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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 26 2011, 10:45 PM

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There are a lot of important points to make about the all-new 2012 Kia Rio Sedan, but the most surprising is that it will be the first in the sub-compact segment to feature start-stop technology. Called Idle Stop and Go (ISG for short), the Rio will completely shut off its gasoline engine when at a stop and immediately restart it just before the gas pedal is pressed.

Powered by the same 1.6-liter direct-injection engine found in the new 2012 Hyundai Accent, the Rio also gets the same 30-mpg city and 40-mpg highway rating. Those EPA ratings don’t include technology like ISG, however, so real-world fuel economy could exceed the EPA estimates.

And as impressive as those fuel economy numbers are, the Rio doesn’t loose out in power either, making 138-hp and sharing the title of the most potent engine in the sub-compact class.

Kia continues to deliver in the design department as well, offering more style in the sub-compact segment than you’d expect. The Rio sedan even gets a slightly different front end to its Rio5 hatchback counterpart.

Available in three trim levels LX models include 15-inch steel wheels and not much else, while the EX trim brings features like power locks, windows and keyless entry as well as Bluetooth. The top-level SX trim includes fog lights, LED daytime running lights, dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, turn signal indicators, a leather wrapped steering wheel, the Microsoft UVO infotainment system with a rear-view camera and 17-inch wheels.

Options include that ISG setup as a part of the Eco Package, while SX models can be had with the Premium Package that delivers navigation, a push-button start, leather heated seats and a moonroof.

Official pricing has yet to be released, but the Rio will start at under $13,000.

GALLERY: 2012 Kia Rio Sedan

2012 Kia Rio Sedan 01.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 04.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 10.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 11.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 16.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 08.JPG

 |  Apr 26 2011, 10:34 PM

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After re-launching in North America last year, Fiat has just introduced its second model to our shores, the 500 Cabrio. A ‘convertible’ version of the 500 hatchback, the Cabrio is a different sort of drop-top as it retains the factory roof structure, but with a retractable material top instead of sheetmetal. Because of that structure, the 500 Cabrio is unique in that it offers the exact same interior room as the original hatchback. Yet another advantage is that the material roof can be operated at speed of up to 60 mph.

Priced at $19,500 it retails for a $4,000 premium over the standard model, Fiat brand boss Laura Suave, introducing the car today at the New York Auto Show, says it’s the smallest price differential between a standard model and its cabriolet version on the market. Two versions will be offered, an entry-level Pop and a top-trim Lounge.

As with the 500 hatchback there will be plenty of customization options from everything to interior and exterior colors, as well as accessories, while the Cabrio also gets the choice of three material top colors: red, tan and black.

Much of the rest of the car remains the same with a 101-hp 1.4-liter engine.

GALLERY: Fiat 500 Cabrio

Fait 500 Cabrio 04.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 05.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 06.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 07.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 09.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 11.JPG

Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com

 |  Apr 26 2011, 10:33 PM

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The car the launched Kia‘s transformation from an auto industry back-marker to a legitimate brand, the Soul has received a list of mid-cycle upgrades for 2012.

New front and rear fascias give a cleaner look to the Soul, while a new hood design has also been incorporated, all of which works to give the car a smoother exterior appearance. Perhaps more noticeable are new LED taillights and even LED daytime running lights. Plus, new for 2012 are two additional paint colors, Canyon and Moss. Inside there are some new items depending on trim level, with the biggest news being the UVO Sync-style system for the Soul! and Soul sport, which comes as part of a Premium Package with leather, heated seats, Nav, climate control and a push-button ignition.

The most significant changes come under the hood, however, with a new 1.6-liter direct-injection engine on base models, delivering 135-hp (up 11%) and 121 lb-ft of torque. Thanks also to new six-speed manual transmission, fuel economy is up to 28/34 mpg. Those in search of a bit more pep can upgrade to a 2.0-liter engine that makes 160-hp (up 13%) and 143 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the added power comes with little drawback by way of fuel economy with a rating of 27/33-mpg, with your choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

GALLERY: 2012 Kia Soul

2012 Kia Soul 01.JPG2012 Kia Soul 04.JPG2012 Kia Soul 05.JPG2012 Kia Soul 09.JPG2012 Kia Soul 11.JPG2012 Kia Soul 10.JPG

 |  Apr 24 2011, 11:33 AM

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A much larger event than in past years, the 2011 New York Auto Show had important debuts from most every automaker. Most notable among the reveals was the Scion FR-S sports car that will go on sale in the U.S. next year.

Small cars played prominently with a new Nissan Versa, Honda Civic, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500 Cabriolet, Kia Soul, Kia Rio Sedan, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec and even a new compact car concept from Mercedes, the A-Class Concept.

High performance models were still represented with the Chrysler 300 SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, plus Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe.

Plus, this year’s 2011 World Car of the Year award went to the Nissan Leaf.

See all the videos after the jump and get all the 2011 New York Auto Show news here:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 23 2011, 9:03 AM

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Debuting the new 2012 Impreza at the New York Auto Show, Subaru has followed through on a larger plan to deliver vehicles that better suit the demands of customers, with toned-down styling and more interior room. Plus, like all new compact cars, fuel economy has increased significantly.

Billing the car as the most fuel efficient AWD car to be offered in North America, the Impreza will get 27-mpg in the city and 36-mpg on the highway. That’s a few clicks short of most competitors, but the Impreza is unique in offering AWD.

Power comes from a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine with 148-hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and comes with either a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic.

See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 New York Auto Show coverage here.

GALLERY: 2012 Subaru Impreza

Impreza 007.jpgImpreza 005.jpgImpreza 004.jpgImpreza 001.jpgImpreza 002.jpgImpreza 003.jpg

 |  Apr 22 2011, 5:10 PM

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Joining the C-Class, C-Class Coupe and C63 AMG Sedan, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe is powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 from the sedan, making 451-hp and a serious 443 lb-ft of torque and can hit 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

But if you’ve got an AMG-type personality, then the AMG Performance package is the way to go with a modified engine that delivers 481-hp. Other upgrades include even more capable AMG brakes (painted red), a carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler, and an AMG steering wheel coated in Alcantara. AMG Performance Package equipped models shave a tenth of a second off to 60 mph, and raise the top speed from 155-mph to 174.

All models get a wider track with a more aggressive aero package, an upgraded suspension package, more direct steering, plus big 18-inch alloy wheels coated in 235/40/18 tires up front and 255/35/18 tires in the rear.

Keeping those tires gripped to the road should be a challenge, and making smokey burnouts all the more easy to achieve is a three-stage Electronic Stability Program that can be shut completely off.

For all the New York Auto Show news, see our coverage page here.

GALLERY: Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe

Mercedes C63 AMG 01.JPGMercedes C63 AMG 03.JPGMercedes C63 AMG 04.JPGMercedes C63 AMG 12.JPGMercedes C63 AMG 14.JPGMercedes C63 AMG 13.JPG

 |  Apr 21 2011, 8:00 PM

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Calling it, “the most powerful and technologically advanced Jeep ever,” Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley today unveiled the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the New York Auto Show. And he isn’t kidding.

Transforming the capable off-roader to a serious street machine, the team at SRT revamped the entire package to deliver sports car statistics. Impressive numbers include a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds and a quarter mile time in the mid 13 second range. And it’s not just a straight-line monster either, with a 0.9 G rating on the skidpad and a 60-0 braking distance of just 116 feet.

To achieve all that performance Jeep completely reworked the Grand Cherokee with a new 465-hp 6.4-liter V8, that makes an equally incredible 465 lb-ft of torque. Its been fitted under the hood of the GC chassis that’s been dropped one inch on new 20-inch wheels and features an adaptive suspension as well as the Quadra-trac AWD setup that can deliver up to 100 percent of the power to one rear wheel.

Adding plenty of style is an aggressive aero package, LED running lights, a sculpted hood with air vents. And inside there’s a custom interior with leather and Alcantara seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and real carbon fiber trim.

GALLERY: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 01.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 02.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 03.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 05.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 07.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 08.JPG

 |  Apr 21 2011, 1:15 PM

2012 Kia Rio Sedan 12.JPG

There are a lot of important points to make about the all-new 2012 Kia Rio Sedan, but the most surprising is that it will be the first in the sub-compact segment to feature start-stop technology. Called Idle Stop and Go (ISG for short), the Rio will completely shut off its gasoline engine when at a stop and immediately restart it just before the gas pedal is pressed.

Powered by the same 1.6-liter direct-injection engine found in the new 2012 Hyundai Accent, the Rio also gets the same 30-mpg city and 40-mpg highway rating. Those EPA ratings don’t include technology like ISG, however, so real-world fuel economy could exceed the EPA estimates.

And as impressive as those fuel economy numbers are, the Rio doesn’t loose out in power either, making 138-hp and sharing the title of the most potent engine in the sub-compact class.

Kia continues to deliver in the design department as well, offering more style in the sub-compact segment than you’d expect. The Rio sedan even gets a slightly different front end to its Rio5 hatchback counterpart.

Available in three trim levels LX models include 15-inch steel wheels and not much else, while the EX trim brings features like power locks, windows and keyless entry as well as Bluetooth. The top-level SX trim includes fog lights, LED daytime running lights, dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, turn signal indicators, a leather wrapped steering wheel, the Microsoft UVO infotainment system with a rear-view camera and 17-inch wheels.

Options include that ISG setup as a part of the Eco Package, while SX models can be had with the Premium Package that delivers navigation, a push-button start, leather heated seats and a moonroof.

Official pricing has yet to be released, but the Rio will start at under $13,000.

GALLERY: 2012 Kia Rio

2012 Kia Rio Sedan 13.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 03.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 05.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 10.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 08.JPG2012 Kia Rio Sedan 17.JPG

 |  Apr 21 2011, 1:00 PM

Fait 500 Cabrio 04.JPG

After re-launching in North America last year, Fiat has just introduced its second model to our shores, the 500 Cabrio. A ‘convertible’ version of the 500 hatchback, the Cabrio is a different sort of drop-top as it retains the factory roof structure, but with a retractable material top instead of sheetmetal. Because of that structure, the 500 Cabrio is unique in that it offers the exact same interior room as the original hatchback. Yet another advantage is that the material roof can be operated at speed of up to 60 mph.

Priced at $19,500 it retails for a $4,000 premium over the standard model, Fiat brand boss Laura Suave, introducing the car today at the New York Auto Show, says it’s the smallest price differential between a standard model and its cabriolet version on the market. Two versions will be offered, an entry-level Pop and a top-trim Lounge.

As with the 500 hatchback there will be plenty of customization options from everything to interior and exterior colors, as well as accessories, while the Cabrio also gets the choice of three material top colors: red, tan and black.

Much of the rest of the car remains the same with a 101-hp 1.4-liter engine.

GALLERY: Fiat 500 Cabrio

Fait 500 Cabrio 05.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 06.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 11.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 10.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 07.JPGFait 500 Cabrio 08.JPG

Read AutoGuide’s 2012 Fiat 500 Review here and get more news and info at Fiat500Owners.com

 |  Apr 21 2011, 12:02 PM

2012 Kia Soul 02.JPG

The car the launched Kia‘s transformation from an auto industry back-marker to a legitimate brand, the Soul has received a list of mid-cycle upgrades for 2012.

New front and rear fascias give a cleaner look to the Soul, while a new hood design has also been incorporated, all of which works to give the car a smoother exterior appearance. Perhaps more noticeable are new LED taillights and even LED daytime running lights. Plus, new for 2012 are two additional paint colors, Canyon and Moss. Inside there are some new items depending on trim level, with the biggest news being the UVO Sync-style system for the Soul! and Soul sport, which comes as part of a Premium Package with leather, heated seats, Nav, climate control and a push-button ignition.

The most significant changes come under the hood, however, with a new 1.6-liter direct-injection engine on base models, delivering 135-hp (up 11%) and 121 lb-ft of torque. Thanks also to new six-speed manual transmission, fuel economy is up to 28/34 mpg. Those in search of a bit more pep can upgrade to a 2.0-liter engine that makes 160-hp (up 13%) and 143 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the added power comes with little drawback by way of fuel economy with a rating of 27/33-mpg, with your choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

GALLERY: 2012 Kia Soul

2012 Kia Soul 06.JPG2012 Kia Soul 11.JPG2012 Kia Soul 09.JPG2012 Kia Soul 02.JPG2012 Kia Soul 05.JPG2012 Kia Soul 10.JPG

 

 |  Apr 20 2011, 6:15 PM

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The new 2013 Malibu may have already been revealed in Shanghai, but Chevy still had one surprise in store for the car’s showing at the New York Auto Show. Before the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder model hits dealers, Chevy will first roll out an Eco model using the eAssist technology borrowed from Buick.

The “light-hybrid” tech uses a 15-hp electric motor and lithium ion battery mated to a 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder to deliver 26-mpg in the city and an incredible 38-mpg on the highway. That’s actually 1 mpg better than the Buick Regal due to better aerodynamics. Additional fuel saving features include active grille shutters that close on the highway to improve fuel economy, plus regenerative brakes and a start-stop system.

In total, Chevy claims 550 miles between fill-ups.

The new 2012 Malibu gets a new look with Camaro-inspired styling and rides on a new chassis that is 4-inches shorter between the wheels, but is over 2-inches wider overall. An all-new cockpit includes Chevrolet MyLink (the brand’s new telematics system) as well as 10 airbags and optional lane departure warning.

GALLERY: 2013 Chevy Malibu

IMG_8191.JPGIMG_8192.JPGIMG_8193.JPGIMG_8195.JPGChevroletMalibuReveal184.jp.jpgChevroletMalibuReveal146.jp.jpg

GALLERY: 2013 Chevy Malibu

2013_Malibu_ECO_016.jpg2013_Malibu_ECO_018.jpg2013_Malibu_ECO_026.jpg2013_Malibu_ECO_027.jpg2013_Malibu_ECO_028.jpg2013_Malibu_ECO_029.jpg

 |  Apr 20 2011, 3:01 PM

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The 2012 Nissan Versa does something rare, though not entirely unexpected these days: it gets bigger and gains a surprisingly slick interior, but keeps its $10k sticker.

Nissan’s smallest car gets completely redesigned to target the global market: the V platform (V for “versatile,” in Nissan marketing-speak) will be sold around the world as the Tilda, Versa, or Sunny. And like the previous model, it will still be built in Mexico.

Under the hood, the Versa gets a new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that produces 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions are a 5-speed manual and the Xtronic CVT, a revised example of Nissan’s long-standing experiments with variable transmissions that gets a broad gear ratio of 7.3:1 and an auxiliary gearbox with planetary gearing. How’s the mileage? 33-mpg combined, and a 37-mpg highway rating that isn’t bad but lags behind that of its Fiesta and Accent competitors.

During its redesign it gets 90 cubic feet of room and a trunk big enough to attract the attention of mob bosses—at 14.8 cubic feet, it is cavernous. Inside, the Versa is available with a touch navscreen, satellite radio, and standard radio aux/USB interface.

And mercifully, the styling is less frumpy than the outgoing model, inside and out—the interior gains soft curves and bulging knobs that at least don’t look as cheap, and the exterior gains some brightwork and a long rear end that belies its $10,990 price.

GALLERY: 2012 Nissan Versa at the New York Auto Show

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See video of the new Versa from New York after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 20 2011, 2:07 PM

Easily the most anticipated debut of the 2011 New York Auto Show, Scion has just released its new FR-S Concept, based on the Toyota FT-86.

Powered by a boxer 4-cylinder donated by Subaru, but using a Toyota direct-injection system Scion is promising sufficient power with “surprising” fuel economy.

Described by Scion boss Jack Hollis as the perfect car for weekend warriors, auto-crossers, drifters and track junkies, the FR-S promises an even mixture of balance, manageable power and light weight in this front-engine, rear-drive package. Helping keep in control of the vehicle, the FR-S concept does come equipped with a limited slip differential.

Based on the Toyota FT-86 II Concept, the Scion model does away with some of that cars more extravagant design features to find a perfect medium between it and the original FT-86.

Toyota’s version of the car is expected to be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show this Fall and Scion will deliver a production version of the FR-S to dealers next year!

GALLERY: Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S 03.JPGScion FR-S 04.JPGScion FR-S 06.JPGScion FR-S 13.JPGScion FR-S 15.JPGScion FR-S 06.JPG

GALLERY: Scion FR-S Official

FR-S Official

ScionConcept019.jpgFRS1_small.jpgFRS2_small.jpgConcept006.jpgConcept001.jpg

Get more Scion FR-S news and info at FR-SForum.com

See video of the FR-S after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 20 2011, 11:25 AM

Jeep Wrangler Mojave 02.JPG

It wouldn’t be an American auto show without a new special edition Jeep model. Eclipsed in its debut by the new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 today at the New York Auto Show, the Wrangler Mojave is one of the few custom Jeeps worthy of serious mention.

It’s hard not to love the sand-colored paint, inspired by the very desert itself. Based on the Sport model it gets a color-matched top as well as painted fender flares. Other additions include Sahara sidesteps and the real eye-catcher is the oversized Rubicon wheel and tire package.

Inside, the customization continues with dark saddle leather and an embossed lizard on the seats.

Get more news on all the New York Auto Show debuts here.

GALLERY: Jeep Wrangler Mojave

Jeep Wrangler Mojave 08.JPGJeep Wrangler Mojave 05.JPGJeep Wrangler Mojave 10.JPGJeep Wrangler Mojave 06.JPGJeep Wrangler Mojave 07.JPGJeep Wrangler Mojave 01.JPG

 |  Apr 20 2011, 10:59 AM

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 07.JPG

Calling it, “the most powerful and technologically advanced Jeep ever,” Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley today unveiled the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the New York Auto Show. And he isn’t kidding.

Transforming the capable off-roader to a serious street machine, the team at SRT revamped the entire package to deliver sports car statistics. Impressive numbers include a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds and a quarter mile time in the mid 13 second range. And it’s not just a straight-line monster either, with a 0.9 G rating on the skidpad and a 60-0 braking distance of just 116 feet.

To achieve all that performance Jeep completely reworked the Grand Cherokee with a new 465-hp 6.4-liter V8, that makes an equally incredible 465 lb-ft of torque. Its been fitted under the hood of the GC chassis that’s been dropped one inch on new 20-inch wheels and features an adaptive suspension as well as the Quadra-trac AWD setup that can deliver up to 100 percent of the power to one rear wheel.

Adding plenty of style is an aggressive aero package, LED running lights, a sculpted hood with air vents. And inside there’s a custom interior with leather and Alcantara seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and real carbon fiber trim.

Get more details on the new Jeep street machine here.

GALLERY: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 06.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 02.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 03.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 05.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 08.JPGJeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 04.JPG

See AutoGuide’s ‘First Look’ video from New York after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 20 2011, 9:31 AM

046_2012_Civic_Si_Coupe_14.jpg

Honda‘s Civic Si sports coupe is back for 2012, and while it may not have gained much in the horsepower stakes, the car’s one great performance shortcoming – a lack of torque – has been remedied with a new 2.4L engine that makes 31 more lb-ft of torque than the outgoing 2.0L motor.

The Civic Si now displaces 201 horsepower (a gain of 4 ponies) and 170 lb-ft of torque. Peak power is a lofty 7000 rpm, like any self-respecting Honda engine should produce, but peak torque comes at 4300 rpm, making it much more accessible in everyday situations. Returning are a 6-speed manual transmission and a mechanical limited slip differential, a combo beloved by everyone who drove the Civic Si around a racetrack.

ABS and stability control will be standard, as well a 360-watt sound system for bumping bass-heavy tunes. An XM sattelite receiver, iPod interface and Bluetooth capability will be standard as well – let’s face it, for many buyers, this aspect matters just as much as a limited-slip diff, and Honda is well aware of it. Those tech goodies come all wrapped up in a nifty new i-MID telematics system with a 5-inch screen in the dash and easy to use 5-way controller on the steering wheel. A navigation system with a 6.5″ display is optional.

The Civic Si will be available in both sedan and coupe body styles when it goes on sale priced from $22,205 for the Coupe and $22,405 for the sedan.

Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, see live photos from the reveal here.

Read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Si reveiw here.

GALLERY: 2012 Honda Civic Si

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Discuss the 9th generation Civic Si at 9thGenCivic.com

 |  Apr 20 2011, 9:31 AM

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The 2012 Civic Hybrid will have the honor of being the second most fuel efficient vehicle on the market, delivering 44 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. While not quite as fuel efficient as the Toyota Prius, the numbers are still excellent, especially considering that Honda‘s hybrid technology is a few steps behind Toyota’s.

Visually, the Civic Hybrid gets its own front grill, headlights, LED taillights, wheels and side mirrors, ostensibly in the name of improving fuel economy via aerodynamics. Lithium-ion batteries also replace the previous generations nickel-metal hydride units, with power coming from a larger 1.5L 4-cylinder engine and a hybrid motor making 27 horsepower. Combined power is 110 -hp at 5500 rpm 127 lb-ft at 1000-3500 rpm.

Like most hybrids, an information screen is present to alert the driver to fuel economy information and other relevant facts. Called i-MID it’s part of Honda’s new telematics system (similar to Ford’s MyFord Touch). Lather and navigation are optional, while a 160-watt sound system and Bluetooth is standard.

Pricing for the Civic Hybrid starts at $24,050. Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, see live photos from the reveal here.

Read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid review here.

GALLERY: 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

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Discuss the 9th generation Civic Hybrid at 9thGenCivic.com

 |  Apr 20 2011, 8:56 AM

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What you’re looking at is the updated 2013 Ford Taurus SHO and while this model might be the most attractive version of the new car, the big news is with the vehicle’s smallest engine.

As a part of a rather significant mid-cycle refresh, the 3.5-liter V6 gets a boost in power to 290-hp, making room for yet another model in the lineup… a 4-cylinder. As shocking as it may seem that a full sized sedan like the Taurus could be capably powered by a 4-cylinder, this is no regular 4-banger, but a turbocharged EcoBoost mill. Power is rated at a models 237-hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, which seems drastically underpowered by V6 standards, but might be adequate for the Taurus (only a test drive will tell). Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the car is protected to achieve 31-mpg on the highway.

The two other major changes for 2013 are with the car’s style, sporting a Mustang-inspired front end, while inside the Taurus gets Ford’s
MyFord Touch telematics system with easy to use controls and a high-gloss finish that adds plenty of value to this package.

GALLERY: 2013 Ford Taurus SHO

2013 Ford Taurus 07.JPG2013 Ford Taurus 11.JPG2013 Ford Taurus 13.JPG2013 Ford Taurus 09.JPG2013 Ford Taurus 08.JPG2013 Ford Taurus 02.JPG

 

 |  Apr 20 2011, 8:13 AM

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Twenty years ago Lexus unveiled the first GS luxury sedan sending a shot across the bow of the German luxury sports sedans of the time. The Lexus brand was just an upstart at the time and so the Japanese firm made the wise decision to contact an Italian design studio (Giugiaro Design) to sculpt the vehicle’s sheetmetal.

Fast forward two decades and the GS has become a tired shadow of its former greatness, particularly in the face of new powerhouses from BMW and Mercedes. On the eve of the New York Auto Show, Lexus has revealed the LF-Gh concept, a look not only at the future of the GS sedan, but of the Lexus brand in general.

If the oversized grille is any indication, Lexus has no intention of rolling over and playing dead in front of the Germans, but instead seems poised to attack with performance, luxury and (because it’s a hybrid Lexus) fuel economy. In fact, while many of the design cues (like the low rear bumper) are there to give the car a more serious RWD performance look, the clean lines, flush door handles and lack of side mirrors indicate a focus on aerodynamic fuel efficiency.

Click here for Full 2011 New York Auto Show coverage.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-Gh Concept

Lexus LF-Gh Concept 03.JPGLexus LF-Gh Concept 15.JPGLexus LF-Gh Concept 18.JPGLexus LF-Gh Concept 12.JPGLexus LF-Gh Concept 10.JPGLexus LF-Gh Concept 16.JPG

 |  Apr 20 2011, 7:42 AM

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The snobby older brother of the Charger SRT8, Chrysler has revealed a high performance version of its full-size sedan, the 300 SRT8. Powered by the very same 6.4-liter V8 engine it makes 465-hp and an outrageous 465 lb-ft of torque to deliver a 0-60 mph time below 5.0 seconds.

Absent is the brand’s new 8-speed auto, in favor of a trusty 5-speed auto-box from the previous gen. It does offer two transmission modes, however, with an optional Sport mode for aggressive driving.

With some aggressive yet still stylish bodywork including a custom front fascia and blacked-out grille the 300 SRT8 sits half an inch lower and rolls on 20-inch wheels. A Black Chrome package adds on some extra black trim pieces as well as some mean black wheels. Hinting at the power hidden under the hood are massive 4-inch exhaust tips.

To help keep this massive sedan stuck to the ground in the corners is an Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) system that takes into account variable like vehicle speed, steering angle, brake force and even lateral and vertical gs. And to slow the big machine there’s a massive set of Brembo brakes with 14.2 inch rotors up front and 13.8-inchers at the rear.

Inside the cabin is upgraded with real carbon fiber trim, plus there’s the 8.4-inch touch screen display that allows you to access many of the car’s tech functions and even measure performance data like 0-60 times, and lateral g-forces. And in case the V8 rumble isn’t enough for you Chrysler does offer an optional 900-watt 19-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system.

Look for live photos from the car’s reveal at the New York Auto Show today.

GALLERY: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

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 |  Apr 20 2011, 6:39 AM

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Jeep‘s previous generation Grand Cherokee spawned an on-road performance version from the Chrysler Group’s SRT division and ever since the new GC’s debut the same has been expected of the latest and greatest Jeep – especially since the reveal of the Charger SRT8 and it’s new 6.4-liter V8 engine.

Delivering a successor, Jeep has just officially announced a new Grand Cherokee SRT8 for the 2012 model year, sporting that massive V8 powerplant and 465-hp. Paired with a the brand’s AWD setup (which includes a traction control system for Auto, Sport, Track, Tow and Snow) it sprints to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. There are paddle shifters to help you stay in control of all that power, plus a high-tech stability control system can distribute 100 percent of the engine’s torque to just one wheel.

Riding on 20-inch wheels there’s the requisite bad-boy bodywork, while handling is further improved with an adaptive suspension. And to slow the behemoth down is a set of massive Brembo brakes.

Inside, upgrades include some more luxurious touches with leather and suede as well as faux carbon fiber trim pieces, as well as a large touch-screen display. There’s even a 19-speaker, 825 watt sound system – apparently the audio equivalent to the 6.4-liter V8′s power.

Plus, the SRT8 retains a 5,000 lb tow rating so you can embarrass a lot of sports sedans while towing your boat.

GALLERY: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

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See video of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 from New York after the jump:

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 |  Apr 19 2011, 9:11 PM

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The 2013 Ford Taurus was revealed Monday night on the eve of the New York Auto Show with a few styling tweaks, but the big news is the addition of Ford’s 2.0 Ecoboost engine as an alternative to their V6 engines.

With the addition of the Ecoboost, Ford expects the Taurus to return 31mpg on the highway, an impressive figure for such a hefty vehicle. The 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft rating is certainly adequate for the needs of most consumers, and we expect it to be a popular option with fuel conscious buyers. A 6-speed automatic remains the transmission of choice, while the 3.5L V6 making 290 horsepower and the SHO’s 360 horsepower Ecoboost V6 remain available.

The MyFordTouch telematics system also makes an appearance, as does a revised front end. The SHO performance model won’t get an upgraded engine just yet, but will see a more aggressive front end and new wheels. The SHO was rumored to get as much as 400-horsepower from a tweaked Ecoboost V6, but so far no announcements have been made. By going with the 4-banger, Ford is hoping to make the idea of a full-size sedan more palatable to consumers in a marketplace more concerned about gas prices than ever before, and look for them to downplay the two missing cylinders as much as they’ll use the 31 mpg rating as a selling point.

GALLERY: 2013 Ford Taurus

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Gallery: 2013 Ford Taurus Live Reveal

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See video of the car from the live reveal after the jump:

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 |  Apr 19 2011, 8:49 PM

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Twenty years ago Lexus unveiled the first GS luxury sedan sending a shot across the bow of the German luxury sports sedans of the time. The Lexus brand was just an upstart at the time and so the Japanese firm made the wise decision to contact an Italian design studio (Guigiaro Design) to sculpt the vehicle’s sheetmetal.

Fast forward two decades and the GS has become a tired shadow of its former greatness, particularly in the face of new powerhouses from BMW and Mercedes. Now, on the eve of the New York Auto Show, Lexus has revealed the LF-Gh concept, a look not only at the future of the GS sedan, but of the Lexus brand in general.

If the oversized grille is any indication, Lexus has no intention of rolling over and playing dead in front of the Germans, but instead seems poised to attack with performance, luxury and (because it’s a hybrid Lexus) fuel economy. In fact, while many of the design cues (like the low rear bumper) are there to give the car a more serious RWD performance look, the clean lines, flush door handles and lack of side mirrors indicate a focus on aerodynamic fuel efficiency.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-Gh Concept

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See video of the car from the live reveal after the jump:

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 |  Apr 19 2011, 2:15 PM

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There’s such a high-demand for limousine-like versions of cars in China that BMW builds a special extended wheelbase version of its 5 Series just for the world’s largest auto market. The Shanghai Auto Show is, therefore, the perfect venue for Rolls-Royce to roll out an extended wheelbase model of its newest model, the Ghost.

The Ghost Extended Wheelbase (EWB) stretches a total of 6.7 inches, to deliver maximum rear-seat comfort and serious luxury. Plus, it’ll make your chauffeurs job a real PITA.

In addition to the added space between the wheels there’s a new panoramic sunroof so you can admire the universe you likely own a serious portion of.

Pricing hasn’t been released, but judging by the $70,000 premium you’ll pay for a Phantom EWB over a “regular” Phantom look for the Ghost EWB to climb from $245,000 to around the $300,000 mark.

Look for live photos of the car tomorrow, with an expected debut at the New York Auto Show and see AutoGuide’s show coverage here.

GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB

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