Sabtu, 29 Juni 2013

Spied: 2015 BMW CAT

This is the latest pictures of the BMW CAT, spied undergoing testing at the Nurburgring. The CAT will be available in five-seat form first, and is set to go on sale in mid-2014.

First revealed at the Paris Motor Show, it was initially suggested that the CAT - short for Concept Active Tourer - was to be titled the BMW 1 Series GT. However, BMW has confirmed to Auto Express that the CAT will in fact become part of the 2 Series family, although whether it will be badged 2 Series GT is still yet to be confirmed.

The first 2 Series model will be the Coupe, which will arrive at the Detroit Motor Show in January next year, alongside the 4 Series Convertible. Both of these cars will go on sale here in March 2014.

Whatever it's called, the new BMW will become the firm's first front-wheel drive car, as it is underpinned by its new UKL front-wheel drive platform that'll debut with the new MINI in November.

The CAT will be available as a five seater first, with a seven-seater joining the range in late 2014. The five-seater will rival the Mercedes B-Class, but the seven-seater has no direct opposition as yet, although Audi is said to be considering an MPV version of the A3.

To accommodate the extra pair of seats, the seven-seat version will have a slightly longer rear overhang. It'll feature larger rear doors to make access to the third row of seats easier, too.

Under the bonnet will be BMW's new modular 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, while a version of the hybrid system used on the concept car in Paris is also expected. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Jumat, 28 Juni 2013

New Car: 2014 Monte Carlo Rascasse


Another supercar challenger has arrived, but the Monte Carlo Automobile (MCA) Rascasse is a little different. Although powered by a V12 engine, it's able to run on petrol or hydrogen-enriched LPG.

Named after the famous final corner of the Monaco grand prix, MCA will ensure exclusivity to owners of the Rascasse by limiting production to only 15 units. Power is provided by a mid-mounted 500bhp 5.4-litre V12, which was previously fitted to the 1998 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph, although power is up by 170bhp over the Rolls.

Decked with a yacht inspired wooden interior and a removable roof, the Rascasse is reminiscent of the Ferrari Enzo and Lamborghini Aventador in its styling, and has a similar price tag, too - prices start at £425,000.

The Monaco based manufacturer is also planning to produce a more powerful hybrid version that will feature a supercharged engine and four-wheel drive. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Citroen & Peugeot Could be Sold to GM


The founding family of PSA Peugeot Citroen have offered to step aside to allow GM to take over the business in a last-ditch attempt to keep the company afloat, according to reports from news agency Reuters.

It is suggested that PSA could run out of operating capital by the end of the year, having burned 3 billion euros in operating cash last year. GM, which operates Vauxhall, Opel and Chevrolet in Europe, already owns 7% of PSA having invested in March 2012.

Plans are already afoot to produce a range of Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and Opel models with shared engines and platforms, including a new Vauxhall Zafira, Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C3 Picasso.

Both GM and PSA are suffering from over-capacity, in spite of plans to scale back production. And any further tie-up would be dependent on GM being able to close factories across Europe to consolidate production, something that would be especially unpopular with French president Francois Hollande.

The Peugeot family initially asked for financial support from Chinese partner Dongfeng, but turned to GM when those talks came to nothing. According to Reuters, GM is ‘playing hardball’ by holding out for assurances that it can cut plants and jobs at a reasonable cost. It’s also reported that any decision is unlikely to be made before the German general election in September.

Former Peugeot GB managing director and now executive vice-president of corporate communications, Jon Goodman, told Reuters: ‘We don’t comment on speculation or rumours.”

Peugeot currently employs 77,000 people in France, while sales of Peugeots and Citroens fell 13.9% in the first five months of 2013 versus 2012, slightly worse the GM Europe’s drop of 11.0%. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Nismo & Williams Announces Their Partnership


Nismo, the recently relaunched performance arm of Nissan, has announced a new engineering partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop high-performance Nismo-branded road cars from 2014 onwards. Nismo is expecting Williams to use its F1 know-how in aerodynamics, simulation and material science to help improve the Nismo line-up.

There are no details yet on exactly what the partnership will produce - but Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president, told Auto Express: "As you have seen from our initial products from Nismo such as the Juke, the focus is on accessible excitement; but we also need to demonstrate we can go head-to-head with the best in the business," suggesting that a range of faster and more focused Nismo models could be on the way.
"The initial focus will be on Nismo models – we have some specific projects that will see the light of day within the next 12 months – plus many ideas being generated between the two companies," Palmer added. "The engineers at Williams will be working alongside our own Nismo engineers, bringing very complimentary skills to the vehicle projects."

Nissan isn't the first manufacturer Williams has formed a technical partnership with in recent times. Williams was instrumental in bringing the hybrid C-X75 supercar from concept to reality (although the production run has been cancelled), while Renault's engine supply deal with the Williams F1 team sparked rumours that a modern day Clio Williams was on the cards. However, since Mercedes will now supply Williams with engines from 2014, that project has lost momentum. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Porsche 911 GT2

Here’s our first sighting of the upcoming Porsche 911 GT2, not surprisingly caught lapping around the Nurburgring. This latest 911 variant, which essentially combines elements from the Turbo and GT3, should be the fastest one yet, with its signature combination of big power and relatively low curb weight.

Porsche didn’t bother extensively disguising this tester, likely because the Turbo and GT3 models have already been revealed. Sitting just behind the rear axle will be a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged boxer-six with an output that should match, if not beat the Turbo S, which is rated at 560 hp and 516 lb-ft; And expect a seven-speed dual clutch to be the lone gearbox sending power to the rear wheels. That said, its 0-60 mph should also be in the same neighborhood of the Turbo S, which Porsche estimates to be 2.9 seconds.

Pictures reveal a number of requisite track-focused tricks borrowed from the GT3 including an aero kit and a large rear spoiler for much-needed downforce while barreling down the straights at the GT2′s rumored top speed of just over 200 mph. And like its predecessor, the 991-series GT2 should feature a number of weight-shaving elements like a titanium exhaust system and lightweight seats.

In all, the new 911 GT2 should get around the ‘Ring in a hurry. A few years ago driver Walter Rohrl raced a GT2 around the Nurburgring in just 7:32 minutes (and that was with a six-speed manual). Soon after, he convinced Porsche to build an even more powerful and light RS version, a prototype of which shaved off .three seconds from the base model’s time in 2007. Porsche hasn’t yet made official plans for a GT2 RS, but for now we can look forward to the “normal” GT2, which should arrive sometime next year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The Problem: The panoramic glass roof on 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sports made from August 26, 2010 through March 29, 2011 may not have been installed with primer applied before the adhesive. This could lead to reduced adhesion, “possibly allowing the glass roof to detach from the vehicle,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect the panoramic glass roof to see if primer was installed. If not, the glass will be reinstalled. Owners may contact Mitsubishi at 1-888-648-7820 for more information. Mitsubishi says that, so far, no related claims have been made by owners in the U.S.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 3181 Mitsubishi Outlander Sports from the 2011 model year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Ford F-150 Tremor Sport

It has been a while since Ford actively pursued the on-road sport truck market, but the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor, which was unveiled this morning at a press conference in Dearborn, Michigan, seeks to change that.

Like the original 1993-1995 and the second-generation 1999-2004 F-150 SVT Lightnings, the Tremor packs big power into a regular-cab, full-size pickup package. Unlike those vehicles, however, that power doesn’t come from a V-8 engine. Instead, the 2014 F-150 Tremor is powered by Ford’s twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Although no Tremor-specific modifications have been performed, the EcoBoost V-6 still cranks out a healthy 365 horsepower at 5000 rpm, along with 420 lb-ft of torque at 2500 rpm. Ford brags 90 percent of that peak torque is delivered between 1700-5000 rpm, meaning it should be plenty easy to light the rear tires up. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a locking rear differential with a 4.10:1 ratio.
 Don’t think the Tremor’s EcoBoost can hold a candle to the legendary SVT Lightnings? Think again. The original ’93-’95 model delivered 240 hp at 4200 rpm, along with 340 lb-ft of torque at 3200 rpm. The second-generation F-150 SVT Lightning produced 360 hp at 4750 rpm and 440 lb-ft of torque @ 3000 rpm when it debuted in 1999, but saw output was increased to 380 hp and 450 lb-ft from 2001 until 2004. The 2014 F-150 Tremor should eclipse both trucks in terms of fuel economy, however – even with the 4:10 rear axle, Ford expects the Tremor to return 16 mpg on the EPA’s city test cycle, and 22 mpg on the highway.

Unlike the SVT-fettled Lightnings, which incorporated a number of chassis and suspension modifications, the 2014 F-150 Tremor is mechanically identical to a stock 2014 Ford F-150. Most Tremor revisions are cosmetic, and based on those applied to the FX2 trim level, which – like the EcoBoost V-6 itself — isn’t normally offered on regular-cab F-150s. Flat black 20-inch wheels, black exterior badging with red lettering, and black tubular running boards are all cribbed from the FX2’s FX Appearance Package, and are standard equipment on the 2014 F-150 Tremor. The black hockey stick bodyside stripes are also similar to those included in the FX Appearance package, but sport a pattern unique to the Tremor.
 Inside, the 2014 F-150 Tremor raids the FX Appearance Package parts bin again, using the same flow-through center console, black leather bucket seats with red accent piping, metal dash accents, and same red-stitched steering wheel. MyFord Touch is also included as standard equipment.

Predictably, Ford hasn’t announced any pricing information for the 2014 F-150 Tremor. We wouldn’t be surprised if it comes in just below a 2013 FX2 Supercab with the EcoBoost V-6, which starts at $38,005. Expect finalized figures to emerge shortly, as Ford says the 2014 F-150 Tremor should be on sale by this fall.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 26 Juni 2013

New Car: 2014 Honda Crider

The Honda Crider sedan has been launched on the China car market. Price starts at 114.800 yuan and ends at 149.800 yuan. The Honda Crider debuted on the Shanghai Auto Show in April, design is based on the Honda Concept C that debuted on the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The vehicle stands out by its massive chromed grille, which is huge even for Chinese standards.

The Crider will be made in China by the Guangzhou-Honda joint venture, it will be positioned under the Honda Accord. Power comes from a 1.8 with 139hp and 172nm, mated to a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic. Size: 4650/1750/1505, wheelbase is 2650.

A disappointingly thin chrome strip on the back.

The Crider will compete with cars such as the Volkswagen Sagitar, Citroen C4L, and the upcoming Hyundai Mistra and Ford Escort. All are relatively small sedans with a premium look & feel.

Finally a good look at the interior and it all loox very Honda-high-tech which large blue screens and dials. Materials seem to be of high quality and Honda used a lot of alu-accents for a modern look. No fake wood here!

Thanks to: Car News China

New Car: 2014 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso


This is the first official pictures of the new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. Aimed at families who need something even more spacious than the standard C4 Picasso, the seven-seater goes on sale in the UK next January.

The Grand C4 Picasso marks itself out from the five-seat model thanks to a unique high-tech front end (including a chevron grille that completely surround the LED daytime running lights and a split lower grille) and innovative 'boomerang' LED lights at the rear, while the most efficient model in the range emits just 98g/km of CO2.

Based on the new EMP2 platform, which will underpin a range of future Citroens and Peugeots, including the upcoming Peugeot 308, the Grand C4 Picasso benefits from a 110kg weight reduction over its predecessor. Despite being the same length as the car it replaces, engineers have been able to extend the wheelbase.

The result is a lighter and more airy cabin spac, plus easier access to the third row of seats. It also creates an extra 69-litres of useable load space compared to its predecessor, upping total luggage capacity to 645-litres with the third row of seats folded away and over 700-litres with the sliding second row of seats in their forward position.

In addition to the new EMP2 platform, Citroën has introduced a new engine to the Grand C4 Picasso range. The all new BlueHDi 150 engine emits only 110g/km of CO2. Performance should be further improved by the new six-speed automated manual gearbox available with 1.6-litre e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115 diesel engines.

Standard kit includes a panoramic windscreen, while a large glass roof is optional. A whole host of buttons and switches have been replaced with a 7-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch digital instrument panel. The seats are also asymmetrically designed which gives them the appearance of a sofa, while the seats in row two are all-independent of one another. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Mazda 3

The acrobatic Miata may be Mazda’s poster child for fun, affordable driving, but the company’s true star is the 3. Since the 3 went on sale a decade ago, it’s been a consistent benchmark for sporty compact sedans and hatchbacks, racking up more sales than any other Mazda—and during some periods, more sales than all other Mazdas. Put simply, the Mazda 3 is to compacts what the BMW 3-series is to sports sedans. What you see here is the all-new third-generation Mazda 3 hatchback, although it will be offered in two body styles. Buyers will also have the ability to choose from among two engines and two transmissions.

It’s become something of a trope to proclaim that “economy cars now look decent,” as though last year saw the introduction of the AMC Gremlin. Mazda’s 3 is a perfect example, looking stylish and not the least bit cheap for both of its first two generations. This new third-gen car carries on the tradition, with flowing curves shaping its profile and thin, sharp lines for the fascia. For now, we’re only seeing the five-door hatchback version of the 3; a four-door sedan will debut soon. Mazda says that both will have best-in-class drag coefficients. Beneath the sheetmetal, Mazda has used quite a bit of high-strength steel and reports that the new car is not only 30 percent more rigid than the outgoing 3, but lighter, too. 

That the new 3 looks so much like the also-new 6 is intentional, of course, but one does wonder if the two are so similar that only automotive illuminati will be able to distinguish them on the road. Like the 6, which shrunk for this generation, the hatchback version of the 3 cuts 1.8 inches from the last-gen car’s length. Worry not—too much, at least—about interior space. The wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than before, and Mazda says that it has more hip and shoulder room inside. People of the taller persuasion, though, face some bad news: The new car loses 0.6 inch of headroom. Skip the sunroof and consider a flatter haircut, friends.

Once again, the Mazda 3—in non-Mazdaspeed form, at least—will be available in the U.S. with a choice of two engines. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder, introduced in the outgoing 3 late in its life, carries over from that car as the base engine. Despite the obligatory silly marketing name, the direct-injected “Skyactiv” engine is a fantastic little unit on both the power and efficiency fronts. Same as before, it delivers 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque in the new 3, meaning that even owners of entry-level models can brag about comfortable horsepower supremacy over virtually every other car in its class, save the 160-hp Ford Focus and 170-ish-hp new-generation Volkswagen Golf

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Nissan Micra Nismo


Following hot on the heels of the Nissan Juke Nismo, Nissan has launched another pumped-up version of one of its most successful models. The Nissan Micra Nismo follows a familiar formula of beefed-up bodywork and marginally more power, but will only be made available in Japan.

A spokeswoman for Nissan revealed that although the Micra Nismo will not be made available in the UK, Nissan are currently working on a range of Nismo models specifically designed and engineered for the European market. So far we've seen the Juke Nismo and 370Z Nismo, but there's more to come.

Two Nismo variants of the Micra (called the March in Japan) will be available. The base model will be fitted with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine currently available in the Micra, which will be mated to an XTRONIC CVT gearbox. The performance orientated Nismo S, equipped with a specifically tuned 1.5-litre petrol engine and coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission will have a 37bhp advantage over the base model upping total power to 114bhp and will feature enhanced body rigidity.

Both models will be fitted with Nismo-developed aero parts such as front and rear diffuser, rear spoiler, red door mirrors, side sills and Nismo badging.

Inside, custom sports seats draped in suede and leather as well as the sports steering wheel and custom red stitching signify this as the Nismo model. Stiffer suspension and special Yamaha performance dampers complete the transition from standard car to Nismo model, too. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Renault Twizy Cargo

Renault has turned its tiny Twizy electric urban runaround into a tiny, one-seater commercial vehicle. Instead of the tandem two-seater layout, the rear seat space has been swapped for a 180-litre boot, accessed by a lockable rear door.

The Twizy Cargo can accept loads of up to 75kg, and Renault reckons it’s “the perfect solution for companies offering callout or support services, like IT support, with the boot easily taking a set of tools securely and safely. Or, even a stack of large takeaway pizzas.”

What’s more, the Twizy can be parked end-on into a space, and the driver can get out easily on either side.
The firm also points out that the Twizy Cargo is £650 cheaper than the two-seater Twizy. As it’s classed as a car-derived van, the VAT can be reclaimed, taking the price to £6,241 (or £7,795 with VAT included) when it goes on sale in July.

Buyers can also reclaim the VAT on the cost of the rental of the batteries, which starts at £36 per month plus VAT, plus the Twizy Cargo is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

Like the two-seater Twizy, the Cargo has a 17bhp motor that helps the 474kg vehicle to a top speed of 56mph. It has a real-world range of around 50 miles and takes three and a half hours to charge from a normal household plug socket, with Renault claiming that a full charge costs around £1 in electricity.
The Twizy Cargo is designed to appeal to companies wishing to show off their green credentials. As such, Renault is also launching a 'Design Your Own Twizy' scheme.

This gives buyers a choice of over 40 colours and 30 pre-designed wraps to make sure their Twizy stands out, and Renault has even made a configurator, at www.renault.co.uk/dyot, where you can try out different designs. Prices start at £250 for just the doors, £395 for the doors and frames, and £795 for the whole vehicle. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Acura TLX

What It Is: Acura’s next-generation mid-size sedan being tested while wearing a heavy layer of obstructive camouflage. The last time we checked in on Acura’s sedan lineup, the company told us it was planning to offer just three sedans in the future. With the introduction of the compact, Honda Civic–based ILX and the RL-replacing RLX large sedan, only the TSX or the TL—but not both—will soldier on. Based on the apparent size of the four-door in these spy photos, it seems Acura has decided to go with a new TL. We’ll give TSX fans a moment to collect themselves. In keeping with Acura’s latest three-letter, X-centric (Bazinga!) nomenclature, we expect the TL moniker to give way to a more brand-appropriate TLX designation. 

Why It Matters: Although Acura as a brand has seen flagging consumer interest in recent years, the TL especially has waned in the eyes of luxury buyers. Partly due to age, and partly due to its lack of a premium image, the TL simply falls short of its German competition. The new TLX will need to claw back from the TL’s position of irrelevancy by making an impact in the ever-popular compact-to-mid-size luxury-sedan arena. The TLX’s job will be made somewhat easier, we think, by the departure of the smaller, comparatively affordable—and fun-to-drive–TSX. 

Platform: Like the outgoing TL, we expect the new TLX will use some variation of what underpins Honda’s North American Accord. The TL shared its bones with the previous-generation Accord (the smaller TSX was based on the European Accord), which was updated heavily for 2013. Just as the latest Accord sedan essentially is the same underneath as the car it replaced, look for similar upgrades to the TLX’s structure, possibly along with some weight savings. 

It’s difficult to make out any specific styling changes from these spy photos, but it’s clear that Acura largely will carry over the TL’s swoopy greenhouse and high beltline to the TLX, although the new sedan does look less chubby in profile. Somewhat amusingly, Acura’s camouflage folks decided to use a contrasting-color, pentagon-shaped mesh insert for the area covering the TLX prototype’s grille, and it fairly gives away the test car’s origins. Behind the camo, the brand’s signature beak-like grille barely can be made out. It looks as though RLX-style LED headlights will be available on the TLX, considering that they can be seen gleaming from behind the camouflage, as well. 

Powertrains: Perhaps the TLX’s biggest potential changes relative to the TL have to do with its engine, transmission, and drive layout. The TL offers two engines, one for front-drive models and another for all-wheel-drive versions. A 280-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 powers front-drive TLs and a burlier, 305-hp 3.7-liter motivates TLs with the brand’s signature torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). We’re betting that, like the larger RLX, the TLX will carry over its dual-powertrain strategy, but with a twist. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Unofficial Picture Up Date: 2014 Mazda 3

It has become nearly common practice these days for a big automotive debut to be spoiled by websites—usually based somewhere in Eastern Europe—publishing secret photos. And so it goes for Mazda’s big reveal for the 2014 Mazda 3—scheduled for later today—which has been crimped by an allegedly premature photo dump on a Czech site. (The photos you see here were posted by Jalopnik.) Regardless, we’ll be bringing you full details and official photos soon, but in the meantime, here’s what we already know about the upcoming 3. Like the latest CX-5 and Mazda 6, it will have some degree of Skyactiv lightweight and fuel-saving technologies built in. Also, as a recent batch of spy photos clearly shows, it will inherit the 6’s and CX-5’s attractive Kodo design language. Stay tuned for more, but based on these leaked images, we can say this: The Mazda 3 is once again one of the most attractive small cars out there.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Selasa, 25 Juni 2013

New Car: 2013 Maruti Ritz @Buzz

Maruti has added a new limited-edition package on its Ritz hatchback.

This new limited edition package is called the Ritz '@Buzz' edition and can be dealer-fitted on the Ritz LXI, LDI, VXI and VDI variants only. 

The @Buzz edition comes with special exterior body graphics, bumper protectors, mud-flaps, door sills, art-leather seat covers and a steering wheel cover. Additional features include a rear-parcel tray (on the LXI and LDI variants, standard on the VXI and VDI), a 2-DIN Nippon music system with USB, Aux-in,  Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. 

The limited edition @Buzz package is priced at Rs 17,990 over the cost of the car. 

Thanks to: Autocar India

Hot News: Honda Considering to Launch Civic Tourer Type S

A sporty version of the Honda Civic Tourer is under consideration and would most likely wear the Type S badge if it gets the go-ahead for production.

The Civic Tourer is set to be revealed in production form at this year’s Frankfurt motor show. It will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014.

Although the Tourer will be launched with the same powertrains as the Civic hatchback, Honda is said to be keen to exploit the buzz created by the forthcoming return of the Civic Type R hatch by creating a sports-orientated version of the Tourer.

If it gets the go-ahead, a Type S Tourer is likely to sit on stiffer, lower suspension than the standard car and get a Type R-inspired body kit and, potentially, wider tracks.

The Civic Tourer is the first Honda to have been fully developed in Europe since the Civic Aerodeck, having been engineered in Swindon. The production car will look very similar to the concept.

Although Honda has not announced the Tourer’s boot capacity, Adrian Killman, who has led the car’s development, said it would be “comfortably class-leading”. This is possible because of the fuel tank’s location under the driver’s seat and the beam axle rear suspension set-up. The boot floor is also likely to be flat.

Thanks to: Autocar

Jumat, 21 Juni 2013

Hot News: MG is Developing 5 Saloon

MG will launch a saloon version of its MG5, according to Chinese media. The MG5 saloon will introduce an all-new engine and transmission, developed in-house by SAIC.

The new engine will be a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

Although little is known about the new engine, it is thought to develop around 127bhp and 147lb ft. Economy and performance are expected to be improved over the wheezy 108bhp unit offered in the MG5 hatchback.

The engine will be offered with an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which will be produced at SAIC’s facility in Anting, near Shanghai.

Autocar understands a decision is yet to be made to launch the MG5 in Europe; the company was initially enthusiastic about the idea, but has subsequently talked down any potential launch date. Instead bosses consider the forthcoming MG CS SUV to be a more profitable and popular model.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2015 Lexus NX/Compact Crossover

The latest evidence Lexus is considering a sub-RX luxury crossover has arrived today in the form of new spy shots. What you see in the gallery below is an early mule of what may be a new compact luxury crossover to complement the vehicle that has dominated the luxury SUV market for years: the mighty RX.

The Lexus RX 350 carries a starting price just over $40,000 including destination, yet the midsize crossover still manages to keep up in sales with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series — cars with base prices thousands of dollars less expensive. While a compact Lexus crossover may cannibalize a few potential RX sales, the emerging segment may simply be too promising for the brand to ignore. And in Europe, a smaller crossover will help it compete with German rival brands.
 What we see here is a Lexus that appears to be a raised CT 200h mule. We’ve heard that Lexus was considering additional CT 200h variants, and we’re guessing a small hybrid crossover could command greater prices than a sedan. Possibly called the Lexus NX, the production-ready crossover could be roughly the size of the Toyota RAV4, but with a hybrid powertrain using a 2.5-liter I-4. We wonder whether a turbocharged four-cylinder might make it under the hood of a future compact Lexus crossover.

Could Lexus have the same success with the compact crossover market it has with the RX in the midsize arena? If this early mule does, in fact, preview a compact crossover called the Lexus NX, it could debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show or Geneva Motor Show. A compact Lexus crossover in the U.S. would face the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Buick Encore, and maybe even an Acura based on the SUV-X concept plus an Infiniti called the QX30.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 20 Juni 2013

Spied Up Date: 2014 Mazda 3

The next-generation Mazda 3 has been spotted undisguised during testing in Russia. The image, which appeared on auto.ru, reputedly surfaced originally on Facebook.

Previously, pictures of the all-new Mazda 3 hatchback had been spotted in print, ahead of the car's official reveal.

The images revealed that the car had adopted the styling of the new Mazda 6 and CX-5. According to the source, AutoTribute, the pictures appeared in a Japanese magazine.

Mazda declined to comment regarding the images. Previously, only camouflaged spy shots and concept sketches of the next-gen Mazda 3 had been seen.

It's expected that the new Mazda 3 hatchback, which will use a scaled-down version of the SkyActiv platform found in the CX-5 and 6, will weigh 100kg less than the model it replaces.

The engine lineup will most likely consist of SkyActiv 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel units, much like the more recent model ranges.

A new downsized 1.6-litre SkyActiv diesel is tipped to be available as well, offering a direct rival to the small diesels offered by Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall.

The new Mazda 3 is expected to arrive at some point between later this year and early 2014, with a preview possible at this year's Frankfurt motor show.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

The new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has been spotted testing, and our spy photographs reveal it’s set to look just as bold as the five-seat C4 Picasso.

Citroen hasn’t just extended the body and raised the roofline; it’s fitted new horseshoe tail-lamps, and enclosed the narrow LED daytime running lights between the chrome bars of the full-width double-chevron grille.

We’re expecting the wheelbase to be around 110mm longer than the old car’s, which should mean greater third row legroom. The Grand sits on the same lightweight EMP2 platform as the five-seater, which can be shortened or extended relatively cheaply, like VW’s MQB platform.

Engines will be borrowed from the C4 Picasso, with the 1.6-litre e-HDi 115 diesel set to be the top seller. But Citroen will introduce a new 148bhp 1.6-litre Blue HDi, with 110g/km of CO2, to keep the MPV competitive with the Renault Grand Scenic 1.6 dCi Energy 130, which emits 114g/km.

Still, the £1,500 price gap between the outgoing C4 Picasso and C4 Grand Picasso isn’t likely to change, so the Grand should start at around £19,000 when it hits dealers early next year. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

When Honda released the 2013 Accord sedan and coupe, it  announced that Plug-In and Hybrid versions would be coming to the U.S. as well. The Plug-In went on sale in New York and California this January and now Honda has released photos on the conventional Hybrid sedan. The automaker expects the 2014 Accord Hybrid to be rated at 49/45/47 mpg city/highway/combined, at the top of its class. Pricing is yet to be announced, but the Hybrid should slot in somewhere between the regular sedan’s $22,470 base price and the Plug-In’s $40,570.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid takes a more subtle approach than the Plug-In’s imposing grille, more closely resembling the regular Accord sedan with the exception of a few detail changes. Along with the expected hybrid badging, the Accord Hybrid also includes blue-accented grille and light lenses, LED daytime running lights, a unique wheel design, and a rear decklid spoiler. Inside, the Accord Hybrid has an updated gauge cluster with instant fuel economy and energy flow information, but is otherwise identical to the Accord sedan.
 Honda says the car’s “Sport Hybrid” powertrain will have three different driving modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive. As you might guess, EV Drive allows the car to run on electric power only, Engine Drive takes power from the hybrid’s 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, while Hybrid Drive combines the electric motor and gasoline engine.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid marks a notable departure from Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system found in the Civic Hybrid, CRZ, and Insight, which uses a much smaller electric motor primarily for assist. Hondas equipped with IMA can only use electric-only power in very limited applications, whereas the Accord Hybrid’s larger battery and more powerful electric motor will likely be more similar to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system that uses electric-only power much more often than Honda’s IMA. The Accord Hybrid’s electric motor produces 124 kilowatts compared to the Civic Hybrid’s 17 kilowatts.
 While pricing on the 2014 Accord Hybrid is yet to be announced, the car will go up against competition from Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia. Among this group, the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid is cheapest with a base price of $26,445 with destination, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid currently leads the group with its 47/47/47mpg city/highway/combined mileage ratings.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied Up Date: 2015 Mercedes C-Class

What It Is: Mercedes-Benz's next-gen C-class, the fifth in line of a succession that began in 1982 with the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190. Along with the E-class, the smaller C-class is a vital pillar of the Mercedes lineup. Stylistically, the C will incorporate many of the corporate cues introduced by Benz’s barrage of new offerings this year in the 2014 E-class, 2014 CLA-class, and 2014 S-class. The front end is dominated by a large grille, which can be specified with either the traditional star ornament on the hood or with a larger star placed in its center, accented by a pair of intimidating intakes. 

Why It Matters: The arrival of the $30,000 CLA means that the C-class has given up its position as the point of entry into the U.S. Mercedes lineup. To create a meaningful gap between the two models, Benz will add the latest driver-assistance systems and a modernized lineup of engines to the C. Its subtler styling should keep it fresh long after customers have become used to—and perhaps weary of—the CLA's flamboyant lines. Its design will be more practical, too: The next C-class will offer more trunk and interior space than both its predecessor and the CLA. 

Platform: The new C-class will be built on a new platform that will spawn sedan, coupe, convertible, high-roof people mover, and—at least in Europe—station wagon variants. Down the road, there will be more commonality than ever between the C-class and the next generation of the E-class. This architecture will be rear-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive will be available. 

Powertrains: Next-gen Cs will be powered by a range of four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines. The brand’s upcoming turbo four is set to make up to 250 horsepower, while the uplevel model, the C400, will house the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 as will power the upcoming E400. The monster AMG C-class will lose its glorious M156 6.2-liter V-8, being replaced by a downsized and turbocharged V-8. We expect a diesel variant to arrive stateside, and we’re hearing the brand will come to market with diesel-hybrid and plug-in-hybrid options. Initially, a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic will be available, but look for a nine-speed auto to be introduced a few years after launch. 

Competition: Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Rabu, 19 Juni 2013

Hot News: Renault-Nissan Alliance Announces Common Module Family

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will use a new Common Module Family system to underpin 14 models, with more widespread use intended by 2020.

The new engineering architecture will be used on 11 Renault vehicles including replacements for the Espace, Scenic and Laguna. Nissan will use the design on upcoming replacement versions of the Qashqai and X-Trail, plus the Rogue in the US.

Rather than being a shared common platform such as VW Group's MQB, the Common Module Family system is instead based around compatible modules, such as the engine bay, cabin, and front and rear underbody sections, coming together to form complete vehicles.

Consequently vehicles constructed using the CMF system can utilise different platforms, allowing for further distinction between models and multiple variants. The first vehicles to use CMF will reach production by the end of the year.

It's claimed that the sharing of parts and modules will generate long-term cost savings - as much as 30 per cent on parts alone - for the manufacturers involved. The Alliance says using the CMF could additionally mean entry costs for its cars are reduced by as much as 40 per cent.

The CMF system is expected to be used in the construction of approximately 1.6 million vehicles per year initially, in the compact and large car segments, with it being expanded to include other models in the manufacturers' ranges in the years leading up to 2020.

Because cars using the CMF will be sold globally, the Alliance says the new module system will give it greater economies of scale than the current B platform which underpins vehicles like the Clio and Micra.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Jaguar Sets to Release 'Hotter' F-Type

The Jaguar F-Type is already giving the Porsche 911 a run for its money, but Auto Express has learned that Jaguar is planning an F-Type Coupe which will blow any 911 out of the water – including the 553bhp Turbo S model.

Our source working within the company revealed: “We have done an R-S version with over 700bhp that will do over 200mph – it’s going to be insane.” They also hinted that the car would look “fantastic” in the striking French Racing Blue paint scheme reserved for all of the brand’s wildest sports car models like the XKR-S.
Our exclusive image – based on the C-X16 concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year – shows how a pumped-up F-Type Coupe could look.

To achieve the power figures, the F-Type R-S could use some of the engine technology which was developed for the canned 900bhp C-X75 hybrid supercar. That means a turbocharged and supercharged 1.6-litre petrol engine twinned with multiple electric motors could provide the drive- this could help create a 700bhp version of the forthcoming car.

The standard F-Type Coupe is set to arrive next year, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for this flagship – it won’t go into production until at least 2016. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Kia Sportage

Kia is testing a facelifted version of its Sportage SUV. The rival for the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5 and Skoda Yeti was spotted undergoing hot-weather testing in the USA.

The Sportage arrived in the UK in March 2010, with the revised model set to debut here in the second half of 2014.

A spokesman told us that the Sportage remains popular – so much so that the small SUV is the best-selling car in Kia’s line-up in the UK in some months – so expect minimal changes to the exterior.

A new bonnet, bumpers and grille will feature, alongside new head and tail-lights – the former getting LED daytime running elements moved from the lamp’s lower edge to its upper side.

It’ll be a similar story inside, with upgrades to trim, while the engine line-up is likely to remain unchanged, but will receive the customary optimising tweaks to improve efficiency and boost power.

The car will be available with Kia’s FlexSteer system, and the dials will switch to the firm’s latest colour TFT display as used by the Cee’d and Carens.

The Sportage is popular globally, so Kia as-yet has not confirmed which motorshow the facelifted model will first be shown at. However, a Europe debut is possible – as it’s built in Kia’s factory in Zilina, Slovakia – so the car would likely be shown at the Paris Motor Show in September 2014, and go on sale here soon afterwards. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Future Car: 2016 Audi R8

An all new Audi R8 is due in 2015 and our exclusive images show how the car could look.

Replacing the R8 is a tricky task, given how talented the current car is, but Audi hopes to elevate it above the competition with more power, less weight and a jaw-dropping new design.

Despite lacking a rich sports car history, Audi hit the jackpot when the R8 was unveiled back in 2006. In fact, the car was so good that it continued almost unchanged until last year, when the brand carried out a facelift and ditched the car’s only real Achilles heel – its R tronic gearbox – in favour of a slick-shifting S tronic transmission.

The new model is likely to stay close in concept to today’s R8, maintaining the proportions and interior space. However, neat new design features will include a more prominent single-frame grille that will eventually grace all Audi’s RS-badged models. There will also be new matrix-beam LED lights with an updated daytime running light design, and a shorter version of the car’s trademark sideblade.

Audi will use lessons learned from its R8 LMS racer, adding a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) bonnet and roof to save weight, while a version of the downforce-generating double diffuser used on the LMP1 Le Mans winner is expected, too. The car will also draw on the R8 e-tron – adopting its Multimaterial Spaceframe body, which uses 23 per cent carbon fibre in its construction to save 23kg. Also likely to be included are the e-tron’s glass fibre-reinforced polymer suspension springs, CFRP anti-roll bars, ceramic brakes and titanium rear wheel hubs. All this will help keep the weight below 1,500kg.

Audi isn’t expected to follow Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren down the hybrid supercar route, though. Instead, the R8 will be fitted with a revised version of the current V8 and V10, with power hikes of around 25bhp for both, taking them to 450bhp and 570bhp respectively. All engines will get cylinder deactivation and stop-start. Expect a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy.

The interior will benefit from a thorough overhaul, with most functions incorporated into a new MMI system. Digital dials are also likely, as is a digital rear-view mirror that uses a hi-res camera to produce an image on a screen.

Audi is also set to use the carbon fibre bonnet from the R8 LMS, as well as a high-downforce double-diffuser. But carbon fibre isn't just for body panel and interior trim; it will form 23 per cent of the R8's chassis, resulting in a stiffer body. Groundbreaking suspension will see glass fibre-reinforced polymer coils save weight without compromising performance.

The new R8 V8 is expected to cost from just under £100,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2013 Tesla Model S

The Problem: Tesla redesigned the seat striker bracket for the left-hand second-row seat in its Model S electric sedan, which secures the seat in place. However, the new design meant that a different method was used for aligning the striker plate during production, which weakened the bonds and welds holding the striker plate in place. That could allow the seat to move forward in a crash, although Tesla notes that it has no reports of this happening in a customer car, nor any reports of injuries resulting from this problem.

The Fix: Tesla will contact owners of affected Model S sedans and pick up the vehicles so the the striker plate and latch mechanism can be inspected. The company will also install extra bracing to help reinforce the mounting plate. Owners don’t have to visit a Tesla store themselves, and are eligible for a loaner Model S while the repair takes place. The company has also changed its assembly methods and retrained technicians on alignment of the seat striker plate to prevent this problem occurring on future cars.

Number Of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 1228 2013 Tesla Model S sedans built between May 10 and June 8, 2013. Cars that are still unsold at the factory have already had the fix applied.

Thanks to: Motor Trend


Spied: 2014/2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

In case the 2014 Jaguar F-Type roadster is not quite shapely enough for you, here is a glimpse of the upcoming coupe version. Caught lapping the Nürburgring by our spy photographers, this coupe prototype looks close to production-ready.

The last time we spied an F-Type coupe testing, it was on public roads. The fact that Jaguar is now lapping this prototype at the Nürburgring could suggest that engineers are putting the final touches on the coupe’s handling prowess, especially given the additional structural rigidity that comes with a fixed-roof compared to a droptop.

The 2014 Jaguar F-Type roadster went on sale in the U.S. this year and starts at $69,895 for the model equipped with the 3.0-liter 340-hp supercharged V-6. Other models include the F-Type S with a 380-hp version of the 3.0-liter V-6, and the F-Type V-8 S with a 495-hp 5.0-liter V-8. All three engine options are paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic. The coupe model should feature these same powertrains, and even more powerful R and R-S versions are likely within the next year as well. Although some have maligned the lack of a manual transmission in this sports car, there is a distinct possibility that a row-your-own option will be available in the future.
 Look for the F-Type coupe to be officially released sometime in early 2014.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Selasa, 18 Juni 2013

Spied: 2013 Audi R8 GT

The first-generation Audi R8 is planned to be sent out on a high with a facelifted version of the limited-run GT, caught here during testing at the Nürburgring.

Set to be unveiled at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, the supercar will receive a tuned version of the pre-facelift R8 GT’s 5.2-litre V10.

A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard on the upcoming rear-drive GT, with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto offered on the four-wheel-drive version that should be good for 0-62mph in 3.4sec and 199mph.

Changes over the pre-facelift R8 GT include a more prominent front splitter, large side air ducts and a sizeable rear wing.

Audi is expected to call its new car the R8 GT Plus. A Spyder version is set to follow next year.

Performance figures of the new car have not yet been announced, but the previous generation was capable of 0-62mph in just 3.6sec and had a price tag of £142,585.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2016 BMW 7-Series

BMW will fight back against the recently unveiled Mercedes S-class with a new 7-series that development boss Herbert Diess calls the most technically advanced car in BMW’s history.

The first prototypes of the sixth-generation BMW 7-series have already hit the road ahead of a planned launch in late 2015. The new car will receive its world debut at the Frankfurt show in autumn of that year.

The new 7-series will ditch the traditional steel monocoque construction of today’s model for a structure that uses a mix of steel, aluminium and carbonfibre. Autocar has been told that this will cause the base 740i to undercut dramatically the 1900kg kerb weight of today’s model, and potentially even the 1670kg of the current entry-level 5-series.

The plan to incorporate carbonfibre in load-bearing elements of the new 7-series comes after extensive research and development of the lightweight material during the creation of BMW’s new range of i models.

The reduction in weight for BMW’s flagship saloon will come about without any significant change in dimensions, if this early prototype is any indication. It is expected to be about 5010mm long, 1815mm wide and 1425mm tall. Two wheelbase lengths will be offered.

Known internally under the codename G11, the new 7-series will once again come with the choice of six-cylinder, V8 and V12 petrol engines, as well as six-cylinder in-line diesel units. A petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version of the new 7-series is also planned.

A further possibility is a new ZF-engineered nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, although this is yet to be confirmed. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be offered.

In a bid to muscle in on the success of the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, BMW is also considering a new 760 xDrive M Performance model running a powered-up version of the company’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Just weeks after it lifted the lid on the dramatic open-top CC100 concept, Aston Martin has revealed another jaw-dropping convertible. This time, it’s the all-new Vanquish Volante.

The drop-top version of the V12 flagship features the same sculpted carbon-fibre bodywork and thunderous 565bhp 6.0-litre engine as the coupe, meaning a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds.

That’s just a tenth slower than the hard-top, despite the Volante tipping the scales at 1,844kg – 105kg more than the two-door. It’s also capable of reaching an identical 183mph top speed.

Aston claims the newcomer is the stiffest soft-top it has ever produced, but because it uses a six-speed TF automatic gearbox rather than a manual, the Vanquish Volante is actually 34kg heavier than the DBS Volante it replaces.

Finished in striking Ocellus Teal blue paint, it looks amazing, and it features the same exposed carbon splitter and rear diffuser as the standard car, while the roof mechanism is compact enough to fold away in front of the fixed rear spoiler.

The triple-layer fabric hood takes 14 seconds to open and, for the first time, the windscreen is the same height as the coupe’s. That should improve headroom, and means it mirrors the profile of the coupe more closely.

As you’d expect, the springs and dampers have been tweaked to cope with the extra weight, and tuned to give a slightly softer ride. Three-stage adaptive dampers are standard, with normal, sport and track modes that also tailor the ESP and throttle mapping.

Inside, the Vanquish Volante is suitably plush, with quilted leather seats (which come in a range of colours) and the same glass buttons as the coupe.

Boot space is significantly improved over the DBS Volante – the new car’s 279-litre load area is twice as big. Combined with a 2+2 layout, the Vanquish should be more practical than its main rival, the Bentley GTC Speed.

The new Aston commands a higher price than the Bentley, too, with the Volante starting at £199,995. It’s available to order now, with first deliveries due later this year, and it’s tipped to make its public debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California on 18 August. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Fiat 500L Living

The Fiat 500L Living has been officially unveiled. It is the sixth and largest member of Fiat's rapidly expanding 500 family.

The seven-seater 500L joins the 500, 500C, 500 Abarth, 500L and 500L Trekking in the 500 line-up, and don't forget the seventh member, the 500X compact SUV is due, before the end of the year.

Essentially a stretched version of the 500L, the 500L Living dimensions are 4350mm - 203mm longer than the 500L, but 170mm less than the Ford Grand C-MAX. That's allowed engineers to squeeze in a third row of seats, but don't expect acres of space back there, Fiat is calling it a 5+2 layout, hinting that the third row is reserved strictly for kids. The optional seats fold flat into the floor leaving a level load area with 638-litres of space.

Engine options include two petrols, a 94bhp 1.4 and the 104bhp 0.9 TwinAir, as well as two diesels - the 104bhp 1.6 MultiJet and 84bhp 1.3 MultiJet. Two trim levels will be available - Pop Star and Lounge, along with 19 different colours (11 of which are two-tone combos), six interior trims and 15 types of alloy wheel design. If you're feeling flush, kit like leather upholstery, sat-nav and a rear camera are available as optional extras.

The order books for the 500L Living will open next month, at the same time the car makes its official debut at a private event. Fiat 500L price has yet to be revealed, but expect a small hike over the 500L, which starts at £14,995 for a 1.4 Pop Star. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Lamborghini Gallardo/Cabrera

The first pictures of the all-new Lamborghini Gallardo have surfaced on Facebook. Expected to be badged Cabrera and revealed in concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before going on sale in 2014, the Ferrari 458 Italia rival will replace the current car, which has been on sale since 2013 but continually updated throughout its lifetime.

Although heavily camouflaged, a few things are clear from these spy shots. Firstly, it will share the wedgy profile of its predecessor, but the bonnet appears longer and lower at the front, while even larger 'nostrils' in the front bumper are joined by a central intake. Bulbous cladding seems to suggest another intake just ahead of the rear wheelarch, while above that the cladding could be hiding a pair of flying buttresses, apeing the new Honda NSX.

At the rear the quad tailpipe arrangement is carried over, although the tips are cut at a slant, while the whole rear protrudes higher into the air. In the wider angle shot you can see another prototype in the background, which suggests Lamborghini is preparing to begin full-scale testing of the Cabrera on public roads. And with the Frankfurt Motor Show just three months away, that timescale makes sense.

The Cabrera will share its platform with the new 2015 Audi R8, so expect a groundbreaking multimaterial chassis that combines aluminium and carbon-fibre structural components to cut weight. Carbon-fibre body panels will shave off further kg, meaning the Cabrera could weigh as little as 1,300kg in two-wheel drive form, although four-wheel drive versions will add another 30kg to that.

Despite the weight loss power is expected to come from a significantly revised version of the current 5.2-litre V10 with reduced CO2 emissions and around 600bhp - 38bhp more than the current LP 570-4. Cylinder deactivation could be used to keep fuel economy as high as possible, while a much smoother seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission will replace the clunky e-gear automated manual 'box. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Suzuki Swift

The facelifted Suzuki Swift wasn't due to be revealed until the end of the year, but first pictures of the revised model have already been leaked onto the Internet by the manufacturer's own employees.

Official press pictures of the facelifted supermini appeared on Suzuki's Belgian customer website earlier today, before being taken down shortly afterwards. It is said that the new car was supposed to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The changes are subtle but include a new front bumper, with LED running lights integrated into the front fog lights for a wider stance. New paint options and alloy wheels also help to spruce up the design, but the overall shape will be instantly familiar to owners of the current car.

The engine line-up will be carried over, so buyers can choose from either a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 94bhp or a 1.3-litre diesel with 75bhp and extra torque. A source within the company told us that other major changes to the line-up will be the addition of a 4x4 model that will rival the Fiat Panda 4x4 and a five-door version of the Suzuki Swift Sport hot hatch.

Our source also confirmed that the exterior styling of the sportier Swift will be carried over unchanged, while the only changes to the interior are expected to be subtle tweak - such as new colours for the dials - to help set it apart from its predecessor. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2006-2007 Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainiet, Saab 9-7x, & Isuzu Ascender

The Problem:
A malfunction of the driver’s side door switch panel could occur if fluid leaks into the module, causing intermittent or non-operation of the power door lock and power window switches. An electrical short could cause odor, smoke, or fire.

The Fix:
GM will contact affected vehicle owners, and the electrical modules subject to the recall will be inspected and a protective coating applied. Defective modules will be replaced. Chevrolet owners can call 866-694-6546, Buick owners can call 800-521-7300, GMC owners 866-996-9463, Isuzu 800-255-6727, and Saab 855-880-0808. Owners can also call NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected:
193,652 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, EXT, GMC Envoy and XL, and Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7x and Isuzu Ascender SUVs. The recall is an expansion of the previous recall 12V-406.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: 2015 Cadillac Escalade to be Introduced This Fall

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV will reach dealerships by spring 2014, a General Motors slideshow for investors has revealed. A Cadillac representative confirmed the on-sale date, and told us that the new Escalade will make a public debut in the fall.

The slideshow itself doesn’t reveal much more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade than its on-sale date. However, our spy photographers have caught the new luxury model testing on its own and with a group of GM large SUVs. The new Escalade will be mechanically paired with new versions of the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The SUVs will use an adapted version of the platform that underpins the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
 Under the hood, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade will probably offer the same 6.2-liter V-8 engines as in the Silverado and Sierra. Eventually, however, we expect the luxury SUV to add the twin-turbo V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission found in the 2014 Cadillac CTS and XTS. The interior of the new Escalade will be more highly differentiated from the Chevrolet and GMC SUVs; Cadillac global vice president said last year that the new Escalade’s interior would be much more premium so as to command higher prices.

Thanks to: Motor Trend & Carscoops

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