November 2012 Archives
VW head of design Klaus Bischoff confirmed to Autocar at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week that the automaker has no plans for a new VW Eos hardtop convertible. "The Eos will not be prolonged when it comes off the market. Retractable hardtops are disappearing from the market now, and to be honest that's not something I mind," Bischoff stated.
Mitsubishi took the covers off the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover today at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. On the outside the new Outlander gets a fresh design that is more aerodynamic than the outgoing model. With a focus on fuel economy, the new Outlander also gets a new lightweight body that tips the scales approximately 200 pounds less than that of the outgoing Outlander.
Honda has announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show today that the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will be available for retail sale and lease beginning January 15 in California and New York, with an MSRP of $39,780. The 2014 Accord Plug-in has also earned the highest EPA MPGe rating in its class (115 MPGe), surpassing plug-in-class competitors including the Ford C-Max Energi (100 MPGe), Chevy Volt (98 MPGe), and Prius Plug-in (95 MPGe).
Chevy just unveiled its highly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car. Powered by the a small block V-8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevy's newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona, Fla. The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevy SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
The current generation Honda Civic has only been on the market for one model year, but Honda has answered critics with a throughly revised 2013 model. Honda already gave us a preview of the exterior changes earlier this month, but today we get to see what Honda updated on the inside. The 2013 Honda Civic sedan receives all-new front and rear exterior styling, along with extensive interior styling upgrades on all models. Retuned steering and suspension sharpen the Civic's handling, while extensive body and chassis upgrades are set to improve the ride comfort and interior quietness.
It's been 10 years since Jeep originally released the Wrangler Rubicon and to celebrate the past ten years, Jeep has announced the release of the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition. Jeep says that it is the most capable Wrangler ever produced.
Jaguar has taken the wraps off the 2014 Jaguar XFR-S at the 2012 LA Auto Show. The 550 horsepower XFR-S is the fastest and most powerful sedan that Jaguar has ever built. The XFR-S incorporates engineering features from both the XKR-S and the all-new F-Type sports car to create the most driver-focused, agile and responsive iteration of Jaguar's XF range.
Chevy and Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC are giving gamers a first-of-its-kind driving experience by offering a camouflaged Corvette C7 Test Prototype as a vehicle download in the PS3 racing game Gran Turismo 5. Chevy and Polyphony Digital Inc., the developers of the Gran Turismo franchise, collaborated to provide an authentic driving experience in a seventh-generation 2014 Corvette prototype currently available to only a handful of people in the world.
Kia has unveiled the all-new third generation 2014 Kia Forte at the 2012 LA Auto Show. The new 2014 Forte adopts Kia's latest design language , which has created a more aggressive Forte that is now longer, wider and lower than the previous-generation. The all-new Forte rides on a chassis that is longer (by 1.2 inches), lower (0.6 inches) and wider (0.2 inches) than the previous Forte sedan. Its 106.3-inch wheelbase is also two inches longer than the outgoing model.
The 2014 Porsche Cayman was just unveiled at the 2012 LA Auto Show. Porsche says that the third-generation Cayman is lower and longer, lighter and faster, more efficient and more powerful than ever. The two-seat Cayman will be launched in two versions: Cayman and Cayman S. Together aa longer wheelbase, wider track and larger wheels enhance the driving performance of Porsche's mid-engine sports car.
Fiat's lineup is getting bigger, literally. Fiat has unveiled two new models that will arrive for the 2014 model year, the 2014 Fiat 500L and 500L Trekking. The 500L models expand the 500 lineup with 42 percent more interior space and room for five passengers. The "L" sums up the six dimensions of the 500L : leveraging, large, loft, lifestyle, light and liters.
Following the debut of the Acura RLX concept earlier this year, Acura has officially unveiled the 2014 Acura RLX today in LA. According to Acura, the new RLX is "the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced Acura sedan, ever." The RLX will be offered with either a V6 engine, a hybrid powertrain and the first-ever application of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer.
VW has announced the pricing for the 2013 VW Beetle Convertible, which goes on sale next month. The 2013 Beetle Convertible will arrive with a sticker starting at $24,995. The Beetle Convertible will be offered with three engine options: a 170-hp 2.5L five-cylinder, 140-hp 2.0L TDI diesel, and the 200-hp 2.0L turbo.
Hyundai has unveiled the production version of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, which has room for up to seven passengers. For the 2013 model year, Hyundai is offering two versions of the Santa Fe, the shorter Santa Fe Sport and the longer Santa Fe. The Santa Fe looks pretty close to the shorter Santa Fe Sport, which went on sale in August, but as you move past the A pillar there are distinct differences.
The all-new 2013 Toyota RAV4 was just unveiled at the 2012 LA Auto Show. The fourth-generation RAV4 debuts with all-new more aggressive styling, only a four-cylinder engine and finally ditches the old four-speed automatic.
Today is the official kick off of the 2012 LA Auto Show, but the Detroit Auto Show is also just around the corner. Infiniti has announced that it will debut an all-new sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show in January. Although Infiniti hasn't confirmed what model it will be, it's believed that it will be the all-new 2014 Infiniti G sedan.
Fans of the Fiat 500 Abarth, now another variant to choose from. Fiat has unveiled the 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth, which combines the style and open top design of the 500c, with the more powerful engine from the 500 Abarth. With 160 horsepower under the hood, the Fiat 500c Abarth will reach 0-60 mph in the low second range and with the push of a button the cloth top retracts at speeds up to 60 mph.
Fiat has taken the wraps off the electric version of the Fiat 500, the 2013 Fiat 500e. On the outside the Fiat 500e looks almost identical to the standard 500, but under the hood it's powered by an 111 horsepower electric motor and 24 kWh lithium-ion battery. Fiat has dubbed the electric drive system, "e-Drive", which is showcased by a studded, logo-adorned engine cover.
Nissan has confirmed the updates for the US-spec 2014 Nissan GT-R supercar, which is slated to arrive in January 2013. The 2014 GT-R's 3.8L engine has been updated with improved intake efficiency, reduced airflow resistance and improved exhaust emissions, which all leads to a 15-horsepower increase to 545-hp.
BMW has unveiled its latest electric concept car, the i3 Coupe Concept, which takes the design of the original i3 concept, but is a bit sportier. The i3 Coupe Concept is going to have its world debut this week at the 2012 LA Auto Show. According to BMW, the i3 Coupe Concept could eventually become a possible variant of the upcoming i3 electric car.
Chrysler has unveiled the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country S, which gets the same "S" treatment as the Chrysler 200 and 300 sedan. According to Chrysler, the Town & Country S brings a new level of modern design to the minivan segment. The Chrysler Town & Country S gets exterior and interior enhancements as well as some standard equipment commonly associated with top-line models.
Ford is bringing the ultimate Ford Fiesta to the US for the 2014 model year, since Ford has just announced the release of the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST. The 2014 Fiesta ST now welcomes the Fiesta as a "hot hatch" segment with its 197-hp turbocharged engine, sport-tuned suspension and sportier styling.
Infiniti is set to kick off sales of three of its models in Brazil in 2014. Infiniti continues to expand. This fiscal year saw sales starting in Singapore, Chile, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Australia. Hong Kong has been announced to launch in 2013.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS officially arrived in Cadillac showrooms in September and even though Cadillac wants the ATS to steal would be BMW 3 Series buyers, the new sedan is also taking buyers from the larger Cadillac CTS. Sales of the older CTS have tanked since the arrival of the ATS with sales declining 40 percent in October.
The 2013 Ford Focus has received a top safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Focus earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score in NHTSA's testing, which tests a vehicle's performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests and a resistance to rollover evaluation.
The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is expected to start arriving in showrooms in January, but if you've been waiting patiently to see how much it will cost, here you go. The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi will reportedly start at $39,495, according to Car and Driver. That price is before the available $4,000 federal tax credit and any state tax credits.
Nissan has announced the pricing and updates to the 2013 Nissan Versa sedan. The 2013 Nissan Versa sedan continues to be the lowest priced car in the U.S. with a starting price at $11,990. Nissan has also tweaked the CVT equipped models to give the sedan a 40 MPG rating on the highway.
Ford is out to take on the hybrid/ electric car segment with the introduction of several new models like the C-MAX, C-MAX Energi and Fusion hybrids. Toyota has dominated the hybrid segment for over 10 years with the Prius, but has some real competition finally arrived? This fall the 2013 Ford C-MAX and C-MAX Energi arrive, which are Ford's direct competitors to the popular Prius. Ford makes it no secret that it has set the Prius as its target, but did it succeed?
In effort to improve its sales, Nissan is updating its Leaf EV for the 2013 model year. Yesterday Nissan unveiled the changes to the JDM-spec Leaf in Tokyo. The new Leaf will be offered in three trim levels, with the addition of a new cheaper S grade model. But the biggest changes consist of a new electric motor, reduced weight and an improved steering/ suspension.
BMW is going to unveil a new i Concept at the LA Auto Show next week. BMW hasn't provided any details about the new i concept, other than stating, "the new BMW i Concept will join BMW i's growing lineup of visionary concept vehicles which are purpose-built from the ground up as electric and hybrid electric and constructed primarily from lightweight carbon fiber."
Audi has announced that it will be bringing new diesel versions of the Audi A8, A7, A6 and Q5 to the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. Audi claims that each TDI vehicle delivers up to 30% better fuel economy and 30% lower carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline powered models.
Ford has just confirmed that the 2014 Ford Fiesta will be offered with Ford's new three-cylinder 1.0L EcoBoost engine in the U.S. The 2014 Fiesta will be the first Ford model in the U.S. to get the new engine, which Ford expects will make the Fiesta the most fuel efficient non-hybrid car available in the United States.
The 2013 Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid is already sold out, but Volvo has announced plans to increase the production of the 2014 model. The assembly of the diesel plug-in hybrid has been successfully integrated on the same line as Volvo's other models at the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg. Volvo will increase the production of the V60 plug-in hybrid to 4,000-6,000 cars as of model year 2014, which is up from the initial 1,000 units.
Honda has unveiled the US-spec version of the revised 2013 Honda CR-Z. For the 2013 model year the CR-Z hybrid gets new styling tweaks, an updated interior and most importantly, more power under the hood. One of our biggest complaints about the current CR-Z is that it's hybrid powertrain could use more power to fully earn its "sport hybrid" label. Honda has answered this with a little more power under the hood, without reducing its fuel efficiency.
Nissan has announced the updates to the 2013 Nissan Murano, which for the 2013 model year gets Nissan's Safety Shield technologies like Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning.
Fisker is hard at work on its second model line, the Fisker Atlantic. Fisker has announced plans to establish a new technical center in the Midwest, with South Eastern Michigan as one of the potential locations. The new center will bring Fisker closer to key component suppliers and low-emission technical expertise at the heart of the American automotive industry.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new Ener-G-Concept, which is a vision of what the iconic G-Class could look like in 2025. It is based on the concept of a future police car developed for the Los Angeles Design Challenge. Gorden Wagener, Director of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars: "The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow's adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G-Class. Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz".
A team of 28 women from a gym in East Sussex have managed to break two Guinness World Records for the number of people inside both a classic Mini and a 2012 MINI. The ladies crammed their way into the MINI Cooper at Potters Fields Park, London as part of the eighth annual Guinness World Records day. The team broke their own previous record of 27 people, which they set in Eastbourne last year.
Earlier this week Lamborghini took the wraps off the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster, which is the convertible version of the successful Aventador coupe. When it was unveiled Lamborghini said that the roadster would start at 300,000 euros in Europe, but now we have a price for the U.S. version.
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the oldest, if not oldest models in the compact crossover segment, but that will finally change now that Toyota has officially announced the all-new 2013 RAV4. Toyota is set to unveil the all-new 2013 RAV4 at the 2012 LA Auto Show later this month.
General Motors estimates that it will have up to 500,000 vehicles on the road with some form of electrification by 2017, according to GM's top product development executive.
Toyota has announced that it has developed a Pre-collision System (PCS) with collision avoidance assist that is effective in helping prevent even high-speed collisions. The newly developed PCS uses millimeter-wave radar to detect the risk of a rear-end collision with a preceding vehicle, with the system warning the driver via sound and display alerts to prompt braking when such a risk is detected. When the driver applies the brakes, PCS enables deceleration of up to 37 mph by greatly increasing the braking force up to twice that of the average force applied by drivers. If the brakes are not applied, automatic deceleration of 9 mph to approximately 18 mph is possible.
Nissan has announced the release of the 2013 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which confrorms to FIA GT3 regulations. The 2013 model, follow the 2012 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, which debuted in March in which it outperformed the competition at this year's SUPER GT series (GT 300 class), Super Taikyu (GT3 class), British GT Championship and GT Cup.
GM has confirmed that the Chevy Spark EV will make its world debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show later this month. The Chevy Spark EV will officially arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of 2013. GM is also going to unveil an advanced version of its MyLink infotainment system at the show, which will be available in the 2014 Chevy Impala.
Ford has unveiled the 2014 Ford Transit Connect, which will be the first 7-passenger "people mover" expected to break the 30 mpg-plus highway barrier. Transit Connect Wagon expected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and 2 mpg better in the city than a seven-seat Toyota Sienna minivan, and more cargo space and passenger seating than Mazda5, yet hauls a heavier payload than a Toyota Tacoma Double Cab pickup or Dodge Grand Caravan.
Earlier this month Automobile Magazine named the Tesla Model S its Automobile of the Year and now Motor Trend has given Tesla's sedan its highest honor by naming it its, 2013 Car of the Year. To take top honors, Model S garnered a unanimous vote from the panel of Motor Trend judges and guest judges. This is the first time in Motor Trend's memory that every judge was in unanimous agreement.
Honda has released some of the details for its new Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive hybrid system that will be used by Honda's smaller vehicles. According to Honda, the Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system will be the latest addition to the Earth Dreams Technology series of next generation powertrain technology that realizes both excellent driving performance and high fuel efficiency.
Honda has unveiled the Micro Commuter Prototype, which was developed in consideration of the vehicle categories for micro-sized mobility products that are currently being discussed under the initiative of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan. Advancing the Micro Commuter Concept that was first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011, this prototype model has space for one driver and two children in the micro-sized body.
BMW is set to officially unveil the 2014 M6 Gran Coupe next month, but in the meantime BMW has released a few teaser photos. The 2014 M6 Gran Coupe will most likely be powered by the same 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 as the M6 Coupe and Convertible, which means that we can expect it to have 560 horsepower and 502 lb-ft. of torque.
The 2013 Nissan Titan full-size pickup continues into the 2013 model year mostly unchanged with the exception of some enhancements like a new tailgate design with aerodynamic rear spoiler, refreshed interior treatments and seven new colors.
Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, which brings even more power to the SLS AMG range.
Ford has announced that the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion has just been named a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In order to be named a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must receive a rating of "Good" in the following evaluations: offset frontal impact, side impact, dynamic head restraint and roof strength testing.
GM has announced that the production of the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD bi-fuel pickup trucks is underway in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD Vortec 6.0L V8 engine runs on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG) and seamlessly switches between the two fuels. The CNG and gasoline tanks have a combined range of 650 miles, the longest standard bi-fuel range of any original equipment automaker.
Mazda built the last RX-7 in 2002, but its now being reported that the RX-7 is going to return in 2017. Mazda's sports car chief Nobuhiro Yamamoto recently confirmed the plans at a launch event for the facelifted MX-5. When the next RX-7 is released in 2017, it will be lighter and less complex than the last one and will be powered by a new rotary engine.
Earlier this week Suzuki announced plans to discontinue sales in the U.S. after three decades, due to slipping sales. Suzuki's departure now puts attention on Mitsubishi, which is now the Japanese automaker with the fewest US sales. In response to Suzuki's announcement, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko told the Automotive News that the automaker has no plans to leave the US market.
Porsche has announced that Automobile Magazine has named the 2013 Porsche Boxster its "Design of the Year" award.
Maserati has taken the wraps off the all-new 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, which will debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show in January. The new Quattroporte is longer and has a larger interior than the last model, but its new exterior design isn't a huge departure from the current model.
Volvo has announced that it is testing a new fast-charger for electric cars that is six times faster than today's systems with a charging time of only 1.5 hours. Volvo is currently testing the new 22 kW fast-charger on a number of Volvo C30 Electric cars.
American Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced that it is filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will wind down and discontinue new car sales in the U.S. Suzuki plans to realign its business to focus on the longterm growth of its Motorcycles/ATV and Marine divisions.
Honda's President Takanobu Ito recently spoke to Automotive News, in which he revealed some of Honda's future plans and specially how it expects to sell 2 million vehicles in 2016. Part of Honda's big sales boost will come from the next-generation Fit and its new variants. Ito expects sales of the Fit to surge to 200,000 units annually over the next four years, which is up from the 64,177 units sold in 2011.
The crossover segment keeps getting more and more crowded and with every major automaker vying for market share, the segment is hotter than ever. With the days of the large body-on-frame "rugged" SUV behind us, Nissan has completely revamped the 2013 Pathfinder with a new lighter unibody design that is more catlike than ever before. Will it woo away would be Explorer, Pilot and Highlander buyers? Read on to find out...
Dodge has announced the introduction of the 2013 Blacktop packages for the Avenger, Challenger R/T and Charger R/T models. The package includes larger, unique Gloss Black wheels, select exterior paint colors, Gloss Black-painted "split-crosshair" grilles with Gloss Black matching grille surround, darkened headlamp bezels and body-color spoilers, as well as some unique Blacktop interior touches.
Nissan is adding some more updates to the 2014 GT-R supercar, which goes on sale early next year. The new updates are expected to increase the performance and improve the GT-R's ride and handling. Notable modifications include improved engine response in both the mid- and upper-rpm rev range, increased body rigidity, and specification changes to the shock absorbers, springs and front stabilizer. As a result, the vehicle's overall performance is dramatically increased, high-speed stability improved and ride quality is more refined.
Hyundai and Kia have announced that, following discussions with the EPA, they are voluntarily adjusting the fuel economy ratings for approximately 900,000, or 35 percent of, 2011-13 model year vehicles sold through October 31, 2012. According to both automakers procedural errors at their joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines. As part of Hyundai/Kia's corrective actions, the fuel economy ratings for vehicles currently in showrooms are being voluntarily relabeled. With these changes, the 2012 Hyundai/Kia fleet fuel economy level is reduced by an average of 3 percent - from 27 to 26 MPG.
Ever since the Honda CR-Z hybrid was released, we've been asking for more power from the "sporty" hybrid. There have been lots of rumors that Honda is working on a more powerful version, but it has yet to be officially confirmed. This week the SEMA show officially kicked off in Las Vegas and in addition to the special Accord models, Honda also unveiled the HPD (Honda Performance Development) Supercharged CR-Z Concept. According to Honda the Supercharged CR-Z concept "is a further exploration of the performance potential of the CR-Z Sport Hybrid."
The MINI Countryman has only been on the market for two years, but for the 2013 model year, MINI's crossover is getting a few updates. Most people probably won't notice the updates, but on the inside there are newly designed rings encircling the Center Speedo and four air vents, which will be presented across the board in the color shade Carbon Black and also have an inner ring in high-gloss black or - as part of the Chrome Line Interior option - in chrome. The armrests have also been redesigned and the window controls have been moved from the center console to the doors.
Subaru has unveiled the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester ahead of its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. The new Forester is about the same size as the outgoing model, but with more interior volume. It also gets a new exterior with styling cues that are shared with other Subaru models, like the Impreza.
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