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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.
 |  Apr 10 2012, 10:30 AM

10. 2013 Lexus ES


Over the past few years Lexus has been referred to as a Japanese Buick, with the number one reason being the ES front-drive luxury sedan – a car that drew direct comparisons with the not-quite-Cadillac GM premium brand. To erase those comparos the new 2013 ES gets a more stylish exterior with a GS-themed front nose and a profile more like the flagship LS.

Swapping its Camry underpinnings for an Avalon platform it has, however, grown even more in size – a notable Buick trait. Plus, to challenge the eAssist mild-hybrid LaCrosse, there’s finally now an ES300h hybrid system getting 39 mpg average.

 |  Apr 08 2012, 1:02 PM

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 |  Apr 07 2012, 11:01 AM

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With almost all of the Hyundai lineup revamped with new product, two of the few remaining “old Hyundai” models are the Santa Fe and Vera Cruz crossovers.

Replacing both those products for 2013 is an all-new Santa Fe, with a new platform, modern styling and the choice of either a two-row Sport model or a three-row Long Wheelbase version. Unveiled this week at the New York International Auto Show, find out more about both Santa Fe models in AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 6:30 PM

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Taking styling cues from its big brother Maxima, Nissan unveiled the all-new Altima mid-size sedan this week at the New York International Auto Show.

Growing in size, the 2013 Altima keeps the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines with a slight bump in power. The bigger news is the next-generation CVT transmission that helps improve fuel economy by as much as 15 percent. As a result, Nissan claims best-in-class fuel economy for the Altima.

To find out just how efficient, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: 2013 Nissan Altima

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 3:01 PM

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It’s not science fiction any more. A company called Terrafugia was on hand at this week’s New York Auto Show, showing off a flying car – with video proof that it both flies and drives.

Actually more of a driving airplane, the Terrafugia team has been working on this car for years, completely revamping a prototype model they built back in 2009.

To find out more about the aptly-named Transition, how it works and what it costs, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: Terrafugia Transition

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 2:01 PM

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Watch out Tesla. Step aside Fisker. With the reveal of the LE Concept at the NY Auto Show this week Infiniti has confirmed it is preparing to enter the luxury electric car segment.

Those new automakers may already have vehicles on the market, but considering the success parent company Nissan has had with the Leaf as the world’s first mainstream electric car, Infiniti is poised for success. Find out more about the car’s impressive design, premium interior and innovations that include wireless charging in AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: Infiniti LE Concept

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 1:02 PM

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A dramatic new styling direction for the brand it might not be, but the Acura RLX concept is a look at the hi-tech future flagship of the Acura brand.

Looking much like a larger version of the new ILX small sedan, the RLX is in some ways a backwards version of the upcoming NSX supercar, using a hybrid V6 engine and twin electric wheel motors, but with the engine in the front and the electric power in the rear.

To find out more about the upcoming RLX, unveiled at the New York Auto Show, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: 2013 Acura RLX

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 12:01 PM

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Mid way through its product cycle the 2013 GLK has received a nip-tuck from the styling department at Mercedes-Benz. It has also receive one very major change.

While the 3.5-liter V6 engine does now boast a slight increase in power, Mercedes announced at the car’s unveiling at the New York Auto Show that it will offer a diesel engine option in the compact crossover.

For more on the GLK250 BlueTEC diesel, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.

GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes GLK

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Watch the video below:

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 |  Apr 06 2012, 9:01 AM

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Yes, the Viper is back and with its debut SRT boss Ralph Gilles announced another surprise: it’s returning not just to the street, but also to the race track.

The Viper GTS-R, backed by a factory SRT team, will compete in this year’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS), taking on Corvettes and Ferraris.

“Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper not only with wins on the track, but also in the continued development of the street cars – and our new 2013 SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned,” said Gilles.

The Viper already has a strong following of core enthusiasts but the Chrysler corporation is obviously trying to expand it further, with the win on Sunday, sell on Monday mentality.

Until it hits the track, check out out extensive gallery of photos from the New York Auto Show below.

GALLERY: Viper GTS-R

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 5:57 PM

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It’s not science fiction, it’s a genuine flying car. Unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show the Terrafugia Transition is actually more of a street-legal airplane designed for occasional use on the road.

Still, it is certified for the street using an aircraft engine that powers the rear wheels and can get 35 mpg with a top speed of about 80 mph. Press a button and the wings fold out. You’ll need about 1700 feet of runway space (no taking off from the street) and once airborne the Transition can cruise at 120 mph for a range of 450 miles.

Inside the cockpit there are car and airplane controls with a steering wheel, brake and gas pedal. Once the wings are out, you can then operate the console-mounted throttle, the control stick that rises up from the floor and the two additional pedals that control the rudders.

Awaiting its final flight certification the Transition retails for $279,000 and company representatives say a total of 100 units have already been pre-ordered.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 5:54 PM

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Among the many vehicles debuting in the U.S. at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi brought its refreshed 2013 Outlander.

Updates to the compact crossover include a face lifted front and rear end and standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, offering a mild list of updates to its current best-seller.

Included in those updates, 18-inch alloy wheels are now standard — the front and rear fascias have a smoothed look too. The same headlights and recognizable Mitsubishi grille will, however, remain with new chrome trim surrounding them.

Production will also move from Japan, where the Outlander has traditionally been built, to the U.S. for its remaining life.

The company updated its CVT to offer smoother shifts and an improved driving feel while a new multi-link rear suspension will further contribute to the ride quality and handling.

A leather-wrapped shift knob, steering wheel and standard Bluetooth are now standard equipment. The top-end SE model also adds a six-speaker audio system, HID headlights, push button ignition and smart key passive entry.

GALLERY: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 5:26 PM

Known for its rugged terrain-capable cars sporting efficient four-cylinder engines, Subaru built its reputation on offering all-wheel drive and crossover-like ground clearance in an efficient package.

Cars like the Forrester already offer that to U.S. customers, but the brand just unveiled another off-road clearance-oriented car at the New York Auto Show.

Based on the Impreza platform, which was traditionally used to build the recently-emancipated WRX and hotter WRX STi rally cars, the XV Crosstrek offers  customers who want an Outback Sport.

With an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the XV Crosstrek actually rivals many larger crossovers in off-road capability. The same 2.0-liter Boxer engine that sites in the Impreza also powers the XV Crosstrek with 148 horsepower through the standard all-wheel drive system.

Again the same as its Impreza cousin, the newest Subie translates power between the engine and wheels with a CVT that won’t be thrilling any driving enthusiasts, but offers 33 mpg on the highway.

Official pricing isn’t announced yet, but the car goes on sale later this Fall, so the details can’t be too far off. If nothing else, we’re assuming the starting price won’t be too far from the Outback Sport, which sold for a base $20,720.

GALLERY: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 4:58 PM

Try to look past the fact that it’s a Dodge Challenger without a Hemi. Heck it still boasts 305 horsepower, which is about what a Mustang GT did in 2010.

If you can manage that, have a look at the 2012 Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline edition: it’s a V6 version of the coke bottle muscle car with generous upgrades for a bargain price. We already reported the details, but the car made its debut yesterday at the New York Auto Show where we got to take a look.

Opting for the Rallye Redline package costs $28,745, which is only $3,750 more than the base Challenger’s MSRP. Looking over the options, it’s hard to think of the package as anything but a great value.

For that money, you get new front and rear sway bars to stiffen the chassis and make the car more corner-capable but that’s only the beginning. It also gets 42 percent firmer monotube shocks in the front and 22 percent in the rear a cold air intake, a more aggressively-geared rear axle and upgraded brakes on all four wheels.

Cosmetic upgrades also add to the car’s style with a thick red racing stripe and two matching pinstripes running  the car’s length through the center. Black 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a matching red stripe further compliment the car’s special look.

Best of all, Dodge isn’t skimping on the other features you might want in a new car. This package is based off the SXT trim level, which is the high-end V6. That means it also comes with  standard equipment like leather seating (heated in the front), bluetooth connectivity, electronic stability control and more.

At $28,745 (plus a $925 destination fee) you’re looking at a handsomely upgraded car that would probably cost more if you took care of the upgrades yourself.

It’s true that the entry-level Hemi-having R/T is about the same price, albeit before the destination fee. The Redline Rallye is much better equipped than its similarly-priced V8 counterpart. Ultimately the decision boils down to a trade-off between horsepower and driving comfort.

GALLERY: 2012 Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 4:23 PM

Successful sales and popularity characterize the Lexus RX line of crossovers, but one area they have never excelled is, well, acceleration — or any aspect of performance driving. 

Lexus hopes to change all that by offering its RX 350 F Sport, which just debuted at the New York Auto Show where Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager had this to say: “The RX 350 F Sport challenges pre-conceived notions about luxury crossover utility vehicles. [It's] not just an appearance package, but a full-fledged performance package.”

Under the hood, the automaker implements the same 3.5-liter, 270-hp V6 as other models mated to a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The Automaker’s active torque control system governs and distributes torque to optimize grip by shifting from 100:0 all the way to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels.

Despite making it clear that this is not just a cosmetic upgrade, the F Sport has some styling changed to differentiate between the lesser model. A more aggressive-looking grille, a new front bumper and fog lamps — and of course F Sport badges.

Black leather seats with white stitching and matching perforation holes further set the car apart while another F Sport badge on the steering wheel tells of the sportier upgrades.

The same engine and horsepower as this (and last) year’s model might be a letdown, but stiffer suspension that also sits the car a little closer to the ground lend a splash of sport to justify the “not just an appearance package” assertion. This is true, the changes are more than paint-deep, but barely.

It’s hard not to feel a little disappointed in Lexus for putting the “F” designation on this car when the IS F is such a hot-rod, especially after Ford revealed a legitimately upgraded crossover at the same show.

GALLERY: 2013 Lexus RX 350

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 2:58 PM

Rounding off the American luxury brand’s lineup, the Cadillac SRX debuted yesterday at the unfolding New York Auto Show featuring a restyled front end and refreshed interior.

While the same host of luxury appointments you might expect from the brand like leather and wood trim are present, the upcoming model’s most interesting feature is its new infotainment system, called “CUE.”

Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing explained the system during a press conference today. Butler referred to the system as “intuitive technology” which might be hard to take at face value, but the brand is doing everything in its power to make that true.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 1:43 PM

Since it’s 2011 refresh, the Ford Explorer has’t really set the world alight, at least among those that remember the old 5.0-liter and 4.6 V8 models that offered both gusto and family practicality.

Having introduced a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder in the 2012 model, Ford decided to kick things up a notch with the 2013 Explorer Sport, launching a 3.5-liter EcoBoost powered flagship Sport model.

Rated at the same 350 horsepower as the Taurus SHO and delivering 350 lb-ft of torque, the Sport is designed to deliver that extra dose of pizzazz without sacrificing fuel economy (Ford says it will deliver a projected 22 miles per gallon on the highway).

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 1:01 PM

At least that’s the case in the U.S. In Europe a production version of this wagon has been on sale for several months, but despite being on display at this year’s New York Auto Show, the official line from Volkswagen was  just a study designed to gauge public reaction.

However, given the success of vehicles like Subaru’s Legacy Outback here and even Audi’s AllRoad, it seems like a no-brainer to us for a North American version to be made available to dealers.

However, the powertrain may be of some concern in the American market. The European car is offered with a choice of 2.0-liter diesels (the concept in NY sports the 140 hp version) though making that marketable here would probably require a gas option.

That said, a combination of 4Motion all-wheel drive, raised ride height, electronic locking differentials and decent cargo capacity are bound to strike a chord with a healthy portion of North American vehicle shoppers. We’ll see if VW has anything else to say about it once New York show wraps up.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat AllTrack concept

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 11:53 AM

In stylish new clothes, inside and out, the 2013 Toyota Avalon debuted today at the New York Auto Show.

Despite getting a refresh in 2011, Toyota seems to have recognized that its full-size sedan, aimed squarely at baby boomers looking for value and comfort, needed a new face to continue competing with the ever-changing car market.

Compared to the 2012 model, the upcoming Avalon features a stylish interior that feels more like a German luxury car than its predecessor. While pricing details aren’t available yet, last year’s model started in the low $30,000′s so it seems reasonable to assume this car would stick in the same range.

An LCD screen that fits nicely into the redesigned center stack shows everything from infotainment options music selection to maps. A colorful gauge cluster with white numbers further compliments the redesigned interior which has more space than a BMW 5 Series. There’s also a charging station for mobile devices and captive-touch controls for climate settings.

Other features that were present in previous generations like a power rear window shade remain for rear-seat comfort as well.

“There’s also an unmatched list of technology-driven safety features, including a best-in-class 10 airbags, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic detection and pre-collision system,” said Toyota Motor Sales group vice president Bob Carter.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 11:35 AM

It may have been rumored as a rebadged Nissan Leaf, but Infiniti’s new electric car concept is unique, luxurious and innovative.

Unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show the Infiniti LE Concept is referred to as a “production intent” vehicle says Infiniti of the Americas Vice President Ben Poore, with plans to have a model in dealerships in two years.

Infiniti doesn’t say exactly what LE stands for, and while “Luxury Electric” comes to mind, so does the brand’s ownership by French automaker Renault.

“Infiniti believes the future of luxury is sustainable luxury and we intend to continue taking a leadership role, building on the foundation set by our advanced Infiniti M Hybrid and high-mpg Infiniti JX luxury crossover,” says Poore. As a result, the Le Concept offers a premium interior, stylish exterior, a powerful motor and some impressive new technology.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 9:53 AM

Volkswagen‘s Up! continued the trend from the past four years of small cars winning the World Car of the Year Award at the New York Auto Show today.

“Our goal was always to make something small great,” a Volkswagen executive said on stage.

To garner the award, the Up! beat both the volume-selling and luxurious BMW 3 Series and the thrilling Porsche 911. The victory suggests that journalists across the world are putting a growing emphasis on greener, or at least more fuel-efficient vehicles.

This victory for means the automaker won four of the past five years for the most prestigious of the four awards offered by the World Car Awards each year.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 8:01 AM

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All new for 2013, the Lexus ES has been completely revamped starting with a bold new grille with more angler and fewer curves. The result is more of the new GS from the front and more of the flagship LS from the sides and back.

Powering the new ES is a familiar 3.5-liter V6, although Lexus is now also offering, for the first time, a hybrid engine option. To find out more about the new ES and the ES300h, watch AutoGuide’s first look video from the NY Auto Show below.

GALLERY: 2013 Lexus ES

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 7:31 AM

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A forgettable sedan if there ever was one, over the past several years the Impala owes its success to fleet sales, not consumers.

Chevrolet is now looking to change that with a completely restyled version of its full-size front-drive sedan, adding plenty of luxury, technology and style. Unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, to find out more about the 2014 Chevy Impala watch out first look video below.

GALLERY: 2014 Chevy Impala

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 7:01 AM

After multiple teasers, RAM has officially unveiled its 2013 1500 packed with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, with a 5.7L HEMI V8 as an option.

The new 3.6L V6 packs 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy compared to its 3.7L V6 predecessor, according to RAM. The new figures are 305-hp and 269 lb-ft and its fuel economy figures should be around 17-mpg city/24-mpg highway based on a 20 percent increase from the former 14-mpg city/24-mpg highway rating.

GALLERY: 2013 RAM 1500

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 12:06 AM

The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse officially debuted at the 2012 New York International Auto Show this morning as the as the brand’s latest full-size crossover.

“We have injected a stronger presence into the Traverse exterior by focusing on the details. The small but important changes give it a more vibrant personality that more closely reflects the lifestyles of the families who rely on the Traverse to get them through their busy lives,” said GM director of exterior design Phillip Zak.

GALLERY: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse

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