Jumat, 31 Januari 2014

New Car: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Freedom


This special edition Jeep, dubbed the Wrangler Freedom, pays tribute to the long running history the brand has shared with the military.

Based on the Jeep Sport range, the Wrangler Freedom will come packed with a 3.6-litre V6, producing 209kW and 347Nm, and is available in either two or four-door variations and your choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

The most obvious difference between the Freedom and the regular Jeep Wrangler is that the Freedom comes adorned with a large ‘Freedom Star’ decal positioned on the bonnet and right rear quarter-panel. This decal pays homage to the long line of military vehicles the brand has produced and Jeep has said that it is “purposefully weathered to make it appear like those on the original Jeep army vehicles.”

Other exterior changes include a Mineral Grey painted front grille, Wrangler Rubicon Rock Rails, blacked-out fuel cap, body coloured wheel arch flares and unique ‘Oscar Mike’ badging (military lingo for ‘On Mission’ or ‘On the Move’).

The interior of the Wrangler Freedom also sees a few tweaks, with silver being used to accentuate the front and rear seats, centre console, steering wheel, air vents, front door arm rests and the door grab handles. The unique ‘Freedom Star’ also finds its way into the interior, being embroidered onto the front driver and passenger seats. Captain America would be proud.

Known for its rugged off-road capabilities, it is little wonder Jeep has found such success in providing vehicles for the military. With 223mm of ground clearance, 35-degree approach angle and 22-degree breakover angle, the Jeep Wrangler Freedom looks capable of tackling almost all types of terrain. 

“Australian buyers proved last year that they love Jeep Wrangler and we are pleased to offer them a new special edition model that provides a strong visual connection with Jeep’s rich heritage,” said Veronica Johns, Fiat Chrysler Group CEO and President.
 
Thanks to: Car Point

New Car: 2015 Mercedes V-Class

The Mercedes-Benz V-class has been revealed, and will go on sale in the UK in March next year. The eight-seater replaces the Viano in Mercedes' line-up, and marks the return of the V-class name for the first time since the original was introduced in 1996.

The company is hoping the V-class will appeal to current R-class owners seeking the everyday versatility, seating capacity and outright space of an MPV. Sales of the R-class were discontinued in Europe in 2013 following disappointing sales.

Conceived and developed in a joint engineering program with the third-generation Vito van, the new V-class will be produced at Mercedes-Benz’s Vitoria factory in Spain.

The V-class has been given a much more individual character than its predecessor, with more contemporary exterior styling touches that visually link it with other Mercedes-Benz passenger car models. A luxurious cabin is also offered, complete with a high quality dashboard and and offered with the latest version of Mercedes' Comand infotainment system.

The design of the dashboard and choice of materials used up front is particularly noteworthy, in a class not renowned for style or quality. Continuing the look first established on the latest S-class, it can be dressed up with matt-finish wooden trims and Nappa leather upholstery, giving the V-class an upmarket feel. Among the standard safety kit are six airbags. The steering wheel is taken from the C-class.

“It was a case of coming up with something completely new rather than upgrading a functional interior," said Kai Sieber, design boss for Mercedes-Benz vans. "We wanted to give our MPV real passenger car character and appeal."

UK buyers can choose between two body sizes, with either a single kerb-side rear sliding door or two rear sliding doors. The new Mercedes-Benz MPV measures 5170mm in long form and 5370mm in extra-long form. With a nominal height of 1880mm, Mercedes-Benz claims it can be driven into multi-storey car parks, car washes and standard-sized garages.

Mercedes' versatile new luxury MPV will be sold with a standard 2+2+2 seating layout, providing individual seating for up to six occupants. A 2+3+3 arrangement boosts total seating capacity to eight. Buyers can also specify what Mercedes-Benz describes as a luxury sleeper option, in which the rear-most seat folds to form a bed. The front seats are electrically adjustable and can be ordered with a swivel function providing 50 degrees of outward travel and 180 degrees of inward travel.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: 2015 Subaru Legacy

We're only two shows into the auto show cycle and already Subaru's had a big year. Back at November's L.A. auto show, Subaru released the new 2015 WRX alongside the Legacy Concept. Detroit saw Subaru bring out the 2015 WRX STI, and now we've got confirmation of what the Japanese automaker has got planned for next week's Chicago Auto Show – the 2015 Subaru Legacy.

The first of what we're sure are many teasers of the 2015 Subaru Legacy hit the web today. As with most teaser images, all one can really confirm is that the next-gen Legacy will sport headlights, and some windows to see out of. From what we can tell, the 2015 Legacy will likely have production versions of the concept's Hawkeye headlights and taillights, and door handles – something curiously absent from the show car. The swept-back roofline of the Legacy Concept looks like it'll also remain, though the production car looks to have a less extreme rake, likely boosting rear passenger headroom.  

Powertrain options for the 2015 Legacy aren't known yet, but we wouldn't be surprised to see the 2014 Forester's 170-hp 2.5-liter F-4 serving as the base engine, and the Forester XT's 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged F-4 serving as the range-topper. A hybrid powertrain, possibly using the 2014 XV Crosstrek's 160-hp unit, is also a possibility.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: Audi Mystery Car

Only a day after a camouflaged 2015 Audi TT prototype was spotted cold weather testing, the automaker has released the first video teasing a new 'top secret ' vehicle, which we suspect is the next-gen TT. The video simply shows a box truck arriving in a secret South African location where it will be unloaded, with the reveal taking place on February 12.

If the 2015 TT is the subject of the teaser video, then the sporty hatchback will make its world debut nearly a month before its auto show debut at the 2014 Geneva motor show, and about a month after the Audi Shooting Brake concept was shown at last month’s Detroit show. With the exception of its roofline, the Shooting Brake concept heavily hints at the 2015 TT’s styling.  
 
The 2015 Audi TT will be built on Volkswagen’s new modular MQB platform that will underpin other front-drive vehicles with transverse-mounted engines including the 2015 Audi A3, the 2015 VW Golf, and the next Passat.  
 
Although we expect the box truck to be hiding the 2015 TT, the box appears could contain a much larger vehicle. Other possible models could include a production version of the Audi Quattro concept, another member of the Q family of SUVs, or a performance variant of an existing car. While other models are possible, our bet is still for an early reveal of the 2015 Audi TT coupe.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Kamis, 30 Januari 2014

Future Cars: 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTi

Volkswagen has revealed that the facelifted Polo GTI - arriving next year - will be available with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox. Buyers of the current car are limited to a seven-speed DSG automatic box only.

VW hasn't revealed images of the updated Polo GTI yet but has announced that its 1.4 TSI engine will get a power boost from 177bhp to 189bhp. Now the Polo range is available with adaptive dampers for the first time, you can expect them to come as standard on the GTI model. Combine that with the new electro-mechanical steering and some subtle tweaks to the chassis and the latest GTI could feel like quite a different car.

The extra power and the new, more fuel-efficient steering will no doubt have an effect on the official figures. Expect to see the 0-62mph drop from 6.9 seconds to a little nearer the 6.5-second time of the latest auto and manual Golf GTIs. Fuel economy will be slightly improved over the current car's 47.9mpg figure.

In line with the rest of the Polo range, the new GTI will get an interior inspired by the latest Golf, including a new steering wheel, new dials and a new infotainment system. This will incorporate something called MirrorLink, which essentially allows you to display apps from your smartphone on the in-car touchscreen.

As well as an updated Polo GTI, Volkswagen is planning to release a 250bhp, four-wheel-drive Polo R. VW wants to help create a link between this road car and its championship-winning Polo WRC car.

We're expecting the Polo GTI to cost from around £19,000 when it arrives next year, with the Polo R model at around £22,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2014 Chrysler 300 John Varvatos Limited Edition

The 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition is a follow-up to the 2013 model that proved to be popular with fans of the car and fashion designer, according to the automaker. New for 2014 is the availability of all-wheel drive on the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition, which was previously only available on the John Varvatos Luxury Edition.

“We received feedback from Chrysler and John Varvatos design fans asking us to do two things -- build a second run of the ultimate ‘Imported From Detroit’ Chrysler 300 and offer it with our most intelligent AWD system," said Al Gardner, President and CEO of the Chrysler Brand, in a release. "We listened and the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition is back.

Like the 2013 model, the 2014 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition returns in Phantom Black paint and Titanium-finished accents, including 20-inch alloy wheels (19-inch with all-wheel drive), front grille surround, front fascia accents, greenhouse trim, mirror caps, dual exhaust tips, and Titanium Chrome Chrysler wing badges and a John Varvatos trunk-lid badge. The front fascia features larger air inlets and Black Chrome bars to match the front grille’s Black Chrome horizontal bars. Around back, the LED taillights feature black accents.

Inside, the interior is wrapped in Poltrona Frau black leather with Diesel Gray accent stitching (including the seats and steering wheel) and debossed John Varvatos logos in Pewter Metallic in the front headrests. The Diesel Gray stitching matches the designer’s clothing line, while the gauge cluster and clock’s Pearlescent White face and Charcoal Black Metallic bezels are inspired by Varvatos’ latest watch designs. Along with the Diesel Gray thread, the hand-stitched steering wheel features Titanium Chrome accent. Other interior trim includes Titanium, Charcoal Hydrographic Wood, and Gloss Black accents. 
 
Chrysler’s 292-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and eight-speed automatic are standard, while a 363-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is available. All-wheel-drive models feature an active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve fuel economy when only rear-drive is needed.  
 
The 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition starts at $45,475, while the all-wheel-drive model starts at $47,975 (including destination). Chrysler hasn’t said whether the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition will return for 2014.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 29 Januari 2014

New Car: 2015 Nissan Almera/Sunny


Nissan has unveiled an updated Sunny in Thailand, where it is known as the Nissan Almera. The Japanese carmaker has also announced that this updated saloon will be showcased at the upcoming Auto Expo 2014 in Delhi.

Initial images show styling tweaks to the front-end of the car. The headlights have been reworked, along with the front grille and bumpers. The lower part of the bumpers now gets chrome accents, while the front bumper gets re-styled fog lamps. The Sunny facelift will also get power-folding wing mirrors and re-designed 15 inch alloy wheels. The interiors see a re-styled centre console that features piano-black trim with silver accents.

The Nissan Almera gets a new music system with Bluetooth connectivity and 6.1-inch touchscreen DVD player, as well as an all-new steering wheel; it is yet to be seen whether these updates come down to the Indian-spec Sunny or not. There’s also a new stop-start system on the Almera which, if it comes to India, could be a segment first here and may help in better fuel efficiency.

The updated Nissan Sunny is not expected to get any mechanical changes and the current 1.5-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel motors are expected to continue.

Thanks to: Autocar India

Unoffcial Picture: 2014 Ferrari SP FFX

The latest one-off model to emerge from Ferrari's Special Projects division has been revealed.

A sole image of the new car, understood to be called SP FXX, appeared online after reputedly being printed a Japanese motoring magazine.

Ferrari has confirmed to Autocar that the car, pictured at a private unveiling, is an official one-off special. Additional pictures or details, however, will not be made available unless the private client decides to release them.

It's believed that the car is based on a standard Ferrari FF, with the most prominent revision being the adoption of a coupé rear end in place of the FF's shooting brake tail.

Production versions of the Ferrari FF are powered by a 651bhp 6.3-litre V12. Power is primarily sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but the front wheels can be driven by an additional gearbox in certain conditions to provide more traction.

The name 'SP FFX' has not been officially confirmed, but the Italian trademark database shows that Ferrari registered SP FFX in October 2013. The 'SP' in the title is believed to refer to 'Special Projects', a Ferrari division responsible for the creation of bespoke cars for private customers.

Recent cars from Special Projects include Eric Clapton's Ferrari SP12 EC, which was created as a homage to the Ferrari 512 BB

Previously, patent images of the as-then unknown Ferrari SP FFX were originally believed to represent the next-gen Ferrari California.

While it is now clear that they show the Ferrari SP FFX, it is still thought that the next California will receive styling cues from both the FF and the F12.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2015 Lexus LF-NX

Lexus has inadvertently unveiled the production version of the LF-NX concept, believed to be called NX. This screenshot was taken from a video of a presentation by CEO of Toyota North America, Jim Lentz, at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this month.

Targeted at stealing orders from the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque, the production version of the LF-NX concept features watered down styling compared to the striking concept, first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Trademark Lexus features such as the spindle grille and split two-part headlights remain.

The NX will also be the first model from the Japanese manufacturer to feature a turbocharged engine. Initial details are scarce but the firm has confirmed a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will be fitted – a replacement for the 2.5-litre V6 from the IS 250 saloon.

Sources within the company revealed the power output “is likely to start with a two” and we could see that figure rise to around 240bhp, which would give it the grunt to rival the flagship Range Rover Evoque. Although not confirmed, front and four-wheel drive versions of the NX are likely.

Expect to see the NX revealed not at the Geneva Motor Show in March, but just after. We'll bring you all the details on this important new model as and when they emerge. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2015 Volkswagen Polo

Five years after the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo arrived, VW has given its big-selling supermini a thorough overhaul. New three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, an infotainment system from the latest Golf and a raft of new tech have been added, to give the little Polo a big car feel.

There are styling changes, too, although you’re unlikely to notice them. Sharper bumpers, redesigned LED headlights (on top-spec models) and a chrome strip between the foglamps are the only exterior tweaks.

However, inside there’s a smart new three-spoke steering wheel and the same modular infotainment system (MIB) as in the MkVII Golf. The top-of-the-range unit features a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen that senses your hand moving towards it, then displays more options. It incorporates Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone-style gesture zooming for maps, too.

Safety tech has also filtered its way down from the new Golf. This includes radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, an autobraking function and an optional rear view camera. A new electromechanical steering system helps to reduce fuel consumption, while ‘Sport Select’ two-stage adaptive dampers can be added, in a Polo first.

But the real advances are under the bonnet, where VW has updated the entire engine range, improving economy by 21 per cent in some cases. Gone are the old 74bhp 1.2 TDI and 89bhp and 104bhp 1.6-litre TDI diesels, replaced by a trio of three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDIs with identical outputs.

Most impressive is the 74bhp Polo TDI BlueMotion. Its economy is up from 83mpg to 88mpg, and CO2 falls by 6g/km to 82g/km. Even the regular 89bhp Polo TDI with a DSG auto now emits just 89g/km.

VW still offers its 89bhp and 108bhp 1.2 TSI petrol engines, but has replaced the old naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine with the 1.0-litre three-cylinder from the up!, offering 59bhp or 74bhp.

An 89bhp turbo version of the same three-cylinder powers the 1.0 TSI BlueMotion, and claims 69mpg and 94g/km. Topping the range is an updated Polo GTI, with a 12bhp power hike to 189bhp.

The facelifted Polo will debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show, and go on sale soon after. VW claims prices won’t rise, so it should start from under £11,000. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Senin, 27 Januari 2014

New Car: 2014 Vauxhall Adam Black & White Edition

Two limited edition versions of the Vauxhall Adam city car have been revealed. The Adam Black edition and Adam White edition are said to have taken their styling inspiration from smartphones, with availability limited to only 250 models combined.

As the names would suggest, the only exterior colours available are black and white – with Vauxhall referring to them as ‘I’ll be Black’ and ‘Saturday White Fever’.

Other visual modifications include brushed aluminium-look wing mirrors, tinted windows, an exclusive 18-inch alloy wheel design and LED daytime running lights. Inside, interior trim such as the centre console and instrument panel is also finished to match the exterior colour.

Vauxhall has designed these cars with connectivity in mind, meaning both models are fitted with the firm’s IntelliLink infotainment system and Siri Eyes Free voice control as standard.

Only the 85bhp 1.4-litre VVT petrol engine is offered with the Adam Black and Adam White, with Vauxhall claiming economy of 51.4mpg, and emissions of 130g/km. Priced from £14,995, these special editions will become the most expensive variant in the Adam range. Both Vauxhall Adam special editions are available to buy now. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Peugeot Concept

Peugeot has released the first teaser image of the new concept car it will show at this year’s Beijing Motor Show. The company has confirmed that the new concept is ‘from the same lineage as the Onyx Concept Car,’ and ‘is a teaser of the brand’s future design.’

At 4,730mm long but just 1,310mm high, the as-yet unnamed concept is a little shorter than the current Peugeot 508, which measures 4,792mm, but also lower than the RCZ, which is 1,362mm tall.

The concept a four-door coupe, which Peugeot claims ‘offers athletic and refined styling for four passengers and their luggage.’

Although the teaser image doesn’t reveal much, you can make out the concept’s short front overhang and its long bonnet, which help give seemingly elegant proportions. There’s a swooping coupe roofline, extremely long wheelbase and long rear overhang too – all of which promise a striking look when the car is revealed in Beijing on April 20.

You can see a couple of design themes that have been adopted from the Onyx concept, first shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2012. At the front are angular, slender headlights, which have now been adopted on production cars like the 308, 2008 and facelifted 3008/5008.

The tail-lights are made up of three LED blocks that are supposed to look like claws, referencing the Peugeot lion logo. This design theme is also now used on production Peugeots.

The new concept’s bodyside also features a more refined version of the big scalloped area that helped add muscle to the Onyx’s copper and carbon fibre profile. The new concept features a further cutout along the side sill, to help it appear lower, while a rear wing adds to the sporty stance.

More of the new concept's design will be revealed in an art installation that Peugeot will show at the 'International Automobile Festival, Tribute to Sensations' in Paris, which runs from January 29 to February 2.

Peugeot will also show the Onyx concept, 308 R Concept, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak and the 908 HDi Le Mans car at the French event. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Acura TLX

The upcoming 2015 Acura TLX has been spotted in the wild. Our very own Associate Editor Rory Jurnecka caught the Acura during his morning commute to Motor Trend headquarters and the tester’s relatively minimal amounts of camouflage is a good indication that the TLX prototype's overall styling, unveiled at the 2014 Detroit auto show, will likely carryover to the production version.

Out back, the most noticeable change takes place at the lower bumper. The show car was sporting a fair amount of chrome and bold sculpting, but the production version appear to have a more toned-down look with a pair of red reflectors at the lower edge and simpler lines. The taillights appear to carryover, but the upper edge of the trunk lid doesn’t appear to be as aggressive as the show car’s. And unlike the TSX and TL, the TLX will sport concealed exhaust tips.
 
From the side, the rocker panel treatment is a bit more subdued, though the black tapes appears to be covering the same character lines found on the show car. Not surprisingly, the TLX prototype’s fancy side view mirrors and their “moving glow” light treatment give way to more conventional units. Acura heavily masked the C-pillar and rear quarter window, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see how that portion of the sedan turns out. One shot of the front fender reveals what appear to be Acura’s Jewel Eye LED headlights and fairly aggressive looking air dams.  
 
The 2015 TLX is slated to arrive in showrooms by mid-2014 and will be offered with a new 2.4-liter I-4 or a 3.5-liter V-6. The TLX will also feature new transmissions, as well the latest version of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel drive system (available for the V-6 model).
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sabtu, 25 Januari 2014

Spied: 2015 Opel/Vauxhall Adam Cabriolet

Vauxhall is planning to expand its Adam city car range in 2014 - and these are the first spy shots of the soft-top cabriolet version - which could be revealed as early as the Geneva motor show in March.

Following hot on the heels of the 2014 Corsa we spotted earlier this week, the Adam Cabriolet features the same roll-back roof design that debuted on the Adam Rocks! concept that appeared at the Frankfurt show back in September. The black roof is hard to distinguish from the dark body panels, but the close-up shot reveals the separate ribs in the retracting fabric cover.

The fixed roof rails are the same as on the hard-top, and remain fixed in place even when the roof is open - with this arrangement chosen for both its simplicity and a smaller weight penalty. From the pictures, there doesn't appear to be any stowage area for the roof, so it is likely to just be stacked onto itself, just like the Fiat 500 C.

Vauxhall also plans to do a raised 'off-road' Adam which will also feature the rolling soft-top - in a similar vain as the Fiat Panda Trekking and Dacia Sandero Stepway, with a taller ride height, chunkier wheels and styling tweaks like protective body panels all separating it from the standard Adam.

Geneva will also mark the launch of the much-anticipated 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, which should produce around 115bhp, and go on sale later in spring, but Auto Express understands that the crossover and drop-top Adam will go on sale later in the year, probably in the summer. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is about to receive an extensive set of mid-life updates, and our spies have caught a prototype completely undisguised.

Changes to the exterior design are subtle, including new bumpers with a slightly sharper design, as well as a redesigned grille with three chrome slats instead of two.

The rear end has also been subtly refreshed, and like the front end, is more Golf-like. The styling alterations bring the Polo into line with the rest of Volkswagen’s lineup, five years after it made its debut in 2009.

Aesthetics aside, the facelifted Polo is reported to be the first to feature adjustable dampers; the dashboard’s ‘Sport’ button being a telltale sign.

Adaptive cruise control is also set to feature on the supermini, for the first time in the model’s history, and as you can see in our picture the interior also boasts a new stereo, steering wheel and climate controls.

Diesel engine choices are expected to mirror the current car, with 1.6 and 1.2 TDIs available. However, there are rumours that the lower-powered 1.2-litre petrol engines could be replace by the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines from the VW up!.

The Polo range is set to expand at the top end, too, with a new R version later this year. Inspired by VW’s success with the Polo in the 2013 World Rally Championship, it will be powered by a 250bhp 2.0 TSI engine sending power to all four wheels. Developed alongside the new Audi S1, we had the chance to drive the Polo R in prototype form in Sweden this week. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Kamis, 23 Januari 2014

Spied: 2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Estate

Peugeot is developing an estate version of the 308 GTI. The performance variant of the recently unveiled estate has been caught in winter testing as Peugeot mulls whether or not to launch another entrant into a niche segment populated by the likes of the Skoda Octavia vRS estate and Ford Focus ST estate.

The car would be a sister model to the 308 GTI hot hatchback, which is expected to be seen at a major European motor show this year, possibly at the firm's home show in Paris in the autumn.

The hot hatch is being billed as a direct rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The choice of the Golf GTI as the main target for the 308 GTI is significant. The Golf GTI’s classy, understated looks and all-round usability are privately admired by Peugeot bosses, and the formula is seen as the best way to make a performance family hatchback fit in with Peugeot’s desired premium image.

Lightly disguised mules of both the estate and hatchback, which was caught by our spy photographer last year, show a look for the 308 GTI with similar visual changes to the standard car as the Golf GTI has over a standard Golf. The design also draws inspiration from the 308 R hot hatch concept shown at last September's Frankfurt motor show.

The changes include revised front and rear bumpers, new fog lights, twin exhausts and a new set of alloy wheels. Detail changes are expected for the interior, too.

The 308 GTI rides lower than the standard car, with revised suspension settings to suit its sportier brief. It is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with around 220bhp – a close match to the 217bhp the Golf GTI’s 2.0 TSI engine produces in its standard state of tune.

That power figure would also make the 308 GTI estate a match for the 217bhp Skoda Octavia vRS, although it would give away around 30bhp to the 247bhp Ford Focus ST.

The standard 308 estate will be launched at the Geneva motor show in March.

Thanks to: Autocar

Rumors: Chevrolet to Introduce Ford EcoSport Rival in New Delhi

Chevrolet is readying a compact SUV to rival the Ford EcoSport. The model will be unveiled at the Delhi motor show next month.

The sub-four-metre SUV is likely to be based on GM’s Gamma II plaform that underpins the Chevrolet Spark, Aveo, Trax and Vauxhall Mokka. The model is understood to be powered by a 77bhp 1.3-litre diesel engine.

The new model will be targeted primarily at the Asian market. Last month GM confirmed Chevrolet’s European operations were to close in order for the firm to focus on its Vauxhall and Opel brands. A Vauxhall spokesman said there were no plans for it to be introduced under the Vauxhall or Opel banner.

A facelifted version of the Chevrolet Spark, badged locally as Beat, will also premiere at the show, featuring new bumpers and lights.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Volkswagen to Launch Golf R Evo

Volkswagen is planning to unveil an extreme version of its new fourth-generation Golf R at the Beijing motor show in April showcasing new driveline and lightweight construction technology that is being considered for inclusion on limited production road cars in the foreseeable future.

Expected to carry the name Golf R Evo, Volkswagen’s latest show car is rumoured to run a powered up version of the EA888 engine used by the standard Golf R complete with a new cylinder head and induction system among other performance enhancing tweaks.

Engineering of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit has been overseen by Volkswagen’s head of engine development, Fritz Eichler – the man responsible for the development of Mercedes-Benz AMG division’s 355bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder used in the A45 AMG.

Details remain under wraps, but insiders say Eichler and his team have boosted reserves from 296bhp to somewhere in the region of 370bhp. Torque is also anticipated to rise from a standard 280lb ft to over 332lb ft.

As in the standard Golf R, the beefed-up reserves are expected to be channelled through a six-speed dual clutch gearbox and electro-mechanical Haldex multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system.

Speaking at the recent Detroit motor show, Eichler told Autocar that advances in combustion technology had driven efficiency gains in modern day petrol engine development. When asked how much power he thought was possible from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, the laconic German who started his career at Porsche suggested 400bhp and up to 369lb ft was achievable.

Along with the bump in power, the Golf R Evo is likely to feature a stripped-out interior and selected carbonfibre body panels in a move Wolfsburg insiders say will see it hit the scales at below 1400kg.

The most potent Golf Mk7 so far created has been the Golf Design Vision GTI concept, a V6-powered concept car with almost 500bhp, all-wheel drive and sub 4.0-sec 0-62mph performance.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Cars: 2014 Toyota Noah & Voxy

The 2014 Toyota Noah and Voxy have gone on sale in Japan. The MPV pair, previewed as concept models at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, are levelled at the similarly-sized Nissan Serena and Mazda Biante, both of which made their Malaysian debuts last year. These JDM Toyotas would make a nice addition to our market, don’t you think?

Two engine variants are available – a 2.0 litre 3ZR-FAE with Valvematic paired to a Super CVT-i transmission, and a Prius-sourced 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre hybrid powertrain. The latter claims a class-best fuel efficiency figure of 23.8 km per litre, while the standard petrol model does 16.0 km/l. Both better the Serena S-Hybrid and Biante SkyActiv’s figures of 15.2 km/l and 14.8 km/l respectively.

Various seating configurations are offered in Toyota’s domestic market. Seven-seat models feature sliding captain seats with side-sliding mechanism and one-touch folding third-row seats. A low and flat floor improves cabin roominess while enhancing ingress and egress.

Thanks to: Paultan

First Sketch: Datsun Concept

Datsun will unveil a new concept car at next month’s Delhi motor show in India. The car, seen here in an official sketch, previews an all-new compact model from the revived budget brand.

The manufacturer says the concept sketch “represents a possible direction for the future expansion of Datsun’s model line-up for up-and-coming young customers in high-growth markets, such as India”.

At present, Datsun’s range comprises the competitively priced Go five-door supermini and Go+ MPV. The sketch suggests that the forthcoming concept will be a three-door, and smaller than the Go hatchback which is 3785mm long, 1635mm wide and 1485mm high.

Our colleagues at Autocar India report that the production version that will follow this concept will be based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new Compact Module Family (CMF) platform, the flexible architecture that is expected to underpin up to 14 vehicles across the models under the alliance’s umbrella.

Datsun was brought back to life by Nissan in 2013 to sell low-cost cars in Russia, India, South Africa and Indonesia.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Fiat Officially Takeover Chrysler Group

Fiat has confirmed it has completed the takover of the 'Chrysler Group' by aquiring the remaining 41.46 per cent stake in Chrysler LLC that it didn't previously own.

The take over plans were initially announced on January 1 and it has now been confirmed the Chrysler Group is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat. The remaining stake in the company was previously owned by the VEBA Trust – a retiree healthcare trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

The deal will see Chrysler Group pay $1.9 billion and Fiat pay $1.75 billion to buy out the VEBA Trust. The total of $3.65 billion (around £2.2 billion) has been paid, with Chrysler adding a further $700 million (around £424 million) in four, equal annual instalments, with the first to be made as soon as Fiat pays up.

The deal ends the lengthy and tense negotiations between Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and the stakeholders. The VEBA Trust had threatened to sell its shares on the open market after Fiat and VEBA valued the 41.16 per cent stake very differently. However, now that the deal is done, Marchionne's bid to merge Fiat and Chrysler and create the world’s seventh biggest carmaker will progress.

As part of the deal, the UAW union has agreed to support the Fiat-Chrysler alliance as the companies merge, including agreeing to Marchionne’s restructuring plan to make the group much more competitive and cost-effective.

The merger will allow the two companies to share resources and cash much more closely across all brands – Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Maserati with Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.
Due to the difficulties in the European car market, Fiat has had to rely heavily on Chrysler’s better position in the US in order to still post a profit.

Marchionne has been the CEO of both Fiat and the Chrysler Group since 2009. He said, “In the life of every major organisation and its people, there are defining moments that go down in the history books. For Fiat and Chrysler, the agreement just reached with the VEBA is clearly one of those moments.

I will be forever grateful to the leadership team for the support and unwavering dedication shown to the integration project that today has taken its final shape. The unified ownership structure will now allow us to fully execute our vision of creating a global automaker that is truly unique in terms of mix of experience, perspective and know-how, a solid and open organisation that will ensure all employees a challenging and rewarding environment.” For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express


Spied: 2016 Cadillac Luxury Sedan

The rear-wheel-drive Cadillac flagship is finally coming. After years of teasing us with sleek, sexy concepts like the Ciel and Elmiraj, a rear-drive Cadillac flagship prototype -- rumored to be named the Cadillac LTS -- has finally been caught out testing in snowy southern Michigan.

GM's camouflage people earned their keep with the job they did on this early Cadillac flagship. The mangled nose features a big and proud shield-shaped Cadillac grille, with vertically stacked headlights on either side. We're expecting the Elmiraj's headlights to make an appearance on the finished product. The flagship's rear-end again does a good job at keeping us guessing, with a mix of Chevrolet Caprice bits and design elements likely to find their way onto the big Caddy, like the rear bumper.  
 
The most telling trait of the Cadillac flagship's design is its roof line -- it almost exactly matches the Caprice-based mule we spotted last year. Hiding behind that camo is an additional window, meaning the Cadillac flagship is set to be a four-door 'coupe' when it launches. A two-door coupe and convertible are likely to follow the four-door a year or two after launch.
 
Powering the rear-drive Cadillac flagship is an engine. Shocking, no? Seriously, word is GM doesn't even know what's going to power the Cadillac flagship. Everything from a turbocharged I-4 (likely the 2.0-liter unit found in the ATS and CTS), to the CTS V-Sport's 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6, to a more refined version of GM's 5.3-liter V-8 truck engine are being considered for the big Cadillac. A yet-to-be-built twin-turbo V-8 could also be in the cards. While the Caddy's powerplant is still up in the air, we do know that the engine will be mated to either a nine-speed or 10-speed automatic transmission.
 
The engine isn't the only thing Cadillac is undecided about; its name is up in the air as well. GM reportedly trademarked the name "LTS" (short for Large Touring Sedan) last year, but there's been a push within Cadillac lately to use actual names on its cars. Whatever Cadillac decides to call it, the new flagship is expected to go into production in the third quarter of next year, meaning a 2015 Detroit show debut is likely.
 
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2015 Lincoln Navigator

We can only hope that Lincoln isn’t relying on the Navigator to guide the wayward luxury brand out of its current predicament. Trying to bushwhack its way back from a lost era of uncompetitive vehicles and misguided strategy, Lincoln is in the midst of what its marketing team calls a “product- and service-led transformation.” But the 2015 Lincoln Navigator is a continuation of the same course rather than the about-face the brand desperately needs. It adheres to the tired “follow Ford” approach and is in many ways the same Navigator that has been on dealer lots for years. (While no one’s talking about a refreshed Expedition just yet, we have full faith that Ford Motor Company will deliver an update to it soon.) 

Despite sales being a fraction of what they were 10 years ago, large luxury SUVs like the Navigator still find homes with roughly 80,000 buyers every year—buyers with large families, larger toys, and even larger wallets. With seating for up to eight, a towing capacity as high as 9000 pounds, and a starting price of just under $60,000, there are few vehicles like the Navigator. Yet in a segment that includes the Cadillac Escalade, the Infiniti QX80, and the Mercedes-Benz GL-class, Lincoln’s 2013 sales topped only those of the Lexus LX570. This face lift, a half-hearted attempt to counter the 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s comprehensive overhaul, is unlikely to change the Navigator’s standing among its peers. 

The 2015 Navigator is based on seven-year-old bones with unchanged exterior dimensions and carryover sheetmetal everywhere except the hood and the tailgate. Up front, the family-look split-wing grille has been skillfully applied to accommodate a truck that otherwise looks like no other Lincoln. The butt lift isn’t nearly as successful. The full-width taillight comes off as a poor mimicry of the Dodge Durango’s rear end and the single-outlet exhaust dangles awkwardly inches below the bumper. 

More-substantial changes lurk behind the grille where the 5.4-liter V-8 has been replaced by the EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 as the sole powertrain. Engineers promise at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, gains of 5 horses and 10 lb-ft over what the engine currently makes in the Ford F-150. Power reaches the ground through a carry-over six-speed automatic and either rear- or all-wheel drive. Since the Navigator’s competition is powered exclusively by eight-cylinder engines, Lincoln is confident it will earn the highest EPA fuel-economy ratings in the class. 

The body-on-frame architecture is a derivative of current Ford F-150 underpinnings, with an independent suspension at the rear. The new engine has afforded a switch to electrically assisted steering and optional adaptive dampers can be set to Normal, Comfort, or, um, Sport modes. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Senin, 20 Januari 2014

Hot News: New Car Brand, David Brown, Ready to Launch

David Brown Automotive, which describes itself as a new luxury British sports car brand, has revealed more about its plans to launch a new sports car later this year.

The company has confirmed it will be using another model as the basis for its car, re-skinning an existing package to create what company founder David Brown calls "a car that is iconic in its styling from the ’60s. It will take inspiration from a lot of cars, not just British. It will be a mix of Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar. They will all be brought together into what I think is a beautiful and cohesive style".

The donor model has yet to be revealed, but the company hired to develop the car, Envisage Group, has strong connections to Jaguar. The group's previous exploits include the Jaguar E-type-inspired Lyonheart sports car.

Powered by a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 567bhp and 510lb ft of torque, the Lyonheart can reach 62mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 186mph.

The idea behind the new project, says Brown, is to create a classically styled sports car with modern reliability.

The model will be revealed in late March with sales commencing in early April. The company intends to sell it in limited numbers thereafter, starting with a minimum of 50 units. A maximum of 200 units could be produced annually, depending on interest.

The car has been named 'Project Judi', although Brown has confirmed the model will not retain that name when it goes on sale. While official pricing has yet to be revealed, Brown confirmed it will be a six-figure sum, which "will reflect the costs that are going into it, and the materials".

Among the design team for the new car is ex-Land Rover chief designer Alan Mobberley. Mobberley was previously linked with the Eterniti Motors project based in north west London.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Audi to Introduce S1 at Geneva Show

Audi will unveil its long-awaited S1 hatchback model at the Geneva Motor Show in March, an inside source has confirmed. Powered by a 230bhp version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine found under the bonnet of the Audi S3, it will feature quattro four-wheel drive as standard.

As our exclusive image shows, the styling is a subtle evolution of the standard A1, with a deeper bodykit, larger intakes in the front bumper and an S1 badge glued to the grille. It is expected that the S1 variant will be available in both three-door hatchback and five-door Sportback guises with the option of several unique colours, plus quad exhausts. 

A dual-clutch S tronic automatic gearbox will be offered, although it’s still unclear whether this or a six-speed manual will be standard fit.

Due to be launched in Geneva alongside the all-new Audi TT, the new S1 hatchback should go on sale in the UK in May. There’s no official word on pricing or specification as yet, but a source suggested it will be similar to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which means a starting price in the region of £27,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS & Cayman GTS


Porsche is about to up the ante with the Boxster and Cayman - our spies have caught higher-performance GTS models winter testing in Germany. Information about both models leaked late last year, but this is our first opportunity to see them in the flesh.

Both the Cayman and Boxster GTS are virtually undisguised and look almost production ready, so an official reveal can't be far away. Noticeable changes for the GTS variants include a redesigned front bumper and the addition of a rear diffuser for added downforce. The Cayman can also be seen fitted with carbon ceramic brakes for the first time.

Mechanically, the Boxster GTS will use the 3.4-litre flat-six engine from the S model, tuned to develop a round 15bhp more bringing the total output up to 330bhp. The Cayman will use a more powerful version of the same engine, with power up from 325bhp to around 340bhp.

Further upgrades are also likely to include 20-inch alloy wheels, Porsche’s PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) and a manual gearbox all fitted as standard – a PDK automatic ‘box should be offered as an option.

An image from a Porsche dealer conference leaked online last year, which revealed both models would make their world debuts in April – indicating the New York or Beijing show will be their first point of call. There is no official word on pricing, however, but around a £5,000 premium for both models is likely, with the Boxster and Cayman GTS priced from approximately £53,000 and £55,000 respectively. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied Up Date: 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG

This is our best look yet at the all-new Mercedes C63 AMG. Our spies spotted this close to production range-topping C-Class model testing on the road in Germany, just days after the new C-Class made its public debut at the Detroit Motor Show.

Although it's expected to retain the C63 badge, the new AMG variant will use a newly developed downsized 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which should cover 0-62mph in around four seconds. There's no word on power output yet, but a minimum of 450bhp and in excess of 500bhp when specced with the optional performance pack is likely – a substantial hike over the new 425bhp BMW M3.

Despite the heavy body cladding, larger brakes and callipers can be seen behind the alloys, as well as quad exhaust pipes sitting flush with the rear bumper. Flared wheel arches, a sculpted bonnet and a more aggressive grille will be fitted along with and a wider bodykit with large air intakes helping feed air to the twin-turbo V8. Under the skin, there’s also likely to be tweaks to the suspension setup although reports suggest the new C63 will be strictly rear-wheel drive.

Inside, the new C63 AMG will stick with the push interior from the standard model, with the floating TFT screen fitted to the cascading centre console. There’s also likely to be a smattering of AMG badges and carbon fibre trim denoting it as the performance-focused model. Tobias Moers, AMG's product chief, confirmed to Auto Express at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this month that BMW M3 rival is "about a year" away. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Rumors: BMW-Toyota Join Venture to Launch New Z4

Toyota has been in the headlines since the Detroit Auto Show thanks to its gorgeously styled FT-1 Concept.

While this coupe, which is being hailed as the next-generation Supra, will remain in concept form only, there is one other Toyota that will definitely make it onto the road. This as yet unnamed mid-sized Toyota sports car may not stimulate the optic nerves as much as the FT-1, but one source close to Toyota tells us that it will be co-developed with BMW, be a sister car to the next-generation Z4, “and drive superbly.” That’s right, Toyota will co-develop the next Z4 with the German carmaker.

In 2013, both companies conducted a feasibility study into the mid-sized coupe’s potential and discussed topics including the type of materials to use and even what powertrain to employ. The exterior design has not been finalised yet, but our source filled us in on one design direction taken by Toyota.

The coupe you see in this image is an artist’s impression of what Toyota’s version of the Z4 could look like. And while it’s edgy and not that pretty, we can expect some strategic touch-ups by the time the car is due for launch in 2017.

The new coupe will employ the front-engine, rear-drive layout of the current Z4. But this car will be amazingly light

“This car will use the same lightweight body construction as the i3 and i8,” a source says. That means lots of carbon fiber and aluminium in a car which will incorporate basic body and chassis design by BMW.

“And even with that type of construction, you can expect a sticker price around the same as that of the current Z4. No more than $70,000,” adds our source. This sounds incredible given the historic cost of carbon fiber. But as our insider explains, BMW has teamed with Germany’s SGL to develop innovative carbon fiber technology that is seeing the cost of such materials fall significantly to less than one-fifth of its current value. 


Thanks to: Motor Trend

Rabu, 15 Januari 2014

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: 2014 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition

Sage philosopher and cherished camo-clad reality TV star Si Roberston once said, “Give me about 15 more minutes, I’m dreaming about beavers.” While we’re not really sure of the intended context of Si’s musings, his words likely won’t be lost on those awaiting the return of the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak edition for the 2014 model year.

Camouflage-maker Mossy Oak and Ram have again collaborated on a special-edition pickup after a one-year absence, this time making the Mossy Oak edition available on 1500s equipped with Rambox bedside lockable bins, in both 5.7- and 6.4-foot bed lengths. Exterior color choices include Black, Black Gold Pearl, and Prairie Pearl, teamed with either a Canyon Brown or Frost Beige interior. Mossy Oak, the self-proclaimed world leader in camouflage, provides a camo pattern for the bedcaps and tailgate, and a Mossy Oak logo on the rear quarter panels. (Camouflage cladding, seen in the photo above, is optional.) The interior gets the same camo applied to the center stack and door panels, and the Mossy Oak logo reappears on the headrests—which rest on optional Espresso Tuscany leather.

Lest you think all this camo trim is just an earth-toned gimmick, Ram has the statistics to prove that Ram 1500 owners are truly an outdoorsy bunch: 30 percent hunt, 44 percent fish, 27 percent are boaters, and 42 percent are campers. We’ve certainly seen automakers cater to lighter demographics.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

The Infiniti / Red Bull collaboration has been wildly successful in the F1 world, and Infiniti is hoping to capture some of that brand awareness with the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept revealed today in Detroit. Based on Infiniti’s Q50 sedan, the Eau Rouge concept—named for the famed stretch that makes up turns three, four, and five at the Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium—brings not only its name, but also a host of features intended to channel influences from the Red Bull racing Formula 1 car. 

As seen in the teasers that trickled out earlier, the front fascia gets an aggressive F1-inspired carbon-fiber twin-pane lower splitter. Not immediately evident in the teasers were the bespoke carbon-fiber roof and side skirts, or the additional three-quarters of an inch width provided by the Eau Rouge’s exclusive steel fender flares. Front and rear tracks are wider too, increasing by approximately three-quarters of an inch to 61.6 inches in front, and 62.6 in the rear. A custom one-piece carbon-fiber rear bumper houses an LED stoplamp from an RB9 F1 car, and shrouds Eau Rouge–specific stainless exhaust with chrome outlets. Meaty 21-inch forged-aluminum wheels fill out the wheel wells, and black-chrome finish on the splitter, door handles, glasshouse surround, and decklid accents replaces the standard Q50’s bright work. The Eau Rouge concept also ditches the Q50’s low-drag rear spoiler for a high-downforce unit. 

Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, is coy about powertrain options, saying, “If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.” Although Infiniti may not currently have any engines that meet that criteria ready to drop in, de Nysschen notes that through various alliance partners, Infiniti has access to a range of engines featuring this performance capability, which, with a fair amount of engineering effort, can be developed to exhibit Infiniti character and accommodated within the Q50 engine bay. Dropping a few more hints, de Nysschen says, ”The engine we are evaluating for the Q50 Eau Rouge is a big-personality, V-cylinder engine with forced induction.” 

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: 2015 Ford Mustang

Okay, we admit it: When we leaked the new 2015 Ford Mustang, we didn’t know everything. Some of the details still needed work. We got the shape of the hood scoops wrong. We weren’t sure what the headlight innards looked like. (Who would have guessed they’d mimic the taillights?) And, no, we didn’t have the trunk badge right, either. 

But the rest of our story rings true, as Ford confirmed today with its first official images and specifications of the new Mustang. As expected, the car will shrink just a bit in length and height, although it will have a significantly wider rear track. More important to its long, sleek look is that the A-pillar moves back by more than an inch and the hood and rear deck are lower. Interior volume increases, but the rear seats in the Mustang are still best enjoyed by the headless. Try not to bleed all over the place though, since the materials and finishes are much improved, with lots of soft-touch plastic, metallic trim, and better leather. 

Both current Mustang engines will carry over, joined by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder—first seen in Lincoln’s MKC. This new addition to Ford’s EcoBoost family is direct-injected and uses a twin-scroll turbocharger and air-to-air intercooler to produce at least 305 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Ford is being coy about power levels, declining to give exact numbers for any of the three. However, the folks in Dearborn project that the 3.7-liter V-6 actually will lose five horses and 10 lb-ft, dropping to 300 and 270. The 5.0-liter V-8 is expected to make at least 420 horsepower and 396 lb-ft of torque, but don’t be surprised if Ford announces bigger numbers before the car goes on sale. 

A choice of manual or automatic transmission will be offered regardless of engine selection. The six-speed Getrag manual has a redesigned linkage, although we’re even more excited that Ford has moved the cup holders out of the way of the stick. The six-speed automatic gets paddle shifters, and Ford says that now operates with reduced friction. Launch control is standard on the Mustang GT. 

Ford would be disappointed if we didn’t mention that its venerable pony car finally receives MyFord Touch, along with other new-to-Mustang technologies like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. You won’t have to take any of them. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: 2014 Dodge Dart Blacktop

According to Merriam-Webster, “sinister” means “having an evil appearance” or “looking likely to do something bad.” Such a term is hardly befitting of the Dodge Dart, yet the brand uses the word repeatedly to describe its Blacktop package for its compact sedan. So, how does Dodge define sinister?




Apparently, “sinister” involves slathering 18-inch aluminum wheels in gloss black, and then applying the same finish to the side-mirror housings and the grille surround. Tinted head-, fog-, and LED taillights; as well as black cloth upholstery—with your choice of Light Tungsten or Ruby Red accents—make the Dart Blacktop looks more menacing than the remainder of the goody-two-shoes lineup. What’s just shy of sinister is what lies beneath the hood, which is the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder that makes 184 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque.

What isn’t sinister is the price of the Blacktop treatment. The Dart STX fitted with the Rallye Appearance package serves as the basis for the Blacktop model, and it registers at $19,985. The Blacktop edition stickers for $20,280. The 2014 Dodge Dart SXT Blacktop will make its in-the-metal debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show next week.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

NAIAS 2014 Highlights: 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Six years ago, Cadillac surprised the Detroit auto show crowd with an audacious “concept” for a two-door CTS that even the most dim-witted at the old, pre-bankruptcy GM must have thought was a good idea for production. When the first CTS coupe finally emerged, it stood as a testament to the “new GM,” which would produce stunningly designed cars people actually wanted to buy. 

Indeed, the coupe consistently accounted for more than a quarter of CTS traffic while also blessing Cadillac showrooms with its good looks. Yet we’re told that there is no plan to update this crown jewel for the third-generation CTS, which will make do with just a sedan body style. Instead, Cadillac will push the compact ATS coupe, which arrives at this year’s Detroit show with some fanfare, although the sort usually accorded a Member of Parliament rather than the Queen. 

Six years ago, Cadillac surprised the Detroit auto show crowd with an audacious “concept” for a two-door CTS that even the most dim-witted at the old, pre-bankruptcy GM must have thought was a good idea for production. When the first CTS coupe finally emerged, it stood as a testament to the “new GM,” which would produce stunningly designed cars people actually wanted to buy. 

Indeed, the coupe consistently accounted for more than a quarter of CTS traffic while also blessing Cadillac showrooms with its good looks. Yet we’re told that there is no plan to update this crown jewel for the third-generation CTS, which will make do with just a sedan body style. Instead, Cadillac will push the compact ATS coupe, which arrives at this year’s Detroit show with some fanfare, although the sort usually accorded a Member of Parliament rather than the Queen. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver
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