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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.
 |  Mar 31 2010, 9:34 AM

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Mercedes has officially revealed the new SLS AMG GT3 race car, powered by the street car’s 6.2-liter AMG V8 engine. Thanks to a special six-speed sequential racing transmission and ultra-low curb weight, the GT3 can rocket to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Mercedes says 3.7 seconds in its press release, but announced the two tenths faster time at the car’s unveiling in New York.

That light-weight body is made entirely of carbon fiber, with impressive new aerodynamics including a massive front splitter, rear diffuser and enormous rear spoiler. Compared to the road car, the GT3′s bodywork is two inches wider, enough to accommodate some massive center locking 18×12-inch front and 18×13-inch rear wheels with racing slicks. Inside those wheels is a special composite AMG race braking system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.

Mercedes has announced the FIA GT3 spec car is able to compete in all FIA GT3 series, including the 24-hour races at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and on the Nürburgring in Germany. There’s no word on a factory backed team and initially Mercedes will offer the car for sale to customers this Fall, with delivery set for just ahead of next year’s racing season.

GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG Debut in New York

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 8:00 AM

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Mercedes has officially revealed the new SLS AMG GT3 race car, powered by the street car’s 6.2-liter AMG V8 engine. No official power numbers are available but Mercedes says the engine is almost identical to the 563-hp unit in the street car. Thanks to a special six-speed sequential racing transmission and ultra-low curb weight, the GT3 can rocket to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

That light-weight body is made entirely of carbon fiber, with impressive new aerodynamics including a massive front splitter, rear diffuser and enormous rear spoiler. Compared to the road car, the GT3′s bodywork is two inches wider, enough to accommodate some massive center locking 18×12-inch front and 18×13-inch rear wheels with racing slicks. Inside those wheels is a special composite AMG race braking system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.

Mercedes has announced the FIA GT3 spec car is able to compete in all FIA GT3 series, including the 24-hour races at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and on the Nürburgring in Germany. There’s no word on a factory backed team and initially Mercedes will offer the car for sale to customers this Fall, with delivery set for just ahead of next year’s racing season.

GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 1:00 AM

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When Hyundai debuted the new 2011 Sonata in 4-cylinder trim, the company announced that it would not introduce a V6 model. The Korean automaker was still planning to go head-to-head with its V6-powered competitors, however, and today we found out exactly what with.

Just unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the new 2011 Sonata 2.0T is the first Hyundai to get turbocharging and direct-injection. As the name suggests, the engine is a small 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and when combined with a twin-scroll turbocharger and Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology it makes a class-leading 274-hp and gets 34-mpg on the highway. City fuel economy is set at 22-mpg. As for the turbocharged engine’s torque number, it is equally impressive, rated at 269 ft-lbs from just 1800 rpm to 4500 rpm. Better yet, it does all this on regular fuel.

Helping to deliver both impressive fuel economy and performance is Hyundai’s new six-speed automatic transmission, with Hyundai’s Shiftronic manual shifting. Plus, all 2.0T models come with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Added advantages to this setup include a lighter overall chassis. Not only does the turbocharged 4-cylinder weigh less than a V6 engine, but because Hyundai never had to design the car’s frame to carry a heavier V6 motor, the basic platform weighs less. And a lighter overall curb weight results in improved fuel economy and acceleration, not to mention handling and braking. Hyundai lists the new Sonata 2.0T at 3,338 lbs, making it the lightest of its competitors. In fact, with a weight to power ratio of 12.2 lbs per hp, the Sonata 2.0T has a better setup than the new Camaro V6.

Pricing for the 2.0T model has yet to be released but we expect it to be competitive with, if not undercut, current V6 offerings from the main competitors.

2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T vs. the Competition

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GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T

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See more on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 1:00 AM

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Debuting alongside the new performance-oriented 2.0T model, Hyundai has just unveiled the Sonata Hybrid at the New York Auto Show with an impressive 37-mpg city and 39-mpg highway. To put those numbers in perspective, the current class leader (if you don’t count the Prius) is the Ford Fusion Hybrid with 41/36 mpg (city/highway). And thanks to several unique features, the Sonata Hybrid has a lot more going for it than just fuel economy.

Hyundai’s Blue Drive hybrid setup is a full parallel hybrid system, meaning it can operate on gasoline power, electric power or a combination of both. Combining Hyundai’s 2.4-liter Theta II 4-cylinder (which makes 169-hp and 156 ft-lbs of torque) with a 30 kW (151 ft-lb) electric motor and ground-breaking new lithium-polymer battery, the Sonata Hybrid makes a total of 209-hp and 195 ft-lbs of torque.

Rather than a CVT transmission (typical of hybrids), Hyundai chose to use a conventional six-speed automatic that has been adapted with an electric motor and oil pump rather than a torque converter. Not only does this retain the typical driving feel of an automatic, but, says Hyundai, it’s cheaper to produce – a savings that is passed on to the consumer. The top three gears of the transmission have been modified to be even longer, allowing the engine to rev lower and, therefore, save fuel.

Another impressive feature of the Blue Drive setup is that it allows for pure electric driving at speeds of up to 62-mph. This tops the already impressive 47-mph speed of the Fusion Hybrid. Hyundai claims the typical American driver operates their vehicle in “highway mode” 57 percent of the time, so this hightened “electric only” speed is what helps the car achieve its 39-mpg highway rating.

The lithium-polymer battery used is the first ever for an automaker, with significant advantages over the nickle-metal hybrid battery used in cars like the Prius, or even the lithium-ion unit used in the upcoming Chevy Volt. Compared to nickle-metal hydride batteries, a lithium-polymer unit can deliver the same power with 20 to 30 percent less weight, 40 percent less volume and 10 percent improved efficiency. They also hold their charge 1.25 times longer. Compared to the more advanced lithium-ion battery, Hyundai claims its system has a higher energy density, lower manufacturing cost and it can withstand more charging cycles. In total, Hyundai says the lithium-polymer battery is tested to run maintenance free for 10 years and 150,000 miles.

The lithium-polymer battery is also quite light, weighing just 95.9 lbs and due to its compact size doesn’t intrude as much on the cargo compartment – the battery being located behind the rear seats. As a result the Sonata Hybrid retains 10.7 cubic feet of cargo room, compared to the standard model’s 16.4 cu.ft-. rating. The battery’s weight, when combined with the Sonata’s overall light chassis, results in the lowest curb weight of any vehicle in the segment at 3,457 lbs. That’s 263 lbs less than the Fusion Hybrid.

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Distinguishing the Hybrid model from the rest of the Sonata lineup is a unique front-end design, which Hyundai has estimated will get an impressive 0.25 drag coefficient – the same as the current Prius. The Sonata Hybrid will also stand out from its gasoline-powered siblings thanks to special paint.

Inside the Hybrid model will come with unique interior colors and seat fabrics and all models will get Hyundai’s new Hybrid Technology Display. Automobile information is displayed on either a standard 4.2-inch LCD screen between the odometer and tachometer or on an optional 7-inch navigation screen. Info included on the display will range from the driving mode, energy flow, battery power, average and instant fuel economy and an electric vehicle mode indicator. There’s even an Eco Level “scoring system” which works like Ford’s growing vines, although Hyundais system has a color changing sky to indicate eight different levels of fuel efficient driving.

The 2011 Sonata Hybrid is just the latest fuel efficient model from Hyundai, which is ranked by the EPA as the most fuel efficient automaker in North America and the only one with an average fleet fuel economy of over 30 mpg.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

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See more on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:55 AM

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While Ford has poured a lot of money into the Lincoln brand over the past few years, with new products and designs, the Blue Oval hasn’t seen much return on its investment. Now, however, it may just have a plan that could work: It’s called the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and it just so happens to be the most fuel efficient luxury car in America.

Ford is not only hoping the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms, but its hoping that right now it can conquest sales from Lexus. 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.

As mentioned, this is the very setup found in the Fusion, which shares its platform with the MKZ and Mercury Milan. So it’s not exactly new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive. Remember, the engine won awards in the Fusion and is still one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road with a 41/36 mpg (city/highway) rating. That being said, it out-greens the Lexus HS250h (its closest competitor) by a considerable margin.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid will also come 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, however, we doubtful the Lincoln can compare to the Lexus’ luxury and build quality not to mention the fact that the Lexus also offers some truly impressive (if expensive) technology features. What the MKZ offers, however, is better fuel economy and more usable space.

The real competitor for the MKZ Hybrid may just remain its two siblings, which have always drawn customers down market with similar product offerings at a lower price point.

One of the biggest factors will be the car’s price, which Ford says will be released later this year when the MKZ Hybrid officially goes on sale.

Lincoln will officially debut the car later today at the New York Auto Show and AutoGuide will be on hand to bring you more info and plenty of live photos.

For up-to-date New York Auto Show coverage, see the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:24 AM

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Last week we brought you several leaked photos of the new 2011 Scion tC and now we have a first full image of the car taken by a spy photographer working inside the New York Auto Show. The photo, sent to Autoblog by an anonymous shooter, shows a terribly grainy image of the new tC on stage in New York during a practice run-through of a press conference set for later today.

The Scion brand is all about being fresh and new, but the once revolutionary tC has become anything but, languishing on far longer than it ever should have without a remake. Now the remake is here, although judging from the single photo, it’s not easy to tell exactly what has changed. In fact, we felt the same way looking at the leaked teaser images.

According to the unnamed source, the 2011 tC will get a larger 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (up from a 2.4-liter), combined with a six-speed automatic gearbox with self-shifting feature and traction and stability control programs that can we switched off. Other highlights include a wider track and judging from the earlier photos, it looks as though the overhangs are much smaller, resulting in a more balance driving experience. Also included are 18-inch wheels, more rear headroom, well-bolstered seats and a thick flat-bottom steering wheel.

AutoGuide will be on hand with live coverage of the New York Auto Show starting March 31st.

See all the live updates by hitting the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

[Source: Autoblog]

 |  Mar 30 2010, 11:43 PM

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Suzuki has released full details and images of its new Kizashi Sport model ahead of the car’s debut at the New York Auto Show. The new mid-size sedan from the Japanese automaker is already quite handsome, but in Sport trim it’s a real looker.

Sport models get a new front fascia with chrome accents and a lower grille, as well as side skirts with chrome accenting, a trunk lip spoiler and special light-weight 18-inch wheels. Those wheels with some lower profile rubber should help improve handling on an already dynamic platform, as will a 10mm lower ride height. Interior updates include a new sport steering wheel and a black leather interior with contrasting stitching on the leather seats, shifter and e-brake handle.

What isn’t included in the new package is a more powerful V6 engine, which was rumored to be unveiled at the New York show. Still, with 185-hp already, the 4-cylinder is enough to get by on.

The new Sport package will be available on GTS and SLS trim levels starting in August. No pricing has been released, but we can expect a few thousand extra on top of the base price. Currently, a top-level SLS model ranges from $24,499 for a front-drive setup with a manual transmission to $26,899 for an all-wheel drive setup with a CVT transmission.

We’ll be sure to bring you more on the car, as well as live photos, when Suzuki unwraps the new Sport package at the New York Auto Show later today.

Click the link below for live NY Auto Show updates

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 30 2010, 10:03 PM

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At a private event held on the eve of the New York Auto Show we just got our first close up look of the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon concept car. When it does go on sale later this year the production model won’t be quite as lavish inside. After all, the rear seats of the concept feature a tremendous amount of Alcantara – which looks deliciously good and would be nice to see on a production model. But that’s just not realistic. Heck, there’s even Alcantara coating the dash panels that are covered by the doors. Unfortunately, however, some of the switchgear is starting to look a bit old and that is sure to carry over to the street car.

As for the rest of the vehicle, it should remain pretty much intact all the way to the assembly line, offering a compelling alternative to the Mercedes E63 Wagon. While we doubt how many of these vehicles Cadillac will be able to sell in North America we were assured that it doesn’t cost the company much to build a V version of the wagon and so they decided to add it to the lineup. Initially we thought the car might be aimed more towards the European market where uber-wagons are appreciated, but Cadillac PR Rep David Caldwell assured us that wasn’t the case, as Cadillac’s market penetration is still too small in Europe to design a model specifically to fill a need (or should we say want) there.

Cadillac will still sell the car in Europe and the Middle East, but the primary target consumer is in the U.S.

Like the rest of the CTS-V models, the Sport Wagon gets the same incredibly powerful supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with 556-hp and 551 ft lbs of torque – which we love so much in the sedan. It also gets the now-trademark massive front grille, Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires and Magnetic Ride Control. Oh, and like the rest of the CTS-V models, Caddy has made the decision to offer both a six-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission.

Cadillac hasn’t released any performance numbers, but with the Sedan rated at just under four seconds to 60 mph, we expect a tick over that time in wagon form. That’s a small price to pay for the functionality of 25.4 cubic feet of cargo room with a total of 58 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat. That’s of course putting aside the less practical 14/19 mpg (city/highway) rating.

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 30 2010, 6:04 PM

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Nissan has officially debuted the new Juke “Sport Cross” compact crossover at a private event on the eve of the New York Auto Show. The new Juke model has bizarre and controversial styling that doesn’t need to be explained, but several other features of the vehicle are worth a mention. For starters, the car is the first Nissan product to feature gasoline direct-injection and turbocharging, helping it deliver 180+ hp and 170+ ft-lbs of torque from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Also of note is the high-tech torque-vectoring all-wheel drive setup, that can not only distribute power 50:50 front to rear, but can split the power between the rear wheels.

Both a six-speed manual transmission model (FWD only) and a CVT transmission will be offered. Other highlights include Nissan’s new I-CON system, with a controller for the climate control system that also doubles as a selector different driving modes. Drivers can choose from an Eco model, Normal mode and Sport mode, each of which will adjust the throttle, transmission and steering response settings.

Additional features (standard and optional) include leather seats, a backup camera, Nissan’s Intelligent Key with pus button ignition, navigation, a power moonroof and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).

The car was just unveiled in downtown Manhattan at the Rockefeller Center and we’re headed there now to bring you live photos. [*UPDATE*] Below you will find our photos from the Rockefeller Center unveiling of the Juke. A Nissan representative explained to us that the company didn’t have time to prepare a full U.S. spec model and so the one being shown in New York is actually the very same red European model we saw in Geneva – complete with right-hand drive. Our impressions were that the Juke is really more of a two-seater with room for two children in the rear. Nissan hasn’t released any cargo capacity numbers but we don’t expect much as the trunk is quite small. This info might sound disappointing for a crossover, but Nissan says it really aims this vehicle more at the hatchback buyer and so the diminished space isn’t a big of an issue. [*UPDATE*]

The Juke joins Nissan’s lineup as the smallest crossover offered and will go on sale this Fall.

See what’s being discussed on JukeForums.com now!

GALLERY: Nissan Juke Debuts at New York Auto Show

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 29 2010, 9:03 PM

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After announcing the debut of the 2011 Impreza WRX models at the New York Auto Show later this week, Subaru has now teased the the updated STI model. To be more precise, Subaru hasn’t actually said anything about an STI, but it has released the above photo and a simple phrase: “The wing is back!”

We don’t have to be investigative journalists to see that Subaru is referring to past STI models and their massive wings – particularly notable of late on sedan models. So could this mean the return of the STI sedan? Quite possibly.

The bigger news, however, is still to come. After all, with Subaru announcing the 2011 WRX would get the STIs wide-body, the STI will need to take performance to an even higher level. So what does Subaru have in store? An even wider body? More power?

We’ll be sure to bring you all the details on the 2011 STI as soon as we know with live coverage of the 2010 New York Auto Show starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after March 31st for live updates from the show:

2010 New York Auto Show

 |  Mar 29 2010, 8:34 PM

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Lincoln will debut a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show later this week, according to a report by The Detroit News. No details on the hybrid Lincoln are available, but it’s expected to share the same hybrid format used in the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, where it gets 41/36 mpg (city/highway) and can operate on electric power at speeds up to 47 mph.

The MKZ Hybrid will be the first hybrid in the Lincoln lineup and Ford hopes it will be an attractive offer to those in search of a luxury hybrid. Currently, affordable luxury hybrids are rate, with the only other competitor being the Lexus HS250h, which only gets 35/34 mpg (city/highway).

Unfortunately for Ford, the company only has a limited number of hybrid drivetrains that it can produce.  That means every Lincoln MKZ Hybrid built is a Ford Fusion Hybrid that isn’t built. Fortunately for Ford, until it can produce more hybrid drivetrains, the higher dollar value of the Lincoln should equate to higher profits.

The real question will be if hybrid Lincolns, like the rest of the Lincoln lineup, sell at all.

We’ll be sure to bring you more details with full 2010 New York Auto Show coverage starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after March 31st for live updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

[Source: The Detroit News]

 |  Mar 29 2010, 9:50 AM

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Along with a new 40-mpg highway Cruze Eco model, Chevrolet will debut an RS sport appearance package for the 2011 Cruze at the New York Auto Show. The package consists of a new front fascia, fog lights, side skits and a rear spoiler. Inside, additions include chrome accent rings instead of the standard silver ones, as well as new opaque cluster bezels that allow the ice blue backlighting to glow through.

Chevy has said the new RS sport appearance package will be available on the mid-level LT trim and top-level LTZ trim, both of which come standard with Chevy’s new EcoTec 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 138-hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque.

“For customers who want even more personality and presence in their vehicle, the RS appearance package builds on the already bold face and coupe-like proportions of the Cruze,” said Michael Simcoe, executive director, North American Exterior Design.

Set to debut at the New York Auto Show later this week, be sure to check back then when AutoGuide brings you live coverage starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after the 31st for live NY Auto Show updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: Chevy Cruze RS Appearance Package

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 29 2010, 6:39 AM

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It’s been a terrible sales flop and even senior staff will tell you what a failure its been, but that isn’t going to stop Mercedes from rolling out a face-lifted version of the R-Class at the New York Auto Show later this week. Debuting as a 2011 model, the overall shape is still very much the same, but the front end gets quite a makeover in keeping with the newer and more angular Mercedes designs of late. Included in the update are more angular headlights and a more upright grille with quad-foglights, while out back the taillights and rear bumper get a tweak.

Inside there don’t appear to be many changes, but we expect Mercedes to announce a long list of safety improvements, like are currently offered on the new E-Class. As for engines, no real changes are set for the 2011 model with Merc offering both the R350 4MATIC model with its lacklustre 268-hp V6 and the R350 BlueTEC with 210-hp and 400 ft-lbs of torque.

With the debut of the 2011 R-Class’s officially scheduled for the New York Auto Show later this week, be sure to check back then when AutoGuide brings you live coverage starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after the 31st for live NY Auto Show updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Leaked Images

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GALLERY: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Official Images

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[Source: eMercedesBenz]

 |  Mar 29 2010, 6:12 AM

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Several photos of the new Infiniti QX56 have leaked online, looking expectantly similar to its recently unveiled Middle East cousin, the Nissan Patrol. The makeover does big things for the big luxury SUV, which always had awkward proportions. The overall look of the massive truck is now more swoopy and in line with the rest of the brand’s design language. But don’t worry QX lovers, it’s still muscularly large and it keeps its Escalade-like front grille.

No official details have been released yet but considering the “56″ in the name still, it’s no surprise that we’ll see the return of the 5.6-liter V8 engine. That being said, it’s sure to put out the same 400-hp and 405 ft-lbs of torque as offered in the Nissa Patrol. In addition, we expect a seven-speed automatic transmission that will not only improve acceleration but significantly reduce fuel consumption. Other highlights are sure to include four-wheel drive with several different settings (selectable by the driver) and a sophisticated hydraulic anti-roll system.

With the QX’s debut officially scheduled for the New York Auto Show later this week, be sure to check back then when AutoGuide brings you live coverage starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after the 31st for live NY Auto Show updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Infiniti QX56

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[Source: 4WheelsNews]

 |  Mar 29 2010, 12:01 AM

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It’s finally here! Almost. Cadillac has just released full details and several enticing photos of a CTS-V Sport Wagon concept that will debut at the New York Auto Show later this week. The production version has also been confirmed with sales beginning later this year in North America. Cadillac will then offer the car in Europe, competing against cars like the RS6 Avant and Mercedes E63 AMG Estate. It will also be offered in the Middle East.

Like the rest of the CTS-V models, this wagon will get the same incredibly powerful supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with 556-hp and 551 ft lbs of torque – which we love so much in the sedan (reviewed here).

The V Wagon will join the sedan and coupe models and follow the same pattern, offering a massive front grille, Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires and Magnetic Ride Control. Oh, and like the rest of the CTS-V models, Caddy has made the decision to offer both a six-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission.

Cadillac hasn’t released any performance numbers, but with the Sedan rated at just under four seconds to 60 mph, we expect a tick over that time in wagon form. That’s a small price to pay for the functionality of 25.4 cubic feet of cargo room with a total of 58 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat. That’s of course putting aside the less practical 14/19 mpg (city/highway) rating.

We’ll be sure to bring you plenty of photos of the concept car with live coverage of the 2010 New York Auto Show starting March 31st. We’re eager to get a look at those rear 285s on a wagon and even more eager to drive the beast – especially as Cadillac was able to retain a healthy weight distribution of 52/48 front to rear.

For more info on the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon concept after its North American premiere, click the link below on or after March 31st.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 28 2010, 10:18 PM

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After first showing its new Cruze compact sedan at the LA Auto Show last year, Chevy has now announced a new Cruze Eco model will be offered with a best-in-class 40-mpg highway rating. The car is set to make its world premiere at the New York Auto Show later this week.

To achieve this amazing fuel economy the Cruze Eco gets a short list of modifications including a lower front airdam, rear spoiler, underbody panels and a lower ride height to improve aerodynamics. The uper grille now has more closed space to improve aerodynamics, while the lower portion of the front grille features an “air shutter” that closes at higher speeds. Finally, the Eco trim level will get special lightweight aluminum 17-inch wheels and ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.

Under the hood, the Cruze Eco will use Chevy’s new turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque.

No city fuel economy numbers have been released and Chevy says that to start only a six-speed manual transmission model will be offered, with longer gears to deliver the 40-mpg rating. Chevy claims the car will hit 60 mph in a Prius-like 10 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission Eco model will be offered, but Chevy isn’t claiming 40-mpg highway… yet.

“The Cruze Eco delivers hybrid-like efficiency without the price tag,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. VP of Chevrolet marketing. “Along with the Volt electric vehicle, it demonstrates how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free.”

AutoGuide will bring you more on the Cruze Eco with live coverage of the NY Auto Show starting March 31st. Click the link below on or after the 31st for live NY Auto Show updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: Chevy Cruze Eco

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 26 2010, 10:59 AM

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Hyundai has just released the above teaser image of the Sonata Hybrid, which will get its world premiere at the New York Auto Show next week. The new 2011 Sonata (reviewed here) already has quite the sleek profile, but this hybrid version aims to give an aggressive and sporty appeal to cars in the hybrid segment.

And while it seems to share to visual resemblance with the new Sonata, it looks mostly identical (at least from this teaser shot) to the i-Flow concept, recently unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. The i-Flow is said to inspire the European version of the new Sonata and it would seem as though the hybrid Sonata will share that look.

As for the Hybrid Sonata’s engine, Hyundai has released no info on the powerplant other than that it will use a lithium-polymer battery. We’ve heard two possible options, the first using the company’s 2.4-liter GDI Theta II engine, while the other could use the Blue-Will Concept’s 1.6-liter direct injection engine. The later, Hyundai claims, is capable of 50-55 mpg.

We’ll bring you more on the Sonata Hybrid as well as Hyundai’s other New York Auto Show premieres (a turbocharged model and the Equus luxury sedan) with live coverage starting March 31st.

Hit the link below starting on the 31st for our live updates from the NY Auto Show:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: Hyundai i-Flow Concept

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2011 Scion tC Teasers Leaked Ahead of New York Auto Show Debut

ScionDimension website launched to inform fans about new products, tease new cars and stream Scion's NY Auto Show press conference

 |  Mar 25 2010, 2:36 PM

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Earlier today we reported on a story that Scion would unveil a new Toyota-based iQ model at the New York Auto Show. Now TheCollegeDriver.com is claiming to have several sneak peek images of the 2011 Scion tC – the second-generation version of the flagship car in the Scion brand. The site also says this new car will be unveiled at the NY Auto Show next week.

At first glance the above photo looks almost entirely like the current tC, but after closer inspection its obvious that the front wheels seem to have been pushed much further forward, helping reduce overhangs and improve handling. Regardless, the photos certainly seem to show an evolutionary approach – which is a good thing, as the tC was a handsome coupe to begin with. A few other photos have also leaked out, but they don’t show much other than a shiftable automatic transmission.

We contacted Scion and they won’t confirm the tC or iQ. They did, however, tell us about a new website called ScionDimension.com which will tease photos of a car (or cars) ahead of the New York Auto Show, starting March 26th. The site also has a place to sing up to get more info and a downloadable widget to give you more info on new Scion products. It will also serve as a portal to get photos and information on whatever is unveiled in New York. Plus, it will host streaming video of the unveiling live on March 31st.

Visit the Scion Dimension site here: ScionDimension.com

AutoGuide will also bring you full New York Auto Show coverage starting March 31st, so stay tuned. For our live coverage, click the link below starting March 31st:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Scion tC Sneak Peek

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[Source: TheCollegeDriver]

 |  Mar 25 2010, 1:14 PM

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The last of the major auto shows for this season, the New York Auto Show marks the return of Spring, when those who don’t live in warmer climates can stop looking at cars and start driving them again.

Last but certainly not least, the NY show is an important venue for luxury brands to debut their wares in front of one of the wealthiest audiences in the world. As a result automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz often show some impressive hardware. For 2010 BMW has promised the 2011 5 Series, the facelifted 2011 3 Series, 335is, 2011 X5 and Alina B7 xDrive. Mercedes is still keeping quiet, but is rumored to be showing the SLS AMG GT3 race car.

Important premieres set for this year’s show include: the Nissan Juke, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX, Infiniti QX56, MINI Countryman, Hyundai Sonata V6 and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai Equus, Lexus CT200h, Acura TSX Sport Wagon, BMW 335is, Suzuki Kizashi V6, 2011 Kia Optima, 2011 Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 2011 Porsche Cayenne, Scion iQ and the Aston Martin Rapide.

See after the jump for a short preview or see our full 2010 New York Auto Show Preview by clicking the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show Preview

Also, don’t forget to check out AutoGuide’s live New York Auto Show coverage starting March 31st, by clicking the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show News Coverage

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 25 2010, 7:46 AM

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The production version of the Scion iQ will make its debut at the New York Auto Show next week reports Bnet. Shown at the same show last year, but in concept form (above) we don’t expect the road-ready car to be nearly so wild.

Instead, the iQ is likely to look similar to the Toyota version of the car (the original), which is currently sold overseas. And considering that version is already quite funky looking, it should suit Scion’s youth-appeal brand just fine.

As for the engine, expect the U.S. Scion model to get the most powerful engine offered in Europe – a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder with 99-hp. That might not seem like much but with how small the iQ is, it should provide peppy performance. In fact, the iQ, which is technically a 3.5-seater (three adults and a child), is roughly the size of the Smart for-two.

Scion has yet to confirm Bnets’s report and we’ve heard rumors of a different model debuting in NY City. It’s likely we won’t know for sure until next week at Scion’s NY Auto Show press conference. We’ll be sure to bring you all the details and photos with full coverage of the NY Auto Show starting March 31st.

Click here for live coverage of the NY Auto Show starting March 31st.

[*Update*] Since publishing this story we’ve had the chance to contact Scion. While we didn’t learn anything about the NY debuts, they did tell us about a new website called ScionDimension.com which will tease photos of a car (or cars) ahead of the New York Auto Show, starting March 26th. The site also has a place to sign up to get more info and a downloadable widget to give you more info on new Scion products. It will also serve as a portal to get photos and information on whatever is unveiled in New York. Plus, it will host streaming video of the unveiling live on March 31st. [*Update*]

Visit the Scion Dimension site here: ScionDimension.com

And get more Scion iQ info at IQ-Forums.com

GALLERY: Scion iQ Concept

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GALLERY: Toyota iQ

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[Source: Bnet]

 |  Mar 25 2010, 6:50 AM

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With the New York Auto Show kicking off next week, we’ve received info from pretty much every automaker about what vehicle or vehicles they intend to display – except Mercedes. Thanks to German auto rag Bild, however, we now know that the star attraction for the tri-star brand will be SLS AMG GT3 race car.

Leaked online earlier this week, many of the details of the GT3 race car aren’t clear. What we do know is that the car gets some wild new bodywork using lots of carbon fiber, with a large front splitter, vented hood, a racing diffuser and massive rear spoiler. Set to race in the 2011 FIA GT3 Series in Europe, Mercedes does not have any curb weight numbers yet and says the FIA will likely determine how big and how powerful a version of the stock car’s 563-hp 6.2-liter V8 the race car gets.

“Thanks to uncompromising lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics, the SLS AMG provides an outstanding basis for a highly competitive racing car. This exciting GT3 version is our response to strong customer demand for a car designed for these attractive motor sports series. Once again, it demonstrates AMG’s huge experience gained in more than 40 years of motor sports, and its great expertise in the development of unique high-performance cars,” says Volker Mornhinweg, the man in charge of Mercedes’ AMG division.

If what Bild claims is true, then we’ll be sure to bring you plenty of photos and (hopefully) more information on the SLS AMG GT3 from the New York Auto Show with live coverage starting March 31st.

And with a GT3 race car announced, let the rumors of a track-focused SLS AMG GT3 road car begin!

See our live 2010 New York Auto Show coverage, starting March 31st by following the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3

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[Source: Bild via Car&Driver]

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 24 2010, 9:18 PM

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Porsche has just announced that it will debut, for the first time on American soil, the all-new 2011 Cayenne SUV at the New York Auto Show. Several new Cayenne models will be unveiled including the Cayenne S Hybrid, the first hybrid from the legendary sports car maker.

The Cayenne S Hybrid gets 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.

On display next to the Hybrid model will be the Cayenne S with a 400-hp 4.8-liter V8 as well as the Turbo with a 500-hp twin-turbo V8. Porsche will also show the Panamera, 911 Turbo Cabriolet and the new Boxster Spyder.

We’ll be sure to bring you full details on the second-generation 2011 Cayenne models with live coverage of the New York Auto Show starting March 31st.

GALLERY: 2011 Porsche Cayenne

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

New York Preview: 2011 5 Series the Star Attraction for BMW at NY Auto Show

Additional premieres to include facelifted 3 Series, 335is, 2011 X5 and Alpina B7 xDrive

 |  Mar 24 2010, 12:43 PM

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BMW‘s all-new 2011 5 Series will be the main attraction at the German automaker’s display at the 2010 New York Auto Show, joined by four other models, all of which are world premieres. The new 5 Series is a North American premiere after it was first shown at the Geneva Auto Show just a few weeks ago. The rest of the list includes the new facelifted 3 Series, the 335is Coupe and Convertible, as well as the 2011 X5 and Alpina B7 xDrive.

The new 5 Series will arrive in north America is either a 535 or 550, the former making around 300-hp from a single twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six, while the latter will produce 400-hp from a twin-turbo V8. A redesigned X5 for 2011 shares the same engines and comes with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The diesel X5 will also remain an option.

In the 3 Series range, BMW will show a mid-cycle update for the car, with a new single-turbo inline-six (same as in the new 5 Series) making 300-hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque that is both more responsive and more efficient. A new higher-performance 335is will also be on display using an up-rated version of the old twin-turbo inline-six with 320-hp and 332 ft-lbs of torque. An overboost function will also permit short bursts of 370 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, but BMW will offer (for the first time ever on a non-M 3 Series), it’s new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. 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.

Finally, BMW will show the xDrive version of the Alina B7 sedan (based on the new 7 Series). A rear-drive version was first shown at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, making 500-hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque from the car’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. With all the improvements of the new 7 Series (and then some) the Alina B7 (in rear-drive form) ca hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It should also be priced close to the rear drive model, with a standard wheelbase at $122,875 and the extended wheelbase at $126,775.

AutoGuide will bring you full coverage of all the New York Auto Show premieres starting March 31st.

GALLERY: BMW Premieres at the 2010 NY Auto Show

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 24 2010, 9:44 AM

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Kia has just released a sketch showing the interior of the upcoming 2011 Optima [Magentis] mid-size sedan, ahead of its debut at the New York Auto Show next week. The sketch shows an overall sporty design with well-bolstered seats and a driver-oriented cockpit. Highlights include a three-spoke steering wheel, stitched leather seats and navigation system with a sizable screen.

As for the rest of the car, Kia has already said it is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, which should result in a more comfortable ride, better handling and more interior room. Based on the same platform as the newly released Hyundai Sonata, the Optima doesn’t have quite the coupe-like look, with a rather high Lexus IS-like rear end. It features Kia’s “tiger” front end design with a flat nose and large grille, while LED lights are used on the bumper.

While no powertrain info has been provided, it’s safe to assume that much like the Sonata (reviewed here), it will receive a GDI (gasoline direct injection) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 198-hp and a six-speed transmission. In the Sonata that engine gets 22/35 mpg (city/highway). With Hyundai set to unveil a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged Sonata and a Hybrid at the NY show, it’s likely that Kia will do the same either in NY or soon after.

Kia claims the new Optima will have class-leading safety and luxury equipment.

AutoGuide will be on hand in New York for the official debut, with live coverage starting March 31st.

GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima

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[Source: Kia-World.net]