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If you have been a fan of the turbo-charged motor in the current Acura RDX, you may not like what you’re about to read.
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit MI., Acura unveiled the 2013 RDX, which is to ditch its unique turbo-charged motor for a more conventional 3.5-liter V6 motor.
This new engine does pack a bigger punch. It develops 273-hp, that is 33-hp more than the current model. Acura said its customers were not very happy with the fuel-economy of the turbo-charged motor, so it has gone with a more conventional V6. Helping it achieve better fuel-economy will also be its new 6-speed automatic gearbox (current version has five-speeds). Acura has already carried out EPA testing for this vehicle, and the result is 20-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway.
The new model will be available as either a front-wheel drive or all-wheel model.
The new RDX will also be longer than the out-going model, which didn’t offer much rear-seat legroom or much trunk space.
So in many areas, the new RDX seems to be a better vehicle than the one it replaces. Will it still be as much fun to drive? We will let you as soon as we get to drive one.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura RDX
Chevrolet’s Sonic compact car is getting some sporty new upgrades. Chevy is adding an RS badge to the Sonic, and all the features that go along with it.
Coming standard with the Sonic RS will be a 1.4L turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engine cranking out 138hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed transmission in either automatic or standard configuration will be standard with the RS. Along with the added horses, the RS will get lowered and stiffened suspension with performance tuned dampers, four wheel disc brakes and a sport tuned exhaust.
The RS package will feature some new paint and plastic to try and make the compact Sonic look the part of a sport tuned race car. A new grille and front facia, new fog light design, 17-inch rims, new mirror caps, rear facia and spoiler and even a chromed out exhaust will give the RS package the sports car look. To complete the look four new paint options will be included with the RS, they are Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Grey Metallic and Black Granite.
The interior of the compact will be getting a few upgrades as well to complete the package. New front sport seats, a flat bottomed race inspired steering wheel, aluminium pedals, custom interior RS styling and a custom shift knob for the manual transmission. The Chevrolet MyLink system will also come standard which integrates smart phones with the cars infotainment system.
The Sonic RS should add some much needed get up and go to the compact car’s personality.
GALLERY: Chevy Sonic RS
GALLERY: Chevy Sonic RS- 2012 Detroit Auto Show
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Debuting at the Detroit Auto Show in both hatchback and sedan forms, the Sonic will compete against established rivals in the sub-compact segment like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, not to mention newcomers like the Ford Fiesta. Aiming to attract younger buyers with sporty styling, the Sonic also has power on tap with a standard 135-hp 1.8L 4-cylinder, as well as an optional 138-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder – both of which are borrowed from the Chevy Cruze.
No fuel economy numbers have been released but expect close to if not over 40-mpg highway from the 1.4T engine. Helping get what will no doubt be excellent fuel economy is a 6-speed automatic transmission, with the option of a 6-speed stick shift on 1.4T models.
The interior looks to be a massive leap forward from the Aveo, taking inspiration from the Cruze and using higher-grade materials. And like the Aveo RS concept from last year’s Detroit show, it retains the motorcycle-inspired instrumentation with a large, circular analog tachometer and a digital speedometer.
Designed for functionality, the Sonic hatchback gets 19 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, which expands to 37 cu-ft with the seats folded flat. Chevy claims that’s better than the Fiesta, although in terms of roominess, the Fiesta is hardly a benchmark in the segment. The Sonic sedan does, however, get 15 cubic feet of space, which is roughly the same size as you might expect in a mid-size sedan.
As for features, all models will come equipped with stability control and 10 airbags, while optional goodies include remote start and heated front seats.
Pricing for the Sonic sedan and hatch will be released closer to the car’s on sale date later this year.
See video of the Sonic Z-Spec concept after the jump: