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April 2012 Archives

April 1, 2012

VIDEO: Lincoln Shows off the Panoramic Roof on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ

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The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is set to get a huge panoramic roof when it's released, which will officially see at the 2012 New York Auto Show this week. In the meantime Lincoln has released a teaser video of the panormaic roof that measures 15.2 square feet, making it one of the largest retractable glass roof panels in a production sedan.

According to the video, the glass roof includes a wind deflector and moves eight inches forward at speeds over 40 mph to maintain a quiet interior.

Lincoln gave us a preview of the 2013 MKZ with the MKZ concept at the Detroit Auto Show, earlier this year. The 2013 MKZ will continue to share its platform with the Ford Fusion. Come back on Wednesday to see it.

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April 2, 2012

Fisker Atlantic Plug-In Hybrid Sedan Gets an Early Unveiling Prior to New Debut

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Fisker's next model, the Atlantic is getting an early unveiling this morning, ahead of its official debut this week in New York. The first few photos of Fisker's new mid-size hybrid have leaked onto the internet, giving us our first look at the new plug-in hybrid.

The model was originally dubbed the Nina, but now it's officially being called the Atlantic and will join the Karma in Fisker's lineup. The Fisker will is smaller than the Karma and will be priced around $45,000 when it is released later next year. The Atlantic will also be Fisker's first model to use BMW's 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine as its range extender.

Come back this week to see the Atlantic's official debut in New York.

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2013 SRT Viper Teased for the Last Time

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The all-new 2013 SRT Viper will be officially unveiled this week on April 4th. SRT has released its fourth and final teaser photo of the new Viper, which is the clearest photo yet.

Come back for its official debut on Wednesday at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

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2013 Ford Fusion Gets $295 Auto Start-Stop System

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The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion will be the first non-hybrid midsize sedan in the U.S. to offer an auto start-stop system. The auto start-stop system will be available on the new 1.6L EcoBoost-powered Fusion for only $295.

"We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving," said Samantha Hoyt, Fusion marketing manager. "That's cash in their pocket and time saved with fewer trips to the pump."

The auto start-stop system wil automatically switch off the Fusion's engine when the Fusion comes to a stop. As soon as the driver releases brake pedal, the engine seamlessly re-starts itself and is ready to go by the time the driver presses the accelerator pedal. The 179-hp Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost is expected to get 37 mpg on the highway.

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2013 Cadillac SRX Gets a Small Refresh

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Cadillac has unveiled the updates to the Cadillac SRX for the 2013 model year, which will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week. The 2013 SRX gets styling updates on the inside and outside in addition to enhanced technology to make it safer.

On the outside the 2013 SRX gets refined with a new design for the front upper and lower grilles that conveys greater depth and the brand's attention to detail. The front fender vents are new and incorporate LED light pipes. The SRX also gets new 20-inch wheels. On the inside the 2013 SRX gets a new steering wheel and instrument cluster with new driver information center for CUE integration. HD radio is now standard and active noise cancelation technology has been added to make the interior quieter.

Just like the 2013 Cadillac XTS, the SRX gets advanced technology to prevent crashes using radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. The safety features are part of Cadillac's new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages.

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2013 BMW X1 Photos Surface, It's Finally Headed to U.S. this Summer

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Here are the first photos of the refreshed 2013 BMW X1 that have leaked online ahead of the crossover's debut later this week in New York. The changes to the X1 are minimal with the biggest changes being a redesigned front bumper, larger grille and revised headlights. We will have to wait to see if there are any big changes to the rear, although its expected to only get a revised rear bumper and taillights.

The biggest news for the 2013 X1 is that BMW has finally confirmed that its smallest crossover will finally be sold in the U.S. This summer the X1 will arrive with a choice of BMW's 2.0L four-cylinder or its 3.0L turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the 2013 X1 later this week.

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2013 Lincoln MKZ Officially Unveiled and Signals Lincoln's Reinvention

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Lincoln has unveiled the all-new 2013 MKZ midsize sedan, which is the first Lincoln created by a dedicated team in its new Lincoln Design Studio and is a key milestone in Lincoln's reinvention.

"The new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance," said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "It is proof of our commitment to deliver a new breed of Lincolns for a new generation of Lincoln clients - motor cars that are distinctive, elegant, full of technology and a delight to own."

The 2013 MKZ was originally previewed in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. The production version doesn't stray too far from the concept with its sweeping roofline and design elements that draw cues from classic Lincoln models like the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr.

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April 3, 2012

2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Unveiled and Starts at $55,750

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Porsche has announced that it's going to unveil the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel at the 2012 New York Auto Show this week. The 2013 Cayenne Diesel will officially be sold in the U.S. for the first time beginning with the 2013 model year.

The Cayenne Diesel is powered by a 240-hp 3.0L turbo diesel engine with 406 lb-ft. of torque. It reaches 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 135 mph. It can also tow up to 7,716 lbs. and can travel up to 740 miles on a single tank.

The 2013 Cayenne Diesel will go on sale in September starting at $55,750.

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2013 Buick Enclave Gets a Facelift

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Buick has officially unveiled the revised 2013 Enclave, which will debut in New York this week. The 2013 Enclave gets styling updates, new safety technologies, in-vehicle connectivity and a more refined driving experience.

The Enclave's exterior has been updated with a new front fascia with LED daytime running lights, new headlights, and a revised hood and grille. The rear of the 2013 Enclave gets updated LED taillights and revised fascia with integrated exhaust outlets. The 2013 Enclave also rides on new 19-inch and 20-inch wheels.

The 2013 Enclave also gets updates to the interior like new ice blue LED ambient lighting, a new center stack and updated materials. The 2013 Enclave is also going to offer the industry's first front center airbag, which is standard on all Enclave models. The front center airbag was created to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat and positions itself between the driver and front passenger.

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2013 Toyota Venza Gets a Facelift and Toyota's Entune System

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Here's your first look at the revised 2013 Toyota Venza that is debuting at the 2012 New York Auto Show this week. For the 2013 model year, the Venza gets updated styling and Toyota's Entune multimedia system.

The 2013 Venza gets a new upper and lower grille, fog lamps and rear taillights. The updated styling is complemented by a new 19-inch wheel design and three new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl, and Cosmic Gray Mica. The Venza is still available with either front or all-wheel-drive and buyers can choose between a 181-hp 2.7L four-cylinder or 268-hp 3.5L V6 engine. The four-cylinder Venza is EPA-rated at 21 MPG city/27 MPG highway for the FWD model and 20/25 for the AWD. The V6 FWD model has EPA-estimated rating of 19 MPG city/26 MPG highway and 18/25 for the AWD.

The Venza is now available with Toyota's new Entune multimedia system that leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. Toyota Entune supports mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, along with accessing travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports.

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2013 Nissan Altima Debuts, It Gets 38 MPG and Starts at $21,500

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The first photos and specs for the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima have popped up on the internet ahead of the sedan's official debut in New York this week. From these initial photos it's apparent that the new Altima has borrowed many styling cues from the Maxima, but Nissan expects it to Altima tops the midsize sedan class in style, fuel economy, performance and innovation.

"In a segment as critical as this, with longtime nameplates and new challengers fighting for every sale, it's not enough to just target the competition. You have to think outside - and far above - the segment," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "We created the new Altima to set a clearly recognized benchmark for many years to come."

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Fisker Unveils the Fisker Atlantic Sedan in New York

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Fisker has officially unveiled its all-new model, the Atlantic sedan. The Atlantic is being unveiled as a design prototype. Fisker describes the extended-range electric Atlantic as a luxury four-door sporting sedan with a practical interior.

"It is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities - both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life."

Like the Karma sedan, the Fisker Atlantic is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes and sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move. The Atlantic uses the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels. It's expected that the four-cylinder engine will be a turbocharged unit borrowed from BMW. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option.

"We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class," said Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive.

"Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer and the Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process," said Tom LaSorda, CEO Fisker Automotive. "We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide."

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All-New 2014 Chevy Impala Officially Unveiled

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Chevy has unveiled the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala, which completes the updates to Chevy's North American car lineup.

"The 2014 Impala re-establishes this iconic Chevy nameplate as a design leader, with bold styling that will turn heads for years to come," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. "The team has also delivered the comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and technology that will strengthen Impala's leadership in the highly competitive full-size sedan market."

The all-new 2014 Impala represents the next evolution of Chevy's design vocabulary. It features a sleek proportion, sculpted body sides, standard 18-inch wheels and projector-beam headlamps, with HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps standard on LTZ models.

"Our design team was challenged to create a new classic, but that didn't mean relying on nostalgia," said John Cafaro, director of North America passenger car exterior design. "This is very much a contemporary car, with design elements, craftsmanship and attention to detail that complement its advanced technology and performance."

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April 4, 2012

VW Brings the Alltrack Concept to New York to See if U.S. Buyers Want a Wagon

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VW is bringing the Alltrack concept to the New York Auto Show to gauge the market reaction to a potential new wagon in VW's U.S. lineup. Seen as an alternative to a large SUV, the Alltrack concept closes the gap between a passenger car and SUV with its chunky bumpers, flared side skirts and raised ride height.

This isn't the first time that we are seeing the Alltrack concept. Last November VW unveiled the Passat Alltrack at the Tokyo Auto Show. At the time VW stated there were no plans to bring the Alltrack to the U.S., but it looks like VW may be open to the idea if the public wants it. Currently the VW Passat wagon is not sold in the U.S., so this could be your chance to get your hands on a Passat wagon, with a little more offroad capability.

The Alltrack concept features VW's 2.0-liter turbocharged TDI diesel engine that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel-drive. It's ground clearance has been raised 1.2 inches.

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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Officially Unveiled

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new 2013 GL-Class full size SUV, which goes on sale in the U.S. this September.

Mercedes describes its largest SUV as the S-Class of SUVs with safety and comfort that are on par with the S-Class. At 201.6 inches long, 84.3 inches wide and 72.8 inches tall, the 2013 GL is slightly bigger than the outgoing model. The 2013 GL will be offered with a choice of three engines. The GL350 BlueTEC is powered by a 3.0L turbodiesel with 240 horsepower and 455 lb-ft. of torque. The GL450 is powered by a twin-turbo direct-injection 4.6L V8 with 362 horsepower and 406 lb-ft., while the GL550 gets its motivation from a 4.6L V8 with 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft.

The 2013 GL gets new innovations like standard Collision Prevention Assist, Crosswind Stabilization, self-leveling air suspension and electromechanical steering. Also new are assistance systems like Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, as well as Parktronic with Active Parking Assist and the Surround View camera.

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BMW Announces the Pricing for the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

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BMW has announced the pricing for the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, which starts at $76,895 for the 2013 640i Gran Coupe, which goes on sale in June. Later this summer the 2013 650i Gran Coupe abd all-wheel drive 2013 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe models will arrive priced at $87,395 and $90,395 respectively.

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.

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BMW Prices the New M5 and M6 Models

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BMW has chosen the 2012 New York Auto Show to announce the pricing for the 2013 BMW M5 and M6 models. The 2012 BMW M6 Convertible will be the first of the three new M cars to arrive in US BMW showrooms. The M6 Convertible arrives this June and will be priced at $113,995. The 2013 BMW M5 and 2013 BMW M6 Coupe will arrive in late summer and will start at $90,695 and $106,995 respectively.

The M5 and M6 models are all powered by the most powerful engine ever fitted in a production BMW M model - a high revving 560 hp M TwinPower Turbo V-8 mated to a high torque 7-speed M-Double Clutch transmission (M-DCT). The new engine produces around 10% higher output than the V10 engine of its predecessors and torque is up by over 30%. At the same time, real world fuel consumption and CO2 are expected to be reduced by approximately 30%.

BMW also announced the pricing for a refreshed BMW X6 M that arrives in May. The 2013 BMW X6 M will sell for $93,795.

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2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h Hybrid Unveiled in New York

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Lexus has unveiled the all-new 2013 Lexus ES, which is being shown in two versions today, the ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid.

"The Lexus ES brought new levels of refinement, sophistication and quality to the entry luxury segment when it entered the market in 1989, and through the years it has consistently been a sales leader for us," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Now, with both gas and hybrid versions, the 2013 ES promises to lead Lexus forward once again."

The 2013 Lexus ES is the latest model in the Lexus lineup to adopt Lexus' new design language with the Lexus spindle grille. The face of the new ES gets LED daytime running lights and the rear lights reflect the "L" design motif. The new ES is lower than before, but thanks to a 1.8 inch longer wheelbase the interior is now more spacious.

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2013 Acura RLX Concept Previews Acura's New Flagship Sedan

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Acura is getting ready to replace the RL sedan in its current lineup and today its given us a preview of its new flagship sedan with the Acura RLX concept. The RLX concept is pretty close to the RLX that will launch at the beginning of 2013.

Acura is officially changing the name of the RL to the RLX. The RLX concept builds on Acura's "Keen Edge" design motif, a design theme that is also used on the new 2013 ILX. Dimensionally, the RLX Concept is approximately the same length as the current RL, but with a two-inch longer wheelbase and two-inch shorter front overhang. Both the track and vehicle width increase by approximately two inches. The RLX concept also debuts Acura's new JewelEye LED headlights.

The Acura signature Jewel Eye headlights use a dual-stacked array with a total of ten separate high-intensity LED lamps, with ultra-reflective optical lenses and high-gloss trim, to provide powerful down-the-road illumination.

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2013 Honda Crosstour Concept Unveiled in New York

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Honda's controversial Crosstour is getting an update for the 2013 model year. Today at the New York Auto Show, Honda unveiled the 2013 Crosstour Concept, a preview of the updated crossover.

The updated 2013 Crosstour will go on sale this fall with styling updates and a more fuel-efficient V6 model thanks to a new 6-speed automatic transmission. "Fueled by a combination of versatility, luxury, and efficiency, owners have demonstrated remarkable devotion to the Honda Crosstour," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "The 2013 Crosstour Concept shows how Honda will strengthen the styling and add even more content to one of the most efficient offerings in the class."

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2013 SRT Viper Debuts in New York, the Viper Returns!

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After all the teased photos and speculation, the 2013 SRT Viper was finally unveiled today at the 2012 New York Auto Show. As most automakers continue to downsize their engines, the 2013 Viper bucks this trend by keeping a large V10 under the hood and even though the 2013 Viper is all-new, it's easily recognizable.

The SRT Viper will be offered in two versions, the SRT Viper and the more track ready Viper GTS. Viper buyers expect and insane amount of power under the hood and Chrysler continues to deliver in the fifth generation Viper. The 2013 Viper is powered by a 8.4L aluminum V10 engine with 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft. of torque. The V10 has the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine in the world and is mated to a standard Tremec TR6060 six speed-manual transmission.

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Jaguar Announces C-X16 Concept to Enter Production as the F-Type

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Late last year Jaguar unveiled the C-X16 concept and thanks to the positive feedback that Jaguar received for the sports car, Jaguar has announced that it will enter production as the Jaguar F-Type. The two-seat F-Type sports car will launch as a convertible, becoming the fourth model in Jaguar's lineup.

Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Cars, confirmed: "We showed the C-X16 concept in September 2011, and the reaction to it has been so positive that we've accelerated our development of an all-new Jaguar sports car. That car will be called the Jaguar F-TYPE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year. The core appeal of Jaguar's cars is their sporting heart, and that heart will beat stronger than ever before in the F-TYPE. Its development is a vivid representation of the confidence and ambition of the Jaguar brand, and the desire amongst our engineers and design team to produce a world-leader in a market segment that we have been absent from for too long. But no longer, the F-TYPE is coming."

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April 5, 2012

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport Models Debut in New York

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Hyundai has introduced two all-new versions of the 2013 Santa Fe at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The third-generation Santa Fe now has two versions, the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and the long wheelbase seven-passenger Santa Fe. Both 2013 Santa Fe models get Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design.

The "Fluidic Sculpture" exterior of the Santa Fe crossover family invokes the impression of irrepressible motion through a new design concept called Storm Edge, which captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm. Both the Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe models were designed together, but the larger Santa Fe features a shape that highlights the increased passenger and cargo room behind the third row seat. The Santa Fe model also has its own bodyside character lines from the B-pillar back, grille design, 18-inch Euroflange alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips and a flush-mounted tow hitch design.

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2013 Ram 1500 Gets Updated with an Eight-Speed Automatic and Start-Stop System

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The 2013 Ram 1500 pickup is getting updated with an emphasis on fuel efficiency and new technology. For starters the new 3.6L Pentastar V6 is now available in the Ram 1500 and a new eight-speed automatic transmission and start-stop system also help the new Ram 1500 stay away from the pump longer.

"The new 2013 Ram 1500 is the most capable, best-looking half-ton pickup in the world and delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency, new technology and new features while upgrading the interior and exterior," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico - Chrysler Group LLC. "We changed every area of the truck - from a newly designed frame with air suspension, to a new eight-speed transmission to a new interior with the next-generation Uconnect system.

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2013 Chevy Spark Mini Car Starts at $12,995

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Chevy has announced the pricing for its new minicar, the 2013 Chevy Spark, which starts at $12,995. The Spark will now be the smallest model in Chevy's lineup. The five-door hatchback carries up to four passengers and is designed primarily for first-time car buyers and city dwellers.

"With the Spark Chevrolet has the opportunity to connect with a new generation of car buyers who expect more from every product they purchase," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Global Marketing. "So we wanted to make the process of choosing a Spark as simple as possible by reducing the number of stand-alone options and providing more standard content to each trim level at a competitive price."

The Spark is powered by a 85 horsepower 1.2L four-cylinder engine. It comes with standard features like including, 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows, rear window wiper, auxiliary input jack and an outside temperature display. The Spark 1LT model starts at $14,495 and adds power door locks, cruise control, a 7-inch color touch radio with Chevrolet MyLink, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, a USB port and Sirius XM Radio. The Spark 2LT model starts at $15,795 and gets unique 15-inch wheels, fog lamps, leatherette seats, heated front seats and exterior appearance enhancements.

A 4-speed automatic transmission is available for an extra $925. the 2013 Spark will go on sale later this year.

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Infiniti LE Electric Sedan Concept Unveiled, Production Model Coming in 2 Years

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Infiniti has given the world a preview of its upcoming electric vehicle, with the LE concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The dramatically styled LE concept builds on the past Infiniti electric concept cars, but represents a concept that is very close to what we will see in showrooms within the next two years.

Infiniti states that rather than create an electric vehicle with luxury features and an Infiniti badge, the automaker placed an emphasis on designing a pure Infiniti with the brand's philosophy of Inspired Performance. According to Infiniti, the LE concept is about the same size as the Infiniti G sedan and "does not compromise either roominess or comfort, which is why it starts with an advanced luxury-styled sedan body, not a converted hatchback."

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2013 Toyota Avalon Debuts In New York with More Style

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The all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon has been unveiled at the New York Auto Show. The new Avalon ditches its current boring styling for a more a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design.

The 2013 Avalon gets a new sleeker exterior with a face that is similar to the new Camry with a roofline that slops further back, giving it a side profile that is similar to the Audi A7. According to Toyota the new Avalon is more compact than its predecessor with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. The new Avalon also rides on new 17-inch and 18-inch wheels.

The current Avalon's 3.5L V6 will again be offered in the 2013 Avalon and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver's needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches.

The 2013 Toyota Avalon arrives this fall.

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2013 Cadillac XTS Starts at $44,995

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Cadillac has announced that the 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan will have a starting price of $44,995 when it arrives in showrooms later this spring. The 2013 XTS is larger than the CTS and is powered by a 300-hp 3.6L V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

"The all-new XTS redefines our approach to the luxury sedan by combining advanced technology, stunning design and confident performance," said Don Butler, vice president Cadillac marketing. "XTS brings new and exclusive technology, while still delivering the space and elegance that is Cadillac's DNA."

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Subaru Prices the 2013 BRZ Sports Car at $25,495

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Subaru has finally announced the pricing for the much anticipated 2013 BRZ, which starts at $25,495 for the Premium model with a six-speed manual transmission. The six-speed automatic version starts at $26,595.

Premium models come standard with a navigation system, Bluetooth and HID headlamps. Limited models come with Alcantara and leather seats, heated seats and mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control system, fog lights, Keyless Access & Start and a body-color decklid spoiler. The Limited models start at $27,495 with a six-speed manual and $28,595 for automatic models.

The Subaru BRZ is powered by a naturally aspirated 200 horsepower 2.0L boxer engine that sends its power to the rear wheels.

If you want to get your hands on one you better act fast, Subaru only plans on bringing 500 units a month to the U.S.

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April 6, 2012

Chrysler to Unveil Two Design Concepts in Beijing

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Chrysler has announced plans to return to the Chinese market. To celebrate this decision, Chrysler is bringing two new design concepts to the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 23, 2012.

Chrysler is going to unveil a Chrysler 300C design concept created specifically with Chinese elements in mind and a Jeep Wrangler design concept that is inspired by the Year of the Dragon.

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VW Up! Named "2012 World Car of the Year"

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VW's tiny Up! has just been named the "World Car of the Year" at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The jury, consisting of 66 top journalists from 25 countries that tested 34 models. The VW Up! beat out the BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911 to take home the award.

"This award shows once again that in the up! our designers and engineers have created a vehicle that has been thought through in minute detail. A vehicle that sets standards in its class for efficient use of space, safety, motoring fun and environmental compatibility," remarks Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chariman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.

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April 9, 2012

Chrysler Unveils Industry-First In-Vehicle Wireless Charging

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Chrysler has unveiled the first in-vehicle wireless charging system that will be made available on the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart. The system uses an integrated power bin that measures 8.27 inches by 9.5 inches by 3.25 inches and is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The bin has a built-in charging grid that is activated when customers place in their battery-powered device. The unit begins to charge when the vehicle is started. A phone case, specifically designed for a variety of smartphones, is required and included with the feature.

The wireless charging system is costs $199.99, plus installation costs.

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New Study Reveals That Most Hybrid Buyers Don't Buy A Second One

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According to a latest Polk study, most hybrid car buyers do not buy another one, when it comes time to replace their hybrids. Almost two-thirds of U.S. hybrid buyers returning to the market in 2011 decided to buy something else besides a hybrid.

Excluding the Toyota Prius, the repurchase rate among other hybrid buyers dropped to 22 percent. The Polk study shows that the overall loyalty rate was at 41.8 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and 40.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. The total loyalty rate for 2011 was only 35 percent.

The biggest challenging facing hybrid car makers is that fuel-efficiency technology on non-hybrid models has advanced rapidly, which has reduced the fuel-efficiency advantage that the more expensive hybrids once had. Brad Smith, director of Polk's loyalty management practice, stated "The premium price points for hybrids are just too high when so many conventional small and mid-size cars have improved fuel economy."

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VW's U.S. Chief Wants to Bring the Scirocco to the U.S.

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VW Scirocco fans that we disappointed when VW decided to not bring the current Scirocco to the U.S. may finally get their wish. VW launched the current VW Scirocco in Europe in 2008, but decided to not bring the coupe to the U.S. Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW Group of America recently told the Automotive News that he is now lobbying to bring it here.

At the 2012 New York Auto Show Browning stated, "That's a piece of the lineup that I would dearly love to see here."

The Scirocco was last sold in the U.S. in 1988. The current Scirocco launched in 2008 during the financial crisis, so VW did not want to take the risk to bring it back to the U.S. at that time. A facelifted Scirocco is due in Europe in 2013.

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April 10, 2012

2013 Lexus RX Starts at $39,310, RX 350 F Sport Starts at $47,000

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Lexus has announced the pricing for the restyled 2013 RX crossover. For the 2013 model year the RX continues to be offered as the RX 350 and RX 450h, but for this year Lexus has added the sportier RX 350 F Sport model.

The 2013 RX crossover gets a new bolder exterior with the addition of the new Lexus spindle grille and interior upgrades. In addition to the signature spindle grille, the RX gets new headlights with LED daytime running lights, updated fog lights and a restyled front bumper. The rear gets updated taillights and a revised rear license plate surround. On the inside the 2013 RX gets a new steering wheel, metallic accents and a redesigned center console.

The 2013 RX 350 F Sport is only available with all-wheel-drive and gets various performance and styling enhancements, like an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, 19-inch alloy wheels with dark graphite finish, a sportier front bumper with a mesh grille and an F Sport tuned suspension. The RX 350 F Sport also comes standard with black leather-trimmed seats with white contrast stitching, black headliner, and aluminum pedals and footrest. The RX 350 F SPORT also comes standard with all features from the Premium and Comfort packages.

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Roush Unveils the 2013 Roush Mustang in Three Stages

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Want even more power from the Ford Mustang? Well Roush Performance has unveiled its line of 2013 Roush Mustangs that prove even more power and aggressive looks to the Ford Mustang.

The Stage 3 Mustang is the top version that combines the styling of the Stage 1 with the handling of the Stage 2, but adds one more thing, a supercharged 5.0L V8 with 565 horsepower and 505 lb-ft. of torque. The supercharged 5.0L V8 makes the 2013 Stage 3 Roush Performance's highest horsepower street legal Mustang to date. The Stage 2 and Stage 3 packages also bring improved handing over stock Mustangs, allowing the Mustang to pull over 1g of lateral acceleration on the skid pad. The package includes 18-inch alloy wheels and the suspension has been upgraded with larger, stiffer front stabilizer bar, a unique Roush designed anti-wheel hop kit, twin-tube shocks with unique valving, increased rate springs and upgraded bushings and jounce bumpers.

The Stage 1 package gives the Mustang a more aggressive look with a remodeled Roush upper grille, high-flow lower grille, corner fascia aero-pockets with driving lamps and front chin splitter. It also includes a new Roush hood scoop, rocker panel and rear fascia side splitters, a three-piece rear decklid spoiler, new Roush rear aero-valance featuring race-inspired diffusers, and is finished off with newly designed, integrated dual chambered, chrome exhaust tips.

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2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS Unveiled Ahead of its Premiere in Beijing

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Porsche is bringing the second-generation 2013 Cayenne GTS to the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, also known as Auto China, on April 24, 2012, but here's your first look it. The 2013 Cayenne GTS is based on the Cayenne S, but has more power, a lower ride height, improved driving dynamics and tweaked styling to set it apart.

The Cayenne GTS is powered by a 420-hp V8 with an eight-speed transmission, active all-wheel-drive and an integrated auto start stop function. The Cayenne GTS can reach 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 162 mph.

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Honda is Bringing Two New Concepts to the Beijing Motor Show

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Honda has released its mid-term business strategy for China, that includes the automaker's plans during the three year period from 2013 to 2015. Honda is planning on introducing more than 10 new and full model change models during this period, with hopes to double its sales in 2011 by 2015.

Honda has also released two teaser sketches for a sedan and hatchback concept that will debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, this month. Honda hasn't released any other details about the two concept cars, but the Honda CR-Z, Insight and Fit Hybrid will share the stage. Over at the Acura booth, the NSX concept, ILX and RDX models will be on display.

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Nissan Teases Five New Models, Including the New Sentra and Rogue

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At this month's New York Auto Show, Nissan announced that it would be introducing five new models over the next 15 months. Nissan also showed a quick promo video that teased the five new models that were covered in white sheets. What are the new models?

Going from left to right, the first model is the new Nissan Versa hatchback, which follows the introduction of the Versa sedan that launched at the end of last year. The next model is the all-new 2013 Pathfinder, which is driving next to the new 2013 Altima that debuted at the New York Auto Show. Next to the Altima it appears that Nissan has teased the next-generation Rogue crossover and the model all the way on the right is most likely the next-generation Sentra. The next Altima is going to get a face that is similar to the new Altima, which is pretty obvious under that sheet.

We've already seen the Pathfinder in concept form and the Versa hatchback in the non-U.S. spec form. Expect the Sentra to be the next model that Nissan will reveal.

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Ferrari Celebrates its 20th Year in China with a Special Edition 458 Italia

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Its been 20 years since the first Ferrari, a 348 TS, was ordered in Beijing. To celebrate this historical milestone, Ferrari will inaugurate its first ever permanent brand exhibition outside of Maranello at the Italia Center of Shanghai World Expo Park. Covering 900 square metres the Ferrari Exhibition will last for three years and will feature some of the best collections from the Maranello Museum divided into five topics, including Ferrari in China, Green Technology, Product, Design and Racing.

In addition, another part of the 20th anniversary celebration is the introduction of the 458 Italia special edition, in which only 20 cars will be dedicated exclusively to the Chinese market. The special edition 458 Italia's livery features unique Chinese elements and is finished in a brand new color called Marco Polo Red. The inspiration behind the livery came from the longma theme which is an old Chinese idiom which means "the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." The special Ferrari also features a golden dragon on the hood, which is offset by gold and black livery stripes symbolizing a racing track. It also rides on gold rims and the interior gets gold embroidery on the car's head rests. The engine start button is also inscribed with the simplified Chinese characters for 'start', and a '20th Anniversary Special Edition' plaque is set into the dash.

Ferrari has not announced the pricing for the special 458 Italia.

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April 11, 2012

2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Gets a Facelift

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Mercedes-Benz is giving the iconic G-Class a facelift for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class still looks pretty much the same as it did when it did 33 years ago, but now its received an updated face and updated interior.

On the outside the 2013 G-Class gets LED daytime running lights and new mirrors. The AMG version also gets a new AMG grille, red brake calipers, 20-inch wheels and a new bumper with large air intakes.

The interior of the revised G-Class gets a new instrument panel and center console. A TFT color display has been added between the gauges in the instrument cluster and a large color screen is part of the COMAND infotainment system. This new infotainment system offers, amongst other features, a navigation system with special additional off-road functions, voice-operated controls and Bluetooth.

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Ford and Yahoo! Team up To Promote the Ford Focus Electric

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Ford and Yahoo! have announced a new program to promote the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, with "Plugged In," Yahoo!'s first reality competition series.

The series is being broadcast exclusively on Yahoo! Screen, Yahoo!'s video site. Plugged In features two-person teams competing against each other in a series of challenges centered on the chance to win a Ford Focus Electric.

"Ford is launching the Focus Electric on Yahoo!, once again recognizing the power and reach of the Web as we continue to rely more on digital media," says Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. Marketing Communications for Ford. "The electric vehicle market will grow over time, so we electrified our popular small-car platform with a targeted online campaign instead of creating a one-off vehicle with huge ad budgets."

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2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Starts at $118,370

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Aston Martin has announced the pricing for the revised 2012 V8 Vantage, which starts at $118,370 for the coupe and $132,870 for the roadster.

The 2012 V8 Vantage has been revised with styling updates that are similar to the Vantage S and V12 Vantage. in the front, the bumper has an aerodynamic splitter and a larger air intake. The rear gets a diffuser and race-derived side sills give the V8 Vantage a more muscular look.

The V8 Vantage is powered by a 4.7L V8 with 420 horsepower and 346 lb-ft. of torque. It can be mated to either a six-speed manual or new seven-speed Sportshift II transmission. Other updates include quicker steering, larger brakes and wider tires to make the V8 Vantage more responsive.

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Fiat is Planning Turbocharged 500T and Abarth Convertible Models

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It's being reported that Fiat is working on another turbocharged version of the Fiat 500, dubbed the 500T and a convertible 500 Abarth thanks to documents that Fiat has filed with NHTSA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

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April 12, 2012

Honda, IBM and PG&E Enable Smarter Charging for Electric Vehicles

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Honda, IBM and Pacific Gas and Electric Company have announced a new pilot project that will allow communication between electric vehicles and the power grid. The project will demonstrate and test an electric vehicle's ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle's battery state. Additionally with visibility into charging patterns, energy providers will have the ability to more effectively manage charging during peak hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

It's expected that by 2017 there will be 2.9 million electric vehicles on the road, worldwide. This project has the potential to ease the infrastructure and consumer concerns associated with the mass adoption of EVs, by adding another layer of agility to the EV charging process.

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Next-Gen Nissan Leaf to Get a More European Design

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In response to critics claims that the Nissan Leaf looks bland and awkward, Nissan is going to give the next Leaf more European styling, according to Colin Lawther, vice president of Nissan engineering in Europe.

"We'll fine tune the car for the European customer from a design point of view," Lawther stated.

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Hyundai Predicts U.S. Sales Could Top 700,000 this Year

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Hyundai's U.S. sales in 2012 could be over 700,000 vehicles according to John Krafcik, head of Hyundai's North American operations. Hyundai's sales could top last year's sales of 645,691 cars even with the fact that the automaker's inventory levels are low.

"We are literally selling cars off the transporters," Krafcik said.

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April 13, 2012

Chevy Avalanche Says Goodbye After 2013

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The unique Chevy Avalanche crew cab pickup is officially entering its final year of production and GM has unveiled the special 2013 Black Diamond Avalanche to celebrate its final year.

"More than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction in 2001, and Avalanche has won major awards and recognitions throughout its run," said Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager. "So it is only fitting that Avalanche retires on a high note."

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2013 Ford Escape: Ford Drops the Base Price to $23,295

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Ford has officially released the pricing for the all-new 2013 Ford Escape crossover, which starts at $23,295, $200 less than the last model. The top of the line 2013 Escape Titanium starts at $31,195.

The 2013 Escape arrives this spring, but dealers are already taking orders for the all-new Escape that is a huge styling departure from the outgoing model. Production kicked off this week at Ford's Louisville, Ky plant.

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VIDEO: Acura's NSX Roadster Debuts at the World Premiere of the Avengers

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On Wednesday, actor Robert Downey Jr drove onto the red carpet in a one-off Acura NSX roadster concept for the premiere of The Avengers film. In addition to "Tony Stark's" Acura NSX, the premiere, co-sponsored by Acura, featured militarized S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura MDX and TL models that were used in the film to escort the actors on Hollywood Blvd.

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April 16, 2012

Ford Already Has 8,000 Orders for the All-New 2013 Escape

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The all-new 2013 Escape is expected to hit dealerships in late May, but Ford claims that the automaker has already received 8,000 orders for the new crossover. The 2013 Escape starts at $23,295, which is $200 lower than the outgoing model.

Although the Ford Escape's entry model, the Escape S is cheaper than before, Ford expects most of the sales to come from the upper trim levels. Ford predicts that only 10% of the Escape's sales will be for the base S trim level. The top Escape is the Titanium model, which starts at $31,195, but a fully loaded Titanium will have a sticker around $37,000.

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2013 Dodge Dart Officially Starts at $15,995

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Chrysler has announced the pricing for the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart compact sedan, which starts at $15,995. The 2013 Dodge Dart is Chrysler's newest entry in the compact sedan segment that borrows its DNA from Alfa Romeo.

"The all-new Dodge Dart is a groundbreaking car, offering features and benefits never before found in a compact car," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. "With class-leading style, customization, safety, technology, and interior levels of roominess, the all-new Dart perfectly blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge passion and style into one all-new car that customers will be proud to own and look forward to driving."

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Next-Gen 2015 Ford Mustang to Borrow Cues from the Evos Concept

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It's being reported that the next-generation Ford Mustang will ditch the current model's retro styling in an attempt to steal sales away from the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Ford hopes that a new less retro-themed exterior will attract a younger generation that isn't attracted to the current Mustang.

Ford Mustang sales are down and the Chevy Camaro continues to find more buyers, which has prompted Ford to rethink the styling of the next Mustang that is expected to be released in 2014 as a 2015 model. Ford feels that the Mustang's retro-styling doesn't appeal to a younger generation, so according to The Wall Street Journal, the next Mustang will take styling cues from the Evos concept and 2013 Fusion. The next Mustang reportedly looks very close to the Evos concept, but the current Mustang's round headlights and protruding hood will continue to be used.

What do you think? Is the Evos concept a good starting point for the next Mustang?

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April 17, 2012

VIDEO: GM Walks Us Around the All-New 2014 Chevy Impala

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Although we have about a year to wait for the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala to arrive in Chevy showrooms, GM took the wraps off the 2014 Impala earlier this month at the New York Auto Show.

GM has put together a quick two minute video of Impala Marketing Manager Jon Hahn and Russ Clark, Marketing Director for Chevrolet Performance & Mid-Size Vehicles completing a walk around of the all-new 10th generation 2014 Chevy Impala.

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Porsche Macan Crossover to Pack 370-HP?

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Porsche is going to release its newest crossover the Macan in the fall of 2013. According to Autocar, Porsche's smallest crossover is also set to get a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that will put out around 370 horsepower.

Autocar reports that the range topping 3.0L turbocharged engine will be a variant of the 3.6L V6 that powers the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera. The final torque output is also expected to be around 400 lb-ft. The 3.0L engine is also expected to be mated to either a standard seven-speed manual or seven-speed PDK transmission.

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April 18, 2012

Audi RS Q3 Concept Debuts in Beijing

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Audi is set to debut a new high-performance version of the Q3 crossover, the RS Q3 concept at the Beijing Motor Show later this month. The RS Q3 is powered by a 360 horsepower 2.5L five-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. The RS Q3 crossover reaches 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 165 mph.

The RS Q3 concept's body has been lowered by almost an inch and it gets redesigned front and rear bumpers, a new black grille and tinted headlights. It also rides on 20-inch alloy wheels. The interior of the RS Q3 concept features black as its dominant color with contrasting dark blue Alcantara leather insets for the seats.

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REVIEW: 2012 Ford Focus Electric is a Solid Nissan Leaf Competitor

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This year Ford is entering the competitive electric vehicle segment with its 2012 Ford Focus Electric, which like its main competitor, the Nissan Leaf, runs solely on a battery and electric motor. The 2012 Ford Focus Electric differs from the Nissan Leaf by the fact that it's design and platform are borrowed directly from a gas powered vehicle. Ford has chosen to electrify the Focus compact hatchback rather than create a stand alone electric vehicle like Nissan did with the Leaf. Since the Focus Electric looks almost identical to the other Focus models and is also produced on the same production line, Ford was able to save development costs and have more flexibility. If the price of oil rises and demand rises for electric vehicles, Ford can easily ramp up production of the Focus Electric.

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Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe Photos Show up Ahead of Beijing Debut

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The first official photos of Mercedes-Benz's newest concept, the Concept Style Coupe have shown up on the internet ahead of the concept's debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

The Concept Style Coupe is a preview of the automaker's new compact four-door coupe. The Concept Style Coupe borrows many styling cues from the larger CLS and the Concept A model that was unveiled last year. The production version of the Concept Style Coupe will be based on the same front-wheel-drive platform that as the A Class and B Class models. It is expected to reach U.S. showrooms early next year.

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Audi Officially Buys Ducati for $1.1 Billion

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Audi has announced that it is acquiring Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition today in Hamburg.

Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, declared: "Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi."

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April 19, 2012

2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Officially Unveiled

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the ultimate G-Class, the 2013 G63 AMG SUV. Just like the lesser powered 2013 G-Class, the 2013 G63 AMG gets some small styling updates. Mercedes-Benz also claims that the 2013 G63 AMG is also more efficient than before.

The G63 AMG is powered by a 5.5L biturbo V8 with 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft. of torque. The new 5.5L biturbo V8 puts out 44 more horsepower and 44 lb-ft. than the old G55 AMG. The 5.5L V8 is mated to an AMG Speedshift plus 7-speed transmission and gets an ECO stop/start function to make it 13 percent more fuel efficient.

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Lamborghini Teases its Upcoming SUV

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Lamborghini is going to unveil its upcoming SUV this month at the Beijing Motor Show. In preparation for its newest model, Lamborghini has sent out invitations to the event, which includes a sketch of the new SUV.

The sketch shows the profile of the new SUV, but no other details have been released. It's rumored that it will be dubbed the Urus and carry a price tag around $200,000.

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April 20, 2012

Lamborghini Urus Concept SUV Photos Leak Out

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Yesterday a teaser of Lamborghini's new SUV concept showed up on the internet ahead of the concept's debut at the Beijing Motor Show. Now we have the first official photos of the Lamborghini Urus concept.

The Lamborghini Urus concept adopts many of the styling cues from other Lamborghini models like the Aventador, but applies them to a SUV body with a coupe-like roofline. It's expected that the Urus will be powered by a V10 with around 584 horsepower.

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2013 Acura ILX Starts at $25,900

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Acura has announced the pricing for the 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan, which will go on sale next month. The 2013 Acura ILX starts at $25,900 for the entry-level trim that is powered by a 2.0L 150-horsepower engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The ILX with the 201 horsepower 2.4L engine starts at $29,200, while the ILX hybrid starts at $28,900. The ILX hybrid is rated at 39 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

"The 2013 Acura ILX will serve as the gateway to the Acura brand," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "At the leading edge of a new, sporty compact segment, the ILX delivers style, value, performance and connectivity to younger buyers looking to move into the luxury market."

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April 21, 2012

2013 Audi Q5 Gets a Very Mild Facelift

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The first photos of the revised 2013 Audi Q5 have shown up on the internet ahead of Audi's official reveal. The 2013 Audi Q5 gets some minor styling updates and on the outside, while the interior gets some trim updates.

On the outside the 2013 Q5 gets a revised six-point grille, updated headlights and a tweaked front bumper. The rear of 2013 Q5 gets updated taillights. The interior updates are even smaller with minor trim updates and an updated steering wheel. The 2013 Q5 is also expected to get some chassis updates and more efficient powertrains.

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VW E-Bugster Speedster Concept Unveiled

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VW is bring another electric version of the Beetle to the Beijing Motor Show next week, the E-Bugster Speedster. The newest concept is a topless follow up to the E-Bugster concept that debuted in Detroit earlier this year. The two-seater Beetle speedster shows how sportiness can be transferred to an all electric Beetle.

The E-Bugster is powered by an 85kW electric motor that propels the concept from 0-62 mph in 10.8 seconds. VW claims that in the real world the concept would have a range around 110 miles. The E-Bugster also a has a quick charging function that allows the battery to be re-charged in as little as 35 minutes.

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April 22, 2012

Lamborghini Urus SUV Concept Officially Unveiled

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Lamborghini has officially unveiled the Urus SUV concept, which is debuting this week at the 2013 Beijing Motor Show. The Urus concept borrows many styling cues from other Lamborghini models like the Aventador and Estoque concept. According to Lamborghini, "the Urus combines unique design, a fascinating interior and outstanding performance with versatility and everyday usability."

Lamborghini states that the Urus name is derived from the world of bulls. The Urus, also known as Aurochs, is one of the large, wild ancestors of domestic cattle. Urus bulls could measure up to 1.8 meters at the shoulder. According to Lamborghini, the Spanish fighting bull, as bred for the past 500 years, is still very close to the Urus in its appearance.

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April 23, 2012

VIDEO: 2013 Nissan Sentra Teased

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Nissan has released the first official teaser video and photo of the all-new 2013 Nissan Sentra that will arrive this fall. The all-new Sentra is based on the new Nissan Sylphy that is being unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.

"Sentra is the third of five all-new core models we'll be introducing in a 15-month product onslaught," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, NNA. "The all-new Altima goes on sale this summer and will be followed closely by the all-new Pathfinder and Sentra. And when the next two new models launch in 2013, we will have refreshed 75 percent of our volume, rewarding our loyal owners and attracting new customers into Nissan showrooms."

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Range Rover Evoque Special Edition with Victoria Beckham Unveiled

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Land Rover's design team and Victoria Beckham have collaborated on a special edition version of the Range Rover Evoque.

Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover explains: "The design of Evoque has truly captured the hearts of customers worldwide. Working with Victoria the intention was not to change the fundamental architecture and award winning design of the Range Rover Evoque. We wanted to create a Special Edition that extends its character in a new direction through understated, restrained colour and detail changes.

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Honda Unveils Two New Concept Cars in China

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Honda has unveiled two new concepts at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, the Concept C sedan and the Concept S hatchback. According to Honda the two concepts models preview the direction of new Hondas that will be introduced in China next year.

The Concept C stands for "Cool," "Challenge," and "China." The sedan features a design that was inspired by the image of a dragon. Honda's Chinese team lead the development of the Concept C with help from Honda's team in Japan. Honda describes the design of the Concept C as "stately, distinctive and sporty."

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Audi A6 L e-tron Concept Brings a Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain to the A6

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Audi is putting its e-tron technology into the the A6, in the form of the A6 L e-tron concept at the Beijing Motor Show. The A6 L e-tron concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that allows the concept to drive almost 50 miles on electric power alone.

The A6 L e-tron concept's plug-in hybrid powertrain uses a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 211 horsepower that is mated to a 95 horsepower electric motor. The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is located in a collision-protected space at the rear of the vehicle. In electric mode, the Audi A6 L e-tron concept can travel up to 49.71 miles at a constant speed of 60 37.28 mph. The A6 L e-tron can operate in gasoline, fully-electric or hybrid modes.

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April 24, 2012

Scion to Kill off the Scion xB and xD Models

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It's being reported that Toyota's Scion brand is going to discontinue the Scion xB and XD models. According to Wards Auto, the xB and xD will follow the same path as the discontinued Scion xA.

Scion originally launched in 2003 with the xA and xB models. When Scion launched, the brand had a "one and done" philosophy, which meant that each model would only live for one life cycle. The original xA followed this rule, but the Scion xB and tC have continued to live on. Now it looks like the original philosophy is back as Scion is going to say goodbye to the xB and Xd.

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VW to Replace its Five-Cylinder Engine with a 1.8L Turbo Four-Cylinder

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It's being reported that VW will officially ditch the 2.5L five-cylinder engine that it offers in models like the Jetta, Passat and Beetle. The unloved engine will be replaced by a turbocharged four-cylinder, which will more likely be a 1.8L engine.

Car and Driver recently confirmed with sources in Europe that the plan is to replace the 2.5L engine with a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, even though some VW execs have wanted to use a 1.4L turbo in the Jetta and Beetle. To save production costs, VW will most likely only offer the 1.8L engine.

Before the 1.8L engine arrives at the end of 2013, VW is also going to offer a new SEL Plus trim for the Jetta. The SEL Plus trim will get many of the refinement upgrades that the Jetta GLI has, which will translate to an upgraded interior (definitely needed).

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Honda Kicks off Production of the 2013 Acura ILX in Indiana

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Honda has officially kicked off production of the all-new 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan at its plant in Indiana." Acura has a sparkling reputation and we are thrilled to build the gateway vehicle to this brand at our Greensburg facility," said Jun Nishimoto, president of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana. "As the exclusive builder of the ILX, HMIN has a big responsibility. Our associates meet this challenge by working together as one team and today we are ready for our customers to share our pride in this beautiful new product."

The 2013 Acura ILX will be available next month with a starting price that is set at $25,900. Acura's new entry-level model will be available in three versions: the 150-horsepower 2.0L model, a 201-horsepower 2.4L model and the ILX hybrid with a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine.

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April 25, 2012

Five Awesome Ways to Keep Your Car Clean Plus One Horrible Idea

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We spend thousands of dollars on our precious new cars! Even though we may spend countless hours and even more money trying to keep them in "showroom" condition, there are always other ways to keep them clean other than a visit to the local car wash or the hose and bucket sitting in your driveway. For the most part, when it comes to cleaning your car most of us probably can only think of traditional methods like a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, but here are five cool ways to keep your car clean, that you may have never heard of before.

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Toyota Prices the 2012 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series at $32,990

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Toyota has announced the pricing for the TRD T/X Baja Series that is available on the 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup. The TRD T/X Baja Series package is inspired by Toyota's Baja racing heritage and starts at $32,990.

The limited-edition package is only available on Tacoma Access and Double Cab 4x4 models models and adds $5,015, minus a $650 factory credit to the base price of the Tacoma. There is an additional savings because the package the Baja Series is built on top of, TRD Off-Road Package for the Baja Series, is priced below the regular TRD Off-Road Package.

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1995 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Posts a Hilarious Craigslist Ad

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Being a total car lover, I love checking out the Craigslist and eBay car listings. Who knows one day I might find my dream car for uber cheap! Most of the listings are always pretty standard, but this one is definitely hilarious! Apparently there's a guy in Seattle that is trying to desperately sell his 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT on Craigslist. Obviously the 95' Grand Am GT wasn't one of Pontiac's best models. Rather than lie and say how great this piece of machinery is, this owner is calling out all of its faults:

"Never in your life has a car made you so appealing to the opposite sex....this 5-speed 95' Pontiac emanates manliness from every loosely-couple piece of sheet metal."

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2013 Audi Q5 Officially Unveiled and Introduces Audi's First Hybrid

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At your first glance you probably won't notice that Audi has updated the 2013 Audi Q5. The styling updates to the exterior and interior of the 2013 Q5 are very minimal, but what now lies under the hood is definitely more exciting.

Audi is going to offer three diesel and two gasoline engine options, in addition to the a hybrid system in the 2013 Q5. Unfortunately not all of the engines will be offered in the U.S. The diesel options are two 2.0L TDI engines and a more powerful 245-hp 3.0L TDI. The gasoline options are a 225-hp 2.0L four-cylinder and a new supercharged 272-hp 3.0L TFSI V6.

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April 26, 2012

GM Compares the 2013 Chevy Spark Mini-Car to a 1973 American Full-Size Sedan

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GM's 2013 Chevy Spark mini-car officially arrives later this year. Even though the Spark has a very small footprint, GM has put together an infographic that compares the Spark to a 1973 full-size American sedan, which were some of the largest passenger cars ever produced.

Although the 2013 Spark's exterior is 50% smaller than the typical 1973 American full-size sedan, the Spark's front and rear headroom and front legroom match the much larger sedan.

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2012 Honda CR-V Narrowly Beats the 2013 Mazda CX-5 in Consumer Reports Test

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Consumer Reports has released the results of a recent head-to-head small SUV test where the Honda CR-V narrowly topped the all-new Mazda CX-5. On paper the CR-V and CX-5 are very similar, since both can hold up to five-passengers, have comparable dimensions, are available with front- or all-wheel drive, and are priced about the same.

"While their overall scores were close, these two small SUVs have very distinct characteristics that will probably appeal to different types of drivers" said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut.

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April 27, 2012

2013 Ford Escape Officially Gets 33 MPG on the Highway

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Ford has announced that the 2013 Ford Escape with its new 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder gets 33 mpg on the highway, which is 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4. The 2013 Escape is also the most fuel-efficient small SUV with an automatic transmission (the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is rated at 35 mpg, but with a manual transmission).

In addition to getting 33 mpg on the highway with the turbocharged 178 horsepower 1.6L engine, all three of the Escape's four-cylinder engines get over 30 mpg on the highway. The 240-horsepower 2.0L EcoBoost is rated at 22/30 mpg, while the 168 horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder is rated at 22/31 mpg.

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2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Officially Packs 662 Horsepower and 631 lb-ft

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Well it's official! The 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 is powered by the most powerful V8 production engine, which means that it packs more power than the Camaro and Challenger. Ford originally announced that the 2013 Shelby GT500 would have 650 horsepower, but now its been SAE certified at 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft.

With 662 horsepower under the hood, the 2013 Shelby GT500 has 82 more horsepower than the 2012 Camaro ZL1. Ford also points out that the 2013 Shelby GT500 is the most fuel efficient engine in America with over 550 horsepower. It's rated at 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

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