Auto News

AutoGuide News Blog


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 18 2012, 4:20 PM

Acura-NSX-Concept-02.JPG

If you’re headed to the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), don’t forget to bring along your camera – it could earn you $200.

The NAIAS, which is on now until Sunday, January 22 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, is running a photo contest that could see you pocketing a cool $200. All you have to do is take a picture of a car at the show and submit it to naias.com. There will be a cash prize given out for each of the five contest categories: Convertibles, Coupes & Concepts; Luxury; Coolest Close-up; Electric Vehicles, and Black & White photos.

If you’re interested in entering the contest and submitting a picture, head to naias.com before the show ends this Sunday.

 |  Jan 17 2012, 7:30 AM

IMG_1592.JPG

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

IMG_1596.JPGIMG_1587.JPGIMG_1588.JPGToyota-NS4-014.JPGToyota-NS4-11.JPGToyota-NS4-09.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 14 2012, 5:00 PM

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

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:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 11 2012, 11:20 AM

2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-10.JPG

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

2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-09.JPG2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-10.JPG2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-01.JPG2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-05.JPG2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-06.JPG2013-Nissan-Pathfinder-Concept-04.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 11 2012, 10:49 AM

IMG_7881.JPG

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

2013-Dodge-Dart-13.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-15.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-16.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-17.JPGIMG_7888.JPGIMG_7886.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 11 2012, 9:44 AM

2013-Prius-c-10.JPG

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

2013-Prius-c-01.JPG2013-Prius-c-02.JPG2013-Prius-c-03.JPG2013-Prius-c-05.JPG2013-Prius-c-11.JPG2013-Prius-c-13.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 11 2012, 8:54 AM

2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-02.JPG

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

2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-01.JPG2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-04.JPG2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-05.JPG2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-06.JPG2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-07.JPG2013-Honda-Accord-Concept-08.JPG

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 11 2012, 8:01 AM

2013-Acura-ILX-02.JPG

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

2013-Acura-ILX-03.JPG2013-Acura-ILX-04.JPG2013-Acura-ILX-05.JPGIMG_1489.JPG2013-Acura-ILX-06.JPGIMG_1494.JPG

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 5:17 PM

Chevy-Tru-140S-Concept-03.JPG

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

Chevy-Tru-140S-Concept-01.JPGChevy-Tru-140S-Concept-02.JPGChevy-Tru-140S-Concept-03.JPGChevy-Tru-140S-Concept-05.JPGChevy-Tru-140S-Concept-06.JPGChevy-Tru-140S-Concept-07.JPG

GALLERY: Chevy Code 130R

Chevy-Code-130R-Concept-01.JPGChevy-Code-130R-Concept-02.JPGChevy-Code-130R-Concept-03.JPGChevy-Code-130R-Concept-04.JPGChevy-Code-130R-Concept-05.JPGChevy-Code-130R-Concept-06.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 4:41 PM

MINI-Roadster-04.JPG

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

MINI-Roadster-01.JPGMINI-Roadster-02.JPGMINI-Roadster-06.JPGMINI-Roadster-07.JPGMINI-Roadster-09.JPGMINI-Roadster-16.JPG

See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage here

 |  Jan 10 2012, 4:00 PM

Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-06

Building on the foundation of the S400 Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz chose this year’s North American International Auto Show as the place to unveil its (slightly) smaller E-Class derrivative.

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

Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-01Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-02Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-04Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-05Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-07Mercedes-E400-Hybrid-08

 |  Jan 10 2012, 2:07 PM

2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-04.JPG

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

2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-01.JPG2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-02.JPG2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-03.JPG2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-05.JPG2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-08.JPG2013-VW-Jetta-Hybrid-18.JPG

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 11:58 AM

IMG_8076.JPG

Alongside the highly touted Veloster Turbo, Hyundai also revealed an updated Genesis coupe at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

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

IMG_8074.JPGIMG_8075.JPGIMG_8100.JPGIMG_8106.JPGIMG_8101.JPGIMG_8080.JPG

GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-drifting02.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-driving-front.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-driving-corner.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-front3:4.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-interior-01.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-beauty-01.JPG

Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 11:43 AM

IMG_8014.JPG

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

IMG_7965.JPGIMG_7966.JPGIMG_7968.JPGIMG_7978.JPGIMG_7975.JPGIMG_8009.JPG

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 11:25 AM

2013-Mercedes-SL550-01.JPG

We have seen pictures of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-class before, first when pictures from its brochure got leaked, followed by the official release of images and specs about a month ago.

However, its unveil at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI., is the first time it has been shown in the flesh. Like its predecessor, it has a folding metal roof, and the air scarf system, which blows hot air on your neck, perfect for driving with the top down even on cold days.

What is new about this new SL is its nearly all-aluminum construction. Due to this light-weight material, this new SL is 175 lbs lighter than the out-going model. Couple its lighter weight with the new 4.7-liter, turbo-charged, V8 which produces 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll end up with a very quick rear-wheel drive car. 0-60 mph in the SL550 model now takes just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph. You can bet, faster AMG-models are also going to be offered shortly after this model goes on sale.

If you like gadgets more than performance, not to worry, the new SL has plenty of toys to keep you happy. There is the MAGIC SKY Control, which makes the panoramic glass in your retracting hard-top go from clear to dark. So it is truly a convertible for all seasons and all types of weather.

There is also the MAGIC VISION Control, which is an advanced wiper system, which features wash nozzles that send washer fluid directly onto the wiper blade, and also would heat the water on colder days, so give a nicer, cleaner wipe from the start.

The audiophiles will no doubt love the new Frontbass system. This audio system utilizes the space in the footwell, which now features extra speakers. With sound coming from all corners, the idea is to give a full orchestral experience to the cars occupants.

The 2013 SL550 will go on sale in spring.

GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL550

2013-Mercedes-SL550-03.JPG2013-Mercedes-SL550-04.JPG2013-Mercedes-SL550-05.JPG2013-Mercedes-SL550-08.JPG2013-Mercedes-SL550-09.JPG2013-Mercedes-SL550-12.JPG

See AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the new SL below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 10 2012, 11:09 AM

Bentley-Continental-GT-V8-01.JPG

Very few car companies can lay claim to have a twin-turbo charged, 500-hp, V8 as their entry level vehicle, but Bentley can.

At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the Bentley Continental GT V8 made its World premiere. While the original W12 version continues in production, this new V8 will be offered at a lower price point to combat the very best super-coupes from its German rivals.

The GT V8 looks very similar to any other Continental GT, both inside and out, so essentially this is a powertrain story. The power comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V8. Maximum output is 500-hp and 487-lb/ft of torque. Like all previous Continental GT’s, the new V8 model also features all-wheel drive. The only transmission on offer is a close-ratio, 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

The performance numbers as you’d expect are pretty impressive. 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is a remarkable 188 mph.

Perhaps even more impressive is its fuel economy. On a highway cruise, this GT V8 can achieve 33-mpg. It can manage that because of its cylinder-deactivation system. So when you’re simply cruising, it will shut down four of its cylinders. So this Bentley can actually run for 500-miles on a single tank of petrol. Could this be a sensible Bentley!

2011 was a great year for this British manufacturer, recording their second-highest year of sales in its history, with 7003 cars delivered globally, of which 1876 units found homes in America.

With this new entry-level GT V8 (No prices given, but expect those to be over $150,000), and also the GTC V8 convertible going on sale this year, Bentley sales might surpass all their previous records.

GALLERY: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8

Bentley-Continental-GT-V8-02.JPGBentley-Continental-GT-V8-04.JPGBentley-Continental-GT-V8-06.JPGBentley-Continental-GT-V8-08.JPGBentley-Continental-GT-V8-10.JPGBentley-Continental-GT-V8-11.JPG

 |  Jan 10 2012, 6:58 AM

Acura-NSX-Concept-09.JPG

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

Acura-NSX-Concept-02.JPGAcura-NSX-Concept-09.JPGAcura-NSX-Concept-08.JPGAcura-NSX-Concept-05.JPGAcura-NSX-Concept-03.JPGAcura-NSX-Concept-04.JPG

 

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 09 2012, 6:46 PM

Scion-FRS-Drift-Car-01.JPG

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

Scion_Racing_FRS_01.jpgScion_Racing_FRS_03.jpgScion_Racing_FRS_04.jpgScion_Racing_FRS_05.jpgScion_Racing_FRS_06.jpgScion_Racing_FRS_09.jpg

GALLERY: Scion Racing FR-S Drift Car Detroit Auto Show Debut

Scion-FRS-Drift-Car-02.JPGScion-FRS-Drift-Car-03.JPGScion-FRS-Drift-Car-04.JPGScion-FRS-Drift-Car-05.JPGScion-FRS-Drift-Car-06.JPGScion-FRS-Drift-Car-09.JPG

See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here

Discuss this story at FR-Sforum.com

 |  Jan 09 2012, 5:08 PM

Audi-Q3-Vail-Concept-10.JPG

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

audi_q3_vail_1.jpgaudi_q3_vail_10.jpgaudi_q3_vail_11.jpgaudi_q3_vail_12.jpgaudi_q3_vail_13.jpgaudi_q3_vail_14.jpg

GALLERY: Audi A3 Vail Debut

Audi-Q3-Vail-Concept-01.JPGAudi-Q3-Vail-Concept-04.JPGAudi-Q3-Vail-Concept-09.JPGAudi-Q3-Vail-Concept-08.JPGAudi-Q3-Vail-Concept-03.JPGAudi-Q3-Vail-Concept-01.JPG

 |  Jan 09 2012, 4:51 PM

Smart-for-us-10.JPG

Hollywood comedian John Lovitz was on hand in Detroit to help launch the Smart For-Us pick-up concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show today.

Smart might have struggled with sales here in the USA with their fortwo model, but globally this eco-minded brand sold over 100,000 units in 2011.

To capture the American market, Smart is hoping that their new For-Us concept, which is billed as an urban-truck will resonate better in our market. This pick-up however is not designed to carry construction workers and their gear to work. No, the For-Us is aimed towards young couples with an active life-style. So if you are looking for a vehicle to carry your mountain-bikes up to your favorite trail, this would do, just as long as that trail is not too far away.

The For-Us is an electric vehicle and uses the same 55kW motor and 17.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack first seen on the all-electric Smart fortwo. Range is thus pegged at 86-miles on a full-charge. Performance numbers are a similar story, its brisk, but not fast. acceleration from 0-37 mph takes about 5-seconds.

Will this vehicle just be a concept? Very likely, but it shows that Smart is trying to expand its customer base and market share.

GALLERY: Smart forus Concept

Smart-for-us-03.JPGSmart-for-us-07.JPGSmart-for-us-01.JPGSmart-for-us-08.JPGSmart-for-us-09.JPGSmart-for-us-06.JPG

 |  Jan 09 2012, 4:37 PM

IMG_1494.JPG

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

acura_ilx_sedan_1.jpgacura_ilx_sedan_2.jpgacura_ilx_sedan_3.jpgacura_ilx_sedan_4.jpgacura_ilx_sedan_5.jpgacura_ilx_sedan_6.jpg

GALLERY: Acura ILX Sedan Detroit Auto Show Reveal

IMG_1488.JPGIMG_1489.JPGIMG_1491.JPGIMG_1493.JPGIMG_1494.JPGIMG_1498.JPG

See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage here

And watch a first look video of the Acura ILX below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 09 2012, 3:10 PM

2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-front3:4.JPG

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.

2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-interior-02.JPG

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

2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-driving-front.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-drifting02.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-driving.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-rear.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-interior-04.JPG2013-Hyundai-Genesis-Coupe-wheel.JPG

Watch AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the 2013 Genesis Coupe below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 09 2012, 12:03 PM

2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-01.JPG

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.

GALLERY: 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-01.JPG2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-07.JPG2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-10.JPG2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-12.JPG2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-13.JPG2012-Porsche-911-Cabriolet-15.JPG

See AutoGuide’s Complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here

 |  Jan 09 2012, 10:45 AM

2013-Dodge-Dart-14.JPG

Replacing the now almost invisible Caliber, the 2013 Dart is the car Dodge hopes will reinvigorate its presence in the compact segment. At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, Dodge Brand CEO Reid Bigland unveiled the highly anticipated Dart to a captive audience.

According to Bigland, compact cars currently represent 15 percent of the total US vehicle market and 25 percent in Canada, so a new compact gives Dodge a chance to really compete in a major volume segment.

Given the increasing synergies between Fiat and the Chrysler group, it’s not surprising that the Dart embodies DNA from both. Essentially, it’s based on a modified version of the same architecture used to underpin the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Europe, though the car has been lengthened and widened to suit North American tastes.

Styling is unmistakably Dodge, in fact the overall look and greenhouse could almost indicate an updated Neon, albeit one that adopts Charger styling cues, notably the “angry” headlight treatment and full width LED illumination out back. Active grille shutters and underbody fairings are also incorporated, in an effort to minimize aerodynamic drag.

Like the last generation Neon, the Dart will only be offered as a four-door sedan, though will be available in no fewer than five trim levels, SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T.

Engine choices comprise a 2.0-liter normally aspirated “Tigershark” four, rated at 160 horsepower and 145 lb-ft, plus a version of Fiat’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and intercooled Multi-Air four-cylinder, which although rated at the same 160 hp, cranks out significantly more torque: 184 lb-ft. Down the road, a larger displacement 2.4-liter “Tigershark” motor, rated at 184 hp is expected to become available. Transmission choices comprise a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic and also a six-speed dry Dual-Clutch automatic, though the latter will only be available with the Multi-Air 1.4 motor.

Given its Alfa Romeo DNA, the Dart promises to be fun to drive, with good chassis dynamics and responsive steering, aided by aspects such as specially tuned MacPherson struts up front, designed to minimize camber loss and a fully independent rear setup. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, are standard on all Darts.

According to Bigland, a major part of the Dart’s appeal lies with the  interior, which has been conceived  to maximize volume (it reportedly rivals some mid-size cars for space), while the use of upscale materials (including soft touch surfaces), should certainly address some long standing stigmas about low grade cabins on Chrysler built small cars.

A high level of interior equipment (such as an available heated steering wheel, plus Chrysler’s U-Connect media center with 8.4-inch touch screen and voice activatation and no fewer than 14 different trim color options), also provide the 2013 Dart with more trump cards than the old Caliber.

Although pricing has yet to be officially announced, Bigland says the Dart will feature a starting MSRP of around $16,000, which should position it well in the segment, especially against cars like the Chevy Cruze (current MSRP of $16,720), Honda Civic ($15,805) and Hyundai Elantra ($16,445).

Production of the 2013 Dart is scheduled to begin at Chrysler’s Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant in the second quarter of this year, with cars showing up in dealers soon afterwards. In perhaps a homage to the original 1963-76 Dart compact, which morphed into a junior muscle car/youthmobile; Chrysler’s Mopar division will offer some 150 customization options for the new one.

GALLERY: 2013 Dodge Dart

2013-Dodge-Dart-16.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-15.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-18.JPGIMG_7875.JPG2013-Dodge-Dart-23.JPGIMG_7867.JPG

Discuss this story at DartForums.com and see AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show coverage here.

See AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the new Dodge Dart below:

Continue Reading…