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.
Infiniti announced U.S pricing for the 2012 QX full-size SUV and the 2012 EX crossover. The QX was redesigned in 2011, so changes to the 2012 model are non-existent.
The full-sized SUV will be offered in both a 2WD and 4WD setup, and some options have been changed to make some features more accessible in lower-level packages. One change on the 2012 model is the Blind Spot Intervention system available with the Technology Package. This option alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spot area. Both the QX models will utilize the 400-hp 5.6-liter V8 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the 2012 2WD model will start at $58,700 and the 2012 4WD model will start at $61,800.
The 2012 EX will be available in four models including the EX35 RWD ($35,600), EX35 AWD ($37,000), EX35 RWD Journey ($37,900) and EX35 AWD Journey ($39,300). The crossover also gains the HomeLink Universal Transceiver as standard equipment on the EX35 Journey. All four models will utilize the same 297-hp 3.5-liter V6 mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
GALLERY: Infinti EX35/ QX56
To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Acura is producing a Special Edition of the TSX. The TSX Special Edition model will give the popular sedan a sportier, more aggressive look – a good thing, considering the upgrades are all cosmetic.
The TSX will receive a more aggressive front spoiler, unique side sills and rear fascia as well as new polished 17-inch alloy rims with a dark grey background. On the inside, the seats will be finished with black suede inserts that contrast the red stitching. The red stitching will also carry over on the steering wheel and shift knob. The red theme continues on the gauges, overhead lighting and foot-well. The sedan will also receive aluminum pedals and silver plating for the steering-wheel-mounted shifters.
Powering the TSX will be the K24 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, mated to either a close-ratio 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The TSX Special Edition will make its debut at the Orange Country International Auto Show on September 22nd, and will likely go on sale at the same time.
GALLERY: TSX Special Edition
Two National Guard Light Medium Tactical Vehicles were entirely submerged during the Hurricane Irene aftermath, and the action was captured on video.
The two trucks drove through the deep water in downtown Manville. They managed to drive about a block before either water got into the engine or the drivers ran out of breath. At one point when the trucks stop, the men climb out of the trucks and appear to be unable to swim.
Check it out for yourself after the jump!
MINI has recently released another short commercial featuring the adventurous 2012 coupe. This video is a tad bit creepy, involving a hitchhiker, a MINI driver and a wanted poster. The video leaves us on a cliffhanger, and we’re not exactly sure what happens. Maybe MINI Coupe owners attract negative attention? MINI also released two other videos, with one set in Hong Kong (and taking a much lighter tone) and another set in Rio, with a carnival/samba theme.
Three different trims will be offered with the Coupe including the standard Cooper, Cooper S and the high performance John Cooper works model. The base model will start at $22,000 and have a 121-hp engine. The S model will start at $25,300 and gets a turbocharged 181-hp engine. The steroid infused JCW model will start at $31,900 and produce 208-hp, also through a turbocharged engine.
Check out the video after the jump!
With the upcoming launch of the R8 GT Spyder at the Frankfurt auto show, Audi has recently released another video featuring its venerable sports car. The new promo video includes an extensive walk through of the high performance car, showcasing the exterior and interior. We also get to see the car in action on the track, and hear the amazing exhaust note.
Production is limited to only 333 units and the car sheds 187 lbs (compared to the standard Spyder) thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre, allowing it to achieve mind blistering acceleration. This Audi is capable of 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 317 km/h. The Spyder will be powered by a V12 5.2-liter FSI engine producing 560-hp. The transmission will be an automatic R-Tronic 6-speed. The car will cost a cool € 207 800 or $295 782.52 in USD. Apparently 90 units of the GT Coupe will arrive Stateside, so expect the same number for the Spyder version.
Check out the video after the jump!
When the sedan was unveiled, Toyota found that the word “Camry” had been acquired on social media service Twitter by rival Nissan North America. Anyone searching the Camry on Twitter during the launch, would receive a tweet regarding product news from Nissan.
Nissan took advantage of the fact that it knew Toyota would launch the Camry with special attention to Twitter. Nissan discovered that the key word Camry had not been locked up so it purchased what Twitter terms a “Promoted Tweet” allowing the automaker to acquire a selection of search terms for 24 hours that included “Camry”, “Toyota Camry” and “mid-sized car”.”Toyota blew it,” crowed one Nissan manager. “They simply didn’t protect their intellectual property.”
Nissan has become increasingly competitive especially against Toyota. U.S sales of the Altima are up more than 18 percent through July, compared to Toyota’s 8 percent Camry fall. The decline was primarily a result of inventory issues stemming from the March 11 earthquake. The Camry has been America’s top selling passenger car for 13 of the past 14 years. The Camry vastly outsells the Altima, but Nissan has been making up ground in recent years.
Check out our full review of the Camry here!
GALLERY: Toyota Camry
[Source: Automotive News]
Imagine having a gadget in your car that could tell you how fast to go to avoid stopping at the next light. Well, now you can. A network of dashboard smartphones can monitor traffic lights and congestion helping drivers avoid idling, cutting fuel use by 20 percent.
SignalGuru collects and analyzes traffic data from images captured on dashboard smartphones, to inform drivers of the most efficient routes. The researchers installed iPhones on car dashboards in Cambridge, Massachusetts and in Singapore, where traffic lights have fixed schedules. SignalGuru can predict when lights will change with an error margin of two-thirds of a second.
The SignalGuru study won a best paper award at last month’s Association for Computing Machinery MobiSys conference, but the program would require many users to be a real solution for traffic congestion.
“If you can save even a small percentage of that, then you can have a large effect on the energy that the U.S. consumes,” Emmanouil Koukoumidis, a Princeton PhD candidate and visiting researcher at MIT, was quoted as saying.
BMW used this past weekend’s Indianapolis MotoGP to unveil its new F10 M5 safety car. The BMW was fitted with an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system that sounds amazing. Other goodies that set this safety vehicle aside from all other standard M5′s include high performance coilovers, new front and rear spoilers, Recaro bucket seats and 20-inch rims.
The M5 has been entirely redesigned but the biggest change is the switch from a high-revving V10 to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. The new engine will crank out 552 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The car is capable of achieving a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds, not bad for a car weighs around 4,000 lbs. Pricing has not been announced but the M5 will probably sell for around $85,000.
Check out the video after the jump!
In this crazy video, a Los Angeles firefighter is only inches away from a burning car that explodes in his face. Perhaps more impressive is that he doesn’t even flinch – showing some serious cojones.
“As they were attacking the fire, it appears from the video, that an airbag went off, sending sparks,” LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore told NBC news. “They had their personal protective equipment on, so he was not injured.” ”As you can see in the video, he didn’t event flinch,” said Moore. “He took a step back and continued fighting the fire.”
Check out the video after the jump! It’s pretty spectacular.
Toyota has already announced that it intends to set a new electric car lap record at the Nurburging, but now the automaker has some extra exciting news for EV performance enthusiasts – you’ll be able to buy one!
Just days ahead of the planned record breaking attempt, Toyota has said the electric SR9 racer will be available for retail sale, well, some if it will anyway. Consumers will be able to buy the car’s electric drivetrain, battery, twin electric motors and lithium-ceramic batteries. Buyers won’t, however, be able to purchase the body shell or lightweight chassis from Radical – although we suppose you could buy both individually and match them up yourself.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the lucky few that do purchase these sophisticated items will likely have to shell out some serious coin.
GALLERY: Electric SR9 Race Car
[Source: Green Car Reports]
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and auto journalist Dan Neil have a bet going regarding the launch of the 2012 Tesla Model S. The bet began when Tesla said it would launch the new model before the end of next year. Neil said the schedule promised by Musk was “an audacious timeline that makes many in the car industry roll their eyes”. Neil also said “even people inside Tesla are leery”. Neil did not believe Tesla would be able to deliver on Musk’s promise. The two began emailing each other back and forth until Neil challenged Musk to a bet on the outcome.
The requirements for Musk to win the bet are as follows:
1) Series production models of the Tesla Model S have to be delivered to paying customers before the end of 2012. (It was originally 2011, but Neil concedes that Tesla said it wouldn’t make that date fairly early, and has since stuck to its 2012 date.)
(2) The Model S has to have seven passenger seats, certified as such by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and earn a 4- or 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.
(3) It has to have a battery pack that allows en-route swapping at a highway roadside station, similar to the Better Place battery swapping scheme.
(4) Model S prices must remain at the levels Tesla and Musk announced: $57,400 for the version with 160 miles of range, $67,400 for the 230-mile version, and $87,400 for the top-of-the-line 300-mile version (which will comprise the bulk of early production). All prices are before any Federal or other incentives.
If Musk does not deliver on any of these targets, he must donate $1 million to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). However if Tesla fulfills the criteria, Neil must donate $1,000 to the same group.
[Source: Green Car Reports]
McLaren is planning to build a full model range of super car and sports cars for consumers. Currently, there are at least four more models in the design and development pipeline. The new cars include the current MP4-12C, a hypercar (codename P12), built to take on the new Lamborghini Aventador, and a successor to the famous McLaren F1. The P12 model is expected to produce around 800-hp and its weight will be similar to the MP4-12C. The British automaker will also be building a cheaper sports car (codename P13) to take on the non-turbo Porsche 911.
The full model lineup is part of a plan to sell 4,000 cars a year, with roughly 1300 MP4-12C models, 2,500 P13 cars and roughly 200 P12s.
All of the vehicles will, however, be “true McLarens,” said McLaren managing director Antony Sheriff. “Whatever we do will be based on carbon. It will have performance and handling that’s the best of its segment.”
All of the new models will receive the MP4-12C’s carbon-fiber monocell tub. This piece forms the central structure of the sports car including the front bulkhead, sills, floor, and rear bulkhead. The monocell tub is made of some 25 pieces of dry carbon fiber matting in single large tool while resin is injected.
McLaren is likely to unveil the P12 within a year and a half, and the P13 will be seen within two and a half years. The British automaker will also build a convertible version of the MP4-12C, but there is no confirmation on a release date.
[Source: Motor Trend]
In case you weren’t impressed with the Mayfair or Goodwood model, MINI will be releasing another special edition known as the Highgate later this year. The vehicle will follow along the lines of the recently released MINI Hampton.
The Highgate model will feature an Ice Chocolate Metallic color, half way between Hot Chocolate and Astro Black, and the interior will be coated in Chocolate colored leather with contrasting white stitching. The Highgate model will likely come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine from the 2011 MINI Cooper S producing 181-hp. MINI will release the Highgate later this year as a 2012 model. Look for a likely debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
[Source: Motoring File]
Owners of Nissan’s 2005-2010 Pathfinders, Frontiers and Xteras are experiencing failures to their automatic transmissions because radiator coolant is leaking into the system. The radiator cooler tanks are rupturing, which forces the coolant into the transmission through the transmission cooler lines. Nissan has offered an extended warranty for the radiators, but the coverage only applies to vehicles with fewer than 80,000 miles.
Owners are upset that Nissan didn’t notify them about the radiator problem. “The issue here is that Nissan knew that they had a faulty radiator and instead of recalling the radiator they extended the warranty knowing that the majority of the cars would surpass 80,000 miles before they started having problems with the transmission,” wrote Eva Saldivar of Porterville, California, in her complaint to the Center for Auto Safety. Her 2005 Pathfinder had 115,000 miles when she had to pay about $6,000 for repairs. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has at least 200 complaints regarding this transmission issue and the Center for Auto Safety has around 50 complaints.
In October, Nissan extended the warranty on the radiators of 2005-2010 Frontiers, Pathfinders and Xterras from three years or 36,000 miles to eight years or 80,000 miles. Nissan said only “a small percentage” of vehicles might experience the coolant-leak problem, which it blames on “an internal crack on the oil cooler tube”.
Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety said an investigation is warranted because owners are reporting safety-related problems, like rapid slowing or the inability to safely cross an intersection.
No official investigation or recall has been announced.
[Source: New York Times]
Debt ridden Saab is to apply for court protection from its creditors in a bid to stave off bankruptcy get again. For months, the automaker has struggled to raise finances to pay off suppliers, and as a result, has halted production. Saab was rescued from bankruptcy last year by Dutch owner, Swedish Automobile (formerly Spyker), as former owner General Motors prepared to shut the company down
Saab has declined to comment on the issue but, spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs said that the company is continuing to work on raising the necessary funds. The Swedish automaker’s most recent statement said, ” Saab Automobile AB is now working on other options to secure bridge funding which would allow us to stabilize operations, finalize negotiations with suppliers on payment and delivery terms and restart production”.
If Saab obtains a court creditor protection order, it would place the company into a process of corporate restructuring. Under this process, which Saab entered in 2009 after GM made clear its intention to cease funding the company and exited later that year, the company is granted temporary protection from creditors while an administrator and management seeks to restructure the company into a viable business.
[Source: Automotive News]
Nissan has announced it will launch the all-electric Nissan Leaf ahead of schedule in the city of Chicago, citing popular demand as well as preparedness by the city.
Last February, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that $1 million would be invested to install state-of-the-art charging infrastructure for electric cars throughout the Chicago area. The City of Chicago matched the investment with an additional $1 million for the project to implement 280 EV charging stations.
“Illinois is laying the groundwork for electric vehicles, and our efforts are paying off,” Gov. Quinn said. “By investing in electric vehicle technology, both the State of Illinois and Nissan are making transportation in our state more efficient, sustainable and affordable.”
The City of Chicago has also spearheaded an aggressive infrastructure plan to add 73 DC quick charging stations and 207 Level 2 stations by the end of 2011. So far, 40 stations have been installed, but when complete, the system will provide the Chicagoland area with the most extensive infrastructure for electric vehicles in the U.S.
Sharing the same platform as that car, look for an improved ride quality, plus the Forte is expected to get a new design closer in keeping with the larger Optima sedan.
As for engines, look for the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder from the Elantra with 148-hp. Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic will be offered. In terms of fuel economy, look for fuel economy that could even exceed the 29/40-mpg rating of the current Elantra. The 2013 Kia Forte could even get a stop-start system that will arrive in the all-new Rio later this year.
[Source: Automotive News]
NASCAR big boys, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon attended a Chevrolet Volt Homecoming Parade in metro Detroit on August 18 as a part of the festivities surrounding the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.
Over 50 owners from 12 different states attended the even, with both Johnson and Gordon included in the pack as actual Volt owners. In pure racing fashion the duo waved flags to mark the start of the parade. Both NASCAR drivers spent plenty of time talking up the electric Chevy crowd at the parade.
“These cars are just another step in the right direction of going green. Hopefully the Volt will provoke more thought and change,”said Jimmie Johnson.
As for Jeff Gordon, he touched on how Chevrolet is always pushing the envelope in the right direction. “With Chevrolet celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, I can’t think of a better vehicle to show off the brand’s heritage and where it’s headed.”
Check out the video after the jump!
The result of high gas prices, Americans drove 15.5 billion miles less in the first half of 2011. The Federal Highway Administration reported that U.S drivers logged 1.453 trillion miles through to June 30 which is down 1.1 percent over the first half of 2010. The last time Americans drove less was back in 2004, when they logged 1.351 trillion miles (at the half way point), according to the government.
The all time high for first-half travel occurred in 2007 with 1.497 billion miles. June in particular was a month of few miles. Travel fell 1.4 percent to 259.1 billion miles, down 3.8 billion miles. In contrast to 2011, Americans drove three trillion miles in 2010, which has a direct correlation with lower gas prices. With gas prices the way they are, Americans are driving less, and according to recent studies are also more likely to hold onto older cars.
[Source: The Detroit Auto News]
Lexus has just released a promo clip for the all-new 2013 GS350, highlighting the car’s power and agility. With details provided on the new suspension setup as well as the 306-hp 3.5-liter V6, there are also plenty of stunning visuals.
Recently unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, get full details on the new GS here.
GALLERY: 2013 GS350
Check out the video after the jump!
McLaren unveiled a customized MP4-12C at Pebble Beach, indicating the British automaker will offer a long line of individual options for customers. This particular McLaren features a host of new upgrades and modifications put together by the British automaker, most notable of which are the Satin Orange paint and aggressive new fenders. There are also carbon fiber bits all over the car including a windshield cowl, engine cover gilles along the outside of the glass, and a new carbon rear exhaust cover. The rims have a polished face with black painted centers and the roof panel has also been painted black. Standard options of the 12C include carbon mirrors, a carbon lower front spoiler and rear valence as well as a stealth package which blacks out the exhaust tips and wing supports.
Built on the chassis of an early validation prototype, this isn’t a oroduction car but merely a glimpse at what sort of custom options McLaren will be offering in the future to owners.
Priced at $229,000 for a standard model, the upgrades raise the asking price for this MP4-12C to around $270,000.
[Source: Team Speed]
Looking for a uniquely British experience? 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences has you covered. Located in London, just around the corner from the Buckingham Palace, this luxury hotel has just announced the addition of a Jaguar-themed suite.
The 1,832 square foot abode is part of an exciting collaboration between Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and Jaguar – both of which just so happen to be owned by Indian automaker Tata.
The project is more than just a convenient tie-up, however, with Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum overseeing the creation of the room, which includes the use of leather, metal and wood from Jaguar’s lineup of luxury cars. The experience within the pad starts out subtly at the door, with sleek wood paneling, but progresses to Jaguar damask lining the bedroom walls. The fireplace takes cues from the shape of Jaguar’s hallmark rear window. Custom made wallpaper with subtle Jaguar motifs can also be found throughout the suite. The ‘flat’ combines both classic and contemporary Jaguar models, from the legendary 1960′s E-type to the high tech C-X75 concept.
The suite is absolutely stunning. We highly recommend you check it out for yourself if you’ve got the loot. Otherwise, browse the photos below.
GALLERY: Jaguar Inspired Suite
Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has recently tested the Red Bull Formula One race car at the Willow Springs racetrack in California. Tom Cruise completed 24 laps with the Red Bull team, and guiding the top gun along the track was race car driver David Coulthard.
Coulthard took Cruise around the track in a passenger car, then set him off on his own. Tom Cruise set his own lap in the F1 car reaching a top speed of 185 mph, and cut his best time by 11 seconds. Amazingly, Cruise recorded a top speed just 4 mph off Coulthard’s best.
“Tom’s the real deal,” Coulthard told RedBull.com. “I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver. His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is. He’s a guy who really pushes the envelope in real life. This day was not green screened. He thoroughly impressed me.”
Toyota’s all-new Camry will blitz the US market to regain sales lost after three years that included a recession, recalls and an earthquake. The new Camry was unveiled on Tuesday and is the first of 20 new and refreshed Toyota, Lexus and Scion models arriving by early 2013. Along with the Camry, Toyota this year will add the hybrid Prius v wagon, revamped Yaris subcompact, Scion iQ minicar and a modified Tacoma pickup truck. Vehicles to be released in 2012 include, a plug-in version of the Prius, compact Prius c hybrid, a new Lexus GS sport sedan, a battery powered RAV4 and a rear-wheel drive Scrion FR-S sports car. Toyota is determined to keep the Camry the top seelling passenger car, a position that has been held by the model for 13 of the past 14 years.
Toyota’s best year for the Camry was in 2007 with 473,108 units sold. However, through July, Camry sales slipped 7.8 percent to 174,485 from a year earlier. Hyundai has been very successful with the Sonata up 27 percent in sales during the same time frame. Nissan’s Altima has gained 17 percent to 153,182 during the same time period as well.
Camry’s have the largest owner base of any midsize sedan in the U.S with Toyota estimating that there are over 6.8 million of them on American roads. Toyota has also slashed the price on the 2012 model, as the company hopes to entice those who might be thinking about moving away from the automaker to look at other car brands.
The four-cylinder 2012 Camry LE with an automatic transmission has been priced at $22,500, $200 cheaper than last year. The SE model is also $1000 cheaper, selling for $23,000. The top-of-the-line XLE has been lowered by $2000, to $24,725 (all of these models are equipped with the four-cylinder engine).
Camry is symbolic of Toyota’s success, CEO Akio Toyoda said in a speech Tuesday marking the start of production of the model in Georgetown, Ky. ”This is an opportunity to show the world what Toyota is all about,” said Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder. “I can introduce the new Camry with 100 percent confidence,”, he said.
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Camry
[Source: Automotive News]