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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.
Pricing details are now available for the rethought 2012 Honda Crosstour featuring a more cost-minded four-cylinder engine.
The 2012 Crosstour will start at $27,655 and go all the way up to $36,540 for the four-wheel drive version with navigation. At the base price, you get a 192-horsepower engine that squeaks out an extra three miles-per-gallon in the city and two on the highway. The 271-horsepower V6, which is unchanged over previous models, is still available as well.
The company made the official announcement about their plans to launch a less expansive version of their crossover last December. They hoped it would help the Crosstour finally feel marketable in light of failed sales. Despite that failure, Honda still seems confident and determined to make the Crosstour work.
“The new four-cylinder Crosstour offers sleek design, unmatched passenger comfort and ingenious functionality now with four-cylinder pricing and fuel economy,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. “With four-cylinder and V6 options and a long list of standard features, Crosstour should be on every CUV buyer’s shopping list.”
That might be how Honda feels, but the Crosstour has been consistantly criticized as the ugly duckling in the lineup. Consmers complain that it’s too much like a larger Accord, which makes sense because that’s how it was originally marketed.
Speaking of ugly ducklings, it’s probably important to point out that the top-of-the-line Nissan Juke sells for about $4000 less than the base Crosstour. It also gets better mileage than the two-wheel drive crosstour, with all-wheel drive. Sure, you sacrifice four horsepower, but who cares?
The only new selling point for Honda’s less potent 2012 Crosstour is a lower price, but we say that fails to deliver against the competition.
Gallery: 2012 Honda Crosstour
General Motors unveiled their new family of small displacement engines, a group of three and four cylinder engines ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L in displacement. The engines were designed in concert largely with GM’s Chinese subsidiaries.
GM didn’t divulge which vehicles will get the new engines, but did say that North America won’t be an initial market for the three-cylinder engines. GM was also tight-lipped about the specifics of the engines, only stating ”they will feature lightweight design and advanced technologies such as direct injection, turbocharging and alternative fuel compatibility” as well as “…[being] designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.”
To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Acura is producing a Special Edition of the TSX. The TSX Special Edition model will give the popular sedan a sportier, more aggressive look – a good thing, considering the upgrades are all cosmetic.
The TSX will receive a more aggressive front spoiler, unique side sills and rear fascia as well as new polished 17-inch alloy rims with a dark grey background. On the inside, the seats will be finished with black suede inserts that contrast the red stitching. The red stitching will also carry over on the steering wheel and shift knob. The red theme continues on the gauges, overhead lighting and foot-well. The sedan will also receive aluminum pedals and silver plating for the steering-wheel-mounted shifters.
Powering the TSX will be the K24 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, mated to either a close-ratio 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The TSX Special Edition will make its debut at the Orange Country International Auto Show on September 22nd, and will likely go on sale at the same time.
GALLERY: TSX Special Edition
With the debut of the all new 2012 Toyota Camry yesterday (review here), Honda’s Accord soldiers on for another model year mostly unchanged save for the addition of a Special Edition (SE) trim level. All Accord models will also receive a USB audio interface for 2012.
The Honda Accord will also receive four engine variations , with the base 177-hp 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine in the LX,LX-P and SE sedans. Next is the 190-hp 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC engine that’s standard in the EX and EX-L sedan. The top of the line 3.5-liter 24-valve SOHC, i-VTEC V6 engine produces 271-hp and is available in the EX and EX-L.
Transmission choices vary between engine and trim level choices. There is a 5-speed automatic transmission standard for all 4-cylinder and V6 models. A 6-speed manual transmission will be available exclusively for the Accord V6 Coupe. The 4-cylinder Accord with the 5-speed automatic transmission will rank as the most fuel efficient model, achieving 23 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for a combined 27 mpg rating.
Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation System is available on the EX-L model and has an 8-inch screen and an interface dial for user input. The 2012 Accord sedan also earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s best-possible Overall Vehicle Score 1 of 5 stars.
Lexus hopes to change this in the coming years as a diesel option becomes available for the next-gen GS model. Lexus will remain focused on its hybrid offerings, but recognizes the importance of diesel engines in the European market. Lexus currently offers a diesel engine on the IS to the European market, but this will change with the launch of the new GS sedan in 2013.
Lexus will continue to offer the GS with a 3.5-liter gas-electric hybrid and an entry level 2.5-liter V6 but the diesel will help the company compete with BMW’s 520d. The next-gen GS is expected to debut this September at the Frankfurt auto show.
Ford is about to launch an EcoBoost powered Explorer SUV. The new EcoBoost engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with direct injection and a turbocharger and returns 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg highway.
The Ecoboost option will be limited to the front-wheel drive model only and have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The engine will produce 240-hp at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and only requires 87-octane at the pumps. Ford said the Ecoboost Explorer will cost $995 more than the regular V6 model.
Ford is quite proud of this engine boasting that its technology bests the Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee by five mpg highway, the Chevy Traverse by four mpg and the Toyota Highlander by 3 mpg. The EcoBoost Explorer is currently being launched, so expect to see models in the showroom very soon. Given Ford’s success with the Ecoboost F-150, and the 2011 Explorer’s strong sales numbers, the Explorer Ecoboost should be a hit.
In celebration of Honda’s 39th anniversary of the popular compact, the Japanese automaker has put together a video titled “Heritage”, where we take a look at the histroy of the car.
With some help from the British house music trio Dirty Vegas, the video shows us the evolution of Civic dating back to 1973. Since the first Civic was first produced, 19,000,000 units have been sold.
The all-new 2012 Honda Civic will feature a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 140-hp. The Civic is rated at 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway which is gain of 12 percent in the city and 8 percent on the highway, over last years model. The Civic coupe will start from $15,605 and the sedan starts from $15,805.
Check out the AutoGuide review of the 2012 Honda Civic and view the “Heritage” video after the jump!
Toyota’s new Yaris just made its local debut at the 2011 Melbourne auto show, ahead of its showroom release at the end of the year. The current Yaris is the third most popular compact car in the Australia, behind the Mazda2 and the Hyundai Getz.
Toyota stretched the Yaris to help create more space for rear seat passengers. Fuel efficiency has been improved by more advanced aerodynamics and the windshield gains “UV-reducing” glass with a single large wiper blade. The new Yaris will be offered as a three-door, five-door hatchback and four-door sedan. Toyota stated that this new model was designed with more of a European flavour than its predecessor.
Engine choices for the new Yaris are expected to be similar to the outgoing model, including a 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter powerplant. Toyota Australia will not release any more details until its launch.
Gallery: 2012 Toyota Yaris
MINI has recently released the all-new 2012 Coupe and it will pack a serious punch. The company’s racing heritage will continue with this sporty two-door in the John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance. This race car has been developed to compete in this weekends 24-hour Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit. MINI will race the “Green Hell”, as the track is affectionately known with two cars wearing numbers 146 and 147. Three other MINI teams will also track two cars each, making for eight MINI’s in a race of 250.
The race car gets a specially-tuned version of the factory produced John Cooper Works engine, packsinga 1.6-liter four cylinder equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection. The car will produce 250-hp with an over-boost function cranking out 330 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 240 km/h.
The car looks and sounds great in the video and looks very quick. The exhaust system sounds mean and the minute and a half long video is definetly worth watching.
Check out the video after the jump!
The all new stylish 2012 Toyota Vitz model, sold here as the Yaris, appears to have new photos, that is if these pics from a Hungarian Toyota dealership’s Facebook page are anything to go by.
In an age where fuel economy is a major selling aspect, the subcompact B-segment is more important than ever, and the new Yaris fits the description.
The new Yaris functionally has gained some size. In total, the Yaris grows 100mm from end to end, with half of that between the wheelbase for more interior room. The car has also grown 20mm shorter overall, probably to lower the center of gravity and improve handling. The new model in Japan has a range of small four cylinder engines, but we should expect a 1.5L version as the sole option.
Stay tuned for more details!
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Yaris
The all-new 2012 Buick Regal GS arrives this fall and will pack a serious punch. The GS has ow officially been rated at 270-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and achieves a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds. For the record, that’s 15 more horsepower than originally claimed.
The GS will be powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine that boasts more torque than the Acura TSX V6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 or Volvo S60 T5.
“The Regal GS 2.0L turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has ever offered, and at 135 hp per liter is the most power dense engine ever certified by SAE,” explained Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager. “We’ve been combining direct injection and variable valve timing with boosted engines since 2006, and there’s no question the Regal GS turbo has the responsiveness and acceleration of some V6s, while delivering the fuel economy you’d expect of a four-cylinder.”
This very special Ecotec engine will include direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, a forged steel crankshaft, a twin scroll turbocharger and a highly efficient intercooler system. The 295 lb-ft of torque is available from as low as 2400 rpm and 95 percent of the torque is available between 2300 and 4900 rpm.
Two transmission choices are available including a six-speed manual that comes as standard or a six-speed automatic which will be available later on. Even with the high-output Ecotec engine, the GS can still achieve 28 mpg and the entire powertrain will be covered by a five-year 100,000 mile warranty.
The GS will also feature a lower ride height than other Regal models and get aggressive 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy rims and all season tires. 20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy rims with performance tires will be optional.
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Regal GS
The all-new 2012 Honda Civic sedan models received the highest safety rating of Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, announced today.
In order to receive a top safety pick, the vehicle must include a standard electronic stability control system and must successfully protect occupants inside the vehicle, involved in front, side and rear crashes as well as test rollover performance. The Civic received the highest-possible score of “Good” in all four categories, including the roof-strength test.
Discuss this story at 9thGenCivic.com
A $30 million federal- government grant, half funded by the Department of Energy is development of a high efficiency Cummins four-cylinder diesel engine to be used in the Nissan Titan.
This engine will allow the Titan to shed its guzzler status and become one of the most fuel-efficient full size pickup trucks on the market. This 2.8-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder will likely boast over 30 mpg on the highway and promises to deliver as much torque as small-displacement gasoline V-8s. The Cummins ISF engine is offered in 2.8 and 3.8-liter displacements is capable of 168-hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. This engine is being developed for use in the next generation 2015 Nissan Titan.
This very special 1957 four-cylinder Ferrari 500 is one of the latest additions to the RM Auctions docket at the upcoming Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where the car is expected to fetch between $3.5 to $4.5 million.
This Ferrari 500 TRC (Testa Rossa Type-C) Spider was the first Ferrari to bear the Testa Rossa name for its red valve covers. Only 19 TRC’s were built and this particular example – chassis number 0670 MDTR – was the sixth vehicle made. These TRC Ferraris, are more rare than the more powerful 12-cylinder 250 TR as well as the infamous 250 GTO which are notorious for selling into the multi millions.
The upcoming Cadillac ATS is expected to slot below the mid-size CTS, and compete with upcoming compact luxury cars. In order to differentiate itself from the CTS, the ATS will get a series of smaller engines, with an Ecotec 4-cylinder or a small V6 (much like the high feature V6, seen above) among the possibilities.
According to sources, the Cadillac CTS-V’s LSA V8 may fit under the hood of the ATS, but with the next BMW M3 getting an inline six engine, the ATS-V will likely get a twin turbo V6 making 380 horsepower, with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. Unfortunately for Cadillac, their last effort with turbocharging on the SRX crossover was poorly received by everyone but critics. Hopefully the ATS-V provides some redemption, and with current gas prices, the idea of yet another blown V8 is unfathomable.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The days of multiple supercharged V8s for Cadillac look to be ending as GM’s luxury division is now mulling four-cylinder engines on multiple product lines.
While the upcoming ATS sports sedan is a natural candidate for a four banger, rumor has it that the Cadillac XTS full size sedan may also be offered with a turbocharged Ecotec inline four, making between 220 and 260 horsepower. Depending on customer reception, this motor could also find a home in the CTS and SRX, which quite frankly makes more sense than in the larger XTS.
An Ecotec Cadillac may seem anathema to the brand, but in places like Europe and China, the small displacement of 2.0L will help it dodge significant taxes based on engine size. Furthermore, German manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are rapidly embracing turbocharged four cylinders in more than a few of their products.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster will be the first BMW to get a 4-cylinder engine in the United States since the BMW 318i was offered in the early 1990s. But unlike the underpowered 1.8L mill of yore, this new 2.0L 4-banger will pack a turbocharger, helping it make 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 260 pounds of twist arrives at 1,250 rpm, giving the car some urgency down low.
Fuel economy is said to be up 20 percent when equipped with the optional 8-speed automatic, the gearbox that will undoubtedly find a home in many Z4s, even if its not our choice of transmission. The base model 6-cylinder, with a 3.0L naturally aspirated engine, weighs about 3,240 lbs, a not exactly svelte number, but with the added boost, we expect the Z4 to put up respectable, but not thrilling acceleration numbers – even though this model is likely being sold to those who value “show” greatly over “go”.
With BMW’s new i Ventures division recently being announced the Munich-based automaker elaborate on plans to renovate two buildings in New York City as part of a larger push towards promoting sustainable mobility. In addition, BMW will officially introduction the production ActiveE electric car, and provide details on pricing.
The most relevant announcement to BMW customers, however, will be the return of 4-cylinder engines to the BMW lineup in North America, as well as the debut of the first model to use the new TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder mill.
In Europe the first car to get such an engine was the X1 xDrive 28i, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter making 245-hp at 5000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at just 1250 rpm. That same engine is expected to replace the current 3.0-liter straight-six in much of the BMW lineup, delivering 13 fewer horsepower, but 30 more ft-lbs of torque. In the X1 model BMW claims an improvement of 0.7 seconds to 62 mph with the manual and 0.3 seconds with the automatic, resulting in a very impressive 6.1 second (or 6.5 second) 0-62 mph time. Also of note is a 4.8 mpg improvement on the Euro test cycle.
See AutoGuide’s complete NY Auto Show preview here, with coverage to start April 20th.
An old finance maxim states that “by the time you’ve read about it, it’s already too late”, but that hasn’t stopped used car dealers from eagerly snapping up any 4-cylinder or hybrid vehicle as gas prices continue to climb.
With one dealer calling the sudden trend a “panic”, values of previously undesirable cars like the Chevrolet HHR have shot up to $11,000 from the $8,000 or $8,500 they previously commanded.
In an interview with Automotive News, a NADA guides official stated that prices for these types of cars will probably rise between 3 and 4 percent above what the NADA guides state, while SUV and truck prices are set to fall. However, NADA is not set to alter their residual values, in part because they feel that any major spike in gas prices will last for three years, roughly the same term as most leases.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Ford F-150 and its 8-cylinder bretheren may have a lock on America’s auto market, but rising gas prices and improving technology have helped the once-pedestrian 4-cylinder engine dominate the automotive world, with 65.4% of cars built in 2010 powered by a 4-banger. About 18 percent of light trucks were similarly equipped.
While we lost one of the best 4-cylinders ever in 2009, when the Honda S2000 finally ended production, top-notch inline-4s entered the mainstream this past year, as turbocharging and direct-injection helped everyman cars like the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata and even the Range Rover Evoque punch way above their weight in terms of fuel economy and horsepower, while down on displacement. Look for this trend to continue as oil is now over $100 per barrel, and consumers have found satisfaction without having to go to 6 or 8 cylinders.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
It’s been rumored for quite some time now, but Porsche has finally confirmed plans for a 4-cylinder boxer engine.
In an interview at the Detroit Auto Show, former R&D boss Wolfgang Durheimer told AutoCar that the new engine could feasibly be used for the Boxster and Cayman. It’s also believed to be introduced in the upcoming baby-Boxster, based on the same platform as the VW Bluesport.
Sources familiar with the project have said the engine displaces 2.5-liters and has been tested up to 360-hp in a turbocharged format.
With the continued downsizing of engines, Durheimer even went so far as to say a 4-cylinder could eventually find its way into a the 911 – but not now.
In response to increasingly strict fuel consumption and emissions standards future General Motors mid-size sedans will be offered exclusively with 4-cylinder engine options – starting with the 2012 Chevy Malibu.
The development comes from GMInsideNews‘s sources working on the next generation of mid-size sedans. The plan actually began with the current Buick Regal, which is currently offered with two 4-cylinder options. Even the upcoming high-performance Regal GS model will get a 4-cylinder.
There’s no word on exact what engines will be offered in the new Malibu, which is due out some time in late 2011. Possibility’s include the obvious Regal powerplants, which include the 182-hp 2.4-liter direct-injection engine and the 220-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Four-cylinders have long been the volume models in the mid-size sedan category, but Chevy will be one of the first to drop the V6 entirely. The current Hyundai Sonata is offered exclusively with 4-cylinder engines.