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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.
 |  Apr 01 2010, 11:51 PM


For 2010 the New York Auto Show has a bit of everything and continues to deliver with a concentrated presence of luxury vehicles. But this year the luxury fits into numerous niche segments. On one end, there’s the world premiere of the 2011 Infiniti QX56 SUV, while on the other there’s the North American debut of the Lexus CT200h hybrid hatchback. Luxury even takes wagon form, with Acura announcing the TSX Sport Wagon and Cadillac unveiling a CTS-V Sport Wagon concept. Heck, Hyundai even unveiled a flagship luxury sedan, called the Equus, that is designed to compete with cars like the Mercedes S-Class. Aston Martin is showed its four-door Rapide and Porsche has on display its Cayenne S Hybrid SUV.

In more traditional luxury, BMW unveiled the all-new 2011 5 Series for the first time in North America, flanked by the facelifted 3 Series, sporty 335is, 2011 X5 and Alpina B7.

Outside the luxury sphere there are exciting vehicles, including crossovers like the bizarre Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 2011 Kia Sportage and MINI Countryman. And when it comes to sedans, the Korean automakers are showing important new contenders like the surprisingly good looking 2011 Kia Optima, as well as turbocharged and hybrid versions of the Hyundai Sonata.

Other highlights include the 2011 WRX featuring an STI wide-body, while a new STI model for 2011 also gains a sedan version.

Particularly noteworthy cars included the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 race car, 2011 Scion tC and the new (and very tiny) Scion iQ.

See a selection of New York Auto Show debuts after the jump or visit our Official 2010 New York Auto Show Coverage page here:

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 |  Apr 01 2010, 4:54 PM

Already shown in different markets with different names, Mitsubishi has now revealed what it will call the Outlander Sport for the North American market. A compact crossover, slotting in under the current Outlander model, the new Outlander Sport is a different vehicle (and not just another trim level), with its own unique style. Interestingly, however, it does ride on the current Outlander platform and actually boasts the same overall wheelbase, even though it is roughly 15-inches shorter in length. The reduced size, therefore, has come from the overhangs, making the Outlander Sport inherently more exciting to drive.

Power for this new crossover comes from Mitsubishi’s 2.0-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder with 148-hp and 145 ft-lbs of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a “6-speed” CVT (with paddle shifters) comes on the up-rated SE model. Mitsubishi expects the new crossover to get an impressive 31-mpg on the highway.

One reason for the impressive fuel economy is the CUV’s light weight. At 3,042-lbs, it’s roughly 130 lbs less than the new Hyundai Tucson – which is already considerably lighter than much of the competition.

Entry level models will be front-drive, but Mitsubishi will offer SE models with its All-Wheel Control (AWC) 4WD system. Drivers will be able to select from 2WD, 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock for different driving environments.

Standard features on the all-new Outlander Sport include electronic power steering, stability control, hill start assist, 7 airbags and a regenerative braking system that reduces load on the alternator. Also standard are HID headlights. SE models will get items like 18-inch wheels and a push-button ignition, plus optional goodies like a 710 watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.

During the car’s unveiling in New York, Mitsubishi North America President and CEO Shinichi Kurihara commented that after a tough time the past two years the company is looking to move from survival mode to growth mode, with the new Outlander Sport being the first of three all-new vehicles over the next few years. Kurihara even commented that with the expanding compact crossover segment, Mitsubishi hopes the Outlander Sport will become its highest volume model.

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Apr 01 2010, 1:45 PM


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


 |  Apr 01 2010, 1:22 PM


Kia unveiled its shocking new 2011 Optima sedan at the New York Auto Show today with two impressive new engines, also offered in the Optima’s cousin, the Hyundai Sonata. The entry-level engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder featuring gasoline direct-injection (GDI) – the first use of GDI in a Kia. Output for the new 4-cylinder is rated at an impressive 200-hp and thanks to a six-speed automatic transmission, we expect similar fuel economy numbers to the Sonata – which is rated at 22/35 mpg (city/highway). Those numbers, we should point out, are best-in-class.

Even more exciting is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 274-hp. It is expected to get as high as 34-mpg on the highway.

In addition, Kia has confirmed it will offer a hybrid version of its new mid-size sedan next year. As for the current 4-cylinder and turbo-4, both versions will be on sale starting this Fall.

The car itself is both lower and wider than its predecessor, riding on an all new platform and we used the term “shocking” because its almost too cool looking to believe its for real. The design is unmistakably the work of Kia’s top design man Peter Schreyer – who is quickly building the Kia brand into one of the best looking and most aggressive groups of vehicles on the market. Inside, the car gets a driver-oriented cockpit with controls that face the drive.. Standard interior features include a tilt and telescopic wheel, power locks and windows and even an air-conditioned glovebox. Three trim levels will be offered: LX, EX and SX.

LX models equipped with an automatic transmission come with cruise control, while the EX model gets luxury features like driver and passenger 8-way power seats, driver and front passenger automatic window up/down, push button ignition with smart key, dual-zone climate control with rear vents and Kia’s new UVO voice activated infotainment system with rear-view camera.

SX models get leather with French stitching, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters metal pedals and an LCD display in the instrument cluster. Outside, the SX trim also gets HID headlights, an even more aggressive front grille and special aerodynamics, as well as 18-inch wheels.

The 2011 Kia Optima will go on sale this Fall, with pricing announced closer to launch.

tomatic and 24/35 mpg

GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima


GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima Official Photos


For more details on the all-new 2011 Optima, see the full release after the jump:

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 |  Apr 01 2010, 12:16 PM


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


 |  Apr 01 2010, 11:36 AM


With the debut of the new Equus luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show, CEO John Krafcik also announced that sales of flagship model will come with premium services. For starters, Hyundai dealerships will feature the car in a showroom-within-a-showroom format, alongside the Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe. But if you’d like to test drive an Equus and don’t want to go to the dealership, no problem, Hyundai will take the car to you.

Hyundai has also decided to do-away with the big and heavy owner’s manual in favor of an electronic touch-screen tablet. Owners will even be able to use the tablet to make service appointments – with free pick up and drop off of the vehicle by Hyundai staff.

As for the Equus itself, it’s got plenty of luxury too, with an interior that features leather seats, an Alcantara headliner, wood trim and a leather-wrapped dash with French stitching. The front seats are heated and cooled with an optional massaging driver’s seat. A special 4-seater model with just two rear chairs can come with foot rests, an 8-inch LCD screen and DVD player, as well as a fridge. There’s even an optional 17-speaker Lexicon audio system.

Motivation for the big sedan comes from Hyundai’s Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine with 385-hp and 324 ft-lbs of torque, mated to 6-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds.

Other highlights include 19-inch wheels, an electronically controlled air suspension and Continuous Damping Control that adjusts the suspension to meet the conditions of the road.

Pricing for the Equus has yet to be locked-down, but Hyundai says it expects to be able to sell the car in the mid $50,000 range starting this Fall.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus


 |  Apr 01 2010, 10:45 AM


It certainly looks like a flagship luxury sedan, created to rival established German saloons like the 7 Series and S Class, but it costs roughly half the price and… it’s a Hyundai? Yes, debuting at the New York Auto Show, Hyundai will now offer its flagship luxury sedan from Korea in the U.S. aiming to, “compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on all levels.”

Pricing for the Equus has yet to be locked-down, but Hyundai says it expects to be able to sell the car in the mid $50,000 range. And while the Equus isn’t likely to win over many buyers from Mercedes, the package is an attractive one for Lexus LS shoppers, with the LS460 riced in the mid $60,000 range.

The Equus more than just looks like a proper luxury barge, using a powerful V8 engine and riding on a proper rear-drive architecture (an elongated version of that used for the Genesis Sedan). The Equus is actually 7.2-inches longer than the Genesis at 203.1-inches. That makes it longer than the extended wheelbase Lexus LS, plus it’s wider than either the S-Class or 7 Series.

Motivation for the big sedan comes from Hyundai’s Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine with 385-hp and 324 ft-lbs of torque, mated to 6-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds.

Inside, the Equus delivers on its luxury promise (although not to the level of its German counterparts) with leather seats, an Alcantara headliner, wood trim and a leather-wrapped dash with French stitching. The front seats are heated and cooled with an optional massaging driver’s seat.

A luxurious driving feel is also part of the package thanks to an electronically controlled air suspension and Continuous Damping Control that adjusts the suspension to meet the conditions of the road. Both sport and comfort settings are offered so driver’s can select a more engaging ride. Also helping to deliver a more dynamic driving experience is a balanced (52/48 weight distribution) chassis and 19-inch wheels with 245/45/19 front and 275/40/19 rear tires

Other vehicle highlights include a standard back-up camera and optional front camera, as well as a 17-speaker 608-watt Lexicon audio system.

Official pricing will be revealed later this year with the Equus set to go on sale in the summer.

We have no doubt the folks at BMW and Mercedes are having a little chuckle over a Korean luxury car, but it wasn’t all that long ago they underestimated Lexus.

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GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Apr 01 2010, 10:35 AM


After sending the past several years focusing on volume models, Subaru has now switched over to developing its high-performance niche market vehicles, unveiling the new WRX STI Sedan today at the New York Auto Show.

Previously Subaru had only offered a hatchback STI of its current generation car, but the sedan is both a throwback to great STI sedans of old, as well as an evolution of the brand itself. And yes, we did say “evo-lution.” The car’s new rear spoiler is alarmingly similar to a Mitsubishi design used on past EVO models. And with a four-door offering (as well as the hatch), Subaru is likely hoping to win over a few EVO buyers who prefer a sedan.

Subaru says the new wing was designed to create real downforce and stabilize the car at speed. The car, as well as the new 2011 hatch, was even tested n the Nürburgring with numerous other upgrades. While there are no changes to the 305-hp engine, other updates include a revised suspension setup with a lowered ride height and new pillow-ball bushings in front and stiffer bushings for the rear subframe. Subaru says these updates improve camber and toe stiffness. New springs feature higher spring rates with a 15.6 percent increased stiffness in front and 53 percent increase in stiffness in the rear. Thicker sway bars also help improve handling, while new 18-inch wheels weight a total of 17.6 lbs less than the previous model’s wheels.

In addition, the 2011 STI models also get exterior updates – although none but a true Suby nut is likely to notice. The changes include a modified bumper with sharper edges, a new lip spoiler, larger front grille as well as larger bumper openings. The sedan model also gets new, flared rear fenders.

“The continuous evolution and development of the WRX STI is driven by the strong, loyal and vocal support from thousands of enthusiastic owners of this exciting high-performance vehicle,” said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO of Subaru of America. “The 2011 4-door WRX STI will expand the appeal of this iconic performance model to a wider range of driving enthusiasts.”

The 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan and hatch will be available late this summer.

GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX STI Sedan


GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX STI


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Apr 01 2010, 9:39 AM


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


 |  Mar 31 2010, 5:26 PM


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

Gallery: Chevrolet Cruze Eco


New York 2010: 2011 BMW 5 Series North American Premiere at NY Auto Show

The new 5 Series gets an all-new platform and powerful turbocharged engines

 |  Mar 31 2010, 5:23 PM


With it’s world premiere at the Geneva Auto Show just a few weeks ago, BMW unveiled the new 2011 5 Series in front of a U.S. audience for the first time today at the New York Auto Show. And the model on display was non-other than the range-topping (for now) 550i. With styling cues from both the new 7 Series and current 3 Series, it looks more stately than the outgoing model and we’d confidently say it’s also far better looking.

The 550i model boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 400-hp and 450 ft-lbs of torque, enabling it to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds. As for the 535i, it gets BMW’s excellent twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six motor for 300-hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque. Both models will be available with either a standard six-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. A “Sport Automatic” 8-speed will also be optional. BMW is expected to deliver a 528i later on, which will debut with a 240-hp inline-six.

In terms of improvements to handling, the new 5 Series gets a completely new front suspension that uses a multi-link setup as opposed to a strut setup. This system is also found on the new 7 Series, which is no coincidence, as both the new 5 and 7 Series share the same platform. Along with the electric power steering system, the new 5 Series gets the Integral Active Steering setup as found on the 5 Series GT, which turns turns the rear wheels. In low speed situations, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels for better maneuverability, while at speed the rear wheels turn in the same direction to deliver better cornering and stability. And to further improve performance, there’s an electronic limited slip differential, which comes into play once DSC (stability control) is completely shut off.

Real driving enthusiasts will opt for the Sport Package with Adaptive Drive. This package includes Driving Dynamics Control (same as on the 7 Series and Z4), which lets the driver choose from Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ driving settings, which control the throttle response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance level and traction control. It also includes Dynamic Damping Control, which constantly changes the car’s shock settings and includes a 10mm lower ride height. Finally, the sport package includes Active Roll Stabilization, with hydraulic stabilizer bars that actually firm up when body lean is detected.

Inside, the new 5er gets BMW’s latest iDrive system, which on the 7 Series is much improved and quite easy to use. The iDrive setup includes a 7-inch LCD screen, or a 10.2-inch screen if the Navigation Package box is checked. The larger 116-inch wheelbase makes for a roomier interior and to help keep passengers comfortable, the car’s active cruise control now has a feature that will slow the car in a corner if the vehicle detects the curve is to extreme. Another great tech item is the heads-up display that can even show some navigation instructions.

There’s also plenty of safety features in the new 5 Series like Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Headlights that switch to hi-beam if necessary. A larger section of the taillights will also illuminate under hard braking to ensure those behind you will know you are stopping. The Active Cruise Control system also includes Frontal Collision Warning that will warn the driver of an impending impact and actually apply the brakes if he does not act.

Additional highlights include new Top View and Side View displays of the car for ideal parking, which works in conjunction with BMW Parking Assistant.

Pricing it set at $50,475 for the 535i and $60,575 for the 550i.

GALLERY: 2011 BMW 5 Series


 |  Mar 31 2010, 5:07 PM


Along with several world and North American premieres, BMW rolled out its new 335is model for the first time, today at the New York Auto Show. The “is” version takes the already amazing 335i Coupe (and Convertible) to a new level by pumping up the performance and adding some nice goodies.

While the new engine output numbers tell some of the story, with the twin-turbo inline-six engine being boosted up to 320-hp and 332 ft-lbs of torque (370 ft-lbs for a limited time), what might be more important is the optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission – the first time BMW has offered this transmission on a non-M model. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds with the dual-clutch automatic and 5.1 seconds with the manual. The convertible model will achieve the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.2 seconds regardless of transmission.

Additional changes to this new model, which slots in art way between the 335 and M3, include a new front fascia and a rear diffuser, as well as many M Sport trim items and stunning 18-inch wheels (19s are optional).

Pricing for the new 335is is set at $50,525 for the Coupe and $59,075 for the Convertible – plus the price of the 7-Seed dual clutch transmission of course.



Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 5:00 PM


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.

Gallery: 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon


GALLERY: 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 4:51 PM


With the North American premier of the CT200h at the New York Auto Show, Lexus also showcased a new IS350C F-Sport Special Edition. Priced from $57,500, it is offered in only Tungsten Pearl (above) or Obsidian. Unique to the Special Edition is a set package of F-Sport goodies including: new 19-inch forged wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires, upgraded front and rear brakes, lowering springs, Bilstein shocks, sway bars, a new F-Sport grille, as well as F-Sport floor mats, an F-Sport shift knob and F-Sport badging.

The package also features black leather seats with blue stitching, while standard features include heated and ventilated front seats with wood trim, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with Adaptive Front lighting, Lexus Navigation, a rear back-up camera, Voice Command casual-language voice recognition system and Lexus Enform with Safety Connect.

Just 100 F-Sport Special Edition models will be offered, with sales beginning later this month. The car will officially debut at the New York Auto Show on March 31st and we’ll be sure to bring you plenty of live photos then.

GALLERY: 2010 Lexus IS350C F-Sport Special Edition


New York 2010: Porsche Debuts 2011 Cayenne Models Including New Cayenne S Hybrid

Pricing to range from $46,700 all the way to $104,800.

 |  Mar 31 2010, 3:49 PM


Porsche chose the New York Auto Show as the first North American venue to showcase its second-generation Cayenne luxury SUV, including the high-performance Turbo model and fuel-efficient Hybrid.

The Cayenne S Hybrid, the first production hybrid from the German sports car maker, is powered by a 3.o-liter V6 engine that is supercharged and mated to a 47-hp electric motor for a total of 380-hp and 427 ft-lbs of torque. Porsche claims the Cayenne S Hybrid can travel up to 40 mph on just electric power and can cruise on pure electric power at speeds of up to 97 mph. Interestingly, Porsche has chosen to leave the hybrid badging off the rear of the Cayenne and instead paste it on the front fenders. Whether this is to highlight or hide the car’s alternative powertrain, we’re not sure.

Also offered is a new Cayenne S model with a 400-hp V8 as well as the range-topping Turbo, with its twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 engine making 500-hp. The fully-capable SUV has actually grown slightly with just over an inch of extra space between the wheels. This should help provide a little extra leg room.

Set to arrive in dealers later this year, the Cayenne starts at $46,700 and the Cayenne S starts at $63,700, while the S Hybrid will fetch a small premium on top of that at $67,700. The Turbo model then takes a big jump, all the way to $104,800. In Canada, pricing is set at $58,200 (V6), $76,000 (S), $80,800 (S Hybrid), $123,900 (Turbo).

GALLERY: Porsche Cayenne Turbo


GALLERY: Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid


 |  Mar 31 2010, 2:46 PM


Along with the new iQ model, Scion also debuted the second-generation 2011 tC at the New York Auto Show today, a very big move for an automaker that hasn’t released a new car in three years. The new tC has a familiar but hardly identical look and is powered by a slightly more potent engine. Under the hood there’s a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 180-hp (19 more than the previous model) and 173 ft-lbs of torque (11 more than the previous model).

Paired with either a six-speed automatic with sequential-shift manual shifting or a traditional six-speed manual, Scion claims the new engine will also be more fuel efficient – although no fuel economy estimates have been provided. In addition, the car gets a new exhaust setup that was designed to deliver a more aggressive sound.

Helping to improve handling is a new platform with MacPherson front struts and a double-wishbone rear. Overall, the car sits lower and gets some big 18-inch wheels. The brakes have also been upgraded to deliver improved stopping power, with bigger rotors at each corner. A new electronic steering system is also used, which not only helps save fuel (by not being a drain on the engine) but also works to deliver a more precise feel. For 2011, the tC also includes important safety features like Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control.

Inside, Scion has taken the car more up-market with a VW-esque feel, that includes a thick flat-bottom steering wheel, nicely bolstered seats and a sporty yet simple gauge cluster. A panoramic moonroof remains standard on the tC.

The 2011 tC will go on sale later this year.

GALLERY: 2011 Scion tC


GALLERY: 2011 Scion tC Official Photos

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See more on the 2011 Scion tC after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 2:30 PM


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


 |  Mar 31 2010, 2:06 PM


Scion has just revealed the production model iQ at the New York Auto Show, which the company claims is the smallest four-seater in the world. At just 120-inches long it is roughly one-foot longer than the Smart fortwo. Saying it’s a 4-seater is a bit of a stretch, however, and Scion does qualify that it’s more of a 3+1, with the “1″ being a child.

Referred to by Scion as a “premium micro sub compact” the iQ is powered by a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder and gets a CVT transmission. No performance or fuel economy numbers are available, but Scion says to expect fuel economy in the high-30 mpg range.

Scion also wants to highlight the car’s safety features, with standard abs, vehicle stability control traction control and 10 airbags – including a world’s first rear window curtain airbag.

Qnd keeping with Scion’s youth-oriented approach with a six-speaker audio system, USB and auxiliary ports, as well as steering wheel mounted controls.

The iQ will go on sale as a 2011 model starting early next year.

GALLERY: 2011 Scion iQ


GALLERY 2011 Scion iQ Official Photos

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For more in the new Scion iQ, visit

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:30 PM

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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

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:11 PM


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


 |  Mar 31 2010, 11:06 AM


Considering the abysmal sales of the R-Class, the Mercedes might have preferred to just let the model slowly slip-off into obscurity, but instead the designers and engineers did their best to try and revive the luxury minivan. Debuting at the New York Auto Show today, the new 2011 R-Class gets a front-end makeover with a more flat-front nose and added angles – much like the rest of the modern Mercedes lineup.

Inside there are some updates but overall the car is still very much the same, as are the engines. Returning for 2011 is the R350 4MATIC model with its lacklustre 268-hp V6 and an unimpressive 14/19 mpg (city/highway) rating. The better option for those looking to save on fuel is the R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC with 210 hp,  400 ft-lbs fo torque and an 18/24 mpg (city/hwy) rating.

Highlights include Distronic adaptive cruise control, airmatic air suspension with adaptive damping, and a Blid Spot Assist system (all optional). Options even include wheel sizes ranging all the way up to 21-inches.

Mercedes introduced the 2011 R-Class in New York, driven on stage by the Gold Medal-winning U.S. Olympic 4-men bobsled team, hoping to draw a comparison. And while we’ll admit that the new R-Class is a more attractive vehicle and that it does fit the four big guys with ease, Mercedes won’t be winning any golds, or putting any gold in the bank thanks to the R-Class.

For more on the 2011 R-Class, get all the details in the official release after the jump.

GALLERY: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 10:30 AM


Earlier today Lincoln announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan, which has now just been officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, the MKZ Hybrid also uses the same hybrid drivetrain to achieve an impressive 41/36 mpg (city/highway)

Ford’s plan with the car is that the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms and hopefully even draw over buyers from Lexus showrooms and away from the HS250h – the car’s main competitor. Plus, as the MKZ Hybrid uses the same hybrid setup found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the higher asking price and profit margin on Lincoln products will put more money in Ford’s coffers.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with plenty of standard technology and safety systems, such as a reverse sensing system, heated and cooled front seats, Ford’s MyKey system and SYNC. Plus it gets a version of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide on the dash. Lincoln is hoping all this will help it compete with the Lexus HS. It might not have the craftsmanship, but the larger and more functional MKZ Hybrid is also more fuel efficient.

Pricing will be released later this year when the car officially goes on sale.

GALLERY: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid World Premiere in New York


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 10:02 AM


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


 |  Mar 31 2010, 9:59 AM


For 2011 Subaru has once again improved the incredible WRX, this time adding a wider track and the STI model’s wide-body flared fenders. Back in 2008, Subaru seemed to have lost its way with the 225-hp WRX, but regained the confidence of its enthusiast customer base by introducing a 265-hp version in 2009. Now, the 2011 version of the all-wheel drive machine gets a 1.5-inch wider track and 17×8-inch rims with thicker 235/45/17 rubber inside flared fenders borrowed from the STI.

In addition, the WRX also gets a new front lip and larger blacked-out grille and air intakes, not to mention the addition of the STI’s rear subframe bushings. Subaru will continue to offer the WRX both as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback.

The car isn’t officially set to debut until tomorrow, but we were able to snap these photos of the unattended cars 24 hours before their debut. Subaru likely doesn’t mind showing off the new 2011 WRX, however, because it’s expected the big news then will be an even higher performance STI model.

GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX Sedan and Hatchback