beach was the perfect spot since, the GM team behind the Ciel envisioned driving California's Highway 1 in an open car while the sun sets, from Big Sur north to Monterey.

"The Ciel is about the romance of the drive," said Dean. "It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac's vision for the future."

2013 Infiniti JX Concept Debuts at Pebble Beach

After seven teaser photos the 2013 Infiniti JX concept has been officially unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

"The JX Concept advances the Infiniti design language, sharing design cues of the Infiniti Essence concept, yet interprets those elements in ways suitable to the needs of a family luxury crossover," said Nakamura. "From the dramatic front grille and headlight design to the crescent-cut D-pillar and greenhouse shape, the JX Concept shines as a fresh, bold alternative to the many flavors of vanilla currently dominating the three-row luxury crossover segment."

The JX will be a new three-row, seven passenger crossover for the Infiniti brand when it launches next spring. Sadly due to all the teaser photos, the unveiling is pretty blah. The overall design is typical for a seven passenger crossover as it tries to grab would be SUV and minivan buyers.

The JX will be powered by a V6 mated to a CVT that can send the power to either the front or all the wheels.

The production version of the JX will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

2013 Lexus GS 350 Officially Unveiled in Pebble Beach

After countless spy photos and teasers the 2013 Lexus GS 350 is officially here!

The all-new Lexus GS 350 is meant to show the new identity of Lexus, according to the automaker. Lexus claims that the new GS 350 is "a sport sedan with world-class luxury and evocative design."

"Today, buyers in the mid-size luxury segment want a more engaging driving experience, styling that makes a statement, and a roomier interior package," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "With the all-new GS, we're giving them what they asked for, and more." 2013_Lexus_GS_350_027.jpg

The overall design of the Lexus GS 350 isn't too surprising thanks to the preview we got with the LF-Gh hybrid concept, but either way it is more "dynamic" than the outgoing GS. Lexus designers worked hard to design the new GS 350 to be both strong and agile. It draws inspiration from the Lexus LFA supercar and is built on a completely new platform with a wider stance and stiffer structure.

So what powers the new GS 350? The 2013 GS 350 is powered by a 3.5L V6 that puts out 306 horsepower. It reaches 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds and the engine is mated to a six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission.

"The new GS 350 combines luxury, outstanding driving dynamics and world-class technology features in a new and bold design," said Templin. "We expect this car to occupy a key position both at the core of the Lexus brand and at the heart of the mid-luxury sedan segment."

Maserati's Jeep Based SUV to be Produced by Chrysler

Maserati's upcoming SUV is going to be produced at Chrysler's Jefferson North plant in Detroit, according to the Automotive News.

What will Maserati's new SUV look like? Well it's based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and we will get a preview of the SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, when the concept version debuts.

The biggest concern is how much Maserati and it's parent Fiat can differentiate the Maserati from the Grand Cherokee.

"The important point is that whatever Maserati we launch will be a product that respects the entire heritage, image, characteristics, and customer expectations of this brand," Harald Wester, Maserati's CEO, said in an interview earlier this year. "What ends up in the dealer shops should be 100 percent Maserati."

We do know that the Maserati SUV will be powered by the Grand Cherokee's HEMI V8.

Infiniti Releases the Final JX Teaser Ahead of Official Debut

Finally! Infiniti has released the seventh and last teaser photo of the 2013 JX crossover concept that is debuting tonight in Pebble Beach.

Come back later today to finally see the JX's official debut.

The current generation Honda Accord is entering its last model year, so Honda hasn't really made any changes to the 2012 Accord. The base 2012 Accord LX starts at $22,150, which is the same as the 2011 model.

The only change to the 2012 Accord is the addition of a USB audio interface that is now standard on all models. The base Accord is powered by a 177-hp 2.4L four-cylinder, while EX models get a 190-hp 2.4L and the Accord V6 models are powered by a 271-hp 3.5L V6. The four-cylinder engines can be mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic, while the V6 is mated to a standard five-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic gets 23/34 mpg and the V6 gets 20/30 mpg.

The all-new 2013 Honda Accord is expected to debut next spring. It's reportedly going to be a little smaller than the current model. The new Accord will also get a new hybrid version that will be sold alongside the four-cylinder and V6 powered models.

Toyota Officially Unveils the US-Spec 2012 Yaris

Toyota has officially unveiled the U.S.-spec 2012 Toyota Yaris, which goes on sale this fall. We've already seen the European and Australian versions of the Yaris, so there's not really anything surprising here, but we now have the official specs. 2012_Toyota_Yaris_020.jpg

The all-new Yaris will only be offered as a three-door and five-door hatchback. The sedan version will not be returning. According to Toyota, hatchback styles dominate the subcompact segment and are preferred by 70 percent of car buyers in the category. The new Yaris is 2.9 inches longer and its wheelbase has been increased by two inches. The height of the new Yaris has also been reduced by 0.6 inches. Cargo room has reportedly increased by 68 percent.

The 2012 Yaris is powered by the same 1.5L four-cylinder engine that puts out 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to either a new four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. According to Toyota the 2012 Yaris will get a maximum 38 mpg.

Toyota has alraedy announced the pricing for the Yaris, which starts at $14,115 for the three-door, while the five-door Yaris starts at $15,140.

BMW to Launch High-Performance Diesel 5 Series

Next spring BMW is reportedly going to introduce a high-performance diesel engine for the 5 Series that is being tuned by BMW's M division. The fact that the engine is being developed by BMW's high-performance M division, it does not mean that the diesel will be badged as an M5.

The high-performance diesel will likely get a name similar to the the 1 Series M Coupe, when it's officially unveiled. According to TheDetroitBureau, it could get a name like 550dM or 550dXM for an all-wheel-drive version.

So what can we expect from the high-performance diesel? It's being reported that the engine will be the same basic 3.0L diesel that is currently in the BMW lineup, but with some significant changes like a new cylinder head. The engine will also get three turbochargers: one to help with turbo lag and two more turbochargers to give the engine it's power. The 3.0L diesel will have less horsepower than the 560 horsepower M5, but will get significantly more torque.

The new diesel engine will launch first in the 5 Series, but will most likely make its way under the hood of the X5, X6 and 7 Series.

2012 Toyota Tacoma Photos Leaked in Promo Video

It seems like everyday there are new photos of an upcoming new model that leak onto the internet. We've seen photos of the 2012 Toyota Camry, Porsche 911 and Honda CR-V. Now we have the first unofficial photos of the revised 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup.

Toyota already announced that a new Tacoma was coming this fall, but are these photos actually of the revised 2012 Tacoma? We'll have to wait and see. These screen grabs are reportedly from a promo video for the 2012 Tacoma. If these photos are real, the Tacoma mainly gets changes up front. Toyota already said that the engines will largely carry over, but we have yet to see what changes take place on the inside.

Cadillac Converj Concept Officially Announced as the ELR

Last week it was reported that GM had again given the green light to the Converj electric concept. Today GM has officially confirmed those reports as the automaker has just announced that the Cadillac Converj will enter production as the Cadillac ELR.

The Cadillac ELR will be adds a new luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology to the Cadillac lineup. The Cadillac ELR will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions, but the four-cylinder engine kicks in when the battery is depleted.

"The concept generated instant enthusiasm," said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. "Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present - the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving."

Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design, stated "There's no mistaking it for anything but a Cadillac, an aggressive, forward-leaning profile and proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2."

First Official 2012 Porsche 911 Photos Leaked

The all-new 2012 Porsche 911 isn't scheduled for its world debut until the Frankfurt Motor Show, next month, but the first photos have leaked out this morning. Although the 2012 Porsche 911 looks very similar to the outgoing 911, it is new, but continues to keep its iconic shape.
The new 911 is two inches longer than the last-generation and gets new six-cylinder engines. The base Carrera is powered by a 3.4L direct-injected flat-six, that generates 350 horsepower, while the Carrera S gets a 3.8L that packs 400 horsepower. Both engines can be mated to either a seven-speed manual or seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission.

The interior of the 2012 911 borrows many design elements from the Panamera.

Stay tuned for more details next month.

GM Planning Nissan Juke Rival?

The latest reports claim that GM is mulling a competitor to the Nissan Juke. According to GMI, GM is currently working on two Chevy crossovers based on GM's global Gamma sub-compact platform. The first is an MPV-type of model that will seat up to seven, while the second model will be a more traditional five-passenger crossover. A new third model is a possibility.

Sources claim that GM is considering a third Gamma based crossover that would be similar in size to the Nissan Juke. The final decision has yet to be made and there is a possible alternative, which would take the form of a wagon version of the next-generation Chevy Cruze.

The first Gamma crossover will launch in 2013.

GM Shoots for 50 MPG Chevy Cruze Diesel Coming in 2013

GM has already confirmed plans to launch a diesel-powered version of the popular Chevy Cruze. The Chevy Cruze diesel is coming in 2013 and according to sources, GM is hoping it gets around 50 mpg.

GM already has the Chevy Cruze Eco that gets up to 42 mpg, but GM hopes to do even better with the diesel-powered model. The Chevy Cruze Eco only gets 42 mpg when it's equipped with a 6-speed manual, while the automatic Eco only gets 39 mpg. The benefit of the diesel engine is that GM wants the diesel to get 50 mpg with an automatic transmission.

The automaker has also confirmed that the diesel engine that we will get in the U.S. will be the 2.0L engine that is already sold in Europe.

2013 Ford Mustang to Get a Facelift and More Power

An all-new Ford Mustang isn't expected to debut in 2014 as a 2015 model, but unfortunately that is still about three years away. In the meantime it's being reported that the Mustang will get a facelift for the 2013 model year.

The current Mustang will get a revised face that should keep it fresh until the all-new Mustang arrives. The front-end borrow styling cues from the Shelby GT500, like the protruding upper grille and LED lights. The rear taillights are also expected to get a new flat design.

The current 3.7L V6 and 5.0L V8 engines will remain, but are expected to get slightly more power to keep the Mustang competitive with the Chevy Camaro. The 2013 Shelby GT500 is also expected to get a boost in horsepower, which could be close to 600 horsepower.

Although the revised Mustang will be for the 2013 model year, we could get our first preview at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Jaguar C-X16 Concept Sketch Released

Jaguar is going to be showing off a new concept at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. To give us a little preview of the concept, Jaguar has released this single sketch of the C-X16 "production concept" car.

The C-X16 concept is meant to show the future of Jaguar and according to the automaker, the concept is "a precursor to future Jaguar sports cars that will aim to set new class benchmarks in design, vehicle dynamics and technology".

Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum recently stated, "Great Jaguars have always been beautiful, innovative and have looked firmly to the future. The finished C-X16 concept has the potential to do these things while retaining the ability to surprise, to excite and invigorate."

Since the concept is being labeled a "production concept" car, it's likely that what we will see next month, will be close to a future production model. It's actually being reported that the concept is based on a shortened version of the Jaguar XK platform and that the production version will be a two-seater available in both coupe and convertible versions.

Fiat's "500 by Gucci" Set to Debut at New York Fashion Week

Fiat has announced that the U.S. debut of the "500 by Gucci" will happen during New York Fashion Week, next month. Fiat and Gucci recently teamed up to create limited-edition versions of the Fiat 500 and 500 Cabrio, dubbed the "500 by Gucci."

The special Fiat 500 by Gucci models get exclusive design elements like a signature Gucci green/red/green web stripe that runs along the entire bodyside of the Fiat 500 by Gucci, or across the length of the cloth top on the Fiat 500c by Gucci model. Chrome cursive "Gucci" signatures complete the door frames and uniquely designed, retro-inspired 15-inch aluminum wheels with interlocking "GG" hubcaps and brake pads, which have been lacquered in signature Gucci green are also included.

The interior of the Fiat 500 by Gucci gets two-toned seats in Frau leather with the Guccissima print, glossy and satin chromes and a hand-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, finished in a two-tone ivory and white combination.

Chrysler has announced the changes to the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the biggest change is that the base Grand Cherokee now starts at $26,995, which is about $3,000 cheaper than the 2011 model.

Other changes to the 2012 Grand Cherokee include a new six-speed automatic transmission for V8 models and electro-hydraulic power steering for V6 models. The V6 Grand Cherokee now gets slightly better gas mileage at 17/23 mpg for the rear-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee compared to 16/23 mpg for the 2011 model. The four-wheel-drive V6 gets 16/23 mpg, while the 2011 model got 16/22 mpg. The fuel economy numbers for the V8 have yet to be released.

How did Chrysler manage to knock $3k off the base price of the Grand Cherokee? Chrysler hasn't released all the details, but it looks like the base Laredo no longer has a standard eight-way power driver's seat and many of the option packages are now more expensive.

The Wrangler also gets updates for the new year, with the most important update being the new 290 horsepower Pentastar V6 that can be mated to a new five-speed automatic. The 2012 Wrangler starts at $22,045.

2013 Lexus GS 350 Photos Leaked before Pebble Beach Debut

The all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350 is set to debut this week at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, but as usual photos of the all-new Lexus have leaked out ahead of the debut.

The photos here show a GS 350 AWD that looks a lot blander than the LF-Gh concept and the teaser photo of the new Lexus. It could be the white exterior or the fact that this isn't the more powerful V8-powered GS, but it doesn't look as exciting as we expected.

Stay tuned for all the official photos and details later this week.

2012 Honda Fit Gets a Facelift and More Standard Stuff

Honda has announced the changes to the 2012 Honda Fit, which includes updates to the outside and inside plus more standard features.

The 2012 Fit Sport gets include a new front grille and bumper, black headlight bezels and a dark "machined surface" finished alloy wheels. The base Fit doesn't only gets the addition of body-color mirrors and updated wheel covers. The inside of the 2012 Fit is now quieter thanks to additional sound insulation measures in the floor, front fenders and A-pillars, plus thicker front corner-window glass. New beverage holders, ambient lighting and dark metallic dashboard components round out the changes to the inside.

The Fit Sport now gets steering wheel mounted audio controls and Bluetooth on the navigation equipped model. Two new colors are also available: Blue Raspberry Metallic and Orangeburst Metallic.

All Fit models are powered by the same 117-hp 1.5L engine that can be mated to either a five-speed manual or automatic. The standard Fit equipped with the automatic transmission gets 28/35 mpg, while the manual transmission models get 27/33 mpg.

Is Honda Planning a Pickup Based on the CR-V?

Honda has some big things planned, but one interesting new model that we're hearing rumors about is a new small pickup based on the CR-V/ Civic platform. Honda's current pickup, the Ridgeline is getting updates for the 2012 model year, but it's expected to be dead after 2013. Does that mean that Honda is planning a new smaller pickup?

According to AutoWeek, Honda may be planning a pickup based on the new Honda CR-V that is coming this fall. The smaller pickup could take over for the Ridgeline in 2013. Would buyers be more interested in a smaller Honda pickup than the larger Ridgeline?

Athough the compact pickup is still a rumor, Honda is going to release a new Accord next spring, which is expected to be a little smaller than the current model. The 2013 Accord will see the return of a hybrid version and the four-cylinder and V6 versions will also be offered.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Unveiled

Smart has given us a preview of its third-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive model that is going to be officially unveiled in Frankfurt next month.

The Smart ForTwo ED has been criticized for being slow with a poor driving range and high price tag. Smart hopes to fix these issues with the third-generation that gets a new electric motor and lithium-ion battery. The new ForTwo ED now has 73 horsepower, up from 40 horsepower in the previous model. The 0-60 mph time is now less than 13 seconds and it has a top speed of 75 mph. Thanks to the new lithium-ion battery, the Smart ForTwo ED has a range around 87 miles.

Smart plans to sell the ForTwo ED in 30 markets worldwide and production is expected to be boosted to 10,000 units up from the limited 2,000 for the previous gen-two model.

Next Lincolns to Get Push Button Transmissions and All Glass Roofs

Ford has been very vocal lately about its plans to hopefully fix the Lincoln brand. In June it was announced that Ford is going to invest $1 billion in new Lincoln models. Now were getting more details about Ford has planned.

Ford recently gave a preview of the future Lincolns and some of those details have been released. Future Lincolns will move further from the Ford lineup. According to Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, that means, "No more badge engineering."

To differentiate Lincoln models from Ford, Ford has assigned 100 people to Lincoln's design team. Previously Lincoln designers were also part of the same team that designed Fords. Lincoln also now has an exclusive powertrain development team, which will create unique powertrains with eight-speed transmissions.

Future Lincolns are also reportedly going to get push button shift controls for the transmission and fully retractable glass roofs.

The first all-new Lincoln will be the MKZ, which will be previewed in concept form at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Next-Gen BMW M3 to Get Twin-Turbo Six-Cyl

The next-generation BMW 3 Series is almost here with spy photos and leaked images popping up everywhere. We still have to wait a bit for the next M3, but the speculation of what will power the next M3 continues.

Most of the sources and rumors agree that the next M3 will ditch its current 4.0L V8 for a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine, but how many turbochargers the engine will feature is still debatable. Auto Express recently reported that BMW is going to launch a six-cylinder engine with three turbochargers, but now Autocar is saying that the 3.0L engine will only have two turbos. Autocar also claims that the new engine will not be a version of the current N54 and N55 3.0L engines.

The new 3.0L is expected to put out around 450 horsepower, which is more than the current 414-hp V8. A detuned version of the engine will also be used in the next-generation 1 Series M Coupe.

Spy Shots: 2012 Honda CR-V Gets Unwrapped

One of the most anticipated new cars for the 2012 model year is the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V. While, we've pretty much seen all of the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry, we've only seen the CR-V in "concept" form and a some spy photos.

China Car Times just published some photos of the all-new CR-V. Unlike the spy photos, it looks like whomever captured these shots basically just ripped the covers off. The photos give us our first look at the all-new CR-V, which as expected, stays pretty close to the concept. Unlike the all-new Civic, the 2012 CR-V looks like a positive step forward, which brings more style to the small crossover.

Lotus Announces the Evora GTE Road Car Concept

Lotus has announced plans to unveil the Evora GTE Road Car Concept in Pebble Beach this weekend. The Evora GTE Road Car Concept is a more road friendly version of the Evora GTE race car.

It's powered by a 420 horsepower 3.5L V6 that is mated to a sequential AMT racing gearbox. The power is put on the ground via ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels with center-lock hubs shod with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires.

Although Lotus hasn't confirmed if the concept will be produced, the automaker describes the concept as not "merely a paint scheme or homage to a race car - this is a serious race car that makes for a very serious road car".

The 2012 GMC Sierra 3500 HD pickup recently won's "Heavy Duty Hurt Locker" comparison test.

"We procured similarly equipped trucks from Ford, Ram and GMC and put them through the paces, towing up and down some of the toughest grades in the country covering a total of 2,200 miles," said Mike Levine, editor of "When we analyzed the data, the GMC Sierra 3500HD simply outperformed the trucks from Ford and Ram."

"Customers choose full-size trucks for their capabilities," said Rick Spina, vehicle line executive for full-size trucks. "For 2012, we built on the foundation we created in 2011, with engineering changes and additional validation designed to make the most capable heavy-duty pickup even better. Based on's test results, it looks like we got the job done."

For enhanced fifth-wheel towing, engineers strengthened the pickup box sills and other box structures, rear springs, u-bolts and box mounts, and upgraded the shock tuning. As a result, Sierra 3500HD now has a best-in-class tow rating of 23,000 pounds, up from 21,700 pounds in 2011.

VIDEO: 2012 Tesla Model S and Roadster Enjoy the Road Together

The upcoming 2012 Tesla Model S and Tesla Roadster recently hit the road together. This video shows Tesla's two models driving together for the first time.

Check out the video after the jump.

Honda Gives the Euro-Spec 2012 Civic an Updated 2.2L Diesel

Honda hasn't officially unveiled the European version of the 2012 Civic, but the automaker has released more details about the all-new Civic. Honda is going to officially unveil the all-new Civic at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The 2012 Civic will be offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback. The 2012 Civic will get an updated 2.2L iDTEC diesel four-cylinder engine that puts out 147 horsepower and emits only 110g/km of CO2.

Too bad Honda doesn't offer a diesel engine in the U.S.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid to Debut

Next month Toyota is going to officially unveil the plug-in hybrid version of the popular Toyota Prius at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Prius plug-in hybrid is based on the standard Prius, but gets a new 5.2 kilowatt battery pack, on board charger and revised software that extends the EV range and allows the hybrid to reach up to 60 mph on electricity alone. Toyota has yet to reveal the official specs, but the Prius Plug-in hybrid is expected to go on sale early next year.

2012 BMW 3 Series Spied Without any Camouflage

Here is probably our first unofficial look at the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan thanks to some new pictures that have surfaced online on the F30Post forums.

Although these photos aren't the high res photos we're used to, it's easy to tell that the new 3 Series is going to look a lot like a mini 5 Series, just take one look at the taillights. The new 3 Series is expected to enter production in November 2011, with sales starting in the U.S. sometime next spring. Stay tuned for the official unveiling, which is going to happen in November.

2012 Lexus CT 200h Lets You Know it's Coming

Lexus launched the CT 200h, it's fifth hybrid last year and now for its second model year Lexus has made one change that benefits people outside of the vehicle more than the driver.

The 2012 Lexus CT 200h gets a a new Vehicle Proximity Notification System that helps alert pedestrians and cyclists of an oncoming vehicle under certain conditions by emitting a low audible warning sound. I guess you won't be able to sneak up on people anymore...

Lexus is also adding on new exterior color, Nebula Gray Pearl, which replaces Smoky Granite Mica.

Mercedes-Benz to Release a CLC Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz is reportedly going to release a second Shooting Brake model after the CLS Shooting Brake debuts in 2012. Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche has reportedly given the green light to a smaller CLC Shooting Brake.

The CLC Shooting Brake will be based on the upcoming CLC four-door coupe. The CLC is basically a mini CLS. Just in case you're not familiar with the term "Shooting Brake", it's the term that is used for wagons that only have two long doors, instead of the typical four-doors on most wagons.

The CLC Shooting Brake is expected to sell alongside the CLC coupe that will go on sale in the U.S. in 2013.

Lincoln MKZ Concept to Debut in Detroit

Ford is readying its next-generation Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion sedans. According to sources, Ford is going to unveiled a concept version of the Lincoln MKZ at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January.

The next Lincoln MKZ isn't expected to get a redesign that will be a radical departure from the current sedan. Instead the next MKZ will get an evolutionary redesign that will retain its front and all-wheel-drive versions. Four and six-cylinder engines and a hybrid version will continue to be offered.

The production version of the MKZ is expected to debut shortly after the concept, possibly as soon as the Chicago and New York Auto Shows.

Infiniti Continues to Tease the JX Crossover

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Infiniti has been releasing a teaser of the 2013 JX crossover every week, with the sixth teaser photo released this week. We've now seen the front, side and rear of the JX, just none of the photos have a complete shot of the seven-passenger crossover.

Most of us are probably tired of seeing teaser photos of the JX and the 2012 Toyota Camry, but next week Infiniti will officially debut the JX at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Remember how GM killed plans to build the Cadillac Converj Concept? Well it's being reported that those plans are back on. The Cadillac Converj Concept was unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and was based on the same Voltec powertrain as the Chevy Volt. Shortly after it was unveiled, it was reported that GM had given the Cadillac hybrid the green light. Unfortunately it didn't take that much longer after that for GM to officially kill those production plans. Now two years later a GM source claims that the Cadillac Converj is back in GM's product plans.

According to an inside source at GM, the Converj was recently approved for production. The Converj is expected to launch in 2013 as a 2014 model. It will get a "Generation 1.5 Voltec" powertrain, and will most likely get a three-letter name like the rest of the Cadillac lineup. The 1.5 Voltec powertrain is an updated version of the powertrain currently in the Chevy Volt, but not the next-generation powertrain that will go into production in 2015.

Buying a Hyundai Equus No Longer = Free Apple iPad

When Hyundai launched it's flagship sedan, the Equus the automaker boasted about the fact that the owners manual was actually loaded on an Apple iPad that came with the car. The high tech owners manual replaced the traditional paper owners manual that we're used to. Sadly, buyers of the 2012 Equus will be surprised to see that there will not be an iPad in their glove box.

Hyundai only intended on including the iPad as a one-year promotion, so the 2012 Equus, which should arrive in showrooms next month will have the remains of a tree in its glove box that will serve as the owners manual.

If Equus buyers still would like the electronic version of the owners manual, it's available to download on their own iPads.

2012 Toyota Camry Photo Leaked by the Canadians

Following the second teaser of the 2012 Toyota Camry that Toyota released yesterday, we now have our first leaked photo of the all-new Camry.

The official photos of the Camry have been embargoed until later this month, but our friends in Canada have let photos of the new sedan slip out.

What do you think of the new Camry?

ABT Modifies the Audi Q3 Crossover

The German tuning company ABT Sportsline has unveiled its latest tuning kit for the Audi Q3 crossover.

The kit includes a new front grille, bumper with large air inlets, rocker panels, a rear apron that features quad tail pipes and a rear spoiler. ABT also provides power upgrades to the Q3's engine lineup. The 2.0L TSI engine gets a bump in horsepower from 211-hp to 250-hp, while the 170-hp version gets a power upgrade to 210-hp. The 140 horsepower 2.0L TDI engine gets 170 horsepower and the 177 horsepower 2.0L TDI puts out 195 horsepower.

ABT also adds a new lowered suspension and there are various wheel options ranging from 18 to 20-inches.

There's still no official word if the U.S. will ever get the Audi Q3.

2012 Ford Focus Electric Gets a New Solar Option

The idea of never having to pay for gas or electricity to power your car is about to become a reality for future Ford Focus Electric owners. Ford and SunPower have teamed up to provide a rooftop solar system that will allow owners nough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging.

The 2.5 kilowatt SunPower system will produce an estimated 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

"Under the 'Drive Green for Life' program, Focus Electric owners can reduce their total cost of ownership by generating enough energy from their high efficiency SunPower rooftop solar system to offset the electricity required to charge the vehicle at night," said Mike Tinskey, Ford director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. "It's an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products and other green initiatives."

While the system will allow Ford Focus Electric owners the ability to offset the energy they use to charge their vehicles at home, the only problem is that the system will cost around $10,000 after the available federal tax credits.

What's the Most Disliked New Car of 2011?

This one shouldn't be too hard, but I guess there are quite a few new releases this year that aren't very desirable. Fortune magazine recently took a poll of auto reviewers, asking them what their most disliked car of 2011 is. What new model did they choose over all the others?

The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet takes home the award.

Fortune stated, "Not since the Mercedes R-class, and, before that, the Pontiac Aztek has the overall verdict been so bruisingly negative. The CrossCabrio has been tarred for being lumpy, dumpy, shaky and sluggish."

What do you think? I'm sure there are some other cars that you could add to this list...

Consumer Reports Continues to Discuss Honda's Decline...

Honda's all-new 2012 Civic launched in the spring and its been a constant topic of discussion, but not in a good way. Many critics feel that Honda has lost its way and the new Civic is the proof, since it is not as impressive as the generation it replaced. Consumer Reports is not a fan of the new Civic and even went as far to remove it from its "recommended" list. Now Consumer Reports is going even further by documenting Honda's decline in several of its recent tests.

In the past, Honda's models dominated Consumer Reports' Top Picks list, but as recently as 2006, Honda's redesigned and new models have failed to impress. Back in 2006 the previous generation Civic was released and Comsumer Reports gave it a score of 78, six years later the 2012 Civic only managed an overall score at 61. Other Honda models like the Honda Odyssey have also declined in competitiveness. The Odyssey went from a 91 in 2005 to an overall score of 83 points. Two of Honda's hybrids are far from recommended, the CR-Z and Insight.

According to Consumer Reports there seems to be a theme with Honda's new models that have lead to the lower scores. Consumer Reports complains that Honda's vehicles have stopping distances that are too long, too much road noise and lower quality interior materials. Probably the worst thing: They aren't as fun to drive as past Hondas.

Honda's are still pretty reliable and have great resale value, but how long can that sustain the brand. Honda has needed to improve the Acura brand for years, but now it looks like it also needs to improve its core business as well. What do you think? Is Hyundai the new Honda?

BMW Launches Ultimate Drive App That Lets You Share the Best Roads

BMW has announced the launch of its new "The Ultimate Drive" mobile application. "The Ultimate Drive," is a social navigation mobile app that allows users to not only discover the best roads to drive in over 50 countries, but to rank, comment and share those roads via Facebook, email or other GPS devices.

"As a company, we pride ourselves on our ongoing uses of technology to build stronger relationships with our customers," said Ed Robinson, President and CEO for BMW Group Financial Services. "Not only does 'The Ultimate Drive' app allow us to broaden our awareness as an organization to a vast audience, but more so, it provides us the ability to nurture a two-way dialogue with our customers in an engaging way."

Future versions will integrate the ability for BMW Financial Service customers to gain points and achieve high rankings.

"The Ultimate Drive" is available for both the iPhone and Android devices.

2012 Toyota Camry: Toyota Releases Another Teaser

Toyota has released a second teaser photo of the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry. Following the release of a photo of the front fascia, Toyota has given us our first official look at the taillights.

We don't have much else to report on other than the fact that the all-new Camry will debut later this month and will probably have its world debut at the LA Auto Show this fall.

Saab May Drop the 9-3 Name from its Successor

The next-generation Saab 9-3 is scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2013, but there may be one big change. The replacement for the 9-3 may get a new name.

"There's a chance we might move away from that," said Tim Colbeck, president of Saab Cars North America.

The name for the 9-3's replacement may draw from the brand's heritage, although no final decisions have been made. Colbeck did state that the next model will be an "edgy" reinterpretation of Saab's past designs.

Saab has also reportedly restarted plans to build a modern day version of the Saab 9-2 that was produced in the 1940s and 1950s. Plans for the 9-2 were restarted after Saab received its latest round of funding.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Hyundai to Unveil Next-Gen i30

Hyundai plans to unveil a second-generation of the i30 at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month before it officially goes on sale early next year. The new i30 was designed at Hyundai's design and engineering center in Russelsheim, Germany.

The new i30 adopts Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design language. Hyundai's European design chief Thomas Burkle stated, "When designing the new i30, we used strong, fluid lines to sculpt a car which looks athletic while exuding a sense of constant motion, even when stationary."

"From the rendering, you can see how we managed to give the car a bold stance, transmitting a confident attitude through sporty characteristics and dynamic proportions. In this way, the car is very close to the recently unveiled i40, and we want people to recognize the Hyundai design DNA on those two models,"

GM to Cut Number of Platforms by More than Half

GM is set to finally follow the trend of sharing a small number of platforms across several models. GM has officially announced plans to cut the number of platforms it currently has by more than half, from 30 down to 14 over the next seven years.

The ultimate goal is to have 90 percent of its global models built off shared platforms, which is up from 31 percent last year. The number of engine variants will also be reduced from 18 to 10 by 2018. The news was announced at GM's 2nd Annual Global Business Conference for investors and financial analysts.

"Today's GM has strong brands and fuel-efficient products that customers around the world truly value," said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "To reach a higher level of performance - for our customers and stockholders - we are accelerating our efforts to simplify and strengthen our processes to improve efficiencies and achieve our vision, which is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles."

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Suzuki Swift Sport Unveiled

Suzuki has unveiled a preview of the second generation Suzuki Swift Sport, which is set to have its world debut in Frankfurt next month.

The original Swift Sport hot-hatch was released in 2006. The second generation has a more look aggressive thanks to a low-slung form that gives a sense of stability and tension. The Swift Sport is powered by a 1.6L with 134 horsepower and 118 lb-ft. of torque, which should be fun considering how small the car is. The engine is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission. The suspension features struts with internal rebound springs and an exclusive rear-suspension design.

Subaru XV Crossover Set to Debut in Frankfurt

Subaru unveiled the XV Concept at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year and Subaru has just announced that the XV crossover is going to have its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The Euro-spec Subaru XV will debut at the show and according to Subaru the XV "defines a new generation of Subaru crossover vehicles." The Subaru XV is expected to come to the U.S. as the next Impreza Outback.

For now Subaru has released a teaser of the new crossover.

Audi Urban Concept Headed to Frankfurt

Audi is bringing a unique concept car to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Audi Urban Concept is a 1+1 ultra-light car for congested urban spaces. audi_urban_concept_6.jpg

According to Audi the concept combines of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept. The concept features unique elements like free-standing wheels with protective plates that have blinking LED lights. The concept only has room for two passengers. The passengers sit in a slightly staggered position and passengers must enter the car via the tailgate. The roof also slides to the rear to open.

The Urban Concept is powered by two e-tron electric motors and a lithium-ion battery.

CEO of Mitsubishi Motors, Yoichi Yokozawa recently stated in an interview that the automaker will add another all-wheel-drive version of the Lancer sedan this fall. The 2012 Lancer SE will feature an AWD system that is mated to the naturally-aspirated engine that powers the DE, ES and GTS trim levels.

According to Automotive News, the Lancer SE will start around $20,000. Mitsubishi expects the Lancer SE to account for 15-20 percent of all Lancer sales. The launch of the Lancer is SE is part of Mitsubishi's plan to one day sell 100,000 units in the U.S. again.

Harley-Davidson fans must also like Ford's F-Series pickups because since 1999 when the two brands came together, ten special-edition F-150 models, as well as six Super Duty F-250 and F-350 models, and in 2009 the first Harley-Davidson F-450 edition truck have been produced.

"This is a great pairing of two icons of the open road: Ford and Harley-Davidson. Both brands appeal to truck owners and motorcycle enthusiasts alike," said Marc Lapine, Ford F-150 marketing manager. "For 2012 we worked with Harley-Davidson to continue to push the styling envelope while still delivering the durability and power that F-150 is known for and that our collective customers expect. It perfectly captures both brands."

The 2012 Harley-Davidson F-150 gets a six-bar billet-style bright chrome grille, a standard fully integrated deployable running board adds a lowered appearance and massive 22-inch machined-aluminum wheels separate the truck from the regular F-150 models. The interior gets snakeskin leather interior accents, a standard voice-activated navigation system and a power moonroof.

The Harley-Davidson F-150 packs a 6.2L V8 under the hood with 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft. of torque.

All-New 2012 Toyota Yaris Starts at $14,115

Toyota has yet to officially release the specs and photos of the US-spec 2012 Toyota Yaris, but the automaker has announced the pricing for the hatchback version.

The 2012 Yaris hatchback starts at $14,115 for the three-door Yaris L with a five-speed manual transmission. Adding a four-speed automatic increases the entry price to $14,840. The base price for the five-door Yaris L starts at $15,140, while the top of the line SE five-door starts at $17,100.

Toyota hasn't made any announcements about the next-generation Yaris sedan. The 2012 Yaris is supposed to start being produced on August 31.

Jeep to Get Fiat-Based Subcompact and the Grand Wagoneer Returns

Jeep's lineup is expected to get some new models in the next three years, which will come thanks to Fiat.

A Jeep subcompact is still reportedly in the works that will be based off a Fiat platform. Back in 2009 it was confirmed that Chrysler was working on a new small Jeep. Jeep CEO Michael Manley confirmed again in April that the small subcompact Jeep will debut in late 2013 or early 2014. The smallest Jeep will be built at the same Toluca, Mexico plant that currently produces the Fiat 500 and Dodge Journey models.

On the other end of the Jeep lineup, Jeep is reportedly set to revive the Grand Wagoneer as a large seven-seater. The Grand Wagoneer will share its platform with the Dodge Durango when it arrives as a 2014 model.

Acura to Revamp its Lineup Starting in 2012

Acura along with its parent Honda have been hurt hard this year by the earthquake in Japan, but sales are slowly starting to improve since production is finally starting to return back to normal levels. In the next year or two Acura is planning on revamping its lineup, which will see the release of new models and a less polarizing design language.

We've heard rumors about the revival of the small RSX and it's being reported again that Acura is going to revive the name for a new entry level model that will compete with the Lexus CT 200h, Audi A3 and BMW's upcoming front-wheel-drive models. The RSX is expected to make a comeback in the spring of 2013 and will be built on the Honda Civic platform. It will be powered by a 210 horsepower version of the Civic Si's 2.4L engine. An RSX sedan is expected to launch first with a coupe coming in 2015.

In addition to the new RSX, Acura is also going to revamp its crossover lineup with a new RDX coming in the summer of 2012 and a new MDX in the fall of 2012. The next RDX is expected to ditch the current turbocharged four-cylinder that will be replaced by a 2.5L four-cylinder, with a hybrid four-cylinder as an option. The next MDX is also expected to get an optional hybrid version.

2012 Mini Cooper Coupe Online Configurator is Now Up

The 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe is almost here and Mini has just launched the online configurator for its newest model.

The 2012 Cooper Coupe starts at $22,000, but can easily get pretty close to $40k for the John Cooper Works model. The Mini Cooper Coupe line is powered by the same engine lineup as the rest of the Mini lineup, which means the base Coupe is powered by a 121-hp 1.6L four-cylinder. The Cooper S Coupe packs 181 horsepower and the top John Cooper Works Coupe has 208 horsepower.

The 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe will have its U.S. debut in Pebble Beach later this month and goes on sale in October.

Mazda Kicks off Production of the Facelifted 2012 Mazda3

Mazda has officially started production of the facelifted 2012 Mazda3 (Mazda Axela in Japan). The 2012 Mazda3 gets a revised front fascia that tones down the smiling grin that no one really likes. The rear end also gets updated with revised taillights.

The biggest and most important update lies under the hood of the 2012 Mazda3. Mazda has given the 2012 Mazda3 a version of its new SkyActiv-G engine, which in the Mazda3 is a 2.0L with 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. The best part about the new engine is that it gets up to 40 mpg, which is a nice improvement over the 33 mpg that the current 2.0L gets. The new SkyActiv engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed SkyActiv automatic transmission.

The 2012 Mazda3 should reach U.S. showrooms by October.

Ford's FPV Announces the Launch of the Limited-Edition GT Black

Last month Ford of Australia's performance division, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) unveiled the FPV concept, which is based on the Ford Falcon GT sedan. Today FPV has announced that the concept will be produced as the GT Black.

"We were totally blown away by the positive feedback received from fans and show-goers on our Concept," FPV General Manager Rod Barrett said.

"We knew we had a winner with the black paintwork and we wanted to action something immediately. The public spoke and we listened and I am just thrilled we have been able to put the GT Black into production so quickly."

"All the feedback received has been collated and the results present exciting possibilities for the FPV brand in the future. The GT Black is the beginning of some exciting times ahead as we continue to work on new product and design enhancements to reflect the needs and wants of the market."

The GT Black is powered by a 5.0L V8 that puts out 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. There is only one color choice, black and Ford is only going to produce 125 units.

The GT Black is sadly only available in Australia.

Next Ford Focus RS Coming with More Power

Are you excited for the high-performance Ford Focus ST? Well Ford has confirmed that an even hotter version, the Focus RS is currently in the works. Ford's global chief of cars, Gunna Herrmann recently confirmed that Ford is working on a third generation of the the Focus RS, that will be more powerful than the current version.

Yup that means that the next Focus RS will have more than 305 horsepower, but will remain front-wheel-drive.

Hermann recently stated confirmed that the next RS will stay with the two-wheel-drive strategy, which was executed on the previous version. He also stated that he thinks that more power is sustainable since the limited edition RS500 had 350 horsepower and other prototypes had up to 380 horsepower.

The next Focus RS is expected to debut in late 2013 or early 2014. It will most likely get a modified version of the 2.0L engine that powers the Focus ST (above). The Focus ST is expected to have around 250 horsepower, but the next Focus RS could have around 350 horsepower.

Spy Shots: 2012 Porsche 911 Shows up Again... Barely Disguised

Another 2012 Porsche 911 prototype has been caught testing in Stuttgart, Germany. This time the new 911 was barely disguised and was caught filling up at a gas station.

The 2012 Porsche 911 will have its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Check out the video after the jump.

Land Rover to Debut New Defender Concept in Frankfurt

Land Rover is committed to finding a replacement for the 63-year old Defender and is expected to reveal a new Defender concept at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Land Rover is going to show off the new concept to show that it is serious about keeping the Defender alive and get feedback on the all-new model.

Since the 63-year old Defender basically established the Land Rover brand, it's not going to be easy to design a new one that will continue to appeal to the Defender's buyers. Land Rover's brand director John Edwards has stated that the next Defender has to be configured in such a way that it has advantages over its competitors in order to justify its higher price. The new Defender also needs to be designed for the militaries that use it.

The next Defender is expected to be released in 2015. Land Rover hopes to sell between 60,000-80,000 units annually.

Toyota and Tesla to Build RAV4 EV in Canada

Toyota and Tesla have announced plans to produce the RAV4 electric-vehicle at Toyota's plant Woodstock, Ontario starting in 2012.

"The Tesla-Toyota joint development team has agreed that building the vehicle at the Woodstock plant on the same line as the gasoline-powered RAV4, will streamline and simplify the production process and guarantee the highest level of quality control," said Ray Tanguay, TMMC Chairman, who hosted Canadian officials at the plant today and thanked them for their support. "This is a great example of Toyota's determination to collaborate with companies with leading edge technology."

Toyota is paying Tesla $100 million to supply the electric powertrain, which includes the battery, motor, gear box and power electronics for the RAV4 EV. Telsa's powertrains will be produced in Palo Alto, California and then be shipped to Toyota's plant in Canada.

Toyota hasn't announced the exact on sale date for the RAV4 EV, but it will launch sometime in 2012.

Audi is Going to Launch More RS Models in the U.S.

Audi's high-performance RS line has officially returned to the U.S. with the launch of the 2012 TT RS, which goes on sale next month. According to the latest reports, Audi is planning on launching more RS models in the U.S. to better compete with BMW's M division and the Mercedes-Benz AMG line.

Currently Audi only offers the S-line models, S4 sedan, S5 coupe and TTS roadster, but all those models have less power than Audi's RS models. The next Audi RS will be the RS5, which will go head to head with BMW's M3.

"The technical capabilities of the Audi brand are perfectly distilled in the RS models," Johan de Nysschen, Audi's U.S. chief, said in an e-mail. "For the past few years, American sports car enthusiasts have pleaded with us to make the marque available here."

The launch of the TT RS in the U.S. comes after almost 12,000 fans signed a Facebook petition asking Audi to bring the model here.

Fiat 500 Buyers Want Their 500 Packed with Options

Fiat's return the U.S. has been successful with the launch of the small 500 and 500 Cabrio. Fiat has delivered 7,982 cars in the U.S. since March and July sales totaled 3,038 units. The automaker expects to eventually sell more than 50,000 vehicles annually in the U.S. after all of its 130 initial dealerships are open.

Fiat has something else to be happy about besides the sales numbers, it looks like early 500 buyers are choosing the pricier packages and customizable accessories for their vehicles. The Sport version, which costs about $2,000 more than the $15,500 base 500 Pop accounted for about half of the 500's sales in the first five months of Fiat's return. The $19,500 Lounge version made up 20 percent of the sales.

According to the brand's chief, Laura Soave, "A lot of what we're seeing is customers really want to build their car." Buyers are also willing to wait six to eight weeks to get the 500 they want.

Of course this all means more profits for Fiat, which currently has 94 dealerships and aims to have all 130 open by the end of the year.

According to Fiat there are more than 500,000 variations of colors and options for the 500.

Fiat has also introduced the "500 by Gucci" versions of the 500 in Europe, but it's not known if those editions will come to the U.S. The high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth is also expected to debut in November.

Mini Launches Manualhood Ad Campaign: Manuals Have More Fun

These days most cars are sold with automatic transmissions and the new dual-clutch technology has made manual transmissions even more scarce. Especially considering that many new automatic transmissions actually get better gas mileage than their manual counterparts. In 1985 22 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with a manual transmission, but last year that total was only 5 percent. Although most U.S. car buyers would rather have their cars do all the shifting for them, Mini buyers choose the manual option at a much higher rate.

According to Mini, 34 percent of the Cooper, Cooper convertible and Clubman choose the three pedal version. It's even higher in New England at 50 percent. To promote the manual transmission Mini is launching a new ad campaign: Manualhood.

The Manualhood campaign toutes the virtues of the manual transmission "Automatics might be easy. But manuals have more fun."

Mini is even offering $500 off any new Mini Clubman, Cooper or Cooper Convertible with a manual transmission.

Audi Announces a New 1.8L TFSI 4-Cyl for the 2012 A5

Audi has announced the introduction of a new 1.8L engine for the A5 family, which is getting a refresh for the 2012 model year. The A5 gets a new base engine that is an all-new 1.8L TFSI four-cylinder that generates a modest 170 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque.

Although the 1.8L may only put out 170 horsepower, it gets 41 mpg and reaches 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds. How does it get over 40 mpg but still manage to generate power without the help of a hybrid system or diesel fuel? The 1.8L uses direct-injection and a turbocharger to make it 21 percent more fuel efficient than the outgoing engine.

The 1.8L also uses a new fully electronic coolant regulation system that replaces the traditional water pump. Two fast-switching, rotating cores, which are consolidated in a module and driven by an electric motor via a screw drive, control the flow of coolant. The system makes cold starts easier since it keeps the coolant in the crankcase longer than normal.

Audi hasn't confirmed if the 1.8L will be offered in the U.S. Currently our base engine in the A5 is the 211-hp 2.0L.

2013 Infiniti JX Shows off its Rear

Infiniti has now released the fifth teaser photo of the 2013 JX Crossover. Today's photo shows off the JX's rear end. It looks like the JX will get a rear end that draws cues from the much larger QX, but manages to look much better than that supersized SUV.

The seven-passenger Infiniti JX crossover will officially debut at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Now that we've seen five teaser photos of the new crossover it probably won't be much of a surprise at the event.

The 2012 Chevy Sonic has replaced the lame Aveo in the Chevy lineup and production recently kicked off at GM's plant in Detroit. Although the Sonic is currently the smallest car in Chevy's U.S. lineup, GM is planning an even smaller model next year. It was already expected that the U.S. was slated to get GM's other small car the Chevy Spark, but now we've received the official confirmation.

GM has confirmed that the Spark will join Chevy's U.S. lineup by the middle of next year as a 2013 model. The Spark has been on sale in markets outside of the U.S. where it's powered by small 1.0L and 1.2L engines, but it hasn't been confirmed what will power the U.S. version. It remains to be seen if U.S. buyers will want a new Chevy that is smaller than the Sonic and Cruze.

2013 Toyota Avalon to Take Cues from the Audi A7 and Jag XJ

Toyota is getting ready to launch the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry, but apparently Toyota's dealers are more excited about what Toyota has in store for the next-gen 2013 Avalon.

Toyota held its national meeting in Las Vegas in June in which Toyota revealed many of its product plans, including the new Camry and the next Avalon. It's being reported that Toyota's dealers were more excited about the next Avalon than the Camry.

One dealer commented about the next Avalon, "This is not a geezer pleaser."

So what does Toyota have planned for its largest sedan? The next Avalon is expected to get a lot more style and to borrow styling cues from the Audi A7 and Jaguar XJ. The Avalon will keep its 3.5L V6, but handling is also expected to be improved. The 2013 Avalon is expected to be released in the fall of 2012.

What do you think about a sexier Avalon?

2013 Lexus GS 350 Official Teaser Photo Released

Yesterday Toyota gave us our first official look at the 2012 Toyota Camry with a small teaser photo and today the automaker has given us a look at the 2013 Lexus GS 350. The teaser image of the 2013 GS 350 previews what we will see later this month at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

This teaser photo shows off the large front grille that will dominate the front fascia. The headlights will also get LED running lights at the base of the headlights.

GM Confirms Cadillac XTS and ATS to Launch Next Year

GM's North America President Mark Reuss has confirmed today that Cadillac will launch the XTS large sedan and the compact ATS sedan next year. Reuss stated the news at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars.

"GM has moved beyond a stage of simply surviving and is now clearly focused on thriving with a line-up that's stronger in more segments than it has ever been," Reuss said. "Whether it's the new fuel-efficient Buick eAssist system or Cadillac's entry-level luxury car, we're giving customers compelling new options for their next automobile."

The Cadillac XTS will launch in the spring of 2012 and is based on the XTS Platinum Concept that was unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. It will be offered with front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive systems.

The Cadillac ATS will arrive in the summer of 2012 and will be a new rear-wheel-drive sedan that will compete with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class models. GM has given us our first teaser of the new sedan with the teaser that you see here.

2012 Buick Regal GS Officially Starts at $35,310

GM has announced the pricing for the performance-oriented 2012 Buick Regal GS. The 2012 Buick Regal GS starts at $35,310.

The Regal GS is powered by an Ecotec 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. The 2.0L is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission although a six-speed automatic will be available later in the model year. Mated to the six-speed manual the Regal GS gets 27 mpg on the highway.

Some of the features that come standard on the Regal GS are a push-button start, leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with audio controls, metal sport pedals, and leather-appointed, heated and 12-way adjustable sport seating. A Harman Kardon premium 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround Sound system with nine speakers is also standard.

GM also announced the pricing for the mild-hybrid eAssist system that is available on the base Regal. It's a $2,000 option that delivers 36 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. The eAssist system mates the 2.4L four-cylinder engine to a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. The mild-hybrid system is also available on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse.

Tesla in Talks with Toyota About $1 Billion Deal

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced that the automaker is in talks with Toyota over a $1 billion deal.

Tesla recently signed a $100 million deal that will bring the Toyota RAV4 EV to market, but Musk stated in regards to that deal, "we're in discussions with them for a deal that is an order of magnitude larger than that." A Tesla representative also confirmed with the AutoObserver that deal that Elon was referring to was much larger than the previous deal at $1 billion.

No other details were given about the possible deal.

2011 Dodge Durango Named a Top Safety Pick

The all-new 2011 Dodge Durango is now the latest model from Chrysler to be named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The IIHS recently named the 2011 Durango a Top Safety Pick for receiving a good rating in its front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. A "good" rating is the highest rating possible.

"The Durango is the eighth vehicle from Chrysler to earn the Institute's highest safety honor," said IIHS president Adrian Lund. "The performance of the Durango means buyers are getting the best protection in the most common kinds of crashes, and electronic stability control for avoiding many crashes altogether."

"With the latest addition of Dodge Durango, coupled with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, Chrysler Group has eight Top Safety Picks for 2011. This recognition by the IIHS underscores our commitment to engineering safety and security technology across all vehicle segments," said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President - Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. "As we continue with our product transformation, we'll continue to engineer new technology and more capabilities into all our vehicles."

Check out the video of the side impact test after the jump.

2012 Honda Crosstour Drops the Accord Name

Honda has announced the updates to the Accord Crosstour, which for 2012 drops the Accord part of its name and is now strictly referred to as the Honda Crosstour.

Although Honda did change the name for 2012, one feature that was expected, a four-cylinder, is not being introduced. For 2012 the Crosstour's only engine remains the 3.5L V6 with 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft. of torque that is mated to a five-speed automatic. The front-wheel-drive Crosstour gets 18 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway, while the AWD version gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

The Crosstour is only available in two trim levels, EX and EX-L. For 2012, new features on the Crosstour EX include auto on/off headlights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB audio interface.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: Ford to Unveil Four New Models

Ford has announced plans to unveil four new models at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. One of the models will be new design concept and details on the next Ford Focus performance model will be unveiled.

"Ford plans to make a strong statement at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with several very exciting global product reveals and our significantly expanded show stand," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "We're excited to be showing customers our best-ever vehicle line-up and a special glimpse of the future."

2012 Toyota Camry: First Official Photo Released

Toyota has released the first official photo of the 2012 Toyota Camry. The automotive media has already seen the new Camry, but those photos and opinions are embargoed until later this month.

This small teaser gives us our first look at the new Camry. What do you think?

Stay tuned.

Honda to Produce Next-Gen Fit in Mexico in 2014

Honda is going to produce the next-generation Honda Fit at a new plant in Mexico, according to the latest reports from Japan's Nikkei newspaper.

Honda will build a second plant in Mexico that will open in 2014 and produce the Honda Fit. The plant will most likely be close to Honda's other plant located in the state of Jalisco, which currently produces the Honda CR-V. Honda is expected to invest $260 million in the new plant, which will mainly produce the Fit for the U.S. market. It's expected to produce 100,000 units per year.

2012 Infiniti FX Gets a Facelift

The second-generation Infiniti FX has been on the market since 2009 and for the 2012 model year Infiniti's crossover is getting a facelift.

The 2012 Infiniti FX gets a revised front grille and front fascia design. Inside the FX gets revised meter illumination and standard heated front seats on all models. Infiniti is also introducing a Limited Edition for the FX35 AWD. The Limited Edition comes in an exclusive Iridium Blue exterior color and gets standard 21-inch 10-spoke dark finish aluminum-alloy turbine wheels, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, and Around View Monitor.

Other changes to the 2012 FX include a new exterior color, Graphite Shadow, which replace Platinum Graphite, a new 20-inch wheel design for the FX35 Deluxe Touring Package, the addition of Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) to the FX50 Sport Package.

The engine lineup remains unchanged, which includes the 305-hp 3.5L V6 in the FX35 and the 390-horsepower 5.0L V8 in the FX50.

The 2012 FX will start arriving in October. Infiniti is also set to launch its newest crossover, the seven-passenger 2013 JX early next year.

2012 Fiat 500C Gets the Gucci Treatment

Following the launch of the Fiat 500 by Gucci hatchback, Fiat has released the cabriolet version, the 500C by Gucci.

The 500C by Gucci comes exclusively in white or black with an electric top that features the classic Gucci stripe. Other details include chrome-plated accents and 16-inch alloy wheels with the Gucci logo.

Like the hatchback version, there is no word if the "500C by Gucci "will come to the U.S.

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

The July sales numbers are in and with that we have the list of the Top-10 best selling cars last month. The list for last month is largely dominated by full-size trucks and midsize sedans, with the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra disappearing from the list.

The Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado pickups continue to dominate the list, but the Toyota Camry has managed to reclaim its spot as the top selling car, which the Chevy Cruze held last month. Japan's automakers are still recovering from the aftermath of the March earthquake, which explains why Honda is missing from this list, although the Accord held the number 11 spot.

Check out the list after the jump.

Lamborghini is Bringing a Super Sports Car to Frankfurt


Lamborghini has apparently sent out invites to its press event at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The actual invite has surfaced online and it states that Lamborghini is set to debut a new "Lamborghini super sports car." What exactly could that be?

While it hasn't been confirmed what we will see next month, the headline "Lamborghini: Racing Towards Frankfurt" could provide some more hints. Late last year, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann made comments about the Sesto Elemento concept, in which he suggested that if it were to be produced it would be destined for the track. It's light weight (2,200 lbs) and lack of airbags would not work for a street car. So could the "Racing Towards Frankfurt" headline be a clue about a track-ready Sesto Elemento?

The concept was powered by the 570-hp 5.2L V10 from the LP 570-4 Superleggera.

Stay tuned...

VIDEO: 2012 Tesla Model S Prototypes Hit the Track

Tesla has released another video of the upcoming 2012 Tesla Model S sedan having fun on a track.

The prototypes are pretty much devoid of any camouflage and you get to hear the sounds of the electric motors as they wiz by the camera.

Check out the video after the jump.

VW Set to Boost 2012 Passat Production

VW is about to boost production of the 2012 US-spec Passat only four months after production kicked off at its Chattanooga, Tenn. plant.

"We've already taken steps to decide how we will do it," Don Jackson, president of manufacturing at the Chattanooga operations, said after speaking to an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich., on Monday. "We've looked at the different shift models to do it. We have the planning all done. We just haven't pulled the trigger."

The Chattanooga plant was originally constructed to build up to 150,000 vehicles a year, but could be adjusted to produce between 200,000 to 220,000 units. VW sold less than 13,000 Passats last year, but thanks to the increased demand for the all-new Passat, production could hit 45,000 to 50,000 Passats this year.

GM Kicks off Production of the 2012 Chevy Sonic

GM has officially started production of the 2012 Chevy Sonic at its Orion plant in Detroit. The 2012 Chevy Sonic is the only subcompact that is produced in the US, but its engines are initially being produced in Mexico and South Korea.

The 2012 Chevy Sonic is available in sedan and hatchback versions. It starts at $14,495 and is powered by either a 138-hp 1.8L Ecotec or a 138-hp turbocharged 1.4L engine.

Frankfurt 11' Preview: 2012 Mazda CX-5 Unveiled

Mazda has officially unveiled its newest crossover, the 2012 Mazda CX-5 ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The CX-5 is the production version of the Minagi concept that was unveiled earlier this year in Geneva and it's also the first Mazda to get Mazda's newest design language, Kodo "soul of motion." The CX-5 will be powered by Mazda's new SkyActiv engines and transmissions, which includes both 2.0L gasoline and 2.2L diesel powered engines. Europe will likely get both types of engines, while the U.S. will most likely only get gasoline engines.

Sales are expected to kick off early next year. Stay tuned for more info next month.

Honda released an all-new Civic for the 2012 model year, but according to Consumer Reports, the all-new Civic falls below the previous generation. Previous Civics have been on Consumer Reports' highest rated small sedans lists as well as Top Picks in five of the last 10 years, but the 2012 Civic will not be part of that party.

The redesigned Civic LX's score dropped a whopping 17 points to a mediocre 61 from the previous generation's very good 78. It scored second-to-last in CR's ratings of 12 small sedans, followed only by the recently redesigned VW Jetta. Consumer Reports' testers found the 2012 Civic to be less agile and with lower interior quality than its predecessor. It also suffers from a choppy ride, long stopping distances, and pronounced road noise.

"While other models like the Hyundai Elantra have gotten better after being redesigned, the Civic has dropped so much that now it ranks near the bottom of its category," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT.

Will buyers care? The VW Jetta sedan is supposedly the worst car on the list, but it's sales were up 121 percent in June.

Check out Honda's response after the jump.

2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost to get 30 MPG on the Highway

Ford just announced that the 2012 Ford Explorer EcoBoost is officially rated at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Ford has also announced that the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine will also be available in the 2012 Ford Edge, but the official MPG stats have been announced. According to Ford's dealers, the 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost will get a 30 mpg highway rating.

Dealers claim that the updated order guide for the 2012 Edge rates the 2.0L EcoBoost engine at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The official power numbers haven't been released, but expect the engine to have around the same stats as it does in the Explorer: 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque. Just like in the Explorer, the 2.0L engine is only available with front-wheel-drive.

2012 Jeep Wrangler is a Little Better at the Pump with 21 MPG

It was already reported that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is getting Chrysler's new Pentastar V6, which replaces the underpowered 3.8L V6 in the 2011 model. Today its been announced that the 2012 Wrangler is going to be a little more fuel efficient as well thanks to the new V6 and five-speed automatic.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler now gets 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Those numbers may still not seem that great, but they are an improvement over the old 15/19 mpg rating. Jeep still hasn't announced the power ratings for the new V6, but in other Chrysler models the Pentastar V6 puts out between 283-305 horsepower. More power and better fuel economy...good news for Wrangler fans.

Lexus recently lost its sales crown to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, but Lexus could quickly bounce back thanks to a revamped lineup. Currently the automaker's sedan lineup has aged, but all-new models are going to start arriving early next year, starting with the all-new GS.

Our first preview of the new Lexus lineup came in the form of the LF-Gh hybrid concept that was unveiled at the New York Auto Show. The LF-Gh previewed Lexus new design direction, which is said to become bolder and more distinct. The concept was also a preview of the all-new GS sedan that is going to debut next month in Pebble Beach.

The first new Lexus sedan will be the 2013 GS that will arrive in early 2012. The GS will share its platform with the smaller all-new IS that will debut in late 2012. The Camry-based ES is set to debut in the summer of 2012 and the flagship LS sedan is expected to get a redesign and debut in the spring of 2013.

Lastly and obviously more exciting is a rumor that a roadster version of the LFA supercar is set to debut in mid-2014.

Bentley Continental GT V8 to Debut in Detroit

Currently the Bentley Continental GT is only powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0L W12 engine, but sources claim that Bentley is set to debut a new engine at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

The Continental GT is going to get a new 4.0L V8, which will be sold alongside the W12 in the lineup. Bentley hasn't released the official specs, but it's being reported that the lighter and more fuel efficient engine provides a more sporting character than the 567-hp W12.

Before the V8 powered Continental GT is unveiled, Bentley is slated to debut the GTC convertible at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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