AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Nissan GT-R Track Edition
Trucks, tuner cars and even a diesel compact came out to the 2013 Chicago Auto Show this year.
While it wasn’t a worldwide debut, the Nissan GT-R Track Edition made its first U.S. appearance during the show. The car is limited to 150 units and features performance enhancements including better brake cooling, a stiffer suspension and a lighter curb weight thanks in part to losing its rear seats.
It keeps the same 545 hp output, but gets a carbon fiber rear wing and special RAYS wheels. Unfortunately for Nissan, it’s not really new so it can’t make the official “Top 10″ list. An honorable mention will have to do instead.
With that out of the way, click below to see AutoGuide.com’s picks for the top 10 cars this year in the Windy City.
Toyota’s all-new Camry will blitz the US market to regain sales lost after three years that included a recession, recalls and an earthquake. The new Camry was unveiled on Tuesday and is the first of 20 new and refreshed Toyota, Lexus and Scion models arriving by early 2013. Along with the Camry, Toyota this year will add the hybrid Prius v wagon, revamped Yaris subcompact, Scion iQ minicar and a modified Tacoma pickup truck. Vehicles to be released in 2012 include, a plug-in version of the Prius, compact Prius c hybrid, a new Lexus GS sport sedan, a battery powered RAV4 and a rear-wheel drive Scrion FR-S sports car. Toyota is determined to keep the Camry the top seelling passenger car, a position that has been held by the model for 13 of the past 14 years.
Toyota’s best year for the Camry was in 2007 with 473,108 units sold. However, through July, Camry sales slipped 7.8 percent to 174,485 from a year earlier. Hyundai has been very successful with the Sonata up 27 percent in sales during the same time frame. Nissan’s Altima has gained 17 percent to 153,182 during the same time period as well.
Camry’s have the largest owner base of any midsize sedan in the U.S with Toyota estimating that there are over 6.8 million of them on American roads. Toyota has also slashed the price on the 2012 model, as the company hopes to entice those who might be thinking about moving away from the automaker to look at other car brands.
The four-cylinder 2012 Camry LE with an automatic transmission has been priced at $22,500, $200 cheaper than last year. The SE model is also $1000 cheaper, selling for $23,000. The top-of-the-line XLE has been lowered by $2000, to $24,725 (all of these models are equipped with the four-cylinder engine).
Camry is symbolic of Toyota’s success, CEO Akio Toyoda said in a speech Tuesday marking the start of production of the model in Georgetown, Ky. ”This is an opportunity to show the world what Toyota is all about,” said Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder. “I can introduce the new Camry with 100 percent confidence,”, he said.
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Camry
[Source: Automotive News]
As Lexus’ GS enters it’s fourth generation, the car has been redesigned to be sportier and more focused on the driving experience. The GS350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 305-hp and 274 lb-ft of torque. It has a 0-62 mph time of 5.7 seconds and on a sad note for the V8 lovers, the GS460 has been discontinued.
The GS will not be any larger than the current car and Lexus claims, the new plaform is both more rigid and lighter than before. The GS has also gotten rid of the “waterfall” center console and replaced it with a massive 12.3-inch screen that displays navigation and audio information.
A high-performance GS F-Sport model will also be available using the same 3.5-liter V6 and will feature high spring rates, a thicker anti-roll bar, firmer adaptive shocks, larger two-piece front brake rotos, four-wheel steering, a variable-ratio rack and 19-inch wheels.
The GS will debut on August 18 but Lexus wouldn’t reveal the exact on-sale date. We expect it to be in showrooms sometime in early 2012. The F-Sport model will also go on sale in early 2012 and, an all-wheel drive version of the GS350 will be available sometime around the middle of next year.
[Source: Car and Driver]
BMW has unveiled the M3 DTM, a high performance race car that will compete in the 2012 DTM (German Touring Car) series. The M3 debuted at BMW Welt in Munich, and is a very exciting event after a two decade absence of BMW at DTM. Between 1987 and 1992, the M3 won 40 race and had over 150 podium finishes in Germany’s premier tin-top series.
This race car features a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic monocoque (CFRP) with a steel roll cage, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8. The M3 produces 480-hp and is capable of achieving a 0-62 mph time in three seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.
Three teams will race M3s in next year’s DTM series including BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG. “It is good to see how our DTM project is picking up speed,” explained BMW’s director of development Dr Klaus Draeger. “Next yea, BMW returns to the DTM after two decades. We will be facing our main competitors in the premium sector – and are already looking forward to this challenge.”
Check out the videos after the jump!
Aston Martin and Zagato have quite a history together. They first collaborated back in 1961, which resulted in the highly desirable DB4GT Zagato. Only 25 of these were ever made.
The two companies came together once again in 1986, which resulted in the V8 Vantage Zagato, later followed by the V8 Volante Zagato. Both these cars were built in very limited numbers (52 coupes and 37 convertibles) and are hence continually appreciating.
Most recently, Aston Martin and Zagato did two versions of the DB7, a Zagato coupe and the DB AR1 roadster. Both cars were made in a limited number of just 99-units, the latter was solely marketed to the sunny Florida and California markets. Every single example of these limited edition cars have found homes and still have collectors chasing after them.
Now Aston Martin wants to repeat the successes of this partnership once again, and what better occasion than on the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato.
Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez said: “The DNA of both Aston Martin and Zagato has combined successfully to make some of the world’s most desirable collector cars in the past and in this special anniversary year of the DB4GT Zagato it is appropriate to explore a modern collaboration.”
“Now is the right time for a new Aston Martin Zagato and in combining our design intelligence I think we can create something fitting of the iconic DB4GT Zagato that has gone before and since established itself as one of the most famous Aston Martins of all time.”
The new model, the name for which has not been released yet, will be unveiled on May 21st, at the Villa d’Este concours event, which is held annually at Lake Como in Italy.