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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.
 |  Jan 31 2012, 1:00 PM

Mopar introduced us to four new Chrysler tuned vehicles this morning, one of them being the Fiat 500 Stinger.

The Stinger comes with a Giallo (yellow) paint job, playing on the bumblebee reference, with black racing stripe and checkered flag design on the roof. To contrast the bright yellow paint, Mopar has outfitted the Stinger with black chrome accents around the headlights, door handles and mirror caps. The Stinger will ride on 17-inch by 7-inch Abarth hyper black aluminium wheels outfitted with performance tires.

The interior of the Stinger will continue with the Giallo and black theme with Mopar’s Katzkin black leather seats stitched with yellow highlights and accents. A Mopar carbon fiber instrument panel decal gives the Stinger a technical race appearance as does the Mopar shift knob finished in gloss black.

In terms of performance, not a lot has been done to the Stinger. It gets a cold-air intake as well as a free flowing cat back exhaust to squeeze some more juice out of the 1.4 liter 16 valve Mulitair engine. The brakes have also been upgrade to match the performance feel of the Stinger, utilizing cross drilled rotors to dissipate surface heat faster.

The Mopar Fiat 500 Stinger will be on display at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

GALLERY: Mopar Fiat 500 Stinger

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 |  Jan 31 2012, 12:30 PM

Mopar

The Mopar ’12 300, as it’s being called, is a souped up version of the 2012 Chrysler 300.

Earlier today we published a story featuring a gallery with four Mopar-modified cars, which will appear at next month’s Chicago International Auto Show. Since then, the company released detailed information on them. Here’s what we’ve learned about the Mopar ’12 300.

On the outside, the car features a black on black look that suggests improved performance. A single blue pinstripe runs from the front fender to the tail lights, keeping the car from looking more like a piece of auto-shaped obsidian than a sedan.

20-inch glossy black wheels with a matching blue stripe are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1s. Just above those wheels, the car sports “Mopar 75” fender badges that feature the Mopar Blue “omega” logo.

The interior is “monotone” black with die-cast aluminum paddle shifters, a thicker steering wheel and blue stitching. The sound system gets a boost too, featuring a 506-watt Alpine 9-speaker system.

Nothing changes under the hood aside from a new Mopar engine cover. The same 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making 363 horsepower is mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission that powers the rear wheels.

That power will feel a little different though, thanks to a more aggressively geared differential, which gets swapped from 3.06:1 to 3.91:1.

Though the 300 isn’t known for it’s nimble cornering, the Mopar ’12 edition will feel better than the 300C, which is minimum level Hemi version, thanks to a stiffer suspension.

The brakes also get a bit better, though it’s marginal for a car that weighs more than 4300 pounds. The Mopar package moves us up to bigger front brakes featuring two pistons over the standard single piston versions.

Before you buy one of these things, take a good hard look at what you’re getting. Sure, it looks different, but you had better be in love with the looks because at $49,700 you’re paying more than $10,000 for what amounts to a lot of makeup and marginally improved performance.

GALLERY: Mopar ’12 300

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 |  Jan 30 2012, 12:45 PM

On January 31st, Chrysler’s Mopar Division (a term coined from its original title, Motor Parts), celebrates its 75th birthday. And what  could be a better way to mark the occasion than unveiling four modified production vehicles created from the current Mopar performance catalog.

The official unveiling of these four, as of yet unknown machines (the image above is of Mopar’s existing Jeep Wrangler JK-8 pickup conversion), will take place tomorrow at 9.00 Eastern Standard Time at Mopar’s Accessory and Performance Parts Lab, located at 26001 Lawrence Avenue, Center Line, Michigan.

Present at the ceremony will be Pietro Gorlier, who currently heads up Mopar division, along with legendary drag racer Don Garlits. Once the four vehicles have been revealed, they will take pride of place on the Chrysler stand at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, which runs from February 10-19.

Live streaming of the official unveiling begins at 8.30 am EST tomorrow. For more information, click on the link below:

[Source: Mopar]

 |  Jan 29 2012, 6:00 PM

In a bit of surprising news, Japanese automaker Nissan has confirmed that it will be unveiling two vehicles at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show, one of which is its a refresh to their popular sports car, the 370Z.

The 2013 Nissan 370Z will reportedly be getting some changes, which comes as a surprise since there have been no rumors of such an update. The current model 370Z convertible and coupe last saw changes in the 2009 model year, so it is about time for a refresh.

The other vehicle Nissan will be unveiling is part of the NV commercial vehicle line. There’s a strong possibility that it will be the NV200, which is currently sold in 40 other countries and Nissan had already spoken about plans to bring it to the US market. Earlier this year, Nissan had debuted the e-NV200 Concept at the Detroit Auto Show.

Look for coverage from the Chicago Auto Show on February 8th and see the complete Chicago Auto Show preview here.

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

 |  Jan 26 2012, 5:30 PM

Set to bow at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Ram trucks has released details on a new luxury package called the Laramie Limited.

The Laramie Limited will be one of two top of the line packages available for Ram trucks and alongside the Laramie Longhorn edition will offer the same luxury but without the niche market that the Longhorn caters to with its specific south-western cowboy like theme.

The Laramie Limited will come with a body colored front fascia, fog lamps, a chrome grill, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels complete with Ram logo in the center, and will remove all HEMI, Cummins, and Ram badges to be replaced by a small italicized Limited badge. The interior is, as expected, completely adorned with leather from the seats to the center console, all complete with medium greystone piping along the edges. The center stack is trimmed in piano black high gloss finish and adorned with bright chrome vent rings and and liquid graphite side bezels.

The Limited package will also include all the typical comforts we have come to expect from a luxury automobile such as heated seats, navigational radio, remote start, back up camera, heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals and even front ventilated seats meant for cooling you down.

“The launch of the Ram Laramie Longhorn edition gave us a boost in the ultra-premium pickup segment and exceeded our expectations,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of the Ram Truck Brand. “Ram Laramie Limited offers customers an even wider selection of luxury models. We expect a lot of interest in the Laramie Limited.”

GALLERY: RAM Laramie Limited

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 |  Jan 25 2012, 8:15 AM

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Acura will reportedly unveil the production versions of the new ILX sedan and RDX crossover at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show starting on February 8th. Both vehicles were displayed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in concept form but we don’t expect the production models to stray much from the concepts we saw.

It’s a safe bet that the production RDX that’ll be making its way to the Chicago Auto Show will have very minimal, if any changes. The ILX sedan however, had the majority of its interior hidden at the Detroit Auto Show, so Acura will probably be showing off a more complete interior at Chicago.

The ILX will come with three different powertrains: a 2.0L four-cylinder with a five-speed automatic transmission, a 2.4L with a six-speed automatic, and a 1.5L four-cylinder hybrid powertrain borrowed from the Honda Civic Hybrid. Hopefully Acura will also confirm the pricing on their ILX sedan, which they said at Detroit Auto Show will be “well below $30,000.”

Beyond these two models, Acura’s next big reveal will be an all-new RL flagship luxury sedan, which will be revealed at the New York Auto Show in April.

GALLERY: Acura ILX At Detroit Auto Show

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GALLERY: Acura RDX At Detroit Auto Show

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 |  Jan 19 2012, 9:00 AM

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The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI is set to make its debut at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. Though there aren’t any confirmed details yet on the diesel-powered Beetle, it’s expected to feature a 2.0L turbocharged, inline-four in its engine bay.

The same 2.0L can be found in the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta and Passat, with 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque with six-speed manual and DSG transmissions available. In the Passat, this powerplant has been good for up to 43-mpg on the highway, so it’s safe to assume the Beetle will get the same, if not even a little better.

What is even more interesting is the speculation that VW might give its Beetle Convertible a diesel variant, making it the first clean diesel convertible in the United States. That’s not confirmed yet though, but stay tuned to AutoGuide.com as we head towards the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to get all the details later on in early February.

GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

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[Source: Autoblog]

 |  Jan 11 2012, 10:30 AM

The 2012 Detroit Auto Show has just began, but it’s never too early to start talking about the next major American auto show, the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. GMC confirmed that the new 2013 Acadia will debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month, giving their truck division something new to get excited about.

For the most part when GM first debuted their three-row crossovers back in late 2006, they were revolutionary and made strides in changing the market. But now that we’re in 2012, a refresh is desperately needed on many of their models in order to compete with other automakers, and it appears that the Acadia will spearhead the next-generation of GM’s crossovers.

The Acadia shares GM’s Lambda front-drive, three-row crossover platform with Buick‘s Enclave, Chevrolet‘s Traverse and the now defunct Saturn Outlook. Not much has been announced on the new Acadia, but speculation has us believe that it’ll incorporate an updated version of the Lambda platform and could see GM’s 3.6L V6 under the hood with around 315-hp.

The infotainment department will surely get a refresh with all of the current generation toys including GMC’s IntelliLink audio and navigation system.

 |  Nov 11 2011, 10:22 AM

During a technical briefing at the company’s technical center in Ann Arbor, MI, Hyundai has given journalists a first peak at the upcoming Elantra Coupe. Billed as a preview of future products for next week’s LA Auto Show and Detroit Auto Show in January, Hyundai Motor America CEO announced that the official unveiling for the car won’t come until the Chicago Auto Show in February.

Unfortunately we can’t share photos of the car, but we can promise the sedan’s flowing lines work even better on the coupe – which might have the most elegantly executed Bangle-butt style rear decklid we’ve ever seen.

Along with styling changes, look for a slightly sportier overall car than the 4-door. “We’re going to do some things to turn the knob,” said Hyundia Motor America CEO John Krafcik. “We’re not turning it up to 10. We’re turning it from 3.5 to 4.5.” That said, look for small changes like sportier gear ratios to help deliver slightly better acceleration numbers.