AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Honda unveiled a new five-door Civic designed specifically for Europe at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
According to Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor president and chief executive officer, the new Civic was tested on European roads more than any other Honda model produced.
The hatchback Honda Civic will arrive in European showrooms in early 2012 with either a 1.8 liter gasoline engine or a 2.2 liter diesel engine. A smaller diesel engine, also developed specifically for Europe, will be introduced by late 2012, heralding the start of a new generation of low emission Honda powerplants.
GALLERY: Honda Civic
When I first laid eyes on the Chevrolet Miray concept, I thought: this is what the Batmobile would look like if it was small, silver, and Korean.
A product of GM Korea, the Miray (Korean for “future” first debuted at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year but made its European debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Built to mark Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary, the Miray re-interprets design cues from throughout the company’s sports car heritage.
The Miray can run in either front or rear-wheel drive. A turbocharged 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels while a pair of 15 kWh electric motors can power the front wheels.
A carbon fiber shell surrounds the twin cockpit (for Batman AND Robin) which is inspired by Chevrolet’s iconic sports cars.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Miray Concept
There’s something really Chinese about the Volvo Concept You but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. And I’m actually Chinese.
That there is an oriental feel shouldn’t be a surprise. The Concept You is an evolution of the Concept Universe revealed earlier this year at Auto Shanghai earlier this year. Volvo sought the input of a number of potential Chinese customers at the Shanghai show, and a lot of those ideas were carried over into the You.
Volvo is, of course, now part of China’s Zheijiang Geely Motor Holdings, and part of the company’s focus is on capitalizing on the emerging luxury car market in the world’s most populous country.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its second-generation B-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show along with a concept for an E-Cell version of the front-wheel drive compact sport tourer.
The new B-Class is almost two inches shorter than the previous version yet has more leg room thanks to a lowered floor. The seats are also more upright but still offer a lot of head room.
European customers will have the choice of two new gasoline and two diesel options, all with ECO start/stop. The turbocharged 1.6 liter B 180 offers 122 hp while the B 200 version offers 156 hp. The 1.8 liter diesel options include the B 180 CDI with 109 hp and the B 200 CDI with 136 hp. B-class models will come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Daimler and German chemical company BASF have teamed up to produce the electric Smart Forvision concept vehicle which premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. The result is a futuristic-looking Smart car with several innovations designed to maximize energy efficiency from the electric drivetrain.
The Smart Forvision concept uses five new technologies designed to conserve as well as generate energy: transparent organic solar cells, transparent organic light-emitting diodes, new lightweight components, plastic wheels and infrared-reflective materials.
Mercedes-Benz revealed its hydrogen-powered gullwing F 125! luxury car concept, offering a glimpse at what the company’s vehicles will look like in the year 2025.
The F 125! – named for Mercedes-Benz’s 125th anniversary – illustrates the company’s styling direction for the next decade and beyond while also highlighting Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to developing hydrogen-powered technology. Mercedes foresees a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) for the F 125! thanks to the combination of the car’s fuel cell drive system and plug-in technology. Helping to increase the range is a new hydrogen storage unit which integrates the hydrogen tank with the floor assembly. In addition to the hydrogen storage unit, the F 125! uses a 10 kWh lithium-sulfur battery stored behind the rear seats. The battery can provide enough power for a range of 50 km (31 miles).
Alfa Romeo debuted another version of its 4C sports car concept and announced it will be available worldwide, including North America. In 2013.
That’s a year later than we previous thought. We had previously reported Alfa Romeo would offer the 4C in North America in 2012 with other models to follow in 2013.
Two years after debuting the SLS AMG at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has followed up with a convertible version.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster swaps its predecessor’s splashy gullwing doors for conventional doors and a soft top roof that closes in 11 seconds and can be operated while moving at speeds up to 31 mph (50 kph).
The Roadster is powered by an AMG 6.3-liter V8 pumping out 571 hp and 479 ft-lb. The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Optional electronically controlled sports suspension offers three modes: comfort, sport and sport plus.
Other options include a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system with a 250-watt subwoofer and AMG Performance Media. AMG Performance Media offers an unprecedented level of telemetric data for a production model. The system can display engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperatures, individual tire pressure, acceleration time from 0-100 kph, and both lateral and linear acceleration combined with braking performance and accelerator position all in real-time.
AMG Performance Media also provides high-speed internet access – but only when the car is stationary. The Android-powered system allows driver and passenger to surf the internet, send and receive email and even install apps. Mercedes-Benz says the AMG Performance Media system will be offered in other future AMG high-performance models.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Ford presented a concept model showing what a future Fiesta ST might look like when it joins the Focus ST in the company’s high-performance small car offerings.
The Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch has a silhouette inspired by Ford’s rally racing Fiesta RS WRC. The lowered stance with 17-inch alloy wheels and full ST body kit are all based on the Ford Fiesta WRC race car while the trapezoidal front grille with honeycomb mesh design is similar to that found on the Focus ST.
Like the rally car, the Fiesta ST Concept is powered by Ford’s 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine. Combining turbocharging and direct injection, the 1.6 l engine also features Twin-independent Variable Camshaft Timing to improve power and torque, just as in the upcoming Ford Focus ST. Ford claims an output of 180 hp and 177 ft-lb. of torque and a 0-100 kph (0-62) time of under 7 seconds.
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST Concept
Ferrari lifted the covers off the new 458 Spider featuring an aluminum retractable roof that opens and closes in 14 seconeds.
The Ferrari 458 Spider is powered by the same 4.5 liter V8 engine as the 458 Italia, which means 562 hp at 9000 rpm. Top speed is rated at 198.8 mph with a 0-62 mph time of under 3.4 seconds.
Helping produce those figures is the hard top. The aluminum roof – a first for a mid-engined car – fits just in front of the engine compartment without aerodynamics or performance taking a hit. The roof takes about 14 seconds to open or close.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Spider
Porsche pulled the covers off its seventh generation 911 Carrera with nearly 90% newly redesigned or redeveloped components including a 7-speed manual transmission.
The new 911 has a longer wheelbase by 100mm yet the body is only 56mm longer. The new 911 is also about 7mm shorter than the previous version. At just under 176.91 inches in length and 71.18 inches in width, Porsche says the new 911 Carrera remains the most compact sports car in its class.
The standard 7-speed manual transmission is an all-new feature for any passenger car in the world, offering gears in close ratio with the seventh as a quasi-overdrive gear.
The 911 Carrera is also the first Porsche sports car equipped with auto start/stop for improved fuel economy.
Porsche will offer two versions, the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera S. The non-S version is powered by a 3.4 liter boxer engine claiming 350 hp. Porsche claims a 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) time of 4.8 seconds, 4.6 with the optional PDK 7-speed transmission, and an even quicker 4.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed is 179.6 mph for the standard version, 178.3 with PDK while fuel economy is about 26.1 mpg (28.6 mpg with PDK).
The Porsche 911 Carrera S is equipped with a 3.8 liter boxer pumping out 400 hp. Porsche claims a 0-100 kph time of 4.5 seconds (4.3 s with PDK, 4.1 with Sport Chrono Package). Top speed gets a boost to 188.9 mph for the standard model, 187.7 mph with PDK. Fuel economy takes a slight hit with the S getting 24.8 mpg, 27.0 mpg with PDK.
GALLERY: Porsche 911 Carrera
Watch video of the new 911 Carrera S from it’s debut in Frankurt after the jump:
Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik announced a five-door Hyundai Accent is coming to the U.S., boldly saying it will “kick the Fiesta’s butt.”
The announcement came in a Q&A session with readers on Jalopnik after one reader asked if Hyundai will introduce a five-door Accent.
Such bold talk is rare from a manufacturer, especially from its CEO, but we’re glad to hear it.
The five-door Hyundai Accent is expected to debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show, but we have an idea on what it will look like after it was unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China last month as the Hyundai Verna.
If any other automaker announced they wanted to bring back the van, we would have expected something practical and utilitarian. We’d picture a family-friendly minivan or perhaps a commercial vehicle for small businesses. But when a company like Kia says it, we expect something entirely different. After all, this is the company that gave us giant hamsters.
So when Kia said they wanted to bring back the van, they weren’t thinking soccer mom. No, they wanted to re-imagine the fun, ’70s-style “activity vehicle” for today’s consumers. Picture what a 21st century Scooby-Doo and the gang would drive.
Enter the KV7, a new concept unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. On first glance, the KV7 looks like a slightly larger Soul. Kia decided to embrace the idea of a van as a box on wheels. The A-pillar and windshield design are more vertical than what we find on most mini-vans, emphasizing the KV7′s box-like shape. Adding to the box motif are the vertical LED headlights and horizontal rear brake light.
The KV7′s dimensions aren’t that far off from traditional mini-van designs. The KV7 stretches out 191.85 inches long and 80 inches wide with a 122-inch wheelbase. Under the hood is Kia’s Theta II 2.0 GDI turbocharged engine and an automatic six-speed transmission. Kia claims 285 hp and estimated 30 mpg.
The gullwing side door opens to reveal an interior that’s even quirkier than the exterior. Rotating banana-yellow seats? Check. Teak wood flooring? Check. Floating table-top touchscreen computer? Check. Retractable dash board? Check.
Again, if this were any other company, we’d expect an eventual production model would have very little in common with the concept. But once more, this is Kia. As Kia proudly reminds us, its production models like the Soul, Forte Koup and Sportage didn’t venture too far from their original concepts. We’ll have to wait and see what the production version of the KV7 will look like.
Until then, we’ll just have to start stocking up on the Scooby Snacks.
GALLERY: Kia KV7 Concept
GALLERY: Official Kia KV7 Images
The Audi A6 will be available in a choice of two gasoline and three TDI engines with power output said to range from 177 hp to 300 hp. Meanwhile, Audi engineers managed to make the new A6 lighter than the previous version, with weight savings of up to 175 pounds depending on the powertrain. Fuel consumption was also decreased, with improvements up to 19%.
All new A6 models will come standard with alloy wheels, two-zone automatic air conditioning, adaptive brake light and MMI radio with a 6.5 inch monitor.
Audi also unveiled a hybrid version of the A6 featuring a 211 hp 2.0 TFSi engine and an electric motor claiming 45 hp and 155.63 ft-lb. The A6 Hybrid can reach speeds up to 62.14 mph on pure electric mode, and a range of about 2 miles on electric mode at a constant speed of 37.28 mph.
The Audi A6 will be available in early 2011, the A6 Hybrid won’t be available until the second half of 2011.
GALLERY: 2012 Audi A6
GALLERY: 2012 Audi A6 Hybrid
Volkswagen revealed the new 2012 Passat the night before the 2011 Detroit Auto Show but we’ve now got the first live photos of the Tennessee-produced mid-sized sedan.
As reported yesterday, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat will be available with three drivetrains, a 170 hp 2.5l five-cylinder engine (with five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, a 140 hp 2.0l TDI Clean Diesel engine (with an estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg) and a 3.6l VR6 featuring 280 hp and an estimated 28 mpg. The Passat VR6 will also come standard with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
The Passat will be available in three trims, S, SE and SEL, all with safety features such as Intelligent Crash Response Systems, a tire pressure monitoring system, ABS with braking assistant, and six airbags. Manual transmission models will also get hill climb assist.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Passat
Please visit our Passat Forum for more news on the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, at http://www.passatworld.com.
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Chrysler President and CEO Olivier Francois cast his company as the underdog about to fight back after being knocked down. Francois opened Chrysler’s 2011 Detroit Auto Show press conference by reciting lyrics from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. After not introducing anything new last year, Chrysler is bouncing back, unveiling the final piece of its completely revamped 2011 lineup, the re-designed Chrysler 300c.
Chrysler’s flagship 300C sedan has been completely revamped. The interior has been revised with a new iPad-like 8.4-inch touch screen infotainment center a major focal point. Other optional luxury upgrades include heated and coolest seats, a dual-pane sunroof, and 20-inch wheels.
Up front, the 300C gets Chrysler’s new front grille design with the horizontal blades, though Mopar will offer mesh grilles for people who prefer the old look. At the back, the 300C’s trunk slopes directly into the rear bumper.
As previously revealed, the 300 gets the new Pentastar V6 as standard with 292-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque. A Hemi V8 is optional with 5.7-liters of displacement and Chrysler’s new Fuel Saver Technology that shuts down cylinders when not in need to conserve fuel (Chrysler claims fuel economy of 30 mpg). Output is rated at 360-hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque.
GALLERY: 2011 Chrysler 300C Debut
GALLERY: 2011 Chrysler 300C
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Chrysler displayed a sportier Mopar-tuned version of its new 200 mid-sized sedan at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Dubbed the Chrysler 200 Super S, the concept provides a look at what a future sport-oriented version of the 200 may look like.
Mopar lowered the car by three inches and added a number of accessories including a gloss black mesh grille, lower chin spoiler, vented hood, 19-inch wheels, decklid spoiler, rear valance and two-tone paint.
Will we see a 200 S enter production any time soon? Not likely. It’s worth noting the 200 Super S was the only Mopar-ized model Chrysler displayed that was fenced off by a small glass barrier, and the interior including the previously announced Katzkin leather seats was not available for viewing. The vented hood wasn’t even included in the preview image released in the days before the show, suggesting the 200 Super S concept is still very much a work in progress.
GALLERY: Mopar Chrysler 200 S
Chrysler set its Mopar division on the Fiat 500 for the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and the Italian runabout emerged with a matte black makeover and a number of other upgrades.
Double blue stripes stand out sharply against the black paint while chrome accents provide some added flair.
Other accessories include gloss black wheels, a strut tower brace, and a carbon fiber ‘style’ shift knob and e-brake, while the Katzkin leather seats are also black with blue stitching.
With the Fiat 500 set to hit dealers soon, there’s little doubt a long list of in-house ‘aftermarket’ accessories will be offered. The Mopar goodies aren’t bad, but in the future Fiat will bring some well-rounded performance versions of the hatch from it’s Abarth tuning division.
GALLERY: Mopar-Equipped Fiat 500
The Audi R8 V10 was selected from a field of 16 vehicles as the 2010 World Performance Car.
The winner was chosen by a jury of 59 journalists for its overall sports performance. The Audi R8 V10 was chosen above the other finalists, the Ferrari California and the Porsche 911 GT3.
“We’re honored that the Audi R8 V10 was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors as the 2010 World Performance Car,” said Johan De Nysschen, Executive Vice President of Audi of America. “This is the fifth year of the World Performance Car award and the R8 has won it twice. Whether you choose an R8 with a V8 or with a V10 engine, you get a World Performance Car award winner. The records also show that an Audi has won this award three times. The truly global nature of the World Car jury is evidence that Audi is hitting the performance car sweet spot of car lovers around the world.”
The Audi R8 won the award in 2008 while the Audi RS4 was victorious in 2007, giving Audi the World Performance Car award in three of the last four years.
Gallery: Audi R8 V10
Kia pulled the covers off a new hatchback version of the Forte at the New York Auto Show but oddly chose not to let the media see any of the five doors actually open. It’s especially strange when the car is called the Forte Five-Door.
Joining the Forte sedan and Forte Koup, the Five-Door will be available with either a 2.0l or a 2.4l engine and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Kia didn’t release any specs for the new hatchback but the Forte’s 2.0l engine is rated at 156 hp and 144 ft-lb. of torque while the 2.4l Forte has 173 hp and 168 ft-lb.
It’s still odd that Kia chose to keep the Five-Door locked however. None of the Kia reps we spoke to, including the VP of sales, even realized it was locked, and when they checked, we were told the doors would remain closed through the day.
Gallery: Kia Forte Five-Door
The Chevrolet Camaro won the World Car Design of the Year award at the New York Auto Show, beating the other two finalists, the Kia Soul and the Citroen C3 Picasso.
The finalists were chosen by an international panel of five design experts and a jury of 59 automotive journalists selected the Camaro above the others.
The award ceremony avoided a potentially embarrassing situation which would have occurred had the Citroen C3 Picasso won. Unlike the other finalists in any of the four awards handed out, the Citroen was not present at the Javits Center. Apparently, it was being held up in customs.
Gallery: Chevrolet Camaro
The Volkswagen Polo was named the 2010 World Car of the Year, beating out the other finalists, the Toyota Prius and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The VW Polo was selected by a jury of 59 international journalists from an overall field of 30 vehicles.
“We’re honored that the Volkswagen Polo was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. “After the great triumph of the Golf last year, we are delighted to repeat this success with the new Polo. These automobiles have reaped numerous awards, winning well-nigh every prize the automotive industry has to award. This shows that Volkswagen is on the right track and is offering arguably the best range of products in its history.”
The Polo wasn’t the only Volkswagen to take home some hardware. The VW BlueMotion line also won the 2010 World Green Car Award.
Gallery: Volkswagen Polo
Chevy unveiled a high-efficiency version of its new Cruze compact at the New York Auto Show, saying it provides “hybrid-like” fuel economy.
The Chevrolet Cruze Eco is powered by an Ecotec 1.4l turbocharged engine with variable valve timing connected to a six-speed manual transmission. According to Chevy, the Cruze Eco has a 0-60 time in the low nine-second range.
Chevy has given the Cruze Eco a number of features, some inherited from the upcoming Volt, to provide an estimated 40 mpg on the highway.
The Cruze Eco has a lower front grille air shutter that closes at higher speeds and opens at low speeds to improve air flow. Underbody panels, a rear spoiler and a lower front air dam extension also add to the aerodynamics.
The Chevrolet Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter 2010.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
Gallery: Chevrolet Cruze Eco
The new Acura TSX Sport Wagon was unveiled today at the New York Auto Show.
Acura is positioning the TSX Sport Wagon as an entry level luxury utility vehicle, targeting the under-30 demographic, the same crowd that makes up a bulk of the TSX sedan’s sales.
The TSX Wagon is powered by a 2.4l i-VTEC four-cylinder engine paired with a sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission. While the EPA hasn’t given its final fuel mileage figures, Acura estimates the TSX Sport Wagon gets 30 mpg.
The rear cargo space has a removable side panel for carrying wider items such as golf clubs. An integrated under-floor bin can be used as a hidden storage area for valuables such as laptops.
Luxury features include a hard-drive navigation system, an ELS premium sound system, leather seats, integrated Bluetooth, power glass moonroof and dual-zone climate control.