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.
Hyundai announced the 2011 Sonata 2.0T at a private press event on the eve of media day at the New York Auto Show and now we have the first live photos of the new turbo-charged direct-injected Sonata.
As we reported, the Sonata 2.0T boasts a class-leading 274 hp with fuel efficiency of 34 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city. Torque is an equally impressive 269 ft-lb. at just 4,500 rpm.
The Sonata 2.0T will be available before the holiday season but pricing has not yet been announced.
Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
Mazda announced it will introduce its next generation Sky powertrain in North America in 2011.
The gasoline-based Sky-G engine and Sky-Drive automatic transmission system will make their way into production models in 2011 while the diesel-based Sky-D engine (pictured above) will reach North America in 2012.
The Sky powertrain concept is part of Mazda’s goal of improving fuel efficiency by 30% by 2015.
The Sky-G will have 15% better fuel efficiency than current engines. The Sky-D will see a 20% improvement as well as having improved torque.
Mazda says the six-speed Sky-Drive transmission will improve fuel efficiency by another 5% while offering the performance of a dual-clutch transmission.
Gallery: Mazda Sky Powertrain Concept
After seeing the consumer feedback for the 2011 Mazda2 after its unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December, Mazda has decided to launch the new sub-compact in late July, starting at $13,980.
The Mazda2 will be available at two trim levels, Sport and Touring. Both come with a 1.5L four-cylinder engine claiming 100 hp. All Mazda2 models will come with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. According to Mazda, manual Mazda2 models will get 28 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway. The automatic transmission Mazda2 also gets 28 mpg in the city while highway fuel efficiency dips slightly to 34 mpg.
Priced below its competitors in its segment, the Mazda2 Sport will come standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, four-speaker audio system, power windows and locks and keyless remote.
For an extra $1,455 (for a total of $15,435), customers can get the Mazda2 Touring which includes the features of the Sport trim but adds better seat fabric, alloy wheels, fog lights, rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls and a six-speaker sound system.
Gallery: 2011 Mazda2
The 2011 Infiniti QX56 was unveiled at the New York Auto Show with more power, better fuel economy, but the same price as the 2010 version.
Unless its predecessors which were based on the Nisssan Armada, the new QX56 shares DNA with the Nissan Patrol. The direct-injected 5.6l engine has a claimed output of 400 hp, which Infiniti says is a 25% increase from the previous model. Fuel economy also gets a 10% boost.
Despite the upgrades, Infiniti announced the 2011 QX56 would be priced the same as the 2010 model at $56,700 for the 2WD version. A 4WD version will be available at $59,800.
Gallery: 2011 Infiniti QX56
Aston Martin introduced a new limited edition run of 40 cars celebrating Chief Executive Ulrich Bez’s tenth anniversary heading the luxury car manufacturer.
The DBS UB-2010 edition includes a run of 20 Coupes and 20 Volantes, each personally specified by Bez with a new Azurite Black paint finish with metallic bronze leather with woven seat inserts and Cryptic Titan facia finish. Each limited edition model features a UB-2010 sill plaque signed by Bez.
Gallery: Aston Martin DBS UB-2010 edition Volante
Tata unveiled a new electric version of its Nano at the Geneva Auto Show. The Nano EV joins the Indica Vista EV in Tata’s electric line-up.
The Nano EV will use the same super polymer lithium-ion battery as the Indica Vista EV. The electric version of the world’s least expensive automobile has a range of 99.4 miles, short of the Indica Vista EV’s 124-mile range, which is unusual considering the Indica Vista is a larger vehicle.
The Tata Nano EV will make its way to European markets in 2010 with expansion to other markets coming later.
Gallery: Tata Nano EV
Mazda unveiled a limited edition MX-5 at the Geneva Auto Show, celebrating the car’s 20th anniversary.
Only 2,000 units have been announced, each equipped with a uniquely-numbered scruff plate. Unfortunately for us in North America, those 2,000 models are exclusive to Europe.
The 20th Anniversary Edition MX-5 will be available in three colors, the new Aurora Blue as well as the classic Crystal White and True Red (the blue model in the photos is the 20th Anniversary edition, the red one in the gallery below is the first generation MX-5). The Anniversary edition model also gets a special styling package featuring a chrome grille and headlight facia, chrome handles and silver-look fog lamp fascia. Other touches include an alloy pedal set and 17-inch aluminum rims with a special finish.
Gallery: 20th Anniversary Mazda MX-5
With the launch of the all-new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, we’re not sure if we should talk about how unexcited we are about another special edition Bentley that looks like all the rest, or if we should just slam the snooty British automaker’s color choice. With the debut of this new model, Bentley has introduced six new colors to choose from: Magenta, White Satin, Kingfisher, Orange Flame, St James Red Pearl and the color above, Citric. Yuck!
Instead we’ll do neither (or is it too late), and just tell you that like the coupe version this drop top is powered by Bentley’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12, which makes 621-hp and 590 ft-lbs of torque, allowing for a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph. It will also run on E85, which is a lame attempt on Bentley’s part to feign interest in even remotely caring about the environment.
Unlike its coupe counterpart, the soft-top convertible retains the rear seats, meaning it’s not quite as light-weight. The decision does make sense, however, as the rear has to look luxurious and polished because it will be seen out in the open. And despite the fact that Bentley managed to cut out 198-lbs as compared to the GTC Speed, the Supersports should still weigh in at around 5,300 lbs.
Pricing hasn’t been released yet, but with the coupe priced around the $270,000 mark, expect something close to $300,000.
Gallery: Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
Complete details of the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible after the jump:
What’s the one car Michael Schumacher cannot pass? The official Formula One Safety Car, of course! That’s the riddle Mercedes-Benz’ Dr. Dieter Zetsche asked before introducing the SLS AMG F1 Safety Car at the Geneva Auto Show.
The SLS AMG Safety Car then drove to the stage and its gullwing doors opened up to reveal the driver, Michael Schumacher and his passenger, Grand Prix teammate Nico Rosberg.
The SLS AMG at every round of the 2010 F1 season, ready to deploy whenever accidents or bad weather make it too dangerous to race.
The official safety car needs to be fast enough to lead the F1 grid at a high enough speed to prevent the race cars’ tires and brakes from cooling down or their engines from overheating. With a 6.3L v8 engine claiming 571 hp and 479.4 ft-lb. of torque, the SLS AMG should be up to the task.
As impressive as the standard-production SLS AMG is, the Safety Car receives a number of updates to fit its role. Apart from the F1 logos and integrated television camera, the Safety Car is distinguishable by its carbon-fiber mirrors and a new carbon-fiber hood. The rear aerofoil pops up when the car reaches 93 mph, and together with the rear diffuser, provides added downforce.
Inside, the Safety Car is equipped with monitors and a radio system to help driver Bernd Maylander and co-driver Pete Tibbetts see and hear what’s going on in the race. A second interior mirror is installed so Tibbetts can keep an eye on the F1 cars following the Safety Car. The central display on the instrument cluster and on the glove compartment provide the same marshalling signals the F1 drivers see in their cockpits.
The SLS AMG Safety Car will be joined by another Mercedes-Benz at F1 races. The C63 AMG Estate returns in 2010 as the official F1 Medical Car, ready to respond to race emergencies.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Formula One Safety Car
Mazda unveiled the second generation Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
The Mazda5 gets a slight facelift with elements Mazda’s “Nagare Flow” design. The new Mazda5 might even look especially happier and smilier than usual.
Under the hood is a 2.0L direct injection gasoline engine with Mazda’s i-Stop system. According to Mazda, the new engine has 15% lower CO2 emissions than the previous 2.0L powerplant. The Mazda5 will also be available with a 1.8L gasoline engine with six speed manual transmission.
Hyundai unveiled its i-Flow concept vehicle, calling it a preview for a future D-Segment contender. According to Hyundai, we may see the i-Flow’s styling and technology in a 2011 production model. Would it be too much to expect it in the 2011 Euro-spec Sonata?
The seventh of a series of concepts from the Russelsheim design studio, the i-Flow extends upon Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” philosophy. The outside offers a futuristic look while inside, the i-Flow has an alien, Hyundai calls it “bionic”, feel.
Under the futuristic shell, the i-Flow is Hyundai’s first diesel hybrid powertrain. At the i-Flow’s heart is the U2 1.7L two-stage turbo engine combined with a lithium-ion powered motor. No horsepower or torque figures were provided, but Hyundai says the i-Flow gets 78.4 mpg.
Like the Blue Will concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the i-Flow recycles exhaust heat, capturing the energy and using it to power auxiliary systems.
The i-Flow also uses a thermal engine encapsulation technology which helps the engine reach optimum operating temperature quicker by retaining heat when the engine is idle. According to Hyundai, the i-Flow’s engine will stay above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 14 hours, much longer than a non-insulated engine’s time of three hours. Hyundai estimates this will cut 5% of emissions in the summer and up to 9% in the winter.
Gallery: Hyundai i-Flow concept
Volvo unveiled its new S60 at the Geneva Auto Show, trumpeting one of its biggest features: a pedestrian detection system.
An evolution of Volvo’s automatic braking technology, pedestrian detection system uses radar and camera technology to sense when a pedestrian is about to step in front of the vehicle. If the S60 is traveling at less than 35 km/h (21.7 mph) when it senses a pedestrian ahead, the system lights a signal to alert the driver. If the driver does not see the signal fast enough, the system will apply the brakes and bring the car to a halt. At speeds over 35 km/h, the automatic brakes will still kick in, slowing the S60 down to reduce the speed of impact.
Automatic braking isn’t the Volvo S60′s only impressive bit of technology. Under the hood, the S60 comes with two gasoline engine configurations: a 304 hp turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine or a four-cylinder turbo engine rated at 203 hp. The S60 also has two turbo diesel engine options, a 205 hp five-cylinder engine and a 163 hp three-cylinder.
Volvo is targeting car enthusiasts with the S60, calling it and the XC60 Volvo’s sportiest vehicles. Volvo also says a sportswagon S60 will be introduced later this year.
Gallery: Volvo S60
Audi really went all out to promote its new A1 at the Geneva Auto Show. Newly-signed brand ambassador Justin Timberlake gave Audi’s press conference star power, drawing one of the largest crowds on media day.
Unfortunately the pop star’s appearance was a little underwhelming in this reporter’s opinion.
Lesson #1: If you’re going to have one of the biggest stars on the planet promoting your brand, don’t stick him in a hole in the wall and out of sight of at least a third of the crowd. Just take a look in the gallery below. JT’s on the big screen, but if you look a bit to the left and squint, you can just about make out his hand holding the microphone.
Lesson #2: If you’re going to have a band set up on stage and you’re bringing in a pop star like JT, people will want to see him sing. They don’t want to see him introduce an alternative rock band from Sweden. Nothing wrong with Torpedo’s performance; they acquitted themselves quite well in fact. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be asked to perform when I’m the second most popular musical act on the stage.
Thankfully, the A1 put in a better performance than its co-star. Audi’s new sub-compact has MINI firmly in its sights. The small car (155.5-inches in length, 97.2-inch wheelbase, 68.5-inches wider and 56-inches tall) comes with four engine options.
Diesel options include two 1.6-liter versions with either 90-hp and 169 ft-lbs of torque or 105-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque. Gasoline models get either a tiny 1.2-liter TFSI 4-cylinder with 86-hp and 118 ft-lbs of torque or a 1.4-liter TFSI with 122-hp and 147 ft-lbs of torque. Five and six-speed manual transmissions come standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available.
But how does it perform? Let’s ask our man JT:
“It’s … fast. And, um … still an Audi.”
Lesson #3: Don’t let JT ad lib.
Gallery: Audi A1
World premiere of new Nissan small car, slated for sale in the U.S. soon
Nissan introduced the fourth generation of its Micra small car at the Geneva Auto Show, with hopes the compact car will help the company branch out into emerging markets.
The compact car is built on Nissan’s new V-Platform (V as in “versatile”), which provides Nissan with a base to adapt the Micra to the 160 different countries where it will be sold. The Micra will be manufactured in four locations: Thailand, India, Mexico and China.
Nissan will offer different engines for the Micra, depending on the market. In Europe, the Micra will have two options, a 1.2L three-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 79 hp, and a supercharged 1.2L direct injection engine with a start-stop system. Both engines come with the option of a five-speed manual transmission or Nissan’s continuously variable transmission system.
Gallery: Nissan Micra
GALLERY: Nissan Micra Official Photos
Official release after the jump:
Along with the launch of the new Audi A1 at the Geneva Auto Show, the automaker unveiled an E-Tron electric vehicle concept.
The A1 E-Tron is powered by a 102 hp electric motor with a range of 31.07 miles. A compact Wankel rotary engine kicks in when needed to recharge the lithium-ion battery, potentially extending the range to 124.27 miles.
According to Audi’s calculations, the fuel A1 E-Tron’s range extender gasoline engine has a fuel consumption of 123.8 mpg and produces 72.42 g/mile of CO2 gas.
Gallery: Audi A1 E-Tron Concept
Kia unveiled the third generation Sportage new styling and a longer, wider and lower body at the Geneva Auto Show.
The 2010 Kia Sportage takes many of its styling cues from the Kue concept model shown in Detroit in 2007.
For Europe, Kia will offer the Sportage with four engine options, two diesel and two gasoline. The new Sportage will be available at launch with a 2.0L gasoline engine rated1 at 161 hp and a 2.0L version of Kia’s next-generation “R” family diesel engines, producing 134 hp. By late 2010, Kia will begin offering a 138 hp 1.6L gasoline engine and a 113 hp 1.7L diesel plant, both with Start/Stop fuel saving technology
Gallery: 2010 Kia Sportage
Official release after the jump:
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its F800 Style concept, representing what the German car maker calls the future of premium cars.
The F800 concept has two variants, a plug-in hybrid with a 272 hp V6 direct injection engine paired with a 109 hp lithium-ion battery powered motor, and a fuel cell-powered 136 hp electric model that produces water vapor as its only emission.
The front end features a variation of the radiator grille with the familiar Mercedes-Benz star centrally positioned. curved air intake openings, curved louvres, wide grille and LED headlamps foreshadow what we may see in future Mercedes-Benz models.
The front doors open in a conventional manner but the rear doors slide backward, suspended from an interior swivel arm to allow easier access in tight parking spaces (which would be particularly useful in the cramped parking lot here at the Geneva Palexpo.)
Other features include some new technology such as Distronic Plus Traffic Jam Assistant, which essentially takes active cruise control to a new level by steering the car at speeds below 25 mph. There’s also an advanced Pre-Safe 360-degree system that works to detect rear-impacts and prevent a rear-impact from pushing you into another car in front.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz F800 Style
As expected, Audi is unveiling a new A1 model to its e-Tron family of electric vehicles at the Geneva Auto Show.
The A1 e-Tron is powered by an electric motor with an internal combustion engine that is used only to recharge the motor’s battery. The motor has a continuous output of 61 hp but can peak at 102 hp in short bursts. The motor also provides 110.63 ft-lb. of continuous torque with a peak output of 177.01 ft-lb.
The T-shaped battery pack weighs less than 330.69 lb. and is rated at 380 volts. The battery provides enough power to travel 31.07 miles on a single charge, though that range can be extended by using the rotary engine.
We’ll have more including live photos when Audi officially reveals the A1 e-Tron.
Gallery: Audi A1 e-Tron
Official release after the jump:
Mitsubishi displayed the new ASX at the Geneva Auto Show. Leaked photos made their way online last week but we’ve got live images of the crossover, expected in North America as the Outlander Sport.
Europeans will have the option of a 150-hp 1.8-liter turbo-diesel engine (the first with variable valve timing), and a 116-hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine for the ASX. The diesel model also gets a variable turbine geometry turbo, as well as a start-stop system, regenerative braking, low rolling resistance tires and electric power steering. Both versions will be available in front- and all-wheel drive.
The North American model, which will be known as the Outlander Sport, will likely debut at the New York Auto Show at the end of March.
Gallery: Mitsubishi ASX / Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Jaguar unveiled a special edition of the XKR at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
Part of the company’s 75th anniversary celebrations, the Special Edition model is a combination of two option packs, the Speed Pack and the Black Pack.
As its name implies, the Speed Pack gives the XKR a speed upgrade to a maximum of 174 mph from the standard model’s relatively pedestrian 155 mph.
The Black Pack adds styling options such as a new front and rear spoiler, gloss black 20-inch Kalimnos wheels, red calipers and black trim on the front grille, side vents and around the windows. Jaguar also offers a special decal, though for some reason, it was not included on the display model.
We’ll have more details as the show continues.
Gallery: Jaguar XKR Special Edition
MINI was supposed to introduce its new Countryman at the Geneva Auto Show but leaked photos of the crossover forced the company to release pictures and details in January.
Today, at the Geneva Auto Show, MINI had the Cooper and Cooper S Countryman models on display as it prepares for the official unveiling tomorrow.
We’ve got pictures of the Countryman, beneath a pair of oversized hats that will will later be lowered to cover the crossover until the unveiling tomorrow.
We already know the MINI Countryman will come standard with four seats arranged around a front-to-back center rail. An optional three-seat bench will be available at no additional cost. MINI says the Countryman has a storage capacity of 12.2 to 41.0 cubic feet, depending on how the seats are set up.
The Cooper S version (the white model in the photos) will have a 184hp turbocharged 1.6L engine with direct fuel injection and fully variable valve arrangement.
We’ll have more when MINI takes the hats off of the Countryman tomorrow.
Gallery: 2011 MINI Countryman
Volkswagen has released three images of the 2010 Polo GTI, which will be introduced at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show in March.
The 2010 Polo GTI will be powered by a 1.4 liter TSI engine, claiming 178 bhp, and a seven-speed DSG transmission. The GTI version stands 0.6 inches lower and uses stiffer suspension than the regular Polo. The Polo GTI will also use Volkswagen’s XDS electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved handling.
Inside, the Polo GTI features tartan cloth seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel.
AutoGuide.com will have more when the 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI makes its debut at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Nissan displayed the Stillen GT-R at its exhibit at the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show.
Built in 2009 by Steve Millen and the rest of the Stillen team, the one-off GT-R competed at the Targa Newfoundland race.
The Stillen GT-R was clocked a 0-60 run in 2.9 seconds, quicker than the stock version’s 3.5 seconds. The Stillen GT-R ran an 11.0 second quarter mile, registering a speed of 127.9 mph, (compared to the stock version’s 11.7 seconds and 120.4 mph) and reached a speed of 130 mph in 11.4 seconds (compared to the stock version’s 14.0 seconds.
Millen and his crew will next enter the GT-R at Targa Canada West, May 24 in British Columbia.
Gallery: Stillen GT-R
Nissan Canada announced it will present the Stillen GT-R at the 2010 Toronto Auto Show.
Race car driver Steve Millen and the Stillen team built their version of the GT-R “Godzilla” in 2009 for the Targa Newfoundland race. The Stillen crew lightened the GT-R by 172 lbs. and tweaked throttle response and suspension.
The result: a 0-60 run of 2.9 seconds and an 11.0-second quarter-mile run at 127.9 mph. Living up to the name “Godzilla”, the Stillen GT-R’s roar registered 101 dBA, compared to the stock GT-R’s 891 dBA.
Nissan and Infiniti will also display their latest models including the new 2011 Infiniti M, the Infiniti Essence Concept and the “Krom” edition Nissan Cube at the 2010 Toronto Auto Show. Check back for AutoGuide.com’s coverage of the Canadian International Auto Show on Feb. 11.
Gallery: Stillen GT-R
Official release after the jump: