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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.
 |  Oct 22 2009, 4:30 PM

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Toyota has officially unveiled the FT-86, a concept car that is set to inspire an upcoming compact sports car. The name FT-86 brings together Toyota’s past and future, with the “FT” coming from the FT-HS hybrid concept from a few years back, while the “86″ is donated from the AE-86, a small rear-drive, two-door Corolla-based sports car (called the Hachi-Roku), made famous by drifters.

The design of the car in many ways mimics the bold look of the Lexus LFA supercar and yet on a smaller and more subtle scale. Power comes from a 2.0-liter Subaru-sourced boxer engine although the output is not yet known. The production model, like the concept will be rear-wheel drive and is expected to cost around $20,000, undercutting the Hyundai Genesis Coupe as a fun and affordable sports car.

Toyota has never really been in the sports car business but it is making bold statements, saying the FT-86 will have, “racecar-like handling.” We’ll hold our judgment until we get the production model out on a race track.

GALLERY: Toyota FT-86 Concept

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Get more FT-86 News Here

 |  Oct 20 2009, 9:33 AM

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As seemingly impossible as it sounds, Nissan is contemplating bringing its Land Glider concept to North America and badging it as an Infiniti. The half-car, half-motorcycle electric vehicle concept is set to debut tomorrow (October 21st) at the Tokyo Auto Show and is certainly seems like the sort of wild one-off creation that is used to inspire production models, rather than become one itself.

Then again, it wouldn’t be alone in the marketplace with Volkswagen already having announced plans to bring its two-seater, diesel-hybrid L1 to the streets. Perhaps it would be an ideal competitor to the Toyota iQ-based Aston Martin Cygnet.

Let’s just say we have our doubts, but Nissan is serious about being on the cusp of the green car revolution, having invested heavily in electric cars already with its Leaf EV, which is set to be the first mass-produced electric car on American roads.

GALLERY: Nissan Land Glider Concept

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[Source: Autmotive News via Autoblog]

Frankfurt 2009: Volkswagen E-Up! Electric Concept Debut

Electric mini car based VW's upcoming city-car chassis expected to hit market by 2013

 |  Sep 16 2009, 4:56 AM

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Debuting alongside the 170mpg L1 concept car at the Frankfurt Auto Show was the zero-emissions E-Up! concept. As the name suggests, this is a pure electric vehicle and it is based on a chassis that will form the basis of a new line of VW city cars starting in 2013.

As a 3+1 seater the E-Up! is about the size of a SMART fortwo or Toyota iQ. It has a peak output of 60 kw with 210 Nm of torque (80-hp and 155 ft-lbs of torque). With a curb weight of 1,085 (2,392 lbs) the E-Up! Concept can hit 62 mph in 11.3 seconds and drive a total distance of 130 km thanks to stored energy in a lithium-ion battery pack.

Volkswagen is boldly declaring the car is the Beetle of the 21st Century and says this electric Up! model will go on sale in 2013.

GALLERY: VW E-Up! Concept

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:23 AM

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Mazda unveiled its MX-5 Superlight concept roadster at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Though pictures were leaked ahead of the show, seeing the Superlight version of the MX-5 in person was still impressive.

Created by Mazda’s European design team to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first MX-5, the Superlight version weights 2,194 lbs (995 kg), down from the stock 2,381 (1,080 kg).

Power comes from a 124hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder (rather than the 169hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder currently offered in North America), mated to a Mazdaspeed cold air intake and exhaust, allowing the car to hit 62 mph in 8.9 seconds while getting 44.8 mpg.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Superlight

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 |  Sep 14 2009, 6:46 AM

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Audi has been teasing the world with rumors of an electric car debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but executives have gone so far as to flatly deny the existence of an electric R8.

Now the folks over at WorldCarFans have received a selection of renderings for an R8 called the E-Tron. (Apparently Tron is a running theme this year, with BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics Concept looking like something from the movie).

The photos show an obvious R8 profile with several differences, including a new front grille, different headlights, a new rear end design and wheels. Most notably different, however, is the interior, which shows a clean cockpit with an LCD screen between the main gauges. There is also an LED screen on the driver’s A-pillar.

Unless Audi decided to fess-up to the Electric R8, we’ll have to wait until the automaker’s press conference tomorrow (September 15th) at the Frankfurt Auto Show and keep watching ElectricityUntamed.com.

GALLERY: Audi R8 E-Tron Concept

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[Source: WorldCarFans]

 |  Sep 14 2009, 3:25 AM

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Back in 2002 Volkswagen first showed its two-seater One-Liter Concept car and tomorrow at the Frankfurt Auto Show Germany’s largest automaker will unveil an updated version of that vehicle.

Called the One-Liter or L1 Concept because of its ability to travel 100km on 1 liter of gasoline (235 mpg), the latest edition isn’t quite so fuel-efficient, but it is slightly more realistic. Reported to be powered by a 29hp two-cylinder diesel engine mated to a seven-seed DSG transmission, and weighing just 380 kg (838 lbs) the L1 is capable of 189.6 mpg.

As mini-cars continue to grow in popularity in markets like Europe and Asia, a production version of the L1 Concept is a possibility in the not-too-distant future. Volkswagen has also been clear about its intent to develop small vehicles for developing markets.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow (September 15th) when Volkswagen will reportedly unveil the latest L1 Concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show to see just exactly where VW is headed with its latest concept.

GALLERY: Volkswagen tandem L1 Concept

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[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Sep 14 2009, 2:32 AM

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Just ahead of the car’s official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show tomorrow, images and details of the Mazda MX-5 Superlight have leaked onto the web.

Weighing just 2,194 lbs (995 kg), down from the stock 2,381 (1,080 kg), the car sheds roughly 200 lbs of weight.

Mazda says the concept car was designed to capture “the pure essence of the world’s most popular roadster, the Mazda MX-5,” and has included plenty of motorsports design cues including carbon fiber racing seats and plenty of carbon fiber details inside.

Power comes from a 124hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder (rather than the 169hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder currently offered in North America), mated to a Mazdaspeed cold air intake and exhaust, allowing the car to hit 62 mph in 8.9 seconds while getting 44.8 mpg.

Interestingly the Superlight’s track is 50mm wider than the stock car and the Bilstein suspension sits 30mm lower on 17-inch wheels.

The MX-5 Superlight is reported to be the first of several concept cars that will shape the direction of the next MX-5 Miata. Mazda wants the car to return to its light-weight roots with good handling and fuel-economy, while keeping all the car’s fun-to-drive aspects – hence the design. And by equipping the concept car with a smaller engine than the chassis is currently offered with we have to think this is a big hint that Mazda will down-size the next engine of the MX-5 – with a turbocharged 4-cylinder a strong possibility.

GALLERY: Mazda Miata MX-5 Superlight

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[Source: AutoCar]