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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.
It’s a look into the future says Toyota. Unveiled last week at the Detroit Auto Show, the NS4 plug-in hybrid concept was built to showcase a new plug-in hybrid model Toyota is planning that will sit separate from the Prius in its lineup. The car will get a next-generation hybrid drivetrain and also features several safety technologies that Toyota will add to its cars in the near future.
To find out more about the Toyota NS4 plug-in hybrid, watch our fist look video below.
GALLERY: Toyota NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept
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Tour the North American International Auto Show from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you are with AutoGuide’s complete video coverage of the annual Detroit event. From concept cars like the new Acura NSX (above) to the Lexus LF-LC (just below), there were also plenty of interesting and exciting production models on display including the 2013 Ford Fusion, Cadillac ATS and Dodge Dart.
Watch all of AutoGuide’s 2012 Detroit Auto Show Videos below:
Buick has achieved two straight years of growth and the brand is looking to keep up the momentum, targeting new buyers with unconventional new products. The Enclave SUV kicked-off the new Buick and it’s been a smash success, and even near the end of its product cycle continues to be the brand’s best seller. So if one crossover is a good idea, two must be better… right?
That thinking has spawned the Encore, a sub-compact crossover, that’s a step down in size from GM models like the Chevy Equinox. Rather than being based on a compact car platform like the Cruze, it’s based on the sub-compact Sonic.
For more on the Encore, watch AutoGuide’s first look video from the Detroit Auto Show below.
GALLERY: 2013 Buick Encore
Taking a page out of Ford’s playbook, Nissan appears ready to follow suit in the move from SUVs to crossovers announcing that the 2013 Pathfinder will ride on a car-based unibody platform rather than a body-on-frame truck chassis. Over a year ago, Ford made a similar switch with its new Explorer.
As a concept Nissan hasn’t released many specifics about the car but has said it will be powered by a V6 with a CVT transmission and will continue to offer seating for seven. For more on the new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder concept check out AutoGuide’s first look video from the floor of the Detroit Auto Show below.
GALLERY: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Concept
The compact car category continues to grow and is increasingly becoming the most important and highest volume segment in America. For years Chrysler hasn’t had a competitive offering, something it is looking to change with the all-new Dodge Dart.
Sharing its underpinnings with an Alfa Romeo it’s the direct result of the tie-up between Chrysler and Fiat, with all the benefits that can have.Included in the list of rather European specs listed for the Dart are a fully-independent rear suspension and an optional turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder mated to a dual-clutch transmission.
Unveiled this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, see AutoGuide’s first look video of the 2013 Dodge Dart below.
GALLERY: 2013 Dodge Dart
Expanding the Prius range of vehicles to four, the new “c” model is the smallest and most affordable Prius yet. Toyota also promises it will be the most fun to drive and it will get an even higher fuel economy rating than the standard Prius with 53 mpg combined. Unveiled this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the Prius c below.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius c
With a recently launched new Camry and Ford unveiling the production version of the new Fusion mid-size sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, Honda previewed its next-generation Accord with a stylish concept coupe. With no dramatic new styling changes, the 9th generation Accord will be the first Honda to receive the brand’s new lineup of powertrains, including direct-injection 4-cylinder and V6 engines as well as CVT transmissions. Plus, the Accord will get an innovative new hybrid system. To learn more about the next-gen Accord, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept
With a new flagship supercar planned in the NSX Concept, Acura also unveiled a new entry-level model at the Detroit Auto Show this week. Called the ILX, it’s based on the new Honda Civic platform, but significantly modified. It also gets some distinct bodywork and three unique engine choices, including a hybrid option – the first time ever for an Acura.
Find out more about the Acura ILX by watching AutoGuide’s First Look Video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
Along with the new Sonic RS hot hatch, Chevy unveiled two surprising new concept cars at the Detroit Auto Show. Complete with awkward concept car names the two vehicles certainly don’t look awkward – or at least the Tru 140S doesn’t. As for the Code 130R, it brings some American muscle car styling to the compact coupe segment.
Perhaps most surprising is the platform and engines that these two youth-targeted sports cars share. To find out more, watch AutoGuide’s First Look video of the Tru 140S and Code 130R below.
GALLERY: Chevy Tru 140S
GALLERY: Chevy Code 130R
MINI is bringing a race inspired convertible into the market with the unveiling of the Roadster at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. This is the first two seater open topped vehicle in the English brand’s history and makes the MINI lineup six vehicles strong after the recent introduction of the Coupe (read our review here).
The Roadster will be offered with four engine options, although the Diesel variant will not be offered in North America. The John Cooper Works packaged Roadster will be the largest engine offering possible for the MINI with a 1.6-liter twinpower turbo putting out 208 hp and accelerating the roadster from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds. The MINI Cooper S Roadster will be outfiitted with the same 1.6L twinpower turbo, but without some of the race inspired upgrades of the JCW Roadster, and will crank out 181 hp and run from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds . The MINI Cooper Roadster is the base model and will sport the 1.6L four cylinder as well, but without the turbo unit, and will generate 121 hp and run 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds.
The MINI Roadster borrows quite a few features from MINI’s race teams, including a rear spoiler which lifts at 50 mph, stainless steel roll bars, an Electronic Differential Lock Control, and even the choice of sport stripes for the exterior. These features come standard with JCW edition of the roadster. The MINI Roadster also stands 20mm lower than the MINI convertible which shows the cars push to be sportier and even better handling then any of MINI’s other offerings.
In terms of looks, the Roadster keeps all the same classic MINI styling like the round headlights and half moon grill, but appears a little more race inspired thanks to the lower stance, harder swept back windshield and low to the ground skirts.
All in all the MINI Roadster looks like a fun little car.
GALLERY: MINI Roadster
Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets for 2015 and beyond mean that all automakers selling vehicles in the US need to find a way to improve fleet efficiency without facing the risk of hefty fines.
For luxury automakers, traditionally seen as standard bearers of large displacement engines, this has meant a radical re-think when it comes to engine technology. Audi‘s flagship sedan, long recognized as a home for V8 power, is now joining the fray, with two downsized engines, a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and later a 3.0 diesel in the works.
This will mark the first time that either engine has been offered in the A8, though with some 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque on tap, the V6 supercharged should prove no slouch.
As for the diesel, not much information is currently available, suffice to say that it will likely differ in power output from the European version due to emissions requirements for oil burners here in the US (at present the engine is undergoing certification). Stay tuned for further developments.
GALLERY: Audi A8L 3.0T
Although Mercedes also plans to offer an E300 Hybrid that combines a 27 hp electric motor and battery back with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque; that car is targeted primarily at Europe. In the US, which shows a preference for gas/electric hybrids, a direct injected V6 will be teamed with the electric motor system instead, resulting in the E400 Hybrid.
Rated at 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, in terms of fuel economy, Mercedes says the E400 Hybrid should deliver approximately 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the open road.
According to Dr. Thomas Weber, who heads up Daimler AG’s passenger car development and research programs, the two E-Class Hybrids aim “to offer precisely the models which our customers want,” while providing “a clear reduction in fuel consumption as well as a very impressive driving experience.”
The E400 Hybrid is scheduled to arrive in US dealers during the second quarter of 2012, with deliveries expected to follow in other markets, notably China and Japan.
GALLERY: Mercedes E400 Hybrid
It should come as little surprise that Volkswagen has unveiled a new Jetta Hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show. After all, the Jetta itself was designed to appeal more to American tastes and something Americans increasingly love are hybrids.
Powered by an all-new hybrid engine and getting an incredibly high fuel economy rating, watch the video below to find out more.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
Sporting revised styling with a new front fascia, headlight, foglight, grille and hood design, tweaked LED taillights and new look 18 and 19-inch wheels, this latest Genesis coupe, which will go on sale this spring as a 2013 model also gets more power in the shape of a 2.0-liter four that now cranks out 274 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, plus a stronger V6 rated at 348 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of grunt.
Aiding the power and torque increases are more efficient intake setups on both engines, as well as retuned exhaust systems with throatier resonance. The turbo four also gains a more efficient intercooler that’s 53 percent larger to provide a cooler, denser air charge and promote more power and better throttle response.
The standard six-speed manual has been updated with improved shifting feel, while both engines on the 2013 model can be teamed with Hyundai’s in-house designed and built eight-speed automatic with a SHIFTRONIC manual mode, activated by steering wheel mounted paddles.
In conjunction with the updated powertrains, chassis and suspension calibration has been tweaked in an effort to improve agility and reduce body roll, while also promoting better ride comfort. Steering has also been revised, with a new quicker ratio 13:8.1 rack. A Telescopic steering column also makes its debut in the Genesis coupe for the first time.
Other neat features include left side, rear-seat walk-in access, a three stage traction control (which can be completely turned-off for serious track days) and available Hyundai Blue Link (essentially a technology umbrella that incorporates safety, service and info-entertainment features with voice recognition, designed to provide drivers access to the information they need while keeping eyes firmly on the road).
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe below:
Easily one of the stars of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, and arguably the best looking, the Lexus LF-LC hybrid coupe concept is a bold look at the future styling direction of the brand, while also hinting at a new model.
With styling cues from the new GS and the LFA supercar, there’s plenty of innovation packed into it – though Lexus is being extremely quiet as to what the powertrain is, apart from commenting that it’s a next-generation hybrid drive system that will deliver both fuel economy and performance.
For more on the LF-LC, watch the video below.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-LC Concept
Watch the video below:
No one will accuse Honda of breaking the mold with the new Accord Coupe concept, revealed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Then again, consistency is part of the Honda plan and has earned the company an excellent reputation. On hand for the car’s debut, American Honda Motor Co. Executive VP John Mendel pointed out the Accord’s unprecedented 26 times it has been named to Car & Driver’s Top 10 car of the year list.
Looking like a slightly stylized version of the current Accord, the new model is smaller overall and with a lower roofline, although Honda claims it has achieved the same interior space. It’s also a lighter vehicle, although Honda isn’t getting into specifics at this point.
The Accord will be the first model to use Honda’s new powertrains, featuring direct-injection among other technologies. Both a V6 and a new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder will be offered, with a newly developed CVT transmission for the 4-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic for the V6. Honda hasn’t announced specs but says it expects the Accord to deliver class leading fuel economy. Whether it can best the new Fusion’s 26/37-mpg rating will be, however, be tough.
In addition, Honda will offer an Accord plug-in hybrid which will offer three driving modes: electric, gas and gasoline/electric. The system will allow 10 to 15 miles of emissions free driving and let you choose when you want to use that electricity. Honda also promises a charge time of 1.5 hours on a 240 volt charger.
To help deliver improved fuel economy across the range, all Accord models will get Honda’s ECO Assist button.
As for safety, Honda will offer the accord with a lane departure warning system and a collision alert system. Plus, it will offer a unique blind spot monitoring system that will actually show, with video, what is in the car”s blind spot.
Look for the 2013 Accord to go on sale later this year.
GALLERY: 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept
Watch AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the new Accord Coupe Concept below:
Looking like a jacked-up hatchback, Buick has unveiled its newest model today at the Detroit Auto Show today. Called the Encore, it’s part of the GM premium brand’s plan to move further down-market in search of added sales – an area it’s actually been very strong in recently with two full years of gains.
An entry level offering sitting next to the new Verano compact, the Encore is designed to evoke the style of the larger Enclave, which is easily Buick’s volume model.
The Encore is a surprisingly small crossover, at 168 inches in length it’s actually two steps down from the Enclave, leaving space for yet another model in the brand’s growing lineup. Still, despite its compact size, it boasts 18.8 cu-ft of cargo room, or a total of 48.4 cu-ft with the rear seats folded flat. This out-does both the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, a strong hint that at least Buick sees these two models as rivals.
Power is adequate, at best, with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 140-hp and 148 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels as well as a 7-inch LCD screen with Buick’s new IntelliLink system and 10 airbags, while optional goodies include navigation and a back-up camera, heated seats and steering wheel, remote start and memory seating. Other available features include a forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Buick continues to push its Quiet Tuning philosophy and takes it a step further with the Encore, adding noise canceling technology that uses the car’s speakers to counteract sounds coming into the cabin..
The Buick Encore will arrive at dealers in early 2013.
GALLERY: 2013 Buick Encore
The star of the Detroit Auto Show, Acura has put itself back on the map by unveiling a concept car that will inspire the next NSX. Looking undeniably like an exotic, it’s actually quite a small machine – an indication of just how serious Acura is about keeping it light weight. For more details on the car, see here, or watch the video below:
GALLERY: Acura NSX Concept
Scion Racing has made its 2013 FR-S Drift Car official at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Less than a week ago, we spotted photos of the same car testing, and our assumptions proved correct: This is the Formula Drift race car for Ken Gushi and the 2012 drift season.
Built in collaboration with GReddy, the FR-S drift car will feature 600-hp and over 500 lb-ft of torque and is presumed to be turbocharged. That’s all the details Scion fed us with on the new drift car, but we’re sure we’ll be hearing more as the Formula Drift season opener on April 6-7th, approaches. But judging by its decals, it appears that the FR-S will operate with KW suspension and Gushi will be drifting on Hankook tires for the 2012 season. GReddy’s brake calipers peek behind the Rays wheels and there’s no doubt Cosworth had their hands in building the powerplant.
We can’t wait to see this thing go sideways.
GALLERY: Scion Racing FR-S Drift Car Official Photos
GALLERY: Scion Racing FR-S Drift Car Detroit Auto Show Debut
Discuss this story at FR-Sforum.com
Audi has unveiled a themed vehicle in the form of their Q3 compact SUV at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. The Audi Q3 Vail is named after the famous winter sports venue in the US with winter sports and functionality as its theme.
The themed design targets young enthusiasts of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding and represents a new, potential variation on the SUV concept. The Q3 Vail sports an Energy Red exterior that features gold pearl while the add-on body parts are finished in a matte gray quartz-based paint. Aluminum and glossy black details also enhance the exterior styling.
Features that caught our eye on the Q3 Vail include the flared wheel arches and running boards which Audi announced that they plan to incorporate into the extensive range of Q3 accessories. Up top, the aluminum roof rails were designed specifically for transporting skis and snowboards, with their display vehicle rocking carbon fiber sports equipment.
Wheels for the Q3 Vail come in the form of 20×8.5-inch in a high-gloss finish mated to 255/45/20 off-road tires. The interior continues the same color scheme as the exterior with a titanium gray Alcantara headliner while the majority of the interior is black with red accents. Aluminum is used to highlight the instrument cluster while other trim pieces have been finished in high-gloss black.
And for the winter sports fans, the side wall of the trunk houses a charging station and can also be used to store flashlights while charging them inductively at the same time. There is also a Thermos bottle in the cup holder between the front seats that’s able to chill or warm drinks. Both sport LED lights to show the current charge level, while the flashlights can also play double-duty to warm your hands of ski boots thanks to an infrared heating element.
Powering the Q3 Vail is a 2.5L turbocharged, five-cylinder TFSI powerplant with 314-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Q3 Vail is a great concept in showing off what the new Audi model can potentially do for the everyday consumer.
GALLERY: Audi Q3 Vail Official Photos
GALLERY: Audi A3 Vail Debut
Acura‘s new ILX sedan, based on the Honda Civic sedan, officially features Acura’s first hybrid system and has made its debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The 2013 Acura ILX will become the automaker’s new anchor in a strategy to capture entry-level luxury buyers.
Acura’s target market with the ILX are intelligent, young professionals. The 2013 ILX Concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show today featured 19-inch wheels and was announced to have three different powertrains, including Acura’s first hybrid. Even though Acura isn’t positioning the ILX as a technology vehicle, there is still plenty of features for technophiles to love including Pandora Internet Radio, rear-view camera and text-to-speech messaging.
The three powerplants that will be offered for the ILX include a 2.0L four-cylinder with a five-speed automatic transmission, a 2.4L with a six-speed automatic and the 1.5L four-cylinder, 93-hp hybrid powertrain from the Honda Civic hybrid. Acura did specify that its hybrid system will be tuned for more performance and as a result, will have less fuel economy than Civic’s 44-mpg.
The production version of the ILX will debut this Spring and as a result, no pricing was announced. Acura did however state that they anticipate pricing to be “well below $30,000.”
GALLERY: Acura ILX Sedan Concept Official Photos
GALLERY: Acura ILX Sedan Detroit Auto Show Reveal
And watch a first look video of the Acura ILX below:
Looking to keep pace with its rivals Hyundai has revealed an updated Genesis Coupe, with a more Veloster-like nose and a significant increase in power.
The base 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gets a new twin-scroll turbo and a 53 percent larger intercooler to deliver a 30 percent power increase with 274 hp now available, while torque rises to 275 lb-ft. The new engine gets 21/30 mpg with a six-speed manual transmission, or 20/31 with a new 8-speed automatic.
To help maintain the performance gap, the 3.8-liter V6 now gains direct injection and goes beyond even the power number in the Genesis Sedan. With an addition of 42 hp and 29 lb-ft it now makes a total of 348 and 295. Fuel economy is rated at 18/27 for the manual and 18/28 with the new 8-speed auto.
Improving the sensation behind the wheel, the updated Genesis Coupe features a 7 percent quicker steering ratio as well as a three-mode electronic stability control system, with a default “on” setting, a “full-off” setting and an intermediate sport mode that allows for modest loss of traction without cutting engine power. Plus, Hyundai modified the suspension settings for each car, to improve ride quality on the base and premium trims, while improving overall performance on the Track and R-Spec models.
Making this already significant mid-cycle update even more major is the work done to the interior with improved materials, new gauges and a new center stack that includes three gauges for fuel economy, engine oil temperature and a third that display boost pressure on 2.0T models or torque output on the V6. Other additions include the addition of a telescopic steering wheel, two-stage heated seats and a new leather steering wheel design. Plus, all models equipped with navigation will now get Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Watch AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the 2013 Genesis Coupe below:
First announced back in late November of 2011, Porsche has officially debuted its 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S Cabriolet at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The new 911 Cabriolet features a soft-top, retractable roof with a glass rear window that has been glued directly to the outer fabric skin. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet will start at $97,300 while the Carrera S will be priced from $108,000.
The powerplants in both models will be identical to the 911 Coupe, with the Carrera Cabriolet sporting a 3.4L with 350-hp while the Carrera S Cabriolet will be powered by a 3.8L with 400-hp. Both models will feature Porsche’s newly developed seven-speed manual as the standard transmission, but an optional seven-speed PDK double-clutch transmission is also available.
America is Porsche’s largest market for the 911 Cabriolet model, so its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show made sense for the German automaker.
The new-generation 911 Coupe will be available in the US starting next month and Porsche announced that the Cabriolet variant will be following a few months later.