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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.
Heart-pounding it may not be, but the curiously-named Toyota Furia Concept just debuted at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show to preview elements of the next-generation Corolla.
10. The Swagnum
Back by popular demand, we’ve compiled the Top 10 Worst Cars of SEMA. Forgive us for being light on details; it’s apparent that the number one qualification in order to make our list of botch jobs is for the car be so highly customized it’s no longer recognizable.
We hope you’re in for a scare this Halloween because this self-proclaimed “Swagnum” modified Dodge Magnum ranks just 10th on our list of terrifying mod-jobs at SEMA.
With its flagship RL never much of a rival to traditional luxury saloons and its once hi-tech SH-AWD system now more commonplace in the industry, it’s no surprise that the car was a certifiable failure.
Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, Acura has switched nomenclature to RLX for it’s big sedan, hoping to wow audiences with a purposeful hybrid system that works in tandem with a next-generation electric SH-AWD system.
Making “more than” 370 hp, Acura has mated a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine with three electric motors. One motor works in unison with the V6 engine as a conventional hybrid drive, while two others power the rear wheels. As a result, the RLX now gets what Acura calls Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, allowing power to be distributed left to right in the rear to help the car rotate. A similar system, though with the gasoline in the rear, will be fitted to the next-generation NSX.
If there’s one car that we’ve been looking forward to seeing at this year’s New York Auto Show, more than any other, it’s the next generation Viper. Very nearly sold off during Chrysler‘s turbulent years under Cerberus, like any great icon, it managed to endure.
Not only that, but even before the last fourth generation SRT 10 examples were rolling out the door, a plan was underway to introduce a new one; an American super car re-imagined for the 21st century. Now it’s been revealed to the world for the first time.
Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology Brand perhaps summed it up best. “Beyond being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die,” he said to raucous reception. Indeed.
Show stopping. At a glamorous event like the Geneva Motor Show, it often takes a lot to really stand apart from the herd, yet in Ferrari’s case, the F12 Berlinetta does just that. With the stand mobbed by members of the press, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, officially announced the introduction of the latest in a long line of V12 engined hyper cars.
The F12 Berlinetta replaces the 599 Fiorano and while it shares the same basic format, it’s significantly different, being smaller and lighter, with an all-new lightweight alloy space frame chassis and suspension. The V12, which di Montezemolo described as for “a new generation”, is an evolution of that first seen in the FF, but has been tuned to produce more power - a walloping 730 hp, while helping the F12 deliver up to 30 percent better fuel economy.
With a 46/54 front/rear weight distribution, a lower center of gravity than the 599, plus what Ferrari calls AeroBridge technology (which directs air from the hood down the sides of the car to increase downforce), fully integrated stability and traction control, plus Active Brake Cooling (which adjusts the flow of air to the brakes depending on temperature), the F12, despite its somewhat conservative styling (which is already generating polarizing views), is a worthy successor to the 599 and a car that can trace its bloodline directly back to the much revered 275 and 365 GTB/4 models.
Watch our Ferrari F12 Berlinetta first look video below.
GALLERY: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
GALLERY: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Lamborghini knows how to steal the show. The exotic Italian automaker’s standard production models are always enough to grab headlines, but this very custom one-off “speedster”, unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show, is beyond wild.
Called a “one of a kind piece of art” by Lamborghini, the open-top Aventador has tiny windscreens and a body modified for maximum performance. Based on a similar light weight but very large carbon fiber chassis as the Aventador, it’s slightly narrower and uses aerodynamic changes on the front and rear bumper to improve downforce.
A function-over form machine (even if it is beautiful), the Aventador J, as it’s called, has no navigation or audio system. Thinner and lighter doors drop even more weight and Lambo has targeted a dry weight of under 3,500 lbs – not bad for a car with a 6.5-liter V12 engine. Power is rated identically to the Aventador with 700 hp on tap.
Painted in a chrome red with carbon fiber detailing, the 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels are center locking and get carbon fiber inserts to maximize cooling of the brakes.
As for that mysterious J in its name, it comes from the FIA motorsports rule book, where “Appendix J” details the specifications of the different classes of race cars. That said, while Lambo is calling it a race car, the Aventador J is street legal. Want one? Too bad, this is the one and only Aventador J and it’s already been sold confirmed company CEO Stephan Winkelmann at it’s unveiling. The price? A serious $2.1 million.
GALLERY: Lamborghini Aventador J
10. 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Whether you’re heading to the Chicago Auto Show and want to know what to check out, or your trip is a bit more virtual, AutoGuide editors have compiled a list of the must-sees at this year’s event.
Head into McCormick Place and hang a left. You can’t miss the all-new 2012 Porsche 911. It might not be a world premiere, or even a North American debut, but the beautifully blue Carrera S is a piece of art. Four inches longer than the outgoing model it’s more substantial and a much sleeker design.
Powered by a 400 hp 3.8-liter flat-six engine the Carrera S can hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds when paired with Porsche’s PDK 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and the optional Sport Chrono Package. It’ll also lap the Nurburgring as fast as the previous generation GT3!
Kia, you’re such a tease. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, the Korean automaker revealed what it’s calling the Trak’ster Concept. But this sport cross came with a disclaimer, “there are no current plans to produce the Track’ster”.
Of course, that has to be the case, with this wild widebody and 250 hp turbocharged Soul just too extreme for the road.
Expanding on Kia’s Optima Super Bowl ad with the tag line “A Dream Car for Real Life”, the Track’ster was created to show what happens when a dream becomes a reality.
Designed to add some bulldog aggressions says Tom Kearns, chief designer for Kia Motors America, along with some significantly wider fender flares that add 5-inches to the width of the factory car, the Track’ster has a sportier appeal thanks to the removal of two doors. Inside the big fenders are 19-inch HRE wheels with 245 wide front tires and 285 wide rears. Keeping with the track theme, braking potential has also been upgraded with 6-piston front calipers and 14-ich rotors, while out back are four-piston units with 13.6-inch disks.
Power is generated by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cyinder making 250 hp – a 66 percent increase over the standard car. That power makes it to the ground through an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system and (of course) a six-speed manual transmission.
The interior of the Tack’ster further conveys its track-ready capabilities with orange suede racing seats up front. The rear seating area has been removed to make room for a spare tire and the tools you’ll need to work on your car at the track.
As though teasing us with such an impressive performance crossover and then denying plans to build it weren’t bad enough, Kearns continues to tease us more, commenting that concept cars like this, “allow KMA’s design team to dream about what could be. Whether that dream becomes a reality or not is a separate question.”
GALLERY: 2013 Kia Track’ster Concept
GALLERY: 2013 Kia Track’ster Reveal
Looking nothing like a Civic, with a sleek Acura design, it’s actually significantly larger, measuring 2-inches more end-to-end and almost half a foot more in width. The wheelbase, however, remains the same.
Powering the ILX are a choice of three engines, starting with an entry-level 2.0-liter 4-cylinder – essentially an up-sized version of the 1.8-liter found in the Civic. It makes a total of 150 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque and with a 5-speed automatic will get modest, but not exactly shocking, 24 city and 32 highway mpg rating.
Those in search of fuel economy can opt for the ILX Hybrid – the first time Acura has even offered a hybrid model. Using a similar setup to that found in the Civic Hybrid it makes 111 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque using a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder mated to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. A rudimentary hybrid setup, it does make use of a lithium-ion battery pack and gets 35/38 mpg, significantly less than the 44/44 mpg rating in the Civic Hybrid.
Performance aficionados will appreciate the 2.4-liter model, available with a six-speed manual transmission. Borrowing the engine from the Civic Si, it makes 201 hp.
Notable standard featured include a dynamic suspension system, “motion adaptive” electric power steering and a keyless access system with push-button ignition.
Available options include a Premium Package with leather, heated front seats, a rear view camera, an active noise cancellation system and an upgraded 360 watt audio system. A Technology Package then adds Acura’s ELS surround sound audio system and navigation with voice recognition.
Acura has confirmed the ILX will not replace the TSX, but will be the brand’s new entry-level offering, starting at “well below” $30,000.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX Reveal
Watch our first look Video of the ILX below: