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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.
 |  Nov 01 2011, 12:16 PM

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While AutoGuide got its first glimpse of the Ford Focus ST at the 2010 Paris Auto Show last September, this was our first chance to take a good look at the car without security guards and PR staff circling like birds of prey.

We know so far that the Focus ST will have Ford’s 2.0L Ecoboost motor displacing 247 horsepower and 260 lb-ft, with a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual clutch gearbox, along with ATE brakes and some very supportive technicolor sports seats. Peeking inside also revealed a Sony headunit that looked like it was ready for the much-loathed MyFordTouch infotainment system.

Check out AutoGuide’s coverage of the 2011 SEMA Show here

Gallery: Ford Focus ST

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 |  Nov 01 2011, 1:18 AM

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Chevrolet hosted a special event at the Wynn in Las Vegas to showcase three new muscle cars, as well as the special edition Sonics already brought to you by AutoGuide.

First up was the Chevrolet Camaro COPO concept, a preview of what Chevrolet says is their potential NHRA Eliminator class dragster. While Chevy says that the car is a concept, Ford’s Mustang Cobra Jet means that the COPO will almost certainly go into production just to make sure that Chevrolet has a dog in the fight. With a 9″ live rear axle conversion, roll cage, 2 speed Powerglide transmission and a choice of two crate motors (a supercharged 327 or a 427), the COPO could be a serious contender on the dragstrip.

Chevrolet also unveiled a special Chevelle commissioned by Dale Earnhadrt Jr, which was designed to show off their new crate motor program. Chevrolet will now offer a turnkey package featuring a motor, transmission and all wiring and ancillaries that will enable hot-rodders to simply drop in a complete drivetrain with minimal work involved.  Two 4-speed automatics will be offered with either a naturally aspirated smallblock or a blown LSA V8.

Lastly, a special edition Hot Wheels Camaro Concept, commemorating 45 years of Hot Wheels toys. The concept features a special paint treatment similar to the original die-cast cars, designed to give the Camaro a shimmering paintjob, with a process involving the entire car being chromed as well as painted.

Gallery: Chevrolet Camaro COPO, Hot Wheels Camaro Concept and Chevelle Crate Engine

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 |  Oct 28 2011, 12:45 PM

The glory days of the muscle car era may be long over, but die-hard fans of V8 powered American iron don’t have to spend countless hours restoring oxidized hulks of decades-old metal anymore.

Ford will be showing off a brand new ’65 Mustang bodyshell – yes you read that right – at the 2011 SEMA Show starting Monday, October 31st. Dynacorn International, an independent contractor used by Ford to stamp body shells, also creates brand new bodies for Ford Mustangs Chevrolet Camaro and Chevelle models as well as Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Pickups.

With the new bodyshell (which costs around $15,000) and Ford’s authorized parts dealer network, one could basically build an all-new vintage Mustang, configured as an original 1964.5, a 1965 or 1966 model. Such a car would be subject to various kit car laws, and would have to be assigned a special VIN number by one’s local government, but for the hobbyist that wants the absolute best muscle car going, there’s really no better option.

[Source: New York Times]

 |  Oct 27 2011, 4:03 PM

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Every year at the SEMA Show, Scion always impresses with a fleet of customized models from the world’s top builders. This year will be no different, as a trio of customized iQs will face off in this year’s Tuner Challenge, while Scion will also show off a custom iQ from Cartel, a tC from Gruppe S/Dynamic Autosports, an xB from 686, and the xB from the Scion Canada Tuner Challenge.

Starting with the Tuner Challenge iQs, the three projects were built by individual tuners Michael Chang, Jon Sibal and Tatsu. Starting with Chang’s iQ creation, he opted for a widebody, race-inspired look thanks to a plethora of products from Evasive Motorsports. The entire exterior was overhauled with a custom widebody kit, full with plenty of carbon fiber components. It’ll be dropped to the ground thanks to Air Runner suspension while Wilwood big brakes and Advan Racing RT wheels will be shown off on all four corners. Inside the race theme continues with a custom 6-point roll cage, Sparco EVO seats, fuel cell and more.

Sibal’s iQ RX (pictured above) sports a matte Metallic Grey with Bronze Pearl paint further accented by a modified Veilside Premier4509 body kit. Nitrous Express gives the iQ a little more punch to help spin the 18-inch HRE 567C three-piece wheels. Once again, Air Runner Suspension gives the iQ the stance it needs to be a real attention grabber while the interior packs plenty of electronics thanks to Orion. For brakes, Sibal opted for a setup from Stop Tech while the interior gets a custom job from MVDesignz.

Last but not least, competing against Sibal and Chang will be the iQ-MR by Tatsu. The first thing to catch your eye is the unique exterior paneling from Specialty Cars that truly makes this iQ different than the rest. The MR clearly hints that this iQ isn’t what you would expect from Scion – it sports a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup. A fully rebuilt, high compression motor by Mavrik Motorsports has been paired to an AEM EMS and probably packs quite the naturally aspirated punch. Axis’ Sakura wheels are seen on all four corners, sitting perfectly thanks to a set of coilovers from KW Suspension. Inside, Specialty Cars continues their expertise with a custom cage, interior paneling and a ton of Sparco goods.

The pair of xBs that will be shown off are from SR Auto Group and 686 in collaboration with Spin Imaging. The unique Numeric xB by 686 features a waterproof fabric wrap with laser welded and stitched seams. The custom body kit further accents the xB’s radical styling while a set of 18-inch Motegi wheels match the exterior color scheme. Plenty of customization continues on the interior, something we expect that we’ll have to see to believe.

The Project Anarchy xB is the 2011 Scion Canadian Tuner Challenge Champion, sporting a VIP theme thanks to modified AIT Racing body parts. Seibon lends a hand with plenty of carbon fiber goods while a set of 19-inch Modulare Bespoke M23 wheels clearly sets the xB off. BC Racing coilovers gives it the perfect stance while the interior gets Reventon-inspired upholstery.

The lone tC of the show comes from Dynamic Autosports, representing Gruppe-S. Overall it’s a simple and clean project, representing something any one of their customers could replicate. A GReddy turbo kit gives the tC extra power while a set of Weds SA55 adorn each corner. A TRD big brake kit combined with KW’s 3-way coilovers gives the tC enhanced braking and handling performance. On the exterior, Seibon and APR pitch in plenty of styling upgrades while Papadakis Racing comes in with a one-piece roof – clearly a result of their drifting program.

Last but not least is the Pit Boss Cartel iQ, which is clearly influenced by Jeremy Lookofsky’s years of drag racing. The exterior has become a chop-top model with the doors chopped and capped, custom metal fabricated interior and exterior panels and a House of Colors Electric Blue paint to set it all off. Wheels are Lorenzo’s WL028 model with a staggered 18/19-inch setup. AccuAir suspension gives it plenty of adjustability while a Wilwood brake upgrade ensures it has plenty of stopping power.

AutoGuide can’t wait to check out all these crazy creations in person, as Scion never disappoints year after year.

GALLERY: Scion 2011 SEMA Lineup

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GALLERY: Pit Boss Cartel iQ

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GALLERY: Jon Sibal iQ RX

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GALLERY: Michael Chang iQ

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GALLERY: Tatsu iQ-MR

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 |  Oct 13 2011, 9:00 PM

Hyundai will unveiled a one-off Genesis coupe at SEMA, dubbed the Genesis Hurricane SC, built in collaboration with Magnuson Products, Rhys Millen Racing, Harman International and Torvec Inc.

Magnuson is a well known maker of superchargers, and will be contributing the “SC” part of the equation, though technical details haven’t been released. Horsepower has been announced at 450 horsepower.

What has us intrigued is a small nugget buried in the press release, where a Hyundai engineer mentions that HATCI (Hyundai’s Michigan technical Center) has been “…working for years with Magnuson to ensure high engine output is available on future Hyundai vehicles.”

Does this mean that a supercharged Genesis Coupe is on the way as a replacement for a long-rumored but often denied V8-powered Genesis Coupe?

Check out our coverage of the 2011 SEMA show here