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February 2012 Archives

February 1, 2012

VIDEO: The VW Beetle Inspires a Dog to Get in Shape in VW's Super Bowl Spot

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Volkswagen has revealed the extended version of its new Super Bowl commerical. The extended 75-second spot "The Dog Strikes Back," features an overweight dog named Bolt who is inspired to whip himself into shape by the power and performance of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. When Bolt is unable to fit through the doggie door to chase after the Beetle, he decides to get himself in shape by working out. VW_Game_Day_Commercial2.jpg

"We believe this spot underscores the Volkswagen brand's unmatched advertising legacy. It manages to highlight the redesign and performance of the Beetle with the lighthearted touches that viewers expect from the VW brand," said Mike Sheldon, CEO, Deutsch LA, Volkswagen's creative Agency of Record.

The end of the spot recalls VW's Star Wars commercial from last year's game, "The Force."

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February 2, 2012

2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder Starts at $210,000, Only 50 Headed to the U.S.

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Audi has announced the pricing for the limited-production 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder, which starts at $210,000.

The Audi R8 GT Spyder is an open-top version of the R8 GT and is powered by a 560 horsepower 5.2L V10. It reaches 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 197 mph.

The final weight of the R8 GT Spyder has been reduced by 187 lbs thanks to its magnesium engine frame and carbon fiber side panels. It also gets a fixed rear spoiler thats made of carbon fiber. Compared to the R8 V10 Spyder, the R8 GT Spyder's suspension is stiffer and lowers the model by 10 millimeters.

The sad thing is that only 50 units are headed to the U.S.

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Kia Track'ster Concept to Debut in Chicago

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Kia has released a teaser photo of the Track'ster concept that it is going to debut at the Chicago Auto Show, next week.

The Track'ster is a three-door hatchback, which was designed by Kia's design studio in California. The Track'ster concept is based on the Kia Soul, but places more emphasis on "performance," with its aggressive bodykit and lower profile.

The Track'ster could be a preview of a sportier Soul, which is one of Kia's best-selling models.

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2013 Fiat 500L Unveiled Ahead of its Debut in Geneva

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Fiat has decided to unveil the 2013 Fiat 500L ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The 500L is a larger version of the 500, with the L standing for "Large."

Although the 500L is being labeled as a larger version of the small 500, the 500L shares its platform with the Fiat Punto. The five-door model has room for up to 5 passengers and is 23-inches longer than the three-door 500.

The Fiat 500L will be produced at the Fiat's plant in Kragujevac, Serbia and will arrive in the U.S. in early 2013.

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2013 VW Beetle TDI Officially Unveiled Ahead of Chicago Debut

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Following the release of the 2012 Beetle 2.5L and Turbo models, VW has now taken the wraps off the 2013 Beetle TDI with its 2.0L diesel engine.

The 2013 Beetle TDI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection clean diesel engine that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic. VW estimates that the Beetle TDI will get 39 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city.

The Beetle TDI will be offered in three trim lines when it goes on sale this summer: TDI; TDI with Sunroof; and TDI with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation.

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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition Debuts in Chicago

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Next week Mazda is going to unveil a special edition version of the 2012 MX-5 Miata at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

The 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition features a black-only hard top, which is the first time a non-body-colored hard top is available in North America. It also gets two new exterior colors (Crystal White or Velocity Red), new 17-inch black gunmetal alloy wheels, black exterior accents, black heated leather seats and piano black interior finishes.

The special edition MX-5 Miata is based off the Grand Touring model is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Both Premium and Suspension packages will be standard on the MX-5 Miata Special Edition and include features such as Bluetooth, Sirius Satellite Radio, Bilstein shocks and a sport-tuned suspension.

Mazda is limited production to just 450 units.

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February 3, 2012

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG Starts at $95,865

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The all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG will arrive in the U.S. next month with a starting price at $95,865.

The 2012 ML63 AMG is powered by a 5.5L biturbo V8 engine with 518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque, which is 15-hp and 44 lb-ft. over its predecessor. The V8 is mated to a 7-speed transmission and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. An estimated combined fuel economy rating of 16 mpg is also a 33 percent improvement over the last model. The ML63 AMG will reach 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. If you want even more power the available AMG Performance package boosts the V8 engine's power output to 550 hp and its maximum torque to 560 lb-ft.

The 2012 ML63 AMG comes standard with AMG stainless steel sports pedals, illuminated door sills, COMAND system with hard-drive navigation & Sirius real-time traffic & weather, a harman/kardon Logic 7 surround sound system, Bluetooth and Heated & active ventilated front seats.

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VIDEO: Chevy Silverado Survives the End of the World

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Chevy has released its Super Bowl commercial that will air during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday.

The spot, named "2012", shows the Silverado navigating the devastation and destruction predicted to occur this year by the Mayan calendar. A group of friends, who are Silverado owners, makes its way to the designated meeting spot but notice one of their buddies is missing. The missing friend, unfortunately, drives a Ford and doesn't appear to have made it to the meeting point. Ouch!

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February 5, 2012

VIDEO: Chrysler's "It's Halftime in America" Spot Airs During the Super Bowl

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Chrysler's "It's Halftime in America" commercial aired during tonight's 2012 Super Bowl. The commercial stars Clint Eastwood and seeks to draw a parallel between the game and the city of Detroit.

"It's halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. It's halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared, because this isn't a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again."

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February 6, 2012

Nissan Invitation Concept Revealed Ahead of Geneva Debut

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Nissan has unveiled the Invitation concept, which is our first look at Nissan's next B-segment hatchback, which will launch in the UK in 2013.

The Invitation concept is a preview of the next Nissan Note and according to Nissan the concept " is an energetic design, bringing fresh style, innovation and excitement to the mainstream market."

François Bancon, Deputy Division General Manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning Division, said: "The name we have given to this concept is self-explanatory. It is designed to be inviting thanks to its sensuous exterior design and generous and comfortable interior space, cleverly packaged within compact overall dimensions."

Nissan hasn't released the official specs for the concept, but Nissan expects it to achieve be at the top of its class in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions. Nissan is aiming for an ultra-low CO2 emission target of under 100g/km for the most frugal model and with all versions eligible to wear Nissan's Pure Drive badge.

The Invitation also gets Nissan's Around View Monitor, which helps ease reversing and parallel parking. The concept also incorporates the Nissan Safety Shield Technologies, which interacts with the driving environment keeping the driver aware of what is happening around the car. The Invitation concept will be officially unveiled next month at the Geneva Motor Show.

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Starts at $20,695

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Mazda has announced the pricing for the 2013 CX-5 compact crossover, which starts at $20,695 for the entry-level Sport model with a six-speed manual transmission.

The 2013 CX-5 is the first model in Mazda's lineup to fully feature Mazda's Skyactiv technology, which helps it get up to 35 mpg on the highway. The 2013 CX-5 is powered by a Skyactiv 2.0L engine with 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft. A diesel-powered CX-5 is expected to show in the U.S. in early 2013.

The base CX-5 Sport comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a four-speaker audio system, push-button start, power everything and a USB connection port. Accing a six-speed automatic bumps the starting price up to $22,095 and all-wheel-drive pushes the base price up to $23,345. Adding Bluetooth will cost an extra $400, but comes with Bluetooth, a 5.8-inch touch-screen monitor and HD radio.

The Touring model starts at $23,895 with front-wheel-drive and $25,145 when equipped with AWD. It adds the Bluetooth package, upgraded seat fabrics, a six-speaker audio system, a Blind Spot Monitoring system and the six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Moonroof/ Bose package ($1,130) adds a moonroof and a 225-watt Bose audio system. The Technology package ($1,185) adds a TomTom based navigation ssytem, bi-zenon auto-leveling headlights, a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting system and rain sensing wipers.

The Grand Touring model starts at $27,045 for the front-wheel-drive model and $28,295 for the all-wheel-drive version. It comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, rain sensing wipers, leather seats, a Bose audio system and a moonroof. The same Technology package on the Touring model adds $1,325.

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Kia Teases the Track'ster Concept Again

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Kia has released a second teaser photo of the upcoming Track'ster concept that is going to be unveiled this week at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Trackster concept borrows its platform from the Kia Soul, but wears sportier clothes. The concept was designed by Kia's design studio in California and is what a three-door Soul could look like.

Stay tuned...

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2013 Honda Civic to Get Significant Updates

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Despite only being on the market about a year, Honda is pushing up the Civic's midlife refresh to the 2013 model year, only 18 months after the current generation was introduced. After major criticisms from the press about the new Civic, Honda is moving faster than normal to fix its popular Civic.

The 2012 Civic has suffered with the automotive press due to its lower quality interior and less than adequate suspension. The 2012 Civic even lost its "recommended" rating (non-Si models) from Consumer Reports. Initially it was announced that a heavily revised Civic would arrive sometime in 2013, but now it's being reported that an "improved" Civic will arrive this fall for the 2013 model year.

Most midlife refreshes usually happen three years after a model is released and even then the changes are small with tweaks to the front and rear fascias and maybe small updates to the interior. Thankfully the updates to the Civic are expected to be much larger. Surprisingly, even though the 2012 Civic hasn't received the most stellar reviews, Honda sold 21,883 Civics last month, putting at the top of its class.

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Ford Bucks the Trend! Adds Manual-Transmission to Focus Titanium

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Sadly manual transmissions are not nearly as popular as they once were, especially with all the latest technology coming out of fully automatic and dual-clutch transmissions. These days most models aren't even offered with a manual transmission and those that do buy them are usually somewhat of an "auto enthusiast." Bucking this trend towards automated gear shifting, Ford has just announced that it will now offer a five-speed manual transmission in the range-topping Titanium Focus models. According to Ford, "Buyers migrating from higher-price import brands frequently prefer manual transmissions."

Ford also announced that demand for the redesigned 2012 Focus has increased steadily and the model is selling at its fastest pace since 2004. The strongest demand is also coming from the west, most notably in the high-volume California market.

"Focus relevance to California customers is on the rise," said Mark Wexler, Ford Northern California Regional Manager. "The contemporary styling, fuel efficiency and technology offerings are getting lots of customer attention. High-end Titanium models are selling at twice the rate we anticipated, showing that our customers want convenience and technology in their fuel-efficient Focus purchase."

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February 7, 2012

VIDEO: Honda Takes Us Back to the Original NSX

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In 1990 one of the best Japanese sports car, ever was born, the 1990 Acura NSX. Honda created the ulitmate mid-engined supercar that showed the world that Honda had what it takes to play with the big boys. The NSX had the style, power and technology it needed to compete with the best that Japan and Europe could offer. The first NSX remained pretty much unchanged until it was discontinued 15 years later in 2005.

Fast forward to 2012 and Honda has committed to releasing a new NSX and has previewed it with the NSX concept. The next NSX is due in 2015 with a hybrid powertrain. Will Honda be able to recreate the success and love of the original? Only time will tell...

In the meantime check out this promo video that shows the history of the original NSX and where the new one will go.

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2013 Buick Regal Gets the eAssist Hybrid System Standard

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Buick has announced the changes to the 2013 Buick Regal, which was recently named the "Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families" by U.S. News and World Report.

The 2013 Buick Regal GS is will be available with a six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control. The automatic is a no-cost option if buyers do not want the standard six-speed manual. The Regal GS is powered by a 270-hp turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec engine. It will reach 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds with either transmission.

The non-turbo Regal models will now get eAssist standard for the 2013 model year, which signals the discontinuation of the 2.4L base model. The eAssist system uses a small lithium-ion battery pack and a small electric motor that adds 15 more horsepower to the 2.4L engine. The Regal with eAssist gets up to 36 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.

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2013 Nissan 370Z Gets Some Small Updates

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Nissan is unveiling a slightly revised 2013 370Z at the Chicago Auto Show, this week.

Most people probably won't even notice the updates, but there are a few. For starters the front fascia has been slightly tweaked with new vertical LED daytime running lights. The new 370Z also rides on new 18 or 19-inch wheels and Sport Package equipped models get red brake calipers and euro-tuned shock absorbers. Nissan has also added two new exterior colors: Magma Red and Midnight Blue.

The NISMO 370Z also adds a new Bose®Premium Audio Package with two additional speakers and two subwoofers, premium gun metallic dark-finish 19-inch wheels, and Nissan GT-R style high-rigidity brake hoses and performance brake fluid. The NISMO 370Z does not adopt the new front fascia/rear reflector, Euro-tuned shocks or Midnight Blue exterior color.

As in 2012, the 2013 370Z will gets its motivation from a 332-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine and choice of 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed automatic transmission. The NISMO 370Z is powered by a 350-hp 3.7L mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.

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2013 Acura ILX Officially Debuts in Chicago

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Following the unveiling of the ILX concept at the Detroit Auto Show last month, Acura has taken the wraps off the production version that will go on sale this spring.

The 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan is position as a gateway model to the Acura brand. It's based on the Honda Civic and has three different powertrain options. The base engine is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 150 horsepower and 140 lb-ft. of torque. It's mated to a five-speed automatic and gets 24/32 mpg. The most powerful ILX is powered by a 2.4L four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque that's mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It gets up to 29 mpg. The ILX also sees the introduction of Acura's first hybrid. The ILX Hybrid is powered by a 1.5L engine and an Integrated Motor Assist electric motor that is paired to a CVT. The system has a total output of 111 horsepower and 127 lb-ft. of torque. The ILX Hybrid is rated at 35/38 mpg.

The ILX will come standard with features like a a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, Pandora radio and an SMS text message function. An available Premium Package features leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, an upgraded 360 watt stereo system, a rear view camera and an Active Sound Cancellation system. The Technology Package adds Acura's ELS audio system, a navigation system with voice recognition and rear-time traffic rerouting.

The 2013 ILX will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana.

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2013 Acura RDX Officially Unveiled

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The 2013 Acura RDX was also unveiled in concept form last month, just like the ILX compact sedan. And just like the 2013 ILX, the production version of the 2013 RDX crossover is debuting this week in Chicago.

The second-generation 2013 Acura RDX has grown up a bit with more "sophisticated" styling and a new engine, transmission and all-wheel-drive system. The 2013 RDX now rides on a longer wheelbase and has a wider track and lower center of gravity than the last model. Under the hood the old 2.3L turbocharged engine has been replaced by a 3.5L V6 that has 33 more horsepower at 273-hp. The 3.5L V6 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose from front-wheel-drive or a new, lighter all-wheel-drive system. Front-wheel-drive models will get an estimated 20/28 mpg, while all-wheel-drive RDX models get 19/27 mpg.

The 2013 RDX now has larger door openings, more passenger room, increased cargo volume and an available power rear tailgate. It also comes standard with Pandora internet radio, an SMS text message feature, pushbutton start, and a three view rear camera. The Technology Package adds Acura's ELS Surround audio system, a navigation system with real-time traffic rerouting and the AcuraLink satellite communication system.

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February 8, 2012

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is the i30 for North America

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Hyundai has taken the wraps off the 2013 Elantra GT at the Chicago Auto Show. The five-door Elantra GT is based on Europe's i30 and will go on sale this summer.

"Elantra GT is a fun-to-drive, functional, five-door compact hatchback," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Product and Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Elantra GT is the latest example of how Hyundai is redefining the compact car and setting new standards in automotive design, efficiency and functionality."

The Elantra GT will go head to head with models like the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf. It's powered by a 148-hp 1.8L four-cylinder engine with 130 lb-ft. of torque that's mated to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Hyundai claims that the Elantra GT will have "best-in-class" fuel economy at 28 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission. It's expected to have a driving range of up to 448 miles of combined city/ highway driving.

The all-new Elantra GT rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase and has an overall length of 169.3 inches. The height is 57.9 inches and the width is 70.1 inches. According to Hyundai the Elantra GT has more interior volume than the Matrix, Mazda3, Ford Focus and VW Golf and more cargo capacity than the Nissan Juke. At 2,784 pounds the Elantra GT is also lighter than its competitors.

The 2013 Elantra GT will come standard with a cooled glove box, heated front seats, and standard Bluetooth.

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Expands the Elantra Lineup

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Hyundai's Elantra lineup now includes three models, with the introduction of the five-door 2013 Elantra GT and now the 2013 Elantra Coupe, both of which are debuting today in Chicago.

The 2013 Elantra coupe adopts Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design theme and from the side it features a a wedge-like sport coupe silhouette. The Elantra Coupe rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase and has an overall length of 178.7 inches. According to Hyundai the Elantra Coupe's interior volume of 110.2 cubic feet exceeds the 2012 Honda Civic Coupe. It's trunk is also bigger than the Civic at 14.8 cubic feet.

The Elantra Coupe is powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft. of torque. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Teh Elantra Coupe's fuel economy is estimated at 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway for the six-speed manual transmission, and 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway for the six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai states that the Elantra Coupe is 11 percent more fuel efficient than the Civic Coupe (M/T).

The Elantra Coupe will be available in two trim levels, the base GS and the top-spec SE trim. It comes standard with heated seats and there are two interior color choices, and seven exterior color options.

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2013 GMC Acadia Gets a New Face

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GM has unveiled the new 2013 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali at the Chicago Auto Show, which gets a redesigned front fascia, an updated interior and new features.

The front of the 2013 Acadia has been updated face with a more prominent, chiseled, three-bar grille that brings it more inline with other GMC models like the Terrain. The face also gets daytime LED lights and the rear taillights have been tweaked. Other changes to the exterior include wrap-around rear glass, a new rear spoiler and new 18-,19- and 20-inch wheels. The interior is now more refined with upgraded materials and SLT and Denali models get aluminum accents.

The 2013 Acadia will be the first vehicle on the market with GMC's new front center air bag system, created to protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat and positions itself between the driver and front passenger.

GMC's Color Touch Radio - first introduced on the 2012 Terrain - is standard in the Acadia.

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2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible Debuts in Chicago

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Ford has unveiled the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible at the Chicago Auto Show.

Like the coupe version, the Shelby GT500 Convertible is powered by a supercharged 5.8L V8 that packs 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world. The V8 is mated to a standard six-speed manual. According to Ford, the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible with the optional Performance Package is faster around a track than the outgoing model. The new convertible shaved nearly 3.5 seconds off its lap time at Sebring International Raceway compared to the 2011 and 2012 models. SVT-designed Bilstein electronic adjustable dampers available on the Performance Package and the all-new chassis tuning helped make it quicker around the track.

"The Shelby GT500 convertible is every bit the performer that the coupe is," said Kerry Baldori, SVT Global Performance Vehicles chief engineer. "All of the significant changes we made in the program were instrumental in delivering a convertible that could really shine on the track but can still be driven on a daily basis."

The unveiling of the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible also marks the 20th anniversary of Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT). The official launch of SVT came during the 1992 Chicago Auto Show with the unveiling of the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra and SVT F-150 Lightning. In honor of SVT's anniversary, a commemorative lighted sill plate will be used in the 2013 Shelby GT500 to celebrate the many years of performance vehicles.

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February 9, 2012

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Previewed Ahead of Geneva Debut

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After releasing a teaser photo of the new 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, we now have our first official look at the all-new Outlander ahead of its debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Mitsubishi has released a single photo of the new Outlander. The third-generation 2013 Outlander will remain about the same size as the current model, but will get an exterior that takes cues from the PX-MiEV II concept. in Europe the 2013 Outlander will launch with new a choice between two engines, a 2.0L MIVEC gasoline engine or a 2.2L MIVEC clean diesel. A start-stop system will help improve the Outlander's fuel efficiency and the engines can be mated to an all-new 6-speed automatic. A new "eco-friendly driving system" will also alert the driver when they are driving at maximum efficiency.

Mitsubishi has also announced that a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander will be available in 2013. The system will combine a 2.0L gas engine with two electric motors, one on each axle. It will be able to travel up to 30 miles in full electric mode.

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Chevy Cruze Wagon Will be Unveiled in Geneva

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GM has announced that a wagon version of the popular Chevy Cruze will debut next month in Geneva. This will mark the introduction of the third version of the Cruze, after the sedan and five-door hatchback versions that are available in Europe.

"The Cruze Station Wagon caters to an important market segment. It ticks all the boxes for European drivers in terms of distinctive design, dynamic driving, space and economy," said Chevrolet Europe President and Managing Director Susan Docherty.

The Cruze wagon is instantly recognizable as a member of the Cruze family and features a tapering single arch roofline and comes with roof rails as standard. It is longer than the sedan at 184 inches compared to 181 inches.

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Aston Martin V12 Zagato Production Version Unveiled, Only 150 Will be Built

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Aston Martin has released the first official photos and specs for the production version of the V12 Zagato. The V12 Zagato is the result of a renewed partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato.

Aston Martin 's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez stated, "Our relationship with Zagato stretches back more than 50 years. Together in that time we have created a series of very special cars. The first - the DB4GT Zagato - is a true icon: fast, beautiful and incredibly desirable. In the V12 Zagato I believe we have captured the spirit of that car and combined it with a confident twist of modernity to give it a character all of its own."

The V12 Zagato is powered by a 6.0L V12 that packs 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. The V12 is mated to a standard six-speed manual. Aston Martin claims that the V12 Zagato will reach 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and it will have a top speed of 190 mph.

It's body is made of aluminum and carbon fiber. The Aston Martin signature "double-bubble" roof and doors are made of aluminum, while the front and rear fenders, door sills and trunk lid are made of carbon fiber.

Buyers can choose between four colors: Scintilla Silver, Alloro Green, Alba Blue and Diavolo Red. Aston Martin is only going to produce 150 units, mainly because it take about 2,000 man hours to create even one of these. Pricing in the UK will start at £330,000.

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato will debut next week at the Kuwait Concours d'Elegance.

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Nissan Drops Details on the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder's Interior

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Nissan unveiled the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Concept in Detroit last month, and although the concept is a preview of the production version coming this fall, Nissan did not release any of the specs on the interior.

The 2013 Pathfinder will return to a unibody platform, which will provide some upgrades for the interior, including a flat floor. Other interior features include heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start, and a Bose Audio System with 13 speakers.

"The Pathfinder Concept demonstrates that when it comes to modern interior design, you can have it all - premium features, versatility and user-friendly technology," said Castignetti. "By giving equal priority to both the driver and each and every passenger - including those in the 3rd row - we've created a premium driving experience and environment for all."

Nissan also expects the 2013 Pathfinder to have one of the roomiest 2nd rows in its class and 3rd row access will be easier thanks to the 2nd row that can slide forward 5.5 inches. The 3rd row also reclines for more comfort for passengers stuck all the way in the back.

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2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe Starts at $76,895

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BMW has announced the pricing for the all-new 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe, which is the first version of the new Gran Coupe. The 640i Gran Coupe starts at $76,895 and arrives early this summer. Later this summer the V-8 powered 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe and the all-wheel drive 2013 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe models will join the line.

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a new 4-door, 4+1 seat addition to the 6 Series line that according to BMW, "successfully combines the stunning proportions, design and driving dynamics of the 6 Series Coupe with interior room and amenities for up to five passengers."

The 640i Gran Coupe is powered by a 315-hp turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder, while the 650i Gran Coupe models are powered by a 445 horsepower 4.4L twin-turbo V8. It takes the 640i 5.4 seconds to reach 0-62 mph and only 4.6 seconds for the 650i to reach the same speed.

The BMW 6 Series Gran coupe will make its world debut at the Geneva International Auto Show in March and its North American premiere at the New York International Auto Show in early April.

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2012 Toyota Prius c Starts at $18,950 and Gets 53 MPG

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Toyota has announced the pricing for the all-new Prius c, which is the smallest model in the Prius family. The 2012 Prius c starts at $18,950 and will arrive in dealerships next month.

Toyota says that the 2012 Prius c was "designed to function as a city-friendly vehicle with an engaging driving experience and hatchback utility." It gets up to 53 mpg in the city, which is the highest city mpg rating of any vehicle without a plug. It's officially rated at an EPA-estimated 53/46/50 city/highway/combined mpg.

The Prius c is powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor with a nickel-metal hydride battery. The system has a total output of 99 horsepower.

The Prius c will be available in four trim levels: One, Two, Three or Four. The base Prius c one comes with standard features like automatic climate control and Bluetooth. The Prius c Two model starts at $19,900 and comes with a 6-speaker audio system, cruise control, 60/40 split fold down rear seat and a cargo area cover. The Prius c Three model starts at $21,635 and comes with a 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system, Sirius satellite radio and Pandora radio. The Prius c Three trim also gets color-keyed door handles, a Smart Key system and buyers can add 15-inch alloy wheels and a power moonroof as optional equipment. The top level, the Prius c Four trim gets standard 15-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels, heated front seats, heated mirrors and fog lamps. Buyers can add 16-inch alloy wheels and a power moonroof for an extra $1,150.

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February 10, 2012

Audi TT RS plus Unveiled with 360-HP

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Audi has unveiled an even more powerful and faster version of the Audi TT, the TT RS plus, which is available in both coupe and roadster versions.

The Audi TT RS plus is powered bu a turbocharged 2.5L TFSI five-cylinder engine, that packs 20 more horsepower than the TT RS, at 360 horsepower. The 2.5L also puts out 343 lb-ft. of torque and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic transmission. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission gets a launch control function that optimizes acceleration from a standing start. All that power is sent to all four wheels via Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Audi claims that the TT RS plus coupe with the S tronic transmission will only take 4.1 seconds to reach 0-62 mph. With the manual it will take just a tad longer at 4.3 seconds. The roadster reaches the same speed in 4.2 seconds with the dual-clutch transmission and 4.4 seconds with the manual. The top speed for both the coupe and the roadster is limited to 174 mph.

A singleframe radiator grille also sets the Audi TT RS plus apart visually: Its diamond-pattern mesh is in highly polished anthracite, its trim frame has a matt aluminum-look finish. The housings of the mirrors are also made of arbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and the dual-branch sport exhaust system has black oval tailpipe trims. A sound flap further intensifies the sound of the engine.

The TT RS plus Coupe with manual transmission costs €60,650 in Germany or €62,800 with the seven-speed S tronic . The TT RS plus Roadster has a list price of €63,500 or €65,650 respectively.

It's not known if the TT RS plus will be offered in the U.S.

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Tesla Unveils 2014 Model X Crossover with Falcon Wings

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Last night Tesla unveiled its third model, the 2014 Model X crossover, which is based on the same platform as the upcoming Model S sedan. Tesla says that the Model X was designed to blend the best of an SUV with the benefits of a minivan.

The Tesla Model X has three rows of seats, room for up to seven passengers and comes with two rear doors that Tesla is calling "Falcon Wings." Tesla says that the Falcon Wings are perfect for tight parking spots because they open up, instead of out like a traditional door.

The Model X shares its platform with the Model S and will come in three drivetrain configurations: rear-wheel-drive, dual motor all-wheel-drive and the performance dual motor all-wheel-drive model. The Model X will be offered with a 60 or 85 kWh battery. Tesla claims that the standard Model X will reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds with the performance model being even quicker.

Tesla has already started taking reservations for the Model X, which will arrive in early 2014. It's final pricing is expected to be close to the Model S, which starts at $49,900 after the $7,500 federal tax credit.

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February 11, 2012

All-New Third-Generation BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible Officially Unveiled

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BMW's all-new third-generation BMW M6 Convertible and Coupe models have been officially unveiled. After a two year hiatus, the M6 is returning.

The first model to arrive in U.S. showrooms will be the 2012 M6 Convertible in June 2012, the M6 Coupe will arrive in the late summer as a 2013 model. The M6 shares its engine with the M5. The twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 puts out the highest output ever created by a BMW M car with 560-hp and 500 lb-ft. The new V8 puts out 10% more horsepower and 30% more torque than the old V10 engine, while fuel consumption and emissions levels are expected to be reduced by approximately 30%. The V8 is mated to a standard seven-speed double-clutch transmission (M DCT). A manual transmission is still being considered.

BMW claims that the M6 Coupe will reach 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds, while the M6 Convertible will take a tick longer at 4.3 seconds. The top speed of both models is electronically limited to 155 mph.

The all-new M6 gets an Active M Differential, which is an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential programmed to optimize traction, stability and sporting character. The new BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible will be the first cars in the history of BMW M to be offered with optional M Carbon-Ceramic brakes. The brake rotors are made from a carbon-fiber ceramic compound and measure 16.1 inches in the front and 15.6 inches at the rear. The ceramic brakes are also also 43 pounds lighter than the standard brakes. M6 models equipped with the M Carbon-Ceramic system can be easily identified through the wheels by the special gold-colored calipers. The M6 rides on standard 19-inch wheels, but 20-inch light-alloy wheels are optional.

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February 13, 2012

2013 Lexus RX Leaked via a Brochure Ahead of Geneva Debut

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The Lexus RX crossover is the next model to get Lexus' new Spindle Grille for the 2013 model year. Lexus is going to unveil the revised 2013 RX models at the Geneva Motor Show, next month, but we have the early photos now. A brochure of the Japanese-spec Lexus RX has leaked.

The 2013 Lexus RX will get updates that are similar to the larger 2013 LX 570, including a new face that incorporates the spindle grille and LED daytime running lights. A new F Sport RX is also going to be introduced with a unique front fascia, larger wheels, a sports steering wheel and aluminum pedals.

Stay tuned...

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Kia Teasers its New Rear-Wheel-Drive 2013 KH Flagship Sedan

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Kia has released the first teaser photos and details for its new rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan, codenamed KH. Kia hasn't released the official name of its new sedan, but here's our first look at the new sedan.

The "KH" will borrow its platform from Hyundai, but Kia hasn't announced which engines will power the Kia sedan. The rear-wheel-drive Genesis is offered with a 3.8L V6, 4.6L V8 and a 5.0L V8. According to Kia the design of the concept is "distinctive, modern and classic."

Soon-Nam Lee, Kia's Director of the Overseas Marketing Group, stated, "Our all-new flagship sedan integrates all of our key capabilities such as design, performance, high-tech features and infotainment into one striking model."

The new rear-wheel-drive Kia sedan will go on sale in Korea this summer, but launch dates for other markets, including North America have not been confirmed.

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BMW Announces 2013 X3 xDrive28i with Turbocharged 4-cyl

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BMW has announced that the 2013 BMW X3 will only be powered by twin-turbocharged engines, which means that the X3 xDrive28i is ditching its naturally-aspirated 3.0L six-cylinder engine. In its place, the X3 xDrive28i will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 245 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque.

According to BMW the new four-cylinder has 40 percent more torque than the outgoing engine and will reach 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the old engine. The four-cylinder is mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

BMW has also announced that all X3 models will get a new Driving Experience Control feature. At the push of a button, the driver can choose between the "COMFORT", "SPORT" and "SPORT+" modes as well as the ECO PRO mode. Driving Experience Control has an effect on the settings of the stability control function DSC, the characteristic maps of the accelerator pedal and Servotronic power steering and, depending on how the vehicle is equipped, also the gearshift characteristics of the automatic transmission and the control map of the Dynamic Damper Control system.

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Cadillac Has No Plans for an XTS-V, Larger Cadillac Sedan is Possible

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Cadillac unveiled its new flagship sedan, the 2013 XTS late last year. The 2013 XTS is powered by a 300-hp 3.6L direct-injection V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic. If you were hoping for a more powerful XTS with a V8, it's not gonna happen.

Wards Auto is reporting that GM has no plans to create a high-performance XTS-V beause the XTS isn't a "performance vehicle." Don Butler, vice president-marketing for Cadillac stated, "We can add a turbo to the V-6, and as we move forward with the XTS there will be what we'll call power enhancements."

For now Cadillac offers a high-performance V version of the CTS and the new 2013 ATS is set to get a high-performance version as well.

Butler did state that a vehicle larger than the XTS is currently being studied. "We continue to study that territory. We've now got the volume segments covered with the compact ATS, midsize CTS, fullsize XTS and SRX crossover. Next would be to add a new halo car with more substance."

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February 14, 2012

Mazda Releases More Takeri Concept Photos Ahead of Geneva Debut

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Mazda is bringing its Takeri concept to the Geneva Motor Show next month, which is a preview of the next-generation Mazda6. The Takeri concept is the latest concept to adopt Mazda's 'KODO - Soul of Motion' design theme, which we first saw with the Shinari concept.

The Takeri concept is powered by Mazda's new SkyActiv-D diesel engine and its six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission. The concept is also the first Mazda to be equipped with i-Eloop, which is short for "Intelligent Energy Loop". This is Mazda's first regenerative braking system that converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration and stores it in an electric double-layer capacitor. The power is used to run the vehicle's electric components , thereby reducing the load on the engine and increasing fuel economy by up to 10 percent.

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Infiniti Emerg-E Concept Photos Leaked

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The first photos of Infiniti's Emerg-E concept have leaked online, in the form of the official patent images. The concept is set to debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

The Emerg-E concept will utilize a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a range extending internal combustion engine. The concept will feature a mid-engine layout and will also show off Infiniti's new styling direction.

The Emerg-E concept will officially debut on March 6th.

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Alfa Romeo to Return to US in 2014 with the 4C

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The return of Alfa Romeo keeps getting pushed back, but now the latest reports claim that the brand will officially relaunch in the U.S. at the Detroit Auto Show in 2014.

Autocar is reporting that Alfa Romeo will return to the U.S. with the unveiling of the production version of the mid-engined 4C sports car at the show. The 4C will spearhead Alfa's arrival. Autocar has also learned that the 4C will only be available with a dual-clutch transmission, unfortunately a manual will not be available. The 4C will also be powered by a 230 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

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Next Porsche 911 GT3 Will Probably Not Get a Manual Transmission

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Manual transmissions are a dying breed, with automakers consistently dropping them from their new models. Porsche has continued to still offer a manual transmission in the 911, with the new 911 even getting a seven-speed manual transmission. But now Inside Line is reporting that Porsche may not offer a manual in the next 911 GT3.

911 project chief, August Achleitner recently hinted that the next 911 GT3 will ditch a manual transmission and will only be offered with a PDK transmission. Both the PDK and manual transmission are currently being tested for the 2013 GT3, but the PDK is reportedly the favorite choice.

Achleitner also told Inside Line, When we launched the 911 Turbo S, we did not offer a manual, but we have not had a single complaint." He also revealed that only 30 percent of 911s are sold with a manual transmission.

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All-New 2012 Hyundai Azera Starts at $32,000

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Hyundai has announced the pricing for the all-new 2012 Hyundai Azera, which starts at $32,000 and $36,000 for the Azera with the Technology Package.

The second-generation gets Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design language and Azera is powered by a 293 horsepower 3.3L V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Azera's powertrain also has an Active Eco system, which modifies engine and transmission control for improved fuel economy that translates into more than five percent improvement in real-world fuel economy. It's rated at 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.

The base Azera comes standard with Bluetooth, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats and a navigation system. The Technology Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, HID Xenon headlights, ventilated front seats, rear parking sensors and a premium audio system.

The all-new 2012 Azera will be available in April.

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Refreshed 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Starts at $24,250

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Hyundai has announced pricing for the refreshed 2013 Genesis Coupe, which starts at $24,250 for the 2.0T model and $28,750 for the 3.8-liter R-Spec model.

For the 2013 model year the Genesis coupe gets a refresh with a more aggressive face and more importantly, more power under the hood. The 3.8-liter Lambda DOHC V6 engine gets direct-injection technology, with its horsepower rising to 348 at 6,400 RPM, and peak torque increasing to 295 lb.-ft. The 2.0-liter turbo now packs 274 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. Either engine can be mated to a standard six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe goes on sale in March.

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2013 Audi RS4 Avant Unveiled with 450-HP

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Audi has officially unveiled the 2013 Audi RS4 Avant. The third-generation RS4 Avant is powered by a 4.2L V8 with 450 horsepower and 317 lb-ft. of torque that is mated to a seven-speed transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The RS4 Avant is powered by the same engine as the RS5 coupe. It reaches 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a governed top speed of 155 mph, which can be increased up to 174 mph. Compared to the 2013 Audi A4 Avant, the RS4 Avant rides 20 millimeters lower and on 19-inch ten-spoke aluminum wheels. 20-inch wheels are optional.

Inside the RS4 Avant is completely black, with the exception of the roofliner, which is optionally available in Moon Silver. Carbon inlays are standard, with brushed matte aluminum, Aluminum Race, black piano finish or a light stainless steel mesh available as options. Nappa leather covers the seats in either black or mood silver. A driver information system includes an RS menu with a lap timer and an oil thermometer.

Delivery of the Audi RS4 Avant is scheduled to begin in fall 2012 at a base price of €76,600 in Germany. Don't count on it coming to the U.S., unfortunately.

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February 15, 2012

2012 Kia Cee'd Hatchback Unveiled Ahead of Geneva Debut

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An all-new Kia Cee'd hatchback is scheduled to debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but we have the first official photos now.

The Kia Cee'd is based on the same platform as the Hyundai i30, but is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model. The new Cee'd gets Kia's new design language with its sculpted hood and styling cues that are similar to the new Kia Optima.

The interior of the new Cee'd is more driver oriented and has a more premium look and feel than the last model. Kia hasn't announced what will power the new Cee'd when it is released in Europe later this year.

We'll know more next month.

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VIDEO: Lexus Creates a Racetrack in the Shape of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

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Lexus is now the official automotive marketing partner of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and to kick it off, Lexus has created a campaign called TORI 500. The campaign showcases an actual racetrack the automaker created in the shape of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Tori Praver's body.

"What better way to help introduce the bold new face of Lexus--the all-new GS--than with a bold new campaign featuring a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model?" said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. "With the new GS, there's no going back for Lexus. Instead of just looking at the pictures, consumers can share in the fun through our many campaign components, including having Tori appear in their own photos."

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2013 Ferrari California Gets a Facelift and New Handling Speciale Package

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Ferrari is giving the Ferrari California a small facelift for the 2013 model year. To get us ready for its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next month, Ferrari has released a couple photos and some specs.

There aren't really any changes to the outside, but under the hood the 2013 California is getting a power upgrade. The 4.3L V8 now puts out 490 horsepower and 373 lb-ft. of torque, an increase of 30 horsepower and 26 lb-ft. thanks to new exhaust manifolds and a tweaked ECU. Ferrari also managed to put the California on a diet. The 2013 California is now 66 pounds lighter. The additional power and lighter weight means that the California is now 0.2 seconds faster than the last model with a 0-62 mph time of only 3.8 seconds.

Ferrari has also put together a new optional Handling Speciale package, which includes modifications to the suspension to reduce body roll. The steering ratio is also 10 percent quicker.

Come back for more info from the show next month.

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2013 Volvo V40 Leaked?

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Volvo will be unveiling the all-new 2013 Volvo V40 hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Yesterday the second official teaser of the V40 was released on Volvo's Facebook page, but now more photos of the V40 may have leaked online.

French car magazine L'Automobile has posted two photos that it claims are of the new V40. One photo shows the front eng of the V40, while a large photo shows off the rear three-quarter of the V40.

The 2013 V40 will go head to head with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series in Europe.

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2013 Audi A3 Gets an Early Unveiling?

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Today we've already seen a leaked photo of what appears to be the 2013 Volvo V40 hatchback and now a photo of the next Audi A3 has leaked. Audi will be unveiling the all-new 2013 Audi A3 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next month, but this may be our first look.

If this is indeed the all-new A3, which it looks like it is based on the leaks that we saw at CES, the A3 will not get a design that is too different from the current A3. The next A3 will adopt styling cues from the newer Audi models, including the "Audi" grille and more aggressive headlights.

Stay tuned...

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February 16, 2012

Porsche Officially Names its new Small SUV the Macan

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Although we've been calling Porsche's upcoming small SUV the Cajun, Porsche has officially named it the Macan. According to Porsche "Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger and combines suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics core characteristics of the new off-road car."

Porsche hopes to have the same success with the Macan that it has had with the Cayenne. The Macan will be the fifth Porsche and will start rolling off the line in Leipzig in 2013.

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Ford Gets Almost 500 Hybrid Patents with 47-mpg 2013 Fusion Hybrid

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The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is expected to be the most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable sedan when it's released later this year. Ford says that its hybrid patent portfolio has grown from 10 in 2000 to nearly 500 today thanks to the new Fusion Hybrid.

"Ford continued to invest to develop new products like our new Fusion hybrids during the depths of the economic downturn," said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer of Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. "We succeeded in transforming our lineup with leading fuel efficiency, thanks in part to the many Ford inventors who are helping make our Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient sedan."

The all-new Fusion Hybrid is anticipated to deliver 47 mpg city and 44 mpg highway and the new Fusion Energi, arriving this fall, is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe.

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VIDEO: Check Out the Aston Martin V12 Zagato in Action

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The Aston Martin V12 Zagato had its official world premiere Kuwait Concours d'Elegance this week.

The awesome V12 Zagato is powered by a 6.0L V12 that packs 510 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. It reaches 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. Aston Martin is only going to produce 150 units with pricing starting at £330,000.

Check it out in motion after the jump.

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2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i with the 2.0L Turbo Starts at $39,395

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BMW has announced the pricing for the 2013 BMW X3, which starts at $39,395 for the X3 xDrive28i and $44,495 for the X3 xDrive35i. This represents an increase of $1,400 and $900 respectively.

The 2013 X3 xDrive28i is ditching the non-turbo inline six-cylinder in the current X3 for the same 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder as the 528i and the new 328i. The 2.0L packs 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates that the X3 xDrive28i will reach 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and have an electronically governed top speed of 130 mph. The X3 xDrive35i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six cylinder with 300 horsepower.

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February 17, 2012

BMW to Unveil M Performance Parts and BMW Accessories Division in Geneva

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BMW has announced the premiere of the range of Original BMW Accessories that have been developed to customize the new 3 Series sedan. Exterior offerings range from unique 20-inch wheels to a fitted indoor/outdoor car cover. The new 3 Series Sedan interior can be customized in keeping with the new Sport, Modern or Luxury Lines with items such as all weather floor mats, color matched emergency brake handle, key fobs, rear storage and backrest bags.

The BMW M Performance Parts division is also premiering at the show. The new division includes powertrain, suspension, aerodynamics and cockpit components that provide a tangible increase in driving dynamics by enhancing engine power, reducing weight and optimizing aerodynamic properties. The products have been especially designed for the 5 Series sedan, new 3 Series sedan and the 1 Series 5-door. The products include black kidney grills, M Performance exhaust systems, carbon fiber front splitters and an M Performance steering. The BMW M Performance Parts will roll out in the USA beginning this summer.

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Jaguar Announces XK and XKR Special Editions

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Jaguar has announced new XK and XKR Special Edition models that are now available in both coupe and convertible versions. The Special Edition models get interior upgrades like the use of scraffito leather to the front seats, instrument panel, door and rear quarter trim. The interior also gets a Poltrona Frau leather headliner and two new available veneer finishes - Shadow Walnut and Dark Figured Aluminium.

Standard features include a 525W Bowers & Wilkins sound system, adjustable heated Performance seats, a heated steering wheel and keyless entry/start.

The XK is powered by a 5.0L V8 with 380 horsepower, while the supercharged XKR packs 503 horsepower.

Unfortunately Jaguar has not announced any plans to offer the Special Edition models in the U.S.

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February 19, 2012

Mini Clubvan Concept to Debut in Geneva

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Next month Mini will unveil the new Clubvan concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Mini Clubvan concept is obviously based on the Mini Clubman, but has even more load-carrying capability.

The Clubvan concept does away with the Clubman's rear seats and a partition grille now sits directly behind the two front seats. The totally level floor makes full use of the interior's depth, and that allows the concept car's load capacity to exceed the maximum achieved by the Mini Clubman. The concept retains the Clubman's five doors, which allows owners the option of loading or unloading smaller items from the side of the car as well as the rear.

The Mini Clubvan Concept comes is painted in a British Racing Green exterior paintwork, which extends to the roof, C-pillars and exterior mirror caps. Its rear side windows are opaque and heavily tinted glass for the rear doors make it difficult to see into the load compartment.

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February 20, 2012

Fiat Releases More Photos of the 2013 Fiat 500L

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The 2012 Geneva Motor Show is only a few weeks away. Fiat is going to officially unveil its all-new 2013 Fiat 500L at the show, but until then Fiat has released a few more photos of the "larger" Fiat 500.

The 2013 Fiat 500L will arrive in the U.S. next year, but stay tuned for its official unveiling on March 6th.

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2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Gets a Refresh

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Aston Martin is giving the V8 Vantage a facelift for the 2012 model year. The updated 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage will officially debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show with more power and updates borrowed from the Vantage S.

The V8 Vantage gets some updates that were first seen on the Vantage S, like quicker steering, bigger brakes and wider tires. A new steering column installation, re-valved power steering and a quicker steering ratio of 15:1 compared to 17:1 gives more feedback and agility. The braking system has also been upgraded with new 380 mm two-piece ventilated cast-iron front discs and six piston calipers. A Hill Start Assist system has also been added.

The 4.7L V8 still comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but now there's an optional seven-speed Sportshift II automated manual transmission. The base V8 Vantage packs 420 horsepower, while the Vantage S features 430 horsepower.

On the outside the 2012 V8 Vantage gets styling updates from the Vantage S and the limited-edition N400, which includes a revised front bumper with a splitter and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser.

For buyers that want even more power, the 510-horsepower Aston Martin V12 Vantage is unchanged for 2012.

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Maserati GranTurismo Sport Unveiled Ahead of Geneva Debut

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Maserati has unveiled the new Maserati GranTurismo Sport ahead of its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The GranTurismo Sport will officially replace the GranTurismo S.

The GranTurismo Sport is powered by a 460 horsepower 4.7L V8 that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission or an optional six-speed sequential manual transmission. The GranTurismo Sport gets a redesigned front bumper with larger air vents, headlights with LED daytime running lights and darker taillights to set it apart from the rest of the GranTurismo lineup. Inside the GranTurismo Sport will get a new steering wheel and seats.

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VIDEO: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Shows What its Got on the Trails

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The all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder will be arriving this fall and the biggest change will be the deletion of the body-on-frame platform that true SUV loyalists crave. In its place, the 2013 Pathfinder is switching back to a unibody platform that has allowed Nissan to make the new Pathfinder 500 pounds lighter and 25 percent more fuel efficient.

Many Pathfinder fans may be worried that the switch to a unibody platform means that the new Pathfinder will not be as capable once the pavement ends, but Nissan is out to prove them wrong. Nissan has released a promo video that shows Pathfinder prototypes hitting snow covered trails to show that the next Pathfinder is just as capable as the current model.

Nissan gave us a preview of the 2013 Pathfinder with the Pathfinder concept in Detroit last month. We will see the final production version in New York in April.

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Here are Some New Photos of the 2013 Cadillac ATS

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GM has released a new batch of photos of the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact sedan.

Cadillac's new 3 Series competitor can be equipped with a choice of three engines a 200-hp 2.5L four-cylinder, a 320-hp 3.6L V6 and a 270 horsepower turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Buyers can choose between rear or all-wheel-drive and either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The 2013 Cadillac ATS goes on sale this summer.

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February 21, 2012

Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati to Debut in Geneva

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Fiat has unveiled a special limited edition 500, dubbed the Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati, which represents the bond between Abarth and Maserati. According to Fiat, the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari is the utmost expression of Abarth's sporty character and racing spirit, this new Limited Edition epitomizes sheer elegance united to the comfort of a "GranTurismo", but with the handling of a car fit to take to the road every day.

The Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati is powered by a 180 horsepower turbocharged 1.4L engine that is mated to an electrically-operated manual Abarth Competizione gearbox with paddle shifters. The limited edition model also gets 17-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a Brembo braking system and a "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust.

The exterior of the Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati is painted in Pontevecchio Bordeaux, while the electrically controlled soft top is made of grey fabric. Inside the seats are covered in sand beige Poltrona Frau leather.

The Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati will be officially unveiled next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Only 499 units will be produced.

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2013 SRT Viper Teased Again, but What is It?

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Chrysler has released a second teaser photo of the 2013 SRT Viper ahead of its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show. What is it exactly? It appears to be some sort of carbon-fiber covered air intake. What do you think?

The next Viper is rumored to be powered by a 8.7L V10 and it will also get traction control, for the first time ever.

Stay tuned for its official debut in April.

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VIDEO: Ferrari to Unveil the "Most Powerful Ferrari Ever" on February 29


Ferrari has announced that the successor to the Ferrari 599 will officially debut on February 29th. Obviously Ferrari is excited about the successor, which will also hold the title of the "Most Powerful Ferrari Ever." Ferrari has released a teaser video of the new supercar that will be powered by a new 12-cylinder engine with up to 700 horsepower.

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February 22, 2012

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Officially Unveiled

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Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the 2013 SL63 AMG, which has more power, but is also lighter and approximately 30 percent more fuel efficient.

The weight of the SL63 AMG has been dropped 275 pounds thanks to a new aluminum bodyshell. It now weighs 4,059 pounds. The SL 63 AMG is powered by a 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out 530 horsepower and 590 lb-ft. of torque. With the optional AMG Performance Package, these figures rise to 557 hp and 664 lb-ft respectively. It reaches 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. With the Performance Package the 0-60 mph time drops to 4.1 seconds and its top speed rises to 186 mph.

Other additions are the AMG active suspension, new AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the AMG high-performance compound brake system and the AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The 7-speed transmission includes four drive modes: : "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual).

The SL63 AMG stands out from the SL lineup with its AMG bodykit, LED daytime running lights and V8 Biturbo logos on the vent grilles.

The interior gets AMG sports seats in single-tone or two-tone nappa leather with a unique seat upholstery design and AMG badges in the seat backrests, a multicontour function and seat heating as well as AMG carbon-fiber trim, AMG illuminated door sill panels, ambient lighting and an IWC-design analog clock.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG will officially debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

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Spy Shots: 2013 Lexus ES Shows up in China

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This may look like the 2013 Lexus GS, but nope this is our first look at the 2013 Lexus ES that has shown up in China. The next-generation ES has been revealed by Chinese forum XCar.

The 2013 ES will continue to share its platform with the Toyota Camry, but gets Lexus' new styling language and an overall look that is very close to the new GS and CT models. The interior is also significantly different from the current model and also looks similar to the new GS.

Check out the photos here.

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2013 Volvo V40 Leaked Again on Facebook

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The all-new 2013 Volvo V40 five-door hatchback is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in early March, but the first official photos may have been leaked today on a Polish magazine's Facebook page.

If these photos are accurate, the 2013 V40 will borrow styling cues from the S60 and XC60 models.

Stay tuned.

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2013 Audi A3 Three-Door Leaked Again

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The all-new 2013 Audi A3 will officially debut next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but a whole batch of photos have leaked onto the internet today. The photos you see here are the first official photos of the three-door version of the 2013 A3, although the lineup will include a five-door, two-door convertible and a four-door sedan.

Overall the styling of the 2013 A3 doesn't veer too far from the current model, with the exception of its more aggressive face. The new A3 will ride on VW's new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, which will also be the basis for the next VW Golf and a host of other new models.

Stay tuned for the official debut in two weeks.

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1,200-HP Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Unveiled

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Bugatti has unveiled the 1,200 horsepower Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse ahead of its world debut at the upcoming 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Bugatti President Wolfgang Dürheimer stated, "The rapid success of the Super Sport convinced us to increase the performance of the Bugatti roadster. Once again our engineers worked hard to demonstrate that Bugatti is able to constantly redefine the boundaries of what is technically feasible. We gave our all to transfer the achievements of the Super Sport over to the Grand Sport, thereby turning open-top driving itself into an extraordinary experience at high speed."

The Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse uses the Super Sport's 8.0L 16-cylinder engine, but thanks to four enlarged turbochargers and intercoolers it puts out 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft.

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Fiat 500 America Unveiled, but it isn't for America

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Now this is odd. Fiat has unveiled a limited edition version of the Fiat 500, dubbed the "500 America." What's odd is that Fiat makes no mention of offering the model in the U.S. as it will only be available for buyers in Europe.

According to Fiat, the "500 America" emphases the global soul of the Fiat 500, which will be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next month. The Fiat 500 America is a tribute to America, even if it's not going to be sold here.

Only 500 coupes and 500 convertibles will be produced and according to Fiat, "the new Fiat 500 America is celebrating the country where the model was sold in 2011 and where its collaboration with the American pop singer Jennifer Lopez started."

The 500 America coupe will be offered in the exclusive metallic shade America Blue and it is distinguished by mirror covers with "Stars & Stripes" graphics, stickers and 16" alloy rims with red cap edge. The 500 America convertible will come in white with a red top and alloy wheels with a blue rim edge.

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February 23, 2012

2013 SRT Viper Leaked as a Hot Wheels Model?

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The internet is buzzing with this alleged photo of the 2013 SRT Viper. A photo was posted on T-Hunted, a site that publishes photos of upcoming Hot Wheels mini cars. Although the shot is blurry this could be our first look at the new Viper, since Hot Wheels scale models are usually pretty close to the actual production model. What do you think?

Chrysler has released two teaser photos of the new Viper. We'll see the 2013 SRT Viper at its world debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April.

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Hyundai i30 Wagon Unveiled Ahead of Geneva Debut

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Hyundai has unveiled the all-new i30 wagon ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show that kicks off in two weeks. The i30 wagon will be sold alongside the i30 five-door hatchback in Europe, which is our 2013 Elantra GT.

The i30 wagon gets the same face as the five-door and will use the same engines. Buyers will be able to choose from three diesel and three gasoline engines. The i30 wagon is 185mm longer than the five-door and thanks to the extra length its trunk can hold up to 528 liters compared to only 378 liters of space in the five-door. With the rear seat folded the i30 wagon's cargo space increases to 1642 liters.

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February 24, 2012

All-New 2013 Acura RDX Starts at $34,320

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Acura has announced the pricing for the all-new 2013 Acura RDX that goes on sale this spring. The second-generation 2013 RDX starts at $34,320, which is up from the 2012 model that starts at $32,895.

"The right-sized 2013 RDX adds increased comfort, utility and power, along with class-leading fuel economy," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales."Based on changing consumer preference, small is becoming big in the eyes of today's consumers."

The 2013 RDX is now powered by a new 3.5L V6 with 273 horsepower, which is more powerful and fuel efficient than the old turbocharged four-cylinder. The new RDX also gets a longer wheelbase, which translates into more interior room and a sleeker, more aerodynamic exterior.

Inside the 2013 RDX gets standard features like leather seats, heated front seats, a 360-watt audio system with Pandora internet radio, an SMS text messaging function and a rear view camera. The $3,700 Technology Package adds the AcuraLink satellite communication system, a navigation system with voice recognition, dual-zone automatic climate control system, a premium sound system, power tailgate and Bi-Xenon headlights.

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BMW M135i Concept to Debut in Geneva

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BMW has unveiled the new M135i Concept, which is set to have its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next month. The M135i Concept combines the three-door BMW 1 Series with BMW's 3.0L Twin Power Turbo that packs 300 horsepower.

You will notice that this concept also marks the first time that we are seeing the new three-door version of the 1 Series. BMW states that the three-door "makes and even more sporting and elegant statement" than the five-door 1 Series. The concept also gets an M sports braking system and 18-inch M light alloy wheels.

The BMW M135i Concept will officially debut on March 6th. Unfortunately BMW has not announced any plans to bring the 1 Series hatchback to the U.S.

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BMW Launches 640d xDrive Diesel Coupe and Convertible Models

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BMW has announced another new variant of the 6 Series coupe and convertible, the BMW 640d xDrive, which mates BMW's six-cylinder diesel engine with all-wheel-drive.

The 640d xDrive models are powered by a 3.0L six-cylinder diesel engine with 308 horsepower and 465 lb-ft. of torque. The six-cylinder is mated to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission. A Driving Experience Control switch can adjust the engine management, accelerator mapping and the shift characteristics of the automatic transmission. The Driving Experience Control switch can also be used to call up SPORT, SPORT+ and COMFORT modes, and - if the optional Dynamic Damper Control or Adaptive Drive are selected - COMFORT+. BMW claims that the BMW 640d xDrive Coupe accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

The xDrive all-wheel-drive system can send power to the front and rear wheels depending on the situation. The system also includes Performance Control, which divides drive between the right and left-hand rear wheels.

the 640d xDrive models will be available in Europe this spring, but BMW has not announced if it will be offered in the U.S.

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Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept Unveiled

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Land Rover has unveiled a new concept version of the Range Rover Evoque, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept. The Evoque Convertible concept is going to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show early next month. Land Rover is using the concept to gauge public interest in a convertible version of the Evoque.

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is based on the three-door version of the Evoque. The concept features a power soft-top with a glass rear window. According to Land Rover the Evoque convertible could be offered with two or four wheel drive and either gasoline or diesel engines, if it does get the green light for production.

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February 26, 2012

Infiniti Emerg-E Supercar Concept Photos Leaked Again

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We're just a little over a week away from the official kick off of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but here's our first official look at Infiniti's new supercar concept that will debut at the show. We've already seen patent images of the Infiniti Emerg-E concept, but now the first batch of official photos have leaked online ahead of its official public unveiling.

The Emerg-E concept will be powered by a mid-mounted plug-in hybrid powertrain with a range extending internal combustion engine. Stay tuned for all the details on March 6th.

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February 27, 2012

More 2013 Volvo V40 Photos Leaked w/ Video

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After the photo leaks of the 2013 Volvo V40 on Facebook, last week. We now have even more photos of the new Volvo hatchback, which is going to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

In Europe the V40 will go head to head with models like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. There's no word yet if the V40 will be coming to the U.S.

Come back for all the official specs next week.

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VIDEO: Nissan to Unveil Hi-Cross Concept in Geneva

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Nissan has announced plans to unveil the Hi-Cross crossover concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next week.

The Hi-Cross concept is believed to be a preview of the next-generation Nissan X-Trail. Until then we have an official teaser photo and a quick video after the jump.

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February 28, 2012

2013 Kia K9 Flagship Sedan Debuts on Facebook

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Kia has released the first official photos of its new rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan, codenamed the Kia KH (or Kia K9).

The new flagship sedan will go on sale in South Korea this summer. Soon-Nam Lee, Kia's Director of the Overseas Marketing Group, stated, "Our all-new flagship sedan integrates all of our key capabilities such as design, performance, high-tech features and infotainment into one striking model."

The K9 shares its platform with the Hyundai Equus, so its likely that it will be offered with the same 5.0L V8.

It hasn't been announced when it will be introduced in other markets outside of South Korea.

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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Gets New CA Rebate and Has 95 MPGe Rating

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Toyota has announced that the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is now eligible for an additional rebate incentive in California, under the State of California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP). CVRP is designed to promote the use of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) and related clean vehicle technologies, the CVRP is a consumer incentive made available in addition to the $2,500 Federal Tax credit. Under this program the Prius Plug-in is eligible for a $1,500 rebate.

The Prius Plug-in is rated at 95MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) during EV mode driving. In EV mode it can travel up to 11 miles and reach speeds as high as 62 mph. In hybrid mode the Prius Plug-in has a combined mileage rating of 50 mpg. This means that when the EV Mode is depleted, Prius Plug-in still obtains the same estimated high fuel economy rating as Prius Liftback. Thanks to its lithium-ion battery and extended EV mode, the Prius Plug-in has a total driving range of 540 miles.

The 2012 Prius Plug-in hybrid starts at $32,000, while the Prius Plug-in hybrid advanced starts at $39,525. Just like the Chevy Volt, the Prius Plug-in is also eligible for California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane sticker.

Continue reading "2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Gets New CA Rebate and Has 95 MPGe Rating" »

Volvo Releases Official Details for the 2013 Volvo V40

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Following all the several photo leaks, Volvo has officially announced the details for the 2013 V40 that will debut in Geneva next week.

"The all-new V40 is the first new model that is fully developed according to our human-centric, Designed Around You strategy. Charged with an outstanding set of high-tech features it definitely will give our toughest competitors a headache," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

The V40 five-door hatchback takes styling cues from other Volvo models like the S60 and XC60, but applies them to a smaller compact package. According to Volvo, the V40 is an expressive car with a Scandinavian luxury look and feel, a high-quality aura and meticulous attention to detail.

The V40 will have a range of engines ranging from Volvo's first diesel to the turbocharged T5 engine with 254 horsepower that accelerates the V40 from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds. All of the V40's engines feature start-stop and braking energy regeneration.

"The all-new V40 wraps you in a super-comfortable cockpit with outstanding ergonomics and technology that make you feel informed, focused and relaxed. This driver-centric approach is what modern Volvos are all about," says Stefan Jacoby.

Volvo expects to sell 90,000 units a year, with 85 percent of the total volume going to to buyers in Europe. It has yet to be announced if the V40 will be offered in the U.S. Production will begin in May 2012.

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Oops! 2013 Nissan Altima Accidentally Unveiled in Promo Video

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Nissan has yet to officially unveil the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, but a video celebrating 30 years of production at the Nissan Technical Center accidentally revealed a pre-production 2013 Altima. The video showed the new Altima without any camo, which gives us our first look at the new face and side profile. Of course the video was quickly taken down from Nissan Japan's Youtube site, but the guys over at Inside Line were able to take a screenshot before that happened.

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Restyled 2013 VW CC Starts at $30,250

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VW has announced the pricing for the redesigned 2013 VW CC, which starts at $30,250. The 2013 CC gets new front and rear styling and more standard equipment like Bi-Xenon headlights and LED taillights.

The 2013 CC is available with different engines, the 2.0T models start at $30,250 and are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque that is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The CC VR6 Lux ($37,730) and VR6 4Motion Executive ($41,420) models are powered by the 3.6-liter VR6 engine that packs 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Lux is front-wheel drive, while the Executive is fitted with VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

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2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Unveiled

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Mini has taken the wraps off the 2013 John Cooper Works Countryman, which marks the first time that the performance oriented John Cooper Works package is available on an all-wheel-drive Mini.

The Mini John Cooper Works Countryman will come standard with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and powered by a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine that packs 211 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. The John Cooper Works Countryman is also the first John Cooper Works model available for order with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. According to Mini, the John Cooper Works Countryman will reach 0-62 mph in 7.1 seconds.

In addition to the extra power under the hood the John Cooper Works Countryman gets an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes and door sills with the John Cooper Works logo. Buyers can also customize it with an exclusive selection of paint finishes, light-alloy wheels and interior materials available for order.

The John Cooper Works Countryman will arrive this fall.

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February 29, 2012

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Officially Unveiled with 730-HP

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Ferrari has officially unveiled the most powerful and fastest supercar to ever wear a Ferrari badge, the F12 Berlinetta. The F12 Berlinetta, which is the successor to the 599 GTB Fiorano, is powered by a new 6.3L V12 that packs 730 horsepower and 509 lb-ft. of torque. 80 percent of the F12 Berlinetta's torque is available at only 2,500 rpm, while the V12 can rev all the way up to 8,700 rpm.

The 6.3L V12 is mated to an F1 seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission that sends its power to the rear wheels. Ferrari claims that the F12 Berlinetta will reach 0-62 mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124 mph in 8.5 seconds and it has a top speed over 211 mph. The F12 Berlinetta also finishes a lap of the Fiorano circuit in 1:23, which is faster than any other Ferrari road car.

Overall the F12 Berlinetta's weight comes in at 3,362 pounds thanks to a new aluminum spaceframe and bodyshell that is made of 12 different kinds of alloys. The F12 Berlinetta weighs 154 lbs less than the old 599 although the structural rigidity has increased 20 percent. The F12 Berlinetta's weight distribution is 46:54.

The F12 Berlinetta will officially debut next week at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show before it goes on sale in early 2013.

Continue reading "Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Officially Unveiled with 730-HP" »

VW GTI Cabriolet to Debut in Geneva

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Last year VW unveiled the new Golf Cabriolet at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, now this year, VW is debuting a new sportier version, the first ever GTI Cabriolet. The GTI Cabriolet is powered by the GTI's 2.0L TSI engine with 207 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque, which makes it the most powerful Golf Cabriolet ever.

The GTI Cabriolet borrows many of the GTI's trademarks like its red-framed honeycomb grille and GTI badge. The front bumper that also has a large honeycomb air intake and the vertically positioned fog lights, as well as a new rear diffuser featuring chrome tailpipes. Similar to the GTI Coupe, the Golf GTI Cabriolet features smoked LED rear lights and side sill extensions. The GTI Cabriolet rides on standard 17-inch "Denver" style alloy wheels, with the 18-inch "Detroit" style alloy wheels being optional.

According to VW the Golf GTI Cabriolet will reach 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds and buyers can choose between the six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission. The fabric top can be operated at speeds up to 19 mph an takes 9.5 seconds to open and 11 seconds to close.

The biggest changes to the interior are a more raked windshield and a unique rear bench seat.

VW states that the Golf GTI Cabriolet will go on sale this summer, but it's unlikely that it will be offered in the U.S., since we also don't get the Golf Cabriolet.

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2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Officially Unveiled

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Jaguar has unveiled the 2013 XF Sportbrake, which is the wagon version of the XF. The XF Sportbrake is entirely new from the B-pillars back and has up to 59 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, making it the most versatile XF.

"The XF epitomizes the Jaguar sporting dynamic with its combination of innovative, seductive design and performance. In the XF Sportbrake this is complemented by a no-compromise approach to practicality and versatility." -Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Cars

"Creating the Sportbrake was a great opportunity for us to extend the XF's design aesthetic. The flow and connection of lines that lead the eye around the car result in an entirely practical estate car consistent with Jaguar's reputation for drama and elegance." -Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design

the XF Sportbrake is powered by either a 2.2L four-cylinder or 3.0L diesel engine, both of which are mated to an eight-speed gearbox. Jaguar hasn't stated if the XF Sportbrake will be offered with any of its gasoline engines or if it will be offered in the U.S.

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GM Buys Seven Percent Stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën

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GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën today announced the creation of a global strategic alliance that will leverage the combined strengths and capabilities of the two companies, which will improve the profitability of both partners and their competitiveness in Europe.

The alliance includes:
1. The sharing of vehicle platforms, components and modules.
2,. The creation of a global purchasing joint venture for the sourcing of commodities, components and other goods and services from suppliers with combined annual purchasing volumes of approximately $125 billion.

Each company will continue to market and sell its vehicles independently and on a competitive basis. Part of the agreement also sees GM acquiring a 7 percent equity stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën, making it the second-largest shareholder behind the Peugeot Family Group.

"This partnership brings tremendous opportunity for our two companies," said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. "The alliance synergies, in addition to our independent plans, position GM for long-term sustainable profitability in Europe."

Continue reading "GM Buys Seven Percent Stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën" »

2013 Buick Enclave Teased Ahead of NYC Debut... Barely

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GM has released this teaser photo of the interior of the new 2013 Buick Enclave that will debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April. According to GM, the photo "previews the changes to come, which include industry-exclusive safety technology and modern design updates."

That's all we've got for now. The 2013 Buick Enclave crossover will debut on April 4th.

Continue reading "2013 Buick Enclave Teased Ahead of NYC Debut... Barely" »

Hyundai i-oniq Concept Photo Leaks Ahead of Geneva Debut

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A single photo of Hyundai's newest concept, the i-oniq has leaked out ahead of its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next week. The i-oniq concept was designed at the Hyundai's European R&D center in Rüsselsheim, Germany and is a preview of the next evolution of the automaker's "fluid sculpture" design language.

Back in December Hyundai released a teaser photo of the new concept, but here's our first look at the hybrid coupe that uses an electric motor and a range extender engine, that sends its power to the rear wheels.

Stay tuned...

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