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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 03 2012, 1:02 PM


One of our favorite sports coupes is undoubtedly the BMW 1M. When we tested one last year, we loved pretty much everything about it.

We also knew its life on the production line would be very short. Now, after just one year of production, BMW has stopped taking orders of this ultra special 1-series. The factory will now just fulfill the orders already placed, and it plans to have all of those ready by this summer.

So if you have one, cherish it and look after it; because rare cars that drive well will always have an enthusiast following and will command big money in years to come.

Considering BMW’s next small car will be called a 2-series, this might go down in history as the only M-car based on a 1-series, and is every bit as special as the original M1 supercar of 1978.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. The fabulous 3.0-liter, twin-power, straight-six cylinder engine that produces 335-hp, lives on in the Z4 sDrive35is.

So if you’ve been wanting a new 1M, either start looking around to see if any dealer still has one lying around, or buy a used one before prices start climbing up. We will miss this little rocket ship, and we hope the next small M-car can live up to the standards set by this car.

[Source: Car & Driver]

 |  Dec 16 2011, 10:30 AM

Today, the very last North American spec Ford Ranger pickup rolls off the Twin Cities assembly line, marking the end of the era for the once-popular compact pickup.

Like the Ford Crown Victoria earlier this year, the venerable Ranger has become one of Ford’s longest running models, having originally made its debut back in 1982 as an ’83 model. Yet like the Crown Vic, the Ranger has perhaps become a victim of several factors, including a lack of change, minimal marketing, shifting consumer tastes and ever more stringent safety and emissions standards.

Born in an era where compact pickup trucks were one of the fastest growing automotive segments in the US, the Ranger replaced the Mazda sourced Courier and proved hugely popular, consistently ranking among the top of the pack in terms of sales. It was extensively revamped for the 1993 model year and gained a Mazda counterpart in the shape of an enlarged B-Series for 1994. With both four-cylinder and V6 power, manual or automatic transmissions and two or four-wheel drive, the tough, attractively priced little Ranger and its twin proved shrewd buys for much of the 1990s. Yet despite an increasingly lack of change (save for mild facelifts), sales continued to grow during the decade, peaking in 1999 at some 348,358 units.

However, since then demand for Ford’s compact pickup and small trucks in general has been shrinking, rapidly. From 6 percent of the market back in 2000, small pickups represented just 2 percent of all North American vehicle sales last year, by which time  the B-Series had been dropped and Ford was shifting less than 60,000 Rangers annually.

Nonetheless, despite prosaic technology and almost a complete lack of promotion, those numbers aren’t bad, especially considering that in terms of price and fuel economy, a 2011 Ranger didn’t differ that much from an entry-level F-150.

Both dealers and customers say that the strategy to discontinue the Ranger and push remaining buyers towards the F-150 isn’t a particularly good one; especially as updated small trucks are being planned by Ford’s rivals, notably GM with its new Chevy Colorado and possible Jeep and Scion.

Like the Crown Vic, which essentially owned the fleet market, Ford’s decision to drop the Ranger will likely give a chance for competitors to make serious in roads in a segment that was dominated by the Blue Oval for years.

Not only that but with fuel economy and financial belt tightening on the radar for many Americans, the concept of an affordable, practical, cheap to maintain gas sipper (in terms of the real cost of motoring, the four-cylinder, five-speed Ranger remains one of the most economical vehicles on the road) is today, more relevant than ever.

 |  May 09 2011, 11:03 AM

General Motors has quietly phased out production of the Cadillac STS. The last sedan drove off the Lansing Grand River assembly line last week.

The ending of STS production will not result in any layoffs, however, as all workers will retain the same hours and will continue to build the CTS. The STS and the high performance STS-V have been made at the factory since August 2004. Since then, 125,000 STSes have been produced.

Next year workers will begin production of a new small Cadillac says brand spokesperson Jordana Strosberg. GM officials call the new car the “alpha platform,” but it will reportedly be called the ATS when it hits dealers.

Replacing both the STS and DTS in Caddy’s lineup is a new full sized luxury sedan based on the XTS Concept, although official production of this car has yet to be confirmed.

[Source: LSJ]

 |  Apr 22 2011, 4:47 PM

When you rely on another manufacturer to supply engines for your offerings, sometimes things can get a bit tricky. In the case of Lotus, that time has now come for the Elise and Exige.

With the supply of Toyota Twin Cam 2ZZ-GE four-cylinder engines now used up, the Norfolk based sports car maker is winding down production of these two models, though will send them out with bang, offering a run of Final Edition versions based on each car.

On the Exige front, this consists of a special model called the 260 Final Edition. Only 30 examples will be allocated for North American buyers, each retailing at a cost $67,500. For that you get the Lotus Tour Pack, Track Pack and Limited Slip Differential. In addition, for an extra $2400, 25 buyers will have the option of getting their 260 finished a menacing matte black exterior hue if so desired.

As for the Elise, well, in our neck-of-the-woods, just 15 examples of the SC Final Edition will make it to North American shores. Each of the cars will come fully loaded with options and the buyers will have a choice of four different exterior colors derived from that  used on the Euro market Elise Club Racer. Price? $57,500.

Production of the Elise/Exige is scheduled to end in July, so if you want one of the Final Edition cars, better sign up now!

[Source: Golden Gate Lotus Club]